UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity
 


May 2009 Monthly Letter

Dear Partners in Pentecost,

One of the distinctive aspects of my ministry at College Hill Presbyterian Church during the 70's and 80's was to lead all those seeking membership to go through H.E.L.P.E.R. (How to Equip Lay People to Evangelize Regularly.) Realizing that evangelism is a "gift of the Spirit for SOME" (Eph. 4:11) BUT "witnessing is the gab of the Spirit for ALL!" (Acts 1:8)

What a privilege to hear testimonies from our new members, who being empowered by the Holy Spirit used this training to witness and to lead some of their friends to Christ. A greater joy was to then meet many of these new believers in the next new membership class!

"Leading by example" is a powerful principle. Therefore, I seek to keep my own "witnessing" stories fresh! This letter continues that principle for all of us post Pentecost believers.

On May 15th, the day after my hip surgery, I was visited by a hospital representative of 4 Home Care organizations. She informed me of their purpose and asked me to choose 1 of the 4. I said, "Okay, one of my favorite Bible verses is Psalms 32:8. God says, 'I will teach you and instruct you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you.' I'm going to pray that verse right now and ask God to guide me as to which of these 4 I should choose!" After praying, I chose #2 on the list: Medi Home Health.

I heard no voice; saw no writing on the wall. I acted in faith which is "information from God for me to act upon!" The woman said, "Okay, someone from Medi Home Health will come to your room later today."

Soon Jan, from MHH arrived, only moments after Larry Chrouch had come to visit us. I took the opportunity to reveal to Jan how I chose MHH. She was touched by this "unusual" account and revealed some things about her religious background. Before she left, Larry, Evie, Jan, and I joined hands and each of us prayed outloud with Jan adding the audible "amen."

Jan has come to our home twice. Each time I have easily engaged her in conversations about God's love and concern for her. Through simple drawings I revealed the 3 kinds of people according to 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3. She quickly identified with the person knowing Jesus as Savior but not relating to Him as Lord.

She was baptized at 16 upon profession of faith, but has drifted in her expression of faith for the last few years. She was not ready to rededicate her life BUT affirmed that God was working on her from our first encounter at the hospital.

Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost. The celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and His empowering us believers to be witnesses! May we not just wear red clothing like some congregations do as an outward symbol of the fire within us. Let's let the "fire" within us empower our tongues to outwardly proclaim Jesus to others in our daily walk!

Jesus has so adequately provided for our timidity or lack of faith. Luke 12:11-12 says "do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." I encourage you. Just do it! Perhaps not in some of the "crazy" ways I choose to do it, BUT do it in your own way. Okay!

PS I just received a "get well" card from one of our partners, a seasoned saint in years, who went through the HELPER training in October,1972 and that person wrote, "Good news,Ron, you will rejoice with me. Yesterday at the hospital one of my acutely ill patients prayed the prayer to accept Jesus as his Savior! "

Well, I pray that each of you will be "fired up" by the Holy Spirit to be what Jesus has called you to be-an empowered witness for Him!


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