Waitress and J.M.U.

Greetings beloved.  Here is the newsletter I had ready to send last Saturday, January 12th.  I was having some computer issues, so I was unable to send it then.  I hope you enjoy reading it. 

Yes, it was another blessed, albeit more challenging week, of sharing the gospel.  Favorite stories and pictures follow.  Thank you Jesus.

The week of sharing started on Sunday evening.  As is our custom, my great friend and ministry supporter A.C. Gray took me out to dinner at Francescos here in Bridgewater.  Honestly, I really did not feel like sharing the gospel.

Accountability partners are great.  They provide relationship support and 'provoke us unto good works.' (Hebrews 10:24 )  Not too long after our waitress Alexis had begun to serve us, A.C. popped the question...

"Have you gotten a bracelet from my good friend Mike Barko?"  (Oh well, so much for a quiet evening...)

Alexis had not.  We informed her that it would take about five minutes to share the message, and wanted to make sure she had the time.  She said she would return to listen after she took care of our order.

Alexis was qenuinely interested in the gospel.  There are people out there who really want to hear, if only we will take the time to tell them.  I honestly believe that we who are in the church are more afraid of telling them than they are of hearing it from us.

Alexis was unsure of her eternal destination.  She was 'still working on it', and hoped she might get in to Heaven because 'she was kind and really cared about people.'

Alexis submitted to the law, admitting that she was a liar, thief, adulterer, murderer, and blasphemer.  This is not always easy to do.  One man I shared this with this past week really got offended at this point.

Because of her job responsibilities, she had to leave the table a few times.  She always came back, and we were able to pick right back up where we had stopped.  It was really an unforced conversation, just the natural rhythms of the grace of God.  A.C.'s presence always helps.

Like many people, Alexis thought a simple 'please forgive me' would take care of her sin problem, not understanding the necessity of the sacrificial atonement of Christ.  Placing all of her trust in that would take care of her sin problem.  Our 'great depression' illustration works really well to show people this truth.

At the end of our gospel presentation, Alexis was faced with a choice.  It was the same choice a different waitress Noelle was faced with one week previous, right in the same booth.

Did she want to attempt to justify herself (kind and really cared about people), or did she want Christ to justify her before her God?  Just last week, Noelle had told us she agreed with everything we said 'in theory', but was not ready to receive Christ as her Savior.

Alexis, on this night, chose a different path than her counterpart.  She wanted to transfer her trust from herself, and only trust in Christ as her Savior.  Before we prayed, Alexis needed to know about the person of Jesus Christ.

Like many people, Alexis understood Christ to be the 'Son of God', but did not understand that He was/is the second person of the Trinity, God Himself incarnate in human flesh.

She accepted this truth, and then agreed that she would 'live for Jesus' after receiving Him as her Savior.

Mike:  "What did He just do for you?" 

Alexis:  "He saved me."

Mike:  "When did He come into your heart?"

Alexis:  "Today."

Mike Barko