evangelism

Keep the Appointment

wp-1485980281146.jpg

My husband had an appointment at an eye clinic this week. It had been scheduled for the week before, but he needed to cancel. As a child of God, we know that there are no accidents or coincidences in our life. Our sovereign God directs our steps and puts us where He wants us and at the right time.So, in God’s timing his appointment was rescheduled for yesterday.

While my husband was back having his scheduled laser treatment, my daughter and son-in-law waited with me in the waiting area. I got up to use the ladies’ room, and in the few minutes I was gone, an elderly woman came and sat down beside my daughter. Opening her flip phone, she asked Alli if she could find the number for her son, Ricky, and then call him for her, stating that she had never used a cell phone before. Alli went clicking through the contacts and found the name requested. She hit “dial” and handed the phone to the woman beside her. There was no answer, so a message was left for the recipient stating that she was finished with her appointment and ready for him to pick her up.

My son-in-law sweetly told the woman that she could sit right there by us while she waited. I began chatting with her, wondering if this wasn’t an appointment of another kind – a God-sized, God-ordained one. After some initial friendly conversation, I narrowed the topic to ask if she attended church anywhere. Her answer was curt – firm, “No,” and made me think she was wishing she had chosen to sit elsewhere.

“Who is Jesus to you?” I continued.

“A Savior. A teacher.”

I told her that we had recently visited Israel and saw some places where Jesus would have indeed taught crowds of people.

She nodded, then began to stand.

“I’m going to go wait outside for my son,” she stated.

I reached into my purse, looking for a Gospel tract. I pulled one out, and handed it to my son-in-law, asking if he would take it out to her. He happily did so, and also went through it with her, explaining that Jesus had come to exchange her sin for a relationship with Him. After he gave a brief explanation and invitation to attend our church, he asked if he could pray for her.

“No, I don’t think so”

was her reply as she pulled her coat around her frail, chilled body. She shut out the breeze that blew by, but also the Truth that could give her eternal life.

The blessing of this scenario is that she may have read that tract after going home. The Spirit of God could open her spiritual eyes to make her realize that this meeting was no accident; it was appointed by God. It is the way the Lord gives to every man the opportunity to be saved. There are none shut out, none for whom Jesus did not die. He came to seek every man – For God so loved the world.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share. I’m grateful for a son-in-law who has a heart for the lost, and for a sovereign God who makes appointments so that all can be saved.

Have you had an “appointment” in which you heard the Gospel? Did you respond positively? Don’t turn Him away, Friend. Even this simple post is another appointment with the God Who loves you.

Have you been given the blessing of sharing the Truth with others? There’s no greater joy than to share with others how they can have eternal life. And if they reject the message, remember that they’re not rejecting you, they’re rejecting the person of Christ.

Be faithful. Be a witness. Keep the appointment.

With love,

Denise Signature 150 px

children · eternal · evangelism · salvation

Family Friday – A Mom’s Greatest Privilege

bible-a

January is a busy birthday month for our family. Our son-in-law celebrated his a couple weeks ago. My husband’s is on the 22nd.  Today we celebrate my mom’s 80th!!   What a blessing she is with her love for the Lord, her family and her home.She has been a blessing to all that know her, and I am thankful to call her my mom!   Happy Birthday, Mom!

Our oldest daughter, Whitney celebrated a special birthday last week – it was her 28th spiritual birthday. When she was three and a half she trusted Christ as her Savior. You may be thinking, “Three and a half? How could a child that young understand how to be saved?” I don’t know how the Lord works in a sinner’s heart, but I know that He does.

From the moment she was born, we told her of God’s love, of Jesus dying on the cross, that sin was what we say or do that doesn’t please God, etc. One evening after she’d been listening to a Patch the Pirate tape about a little boy trusting Christ as his Savior, she told me she wanted to do that too. I wasn’t sure how much she understood, but after talking with her, I knew she wouldn’t be satisfied until she prayed. Her prayer was simple and sincere, trusting as a child can.

As she grew up I didn’t want to keep reminding her of her decision at that early age. If there was ever a doubt in her heart, I wanted her to feel free to make it sure. However, she never doubted what God did for her on that day!

Our responsibility and privilege as moms is to keep telling our children about the Lord, His love and Christ’s sacrifice for them in terms they can understand. We do it as Deuteronomy 6:4-7 admonishes us – while we sit, when we rise, when we lie down, when we get up. This means all through the day in the activities you find yourself doing, make it a natural part of your conversation to talk about the Lord.

Ask the Lord to help you make spiritual applications using the snow, bath bubbles, gardening – whatever you’re doing. It will be a natural conversation, not something that is forced, and when your child understands and is ready to receive Christ, it will probably be at one of those very informal times. When both of my girls trusted Christ, we were at home, doing things we do each day. The Lord may touch your child’s heart when they are at church, but your home can also be the sanctuary in which they are saved.

One year Whitney wrote me on her spiritual birthday and said,

“Thank you for introducing me to Jesus.”

I read that and wept, as I also do at this moment. Is there any privilege any greater than that? She and her sister are two treasures that by God’s grace I get to take to heaven with me! How sweet eternity will be!

To all you young moms – just keep telling the story. Tell it. Sing it. Share it. You may have another birthday at your house as a result!

How old were you when you got saved?

Denise Signature 150 px

baking · breakfast · Christmas · evangelism

Friday Favorites- Countdown To Christmas

In this week before Christmas, I was blessed to do some things that I LOVE.  Let’s start with the pictures in the left column below:

161222_214702_collage-1.jpg

  1.  My husband and I got to go to Abington, VA to the Barter Theatre to see A Christmas Carol.  Before the play, we went to a favorite restaurant, Rain.  We shared a bowl of their fabulous Butternut Squash Soup, and their Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  Outstanding.
  2. We picked up our tickets and made our way to the play. Abington is a charming town!
  3. This fountain is across the street from the theatre.  What a fun date this was!  My husband, who isn’t a book or movie fan, really wasn’t sure he’d ever read or seen the story we were about to see, so he saw it all through new eyes.  One of the young actors is a member of our church, so it was especially fun to see him on stage!  He did a wonderful job!
  4. Having a daughter who lives in my town and goes to my church is a blessing!  Sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t get to spend a great deal of time together.  We made a lunch date this week in our little town and caught up on one another’s lives.  She makes me laugh.  She encourages my heart, and she always picks the best desserts for us to share!
    Now the pictures on the right side:
  5.  Liza cuddled up on my lap one morning this week while I was having my Bible study.  That’s a special treat from a normally not-so-cuddly kitty!
  6.  I had a baking day that included making these Cream Cheese Danishes.  The recipe makes four at a time, plenty for us and for sharing.  The dough is soft and sweet and the filling makes them irresistible.  I like to also add a little bit of fruit preserves to the cream cheese filling.  Mmmm, these will be good for breakfast this Christmas weekend!  You could ask my husband who already enjoyed a couple slices when they were warm from the oven.  He washes most all of my baking dishes, so I’m happy to give him a taste of anything I’ve baked!
  7. We went caroling Wednesday night.  It’s a blessing to sing the songs of Christ’s birth and wish the folks at the door a Merry Christmas.  We are singing the Gospel and it doesn’t get any better than that!

1221161129.jpg

The last picture above is a weekly event at my house- Bible Club.  What a blessing to pull out my flannel graph (yes, it’s an antiquated teaching tool, but the kids love it!) and remind the children of the reason for Christmas, starting with the fall of man.  They had fun adding the flannel graph pieces as I told the story.  My heart is full as I pour into my young pupils each week the Truth of God’s Word.  They are like sponges, listening, asking questions and responding with tender hearts.  I thank the Lord for this rich privilege!

Now here we are at the end of the week, just days away from Christmas.  Our whole family will be together, and I’m excited to celebrate with my girls and their husbands! There will be worship together, lots of good food, laughter, more laughter and probably some music!

I pray that your Christmas will be simple, special, and full of talking about and worshiping the Savior.  He came to die for each of us, and that makes every day worth celebrating!

John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin of the world.

Merry Christmas!

Denise Signature 150 px

evangelism

A Peek From My Porch

How to Host a Bible Club in Your Home

I’ve shared with you before about the weekly Bible Club I have with my neighbor children.  Today I thought it might encourage and help others who have had thoughts about perhaps doing a club at their house to get a little peek at what we do and how I prepare for our hour-long Bible lesson each week.

I’m using an old Sunday school curriculum that was left over from several years ago.  It serves as the guide for what lesson to teach next.  Then I plan our schedule out minute by minute.  Our time together is precious, and I want to make good use of every second we have.

What you see below is my schedule from last week, along with links to the songs/verses I’m teaching them.  The Internet is a huge help!  Take a peek:

February 5, 2015
4:00 – 4:010- Sing – 
Jesus loves the little children – Cedarmont Video
My God is So big – ( choose new Picture Book)
Recite Psalm 23 
Pray
 
4:10 – 4:20 – Heart Search – Look for heart cut outs around living room – Truth to be taught – God knows where we are.  He loves us and invites us to receive His Son as our Savior
4:20 -4:30 – Bible Story – Jesus Loves the Children – Luke 19
4:30 – 4:40 – Review Bible lesson with Game –
Ask a review question.  If they answer correctly, they may “fish for a heart.” Use hearts that were found earlier  (Paper clip on heart, magnet attached to string for fishing rod.
 20150205_164419_resized
4:40 – 4:50 – Snack – Apple slices with peanut butter – heart shaped centers (cut out with heart-shaped mini-cookie cutter).
20150205_165342_resized
4:50 – 5:00 – Craft – Heart Mobile – Jesus Loves…On the little hearts add names of people they want to remind of God’s love for them.
20150205_165333_resized
I try to follow a theme for each lesson that correlates to the Bible story we had. Since we’re in February and the lesson was on Jesus Loves the Children, I made use of heart-shaped/themed everything.  It makes it fun and also memorable for the children…and me!
I’m truly not sure who enjoys our hour together more!

I hope this inspires you to host a Bible club so you can refresh the hearts of children with the Gospel!

Have you ever hosted a Bible club or attended one when you were younger?  

With love,
8E63C63AC0BC189BF1C68B03C74DBB5F
evangelism

Seeing with Christ-like love

It happened years ago, yet still I remember how humbling the experience was…and the lesson I learned from it. I had received a phone call from a stranger. The person on the other end of the line was hard to understand. Their words were choppy and they seemed abrupt and loud as they spoke. I was frustrated after minutes of our discussion. I cannot remember exactly how our discussion ended or even what they wanted, but I do know that I learned afterwards that the caller was handicapped and had difficulty speaking. I felt the size of a worm for getting agitated at them. But you see, I didn’t know, so I’m innocent, right? I couldn’t see them…how was I to know they had a handicap? Seeing or not, Scripture tells us that if I’m showing love, I will be longsuffering (I Corinthians 13). I need to see with Christ-like love.

Let’s think about some others we don’t “see” with whom we need to show the I Corinthians kind of love.

What about the person who is poking along in front of us on our way home from work. We shake our finger towards his car and mutter, “The speed limit is 55, mister! Why are you doing 35? Can’t you see I want to get home?” But what we don’t see is that he’s been diagnosed with macular degeneration, and he feels safe enough to drive in the area right around his house, albeit a little slower than he used to go. If we’d have known that, would we have been a little more understanding? We need to “see” with Christ-like love.

The woman that checked you out when you went shopping at Target didn’t even say hello! As a matter of a fact, she didn’t even smile when she took care of you! You leave the store mumbling about how rude people are nowadays. But you didn’t see that her husband lost his job and she’s burdened down with the weight of now being the sole provider for their family. We need to see with Christ-like love.

Your boss hibernates in his office today and seems exceptionally demanding. He seldom comes out, but only sends messages to give directions. Does he not believe in being personal with his employees? You and other coworkers give him the “what-for” in the break room. What you don’t see is that his wife filed for divorce last night and his heart is broken. It reminds him of the day his dad left when he was and child and he’s wondering if anyone could ever really love him. We need to see with Christ-like love.

Last weekend when you attended your favorite college football game, the guys in front of you were foul-mouthed. They yelled profanities, drank beer, and smoked in the stands, regardless that those around them asked them to stop. They all had jobs. They were all healthy, but not one of them had ever trusted Christ as their Savior because they’d never seen up close what it looks like when Christ’s love really changes a person. Would that change today because you saw them with Christ-like love?

If we’re honest, we’d admit that we all feel like we’re entitled to “nice” people around us. Good treatment is what we expect, but when it doesn’t happen, let’s stop and listen and truly see what Christ would see. It could be something far deeper, something that is there that is crying out for Christ-like love. May we each see that need and may we love with that kind of love.

How have you seen Christ’s love in others today?

Here’s how you can show love to your pastor and husband today:

Pastor Encouragement:  Pray that God will bring godly friends and encouragers to your pastor and family to strengthen them for the ministry and provide meaningful fellowship and times of rest.

Husband Encouragement:  Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Is it his ability to plan, lead, show mercy, mediate peace, or delegate? Does he keep things organized or invest in others? If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder … nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured and respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership “as to the Lord.” Part of showing respect includes submission to his authority: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Eph. 5:23).

Action Step: Demonstrate respect. Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together. Seek his opinion on decisions you need to make or conversations you need to have with others. Tell him that you need his support, insight, care, and love.

With love (prayerfully the Christ-like kind),

evangelism · salvation

Reaching Out or Resisting?

We were seated in our pew at church, this unsaved girl and me. As we sat there, I thought back to how we’d met just a few days before at a restaurant. My husband and I had joined friends for an evening refreshment. She was an employee who was working the dining area and we struck up a conversation with her. She told us of many mission trips she’d gone on and the life-changing events that they were to her. My husband then asked her our favorite question to learn a person’s spiritual condition; “Who is Jesus to you?” Her answer?  “I’m not a Christian. I think Jesus was a figment of people’s imagination, created to help them deal with morality.” We were all taken back a bit, to be honest, but were thankful for this young woman’s transparency. She wasn’t belligerent or hateful; just honest. Oh, the Scriptures that came to all of our hearts…

II Corinthians 4:4 
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 

I Corinthians 15:6
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

It was late and the restaurant was ready to close, so we ended our conversation with an invitation to our church. How we all prayed for her through Saturday and Sunday morning!

Then, glory to God, she walked in the door for the Sunday school hour! I rejoiced as I watched our church family welcome her and bring her in. The Sunday school hour being ended, it was now that I’m brought back to her presence on the pew beside me.

This was the Sunday of the month that we would take of the Lord’s Supper. I’ve always loved this time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for me. This Sunday, however, I was sharply aware of how great a gift my salvation truly is. As the communion bread was brought to my pew, the deacon lowered the plate for me, I took my piece. Then, not knowing her spiritual condition, he extended the plate past me to my visitor. From my peripheral view I watched her hands go up in refusal. It was the right response, because she’s not a believer, but my heart ached for her. She did not want any bread, but she was also saying so many other things when her hand went up. My heart truly hurt for her. 

“You don’t want Jesus as your Savior? You don’t want the free gift of salvation? You don’t want to be right with God? You don’t want Him to guide you all your life and make sense of all in this world that is senseless?”

It made me think of my own hands. Though so undeserving, when I reached out to the Lord, He took me in! He accepted me and forgave me and He died for me! As I took of the bread and then the cup, I was aware of my own unworthiness, but the huge gift that I’d received the day I opened my hands to Jesus. He was broken for me; He bled for me and in taking that symbol I was preaching the message that Jesus said we’d proclaim each time we “did this in remembrance of Him” – For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. I Cornthians 11:26

Dear friend, I pray you’ve reached your hands out to the Lord Jesus, but if you haven’t, He died for you and loved you before you were ever born. Don’t resist Him today. Reach out and accept His gift of salvation that He paid for with His very life.

With love,