Monday, September 20, 2010
Day 81: Life and Times
My dad passed away a few years ago and I have never gotten around to cleaning out his old place. His old place actually was my grandmother's "old place" before he lived there, so it has some history. This is where we had family get togethers for the whole family on Easter and Christmas, so many memories of my childhood were formed inside this home.
Being on vacation this week, the fact that I'm not getting any younger and the more pressing fact that the place is not going to clean itself up, I decided to do some work down there. It is on the same piece of property that we live on now, so I have never been able to use the excuse that it's too far away or that it slips my mind. I see it every day.
One of a few reasons I haven't done much yet is bringing back memories. Mostly of the day that my dad had his stroke that later lead to his death. My mind races back to his stay in the hospital and my lack of preaching the gospel to him. I was silent for the most part during his hospital stay, even though I spent more time with him there than anyone else. God has used this time of my life as a catalyst to actually be more bold and speak to others about their need for Christ. Not that could save my dad, or change anything, but that every person on this planet has a family and a lot of those in their family are also silent when it comes to sharing the gospel.
I wonder why that is. Why can we talk about mundane things like the weather and sports, but when it comes to eternity we clam up and get a sudden case of shyness. I am not a talented speaker, but I now see the urgency to speak about things of God and not just saying the prayer at Thanksgiving dinner either. I have lost family members that are still hard to talk to, because like me until 4 years ago, they are banking on a single point in their lives when they made a profession or said a prayer. They think I am crazy or a religious nut now that I have actually been converted, to them I have turned into one of those people that dances with snakes and drinks poison. I am not, of course, but they see my beliefs as extreme and they are.
God saving anyone is extreme. It is a supernatural work that bares supernatural fruit that makes people take notice. An encounter with the Holy God, Creator of the Universe has to make a drastic change in a person. If a drastic change has not been made, then it should bring into question the professed conversion. I am not going to go all "fruit inspector" right now, but their are things that will be quite noticeably different about someone that has been radically and forever changed. First and foremost is a hatred for the sin they once loved, because this sin is hated by God. Another is a desire to tell others about what God has done for them, tell their testimony and bare witness for the saving power of God. Another is a change in time commitments to certain things. This includes TV, hobbies, work schedules, internet usage and any other use of time in a day. They will now want to do holy things like read and study the bible, spend time with other Christians, go to church whenever the doors are open and witness to others. These things do not save anyone, but they are fruits that are produced that show the change that God has made.
So, the picture of the day is of my mom and dad's marriage certificate that I came across today. It is from 1965, so it is a little over 45 years old and is in really good condition for its age. On a side note, my mom and dad divorced when I was 18 years old, so my dad kept this certificate all those years. Not sure if my mom would even want this, but she might. I'll ask her next time I talk to her. I should also start talking more spiritual with her and also with my brother and others in my extended family. I love them all and I would like to be able to say resoundingly that by all indications they were truly converted when their time comes and they cross over into eternity. Pray form me in this area, as family is usually the least receptive to things spiritual. I'll pray for you as well, just leave a reply with your loved ones first name and I will pray for them and for you as you share the grace of God with them.