Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I've been trying to hand out tracts every day this month or engage people in conversation. The highlight of this month happened when I got to phone fish for Ambassador's Alliance Radio. That was really fun and it really stretched me. I had about twenty-five minutes to find someone. So, I prayed God would send me a fish in less than 20 minutes. He did it and two people got to hear the Gospel. One of the most difficult places to share the Gospel, in my opinion, is the South. So many people are Gospel hardened. They have heard it all before since they were in diapers and they don't believe it applies to them because they are basically good people who go to church.
I have handed out some tracts everyday so far. I have been to a Festival and handed out hundreds and then I went to Sam's Club today and handed out two. You want consistency not quantity. If you've never handed out a tract, try it. If you can't muster up the courage, try stuffing them in magazines or books at stores you visit.
I look forward to the new year. I have had a lot of growth through a most difficult situation. I believe it has changed how I view situations and people and hope that it will help me to continue to never quit. Looking forward to the New Year, I hope to be more consistent about sharing my experiences in hope that it will encourage you to share your faith.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Well, I made it to December and while I know I've been more obedient this year and shared my faith consistently and biblically, I have never had a month that I handed out a tract EVERY single day. There are just days I don't leave the house. I work from home and don't always need to go out. God, isn't going to strike me dead if I don't. It's a condition of the heart. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could engage in conversations about Christ and if I could hand out a Gospel tract EVERY day.
So, this month I promised I would get in my car every day and go somewhere, anywhere and hand out tracts. I also wanted to challenge myself to try to hand out tracts everyday since I had never done that before.
So, here it is the 15th of December and I'm 100%! I have handed out a tract at least every day and when possible, I try to engage in conversation. Pray that I am able to meet my goal and not miss a single day. I'm still thinking about where to go on Christmas Day since almost everything will be closed. But, there is a truck stop on the interstate about 15 miles from here. So, if I have to I'll go there. You know, it says we should take the Gospel to the highways and the biways... :)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Here's a small sample of the crowds we encountered. Many would just stop and read right there.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Not everyone has to preach from a street corner, but are you at least sharing the Gospel with those around you whenever you have the opportunity? I have to confess, I still do not take advantage of every opportunity. I don't know why I sometimes avoid situation where I know the Gospel needs to be proclaimed. Diane encourages me to consistently share the Gospel and to not worry about what others think because if I do that then I am more concerned about my comfort than their souls. God, forbid!
At the very least, buy some tracts and hand them out to people or leave them wherever you go- restaurants, shopping malls, parking lots, etc. Halloween is coming up. Buy some tracts to place in the bags of the children coming for candy. Surely, you can do that. Just give it a try.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Evangelism doesn't have to be fancy, but you actually have to do it. Was his method offensive to you? It didn't seem to offend those who saw him over the hour he stood there. Try it. Be encouraged. Be faithful.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
After watching the video, if you would like to be involved with the effort to distribute them at the University of Kentucky, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
This is our pastor asking him to tell the congregation that he is a believer and has believed that Jesus has taken his sins away and granted him eternal life.
Our pastor prayed with him and our entire family after he made his profession. It was truly a beautiful day! We will make arrangements for him to be baptized in the future, as we are currently meeting in a school.
We have seen much evidence of true conversion in him. We normally don't tell people we meet that he came to our family through the gift of adoption. But, I believe it is important to share his story so that you can fully appreciate where he began.
We first met him in December of 2005 in an orphanage in rural Russia. He was a tiny 8 year old boy with an infectious smile. When he came home in April 2006 as our forever son, we began explaining to him the reality of God. He had never heard of Jesus and had no knowledge of the typical stories most children do. No songs about Zaccheus being a wee little man or Father Abraham having many sons. In fact, he had never heard of Jesus, Noah, Adam, Moses or any of the people in the Bible that most children in America are acquainted with from a young age. He just had an intense longing to have a question that had been burning in his mind while in Russia answered: Where did all the people, trees, and animals come from?
He said he had asked people over in Russia, but no one knew the answer. In 2006, when he came home, we studied Romans. By the time we had gotten through the first few chapters he exclaimed, "It is God!" The light came on and he has studied the Bible diligently ever since.
We have studied Romans, the life of Moses by studying Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the life of Jesus by studying Matthew, and this year we are studying the book of John. He reads his Bible every day for about an hour and has for sometime. He reads about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before bed and will read the entire Bible 1 1/2 times this year on his reading program. He doesn't read under compulsion but because he genuinely desires to see what happened next.
We see fruit in his life as he looks for ways to be a servant to his family. We so infrequently have to discipline him. He is eager to take on responsibility and a joy to be around.
Our lives are blessed beyond measure and it is an honor and privilege I do not deserve. My life is better having had the privilege of having him as my son. We love you son and are thrilled and pleased that God has answered our prayers over the past four years for your salvation. To God be the Glory!
Tuck several in the literature they give to you about the hotel, attractions, and dining.
I took advantage of the cabinetry and the microwave in the room as well.
There were plenty of places in the bathroom too. I laid a few out in the open for housekeeping to find. After I was done, I earnestly prayed that God would guide the individuals to find these and that the seed would be planted.
If you have still never shared your faith or if you are working up the courage too, you can easily put tracts in the places you visit. Your faith and boldness will be strengthened by your obedience. Go ahead and try it if you haven't already. When you've placed the tracts, pray that God will cause people who need Him to find them and pray that He will increase your boldness and obedience to share the Gospel.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
A few weeks ago, I'd contacted a friend to see if our daughters could get together to play. Since we live on opposite sides of town, about 30 minutes apart, we agreed upon a halfway point so she could pick up my daughter and take her to her house. We agreed that we'd meet at this grocery store in the parking lot. I had no intention of going in or doing any shopping. I only happened to be on this side of town because my son was taking a science course on Thursdays at a church down the street from this location. After his class was over, I was to meet them in the parking lot. Before I got there I got a call from a friend whose whole family had been battling either the flu or allergies for weeks. I thought, "I'm right here at the store and she lives so close I might as well pick up some medicine for her and the kids so she didn't have to go out." On my way out of the store that I never would have gone into had my friend not been ill nor had I not had to meet a friend for a playdate rendezvous, I met Calvin and Mike.
Knowing that I would need to pick up my daughter again, my friend and I had agreed a few days prior to pick up at the same place. From the time I had left the two gentlemen, my other 3 kids and I dropped the medicine off to my sick friend. We then went out for a quick bite to eat and headed home. I had several things that needed to be done before I had to drive back over to pick up my daughter.
Then it hit me- would those guys still be there later in the afternoon? If they were, I would be able to give them the books and materials! I prayed that God would let it be. When the time came for me to pick up my daughter 5 hours later, guess who was still standing in the same spot? Calvin and Mike!
I gave them the books before I picked up my daughter. I also handed them some curved illusion tracts and a few others. I explained that Way of the Master would teach them about the fallacy of the modern Gospel. Hell's Best Kept Secret had a study guide in it so that he could lead others and One Heartbeat Away was a book geared primarily to the unsaved but has excellent ways to share the Gospel with them and answers many questions. Calvin was thrilled to get his hands on them! He said he'd already handed out some tracts since I'd seen him last!
As I was driving away, Calvin was already engrossed in the book! When I think back about all the things that God orchestrated I know that everything is for His Glory. Remember, Calvin and Mike live in another state several hours away. Who knew that God would bring them to a different state so that I would run into them at a store in which I never shop on a side of town that I am rarely on so that these eager men would learn to share the Gospel in a Biblical manner? I know I don't truly know them, but I have never seen anyone who was not a Christian ever so thrilled by our conversation, amazed to see resources available (like tracts) that they were unaware of and eager to share the Gospel as these two men. What a blessed day!
Friday, October 2, 2009
I asked if they were Christians. They emphatically and enthusiastically answered, "Yes." They had their Bibles on the table and I could see that they had gotten some use as they were worn and marked up. But, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I asked, "Do you share your faith?" Calvin said he did and said he often goes and shares on the streets and shares wherever he goes. I was intrigued. I asked, "When you share the Gospel with people, what do you tell them?" He said that he would tell them that they needed to give their lives to Jesus so they would have a better life. I said, "So you might tell them to come to Jesus because they will have love, joy, peace...right?" He said, "Yes, exactly."
I began by asking if I could share something with them to which they replied, "Sure." I told them that years ago, whenever I wasn't a chicken and mustered up courage, I would share the Gospel by enticing people with all the good stuff of Christ by sharing with others the same way they were sharing until I found out that I was only giving them half the story. They were all ears. So I asked them, "If you could travel back in time to September 10, 2001 and talk to all the people who were going to die in the twin towers on September 11th, could you still preach the same message that they were going to have lives filled with love, joy, and peace?" They said, "I see what you're saying. No, you really couldn't say that could you."
I began with a scenario I thought they could relate to. I said pretend that you go to the doctor for a check-up and then as you were leaving the doctor casually mentions he had some medicine he wanted you to take and said nothing more. You take the medicine and quite frankly, it tastes bitter. You think, "I was feeling fine to begin with so I probably don't need to take this anymore. Besides, I hate the bitter aftertaste." You go to the doctor sometime later and he asks if you are still taking the medicine that he prescribed from your last visit. You tell the doctor that you didn't really like how it tasted and thought you didn't need it because you were feeling fine. When the doctor describes to you that you had 10 clear symptoms that he noticed from your last visit you begin to get concerned. He then tells you that the medicine he gave you was the cure and without it you will die. You're horrified as you realize what you've done!
I asked them if this made sense to them. They said it really did as I explained that when we give people the cure without convincing them that they are ill they are not as likely to follow through with the cure. What we need is contained in the Word of God and sometimes what the Word reveals is a bitter pill to swallow.
So, I took them through the law and after they admitted they were lying thieving, blasphemous, adulterers at heart I took them before the bench of Eternal Justice. I had them stand before God, and they saw that the law didn't help them but left them helpless before a holy and just God.
They really understood and I then asked them if they had been told to not use the law nor mention hell or judgment when sharing their faith because it would be offensive to the listener.
Calvin said, "This absolutely is what I've been taught, but what you're saying makes more sense. I'm seeing that when you tell someone in the manner that you do it's just not offensive." I said, "That's right! Because again, the patient is never going to listen or want the cure if they are never convinced they are ill."
I went back to the courtroom before God the judge and gave them some different scenarios to consider. I asked Mike and Calvin what they think would happen if I were standing before a judge on murder charges, but before he passed sentence I told the judge, "Judge, I know you're a good judge and I want to let you know that before I got here this morning I washed and detailed your car and even armorall on the tires. I'm sure you'll take this into consideration before passing sentence and I'm sure you'll let me go." They said there was no judge in the land that would let you go if you did that. I agreed and told them in fact, what I was doing was bribing the judge and that is what we do when we try to say we hope our good works will get us into heaven.
Calvin stopped me and asked, "Are you a teacher? Do you teach this to people? You ought to teach this to people. How can I find out how to do what you're doing? I have so many people that I need to share this with and teach them!" I gave them my website and told them that if they e-mailed me their address I would mail them several books and resources. I found out that they are from Colombus, Ohio several hours North of where I live. He was very familiar with the Word and as I brought out different scriptures the light was coming on and they were more excited.
The more I shared I would pause and ask if what I was telling them made sense. They agreed enthusiastically and we continued. So, I told them that when sharing with people who say they are going to use their good works to get into heaven, all they are doing is trying to bribe God. I said your good works come from a grateful heart that responds in obedience to the extravagant sacrifice that was offered on your behalf by God Himself through Jesus Christ His son but they are never used as the means by which you are granted eternal life.
I then reached into my wallet and gave them all the tracts I had and showed them how to use them. I gave them several million dollar bills and told them to just give them to someone simply by asking, "Did you get one of these?" I showed them that the entire Gospel message was on the back and that it was goof-proof because million dollar question was on the back. They grinned and were asking questions about how exactly do you do this to a complete stranger. At that moment, a man walked out of the store and donated something to their bucket and got a package of crackers and lingered. I looked at Calvin and whispered, "Try it." He grabbed a tract, gave it to me and said, "Here, you do it."
So I gave him a million dollar bill, told the gentleman it was part of the economic stimulus package, and answered that it was a Gospel tract when he asked. I asked if he were to die would he go to heaven. He said he didn't know but supposed that he should probably get saved before he dies. I introduced myself and he told me his name was Gary. I said Gary, "You don't know when you're going to die because you could be in your car going home and die in a wreck before you get saved. Doesn't that concern you?" He said it sure did. I took him through the law, the courtroom of Eternal Justice, and gave him grace. After I concluded, he said it was definitely something to think about, held onto the tract, thanked me and left.
I am certain that God sent that very man at that very moment to not only hear the Gospel but to show Calvin and Mike that people don't get angry when the Gospel is shared Biblically. I asked them, "Did he get angry at me? yell at me? spit in my face? curse me? beat me up?" They saw that when the Gospel is shared Biblically people are usually left speechless and contemplative.
We talked some more and I told them to give them law and then grace because sharing one without the other comes across as either harsh or produces false converts. Calvin truly understood and commented about the ones who didn't seem to finish the race because they got off the path. We talked about false conversion and worldy sorrow versus Godly sorrow. I had such a wonderful time with them. They were so enthusiastically receptive. I told them that I was going to go to my car and give them something.
On a side note...
I learned today to always make sure you have enough books! I was so frustrated that I didn't have any more WOTM books, but I cleaned out my tract stash in the center console. Besides tracts, make sure you check your stash of books and CD's before you leave home!
I had my son walk over with me as I gave them a bag of tracts and take a picture of us. Calvin asked if I had a ministry because he'd like to support it. I laughed as I told him no because I have never had anyone say that before. He asked if I would pray with them before I left. We prayed right then and there and then I left.
I wanted so badly to get those books into their hands. If only there was a way...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
It's so easy to have a difficulty arise and say you've given it to the Lord to handle and then look back once you've been through it and say, "Ah, I trusted the Lord and He got me through it." It is something entirely different when there is something that is thrust upon you, that you had no part in and in spite of efforts towards resolution and reconciliation, it only intensifies and keeps going.
What do you do? I learned many years ago when I was facing difficulty running, not walking, to the Psalms and reading them or singing praises to the Lord really helps refocus my thoughts and emotions. However, I have recently added something that I will do in addition to reading, praying and singing to the Lord. I believe another way to help us stay deliberately focused on CHRIST and not focused on our problem or difficulty is to go share the Gospel. Before you think, that is a really whacked out response or that I am disconnected from reality or trying to be "super spiritual" I'm not. It's just that the reality of what I claim was not consistent with what I believed. If I cower from a situation because I fear then I am allowing the fear to rule the situation and govern my actions.
Our family (my husband and children and myself) have experienced a situation that has caused us to be fearful for our lives. But, I have realized that I loved my life more than I ought. What happens if, for example, a gunman were to walk in and mow us down at a school, university, or gym? We get promoted, right? Why do I fear man (or woman) in this way? I shouldn't. It has caused me to understand more what is said in Mark 8:34-38,
34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
Particularly, v.35 stands out to me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
In an effort of self-preservation I have avoided facing a difficult situation. I have allowed fear of death to prevent me from pushing through circumstances that may or may not result in this. I was listening to Mark Cahill address a group of college students about the Virginia Tech shootings that had happened. He challenged them by asking, "If the Virginia Tech shooter were to walk in this room right now, what would you do?" Most people would want to hit the ground. He challenged the students with the thought, "What if you could stop the gunman either by addressing him by name (as was the case with the boy who confronted Michael Carneal in the Paducah, Kentucky shootings) or would you and a group of men ambush the attacker while he reloaded instead of preserving your own life, knowing that you may die trying?"
He wasn't talking about stupidity that would run right into the cross-fire and take a bullet nor was he talking about placing yourself in harm's way for the sake of placing yourself in danger. That is foolishness of the highest degree. However, the deeper truth he was trying to convey was this: Do you value your life so much that you spend the majority of your life and allow the decisions you make to benefit you with the goal of preserving the life you have now, this side of eternity? Think about it for a moment. What are you doing in your life that is causing you to cling to THIS life you have now? My best life is not nor ever will be now! My best life is going to be on the other side of eternity. While I have known this I don't believe that I have ever understood the depth of this truth until my own life has been dredged this past year.
When experiencing a trial there is always collateral damage. There are unintended consequences to your life or things you suffer as a result of the difficulty. Today, I had that Helen-Keller-at-the-water-well experience as I understood that I have got to get out of "life preservation mode" and make certain that my focus and objective are not obscured by circumstance. I shared the Gospel today with two brothers in Christ who, while trying to walk in obedience, were only giving part of the Gospel. I have been sharing the Gospel this past year, but I also have allowed my problem to make me more lazy and less inclined to be obedient. I also have avoided the problem for fear of what the outcome may be.
Obviously, because I haven't revealed the details of our difficulty it seems somewhat enigmatic. Suffice it to say, I finally learned the lesson today that despite the trial or fear you believe you may feel as a result of it, God has never called us to be obedient whenever things are going our way or easy for us. I've known that on some level but never comprehended it at the depth I did today.
In a deliberate effort to establish habits that are God-honoring I will probably start sharing the Gospel when I am experiencing extreme difficulty, or saddened, or fearful. That is the one sure cure for making certain that I maintain my laserbeam-like focus on being obedient to the Lord no matter what. Lesson learned.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Here are some ideas for handing out tracts during October:
- Fall Festivals
- Public Haunted Houses (Usually a civic group sponsors these)
- See if your city has a Halloween Express which is a temporary costume store and hand them out to people entering and leaving the store.
- Check your city's calendar of events and see if there are any re-enactments of Michael Jackson's Thriller video. Our city has re enacted "Thriller" for the last few years.
- Then, of course, everyone is thrilled to get these tracts during the Halloween season.
- Goto churches and hand them out if they are hosting a Trunk or Treat alternative to typical trick or treating.
- Hand them out with the candy to little trick or treaters. People DO read them because we watched several people stop in the middle of the street and read them to the end.
- Give some to your bank teller. My bank actually like my seasonal tracts. Only a moron would try use a bill with Frankenstein on it for cash.
- Parades your city or town may have. Hand them out up an down the parade route.
I'm sure you can think of several more places to hand them out but just be diligent and DO IT!
This is one of the easiest times to talk about Christ because images of death are all around. If you want to see some experiences I had last year, check out these posts. I posted a 5 part series on the Little Five Points area of Atlanta. Here is the link to part 1. http://chipperfisher.blogspot.com/2008/10/little-five-points-welcome-to-hell.html
Also, another thing you can do is print out some cards yourself from www.deathbeth.com. After you go to the website, click on the button "Tell someone else" on the 2nd page and print some cards to hand out.
You have about 45 days so get some tracts, get ready, and just do it!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
If you have a major university near you, consider handing out tracts there or getting a team together to go actively hit the crowds that are sure to be there. One thing to consider, if you have tickets to the game, you really should get there 2-4 hours in advance NOT to get a good spot, but to witness. Be bold! If you are just going for the game and nothing else, you really aren't being faithful to the Gospel or obedient to the call that we each have on our lives.
An idea that I just got had to do with the day before the game. Go to your local grocery store or major liquor retailer in your area and stuff tracts in the beer boxes the day before or evening before the game. There is always a rush on alcohol purchases right before a game. When I do regular grocery shopping, I usually cram tracts in the beer aisle or let the kids do it but I have never thought to make a concerted effort to target the beer aisle or liquor stores right before a game. I'm sure many others have already figured this out a long time ago, but since I'm not a big sports fan, I never really made the connection.
Friday, September 11, 2009
We're heading for the Deeper conference as we speak! (www.deeperconference.com) This is coming to you from I-75- I love mobile broad band. :) We will be there in about 30 minutes.
Keep everyone in your prayers as we will be heading out after the last session to downtown Atlanta for some evangelism with "The 500."
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Pray that the judge deciding this case right now is given wisdom and that if what this girl is asserting is even a remote possibility, that he do everything within his power to protect her life.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Here's a video response from the gentleman in the video further clarifying what happened. Keep these brothers who are contending for the faith in your prayers.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
He will take into account your actions but they will not save you, they will only condemn you. What these people don't understand is that they are asserting that God somehow grades on a curve and that His acceptance and love increase by the more things you do to earn favor. To hold this view means that His love and acceptance must also decrease as you do things that are not favorable.
I have thought of an analogy that I would like to use the next time I am doing a 1-on-1 with someone who believes that there is a participatory aspect in the saving of themselves. There is a huge difference between "saving works" and "works of obedience during sanctification." The first one is heretical- there are no works that can save you. However, if your life is NOT marked by works of obedience in keeping with repentance you need to reexamine your life and find out where the disconnect is.
Adoption is a very special relationship to me. We have experienced the gift of adoption in our own lives. How offensive it would be if we told an adopted child, "Well, I know you're adopted, but you're never really going to have the same love as the others get from me. In fact, you will need to work harder to earn my love. I will let you know at the end of your life whether you measured up or not and that will determine your inheritance."?
That would be terribly offensive yet that is the way many people appear to approach their salvation. In Galatians 4:1-7 and I Peter 1:3-5 God speaks plainly about our status in His family. We are adopted and have all rights and privileges as the biological child to be known by name as a member of God's family. There is no favoritism given to those whom God adopts as His own. For if there were favoritism that would be evil.
Could you imagine if I were to tell my children, I'm going to love this one more than that one and I'm going to keep score based on how well or how poorly they perform? If I told my kids that I will love them according to how well they have scored and in the end that will determine their inheritance...how wicked that would be!
Yet, this is EXACTLY what those who say, "God will let me into heaven because I am a good person" or "God will let me in based on how well I treated others" are asserting. If God were this way they are saying God is evil and wicked because He plays favorites and His love is fickle. If we as a society agree that a parent that plays favorites is despicable how much more so would it be to assert that God is anything like that? This is evil and wicked to the core!
So how am I going to incorporate this into my witnessing? I will give a hypothetical illustration using my own children. I will say if I have 4 children and I tell each of them that I am going to love them based on a set of checks and minuses that I will give to them based upon their behavior and one day there is going to be a day when I settle the accounts of each of them which results in them being given an inheritance based upon how well they performed, how fair is that? Is that loving?
It will be easy to explain to them their belief that their personal righteousness will somehow earn God's love, portrays God as an evil parent who is going to give a child love and reward inheritance based upon the child's personal performance. No loving parent would ever do that and neither does God.
I have a witnessing opportunity coming up in less than 2 weeks and I'm going to try this out. If you try this, leave a comment and tell me how it worked.
Monday, August 3, 2009
As they were setting up we saw the men removing the tree were Hispanic. After the tree was down, they men took a break. This was the perfect time to try to give them the message of the Gospel. My son and husband went over and and gave them this tract, a Jones Soda (yum!), and an invitation to the Hispanic church that we helped with their community outreach in May.
I would encourage you, keep some Hispanic tracts on hand. I got these from Living Waters and I love them! It gives the entire Gospel message in Spanish and who is going to turn it down when you are giving an ice cold drink?!
Sorry the trees are in the way, but these are the first two guys they were able to give drinks and tracts to. My son is walking over to hand a tract to the other guy.
Here is the man he gave the invitation to the church, a tract, as well as the drink. Here is a photo of the other gentleman. He actually stopped and read it for awhile!
I can't speak Spanish, but I really believe that the Holy Spirit can do the work that is needed in their hearts if they are unsaved. Try to keep tracts and maybe some water or soft drinks on hand for these opportunities that may arise. I am so glad that we had an affiliation with a Spanish speaking church just a few months earlier so that I had information to give to them. Pray that God presents opportunities for you to walk in obedience and also pray for the strength to ignore that voice inside pleading with you not to do this. Walk in obedience and you'll never regret it.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
And the winner is...
WARNING: Do not play video games on the Freeway! It is perfect! He can't wait to try it out!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I don't know if it gets any easier when you share the Gospel. I still get a lump in my throat, my mouth goes dry, and I have weird thought or two run through my head like, "They're going to think you're an idiot" every time I open my mouth. I truly get nervous every time. Don't let that stop you. (To my friend Shannon: You can do it girl! You're hubby brought home an Obama Million. Now be like Nike and "Just do it!") My son was standing next to me and began sharing with one half of the group while they loaded up on some rather tasty food. I talked with the other half of the group and we had a really engaging conversation.
Here's a shout out (from left to right) to LaQuan, Alex, Marcus, Cory, and Adrian!
I spent most of my time talking with Marcus and LaQuan. I asked them the million dollar question and then asked them if they thought Michael Jackson thought that his last day would have been just a few weeks ago? They said probably not. I told them, likewise they didn't know when their last day was going to be and there isn't a 2nd chance once you die.
Marcus (front row with black shorts and white t-shirt) admitted that he lies- a lot. He says he just can't stop. I shared with him that I knew of a man who used to visit his grandfather when he was younger. One time, his grandpa let him have all the black licorice he could eat. That night, his stomach revolted. He got so sick he was throwing up black licorice for hours- out his nose, his mouth- it was disgusting. He said to this day if he even hears of black licorice a shiver runs up his spine. He can't see a package of it, smell it, let alone taste it because it is so revolting to him. I told Marcus THAT is how you need to be with your sin, especially lying. You need to be revolted by it so much that the thought of it repulses you. Furthermore, I explained that until you have a new relationship with sin all you've done is just gotten a little exercise (if you walked the aisle) and gotten wet (if you were baptized) but have no new attitude or relationship with your sin. There has to be a change that is not sustained by your own self-will. It flows from a grateful heart enabled by the Holy Spirit that realizes that you were guilty, couldn't pay the fine, and were freed! You respond out of gratitude not obligation.
I asked them how they would feel if they were standing before a judge and it had been established they were guilty of breaking the law and at the last second before they were sentenced someone they didn't know paid their fine. They agreed they would be grateful if they were freed by someone they didn't know who paid their fine. I asked Marcus again how he can hold on to lying or any other sin if he was so grateful for his fine being paid.
I asked if they were given the opportunity to see the president, would they take a brown lunch bag filled with hot, steamy dog poo as a gift for the president? They said, "No way!" I said, "Of course not! that would be offensive! If you believe that you are going to do good things to earn your way into heaven, you might as well have brought the same hypothetical dog-poo-in-a-bag present to God. Your good works, if used to get in to heaven are an offense. When they are a response out of gratitude for what God has done for us and you do them to glorify God, then that is a whole different matter.
They said they appreciated us talking with them and that it gave them a lot to think about. We met their physical needs and their spiritual needs that night. I pray that they would take seriously the conversation we had with them.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Encourage and equip your kids to share the Gospel. When they start young, sharing the Gospel will not feel so foreign to them. I had a desire to share the Gospel for many years but just didn't have the knowledge of how to use God's law. Unfortunately, I was in my 30's before I began to consistently share my faith. I don't want my kids to be ill-equipped or to hide behind excuses or to believe it is only the preacher's job. I want them to understand their obligation to share their faith and get lots of practice while they're young.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
What does your Bible look like? Don't get me wrong I understand that there is not necessarily a correlation between the "look" of someone's Bible and their piety or spiritual maturity.
Something curious I've noticed is that they don't make Bibles the way the used to. Today, it takes very little actual use to get that worn look. How sad that many Christians don't even use their Bibles enough to KNOW that it is poorly made.
I believe the way to know the difference between the ones truly using their Bible and the ones who aren't could best be summed up by Charles Spurgeon who is reported to have said, "A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."
Following is one of the best admonishments I've heard encouraging us specifically to persevere in scripture reading and Bible study. Watch it and ask yourself, "Are you not only persevering in your walk, but specifically in the study of the scriptures or do you just give the appearance that you are because you're too foolish to know that your cheap Bible is falling apart because you left it on the dashboard of your hot car which only gives the appearance of use?"
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
TJ began the conversation with a curved illusion which is always a great ice breaker. Rebecca is 15 and Brittany is 16.
Please keep these young ladies in your prayers. By the end of our conversation, Rebecca (on the left) and Brittany realized that they really had no clue what they believed or why they believed it when we explained to them what the Bible said. They were both really appreciative of the time we spent and thanked us for explaining so many things to them. Rebecca said she wasn't even a Christian but was there to hear the music. TJ gave them a recording of Paul Washer, and also two DVD's. Pray that they actually listened to or watched them together and shared what they learned with their youth leader.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
My son was a tracting fiend- he was handing them out left and right. He handed them to these two gentlemen and they kind of hung around looking to see all the different Celebrity Millions he had. As I walked up I had my recorder on and recorded one of the best samples of the types of conversations that we kept having all day with these kids.
This is Brandon and Austin. Here is the recording of the whole conversation. It breaks your heart that so many kids are at an event where the preachers and spokepeople for the bands have their undivided attention and instead of preaching the entire Gospel and shattering any ideas that they have of their inherant goodness, most of the sermons by the bands were this "God-shaped hole in the heart only Jesus can fill" and "Jesus made my life better" genre. I wouldn't have believed it had I not heard it with my own two ears. It's this watered-down Gospel which is cranking out a generation of young people who not only can not articulate the basic tenents of the Christian faith, but after sharing the Gospel many aren't even sure they are saved. They are convinced that walking the aisle and accepting Him is all that is required. When pressed to define, "What does accepting Him mean?" the answer I heard most frequently was, "It means asking Him into your heart."
I tried to edit this so that I canceled out as much of the background noise as possible, but it was so loud. If the playbar doesn't work, I've included the link so that you can hear. I've only gotten this crazy playbar to work twice. But, the link will take you to the clip.