Oregon shooting hero making headlines

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Oregon shooting hero making headlines

October 6, 2015 -

Chris Mintz enrolled in the Army after high school. He served from 2004 to 2007, then moved to Oregon. He was working at the local YMCA and had just started classes at Umpqua Community College with the goal of becoming a fitness trainer. When last week’s shooting started, an eyewitness says Mintz ran into the school library, pulling fire alarms and warning people to get out. He then ran back toward the building where the shooter was and attempted to block a classroom door. He was shot seven times.

Now a petition is circulating that nominates Mintz for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country’s highest civilian honor.

Saving lives is obviously worthy of our greatest gratitude. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission recognizes such acts of bravery with awards that inspire sacrifice and thanksgiving. Among this year’s recognitions: a man saved an infant from burning to death in a house fire; another stopped a polar bear attack and was himself mauled; another jumped onto the back of a shark in Hawaii, keeping it from attacking a fellow surfer; another saved a boy who was being mauled by two pit bulls, and was himself bitten repeatedly.

Let us pray for the courage to save a life when given the opportunity. And let us pray for the courage to help save a soul, which is an even greater privilege.

Billy Graham has just published what is being called his “final work.” It calls hell “a place of sorrow and unrest . . . a place of everlasting punishment.” Your Savior died so you could escape that place and spend eternity with God in paradise.

As with those who are telling Chris Mintz’s story, it is our privilege to tell our Savior’s story.

However, most of us get nervous when we think about “witnessing” to others. We think we must share the plan of salvation and lead the person through a salvation prayer in order to achieve success. On occasion, the Lord will give us just such wonderful opportunities. But almost always, we must built the relational capital necessary to be trusted with such an eternally significant decision.

Here’s how.

Psalm 107 states, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (Psalm 107:2-3). Every conversation is an opportunity to obey this mandate.

We “extol” God when we speak words in normal conversation that glorify him. For example, if a person were to ask me how my day has gone, I could say that I had an efficient day. Or I could say that the Lord helped me have an efficient day.  Someone could comment on a beautiful sunrise, and I could nod in agreement. Or I could say, “The Lord did indeed give us a glorious morning.”

In simple, everyday ways we can direct people to the One we love. And we can look for Spirit-appointed opportunities to take the next step in sharing the good news of God’s love.

Working with God for the salvation of souls is the greatest responsibility and privilege in this life. (Tweet this) Do you agree?

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