Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

Good Reads From Amazon

Friday, December 21, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - A Really Neat Ice-breaker

   I don't own too many sweaters, and don't have a whole lot of need for one, but it was quite cool out today, so I put on my sweatshirt that I got from The Voice of the Martyrs, which said, 'This Message is Illegal in 53 Countries" along with a Gospel message on the front and back. https://secure.persecution.com/p-286-illegal-hoodie-l.aspx
I actually saw a woman wearing this a couple of years ago, and it was easy to start a conversation with her. It is a very interesting shirt/sweater unlike anything else available.
   I was paying for some items at the checkout when the cashier, a very young man, asked me about the shirt. I would have wished he and I could have had more time to talk, but I had to get back home and there were customers waiting behind me. He was surprised and didn't realize that Christianity would have been a hardship for anyone. He thought that everyone, everywhere was favorable toward Christianity. I did give him a tract and told him to go to the web site Voice of the Martyrs . He said he was getting ready to take a break and was going to look it up.
  I don't wear the sweater that often, but I am going to be more prepared for people to ask me questions about that subject. It is a great way to introduce the Gospel to people who may have wondered about it, but never went as far to ask anyone about it.
  I pray that this young man finds the web site easily and wants to know more info. When I go back to that store, I will see if he is working there, and will try to arrange getting in the line where he is the cashier.
  I have put out the picture of this subject as well, on Facebook. Most people respond by thinking this is great. They seem to understand the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. But there are some people who don't get it at all. I have gone to the posts where the picture has been shared, and a few of the comments are interesting. I have seen one twice, that the poster seems to think that the Bible isn't the only book that has been banned, and they send a link to a web site that lists books that are banned in America. The books that are banned that are listed there, are not banned for the same reason that the Bible is banned in 52 countries. I think that it is possible that people aren't aware that Christians are being severely persecuted in other countries. People must be thinking that Christianity is a nice religion and that it is safe to be a Christian, but that is not so. Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He also told us that we would have tribulation in this world, yet He leaves us in this world so we can be lights that reflect His glory. He gives us the grace we need, day by day, but He never promised it would be easy. Many people have been martyred for their faith in Christ, and today much of the world is under heavy persecution toward Christianity.
   I have also read comments where people said they couldn't find information anywhere saying that the Bible is banned in 52 countries, so they discredit the statement of the Bible being banned in 52 countries. Again, I think this could be from ignorance, not understanding that in most of the world Christianity is under persecution. One book I enjoyed reading that helped to understand this is called, 'God's Smuggler' (Brother Andrew). Brother Andrew had to be careful about publishing things and being too open for fear that he could have been caught, but he managed to smuggle the Bible in many parts of the world, that had little or no access to God's Word. The Bible is considered contraband in many countries, and there is a high price to pay for being caught with one.

         

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Evangelism With Postcard Tracts

We were at the parade on Saturday, and were passing out the tracts designed by a man who writes tracts and orders them by the thousands to pass out at large events. The ones we used at the parade have a picture of Santa on them, and explains how we have sinned by breaking the 10 Commandments. The tract ties in with the Santa Claus message explaining how Santa has a list, but God has a serious list that we are measured against.
  As I was passing these tracts out, I noticed a reluctance of people wanting to take them. They probably have seen them before and knew what they were. When I pass out my Giant Money tracts, I always explain to people that there is a 'fun' quiz on it, and if they get stuck, the answers are on it as well. I tell them not to cheat, but if they can't figure it out, they can look for the answers to help them. So I thought that maybe if I start to explain that these tracts we are passing out are postcards, people will be more open to taking them, which they were. But I took it a step further. I told them that they could mail it to their friend in California. What was interesting, was that two different people asked me how I knew they had a friend in California. I thought that was interesting because I really didn't know if they had a friend or not who lived in California.
   Well, the parade was fun, and I have more 'postcards' to give to people during the Christmas season in many other places. I will tell them they can mail the postcards to their friend in California, or they can keep it for themselves. Either way, somebody will read it, and will learn that even if they are well behaved in Santa's sight, God knows their hearts, and they need to repent and come to Christ to be forgiven of their sins. So, Christmas is a wonderful time to share the Gospel with other people.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Can God Use Someone As Tired As I Am?

   I have had sleep problems all my life, and as a result I have fatigue during the day, almost always. Some days, it is just too hard to get out of the house. Going to the grocery store in itself can be a major chore. I have also noticed that since I spend a lot of time in store parking lots giving out tracts and talking to people about the Gospel, this problem with insomnia has gotten worse. I see a connection in the spiritual realm, and that is a good sign. My thoughts are that the devil isn't happy about my using the strength and energy that have been allocated to me, on passing out the word of God to people who live in a dark world.
   Saturday was an interesting day for me. My preparation for this Saturday started sometime during the week. I blew up about 30-40 beach balls with the Gospel message on them. I put together coloring books and crayons that have been imprinted with Bible verses and urls to my blog pages. Also got a lot of the other toys with Scriptures on them gathered and put in a bin to take with me to the arts and crafts festival that we have a table at.
  I have to think ahead now, so I can go to bed early Friday night, in order to get enough sleep to wake up very early Saturday morning to leave. The car was packed up and ready to go early Saturday morning. I had tracts and books labeled, as well as the Living Waters New Testaments.
  After getting all the toys, books, and tracts ready late Friday night, I prayed for God to bless our time at the booth while we were at the festival. I prayed for no complications (wind blowing tracts away, not finding a parking place, etc.) as well as for people's hearts to be ready to hear the Gospel and for us to communicate the Gospel message clearly as we talked to people. I prayed for a good night's sleep for all of us as well.
   My loving husband brought me home a King Smoothie, Camocha flavored (this is the best flavored smoothie I have tasted), so I drank it. I knew of the possibility that it could keep me up all night (this flavor doesn't come decaffeinated).
   So, bedtime came and went. My eyes, pretty much, stayed open all night. I got very little sleep. How should I think of this? Certainly, God doesn't want me to be too tired to go out there and minister the Gospel to people, does He? Shouldn't I stay in bed and try to get a little sleep? I can try again next year, and skip the coffee smoothie the night before.
  Another thought came to mind though. Maybe, God will give me the strength to do this, in spite of the fact that I didn't sleep. Maybe this really is an attack of the devil to keep me from being out there. Does God shelter us from all the attacks of the Enemy? He didn't do that in the book of Job. Satan's activity is very obvious if you can see in the spiritual realm. Sometimes, the devil lies to us and reasons with us, to keep us from doing God's will. His lies are custom made for each person serving God. The lies will make sense to the person the devil is trying to reason with, based upon the person's weakness and temptations. But God is bigger and wiser.
   I did go out and pull my wagon a couple of blocks away, and set everything up. At first, no one came to the table, and the thoughts were coming to my mind of 'Why am I here? Nothing's happening. What a waste of a day already." But, as usual, when you stay there long enough, people do come up and ask questions. A couple of hours later, we had group after group of people standing in front of the booth looking at the posters with the ice-breaker questions. Then we would go out and talk with the people. Those who were open to talking, we were able to share the Gospel message with. Lots of the toys were taken home, as well as the tracts and literature.
   The wagon was heavy and hard to pull back to the car, and I still wondered if anything will have come out of that day. God's word does not return to Him empty, and I believe a lot of people were affected by the Gospel message. We saw people who were convicted, while others were more engaged. We might not ever hear of the results of the work we did on Saturday, at the arts and crafts festival, but in eternity we will see the fruit of our labors and how God worked when we simply did what He told us to do in His word, "Preach the Gospel to every creature..."

                 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Salvation Army Evangelism

  I love the Christmas season. It gives so many opportunities to tell the reason why Jesus came to earth. There are parades to give out tracts and talk to people. There is Christmas caroling. We can go to nursing homes or places where needy children live. We can bake for our neighbors, and get to know them, in order to provide the  opportunity for an open door for the Gospel message to be communicated. Plus, a lot of people are shopping and the parking lots have more people than usual. People are active during the Christmas season and are more readily available to talk to.
   One tradition I like is the Salvation Army bell ringers in front of some of the stores. These people are usually easy to talk to. I always carry a little change with me to put in the pot, and give the bell ringer a tract (Now I can give them a toy with Scripture on it, if they have children). I came across a lady today, who was a bell ringer. She was easy to talk to, and I gave her a tract (Sorry Publix. I know you don't want me to pass out tracts at this store, but I had to do what God wants me to do, not what your customer service tells me to do.) I do have to give Publix a lot of credit though. They cater to people with needs or who are disabled. They are good to their workers. They can't help the fact that a grouchy old lady came in angry because I offered her a tract. I'm sure, after all these years, they don't want to lose her as a customer. But beside all that, I love Publix and will put in a good word for them.
   This Salvation Army volunteer was a woman who had very little understanding of the Gospel. She was very nice to talk to, and I had given her a million dollar bill tract, which she appreciated. I was able to go through the whole Gospel with her, from Adam and Eve to the Cross. Either she had never heard that before, or she never connected the dots. I also gave her a 'How Good Are You?' tract. Please pray for her. I will call her G.
   I am looking forward to talking to more of these Salvation Army bell Ringers. A couple of years ago, I met a wonderful lady named 'Ann'. She told me her basic life story. She seemed to be a Christian who came from an Atheistic family. She explained her struggles in life. At the time I was talking to her, she was undergoing medical treatment and was unable to go to church. She was probably a Christian who was floundering. There is a field of wheat ready to be harvested. Let's pray for the Lord of the harvest to raise up laborers to work in the field.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Two Thoughts

I have two thoughts that have to do with evangelism, as well as other parts of our Christian lives. One of them is the issue of pride, and the other is the issue of prayer. They are both very, very important issues in our walk with the Lord.
   Why is pride so bad? Are Christians proud? What does the Bible say? The Bible does talk about pride, and uses the word pride often. It also uses other words like haughty, or lifted up. Pride goes before a fall, every time. Pride is the root of our sin. Many of our sins are rooted in prideful thinking. Most of all God will resist the proud.
  How do we know if we have pride? The question is not if we have pride, but where pride is in our lives. We have to find it and dig it out. I know when I get angry, many times the issue really is pride. It has to be dealt with. It can't continue. I have to take the log out of my eyes before I can help others to get their own logs out. Mine has to be removed first.
  I do have a concern I see though. I see a lot of zealous Christians who are faithful in preaching the Gospel. I see a perseverance through challenges and difficulties. I see a vision in these people. But what I don't see is a true compassion for people. They would say that the most compassionate thing we can do is to preach the Gospel. When many of these people are challenged in what they are doing, I see a defensiveness come up. This is a fruit of undealt with pride. I don't see these people taking an interest in other people and showing compassion to them. I once saw a group of people who went to a third world country to preach the Gospel. They prided themselves in not giving out water bottles, or anything to these poor people. They said the only thing they needed to do was to preach the Gospel. How well do you think the people responded to this? What do you think about just preaching the Gospel, and leaving any other kind of service out?
  The second thought I have is the one on prayer. I have to admit, I am starting to see what looks like the Enemy trying to get my to not get to my prayer time. It has happened so often now, that I am able to work with it. I have to make the time to pray earlier than I have been doing.
   Prayer is one of the spiritual weapons, according to Ephesians 6. Satan hates it when you pray. You might be thinking that your prayer is not very meaningful, or you might not be strong in faith. But that is exactly where God wants to meet you. Satan would lie to you and tell you all kinds of lies about your praying. He doesn't want you to pray. He also doesn't want you to know that God is all powerful, and He is a powerful, mighty God. Satan will tell you that God doesn't hear you or that you aren't good enough and God won't hear your prayers. He will keep the Gospel from your eyes and heart. Please go to the blog page on the Gospel Conversation http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com .
  Tied in with prayer is the subject of faith. Satan wants to attack your faith because your faith will destroy the lies he is trying to tell you. You need to bathe your mind in Scriptures. You need to get to know this wonderful, all powerful God who created you, and sent His Son to redeem you and deliver you from your sins. The power of the Cross can break all the powers of Satan, and it will break any hold it has in your life. This is another area that we need to cultivate humility in. God will help us, but we must have humility or God will resist us. We need God's help more than anything. We can come boldly to the throne of grace. We need to pursue this with all our hearts. Remember, we have an Enemy who doesn't want us to know all this. Let's learn what God says and go for it! We can turn the world upside down when we do!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Do the Demons Know Who You Are and Who You Serve?


And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them those who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.
And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Acts 19:12-17.
   This story gives us insight into some of the ways evil spirits operate. Notice in the passage that the evil spirits knew who Paul was. Of course, they knew who Jesus was, but they didn't know who these 'sons of Sceva' were, and they were successful in wounding them.
   What about us? Do you think the evil spirits know who you are? They will know exactly who you are, if you are in Christ. Evil spirits know who those human beings are, who belong to God. They don't know those who don't know the Lord though, and they will prevail over them. 
   If you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through His death on the Cross, then the evil spirits know you. It is an honor to be known to those in the Dark World. If you are in Christ, the Bible says that you have authority over all the power of the Enemy, and the evil spirits do not want you to know that, nor do they want you to use your authority over them.
   The reason that the sons of Sceva were wounded was that they didn't have a relationship with the True and Living God. They were still in the kingdom of Darkness. They tried to use God's power, without having a proper relationship with God. They got hurt.
   If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you are trusting in His Cross to pay for your sins, you have authority over the evil spirits and do not have to be afraid of them (but you have to use the authority over them). If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ yet, please consider what He has done for you on the Cross. If you would like more information on how to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him as the atonement for your sins, please go to http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com or http://test4gp.wordpress.com 
This issue could not be more serious.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat - No Tricks Here

I have always loved working with children. They are so honest and open about things. They say what is on their hearts, even if it hurts listening to what they have to say! Many of them seem to have a basic fear of God in their lives. If someone were able to talk with them about the Gospel, they would probably listen and consider what is being said.
   Tonight I did what I usually do now on October 31st, which the world calls 'Halloween' and children dress up in silly costumes and go door to door to collect candy. We had our usual share of children (and adults too) who came to the house hoping to get candy. By this time in my career at doing this, I have had several 'toys' that are imprinted with Scriptural truth, and a URL for the recipients to go to. The one  I use a lot now, especially for kids, is http://thecolorfulstory.blogspot.com  . One the last item I had imprinted (coloring books) I have another url imprinted; Test for Good Person Blog Page  . So far, I have had Frisbies, coloring books, crayon boxes, beach balls, maracas, paddles with balls, and maybe some other things. It looks cool when they are all in a box for people to take.
  I had the poster on an easel that has a sculpture like picture of Einstein along with some I.Q. questions. I have had a few people look at the questions and ask themselves out loud. One of my favorite questions is 'How many animals did Moses take on the Ark?' On the bottom of the poster, it talks about the Good Person Test. It provides an open door (ice-breaker) to talk about the Gospel with.
   One guy was there with a girl around the same age. They were in their upper teen years, it looked like. The guy was asking himself the questions and trying to answer them. I asked him questions about the Good Person Test. It was an easy decision for him to admit that he had broken the 10 Commandments. I was able to talk with him and the young lady about the Gospel. I brought them in the house and gave them each a 'How Good Are You' tract. Please pray for them to consider the Gospel and let God work in their hearts. I don't know if I will ever see them again, but I pray that they will be in heaven one day because they would respond to the Gospel. Their names are Kerby and Allison.
    Last year, there were a couple of girls looking through the toys. They were having a discussion about whether or not this house was the house where one of them got a million dollar bill tract with Justin Bieber's picture on it. I gave out the celebrity Million Dollar Bills, but I am not familiar with whose pictures are on them. Anyway, while these girls were talking, one of them seemed like she just realized something. She said something like, 'Oh, this is the God House'. Chances are good that she had been here before and realized the things she read on the electronic billboard, or maybe she had already taken a toy with Scripture on it. I wondered if they would be back this time.
   I was getting ready to close down and bring everything inside, but there were some kids still walking on the sidewalk. Two girls were coming closer to the house, and I heard one of them say something like, 'Oh, I love this house' She started talking about something that probably had to do with the toys. The other girl told her to be quiet because she could see that I was able to hear them. They came up and one of them mentioned that they received a million dollar bill here one time. I have to wonder if those two girls were the same two that came by last year, and decided that my house was the 'God House'.
   I do hope that through doing this, I will be able to bring about a Presence in our neighborhood that will help people to be aware of God. I would love for people to be reminded about God when they pass my house. I would love it if people would stop by the house and ask for prayer, or even ask deeper questions about God. I think this could possibly bring about an open door for the Gospel to begin to penetrate our neighborhood. What a great open door this could bring about in proclaiming the Gospel!
   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Am I a Whistle Blower or a Gossiper?

I think I have just learned about the term 'whistle blower' recently and thought it is a good description of what I think it should do. A whistle blower alerts someone to danger. The Bible does not actually use this term, but I believe the concept is there. A whistle blower exposes the works of darkness. A whistle blower warns people of the danger of heresy or false teachers. Those are important things for people in the church to be doing. But can there be problems with being a whistle blower? You can be sure that there are.
  One of the biggest problems of being a whistle blower stems from pride. You see, the problem is that each person is blinded to their own sin. In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us to take out the log from our own eyes, before we take the splinter out of the eyes of other people. We have to deal with our own sin first, before we can help others deal with their own sin. Pride doesn't let us do that. Pride keeps us from seeing our sin. That's why we need accountability and God helping us to see our sin that blinds us.
   If we are a whistle blower and our pride has not been dealt with, problems will begin to fester. What will happen is that we may see something that needs to be exposed or brought into the light, but our flesh will not want to stop there. If we are not careful, our whistle blowing can easily turn into slander, or idolatry. If we catch a false teacher who seems to be regularly teaching false doctrine, then we should expose it. But if we continue to press into the area of seeking out false teachers, or if we continually hound the false teacher we have discovered, we are going into an area beyond what we are asked to do. We are putting ourselves on dangerous ground, and entering into slander.
   The Bible has a lot to say about slander. It is pretty dangerous to practice it. Our flesh loves to slander and gossip. It is part of the outworking of our human nature and sin weakness. How much do we have to 'warn' people about that false teacher? How much time do we have to spend cutting him or her down in public forums like Facebook? Should we spend our precious time 'hunting' down these false teachers, or should we spend that time developing a relationship with the Lord, and with His people (the church)?
  I don't want to say its wrong to expose a false teacher. It is wrong to continually pick at it though. What about that Christian leader who has hurt someone? Should we create blogs to destroy that person? What does Matthew 18 tell us to do? It tells us to work with that person, and if he doesn't cooperate, work with the church. If he still doesn't cooperate, we are to treat him like a pagan. We treat him like an outsider. We pray for him and do what we can to restore him to the broken relationships. What we must not do is to take our complaints to those outside of the church. That is when it becomes slander. Let's be careful how we use our tongues and words with people. Let's also be careful to not air out the dirty laundry of a church in which we have no personal connection with the offending parties. Love covers a multitude of sins. Let's practice love and mercy, like God has done with us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Are You Ready To Answer Questions?

    Have you ever had questions about God, Heaven, and Eternity? I hope so. As you talk to people on the streets or in their homes about the Gospel, some of them are going to have questions for you. It is not wrong to try to answer their questions, nor is it wrong to tell them that you don't know the answer, if you don't know.
  Some people ask questions or make bold statements because they are being antagonistic. But others are asking questions because they are curious about the things of God, and probably never had the opportunity to ask anyone. Some people have deep seated doubts and fears, and would like another knowledgable person to help them with their questions.
   There are times that it would be better to not answer the questions asked by a Skeptic. It takes practice and skill to know when to answer and when not to answer. "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." Proverbs 26:4 and 5 (ESV).
  The Bible says to give a reason to every person who asks a reason of the hope in you. It also explains that Paul 'reasoned from the Scriptures' with people. 
   The big accusation people have, when sharing the Gospel, is that unbelievers generally think that Christians are not intelligent people, and that they have 'blind faith'. Sadly, in the past, this has been true, at least in part. I had seen a video recently about a discussion between creation/evolution and God/Atheism. There was a host person, along with a 'Christian' and Richard Dawkins. When the Christian man was asked about the origin of human beings, he simply pointed to Richard Dawkins and said to ask him, since he (Richard Dawkins) would know. 
   But we do know Who we believe in and are trusting in, and we know why we believe as well. Are you prepared to give answers to people while evangelizing or teaching? Or, are you just going to tell them that they have to have faith? After all, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!" It might be settled in your mind, but its not settled in the minds of many other people, some of whom you may be talking to this week. Could this be the reason so many children leave the church when they become adults?
   Let's stay on track with sharing the Gospel, but let's also consider the questions of those who are asking. Write them down, and get back with the person later on. And find answers to those questions before you go out next time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"You Are Not Far From the Kingdom of God"

     I really don't have the exact blog space to put this in, but this is the closest one. I hope this will be helpful to you. The reason I am writing this is because I am concerned about people becoming false converts. I don't mean to sound condescending or judgmental, but I care about people.
    There seems to be an epidemic of people who seem to have an understanding of the Gospel and would profess to be Christians, but there is something lacking in their understanding when you continue to ask more questions. And the fruit of salvation seems to be missing.
Here is a story in the Bible, where Jesus was talking to a Scribe. The situation is recorded in Mark 12: 28-25. The Scribe asked Jesus what He thought was the most important commandment. Jesus answered, "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." He also said that you should love your neighbor as yourself. There are no commandment greater than these two. The Scribe agreed. He acknowledged that God is one. He also said that loving God and people were greater than whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. The Scribe had the right idea. He was beginning to understand the Gospel. The lights had come on for him. But he was not there yet. Jesus told him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God'. The Scribe was not in the kingdom of God. He was close to it though.
   There is a big difference between being close to the kingdom of God and actually being in it. A person may experience being close to the light. God might be working in his heart. The person might have questions about God. He may even be on a 'God quest'.  We sometimes confuse this stage, with the actual stage of receiving the Gospel. If the lights come on for someone concerning the Gospel, it doesn't mean that they are saved yet necessarily! We have to be very careful to not think of that as genuine fruit of repentance and faith in itself.
  People sometimes think they are a Christian because God did a miracle for them. Or they may have had an experience with God, or in a setting where God was moving, but that doesn't mean they have had saving faith activated in their hearts yet.
  I remember hearing a story of a Jewish man who was in our church, whose dad was not a believer. Somehow, by God's grace and mercy, God miraculously healed the father of an illness. He never came to know the Lord though. It would be easy for us to think that since God healed him, it must have meant he was saved, or going to be saved. God works in mysterious ways, for sure, and we don't always understand what He is doing. We just need to be careful to make sure we are in Christ, and proclaim the Gospel to others so they can be in Christ too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Evangelizing Children

Almost 40 years ago (wow that sounds like a real long time ago), I was taught how to evangelize children. One of the methods of telling the story of the Gospel was by using different colors that correlated with different aspects of the Gospel. Gold=heaven, black=sin, red=blood of Jesus, white=clean heart, green=growing things. I used a plastic nut that had a rolled up ribbon inside of it with those colors. I would go up to children and ask them if they had ever heard a nut that told a story. Then I would proceed with telling them the Gospel using my nut with the wordless story colors.
   I believe the idea of using colors to tell the Gospel story with came from Charles Spurgeon. The organization called 'CEF' (Child Evangelism Fellowship) was started by a man with the last name of Overholzer. I can't remember his first name, but when Mr. Overholzer was 12, he asked his Christian parents about how he could be saved. His parents responded by telling him that he was not old enough yet. Mr. Overholzer went to college, and he was still wanting to know God. Once he came to Christ, he was driven to start a ministry for children so they would be able to come to know the Lord. (I just read this story somewhere, but I can't remember where it was!).
  I would still love to go out with my nut and tell the Gospel story to children and grownups, and whoever else wants to listen. I don't know where my nut is now, and I can't find another one, but I can use anything that has those colors in it. Here is a blog page explaining the meaning of the colors: http://thecolorfulstory.blogspot.com . I also found another web site that ministers specifically to children: Children Desiring God   
  Children can understand the Gospel and God can reveal Himself to them, but we do have to be careful to not create false converts also. It is easy for us to think that if a child does certain things or says certain things, that he must be saved. We can get the children to give us the right answers to the questions we are asking. We really do need to look for true fruit to come out of this. Even if the child is searching, he still might not 'get it' yet. We keep working with him or her until he does understand. God is the One who makes His word come alive to the child. His word is activated by the Holy Spirit working in the heart. We can't make it happen.
   We want to reach children with the Gospel. We want to reach old people with the Gospel. We want to reach college age kids with the Gospel. Everyone needs the Gospel. Let's practice as often as we get opportunities to open our mouths and preach the Gospel to everyone around us.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Do You Do When You Don't Get to the Gospel?

I didn't get out much this week to do a whole lot of evangelizing, but here's what happened today; I went to go get my hair cut and there was a guy standing in front of the store he worked at. It looked like he was on a break. I went up to him and offered him a tract. He politely said that he didn't need one. I asked him if he knew what was on it. He indicated that it was probably something religious. I asked him if he ever thought about where people go after they die. He indicated that he didn't want to go there right now. I told him that he would be interested one day and it might be too late to find out then. He then said that we will all know one day. He wasn't willing to talk about it, so I told him that I would be praying for him. I pray that God would reveal Himself to him before his time on earth is over. I pray that he would be concerned about where people go after they die. I pray that someone else will be able to share the Gospel with him, and that God would make his heart open to listening. I pray that God will not let him alone until he finds the Gospel (and that God would always work in his heart even after that). I pray that when all that happens, he will know that there is a God who is reaching out to him, so that he can hear the Gospel and be saved. Will you pray with me for him? His name is John Doe. I did not get his name, but God knows who he is. I will call him John Doe, and pray for the man who was standing in front of the store he was working at, on September 21, 2012.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Free Gift That Will Cost You Everything

























We could never add even a cent to atone for our sins.
The gift of salvation is completely free. Yet, in having this
gift, it will cost us everything we have. It is totally free, in
one sense. In another sense, it is very costly. Are you willing
 to count the cost? Gospel Conversation    Take the Good Person Test

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Orlando, Prepare to Come Home"

I only heard this story one time, so the details are sketchy, at best. But it is a good story, of an event that really happened, in Central Florida, years ago. It shows God's sovereignty and loving kindness in ensuring the Gospel message be given to those who are His.
A man would do evangelism on the streets on a Friday or Saturday evening. One particular evening, as he was preparing to go out, God put an impression in his thinking. He heard the words "Tell Orlando to prepare to come home". This detail is a bit sketchy because I really don't remember what the exact words were that this man was to give to Orlando. Obviously, he was going to be talking to a man named Orlando that evening.
  He met Orlando, and found that Orlando was a homeless man, who used a bicycle for transportation. The evangelist ministered the Gospel to Orlando, and gave him the message "Prepare to come home". Orlando responded to the Gospel and was planning on going to church the following Sunday morning, as the evangelist was going to pick him up and take him to the church meeting.
The Sunday morning came around. The evangelist came to pick up Orlando, at the particular area where he was staying. When he arrived, there were emergency vehicles everywhere, and a lot of commotion. Something was definitely going on, and the evangelist couldn't get to where Orlando was. The evangelist found out that Orlando went on his bike to the store to get breakfast, and got hit by a car. Basically, he was killed that morning. Isn't it a good thing to hear God's voice? In this case, I am sure Orlando is grateful to the evangelist who ministered the Gospel to him that Friday evening (or Saturday). Orlando got to hear the Gospel message just in time. His days were numbered, and the number for him was up. But God made sure that Orlando heard the Gospel, and caused him to repent and be saved. Thank God for His mercies and loving kindness!

Is There Hope For This Man?

I have permission to share this little story from my friend, who is a missionary in Guatemala. It goes something like this:
After the church meeting in NYC, they were walking down the sidewalk, which was kind of dark and late at night. There was a series of meetings going on in this city during the evenings. While walking on the sidewalk, a large dark figure was approaching. He recognized my friend and said, "Pray for me". But something strange and mysterious was happening. While this man was desiring prayer, some kind of force was dragging him in the other direction. It was invisible. But the dark figure was pulled away. And then he was completely out of view.
A couple of days later, the missionary from Guatemala was speaking in this New York City church again. He and his wife had not seen the mysterious figure since the night they saw him on the sidewalk. But this evening, his wife espied him in the audience. So, he tried to find him and talked to this dark, large figured large man that met him on the sidewalk, and when he did, he said 'Pray for me'. Somehow, the mysteriously figured man was pulled away again. What was that all about? What was God up to in that?
Fast forward two years later. The missionary from Guatemala encountered this mysterious man, and the man asked him if he remembered him. He told the missionary man what had happened. After the night in the meeting where he attended, and asked for prayer for the second time, then disappeared, he went back home and repented. You see, he was a warlock. He was living with a witch, and he left that kind of lifestyle and actually told authorities on himself for some of the crimes he had done. He came to Christ and was radically saved. He was sent to prison, where he served during that two year period. He was able to minister to those in the prison while he was there. He did get out and ministered the Gospel to people. The last report on him was that as he was ministering the Gospel, he was injured so badly that his leg had to be amputated.
We really don't know how effective our ministering is while we are serving here on earth. I remember one person, who was asked, "When you die, are you 100% sure that you will go to heaven?" That question triggered his thinking and God used it to bring this man to Himself. Another person was having a conversation with some people, and one person, probably not even a believer asked, "How do we know we exist?" For this man, it involved his researching the Gospel until he found his answer. You just never know what God will use to minister to people with. One more example was George Whitefield, who did open air preaching to thousands of people, who had a heckler. The heckler would mock George and everything he was saying. He used motions like George and even had his own little audience. Well guess what God did? This heckler repented after the message was given and came to Christ! God has a sense of humor and will reach people in whatever ways He deems best.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What's in the Folder?

Everyone has folders of some sort. We all have places to categorize our stuff. Some people have folders in bins. Others have folders on their computers. How comfortable would you be if someone suddenly came into your room and demanded to look at your folder?
  That actually happened to a person I know. Years ago, my husband was at work. It started off as a day like any other day. No one expected any surprises. Around 8:30 am. some people were wondering out loud if there was a special event happening in this place of business. No one knew anything that was planned. But the man dressed in their suits got out of their cars. They headed inside the building, then proceeded to the business department. No one knew who they were or why they were there. Not too long after that, my husband was faced with a man with a badge and a gun. This man ordered my husband to step back and not touch anything. He proceeded to look in all the drawers and throughout the room in all the nooks and crannies. He came across a folder. The man carefully looked through the folder. What was in the folder? The contents of the folder contained cards and love letters from me! Wow, what if there were something else hiding in the folder? My husband passed the surprise inspection. There wasn't anything to hide.
  Contrast this with another story that really happened. A recently widowed woman wrote to Dear Abby. It was a very sad letter. She and her husband seemed to have a fine marriage, from what she could tell. But she had a surprise after her husband passed away. His drawers were being cleaned out at his work place, and what was found was most disturbing. This man had another woman in his life, all along. The poor widow had no idea. Can you imagine that kind of shocking news? What kind of emotions would she have toward her now deceased husband, whom she thought she loved and trusted?
   I wrote all this to say that, one day, all of our drawers are going to be cleaned out. Every file and folder will be open for everyone to see. Are we hiding anything now? Do we not understand that one day everything that we do will be open to the public? We think we are hiding things now, but they are not hidden from an Omniscient, holy God.
  There is large percentage of murders that are committed, where the murderer is never found. Guess what? They will be found and brought to justice, one day. We may be able to elude people, but we can never hide from God. We might be able to deceive others, but we can never fool God. God knows every thought that we have thought, or will have thought in our lifetimes. He knows every act we have committed or will commit. We might think we are getting away with something, but we aren't. It's only a matter of time before we get caught.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Why We All Should Learn A Foreign Language

We learn something new everyday, and today, although this was not new to me, was just a reminder of why we should learn a foreign language. This has happened a couple of times to me. You go out with tracts, and every once in a while, you meet a person who doesn't speak English. What can you do?
 
My limit of foreign language ends with the German language. However, I did learn a little bit of Spanish when I was in the fourth grade. Thank God for teachers who teach well and love their subjects.  I happen to remember a little bit of Spanish and picked up a few words since fourth grade.

I got out of my car today, and a man was walking on the sidewalk carrying a blower machine. I gave him a Giant Money tract. He looked Oriental to me. After a real brief conversation, I realized he didn't speak English. I picked up on a couple of key words. 'No Comprehendo" "espaniole" or at least that was what I thought I heard. I tried to ask him if he spoke Spanish, to which he didn't really know what to say. Then I remembered a Spanish phrase that sounded something like this; 'si espaniole' and now I think we were communicating. I pulled out a Spanish "How Good Are You?" tract and he could read it! So he took the Spanish tract instead of the Giant Money!

Many of the tract companies make tracts for Spanish speaking people. There are a couple of tract companies that make all kinds of foreign language tracts. Wouldn't that be great if you could learn a foreign language and use it to write your own tracts?

The Bible talks about the different nations serving God together: I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13,14. 

America is like a melting pot of people and nationalities. We can preach the Gospel to people in many nations by just going to the store or restaurant. Let's minister the Gospel to people in whatever language they speak, and wherever they are at! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Many Claim the Bible is a Book of Fairy Tales

  Ever wonder why people make claims about the Bible that are false? Now we know they are false claims, but why are people so eager about making sure that these false claims are made known?

   A common false claim is that the Bible was written by men. Actually, the words of the Bible were penned by men, so that part of it is correct. But what the Skeptic is trying to communicate is that basically, the Bible is not God's Word to us. The statement is taking a partial truth, and adding a lie to it, to make the whole premise false.
 
  Another one I have seen a lot of recently is the one about the Bible being a book of fairy-tales. I have to marvel at this one, for, I have not yet seen a debate forum on whether Aesop's Fables are from God or not. Nor have I seen anyone struggling to figure out what God was saying to Zeus and the other Roman/Greek gods and goddesses. I think Greek mythology is interesting. While it is interesting, there is no controversy about those writings being from God or not. No one is concerned, and no one has seemed to have thought about it.

  But when it comes to the Bible, there has always been a struggle with that book. Did you know that in at least 52 countries, the Bible is forbidden? Now let me ask you a question; If the Bible is a book of fairy-tales or mythology, why is it forbidden in so many places? I haven't seen the Iliad forbidden anywhere. Nor have I seen Aesop's Fables forbidden. In some countries, a person will go to prison if they are found possessing a Bible. They must keep their Bibles well hidden for those who would, by force, break into the house if the people living there are suspected of being Christians.

   Could it be that there is a real force behind the hiding of the truth of the Bible? Could we really have an Enemy of our souls that hates us and wants to keep us from the Truth? Remember, Satan is angry at God, and he is angry at people, Christians in particular. (By Christian, I mean people who have realized their sinful state before God and repented of their sins, and who trust in the sacrifice that Jesus provided on the Cross for them). I am aware that another trick of Satan is to take words like 'Christian' or 'religion' and twist their meaning around so people get a warped view of what they are. We need to see through the tricks of the Enemy and not give into his wishes, for his desire is to deceive us and destroy us. He would like to destroy you and your family, and he will if you let him. He comes in the door by telling us lies that we are likely to believe in. Then he has us where he wants us.

                                           

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - The Suggestion to Evangelize While We Have Freedom

Lately, I have been thanking God for the freedoms we have right now, in our country. It would seem like we could take over our country with evangelism, if we wanted to. Just think, the Bible is banned in 52 countries or more around the world. I thank God every day that we have Bibles here, and don't have to be afraid of going to jail because they are in our possession. There are people, right now, that would give anything to be able to have a Bible, but they are hard to come by, for them. How easy it is for us. I probably bought three different Bibles this year, let alone, a case of New Testaments. The Bibles are for me to use, and the New Testaments are to give away. I don't have to be afraid of someone finding my order receipts and coming to my house, and arresting me. Not yet, anyway.

  Here is a plea from a man who lives in Laos. When he first came to Christ, even before he really had a good understanding of the Gospel, he couldn't help, but, to share his faith. He was warned not to evangelize, but continued to do so. Finally, in 1999, he was sentenced to 15 years of prison. Somehow, he did manage to smuggle Bibles into his cell, and he was set free before the sentence was over.

   He has a word for us. He thanks us for praying for him and credits the prayers for him as the reason for his being alive. Here is his request for us "Please pray for my country,...Pray that everyone accepts Jesus Christ, because I know that nothing is worthy in this life except becoming a Christian and following Jesus Christ. I know how hard life is, but I want to encourage believers in America to be strong in their faith. I know many Americans have not accepted Jesus Christ yet, but you have the freedom to proclaim Jesus and share the gospel. Go evangelize in the name of Jesus because you can. You have the right to read the Bible, to pray, and go to church. Please do that."

  Can you hear the desire of this man's heart? He wants us to preach the gospel and do evangelism, because we can do that here. He is right. If Jesus really is precious to us, shouldn't we be telling people of Him? If we love people, shouldn't we be telling them the good news of the Gospel? And what better place than in America, where people have heard the Gospel, but many still haven't. One day, our freedom to do this may be gone. We need to be on our knees and evangelizing, today. Tomorrow, it may be too late.

This article came from 'Voice of the Martyrs' magazine, August 2012 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tim Keller on Evangelism Best Practices | Tim Brister

Tim Keller on Evangelism Best Practices | Tim Brister

Here is an article with some evangelism thoughts. I like the first one, although I struggle with how to do this one right. Let people around you know you are a Christian in a natural, unforced way. I remember coming up with ideas on how to let people around know that you are a Christian, like using Christian cliches like, "Praise the Lord" or "Praise God". Bumper stickers were a favorite too. I could never use the cliches though, because it seemed so unnatural. What has worked a couple of times, is to have a good conversation with a Christian friend, and be in a place where people can hear your conversation. Let it be a natural dialog, not put on. I have heard of people doing the cliche thing and it really looks unnatural and put on.
   Asking people questions is a good way to get into a dialog with someone. And who knows. Perhaps the dialog will lead right into the Gospel or into a truth the other person needs to hear. Always be kind and considerate. That doesn't mean you have to participate in sinful activities. Remember, Jesus was a friend to sinners, but He never condoned sin. But He did reach deep into the hearts of sinful people by being a friend.
  One other thing; people love to talk about themselves. Let them talk about themselves. And don't correct them when they say things that you know are wrong. Not yet, anyway.
  Somehow, we met a couple last night, who were homeless, and claimed to need money to take the woman to the hospital. She seemed to be in a lot of pain, and appeared sick. We gave them a little money, and listened to their story. They were living together in a tent. She was divorced and had two children who were living with their father. Anyway, I know in the past, I would have wondered what to do with people who were living in sin. We showed compassion to them and prayed for them (included the Gospel in the prayer). We didn't blast them out of the water because they were living together. I would love to see them again, and explain the Gospel to them further. Pray for them. Their names were Steven and Therese I think.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Battling at my Grocery Store

   I have a few favorite grocery stores, and some of them I frequent quite often. One of them I might be frequently less often though, for people who work there seemed to be distressed about my giving out tracts. As you will recall, I was at this particular grocery store a couple of weeks ago, and I offered a tract to an older woman getting into her car, and she was not happy when I told her it was a Gospel tract. I went into the store after that and bought a few items, and as I was on my way out a man who had a 'customer service' badge on appeared to be looking for me and stopped me to inform me that I was not allowed to pass tracts out in the parking lot. I was really surprised because this particular brand of grocery stores tries to please their customers and make their customers happy.
   I decided I had two options. One would be to go to another one of these grocery stores down the road, or, use smaller tracts when I go into this particular one. So, today I went back to this particular store, and brought a prescription in to be refilled. I didn't even buy anything and was in the store probably no more than 5 minutes.
  On my way out, I went over to the Coke machines like I normally do, and put a million dollar bill in the place where you can put dollar bills in to get change. Before I left the store, as I was passing the 'customer service' department, I checked to see if Ryan was there, the man who told me I wasn't allowed to pass out tracts a couple of weeks ago. I did not see him there, and as I exited, I didn't really see anyone who would notice my putting the tract into the Coke machine.
  I was on my way out, right at the exit door, when I hear someone saying something out loud and it had the word 'trash' in it. I turned around and one of the workers (possibly a bag boy?) pulled the tract out angrily and walked away. Maybe it was a store manager, I don't know, but, I am beginning to think that my presence in the store will either be welcoming (which it has been all along with most people) or it will be unwelcoming. I have to go back to pick up my prescription tomorrow and will see what happens then. I may get banned from the store.
   I have to think about what usually happened when Paul was in different places preaching the Gospel. The results were pretty much the same. Some people listened and wanted to hear more. Other people opposed him. People responded. People rejected. That's just the nature of preaching the Gospel in a darkened world. Some people are going to be totally irritated by it. Others will be thankful throughout eternity for hearing the words of life.
  If you think of it, I would ask for prayer for me. I don't want to react in a sinful way to people when they stop me from doing this. I don't want anger in my heart towards them. And I still want the open door to have opportunities to talk to people about the Gospel there. Thanks.

                                                 
Next time I'm using a 10 Commandment Coin instead!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

"Two wrongs don't make a right" was a quote my mother used a lot when I was a kid. When you think about it, it makes sense. It adds up. It was a good piece of wisdom, even if I didn't get the meaning back then. 
  We have situations in life today where this would apply easily. One such situation is a woman, who is not married, who considers abortion as an option. She may be thinking, 'if I get rid of this baby, no one will know, and I won't have to take care of this child the rest of my life'.' What happens is, we get ourselves into a bad situation (not realizing it's bad) and then the effects start happening. We look at those as bad. We want to get rid of the effects. In this case, an abortion would take care of that.
   Did you know that abortion is murder? A baby human is conceived when a male cell (sperm) unites with a female cell (ovum). A child develops fast from this union, and in about 9 month, a fully formed person usually comes into the world. 
   Early in the pregnancy, the little heart starts beating and brain waves are moving. Organs are developing, and this little person starts taking form. At some point babies can yawn and have hiccups. They can feel pain too. And the baby is either a boy or a girl. That was decided at conception.
   When a mother goes in for a late term pregnancy, if she wants an abortion, the doctor has to go in and basically chop the baby up so it dies inside the womb. If a baby is born, and is still alive, it is not allowed to be killed. But it can be killed if it is inside the womb. Do you think the baby doesn't feel anything inside the womb that he or she would feel outside the womb? Why would a baby not be considered a person while inside the womb, only outside? Do you see why this is murder?
   So, two wrongs do not make a right. One wrong is bad enough. The problem of unwanted pregnancy is not corrected by having an abortion. It only amounts to more wrongdoing. 
   If you are pregnant and trying to decide what to do with your baby, please know that life is not going to be easy for you, but, there is a lot of hope and answers that are waiting for you to discover. There are multitudes of people that want to adopt a child. If you are unable to support your baby, please consider adoption as an option. 
   Abortion is murder. It is cruel. Abortion does not fix the problem of unwanted pregnancy. The first wrong though, is immorality. I do understand that some married women go for abortions, and that is inexcusable. But I am thinking about unmarried women who have ended up pregnant. The first problem here is that you have to be in a marriage context to procreate. Not biologically, of course. 
  Matthew 5:27 and 28 You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shalt not commit adultery:
 But I say unto you, That whoever look ons a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Jesus' words)
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
  You see that if you are not married, and you are having a sexual relationship with another person, it is called fornication. If you are a woman and you have a boyfriend who is sweet talking you into sleeping with him, don't fall for it. Believe me, most probably when he finds out you get pregnant, he will be gone, or he will want you to get an abortion. He doesn't want to be responsible for his sin. 
   So, living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage is sin, but having an abortion is like doing the unthinkable. Two wrongs do not make a right. One wrong is bad enough. If you have questions about the Gospel or salvation, please go to The Gospel Conversation

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Why Be a Friend?

   How does being a friend help in the process of evangelism? You might be thinking, "Oh no, no friendship evangelism for me. It's not the way its supposed to be done". Before I make any more statements here, let me say that I am not for 'friendship evangelism' either. The main reason is that, once we make friends with a person, we rarely share the Gospel with him or her. We become afraid to speak the words of truth to our new friends for fear that we might offend them. I totally believe in doing open air work, giving out tracts, doing one on one evangelism, and whatever other ways to communicate the truth of the Gospel with someone, especially people we don't know.
   But here is my point; If God is working in a person's heart, if that person wants to get more information about the Gospel, he or she is more likely to go to a trusted friend or church to ask questions rather than call a number on a tract or send an email on the back of the tract.
  If you have ever seen the short video called, I got off at George Street (Frank Jenner story) you will understand what I am saying. Frank Jenner was a man who was used mightily by God, by going downtown everyday and giving out tracts to people. Sometimes he would ask them if they were ready for heaven. Some people got angry. Others walked away. But many of them took his words to heart, and when they got back home, they were troubled about their souls and went to a friend or a church they were familiar with to find out more about the Gospel. Many came to Christ. People were affected by this faithful man giving out tracts and asking them the most important question ever. Frank Jenner did his part. But the other people who were friends of the recipients of the tracts were the ones who closed the deal, so to speak. Perhaps they were people who had shared the Gospel with their friend, but the friend was reluctant to respond at the time. The friend remembered though, after he or she got the tract from the man on George Street.
   I give out a lot of tracts and ask people the same kinds of questions as Frank Jenner. Now I am also trying to incorporate building a relationship with these people. I want them to feel comfortable when they talk to me. I don't want them to be afraid to ask me questions. I know they might not be ready to respond to the Gospel now, but I want to be open to them so that when the time comes for that, they would be ok with coming to me and asking for help.
  1 Corinthians 3:6-8
 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase. Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
  The good news is that you can both plant and water. God will bless those efforts and they work together. But God is the One who works in the heart.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Will It Happen The First Time, Second Time, Fifth Time, Twenty-seventh Time or Some Other Time?

  Long time ago, I heard from someone that a person has to hear the Gospel six times before he or she comes to know the Lord. I heard more recently that the number jumped up to Seventeen, I think. It seems silly to assume that a person has to hear the Gospel message a certain amount of times before that person can come to know the Lord. But there is some truth to this concept, and I think it would be wise to pay attention to it.
   When I was growing up, everyone went to church, or at least some kind of church. People were familiar with some Bible lingo. Many people knew John 3:16. But many of those churches did not grasp the Gospel message. In some ways, it was harder to reach people with the Gospel because many of them already had a form of Godliness, but the heart of the Gospel was missing. Today, we have people who have never stepped into a church building. Many have left the denominations they were brought up in. So we basically have today, a culture of people that are very unfamiliar with the meaning of the Gospel.
   A person may receive a tract, and it could seem like Greek to him or her, because they are unfamiliar with the context of the message of the Bible. But each time that person hears the Gospel message, whether it be through a tract, or a friend sharing Scriptures, the person becomes more acquainted with the Gospel. By the time he or she hears the Gospel for the sixth time, that person might be ready to respond.
  Sowing seeds, like giving out tracts or doing open air, helps prepare the person for salvation. Since the message of the Gospel is so distant from people in our culture today, we need to be sowing many seeds. When we communicate God's truth to someone, God gives the person understanding. God will convict the person of sin. He will help the person to repent and turn to Christ. God opens the heart and mind to the scriptures. We must be faithful in giving the Scriptures out and proclaiming the Gospel message.
   The man you gave a tract to, this afternoon, may have thrown it away. Maybe a Christian neighbor or friend will share the Gospel message with him. He may remember the tract you gave him and the message he wasn't ready to hear. Perhaps you will be the twenty-seventh person to talk to someone, and that may be that person's day to comprehend the Gospel. Maybe that cashier you see every week will be ready to respond when you give her the tract. Maybe four other people talked to her about her relationship with God this month, and she sees Him working in her heart.
   Don't be afraid to sow seeds. There is no 'one and only' way to do this. Some people give out tracts. Some leave them in library books. Some put them in trick or treat bags. Others preach the Gospel to groups of people in a park or on the street. Another idea is to create a blog and write the Gospel in your blog. Just be careful of setting up a standard that you think you have to meet or if you don't (or if others don't) then you have failed at evangelism. Also, be careful of other people's standards when it comes to statistics. Some people tell themselves that they have to give out 10 tracts every day. Or that they have to talk to a person every day. Those goals are fine as long as they are motivated by love and are not set in stone for you and others to keep. Otherwise, they could lead to legalism.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Does Christianity Cause Wars?

Does Christianity cause wars? A lot of people use this as an excuse for staying in their sins. It sounds like a lame excuse because God is not a God of destruction. There must be another force behind wars.

         

Monday, June 18, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Dealing with the Homosexual

I have been hearing a lot of talk about homosexualism lately, which brings to my attention the fact that at some point in our evangelizing, we will come in contact with a homosexual or lesbian. Don't panic when this happens. I have not run into too many of them, or if I did, the issue didn't come up. There is some wisdom I would like to have when dealing with homosexuals, and I would like to communicate a few things that would help to know beforehand.
   I have been taking mental notes of the situation of the Gay community that is evolving. I also think that 20-30 years ago, I would have found these people repulsive, and probably would have not looked at them as sinful people who need to be saved from their sins, just like we do. I might have thought that their sin was too great for God to deal with or care about. I don't know, but I see now, looking back, that I was not a compassionate person toward other people who are in darkness. I had not yet heard the phrase (which makes really good sense) "I am just one beggar, telling other beggars where to find bread". Now that I can see the depth of my sin more clearly, I can help other people to get help for their sin.
   There are groups of professing Christians (I think) who are preaching something (not sure what it is yet), but in their messages, they tell the Gay person that 'God hates fags'. I really don't understand what the purpose of their message is, for if God hates fags, as they say, what good is it to tell them? It doesn't make sense, unless it caters to their pride. It is similar to racial strife. In America, it has gone back and forth, like a feud, between the white people and the black people. When America was a young country, many people 'owned' slaves. Many of these slaves were part of the slave trade industry. Some of them were brought on ships from Africa. Can you imagine watching your family boarding a ship because a cruel taskmaster was over the people making them get on the ship. Many never even made it to the destination because they were not taken care of when they got sick on the ship.
   You probably would feel pretty angry if you were a black person living in early America. Some of the slave owners were very cruel to their slaves. Some of them were kind though, and treated their slaves fairly.
   I am sure when the slaves were free, a lot of white people were angry. Many of the white people treated them like dirt. So, in turn, the black people were not happy with the white people, and it goes back and forth like this for years. On top of this, the misunderstanding that was brought about by Darwin and his theory on evolution didn't help. He actually wrote in his book that the black people were less developed humans than the white people. And that women were less developed humans than men. So, we have a society that really doesn't believe certain groups of people were totally human. I guess they assumed we can treat other people like animals if we want. If we have more power over them (money), than we can own them and use them at our disposal.
  So by the time we get to the twentieth century, this feud is still going on. Black people have a hard time getting jobs. Black women especially suffer. You really have to understand why the black people hated the white people at this point.
   I said all this to say that somehow we believe we can treat other people, or the ones not like us, like trash. Today, we are not in as much tension with the black people as we were, but there is still prejudice in our society. It's our pride that makes us think we are better than someone else. When a person comes to Christ, humility should mark that person's life, not pride. If a person really 'gets' the Gospel, he or she will be humbled and will be able to see the pride in their own hearts.
   Jesus was a friend to 'sinners', yet He never condoned or participated in their sins. How can we love the unlovely? One way is to see the sin that God delivered us from. It will help us to love others and help them be free from their sins (See Matthew 7).
   Does name calling and threatening God's judgement help someone come to Christ? I doubt it. How would you feel if someone that you didn't know came up to you and told you that God was going to judge you for (fill in the blank). Would you want to listen to that person to get help? I doubt it. That person who came to you was proud. He is being a bully to you. Who listens to bullies? No one would. But there are many people who do 'evangelism' this way. They think by throwing Bible verses out about God's judgment will let the hearer be informed of God's judgment on him or her. How do we tell other people about God's judgment then? We do it with compassion and a broken heart. We grieve when people are enslaved in sin. We let people talk and express themselves and listen to what is in their hearts. Could it be that some people really would want to be free from the bondage of homosexualism, but whenever they try to get help, someone blasts them because of their sin? We want people to receive help not run away from the Gospel. If we are not inviting to them, they will run away, and probably avoid Christians at all costs, for they will assume the next one will do the same thing. We are good at telling people when they are wrong, but do we continue and show them the hope so they won't have to continue in their sin? Do we treat them like a human being created in God's image, or do we look at them as trash?
   I think we need to look at our own hearts and ask God to help us. There is a world of people out there that need ministry, and we need to be ready and available to help them. If we don't deal with our own hearts first, we could end up being motivated by pride, and come across in a prideful way when we are ministering to people.
  I am concerned about the bad name this whole activity has given to Christianity. Many people associate the Westboro group as Christians who are preaching the Gospel. If that is so, no wonder people are angry with the church. If 'Christians' continue to behave like they do, we could end up in trouble legally someday, having laws passed that will prevent Christians from preaching the true Gospel, because it would be considered 'harassment'. If the standard for preaching the Gospel is defined by name calling, we won't have a chance to do it right. Let's get it right in our own hearts so we can minister the Gospel to a lost and dying world before it is too late.
   Also, the Gay community has reacted violently to these attacks on them by the 'Christians' and forming a strong community. They are building defenses and working in the legal system to create advantages for themselves. This is a result of the church not handling the issue of homosexualism correctly. Homosexuals are human beings, and, they already have the same rights provided for them in the Constitution, that we have. They are just taking things further now, and creating new laws to be passed so that they can advance their kingdom. This is sad, and also, I believe it is a result of the church not handling them properly. The church, at times, has treated these people much like the slaves of early America were treated. I am not saying that we should give special treatment or preferential treatment to these people, but we have taken away some of their rights, just as human beings, because of their being Gay/Lesbian. Now that it has gone this far, they have been able to work the legal system to their advantage.
  No, they don't have any rights that anyone else doesn't have. They should be treated like human beings, yet they need to hear the Gospel desperately, as all of us do. We should do as Mark Cahill does, and talk with these people, and let them speak. Treat them like humans with kindness. Out of love and care, help them see the Gospel. Show them that homosexualism isn't part of God's design (see Apologetic Musings). They need to see God's holiness. They need to understand His justice. They need to repent of their sins, not just homosexualism. We don't want to give them a reason to react to Christianity in a wrong way. We can have compassion on this person, without condoning homosexualism. They need to see that God did not make them this way. They believe that because they want to hold onto something that will give them the 'right' to stay homosexual.
   We could come to the day when pastors won't be allowed to preach against homosexualism in the pulpit anymore. Again it will be because people have resorted to name calling and bullying the homosexual. Let's show the love of Christ to people who are lost and dying.
2 Corinthians 5

12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Evangelism at the Tire Place

Today I had to get dressed and ready to go earlier than usual, because my son needed to put new tires on his car, which would mean that he would drop the car off, and I would pick him up (unless he wanted to stay there all day!) and bring him home. We will pick the car up later when it is finished. I am the type of person who doesn't like to waste any time. I will not sit and wait anywhere unless I have something constructive to do.
   When I got to the tire place, my son was taking care of business. Now I thought all this would have already been done by the time I got there. Since it meant that I would have to wait, I decided to take some tracts and walk around. This seems like a good area to reach people with the Gospel, even though there are not a whole lot of people there, there are enough that there might be one good bite.
  Right across from where I parked the car, was a fast food place. There was a group of three guys parked on the other side of the bushes, so I went over there and gave them tracts. I really like giving tracts to young men (college age, young adult) because they seem to be the most receptive. They gladly took the tracts and I was able to explain the Gospel to them. I started with the 10 Commandments, then went to Adam and Eve, then throughout the OT sacrifices that were needed because of sin. I explained that the lamb was usually used for the sacrifice, and that when we get to the NT, John the Baptist pointed Jesus out as the 'Lamb of God'. Then I explained that Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned but took our place. God the Father put all our sins on Him, while He was dying. Then He rose again on the third day. Their response needs to be one of repentance from sin, and trusting in what Jesus did on the Cross to pay for our sin. It seemed to make sense to them. I also gave them each a 'How Good Are You?' tract. Please pray for them. Their names were Travis, Caleb, and Tony.
  What was really neat was how God helped me to speak clearly, and to know exactly what to say. I didn't jumble up my words or get tongue tied! I felt confident in what I was saying because God was giving me the ability to talk to them and to ask the right questions.
   This week started out on a wrong foot, so to speak. I was asked to not give out tracts in the store parking lot that I go to all the time. I believe an irate lady reported me for giving out tracts. I've been giving them out for at least 7 years now and no one has ever said anything until now. I still have people there I want to reach with the Gospel, but I have to be very careful how I do the tracts there. Maybe I will go to another store just like this one down the road, or I will use smaller tracts and only give them out as I leave. Here is a picture of the tracts that people either really love, or, these tracts have gotten me into trouble   (See  Ticket From Waterford Lakes ) Living Waters Giant Money Tract

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - Not Allowed to Pass Out Tracts at my Local Grocery Store : (

Today was interesting. I actually have 2 grocery stores right by my house and each of them has a favorable aspect for me. The best aspect of course, is that people are in the parking lots of these stores. Most of the time, people are very friendly when I offer them a tract. I have never gotten caught by authorities before, but my son had, years ago, at least at one of the grocery stores I shop at.
   Today I was at the first grocery store and paid for my groceries and asked the lady if I had already given a tract to her. She said she did get one, and would be interested if I had others. I didn't have anything to give her (need to refill my purse with tracts!) except a 'How Good Are You' tract, which she took. I also gave some to some college age kids as they were finished shopping (Giant Money). They didn't want to take it at first because they thought it had something to do with Obama. That led to a wonderful discussion with them. They were not liberal students and didn't care for Obama and took the tracts gladly. I wished I would have had time to talk more with them.
    The next grocery store I went to is one of my favorites. I have made friends with people who work there and go there a couple of times a week. One of the cashiers/bag boys is Justin, who walked me out to the car one time and noticed the tracts and wanted more information about the Gospel. So I took time to explain the Gospel to him and have given him a Gospel of John, and today I gave him a New Testament (paperback put out by Living Waters ). He seemed to appreciate it and the neat thing about it is that the cover is just like the tract I gave him originally. So please pray for him that he will come to know the Lord and trust in Him.
  Last week, I saw a worker on break named Jason. I guess I gave him a tract already and he told me that he was in the same place the week before when I saw him. I looked for him today but did not see him. I was going to ask him if he read the tract (million dollar bill). Maybe another time I will see him again.
  Today was hard though because I have to make some decisions. I think the problem started when I was in the parking lot and offered a tract to an older woman. I explained it was a Gospel tract and she got angry. I actually was able to say to her 'Eternity doesn't end. It's up to you', but I don't think it came out very kind, I don't know. Anyway, as I was exiting the grocery store, a young man who worked in customer service came up to me and told me not to pass out tracts in the parking lot. He also used the word 'soliciting' and said that I wasn't allowed to do that. Now that I think back, I wouldn't be surprised if that angry lady called up the grocery store and told on me! How could someone who works in customer service even know that I was passing them out in the parking lot? I didn't even give out that many in that parking lot today! It's not likely that he saw me, but someone probably called in and complained. So, I have to decide if I should find another grocery store like that one, or continue to go, but give out the tracts only as I leave. I want to keep my friends there and minister the Gospel while I can. Hmmm. What to do....  I have a feeling this young man will not work there forever, but maybe for a season I could go somewhere else. But what about the people I have ministered to there? I don't want to leave them. Well, I guess I have to pray about what to do here. And pray for the older lady who was angry about the tract. And pray that I will know what to say to people who reject tracts and the Gospel without becoming angry at them!
  One more last thought. I sense that this is an attack from the Enemy of our souls to try to get me to stop giving out tracts and ministering at that particular store. That is good because it shows that God is at work. It is like putting peroxide on top of a cut. You know that it is working when there are bubbles and a lot of pain! I am surprised that evangelism seems rather easy here, at least most of the time. If it is always that easy, something must be wrong.
   Until next time........

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fibonacci numbers - The Fingerprint of God



I know this should go on my apologetics web site, but I will have it here for right now. The apologetics web site is: www.awestruck09.wordpress.com   This might be helpful for those doing evangelism, in understanding the God of order. Some people will be able to see God in the order of things, such as numbers. Atheists will try to put a smoke screen up, but it doesn't matter. God has already proven Himself. They just reject the proof. We don't have to prove God to anyone. We just present the proof so it is visible to see. A person's argument is not with the evidence (or lack of evidence). The person's argument is with God. It will be interesting to see the person before God with all his or her arguments made out in the open. No more arguments after that point!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Everyday Evangelism - My Ticket From Waterford Lakes 3 Years ago

   I was looking through some old attachments on another computer a couple of days ago, and found a copy of the ticket I got for disobeying the security guard at a shopping center called "Waterford Lakes". The story goes like this; I was out with my son at this shopping center one Friday night three years ago. The rest of the group was at the church building praying. They would come later. My son wanted to go by the movie theater, which I didn't think was a great idea. I noticed the security guards car there and wanted to be careful. Nevertheless, I found myself slowly giving out tracts and when I was talking to a group of boys, my conversation with them was interrupted by a security guard. The security guard explained that I would not be allowed to pass out the flyers unless I got permission from the people that owned the shopping complex. He also asked me if the conversation I was having with the boys had anything to do with the literature I was passing out. Then he went back to his car. Probably less than five minutes later, he came back to us and shooed the boys away with anger. My son and I headed toward another section of the shopping complex. The rest of the group still had not shown up.
   We were in a different section now, but still in view of the security guard if he were watching. As we were walking, a woman noticed the tracts and indicated she wanted one, so I gave one to her. I started talking with her and there were two other people who were with her. I started talking to all of them and gave tracts to the other two as well. While I was talking to them, my son informed me that the security guard was looking at me. I continued to talk, and my son noticed that the security guard was coming over toward me. We left quickly and started walking fast. I called back at the group on the phone and asked them to pray. The security guard reached us and began hollering at me. He accused me of disobeying him three times. He said he was going to call the cops.
   The cop came a few minutes later, and those from the group also showed up at this time. The cop asked a bunch of questions and after a little while, he wrote out the ticket and said that I wasn't allowed on this store's property for a year, and if I did go on the property and were seen, I would be arrested. One of the men in the evangelism group asked the cop a lot of questions. It seemed like the cop was subject to whatever the security guard wanted.
  Some time before this happened, I was at this particular shopping complex and was carrying my Giant Money tracts. I noticed some cops and they noticed me. They wanted to know what the tracts were, so I gave them one (which they seemed to enjoy). There were about four of them and one said that it was fine for me to give them out. He said that it would be different if I were trying to advertise an event, but since I wasn't trying to do that, it was o.k. So, that is one reason why I felt it shouldn't be a problem passing out tracts there, but I guess I was wrong. From now on, I use the smaller tracts that aren't so noticeable. That way, I shouldn't stand out like a sore thumb if security guards are watching.

Waterford Lakes shopping center now has a security 'tower' where they can see
from all angles. Is the Gospel that much of a threat to them? I think so. Satan isn't happy when the Gospel gets into the hands of people. It shows that there is power in the Gospel. Satan doesn't want people to be saved either. He doesn't want them to hear the Gospel. This is all the more reason why we should be preaching it. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace;  who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation; who says to Zion, Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7