New Gospel Tracts

I have just one gospel tract left from the ones I bought last year so I went ahead and ordered some more over the weekend. I bought a pack of a tract written by John Piper called For Your Joy. Tuesday I received the sad news that my Grandma passed away. I’ll be flying home over the weekend to attend her funeral and be with my family. I should get the gospel tracts before I go so I’ll have them on me while traveling and hopefully get opportunities to give them away.

https://www.amazon.com/Quest-Joy-Pack-Proclaiming-Gospel/dp/B008A7D4SA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516021741&sr=8-1&keywords=quest+for+joy

Today I’m home just me and the kids. My foot is starting to heal but I still can’t put my full weight on it. Today my goals include:

  1. do preschool with E and T.J. Today’s theme is the poem Hot Cross Buns. It includes teaching the poem and listening to it on a CD while passing a bean bag, baking buns together, doing a craft that includes using glue and shaving cream to decorate paper buns and playing a kind of “go Fish” game using cards that look like buns with different colors letters and numbers on them. We’ll see how far we get, sounds messy!
  2. This afternoon I want to attempt to clean the master bedroom. It hasn’t really been picked up much since my surgery almost 4 weeks ago so it’s a mess! I’m hoping wearing the boot and leaning on a crutch I’ll be able to get it done.
  3. I want to make sure and fill in my diabetes log. I didn’t write much down during the weekend.
  4. take inventory of what diabetes supplies I will need to pick up before traveling
  5. When my husband gets off work pick up a gift for a friend who’s baby shower I’ll be missing this weekend and drop it off.

Everything takes so much longer on one foot so this should keep me busy today!

What are your goals today? Do you have a favorite gospel tract?

Enjoy your Monday!

 

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Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By: Frederick Howard Taylor

I’ve been listening to this biography on Hudson Taylor this past week titled Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By Frederick Howard Taylor originally published 1932. It’s a riveting read! It’s hard to pause the audio and go do anything else when I want to hear what happens next!

I was wondering how someone could write such a detailed biography on Hudson Taylor until I looked at the authors name again and realized it was written by his own son!

Today is my nephew Hudson Taylor’s birthday and I’ll have to tell him I’ve been learning about this great missionary he was named after.

I got interested in learning more about Hudson Taylor and his ministry after reading Safely Home By Randy Alcorn which references Hudson Taylor’s work often.

When my kids get older, maybe mid to upper elementary school age I plan to read them this book! Hudson Taylor’s life and writings have been growing and challenging my faith and trust in God and I know it will yours as well!

 

 

Wheels For The World

I first heard about this ministry I think a couple years back when I watched an episode of Joni and Friends that featured it. Since then I’ve learned more about the ministry and have really come to admire and love what these people are doing. This week my husband and I decided to start supporting them financially.

The day after signing up to support them I got an out of state phone call that I at first thought was a telemarketer. When I answered it was a woman from Joni and Friends. I assumed she was about to ask a question about our donation or something when she totally surprised me by saying, “At Joni and Friends we meet every morning for prayer and I was calling to ask how we could pray for you.” It was so kind and so unexpected it took me a moment to think of anything to say! She told me, “If you ever need prayer call anytime and we will pray for you.”

If you’re looking for a ministry that does good in Jesus name for the glory of God, from everything I’ve seen, this is it!

They are also looking for people to help collect no longer used wheel chairs and crutches. If you can’t support them financially they have a whole list of things they need help with on their website. Check it out!

 

http://www.joniandfriends.org/wheels-for-the-world/

Will you keep me accountable?

I’ve listened to this sermon by Randy Alcorn twice recently and it is both extremely encouraging and convicting. I listened to it one afternoon on my own and then yesterday while driving my husband and I listened to it and then spent a long time discussing it.

As a woman whose job description is “homemaker” when I see a need it’s difficult for me to raise money to meet it. The best way for me to be able to meet the needs of others is to find ways to save money and then pass along what I save to meet those needs.

I’ve been thinking about one area of my life that I want to change and that I have been trying to change and thinking about changing for months. The problem is I haven’t changed. Here’s what I want to do- I’m boycotting Starbucks. No, it has nothing to do with homosexuality or guns or lack of christmas trees on cups.

You see, I’ve received a few different letters from our sponsor child S who lives in Ghana. In each letter he has asked for pray that his dad will be able to get the funds to help start up his own business so that he can have consistent work. Each time I read that I hear in my head James 2:16 “And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”

For several months now I’ve been thinking that if I stopped buying my medium, iced coffee, with heavy whipping cream and sugar free vanilla syrup- no classic, every week, it would add up to quite a bit of money by the end of the year and I could use that money to go towards being the answer to S’s prayer. It’s quite convicting when I look at it that way.

The problem is when I’ve been out doing errands with the kids and it’s hot and I have more to do when I get home I become focused on how sweet and cold that drink is and I conveniently forget about the needs of S. I am a steward of God’s money, it does not belong to me and yet in this area I have not been a faithful steward. I’m confessing this fault to you my friends and readers and reaching out for public accountability. Will you please be my accountability and help me to give up this one petty thing to help provide for S’s need? I’ve tried to change without talking to others about it but my efforts have failed. I realize though that when we shed light on something hidden, even if it’s something like a poor purchasing decision, the lure of that temptation goes away.

I’ll be able to see in the future that I wrote this post on August 6, 2017 and next year I’ll be able to come back and tell you if I was faithful and if I was able to give to the needs of S’s family.

I highly recommend the above video. I’ve never read the book The Treasure Principle but I feel that this hour covers the topic of christian giving and christian finances pretty well.

Challenge: Think about how you spend your money and ask yourself if you are being the best steward of God’s money that you can be.

Switching gears… this morning I read these words by the prophet Isaiah and I encourage you to meditate on them while you worship the Lord this Sunday morning.

 

Isaiah 12King James Version (KJV)

12 And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

Those are some awesome truths to meditate on. God is my comfort, God is not angry towards me, God is my salvation, I can trust God, God is my strength and song and I need not be afraid. With JOY, joy my brothers and sisters, drink deeply of The Living Water. Exalt the name of God, tell others about Him! Sing and cry and shout for all He has done and because He is near!

New Gospel Tracts!

I’ve passed out a variety of gospel tracts of the years and most recently I’ve passed out tracts by Ray Comfort. With every tract I’ve used though there has been something in it that has made me slightly uncomfortable with passing it out. In some situations I feel that Ray Comforts tracts are great but for just passing out at the grocery store I don’t want something silly looking and I don’t want tracts that tell horrifying stories to make a point. If you’re  familiar with his tracts you’ll probably know what I mean. I’m not putting his tracts down I’m just saying it’s about context and most his tracts I don’t feel fit the context of ‘mom giving out tracts at T.J Maxx.’

I recently was made aware of matthias media and these tracts by a sister in Christ;

https://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/resources.html

It’s called “two ways to live”. I like that the tract is very God centered because if you read enough gospel tracts you can be left with the feeling that a lot of them are man centered. I like this tract because I would say the focus of the tract is ‘God is God’ and not ‘quick! say this prayer so you can get out of hell!’ I’m certainly not against tracts that use the fear of hell to bring people to repentance, the Bible does that! I’m just seeing a need to tell the whole story- the whole story of God because the good news is the good news about God.

They are wordy- so honestly I don’t know how many will actually get read. That’s an issue that’s difficult to find an answer to. On one hand we live in a society with a crazy short attention span who generally doesn’t read but stares at quick images on screens. On the other hand, the Bible is 66 books that tells the story of God and although the gospel can be shared in just minutes with words a child can understand I want to avoid reducing the gospel to something it is not. Does that make sense?

This week I got to pass the first one out. In the morning I put one in the diaper bag and headed out with the kids to a story time at a state park. On the way there I heard on the radio someone talking about the missionary Hudson Taylor and how prayer was a major part of his evangelism. The voice on the radio encouraged the listener to pray for those they are trying to reach with the gospel. I turned off the radio and prayed for the person who God knew would receive this gospel tract.

At the state park I never did come across what felt like a good opportunity to give one out. This is where the story gets kind of funny.. That afternoon I was in the backyard watching the kids play in the kiddie pool when all of a sudden I started thinking about avocados. I couldn’t stop thinking about avocados- like I felt like I was going to cry if I couldn’t eat an avocado! Now, this is not very much like me at all. I actually make fun of my husband when he starts thinking about a food like that and won’t stop thinking about it until he gets it. I also really don’t like grocery shopping so it’s easy for me to be a stickler about only going once a week. Not this day though! I had to have avocados! I pulled my loudly protesting children away from the water, dressed them and drove all the way to town on a mission to get those delicious fruits to go with our dinner.

At the stop light I saw a woman holding a sign. It was 100 degrees out and there was no shade around her. “You thought this trip was about avocados huh?” I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in my head. I bought a cold drink at the store and came back to where the woman was standing. She was at the edge of a dirt parking lot with nothing in it. She was alone and the area was highly visible so I felt it was safe to stop and talk to her. Her clothes were soaked through with sweat and her sign stated that she was out there for help and not to be made fun of. She told me about her situation which I won’t take the time to go into here- long story short there was really nothing I could do to help her. I gave her the drink and a gospel track and encouraged her to talk to Jesus and told her that He loved her. Nothing much, that was it.

I got another opportunity yesterday to give one out. At the grocery store they were short on baggers and the poor girl at the check out was moving as fast as she could to both check out the items and bag them. I gave her a small tip along with the tract (explaining what it was) and thanked her for helping me. She looked surprised and smiled real big and said, “thank you so much!’

If you’re looking for a new tract or want to start passing out tracts for the first time- check these out!

A couple more videos on the topic of mormonism…

This week I have been totally drawn into listening to testimonies of people who came out of the fundamental mormon church and the mormon church (FLDS and LDS).

In my post yesterday I shared a video by Brian Mackert the author of the book I read titled, Illegitimate How a Loving God Rescued a Son of Polygamy. I also shared an interview with his sister Rena who is not a Christian. Last night and today I watched this interview with Mary, another of Brian’s siblings who is a believer. In the book Brian tells about how she had come to know Jesus before he did and how she had tried to share the gospel with him at one point. She seems like such a sweet lady and from what Brian wrote about her and from what she says in the video she really seems to be one of those people who is truly not bitter over the past.

After watching the interview with her I saw this video (below) made by the same producer that did the interview. It’s really worth a watch if you have the time. If you want to know what the mormon church teaches and how the Bible both contradicts and condemns it’s teaching this video will do a good job at filling you in.

On another note..

It was 5 years ago today that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter E! How has that much time gone by already!? It’s my mother in law’s birthday which is why I always remember the date. 5 years ago today I called her and said, “how about for your birthday another grand baby?” It had taken a year and 3 months to get pregnant with E after her brother Titus passed away so it was a very emotional pregnancy announcement!

Today my in laws are coming over for dinner along with my sister in law and her children so we’re gong to celebrate the life of a Godly woman and I’ll also be celebrating the joy of being given a daughter! At the moment it smells amazing in here because my husband is baking a sugar free cheese cake. God is good!

 

Jesus standing between the dead and the living

In my Bible reading plan I am reading in the book of Numbers. Yesterday morning I read about the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their followers and the subsequent murmuring of Israel against Moses. The wrath of God put a plague upon the people. Here’s what happened,

“And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censor, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Num. 16:46-48

There are so many parallels in this story with the gospel and Jesus’ atonement I don’t even know where to begin listing them all.

Here is a doodle of mine in my journal.

Aaron “made atonement for the people” he “stood between the dead and the living” and “the plague was stayed”.

In my drawing on the left is humanity. “…dead in trespasses and sin” Eph. 2:1

In the middle is the cross of Jesus the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). Jesus made atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 10:12 “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God” Heb. 10:12. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

On the right is the Living God Who through the atonement provided by the sacrifice of Jesus we are reconciled and made alive unto. Romans 6:13. Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”

Eph. 5:2 ..”hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”

We all have a plague- sin. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23

The symptom of this sickness is death but Jesus our Great High Priest has overcome both sin and death and offers life everlasting. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” 2 Tim. 1:10

Trust Jesus today!

“let your conversation be..”

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ..” Phil. 1:27a

Wednesday my friend from church and I recited the Bible verses we are working on memorizing over the phone to each other. She is memorizing Philippians. When she said the above verse it struck me as, “Wow. That’s such a tall order.” It really was sobering to think of what a far reaching command that it.

The NAS that she was quoting from translated conversation as conduct and becometh as worthy. It’s sobering to look over every aspect of my life an think, does this honor the gospel? Does this bring glory to God and what He has done for me? Is this worthy to be in the life of someone who follows Christ?

What about my interactions with my children and husband this past week? Has those interactions ‘become’ the gospel? What about my thought life? Have the things my mind has been dwelling on been worthy of the gospel?

Have my time investments become the gospel? Have my words to others become the gospel?

I looked up become in the Merriam Webster dictionary and I think the second definition using the word as a verb best convey’s the meaning of the word in this verse.

:to be suitable to

  • seriousness becoming the occasion; especially : to be becoming to- her clothes became her

Like a piece of clothing fits a person well or becomes them I need to filter what I allow in my life and in my head and what comes out of my mouth with the question, does this fit into the life of a follower of Christ? Not merely does this look good for the sake of looking good but does this fit what I say I believe about God?

Does this become the gospel? Does this point to the reality of the good news that Christ came to save and redeem sinners?

Some questions worth mulling over.

Reviewing my personal 2017 goals

I think March might be the month that New Year resolutions start to be forgotten. I’m not basing that off of anything that’s just my guess.

My new year resolutions/ things I wanted to work on this year were:

For my health- bring my A1C down from 5.9 to 5.5
pass out gospel tracts
memorize scripture
read the Bible through chronologically
1. I had my first A1C (a measure of average blood sugar over a 3 month time) of 2017 done this year and it was 5.6. My hard work is paying off and I hope to see that 5.5 three months from now.
2. I ordered some of Ray Comfort’s ‘Why Christianity?’ tracts/ booklets and God has been helping me to pass them out. I need to still be really diligent about this and not let it stop as the year progresses. Every single tract is difficult for me to pass out and I have to ask God for help with every single one. It still makes me nervous to ask someone, “can I give you one of these?”
3. My specific goal that I set is to memorize the first 3 1/2 chapters of Colossians. I’m on Chapter 2 verse 10. Progress has been slow but I am making progress. I need to start calling my friend again who we had decided to keep each other accountable and recite the scriptures we are working on to each other once during the week. We are both very busy moms and it has proven more difficult than we thought to find the time and a time that works for both of us.
4. This is a goal I started a little later in the year, towards the end of January so I may not actually finish until the beginning of 2018. I read the beginning of Genesis, then Job, then completed Genesis and Exodus and now I am in Leviticus. I’ve worked hard and was able to keep this up even while on vacation.

What goals did you set at the beginning of the year and are you meeting them?

Passing Out Gospel Tracts

I am by no means an expert in this area. I’m just working to be more obedient to God’s command to share the good news. Passing out gospel tracts is just one way to reach people with God’s Word. Gospel tracts provide a way to leave someone who I have talked to maybe 2 minutes with something much deeper that I pray they will read. I try to think of it as scattering seeds of the gospel and praying for God to give the increase. If you’ve never passed out tracts before I thought it may be helpful for me to share a few specific times lately that I have given them to people so you can see what it looks like.

At the zoo after showing the woman behind the glass my zoo pass and exchanging a couple dollar bills for quarters, I placed a tract in the little opening under the glass and asked her, “Can I give you one of these?” She read the title, ‘Why Christianity’ and picked it up saying, “Yes ma’am you can!”

After making small talk about my kids with the cashier at Wal-Mart and thanking him for helping me bag my groceries, I took a tract from my pocket and asked him if I could give him one. He took it and with a big smile I said thank you and told him to enjoy the rest of his night.

At this dentist after paying my bill (on time!) I offered a tract to the woman at the desk. She looked at it kind of awkwardly for a moment but then said sure and took it. I always make sure when I have been back to greet her warmly and make sure I don’t owe any money.

I very rarely just leave tracts laying around. I don’t think they will get read. Here’s an example of a time I did. After thanking our waitress at a restaurant for her service, I made an effort to stack the dishes making sure things were nicely picked up. My husband left a generous tip and I put a gospel tract in the envelope thing that you leave your receipt in on the table.

At the park after our kids played together I went and got a tract out of my van and went back over to the children’s mom. I commented to her how helpful her oldest daughter was to me helping me with my baby and commended her for doing a good job raising her children. I told her I was headed out and asked her if I could leave her with a gospel tract. She took it.

After paying at the hardware store I asked the cashier if I could give him a tract. He cheerfully accepted it.

Same thing, at Walgreens I asked the cashier if I could give him one holding it out. “Ummm… Ummm..” he said. I smiled. “Okay…” he responded taking it slowly. “Thank You!” I told him.

I gave the bagger at Kroger a tip and a tract and told her how much I appreciate her helping me.

Hope these few examples can encourage you! I still struggle with passing out each and every tract. It is really not that hard though to keep a couple in my pocket and offer them to the people I come in contact with.