ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
March 13, 2016
This is a letter to our friends –
The political situation has been on my mind. I am anxious to share my thoughts. However,
the Lord seems to want this column to be about remembering a story. The events took place in the ‘70’s in Sebastopol, a small town west of Santa Rosa, California.
I believe two groups, Agape Force and YWAM, had teamed up for a summer-long evangelical outreach there. My friends, Tony Salerno and Winkie Pratney, were leading the activities. I was not there. The story is important because of the message it sends.
The young people had been sharing Christ in street ministry, public meetings and local churches. One day, as the story goes, the leader of the tough local motorcycle crowd stopped Tony Salerno on the sidewalk. “Dude – Every time I turn a corner, one of your Jesus freaks is waving a Bible in my face. I want you to tell them to back off.”
Tony replied, “All right, dude – I will do that – and – I will pray that God uses you as an example of what happens when someone refuses to accept His lordship.”
A few days later, a bedraggled biker-leader found Tony on the sidewalk again. “Dude, what have you been doing to me? Have you been sticking pins in a voodoo doll or something? I haven’t been able to sleep in days.”
Tony smiled, “I have just been praying as I promised.” The biker responded, “OK then, you have my attention. Talk to me.” Tony escorted him to the small storefront they rented for the summer. He went to his desk and seated the biker. Winkie was over by the door reading.
Tony began explaining God’s plan of salvation. The biker interrupted, “OK, I understand. Can we pray now?” Tony replied, “Not yet, I want to be sure you understand.” He went over it again and yet again. Finally, Tony asked, have you any more questions?
The Biker paused, “Does this mean I’ll have to give up my Harley (motorcycle)?” “No” replied Tony, “not necessarily.” — — “How about my girlfriend?” Tony repeated his answer.
Winkie interrupted, “Excuse me. Because you had to ask. – Yes, you will have to give up your bike and girlfriend!” The biker stood, “Forget it – The cost is too high!” and walked out.
Tony looked over at Winkie, “You aren’t going to have many converts!”
Winkie replied, “Neither did Jesus!”
The message for today – We should not invite Christ into our life to “share” it.
Unless He is Lord of all He is not Lord at all!
Is this an accurate second-hand account? I don’t know, by now, it has become a legend. Perhaps someone reading this was in Sebastopol for that outreach and can confirm it.
These columns are archived since 12/10/09