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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Meaning in Mishaps

Yesterday we found out there was a festival in the area today, so we went there for a little bit.  I couldn't get up nerve to hand any CDs or Gospel tracts or books out, so finally I had my sister start & I then I gave out some too (although I had given a Thank You tract already).  I'm generally more of a follower than a leader.  So, maybe 15-20 or so CDs, books, & tracts combined were handed out. 
I picked people sitting & in line and had a kid get a book for her mom...stuff like that.  So, maybe not all is lost being in a wheelchair.  I think I need an ice pack!  We had stopped at a yard sale before we went there, so...

This day had it's share of troubles too.  I lost the bag of what I bought at the festival, and we had to go back (thankfully we hadn't gone that far).  My sister got out, and it turned out that a man kept the bag until she turned up for it.  Some lady had found it first. It was actually on the grass near the man, and my sister spotted it and was able to see the flowers I had bought.

This was how my day started out (as seen on my FB wall):

This morning I reached for my hairbrush and it caught my watch on the nightstand. The watch dropped into the trash can (waste bin for any British friends), so I got up to bend over to fish my watch out of the trash. Well, my new hospital table beside the bed got bumped and a glass full of water fell off and hit the floor splashing my leg and making a puddle for my feet.
The good news? The glass missed my feet & didn't break.
So, I yelled out for a towel and had to explain the whole thing.

I've been having discussions with people who call themselves atheists online lately.  Sometimes just a response to a news tweet on Twitter ends up starting a landslide of tweets pouring in, so a continuation with one of those finished up quite a bit of my time before heading out this morning.

All of these things are from God though.  I mean my knocking things down and losing them aren't His fault, but even our clumsiness can be used by helping us learn how to respond when troubles come.  Though I feel faint at times and in pain and my head may shriek and not feel focused, I know that God has a purpose for me in all of these things.  Life is God's training ground for the Christian.  We are tested, disciplined, and yet we know that God's love, mercy and grace are ours.  My struggle is to keep my eyes on the Author and Perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2).
This week it's been amazing how God has fit the portions of Scripture I've been reading to fit along with the circumstances going on.
I hope this will encourage some of my Christian readers who may have mishaps and struggle with a lack of courage.  God disciplines those He loves, and He can use even the weakest among us.
 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Modesty & Compassion

The weather is warming up, and clothing often gets skimpier in warmer weather.
Jack Hughes covers the subject of what modesty is and what our attitudes should be.
Modesty Is Not Merely For Summer
I realize I have covered this topic in the past, and you can find the older posts by the tag modesty at the bottom of the post.  We went for a very short time to a church Jack Hughes used to pastor, but we ended up trying to find somewhere closer.

I was able to watch part of a conference on evangelism and street preaching recently, and I especially was interested to hear Sye Ten Bruggencate and Tony Miano.  I listened to some of the others, and the following message on compassion given by Bobby McCreery stood out to me as something we all need to be reminded of.  It's worth hearing!
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Turmoil & Love of the Brethren

There are so many things going on in the world that are stressful. 
Earthquakes, tornadoes, unrest between people, drought, persecution, and apostasy.
Conflicts without and fears within. 
 
If you are Christ's and you are depressed, God is the Comforter of the depressed.  If we are suffering, God will never forsake us as His children.   It's easy to despair if we forget God is working the best for us and that Heaven will be more joyous for those who have been purified and perfected by trials.
 
Sometimes conflicts come from other brothers and sisters in Christ.  Sometimes confrontation is necessary when there is sin and error, but other times we wound each other forgetting that we are all in a process of sanctification.  While we must not compromise Biblical doctrine and false teachers must be called out (especially by church leaders), we can't forget that there are true Christians who are at different levels of spiritual growth.   It may be hard for us to remember Galatians 6:1 even in the times when someone does sin.   We hurt the reputation of Christ in the world bickering about eschatology, Theonomy, etc.  It isn't that those things aren't important, and individual churches should have people willing to be united in their teaching to prevent factions. 
The internet is another world, but even at that - all true Christians should be united on the essentials of the Gospel. 
Sadly, many people do not know what the essentials are and are tossed to and fro, while others act like things are essential that aren't. 
 
People are sinners, and Christians are sinners that have been forgiven by God and in need of patience and grace from God and by other Christians.  I struggle with and strive to forgive other believers.  Christ has forgiven me, and while I may feel I have much knowledge - I still wonder at God not giving up on me with all my sinfulness.  I have a long ways to go in the process of being conformed to Christ's image in my character and in my thoughts.
 
How much do I love enemies?  Sometimes we treat other Christians as enemies when we shouldn't. 
 
Recently I was reminded to pray for enemies, and it helped me in my conversations on Twitter with those who call themselves "atheists."  You actually begin to care about those you pray for.
 
As Christians, did we always know as much as we know now, and in twenty years will we look back and have no mercy on our old selves?
Knowledge can puff up, but love edifies. 
One may say they have love, but they lack knowledge.  Another may have all doctrine right, but if they don't live it and love others they will separate themselves and fall into disobedience.
 
Recently, I was able to do some hobby things when my hands were feeling up to it.
I did some bead hat bands and this painting.  I decided to share the painting with those who look at my blog.
 
 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Gospel Tracts - Silent Preachers

"When preaching and private tale are not available, you need to have a tract ready...get good striking tracts, or none at all...therefore, do not go out without your tracts."
Charles Spurgeon


You may not be qualified or called as a preacher, but you can distribute tracts as silent preachers to go where you cannot.

Are tracts effective evangelism tools? 
First, we have to remember that the content of the tract must be consistent with the teaching of the Scripture as to what the Gospel is.  Yes, Gospel tracts can be and have been used by God.  I've heard of even discarded tracts being picked up and read.  One man who professed faith in Jesus had discovered a tract under his shoe.  I watched his baptism on a Live-Streamed evening service online.
Here is another case how God used at Gospel Tract that someone found: 
Gospel Tracts: How Much is One Soul Worth to You? (Part 2)

How do you distribute Tracts?
Sometimes you can do something as simple as placing a tract at a doctor or dental office, in boxes, with gift cards, or purses or open packages at stores, or in books or any number of places that can take a tract where it might not normally go even long after you are gone.
You can give one to people who serve you in some way, and if a tip is usual you can make sure it is a reasonably good tip to go with it.

Then there is the actual handing of one to somebody directly.  There are lots of events where this can be done, but tracts can also be given to people you come in contact with in other ways.
I have made the mistake of asking people if they wanted a tract or something like that.  While one or two might have taken one, most of them act suspicious and refuse.
What is the best way to give tracts out?  Some of us may not be naturally smiley, but we can still act pleasant.
Do we really care about the lost? 



Let each one of us, if we have done nothing for Christ, begin to do something now. The distribution of tracts is the first thing. - Charles Spurgeon

It isn't the cleverness of speech that saves, but it is the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17). 
God's sheep will hear His voice, and His Word is truth.  God ordains the means by which people are saved as well as the outcome. 

Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.  - Charles Spurgeon

How many churches who claim to be evangelical are even taking baby steps to evangelize the lost?
Do they even know what the Gospel is themselves?
Being friendly and charitable is all well and good, but if you refuse to warn people of God's wrath and Hell and to tell them the good news about Jesus' substitutionary death for sinners and about the hope of the resurrection then you are just comforting their bodies on the way to eternal destruction.  Generally our fear of man and our pride get in the way.  I get it, but do we love God and our fellow men enough to tell them the truth?  Do we fear God or man more?  Are we willing to endure suffering for Christ? 
This is something I struggle with even for myself.  

We must not compromise the truth for the fear of man, and we must obey God though inwardly our hearts may be terrified that we might actually have to open our mouths.  Yes, my memory is bad and my brain often foggy and my head shrieking with ringing.  I might feel light-headed or faint at times.  I can still put a tract somewhere or occasionally give one out directly.  Handing someone a tract might feel something like getting ready to jump off a high place when you are afraid of heights, but it is God who saves and not us.  It's good to pray before distributing tracts, and if I have to speak I can pray God will help my brain function and bring the right things to my mind.
We can pray for one another in this.

Tracts I recommend for beginners:

Tracts By Tony

Tract by Sye

180 Movie (DVD & business cards)

Are You A Good Person? Tracts

Yes, I've used the million dollar tracts, but I'm a little uncomfortable about them.  They are very easy to give out, but I will leave that to the conscience of each person.  Certainly the ones I still have, I plan to use. 

I have other things, but this is enough for beginners.  Those who can afford it can actually distribute Bibles.

I wish more churches would get involved, but maybe what they need are examples and encouragement.  I hope this post will encourage timid people like myself or people who might not be timid and don't know where to start.  We know that God has used tracts, and no matter that hundreds may fall on soil that isn't good...that one that God might save is worth it.  Even when rejected, God is accomplishing His purposes.  We may never know until heaven, but I want to be faithful though it may be more difficult for me than some.  How about you?