Wednesday, April 23, 2008

restaurant conversations

I've started feeling a bit paranoid about my blogs lately. I read several other blogs (probably too many), really good blogs, and I'm afraid that what I think are my ideas, well, aren't! I second guess almost every post of mine. "Did Dean already write about this?", "Did Prodigal Jon touch on this subject?". You get the idea. So, if you are a fellow blogger and I've written about something you did, please know that it's not intentional. I just have a really bad memory.

OK, now I that I have that off my chest, let me share with you something that happened yesterday. The kids and I were eating at our favorite restaurant, Casa Blanca. There were two ladies sitting at the table behind me, and I couldn't help but overhear their conversation. They were discussing the book A New Earth, which is the book that Oprah is pushing whole- heartedly. Oprah even has a daily webcast with the author of the book, discussing his writings. I'm sure most of you have heard about it, and have probably seen the youtube video about "Oprah's church". Well, these ladies, one in particular (I'll call her "Lady 1"), was praising Oprah and her beliefs. Oprah is "IT" in her mind. Lady 1 also went on to talk about how she was raised in a Baptist church, but she just doesn't believe that there is only one way to God/heaven. She also condemned the church and it's preachers for always talking about "Money, building new buildings, money, money! I mean, where does that come from?" she said. Well, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to say something, but of course I didn't really know what. I didn't worry about it, though, I just asked God to give me the words when the time came. The ladies talked several more minutes and they both discussed how disillusioned they are with the church. Well, the waiter brought my tab, and theirs, so I knew it was now or never if I was going to say something. I reached into my purse and took out two of the cards I always keep with me. The cards have a beautiful artist's rendition of Christ holding a man (artist Thomas Blackshear). On the back of the card are these words:

Do you know the joy of being forgiven?
Through forgiveness the arms of Jesus lift you. His blood cleanses you, and His love changes you.
It is His free gift to you.
Turn your heart toward Jesus.
Pray to receive Him and His
forgiveness by faith today... He
will come into your heart and make all things new.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
II Corinthians 5:17 NIV

OK, so I approach the ladies and I say something like this, "Excuse me, ladies, I apologize for eavesdropping, but I couldn't help but listen in to your conversation. I just wanted to give you this card. I keep one with me at all times to help me when I feel like I can't go on." I then proceed to share with them that some of what they said about the church is painfully true, but that we shouldn't take man's word, but God's word. I encouraged them to read the Bible for themselves. I said that the book of John was a great place to start. Then Lady 1 asked me if I have read A New Earth. I said, "No, but I've thought about reading it". She then told me that the author talks about God, or uses Scripture, or something, I can't recall exactly. I then told her that I don't discount what this man said, but again, I encouraged them not to take MAN's word, but to read God's word, "God's word has the truth and the truth will set you free". Lady 1 asked me where I go to church and I told her. She nodded like she had heard of it before, but wasn't impressed. I told her that I don't agree with everything that happens in our church, but that's where God has me right now (no church is perfect, right?). And before I left I encouraged them again to read the Bible for themselves. I also apologized once more for listening in on their conversation. They thanked me, then the kids and I left. I've been praying for these ladies ever since this happened. It sincerely broke my heart when I was listening to what they had to say about the church, about how to get to God. People are so deceived.
The kids were very interested in what happened, so we talked about it in the car. Dawson asked me if I was going to read that book the ladies were talking about. I said I wasn't sure, I might so that I can say I've read it, but then explain what is wrong with it. I also reminded them that Satan's tactics haven't changed since the beginning of time! I explained to them that the man who wrote this book, if he uses Scripture, is using just enough truth to make it plausible, but that he's twisting it, just like the old serpent in the garden. I'm thankful that this happened. I've been praying for specific opportunities to share my faith with people. It's definitely not an easy thing for me to do sometimes, but I sincerely want to do it more.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Praise God for your obedience. What a testamony for us fellow believers to follow. Thank you for sharing all that you do. Believe me it is an encougagement to me. Praise God! Deanna

Anonymous said...

What a great example you are to your children! Our homes are our first mission field and you are doing a great job to lead them in word and deed! God's Word does not return void. i dont' like Oprah's philosophy and have never been a fan of her. It is scary what some people believe and who they will follow. We all need to stay on our toes so we aren't led astray by smooth talkers. We need to pray that we will have courage to be Ambassadors for the King of kings. We need to pray for the blinders to be removed from us and others.

Thank you for sharing. You are such an encouragement!!

ps- I enjoy all your blogs.


Jane said...

You go, girl! What an awesome step of obedience to the Holy Spirit's prompting. And, what a fabulous life lesson for your children -- how wonderful that they see you talking boldly about your faith and taking action when you hear people being deceived. You are an encouragement to me!