After School Bible Stories

She is 85.  Every week this dear woman and her husband place their two folding chairs under a tree in the large grassy area of their apartment complex.  Little children are invited to sit on a blanket to hear Trudy and Clarence tell a Bible story.

Most of these children from the apartments are unchurched.  This is the first time some of them have heard the story of Jesus and His love for them. It’s the first time they’ve heard about His miracles and His sinless life. They are learning that we are all sinners destined to be separated from God for all eternity,  unless we have a Savior. They learn that Jesus came to earth to be our Savior.

Sometimes Trudy and Clarence bring props and costumes so the children can act out a story from the Bible.  Often the parents come to watch and listen.  The story time takes less than an hour,  but every Friday after school the children come.

Mario is a young man from church who wants to learn to share his faith with confidence. He has begun helping them. They now alternate with one telling the story and another doing the review of last week’s story.  Story time with the kids has brought great joy to these precious saints.  They love the children. Moreover, the children love them!

  • Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”   Matthew 19:14
  • What do you think about this idea for reaching unchurched children?  Would it work where you live? 
  • SONG:  I KNOW HIM – Click here to listen:

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    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in HERE & THERE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Anxiety Attack Solution

Eight-year-old Alex was experiencing anxieties. His mother asked him to bring a note pad and pencil and write some instructions for what to do when this happens.  She didn’t know what she would tell him to write, but she was praying and trusting God to direct her.

“1. Confess your sins and get right with God. Even if you can’t think of a sin, tell God. He may bring to mind something you have forgotten. If He doesn’t,  that’s all right, too.” She waited while Alex bowed his head and made a silent confession.

“2.  Ask God to remove your anxieties. Be honest and tell Him you don’t like these feelings and you want them gone.

“3. Thank God for your anxieties. That’s right!  Now I want you to thank God for whatever is causing them. By thanking Him we show God that we are trusting Him. We are also being obedient because God’s Word tells us in Ephesians 5:10 to be thankful for everything. There may be times when you’ll have to grit your teeth to say thank you; but once you do it God will flood you with His peace.

“4. Claim some of God’s promises from the Bible. Those promises are ONLY for true believers—those who put their trust in Jesus.  God put them there for us to use.” She had recently purchased a “Box of Promises,” a small plastic box containing 100 little cards, each with a promise from God’s Word.  She asked Alex to pick a card and read it. The first one he chose was John 14:27,  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Perfect! She suggested they claim that promise for Alex. She prayed, “Thank You God for giving Alex peace at this very moment. Your peace is not a temporary peace, but Your peace is the giving of Yourself to us.  You ARE peace and You are permanent. Thank You for who You are.”  Alex picked another card and then another. All three seemed  an affirmation of God’s guidance in this.

“5.  Ask God to remove the desires you have for things that may not be good for you at this time. When we dwell on our wants, we just become more and more miserable.

“6.  Ask God to give you more love for Him. None of us love God as much as we should. If you ask God to increase your love for Him, He will. That is one prayer God delights in answering.

“Keep the list in a safe place near your Bible. The next time you get anxieties, don’t come to me.  Go to the list first. Since you’ve already done numbers 1 and 4, I want you now, to do numbers 2,3,5 and 6.”

He prayed aloud while his mother prayed silently. He closed his prayer with, “God, please help me love you more and more—‘cuz I just wanna to be your very best friend.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

A month later Alex’s mother asked him if he had any more problems with anxiety. “Yeah, two or three times; but I always get the list out and by the time I’m finished doing the first thing on it, they’re gone.”

  • always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Ephesians 5:20
  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9
  • [Have you tried these ideas in your life?  How have they helped you? To leave a comment, click on title of story and then scroll to bottom of page.]
  • SONG:  THESE INWARD TRIALS – Click here to listen:
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    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in DOCTRINE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Anxiety Attack!

An eight-year-old was experiencing anxiety.

“I’m not sick, Mom. I just have a scary feeling inside me. I get afraid and I don’t know why. Whenever you and Dad are with me I feel fine. Or if I’m playing a game or have a friend over, or even when I’m doing chores, I don’t have it.  It only comes when I’m alone or when I’m bored.”

Alex was a Christian. Just six months earlier he had approached his mom in much the same way, but with another problem: He didn’t think he was going to heaven and wanted to get right with God.  She led him to the Lord that night. Since then she had observed signs of spiritual growth.  As she studied Alex now, she sent up an arrow prayer: “Lord give me Your wisdom to handle this.” Then with confidence, trusting God as she spoke, she said,

“Alex, do you know there are millions of people who have those same feelings? Many are children your age. I’ve had them myself, and I had them when I was your age. Those feelings are called anxieties or anxiety attacks. God created us with the ability to have all kinds of feelings, including anxiety.”

“Mom, does God cause anxieties?”

“He does not cause them, but He does allow them. I believe He allows them for a good reason. You see He wants people to seek Him, to turn to Him and draw close to Him when they have these feelings. He loves us and He wants to comfort us when we turn to Him. But do you know what?”
“What?” he echoed.
“Most people will not turn to God when they have anxieties. Would you like me to tell you what many people do when they have anxieties?”
He nodded with interest.

“Many will turn on the TV or listen to music. They might call a friend or go for a swim or ride a bike. Older people may do things like drink alcohol…”
“and take drugs” blurted Alex.
“That’s right! Take drugs! Some people start eating too much. Others will keep very busy working hard: cleaning house, digging in the garden, playing sports, reading books or they’ll seek entertainment. Tell me Alex, are these things bad?                                                       “No. Some are good things.”

“That’s right! Some are good things. But everything I mentioned has one thing in common. They are all methods of escape when they are done excessively and for the wrong reason.
People can become so absorbed in a project or in some form of entertainment that they can escape from their problems for a while. The problem with escaping is that eventually, whatever you’re escaping from will come back to haunt you.  Sooner or later you have to stop whatever you’re doing and be still with your thoughts.

“All those escape methods will give temporary peace. None of them can give us permanent peace because they are man’s ways and not God’s ways of dealing with problems.

“Alex, I want you to get a pencil and paper. I’m going to give you a list of things I want you to write down; things to do when you begin to feel these anxieties coming on.”

At this time she had no idea what she would ask him to write, but somehow she knew God was directing her and she silently praised Him.

Please read my next post for the rest of the story…

[Have you experienced anxiety attacks?  If so, what works for you?                   To leave a comment, click on story’s title, then scroll to bottom of page.]

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Time for Divorce

Fifteen years is a long time to live with an unreasonable, demanding husband.  Susan had come to Christ ten years earlier and found great peace in experiencing God’s love and forgiveness.  Tom wasn’t interested in spiritual things and continued to make life difficult at home.  It was time for divorce.  Susan made an appointment with a lawyer.

Later that day she attended an afternoon tea and met two missionary women home on furlough.  As they became acquainted one asked Susan about her husband.  Susan quietly mentioned that she’d just called a divorce lawyer.  The woman said, “We need to pray for you.”

They led Susan into a back room of the house, closed the door and began praying. They prayed aloud for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes.  They would cry out to God, begging him repeatedly to save this marriage. They continued praying this way until 40 minutes had passed!   Then they stopped.  One said, “God has healed your marriage.  Go home and love your husband.”

She did.  Susan and Tom have now been married over 30 years.  Tom has not yet changed. But Susan can honestly say she has never again been tempted to call a lawyer.  She has learned to smile at the storms and praise God anyway.  God has been faithful. Their children are following Christ with their lives.  She and Tom are more content in their marriage than ever before.

Susan often thinks back to the 40 minutes of prayer that saved her marriage.  Most people would have ceased praying after five minutes.  Yet those women did not feel released from the need to pray until 40 minutes had passed.  They continued to pray it through to completion, until they felt God had answered their prayer.

  •  “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel.   Malachi 2:16 NASB
  •  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”   Matthew 19:6

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com

 

Posted in Love & Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cohabitating with Girlfriend

A friend asked me to write a letter to her 24-year-old son who was cohabitating with his girlfriend.  “Tell him he’s living in sin—he won’t listen to me!”

Coincidentally, I wanted to write him anyway!  Ron and I had recently talked and he’d expressed his disappointment in organized religion.  He was restless, frustrated and searching for meaning to life.

I wrote, “Ron, you’ve been on my mind ever since we talked.  Is it because I believe that you and your girlfriend are living in sin?  No.  In fact, your lifestyle is no different from many your age.  According to the Bible,  we are all sinners.

“I’m concerned that you are unhappy and frustrated with life.  Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’  You don’t seem to recognize your need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“I’m not talking about church here. I believe someday you will turn to Jesus Christ. You will receive His forgiveness and will want to surrender your life to Him.  You will then receive the Holy Spirit who will come to live within.  God will begin to speak to your heart and show you how He wants you to live. He’ll also give you the power and the desire to do His will.  That is when you will begin to experience the wonderful peace and contentment  you are seeking…”

What a surprise when six weeks later we received an invitation to their wedding!  A few weeks later we received a note from his bride: “I don’t want you to think we decided to marry because of your letter.  But I can’t say it was not the reason either.  Thank you.”

Ron and his wife became followers of Jesus.  They are raising their four children in the Lord.  They teach Sunday school and are leaders in their church.

  • I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.      John 10:10
  • For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.    Ephesians 5:5

[Would you have responded to a friend’s request to write to her son?  To leave a comment, simply click on the story’s TITLE, then scroll to bottom of page.]

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in Love & Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What Are Indulgences?

I was raised Roman Catholic.  When I was 16, I used my babysitting money to purchase a Catholic Missal from the church bookstore–a prayer book of indulgences.

We learned in catechism class that we were all sinners–I certainly knew I was!  We also learned we’d have our sins forgiven once we confessed them.  However, even with our sins forgiven, we’d still have to endure purgatory–a place of painful, fiery suffering to cleanse us from our sins–before we could enter heaven.

The missal I purchased would provide a way for me to reduce my time in purgatory.  I eagerly read through it and discovered hope at the end of each prayer!   It actually revealed the number of  weeks, months or years of indulgences I would gain each time I read that prayer!   That meant the number of weeks, months or years I would not have to spend in purgatory!

Upon further investigation,  I noted some prayers were long and some were short.  Then I discovered some long prayers only offered six weeks of indulgences, while a short prayer I found would give me seven years!   Wow! This was a great find!

But since it was unpredictable to know how many years I’d be required to spend in purgatory, it was difficult to know how many times I would need to say the seven-year prayer.  Nevertheless, I knew that short prayer was the only prayer I would ever need to say.

Years later at age 27,  I attended my first Bible study.   I still remember the day I learned there was no mention of purgatory in the Bible–that when Jesus died on the cross to purchase our salvation, He did it all!  No further punishment would be necessary!

Wait! What?  I thought I was hearing things!  If this is true, why haven’t I heard this before?  I even felt some anger, to think I had carried the guilt of sin and the fear of the fires of purgatory all my life.  This was the most wonderful news I’d ever heard!  I was not going to keep it a secret!  People need the truth!

Thank you, Martin Luther!   You had it figured it out back in 1517!   October 31, 2017 marked the beginning of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

  • Catholic Doctrine:  Suffering in purgatory is greater than all suffering on earth. Such is the doctrine of tradition, supported by theological reasoning. [402] http://www.catholictreasury.info/books/everlasting_life/ev24.php 
  • Biblical Doctrine:   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   1 John  1:9

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in DOCTRINE, Other Religions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

John 3:16 in a Surrey Cycle

My girlfriend and I were doing a power walk along the beach promenade when along came four people riding a surrey cycle.  As they slowly peddled by I overheard one of them reciting John 3:16 aloud.  She stumbled through it, stopped and started over.

My friend called to her, “Sounds good! You almost have it!”

They circled around and pulled to a stop.  “I’m trying to learn a Bible verse.” She looked at me and said, “Hey! I remember you!  I stopped at your Bible table yesterday and you gave me a Bible!  I want you to meet my daughter,  her fiance’ and my son. They just got baptized and we are celebrating!”

I said, “I do remember you!  Congratulations on your baptisms!  I’m glad to see you’re memorizing John 3:16. But don’t forget verses 17 and 18 as well!  You know the Bible tells us to teach our children God’s word and I started teaching John 3:16-18 to my babies when they were newborn. I looked at the engaged couple:  “Someday you may have a baby in your life. Would you like to hear how I did it?”  They smiled and nodded.

I said, “Changing diapers was my favorite time to recite Scripture to my babies. I’d speak with lots of expression:  ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. YES! That whosoever believes on Him should not perish, NO! But should have everlasting life. YES!  God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, NO!  But that the world might be saved through Him, YES! He who believes in Him is not condemned, NO!  But he who does not believe is condemned already. WHY? Because he has not believed on the NAME of the only begotten son of God. John 3:16,17 and 18.’

“Even though babies don’t understand the words,  when they are just a few weeks old they will become very still and listen.  A few months later they will began to say ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ at just the right time.  By the time they are talking they will also be reciting these verses along with other Scripture you teach them, such as Proverbs 3:5-6 and the Lord’s Prayer.  Our kids are now grown, but they still know the value of keeping God’s Word in their hearts.”

The mother looked at the engaged couple and said, “Isn’t that great?  We’re gonna remember that, aren’t we!”  They thanked us.  With smiles and waves they said goodbye. We could hear her reciting John 3:16 as they pedaled away.

  • Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.   Deuteronomy 11:18-19
  • JOHN 3:16-18 put to music – Click here to listen: 

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    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in BEACH, HERE & THERE, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Man is Following Us!

I was walking in the mall with my friend Jenny, when she alerted me that a man was following us.

We kept walking and after a while she said, “He’s still behind us. Let’s duck into the next store and lose him.”

We did.  He followed.  Wherever we went he was close behind.

Then Jenny said, “Uh oh! He’s right behind you and he’s unzipping his pants.”

I turned around and said in the strongest  voice I could muster: “You zip up your pants right now!  What you are doing is evil!”

“Yes ma’am, Yes ma’am,” as he zipped up his pants.

“You should get down on your knees and ask Jesus to forgive you—RIGHT NOW!”

I was shocked as he dropped to his knees and lowered his head!

Suddenly a policeman rushed in and handcuffed him.  A sales clerk had noticed him stalking us and called 911.

Jenny was aghast at my action.  Truthfully, no one was more shocked than I!  Where did I get such boldness?

“Thank You Lord, for giving me Your words and Your protection.  Please bring that needy man to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.    2 Timothy 1:7 
  • [What would you have done in this situation?  I regret that I didn’t ask the police officer if I could talk with him before they took him away.  To leave a comment click on the title of this story, then scroll to bottom of page.]
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    [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Sacrifice the Family Cow?

As an online missionary with Global Media Outreach, I had the privilege of leading a young man from Lesotho to Jesus.

Lesotho? WHERE is Lesotho? He explained that it’s a small mountain kingdom in South Africa.

He asked for prayer for his family.  You see his mother feels his Christian beliefs are foolishness.  Instead, she believes in ancestor worship—which is common in that part of the world.

She wanted to sacrifice the family cow to the ancestors.  However, his father had forbid her to do this because they needed the cow to plow the field!  One day while his father was away, his mother killed the cow for the sacrifice. This caused HUGE problems in the home.

It has been several months and they have since purchased a new cow, yet the bitterness between his parents continues.

Please join me in praying for this family in Lesotho, and especially for their adult son who is trying to show them the love of Jesus.

  • You may check out Global Media Outreach here:  www.godlife.com/
  • In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.    Titus 2:7      
  • SONG:  I KNOW HIM – By Kathleen

  • [This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com


Posted in GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bible Clubs in Public School?

I was asked to speak to the church women in a nearby community.  My topic was Outreach.   I shared several opportunities available for women to reach a needy world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The biggest response was to the need for a Good News Club that teaches the Bible for children in their local public elementary school.

I explained that we have nine after school clubs in our local schools, but no clubs in two nearby cities, including theirs.  These clubs were approved in 2001 by the U.S. Supreme Court, to be held after school hours in public elementary schools throughout the U.S.

The upshot:  Good News Clubs were recently started in two nearby communities!  Both are the result of this group of wonderful women answering a need.  They took the training and secured permission from their district superintendents.  One club already has over 20 students. The other has 47 and will soon split into two clubs!  The clubs meet weekly for 1.5 hours from October through May.

Please join me in praying for God’s special anointing on these clubs, and that many children will come to experience the love and joy of the Savior.

  • This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.    1 Timothy 2:3-4
  • For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.    Luke 19:10
  • Child Evangelism Fellowship is an international outreach ministry for children. Are they represented in your community? For more information: http://www.cefonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=13&Itemid=100049  

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com

[To leave a comment, simply click on this story’s TITLE, then scroll to bottom of page.]

Posted in Child Evangelism Fellowship, DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments