This testimony just came in this week. A man approached my wife's brother, Richard, where he works. The imposing man proceeded to tell Richard what had recently happened with the man's sister. She had brain cancer. The man gave her a Kristin tract that Richard had given him. He said that he and his family had been witnessing to his sister for her thirty years of life, to no avail. Now she was in serious trouble. She came back to her brother to thank him for the tract. She had read it and prayed to be saved. She prayed the prayer in the tract. This man wanted Richard to know that his sister went home to be with her Lord and Savior the very next day. With deep appreciation he encouraged Richard to keep on giving out tracts. Richard assured him that he would.
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to their themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.".
2 Timothy 4: 2-4
The reason I quoted this verse is to point out that Paul , as always, led by the Spirit of God, starts by saying "Preach the word". How are we to do that if our churches are closed and all of the accepted social media is starting to ban any mention of Jesus Christ. I posted a verse from Proverbs on Next Door for a few days. After my morning study, I grabbed a verse and just posted it on that application. In just a few days an atheist started trouble. Without giving him any press, I'll just say that after just a few more harassing days, because of his rants, I was banned from Next Door because I didn't stop posting verses. It's unimaginable to think that something as simple as Proverbs would cause such a fervor. This man wrote scathing posts about God and the Bible saying it was inappropriate to use a private platform to "push" my religion. Eventually the CEO of Next Door (by means of a robot) sent me a nice note to stop posting. Since I posted once more they threw me out. That's their privilege. It's not a public forum, owned by the public.
What about our witness? the doors of opportunity seem to be creaking shut, but we still have opportunities. If you go on LinkedIn you will learn what works in marketing using various social media platforms, but that's not our platform. God has a platform for us. One on one witnessing is still available to the Christian who refuses to give up on winning people to Christ. Giving out tracts and witnessing to strangers is better than talking to people who know us. Then the word is going out without bias. You see, anyone who knows me, knows that I am flawed, therefore my opinion as far as they're concerned is flawed. Those who don't know me can look at Jesus and not me. He's easier to learn about when they aren't prejudiced by judgement.
Give out more tracts. Talk to more people. It's the least we can do for the One who saved us from eternal damnation.
I have been giving tracts out at the gas pumps around the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I want to tell you about Friday evening - I gave out approximately 30 of these tracts in Lost River, West Virginia. I was en route to a prayer meeting for a little boy named Joshua who is fighting for his life from a kayaking accident. (The Facebook page to follow that story is: https://www.facebook.com/FightingandBelieving/) I was traveling the main highway leading into the state of West Virginia from my home in Virginia, route 259 just past Mathias when the tank truck in front of me came to a sudden stop. I couldn't see anything up ahead from my perspective. Both lanes of the two-lane highway were shut down and soon wreckers pulled away with vehicles, but rumor had it that for hazmat cleanup, we continued to wait. I was stopped at the entrance of a field and decided to back into the rough driveway there. I started cleaning out my car to make use of my time and found the stack of tracks in the console that I hand out at gas pumps. I have been attempting to be more bold for the faith, especially with the circumstances of perpetual fear that grips our world during this upheaval surrounding the pandemic.
I hopped out of my car before I could talk myself into chickening out. The parable of the sown seed came alive to me as I walked. Some did not want to open their window. Others were curious. At least one had the light in his eyes and affirmed to me that yes, he was a believer. If you would like, please pray for two individuals specifically - "Uncle Si" and Byron.
The first individual would not disclose his name, and he reminded me of the character in Duck Dynasty from Louisiana, the duck call makers. It soon became tense in my conversation with him, so I quickly wrapped it up and told him I would pray for him. Folks in this community will often brag, "I've been to church my whole life" or beam "my grandma had a Bible", as if somehow these acts have secured salvation. Without fail, any time I attempt an evangelistic street ministry session, I agonize over each word I used and wonder if I do more damage than good. So commonly, it seems people are embittered at the church. I do not desire to push them further into hurt.
Byron was a picture of the fertile soil from the parable. I had made my trek down the yellow lines and walked back to my car in the ditch. I read people's faces as I returned to see if they appeared to want to discuss what I had handed them. Many clearly did not, but when I got almost back to my car, Byron really wanted to talk. He appeared stunned. He exclaimed that he had experienced the same medical condition as Kristen - encephalitis that caused a cranial infection and clotting, but that his condition had been caught in time. So I don't know if it was exactly the same causation, but at any rate, Kristen's story resonated with him deeply. He was amazed that I had those tracts and a bible ready to hand to him at the drop of a hat. Byron just seemed completely open to the gospel, but we were cut short as torrential rain hit early in our conversation. I had my infant with me, so of course needed to end abruptly. A detail that affirms his sincere interest, he had pulled over and continued to talk after traffic was moving again. He gave his phone number and we have conversed on my husband's account over the weekend. I invited him to a church in his area, but yesterday morning he said his buddy was killed in a farming accident Saturday night and he had been up most of the night distraught over that devastating news and didn't feel up to coming. Of course, I don't know how things will progress from here. I feel certain that we will have more encounters with him.
I read on your post that there was a spike in orders around the end of 2019. That is congruent with when I started becoming more faithful about placing them at the gas pumps. Who knows? :)
I have been moved to tears many times thinking about your pain in missing Kristen. She and I are nearly the same age - I will be 29 next month. I vaguely remember being convicted when I first remember hearing about her as I was backsliding terribly around the time of her death. I don't at all recall where or how I first learned about her story, but I am excited that 10 years later, it is relevant and active, and I am in a much better place than I was in 2010.
Well, as is typical of my stories, this has gotten longer than I intended. I hope you all have a blessed week and are encouraged by this feedback. I will let you know if Byron experiences a breakthrough.
We have come to a time when churches are fragmented, dispersed or dissolved. What's left is a ragtag smorgasbord of misguided church members who follow false doctrine. The potential devastation of the church as we know it is taking place at an accelerated rate. From the very beginning Paul warned of an impending disaster in the church body. It has arrived. Ignoring the fact that our Bible has been compromised by Christians themselves is foolish. Those who still adhere to it's teaching have become a very small remnant of those who call themselves "Christians". The English Bible of the reformation is buried on bookshelves among dozens of counterfeits. A sad commentary of the ability of Christians to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit. How many Christian homes even have a copy of God's word? They may have a few copies of books that have God's words in them, but not a complete Bible. There's no need to fight over what is the true Word of God. It's the one that has been abandoned. The results are evidence of the truth. Jesus gave us examples of the truth in real life. God warns us and waits. He's very patient. He foresees the future, warns of it and waits for the world to experience His truth in real terms. Abandon His book and there are consequences. We are now seeing world chaos. Restless selfishness that leads to anarchy. Churches that abandoned His book are now experiencing the results of a God allowed pestilence that has emptied the local church and pews. Unfortunately, those that have not forsaken His Word have been drawn into the same fate. Even Bible believing churches are not allowed gathering together for fear of a deadly disease. It's not too late for everyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see. Get yourself a real Bible. Get clarity on God's Word.
The virus that has infected the world carries with it the hampering of the distribution of God's word. Witnessing has become more difficult and handing out tracts has been affected. People have always been shy about taking literature from a stranger. Now they have a legitimate reason to avoid human contact. Let's pray that this virus is defeated for the sake of being able to continue to hand out tracts unabated.
What a mess our world is in. Even though prosperity is reaching every corner of the globe, there is an ominous trend taking place. Christianity is fading. Our only hope is that the Lord will intervene. For the lost it may be too late very soon. Now as much as ever we must increase our resolve to reach the lost. The clock is ticking toward the day when the Lord will say "It's time". Pray with me about reaching more people before it's too late. Please consider at least giving out Kristin tracts. They have been very effective at breaking through those cold hearts toward our Savior.
We have recently had a surge in orders for Kristin Tracts. Apparently someone is talking about them. We are also receiving comments about the response from people who are offered tracts. Still very positive. Witnessing has become more difficult in our times. Probably because resistance was foretold by our Bible. We shouldn't give up. Souls to be saved are more plentiful than ever. In just our country more people don't know anything about our Savior and don't care. Let's care. Give out more tracts.
It's been over eight years since Kristin went home to her permanent residence. Since then two very close friends of hers joined her. Four years ago her good friend Michael died in an accident. He was only 21 years old. Five months ago Tommy, another friend also died at the tender age of 18. One of the questions that is often asked by many is, "Why?" It's a question I have never asked of the Lord. I was pondering whether I should ask that question in the hotel room next to the hospital where Kristin was in ICU the night after she was admitted. I decided not to ask. I was certain there would not be an answer. I was also certain that if I did get an answer, I wouldn't be satisfied with it and, therefore question God's judgement. I also felt that it was very presumptuous to question God about His decisions. After all He is God. I don't believe it's at all proper to ask God why He does things beyond what He has revealed to us in His Bible. He's a very good writer, and His book is complete. If He wishes to reveal anything to me, I just need to keep reading. He also tells me to be content in whatsoever state I am. That can be real tough. It has been at times.
Kristin's friends, Michael and Tommy have parents who are grieving their loss just like Carol and I, but we have hope because we have a savior. He not only saved us from our sins but also from Hell. They are all where they should be, not here. Why so soon? I don't know. But, it's OK, the clock is ticking and it won't be long until we join her. What a day that will be.
Is it ever too late to reach a lost soul for Christ? Of course, when they die. But any time before that, the lost can be saved. My Dad prayed to receive Christ four hours before he died. Close call, but adequate. He was in an intensive care unit. Several organs had quit functioning meaning death was imminent. As I witnessed to him, even in his weak condition, he surrendered his will and pride to admit he was a sinner, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess Him as Savior. Don't ever give up on someone you care about. There's always a chance.
Do you have a friend who has lost a child? If so, I have a message for them. But, before I get into the details, I need to explain. Losing a child is a unique experience. It's been almost eight years since Kristin went home. My perspective has undergone a process of clarity. Trust me when I say that if you have not lost a child, you can't know what it does to a person. I'm not going into those details now, but please accept my word on it for the purpose of this article.
The Kristin tract was brought to us about a month after she died. We were not looking for anything like this at all. We were just going about getting through our days. When we were presented with the concept of the Kristin tract everything came together rather quickly. There were no real roadblocks to getting it done and offered. The tract has been a blessing to us in more ways than imaginable. Of course, it reaches people for Christ in a unique way. It has also been a wonderful way to make the loss of Kristin mean something. So, here's the purpose of the article. We would like to encourage others to do the same. Do something that makes the loss more tolerable. Something that matters. I don't think it matters what that could be. Let the Lord guide. Being open to ideas that God presents is the first step. Just being aware that God cares and will give something that He cares about that will also take some of the sting out of this catastrophic event.
Please pray about getting a mourning parent in touch with us. We now have enough time behind us to be of benefit to others. Since we don't get an answer as to "why", we can respond to losing a child by going on the offense. Making it count is important to us and our Savior.