Friday, January 30, 2015

Had a bit of a scare today…I thought my dog was dead.  I came upon her totally motionless, eyes open, tongue hanging out, and totally unresponsive to me repeatedly calling her name. I really thought she was dead, so I hollered for my husband and turned away thinking the worst. Turns out she was just ignoring me and was perfectly fine. Emilio reminded me that “she never moves; she’s half dog, half statue”.  In my defense, she has been sick lately, and we all know that death can seize us at any moment. Thank God that wasn’t the case today. Turns out, the only thing dead today was my discernment. ;-)

Lilly playing possum

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Emilio was out with our evangelism team open-air preaching yesterday at UNT, with the crowd in full force. When Emilio arrived some in the crowd started chanting, "Here's the king! Crucify him!"

The Biggest Question has gone out at that exact location to a lot of those students. Pray for them.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Crumbling Of A Grumbling Spirit

The other night a sister came up to me after a prayer meeting, and while we were fellowshipping somehow we got on the topic of grumbling and complaining. It probably had something to do with her entire house being flooded the other day and how people were surprised that she was not grumbling about it. This topic lead us to Psalm 106:25-26, which talks abut Israel grumbling and how it led God to cast them down into the wilderness. Scary. 

Our culture sets us up to complain in various forms such as, wanting our feedback for services or giving our complaints online. There are comment cards at restaurants and in doctor’s offices. We feel as if we are entitled to give our feedback, especially if we don’t like a particular item, product or service. Imagine, the next time you complain about something, if it were stripped away like Israel.

Sometimes after my husband eats he sneezes about 10 times. This used to drive me batty, but then I started having health issues and thought I was going to die, and the reality of losing him and everything around me made me very aware of the little hidden sins of grumbling.

My encouragement and challenge to anyone reading this is to try to be fully aware of the negative comments and the grumbling that may pour out of your mouth, and then to think about this verse…“Do everything without grumbling and complaining” (Phillippians 2:14.)

Look at the word “everything.” Wow. This is convicting. "Everything” means everything. :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fishing With Trish...

A group of us went to The University of North Texas yesterday for the first time since students left for Christmas break. It was so good to be back on campus, and I think even our regular hecklers missed us just a little bit. One such student is named Zach and he was there (again) listening to Emilio open-air preach. I talked to him (again) about the gospel and asked him, "Do you know what the first clothes recorded in human history were?" He said he wasn't sure, but then said, "Leaves, right?"

"Yes, leaves. Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and their eyes were opened to their nakedness and they tried to cover themselves with leaves because of shame."

"But it wasn't sufficient," I continued.  "Do you know what the first bloodshed was?" He guessed it was when Cain killed Abel. 

"Wrong, but do you know why Cain killed Abel?" He said he didn't really know the story. 

"Because of pride. Cain's grain offering was rejected by God while Abel's blood offering was accepted. They were both giving offerings to God because they sinned. The problem was that Cain's offering was works-based and not what God demanded. Abel was patterning his blood offering from what he had learned from his parents, Adam and Eve.  And where did his parents learn it from?" I asked him.

"They must have learned it from God, right?" he said (uncertain if he was right). 

"That's right. Adam and Eve's efforts to clothe themselves were not sufficient, so God was the first one to shed blood when he killed an animal to cover them rightly. Blood had to be shed. Which was then pointing to a greater reality approximately 4000 years later when He would kill his own son, Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb of God, to cover our sins."

I was seeing a different Zach at this point. His countenance was changing. 

As I was walking away I said, "By the way, did you know that Jesus said he was 'the door'?"

Zach responded by saying, “No. I didn’t know that.”

How many doors were on Noah's ark?" I asked him.

"One," he said.  "Exactly. Meaning Jesus is the only way" I said.

I could see the wheels turning in his head as his eyes got very large and he nodded his head as if to say that he understood. 

I've noticed that happen with other people too after using these bible accounts while witnessing, and so have others from our evangelism team. One of our team members was sharing the Gospel at UNT yesterday for a long time with a girl named Kami, who was all over the place in her beliefs. She believes that God is the same in all religions and that no one can know where they're going for certain when they die. She said she goes to church only at Christmas because she loves the holidays and doesn't think the Old Testament has any value so she doesn't read it. 

At the end of their conversation my friend gave her the same Adam and Eve account I gave Zach and her countenance changed too. My friend told me later, "The change was so obvious that I was a little shocked; but I don't know why, after all God's word is sharper than any two-edged sword!" 

I've found that asking questions really makes people think and be engaged. Asking questions forces them to listen, which is exactly what we want. Appreciate your prayers for Zach and Kami. :-)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fishing With Trish...

An older couple sat down at the table next to my friend and me while we were in the food court of the mall. I gave them a gospel tract, and my friend asked them where they went to church. “Nowhere,” the older lady said somewhat defiantly. “My step-father was a Christian minister, and some bad things happened when I was growing up, so I just left that all behind.” 

My friend wasn’t deterred and said, “Do you believe in heaven and hell?”

She said she believed in heaven, and that hell is here on earth.

“What about Hitler, where did he go?” my friend asked. She said, “He’s in one of the different levels of heaven working things out.”

“You know the ultimate statistic is that 10 out of 10 people die,” my friend said. The lady laughed in agreement. “And then you’ll have to stand before God. Do you consider yourself to be a good person?”

“No, I’m not a good person,” she said. What a surprise response; most people proclaim their own goodness.

My friend then proceeded to take her through the Law and the Gospel. She listened to everything intently, never once objecting.

Then I gave her The Biggest Question DVD. My friend asked her if she would watch it and then email her thoughts to her, good or bad. She said that she would, but people tell us that a lot and we don’t hear from them.

Not this time though. Two days later, my friend got this email:


Remember the two ole folks you talked to at the mall on ? ( I can't remember what day it was LOL. ) Any how, I'm emailing you, as promised, to give you my opinion about what I think was the message in your DVD.

It's really everything I was taught, and learned when I was activaly going to Church.

It was a very well thought out, and presented point of view.

Thank you for sharing.

Dr. Sharon ******, Ph.D

My friend replied with:

Hi Sharon,

Yes, I definitely remember you and your husband.

Thank you for emailing me your thoughts on the video like you said you would.

You are true to your word, just like God is. 

My prayer is that you will consider the things you were taught once again. I don't know what bad experiences you had in the church, but hope you won't "throw the baby out with the bathwater" as they say. 

Best wishes,

Our encounter with Sharon and her husband happened last Wednesday. My prayer is that now that she has heard the gospel twice in a span of two days that she will realize that it was not a coincidence she sat down next to us, and really will consider what she’s heard and then of course repent and believe. Appreciate your prayers for Sharon and her dear husband.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fishing With Trish...

Wednesday's mall evangelism was very encouraging. Two of us were in the food court "printing" 180 Movie tracts from our iPhone, and were pleased to meet three people that know and love Ray Comfort's ministry, a lady that has 180 Movie but hasn't watched it yet...I think she will now though...and other nice Christians that encouraged us. We also handed out copies of The Biggest Question to some Spanish speakers (I love how they've included both Spanish and English on one DVD.) You can get yours here:

We also ran into our 80 year old friend Virgil. We met him last Wednesday. His wife shops and he wanders around the food court area until the time they've appointed for him to meet up with her. He showed my friend how he remembers what time and where to meet her; he wrote "2:45 B.S." on his hand to remember to be at the Book Store at 2:45.

Makes me think of Hebrews 9:27, "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment," But, unlike Virgil we don't have a time and place written on our hand. And as far as we can tell, Virgil isn't ready for his appointed time with God. Make sure you are.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fishing With Trish, Continued...

The next day, after our evangelism at The University of North Texas (UNT), Kristen wasn’t able to go back to Sweet Frog after all, so we made plans to go there together the following week. The plan was to meet there at 4:00, but when the day came my schedule just kept getting busier and busier, and I gave her a heads up early in the day that I might not be able to make it. Then as 4:00 was upon me, I texted her:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fishing With Trish...

Sweet Frog is the name of a local frozen yogurt shop that I used to visit weekly along with two of my friends, Amy and Kristen. We met to do bible study, hand out tracts and of course eat yogurt. It’s something I really looked forward to since it incorporates two of my favorite things: fellowship and food.

We had been meeting and eating their delicious frozen yogurt for months, when one week Amy noticed something on their yogurt cups that we had somehow missed all this time, but was printed clear as day: “John 3:16”. We about fell out of our chairs. How did we not see that? About that time, the manager, Ed, walked by and we told him what we had just discovered. He laughed and said that the “Frog” in “Sweet Frog” was an acronym for “Fully Rely On God”. We about fell out of our chairs again, but this time it was because an evangelism door had just swung wide open. Although we had faithfully given Ed all of our different gospel tracts, for some reason we had never fully shared the gospel with him one-to-one. Kristen got the conversation going by asking, “What church do you go to?”

He kind of winced and said, “Well, I haven’t been in a long time, but I usually go to the Catholic church. My wife is Jewish.”

“Wow, big difference”, she said. “Let me ask you this, what’s one thing that you know for certain is going to happen to you? Something that you have full assurance about.”

He thought for a minute and said, “Well, death.”

“That’s right! You’re part of the ultimate statistic, 10 out of 10 people die. So, what assurance to you have for where you will go when you die?”

“Well I hope I will go to Heaven, but I don’t know”, he answered.

Kristen gave me “the look” that told me that it was okay to jump in. I’ve been known to take over her witnessing encounters, so now I know to wait for “the look”.

I said, “Just look at yourself in light of the Ten Commandments. Have you ever lied or stolen anything?”

He said he had.

“Thank you for being an honest liar" I joked.

He laughed and then I continued, “So, if you were to die tonight and stand before God, would you be innocent or guilty of breaking His law?”

“Guilty”, he replied”

“Where does God send guilty people?”

“Hell. But I can’t keep talking because my boss is on his way and I need to make sure the store is ready”, he kindly said and off he went.

Sure enough about five minutes later his boss came in and they went into his office at the back of the store.

We all sat there feeling terrible. Ed had just received some really bad news about where he was going when he died, but he hadn’t heard the good news of the Gospel. We were so burdened, hoping that his boss would hurry up and leave so that we could finish our conversation, but that’s not what happened. Each of us had places to be and had to leave.

Later that night Kristen texted me:


To be continued tomorrow :-)...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Fish Story
By Pastor John Drescher:

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year, these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation, and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.

Continually, they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They created witty slogans and displayed them on big beautiful banners.

These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however: They did not fish.

In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. The board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.

Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of fish, the nature of fish, where to find fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, after tedious training, many were graduated and were given fishing licenses. They were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters, which were filled with fish. Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. But like the fishermen back home, they never fished.

They engaged in all kinds of other occupations….Some felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. Others felt that simply letting the fish know they were nice, land-loving neighbors and how loving and kind they were was enough.

Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished.

Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if, year after year, he never fishes? Is one really following if he isn’t fishing?

Friday, January 9, 2015

"George Burns and Morgan Freeman played God and the world adored them.  Perhaps that is the way it works in the movies, but the last time God came to this earth, His name was Jesus Christ and we killed Him." 

~ Todd Friel, Jesus Unmasked

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"God doesn't need us to be smart, witty, charming or anything this world may think well of. But because He's so benevolent, He equips every heart who is willing and ready to serve Him with everything they need to do the good work that He has prepared for them beforehand (Eph 2:10).

Several years ago during one of my many hospital stays and surgeries, I prayed earnestly that God would equip and bless me with opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone I could. After all, why be weak in the flesh if I can't use it as a platform to strengthen other people's spirit with the Good News, right?

After my surgery, while I was in recovery, in a weak voice, I asked the recovery nurse, "Do you know Jesus Christ?" She said, "Excuse me?" So I mustered up what strength I could and spoke as loudly as I was able, "Do you know Jesus Christ?" She cheerfully responded, "Oh, yes, yes I do." I said, "Oh that's wonderful. Tell, me what you know about Him?"

Later when I awoke, I found myself in my hospital room. I vaguely recalled the conversation, but wasn't sure if it really happened, or if I just dreamt it. I heard people dream strange things while under anesthesia.

About two weeks later, our oldest son needed to have surgery due to appendicitis. He was in the same hospital.

When we went to the recovery room, the nurse said, "Hey, I remember you." I said, "You do? From where?" She said, from here. You had surgery here a couple of weeks ago and I was your recovery room nurse. It was an odd and quiet night where you were the only patient here and you asked me if I knew Jesus Christ. At first I thought you were dreaming, but then I realized you were talking to me. When I told you I did know Jesus, you asked me what I knew about Him and how I knew Him. You told me about why Jesus came and who He really is. You wanted to make sure I really knew Him and that He knew me. We talked for about a good 30 minutes." I was very happily surprised and told her I didn't remember anything except about asking her if she knew Jesus, so I asked her what we talked about and how did she answer my questions? She was a bit relieved I didn't recall our conversation because she shared some personal things and said she preferred not to reshare.

So I left her with a Gospel tract (which I always have handy) and encouraged her to seriously consider whatever it was I shared with her while I was still under anesthesia and not fully conscious. She marveled at the fact that I was so lucid while still under the affects of the anesthesia and was sure now that the Lord had sent me. I agreed with her and told her if I was sick and sent there just for her eternal good, it was definitely worth it. I told her I would keep her in my prayers. She thanked me. We hugged and parted ways. I still pray for her."

Hat tip: Abandoned to Christ

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Kind Of Mall Evangelism

Today four of us went to the mall to evangelize. Normally, a group of us go to The University of North Texas on Wednesdays, but classes are out for Christmas break, so the mall would have to do.  We decided to meet in the Food Court at noon.  

As we waited for the last lady to arrive, I took an iPhone and “printed” 180 Movie tracts for the 20 or so people eating lunch at the various tables around us. About 15 minutes later, we noticed that those people had left and there was now a new group of 20 or so people, so I printed tracts for them as well. It finally dawned us that we didn’t have to go anywhere else in the mall to evangelize. We could just sit right where we were and wait for the people to cycle through. So, about every 15 minutes or so, we took turns “printing” 180 Movie tracts for the new people that were cycling in. It was great! We did this for about three hours, and had a great time evangelizing, fellowshipping, and getting a little work done. We even gave away copies of The Biggest Question, which was great. God willing, we'll do the same thing next Wednesday. Can't wait! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Open Door For The Biggest Question

Yesterday I ran a few errands with my friend, one of which was to get a welcome gift to take to her new neighbors. We picked up some chocolatey goodness from Trader Joe’s, added a Biggest Question DVD, a bow, and rang the doorbell. When they opened the door we were greeted by three of their five dogs, one of which is deaf and blind. The mom said she likes to introduce her dogs to all the neighbors, especially the deaf/blind one, in case they ever all get out. “Good idea”, my friend said.

About four hours later my friend texted me “Please pray. All three of my dogs just got out.” One of her dogs (Foster) knows how to open doors, and the front door was left unlocked and was now standing wide open. 

After a cold search in the dark, she texted me, “Found them. Thank you, thank you for praying. What a relief.” My friend plans to share this story with her neighbor, and to use it as an opportunity to ask her if she has had a chance to watch The Biggest Question. I’ll keep you posted.

And as far as if Foster opened the door... 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolved, Not To Waste Our Trials

I used Ray Comfort's Tract Printer to "print" about fifty 180 Movie tickets for different people while at the mall the other day. It's such a treat to see people's reactions, but it's especially a treat when you run into someone who has actually seen 180 Movie and loves Ray Comfort. One such lady was in a wheel chair and was downcast because of it. While I haven't been in her exact situation, I have battled some health issues recently, so I quoted a verse to her that has ministered to me, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all." (Psalm 34:19). "Oh! Thank you", she said. 

Jonathan Edwards' Resolution #67 says, "Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them." 

But don't stop there. Then use the good you've gained to help others in their afflictions. John MacArthur has a great and short analogy on this:

"If I were to climb a high mountain, a dangerous climbing expedition alone, which is a very remote possibility, folks. But should it occur, there is a little adventure in me, and I should decide to climb this mountain and I should get equipped with all the stuff you need to climb this precarious precipice, of what significance would it be for a helicopter to fly across the peak of that thing and drop some guy on the top and have that guy up there looking down and shouting, "I'm up here, this is where you want to come. If you can just get up here, this is the top." And I'm looking up and I'm down here and he's up there. The problem is, he got up there by a helicopter and he doesn't know the way up either. He hasn't gone that route. He is not of much help to me. In fact, the more he hollers at me on the way up, the more frustrating it will become.

What I would rather have is some guy ahead of me who is climbing the path and says, "Follow me, I know the way up."

What I need is somebody who models the way up, who shows me the process. How do I deal with my fallen flesh? How do I deal with the struggles of life?

How do I deal with disappointment? How do I deal with trials?

How do I deal with pride? How do I deal with temptation? How do I deal with sin? Somebody's got to show me that path because it's only in the overcoming of my sinfulness that I move toward being like Christ, so I have to follow somebody who is battling to overcome sin. If I'm going to climb this precipice, I want somebody who knows the way with a rope around his waist hooked to mine, who pulls me up the right way.

That's Paul. Paul put himself in that position numerous times. And he is saying I'm not the perfect model, that's Christ. I'm just somebody you can follow on the path of victory." (Phil 3:12-14)

MacArthur says it so perfectly in this mountain analogy; and there are people at this very moment that are climbing the same mountain that we have already climbed. 

So, look for opportunities to be somebody's Paul. After all, we shouldn't be the only one to benefit from our trials. :-)