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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Honk if you love Jesus
By Sharon Singley
02/02/07


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I remember when I came to know the awesome love of my Savior, back in the 70’s during the ‘Jesus Movement’. What a time it was! The Spirit swept through an entire generation, bringing a new revival of an ancient fellowship. We were living the second chapter of Acts. Nothing in the world swayed our zealous love for our Lord. We proudly called ourselves ‘Jesus Freaks.’

My friend and I were saved together in California because of some loving words from her sister in Michigan. But we were too young to drive and couldn’t get to a good, solid church, so she made a few phone calls and hooked us up with a group of young Christians who were more than happy to pick us up.

Ah, the warm memories of the many times we all piled into the beat up old station wagon and high-tailed it Green Pastures, a small church in downtown Pomona. It was actually an apartment complex made into a commune of sorts. Yeah, still a little hippy-residual from the sixties. But the church itself was on fire! It was amazing to watch this group of diverse people all raise their hands and voices in one accord in praise! Being raised in a catholic church, this form of worship was extremely foreign to me. Foreign and completely wonderful.

Quite often we would pile in the old wagon to go to a concert, another church, or some other gathering of believers. During those excursions, one of our favorite past times was spotting Christian bumper stickers. Yes, we ‘freaks’ proudly displayed our relationship with our Lord in the form of sticky backed paper on our automobiles.

It was almost magical. When you would see a car with a sticker, something like ‘Fishing for the Lord’, or ‘honk if you love Jesus’, or sometimes simply a fish shaped emblem with ancient lettering inside, you wouldn’t hesitate to honk, stick your arm out the window with index finger pointed skyward and shout out in camaraderie. We were never afraid that we would offend someone. We never once thought that perhaps the person driving the car was not a Christian. It was simply our way to greet one another in the Lord.

As time passed and people sold their bumper stickers along with their cars, it became apparent that things had changed. I remember the fateful day I honked and waved in response to a “One Way” sticker, only to have the driver shoot a very unhappy glance at me. It seemed to be the beginning of the end of a golden era.

Christians have now grown quiet in a very noisy world. And no wonder! Every time we open our mouths, voice our beliefs, stand up for what is right, we get barraged by the media. We are laughed at, ridiculed, and hated. We have become, if not complacent, timid. And it is a real shame. In a world that is screaming for salvation, we have allowed that same world to slam the door on what they need most.

I wonder…and forgive me if I am being a bit of a ‘Jesus Freak’, but I wonder what would happen if we allowed ourselves to fully embrace our joy once more? What if we were to honk at each other in unabashed love? Maybe display our Christianity proudly and with hope? Hope that we can bring back the second chapter of Acts fellowship at least one more time before the foretold time plays out?

I, for one, think I need to grab my ‘gone fishing’ sign and put it on the shut and bolted door of complacency and rush back out into the world in reckless abandon. Maybe if they could see what a difference Christ makes, maybe if they could taste the sweetness of His love, they would take the bait.

Anybody up for some fishing?


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Member Comments
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Marilyn Schnepp 02/10/07
A marvelous story of times BEFORE God was thrown out of schools, Nativity scenes were seen everywhere at Christmas, and we could freely say what we thought about God, Jesus and our beliefs. You're right, Writer! Things have changed! And because of it...things have gone downhill. You're courageous to bring up this subject. I, for one, agree with you! Keep up the good work! Great story, well written.
Gregory Kane02/11/07
A delightful trip down memory lane – albeit a bit before my time. I enjoyed the application and the way you wove the fishing theme throughout your narrative. I was struck by one potential weakness in your argument – you didn’t actually establish that the enthusiasm of the ‘Jesus Freaks’ actually won that many people to the Lord. We shouldn’t revert to older methods just because they made us feel good about ourselves –we need to grab hold of methodologies, whether old or new, that fill our nets with an abundant catch
Dolores Stohler02/12/07
I thoroughly enjoyed your message. As one who comes from an even older era - I grew up during World War II - the changes in our society are so great they actually frighten me. Growing up in Chicago, I played in the streets and alleys without ever a warning from Mom to "watch out for bad men". No one tried to sell me drugs or harm me in any way. I really think people were more honest in those days. I'm not against progress when it's something good like advances in medicine but when Biblical values are rejected and called "old-fashioned", God will turn His back on us for sure.
cindy yarger02/12/07
I loved the energy in this. It exudes hope. Good job.