Do you care, honestly?

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
Hurdles are difficult to jump, and especially so, if you only stand right at five feet tall. Life presents struggles to every person I know well at some time in their life. These battles are different and the stakes may be lower or higher. Brave people try to meet the challenge the best they know how. Lazy and frightened people simply let the matters lie and do nothing to improve their lot in life or to help others, for the most part.

I have also learned that our struggles help to make us what we are. One of the good things from facing a battle and winning is that we develop compassion and that is a good virtue to incorporate into a life. Read Jude 22. This book of the Bible only has one chapter and Verse 22 has stood out to me for years. “Some having compassion make a difference.” One can sense almost immediately if another has genuine compassion or if they are simply spouting off hot air. Hearts touch hearts.

The night Dr. John R. Rice came to Forrest Hills Baptist Church to speak, I had some compassion, but my heart was not as open and tender as I wanted. I had some battles to face, but for the most part, I was doing well. The huge church for which we worked was growing and exciting. My children were happy and fun. Our home was in keeping with our station in life. I had a decent vehicle to drive and none of us were ill that I knew of anyway. But, I had the nagging thought that I was not doing all I could to reach others and to help change lives.

As Dr. Rice spoke, I literally forgot about the hundreds sitting all around me in our large church. I really did not think about the rest of the service or what the coming week would bring. My husband and I were full time staff members and I had a heavy load to carry. What I did begin to think about was if the people I loved dearly would go to Heaven or Hell when they died. My eternity was settled, but what about their eternity.

Before I jump into the very deep end, let me state clearly that unlike a pastor speaking to a congregation of people choosing to attend that one church, I have realized for years that I write for a really big mixed bag of faiths. I have precious Jewish friends that I love dearly, many Catholics and I share life, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Nazarenes, Church of God, different Pentecostal, and so many others worship in the manner they choose. However, I know what I believe and I am not angry, trying to convince you to abandon your faith, ask you to join my church, give money where I pay my tithe, or act like me.

I am, however, because this is my column, relating what I know and have experienced. If you are a consistent reader of my work, you may remember I shared the story recently of witnessing to my Papa Cannon. He chose to trust Christ on that fateful night that changed the course of his life. A dear reader wrote me, and said, “Brenda, I would like to do that, but I don’t know how.” The rest of this column is for you, my friend.

I tend to think of witnessing as simply sharing the gospel message, but with prayer, and the leadership of the dear Holy Spirit of God going before me, with me, and after me. He wants to see people converted more than we ever will. Long years ago, I edited a tract Dr. Curtis Hutson wrote for our church to use in our visitation programs. I loved it then and I love it now. The truth has not changed nor will it ever. Thinking of it as the ABCs of salvation, and keeping it simple, sweetheart, anyone can use the message.

“A” reminds me of the fact that all are sinners. Read Romans 3:10, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:23 confirms that truth, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” If we are honest, we know in our hearts we are sinners. To sin means to miss the mark God has set.

“B” teaches us that we have the opportunity to believe on Christ who was not a sinner, but died for us on the cross to pay our sin debt. Perhaps one of the best known verses in Scripture says, “For God so loved the world (put your name here – Mine would be Brenda – For God so loved Brenda) that he gave his only Son, that whosoever (your name again) believes on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We believe by faith and I will deal with that in a future column.

“C” causes us to read carefully Romans 10:9,10 where we learn that after we have believed by faith, we should confess with our mouth. In other words, tell someone what you have done, share your newly found faith in Christ, and invite him or her to join you. Remember, I asked my Papa immediately if he would like to go tell Grandmother what he had done and he did. Sharing strengthens the new believer.

Would you pray a simple prayer, the best you know how, and trust Christ today? He is accustomed to imperfection. He won’t mind what you say or really how you say it as long as your heart is sincere. If you’d like to talk about it, call or write me today. I will rejoice with you, I promise.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
brendacannonhenley@yahoo.com

[4-15-2019]

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One Response to “Do you care, honestly?”

  1. Dana Tucker McGinnis says:

    Brenda, once again you have written a beautiful column. Thank you and I pray you have a wonderful Easter with your family. May God Bless you always. Dana

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