If you are new to this blog today, please see Frightening Friday posts from the Archives for context.
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 stree…
My church, Bible Baptist (of Otsego), does a great job equipping its people with the truth of God's Word. The teaching and preaching at our church is constantly focused on this idea. I am grateful for it. Because these truths are ever before us as a congregation, I am soaking in more than I realize.
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."
Today I'd like to share with you the latest book I've been reading, Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley. I have three chapters to go, and I'm thoroughly enjoying this book. If you're looking for a book that gives you practical parenting tips and step-by-step advice for various parenting scenarios, this is not the book for you. In this book you will find a study of parenting and a study of the gospel. If you like to hear the gospel explained, then you will not be disappointed by this book. The author takes two chapters (4 & 5) to explain God's wrath and God's love and mercy. He also spends a chapter explaining the "fear of the Lord" (3), and I think he does a pretty good job.
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 pr…
On Saturday morning, my mom surprised me with a visit. She stayed until the afternoon. It was a very nice visit. Mom lives an hour north of me, so we talk on the phone more than we visit in person. We had a lovely time doing some housework (thanks for the help, Mom) and talking about life. The Lord has granted my mom and me sweet fellowship in the last few years. I do so enjoy talking to her about life and our individual walks with the Lord. I love you, Mom! P.S. Thanks for the flowers.
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night with the nieces and nephew(s). In attendance this evening: Emily, Carissa, and Ethan. 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). As usual, a good time was had by all! Now that Emily's brother and sister are teenagers (17 and 14), they have moved f…
Today I'd like to share another video with you from the Living Waters University series. This is Ray Comfort witnessing to a young man named Josh. It's an interesting video. This young man seems kind of flip when he's answering questions about sin but has moments of seriousness when talking about hell. He also holds a pretty common (American) view of why someone becomes a Christian, which he reveals at the end of the video.
This evening I found myself at what has become my regular Friday night evangelism spot (for the winter months, anyway), the local mall. I try to spend at least 30 minutes sitting on the bench, reading my Bible, with the cross next to me and 30 minutes walking around the mall handing out gospel tracts.
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.
Today I'd like to share with you another sermon from the Basic Christian Doctrines series currently being taught at the weekly Thursday night Bible study and prayer meeting service at our church. This sermon is about the basic Christian doctrine of salvation. I was out of town last week, so I just listened to the podcast of this sermon today. I think it's a good one. Check it out. click here
This Resource Wednesday I'd like to tell you about a book my friend, Jenny, gave to me a few months ago. I've mentioned it on the blog once or twice, and I think it's worth highlighting again. It's called 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers. It is exactly what the title implies. It is a book of praises to God (1-3 pages each) to be read each day. The pages highlight God's character and nature and how to praise Him for it. At the end of the praise pages, it lists multiple verses to support what was written on the pages. I have been enjoying reading it and looking up the Scriptures as I go. I usually take a few days to work through one day in the book, so I can absorb and comprehend the Scriptures along the way. I highly recommend this book as an addition to your daily Bible reading time.
This morning I was reading in Romans 8. I was struck by a passage of Scripture there and reminded of the great gift of salvation we have in Christ and that we only have the ability to live the Christian life because of the Spirit of Christ in us.
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.
Katrina and Kim on the last day of the biblical counseling conference in Lafayette, Indiana.
I have returned from the biblical counseling conference in Lafayette, Indiana. I brought back with me a pretty intense head cold (the result of the exposure to a lot of germs--600 people together in one room all week and lack of exposure to sleep--long days and late nights), so I canceled Cookie Baking Night for this evening and moved it to next Monday. The conference was of great benefit. I would recommend it to everyone. It was completely gospel-centered and focused on how to handle life's issues using the Bible as your main source of help. The sufficiency of Scripture was reiterated time and time again throughout the week. I thoroughly enjoyed being with my friend, Kim, all week. Often, when you hear new information there is the tendency to process it through the filter of your own experiences. Having each other allowed us to process the information out loud and work on any misconception…
This Friday I am in Lafayette, Indiana, at the Biblical Counseling conference. We are finishing up the conference this morning and heading back home tomorrow.
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.
Today I'm going to share another sermon with you from my church. Our pastor is working through a series (during our Thursday night Bible study and prayer meeting) called "Basic Christian Doctrines". I think it's excellent and want to share it with everyone. In this post I've included a link to the message on the the church part 2. Enjoy!
Just checking in from the Biblical Counseling Conference in Lafayette. We are having a fabulous time! Kim and I are staying with a lovely woman named Mildred. She has been a most gracious hostess. Beyond the conference, we are learning much about being a godly woman through Mildred's example in the short time we've known her.
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.
This resource Wednesday I thought I'd leave you with the link to the conference Kim and I are attending right now in Lafayette, IN. The website shows the speakers and schedule information. Feel free to check it out at Biblical Counseling Training Conference.
This week I am out of town at a Biblical counseling conference in Lafayette, Indiana. My friend, Kim, and I are attending the conference together. Kim is a marriage and family therapist working in the secular world right now but pursuing nouthetic certification as a Biblical counselor for use in her occupation in the future. I have an interest in mentoring teenagers and other ladies, and Kim thought the training and certification would be helpful toward that end. So, we are pursuing this together.
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).
Today I leave you with another interesting evangelism video from the Living Waters University series. This is a video of Ray Comfort witnessing to a man named Dave. I think this video evidences the fact that we don't know how the Holy Spirit is working in a situation before we arrive on the scene (or afterwards). It is our job to be obedient to the Word of God and proclaim the gospel.
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 …
This resource Wednesday I thought I would share the address of another blog with you. My young friend Katie from church (she is an assistant to me in the 3-6 year old Christian Education class each week) has recently started a blog. She has titled it "Musings of the King's Daughter" She has dedicated the focus of the blog to sharpening other young girls in their Christian walk. She posts school history papers (they are excellent--careful you might find yourself learning something) and book reviews. I appreciate her desire to grow in the Lord. Check out the blog, and if you have any young women in your life between the ages of 11 and 15 be sure to send them to Katie's blog.
Tonight we started a new women's Bible study at our church for the year of 2010. Last year we studied the book of Psalms in correlation with Mardi Collier's book "What Do I Know About My God?" It was an excellent study. I blogged about it often and still use the What Do I Know About My God notebook that we created during the course of that study.
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 f…
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.