Upcoming Trip Preparations

Driving back from an errand, Jesse and I saw a traffic stop. Jesse noticed the police officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest. That caused me to think that during trying times like this I’m especially thankful for my Savior, the Lord Jesus, Who is in control and is my Protector.

We are less than one week away from a month-long trip to the East Coast. Without fail prior to every speaking trip, it begins to seem like a war zone as problems come in like a flood. If something can go wrong, it will.

Instead of stewing over the difficulties, it is far better glorify the Cure. I don’t know how people go through life without the Lord Jesus. All of these challenges are nothing to the God of Creation. As long as we are busy about His business, it is His responsibility to provide the solutions. That is one good reason to be sure we are actually doing His directed work and not following our own paths. That is why Paul could say in Romans 5:3 that “…we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.

I dont like the problems, but I see that they are wonderful opportunities to rest and trust in Jesus. They grow my patience as I look to my Lord for His direction. As I encounter them, my children get to see the real dad. Do I fret about the struggles, or do I flee to my Lord? If my responses are godly, my children get the benefit of seeing how Jesus responds to the cries of His children. There is no greater place to learn than in the family.

For a month beginning the 6th of September, we will be on the road. If the Lord brings us to mind, we would covet your prayers. First, please pray for the hearts of those we will be speaking to that God would be glorified in each family as they draw closer to Him. Next would be for our hearts that they are upright and clean before the Lord and that we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Finally, for our health and protection along the way.

If you are near any of the cities, we would love to meet you. Also it looks like the Lord is putting together a speaking trip to the south Florida to Mississippi the first week of February 2007 and to the West Coast (in particular California) in April/May 2007. It would be a time to meet more of you then.
Don’t ever give up but do surrender to the Lord Jesus.

In Christ,
Steve

Remaining organized as we prepare for a trip is always a challenge. Our small front porch becomes smaller as it fills up with boxes. All of these have arrived in the past few days and need to be processed and prepared for the trip (most are supplies of some sort).

Boxes and boxes to be processed for the trip...

John has been working on preparing CD audio albums for the trip (and for Melanie to ship while we are away). He has already processed many but has a ways still to go… This is his work area.
Processing audio cd's.

September 2006 Mom’s Corner: Scheduling for Priorities and Flexibility

As I mentioned last week, we’ve just started our 22nd year of homeschooling. The Mom’s Corner for this month discusses some of the scheduling changes that we’ve made over the past week in starting school once again. Even now, we continue to modify our schedule as our needs change.

If you would like to read the Corner online, click for the September Mom’s Corner.

To receive the Corners each month via e-mail, click here to subscribe.

Trusting In Jesus,
Teri

September 2006 Dad’s Corner: Just a Family, Sir

We’ve been sending the September Corner’s over the past few hours. My Dad’s Corner is based upon some of the interactions we had at the County Fair outreach, and also brings up the issue of Youth Mission Trips.

If you would like to read the Corner, here is the September Dad’s Corner.

If you would like to receive the Corner’s each month via e-mail, click here to subscribe.

In Christ,
Steve

Posted in: Ministry News

22nd First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of our twenty-second year of homeschooling. I have five completely different students than I had on that original first day of homeschool in 1985. First-day-of-school photos have been a yearly tradition. Joseph is in 12th grade, John in 10th grade, Anna in 8th grade, Jesse in 7th grade, and Mary is in 4th grade.

We have also learned that we have our first-day-of-school the week before we want to begin our academic work. I spent all my scheduled school time meeting with each child, going over his schedule, looking at every book, setting up school notebooks, and evaluating if there was anything else to be done in order to begin our book work.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

First day of school, 2006-2007

Million Dollar Bills and the Good Person Test

Some have asked for more information about the million dollar bill tract, as well as the good person test.

We bought the million dollar bill tracts from Ray Comfort’s ministry, at LivingWaters.com. The front of the “tract” looks very realistically like a million dollar bill (although there is no such thing as a “real” million dollar bill); on the back, around the edge in small print, is a short gospel message (we usually like to combine the Million Dollar Bill with a more detailed tract when giving them away). While you are visiting LivingWaters.com we would recommend you watch Ray Comfort’s teaching titled “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” as well as “True and False Conversion.” (free online videos)

The principle of the “good person test” has long been used in evangelism, but we came to know of it through Ray Comfort’s Living Waters ministry. The idea is that it is crucial for a sinner to start out realizing that, in God’s eyes, we are not a good person. The “good person” test isn’t a script that must be followed, but more of a principle, and yet we’re amazed at how often the test follows the same pattern.

In talking with someone at the Fair there were a number of ways to bring up the Good Person test. Perhaps we were handing them a tract that was titled “Are You a Good Person?” Or, we’d hand them a million dollar bill, and then say that it was a gospel tract and had a variation of the Good Person test on the back. We’d ask if they have ever taken the Good Person test before. The usual response was that they hadn’t.

First question of the test is to ask if they consider themselves to be a good person? Proverbs 20:6 tells us how most will answer: “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness.” We then generally ask if it is OK to ask them a few questions to see if that is true, or we’ll go straight into the commandments. Are they familiar with the ten commandments? Most will say that they are, but that they can’t name them all. That’s OK as we’ll only be looking at a few of them.

The 9th commandment: have they ever told a lie? Most will admit that they have. Ask what they are called if they tell lies. Most will say “human” or a “sinner” but the right response starts with the letter “L” and isn’t the word “loser” (the right answer: “liar”). I’ll also admit to having told lies and, hence, being a liar. It only takes one lie for a person to become a liar.

The 8th commandment: have they ever stolen anything? Irregardless of the value: a cookie from their parents, a toy from a friend, something from a brother or sister. Most will admit to having stolen something. Ask what they are called if they’ve stolen in the past. Common response is a “stealer”, but the correct word is “thief”.

The 3rd commandment: have they ever taken God’s name in vain? Again, most everyone will readily admit to this. No one will likely know what this “sin” is labeled, so you can share with them that doing so is called blasphemy, and that God says He will not hold anyone guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.)

Sometimes we’ll cover the 6th or 7th commandments. You can either ask them if they have broken them (do not murder, do not commit adultery), or go straight into the “heart application” of the commandments (anger is equated to murder of the heart, and lust is equated to adultery of the heart). Most will admit to these.

The entire time it’s important to make sure one is sharing in love. Many people will often be laughing and having a good time going through the commandments. Generally, I will admit my guilt (I’ve broken every one of God’s commandments, if not in action I’ve done it in my heart) along with the person. Things generally become a bit more serious as you proceed from here.

You then summarize the person’s condition: “While you might seem like a good person compared to others around you, in God’s eyes, and based on your own admission, He would see you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, murderer, and adulterer at heart.” They will agree with what you say, because you are sharing in love and they have already admitted those things to you.

Next question is, “If you were to die, and God judged you based on the ten commandments, as He says He will, would you be innocent or guilty?” You’ll be amazed at how many people will say “Innocent” and you can then remind them that they just admitted to breaking every commandment you asked them about. The goal is for them to see themselves as God sees them and to acknowledge they would be “Guilty.”

The final question is, “Would you then go to heaven or hell?” The majority will say “Hell” and you can ask if it concerns them. A good portion will say “Heaven”, or “I don’t know.” From there, you need to share as the Holy Spirit leads. Perhaps asking why they would go to heaven. If they don’t have a good reason, maybe a Scripture or two demonstrates God judges those who break His commandments (Revelations 21:8 is a wonderful verse to illustrate the danger of hell for everyone who has broken the 9th commandment, “but the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”).

Each opportunity to share is different. We’re amazed at how many professing believers will answer that they are headed for hell. The proper response for a believer would be to say that God would judge them as guilty, but they would be headed for heaven. When asked “why?”, they should say “Because I have repented of my sin and am trusting in the blood of Jesus for my salvation.”

That, in a nutshell, is the “good person test.”

In Christ,
Christopher

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.