Monday, November 30, 2009

A Divine Appointment

Several months ago I was loading up on some fishing supplies at WalMart. The guy in line next to me was getting some, too. I'll call him Brian, because that's his name. He just moved here from Pennsylvania and didn't know much about bass fishing. That's okay, because when I was in training with New Tribes Mission in Pennsylvania, I didn't know much about trout fishing.

We ended up walking to our cars together. He and his wife were a delight to talk to, so I gave him my phone number and told him to call me if he really wanted to catch some nice bass. I have access to a lake that is full of huge bass and it's not open to the public.

A couple of weeks later he called and said he'd like to take me up on that offer. He met me after work and I took him fishing. I had four nice bass landed before he could set his tackle box down. He had a camera in one hand and was on the phone with his wife in Pennsylvania. He told her he couldn't believe how nice the bass were.

I couldn't believe he was talking to his wife on the phone instead of fishing! He said she wanted to know if I would take her fishing when she got back. I told him to tell her, "No, she doesn't know the secret hand shake." Somehow, she thought that was funny.

We fished until nine o'clock and were totally wore out from fishing. I used to count about 50 or 60 bass caught each time I fished there. That night I didn't bother counting. It was at least that many. Only difference now is, I also have a digital scale. The biggest one was 4 1/2 lbs. (really, he has a picture)

We'd still be fishing there if I hadn't driven my Jeep near the levee so that Brian could see the headlights and find his way back. He's a man after my own heart.

On the way out, I asked Brian if he'd found a church since he moved down. He said he hadn't (not surprising, since he wasn't looking). He said he was raised somewhere between Lutheran and Methodist. He's been confirmed and God knows the content of his heart, so he doesn't think he'd go to Hell.

I explained the purpose of the law and ten commandments to him and then shared the Gospel with him. He couldn't get over how wrong his concept of salvation was and how dumb (his words, not mine) he felt. He started associating the truth of the Gospel with the situation in the world today, the Crusades and all sorts of stuff. He was pretty much on track.

Brian trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. I told Brian I like to fish, but I really like to be a fisher of men. I told him that it wasn't a chance encounter at WalMart. I trust God to direct my path and bring people into my life and then give me the boldness to share the Gospel with them. That's a divine appointment.

It would have been easy to just keep talking about the great fishing and then go our separate ways. I thought to myself, "If that hillbilly pastor of mine can to it, so can I!" I knew the pastor wouldn't let him got out of the car without hearing the Gospel first! So I asked Brian a personal question and he was willing to listen.

I don't know who was more excited, but I know who caught the biggest one, that night!


  1. I enjoyed reading this testimony. The name "New Tribes Mission" lead me to it, and since I live in Volusia county, work with NTM and love to fish, it read the whole post.


  2. Thanks, I was at Jersey Shore with Mike & Sue Bove, Mike Henderson and many, many others.