Day of labels -

(Sandy) #1

We’ve likely all heard it said “there are no atheists in the foxholes”. I came away from an encounter yesterday with the thought “none in the cemetery either”.
Starting to leave my Dad’s site, after ensuring the flowers don’t wither away in our scorching hot temps, I felt lead to turn back and leave a word with the family I’d noticed cleaning and working at theirs. My guess was a Mom with 3 young people…maybe 20’s. The idea was be brief and give some tracts since they were all busy working. When I approached and greeted Mom, getting something from her car, one son was standing by. She was very nice, even thanked me for being so sweet to stop…but pronounced right away that they were all atheists. Honest too to let me know if she took the materials, they’d go in the recycles, which I appreciated. I prayed for them all the way out of the cemetery. I thought if she truly believed there was no God, what drives her to so tenderly be caring at the burial site of her loved one. If life had no meaning…then for sure death meant nothing…and love? Her parting words gave her away when I mentioned the God of Love from whom we came. She said “Oh I believe in a God like that but not in any religion”…signaling perhaps the underlying hurt of some experience. I had no opportunity for conversation but could see the son paying keen attention to our brief interaction and know assuredly that even that quick moment could be enough for our Good Father to cause discomfort in this young man’s heart, to begin to see it may not be as he’s been made to think.
I share because once again I experience the value of RZIM’s training and am so grateful! To identify the incoherence of living lies and now seeing more and more this culture of labels we’re in, which is confirmation of the truth we hold of all of us needing to find identity. Everyone quick to attach themselves to some label of the day…or other. The Gospel must be preached…if we love God and care for what HE cares about! These times stir me on more. I add in closing…to encourage someone, perhaps one who knows not how to start. I hardly mind going to water the flowers…the cemetery’s a great place to evangelize, as you might imagine. :slight_smile: I find often easy conversations with visiting family members, had the privilege to see a few accept Christ and even made some friends.
Thank you Ravi & RZIM staff!

(SeanO) #2

@salee Thank you for sharing. May the Lord bless the seeds that you have planted and open the eyes of those you encounter at the cemetery to Christ’s love and grace! It is so encouraging to hear how you have taken what you have learned at RZIM and stepped out in a courageous way.

Regarding labels, I am reading a biography of Keith Green. His wife Melody grew up labeling herself as Jewish. When Keith started getting interested in Jesus he asked her to wear a cross necklace - but she did not want to because she felt it was not a Jewish thing to do. Keith convinced her to anyways. But later on when they were considering believing that Jesus is God and truly surrendering she encountered the same resistance - she couldn’t because she was Jewish. Some fellow Christians explained that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and when she realized how thoroughly Jewish Jesus was she was able to open her heart to Him.

Labels are powerful. They are a part of our identity. We use them to filter what we are willing to believe and with whom we will associate. I agree with you in being thankful to God that RZIM trains people in how to help people see beyond the labels and truly engage with Christ in their hearts.

Part of Keith Green’s testimony if interested - though I think reading the full biography has been a great blessing and would encourage that as well:

(Kathleen) #3

Love that you took the time to stop and speak with them, @salee. I pray that the love of God which shone through you will draw them to saving knowledge! Blessings to you!

(Sandy) #4

Kathleen, thank you for the encouragement! :slight_smile: Appreciate you taking the time.
God bless you!

(Sandy) #5

Amen to that prayer Sean! Thank you. Perhaps it came through…as I’ve just become more sensitive to the label thing since learning that my beloved 21yr old niece has adopted the atheist claim…without any effort to find truth. Thanks so much for the video, so blessed by it. Wow! His words could easily have been said yesterday…still so relevant and true! And…he was a New Yorker :slight_smile: Sad that his days were cut short and his kids too. I will have to learn more of Keith Green’s life and music.

p.s. I’m so impressed Sean, you seem to always be able to pull out of your back pocket just what the writer needs. Where do you store it all? Lol! Keep up the good work! His grace upon you is surely not in vain.

(SeanO) #6

@salee Thank you for the encouragement! In this case I just so happened to be reading the book as you asked the question - perfect timing. Your question helped me reflect on what I was reading. Keep the questions coming and the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

I really like his song Oh, Lord You’re Beautiful:

And I am reading “No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green”:

(Sandy) #7

Oh that’s a beautiful song! One of my favs when I’m ready to get some worship time in at home. Never paid attention to the writer I suppose. Will definitely pick up the book with my next Amazon order…already took note. Thanks again Sean!

(SeanO) #8

@salee Indeed - Blessings!

(Elizabeth Pierce) #9

Thank you for sharing this!
This was very encouraging!
May we all continue to step out and share the truth and love of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, with this hurting world!!

(Sandy) #10

God bless you Beth!