A Rotten, Very Bad, Horribly Terrific Day

Monday: The most-hated day of the week. Most Mondays go okay for me. Of all the days of the week, I prepare the most meticulously for Monday. I suppose I do it because it seems to set the tone for the rest of the work-week. I lay out clothes, set my alarm thirty minutes earlier, have all of our lessons prepared and (usually) have the grocery list is made. I tackle my devotions, then get ready for the day, then we begin school. That lasts 4-5 hours. Then I go grocery shopping with whichever child has a turn that week.

My first mistake on this Monday, was not making my menu and grocery list on Sunday like I usually do. I have no excuse other than the one my kids always use: I didn’t feel like it. Shame on me. That was all it took to derail a perfectly good day. Well, that and the fact I was feeling a bit out of sorts for some reason. I blame womanhood.

I had started out okay. I’d had my devotional time. I’d gone on a two mile walk/run. I got dressed for the day. Ate breakfast, started school and then it all fell apart. Math was harder than usual. The doorbell rang. The kids asked me if we should hide. No, weren’t hiding, but I wasn’t answering., I told them. I got some emails with bad news. Did I mention that whole math thing? Yeah. That was pretty much the final straw right there at the beginning.

I frowned a lot today. I was snippy with the kids. I gave a lecture to one of the kids that (shudder) was probably an over reaction. Then, it was time to tackle that stupid menu and list! (If only food weren’t so important to life.) I made the list, clipped and gathered my coupons, checked my funds. got my oldest boy and left for the store.

And that’s when this rotten, very bad, horrible day got better.

Mitchell dropped forty Gospel tracts as we were leaving. Forty. He had counted them.

“What are you doing with those?” I asked.

“I’m giving them out at the store.” He said. “I want us to get over 100.” He said. (Our church keeps count of how many tracts we distribute each year. Last year, it was over 7,000, This year, so far, it’s about 70.)

I was thinking, “But I’m upset. I can’t go hand out tracts about the Lord. Nor can I be seen with someone doing that.” But I didn’t say anything, I just smiled. The feeling of humiliation was beginning at my feet and slowly creeping upward.

I know what you think about me. I was thinking it, too. “Why do I feel that way? Am I ashamed of the Gospel? Am I afraid?” I’m pretty sure my face turned red, but I didn’t have a mirror to see for sure.

Mitch hopped out at Walmart and promptly started placing tracts on the cars surrounding ours. I looked straight ahead, embarrassed. Then I was ashamed for being embarrassed. It was a tug-of-war in my heart! Where’s an altar when you need one? And “Just as I Am” being played on a piano? And a bunch of other Christians who love you and understand that you’re not exactly nuts, you’re just a sinner? I had no place to pray or anything. I tried to smile. But it was fake. I was all eaten up inside with my own problems. I just wanted to buy the food and get home and hide under the bed. Or something like that. But now I needed to go forward and repent.

I tried to ignore Mitchell as he handed them to everyone we passed and as he placed them on displays. I’m sure people wondered how in the world such a sweet, smiling boy could be with such a frowny-faced woman. I wondered that, too.

Well, without an altar or piano music, I repented. Right there in the aisles of Walmart, I asked the Lord to forgive me and help me. I changed my attitude. I started smiling. I stopped being embarrassed. I helped Mitch think of places to leave the tracts. I have to be real – I still felt somewhat downhearted, but the day was taking a much needed upswing!

As we left Walmart, I saw an elderly lady sitting on a bench outside of McDonald’s. She looked at Mitch with a smile of recognition and a wave. Mitch waved back, grinning ear-to-ear. He told me that he had started speaking with her at the self-checkout when he paid for something he had wanted. He smiles and talks to everyone, and they usually smile back.

I got home and put everything away, all the while wishing that the Earth would open up and swallow me. I don’t deserve this life. I had nothing about which to be discouraged. And from where, exactly, did these sweet children come? I know they didn’t get this sweetness from me. Maybe their dad? Nah. (Just kidding)

I often feel that as a parent, I’m supposed to have all the answers. But today, it was my son who taught the lesson. He taught me by his life. In fact, I’ve learned a lot from these five kiddos who call me “Mom”. Today, I was reminded not to let my emotions rule me and to be excited about the Savior.

Mitch 1-19-15

Me and Mitch. He made my bad day a wonderful one.

Telling others about Christ is a wonderful way to turn a horrible day, into a horribly terrific one.

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Are You Ready for the JW’s?

Please forgive me for the following, rather hick video. I thought making a video would be easier and quicker than writing, so I am trying it.  I hope this information helps. Thanks for reading…I mean watching!

 

 

Here’s the lecture by Dr. James White, which is a great starting point for understanding the JW cult:

Click HERE for a link to it on Youtube.

Click HERE for the 20 Questions that I mentioned in my video.

Click HERE to write me and say I’m not a hick.

Just kidding.

Have a great day!

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20 Questions to Ask a Jehovah’s Witness

This past Wednesday, my morning was interrupted by a visit from two female representatives of the Jehovah’s Witness group. I was not feeling well and in the middle of school, so the visit was a surprise to say the least. Before I even answered the door, I was scolding myself at how ill prepared I was. I cannot count how many times I have opened my doors to them over the years. Too many! And as I type these words, I am feeling the frustration at my ignorance anew.

Several weeks ago, one of our Sunday school teachers shared twenty questions to ask a Jehovah’s Witness. I know from experience that the JW’s are very prepared for any argument you pose to them. To say they are “indoctrinated” is putting it mildly. They are like an army of witnessing, and rightfully so: they believe it is their ticket to “paradise” and that persecution is adding feathers to their spiritual cap – so they love criticism! Wow. If only those of us who truly know the Lord were as prepared, as disciplined and as eager to face opposition as these false witnesses are! That convicts me.

One thing you cannot do to the JW is give them an opening to speak. Can their greatest strength can be turned into their greatest weakness? Perhaps so. Let them talk, but give them the things to talk about. Here are the 20 questions. May we all use this tool to get some of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to turn to the true Gospel, and may it begin in me.

*The following questions were written by Natalie Pappas in 1997.*

NOTE: Do not invite them into your home. Also, try to direct your questions to the “newer” recruit, the one who is more reluctant to speak. Please study these passages of scripture ahead of time to prepare yourself.

1. May I ask a quick question?
2. What gospel are you preaching?
3. Do you know there is only one gospel?
4. Do you have a Bible with you?
5. Will you turn to Galatians chapter one and read the first 10 verses aloud?
6. Do you know where the Bible defines the gospel?
7. Would you mind turning in your Bible to 1 Cor. 15, and reading verses 1-11?
8. Do you believe that you are only getting a chance for eternal life? Or do you know for sure that you are saved?
9. Would you mind turning in your Bible and reading 1 John 5:13 aloud?
10. Do you believe Jesus was resurrected? (They believe he died a spiritual death, and therefore, a spiritual resurrection.)
11. Can a “spiritual body” hang on a cross? Pay for our sins? Be buried in a tomb?
12. Is there anything in the context of these verses which would change the context from a bodily death to a spiritual death? A bodily burial to a spiritual burial? A bodily resurrection to a spiritual resurrection?
(If they say “Yes” ask them, “Where?” If they appeal to other verses, say “But those aren’t the verses we were discussing.” Also, if they start asking any questions or diverting to other subjects, simply tell them you don’t want to discuss that now. Stay on track.)
13. Did you know that Jesus himself prophesied that his resurrection would be bodily?
14. If/When they look at you in amazement, ask them to please read John 2:13-25. Feel free to share how much you enjoy studying God’s Word, the Bible. Tell them you appreciate their reading the verses in context.
15. Would you mind please reading John 20:24-29?
16. Was Jesus saying, “Here, Thomas, touch and see my FAKE hands, my FAKE side?”
17. Is it in Jesus’ character to be deceptive?
18. Can one be a perfect Savior and then turn around and be deceptive?

These 18 questions have given them much to contemplate. But before they go, ask them two more questions:
19. Do you go door to door and preach the gospel as it is defined from the Bible?
20. Are you going to change the gospel you preach now when you go door to door? (Clearly, you have proven several questionable items in their presentation!)

Thank them for coming by and giving you the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Let them know you ALWAYS enjoy sharing the Gospel with others.

We are cautioned in 2 John 1:10-11 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Do not say “God bless you!” Or, “I appreciate what a great job you folks are doin’!” They are doing an evil work, even though it is often done in naivete or ignorance. Likewise, we do not want to be nasty or hateful. Christ came to share the truth with all sinners, just like me. I want to use this opportunity to do the same. 

You can print this post by selecting the green “Print PDF” button below this post. To use less ink when printing, just tick the “remove images” box at the top of the print menu, so you won’t print the picture. Then select “Print” or “PDF” at the upper left hand corner. If you select “PDF”, you will need to click the “Download Your PDF” button that will appear, and wait for the file to download to your computer. You can then save and print at your leisure.

I plan to practice these questions on my kids. Next time a Jehovah’s Witness knocks, I want to be prepared to share the Gospel. This is a great time to be alive, and to share Christ with others. I, for one, need to be a better ambassador for Him! (2 Cor. 5:20)

One more thing! Here’s a link to a site that will help in witnessing to JW’s. It is run by a former elder. It is called Comments from the Friends.

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The Power of One

I shared the following video on my blog many moons ago. It has been a while since I’ve viewed it. This past Sunday, our Sunday school teacher shared this in our class and it stirred me to tears once more. Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to go out with some of our church family to pass out tracts and witness. I felt like I didn’t accomplish much. I even twisted my ankle in a pot hole and fell flat on my face. I skinned my hands, bruised my knees and cut my chin – and all of this in front of folks working in their yards! Talk about humiliation!

Then, on Sunday, I dragged my aching body to church and this video was shown. On Saturday, I didn’t feel like I did much, but this video reminded me that feelings are flimsy things. They cannot be trusted. The truth is, we will not know till we arrive in Heaven what impact our lives and witness have had for Christ. We must keep going, keep witnessing and keep looking up!

Here’s the story of Mr. Genor, who was blessed to find out what impact he had for Christ before he entered glory. It encouraged me, and I hope it will do the same for you, too

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The Heart of a Seven Year Old

Leslie, helping decorate the tree this week.

My children have said or done many things over the years that, in their innocence, greatly convicted me of my failings. Tonight was one of those times.

On the first Saturday of each month, our church has “Field Service Saturday”. We go pass out tracts, witness to others about Christ, or make phone calls and follow up visits. I will not be able to go tomorrow, so I went yesterday afternoon with my oldest daughter as my partner. We made seventeen stops and talked to about ten people. It took us an hour. We dealt with dogs, including a pit bull, a broken step on a porch, lots of walking and some uninviting faces. I admit that I was relieved when we were done!

Tonight, as I was working in the kitchen, Leslie said, “You and Lauren aren’t going tomorrow to Field Service Saturday?” I said, “Lauren is going, but I won’t be able to. That’s why we went out yesterday.”
Leslie said, “Aw, that’s not fair. Lauren gets to go twice this week!”

As soon as the words left her mouth, I flashed through the thoughts that had crossed my mind while we were out yesterday. Thoughts like, “I can’t wait till this is over.”  “This is probably doing no good!” and  “I hope I don’t catch germs from this place.” My heart was smitten. In my mind, I asked the Lord to forgive me for my selfish spoiled ways and to help me have the heart of a seven year old, a heart that finds joy in serving Him.

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Who Shall Stand?

Rev. 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

This verse really convicted me this morning. Not because I fear God’s wrath. I am saved, therefore, I am not appointed to suffer God’s righteous anger. When God looks at me, He sees His Son, Jesus, and He is pleased with His only Son. I was convicted  because so many are lost, so many do not know that one day, God is going to judge them. Only the blood of Christ on their lives can protect them from God’s wrath.

Tomorrow, our church has a visitation/flyer distribution day. I’ll be honest, almost everyone you talk to here claims to be saved. Those who aren’t saved, will let you share the Gospel, and they might even pray the sinner’s prayer. But then, when the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witness share their version of salvation (which are lies from the Devil!), they accept that, too! We’ve witnessed a lot in the 3 years of our ministry here, but very few have gotten saved.

I’m praying that the Holy Spirit is preparing someone right now to listen to the Gospel. I’m praying He will open their eyes, their ears and the hearts to listening to the truth. We can only tell them, we cannot convince folks that what we are telling them is the truth. The Holy Spirit does that part, and oh how we need Him to work!

I want everyone to be spared the wrath of God.

Fulfilling His Command

Today was our church’s organized time to go out together and invite folks to church and tell them about Jesus. My mother graciously agreed to drive down and watch out two youngest kids so that I could go out and talk to folks with my husband and three older children. I grabbed my black leather New Testament and a handful of tracts with glee! It’s been too long since I’ve had the chance to go out and invite people to church. I really love talking to people!

There was a heat advisory today. It’s about 100 degrees right now, but the heat index is much higher. As I stood chatting with a lady, I felt a tickle on the back of my leg, like a hair or a string. When I went to brush it away, I noticed it was sweat dripping down the back of my legs! I was standing the shade at that time, too! It was worth it though, to get to visit with so many sweet people.

Later, as I stood beside my husband while he gave the Gospel to an African-American man, right across the street from the elementary school that President Bill Clinton attended, I felt in awe. I was in awe that Bill Clinton used to run around that playground. I’m sure  that back then people didn’t think that anyone from our tiny town would ever be president! Yet, he did it. Likewise, there are days when the church house is rather empty, the spirit is down and it feels like we are accomplishing very little for our Lord. But today, I relished the moment as I stood outside in the 100 plus degree weather, the sun kissing my cheeks, the Lord sending His breeze to cool us, the cicadas singing an encouraging song from the trees.  I knew this thankless, un-glorious task, was far greater than anything Bill Clinton has ever done. Yes, anything. Nothing, my friend, is more important than telling folks about Jesus. He’s the One who paid for our sins, He’s the One who teaches us how to live through the pages of His Word. He is God.

I’m sure that on a hot day like today, people were visiting State Parks, shopping, visiting an amusement park or out on the lake. If they were asked to go out today and invite people to church, they would say “But it’s too hot!” Well, it’s not too hot for doing those other things, because that’s what we want to do, it’s  just too hot for what we don’t want to do.

Think of it this way, spending time at the lake with your family is fun for a day. The memories will last a few months at best. Spending a day with your family telling others about the One who died for you, will last for eternity.

Perhaps we should all change our “want to”? Souls are dying without Christ, and we have only one life to give to make a difference. It’s a sobering thought. We are not commanded to “save” people, we are only commanded to “go”. (Matthew 28:19)

And we can all go, somewhere.

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