Monday, August 31, 2009

Cookie Baking Night 8/31



Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. Emily, Ethan, and Carissa were in attendance. We made brownie bites this evening. Fun was had by all.



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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Psalm 139:1-4

I teach the Christian Education class (also known as Sunday School) at our church for the 3-6 year olds. Each quarter we try to memorize a passage of Scripture that coincides with the theme of our lessons for the quarter. Last quarter our theme was creation, and we memorized Psalm 8 (they did such a great job--it was so fun to watch). This quarter our theme is obedience, and we are memorizing Psalm 139:1-4. I think these verses demonstrate the heart of obedience. God knows us and is concerned with our thoughts and intentions as well as our actions. Nothing is hidden from Him.

Psalm 139:1-4 (ESV)

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Evangelism Video 8/29/09

Today I would like to share a video with you of Paul Washer doing some street preaching in Peru. It's different than what I usually share. This one takes a little effort to watch. Mr. Washer is speaking in Spanish since he is in Peru. There are subtitles for those who need them (I certainly did). Despite the challenges to the American, I think the message preached and the faces of the people in the crowd make this video worth watching.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frightening Friday 8/28

On Fridays, I usually set out somewhere in the community to intentionally share the gospel with people I meet. I'm usually out there for about 45 minutes to an hour. This week I knew I had another time commitment from early afternoon into the evening, so I wasn't planning on going out with the intention of evangelism this Friday. My previous commitment fell through, so I quickly made other plans. My backup plans ended up having a later start than originally planned, as well. So, I found myself with an uncommitted chunk of time and many, many ways I could fill it. At this point, I wasn't even thinking of going out and witnessing to others about Christ because I already had my excuse securely placed in my mind.

My mind started moving toward the skate park near our home (just a couple miles away). I hadn't been there for awhile. I was home from work earlier than usual; a rarity on a Friday. I knew the crowd would be different in the afternoon than in the evening, and I would likely get a chance to talk to people I haven't seen before. Soon my mind moved from thinking about doing it to committing to doing it. And at that moment, I became terrified (even more terrified than usual), and I went to the Lord in prayer. After praying, I gathered my things together (gospel tracts, cooler full of soda, etc.) and headed out.

When I arrived at the skate park there were a lot of young men hanging out there, a few I had spoken to before, many I had never seen before. It was a warm afternoon. I offered everyone a soda and a gospel tract. There were many takers. I was able to have conversations with a lot of the young people there. I shared the gospel with several of them.

As my conversations with several of the young men were winding down, a guy named Dustin sat down next to me (he looked to be between the age of 17 and 20, quiet young man, serious). He said, "How do I know there is a God?" This opened up some very interesting conversation. He had several questions about the existence of God and I addressed them as best I could. I shared my own testimony with him and gave him a gospel tract that I had written myself. It was an extremely enjoyable conversation. Dustin is a thinker. He asked a lot of questions, and he was truly looking for answers. He was not seeking to be argumentative. He was seeking to know the truth, and I admire that.

I'm praying for Dustin and all of the young men I met at the skate park this evening. I'm grateful to God for the opportunity to speak with them.

If you are reading this blog for the first time because you received a gospel tract from me today, please check out the "My Testimony" post under the May archives and My Favorite Links at the side of this page for other resources (including a link to a Bible-preaching church in the area).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Already Gone-Part 2

Yesterday I shared a little bit about the book I'm currently reading, Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer. Please see yesterday's post for more details about that.

This book surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 20 and 30 who attended conservative, Bible-believing churches while growing up but no longer attend church today. The book seeks to get at the root of this mass exodus of young people from our churches after they reach adulthood. Along the journey, the survey unearthed some interesting findings.

A surprising finding in the study was the answers from children (now adults) who attended Sunday school regularly while growing up. Here's an excerpt from the book (with statistics) for your consideration:

Three out of five individuals in our survey said they "often attended Sunday school." Of those who attended Sunday school, over seven in ten said Sunday school lessons were "helpful." Our results, however, disproved that perception.

Here's the answers to some of the questions posed to this group during the survey:

Do you believe that God used evolution to create human beings?
  • Yes. 24.6% of those who attended Sunday school.
  • Yes. 18.5% of those who did not attend Sunday school.

Do you believe that God used evolution to change one kind of animal into another?

  • Yes. 27.2% of those who attended Sunday school.
  • Yes. 18.8% of those who did not attend Sunday school.

Do you believe that premarital sex is wrong?

  • Yes. 40.8% of those who attended Sunday school.
  • Yes. 47.7% of those who did not attend Sunday school.

Do you feel the Church is relevant to your needs today?

  • No. 46.4% of those who attended Sunday school.
  • No. 39.6% of those who did not attend Sunday school.

Do you believe that you have become anti-church through the years?

  • Yes. 39.1% of those who attended Sunday school.
  • Yes. 26.9% of those who did not attend Sunday school.

---------------------------------------

At the very least, these results are very interesting and certainly thought provoking, worth consideration.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Already Gone-Part 1

I'm in the process of reading Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer. I'm about halfway through the book right now. Ken Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis ministry. Britt Beemer is a marketing research and business analyst expert. Together they set out to survey 1,000 people, between the ages of 20 and 30 who once attended conservative and evangelical churches. They looked at churches that claimed to be Bible-believing churches. Their study was spurred on by other studies (such as one done by George Barna) showing that 61% of today's young adults who were regular church attenders are now "spiritually disengaged." They are not actively attending church, praying, or reading their Bibles. The goal of the authors was this: They wanted to know who was leaving church, why they were leaving, and what (if anything) could be done about it.

When I first heard about this book, I was very interested to read it. I know the people from this study. Though I may not know the particular people of this study personally, they are representative of many of my friends and my husband's friends, people we grew up with, in church, who do not walk with the Lord today.

Here's a few statistics from the book:

Of all the 20 to 29-year-0ld evangelicals who attended church regularly but no longer do so:
  • 95% of them attended church regularly during their elementary and middle school years.
  • 55% attended church regularly during high school
  • 11% were still going to church during college

Those who no longer believe that all of the accounts and stories in the Bible are true:

  • 39.8% first had their doubts in middle school
  • 43.7% first had their doubts in high school
  • 10.6% had their first doubts in college

I find those statistics interesting. Stay tuned for more from this book in the days to come.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-16

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm in the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for us in His Word.

My God Wants Me to be Set Apart From the World

Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable perfect will of God.

Ephesians 5:8-11 (NKJV)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), find out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of the darkness, but rather expose them.

Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-15

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm in the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for us in His Word.

My God Wants Me to Love Others

Romans 12:9-13 (NKJV)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Philippians 2:1-2 (NKJV)

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Hebrews 13:1-3 (NKJV)

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. Remember those who are in prison as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated since you are also in the body.

1 Peter 1:22-23 (NKJV)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.

1 John 2:9-11 (NKJV)

He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness had blinded his eyes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-14

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm in the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for us in His Word.

My God Wants Me to Fear Him

Psalm 2:11
Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.

Proverbs 8:12-13 (ESV)
I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of the evil and perverted speech I hate.

Proverbs 23:17 (NKJV)
Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; for surely there is a hereafter and your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NKJV)
Let us hear the conclusion of this whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

My God Wants Me to be Humble

Romans 12:16 (NKJV)
Be of the same mind one toward another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Don not be wise in your own opinion.

Proverbs 3:7 (NKJV)
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.

Proverbs 29:23 (ESV)
One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Numbers 12:3 (NKJV)
(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all the men who were on the face of the earth).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Evangelism Video 8/22

Today I'm going to share a two-part video series of Tony Miano (from Ambassador's Academy) witnessing to two young men on Hollywood Boulevard shortly after the death of Michael Jackson and several other celebrities. The combined videos are a bit on the long side, but I think it's worth the viewing. The two young men in this video bring up many of the questions and comments that are representative of the average person you stop on the street to engage in a conversation about the gospel (in my opinion, anyway).



Friday, August 21, 2009

Frightening Friday 8/21

Tonight I stopped at the local mall on my way home from work to engage in some evangelism. I have a burning question (and brilliant in my head, anyway) I'd like to ask of people with tattoos, but I haven't been brave enough to do that yet. The most accessible person I found with tattoos this evening had a lot of tattoos and many peircings, and I was too much of a chicken to approach him. Instead, I handed out about 20 gospel tracts and made my way to the door.

On my way to the door, I had one conversation with an interesting young man from Liberia (we talked around the gospel but I didn't share the gospel message with him). I did give him and his friends some gospel tracts, though. He was very curious about what church I attend. I told him the name of my church, and he said he lives out in that area and will check it out sometime. I hope he does.

Please pray for those who received the gospel message in written form this evening. Pray they will read it and respond to the message.

If you are reading this blog today because you received a gospel tract from me, please check out the "My Testimony" post in the May archives and "my favorite links" at the side of this page for other resources.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-13

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm in the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for us in His Word.

God Wants Me to Die to Myself/the Flesh

Galatians 5:22-24 (NKJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)

That you put off concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3:1-5 (NKJV)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth, fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and coveteousness, which is idolatry.

Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?


My God Wants Me to Discern Truth/Seek Wisdom

I Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)

For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no on comprehends the thoughts of God except the spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting truths to those who are spiritual.

Proverbs 2:1-5 (NKJV)

My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

Ephesians 5:17 (NKJV)

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

2 Timothy 2:15-17 (NKJV)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.

Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV)

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses excercised to discern both good and evil.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-12

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm moving into the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for us in His Word.

My God Wants Me to Control My Tongue

Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Proverbs 13:3 (NKJV)

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

Proverbs 15:1-2 (NKJV)

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the fool pours forth foolishness.

Proverbs 21:23 (NKJV)

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.

Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

James 3:5-12 (NKJV)

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father and with it we curse men, who ha been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-11

Please see the What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 10 post for an explanation of today's post. I'm moving into the "W" category of my notebook, and this category has a large number of headings in it. While still focusing on the nature and character of God, these headings move more into expectations God has laid out for me in His Word.

My God Wants Me to be Content

Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state that I am to be content; I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthengs me.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NKJV)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having foood and clothing, with these we shall be content.

Hebrews 3:5 (NKJV)

Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do to me."

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God-10

I'm going to pick up where I left off a few weeks ago with posts from my "What Do I Know About My God?" notebook. I have mentioned (many times now) that our church is working through the book What Do I Know About My God? by Mardi Collier in our monthly women's Bible Study. Part of the structure of this book is to learn how to keep a notebook (mine is a three-ring binder) on the attributes of God. The idea is that as you read through Scripture you write down verses under headings that describe God's character and nature. Some headings are suggested in the book, but you are encouraged to use your own headings as well. I have also mentioned that I am finding this study very useful in establishing a Biblical worldview on paper. I thought I would spend this week sharing the headings I have in my notebook, thus far, and the verses that coincide with the headings. I'm only part way through this study so my list is by no means is an exhaustive list of God's attributes (nor do I ever expect it to be).

Here's today's headings:

My God is Slow to Anger

Psalm 86:15 (ESV)

But You, O LORD are merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

My God is Sovereign

Matthew 10:29-31

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

My God is My Strength

Psalm 28:7-8

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my hear exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him. The LORD is the strength of His people; He is the saving refuge of His anointed.

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat

Today I finished reading Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick (subtitled Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits). Hmmm, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.

It was gospel centered and tackled any eating issue (overeating, bulimia, anorexia) from that angle. I liked that part. My struggle with the book is that the author took a very loooong time laying the foundation of the book. I also found some of her Biblical applications to be a bit of a stretch (perhaps took a few liberties with some of the verses, in my opinion). I found it to be a difficult read and a slow read. I was committed to the concept, though, so I stuck with it.

Here's a few things I gleaned from the book:

> D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D Eating acrostic. Twelve questions to ask yourself before eating anything. (Please see the August 9 post, titled My Latest Read, for a detailed description of this). I found these questions very helpful. I'm not sure a person would realistically take the time to ask all 12 questions before putting food in their mouth, but I think focusing on even a couple of the questions each time would be helpful in engaging your mind in what you're about to do.

> The author addressed the issue of the heart behind eating struggles and not just the behavior.

> The author addressed overeating, bulimia, and anorexia as idolatry and not just disorders.

> The author stressed being in God's Word daily.

> The author set up a structure to follow addressing the Biblical method of change, she stuck with that structure, and built on that concept throughout the book. I found the structure to be thought provoking. It is as follows:

  1. Become convinced that your present method of eating is sinful and cease from it.
  2. Become convinced that God's methods for discplined eating are right and begin practicing them.
  3. Seek diligently to change your mind and become conformed to God's thinking, especially in the area of your eating habits.
  4. Continue to practice these new thoughts and behaviors, even when the struggle gets hard.

Overall, I would recommend reading this book only if you are committed to the idea that overeating is a sin and you want to explore that concept on a deeper level. This book will do that for you but you'll have to work at sticking with it and weed through a few thoughts you might not agree with along the way. I'm glad I read it. I gleaned enough from it to make it worth my while.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Perscecuted Church

The subject of the persecuted church is often on my mind on Sundays. I particularly think of it when I am preparing to go to church and worship freely. I'm reminded that I still have that freedom in this country, and I think of the many people around the world who do not. I think of the many people who do not have a Bible in their own language or the freedom to read it without fear of punishment.

Please pray for the persecuted church around the world. I would also encourage you to check out the Voice of the Martyrs website at http://www.persecution.com. I think this organization does a great job informing the masses about the persecuted church around the world. They have a free monthly magazine that you can sign up for on the website. I highly recommend subscribing to it and getting informed on this subject. It will change your prayer life and how you view the freedom and comfort you experience here in America.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Evangelism Video 8/15

Today I'm going to share another video with you from the Living Waters University series. This is Ray Comfort witnessing to a young woman named Katie.


Frightening Friday 8/14

I call my Friday night posts "frightening Fridays" because I have set that day aside to go out into the community and share the gospel with people I meet. I use the word frightening because it scares me to do so. I'm quiet by nature and not afraid to be alone. The thought of approaching a total stranger (something I rarely do in any situation) makes me sick to my stomach. It is only love for Jesus Christ and the thought that the person standing next to me, or hanging out at the park, or walking down the street might not know of their own sinful condition and the consequences of it that compels me to go out there and speak to people.

They might not know that they have sinned against (broken the laws of) the righteous and holy God of the universe. The God who created this world and created them. They might not know that because God is just He must punish sin and punish lawbreakers. The punishment for that sin is Hell for eternity, eternal damnation. They might not know the seriousness of their condition. And I fear they might not know that they don't have to go to Hell. I want to make sure that they know that God in His lovingkindness provided an escape for them. I want them to know that Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man) came to this earth, lived a sinless life, died a cruel and painful death, and rose again to take the punishment for their sin (and mine). And because of Him, they can live. Because of Him, and only Him, they can be seen as righteous before God.

That is why I go out on Friday nights. What if they don't know?

I was able to share that message (and more) this Friday night at a local skate park. This week I experienced the privilege of being joined by Greg (my husband) and two other friends (Ron and Michael) from the church we attend. It was encouraging to have company in sharing the gospel with others in our community. May God be glorified through it.


If you are on this blog for the first time because you received a gospel tract from me, please check out the "My Testimony" post under the May archives and my favorite links at the side of this page for other resources.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Day Before

The day before I go out and intentionally seek to engage in conversations about the gospel with total strangers, I have a thousand things (hmm, exaggeration?, perhaps) running through my mind. Here's a few of them:

I hope it rains

I know nothing about the gospel or the Bible

I'm too old for this

People will think I'm weird

What if someone asks me a question and I don't know the answer?

Maybe this is wrong and I should spend a couple years cultivating a relationship with someone before I share the gospel

What if I misquote the Bible and misrepresent God?

What if I run into people I know?

Nothing ever comes of this anyway, so what's the use?

I feel so alone in this

Is it wrong to use the law and the gospel when witnessing?

What is wrong with this picture? I'm suddenly considered a bold evangelizer? I'm terrible at this.

Some people think what I'm doing and how I'm doing it is wrong. Are they right?

I hope it rains.

Then I'll have to go to the mall. Ohh, the mall is scary.

What if somone asks me some science questions and I look like an idiot?

What if I'm rejected?

What if someone calls security or the police?

Maybe I'll get sick and have to stay home

These thoughts (and many more) run through my mind every week. Then in the middle of this extremely self-centered thinking (was even one of those thoughts focused on anything but me?), I repent, and my mind takes a turn. These thoughts start popping into my mind.

Have you read your Bible today?

Are you praying about the souls of the lost as much as you are thinking about yourself?

Are you battling sin instead of giving into it?

What do I know about my God?

Is God sovereign or is He not? If He is (and He is), then act like it.

I hope a stranger approaches one of my friends or family members and shares the gospel with them

People are living and dying all over the world for the gospel, out of love and devotion for Jesus Christ. Many people in other countries are being tortured, persecuted, and imprisoned for owning a Bible, let alone sharing the gospel. Persecution has not hit America, yet. Why am I so fearful? It's shameful.

Why wouldn't I share the gospel while I have the opportunity and freedom?

What if I meet (and the chances are very good) someone who has never heard the good news of the gospel? Why wouldn't I want to share that with them?

I pray God allows me that opportunity tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Amazing Grace

Matthew 23: 27-28 (NKJV)
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

In these verses, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. These verses perfectly describe my life until about 6 years ago. I was a whitewashed tomb. I had a lot of people fooled, including myself.

All the world seems to love the song Amazing Grace these days, but do they really know what it means? Can you know what it means if you have not experienced salvation through Jesus Christ?

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see


so much more than a pretty song....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Godly Counsel

I am grateful for godly counsel in my life. Recently, I experienced a difficult situation at work. I spent a morning crying all the way in to work (about a one-hour commute). I called my mom, and her first instinct was to pray with me while on the phone. When things started to get emotional again. She said, "Let's pray again." She prayed for me and quoted Scripture and reminded me of God's attributes. I had that same experience with a good friend of mine and with my husband during that particular work situation. I am thankful for the godly counsel in my life. They could have advised me in ways that would have escalated my emotions and the situation, but they continued to point me toward God and His sovereignty in the situation. I am grateful for their reactions. May it be so in my own life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Life As a Runner

If you know me, you're probably reading this and saying to yourself, "Katrina is a runner?" Well, yes, I am. But not that "ooh, she has the sleek physique of a trained athlete" kind of runner. No, I'm more of an emotional runner. When things get tough, my instinct is to run away. Lately, I've been convicted of the sin of this particular attribute. It is self protection plain and simple. As I am more aware of it, I confess it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. When doing that I also ask God for the ability to lean on Him and not myself, as God's Word instructs me to do. God is answering those prayers. He has allowed me many opportunities lately to run or lean.

I am grateful God instructs me and disciplines me. I don't always enjoy the experience, but I am grateful for His love and His sovereignty.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Latest Read

Right now I am reading Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick (subtitle: Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits). This book seeks to tackle the issue of the heart behind over eating (or under eating). It comes at it from a Christian perspective and with the idea of serving God and not food.

I'm halfway through the book. In the chapter Making Godly Food Choices, the author goes through a list of questions to ask yourself before eating anything. The list forms an acrostic, spelling out the word/s D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E-D Eating (okay, the acrostic is a little weird, but the questions are intriguing). I thought I would list the questions here for your consideration:

Doubt: Do I doubt (for whatever reason) that I can eat this food without sinning?

Idolatry: Does eating this particular food demonstrate either a heart of independence or a heart longing for pleasure? It is important to ask yourself whether you are eating because you are hungry and you need nourishment or if you are eating for reasons that, ultimately, are idolatrous.

Stumble: If I eat this, will it cause a weaker Christian to stumble?

Coveting: Am I eating this just because I saw someone else with it and I'm coveting it?

Inroad: If I eat this, will it create an inroad for sin? For instance, I (Elyse Fitzpatrick) know that whenever I eat chocolate it opens a door for me to desire more and more and I end up eating a lot of candy over a number of days--much more than I should for good health.

Praise: Can I eat this food with thanks and gratitude? Is my heart overflowing with songs of praise to Him?

Life: Would eating this food harm my health in any way?

Illustrate: Am I modeling good eating habits for others and encouraging them to be self-discplined, or do I encourage others to self-indulge?

No: Am I able to say "no" to this even if I know I can eat it without sin? From time to time it is beneficial just to say no to your desires even if you are physically hungry for a particular food. I (Elyse Fitzpatrick) must keep reminding myself that satisfying every whim of my body is self-serving, even if I do have Christian liberty.

Emotions: Does the desire to eat this flow out of a heart of anger, fear, frustration, or depression?

Distract: Will preparing or eating this food distract me from something better that God has for me to do?

Enslaved: Does eating this food, bring me under any kind of bondage? You may have Christian liberty to eat this food, but is it profitable? Will you be mastered by it?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ladies Bible Study 08/08/09

Today the monthly ladies Bible study from our church met in our home. It was a lovely morning. I have mentioned many times now that we are reading the book What Do I Know About My God? by Mardi Collier, and we are creating our own notebook of that same title. I've posted many entries from that notebook on this blog (several this past week, in fact).

I certainly know that I'm enjoying the study and learning a lot about the character and nature of God. It was exciting to hear how the study is impacting the life of the leader and the other women attending the study. We all agreed that it is a study that will continue with us for years to come. We feel equipped to continue the notebook after we finish our study of Psalms this year.

I highly recommend this book and I highly recommend reading the Bible (at least once) through the lens of "What does this teach me about God's character and nature?", "What do I know about my God?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Frightening Friday? 8/7/09

Frightening Friday was canceled today due to rain.

Instead, I'll leave you with another video from the Living Waters University series of Ray Comfort witnessing to a young man named Moses.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God?-Day 9

Please see the post from "What Am I Learning About My God-Day 6" for an explanation of this week's posts.

Here's today's headings & verses:

My God Protects

Psalm 4:8 (NKJV)

I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 9:9-10 (ESV)

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

My God Provides

Matthew 6:25-30

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So, why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so cloethes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you; O you of little faith?

My God is My Rock

Psalm 18:1-2 (ESV)

I love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:46 (ESV)

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God? Day 8

Please see the post from "What Am I Learning About My God-Day 6" for an explanation of this week's posts.

Here's today's heading:

My God Promises Suffering For His Sake

2 Timothy 1:8-12 (NKJV)

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our woks, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason, I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.

2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into vaiours trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

1 Peter 1:6-9 (NKJV)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though, it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see HIm, yet beliveing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

Matthew 5:10-11 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who are presecuted for rightousness' sake, for theirs is the kindom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and perscute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets before you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God-Day 7

Please see the post from "What Am I Learning About My God-Day 6" for an explanation of this week's posts.

Here's today's headings & verses:

My God's Name Deserves Honor

Psalm 8:1 (ESV)

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You have set Your glory above the heavens.

Isaiah 48:9-11

For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off. Behold I have refined you but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? and I will not give My glory to another?

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

Therefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

My God is the Only True God

Psalm 86: 8-10 (ESV)

There is none like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours. All the nations You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorfy Your name. For You are great and do wondrous things. You alone are God.

Psalm 89:6 (ESV)

For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around Him?

Isaiah 44:6-8 (NKJV)

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for me. Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time and delcared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed, there no other Rock; I know not one."

Isaiah 37:15-20 (NKJV)

Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord saying: O LORD of hosts, God of Isarael, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth, You made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all their lands and have cast theit gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands--wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone.

Isaiah 45:5-7 (NKJV)

I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God beisds Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none beisdes Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I the LORD do all these things.

Isaiah 46:9-10 (NKJV)

Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cookie Baking Night 8/3

Tonight was cookie baking night. We made strawberry freezer jam and homemade peanut butter. In this everything-comes-in-a-jar world, I thought we'd take the opportunity to make a couple of the basics from scratch.

In attendance this evening: Kylie, Emily, Ethan, and Carissa.













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Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Am I Learning About My God-Day 6

This week, I will be continuing with my posts from my "What Do I Know About My God?" notebook. I have mentioned (many times now) that our church is working through the book What Do I Know About My God? by Mardi Collier in our monthly women's Bible Study. Part of the structure of this book is to learn how to keep a notebook (mine is a three-ring binder) on the attributes of God. The idea is that as you read through Scripture you write down verses under headings that describe God's character and nature. Some headings are suggested in the book, but you are encouraged to use your own headings as well. I have also mentioned that I am finding this study very useful in establishing a Biblical worldview on paper.

I thought I would spend this week sharing the headings I have in my notebook, thus far, and the verses that coincide with the headings. I'm only part way through this study so my list is by no means is an exhaustive list of God's attributes (nor do I ever expect it to be).

Just one heading for today:

My God Knows Everything:

Daniel 2:20-23 (NKJV)

Daniel answered and said: Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes the kings and raises up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.

Daniel 2:47 (NKJV)

The king answered Daniel and said, "Truly your God is the god of Gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret."

Deuteronomy 31:16-18 (NKJV)

And the LORD said to Moses: "Behold you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, "Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?" And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Evangelism Video 8/1

Here's another evangelism video from the Living Waters University series. This is Ray Comfort witnessing to a man name Chris at Huntington Beach (CA).

Cookie Baking Night (10/23/17)

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made our traditional fall favorite:...