Friday, October 3, 2008

Fishing at the Game

This week-end is my 20th high school reunion week-end. There are a variety of events planned for this week-end. The first was a Friday night football game. I took my eldest son who is 12, with me as my fishing buddy. We prayed before we went. He had never spoken to a complete stranger before about the Gospel. He has dropped wallet tracts before, but this was the first time he had shown the curved illusion to anyone or engaged in conversation. He has been dying to try the curved illusion ever since I showed the lady in the McDonalds drive-thru awhile back. She had such an enthusiastic response that he was encouraged to try.

Over the course of the evening, he handed out million dollar bills, the pink and blue curved illusion, and handed out "Big Money" tracts. We practiced beforehand. I told him he could show the optical illusion and then I could pick up the conversation after he had shown them the illusion and explained it was a tract. He wanted to try. His heart was so sweet. He wanted to walk in obedience as a Christian, and he did.

I'd called my roommate (Tammy from the Academy) in Arizona. I told her we were going on a fishing trip this evening. She prayed with me before we got to the game. For some reason, I was exceptionally nervous tonight. I was such a dork. I had accidentally flipped the tract around showing the word-side instead of the blank side to the first two girls I showed the illusion to. LOL! I quickly flipped it around and showed her the illusion. She jumped back and thought it was really incredible. She has a Muslim background and wasn't offended at all.

Then my son and I approached a group of teens and showed them the curved illusion. One guy, named Matthew, said that he would like to use this in his youth group. I asked him if he was a Christian and he said he was. I asked when was the last time that he read the Bible. He didn't tell me how long it had been since he read it but said he was going to do better about that. I asked where he went to church and he said that he kind of travels around visiting youth groups. I asked him to tell me what I must do to be saved if I wasn't and he said that I needed to believe in Jesus and repent. He explained repentance pretty well. I told him to get grounded in the Word of God and to read it more consistently.

We talked to Kyle next. My son showed him the curved illusion and I picked up where he left off. I began by asking if he had a Christian background. He said he did. I then said, "If I had a knife in my back and had only 3 minutes to live, tell me what I must do to be saved?" He said, "I have no idea." I then took him through the Law by giving him the "good person test." He said he had never stolen anything, never taken God's name in vain and never lusted. He insisted that he had never misused God's name until I explained that saying things like, "Oh my G_d!" were also terms we've all used to express disgust and they were not appropriate. He reluctantly admitted that he had.

He insisted that he had NEVER lusted. I explained that the first look isn't lust. It's the second look when you entertain the thought that is lust. He still said he hadn't. I told him I was just as guilty and had lusted before and then reminded him he'd just admitted to me that he was a liar! LOL! He laughed and then said that maybe he had- just once.

When I brought him before the imaginary courtroom before God the judge, he realized that he would be guilty and admitted that he would probably go to hell. I told him the good news of Jesus Christ paying his sin and that God will stamp his case "dismissed due to lack of evidence" if he repented and believed in Jesus. I explained repentance and obedience. He said it made sense to him but he'd never given it much thought.

Pray for Kyle because I believe this was the first time that he realized that he was a law breaker. The seed was planted in a properly tilled heart.

Then my son had an idea. He wanted to order something at the concession stand and give the person taking his order a "million dollar" tip. The man who took his order laughed and thanked him. The concession stand worker said it made his night.

We decided to bring out the "Big Money" tracts. Look what happened next!

As my son handed out "Big Money" tracts, he got mobbed by people wanting the big money right as the team was coming off the field for half time.

They asked for more and more until we were out of them! Look closely and you can see them waving them in the distance in the picture above.

They were definitely a hit! He was so excited to be handing them out.

We talked to Yousef next. My son showed him the illusion tract. After showing him the tract he said, "It's an optical illusion. Just like your eyes can deceive you, sometimes your heart can too." I was thrilled to watch him increase in confidence and boldness with each encounter. I then asked him, "Do you have a Christian background?" He said, "I sure do! I am all squared away with God!" My son listened to the encounter and was able to see how complete strangers do NOT get angry, yell, spit, curse, holler, beat you up etc. when you approach them in love and can really show that you care about them. The same isn't necessarily true when open airing, but thus far, I've never had a negative experience when talking one on one.

I said, "If I had a knife in my back and I had 3 minutes to live, tell me what I need to do to be saved?" He said, "Uh, I don't know." Then he said, "Wait a minute, let me think. You have to believe in God and say you're sorry for your sins." Those were his literal words! My heart broke for this man!

So you know what my next question was- "Do you think you're a good person?" Of course he did. We went through the commandments, the court of law, and he understood that the judge would have the right AND be compelled by the law to sentence him for his crimes. I explained the good news that Christ was morally perfect and able to pay his penalty and did so willingly so that he did not have to go to hell.

So, I took him through the good person test and showed him that he has to realize that his sin is an offense to God. He said he knew that but that he was "all squared away." I asked him how he could be certain if he wasn't reading his Bible and didn't know what the Bible said? He said I had a good point. I encouraged him again to confess his sins, repent, read the Bible and do what it says. I told him that God doesn't care about denominations but wants obedience. I wished I would have told him to read 1st John but I didn't think about it.

This was one of the last encounters before we left. I took a picture of him handing a million dollar bill to one of the football players. The player politely declined. My son was not discouraged especially, when I told him that when a bee is looking for pollen, it doesn't sting the flower if the flower doesn't have any pollen. It just moves on to the next flower.

I was so encouraged by his obedience and could see a transformation take place over the course of the evening. It was a very special evening with my little man. He wanted to stay longer but the game was almost over, we were almost out of tracts. I hadn't even met up with the group from the reunion yet. I said,"hello" to the group that was there and looked forward to talking to them tomorrow evening. Then we headed home and talked all the way about the fabulous evening we had.

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