Furry Evangelism, and a New Resource

Romans 10:17 says, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

Believers must be courageous to tell everyone about our savior Jesus Christ. However, for most Christians, evangelism is arguably the most intimidating aspect of our faith.

Where to begin? How not to offend? 

What if they reject me?

How do I explain the Gospel concisely and accurately?

What if they ask a question I cannot answer?

I know all of these fears often invade my mind and literally paralyze my tongue when the opportunity to share the love of Jesus is presented. A few of these opportunities have arisen when I take my therapy dog to visit the sick and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

Then, I read this story, “We provide these gospels of John to patients we visit as part of the Canines for Christ therapy dog ministry.”

I immediately sat down and ordered copies of Forever Faithful, through the Pocket Testament League.

My dog is a comforter to numerous hurting people. I hadn’t considered that he can act as a comforter and help to calm my own nerves as I share the Gospel.

Then I read this story, “I plan on reaching out to the people and children this Christmas season. There are children in my area that come to see my puppy Nemo. This dog alone is a key to ministering to the children in my area. Looking forward to doing this for my Lord.”

The story brought to mind my former neighbor’s young children who often came over to “borrow” my dog. He ran up and down the yard beside them as they played hide-n-seek, tag football or red rover. The next summer, the relationship that began withheir interest in my cute, little dog deepened and their parents allowed me to take them to vacation Bible school at my church. I had no idea that my dog was such a wonderful evangelism tool!

My husband is in the military and we move frequently. At our next duty station, I met my neighbor, Sally, when our dogs became buddies at the dog park. We sat on benches and talked while the dogs played.

Sally was an atheist. However, the simplicity of our canines’ friendship, seemed to give us enough common ground to continue the friendship. Slowly, we began to spend more and more time together and to share more intimate thoughts. By the time we moved, Sally had not accepted Jesus as her savior, but I know that the seeds were planted and that her heart was yearning for the deep relationship and security that only comes from knowing Him.

The Bible testifies that creation speaks the glory of God. “How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next. No speech or words are used, no sound is heard; let their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth.” Psalm 19:1-4

Even my dog is an instrument to share the truth of God’s word.

The prospect of sharing my faith still scares me. I still fumble for words at just the right time and wonder later if I said the right thing. But giving someone a gospel from the Pocket Testament League reminds me that God’s word will never return void. The reader will hear from the very lips of Jesus just how much He loves them and that He has offered them salvation through His death and resurrection.

I highly recommend checking out Pocket Testament League as a tool for sharing your faith.

2012-10-31 22.01.03

Advertisements

Life Lessons From Callie

Partially reposted and linked from Finding Balance:

I have already learned a lot from Callie, the newest member of our family.

I was having a hard time after my grandma died and I really wanted a cat. I had been praying for one for 5 years, but I live with my mom so the answer was always no. I however kept praying, believing God would bring me one. I had no idea that the cat he would give me would be one I needed badly to teach me lessons I need to learn.

You can read the rest of Gina Paris’s post here…

callie1

Holiness is Related the Cleaning Lady

Well, this week was intended to revolve around Moses. However, we were highlighting Moses’ growth in holiness, so this is not an incredibly long rabbit trail to discuss holiness with a more personal anecdote.

I woke early on Monday to get ready for work. I go into work at 9, however, I like to get up have time for my quiet time and breakfast, litter dumping, dog feeding, etc. This morning, as is often Monday’s modus operandi, conspired to delay me at every turn. As soon as I set my oatmeal on the stove, I headed downstairs to care for the cats. Some animal, I’m not sure who, had decided to relieve themselves right in front of the back door. Fortunately, it was the solid kind, but still not what I wanted to spend my morning inhaling and cleaning.

Having no choice, I promptly went to work scrubbing and blotting and forgot all about the bubbling oatmeal. As I headed back up the stairs, the wonderful aroma of slightly seasoned oatmeal greeted me, tinged with a slight burning note. Great. Under the lid, over the side, around the burner and glued to the bottom of the pan. Delightful. So the next 30 minutes was spent trying to scour my stove top and pan without burning my fingers.

I’m a perfectionist, more aptly described as simply compulsive, crazy and easily carried away. Suddenly, I found myself removing the burner covers, mopping the floor on my hands and knees, noticing the shelves in the fridge need a wipe down, it’s time to clean the inside of the dishwasher, drying the inside of the sink…you get the picture.

The best part? The cleaning lady, who occasionally restores my sanity by indulging the belief that she can clean better than I can, was scheduled to come on Monday. In an hour and a half, she would arrive and clean, scrub, polish and deodorize everything that needs it or not. I do believe however, that she would not appreciate it if I left the pet mess on the floor, or burned oatmeal congealed on the stove top.

That’s where the metaphor arrives and dissipates all at once. Cleaning is related to holiness. Making my home or life exceptionally and acceptably spotless. I’ve noticed it’s normal for women to feel the urge to clean their home before the help arrives, so that they do not make a bad impression on the cleaning lady. I mean who wants to be labeled as “that home.”

We do the same with God sometimes. We think that once we tidy, straighten and scrub our lives, THEN, we can justify presenting ourselves to Him, or allowing Him inside. I mean, we wouldn’t want God to think we were “that screwed up life,” right?

Here’s the difference. God asks us to come in all our mess. He wants us to let Him in at the dirtiest moment of our lives. Our wonderful God delights in cleaning, straightening and scrubbing. Honestly, our efforts at “pre-cleaning” often delay and inhibit His ability to work stunning, sparking beauty into our lives.