Sunday, May 11, 2014

Don't Worry, Nobody Else Is Probably Looking

Have you ever wondered whether anyone was looking when you prayed for your meal in a restaurant? I remember hearing (or it being spoken of anyway) of people who self conscientiously rubbed their eyebrow when they prayed over their meal so nobody looking would think they were praying in public. We sometimes are guilty of not wanting to draw attention to our Christianity. Oh I don't mean that we are not open and bold in the proclamation of the gospel. It's just that there are occasions in our life when we think that someone who is looking might think we are a little strange.

I remember, many years ago, going out to eat with my family and my late in-laws, Bro. and Sis. Zielke. As my habit was (and still is) I asked the Lord Jesus to bless our food and fellowship. I did not rub my eyebrow but prayed out loud. I don't remember if I was self conscious or not but somebody was watching and listening. An older gentleman who was sitting nearby came over to where we were sitting, placed his hand on my shoulder and told me that he appreciated my prayer. When I think back on that incident I thank the Lord Jesus for the courage to pray in public.

I have been self conscious at times; Like when  in 1986 we started Faith Pentecostal Church in our home in Portland Oregon. I made a homemade sign to put in the front of our house on S.W. Taylors Ferry Road in Portland Oregon. I would put the sign out every Sunday morning and I always wondered what the neighbors thought if they were watching. I never mentioned my feelings to my wife or children (which was our congregation), maybe for fear of what they would think. We finally moved to a different house on S.W. 63rd Place and while we continued having church in our home, I never did put the sign out there. Was it embarrassment? Was I worried about what the new neighbors would think? Probably. The church we started in our home eventually moved to a strip mall in Tigard Oregon and the rest, as they say, is history. 

I resigned that church in 2005 an in 2012 we moved to Sedona Arizona, ostensibly to start a new United Pentecostal Church. While we did do some advertisement in a local mailer, we never did start having services (except for Wednesday evenings). We have been here for going up on two years now. We have made a number of new friends, have even endeavored to give a couple of Bible studies, but we have not gotten a church started in our home. In July 2013 we moved to a house with property that would be more commodious for having church. Finally in April of 2014 I decided it was time to put a sign out in our front yard. I have to admit that when I took the sign out and put it on our fence, I wondered what our friends and neighbors thought if they were watching. I have decided to leave the sign in place.

You might ask me, "what is the purpose of this posting?" Perhaps a little humor. Or perhaps just to let whoever may read thus far that it is OK to pray out loud and in public. Probably nobody is looking and will notice except, that is, God. The Bible does say in 1st Thessalonians 5:18  "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." So if ever you are self conscious about your being a witness, thank the Lord Jesus that He has saved and called you for just that purpose, to be a witness of His saving power in your life. And if you have never repented and been baptized in Jesus name for the remissions of sins, find someone to pray with you and be baptized today. God has promised to give you the baptism of the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:38.

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