Friday, October 31, 2008

Tract or Treat

Halloween can be one of the best times of year for a Christian. When else will you have 50-100 complete strangers come to your door?

Don't retreat to the back of the house and turn all the lights off and watch a movie in the basement. Don't run to the church Festivals to escape. If you do go to a Festival, use it as an opportunity to witness. You know that the likelihood that all the attendees are Christian is very low. Churches use these as outreaches, but besides being a sugarfest, there is usually little to no evangelism. We are not called to be of the world but we are in the world and are called not to retreat from it. How will they know if we're in a holy huddle cloistered away so that we can't do anything to affect them?

We used to take the kids and go to church festivals during the trick or treating time. About 5 years ago, we started looking forward to Halloween simply because you can reach so many people. My kids like to dress up and they love handing out candy and tracts. It is the hilight of their evening! The first year we did this, we wanted to count how many people we handed out tracts to. Altogether, 68 tracts were handed out that year! This is a fabulous opportunity to hand out Gospel Tracts and candy.

If you don't have any tracts you can go to here and print off "Death Beth" cards for free. Goto ( ). You still have time. Click on my tracts link and be prepared for next year!

Engage the world!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Awkward for more than one reason

What's the weirdest place you've ever shared the Gospel? I just did wearing only my underwear and a sheet.

After today's experience, I'm convinced I can witness to anyone under any condition! As a last resort (to a neck and shoulder injury from a car accident over 15 years ago) I tried massage therapy. I began a few months ago and I am now almost pain free for the first time since 1994.

I have been trying to witness to my massage therapist since I began. Do you know how hard it is to boldly proclaim the Gospel while using the law to get them to incriminate themselves while they have the sweet spot of your trapezius in a Vulcan death grip while you are wearing only a sheet?!

The first few times I went I couldn't say a word other than, "Yow! Yeah, I think you found the spot!"

Since I'm almost cured now, I am able to speak much easier during my session. Her husband is manager of a movie theatre. We talked about new movies and she brought up Fireproof! Which made her bring up child stars and how they usually don't turn out but she heard that Kirk Cameron guy turned out OK. I said, "Yeah I heard he used to be an atheist!" She said, "No way!" I said according to him he used to be, but now...

And so began the weirdest place that I have ever shared the Gospel. I wish I could say that it was an easy encounter, but it wasn't. Besides the fact that it was awkward for more than the previously stated reasons, I was witnessing to her while face down speaking through a cloth covered donut hole.

She used to be Catholic but said that there were some doctrines that she didn't agree with in the Catholic Church. I asked her what and she said that when she actually read the Bible, she discovered that Purgatory didn't exist. I thought it was going to be smooth sailing from there, but it only got worse.

She currently goes to an Episcopal Church and believes that if anyone is in heaven then it is CERTAINLY Mother Teresa! She said that she read somewhere that Mother Teresa said that she didn't feel God's presence for more than 40 years but she believed by faith. I tried to bring it back to the fact that she may have never confessed her sin or repented and used John Wesley's life as an example how he was a missionary in the U.S. but saw the faith of the Moravians and realized he didn't have what they had.

When asked if she thought she would go to heaven, she said she hoped so. But she wasn't really sure. She believes that hell is really like darkness and separation from God more than fire or anything. It sounded more like the Mormon belief in "Outer Darkness" with a hint of Emergent Church aroma wafting into her description of hell.

When I took her through the law, it was fine. She easily saw and admitted that she was a law breaker. I had her stand before God on judgment day. Would He find her innocent or guilty? She wouldn't answer! She uncharacteristically took off down a rabbit trail. She said that hopefully she would go to heaven but could never admit her guilt. I finally said that based on her confession and God's standard, she would be guilty.

That's when I found out that she doesn't really believe that we can really know how we'll end up. She was very postmodern in her belief that all roads lead to one can say that one person is absolutely right... etc. I used every example that I knew and she just maintained that she tries to be really good and hopes that will be taken into account. I didn't mince words, I told her Jesus was morally perfect...we're not...we can't be good enough...used examples from my life.

I gave her Law and Grace. I could have sworn I heard an audible ricochet bounce around the room as my words bounced right off of her heart. I am not even certain that I got the seed planted because I felt like my hoe handle broke on the hard soil of her heart. I REALLY reasoned with her. Good grief! Even the telemarketer guy who didn't own a Bible or know where he'd go had the ability to reason!

Our conversation slowed for awhile and then she said, "On to lighter subjects!" And we talked about other things. There were only 10 minutes left. I just tried to be obedient to share the Gospel, but I walked out of there feeling like I wasn't even sure if anything got through. I know God brings the harvest, but like I said, I'm uncertain if the seed even got out of the package and into the ground.

One thing I'm certain of, if someone isn't sure if they're going to heaven and only hopes so, they are probably not saved and there is still work to be done.

Another phone fish

Yesterday, I got a call from Ellen from, yep, you guessed it, U.S. Bank. I politely listened to her offer trying to entice me into consumer debt for one low, low price. But, after she finished, I had a few questions for her.

We are on the National "Do Not Call" list and filled out the form with the Direct Marketing people opting out of telemarketer solicitations. If they call after all those obstacles have been put in place, then it is truly a Divine appointment. My only response is, "Yes Lord, I am here ready and willing to serve." After the second call just days apart, I'm thinking of removing my name from the list so I will get calls. I'm in a season of my life where I am no longer awakened by newborns in the middle of the night necessitating a daytime nap.

After Ellen had concluded, I asked if I may have a few moments of her time. She said, "Certainly." I asked her where she thought she would do when she died. She said, "Heaven." I asked, "How do you know?" She said, "I'm a Christian."
I have found that when someone states that they are a Christian, you need to ask them a follow up to try to determine whether they are a true or false convert. Thus far, in my tiny sampling of witnessing encounters, I have only met one person that I suspect might have been a true convert. I made that mistake for many years. The minute someone declared, "Oh, I'm a Christian." I thought, "Whew! Thank goodness!" and I would quickly bring the encounter to an end. We are in grave error if we try to pronounce them "saved." Salvation belongs to the Lord and only He knows. However, we must pause when someone professess belief in Christ and press a little further to determine if they know what they are talking about or not.

I asked her, "If I had 3 minutes to live, tell me how must I be saved?" She said, "You must repent of your sins and believe in Jesus." There was something about her answer that sounded canned. Don't stop there either. Press further.

"Ellen, do you read your Bible every day?" I asked. She said, "No, it's been awhile. I don't have time." When witnessing, don't come off like you have all the answers and that you've never had struggles of your own. If you do, you are deceived and will most likely offend the person.

I encouraged her to really carve out some time and shared with her that I have had seasons of my life that were busier than others too. I had a season when I worked full-time and went to school full-time. Now I'm married and a mom of 4 kids whom I teach (that's my full-time day job) and do the bookkeeping for our business (my part-time job) and there are so many things that beg for my attention. I told her Bible reading is one thing that gets me through each day.

I encouraged her to read it every day. I told her, "If the president of the United States wrote you a letter, Ellen, wouldn't you want to just rip it open and find out what He had to say to you?" She said she would. I said, "The Bible is God's word to you. As Christians we need to read it because that is the only way we know what God would have us do and how He would have us act. If I told you I was a jeweler and you brought me a real diamond and a fake and I couldn't tell the difference between them, you wouldn't believe I was a jewler, would you?"

She said she would not. I still gave her law and grace but didn't have to go through each command. Ah, finally! That confounded stoplight preaching technique paid off! Using that, I was able to give the entire Gospel in about 45 seconds. I have found if anything about the Gospel message offends the listener, they are most likely not a Christian.

She thanked me for talking with her. I don't say this for kudos. Again, please let it sink in, that vast majority of people you speak with are NOT going to yell, scream, holler, curse you, spit on you, hang up on you, etc. This is a lie from the enemy that unfortunately, comes rolling off the lips of well-meaning Christians who are ignorant of the truth and have, more than likely, never witnessed or can't even remember the last time they did. If the person does curse you the Bible says you are blessed.

She got really quiet and in a small voice said, "Please pray for me today." I said, "Let's pray right now." She said, "If you can make it quick." I understood that she was at her job as a telemarketer and that this was probably being recorded. So I prayed that among other things God would help her carve out those times to spend with him in Bible reading and prayer.

I finished and she was crying now as she thanked me once more for this time spent encouraging her. I gave her another quick tip and encouraged her that in addition to reading the Bible every day, to buy some index cards, hole punch them in the corner, and told her to write a scripture with the reference on them. I told her she can carry these with her and can pull these out at doctor's appointments, on her lunch break at work, at the stop light in traffic, etc. She said she would do that. Please pray for her and pray that you are open and prepared for these opportunities to share the Gospel. You never know when you are going to be presented with an opportunity to give an answer for why you believe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I felt like I blew it

Have you ever had one of those days when you know what you need to do but instead you become a victim of "The Tyranny of the Urgents?"

I ran some errands and I had 4 places to go in one hour. I was in a mad race. I had my tracts in hand and intended to pass them out. But, when I got back home I realized I had not spoken to a single person nor handed out a single one! I just focused like a mad woman on my tasks and when it was over I thought, "What have I done?!"

I went to Best Buy to buy one of those converter boxes so we will have a functioning television in February 2009. I also needed a new blue tooth for my cell phone. The person that rang me up rung the transaction incorrectly and it took a long time to straighten out. I wasn't upset. Anyone could have made the same mistake, but I was so focused on the ticking clock that I lost focus of the ticking clock of eternity.

I used to not even give it a second thought if I didn't hand out a tract or tell someone the Gospel. Now, I'm so convicted if I do not. I prayed later and asked God to forgive me for being so focused on myself and my errands. I told Him I wished I could just do it all over again only this time with His agenda and not mine. God would have it, the blue tooth I bought stopped working the next day. It was brand spanking new and was working just fine and then just stopped! So we went back to return it and I was able to hand a MDB to the exact same lady who rang me up the day before. My husband knew how troubled I was over my disobedience as I prayed I'd run into the same people who helped me the day before. I didn't know he snapped a picture of me talking to the lady.

Please hear me. My heart's desire is not to receive praise, but to encourage EVERYONE to share their faith consistently, especially you ladies. There are opportunities wherever there are people present. Take advantage of every opportunity! I fail many times because of fear, my own agenda, disobedience, but I keep striving and I don't give up. These are pictures of REAL people who may or may not know the truth. I used to be so fearful because I had been told by well meaning people from the church that I was going to offend them because they were strangers. I have yet to have a one on one encounter where someone was truly angry or offended.

Open air preaching is a different ball game altogether. You don't have to open air preach to be obedient. But what are you doing in your sphere of influence? Most people I share with are appreciative, but some are so profoundly affected. I am only a seed planter- nothing more nothing less.

I will never know this side of eternity if that one MDB was going to make the difference between heaven or hell but that is not for me to question. How obedient am I to the Gospel call?

How focused on God's business are you? How focused on your own agenda are you?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I love phone solicitors!

"Good afternoon. I'm Jeff Carlisle calling on behalf of U.S. Bank and I want to offer you a low interest Visa with a balance transfer option."

And so began a wonderful conversation about the Gospel with a complete stranger. I listened and answered his questions. Then I asked him, "Jeff, I have listened patiently to all you have to say and am going to have to decline your offer. However, may I ask you a few questions since I answered yours?"

"Certainly." he said.

I asked him, "What do you think happens when you die? Do you think you go to heaven or hell?"

He said, "I don't really know. I would hope heaven." I took him through law and grace but as I was, my heart started pounding and I started sweating. I was so nervous! I never have this happen when I speak face to face with others. I was afriad he would hang up before I could get to what Christ did for us.

He was very polite and wasn't agitated but I guarantee, he was NOT expecting a call like this! LOL!

As I concluded, I told him now that he understands what sin is, confess it to God and place his faith in the Lord Jesus. I then told him to repent from his sins. I always explain the difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow. Then I encouraged him to read the Bible and do what it says. When I asked if he had a Bible he said he did not!

I encouraged him to buy one and start with something called the New Testament in a book called John. I told him they are everywhere and has been the all time best seller. He said he would do that and would definitely give our conversation some thought. He did not sound moved only awakened.

He was the first American I have ever spoken to that did not own a Bible, had not heard of Jesus, nor had any clue what happens after death. Most people I talk to have a basic knowledge of what they are supposed to do but just don't do it.

What a privilege that God allowed this guy to call! I pray for God to bring the harvest from the seed planted in the soil of a properly tilled heart.

Never let an opportunity to share the Gospel be eclipsed by your schedule. If you're eating dinner and they call, so what? That's why we have microwaves. Most appointments that we run out the door for truly would be OK if we were a few minutes late. I understand that picking children up for school and having to arrive by a certain time is sometimes necessary. But, if we are truly honest, we will acknowledge that our lives are not THAT busy that we don't have 5 minutes to plant a seed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From natural to supernatural at
Natural Bridge

One of the best places on earth to go during the fall season if you're in Kentucky is to Natural Bridge. It is a Natural Rock formation and part of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

We decided to head to Natural Bridge on Monday for some family time together. Since Bill and I had been out of town this past week-end we wanted to reconnect with the kids. So we canceled school and decided to have a fall break this week. Reason #237 why we love homeschooling: family comes first. We hadn't had a break except for 2 days around Labor Day week-end so we were due.

We packed the people mover: picnic lunch? check. kids? 1-2-3-4, check. tracts? check. And we were off! The day was perfect; crisp fall air, only an occasional cloud in the sky, and beauty all around.

After we arrived, we decided to take the sky lift to the top and hike back down. Yes, here it's called a sky lift and not a ski lift because well, you can't ski down these hills. My youngest daughter wanted to drop the first tract. We found a large car in the parking lot and plopped it. Because it is a beautiful area I'm very judicious where I drop tracts. I would never drop one on the trail or where we were hiking. Others may, but I won't. But areas where there is a great liklihood that they'll be seen are fair game.

We went to the gift shop and dropped another wallet near some merchandise. It's a very small gift shop and very cramped so we didn't stay long. We purchased our lift tickets and headed up.

Since I knew we were going to Natural Bridge I did a little research before I went. I was looking for a good conversation starter. I found it! On average, 2 people per year die by falling off the bridge. Most are alcohol related deaths. OK. This is a good segue when witnessing to people. Where better to swing from the natural to the supernatural, than Natural Bridge? :)

The kids enjoyed visiting the bridge again. They hadn't been in so long that some of them were only babies when we last visited and didn't really remember it.

We hiked on over to the ridge across from Natural Bridge and I was able to talk to my first person. He and his girlfriend were sitting just enjoying the view. I found out he was from the same city we were and just enjoying one of the last days before the park closed. I asked him where he went to church. When he told me, I tried not to cringe. I know it is a very popular church in my city but not very theologically or Biblically sound.

I don't know why I didn't get his name. That's one of the first things I usually do. After finding where we were from I said, "You know, I was reading that on average 2 people per year fall to their deaths from this bridge. Kinda makes you think, huh?"

He agreed it did. I asked him if he knew where he would go when he died. He said he wasn't really sure. I said, "Do you believe in God?" He said, "Oh, yes. I'm a Christian." I said, "But, you just said you didn't know where you would go when you died." He said, "Oh, I'll go to heaven." Um, OK I'm really confused now.

I said, "Are you sure? You sounded a little confused." He laughed. He assured me he was a Christian. I asked him to tell me how to have eternal life if I had a knife in my back and 3 minutes to live. He said, Confess your sins, repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Good answer but, I still wasn't convinced.

I asked, "Do you read your Bible every day?" He said, "No, not really." Shocked, I asked, "Why not?" He said, "Well, I go to a Christian University and we get the Bible all the time. We get it all day long."

I said, "I have a question for you. If you were hungry, would you be able to fill your stomach by just smelling someone else's food?" He said he would not. I encouraged him to not smell the aroma of other people's food and expect to get his belly filled. There is no nutrition in the aroma. He said he understood what I was saying and said he enjoyed me sharing with him.

We went back down the trail past the sky lift operator. He was listening to some heavy metal group named Kill Switch Engaged. Bill couldn't speak with him earlier because he was doing his job. But, Bill quickly looked down the hill to make sure people weren't coming up the chair lift so he could talk uninterrupted. He took him through the whole message. People were coming up the chair lift so he had to get back to work As we walked away, he was still reading it.

We hiked back down and then went to the lodge at the state park. And then it happened...something I've never seen before...a Gospel tract placed by someone else!
I picked it up and read it to make sure it was biblically sound. If it was just going to tell people to ask Jesus into their heart because he had a wonderful plan for their lives because he wanted to fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts and wanted to put their picture on his refrigerator in heaven, I was going to take it and put an honest one out. But, thank goodness it was sound so I let it stay.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little Five Points- Welcome to hell! (pt. 5)

Besides the constant flow of beer, the pot smoking, and the hedonistic display of every imaginable lifestyle, there were truly some bizarre moments this evening. One of the strangest happened after talking to Reuben. The Native-on-stilts starting chasing a man covered in blue paint wearing a scarf around his waist. The chase ended at the stage of Hell’s Band and culminated with the Native-on-stilts “killing” the blue man (who was now wearing a pumpkin on his head) in a mock sacrifice on the stage. That was what the band opener.

There was also a man chasing people, women in particular, up and down the street with a real chainsaw. He only relented revving it up when they outran him as they were screaming. I was only brave enough to film him when he crossed the street. He was close enough that I could smell the gasoline exhaust from the motor since I was only about 20 feet away from him when he fired it up. Thankfully, he didn’t engage the blade. But now I understand why we signed a “release from liability” waiver! LOL!

This five part series was just a small sampling of just hundreds of conversations that happened October18, 2008 in downtown Atlanta. I do not hold up our experiences as something to be praised or extraordinary. There were people far more eloquent than I will ever be doing the same thing on the streets tonight. These posts are to encourage you to share your faith BIBLICALLY and FREQUENTLY.

The pictures from this five part series are to serve a two-fold purpose. The first: it doesn’t get any more “real” than this. This witnessing opportunity was as “in living Technicolor” as it gets! After reading and seeing these experience, there is no excuse why you can't hand a MDB to the person filling up their car next to you at the gas station or share with you waiter or waitress at the next restaurant. Second, and most importantly, these are REAL people who, unless they humble themselves and confess Jesus and repent of their sins, are just years, days, or minutes from hell. Are you doing your part?

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that. The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners and his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the brave fireman, who cares not for the scorch or the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity has set its heart."
Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Little Five Points- Welcome to hell! (pt. 4)

I finished with Philipe and Bill finished with Phil. As we turned to go, there were two guys sitting at a booth talking. Bill handed these two guys at a table a MDB.

The one on the left is Tim and the man on the right is Blake. Bill asked Tim the Million dollar question and Tim wanted to talk. Meanwhile, I began talking with Blake.

Gay or Straight isn’t the question

Tim was gay and had been in a committed relationship for over 20 years. Bill did such an awesome job. He just listened as Tim poured out over 20 years of pain having been rejected by his family. He then began to rail on religion and said that so many people are killed over wars started by religion. Bill listened and agreed this was horrible. Then he spoke the truth.

He said this is religion and that is not Christ. God hates religion. He was able to prove to Tim that he was not a good person and that God would be obligated to sentence him to hell NOT just for being gay. All sexual sin is condemned by God. He would be condemned and sentenced to hell because he broke God’s law.

On a side note, our former church went through a heretical book by a popular pastor where we were encouraged to ‘just walk across the room.’ That was the extent of the evangelism that was expected. On p. 77-82 the author/pastor relayed an account of meeting two gay people and quickly praying for a, "…paradigm that would bend and flex to include them…” When the gay man says (p.81), “The only two God-words that float around in my head are judgment and hell.” He responded (p.81), “God has outrageous compassion for every single person, regardless of their situation. “Why don’t you just swap them (the two words) out? Look, every time you think judgment and hell, give yourself an opportunity to think about God differently and just say the words grace and power. You never know what might unfold.”

That is not kind or compassionate. I ask you, what happens to a person who does not repent before they die? Don’t they end up in hell?

Bill explained everything to him and he said he appreciated what Bill was saying and that he even appreciated the talk but that he wasn’t going to change because he enjoyed his sin. At least this man has not gone unwarned. I pray that he will abandon his sin before it’s too late. But, Bill wasn’t yelled at and didn’t offend Tim. In fact, Tim thanked him for talking, shook his hand, and was thrilled we asked for a picture with him!

Please don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t tell a SINNER the truth.

Blake the Agnostic

The man sitting across the table from him was listening and so I asked where he thought he went when he died. His name was Blake. Besides Reuben, who was visibly shaken by our conversation, this was my favorite witnessing encounter of the night.

Blake said he was an agnostic. When I asked why he said he couldn’t believe in hell because he couldn’t believe that a loving God would send innocent people to hell. I set up the scenario of his family being murdered in cold blood and as the criminal stood before the judge, he claimed that he was good and was sure the judge would let him go. I took him through the two possible endings: punishment or freedom. He saw that if the judge let the criminal go, he was not a good judge and likewise, if the judge punished the criminal then justice was served. He said that made a lot of sense and he hadn't ever really thought of it that way.

I then took him through the good person test. When I told him that his guilt had been established and he couldn’t pay the fine, God the judge was swinging the gavel of justice to close his case. But, when the gavel was in midair, someone screams from the back of the courtroom for the judge to stop that he wanted to pay Blake's fine. He understood that this was Jesus Christ.

When I asked him how he would feel towards someone who just did that for him he slowly and very deliberately said, “Grateful.” He was the first person that I’d ever witnessed to that said that and I told him so. Most say ‘thankful’, ‘appreciative’, ‘good’, or ‘happy.’

He just stopped. He didn’t say a word. He wasn’t drunk. He just thought for a minute. I didn’t say a word. He said, “I NEVER thought of it that way before. I have never HEARD it that way before.” He’d been to church when he was younger but was no doubt an embittered ‘backslider’ who’d been fed the “modern gospel.” He said he was definitely going to give it some thought. I told him I had really enjoyed talking with him. He was not moved like Reuben was, but he was awakened. He thanked me again with the deepest of sincerity for talking with him.

Bill and I were so thankful for such an opportunity to speak to all these people tonight. You know, the likelihood that ANY of these people would have been in church on Sunday or that they would have attended a Biblically sound church is not very likely at all. Had we not gone into that bar, none of the people we talked to would have heard the Gospel tonight because they were not on the street. We were kind of bummed because it was 9:40pm and we were told to regroup at the theatre promptly at 10:00pm. So we left the bar and headed up the street. Bill handed out tracts to several people along the way. One kid (about 13 years old) had a sample of almost every tract that Living Waters sells in his hand! He’d been collecting them all night. We encouraged him to read them.

As we were heading up the street, I handed a MDB to Larry who was sitting on a ledge. He had a gentle nature and told us he had talked to some people earlier tonight. He also claimed he was a Christian. I asked him to explain how does one become saved and he explained perfectly. He also said that he reads his Bible almost every day, and prays and appreciated the evangelistic effort that he had seen out here tonight on the street. Whether he was just parroting back what he had discussed earlier or was indeed a true convert, I don’t know. But, it was nice conversation.

We met up with our group of which only about half had showed up. We closed in a word of prayer and then went our separate ways.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Little Five Points- Welcome to hell! (pt. 3)

Bill's first encounter

Bill had been watching and was now acclimated to this wild street scene. Now, he was ready to hand out a tract. He pulled out a MDB and I pointed to a guy on the side that I said looked like a good prospect. He was standing by one of those portable EZ-up shelters. He handed him the bill and struck up a conversation.

This is a picture of Bill’s first encounter with a stranger after handing him the tract. I stood by him and listened. He did great! He asked him the million dollar question, “Do you know where you’ll go when you die?” His name was Tomlin and he said that he thought he’d go to heaven because he tries to do the right thing. He believed there was a God and a heaven and hell. But he was like “Sarah the mouse” (see Hell pt. 1 post). He knew who Jesus was and said that if he did something wrong, he tried not to do it again. But, that was the extent of his knowledge.

Bill took him through the law and Tomlin saw very quickly that he was in trouble if he had to face God on judgment day. He said that this definitely got him thinking about heaven and hell but, due to the fact that he was three sheets to the wind, Bill said it didn’t appear to cause any deep conviction. Never doubt the effectiveness of the Gospel once the seed has been planted God brings the harvest. As he was reasoning with Tomlin, a friend of his walked up and tried to get him to go. I didn’t want Bill’s first witnessing opportunity to come to an end so I started talking to him. So, Bill relayed to me the conclusion of his encounter with Tomlin. I began conversing with his friend, Philipe so that Bill could finish with Tomlin. While Bill said that Tomlin still thought he was a pretty good person, he at least said he would give it some thought.

“Luke, may the force be with you!”

His name was Philipe and he was originally from Colombia (see next picture). Since I was standing by the cemetery float, I said something like, “With all these images of death around, it kind of makes you think, huh?” He agreed. I asked what he thought happened when you die. He said he didn’t really know.

I asked if he believed in God. He said, “No, not really.” I asked him what he believed. He said, “Well, I have my own God.” (Well, that was refreshingly honest.) I said, “Tell me about him.” He said, “Well, It’s kind of like my god is everywhere. He's really like a life force…kind of like energy…it’s in everything.” I was talking to a pantheistic Luke Skywalker. At this point, I had to establish with him that there is only one God. I used the painting/painter, building builder, can’t have Creation without a Creator analogy. He said, “I never really thought about it, I guess you’re right.” Meanwhile, Bill was still talking with Tomlin right next to us. He concluded with Tomlin only agreeing that he will give it some thought because he had never thought of this before in this manner and then he started listening to me as I talked with Philipe and got the same message all over again.

After I proved the existence of the one true God, I asked him if he thought he was a good person and if he had a minute we could find out. What happened next was hilarious! I then asked him, “Have you ever told a lie?” He jumped back and said, “THAT is really weird. Someone asked me that a couple of hours ago!” I said, “No! Really!?” He said, “Yeah, this is really weird. Someone also gave me this fake money that asked the same question you asked me about dying!” If he couldn’t figure it out, I wasn’t going to tell him I was with a group. I believe we were all being used by God.

He put his hand on the side of his head just trying to absorb what was happening. I took him through the good person test and he stopped in mid sentence and said, “Woah! I can’t believe what your shirt says!” I was wearing my favorite shirt. It says, “Warning: Plugging your ears won’t change the truth.” I stopped for a second and told him, “Maybe God is trying to tell you something. I mean, a couple of strangers ask you the same questions a few hours apart… few minutes ago, you had your own god… we’re talking… now you read my shirt. God is trying to get your attention.” He agreed. He was thirsty and wanted a drink.

Heading for deeper waters

He was spiritually awakened and I didn’t want it to end. If I was alone, I would not have gone in to a bar but Bill was with me and they still wanted to talk. We walked in and had one of the best witnessing experiences of the night with people in the bar. They got their drinks and I continued to witness to Philipe. The shirt I'm wearing is the one that really got Philipe's attention.

Bill was finished with Tomlin and had now found his groove. He struck up a conversation with a guy named Phil at the bar. He claimed he was a Satanist. But, it turns out he was more Wiccan than anything. He didn’t view the devil as bad and God as good. They were just forces that were in constant tension. This guy was totally closed but appreciated what Bill had to say and we appreciated that he didn't cast a spell on us. (Aw, come on! You know you're laughing.)

Talk about a battle ground! Remember, music is blaring, everyone is dressed like they just stepped out of hell, and alcohol was flowing. Bill and I were standing back to back as we were witnessing in the bar. As soon as we would finish with a pair, two more would be available! The fish were biting as fast as we could cast out the line!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little Five Points- Welcome to Hell! (pt. 2)

Reuben the flower peddler

The sidewalks were packed with people. They had parade floats that looked like moving cemetaries and people who looked like walking skeletons.

Then, of course, you have the obligatory homage that is always paid to “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” well represented. No festival is complete without Storm Troopers and Jengo Fett.

You cannot comprehend the noise, the crowds, the alcohol, ccontrasted by the wonderful smell of gyros and burgers being grilled by the vendors, with intermittent whiffs of cigarette, pot, and cigar smoke. At times, I felt as if I was experiencing sensory overload. There was a stage and very loud grunge-type music was being played. Little Five Points was hoppin'. Filth was everywhere.

Which begs the question: Why in the world would anyone bring small children to a place like this?
We had not eaten since Chik fil A with Cameron and Andrs so we got some burgers from one of the many street vendors. We sat down on a brick ledge to eat. Just as soon as I took my first bite, Jason from “Friday the Thirteenth” walked up and offered carnations for sale. I couldn’t understand a word he said due to his hockey mask obscuring his mouth coupled with the band blaring in the background. He sounded like the teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons. Finally, he flipped up his hockey mask and tried to entice me to buy a carnation for Bill! That was a switch.

There were so many images of death around, I didn’t even need to start the conversation with a Million Dollar Bill (MDB). I found out his name was Rueben. I made some comment about how close to hell this looks and he agreed. I asked him if he believed hell existed. He said he did. I asked if he had a religious background. He said he was a Christian. I said, “Reuben, what do you have to do to be saved?” He said, “Just believe in God and try to live right.”

On a side note, I’m going to tell you something very important. Always be aware of your surroundings. I noticed before we sat down that there was a police officer leaning against his patrol car. There were several throughout the event. When I began talking to Reuben I turned my body as I was talking to him so that the officer was no longer behind me. I was now facing him and the two other people leaning against his car which was about 8-10 feet away. By now, the band had stopped playing for awhile. I needed to make sure to project my voice loud enough for those standing around to hear. You never who will be listening. Also, when you go to evangelize or street preach, be sure to take several $1 and $5 bills with you. You never know when they will come in handy.

So, since Reuben had demonstrated that he did not have a correct understanding of salvation, I took him through the good person test, the law, the courtroom of civil law, the judge, and ultimately our judgment before God on judgment day. You could tell it made sense to him as he would nod frequently during our conversation. I also noticed that the officer and the two people leaning against his patrol car with him had stopped talking and were listening too! I gave him the good news that Christ had died for our sins and that by placing your trust in Him, confessing your sins, and repenting, you would pass from death into life.

He got very quiet and looked down. He was being convicted by the truth. Right then, the band started up again. I asked him if there was any reason he wouldn’t do that now, tonight. He said he was going to later. We were about 50 feet from a busy street corner. Right then a large bus went by. I said, “Reuben, you don’t know the day you are going to die. Don’t put this off. You could be crossing the street and have the right of way and the bus could run the light and kill you. You don’t get a second chance.” He said very quietly, “I think I need to do that. I’m going to go home now and do that.” I asked if he had a Bible. He said he did. I said, “Reuben, start reading your Bible. When you humble yourself, repent from your sins, and place your faith in Christ, this Bible will make sense to you. Read it every day and DO what it says.” He agreed he would.

I had already told him I’d buy a flower from him. I gave him $5 and he shook my hand and was more than happy to pose for a shot. I'm so glad he flipped that hockey mask up!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Little Five Points- Welcome to hell! (pt. 1)

Downtown Atlanta

Bill and I went back to get on warmer clothes for Atlanta. We also hit our knees in prayer. We had no idea what we were going to walk in to. You are a fool if you do not pray before you hit the streets. This is spiritual warfare and if you try to do this by your own power, you will fail.

Little Five Points

Just some information about "Little Five Points." According to this website ( "It's a business community, a neighborhood, and inarguably the coolest spot on the map between Greenwich Village and the French Quarter. From a bohemian hangout with a cheap poolroom, our neighborhood has grown into a rich mix of art, theatre, and commerce. It's a tasty tossed salad embracing every lifestyle imaginable from Rasta to Gothic, and we welcome you."

Eventhough we knew that every lifestyle imaginable is welcomed, as we got closer, we could feel something was different in the air. The mood, the scenery, the people all progressively became more and more decadent. It looked like a cross between Mardi Gras and some scene out of a macabre horror film. We didn't know the Halloween celebration was tonight!

Little Five Points is home to a large celebration every Halloween. Bands play in the square, local vendors sell arts and crafts, and the highlight of the celebration is the Little Five Points Halloween Parade. The parade features local celebrities, bikers in costume, live music, hearses, several local marching bands, and many floats that are put together by community action groups and local businesses.

We parked and ran in to Josh and his dad on their way out from the same lot. We assembled at the theatre which was our group’s rendezvous point. We opened with a word of prayer and then agreed to meet again at 10:00pm. It was a few minutes after 7:oopm.

The Heckler Fairy

Our group quickly spread out in groups of 2 or 3. Within minutes, we had the first member from the “Little Five Points” team open air. He found a set of steps and began preaching towards the crowds on the sidewalk and in the streets. Within seconds, he had his first heckler who joined the group with bells and whistles on, literally. This is the only clip I could show because it had no profanity or obscene gestures. In the background, you can see our heckler who didn't even "heckle" anymore. He only attracted attention.

This guy gets the prize for “Heckler of the Year Award” for best costume and use of props. He was a cross-dressing ballerina with a beer gut, Elton John glasses and large black wig that stood a foot and a half tall above his head. He had fairy wings which he frequently enjoyed flapping. Just like the tooth fairy brings wonderful gifts for children who lose teeth, the Heckler Fairy draws crowds by being obnoxious within close proximity to you.

While our group member was preaching the Gospel this “heckler” walked right up to the man and started dancing in a suggestive manner to try to distract the preacher. Since that didn’t work, he walked up the stairs and around him while the lights on his bikini top were blinking while honking a bicycle horn and chiming a bell presumably taken from the same bicycle. He never said a word. What a blessing! Now if THAT doesn’t draw a crowd, nothing will! And, drew it he did.

But, darkness has no fellowship with the light. There were people who stayed and listened but there were also many people who walked by screaming blasphemy at the top of their lungs and flipping off our preacher. While it was aimed at the preacher, we know that the sin was committed against God. He concluded his open air sermon and someone else got up. Bill and I headed down the street.

Matthew 5:11, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."

Sarah the Mouse

The first girl I talked to was dressed as a mouse and walking with her friend. I handed her a Giant Money tract and began talking with her. Her name was Sarah. She believed she was a good person and I led her through the test. But, in spite of proving to her that she was a law breaker, she insisted that she was good enough to go to heaven. I used the analogy that in the court of civil law, a judge would never let a murder go free on the basis of the murderer’s claim of goodness. Likewise, God will not do that for anyone that breaks His laws. She agreed.

However, she still thought she was good enough. I didn’t mince words as I told her about sins of the heart. Hate is like murder, only it occurs in the heart. She claimed she had never hated. She admitted that she had lusted, but only admitted this reluctantly. She did not believe that breaking the law only once qualified her as a law breaker. I asked her, “How many times do you have to murder before you’re called a murderer?” She said, “That’s a good point. I see what you’re saying but, I’m not really that bad and God is going to take that into account.” I told her, “The 1st commandment is ‘Do not have any other gods other than me.’ This god that won’t punish anyone who breaks His law is only in your mind. He doesn’t exist.” I didn’t hold back the truth.

You must speak the truth to them, but be kind. Check your demeanor and tone of your voice. I was able to say this and she didn’t slap me, scream, yell, or walk off. I was gentle in my tone but did not compromise the truth. You are not doing anyone a favor by withholding the truth. But, there are times that people are not going to listen because they are comfortable being god of their own lives.

I thanked them for their time and moved on. Bill was listening and saw how to handle objections, but was also able to witness that not everyone is going to fall to their knees in front of you and cry out to God for forgiveness. He was still trying to work up the courage to hand a tract out because he had never done that before.

Mobilizing the Troops

After the conclusion to Deeper, a group of us met in the “chapel.” The word “chapel” always invokes an image of a small, quaint, little sanctuary for intimate wedding ceremonies. Uh, this chapel was larger than my home church’s sanctuary! LOL! It was so encouraging to see so many people who were burdened for the lost. There were several others who wanted to go but, due to the time their flights took off, were unable to go. This is a picture of us meeting and getting into our assigned teams. Todd Friel gave us some encouragement and led us in prayer.

Bill and I were on team #5 with Alex, Joshua, and Josh’s dad, Gary among others. Hey, I’m starting to see a trend here. I attended Academy #5 and now I’m going out with “the 500” on team #5 assigned to go to an area called “Little Five Points.” Pretty cool.

Marcus Pittman had a vision for this effort months ago. He worked tirelessly for months organizing this. Through his efforts and the efforts of the organizers we were divided into five groups that were to go to places such as Centennial Park, the Marta rail system, and Little Five Points. Many of us had preregistered through As of the time we went out, we had no clue how many were going because they had so many release forms signed at the conference. But, this wasn’t about number, it was about obedience. It was about realizing that 150,000 people die EVERY day. The sad truth is not all will go to heaven. People are POURING over the precipice into hell each day. Can you not hear their screams from hell?

Spurgeon said it best when he said, "If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."

This section was my team, #5. How exciting to know that several hundred of us were descending upon downtown Atlanta to share the Gospel! Team #5 was assigned to the “Little Five Points” section of Atlanta. We had no idea what we were in for. Neither Bill, Josh, Alex, or myself had ever seen anything like what was about to happen next…

Never give up! Even if it takes 30 years or more, don't quit!

Deeper was held at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia north of Atlanta. This is one of the largest churches I’ve ever seen. But, this isn’t your typical “mega church.” Pastor Johnny Hunt preaches with enthusiasm and conviction from the Word of God. He doesn’t hold back.

He said 10 months ago, the last immediate Hunt family member came to the Lord! His youngest brother lived in Kentucky and was an alcoholic. Johnny had told him over and over the Gospel message. Upon counsel of his advisory board, they told Johnny that he was not being firm enough. It was time to exercise tough love. He needed to tell his brother he wasn’t going to give him anymore money when he called when he was down and out. His brother knew what he should do. Johnny had openly declared the full Gospel to him for years and didn’t mince words. The hardest words that ever came out of Johnny’s mouth were, “Do not to call me again until your ready to change.”

He said he hung up the phone and just wept. Five hours later, his brother called back and said he was ready. They brought him down from Kentucky, checked him into detox. It took 7 days to detox him. The psychologist determined that he had not had more than a week of sobriety in nearly 35 years.

His brother accepted Christ and sits on the front row every Sunday. When Johnny walks in to preach, he hands Johnny his Bible and Johnny finds the passage he will preach from for him since he still doesn’t know his way around the Bible yet. I didn’t do the story justice. For when Johnny told it, there were many who teared up. They were moved by the love the man had for his brother, his persistence, and the fact that his brother came to the Lord.

Let this serve as encouragement to those who have a friend or relative who has not accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Do not give up hope. Do not quit. You must be faithful and TELL them the truth. Johnny labored for over 30 years for his brother.

They will never come to the Lord by watching your good actions. Do not confuse what I am saying. You must have a life characterized by a continuous flow of works of obedience. But, if that is where it stops you are not being obedient to the Lord. Being a “Sunday Christian” is religion and that is a stench in God’s nostrils. He hates religion! Likewise, if you are not continually spreading the Gospel, you’re not being fully obedient to His calling on your life as a Christian.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Deeper Conference: old friends & new

While this blog exists primarily to encourage and teach women to Biblically share their faith, I will also ocasionally share other experiences such as teaching conferences I attend which I hope will encourage or deepen one's faith. This entire "Deeper Conference" taught the authority of the Bible, Presuppositional Apologetics, being obedient to the Gospel and Biblically sharing our faith, understanding Covenants, Christian historical figures and many other topics. But first, I caught up with some friends.

We had a great trip down to Georgia aside from my head pounding. It is only a six hour drive for us. Within 10 minutes of walking in the door to the conference, I saw Josh Wiley and Alex Burt from Academy #5. All of the sudden, Josh got a smirky grin, reached into his pocket and pulled out his challenge coin. I quickly produced mine, but Alex had realized when he was getting on the plane he’d left his at home.

So, I guess according to protocol, Josh buys me a mocha frapuccino because I answered the challenge (the drink of my choice), but Alex buys us both a drink because he left his at home. I’m going to be well-hydrated!

Next, I ran into my buddy, Bart McCurdy. He was on the street corner the first time I open aired (see August 31 post). I have a special place in my heart for Bart. He and Greg were such an encouragement to me. I’ll never forget their support that day on the street corner in Huntington Beach. He got to meet Bill. I was so glad to be able to introduce Bill to so many people from the Academy.

Academy members communicated through e-mail prior to the conference so we could meet for a group picture. It was great to meet so many people from previous Academys. These are the ones we could locate for the group photo holding the challenge coin, if they had it.

It was great to see Trisha Ramos again. She is always an encourager and has a heart for anyone around her. I watched as she talked to many people who came to her to share stories with her. She has a very good website to encourage believers to actively share their faith and it is especially encouraging to women. Go to

We were standing in line to meet Johnny Hunt and were listening to this guy with a thick accent in front of us who was talking to Johnny. I said, “Sounds Australian. I bet his name is either Trevor or Bruce,” I joked with Bill. Turns out it was Cameron Buettel! Small world!

He has a fabulous blog that I have been following called He is originally from Australia but currently lives in Denmark. Cameron was here with his friend Andrs who also lives in Denmark. We had lunch with both of them at, of course, Chik fil a. They were such an encouragement to Bill.

As soon we walked into the restaurant, they started working the crowd. While waiting in line to place their order, they talked to some men, and then talked to a group of teens. Bill has never really been bold about witnessing to complete strangers. He has read Way of the Master and followed it for a few years, but book knowledge can never replace practical experience. That’s why I highly recommend attending the Ambassador’s Academy. Goto to find the next training opportunity.

In his job, Bill runs into different people all the time and has prayed with people or shared to Gospel over the years. However, he freely admits that it isn’t the first thought on his mind when he encounters people. We all have fear and even are skeptical that people might yell at us or become violent if we try to witness to them. Andrs has a thick Danish accent, is very soft spoken and mild mannered, yet this man took advantage of every opportunity to share the Gospel wherever he went. Bill said he was ashamed after meeting Andrs. But, quickly got over the shame and was instead encouraged by his observation. “If that man can do this, so can I!” On Saturday night, Bill did just that.

We look forward to lots of great speakers today: Todd Friel, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, Johnny Hunt, Marshall Foster to name a few.

On a side note, I was miserable today. My eyes were watering, my head was draining and stopped up at the same time! We cut out of the last session early. Kirk was speaking. I later found out that he preached for 95 minutes! You go, Kirk! Give it to them brother.

I have not been sick in over a year. It's frustrating that I got sick with a sore throat! I haven’t had a sore throat or laryngitis in several years. I am convinced that there must be an unbelievable need on the streets of Atlanta tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Heading for Deeper!

This is going to be a great week-end!

Well, today is Thursday, Oct 16th and we leave for the “Deeper Conference” tomorrow. I woke up this morning with laryngitis. My throat started hurting yesterday but I didn’t think anything of it. Now, I can barely speak. That can only mean one thing: I must be getting ready to enter a battle zone. Ephesians 6: 12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Creative Gospel Tracting Series

Department Stores

My dear friend, Sherri Lee, came on this fishing trip with me to the mall yesterday. This was her first trip and she had never done anything like this. I shared creative ways to place tracts when out and about. I know she didn't fully know what to expect when we went out, but what a fishing trip this turned out to be!

I like to drop tracts pretty much anywhere, but they seem especially appropriate in stores. The wallet tracts from are very realistic.

When you get ready to drop them make sure you open it all the way and fold it backwards on itself just once before closing it again so that when it is on the ground it is not totally flat. You want the top edge to pop up a little to give it the 3-D effect. I learned the hard way that if you pull one of these out of your pocket or purse and haven't set it so that it pops up, it looks like a flat piece of paper on the ground and it's not very convincing. It also was so flat that it slid under the display case. You want it to attract attention; you want it to be found.

Drop them in both conspicous and inconspicuous locations like the edge of displays or near walls and right in the middle of the aisle. They are sure to get someone's attention.

You can also stuff them in the pockets of clothing. During the fall and winter, is especially fun because all the winter coats are out. Go through and stuff some in all the pockets of an entire rack of clothing. Just think of all the seed that is being scattered!

It's always fun to add a little irony by dropping a wallet near a display of wallets. You can see how it pops up and looks convincing. Remember, your shopping is always to be secondary.

Try dropping them in office supply stores, craft stores, department stores, airport gift shops, chain stores like Wal-mart and Target. I think you get the picture.

If you really want to have fun, go on a hot date with your spouse to a furniture store. As you sit on sofas pretending to decide whether you like it or not, stick a wallet in the cushions. Better yet, the next time he want you to go to the sporting goods store, instead of being bored, think of all the possibilities! The possibilities are limitless!

So many shoes, so little time!

This was the first tract that my children ever had experience with. Remember, Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." My children have been dropping these on the ground since they were 4 or 5 years old. It's so important to train them from a young age. I don't want my children to be raised in the church their whole lives and be in the their 30's before they share the Gospel with someone like I did. Children are naturally egocentric. Teach them from a young age to think of others and be Kingdom minded.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's your main objective?

If you are a Christin who takes seriously your obligation to spread the Gospel, then you will understand that whenever you run errands, your main objective is not on your errand, but on looking for opportunities to witness. Your errand is always your secondary objective.

Anytime you are going somewhere make sure you grab your keys, wallet, and tracts. This is the absolute minimum you should have with you when you are out and about.

This isn't some radical, new idea. The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:1-2:
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Even the great preacher, Charles Spurgeon stated, “When preaching and private talk are not available, you need to have a tract ready. . . Get good striking tracts, or none at all. But a touching gospel tract may be the seed of eternal life. Therefore, do not go out without your tracts.”

Click on this link for sources for Gospel Tracts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

God brought the fish to me

Today I had a man come to install 2 programmable thermostats.

I was ready with a MDB (million dollar bill) I'd put on the counter. I couldn't turn down this evangelism opportunity when God brought the fish to my door!

When he was finished, he had me sign the paperwork. I gave him the tract and said, "Hey, here's a tip." He smiled and said he thought that was neat. I told him, "It's really your part of the $700 billion bailout!" He laughed.

Then, I told him it was a Gospel tract. I asked if he had a religious background. He said he did not. I asked him if he had ever thought about what happens to us when we die. He said, "No, I never really gave it much thought." That always floors me when people claim they haven't ever thought about it. I told him 10 out of 10 of us are going to die. He agreed that was true.

I asked, "Do you believe in God?" He said he did. I said, "The Bible says that it is appointed for man to die once and then be judged by God." I then asked him, "If someone said they would give you $10 million dollars for your eyes and could remove them without any pain, would you sell them? I mean, you'd have enough money you could "see" the world, right?" He said, "No. I would never do that. I wouldn't be able to go anywhere or do anything." I said, "Exactly! If your eyes are that precious, don't you believe your soul is even more precious?" He said, "Yeah, I do believe that. I see your point."

I asked if he was a good person and he said he was. I gave him the good person test. The look on his face began to change as well as his demeanor. He was no longer smiling and it was slowly dawning on him the gravity of his situation. I told him that I had taken the same test and that I had the same look he had on his face. When I asked would he be innocent or guilty he said, "Guilty."

Because he said he didn't have a religous background or go to church I wanted to make sure I didn't take for granted that he knew he would go to hell if he did not put his faith in Christ and repent before he died. I explained that God decreed that the punishment for all sin is death. I told him that is why the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death." I took him to the court of civil law to prove to him that God is GOOD and JUST if he sends him to hell for his sin by telling him he would not respect a civil judge if he let a murder go. He agreed.

I took him back to the courtroom and just as the gavel was about to come down to sentence him, someone shouted, "Wait!" from the other side of the courtroom. I said, "Rick, at that moment someone you don't know came running in and said, 'Judge, I've sold everything I have and I have enough to pay Rick's fine.' The judge looks at the payment and instead of pronouncing you guilty, He stamps your case, 'Dimissed due to lack of evidence.' How would that make you feel?"

He said, "Grateful and thankful."

I said, "Rick, THAT is what Jesus Christ did for you when he died on the cross for your sins. He was morally perfect and able to make the payment by his death for YOUR sins. All you have to do is believe by faith that what He did was good enough to save you, confess your sins to Him, repent (and I explained in depth what repentance means) and then do what the Bible says.

I told him, "You can't just say, 'I believe in Jesus and then try to be a good person to earn your place." I said, "You place your faith in Jesus' work on the cross because I have just proven to you that if your plan was to throw yourself on the mercy of the court, you'd be guilty." I then asked him, "Rick, where will you go if you do not accept Christ and repent from your sins?" He said, "Hell." He then said, "I NEVER understood this before. I've never heard it like this. Thank you very much for talking with me today."

I encouraged him to read the tract today and do what it says. I told him if he wanted to know more about the Bible start reading the book of John and then Romans.

He then thanked me again and told me he really appreciated me taking the time to talk with him! Those were his exact words.

Reason #277 why I reject the proponents of lifestyle evangelism: They told me that I would offend someone if I told them they'd go to hell without repentance.

Instead, I got thanked twice and told that he actually appreciated me sharing this with him! Don't believe the fallacy that you shouldn't tell people the truth about salvation and hell. You must speak the truth in LOVE but tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Reunion Time and Lifestyle Evangelism

Tonight was my high school reunion. I had my tracts packed and was ready. Here's a little tip for packing small handbags. I had approximately 100 tracts with me.

Tonight I came to some rather profound conclusions about "lifestyle evangelism." If your definition of "lifestyle evangelism" is: be really nice to people and if you show them the love of Jesus enough, they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Folks, it ain't so.

My husband and I arrived for dinner. Right at the front door, I ran into a friend that I'd gone to school with since grade school. His name is Greg. He is and always has been such a sweet person but carries so much pain from those school years so long ago. Pain is real. Kids are cruel.

Bill was able to talk to him about Christ and showed him the curved illusion tract. He doesn't currently attend church but assured us he is a believer. We invited him to try out our church.

I spoke to another couple who were Christians and were intrigued by my tracts. They had never seen any like them.

I talked with many people that I had gone not only through all four years of high school, but also elementary and middle school. It just dawned on me that I'd spent a significant chunk of my life with these people and yet, I had not engaged in any meaningful discussion of the Gospel with them while in high school. I guess that is why I am one of the biggest opponents of "lifestyle evangelism."

We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. "

This verse is most often used by lifestyle evangelism advocates to "prove" that people will be asking you about Jesus during the course of everyday events. This verse is telling the believer to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask, but this is predicated upon the believer being persecuted and not denying the faith in the face of persecution. Don't take my word for it, go to the Word and read it in context 1 Peter 3:8-22.

This evening, I was with 200 people that I had been REALLY NICE to for 8-9 years (grade school - high school) and not ONE of them came up at any time and asked me, "You've been so nice to me all these years, so tell me how do I accept Jesus?" I had invited people to church with me in high school, told them I went to church, even brought my Bible to school. I was active in my youth group, went on retreats, choir tours, and didn't get into trouble. I never smoked, drank, took drugs, or slept around at all during high school and NOT ONE person wanted to abandon their lifestyle to follow the Lord because of my behavior. Back then, anyone who knew me well enough usually prefaced one of their week-end exploits with, "You're such a good girl, you wouldn't want to know what I'm about to do/have just done." I don't say this arrogantly to proclaim my goodness. On the contrary, I believe that I was a false convert at the time because I had only made an intellectual ascent to Jesus and then engaged in a life of moralism. I thought, "I've accepted Jesus, so now I'm going to be very, very good." This is so wrong.

There were many people who professed to be Christians like the classmate who ran into me at the reunion and told me about her 15 yr old daughter in high school. She sends her daughter to a Christian school and told me that her daughter is giving her fits. "That G_g d_mn girl is going to be the end of me!", she declared as she almost pulled me down while leaning on me because she was so drunk. At least my classmate is a Christian. wink, wink

These ladies, I have known for almost 30 years. They are sweet and I was so glad to be able to catch up with them.

Another friend who recently divorced, was telling me that he almost needs to engage in reconnaissance type maneuvers to keep tabs on his teenage daughter. I'm not naive to believe that everyone will believe they should raise children the way I do. There are stylistic differences which I place under the "disputable matters" category. What is NOT disputable is the fact that we MUST be raising our children to fear the Lord and engage in a deliberate lifestyle that brings honor to God's name even to the point of death. Not many people want to hear that.

Here's a picture of me and my husband. We discovered that we were a bit of an anomaly. There were about 5 couples who had been married over 15 years. We astonished quite a few when they found out we have been married almost 18 years. They almost choked on their pork tenderloin when they found out we had four children AND enjoyed their company! This should not be! We should not be the exception but the norm. I honestly thought more people who had married young would still be married. There were plenty of people who were married tonight but they were either newly married (less than 5 years) or on their 2nd or 3rd marriage.

I was able to reconnect with a lot of people and had many nostalgic conversations. I wasn't very fond of high school. I don't really know of many who are. But, I was able to get several pictures with people and I go their e/m's so that I can keep in touch with them.

There were a number of people who had experienced the pain of divorce and there were those who wanted to marry but have not found the right person yet. Many were successful from a financial and career standpoint but, I wonder how many were truly happy and truly filled with a drive to serve the Lord? I was amazed at the number of people that just seemed to have it all but ...

It was quite difficult to do any real talking after the dinner time was over due to the fact that they turned the lights down so low and cranked the music up. It made any meaningful conversation almost impossible. I was really frustrated about that. But, I am convinced that I talked with the people that I was supposed to talk with and have to rest in that.