"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

31 July 2006

A Sign for My Friend?

Continuing the saga of Circumstances Converge, I had an exciting day.

This morning I went to work with the packet of information I wrote up on Mary doctrines along with The Case for Christ for my friend. I wasn't sure how I was going to present the stuff to her since we had our discussion last week and was afraid she may have forgotten.

When my friend stopped by to say hello, we discussed our weekends. Then she asked me how church was on Sunday and what was the message about. I told her and she asked a few questions seeming more interested than ever before. She then said to me "I took your advice and prayed directly to God this weekend". I said that was great and then told her I had a little present for her and gave her the book and the packet.

Tears immediately started to well up in her eyes and she said "I prayed last night for God to reveal the Truth to me, but I said I was confused so I asked for a sign". She didn't say it outright, but based on her response I think she got at least a partial sign this morning.

She was very excited about the book as we had discussed it previously and she said that she had been thinking about it. She was also happy for the Mary information I had written up for her although she had already done a bit of internet research herself and seemed to be doubting her original stance already.

What also struck me was the sequence of events. See, our original discussion happened on Wednesday when she challenged me for bibilical verses to refute her beliefs with regards to Mary. That evening I really wanted to get all the information together but I just didn't have the time to devote to it that evening or for the rest of the week. I decided I would work on it over the weekend and I stayed up late last night to finish.

I usually order all my books online, but I really felt like I needed to take this opportunity to give her The Case for Christ along with the information I had written up. I made a special trip to the bookstore to pick up the book so I would have it for her. And it all came together this morning - she was open and I was ready. Only God could have orchestrated that one!

What can I say but that I am so encouraged by our interaction today. She didn't seem ready to accept Christ just yet, but she was definitely interested and asking the right questions. And I am so proud of her for asking God to reveal the truth to her, what a great start. I will continue to pray that she will come to know Jesus as her Savior and thank him for allowing me to be involved in his awesome work.

If you can say a quick prayer for her I would appreciate it!


Reformed Mama said...

yay! glad things worked out the way they needed to. i am praying for her.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, God will use you. Satan will try to discourage you and stop you.

Stand firm in what you know is right.

Carrie said...

Thanks Ladies! I am just so excited for my friend and really appreciate your prayers and support.

I really feel like God has used this blog to prepare me for some of our conversations and if I post nothing more of value here, it was still worth it for her. I may not see her be saved, but I think a seed has definitely been planted and I know the Lord is working on her.

Stacey said...

How wonderful! I am praying.

e-Mom said...

Woohoo!!! Bless you for being faithful to the Spirit's nudges. You must be ecstatic knowing that going the extra mile for someone is just what they needed! (Sniff, sniff.)

No such thing as "koinkydink" in this case, right? Journal-worthy?

A Case For Christ looks very good. I'll order a copy to put in my "arsenal." I'd love to read what you wrote in your packet too. (A post, or a link on your sidebar?)

BTW, I've responded your comment at my site... perhaps helpful? Take a peek when you get a chance.

Moonshadow said...

I'm stunned.

I ... can not in good conscience consider that [Catholic] faith as a “good backup”.

You cannot in good conscience tell her which church to attend or not attend. We enjoy both freedom of conscience and religion in this country. Once Christ becomes her Lord, you haven't any business getting between them.

Do you trust "that He who began a good work ... will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6) or "are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are ... now being perfected by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:3)

Carrie said...

Stacey & e-mom: thanks for your encourgement and for rejoicing with me!

In the last post you implied I was a fool and now you are implying I am foolish. Careful Moonshadow, I think I'm growing on you.

You are right, we do have those freedoms in this country along with the freedom of speech. Therefore, you cannot tell me to not tell her what church to attend.

I suppose if you were able to lead a friend of yours to Christ and they decided to join the Jehovah's Witnesses, you would say nothing but good luck?

What you have read here is a brief synopsis of hours of conversation b/w myself and my friend. So you really don't know enough to comment on this situation.

My friend is very intelligent and can decide for herself whether she wants to follow God directly or follow Rome. She has already figured out some of the inconsistencies with RC doctrine w/out me even telling her and she is praying for God's truth instead of blindly sticking with the faith she was raised in. It's hard to argue with that.

I would challenge you to go back to Galatians and instead of looking for verses that talk about fools, read about the Judiazers. What were they doing that troubled Paul so much?

Moonshadow said...

What you have read here is a brief synopsis of hours of conversation b/w myself and my friend. So you really don't know enough to comment on this situation.

No doubt, no doubt. Fair enough. But something I did read in your synopsis is this:

"what does my friend at work bring up but Mary! Why don’t we (Protestants) revere Mary? We debated whether or not Mary was worth such a high standing in the church and discussed some other differences between Catholics and Protestants, but Mary was the big one for her."

You pass along your own form of devotion like it's some Christian standard.

Weible's book illustrates that, within Protestantism -- Weible is a Protestant in the book -- there is a broader range of affectional sentiment directed towards the Virgin Mary than you see in your corner of the church. That's not a put-down. We're the body of Christ; we're here for each other. You can't be expected to know everything. However, you are skewing the Protestant tradition and, hence, not answering her question honestly.

go back to Galatians and read about the Judiazers.

Hmm, let's see, the designation "Judaizers" doesn't appear in Galatians. Hmm, interesting, it appears nowhere in the New Testament, even if I spell it correctly!

I'm sorry, I'm having fun with you. Chin up! :-) I know who the Judaizers were and what they were about. I'm kinda a "new perspective" adherent myself, actually, so I think "those of the circumcision group" are overrated. :-)

Carrie said...

Well, that new perspective certainly is convenient.

However it conflicts with Acts 15:1:

"Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved."

The Judaizers gospel was faith PLUS circumcision equals salvation. Paul called that another Gospel, a perversion of the Gospel, and cursed anyone who would preach another Gospel from the one he taught (salvation by faith alone).

Again, I am not trying to brainwash my friend over to Protestantism. I am introducing her to God by sharing his infallible, eternal truths found in the Bible. And as long as I stick to biblical truths, that IS the Christian standard.

I am happy to have you visit here Moonshadow, but the intent of this blog is 100% bible-based. That doesn't mean that I won't mis-speak b/c of my own fallibility, but I strive to keep everything I say in line with God's Word. I'm afraid you may not find much you like here.

Robin said...

It's clear God is involved in your relationship with your friend, and her questions and receptiveness are evidence enough. HE is drawing her to Him, I don't think it's a case of you pushing her. Your faithfulness to pursue Him and not your own agenda is clear, contrary to some of the comments over the past several posts of yours--I'm worn out FOR you!

May God continue to reveal Himself to you--and her--abounding in grace and love and mercy and wisdom.

Tony said...

Almighty Father, please send down your grace and lead your daughter to the truth. I ask this through your Son our Lord, Jesus Christ, who in union with the Holy Spirit are one God forever and ever.


Carrie said...

Thanks Robin.

Moonshadow said...

I'm afraid you may not find much you like here.

Maybe not, but I'm not here for me.

I re-read sections of Strobel's book and found it better than I remember. Funny thing is that books of this nature, like Strobel's, answer questions that I've never asked. The existence of the Triune God, whether Jesus is God, whether Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, whether the Bible is the divinely-inspired revelation of God. These have never been questions for me, yet Strobel tediously defends and proves every jot and tittle as if everything is up for grabs.

"Everything is up for grabs" is not my starting point at all and never has been. Likewise, it's not the starting point of most Catholics, no matter how "nominal". Catholics cannot be addressed like other "post-moderns," the primary target audience for Strobel's book. Yet, you recommended Strobel's book, so I must assume your friend has questions about one or more of these very basic, foundational topics, however unlikely I may think that is. I take your word on it; you have given me nothing else to go on.

For myself, I've found conversion stories more compelling than apologetics. Augustine's Confessions, C. S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy, Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, Newman's Apologia, Weible's Medjugorje ... even fictional conversion stories like that of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. (Oh, sorry, lots of Catholics in that list of authors! Well, what can you expect? :-) )

Yes, Weible's book is a conversion story, a genuine conversion to Christ, set in the former Yugoslavia. Tug at the heart first, then bring in the mind.

Carrie said...

I base the facts and faith that I share with a person based on where they are coming from and where they might be hung up. If you can at least break down some of those barriers so that they will be at least open to God, that is progress in my mind.

This is all God's work, not mine. I am just the vessel that he has used with my friend to proclaim his Word. I try not to overthink it and go with what I believe to be his leading.

I realize you have an allegiance to the Catholic Church but I have an allegiance to no man, just God. My reason for telling this story was to share with other believers "how God is working in my life". The circumstances that all came together were not a coincidence and I saw God preparing me for the encounters with my friend.

I enjoy conversion stories also for a similar reason, because it is exciting to hear how God is working or has worked in someone's life. Those are the glimpses of a living and personal God who uses me and other sinners despite overselves.

That is all that this post was about. It is not another notch on the belt for Protestantism. Don't worry about my friend, I have entrusted her to God's hands, not my own.

Moonshadow said...

It is not another notch on the belt for Protestantism. Don't worry about my friend, I have entrusted her to God's hands, not my own.

I'm satisfied.

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