At various times in my life people have tried to help me save my soul for my own good. Well it happened again last week as I was working a three day event on one of the boats where I'm currently a crew member. The truth is I knew it was going to happen. The AGIF or Assemblies of God International Fellowship was here for their annual get together. The AGIF is "an all-inclusive Fellowship with an open door to all ministers and churches who submit to the Lordship of Jesus and agree in principle with 7 pillars upon which AGIF was established." If you want to see the 7 pillars of truth go to their website at http://www.agifellowship.org/
From my viewpoint I was on a boat full of people who are experts on selling Jesus. They don't call it selling of course, it's "sharing the Good News", "Reaching the world", or "making disciples". I knew I was going to be sold the way to Jesus the same way I know someone would try to sell me life insurance if the boat was loaded with life insurance salesman. Salespeople sell. Every one's a prospect so ABS or Always Be Selling.
By 3:00 pm of day two the time had come. James couldn't help himself. "Pete, come over here and have a seat." At this point I'm thinking two thoughts. 1) This is probably the sell job, and 2) How does he know I'm not a believer? Is it the way I posture myself or speak? Maybe it's the way most of us can tell if someone is gay right away. The way they hold their hands, the way they dress. Well it was the sell job. James said "Pete, I just couldn't go through this whole conference without sharing the way of Jesus with you." I said, I know. He offered to pray with me if and when I was ready to accept Jesus into my life. I told him I had a sister who's married to a minister whose been trying to save me for years. He asked what type of church and when I said "Baptist" he nodded with approval saying he refers to himself as a "bapticostal".
James reminded me of his offer later that afternoon and finally once again on the last day at his departure. The last reminder had that not so subtle sense of urgency that all good sales people use because he was leaving and this was our last chance.
James and others never did close the deal with me although I'll admit I found myself tapping my toes when singer Lillie Knauls was belting out a few of her gospel tunes.
One group of four as they were leaving asked if they could pray with me. Agreeing I instantly found myself in a circle of five with a hand on each of my shoulders receiving blessings for me and my whole family. Later, Dr. Paul Olson who runs missions in Mexico and Haiti gave me a 90 page booklet entitled "He Who Laughs Lasts" by Dr. Roy Hicks before he left. Finally Reverend Dan Mariano and his wife Patti gave me a copy of her music CD "Songs of Joy & Hope".
Well what I can say to them all except "thanks for the experience and may peace and tolerance be with you all."