Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
This evening I decided to leave the cross in my vehicle and challenge myself to walk around the mall and give out gospel tracts when I first arrived. That turned out to be a pretty good plan. Shortly after I walked into the mall via my usual entrance I noticed that something was missing......hmmmm........that would be the bench that I usually sit on.......two benches actually, back to back with a very large wooden planter, complete with greenery. The whole configuration was gone. In its place was a large empty space. (I left the picture here for the visual). Perhaps my spot was a little more noticeable than I gave it credit for. This thought became clearer to me when I noticed the place where the bench had been moved. It would be like comparing the evening traffic found on a country road (lit only by the starry sky) with that of a an oft-used highway (shining from the glow of the street lamps). Admittedly, I was mentally shaken by this event for a few minutes, but I shook it from my mind and made my way around the mall handing out gospel tracts (while doing a little bench scouting work for my next trip there). I challenged myself to hand out 20 tracts this evening and was able to exceed the goal by a few.
Please pray for those who received the gospel in their hands this evening.
P.S. I would also appreciate prayer for boldness (love for others) and for a passion to proclaim the gospel with all that I meet.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Last weekend, I had a visit at my door from a woman of the Jehovah Witness faith. She was accompanied by her young daughter (the daughter looked to be about 9 or 10). She wanted to leave a couple Watchtower magazines with me. I declined them and told her I was somewhat familiar with the teaching in the magazine, and I disagreed with it. She asked my spiritual background and what I disagreed with. I said, "I think we believe in a different Jesus."
She said, "We believe in Jesus. We believe he's God's son. We believe he died for our sins. We believe he's our savior."
I said, "I believe He is fully God and fully man."
She said, "Ohh, I don't believe that."
She then spent a few minutes trying to convince me of what she believed. She quoted a lot of Scripture in the process (not really in context or as logical evidence to support what she was saying, but she quoted a lot of Scripture nonetheless). She ended with this statement, "It doesn't really matter if we don't agree about who Jesus is."
I said, "Oh, but I think it does." I told her that the gospel of John is pretty clear about this issue and recommended that she read it with this in mind. We then parted ways.
Which brings me back to my opening paragraph about the equipping ministry of my church. Because so much time is spent on the basic Christian doctrines (such as, who is Jesus) and Scriptures to support it, I am aware of what I believe, why I believe it, and I'm able to articulate it and defend it when necessary (though I was a little surprised to hear the words come out of my mouth and to realize they were actually in my head--Praise be to God for the retention of thought!).
So, again I'll be sharing with you the link to our Thursday Night Bible study and prayer meeting service. This is the last message in the Basic Christian Doctrines series. The topic for this message is "future events". Click Here to listen to the message.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In chapter 6, the author spends time focusing on the value of our marriages in the area of parenting. Three of my favorite paragraphs in the book are found at the end of chapter 6 (pages 121 & 122):
This chapter has said that our example matters, that our marriages preach the gospel. It has also indicated that the gospel produces the humility that attracts our children. The gospel has another crucial function. It is the place where needy parents go for cleansing and forgiveness. When I am impatient with my wife, I run to the cross for forgiveness. When I treat my wife selfishly or thoughtlessly, in front of my children, I run to the cross for forgiveness. When my wife fails, she goes there also. At the cross, we find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb 4:16).
We also run to the cross for motivation. When I need a model of sacrificial love, I look to the cross. There I see Christ dying for me, his enemy. When my wife needs motivation to submit to a very imperfect husband, one every bit her equal, she looks to the cross. There she sees Christ submitting to his Father, who was every bit his equal. Jesus doesn't complain. He doesn't demand a turn to lead the Trinity. He doesn't try to control his Father. He doesn't try to manipulate him. He just willingly goes to the cross in perfect obedience and dies.
The cross is our salvation from the condemnation of sin. The cross motivates us to be the parents that God wants us to be. The cross motivates us to preach a compelling example to our children. The cross exposes our pride. It humbles us. It shows us who we really are--sinners saved by grace.
As I mentioned above, I have three chapters to go in this book. But, I would recommend it on chapters 1 through 9 alone. I could stop reading it now and feel it was worth the read (but I do plan to finish it up). I would recommend it for the home bookshelf. I think it would be an excellent resource.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
We made Andes mint cookies, played a few games, and read from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland.
Tonight's lesson was "What the Law Means". We've spent a fair amount of time learning the 10 Commandments, and now the lessons in our book are explaining what we've been learning. It's an exciting time. Emily read the Bible passage for us this evening (1 Kings 17:8-16). As the kids take turns reading the Bible passages from the story (well, just Emily and Ethan read at this point), they are also learning how to maneuver around the Bible and find the books that correlate with our story (we're putting into practice the time we've spent so far memorizing the order of the Old Testament and New Testament books).
Now that Emily's brother and sister are teenagers (17 and 14), they have moved from Cookie Baking Night attenders to taxi service (Joe has graduated from Cookie Baking and Meghan still makes sporadic apprearances). Tonight, when they came back to pick up Emily, they stopped inside to visit and enjoyed a plate of leftover chicken nuggets from our supper earlier that evening. It was fun to spend some time with them and hear about what is going on in their lives. I think the many Monday nights they have spent in our home over the years has built a basis for the relationship with them as teenagers. They're comfortable here, and that's the way I like it (I highly recommend starting your own version of Cookie Baking Night with the children in your lives).
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Tonight there was an unusually high amount of traffic for my little corner of the mall (okay, I admit it, the chicken in me has chosen a lower-traffic entrance at which to make my perch). But this evening many, many people saw me and read the question on the cross. A few people commented but no one directed their conversation to me this evening.
On a side note: The Lord has been gracious to me in the choosing of this particular mall. Every time I'm there the security guards walk by me at least once (sometimes twice in a period of 30 minutes), but they've never said a word to me. I'm grateful I've been allowed this unchallenged opportunity thus far.
After my time on the bench, I walked around and handed out gospel tracts. I can easily walk around for hours and never hand out a tract or try to engage anyone in conversation. Knowing this about myself, I usually set a goal of how many tracts to hand out before I go home. Tonight the goal was 5, which I exceeded before I left (as I usually do, but without the goal I just walk around the mall for an hour or more, flapping my little chicken wings, until I finally go home).
Please pray for those who received the gospel in their hands this evening and those who were challenged by the words, "Are You Ready?" written on the terrible and beautiful symbol on which Christ gave His life for our sins.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Romans 8:6-11 (NKJV)
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
This is a pastor telling a story of a man in Australia who spent his life passing out tracts.
I have this story on my iPod and listen to it often. Two things stand out to me in the telling of this story:
1. The simple witness of passing out gospel tracts and asking two questions, (Are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?")
2. The number of people in this story who were asked "How did you become a Christian?" (or asked in some way to explain their testimony of salvation). I often overlook the value of that inquiry.
Friday, February 12, 2010
So, today I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite blogs that are dedicated to evangelism. I follow these blogs on a regular basis, and I'm very encouraged by them. These are all just regular people seeking to proclaim the gospel to a lost and dying world. Each one looks slightly different in practice, but they all have the same message. Check it out.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
It has been long days and late nights. We are learning much about the Word of God. As we learn it, we are able to discuss and process it with those around us. We have met so many wonderful people!
We left last Saturday morning. Kim's mother-in-law, Val, rode with us. We dropped her off at her daughter's house (about 2 hours from the conference site) before heading to the conference. The conference will end on Friday, late morning. We will head back to pick up Val and then start our journey back home early Saturday morning.
We are excited to return home and be used of God with this new information He has allowed us to take part in.
Monday, February 8, 2010
The conference starts on Sunday afternoon (yesterday) and goes until Friday, late morning. It will be long days of training (8 am until 8 pm each day) with a few session breaks in between. Please pray that God will allow us the ability to retain the information we are taking in.
I will be out of town this entire week, so I have scheduled my blog posts ahead of time. I will try to check in one time during the week via Kim's laptop with an update (most likely Tuesday).
Please keep us in your prayers.
P.S. As I'm away from home this week, evangelism is forever on my mind. My purse is stocked with tracts (as usual), and I'm praying for the opportunity to use them in my travels.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
The first question!!
Tonight I went to the mall to engage in some evangelistic conversations. I usually start out my time there by sitting on a bench and reading my Bible for about 1/2 an hour. Greg made a wooden cross for me with the question "Are You Ready?" written on it in large letters. I put the cross on the bench next to me as I read my Bible. My hope has always been to draw people with the question and hopefully start a spiritual conversation. This was my fourth or fifth time using the cross. Usually people walk by and read the question, some make eye contact, some avert their eyes.
Tonight a man stopped and asked me what I was doing. He also asked me what I hoped to accomplish with the cross. I told him I was hoping to have conversations with people about what happens to them when they die, which naturally led into, "What do you think will happen to you when you die?" He said, "That's a mystery." I asked him if I could share my thoughts on the subject with him, and he said I could. I then brought him through the law (a few of the 10 commandments) and the gospel (the work of Jesus Christ on the cross). He said he had heard about Jesus but he wanted to know how I knew about Him and why I thought it was true. I told him I knew about Him from reading the Bible, and I believe the Bible is true. He asked me where I read about it in the Bible, so I pointed him to the Gospel of John. I gave him a New Testament and opened it to the book of John. I also gave him a gospel tract and a "Why Christianity?" DVD. I urged him to repent and put his trust in Jesus Christ for his salvation. He said it made sense and he wanted to read about it for himself. We talked for about 25 minutes, and then he moved on to find his daughter in the mall.
Please pray for Miguel and that he responds to the gospel in repentance and faith.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This year we will be studying the book of Proverbs. My friend, Kim, has written this study and I'm really looking forward to digging into it. During the course of this women's Bible study, we will be studying what Proverbs has to say about the "the fool", "the wise", "the mocker", and "the simple". We will also be seeking to ask the question, "What have I learned about my God?" with each chapter that we study.
Stay tuned for more postings on this subject as the year progresses OR if you're a lady in the northern metro area of Minnesota, feel free to join us on the first Tuesday of each month (7 pm) at Bible Baptist Church in Otsego.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. Ethan, Meghan, Emily, and Carissa were in attendance. For supper we had spaghetti (a Cookie Baking Night favorite). With Valentine's Day in mind, we made cinnamon bears with a red hot candy for the nose. (This is a fun one. It's a simple dough and the kids can shape it to look like a bear--no cookie cutters required).
We continued reading in our book Leading Little Ones to God. Tonight we read lesson 22 entitled "How God Gave Us His Law" (from Exodus 19: 16-19). This lesson was exciting for us because we've been working on learning the 10 Commandments for the last year now. This story reinforced what we've been learning.
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