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 Bible Club for children in their local public elementary school.

I explained that we have nine after school Bible 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  
Posted in Child Evangelism Fellowship, DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacrifice the Family Cow?

As an online missionary with Global Media Outreach, I had the privilege of leading Jacob 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 Jacob’s 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, Jacob, who is trying to show them the love of Jesus.

  • Check out Global Media Outreach here:  www.godlife.com/learn
  • 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 – Click here to listen
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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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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!  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 the babies did not understand my words,  when they were just a few weeks old they would become very still and would listen.  A few months later they began to say ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ at just the right time.  By the time they were talking they were also reciting these verses along with Proverbs 3:5-6 and the Lord’s Prayer.  Now they are grown and they still know the value of keeping God’s Word in their heart.”

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: 
Posted in BEACH, HERE & THERE, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chicken Evangelist

We recently returned from a trip to Texas.  Loved the church we visited!  The pastor had written a book I couldn’t wait to read:  The Adventures of a Chicken Evangelist, by Steve Nelson. It told of his experiences during 40 days of evangelism.  He asked the question we all have, “Can a chicken overcome his fears?”

The book did not disappoint!  Every chapter brought laughter along with encouragement and hope.   Yes there IS hope for those who are fearful of sharing their faith—as he was. Uh, did I mention he is a pastor?

I’m beginning to believe that pastors are most comfortable sharing their faith with people who come to their church and listen to them teach.  Going out and doing “cold-turkey evangelism” as he calls it,  is difficult for most, even pastors.  Yet Jesus told us to GO into all the world and preach the gospel.  He did not tell us to wait until they come to us.

Steve Nelson was compelled to obey God’s Word and go.  He would bring along one of his eight kids or his wife. They went to parks, malls, the ice cream shop, wherever there were people he could engage.

He went out fearfully, but he went.  Just as with anything, the more he did it, the easier it became.  There were some disappointments, but there were wonderful, unexpected successes as well.  What joy they experienced as a family!

The book was a delightful read.  In my opinion it’s  a must-read for pastors.  It’s also an excellent resource to help equip the church to be obedient,  e.g., an exciting focus for a small group!

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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 10 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.

  •  “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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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:
Posted in DOCTRINE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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.]

Posted in ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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 Jim 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 Jim 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.

Craig 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!

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Read the Bible to the Sick

Do you ever wonder what to say to a sick person?  Did you ever think to read the Bible to the sick? Where would you start? How would you go about it?

Remember Charles, the paralyzed young man I visited in the care facility?  He asked me to read the Bible and pray with him before I left.  I did.  Since the facility is in another city, I asked our friend Jack who lives there, if he would follow-up and visit Charles occasionally.

Today he reported that visiting someone he didn’t know was outside his comfort zone, but he’s glad he went.  The experience affected him in a way he did not expect.  Charles asked questions and there was good discussion.  Jack read to him from the Bible,  prayed with him and agreed to return.

As Jack was leaving, he saw patients in wheelchairs sitting alone in the hallway, staring at nothing in particular.  His heart went out to them.  “I’d like to get permission from the administration to visit some of these people and read the Bible to them one-to-one.”

Then he referred to a book called One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm.  It’s a simple guide to help Christians help others by reading the Bible with them.  The book suggests reading plans to do with non-Christians, with new Christians or with established Christians. It suggests questions for discussion to make it an easy and rewarding experience.

Jack’s visit created in him a desire to serve God in a new and exciting way. I too am eager to begin implementing the reading plans from this delightful book.  Perhaps you’ll want to check it out yourself!

  •  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.   Matthew 4:4
  • For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.   Hebrews 4:12

[If you were to read the Bible to the sick, where would you begin?]

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments