Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Everyday Conversations Eternal Impact, Lloyd Pulley, Witness for Christ, Evangelism, Salvation

Book Discussion

Everyday Conversations, Eternal Impact

by Lloyd Pulley

What few people fail to understand about our daily existence, is the sobering reality that we all exist in a world that has been rendered redundant. Nothing is what it was supposed to be, and  this includes each and every one of us. Each day we go through life, getting older, and supposedly wiser, and yet the intrinsic monotonies and repetitive nature of our lives becomes a “throw away” fact as we wonder what we do this for? Why do we live each day to get up, go to work (perhaps), go to the rest room, eat two or three times a day, if indeed we are fortunate to be able to, and then spend one third of our lives in sleep.

We do this until we are taken from this Earthly reality in something that seems like a cruel joke at the end of a boring story, eventually we do all die. Once we are dead, no matter what we have done in life, be we a great hero who spent his life in the service of others, or a maniac who created horror wherever he went, time moves on, and we are soon little more than the grave stone that marks our final resting place; at least that is the case in our perceived reality.

Little does the average man and woman realize the great lengths that atheistic thinking has gone to in filling our heads with a godless reality. Common school teachings from early grades have seen to it that a reality of millions of years of Earth existence is firmly entrenched in our minds as how things really are. Having taken college classes on dinosaurs and archeology, I can attest that the existence of a Paleolithic period is considered scientific fact. And yet, in a reality where one includes Christ, nothing could be further from the truth. (Don’t ask them why the earth is named Earth and not one of the gods like Pluto or Saturn.)

Ideas such as the Garden of Eden, and a "talking snake" seem preposterous and little more than something from a fairy tale, or perhaps a very old lesson in morality. One would, in some circles, be considered intellectually inferior to consider that such a reality ever existed in fact; even more so only something like 6,000-11,000 years ago. Surely we’re much too sophisticated and gripped in a real world to believe such fanciful propositions. Didn’t we all come to grips with Santa Clause at one point or another?

Curiously, it is this very statement of reality that Christ stands for. Indeed, everything that he has brought to this reality stands upon the events in the Garden of Eden. Without it, nothing that Christ is about has any merit. Nothing he did counts for anything. One of the things he did do, was give his life as the atoning sacrifice for ALL mankind past, present and future, as the remedy for those events in the Garden.

Those events, rendering our reality redundant and useless, are what Christ is most concerned with. The sin that occurred there, that of disobedience and believing that there could be a reality where we could do things our own way, whether God liked it or not, is what separated us from God, and continues to do so to this day. Things would have been vastly different had this never happened, and the reasons for our existence would never be questioned, as the monotony of every day life would be the “fairy tail existence”.

In a universe that includes Christ, Jesus is the heart of the reality. Just as you cannot remove your own heart from your chest, or even the kidneys from your back and place them on the table in front of you and expect them to function as they should, or to continue in their present existence, then you also cannot remove Christ from the universe of our reality. Doing so makes the whole thing redundant. Useless.

But not only is Jesus not one who would make an fool out of you by having you believe in insane fairy tales and seemingly impossible reality, but he would not be one to stop loving you because you are a retroactive victim of a cursed reality, and a cursed and fallen populace. His main purpose now is to return all mankind to the incredible reality that Adam and Eve once knew, the physical part of the garden being only a smallest infinitesimal part of that reality.

But how do you show love to a blind and deaf people who are born into a condition set against you. A condition of rejection and unbelief in the smallest, simplest realities that you have to offer them?

In Lloyd Pulleys book, Everyday Conversations Eternal Impact, the writer endeavors to make clear just how Jesus himself went about this action with the fallen state of humanity that surrounded him. A well written and finely articulated book, the author tells stories of his own life and those he has known, which incorporate how the love of Jesus can be brought to a deaf, dumb and blind humanity without hitting them over the head with a Bible.

Pastor Pulley reminds all those who are indeed accepting of Christ, not just the religion and goodness, but also the immense responsibility, that rubbing shoulders with an unbelieving world is not just something we do, but is also an extension of who we are. In the book of Kings, there are many Kings of Israel who are indicted for “throwing God behind their backs”,  and this is something that always leads to Godlessness and a false reality; no matter whether you agree with this or not. If you are one who accepts Christ, then you know there is no such thing as not having Jesus, and what he cares most about, right in front of you on a daily basis. And what he cares about are the millions of souls around you that believe the great lie. A random universe where you can call your own shots is a universe without God.

Concentrating on the story of the woman at the well, Pastor Pulley studies the conversation that Jesus has with her and how he deals with her position as one of those for whom reality may include God, or even some other god, but for whom, as most men and women on the planet believe, God is what conveniences you.

In his 107 page booklet, Lloyd Pulley breaks down and analyzes perhaps the greatest lesson ever displayed in the recounting of the life of Christ. Considering that it is the longest conversation Jesus has with anyone in scripture, there must be something mighty going on here. If only those who have ears will listen!

Though there are many national outreach ministries, and world wide ministries, each man and woman of Christ has his or her own individual ministry right there in their own backyard. And the numbers of those individual ministers are endless, and all too often invisible. This book is geared toward those men and women in the trenches who don’t have the finances and equipment to fall back on for the opportunities to reach the "Christ blind".

There are no slick formulas, or even perspective tricks involved, just the lesson learned from Jesus’ discussion with the woman at the well. You’ll notice in this discussion that not once does the woman at the well tell Jesus to “just keep it to himself”, which is a response many get in today’s secular society. This kind of response would never show up if someone where just showing love to his fellow man. I can’t imagine that a homeless person would tell you to just keep your money to yourself, or for that matter, anyone who was effected by a tragedy like the 9-11 New York terrorism disaster, would have told those giving aid and help, to just “keep it to themselves”.

Learning from the master, Lloyd Pulley shows how we can S.H.A.R.E, that love for the Christ blind, brought about by the disconnect with our creator in the garden which is the root of all of the problems of mankind. The “S” is being sensitive to the spirit and the leading we receive as we are to show the love of Christ. This can’t be done if we are stooped in our own private pet sins which “toss God behind our backs”, and leave the world wondering when we will just all go away and leave them alone. We must ourselves believe that Jesus at the well is with us every step of the way as the prompting of the Holy Spirit, who knows the hearts and minds of all men and women around us, gives us the words to say and the tone and approach to take. But do we believe that this can happen? Do we make ourselves spiritually available to be lead?

The “H” in share, is for humbly building bridges to those who are already set against the word one brings to them about the truth of reality. Keeping a position of love and respect for a person, keeps them open to whatever you might say to them while being spiritually lead. One of the worst things one can do is try to shove food down the mouth of a starving, malnourished street mutt. You will have your hand bitten no matter how much the poor puppy may need what you are giving him. And in reality, you and I both know you would never attempt such a thing, if only for the case of your own safety. This is not to say that the fellow humans around you are analogous to a starving street mutt, for they are far above that. But the starving mutt knows he needs food in his stomach, the starving humanity around you has no clue what it is searching for, and it searches everywhere. Often they run into those who know that a search is going on and will give false “food” to them as long as the money train rolls in their direction. With a humble, and loving respect for the position of starving humanity, the case for Christ can be gently tilled in the soil of those around us, without “digging up God’s little acre”. Pastor Pulley does a fine job of articulating the way this can be done.

One of the things advertising does is this: it promotes products that really don’t exist. What you think you are paying good money for doesn’t exist, and they won’t take imaginary money for the product either. But they know that in order to make a sale one must arouse interest, no matter how flatly untrue the sale is.

Fortunately, those who believe Christ do not have this problem of promoting untruth in order to arouse interest. The unbelieving world around you is searching for the truth in something, somewhere and you, as a Christian, have this. The “A” in share, is all about arousing this interest on a street level, where each person lives. And each person will be different in their level of arouse-ability; but there is something there, in each one. There will be something to arouse an interest in the reality they live separated from God. There can’t help but be this vacuum, because it is the very reason for everything that has happened since the garden. But there are ways to reach this interest, without pre-arranged scripts and fake, stilted conversations. Sometimes all you get to do is sweep away the ground for the next person to plant a seed, but that is still an important point.

The “R” in share concerns the revealing of the disconnect in the persons life from the true reality of a universe subject to a real and active creator. This disconnect is, at its core, the whole subject of sin. It’s important to lead a person to understand that the whole of reality surrounding them is quite different from the perceived one they have perhaps grown up with, always believed was the only truth and accepted because their parents and grandparents accepted it. To reveal that someone is a sinner is often perceived to be about something, like “lust”, “greed”, “envy”, and while those things are indeed true to be sin in their own individual acts, they are more or less the results of this overall disconnect everyone has with the creator of the universe, their own creator. They are at the mercy of cursed and warped parts of their own person, which were never meant to be.

Were we to have the reality of the Garden of Eden right now, actions that we call sin would never be a problem. They are sin now because we seek to satisfy parts of our person that are like broken ropes on a semi truck hauling at a high speed down the freeway in a hurricane; the ropes twist and flap and are without the controls needed which a connection to almighty God would provide. Without this realization of each person’s sin reality before their creator, they are like an alcoholic who can’t admit his dependence.

The “E” in share, is for explaining the plan of salvation. Without the first steps I have outlined here, having the answer for a person’s lost position in the universe is of little use for the common person. Most people will tell you that it was great that Jesus did all that he did, but really, life is both good and bad for everyone, and that’s just the way it is. It’s too bad that this attitude comes around for so many. So few people realize the lengths and depths Christ will go to in order to reach you. To get you to a place where you will absolutely have to deal with your reality, and ultimately His reality. 
I knew a young girl years ago who was only about 19 years old. She was going to college and had her whole life in front of her. One day a garbage truck changed all that and she was instantly killed in an accident. I can’t say that she was ever approached about the need for her re-connecting with the creator of the universe, by accepting Christ; I have no idea. However, I have also seen my share of older persons who have suffered long, debilitating health issues that ultimately brought about their deaths. Those persons, “saw the truck coming”. In a lot of ways, death is something that had to happen after the fall in the garden. This is God’s universe, and things are going to go his way, there will never be a time when ANYONE will not have the inconvenience of dealing with the position of God. You as  creation, him as creator. Sometimes “seeing the truck coming” seems horrific to those of us who watch loved ones suffer, but for an eternal God  who sees our lives like the passing of lawn grass, it may be his strongest moment to reach someone he really loves and wants to have with him in the final eternal reality. If not for death, would anyone ever turn to God?

Ultimately, when all is said and done, and the stone is planted in the yard, and all your friends and family have returned to their lives, our redundant reality ends in death. As persons who believe in what Christ has to say on this, and remember, Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness, you have the answer to this horrible, horrible thing called death. But delivering this answer to a cursed humanity must be done in a loving, heartfelt fashion. In this book, the way to go about this is rendered to you in an anointed way which speaks to the heart of every believer.

I highly recommend this book for its delineation of the manner and position Christ himself took in approaching the woman at the well about her need for understanding a reality she was completely blind to, and he opened doors in her heart and then an entire town for the spreading of the “Good News”.  

Lloyd Pulley is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, New jersey. His transparent verse by verse teaching encourages believers to apply the rich truths in Scripture to their daily lives. His radio program, Bridging the Gap, can be heard world wide. Lloyd and his wife, Karen, have two children and three grand children and reside in central New Jersey.     


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