April 27, 2008
I want to start a new series in the month of May for our Bible study that we are currently having on Tuesday nights. The series is "Where's The Fire?" or subtitle: "Giving Your Faith Away!" It is really a series on seeing the need to witness to others and finding a comfortable yet effective way to do so. With many folks it often seems sort of like Neil Armstrong's statement when he walked on the moon, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!" when we try and witness to others. It's something that can be intimidating at times, but nevertheless something we can learn to do, need to do and are always glad we did! The series will cover the fears, excuses, and reasons we sometimes hesitate in sharing our faith, but then establish some useful, practical, and hopefully effective "tools" that anyone can use to better share their testimony and faith with others. And I believe I can benefit from this series just the same as anyone else and it's been good for me in preparing it because God has given me, especially since calling me to plant the church, a stronger sense of urgency and to boldly speak up and share with others their need for Jesus. Pray that all of us at the Bible study gain a new found confidence in sharing what God has done in our own lives with those around us that need to hear the good news of Jesus.
I mentioned in another post that I had started my prayer walks several weeks ago on the street where we live. I must admit that up until our Basic Training sessions I hadn't really thought too much about taking prayer walks but it really does help. I'll go out at night usually and while I am walking our kitty cat Tory on a leash, I will pause (as much as Tory allows me to) in front of the houses of my neighbors and lift them up to the Lord and just ask that He work in their lives. There is nothing magical or mystical about pausing in front of a person's house and praying for them, it's just that this simple activity has helped me personally to visualize the needs of my neighbors and to condition and prepare my own heart so when the opportunity arises for me to speak to them, I am already focused on what I want to share with them. Up until now, I might have only noticed a neighbor for a few seconds going into their house. Now I try to picture them and what their spiritual needs might be and how God can use me to minister to them. I must admit that the simple act of taking a prayer walk has really helped me to better "know" my neighbors without saying a word. God is preparing me and I thank Him for that.
The letter I wrote concerning permission to use a local elementary school for our place of worship is in the mail and on its way to the person who can grant us that permission. Pray that we get a positive answer soon and that we can begin to make more plans for Life Pointe's new home! It would be so good to finally have a place to call our own and one that we can direct folks to when we talk to them about the church. This would be a huge step for us in the progression of our church. Please pray for God to show Himself mighty!
I am happy to say that a person from the street we live on came to our Bible study this past Tuesday night! This is the same person God allowed me help jump start her car just one week ago! God is beginning to work on our street so Praise Him for that! I would also quickly add that for the past few weeks I have been doing a prayer walk on my street asking God to open doors and just allow us to offer hope to the folks who are our neighbors. Isn't it interesting that since I have been praying that God answers my prayer and gives us those opportunities? God is good and deserves all the Praise! It's exciting to see things starting to happen, right on our own street! Pray that it continues and more folks come as we have opportunity to talk to them about the Lord.
April 19, 2008
It's been a while since my last post so I thought I would "catch up" and mention a couple of things that have happened lately that continue to help confirm, excite, and encourage me in what I believe God has called me (and others) to do! One thing is that I finally received a box a week ago that I had ordered from the Pocket Testament League. The box contained the 30 little booklets that serve as a tract but also have the book of John in them. I first saw these booklets when my son Andy, my daughter-in-law Ashley, and I went to the SBCV Evangelism Conference at Green Ridge Baptist Church here in Roanoke March 11. Andy showed me the booklets and I thought they were really good to hand out to people, especially since they had a colorful cover to them and were "eye-catching" in that respect. Then I forgot about them until we all went to our second weekend of Basic Training in Hopewell, Virginia at the end of March when a pastor who I had met at the first training session named Barry Ginn gave me a few more of them from his pastor's study. It was neat being reminded of these booklets again and between seeing them again plus the fact of being encouraged to share our faith from the Basic Training sessions, I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel and give them away. I ended up giving three of them to the maids who were working out in the hotel hallway. It's amazing of how God gives you new boldness and blesses you to step out and share with others. I even got online before I left the hotel and ordered some more booklets to give out from the Pocket Testament League who offers all types of them with different covers, etc. It turns out they are about a dollar a piece so I couldn't immeadiately pay for them, but then learned after being put on a list that someone was willing to "sponsor" me and so this past week I got a box in the mail from the Pocket Testament League that contained the 30 booklets that I ordered so that was encouraging and so now I have more to give out to those that God crosses my path with who are willing to listen and accept them. This may sound like a simple thing but still was a big blessing to me to see how God has blessed so much in the past few weeks especially. And we continue to be blessed with our Tuesday night Bible study and it seems folks enjoy coming and learning more about God's Word. The past few weeks we've been doing a very simple yet effective means of studying the Word in that we've been taking one verse and then writing it; paraphrasing it in our own individual words; then sharing how we can practically put it to use in our lives. After talking about sharing our faith with others a week or so ago, I was able to instantly put this to use as I was outside walking our kitty cat Tory (yes, we walk our cat on a leash) and it so happened that one of my neighbors was outside working on her car and needed a jump to start it. Just that little incident gave me a chance to share my faith and learn more about one of my neighbors. I just thought it was so neat how God instantly answered my prayer on wanting to share with someone. He sure answers our prayers fast sometimes!