Hi everyone, my name is Martin from Tupelo, MS. I’ve been a believer since I was around 11 years old, but didn’t really surrender to God until I was 16. I’m a single father and a volunteer at our church. I’ve been learning about apologetics and how to use it to evangelize to skeptics for the last 3 years mainly by listening in to the RZIM YouTube channel. I’m looking forward to being a part of this community, to grow in my faith, and hopefully help find answers and give answers to people who are searching.
@mpitts92, Glad to have you join Connect! I appreciate the hospitality of my Mississippian friends! Hope I passed the spell test Look forward to learning with you!
Hi Martin! Good to know that there are other Mississippi residents on RZIM! I went to school at Ole Miss and am currently living just north of Jackson. So hello there, Neighbor!
I’m excited that you’ve joined the community and look forward to learning from you and with you on the forums!
Welcome Martin let us learn from one another. God bless us all.
Hello @mpitts92. I’m happy to see you here. Let’s grow together in our faith and be able to edify each other in this community. Welcome to Connect!
@mpitts92, it’s great to make your aquatence. Isn’t Tupelo, MS where Elvis Presley was from? Anyway, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you are blessed here. I look forward to reading your posts in the forums.
Welcome, @mpitts92! My wife lived in Tupelo for a number of years growing up; I have heard it is really quite a gorgeous part of the country, though I have never had a chance to corroborate that for myself!
I really love your heart for searching out answers to the deep questions of the heart in pursuit of evangelistic opportunities! I certainly think that this community will have a great deal to offer you in that capacity! I also think that we will all benefit greatly from you as you begin to chime in with your thoughts and wisdom on some of the discussions here.
If I may, is there one, or maybe two, pressing questions that you have been pondering in recent weeks or months?
Once again, welcome to Connect, Martin! I look forward to hearing more from you!
Hey Melvin, Yes that is where Elvis is from. Tupelo has recently been doing more to their downtown area, and starting more festivals there as well with a lot of the festivals focusing on Elvis. Saying that now, it would probably be a good idea to start evangelizing at those festivals because I haven’t seen anybody doing that yet.
Thank you for the welcome Joshua! There are two questions I have been thinking over the last few months.
How to go about convincing a Hindu that Jesus isn’t just one more god in their pantheon. A friend of mine who interned with our company was born and raised in India. He is a Hindu, but I would say from interacting with him that he is more of a Hindu because of cultural influences than any personal belief/faith in the religion. He also attended a Catholic private school which I know he graduated from before going to college, although I don’t know how long he was attending that school. I’m going to reach out to him using the conversational questions from the Jesus Among Secular Gods study since I know he has a background knowledge, and hopefully learn more of why he never pursued Jesus.
This one is one I’m more struggling with the reconciliation of a fact more than understanding the answer. My daughter is 9 years old, and her mom hasn’t been a part of her life for the last 3 years. We were never married, but she was around for the first 6 years and active in her life from the ages of 3 and 6. One day she just decided to leave for no really solid reason, and the surface of the choice appears that she just wanted to get away. I’ve answered my daughter’s questions with biblical knowledge such as, continue to forgive, continue to pray, etc. But I have a hard time actually following through the knowledge with I guess conviction is the right word. I know what I should be doing, but struggle with going through with it.
Those are some tough questions, @mpitts92! For the first, I would encourage you to create a new topic in #daily-evangelism asking that question, and I’m sure that you will find a wealth of knowledge in this community. I know that @Lakshmismehta and @SeanO have been having some fascinating conversations around Hinduism recently, for example. Also, as you begin thinking and praying and talking to your friend, this is also a great place to continue to “workshop” your thoughts - for example, “my friend said, “(insert tough question here)” and I was struck by it - how would you answer it?” And perhaps most importantly, I think you will find a great deal of encouragement from this community as you continue to engage your friend! Praise God for your heart to show him how great our Lord Jesus is!
As for the second, I am so sorry to hear that; having one kid myself, I cannot imagine trying to raise him without my wife. In my church, when our pastor is baptizing a child, he asks the parents, “Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him/her a godly example, that you will pray with and for him/her, that you will teach him/her the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring him/her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?” Following the parent’s assent, the pastor’s response is “May God keep you in the way that you have chosen.” I love this statement because I think it encapsulates simultaneously an affirmation of a good, Godly decision that has been made along with a concomitant dependence upon God and his strength and grace to preserve us in the decision that has been made. These parents’ decision, and the follow through on it, will not, and cannot be dependent upon their own strength and power.
In the same way, I offer you the same assertion - May God keep you in the way that you have chosen! You have chosen a hard but very good path in raising your daughter in the way of the Lord. And though it may never be easy, God will preserve and strengthen you in the way that you have chosen.
I hope that as you continue to engage here on Connect, you will find encouragement from others to press on in this good work, both of raising your daughter in the way of the Lord, and in seeking out opportunities to share the Gospel with your friend. And I will continue to pray for you, my brother, that you will find God’s grace to be bounteously sufficient in all of these endeavors!
Welcome, @mpitts92! Being from Memphis myself, it’s always good to have fellow ‘N. Mississippians’ on here. I am sorry to hear about the situation with your daughter’s mother. That has to be pretty heartbreaking for you both, I know. Will be praying that some sense of resolution on the issue will come quickly, but I also pray that your time with your daughter will be rich and blessed, esp. as you train her up in the ways of the faith. Forgiveness is difficult and costly, but I pray that you will know God’s peace in the midst of that.
Best to you, and looking forward to seeing you on the forum!
@mpitts92, the question you raised “How is Jesus different from other Hindu pantheon of gods”? is something that I have struggled to explain my friends and family as well. Though there are clearly differences, it’s very difficult not to offend when comparing gods especially when asked, “Who do you think our gods are?” The family exchanges are through the medium of religious observances even for a nominal Hindu. A nominal Hindu will often respect sacredness of days and objects of worship though he may not be able to explain the significance. The general understanding is to go along with things that are good for maintaining social fabric and respect authority if no obvious harm is being done. We could talk about the uniqueness of Jesus in being absolutely pure, relational, historical and point out ways Christian and Hindu teachings contradict ex. pantheism, reincarnation which would suggest the possibility of different gods. The challenge is to present the truth in such a way that they dont feel our friendship is only about us converting them to Christianity but that we care for them. May be even exploring his understanding of hinduism or faith in general will make him feel heard. When I first accepted Christ, I sought after relationship and unmerited love and I experienced some of that unconditional acceptance from my Christian friends as a hindu. As I started reading the Bible, I slowly lost interest for these other gods and later when I learnt more about these gods, the truth about these gods didn’t offend me. The revelation about Christ as God and the only God came to me in stages. We can definitely think further about the issue in more depth for our own understanding and put our thoughts together in a discussion thread. Will be praying for your family situation too. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt questions with us. May God’s blessings be with you.
Hi @mpitts92, thank you for sharing. I and the @Interested_in_Prayer group will be honored to come alongside in praying for you, your daughter, and her mother. This is undoubtedly a difficult challenge on a daily basis. My prayer for you is that your faithful love and care in the midst of challenge will be an example your daughter never forgets and that launches her into a life of faithful love for Jesus and her neighbors.
You have certainly found the right place to grow in your faith and to be equipped to meet and engage your neighbors with respect and love in your hearts, Welcome to connect.
God bless you, Martin!