So, I've been pondering evangelism today. I'm moving up to a new place where there will be new people and we'll be living on base where I will be guaranteed to be around people who aren't Christians. Also, I was talking with Steve yesterday about how excited I am that I will be able to do things that previously were unavailable to me because I was working. For one example, I am really excited to be able to attend ladies' events at church (like Bible study) that happen during the workday. I feel like I really want to use my free time before the baby is born to make a lot of friends at a new church and really grow spiritually. I think of it like the nesting instinct to get my house ready for the baby, but this is getting my heart ready.
I was also telling hubby about how much I want to be a part of the community. As corny as it sounds, I want to be a part of the Officer's Spouses Club. I don't think I'll suddenly become a social butterfly, but I want to be involved in base activities and meet other women who share my lifestyle. I also found a great indoor pool complex up in Whidbey. I can go there before the baby is born to take a load off, and then they offer mommy and me swim classes once baby is 6 months old.
So I have my two goals: get involved in the new church and get involved in the new community. Which brings me around to where I started: evangelism. I am definitely not the type of person to just ask someone if they know Christ, or if they are religious. In fact, in a lot of circumstances I personally feel that this can be rather intrusive (even if intentions are good). I definitely feel there is a time and a place for challenging people to think about their faith or lack thereof, but I don't think that it necessarily shows up at the beginning of a relationship, or should be an element of every outing with a friend. My pastor talks a lot about something he calls "network evangelism" and it's something I'd like to start doing. Basically, it's all about making friends in the community outside of the church, and showing them Christ through your own life. To be clear, it doesn't involve compromising your beliefs in order to be friends with someone, or be a part of a group. As an example, a local pastor was part of the rotary club in town but they didn't want him praying in Christ's name when it was his turn to pray to open the meeting. He worked hard to resolve the issue and almost left the organization until they eventually allowed him to pray in Christ's name at his turn.
This is turning into a lot of rambling, but basically I just want to be a better witness. I want to have more non-Christian friends, and be more spiritually prepared to talk to them about church or invite them to a church event when the opportunity comes up. I also want to be prepared for when the tough discussions do arise.
Anyway, if you've read this far, your reward is pictures! By the way, I hate trying to put pictures in here. The formatting NEVER works!
#1) Our dog Tallulah is on the lookout for squirrels and/or cats.
#2) The latest belly pic taken by hubby on Memorial Day weekend (not flattering I know, but I have to document this baby's life)
#3) This is our new baby until the new baby gets here. It replaced my 1999 Nissan Sentra. Good-bye ol' Blue. Hello, RAV4.