Thursday, January 8, 2009

Clean Windows

I received this in an email today.

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. 'That laundry is not very clean', she said. 'She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap'

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'

The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Lord, please clean the windows of my heart. Remove the traveling dirt that seems to cling to those panes. Let me first look to my own soul, that it would be purified and cleansed by your Holy Spirit. Help me to not be judgmental of others and their shortcomings or flaws, but help me to see them clearly through your loving, compassionate eyes.

Intrusional Evangelism

I saw this video of famous magician, Penn Jillette, from Bill Giovannetti, a pastor friend's blog,

This is an interview of Penn Jillette who speaks about someone who came up to him after one of his performances and gave him a small pocket bible. I know in the past I was not the type who would feel comfortable just going up to someone and sharing Christ with them, but after seeing this video, I think I could be convinced to at least "always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (I Peter 3:15 - ESV) I like the words, "with gentleness and respect." This attitude helps to preserves the dignity of the person and yet the message of the Gospel can still be communicated with a heart-felt passion that rings with truth and sincerity.

When I first viewed this video, I could see that Penn was visably moved when he described the situation where this guy gave him a bible after one of his performances. It was evident that God’s spirit was dealing with Penn. Despite his comments about "still not believing in God, etc.", his protests were not very convincing to me.

This seemed to be just another step or seed that God is using in this man’s life to hopefully bring him to Himself. I don’t even think Penn was aware of how the Lord was dealing with him, but it’s obvious that something was happening in this man’s heart - he even seemed to be wiping a tear away as he spoke. The key to this is that the guy who shared the bible with him was genuinely concerned about Penn, he was respectful and gracious and THAT was what impressed this guy.

It still comes down to where "people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care." Penn Jillette could tell how much this guy cared and that made an indelible impression on him.

Another friend of mine commented on that blog about a book tht I'd like to read (thanks Marianne) called Unchristian by Kinnamon and Lyons where she describes "the perception that Christians are insincere and interested only in converting others."

See this link to read some reviews on Amazon:

I want to become more like that man who shared a bible and the message of the gospel unashamedly with Mr. Jillette and was not afraid of the rejection that could have occurred.

Lord use me as you see fit.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

treading water with a good attitude...

Hopefully it will be a better year. I am almost embarrassed by what I wrote a couple of days ago. But it was where I was at - at that moment. That same day, later that evening, my oldest daughter was in a car accident and totalled her car and the car that hit her was totalled as well. It was a miracle that she is alive - when you look at the damage to both cars. I am very grateful that I still have a living 18 year old daughter!

I will keep treading that water. I won't give up. I will keep trying to see the Lord working in small ways to show me that He loves me. I will keep focusing on grace and not on my sins, which I know have been forgiven and nailed to the tree. I will try to lower my expectations for myself and my children and even for my husband. (I guess there is truth to that saying blessed is he is does not expect anything for they will not be disappointed. Sounds a bit cynical I guess.)

I know that when I look over the past 37 years the Lord has NOT let me down, even though there were times where I wondered where He was and what He was doing. It's just being in the thick of it all, muddling through and not getting stuck in the mud/mire/sludge.

I don't have many choices do I? I have children depending on me and I need to keep going forward for their sake. I don't have the luxury of time - to allow myself to settle in this mode of thinking. They are with me for only a short while and I will so miss them when they are grown and on their own. I have recently read stories of people who have gone through much worse than what I have ever experienced and they have emerged from their ordeal with their heads held high and their faith in dthe Lord still intact.

I just pray this year the Lord will continue to show me mercy and grace and perhaps bring me a friend or two.