(This is post is part of a series of blogs we will be doing throughout 2020 as we prepare for our 10 year anniversary at RVC that we will celebrate on 12/5/20. To search under the tag “RVC 10 years” to read other post in this series)
I started attending Red Village Church in February of 2011. At that time, I had just moved back to Madison from the Appleton area. An Appleton area pastor friend named Jon Wells recommended Red Village Church to me. Pastor Jon and Pastor Aaron Jozwiak knew one another from connections they had while in Green Bay together.
A little background about me: I grew up in Menasha, Wisconsin which is on the north shore of Lake Winnebago and a little bit south of Green Bay. I was raised Catholic and our family went to church every Sunday. I served as an altar boy for a while and my Dad served as an usher in the church for many years. I always believed in God as a Creator; but, for most of my life, I had a very poor understanding of our need for Jesus. It wasn’t until I was 45 years old when two Texas pastors, Pastor Jon Wells and Pastor Brad Strand, shared the gospel with me that I really began to understand what Christianity is all about.
I think of the first 45 years of my life as having head knowledge about Christianity but it wasn’t something I believed with my heart. Because of the two Texas pastors sharing the gospel with me on September 13, 2008, the Bible and other Christian literature that I started to read around that time, and the work of the Holy Spirit, Christianity became real to me. It was no longer just a head knowledge kind of belief. It was real.
Evangelism is something I would never of thought of doing in a million years prior to the two Texas pastors sharing the gospel with me; but, after Christianity moved that short distance from my head to my heart, I began to think more about how I could share my faith with others. I believe God gifts each of us in different ways and I’ve always been a better writer than a speaker; so, I began to write. It’s been amazing to me to watch my own faith grow since 2008 and see myself write things that I could never have imagined writing years ago. My prayer is that people would be encouraged by the things that I have written and that others too could experience, just as I did, that incredible journey as Christ makes that short yet transformative journey from your head to your heart.
You can read some of the written attempts that I have made in sharing my faith on my Weebly Unknown Evangelist blog. Late in 2011, I had dinner with a work friend of mine and shared my faith with him that night. The things I spoke about with him ended up in what I like to call my “Cord of Three Strands” letter that is included on the Weebly blog. The letter is addressed to my musical friend and encourager, Hugo Kons. Hugo Kons passed away just this year so I would like to dedicate this little blog post to him if I could. I also would like to take the time to thank Pastor Jon Wells and Pastor Brad Strand for caring enough about me to share the gospel with me back in September of 2008. Without those two Texas pastors, Christianity may have never made that journey from my head to my heart. For those that know me, the name Lily was used in my “Cord of Three Strands” letter because “Marilyn” was concerned about internet security when I shared it online.
Just like two Texas pastors made an incredible impact in my life, never underestimate the difference that you can make in someone else’s life by sharing the gospel with them. Whether you are a better writer or a better speaker, use the gifts that God has given you to shine the light of Christ into the lives of the people around you. I’ve been sharing online for well over six years now and it can get discouraging at times; but, don’t give up. Even if you meet a wall of silence like I did, your efforts are not in vain. What is the value of even one person’s soul? As the great bluegrass evangelist Bill Monroe, born on September 13, 1911 in Rosine, Kentucky once put it, “What would you give in exchange for your soul?”
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (ESV)