Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Everyday Evangelism - A Letter to an Email Spammer

Here is one way to tell the Gospel, especially since we get a lot of these types of emails in our email boxes.

I was going through my junk email box, and came across this type of letter which I have received from supposedly different people. This tim I wrote back. These letters are usually from someone in the Middle East supposedly, who had a relative or spouse who died. Somehow the money is supposed to be delegated to us. Here is what I wrote back to Mrs. Gore Thorsten:

Hello Mrs. Gore Thorsten,
   I don’t know who you are and I can only imagine why you are writing to me. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I have gotten this same kind of letter from hundreds of other people at different times. It looks like you are sending out emails like this in order to get personal information from people. Needless to say, it looks very suspect.
   I can’t really help you with sending any more information, but I can tell you of something that is far more valuable than all the money in the world. You may or may not have heard of the Gospel. It involves information that we need to know, in order to understand where we will spend eternity.
   Mrs. Gore, have you ever thought about what happens after a person dies? There are only two places that people go to after they leave this earth. One of them is Heaven, and the other is hell. Heaven is where God is, and because He is holy, no sin can ever be present there. Hell is a place for eternal punishment for sin. The problem is that every person that has ever lived (except one) has sinned. Each person will stand before God after he or she dies. If that person dies in their sin, they will spend eternity in a place of torment and will never be relieved of it, nor will they be able to leave that place.
  You might ask, how does a person stand before God without sin? You might be thinking, do I have sin? Here is a way you can find out. Take the 10 Commandments. Look at them. Ask yourself if you have ever lied, stolen, lusted, cheated, loved other things more than God, hated, and many other things we do. If you have even broken one of those Commandments, ever, you will be marked with sin that God will judge one day. That is the bad news. You might be asking, what is the Good news then?
   The Good News is that you don’t have to die in your sin. Here’s why; God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago to take the punishment for all our sin. Your sin and my sin were put on Him when He was dying on the Cross. He never broke any of the 10 Commandments and always obeyed God, His father. After He died and was buried, He rose from the dead. You can turn from your sin and trust in Him as your Savior today. You can have a life that pleases God and glorifies Him. The choice is yours. Please consider this before you put your head on your pillow tonight. Life has many choices. Eternity has only two.

Susan Seifert

Monday, August 22, 2011

Everyday Evangelism - The Stolen Beach Balls

  I was recalling a funny story in my mind today, and wondering what God was doing in it. A couple of years ago, I ordered a bunch of beach balls which had some words imprinted on them. On one side, it asks the question, "What can wash away my sin?" and on the other side it reads "Nothing but the blood of Jesus. "
  I had them in a basket at a garage sale at my daughters house. I put a sign on top of the basket telling people to take one per family (actually, if someone asked, I would let them have more if they had other family members that would want one). I had the basket of beach balls near the sidewalk so that when people were walking up to the garage sale, they would notice them first.
  It was later in the day, and the traffic was slowing down, as far as the amount of people that were garage sailing that day. A car pulled up to the side walk and stopped. It had a couple of what looked like to me, African American men in it. The driver opened his door, and grabbed whatever beach balls were in the basket, about five or six. Then he took them and went back to the car and drove away. Now I can't imagine why someone would have done that. Perhaps he wanted to use them for his own evangelism, or maybe he was going to resell them. Maybe he had grandchildren and wanted one for each one. No one from that car even looked at the garage sail items. It was all very interesting anyway. God knows where each of the beach balls ended up and He will get glory for that whole incident. It was kind of funny though, and I will never forget that incident. Maybe someone will end up in heaven one day, because they saw the message on the beach balls. Maybe God used it to reach into someone's heart, that we have no idea of at this time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everyday Evangelism-My Letter To Jay

Jay will probably never read this, but I will never forget the encounter I had with him a couple of years ago at the park. My heart goes out to him. This is for any 'Jay' who fits in this category.
    We were learning a lot about evangelism a couple of years ago. I feel like I had been through boot camp or college because of the teachings of Ray Comfort, Mark Cahill, and several others. One thing I had learned, not only through teaching, but by personal experience, is that people resist God. They don't want to hear God's voice. This is not surprising, since Scripture teaches this, as well. Sometimes people react in a strong way when the Gospel is being preached. Sometimes, people make fun of the person telling the Gospel, or of Christians in general. One such irony, happened to me. I was running into people who would say they were going to hell, after I would give them a tract or start a conversation. Were they happy about this 'going to hell' situation or were they perhaps looking for help? I don't know. I went to an evangelism forum and posted a message about it. One person responded by saying that, if someone were to have asked her questions about the Gospel, she would have said to them that she was going to hell (a couple of years before this). But she did get saved and now she knows where she is going. Why would she have said such a thing? It was because she felt like it would have been too hard for God to save her. It was just that simple. So from that time on, I had a new perspective on this response. Maybe people really did care about where they would go into eternity. Perhaps God was working in their hearts, but they were listening to the Enemy of their Souls who was telling them that their sin was too great for God to forgive.
   I was at a park one Saturday afternoon, a couple of years ago. There were a group of young men playing football or some kind of game on a field. I went up to them and gave them tracts and started talking with them about the Gospel. I asked them if they knew where they would spend eternity. They gave me their answers. But one stood out. He told me that he was going to hell. At first, I thought he was just mocking, so I focused on the other guys. But it kept coming back to him. He kept saying that he was going to hell. After I was finished talling with the guys as a group, I started asking this young man questions. Still trying to figure out if he was being antagonistic or mocking, I wasn't sure where he was coming from. I continued to talk to him about the Gospel. He still had doubts that God would or could forgive him. I explained about the Blood of Christ, and how it was powerful enough to cleanse even the worst of sinners. He explained to me what he had done. He just came back from Afghanistan and was trained in shooting people. He had shot people at random and had killed innocent women and children. He really believed that God could not forgive him for that. We continued to talk for a little while. He seemed a little more hopeful at the end of the conversation. I left him with some tracts. His name is Jay. Jay, if you are out there I hope you have considered what we talked about that Saturday afternoon. Please know that God will forgive you, if you turn from your selfish ways and trust in what Jesus did on the cross for you. Please repent and turn to God. Trust in Him. He is bigger than all your sin and failures and will forgive you if you turn to Him. 
   This letter is for all the 'Jays' out there, whoever they may be. If you are like Jay, please consider what God has done for you by sending His Son to pay for your sins so you could be cleansed from sin and have a right standing before God on Judgment Day. You can be free from the traps of sin and guilt. The Bible says, "If any man (person) is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. All things have become new." Please write to me if you have any questions about this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Everyday Evangelism- Tracts in High School-Eternal Results

  I was just remembering when I was a senior in high school, I used to take tracts with me wherever I went. I think I had written to every tract company that existed at that time! Each company sent me samples, which I would collect. Some of the tracts were silly, like the one that said on the front page, "To wear or not to wear, the bow tie".
  I would bring them to school with me every day. I had some good tracts though, even though the selection back then was narrow.
  In a class, there was a young man sitting in the desk in front of me, named Ray. I knew Ray from a couple of years before, when I used to go to a place called, 'The Winter Park Youth Center'. Ray had a hard life and I knew he was on drugs. But now I am in a different place and I can give him tracts to read during class.
  He seemed to like the tracts. I would bring an assortment each day. One day, I didn't have tracts with me. He asked me for some, and I told him I didn't have them. He seemed disappointed. I then asked him if he wanted to become a Christian, to which he said, 'no'.
  He did open up to me and told me about his breaking up with his girl friend. He seemed like a nice guy, but I don't know that he was even able to do his school work well. Not sure if he even graduated or not.
  The next year, I got married, and the year after that I was doing something called, "Open Air" work in evangelizing children. I used to go out and tell the Gospel using a plastic nut that had a ribbon inside of it that I would pull out. There were five different colors on it that corresponded with different parts of the Gospel message. At our apartment complex, there was a school behind it. Sometimes, I would go to the school and use my little nut to talk to kids about the Gospel.
    One day I went over there and planned on talking to the children I would find (I don't know that I would recommend people doing this today). As I started going into the school yard, there was a man who was with a group of children. He looked familiar and indicated that he wanted to talk to me. He looked a little bit like Ray, but I was sure it couldn't possibly have been him. He looked too clean cut and organized to be Ray! Nevertheless, I waited and when he got the kids involved in something, he came over. I was shocked as it really was Ray! He looked different. He told me that he was praying that he would be able to see me to tell me that he had become a Christian! He explained that he had a girlfriend (not the same one as mentioned above) and she led him to the Lord. He wanted to make sure I knew. God answered his prayer!
   I saw Ray, maybe a year or so later, in a church band. I am glad that I had some tracts, albeit primitive ones at that, but God used the truth in them to help Ray understand his need for a Savior. One never knows what will be revealed in eternity because of using tracts, until we are in eternity! Sometimes, God will allow us to see something on this side of eternity. And that encourages us all the more to do evangelism.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everyday Evangelism-Mini Beach Ball - 6 Inch

Mini Beach Ball - 6 Inch
I want to order these and put on one side, "God is uncreated. He never had a beginning and has always been in existence." On the other side I will put "" If we had enough people interested, we could sign up to be in the parade. We could toss them out as we go down the street.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Everyday Evangelism-The Weapon

I was recalling an event that took place years ago, when we lived in Winter Haven and went out to share the Gospel late one evening. This was a long time ago, and I know we did the best we could with what we have. There was no 'Way of the Master' or Mark Cahill yet to teach us. We stepped out in faith with what we had.
   During the day, the thought came to my mind; What if someone were to pull out a gun or try to kill us tonight? How would I respond? Would I be ok if we got hurt or killed? Could something like this even happen to us?
  Somehow the group we were with got dispersed. We were at the mall and we were still out there even though the mall was closed for the night. It was just my husband and I at this point. We went to some kind of trailer that was on the mall's property and my husband knocked on the door. There were two younger men in that place and one of them was interested in conversing. The other one wasn't. He was walking back and forth and was holding something that looked like a ball attached to a rope. It looked like the ball had spikes on it. I think he made some remarks while my husband was talking with the other man. Meanwhile the man with this 'weapon' just kept going back and forth swinging his weapon around.
  Looking back, I am glad we didn't run away when we saw the guy with the strange looking weapon. We could have been intimidated with him. I hope that other people were able to share the Gospel with these two men, and hope that their hearts were softened as they heard the message over thirty years ago. God protected us from harm, and we are grateful for that. Let's keep preaching the Gospel while there is time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Everyday Evangelism-Truth and Grace-08/04/2011

Truth without grace= legalism. Grace without truth = lawlessness. Truth and grace together = liberty. When I first heard these words, I was reminded of a home group meeting we had a very long time ago. We were discussing what was taught in the pulpit about grace and truth. Somehow, if I remember correctly, the topic came to a conclusion that we had to balance grace with truth or we would either end up in legalism or lawlessness. Well, the truth of the matter is that it is not a matter of balancing the two. They are two different categories of the same truth that need to work together. If Truth stands alone, it can lead to legalism in our lives. If grace is without truth, it will produce a cheap grace, not a valuable one. So what is the answer? If I look at myself and see which way I am leaning toward, I would lean toward the side of truth alone. I love the Truth and would probably die for the Truth. Whenever I see any kind of truth being violated, something rises in me to protect it and make sure people believe it. Does grace negate truth then? Not at all. The truth of God in our lives needs the grace of God. It would be like trying to make a piece of machinery work without oil. The machine could be perfectly made, but if it doesn't have oil in its parts, it will not work. If we have grace without the truth, it isn't true grace. It would be like oil without the machinery. It wouldn't make sense. 
How does this affect evangelism? Most people I see who participate in evangelism seem to love the truth. They have a handle on preaching the truth, but does it always have grace with it? If it doesn't, it will end up preaching legalism, or that is the way it could be received by the hearers. Some things we have to keep in mind are, we need God's grace in our lives, just as the hearers need God's grace in their lives. We cannot give away what we don't have. The Gospel and its effects should be working in our lives primarily, as we share it with others. We are not saved by obeying God. We have to first recognize our continual need for the grace of God. It was not a one time need being met when we first came to Christ. Although we are forever justified in God's sight, we still need His grace to live out our lives for His glory every day (the process of sanctification). Again it is like the piece of machinery trying to work without being oiled. It just doesn't work. And it involves humility. We don't have the ability to preach the Gospel and teach God's word without God's anointing on us. And we dare not try. The fruit that comes out of our obedience is also an evidence of God's grace. We obey God, but the results are always up to God. He will get the glory. If we take the glory, it will not represent the True and Living God properly. It would be, in a sense, like lying about who God is. Not a good thing to do.
   On the other hand, we could put such an emphasis on grace. There would be a variety of reasons we would be tempted to do this. The main one I think would be because we think that if we talk about sin with people, they will reject us or our message. If they reject us, and that is distressful to us, to a point where we want to change the message of the Gospel, we should ask ourselves if we are dealing with the fear of man. All of us have this to a degree, and it does need to be dealt with as idolatry, but if it affects how or why we share the Gospel, then it is sin. Another reason people do this could be possibly that they really don't understand the Gospel. Perhaps they think because we are saved by grace, that sin isn't involved. After all, Jesus died for our sins, so basically, we are saved, as long as we believe that is true. Well, if that is true, then the devil could be saved because he knows that is true. Yes, Jesus died to pay for our sins, but we must repent and put our trust in Him, or nothing will happen. People tend to go to one extreme or the other. Either they believe God's Word is true, and we must respond by obeying Him, or they think that God's grace is a free ticket for us to stay in our sins and be ok on Judgment Day. We do need to obey Him. But we can't obey Him. We are dead in our sins. But we can trust in Him and He can set us free. It is not about having the truth or having grace, we need both! When we have both of those together, we will be like the piece of machinery that has been oiled. We will work properly and will have the power to obey and love God, something we could not do in ourselves. The grace of God teaches us to say 'no' to sin and 'yes' to righteousness. We need to hear the truth and receive it to be set free. When we have both truth and grace, we have the liberty in Christ that God promises us. See Ephesians 2:8 and 9, Titus 2:11 and John 8:32