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What are you afraid of?

This is kind of a follow up to my last post so if you didn’t read that one yet, you might want to start there.

I shared before how it’s hard for me to find time to get a deep enough conversation going so that I can witness to my co-workers. BUT I do have one thing going for me. At my old job, we had these “Random questions of the Day” that we would ask each other in the office. It was super fun and they ranged from really shallow, (If you could only wear one set of clothes for the rest of your life, what outfit would you pick?) to fairly deep, (What is one passage of Scripture that you don’t understand or confuses you?) 

I found that it’s a really good way to get to know another person and to start conversations so on the very first day of my new job, I started asking “Random Questions of the Day.” It’s to the point now where some of my co-workers will very determinedly find me and ask ME what the question is if I don’t ask them first. It’s also pretty handy because it’s an intentional way to get to know another person without them really realizing it.

So, one day last week my question that I thought of just happened to be, “What is something you are afraid of?” I had gotten several answers such as spiders, the dark, etc. I was close to being done for the day and excited to leave because I had several places to be that evening and needed to leave right after work. I was hurriedly cleaning up some dishes in the meat department when one of my co-workers (who is probably the most persistent about the Question) came in to tell me his answer after thinking about it for a while.

“I have my answer.”

I looked up absent-mindedly. “Oh ok. What is something you are afraid of?”

“Dying.”

I can’t quite explain the feeling that came over me. It felt like someone had smacked me upside the head with a board but at the same time a door was flung open right in front of me. Considering all the other answers I had received (and that my answer was snakes), this was totally unexpected. I believe I whispered, “Oh, Jesus” in my head. Outwardly I was cool as a cucumber.

Feeling the weight of my words and knowing exactly where they would lead me, I asked, “Why are you afraid of dying?” He explained that he had done a lot of dumb stuff and could have died.

Me: “Do you know where you would go when you die? What do you think happens when you die?” I have already had conversations with this young man (he’s actually only 15) and knew that he was unsaved and didn’t know anything about the Lord.

Him: Well, with me it could go either way, I guess.

Me: …slowly… “What do you think is the determining factor as to where you go? What determines if you go to heaven or not?”

He did not have an answer. I inhaled slowly and shared the only way to get to heaven. Standing in the meat room, washing dishes, I told this young man about salvation and hope. I told him there was only one way to be rid of a fear of death.

And then he was called to the front and it was time for me to clock out. But I have been praying for him and for the other girl who was walking in and out of our conversation, listening the whole time. Praying for God to change their hearts.

Hmmm…how very simple it was and yet how very hard at the same time. I felt like my face was on fire and my brain was going to explode. In that moment, I truly did not see a person standing before me but an eternal and LOST soul! And I think the weight of that was a little overwhelming. But praise God for putting some words in my mouth for once! What an answer to prayer!

[Side note: As I was rushing quickly out of the store because I was then running late, one of the other girls asked me what the Question was. I quickly told her and she instantly replied that she was afraid of not being able to achieve greatness in life. I hesitated for a moment and I’m pretty sure my thought was, “Lord, I LITERALLY do not have time, strength, or energy to do this again today!” Fortunately these questions are also easy to come back to and I plan to follow up on that one too. What a difference one small, intentional, question can make!]

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2018 in witness

 

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How Very Blessed

Sometimes, I don’t feel blessed. I can hear your gasp and see your shocked face…but it’s true. Sometimes, I feel like my life is awful and I just don’t want any more uncertainty and I want to go home. There are days when I just want to lay in bed and cry all day. Days when the problems of my friends get me down and inject stress into my life. Days when I long just to have my baby brother tell me he loves me and to feel his arms around my neck. Days when I don’t feel blessed.

Now, I realize of course that I am blessed. I have a wonderful family and I have a baby brother TO miss. I don’t have many of the fears and problems of my friends. I have a home to visit. I have tons of people who sincerely care for me. I have plenty of food and a warm place to live. I am blessed.

But, you know what? That isn’t enough. History would tell of millions of people who had all that and more but who weren’t happy or content. They were missing the greatest blessing of them all. The blessing of salvation.

But I have that. I have the assurance of things hoped for and I know the evidence of things not seen. I know my name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that his hand of grace and mercy is upon me in salvation. I know that the struggles of this life are merely a shadow and that the glory of eternity is mine. I know that my Lord is faithful and just to forgive my sins and that he remembers them no more. I know that my God reigns forever and that he listens when I call to him.

Sometimes, I don’t feel blessed. And sometimes, I just need to be reminded of how very blessed I really am.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in blessing

 

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Country Christmas

One of the main barns

One of the main barns

Here at the farm, we have just started Country Christmas.  Four evenings in December we take hayride tours around the farm and the birth of Christ is portrayed by actors in a play format.  At the last stop, the gospel is shared with the audience.  The evening is completed with pony rides, a petting zoo, Christmas tree sales, hot chocolate and cookies.

Usually, we have around 500-600 people come each evening.  500-600 people who get to hear the gospel that night.  Yesterday, it was different.  We had a big snow storm come through and in the office we got calls all day long about people wanted to transfer to another day because of the weather.  One call included 50 of our volunteers who weren’t going to make it. We were getting somewhat discouraged.  Some people wondered if it was worth doing it at all.

Last night, our total count was 135. 135 people who got to hear the gospel proclaimed.  It was worth it.  It would have been worth it if ONE person was able to hear and see Christ.  Is it really up to us to decide who gets to hear God’s Word?  Is it up to us to decide how many people is enough for us to proclaim the gospel?

I pray that those 135 people last night were changed by what they saw and heard and that God will begin a work in their hearts to salvation.  And now it’s time for us to get ready for the 500 people coming tonight!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Christmas

 

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Encouragement

The other day, we got an interesting and rather long phone call in the office.  The other secretary took it but we all heard it since it was so quiet. It was quite obvious form the conversation that it was a displeased camper Mom and that it had something to do with Catholicism.  When she got off the phone, we all just looked at her expectantly.

First off, the lady was not mad at all. She just wanted to know it this was a “safe” camp for Catholics to attend. Do we intentionally try to undermine Catholic beliefs?  Her daughters have been campers for years but something had happened this past summer. Her daughter came home full of doubts as to some of the Catholic rituals. Also, she had been telling her friends in her Catholic school that evolution was not correct and was promoting Creationism.  She also said that when her daughter was at camp they discussed the pope and her daughter wasn’t convinced she really agreed with the idea of a pope anymore.  The mother was concerned; her daughter’s faith was being torn down.

Now, this mom didn’t want anything said to the counselor because she really liked her and didn’t really think she was intentionally doing this.

What she didn’t know was that I work in the office……and I was her daughter’s counselor.

I remember that week so clearly. It was the only week I had older girls (age 11-12) and I had at least 3 who were Catholic. So of course it was a topic of conversation during Bible Study. Not because I brought it up, but THEY did!  (As a side note:  I don’t remember talking about the pope at all that week. But she certainly could have formed her own opinions!)  We did talk about who we should pray to and such things as that. I mean, when we started to study the Bible, these girls had questions. “If the Bible says that, then why do we do this?”  I always stressed that YES you can be a Catholic and be saved!  Of course you can!  Also, God is the only one who can see a person’s heart and I can’t tell anybody if they’re saved or not.

That’s what I stressed to all my Catholic campers.  Apparently, this Mom thought that we were anti-Catholic here when we aren’t really.  However, what she meant for a slight reprimand, got me so excited!

I got to see some more fruits from camp.  How this girl was challenged by Scripture and how it applies to her life!  It’s encouraging to me and…

I’m going to pray for this young lady.

 

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in camp

 

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The Fairness of Life

I was babysitting a six year-old girl at my house the other day.  Bethany said that something wasn’t fair and that little girl looked her in the eye and said solemnly,

“My Daddy says that if life was fair, we’d all go to hell.”

It took me a minute to realize the truth in her statement. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has this for one of its definitions of fair: Equitable; just; erited.  Fairness is getting what you deserve and although we usually apply it to “good” things, it should apply to “bad” things as well.  By rights, we should all go to hell.  That’s what we deserve. We’re all born sinners and have broken God’s commands as a result.  The fair thing for God to do would be to send us to eternal punishment.

I’m so glad God provided an alternative.  He didn’t have to. He chose to give us grace and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).

Now,  I don’t know about you, but I’m glad life isn’t fair.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in salvation

 

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