B. W. wrote:
Blessed wrote:... I just remember reading this in your book and it stuck with me because I am always asking myself WHY I was put on this planet.
But I am not a preacher. So it stuck with me because it would apply to me and anyone else since I am NOT living my life full time for the glory of Christ as I should be (at least I don't think I am).
I see now it reads like that. Sorry .. No YOU are tending the vinyard working for Christ's glory and the good of those you minister to. I AM NOT. That's what I was thinking. Sorry about that.
Thank you for your reponse.
Well, we are all on a journey a personal journey. We learn as we go what are to do for the Lord. I began as you, however, I did not choose to preach or go out - it happen as that was the journey He had for me...
It's a Journey of faith brother. I never thought of preaching or teaching after I became saved. At the time way back early 1980's I thought being a good Laodicean, who would answer the door for Christ at his knocking, at the last hour was all that was required to make it. I have a slight speech impediment and preferred to help set up tables and clean up after Church or do things in the background like run soundboard. Or play in the praise band upfront then go sit down after having done my bit.
It started for me, wanting to tell no one about my death experience. After all who would believe me? - PTSD - yes - had that and could not stand going to the shopping mall and avoided big crowds. Sights, sound, smells would trigger mild flashbacks nervousness, sweats, trembling - the works. This has mellowed very much over the years.
Back then, I could not at all talk to anyone about this as I was an educated intellectual type. I reasoned no would believe me or care - so silence and the back ground for me. So, I studied the bible, became involved in a college ministry, went to church, and quit smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol and running with girls who do.
I also became involved in a church where they actually-believed in Jesus as real and the bible as actually true. So, by divine happenstance, I went out with some of my friends to street witness. I was interested in this, never tried it. This is what happened. In Fort Collins Co, 1980's and kids there cruised College Ave - downtown - it was party central and main hang out for teenagers to drive their cars, pick up girls and girls the guys, and just walk around and hang out all for something to do.
I watched my friends witnessing, and I learned a lot. We had one teenage boy with cast on his wrist and his two friends argued with us about Jesus being myth and so was God and using every swear word just like I used to respond to those who witnessed to me not too many years before. However, it got interesting when the head guy on our team challenged him with what would it take for him to believe in Jesus...
The kid raised his arm pointed at his recently =within 30 hours of being broken = cast set wrist yelled out - "If he can heal my @%$#!)&*%#@@ wrist ###$$=&!@#$&...etc and etc..."
So, the team leader said okay I will pray - "Jesus I ask you to heal is wrist – Amen."
The kid and his two friends stormed off cussing at us and flipped us off with the correct finger sign. That was Friday night. Saturday night came, and we were back on the street. The kid and his three friends ran out to us and the kid said look, "No @%!&% cast, it got loose during the night so my mom took me back to the hospital to have it reset. They looked at the wrist and xrayed it again - the break was fused and healed..."
After all that, that kid would not pray with us to be saved like he agreed, and he ran off - saying Jesus was a s*&! r as we all was going to party down..." This time, at least we did not get that finger sign...
That is how I learned to street witness watching folks move in the power of God's spirit. Shortly after that, the leader guy moved away and soon it was me and another guy doing this and we filled up the downtown Perkins in Fort Collins smoking section full of teenagers and held a bible study with them - they asked tuff questions - we answered them. I did not realize it at the time but that was a small street revival which lasted just under two and half years.
We filled up that smoking section and opened the duplex I rented to help these kids who were abused, from broken drug infected homes, had all sorts of demonic manifestations going on, depression, cutters. you name it... we saw Jesus heal these folks and turn them around.
Too tell the truth, I did not have a clue what I was doing - I prayed often: "Help me Jesus --- what do I do now..." and did it because there was no one else around, that is the secret, ‘Blessed’ and anyone else, just ask the Lord to reveal what I mean here about prayer.
We did not have formal training, no hoops we jumped through, it was just tossed into our lap and we prayed, read-studied the bible, and learned to hear how God actually-speaks to our souls in the book of Acts kind of way.
If we had training, well, the training would say you can't do it that way. I did try Evangelism Explosion - Romans Road - but they often fell short. My memory thinks that that kid whose wrist was healed became saved in the smoking section of the downtown Perkins Restaurant (which was recently demolished to build apartments there).
Add to this period in my life there was a local revival in the church I attended. I thought this sort of thing was the norm and still do. I became head intercessor of the church not having a clue what to do other than learn from those who did after the Pastor volunteered be for the job I did not want. Then went through hard times as well. A new Pastor ruined the church and it died out. However, I was placed in charge of Jail ministry in 1988 till 1998 till I was hired by the Sheriff's Department to work there.
During those ten years, the team I had, well, we received awards for reducing the recidivism rates of inmates returning to jail after their release as well as reducing the crime rate in town. Ten years of what I call waves of revival hit that jail.
It was not easy, it cost, it was hard, but it happened. By that time, I started testifying of what Jesus did for me raising me up by his grace alone from the dead. Yes, folks laughed, poke fun, but who cares... I saw and know what normal church is like and can do - who cares what the naysayers say.
Now, I travel and teach or do radio or TV interviews tossed in once-in-a-while, even a docudrama done back in 2008 by Genesis Productions. I did not ask for any of it. It happened. God sort of just directed my steps. ‘I just go along for the ride’ as they say. I prayed, “Lord I have no clue what to do, help,…” then I step out because there was no one else who will take the hills.
So, for the reader, start with what has Jesus done for you?
Testify about it. Pray always, Study deeply the bible, pray more and, 'obey God and leave the consequences to him' as Dr Charles Stanley says.
Has it been easy, no. There is a cost. You feel alone, battered, beaten sometimes. The Lord takes you to the woodshed to learn you a few things. You eat a lot of humble pie and despite it all - it is worth seeing the real live Jesus doing what he knows to do best through frail, incompetent, nobodies astoundingly great things and seeing many come to him, finding their voice, faith, hope restored... Well .. it is by Jesus Christ that we can do...
Now, the modern church is apostatizing in greater degrees than before. The job is not done. More folks are fed up hearing that Jesus is their life personal coach and seeing no results. It is time to arise and collect as many as the Lord will have come to him and equip them to carry on till Jesus returns or we go to our heavenly home.
What I am saying 'Blessed', and anyone else, I never wanted the job I has hired by God for. I said often - no not me - I ain't able - not good enough, too many problems ... but God see's what is inside a heart willing to be cleansed daily...
So, start where you are at. Pray, deep-study the bible with Greek and Hebrew word studies (Online bible sites abound and apps for this), pray more, find people who pray and walk the talk and learn. Doing so, you will find your voice...
re-edited post and hope all the typos are now gone.
Blessed, used the post here to help other with on FB Afterlife Group I have. So, yes, you are doing things for the Lord you are not aware of to help others !!!