A few things that have been coming to mind I am praying will come to fruition. . . . God willing and I can get it together enough, take the time and forge through. . . . First off, and probably the most difficult, is still trying to get something going musically--a new project I'm contemplating. Kickstarter for that and have talked to a couple musicians, though would need more, to get a Christian band organized to play live and record an album. Slowly but surely, when possible I have been working on some new tunes. Finding musicians willing to commit and capable as players, with the right spirit . . . is probably the biggest hurdle. I think I've got a great name for the band, I dare say was Given to me one morning a few weeks back, along with a template (what kind of band, the instruments, general style of music) . . . . It all came at once and I was buzzing with the Spirit considering its potential. I have failed many callings before, though, and I am usually almost instantly "attacked" and with attempts to thwart . . . and have lost some heart over the years, giving up the fight (with respect to similar "projects") . . . but I intend to try again. I believe it could be a vibrant source of encouragement and evangelization to others if it comes to fruition.
Another idea that has come up involves writing. I have met a couple of people who have incredible stories of how they came to faith . . . from behind the Iron Curtain. I am thinking of documenting their testimonies which involve things like gulags, suicide attempts and possession. Fascinating and convicting histories they are and I know I would certainly enjoy reading them if they were in print.
Also, the once distant but real . . . and growing call to open-air preaching is steadily coming up me. Isaac, one of our saved boys, has long expressed a desire to hit the streets, and, in fact, on his birthday last week, we took him downtown to an open air shopping mall corner where some of the brethren we know regularly hold forth . . . and Isaac for the first time spent an hour or so passing out tracts with them. Heh, he loved it and wants to do more. I've been getting some ideas for that and how to do it in a more ambitious way . . . and, God willing, am looking at eventually getting into action that way as well. . . .
Time is short . . . and the culture is spinning out of control, with many agitated, confused, scared and not a few searching for answers and peace--and the Lord, whether they know it yet or not. The Shepard calls to His sheep and His disciples are tasked with reaching them. I am continuing to find it a most pleasant mystery . . . how, even though I generally believe in "election" and, thus "predestination" . . . it has not diminished in me one whit the prompting of urgency and calling . . . to go out and find the lost. Although my finite mind does not fully grasp it, it yet makes sense to me . . . more and more . . . how God both authors the end AND the means to the end. It all has to do with His purpose of willing that we are to have a relationship with Him . . . and then, how He effects that relationship (as an eternal, transcendent, sovereign Being) with finite, created, submitted individuals. He knows the beginning and the end of all things--indeed AUTHORS them--and where we see in the Bible certain anthropomorphic descriptions of His ways and means, ie., where it appears as though He "changes His mind" according to our responses and actions . . . it is not really that He "changes His mind" . . . but that . . . that is how it appears to us and how we experience it in the flow of time and space and as limited creatures.
From a removed, intellectual analysis . . . I understand and have some sympathy with . . . the opinion that "if God has already chosen who will and who will not be saved, why bother going to evangelize?" . . . in practice and in fact, I personally experience that this offered conundrum . . . is simply not how it ends up going. For instance, the man who is oft considered the "father of modern missions" William Carey . . . was a Calvinist. George Whitefield, the preeminent missionary, evangelist of the "First Great Awakening" . . . was, so-called "Calvinist". . . .George Muller, Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, John Knox, the Huguenots, the Puritans, the first American colonists, the founders of the first American colleges, John Eliot ("the first missionary to the American Indians") . . . and the list goes on . . . of those who believe in God's Sovereignty, "election", "predestination" etc., and how they have often been at the forefront of missionary efforts in all fields of endeavor.
On the other hand, I think I see that many, if not most, of the various heretical and cultish offshoots of the Church . . . tend to be "free will" thinkers, "Arminian" in point-of-view: Modern money-grubbing televangelists, "word faith" hucksters, "oneness Pentecostals", Mormonism, Catholicism, and the loads of liberal "anything goes" wings of the mainstream faiths (liberal Methodists, Unitarians, "universalists" (everyone gets saved in the end), the "Emergent Church", Purpose Driven drivel, New Apostolic Reformation, Joel Osteen, Rob Bell) and that list goes on . . . and on.
I'm afeard that once you begin entertaining that MAN has something to do with his own salvation and keeping it (which is WORKS, no matter how you slice it) . . . then the door is opened to a whole host of potential doctrinal pitfalls and dangerous beliefs that tend to lead one right off the rails of the straight and narrow . . . and into the heretical ditch.
There is a pastor whom I have cherished and loved . . . and from whom I have learned some deep and great things . . . but who is "Arminian" . . . who is now suggesting that maybe God is NOT all omnipotent, omniscient, and that Hell is not eternal, believes in old earth and, I think evolution. I trace his new ideas directly to his man-centered theology and fear I see a burgeoning of heretical opinions growing like mushrooms in that mental mind-field. At what point does it stop being Biblical Christianity and become something else? The Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, The Roman Catholics etc., all have their own versions of the Bible . . . for instance, because they reject certain plain teachings IN the Bible and now need buttressing from some other source.
Anyway, sorry . . . back to the point I was making . . . that I find little if anything in history and in my own experience that shows that believing in God's absolute Sovereignty and the "Reformed" position . . . that diminishes or thwarts evangelical zeal, self-sacrifice, effort and motivation . . . to spread the Gospel and "make disciples." It appears to me that God uses us precisely to do just that--we get to participate and have relationship with Him AS THE MEANS to reach and gather His flock. The passages in the Bible which appear to support the idea of independent, libertarian free-will . . . such as "whosoever believes" . . . are DESCRIPTIVE . . . not prescriptive. . . .