Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Quiet Time?

They're holding the U.S. Chess Championships in St. Louis right now. People who have played the game know it is not a place for cheerleaders and marching bands. Some legendary players have been known to demand absolute silence in the room, so they can think through their moves.

Should poker be the same way? Some people think so - even online. Consider this exchange from our last National League of Poker tournament, where we took on a player with a dog picture for his avatar:

Dealer:  boatbrat wins Main Pot ($1,040) with Straight, ten to ace
Me:  Very good - couldn't run you off
boatbrat:   blah blah blah
Me:  Happy National Puppy Day, by the way.
Dealer:  Emma168 wins Main Pot ($975)
boatbrat:  gsus u tak too *** much
boatbrat:  tak
Me:  :-(

Some folks are talkative at poker tables. Some clearly are not. But for us to do one of our main purposes, we feel we have to chat at least a little. Here's why...

Therefore go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. - Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus told His disciples to go make more disciples. There are many ways to do this. You could stand silently outside a poker room or train station handing out tracts. Or you can talk about the things of God as you go through your game or your day.

We prefer to chat as the opportunity presents itself, because we've found from decades of experience that merely setting a silent example is not enough. Many people won't get that.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? - Romans 10:14

As we mentioned in a recent post, we realize there are proper times to be quiet in a poker room. That's true in all walks of life, of course....

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.... a time to be silent and a time to speak.... - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7

But when it's time to speak, whether about the game or your beliefs, you shouldn't be afraid to do it. To borrow from our last post:

Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanies it. - Mark 16:20

May your words at the poker table be timely, proper and uplifting. Not necessarily "preachy." Set an example that properly reflects.... well, let's correct that misspelling by "Boatbrat." May it properly reflect Jesus Christ.

No comments: