Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Third Partying

(pencil sketch of Joe by me)
Are there certain people from the past that really stick out in your mind? You know, ones that have made such an impression on you that you can’t help but go a week without being reminded of them in some way? I have someone like that. His name is Joe.

I will start posting things about this man now and then because he is etched on my memory. I learned a lot from him. A lot of it was very good. Some of it was not so good. Some of it was just odd. The most important thing about him to me is that he was the instrument God used to tell me of His great salvation. He was not saved himself until he was 37 years old. He had many years to develop some very strong opinions and strange conduct. Sometimes, I think as Christians we have a difficulty shaking off odd things from our personality; sometimes we are stubborn. Joe was that; he was really quite an eccentric character. I met him when he was 41. He was kind of like a father to me.

I am sorry to say that at the present time and for the last 13 years, he has not really been friendly or fatherly. I haven’t talked to him for about 10 years. I hope that one day our friendship will be restored, but this post is not about that. This post is about a phrase that he used all the time: Third Partying.

Third Partying is when you are having a conversation with one person, like in a restaurant, and your real intent is for a “third party” to hear what you are saying. It would seem as though you are talking to one person, but you are really talking to a person that is not sitting there with you and that you are not directly addressing.

Is this a valid form of communication? Joe used to go around to many restaurants and drink coffee. If you haven’t already read about how I met him and the details of him witnessing to me, there is a small bit of it in “My Testimony” in the sidebar. I was actually a waitress at one of these restaurants serving him the coffee. When he told me of Christ, he looked me straight in the eye … there was no “third-partying.” However, over the few years that he and I were friends, he would use this tactic to “evangelize” and “convict people of sin.” It was really rather annoying and strange ... and even embarrassing at times. I thank God for him anyway. What a creative fellow?!

the END

24 Comments:

  • I do not think I have done the third-partying thing before.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/21/2006 10:58 AM  

  • Well SOME people think it's the way to go but THEY just don't get it (hehe).

    Great sketch Rose! I can totally sympathize with being preached to with some off the wall stuff. Praise God that His Spirit delivered the message in spite of the foolishness of preaching!

    By Blogger Kc, at 2/21/2006 1:14 PM  

  • I didn't know it had a name, but I have certainly witnessed in this manner before on purpose.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/21/2006 1:54 PM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    KC, you are funny. There is so much material I can draw from. Much wisdom and much ...

    Daniel!
    It is so nice to see you. I am sure the way you would do this would be very appropriate, as Joe was at times.

    Sometimes, though, he would get all angry when he was "convicting people of sin" and that is what was embarrassing. He would rant and carry on about "those people." He came off as being very mean ... and weird at these times.

    When he sat there and just calmly spoke of the gospel, there was never anything to do but say "you're right" and agree wholeheartedly. I never was embarrased at that, but encouraged.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/21/2006 2:07 PM  

  • I had never heard this name for this behavior, but I like it (the name, not the practice).

    By Blogger Joe, at 2/21/2006 2:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I didn't think people used that to evangelise. I know when i was a teenager i used it for making exboyfriends jealous. I don't think either way is good to use it. Could blogging be considered Third Partying?

    By Blogger Dorothy, at 2/21/2006 3:29 PM  

  • Joe,
    Joe made up the name for it. He was creative like that.

    Dorothy,
    I know of this being done in blogging. I don't think however, that mostly it is what people do.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/21/2006 5:22 PM  

  • Rose~
    brother Joe means alot to me because he was the one God used to help you to see that God's gift of eternal life is through Christ alone.

    He was a great teacher too. You were very well grounded in the fundamentals of the faith, when I met you. It will be nice when we can see him again.

    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 2/21/2006 9:14 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    So, you're an excellent artist as well as a suberb graphic designer, an awesome cyber architect, a great writer, mother of the year and a basically smart egg. What a plethora of talent!

    Third partying -- I've never heard that term before, but the concept is very familiar. Have you ever shared the gospel with someone, and noticed someone nearby listening carefully? Keep sharing! Even if the person you're speaking to doesn't respond, the person who is listening in just might. In fact, it's easier for them to do it that way.

    I have also occasionally written letters to be read 'over the shoulder' (my own term). Meaning, I wrote it to one person knowing full well that they would probably share it with another person afterward. And ultimately, it was designed for the sake of impacting that second person, even more than the first.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 2/21/2006 10:19 PM  

  • J. Wendell,
    Yes, I miss him too.

    Cleopas,
    So ... you know exactly what we are talking about here. The way you do with the letters is quite brilliant. You seem to me to be very wise. I should think whoever had the pleasure of reading on of your letters would be a blessed person.

    Hey - normally I would rebuff you for giving me too many compliments, but today I got a hurtful, scathing email from another blogger, so, your kind words are well needed. Do you have anything else nice to say?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/21/2006 11:23 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes. The other blogger was an idiot, pay no attention to him.
    :-)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 2/22/2006 9:23 AM  

  • Hey - normally I would rebuff you for giving me too many compliments, but today I got a hurtful, scathing email...

    Rose are you sure you read it right? Sometimes you have to read between the lines to see the compliments.

    "You think you know everything" means "Your intellegence makes me feel stupid" or "You don't care if you hurt their feelings or not" means "your open honesty is refreshing". It's all a matter of hermeneutics. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 2/22/2006 11:30 AM  

  • Cleopas,
    Good advice.

    kc,
    In good conscience, I cannot publish the email on the internet, but suffice it to say, it was not of the variety you mention. There is no reading between the lines to be done.

    I probably shouldn't have commented on it here. I don't want to draw any more fire.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/22/2006 11:42 AM  

  • Rose, I have seen this tactic used, not only in witnessing, but by some who prayed in public. They seemed to forget that they were supposed to be talking to God and starting trying to correct the pastor's sermon, or straighten out all of those who were gossiping (usually about them), or some other evil.

    At times it is funny, at other times annoying.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 2/23/2006 2:46 AM  

  • I know!

    There are several blogs around that I have posted comments for months. They claimed to be "ministries" yet would never even acknowledge my presence.

    lol...some "ministry"!

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at 2/23/2006 8:08 AM  

  • Gordon,
    Thanks for reading. It seems this is one of whay of saying what is on your mind, without looking someone in the eye, if used in the way you describe.

    Ambiance,
    I think it is very unfriendly to not respond to people's comments on one's blog. I wonder why someone would have a blog and allow comments if they don't want to interact with readers. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/23/2006 8:17 AM  

  • Rose, I did mean I wasn't acknowledged except through little.."jabs".

    I am sure you understand what I am talking about.

    I guess a whole lot of it is if you consider your blog a "ministry" or just a place to jot down or even thrash out thoughts.

    My blog is a thrash out.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at 2/23/2006 8:21 AM  

  • Hi Ambiance,
    You know, to be perfectly honest, I really don't think of my blog as a ministry. If it does minister, that is good, because I think Christians should be all about ministering. I know I am often ministered to on my own blog by the commenters, and on other blogs by the posts and comments. God also ministers to my Spirit when I write posts, if I am digging into the Word to write them.

    Sometimes I am thrashing out.

    I guess it also has to do with one's disposition. If one is friendly, their blog will be friendly. If one is suspicious, it will be not so welcoming. If one is haughty, they will make jabs at you. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/23/2006 11:39 AM  

  • My old pastor tells a true story of two gentleman who had heard that a particular church wasn't preaching the gospel. So they both attended, one sitting on the one side, the other on the other side, of the church. After the sermon but prior to dismissal, the one fellow stood up and asked loudly whether anyone in attendance would please tell him in plain English how he could be saved and thereby become a Christian. Promptly, the other fellow got up and gave him the full gospel front to back, and consequently many were saved. I get a chuckle out of it, because it is a true story, and also because it is a clever way to share the gospel.

    It reminds me of how Paul in Athens used the image of the "unknown God" to his advantage.

    Gordon - I have heard plenty "third party" prayer. Good observation!

    I don't think I would personally go out specifically intending to witness in this way myself. I have been having coffee with another believer and noticed that as our conversation turned to spiritual things, the ears of those nearby prick up. In those instances I sometimes am inclined to "Have the gospel explained to me again" ;-P

    By Blogger Daniel, at 2/23/2006 1:53 PM  

  • Amen Rose. With God in total control even jabs are for reasons.

    The question I often ask...is this jab within my control to stop?

    If it is in my control to stop...then I stop it pronto.

    If not in my control to stop...I figure I am suppose to learn something from it.

    Just my own take on jabs...lol.

    By Blogger ambiance-five, at 2/23/2006 2:23 PM  

  • Veddy veddy interesting post and discussion ;)

    And real nice sketch too :)

    I've been realizing I could be witnessing more to the waitresses in my life, but I'm sure that third-partying will not be my main methodology;) I don't think I'm quick enough to do that, anyway.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 2/23/2006 11:03 PM  

  • Daniel,
    I really like that story about the large "third party" group! That actaully brightened my day. Thanks!

    Ambiance,
    You have a good way of looking at jabs. I have thought more about what you have said about those blogs. I don't know why some of the high rollers are so snobbish. I don't know what their goal is. That is a real head-scratcher, but I like how you try to see God's purpose, even in the jabs. :~)

    H. K.,
    Thanks for the veddy kind visit. Your visits mean a lot to me, sister. You are such a great, intelligent writer and that you comment on my "chicken scratch" (to borrow a brawny phrase), makes me fell veddy warm.
    ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/24/2006 8:02 AM  

  • That's not the way I or your other readers feel about your incredibly wise blog, Rose!

    But thank you :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 2/28/2006 1:42 PM  

  • Profound and wise!
    :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 2/28/2006 10:39 PM  

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