From ScottW: I went to the YMCA around lunch on Thursday of this week for a swim. As I was in the hot tub, I met a 62 year old man named Richard. After we chatted for about 5 minutes about his life I asked him if I could ask him an interesting question. He said sure and I asked him what he thought about the afterlife? He said he believed the Bible and that there was an afterlife. But, when I questioned him about how one gains entrance into heaven he said, “you have to accept the Lord and DO THE BEST YOU CAN after that.” Sounded like works righteousness to me to I asked him if he thought he was doing good enough and if he was a good person. He said he was until I used the Law to show him that in reality he was a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart and therefore he was not good at all. He admitted he would be guilty and that guilty people would end up in Hell. I then preached the gospel explaining the “legal transaction” and “the great exchange” which took place on the cross (I did this even though he knew that Jesus had died for him and the world). I then explained how to get Jesus’ blood applied to his account through repentance and faith alone in Christ as opposed to trusting in his own goodness or religious works. I ended by asking him if he ever heard of the term born again Christian. He said he had but I explained it a bit and said this happens when one “repents and trusts alone in the Saviour”. We shook hands and he thanked me for talking with him and then we both went for a swim in the pool. I prayed for his soul as I swam.
From EddieZ: After a lot of prayer, the Lord allowed me to share some biblical truths @ work today with one of my bosses. He is going thru a divorce, and is very anti preaching/bible talk. He called one of the workers “Nimrod”….
(Insert open door sound here)
I asked “Do you know where that name comes from?”
I explained the way men try and take control when they think God is not there, as was the case with Nimrod when people turned from Gods simplicity and trusted in there own ideas.
“Bad idea” I told him “When we do good its yeah for us and only when bad things happen people blame God”.
We continued chatting and I mentioned the tower of babel and its symbol of working to God as a religion and how we (my wife and I) have put our trust in God alone instead.
He soon changed gears to talking about his “counseling” with his soon to be ex.
I asked him if he ever really understood what his role marriage signified. He gave me an answer I can’t put in this posting and I rebuked him with a hearty, “No”.
I explained in short our Ephesians study @ FBCJ, what my wife and I had been learning and how we trust in the bible and not religion to help us focus on God, which in turn helps us with each other. We were interrupted but praise God for the fragment of time he was glorified with someone so in love with his sin and Lost that might never have heard anything biblical or truth.
I ask you to pray for Brads heart to hear the voice of God telling him to give up trusting in men and our ways and turn to Christ. Only then can he truly know how much God deserves our obedience and worship.
In the deep, dark waters, we cast out our nets,
From EddieZ: So today was Sarah’s birthday and pizza was the dinner of choice. Cicis Pizza to be exact. When we arrived we parked and saw a young couple sitting on the curb. They apparently had some time on their hands so Sarah went up and gave them a million. They were nice and did not stone her, instead they said thanks and we headed inside.
@ the counter they had a fund raiser for a massillon elementary school and there was more than the usual amount of people there. We gave some young girls millions and I took a look @ some merchandise and struck up a conversation with Russell. He had some “religious” looking ink work on his fore arms so as the spirit kicked open the door, my mouth opened and delivered with boldness.
I asked him what the ink was and what it meant to him. The cross like colorful one he had drawn himself. The other was a pair of hands praying with the words ” the day God truly blessed the earth” and a date. Turned out to be his daughters birthday. I asked if he really knew how God really blessed the earth and he wasn’t sure. I handed him a million, he smiled and said, “Hey I got one of these @ the stark county fair from some guy…..” :) (turns out this was Brian Ashton!)
WOW! I asked if he had read it and he said, “No.” I told him I didn’t believe in coincidence and that he really needed to. “2 times in less than 6 months, maybe I should.” He said”.” I obviously agreed and informed him it is the most important decision he would ever make and to really take time to see for himself. We chatted briefly before he got some customers and I wished him well and left him to let God work.
Please be praying for God to stir the hearts of the girls, young couple’s and Russell’s may he get the glory and for them to accept the awesome gift of salvation from our deserving God. We never know how many times someone needs to get loved on by one of us before God opens their hard heart. How long did it take you to die to yourself? What if no one shared the gospel with you? We never know who is ready to call upon our Lord to save them until we stand and deliver the gospel to everyone. Let’s be bold for our God that rescued us from our sinful selves and ultimately from eternal separation from him in hell. He deserves it.
In the deep, dark waters we cast out our nets,
From RufusH: I went to Mercy Medical Center to be with Rick And Christy Scheck on Tuesday. Rick was having surgery that day. I waited with Rick and Chisty in the pre-op section of the hospital. We were having a great time of fellowship around the Word. Rick told me about their recent vacation. He said he passed out about 40 tracts! Wow! One led to a conversation with a lady at the hotel desk.
The Nurse came in to do a pre-op blood draw on Rick. We talked a little. I told her that years ago I did blood draws on pre-op patients at Aultman Hospital. That got her talking about how she got into the nursing field. She said, “Originally I wanted to be a flight stewardess.” “But things changed.” “I really liked flying and being in the sky.” She was done with the blood draw and had to leave. She went out one side of the privacy curtain and I went out the other way just in time to meet in the hallway. I pulled out a Million Dollar Tract and said, “You know you can still get hooked up with the sky. This has the million dollar question on the back that will help you understand how you can go to heaven.” She smiled and said, “I’m already ready for heaven.” I said, “Great! Give it a read . It’s really good.” I think her name was Kathy. Please remember to pray for her.
By the way, Rick did great with his surgery! He went home that day. Praise God!
From ScottW: Here is a gospel story from Labor Day at Tuscora Park. Elliott and myself went to the park about 10 minutes before noon to play some mini-golf. It did not open until noon so we saw a young man sitting on a bench alone listening to an mp3 player with headphones. We sat beside him and I started talking with him. I gave him a million dollar bill and asked him if he ever thought about that million dollar question before. He said he had and we began to go through the commandments. I noticed he was a bit slow in his speech (not unclear, just very calculated with his words) and he said he had suffered some seizures when he was a boy. He was very smart though and very sweet (perhaps an angel unaware…you never know). He certainly understood lying, stealing and hatred were wrong and a violation of God’s Law. I explained the Saviour and his need for repentance and faith alone in Him because he had thought baptism might have made him okay with God. He understood and I encouraged him to think about everything we talked about. He said he would and thanked me for the talk. I then gave him one more million dollar bill in case he had a friend he would like to give one to. He said he did have a friend who could use a talk like this. He then walked over behind us to pay to play mini-golf. I decided I would invite him to play with us and I paid for him (not a big deal as it is only $1). He could not have been more thankful though. He loved playing the round with us and he could not stop thanking me for the conversation, the two millions, and paying for his golf. He was 25 years old and his name was Matt.
From LukeK: So, after the last bell rang to say school was over, I headed to the bus. When I got there, my usual seat was taken, so I was directed to a seat beside a 7th grader. After sitting for a couple minutes, I prayed and asked God for some courage to talk to him. I started by asking, “Hey, what’s your name?” He responded, “What’s YOUR name?” I told him, “Luke Kilchenman, what’s your’s?” He said, “‘George.’” So I began saying, “So ‘George,’ have you ever thought of what happens when you die?” He responded, “No, not really.” I continued, “Well, first, do you think of yourself as ‘good?’” He said,”About in the middle.” Then, I said, “Well let’s go through the 10 comandments. Have you ever told a lie?” “Yeah,who hasn’t(actually said)?” “Well what does that make you?” “Awesome.” “It makes you a liar.” After this he yells to his friends, “HEY! This guy’s tellin’ me the Bible!” Then, I continue, “Have you ever stolen anything?” “Yea.” “What does that make you?” “Awesome.” He again calls that other statement to his friends. “It makes you a thief. Have you ever used blaspheme?” “No.” “I just heard you say it. Blaspheme means OMG.” “OH…..” “If God has a standard, the 10 commandments, and if you can’t go to heaven if you break ONE, then where will you go?” He jokes with me…. AGAIN. Then, when I say I’m serious, he jokes again. I say ”You will go to Hell, and be tortured forever. But, lucky for you, Jesus came to this world and lived a perfect life. He got nails in his hands and feet, and a crown of thorns pierced his skull. Worst of all he was nailed to a cross and died. Then, he rose again after three days and conquered sin and death. He saved us. But you must take his gift to be saved.” After talking further, I realized he needed something else. So, I told him that I would give him a book(One Heartbeat Away). He joked again, then I asked him what his REAL name was. Finally, one of his friends told me his name was Caleb. After that, he got off the bus. When I got home my dad and I prayed for him and he gave me a book to give to him(Caleb). Please pray for Caleb, and pray that I will have boldness when giving him the book.
From RufusH: Last night was nothing short of incredible. I went out to the Fair and paired up with Alan Vaughn. It was powerful from the start. But I want to focus on a huge lesson I learned.
I was standing in the parking lot where several of us met. I saw a number of teens across the road so I went across the street to talk with them. I said, “Hey guys I know the economy is bad so here’s a dollar bill to anyone who will answer a few questions for me. Two young guys took the challenge. I asked one young man if he considered himself a good person. He said, “yea, I think so.” I said, “Let me ask you a few questions to see if you really are a good person.” “O.K.” “Have you ever told a lie?” “Yea” “Well what do we call someone who tells a lie?” “Ah, A liar?” Then I went almost blank. He got distracted by his friends and it was over. I stopped myself and prayed, “Lord I can’t do this on my own. Please help me. Lead me to the right people and guide my heart, thouights, and words.” As soon as I got self out of the way, things went great.
I had A LOT of opportunities to share the Gospel with people. There were at least three highlight occassions with young men between 16 & 20 something. All were more than eager to hear the entire Gospel! Wow! I gave them my business card and asked them to contact me. They said they would read the million dollar tract I gave again before bed and contact me. Wow! Wow! God is soooo good!