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Issue 16

Contains quote: "All we have to do is be like the bum and never give up."

Hello, hello, Random Recipients!!

Today, I have a story to tell. I got it from this cool guy named Trent, who lives in Saskatchewan (yes, some things from Saskatchewan are actually COOL). He sent me a couple of stories for encouragement, and I felt I'd share one of them with you:

I heard a story once about some guy - I don't know who he was, but he wasn't a Christian. He had one of those big city jobs, office, etc, and was on a business trip somewhere.(Don't remember where.) One day as he was waiting to cross the street, a man off the street came up to him, and tugged on the sleeve of his jacket. The business man looked at him, and instantly became uncomfortable at the sight of the man, and the fact that it may look like he was associated with someone of such a low class. He started to back away, when the homeless man said: "Hey, I got a question for you - If you were to die tonight, where would you go?" The walk light turned on, and the business man began to hastily cross the street, leaving the homeless man on the corner.
The man continued on his business trip, but the question he had been asked continued to torment him. Where would he go if he died that night? The man began to look into the answer. He researched. He began to read up on the Bible, and a short while after, he became a Christian. When he returned to his hometown/city, he sought out a pastor, and told him his story - about the place he was, the corner, the man, the question, and how he had accepted Christ. Naturally the pastor was overjoyed, and celebrated with the new believer.
A short time after, a different man came in to see the same pastor. He too had just become a Christian, and wanted to tell the pastor about the commitment. The pastor, again, very happy, asked how it happened, and what had changed his mind. The man shared a story of how he was in some foreign place, and waiting for a light to turn on a street corner. He told how a homeless man came, tugged gently on the sleeve of his jacket, and asked: "If you were to die tonight, where would you go?" He told the pastor how the question stuck with him, and he began to research the answer, and eventually, how he accepted Christ. The Pastor, recognizing the similarities between these two stories, asked which street corner, and what city it was in. It was the same corner, so the pastor caught the next flight to wherever it was. He devoted a full day to standing on that street corner. Sure enough, that afternoon, a homeless man came up, tugged on his jacket sleeve, and asked: "If you were to die tonight where would you go?" The pastor turned to the man and said: "I'm a pastor from (insert place name here). I'm a Christian, and I want you to know that in the past month, two people have come to me, telling me how you asked them the same question. They BOTH became Christians because they looked for the answer."
The homeless man broke down in tears. He said: "I've been doing this - asking the same question on the same corner for years, and until now, I didn't know if it was making a difference."

Hi, Matthew here again. Isn't that an amazing story? It shows us how every little bit counts. It reminds us that we won't necessarily see the results of anything this side of Heaven. I've been slightly discouraged about some stuff lately--namely talking to people about Jesus. Not because Jesus isn't cool. It just seems that no one really seems to get it or understand what I'm saying or where I'm coming from, even when I don't fill what I'm saying with church jargon. Everyone seems to think he/she is "okay". Now, I know you all know how I feel about that. And so, we tell people about Jesus, and they say they're okay. But we might be like the bum on the corner, and we may never know. But, like the bum on the corner, we should keep persevering. We must never give up. We must overcome this world, and live for Christ even when it gets tough. We can have a profound effect on someone's life, even if we don't know it at the time. All we have to do is plant the seed, and leave the rest up to God and prayer. And all we have to do is persevere, life for Christ, and shout it from the rooftops. Revelation says:
"To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations." (2:26)
"I will also give him the morning star." (2:28)
"He who overcomes will . . . be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." (3:5)
"Him who overcomes I will make like a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my god, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name." (3:12)
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." (3:21)
It looks to me like overcoming the world is a good plan. It may look hard, and it may look fruitless, but it will be good in the end. All we have to do is be like the bum, and never give up. And, if we, like the bum, see not the fruits of our labours, we will still have the benefit of overcoming the world and loving Christ and our neighbour. Gotta fly.


Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin