Friday, February 20, 2009
He came by several times and talked. We were able to find that he was from the west and had been here awhile but took this job after the economy worsened because he was making more money waiting tables than when he sold cars.
Too soon, our meal came to an end. We weren't able to speak with him about the Gospel because he had other tables to wait so, I left a generous tip and a million dollar bill. He gave great service but I also wished that I had time to find out his beliefs. So, I left a tract and wrote across the front, "Thanks a million, Wayne!" and then signed my name. Cheesy, I know, but it was all I could think of to write.
Last week, we visited the restaurant again. It had been three weeks since we had been. Halfway through our meal he saw us (we didn't know he was there) and came right up and said, "Hey, I still have that million dollars you gave me! I loved it! When I ask the customer if there is anything else I can get for them that evening, I always have one that replies, 'do you have a million dollars?' and I whip this out and show them." He was still laughing. I didn't even have a chance to ask, "So did you get a chance to read it? What do you think?" because he was off and running.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to share the Gospel with him again because he was on the other side of the restaurant. We plan on returning and are already praying that God will block out some time when we can share the Gospel with him- uninterrupted.
I would covet your prayers for an opportunity to speak to this man. He obviously wasn't offended by the tract as he came and sought us out. So, it answered a question in my mind, "What do waiters and waitresses do with those million dollar bills?" Knowing this, I hope you will be encouraged the next time you dine out to not be intimidated by what the waiter or waitress may think about you. Go ahead and hand them a tract. I'll keep you posted on any new developments with Wayne.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Since this nation just "celebrated" Darwin's birthday last week, I thought it prudent to explain that this story was folklore and not plausible as I pointed out that if one bear lost a tail, would that mean that ALL subsequent bears would have short tails? A few kids thought it was possible. I then asked them if I accidentally cut my arm off, does that mean all females will be born without an arm? The lights came on and they recognized immediately that this would not be possible. Touching briefly on Darwin, I explained that likewise animals did not change from one species to another and that if an injury occurred it would not adversely effect all others subsequent animals in that group. I explained that God is the Creator and that no other explanation is true.
One girl raised her hand and shared that she had a friend whom she was very close to. However, this little girl and her mother did not believe in God. The two moms had a parting of ways because they did not share the same beliefs. She then went on to say that she told her friend about God and that her friend believed but that she was still unable to play with her anymore because her friend's mom didn't believe. She said she didn't know what to say to her friend. I commended her for sharing the Gospel.
The whole group, was totally quiet and still, which was highly unusual. I explained that if they didn't know what to say that they could share this example with whomever they are witnessing. I told them that just as they understand that an artist paints a painting, and a builder builds a building, the creation exists only because there was a Creator.
I told them that the Bible says that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. Then we talked about how kind and compassionate it is for people to share their faith with others if they truly are concerned for their welfare. I asked them, "Where do people go if they don't accept Jesus by faith?" They all knew it was hell. I asked if they understood what a person would have to do to go there? Their answer: be bad. I was able to share with them that if they had told just one lie or not obeyed their mother and father even once, that if they grow up and never put their faith in Christ and repent then on Judgement Day God would be obligated to punish them and that would mean hell. They understood and in fact, some were chiming in about what their parents had told them about hell. (It's a Christian school group)
I shared with them that just because others may think they are crazy for sharing Jesus that we should never quit. I used an example to help them understand by saying if they saw a person waving their arms back and forth in the middle of the road you may believe they were a little strange until you found out that the bridge was out up ahead and they were warning you of the danger. That person may look silly only until that person driving in the car understands the certain danger that lies ahead. I explained the entire Gospel message from start to finish to them and there were a few that understood things they never had before.
I believe I was given a privilege today to help either plant or cultivate seeds in the hearts of these children. I will never know this side of eternity if the simple explanation of the Gospel will make a difference for one of these children. I believe we always need to be prepared to give an answer for our hope, even to children.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
"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. 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."
The first few years I was "saved," I never even had a desire for the lost because I didn't know I was supposed to- a sure sign of false conversion- because I was only a child at the time. When I went to college, my horizons were expanded and I saw a dying world that needed Christ. I then prayed for the unsaved. I was being discipled by an older woman and learned many principles of sanctification from her. But I didn't think it was my responsibility to actually tell anyone about Christ. I had actually been told by my church that I was to invite people to church and the pastor would take it from there. I also had taken a spiritual gift inventory at my church and since I didn't have any desire to be one of those people who "offended" people with the Gospel, I manipulated the answers so that I would NOT have the "gift of evangelism." I thought, "That's what missionaries and pastors do so I'll just send my check and support them." My heart was sincere because I really did care about people and I wanted them to go to heaven, but I was sincerely wrong.
There were two reasons that I didn't want to share the Gospel: pride and ignorance. I wanted to be everybody's friend and was so afraid that I might offend. Afterall, that is what I had been told would happen. It only proved that I was more concerned with the praises of man. The other reason I did not share my faith was because I didn't know how. There is a fabulous course through the School of Biblical Evangelism offered by Living Waters Ministry. Goto http://www.livingwaters.com/ and find more information about this. If you desire to be equipped to share the Gospel, this is an excellent place to start.
If you claim that you are a Christian and either do not regularly share your faith or have no desire to, please examine yourself in light of scripture. A true believer will desire to share the Gospel with others any chance they get. That's not to say that you won't be fearful. I get nervous every time I open my mouth, but I do it out of obedience and I push myself beyond my comfort zone and rely on the Holy Spirit to help me. I can't share my faith on my own. I need the help of the Holy Spirit every moment.
I encourage you on this Valentine's Day, to reflect on how deeply you truly love the lost. Please watch this video and consider if you were the one in this pastor's dream, the horror you would experience at realizing that you were the one listening to the people you saw day in and day out in your life as they were being led away knowing you had said nothing to them while they were alive...
Friday, February 13, 2009
In the meantime, here is something you can share with your male brothers in Christ which may help keep their thoughts pure. You can go to this website and download a filter that will work on your facebook account if you have Mozilla Firefox as your browser. It will replace the smutty, suggestive ads that run on the right side column of facebook with scripture. It works for Youtube and MySpace as well! Unfortunately, it doesn't work for Internet Explorer.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
At some time in our lives, we are going to have to answer nature's call. The rest of the world will too. I've included a video giving some creative ideas for more Gospel tracting in public restrooms. Ladies, we have all seen those potty seat covers. Have you ever thought to put a tract in there?
If you are a gentleman viewing this video, you are about to discover the hidden world of women's restrooms. You may have heard rumors that our restrooms contain sofas, chocolates, flowers, and big screen televisions playing "The Sound of Music"- they're all mostly true. I do not know if men's restrooms have "potty seat covers" since I'm inclined to believe a man would never use facilities with something called a "potty seat cover" in it. I have been told they are quite Spartan in their furnishings and most men are lucky to even get soap.
All that aside, this post is primarily geared towards women since we have many more opportunities to cram tracts in the sofas, flower arrangements, bathroom stalls, changing tables, and other furnishings that are found in most department store ladies lounges.
If you are just starting out trying to share your faith, try just placing a few tracts in the restrooms you visit. Pray for those who may receive the tract that their heart is receptive.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
I asked, "Are you a Christian?" He said he was. I said, "Jose if I had a knife in my back and 3 minutes to live, but I didn't know what I needed to do to be saved and I wanted to go to heaven what would you tell me?" He looked at me and said, "I would tell you to believe in God and that Jesus died on the Cross to save you from your sins. You don't need to be baptized to go to heaven (remember, in this scenario, I have a knife in my back and don't have time to be baptized) but you need to ask forgiveness."
I told him that it sounded like he had a pretty good grasp on the basics but I didn't hear anything about repentance. I explained to him that while we are going to sin and must ask forgiveness, we need to know the difference between asking forgiveness and repentance. I explained that a long time ago I used to believe that asking forgiveness and repentance were synonymous. They are not. I said repentance is a turning the opposite direction and is motivated out of love and gratitude for what Christ did on the cross that you are compelled to walk in obedience. You can't live a life of habitual sin and then just keep saying you're sorry for it.
He really listened and then told me that his dad was a preacher and that he heard these things growing up.
"So do you share your faith?" I asked. He said, "I try to share here with the people I work with, but I don't want to force anything on anyone, you know?" (I thought, "Aaaaaah!")
I shared with him that I used to feel the same way. Part of it was motivated by true ignorance of my obligation to share the Gospel and the other was I just didn't know how. There was also pride involved- what if they thought I was weird? I told him that if you are a true believer and you believe the Bible is true, then unbelievers will face God on Judgement Day and then be cast into hell. Compassion alone should motivate you to share your faith. He said he'd never thought of it that way.
Then he asked, "Hey, are you the one who put this (the million dollar bill) in the restroom?" I told him I was. He said he thought it was really one of the neatest things he'd seen and that he didn't have anything like it. I reached in my handbag and pulled out a pink and blue curved illusion tract. I showed it to him, and a big grin came across his face. He said that would be really great to use. I said, "It's goofproof because on the back it tells you which card to read first." I gave him some million dollar bills, a few pink and blue tracts, a "What if I'm pretending?" tract, and a "something to think about" tract and told him to use these to share his faith with his co-workers.
It was time for us to go. He walked back to the kitchen to pink and blue someone.
That was definitely one of the best dates I'd had in awhile!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Pray that God will draw them to Himself. Pray for more laborers to share the Gospel to a dying world.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I struggled with whether I should post some of the details in this post lest anyone think I'm complaining. But, I will in hope that it will encourage you to share your faith no matter what, even in the midst of trials in your life.
In August of 2008, I had the privilege of attending an evangelism "boot camp" in Los Angeles. I came back with knowledge, experience, and a renewed passion. There is nothing like fellowshipping with 50 other believers over a week-end to make you truly realize that while scattered over the globe, we are united in the body of Christ. I returned with very practical experience and knowledge I had learned over that week-end and made friendships that, as I discovered shortly after my return, give me great encouragement in times of difficulty.
Three days after my plane landed, I experienced great turmoil with my side of the family when certain members of my family cut off all communication with us. But God is so good! I then developed health problems and discovered the I.R.S. believes we underpaid on our taxes from 2 years ago. God is so good! I had mentioned biblical evangelism means actually opening your mouth regularly to two people and never heard from these two people, whom I admired as a brother and sister in Christ, ever again as they distanced themselves from me. But, God is so good! My husband's business was dwindling and we were preparing for a difficult winter, but God is so good! We have great difficulty with one of our children whom God brought into our lives through adoption and the difficulty only escalated once I returned, but God is so good! Then over Christmas, on the date of our 18th anniversary, my husband's family severed all ties with us on that date in front of our children in a painful display of hurtful words and actions, but God is so good!
Only two weeks after the last difficulty, was my birthday. I guess the circumstances of the past 4 months started to get to me. I was a little wistful that day, but instead of sinking into some unChristlike funk, I just prayed, "God please allow me to share the Gospel with someone today. If it would please You, would You please give me a long conversation with someone and not just a tract experience?" I don't despise tracts, but I just wanted to share the Gospel.
I had made an appointment to get my hair done that day and God was so gracious. He allowed me to share the Gospel for 2 hours with a friend as she shared some difficulties she was experiencing with a loved one who believes he is saved but has no fruit in keeping with repentance. He has no real desire to read the Bible and also desires to give up whenever trial or difficulty comes his way. Believing that the loved one is a false convert, I was able to listen and share some godly counsel. I also was able to give her a copy of "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and a copy of the book Way of the Master. I encouraged her with things to ask this loved one and to share with them.
I walked out of there on cloud nine that day! I couldn't believe that I was able to share the Biblical Gospel with someone who appears to be a Christian, but whose loved one does not appear to be! She didn't know what to do. She is now equipped with the Biblical Gospel and was eager to go and talk with her loved one as soon as she could. God allowed me to have that time that day to speak the truth in love.
Even if, I got cancer again, had calamity strike my family, we lost our home, or my husband lost the ability to sustain our family with one income- GOD IS SO GOOD! His goodness is never predicated upon my circumstances. I thank the Lord for this difficulty and don't dare complain!
I have complained in years past, and realized that is sin! I am commanded to rejoice always and give thanks in every circumstance! In light of eternity, this present trial is really insignificant even if things got 1000 times worse. He is using this difficulty for my good as well as anything additional He desires. If I go around complaining like a whiney-hiney, I am denying that God's grace is truly sufficient to sustain me through whatever He graciously allows into my life. Besides, Jesus never complained as He was nailed to the cross for a blaspheming, idolatrous, Sabbath-breaking, murderous, adulterous, lying, thief like me.
I don't think for a minute that my trials are worse than anyone else's- there's always someone who has something worse happening to them. However, trials are difficult and I am human and if it weren't for the grace of God I don't think that I would be able to get up and have such joy in my heart.
If you are going through great difficulty or trial get your mind off of your trial and share the Gospel. When you walk in obedience, you'll never regret it. Be encouraged!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
He said, "Well, I'm not religious if that's what you mean."