PVT E

Bill Hybels in one of his books says that after two years of becoming a Christian most church going folks have no friends outside the church. None! That is so contradictory to what the Bible says for believers to do. I'm not sure what it is that drives Christians within the confines of the church. Maybe its that we came from lives that were not pleasing to God and we don't want to go back to that. Maybe its that get comfortable with our Christian friends. Maybe as my friend Alvin Reid used to say, "We got saved and we got over it". I think its probably a combination of all. As a Chaplain in the Army I am surrounded every day by people that believe differently from me. Its kind of like reverse missionary work. The world comes to me. One such example I'll tell you is for your encouragement today. PVT E from one of my companies requested to see me one day a few weeks ago. Many of my counseling requests are whiny soldiers who just want out of the Army. This one was different. As soon as I met him he started spilling his guts. He grew in a Celtic Pagan household. I had never heard of someone being raised that way. Most young people who embrace Wicca and Paganism do so in response to pain or being and outcast. People have a spiritual void and they are looking. looking for relief. But this kid was raised in a home where everyone was a Pagan. He was well versed in his beliefs, a trait I find lacking in most with alternative belief systems.
I asked him why he wanted to see me. He went on to tell me of some difficulty he'd been going through, a broken relationship and a death in the family. Then he said a remarkable thing...it went something like this, "Chaplain, my pagan beliefs are not meeting my needs, it doesn't answer the questions I have, it doesn't fill me" (that's the best I can remember it). SO I asked him again, "Why do you want to see me?" He said that he was looking for something but he didn't know what it was. Amazing! I asked his permission to share what I believed, he agreed and we spoke in the cold wind at a picnic table for about an hour. I shared about my former atheistic beliefs, my encounter with the risen Jesus. We talked of resurrection and life and if Jesus really did rise from the dead, what would that mean. It truly was God orientated and God arranged. I gave him a short book called, "More than a Carpenter" and prayed that God would open his eyes and show him the truth. Last week God did. He came to me prior to our service and said, "Chaplain, I'd like to convert today" I love it. And convert he did, he received Christ as his savior and two more came along with him. He prayed a real prayer to a real God for the first time in his life. I saw him this morning. He said, "My heart is filled with joy Chaplain!" My heart is filled with joy too. I hope by reading this yours will be as well. Remember, there are people out there that want to know. What are we doing to put ourselves in proximity to them? Don't hide out in the pews, get out there and mingle with them, get to know them, shine the light!

Comments

I was there! It was awesome. For too long I've been in churches where the altar call almost sounds like an apology... "Bow your heads, close your eyes, no one looking around... We don't want to embarrass you..."

When that young PVT stood on the stage, and two more proudly joined him... that was awesome.

And the thing he said to you about the resurrection... something like "if a dead man really came back to life... that changes everything."

It does change everything! Hooah! Glad I got to be there. Thanks.

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