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.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
He was able to talk with them for quite awhile. The blessing is that we were able to talk to group after group of people and they all listened and walked away genuinely thinking about the conversation. Some seemed unaffected, others were concerned, others were going to rethink their lives. There were so many people and so little time.
Here's Rick handing out tracts too. He went to the Academy last year and was TJ's partner.
The next few posts, I will have audio of conversations that TJ and I had with people at the Festival.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Here is my fishing buddy, my son. He is 13 and a fine young man who cares deeply about the lost. On a side note, I have found that I am not avoided nor are my tracts declined as often if I wear something like a T-shirt that is somewhat goofy or juvenile. I am not trying to act younger than I am, but if you look older than them (like I do) teens at these events are more apt to talk to you or take your tract if you wear something like this because it breaks the ice. I have worn just a regular "mom" shirt and been avoided more then when I wear something like this. I know this is purely anecdotal, but this has just been my experience. This shirt is special to me because #1 I like penguins. My whole family likes them. #2 My son used to wear this shirt when he was little. OK, enough wardrobe talk.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
He came and made a quick repair and as he was leaving, my son handed him a million dollar bill tract and said, "Thanks a million!" The man laughed and said, "Wow! This is really great. But, I tell you what, you keep it. I have several of them already."
Puzzled, I asked him where he had gotten them from. He said, "Oh, they give them out in Frankfort all the time."
He really was under a time constraint and had to go so I couldn't engage him in conversation, but I encouraged him to consider the million dollar question.
Here is the wild part: We had been to Frankfort handing out tracts at the Expo. Perhaps we had handed out a tract to this man at the Expo. Not only that, but a dear brother and sister (and fellow fishermen) have taught evangelism classes in Frankfort to over 150 people. There are several people handing out tracts in that area now as a result of the training. It was very encouraging to my son because he wonders, as I'm sure many do, if the tracts ever get noticed or make a difference.
What are the odds that a man will receive a tract and then drive 50 minutes to the next city to repair a refrigerator only to get the same tract again?! Maybe God is trying to tell him something. He definitely was telling us something too: Don't Quit!
You never know the means by which God will use to draw someone to Himself. He may just partner with you in accomplishing His purpose.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Below, is part two of that interview where the audience is invited to ask Chief Shoefoot questions. It is a wonderful question and answer session where Chief Shoefoot clearly articulates the very real conflict that is ongoing in the spiritual realm. If the embedded playbar doesn't work, and the hyperlink below fails, go to http://www.archive.org/ and type "One True God- pt.2" in the search bar and it will take you to the recording. I wish I could do better but, I'm somewhat technologically inept.