Wednesday, November 12, 2003

November 12, 2003

7:08 PM YWAM offers some wise advice on sharing Christ with Muslims. One fascinating excerpt:

We must pray for Muslims to have dreams and visions. Many individuals and some whole villages in certain Islamic countries are receiving supernatural visions or dreams of Jesus that have led to their conversion.

I have heard other Christian sources say the same thing. This paragraph concludes: “Let’s pray for the Islamic world as they sleep!” 2:49 PM I rushed away from the graveside because it was 11:50 AM and I had to travel from Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Stickney to Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst by 12:28 PM. I just made it. In fact I cut it so close that I slid into my chair in the auditorium just as Sharon Dodsgon was introducing me. I leaned over to Matt Pechanio and said, “When do I go on?” “As soon as Sharon finishes,” he replied, which was about ten seconds later. So I took a deep breath, tried to sort out my jumbled thoughts, and spoke for a few minutes on “How do you see yourself?” You try to change gears in your mind, but sometimes it’s difficult to do. When I sat down, my head was spinning. The students had placed a large wooden cross on the stage—horizontal, not raised. After I spoke, Mr. Pechanio invited students come forward, consider what God was saying to them, write it down, and place that paper at the foot of the cross. For the next ten minutes students came forward as Christian music played over the loudspeakers. It deeply moved me to see 100 students coming forward to make personal commitments to Christ. But most moving was the scene of the cross being slowly raised in the midst of all the students who came forward. Powerful symbolism of the cross as the center of life for those who follow Christ. We’ve had a wonderful three days so far this week. Tomorrow is the final service. 2:31 PM Just finished one of the most difficult funerals I have ever been asked to do. I spoke this morning at the funeral for five-year-old Michael Padin who was beaten to death last Friday. You can read about it here and here. The mother and her boyfriend have both been charged with first-degree murder. Michael is related to Linda and Rebecca DeCarlo who both attend Calvary. When Linda asked me to do the funeral, she told me that Michael had attended Calvary several times. Today I talked with Michael’s grandmother, Cynthia, who told me that Michael had prayed with her to receive Christ and loved to tell people that he loved Jesus. Hundreds of people came to the wake last night, and the room where we had the service was so packed that people were lined up three and four deep along the back and the sides. He was a beautiful little boy whose life ended much too soon. Many tears today, and anger also, all of it mixed with a kind of sorrowing faith in God whose ways are past understanding. One man (a personal friend) hugged me and said, “He didn’t deserve this.” No, he didn’t. What a terrible world we live in where things like this can happen. When I left the graveside, friends and family members were singing a song in Spanish. A song of praise and worship, I think. The whole thing was so sad that I do not have words to describe it. All I can say is, what do people do who don’t know the Lord? It’s hard enough for us and we believe in life everlasting. What do you do when you don’t know Jesus?

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?