The broadcasts I am referring to can be heard here:
They are called healing the past and moving on.
I recently heard two broadcasts of Family Talk which is Dr. James Dobson’s radio program. Dr. Dobson was the founder of Focus on the Family. On these broadcast, I heard Carolyn Koons speak. As a note this was recorded some thirty years ago. Carolyn Koons talked about her childhood. She was born during World War II and when she was in third grade she saw her mom cleaning out a chest in her bedroom. Carolyn looked in the chest and found a 38 mm gun. She brought a friend in and showed it to her friend. Her mom walked in at that time. Her mom pointed the gun at her and said, (paraphrased) “I’m hiding this from your father. He hates your guts and wants to kill you.” Later Carolyn found out the problem. She was born when the man she thought was her father was away at World War II. She was a memory of something that he did not want to think of. As a consequence she was neglected and abused. At one point her parents made her sleep on a piano bench. Later her two older brothers received nice new bikes for their birthdays. She also wanted a bike. He father (not really her father though) went to a junk yard and got a rusty old bike with bent tires and threw it down in the yard and told her, “Don’t ever ask me for anything again!” At one point she rode her two brother’s bikes. They were all inside and so she went up and down the street on those bikes and she realized how nice they were. She at that point, even still in grade school, realized that she was going to have to fend for herself. By the time she was in sixth grade she was stealing a bike every week and then returning it a week later. But at one point a student teacher took her aside and said, “People think you’re bad, but I think you’re good.” She was so excited about this. She went to the boys who she would usually steal bikes with and when they would steal bikes she was going to stop it. But prior to stopping the theft, the head teacher saw her, brought her before the class, threw her against the wall and said, “Class you see this girl, she is bad. She has been stealing your bikes, don’t talk to her.” (My paraphrase) Carolyn looked up and saw the student teacher with tears going down his face because he thought she let him down. From that point on she was told she was bad and she was going to be. She would steal, she would hide alcohol in her locker while in Junior High and she would skip school among many other things. An advertisement for a biography about her says, “Koons migrated from place to place with her nomadic family. In her teens, virtually abandoned, psychically damaged and without roots, she was befriended by an adult who involved her in a Christian community, through which she achieved the inner healing described in this testament to the power of faith and prayer.” In the radio broadcast she said that her grandmother was talking to a neighbor about her problems. The neighbor took note and called her up inviting her to youth group and Sunday School at the church. Carolyn said no. Eventually the neighbor stopped by and invited her. Carolyn thought the way to make her be quiet was to lie saying that she would attend. She didn’t plan on it but something made her walk to the church and come to Sunday School. She left in a hurry. The neighbor to her grandmother kept saying that she was praying for her. Later that same Sunday the youth pastor showed up at her house to pick her up for youth group. That week the church had an evangelist in and she accepted Christ. Her life changed from that point. Later she was an adoptive parent and a professor a Christian college. (Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
That’s why evangelism. There are people like Carolyn Koons in our area. She says repeatedly in the broadcast that she just wanted to be loved. People need to know the great love of the Lord. Children need this love. Teenagers need this love. Adults need this love. Why else evangelism? There are parents just like Carolyn’s parents and they need the love of Jesus as well. They need to know how to forgive, just like Carolyn’s father (the only father she knew) needed to forgive her mother for the affair. They need the support of the church and of Christ. That is why evangelism.
I also have another illustration about discipleship:
Be a disciple: In the beginning of this sermon I mention Dr. Howard Hendricks. Howard Hendricks shared walking with someone in his seventies who voiced regret that he wouldn’t be discipled younger. You see Howard Hendricks wanted to disciple this man way back when Hendricks was in seminary. This man would not be discipled. Now, this man tells Howard Hendricks that he is sorry that he wouldn’t be discipled younger and he regrets that. Discipleship is not just learning knowledge. In involves that, but it is more about learning head knowledge through the Spiritual Disciplines. Discipleship is being mentored and held accountable to grow in one’s relationship with God and for many that doesn’t happen. Discipleship allows the seed that is Christ to grow within you. Again, Discipleship is having someone hold you accountable to grow in Christ. In Discipleship someone holds you accountable and builds you up and mentors you in the Spiritual disciplines. Have you been disciple? Let go of your pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins, and start a discipleship program now. This fall I will restart the Spiritual Disciplines class.
Have a blessed weekend in the Lord!!!