Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Warm Saturday Afternoon

The seminar this morning was wonderful. I got so many good ideas from it. It was basically a class on how to write your testimony. The biggest problem we seem to have with giving our testimonies is how to do it in a single paragraph. Meaning that we get carried away with it and talk about our decision to come to the Lord until the person we're talking with is standing there with eyes glazed over and mind on something totally other than Christ. So this class was just a way of helping you take all the generalizations and cut out all the "fat" so that each step of your personal journey can be summed up in one or two sentences. It's a proven fact that at any given time you have about 3 minutes of that person's attention. And if you don't get it out in under three minutes you may as well not say anything at all. But then on the other hand, we often try to be too specific and pin everything down to a date and a time, or exactly what, where. Those "defining moments" might be interesting to us but the thing we need to keep asking ourselves through this process is, "Do I still have the attention of the person I'm talking with?" Once you lose that attention it is next to impossible to regain it. But studies have shown that, for the most part, if you can keep your testimony down to less than three minutes, you run less chance of losing their attention.

These seminars come up about once a month and they cover several different topics. They came out of the 40 Days of Purpose campaign that our church went through this past fall and on into winter. There are four different topics that cover everything you need to know from Class 101 on baptism and membership to Class 501 (I attended Class 401 today) about sharing the Good News with nonbelievers. We are all commissioned to spread the Gospel in a number of places in the Bible, not least of which is the Great Commission by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. The Word makes it plain that we are all on a mission but few of us have a workable understanding of how to accomplish that mission. This seminar broke our testimony down into sections or parts and asked a couple clear, to-the-point, and pertinent questions to help us write out that portion of our testimony. It's all very clear and I'm now anxious to sit down with the Lord and write out my personal testimony. I have a written testimony somewhere from years ago but it was like eight pages long and would be way out of date if I could find it. (Been there?) This will be a very powerful tool for me to use when I write out my own. It simply makes everything easier. And one point the seminar brought out is that we may want to have more than one testimony aimed at reaching different people under different circumstances. Once you sit down and write out a few you'll be set to go into the mission field. Which is to say you'll be prepared to talk to anyone in any situation. I found this particular seminar to have been the most exciting and motivating. I can't wait to sit down and write out my testimony and see it come into shape and have a finished three-minute product in my hand, ready for anyone and everyone!

It has really warmed up here this afternoon. I think this morning was the first morning that we didn't need to turn on the heater just to "take off the chill" since last fall sometime. I only needed my lightweight denim jacket when I left the house this morning at 9:00 and I about fell over when I stepped outside at noon after the seminar. It's in the 90s. I hope this doesn't mean that summer is going to be dumped in our laps without experiencing spring.

I came home and stripped off my jeans and pulled on a pair of denim shorts and went out and washed my car for the first time since last fall. We'd sprayed it off a number of times but it honestly hadn't been washed with brush and cleanser for several months. Now it looks really good. I won't need to try and hide it when I park at church tomorrow morning. Actually I don't think it was all that dirty through the winter because of all the rain and all. Plus we didn't have all the little birds that have returned with the warmer weather and there's no place I can park except under the trees and you know what birds do when they're sitting on branches up in the trees over your vehicle. That's right. Quite messy. If my garage wasn't full of boxes and boxes of Michael's stuff, I could park it in the garage where it belongs. But we could no longer afford to pay for storage so everything came home and now lives in the garage and the 3rd bedroom. Some probably call that a guest room but ours is filled with a huge framing table, my huge desk that I used when I was doing nails, and boxes. Oh and I mustn't forget the painting rack that holds all of Michael's paintings that aren't up on my walls. Speaking of which I'm going to ask him to think about rotating some of the paintings. I'm tired of these we now have up and I miss the paintings that were on the walls before he went to Utah and Nevada and wherever else they went and came home to fill my walls with desert scenes. I'm not real crazy about the desert in the first place and I think it's time to spend a day rehanging paintings. We have so many beautiful paintings and he fills my walls with sand and rocks ... HUGE rocks ... some people would probably call the mountains or bluffs! But they've been up for two years and I think it's time to change them. He's napping in his chair or I'd ask him right now. It will take a good day with both of us working to rotate to some other paintings. We won't have to change the ones in our bedroom. Those are fine. They're paintings of all the different dogs and cats we've had over the years.

I need to refill my hummingbird feeder. They've been very busy today, I see. I'll take care of that as soon as I'm finished with this blog. We always had just a couple birds and then last month we had a "flock" of them move in and I was having to fill the feeder daily. Then a really aggressive bird moved in and chased them all off everytime they came to feed. But now today, the aggressor is gone and all the other birds are back. We just love watching them eat and for as far back as I can remember, we've always had a feeder.

I probably won't get back to my blog until Tuesday or maybe even Wednesday unless I decide to blog again tomorrow. But Monday we're going across the river again to meet up with my cousin and his wife who are out in California visiting their grandson who just turned one last week. We're planning on a family get together at my sister's house with a big, really big cookout lunch. Later in the day wouldn't work because of all the different work schedules, so we're going to just do a late lunch at 2:00. It will be so good to see Ron and Betty again. Betty is the only other Christian I have in my family except for my daughter-in-law. Oh, and my beloved, but he isn't the kind of Christian that you can sit down with and talk your faith. Betty is and I guess to an extent my daughter-in-law is also. We just don't seem to do much of that. But Betty is like me: constantly involved with Church and she means the world to me.

Well, I think I'll go relax now and rest a little before I start feeding all the animals. I didn't realize it was so late. I had forgotten that the day was half over when I got home from church today. So until my next blog ...

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