Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What Is The One Thing That You Can't Do In Heaven?

What is the one thing that you and I won't be able to do when we are in heaven? Yes, I know what you are thinking, and the answer is correct, but it is not the answer that the title of this book is asking.
There will be no sin in heaven, but there will be something else that is missing? It is something that we only can do something about while we are living on this side of eternity.

Think again. When you are in heaven, assuming you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord/Savior, there will be a large group of people who will not be there. Only While we are on earth, today, we will  have the opportunity to minister to these people.

One day, you will not be here anymore. Your opportunity to make an impact for the Kingdom of God, here on earth, will be over. There will not be any lost people in heaven.

This book talks about the one thing you won't be able to do in heaven. In heaven, there will be total worship. But in heaven, there will not be any lost people to evangelize. Every day of our lives counts while we are here on earth. Today could be your last day here. What are you going to do about it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Turning A Difficult Situation Into Triumph

  Last year, our church did a float in the Christmas parade. God had put this on my heart to do this for a long time, and now it came to pass.

  We had a group of people, and I made a Facebook event page for us to keep everyone abreast of the latest parade news and any updates I had. It proved to be a helpful tool for us to communicate what we were all doing with our involvement in the parade.

   As soon as the parade was over, I made a new Facebook page, with a similar name, but a different date. Throughout the year, we have come together on the page and shared our ideas and thoughts. This went well for a long time, but, something very strange happened.

   I know God has a sense of humor and for a couple of days, I did not see anything humorous in this 'adventure' I found myself in. I never asked for this to happen, and it happened suddenly, without a whole lot of warning.

   Last year, we had about 50 people who were involved in the parade. I don't think all 50 came out the day of the parade. Some just helped. But, the number at the most, was 50, well maybe a little over. But, a couple of days ago, the number of people joining us for the parade event on Facebook is a thousand.

   What are we going to do? Do these people know we are a group with Metro Life Church of Casselberry? Do they share our vision of communicating the Gospel and making God's name known to all? What was I going to do with all these people? What if they all showed up the morning of the parade, thinking they are part of our group?

   I put out some clarification posts, defining what we are doing. The number went from a little under 300 'joiners' last week to 1K in a couple of days. I want people to communicate with me and tell me why they are joining our event.

   A couple of people wanted to have their groups in the parade and thought they could join us. Others thought they could just join our group, not understanding why we were going to be in the parade. It was definitely an interesting experience. We started having spammer post their ads. Some of the people felt sorry for me and were trying to help me figure out how we could make this a private event (which we never could figure out how to do).

   Then the angry posts started coming. One lady demanded that I stop sending her notifications. I had noticed that several people whom I did not even know, were sharing the event and tagging their friends. I posted a message telling people to not share this event. It didn't do much but make people angry. Some of the people posted and asked me to delete their names. I couldn't. There was no delete feature to use.

   I was so tired because I only slept 3 hours the night before. We went to a class at church that evening when suddenly, a light came on for me. I was thinking of what I could say in my next post to the group. I was coming up with the words to say when I was rehearsing the Gospel message in it. I don't know if it was habit for my thinking to be like that, or, if it were the Lord telling me what to write. It fit so perfectly.

   I have to admit, I was angry during the day. How much more work was this going to involve? I am sure it showed up in my posts too. But something interesting happened. When I saw the email from the woman demanding me to stop sending her notifications, all I could think of was, 'what a dumb person. She joined the event page. Why is she complaining to me about the notifications?'. But when I responded to her, I felt no anger and I was able to graciously help her to delete herself from the group.

   A couple of people said they were going to delete themselves. One person added that she was going to go to the parade but now she did not feel welcome. So, something that started out as a good idea that would serve us as a group, was now making people angry.

   But now, the tables are being turned. Some people suggested that I delete the FB event page and start a new one. I probably would have done that if the parade were a couple of months away, or more, but since it is around the corner, I will just keep it for now.

   I am going to make all the joiners feel welcome. I will accommodate their desires (as much as possible). I am giving them instructions on where to park and even making them feel like they are part of us. Then, at the right time, I will bring in the Gospel message.

   I have been praying for all those who have joined the group. May God open their eyes and help them to see Him. And may they learn of the true meaning of Christmas this year.

   Maybe they will receive the best Christmas present ever! Let's pray for them to respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith!

  And who knows? Maybe this is the only time they would ever hear the Gospel? Maybe this is God's way of bringing it to them?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pulling Teeth Makes False Converts

"If you have to pull someone's teeth to get them to respond to the Gospel, then they aren't ready to respond to the Gospel".

People have to be hungry for God, in order for them to respond to Him in repentance and faith. We can reason with people from the Scriptures all day and night (and we should be doing that), but unless there is a genuine hunger for God, the person will only become a false convert, at best.

Pulling teeth, or trying to make something happen that is hard, is a form of manipulation. It is trying to do the work that only God can do in a person's heart. No amount of begging or pressuring will work in getting people to respond to the Gospel. Not with genuine results, anyway.

There are a lot of different responses I get from people when sharing the Gospel. Some will have nothing to do with it, and they may even rebuke me harshly. Others seem interested, but not enough to make a commitment. There are some though, who really are interested and will most likely respond when their hearts are fully prepared to receive the Gospel.

If there is not a hunger there, then we really could be trying to 'shove God down their throats'. Of course, ultimately, it is their responsibility to respond to God and sharing the truths of the Gospel is not necessarily 'shoving God down their throats'. We could be force-feeding them something they find repulsive.

The Bible says that we will find God when we search for Him with 'all our hearts'. Receiving salvation is not a half-hearted thing. We receive all of God, and everything that entails that, or, we do not receive God at all. We don't add God to our lives. We die to our selfishness and let go of sin, then we receive from God.

The next time we go out evangelizing, let's go where the fish are biting. I like this quote and it makes a lot of sense: You can bring a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it. Another good one is, "I am just one beggar telling other beggars where to find bread". That one is good because it ties in with what I am saying. If the other beggars are hungry, they will go to the bread and eat it. If people are hungry for God, they will respond to Him. It takes a work of God in a person's heart for him or her to be hungry for God. No one searches after God unless God makes that heart ready.

You and I cannot make a person hungry for God, but sometimes we can whet their appetite by sharing the good news of the Gospel and teaching the truths of God to others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Vision of Sowing And Reaping

  There was a time when I wanted to do it all. I would loved to have had the privilege to share the Gospel with someone and lead Him or her to the Lord. But how does God work in all that?

   We know the Bible says that one sows and another reaps, but God gives the harvest. God is the One who initiates the work in someone's heart to hear the Gospel. Many times, we share the Gospel with a person who is resistant and has a hard heart. It can be very discouraging unless we understand that, at one time, we all had hardened hearts to the Gospel. We resisted God when we heard the words of truth. But, somehow, God continued to work and we came to Christ, in spite of our resistance to Him.

   Sometimes, when we attempt to share the Gospel with someone, that person is hard. But, there are times when the person's heart will soften if he or she continues to listen to the voice of truth. Many times, people take home the message we tried to share with them, but were not able to because of their resistance to us.

   God uses His word to soften hearts. Then, another person comes along and shares some more Gospel truth with the person. Eventually, the person's heart is prepared to hear the Gospel message and it is gladly received. God had prepared the person's heart and used His word to soften their hearts.

  You might be the third person to share the Gospel message with someone. Or maybe, you just prayed for someone to get well and they were ministered to. The next time a person talks to the person you just prayed for, he or she will be more open to hearing the Gospel.

   If every person who has called upon the name of the Lord were to share the Gospel with people and demonstrate the Gospel with their lives, people on the outside would have no excuse for their rejection of the Gospel message. If the person has 6 or 7 seeds sown into him or her, the Gospel can take root as God works in that person's heart.

   The other day, I was at a restaurant, and as we were coming out, there was a family there, three women and one man (not sure how they were all related). Somehow, my friend was talking with them and they were explaining that the man was sick and was going to have his gall bladder removed. I tossed the idea around of offering to pray for him, but was not sure I should do that. As I continued to think about it, I decided to ask if he wanted prayer, which he said he did. They all seemed happy that I would pray for the man. So I did.

   I did not however, have the opportunity to share the Gospel with him. But, perhaps someone else will. If more than 2% of the people who know the Lord would share the Gospel, then there would be a greater chance of this family hearing the Gospel message.

   Sometimes when we sow seeds, it doesn't look like anything is happening. This was the case of Frank Jenner, who lived in Sydney, Australia. Jenner was radically saved while in the navy, and made a decision of giving tracts out every day to people on George Street, which was in downtown Sydney. Jenner did this for years, but never saw any results.

   A pastor who lived in England heard several testimonies of people who had gotten saved because a man in Australia gave out tracts to them on George Street. The man would ask the question, 'If you were to die tonight, are you 100% sure you would go to heaven?' Many were disturbed at his question. Some took the tracts. Others rejected the tracts. Frank Jenner never knew the results of his tract distribution until he was elderly. The pastor from England was so intrigued by so many coming to Christ because a man on George Street in Sidney Australia gave them a tract. So, while he was visiting Australia, he decided if he could track this man down.

    The pastor from London found out that the man's name was Frank Jenner. He found his address and stopped in. He told Frank Jenner of all the people who came to know the Lord because of his tracts and questions to them. Frank Jenner was surprised, of course. He found out this information not too long before he died and left this life behind.

   But my point about Frank Jenner is this; Although Frank Jenner passed out many tracts and asked many the pointed question, those who came to Christ because of his giving them a tract, did not respond to the Gospel by going back to Australia to find Frank Jenner and ask him questions. Instead, these people who responded to the Gospel, responded by finding a trusted, Christian friend or pastor to help lead him or her to Christ. This is where sowing and reaping come in.

    Sometimes, you and I will be those who sow the seeds. We might just pray for someone. Or, we might even share the Gospel with someone, or give out a tract. Then, someone else comes along and shares the Gospel or ministers to that person. That is why we pray for laborers to be raised up. We want the number of people in churches who are sharing the Gospel to be more than 2%. If we had a vision for this, I think many more will hear the Gospel and come to Christ. Are we up for this? Can we handle the challenge? It will be worth all the work involved. The results will be eternal, and many will be eternally grateful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Unplanned Experience Of Being In A French Culture

   We got ready to go to Canada for a business trip my husband was taking. I went along for the ride this time and planned out all I was going to do. Among the many things I planned was to bring some tracts. Of course, going to this part of Canada would not be the same as going to Maine or to Boston, where people are everywhere. In fact, I was very surprised and the surprise started on the plane trip to Canada.

  We were going to a place called, 'La Malbaie' somewhere in Quebec. I already knew that people in Canada spoke both English and French, but I didn't realize just how much French there would be. And, of course, I was not prepared.

  The lady who hosted us on the plane (Air Canada) spoke French. She could speak English, but was much more natural at French.

  I, of course, never studied French. I learned a few words from watching 'Madeline', a cartoon for little girls that had good morals. Other than that, I may as well have been in Greece or China.
  Before I left, I was sure I had some French tracts, but I searched my tract box and never found them. I found some Spanish ones, but that is not the same as French. How could I have better prepared for this event?

  The only English speaking people around were the ones from the work group. There were a few other people staying at the hotel or eating in the restaurants who spoke English, but most of the people visiting the hotels and restaurants were even French speaking.

   Suddenly, about the third day into this trip, I got a bright idea. Since we had internet access, I decided to go to Bible Gateway and look up some verses from the French version of the Bible. There were four different French versions and I don't know if any of them are preferable, so I used the top one. I copied and pasted the verses and saved them to a file, and intended to write them on paper and put them in places where I would have put tracts.

   But here is even a better idea: I went to Larry Kent's tract page, because I know he has tracts made in foreign languages. I found one in French, so I downloaded it. Then I copied an excerpt from it onto paper. This is the best way to make a simple tract when you don't know how to speak the language and don't have tracts with you that are in the target language.

  The hotel provided a writing tablet which I used to write the message on. Quite an experience writing words I have never seen before. God's word will never return void, and will accomplish its goal even on a small piece of paper.

   If I ever go to Canada again, I will prepare better. I will order some French tracts from Living Waters and also print out some of the French tracts from

   Thank you Larry Kent for making this tract available at the moment I needed it. It wasn't the same as printing the tracts off, but it was definitely better than giving up because I don't know the language and didn't have any tracts with me that were in French.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Garage Sale Evangelism

We have an opportunity here in our subdivision twice a year, to do a garage sale. I am not a garage sale type of person, nor do I buy things normally, that I change my mind about, but, I find that having garage sales can be a good way to promote the Gospel message.

   My daughters have a lot of stuff to sell, so they usually do the garage sale at our house. I don't have much to sell, but I do make loaves of cinnamon bread to sell, in order to bring in some pocket change for me. One man came back yesterday to our garage sale, because he remembered the bread, and more specifically, the bread that I put the raisins in! I also made cookies and they sold like hot cakes!

   I am not into baking food that is not good for us anymore, but, I know that those who go to garage sales enjoy the loaves and cookies, so I will make those specifically at this time. Of course, I will use the very best ingredients I can find, for what I am making and for the audience I am baking for.

   But, even more importantly, we have a table of free items we give out. On this table we give out New Testaments, toys imprinted with Scriptures and/or a Gospel message, books, and tracts. One other interesting thing I have done is to print out a copy of a poem called, 'If Jesus Came To Your House' and then laminated it. I display it in a plastic frame and for the past two garage sales, people have wanted this picture/poem (they even wanted the plastic frame!).

   Many people thank me for offering the stuff on this table. They are grateful for what I put out. I have not yet heard anyone be antagonistic about it, and I don't try to make people take anything from the table. If they don't want it, I just leave them alone.

   The table is a great way to start conversations with people. Yesterday, a man came by who was part of some kind of benevolence ministry. He seemed familiar with the Gospel, yet, he himself was not part of any church. I met a young woman who was familiar with the Gospel and we talked for a long time. I got to meet her and we became friends. Many took the toys home. I have a sign that tells the people to take only one toy per person, but I see many take quite a few home with them. The toys have urls on them for people to go to. The beach balls are a favorite, and they go quickly. Imprinted on them are the words 'What Can Wash Away My Sin?' and on the other side 'Nothing But The Blood of Jesus!'

   I put out 3 'Evidence Bible' New Testaments and they were gone by the time I cleaned up. The wind has a way of blowing the tracts around, but people loved them as well. Many were fascinated with the 'Giant Money' tracts and took them home as if they were souvenirs.

   My husband compiled a book as well, and some of those were taken. This book ministers to a certain group of people and brings the hope of the Gospel to those who are grieving. Here is the book sold on amazon

One time, we had a woman who wanted several copies to hand out to some women at a ladies meeting.
We have given several to friends as well.

   At a former garage sale, we saw something funny. Sometimes, I would get irritated at the thought of what happened. It was at my daughter's house, and we had the basket of beach balls on the sidewalk because they did not seem to get noticed by many (this was before we decided to do a 'free table'). It was time for us to start cleaning everything up because the time had come for the garage sale to be over. In the basket there were 6 beach balls left. A van pulled up and parked, and a man got out and took all the beach balls and brought them back to the van. He did not look at anything else in the garage sale that was being offered. I imagine he took the beach balls to try to resell them and make money off them, since they were free to take. But even if he did do that, the message of the beach balls was spread to whoever the recipients were, whether they were sold to them, or just given away.

   Yesterday, a man who didn't speak very good English came up and took some items from the table. He wanted to take an assortment because he believed in the message and wanted others who either lived in his house or were close to him to see the message imprinted on the toys. He also took a copy of the poem and another sign I had made with a message on it. He seemed to indicate the everything on the 'free table' was a very good idea.

   All we can do now is pray that God's word will penetrate the hearts of the people who took the items. Who knows, maybe some of them, like the man who came back for the loaves of bread, will come back because they are hungry for God's word? Maybe they will come back with questions and wanting to know more. Or, perhaps God will work in their hearts and send someone else to share the Gospel message with them. Maybe their time will come for salvation, and the literature and items on the free table will have had a part in playing a role in their coming to Christ. Only eternity will reveal the impact of what God will do when His word is displayed for others to receive.

 " I planted. Someone else watered. But God is the One who made it grow."*
All we can do is sow seeds and water them. God is the One who activates His word in a person's heart. He makes the word come alive. He gives life and makes things grow.

* Taken from 1 Corinthians 3:6

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Evangelism In NYC/Salvation In A Person Not A Formula

Evangelism doesn't seem like something a person would do while on a trip celebrating their wedding anniversary, does it? Well, maybe it can happen anyway.

One thing I have been thinking about lately, is our understanding of evangelism. We tend to think of it as some kind of separate activity in our lives, kind of like an extra-curricula activity. We know it is important and we really don't want people to have to be under God's judgment on That Day. But there seems to be a missing component, at least that is the way it seems to me.

When I came to Christ, God used many different means to reach me. One of the most effective ways was by placing me in front of a girl in my class, whose last name had the same first two letters as mine did. God was already preparing my heart to come to know Him, and I had rebelled against Him, and wanted to do my own thing. But by this time in my life, I was ready to hear what the Gospel really was.

The girl who sat behind me told me things I had never heard or imagined. She talked about the Lord as if He were a person right in the same room as we were. She didn't go through the Romans Road with me. She didn't take me through the 4 Spiritual Laws. She just talked about the greatness of God and her love for Him. It just seemed natural.

I am grateful for all the evangelism courses I have been through and learned from. But I wonder how much is necessary if you have the gist of what the Gospel means. I think the courses and books have been helpful, but I also know that if we are not walking with the Lord, they just become a set of rules that we are obligated to give out to others so they won't go to hell.

I wrote all that to say that, first of all, I think NYC would be a great place to do evangelism. I wish I could have met every person I saw, and I saw lots and lots and lots of people there. Many foreigners were there as well. My ancestors came into NYC. I wonder if anyone ever shared the Gospel with them? I wonder if perhaps they knew the Lord?

Well, it was easy to lay a tract in each restroom I visited, for there were many. But what could I say about God to others that would help me to have an open door to communicate the Gospel?

We had a tour guide, and a tour driver for two days. We loved our tour guide. She was very personable and had a good sense of humor. She seemed to have some kind of spiritual thinking, but it didn't seem like the Gospel was there. At one point, I was able to explain some things about the book, "The Cross and the Switchblade" (David Wilkerson). Whenever I tell the stories from this book, people seem intrigued. I guess there is so much God did, and I could pull a million stories out from this one book, and make several spiritual applications as well. As I was explaining what God was doing, the tour guide wrote down the name of the book. I thought that was pretty cool.

At the end of the first day, the tour guide got a sudden headache. She explained a little bit about it. The thought came to my mind that I could pray for her. How would she react? I had a feeling that she would have been fine with it. When we got to our hotel and got out of the car, I asked if I could pray for her headache, to which she replied that I could. We gathered and prayed a little prayer for that.

  Nothing was said the next day, and we had a big day planned. We went to all kinds of places and then the day was over, as far as our touring would be concerned. We were brought back to the hotel and we said our good-byes to the driver and the tour guide. She seemed affected by our time together and getting to know us for those two days. I gave her my email address and would hope that she would write to me sometime.

  I got the email today, and it was a very nice one. She enjoyed the time we had together and was sorry she could not have written sooner. At the end, she told me that the prayer I prayed worked.

  I have not gotten yet to communicate the Gospel to her, but will keep in touch with her and I will trust God for an open door to minister the Gospel to her.

  Please pray for this lady. Pray for her heart to be open to the Gospel and pray that she will have eyes to see God with.

   You might be asking, what does this have to do with what I wrote about at the top of this article? What I have learned is, and you probably have heard this many times, that we are not giving people a formula to get to heaven with. Salvation is not a formula for us to follow so we can skip hell. Salvation is a person, and lost people need to meet this Person. We can know the Bible inside and out, and we should be that familiar with the Scriptures, but I think we neglect the relationship aspect of our salvation. We are not sharing the Gospel with people because our relationship with God is growing and God is becoming more real to us. My friend, the girl who sat behind me in class, did not give me a formula to follow in order for me to have what she has. She was just exuberant about God being in her and with her. She was in awe of who God is. I don't remember her asking me too many questions, but one of them was, 'Don't you just love Him?' At first, it seemed strange because I never looked at God that way. I looked at God as a distant being and if we were going to reach Him, we would have to know the formula, whatever that was about.

I think we need to communicate God as a God who is personal, and we need to be communicating Bible truths about Him, bringing in His character. Then when we talk about the Gospel with the people we have been sharing with already, it will make more sense to them.

One more word: I personally think most Christians are Pelagian, meaning that we first of all, don't see our sin as a heart issue. We see sin as a choice issue. Second, we have this same expectation out of others. We think they need to pull up their bootstraps and get right with God in order to be saved. Pelagians tend to think of God as distant, and if they make the wrong move, they will be under God's judgment. What I fear most, is that the whole concept of having a relationship with God is very foreign to many Christians today. The reason why is twofold; many do not think they are as sinful as they are, and they have no understanding of God's mercy and grace. They do not understand the power of the Cross, not only to cleanse us from sin, but also to break the bonds of the yoke of sin over us.

   This is why I believe many go about preaching/sharing/evangelizing with a formula mentality. Sure, the lost person needs to understand that he or she has sinned seriously before a holy God. But we have to remember that salvation is God's word. We do the loving, sowing, and praying. God does the work in the heart.

Lots of people in NYC. A great place to do

Every one of those people needs to hear the Gospel. Who
will reach them?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How Not To Do Evangelism - Tell The Whole Story

I am full of blog ideas and would love to spend the next 6-8 hours blogging, but living in a real world makes that impossible. So, I will do one that is on my heart at this moment.

I would ask my readers to please pray for me to be able to briefly communicate the things I am trying to say. No one wants to spend all afternoon trying to get through a blog, and I certainly need help in learning how to communicate better!

This thought I have now, I am still sorting through. I remember learning something important from Living Waters while watching the videos on 'The Way of The Master'. Kirk and Ray were good at pointing out the fact that a foundation of understanding needs to be laid out before the people can actually grasp the Gospel message. I have heard this from others as well. For example, to just tell people that 'Jesus saves' will have no meaning to most people. We have to keep in mind that the majority of the people around us have never heard the Gospel message before. Many do not know who Jesus is, and most do not fear God because they do not understand that God is bigger than they are and God is holy and we will all be accountable to Him one day.

I am surprised at the number of people who have never heard of the 10 Commandments. Our job is to educate them. It is not our job to judge them and assume that they are in total rebellion against God, while we have arrived. Yes, they are in rebellion against God. But, would they repent if they hear the Gospel and it actually made sense to them? I think some would. But they need to hear the whole story, not just phrases or instructions to repent.

Greg Koukl tells of a story when he was a young man trying to tell the Gospel to someone. Greg told the other man that 'Jesus died for you'. The other man responded by saying, 'I'm sorry.' The man obviously had no clue of what the Gospel meant or why Jesus died for him.

But we get out there, so many times, like John the Baptist, and order people to repent. Do these people even know what 'repent' means? Are they being convicted by God for their sins, and do they see their need for a Savior? Perhaps they do, but most probably, they have no idea what you are talking about.

Maybe the best way to educate people is to just preach the Gospel to them. Depending upon the amount of time I have, I like to start in the book of Genesis when sharing the Gospel. When we go through the Old Testament and start explaining about Jesus' life and death, as well as resurrection, the Gospel makes sense to people most of the time. But if I were to skip all that and just tell people to repent and trust in Jesus, they would probably either look at me like I was speaking Greek or they would get angry with me because they would assume I am beating them over the head with the Bible.

So, next time you are out there evangelizing, keep this in mind. There is a lot of undoing/unlearning that we will have to do when teaching or reteaching people the Gospel. Each person has their own baggage, filters, experiences, that he or she will relate when hearing key words of the Gospel, and we will have to help them to see the bigger picture. Of course, only the Holy Spirit can help them grasp the Gospel message, but we can speak the words of life to them and God will make those words alive in their hearts should they respond.