Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Days and Lost People

Quite an interesting title, I know. How do they relate? They really don't. :) So please, bear with my rambling.

I am not overly fond of summer. It gets hot. Where I live in central California, temperatures are usually anywhere from the 90s to the one hundred and teens.  And I don't particularly enjoy heat. Give me rain and cold any day.

Of course, there are benefits to the season. Our pool is often like a jacuzzi. And naturally, no school. :) Most of our summer is busy nonetheless, but there are those days when you have practically nothing to do. Yesterday was one of those days. I read about 500 pages! I read nearly all day, and let me tell you—it felt wonderful. Just lounging around, immersing myself in another world, another time period, another land. It is an escape from reality, but in some cases, also a call to face reality.

So it was with one of the books that I read most of yesterday. An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers is the second book in the Mark of the Lion trilogy. It is set in ancient Rome and Ephesus shortly after Jesus walked the earth. Reading Books One and Two of this series was very enjoyable, but it also a bit depressing at times.

Whenever Rivers described the cities, I felt as though she was discussing America today. Tolerant of everything, all lifestyles, all sins. It opened my eyes to how many people are searching for answers but don't know where to look—or they do but won't humble themselves. They worship whatever god they need at the time, and then move on to the next idol. Their lives are purposeless, without meaning. They engage in anything to please themselves, without thought to consequences or right and wrong. Their motto is live for today. Whatever is right for you is right for you. Supporting and praising sin. Abortion. Transgender bathrooms and locker rooms. Not staying pure until marriage.

I know that America is only one of many countries who have fallen into deep sin. Reading this novel and the first one made me look around. How could I help these lost people? Many times I wonder if anything I do could even make a difference. How can one person change lives? Again, this book helped me see how much difference one person can make, even when he/she doesn't think they are making a change. In this book, Rivers actually used a non-Christian character to convert someone! Talk about God working in mysterious ways.

Okay, I think that's enough for now. To sum this all up: we live in a world headed for destruction. But God has placed each of us in a specific place for a special purpose. Don't neglect that purpose or forget that no matter our circumstances, God has a plan and you can always reach out to others. He will use difficulty to bring others to know Him through us. By trusting God in all things and sharing Him with others, each one of us CAN make a difference in a lost and dying world.

And just a reminder, don't forget to check out my new summer blog design and enter the writing challenge! The deadline is July 22. Thank you!

18 comments:

  1. Bethany, so proud of you for taking a stand at such a young age. You my dear can make a difference in the lives of other young people. Never doubt that! It takes courage to stand firm to one's beliefs. You my dear are standing on His rock! Much love to you! Johannette

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    1. Thank you! Your encouragement is so appreciated. It means so much to have you visit my blog. Thanks again. Please pass my love on to Warner.

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  2. This was super good! Thx for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

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  3. Bethany, I am so proud of you for your commitment to Jesus and your heart for the lost ones who know Him not. And yes, one person *can* make a difference. Twenty-five years ago, I was just as you describe -- living a meaningless life without purpose, engaging in whatever brought me pleasure without much thought to right and wrong or to consequences that would hurt others as well as myself. Your mom, Mary Ann, was one of the three people whom God used to tell me about Jesus and how He died to give me abundant life in relationship with Himself. Of the three, she was the biggest influence because I knew her well. Her faith and commitment to Jesus made a tremendous difference in my lost and dying life -- praise the LORD!!!
    So, keep on keeping on, my sorta-niece! I will be asking our Savior to give you opportunities to share the Gospel with His love and grace -- and then, watch out, world! (or, rather, take heart, world!) Here she comes!

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    1. I can't thank you enough for your encouragement. It means the world to me! (And the prayers, too!)

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  4. Good word! That series was really interesting. God be with you.

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  5. Great post, Bethany. Yes, this world is going down, down, down faster than I ever imagined. Not just the U.S. but worldwide. I've stopped watching the news as it's very depressing to see all the horrible things that are going on. I wish there was a "good news" channel that reported all the good being done in the world. But you are right, positive changes does happen, one person at a time. Andy and I are heavily investing in an African school in hopes of lifting young children out of extreme poverty. One child at a time is what it takes to let them know someone cares about them and that God cares about them. We are so blessed in so many ways. It is our duty to share our blessings and reach out to the lost and poor. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are definitely a deep thinker! Love, Carla xxx ooo

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    1. Praise God that he has placed you in a place to help these children. Who knows, some of them may grow up to lead others to Christ too!

      Thank you for commenting!

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  6. LOVE this post!!!! And your so lucky to have a pool! Even if it is like a Jacuzzi ;)

    Kiley~ thecountrygurl.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading!

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  7. Very well said. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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    1. Thank YOU! I really appreciate your support. :)

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  8. Bethany, awesome post! I had similar thoughts when I read this Francine Rivers' series many years ago. (One of my all time favorites!) It's amazing how similar our world is today to Ancient Rome. I enjoyed her books so much because they opened my eyes to the historical context in which the New Testament was written. In fact right now I'm reading her series about 5 unlikely women who changed eternity. So far I've read "Unspoken" (Bathsheba) and now reading "Unshaken" (Ruth). I highly recommend them.

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    1. I just started reading book 3 today and am really enjoying it too. I look forward to reading more of her books. I'm so happy that you commented and stopped by my blog. Thank you!

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  9. Wow, such a great post, Bethany. And so true. The end is nearing and we need to be doing our part to lead others to Him before its eternally too late. My Dad preached on evangelism yesterday, and this has really been on my heart a lot. There're many lost people at the Art center where I'm working this summer. One girl in particular, it's so obvious that she's searching for her worth in all the wrong places. And she's not finding it. It hurts my heart to see. Pray that God will show me what to do, how to reach out to her.

    *hugs for a sister in Christ*

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    1. I will definitely be praying for you. God has placed each of us in a specific place at a specific time for a specific purpose. I'm so glad that this post blessed you.

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Bethany R.