Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

Good Reads From Amazon

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tracts That Really Touch People

   Most of the time, I give out the same tract to people. The reason I feel comfortable giving this tract out is because I can tell the people that I am giving the tract to, that the tract has a fun quiz on it (my nephew told me to use the word 'fun' before the word 'quiz').

   At Christmas time, I have some tracts made up by a friend who gives his tracts out at Christmas parades. So, instead of using my tract with the 'fun quiz' on it, I give this Christmas tract out. I like the Christmas tract because you can use it as a post card. Instead of making the person feel like the tract is directed toward him or her, I tell them that they can send the 'card' to their friend in California (I did this one time, and the person responded by saying, "How did you know I have a friend in California?"). The tract is a post card with the Gospel message on it. How clever!

  I was in Costco today, and when all my groceries and items were being paid for, I gave the woman one of these postcard tracts. I have to admit, I was not going to give her one, because I was thinking in the back of my mind that she already rejected my tracts before. There were one or two women cashiers who had rejected the tract, and I didn't want to bother with the rejection because it seems so awkward when you know that they know that it is a tract and they don't want to take it. Anyway, I did give it to her and to the other lady who was kind of like a bag boy, except that Costco does not use bags.

   The lady took the tract and was really touched. She thanked me several times and looked like she was going to cry. I don't know how much of the tract she was able to read in that short amount of time, but it was enough for her to appreciate receiving the Christmas postcard tract.

   I'm glad I did not listen to the voice in my mind telling me that she had rejected a tract before and not to bother with her. I pray that God touches her and by His grace reaches her with His love and mercy. Perhaps she is already one who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, but maybe became distant. Only God knows what is going on inside and His word will accomplish its goal in people's lives. That's why we need to be doing evangelism and promoting God's word wherever we go. How else will a dark and dying world ever understand the Gospel or see their need for a Savior?

"The People who have been living in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who lived in the region and shadow of death." Matthew 4:16
"Jesus said to them, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will no longer walk in darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Update: I Have A Dream - I Have A Dream And You Are In It - Dream Fulfilled On December 6th, 2014

Fourteen months ago I wrote a blog on a dream I had (a vision or strong desire for something to happen). But my dream would have to be shared with other people who would participate in order for it to come to pass. So, I wrote my blog explaining my dream. On October 26th, 2013, I wrote this blog:


I Have A Dream

  I have a dream. Some of you are in my dream. Don't be afraid, because it is a good dream. I think we can do this if we have enough other people who dream like I do.
  Want to know what my dream is? It's simple. I have a dream that a group of us could be in a parade one day. A Christmas parade would be ideal. We would be wearing either  T-Shirts or long sleeved shirts, depending upon the weather, that would be in the colors to match the wordless book. You can see a description of what the colors mean by going to my blog at: The Colorful Story
  Basically, gold stands for God, and the gold streets of heaven. Black reminds us of sin, a dirty heart because of our selfishness. Red stands for the blood of Jesus Christ, who died to take away our sin and to cleanse our hearts. White stands for a cleanse heart, and green stands for growing things. We want to be spiritually healthy after we come to Christ and are born again into the family of God.
   We could have some type of music. A good song would be 'Mary Did You Know?'. Perhaps it could be on an I-Pad carried by someone, or maybe a child could be pulling a wagon with the radio or cd player on it.
  Another idea would be to be carrying helium balloons that will be in the matching colors as well. But the most fun thing we can do is to toss beach balls to the bystanders. The beach balls will have the Gospel message on them. There are many other things we can add to this parade idea that is my dream.
   Getting into a parade is not hard, but you have to register early in the year.
  This is my dream. Children can be involved also. We can glorify God in the parade and make His name known to a lost and dying world as we go down the street with the rest of the floats. Something to think about.

        Today, this dream has been fulfilled. Or actually, I should say is being fulfilled for it is more than a one time event. There are a few things I want to accomplish in my lifetime, and two of them are; evangelism and being in a parade. 

   The evangelism part is being fulfilled to some degree, but what if I could combine evangelism and being in a parade together? We could sow a lot of Gospel seeds because the crowds are large and kids are eager to receive items. We are eager to give items out. How else could we better celebrate a holiday than to give out items that people enjoy and at the same time communicate the Gospel message? Would this ever be possible though? 

   When I would mention this to people, either people didn't hear me (which is very possible because of my soft voice) or they never read my blogs (which also is possible, because people today don't like to read and don't have time to read blogs). I would need at least 10 people who wanted to be in a parade. Now it was on hold because no one responded to my dream request. That's ok, because God knows about it, and if He put it into my heart, He will bring it to pass. 

   My friend posted a picture of a Christian float in a Christmas parade (about a month or so after I wrote my blog) and she believed that this was a great way to glorify God. She was in awe of this float, so I suggested we do a parade, to which she agreed to. So we talked to our husbands and to our church leaders and everyone was fine with it. Could we get at least 10 people though who would join us? 

   I asked around and got a lot of interested people respond. I also had to contact the Chamber of Commerce to find out how to get in. A lot of work had to be done up front, to make sure we could get into the parade. My husband was very supportive of the idea, and helped do the really hard physical work. Should we have a float? What should we give away? Where do we get banners made up from? Should we have T-Shirts with graphics or just matching clothes? What should be the theme of the float? What would we do for music? What should we call ourselves? I'm glad we tackled each of these questions we were asking ourselves, one at a time. 

    By the time August came around, I recontacted the Chamber of Commerce to make sure I didn't miss anything. I received a registration form from them and promptly turned it in, as soon as the announcement was made that registration was open. We had T-Shirts made up from a company in California, with a graphic designed by a woman in our church. We had all 5 banners designed by a man in our church, and another man gladly lent us his truck and flatbed to use, which we decorated as well as we could. I had balloons printed up with Gospel messages on them, as well as stickers, DVDs from Voice of the Martyrs, lollipops with stickers (homemade graphics with Gospel points on them), Candy Cane Legend cards laminated with candy canes taped on them, frisbies with a Bible verse and church info on them, and a few other items. We made over 3,000 items each with a Gospel point or Bible verse on them. Now the question was, would my application for the parade get accepted?

    It was October 31st, and I hadn't heard back from the parade committee yet. They said in the letter that if we were accepted, we would hear by November 3rd. October 31 was on a Friday. They don't work over the weekends. What if Monday comes (November 3rd) and I still don't hear? They said the applicants who don't get accepted will have their money returned. Should I just wait now for a returned check? It was a very sad weekend indeed, realizing the possibility of not being accepted in the parade, after all the work we had now put into it. How would I tell the people who were excited about the parade, about this inevitable rejection, that I was sure would come on Monday or sometime this week? Would there be any alternative parades to go to? 

    By Sunday evening, November 2nd, I found another parade. The person I wrote to was very accommodating as well, and welcomed me to sign up for it. I found the form online and filled it out, but on Monday I would wait for the rejection letter before I clicked it on (just to make sure we really were rejected). I had the page open, the form filled out, and was going through my email, and found the letter I assumed would be the rejection letter. I opened it up and it said, "Congratulations. You have been accepted to participate in the 62nd annual parade". Well, I guess I didn't need to find out about another parade after all.

    The following weeks, we worked with full force on making the give away items and also the float. It cost a lot of money but God provided it for us. God gave me wisdom to know what to have imprinted on every item and banner. Everything turned out great! Now, for the big day, Saturday, December 6th, 2014.
    The rain forecast last week was 40% chance of rain for that day.  But, we prayed and the day before the parade, the rain chance was about 0%. But all did not look well. It started raining the night before. It continued to rain and at 5:30 am, when I got up, it was still raining. All I could think of was that the parade would probably be called off unless the rain stopped. I was thinking about the saying, 'Rain before 7, stops by 11" although we know that it doesn't always work out that way. And even if it did, it would have to stop around 8:30 when all the floats are setting up. My remote on the television didn't work, so I went to the Weather Channel on the internet, and saw that the rains were definitely just scattered rains, not big storms coming in. Still, there were dark green spots inside of the green areas of rain. Why was there rain only over the area where I lived and where the parade was going to be? Everywhere else, it looked clear. But the forecast said that it would clear out. 

    On the way to the parade, it was still raining. I was thinking that possibly the phone would ring and someone would call to say that the parade was cancelled, but that didn't happen. By the time we arrive, the rain almost was ended. 

     I must say, this was a very good day. Almost everything fell in place. I prayed for us to have God's favor, and the favor of the parade committee and the people. The people who were in the crowds were very receptive to our give aways. Many thanked us, even though everything was happening so quickly. Many knew what we were about, and we could tell by how they responded to us. One person liked my T-Shirt. I hope we made a hit and will be able to do this again next year, Lord willing. 

Prayer before the parade
   Most of the parades we have done, have been done outside of the parade. We just go and hand out tracts to people. After a while, some people know what the tracts are and don't want them. But when you are in a parade, you have freedom to give things out to people and they seem to be more receptive. 

The Introduction of our parade

   We pray many will be affected for eternity by encountering some part of the Gospel message and as the word of God was given out. We don't know how God will work, but we know He initiated this idea. Our number in the order of the parade was 77. May God's word minister to people and I pray for those who are seeking a church to come to the one we are part of. 

   As much as we hope and believe others have been ministered to, I believe God wants to minister to those of us who participated in this parade. We think it was for 'them', and it was. But it is also for us. God will use this to build faith in us, and to help us come out of our shells a little more. We will become a little bit bolder in sharing the Gospel and standing up for the truth when it is challenged. We will grow together a little bit more as a body of related believers. We will see how easy it is to 'sow seeds' for others. We will also see how much we need to depend upon God for everything, especially in doing the things He has called us to do. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Praying at the very end of the parade.
May God's Presence always be with us, when we are in a parade, or wherever we are. May God's Spirit work in the hearts of those who received the items and as the seeds were sown. May God sow His word in many hearts today.