The world about us is sliding away from God. I don't mean the god that they have imagined, but the God who Formed Adam. The God who patiently waited for the right time to introduce His Son to the world. The one true and living God. There are many who would check a box on a census form indicating that they are a Christian. But lacking anything else that makes sense they just check the box. I have found that if someone is saved and are in fellowship with Christ, they will want to tell someone. The easiest way to tell someone about our Savior is with a tract. I read and study a King James Bible. I want to encourage everyone to do the same. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary is available as a mobile application for free. That's how you look up words that man has changed through the last two centuries to confuse Christians. God will be clear about what He expects from His children. Easy reading.
Why not give someone a tract every day? It's not hard to do. Just put one in your shirt pocket or purse and refuse to go back home until you have handed it to someone. I walked out of a restaurant this week and noticed a young lady talking on the phone, standing outside. When I got to the car, I reached inside and got a tract. I walked up to her and held out the tract. I said nothing. She took the tract and I walked away. As I drove away I noticed that she was off the phone and standing there, reading the tract. Maybe she got saved. Maybe she was already saved . Who knows. But, one more gospel message went into someone's hand. How hard was that? Not at all. I just noticed her standing there. You can do that. It's easy.
Now that I've umpired over 80 games, there are some interesting and humorous incidents I think you will enjoy. Some of the players are quite skilled at 9, 10, 11, and 12 years old. They are advanced baseball players. They are working to play high school and maybe college ball. A much larger group plays recreational baseball. It's strictly for fun. The parents are not willing to commit to the time and expense for their kids to become really good baseball players. That's where the humorous stories come from. One little nine year old got hit right in the groin with a baseball. He turned to me and said. "I sure am glad they made me wear a cup", as he trotted to first base. "That would have really hurt." One kid asked me if he had to walk with four balls called. I said he would. He said, "I guess I'll just have to hit it before then." He did. Some are terrified of a kid throwing pitches. I don't blame them. Most of the pitchers have little control over the pitching. That ball could go anywhere. As one pitch landed in front of the plate, the batter turned to me and said, "If you hadn't called that a ball, you would have to leave the park in shame." The stories are almost endless. But, there's something about baseball that even these young kids understand. There are rules. There's a person who enforces the rules, the umpire. I am bound by an oath to do my best to get everything right, but I admit missing some calls. God doesn't miss any calls. He's always perfect. That's why He decided to add grace to his calls. In God's view, His son made all of His calls safe at home. But there are still billions of people who will be out at home without God's grace. We are blessed with the opportunity to introduce others to His grace.
Here's an idea. If you will give someone a tract every day, in 365 days, you will give out almost two whole boxes of tracts. It takes less than 20 seconds to hand someone a tract. You don't have to say a word to them. If you will ask one other Christian each month to do the same thing, we will have 4,000 people giving out a tract every day at the end of one year. That's 1,460,000 tracts per year. They don't have to be Kristin tracts. Any tract with a scripture reference and a salvation message will do. At the end of two years, we could have over 1.5 million Christians giving out a tract every day with this idea. That's 532,000,000 tracts per year.
What do you think?
It's not a new gospel. It's the same old story. People don't want an old story. They want a new one, until they learn that there's no such thing as new. "There's nothing new under the sun." What's more important than salvation from Hell? A new car. A Masters degree at Harvard? A new home? A large family? These things are what the world seeks, but they are not what the world needs. People need to be rescued from themselves. The most insidious problem people have is prosperity. Poor people are humble. Not rich people. People say it's a blessing to be rich, or famous, or powerful. But, who needs a Savior if they are "rich and have need of nothing"? There was a time in my life when I was all about success. Mostly success in the world. I thought I could blend in my faith. I had flipped priorities. When I flipped it back life improved. Contentment is much better that achievement. Leading others to Christ is achievement enough. There's no other accomplishment that compares.
I have been impressed with the notion that I should have some type of training platform for witnessing. I believe many more Christians would witness if they were more confident and less intimidated. Please pray with me that the Lord would be pleased with such an effort.
The testimony in the previous article is real. The Kristin tracts really work. I recently conducted a study. with my company that sends a lot of mail to consumers. Over the last 20 years we have sent millions of postcards to consumers asking for a response on various topics. Our positive and engaging response rate is about .5%. That means every time we send 200 pieces of mail we have a positive, engaged response from one person. That's why we send thousands of pieces at a time. Think on this. We send out boxes of tracts with 200 tracts inside. I believe that at least one person gets saved by handing out two hundred tracts. Anyone can easily give out two boxes of tracts each year by just carrying them along when running errands or in leisure. My true belief is that actually many more get saved, but it's easy to believe at least one in two hundred. What if we were able to find Christians who will just give out these tracts. For every Christian who will, we can reach two or three lost people per year. I hand out tracts for about an hour in high traffic pedestrian areas. I can hand out at least one hundred tracts in an hour. That means I could be reaching one lost soul for every two hours of tract distribution. Amazing. Get some more tracts. Hand them out. Let's get some more fish in the boat.
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.