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Showing posts from May, 2010

John 1:1-4

An encouraging word from the Gospel of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:1-4 (ESV)

Evangelism Video 05/29/10

Paul Latour of The Word Street Journal posted this video on his blog last week, and I couldn't wait to show it to you. This is a video of Paul witnessing to a group of young girls leaving a pro-life candle light vigil. Read the rest of the story here.

I was captivated by this video because though there was a lot of giggling going on, there also seemed to be serious contemplation and consideration of what was being said to them. I think it's worth watching, and thanks to Paul for sharing it.





Evangelism Evening 05/28/10

Tonight I headed out to a local festival (a couple towns over) called Wild West Days to hand out gospel tracts. Greg went with me, so I have a few pictures of the evening.


I handed out million dollar bill tracts and optical illusion tracts. They're very easy to give away.





When I handed out the million dollar bill tracts I usually said. "Here's a million dollars for you. Now, don't spend it all at the carnival." When they'd smile, I'd say, "There's a gospel message on back for you to read." Most people flipped it over immediately and started reading it when I said that.

As we were heading back to the vehicle, I passed a couple pushing a stroller, and I said, "I'm giving a million dollars to couples pushing strollers this evening." The man laughed and took the tract. When he looked at it more closely he said, "Hey, this isn't worth anything is it?" I said, "Ye…
A reminder of the cost of sin from my daily e-mail feed at Grace Gems (www.gracegems.org)

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Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

(Samuel Davies, "The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation")

"Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6

In the cross of Christ--God's hatred to sin is manifested in the most striking light! The evil of sin is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin--without an adequate satisfaction.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite--that even He could not escape unpunished--but was made a monument of vindictive justice, to all worlds!

What can more …

Resource Wednesday 05/26/10

Today I'd like to share with you a resource shared with me when my friends Betsy and Jane were here a few weeks ago.

Often when evangelising, we encourage people to start reading the Bible by beginning with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. When Betsy came to visit, she brought me several small books of the Gospel of John, These booklets are distributed by The Pocket Testament League (www.pocketpower.org).

This organization provides pocket-sized Gospel of John booklets for a small fee or for no fee. There is an option to purchase the booklets with a donation. There is an option to get on a waiting list and then receive the booklets (free) as they become available. And there is also an option to sponsor some booklets so others can receive them free and distribute them in their area.

These pocket-sized gospels are available with many different covers and in several different versions. I would encourage you to go to the website, read this ministry's philosophy of operation an…

Suffering and Comfort

Today I'd like to share with you another excerpt I transcribed from the audio presentation Portrait of a Struggle by Paul Tripp. It's an encouragement and admonishment at the same time, as only Paul Tripp can do. The excerpt ends with several questions that give you an opportunity to examine yourself.

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you…

Sleepover

I put this post on hold about a week ago and thought since this is an off-week for Cookie Baking Night, now would be an appropriate time to post it.

Two Saturdays ago I had the unexpected pleasure of hosting a sleepover to my nieces, Emily and Kylie (cousins, one daughter from each of my brothers). Emily is 9, Kylie is 10. Emily was already scheduled to spend the night at our house and go to church with us on Sunday. Kylie was staying at her dad's house for the weekend, so she came along with Emily. I don't see Kylie nearly as much as I see Emily, so it was fun to have her in our space. Our guest room has one small bed in it, so we had to come up with a plan B. We made beds on the couches in the basement. The girls seemed to have a fun time with that.

I am so grateful to God that He has allowed me relationships with my nieces and nephews. It is a joy to play a part in their lives.

Some of the stuffed animals balanced precariously on a toy couch between the two girls. Amazingly, i…

Evangelism Video 05/21/10

Tonight I'd like to share with you a video of Mark Cahill speaking at a youth event about sharing the gospel with the people around us. Mark Cahill shares the gospel with other people often, so it's enjoyable to hear of his encounters and learn from them. He will challenge you to get out and do the same. I think it's a video worth watching. (Note: It will end a bit abruptly, but the content up until that part is worth hearing).


Don't Believe Your Own Press

Today I had my yearly performance review at my place of employment (8 years with this particular company).

After God saved me and regenerated me (about 6 years ago), the process began of changing my self-focused worldview to a biblical worldview. Up until that time, I kept my work life separate from my home life. I later realized that God does not draw lines in the Bible between how you act in the corporate world and how you act in your personal life or at church. There is one standard and it applies to all of life. Humility does not remain in the back seat of your car as you approach the door of your workplace in the morning. Honesty is not to be checked at the door when you punch the time card for your shift that day. Kindness does not take a 30-minute break for lunch as you do.

Keeping the above ideas in mind, that brings me to the process of the yearly performance review. At my company, this is where the raise for the year is decided. Our company decides the percentage of your yearl…

Resource Wednesday 05/19/10

You might have noticed I have my own style when it comes to reviewing books. I like to review them and share excerpts from them as I read them and then give a final summary at the end of it. I have finished reading Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington, so I thought I'd weigh in with my final summary.

I'll explain the premise of the book by quoting a few paragraphs from the introduction:

" Think of your life right now as a long bookshelf. The books on it represent all the things you do--both spiritual and temporal. There's a spiritual book for each activity of your Christian growth and service, perhaps with titles such as Church Attendance, Bible Study, Daily Quiet Time, Sharing the Gospel, or Serving Others. The temporal books might include Job Performance, Educational Pursuits, Recreation and Leisure, Grocery Shopping, Driving the Car, Doing the Laundry, Moving the Grass, and Paying the Bills, to name a few. Our temporal books are interming…

Count It All Joy

Last week I was reading in the book of James in the Bible. During that week, I was also listening to an audio presentation from Paul Tripp called Portrait of a Struggle. I transcribed some of the presentation as I was listening to it. This particular section on trials and suffering stood out to me, so I'd like to share it with you today.


Paul Tripp - Portrait of a Struggle - audio presentation

James 1: 1-12
Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

"Now, hear this, your Redeemer will not relent until you are perfect and complete lacking nothing. He will stay on task. He will stay committed to the job. He will be active and near until His work in you is finished. Now, what’s the vehicle? Trials. Suffering. They are not objects of His unfaithfulness and inattention. They are objects of His …

Cookie Baking Night 05/17/10

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa. Usually, I make supper for us, and we eat it together when everyone arrives. Last time we were together, I told the kids that tonight they would make supper for us, and they did.

They made tacos.

Ethan browned the hamburger and added the taco seasoning.






Carissa grated the cheese.





Ethan cut the tomato (first time with a sharp knife, so we spent some time learning how to use that).



Carissa chopped the lettuce. (table knife for her)


And then we set the table and enjoyed the fruits of their labor.





We made chocolate chip cookie brownies for dessert.



At the end of our evening, we read from our book, Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. We're on lesson 29. Our lesson was titled God Takes Care of Us. Ethan read the story from the Bible for us as well. He read about Joseph in Genesis 45: 1-8. With all the work we did this evening, our time went quickly. We spent a couple minutes outside enjoying the beaut…

Evangelism Evening Part 2

My new friends, Betsy and Jane, picked me up on Saturday morning and we set out to share the gospel with people we met.

We started out at the local mall. We had a couple very good conversations about the gospel. We had a conversation with a man named Paul who had a variety of thoughts about what happens to a person when they die. We were able to share the gospel with him and leave him with some material to read and consider. We also spoke with a Christian woman named Dorine. She was 84 years old and shared her testimony of faith in Christ with us. She wanted to hear our testimonies as well. We were able to leave her with some books and materials to help her share the gospel with the people living in her apartment complex (as she said she likes to do).
At the mall, I had my first brush with a security guard. He saw me handing out tracts and told me I'm not allowed to hand out anything to anyone in the mall. I asked him a little bit about the mall policy and said I would call on Mond…

Evangelism Evening 05/14/10

When I went to the biblical counseling conference in Lafayette, IN, back in February, I met a woman named Betsy. We were seated next to each other at a dinner we attended on the first night. Besty and I started talking about evangelism, and we found we shared a common interest in that area. Betsy lives in Wisconsin. About a month ago, Betsy contacted me and said she and her friend, Jane, were planning a trip to Minnesota as they have always wanted to share the gospel at the Mall of America. Betsy and Jane went to the Mall of America in the morning and came to our house for dinner in the evening. After dinner we went to a couple skate parks to share the gospel. We had some good conversations with several young people and handed out gospel tracts. (The picture above shows, left to right: Jane, Betsy, myself).

I was greatly encouraged by the fellowship with Betsy and Jane. It was fun to talk about evangelism with them and to pray with them. I will be going out with them again tomorrow be…

To Be a Christian

Today I'll share with you a thought I received in my Grace Gems daily e-mail feed (http://www.gracegems.org/). It's worth pondering.


Are we in reality--what we are in name?

(Samuel Davies, "The Sacred Import of the Christian Name")

"The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch." Acts 11:26

We call ourselves Christians--but do we really understand the MEANING and sacred import of that name? Do we really know what it is to BE Christians indeed? Are we in reality--what we are in name? Certainly it is time for us to consider the matter!

What is it to be a Christian?

To be a Christian, in the popular and fashionable sense, is no really difficult or excellent thing. It is to be baptized, to profess the Christian religion; to believe, like our neighbors, that Christ is the Messiah, and to attend upon public worship once a week, in some church or another. In this sense, a man may be a 'Christian'--and yet be habitually careless about eternal things. He m…

Resource Wednesday 05/12/10

This Resource Wednesday I'd like to tell you about a ministry called Stand To Reason(http://www.str.org/). It is an apologetics ministry. I would encourage you to check out their website. There are a lot of resources on there for learning how to defend the Christian faith reasonably and biblically. The ministry is lead by Greg Koukl. Mr. Koukl does a weekly radio program (three hours) where he takes questions from listeners and helps them work through arguments for the Christian faith from a biblical worldview. I podcast the program and thoroughly enjoy listening to it.

Again, I encourage you to check out the website and check out the apologetic resources they have available.

Happy Birthday, Blog!

And many more...

I started the Katrina's Musings blog one year ago today, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have learned a lot through blogging, and I'll use this post to share what I've learned thus far:
I like to write. I didn't know that about myself until I started blogging. Writing allows me a platform to gather ideas, form thoughts and share them with others.

Blogging takes time. This is not a reason to avoid starting a blog, but it is something to be aware of before starting one. You cannot do it well without spending time on it. I consider this blog a ministry from the Lord, and I treat it as such. Just like any other ministry, blogging takes preparation and commitment.

Blogging keeps you accountable. I think this aspect of blogging has surprised me the most. Writing a blog has its own accountability attached to it. There is accountability for what you say, so it causes you to research your ideas. There is accountability for how often you post an ent…

Self-Reliance

Last week I shared a little from the latest book I've been reading, Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington. Please refer to the posts from April 26 (Self Righteousness) and April 27 (Persistent Guilt) for more information. Self righteousness and persistent guilt were named as gospel enemies #1 and #2, respectively. There is a third gospel enemy mentioned in the book: Self-Reliance. Today I'd like to share with you what is said about self-reliance from pages 124 & 125 of the book:

Self-reliance toward God is dependence on our own power, not the power of the Holy Spirit.....Self-reliance is the opposite of dependence on the Holy Spirit's power for sanctification. Just as by nature we assume we earn our salvation by good works, so by nature we assume we grow spiritually by our own effort and willpower.

What's wrong with this kind of self-reliance?
Everything.

First of all, it doesn't work. The Christian life is a spiritual life lived in a …

Evanagelism Video 05/08/10

Today I'd like to share a video with you from the Living Waters University series. This video is a chalk talk of sorts. As Ray Comfort witnesses to these defense attorneys (Tony and Paul), he explains his thoughts and his strategy for this witness encounter. It's an interesting encounter. You can see the faces of these men change as they contemplate what Mr. Comfort is saying to them. It's worth watching.

The Last Frightening Friday

May 7, 2010, was my last Frightening Friday post.

When I first started posting about the evening I set aside to go out and intentionally seek to share the gospel with strangers, it was appropriate to call it "Frightening Friday". I was very nervous to approach strangers, and it often terrified me.

I'm still nervous as I approach strangers to talk to them about the gospel, and I still have to deny my flesh the opportunity to turn and run every time I go out. But, I no longer want to focus on that fear. It is a great privilege to go out in the community and tell others about the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. I'm going to start treating it as such.

The name of those posts will now be "Evangelism Evening". I will continue to set aside one night a week dedicated to sharing the gospel with strangers (usually Friday night, but not always), and I will use my Friday posts to share of those experiences.

As summer approaches I'll be keeping my eyes open…

Frightening Friday 05/07/10

This Frightening Friday was very rainy (all day and into the evening). I had an errand to run this evening, so I went to the mall. While I was there I passed out gospel tracts. When I'm in the mall, I try to give a gospel tract to everyone sitting on a bench. Those sitting on benches are usually killing time, so I give them something to read while they're sitting there.

As I was leaving the mall I had a rainy day thought. In the parking lot of this mall, there is a large, covered city bus shelter. I parked near the bus stop (also a park and ride) and walked over to the bus shelter. I started at one end of the shelter and made my way to the other. As I made my way through I passed out million dollar bill tracts. Most people took them and thanked me. I said, "It has the million dollar question on back." That phrase usually causes people to flip it over so they can read the gospel message.

If you aren't passing out gospel tracts, I encourage you to do so. It is a good…

Ambassadors' Academy Remembered

A year ago today I flew out to Los Angelos, CA, to take part in the Ambassadors' Academy. It was Wednesday evening thru Sunday morning, one full day of classroom training with the Living Waters staff and two days out on the streets of California putting our training to the test by handing out gospel tracts, street preaching, and one-on-one conversations sharing the gospel with people we met.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was without a doubt the catalyst for making it a point to get out at least once a week and intentionally share the gospel with strangers I meet. The training was extremely valuable.



What stood out to me the most was that the staff of Living Waters ministry didn't just train people from all over the country to go out and spread the gospel, they lived it. They all started in the same place (afraid) as the rest of us were starting. And each staff member (as near as I could tell) had their own ministry in their own community where they shared the gospel on a regular…

Resource Wednesday 05/05/10

This resource Wednesday I would like to share with you a new blog that my friends, Megan and Katelyn (mother and daughter), have recently started. It is called Teaching What is Good (http://www.teachingwhatisgood.wordpress.com/). It is a blog dedicated to older women teaching younger women (and vise versa). Several ladies from my church (including myself) have been asked to contribute to the blog from time to time. I look forward to reading and contributing. I think it's a great idea.

Here's the description from the home page of the Teaching What is Good blog.

Our Purpose

This blog was the brain-child of Megan and Katelyn Bumgardner. As the wife and mother of bloggers, I was strongly encouraged (by my daughter) to join the family blogging community. I could only justify this if we could spiritually profit from it, as my time is very limited. Since I do have a specific assignment to teach my daughter, this will be part of the process. We hope to have contributions from all ages. M…

The Modern Church

This morning I was listening to "Wretched" radio program on my MP3 player. They played a clip from Matt Chandler preaching to his congregation at The Village church in Texas about the modern evangelical church in America. I transcribed the soundbite for this blog post. It is as follows:

"Here's what you're going to get at church 99% of the time, all over the place. You're going to get pragmatism. You're going to get "4 ways for better biblical sex", "9 ways to your best life now", "15 ways to be a better man", "7 ways to....." And do you know what you're not going to get? [You're not going to get] the nature and character of God. Here's what ends up happening. Because the world is broken and God has not restored it to its fullness yet, somebody is going to get sick, somebody is going to dies in a car wreck, somebody is not going to get in the school they wanted to get into, somebody is not going to get t…

Cookie Baking Night 05/03/10

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance: Carissa, Ethan, and Emily.
For supper: Macaroni and cheese (a classic), little smokies, and apples.
For our cookie: We made magic cookie bars (aka 7-layer bars). It was our first experience making a graham cracker crust (a great project for the kids, by the way). We put graham crackers in a large plastic bag and took turns crushing them with a rolling pin. The kids did a great job, and they enjoyed it.
We read lesson #28 entitled "God Takes Care of Us"from our Leading Little Ones to God book (by Marian Schoolland). Emily read Psalm 23 from the Bible to accompany our lesson.
We witnessed a hard rain (complete with hail) while we were preparing our cookies. After the rain, we went for a walk.
A great time was had by all.


The girls have been in the habit lately of wearing aprons while they bake (so cute!)

Ethan thought he'd have much more "crushing success" if he pounded the rolling pin on the bag like a hammer, but upon my…