For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

At 89, Will I be Dreaming-Up Ways to Spread the Gospel?




Today, I received a hand-written letter from a Christian who is hoping to move to a Care Home in the near future. Clarence wrote: "You can only fight old age so long; it always wins. We are 89 this year." 

And then he wrote:  
I have been thinking of how to reach more people with the Gospel, as they mostly will not come to our Gospel meetings. The enclosed message is to phone people and ask for their permission to read a message to them. That might work! And other saints should be able to do this also - with their own name.
Show this to some others and see what they say. Put your own name where mine is and pray for the Lord's help.
The enclosed message that 89 year old Clarence referred to was typed. I imagined his enthusiasm and excitement as his fingers touched each letter on the keyboard. I don't know whether he has achy arthritic joints or supple ones that enabled his fingers to excitedly fly across the keyboard. One thing I do know is - he still has a love, a passion and a pulse for the good news of Jesus Christ. It wouldn't surprise me if he sincerely, in his heart-of-hearts, truly believes the Gospel is the only message that can transform a sinner's life on earth and prepare them for Heaven!!


I sensed his optimism. Where there's a will, there's a way. The passion - the pulse led to a plan. Was this for others to try out - or would he actually do it himself? This is the man that, decades earlier, came up with another telephone Gospel-sharing-scheme. Each week, he would record a 2 or 3 minute Gospel message based on a human-interest story. He would advertise the telephone number and hundreds of people would call and listen to his little story. In 2017, people may not find that technology very exciting.

Here's how his typed enclosure read -- (By the way, shhh!!! I never asked for his permission to post this so publicly online. But between you and me, I think he was hoping the idea would be shared and that you will try the same thing. I hope this breach-of-confidentiality doesn't scare you off from writing me a similar letter or email!) Here is how he envisions the phone calls might go:

Dear Sir or Madam
My name is Clarence Budd. I live in Riverview, N.B. Could I have about four minutes of your time to talk to you about something that is very important? OK!
I don't want you to buy or sell or do anything for me. I just want to talk to you about the most important thing in life. And that is getting ready for the NEXT life.
The life we now live is very short. We know that - if we look back. It has gone by very quickly.
The next life lasts forever. It will never end. There is one of two places to go when we leave this life. One place is HEAVEN - that is where God wants us to be. The price has already been paid for us to go there. When Christ was on the cross, He was punished for us, so that we could go to Heaven freely forgiven from all our sins. In the Bible, it is called - being saved. That lasts forever! How wonderful!
The other place is called HELL and is the place where people go who have rejected or neglected to 'get ready' while on earth. Most people do that. I did myself for many years. I am truly glad for the day I was saved - September 17, 1947.  Wonderful day! Saved people just want to tell others about it. It is so great to have the peace and joy of knowing where we will be forever and having sure hope - now and forever.
Please give careful consideration to this most important matter. "Now is the day of salvation," the Bible says. 2Corinthians 6:2
You can read the Bible and see these things written there. John's Gospel is the best place to start. If you are not familiar with the Bible, that is the 4th book in the New Testament.
May God bless you. Thanks for letting me talk with you today. All the best.
Clarence Budd  
PS If you have any questions, I would be pleased to hear from you. You can phone me at 506-------

Where there's a will, there's a way! People with a passionate vision are not blocked by barriers or deterred by obstacles. 

Do I have a Gospel vision? When have I crafted my own little scheme, with excitement, for getting the Gospel to people? It wasn't just a fanciful and fleeting idea. At 89, he took the time to hand-write a letter, type up an enclosure, lick a foul-tasting stamp and mail the envelope. (Maybe not - it could have been a self-adhesive stamp....so, Peter, don't get carried away with words.)


You can tell by what he writes, he envisions this approach working - for churched people and unchurched. New people to his city from other places in the world who may know nothing about the Bible or Jesus Christ. All of them are potential telephone candidates.
I have heard the same brother pray and break-down (weep) at the thought of souls perishing.

What's urgent in my life? Do I care if people perish forever? Is it enough for me that I have been delivered - I have found the wonderful cure for the malignancy of sin but I have too many other things in life to occupy my mind. They will have to find-out about the cure some other way.

Robocalls and call centers are used for politics, by big banks and for many other reasons. I wonder what the impact would be of a tastefully and faithfully worded brief Gospel robocall? Does some Christian want to financially invest in such an enterprise? But back to you - maybe this is something you may wish to try - using your own words. One phone call a day!





Thursday, May 11, 2017

Canada 150th Gospel Pamphlet for Distribution


Canadians love their country. 2017 is the 150th anniversary of our young nation. Celebrations, throughout the year, are happening across the country to mark this milestone year. July 01st - Canada Day is a big event every year, but this year there are plans for even bigger and better celebrations.

The International Bible House (IBH) sees a great opportunity for Christians and local assemblies across the country to get involved in not only recognizing the anniversary of the nation of Canada - but also using it as an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

A five page booklet featuring stories from across Canada is being finalized for publication. You can see it below.

Perhaps you haven't thought about it - but wouldn't it be great if, in local areas, Christians seized this opportunity to distribute these Gospel Messengers! There's a place on the brochure for you to localize it by stamping or affixing a label supplying local contact information.

If you are reading this just now and thinking: 'I hope someone in our area sees this and does something about it...' Why don't you start the ball rolling?

The cost of each booklet will probably be between 15 cents and 20 cents each - depending on quantities printed. 

If you think your area could use some, please email ordersibh@gmail.com or ibhpublications@gmail.com as soon as possible. 

Even if you are not ready to make a commitment to a certain quantity - IBH would even appreciate your expression of interest.

Click here to view the entire publication.






Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Carol Service 2016 Halifax

While it is fresh in my memory, I'd like to give you a little report on the Annual Christmas Carol Service at the North Street Gospel Hall in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was held on Saturday evening, December 10, 2016.

Matthew Cain said 2500 invitations were distributed around the neighbourhood and many contacts were invited to the 45 minute long service. It was followed by a lunch in the basement - yes, scrumptious Christmas Baking, coffee and apple cider.


It was also announced on Facebook and Twitter. A local Member of Parliament retweeted the notice to all his followers.

150 people showed up, filling the main level with some choosing to sit in the balcony. The singing was acapella. Several visitors commented on the quality of the lyrics projected on the screen and how much they enjoyed the singing. Singing positions alternated between sitting and standing.

video

A brief message (approximately 10 minutes) pertaining to Christmas and the Gospel was given - aided by 9 PowerPoint slides.



After a closing prayer and a concluding carol, most of the guests stayed for the lunch and seemed in no hurry to leave. Their feedback was very positive.



What a great experience it was to see so many guests in for the first time and to have them leaving with positive impressions.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Caroling Door-to-Door


by Steve Baumann

As the door opens, you can hear the group sing that well-known verse, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the newborn king!

Every year, we gather a group of people to join us around our community to go Christmas Caroling. This will be our eighth year. It has become a staple to our Christmas tradition.

What makes it special for our family is friends who join us every year. Others try it once or twice but generally most find the time very worthwhile. It is amazing how precious and profound the lyrics to our traditional Christmas hymns are, as we sing “Jesus” to our neighborhood.

Let me share why I believe Christmas Caroling may be the last open door-to-door outreach left in America people openly receive:

It is relevant. Statistics show the Christmas season is the most open time of the year for people to hear the meaning of the gospel. It is demonstrated by increased church attendance, publicly played music and faith-based television specials with Christmas themes. There is something about baby Jesus that attracts people. We regularly hear our neighbors say with a smile, “No one has ever carolled for us before!” We even get offers of food for singing and pictures taken of us.

It is biblical. Jesus commands us to share his message. Going door-to-door with a Bible may be taboo any other time of the year, but during Christmas Season, singing the gospel is still captivating. There is something special about singing the old carols. Biblical truth speaks loud and clear in our music, as we sing the recognizable songs.

It is relational. We often get to talk to our neighbors once done singing. In our busy lives, rarely do we get to know many neighbors. Yet, through caroling we have one moment where conversing and relating to one another takes place. One year, a family who in the previous year was so ministered to by our singing joined us the following year. And since they spoke Spanish, they were able to share Christ with the non-English speakers that we could not.

When we first started caroling in our neighborhood, I honestly didn’t think of it in terms of evangelism and outreach. It was just something fun to do that brought people together. But as we continue in the tradition, the opportunities have grown for sharing Jesus to a lost world. After we sing, we hand out Story of Jesus for Children and Magdalena DVDs. With so many languages available, we usually have one for all the languages spoken in our neighborhood.


For more ideas of Gospel outreach ideas at Christmas time on this blog type in 'christmas' in the search box. There are four or five additional articles. Also click here

Our wonderful experiences doing door-to-door singing have shown me people are hungry for a Savior! We have that person in Jesus, but how we approach people with the gospel matters. Christmas Caroling still works in our secular world.

Source:
https://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/life-and-relationships/holidays/christmas/a-welcome-form-of-evangelism.html

Monday, April 11, 2016

Busy Making Daisy Chains

Mrs. Mae Hull, Truro, Nova Scotia, the widow of the esteemed servant of the Lord, Albert Hull, recently made a request. Her desire is for all of us to read Amy Carmichael’s “Daisy Chain” by having it distributed online. Her prayer is that many hearts would be touched and we would sense the urgency of getting the Gospel to those who are perishing. As I understand it, the version below is slightly adapted from Amy Carmichael’s original. 

If you can help in circulating this stirring post among your Christian friends, it would be appreciated. And if you would like to thank Mrs. Hull for initiating this effort, click on her name above. I am sure she would love to hear from you.


Daisy Chains

Things As They Are!

By Amy Carmichael

The tom-toms thumped on all night, and the darkness shuddered around me like a living feeling thing.  I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, and it seemed like this:

That I stood on a grassy plateau, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space.  I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows and unfathomable depths.  Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass.  They were making for the edge. There was a woman with the baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress.  She was on the very verge.  Then I saw that she was blind.  She lifted her foot for the next step… It trod air.  She was over, and the children over with her.  Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters.  All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air.  But some went over quietly and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge.  I could not.  I was glued to the ground, and I could not call.  Though I strained and tried, only a whisper came.

Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals.  But the intervals were far too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between.  And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of Hell.


Then I saw, like the picture of peace, a group of people under some trees, with their backs toward the gulf.  They were making daisy chains.  Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise.  And if one of their numbers started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down.  Why should you get so excited about it?  You must wait for a definite ‘call’ to go.  You haven’t finished your daisy chains.  “It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish this work alone.”

There was another group.  It was made up of people whose great desire was to get some sentries out; but they found that few wanted to go, so it was that sometimes there were no sentries for miles and miles at the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relatives called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules.  And, being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest a while; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; the child clung convulsively, and it called, but nobody seemed to hear.  Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hand still holding tight the torn off bunch of grass.

And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which her relatives reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere – the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob.  And of horror of great darkness was upon ME, for I knew that it was the cry of blood.

Where were the heralds?  Where are the men of God who will sacrifice self and case to preach Christ to a dying world?  The definite call is to you beloved child of God.  All that are redeemed belong to God.  He has a distinct claim upon every saved to soul and says to all, “As my Father hath sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21)


Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord; and He said, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?  Then said I: Here am I; send me.”  And He said, “Go, and tell this people…”  Isaiah 6:8, Mark 16:15) The Lord Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature… And low, I am with you alway.” (Matthew 28:20)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Google Maps Gospel Outreach


The possibilities and venues for Gospel outreach seem almost limitless. I'm encouraged and energized when believers share things they are humbly trying to do to share the Gospel. It's difficult to get stories and examples for this blog as Christians are afraid some might think they are bragging or boasting about their efforts. Of course - they are not! Actually, by sharing such examples and stories, others are encouraged to become active in some new little venture for the Lord. 

To keep things in perspective - for decades, we've been sharing news about special Gospel meetings held around the country either as pioneer efforts or as assembly sponsored activities. People have found such information helpful and encouraging over the years. So this blog expands on that concept. There's much, much more to Gospel work than public preaching.

Here's the latest example of a little personal outreach activity from a couple in Manitoba. The first paragraph of the letter below explains the approach this couple is using to share the Gospel.

Dear Friend, 
We have never met and it’s not likely we ever will.  This is not a mass mailing program. We don’t represent a group, religion or denomination. Let me tell you how you have received this letter. We live in Southern Manitoba, Canada.  Each morning I pull up Google Maps and scan the entire United States of America and Canada.  Of the approximate 150 million homes or so, I select three. It could be in any state, province, city or town.  Google maps provides me with the address and code and I mail this letter.

You see, I am a Christian and believe that there is a wonderful message of Hope to be shared.  This message is found in John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Begotten SON, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have Everlasting life”.  This verse of 25 words shows me what God did in the first 12 words and what I needed to do in the last 12 words. The 13th or middle word is “SON”.  We find God through His Son.
This morning your home was selected as one in about 50 million.  As I wrote your address on the envelope, I prayed that it will not be by chance that the message of the enclosed pamphlet finds you at a time when it could bring Hope to your life. I prayed for the blessing of God on you and your family.

One day, perhaps very soon, the world as we know it today will end. The Bible speaks clearly of this. What also will end is the opportunity to receive God’s amazing gift of his free grace and forgiveness ; “The Gift of God which is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.”  It’s a gift – you don’t work for it – you believe and receive it. I ask that you read this material carefully and with a sense of urgency. It can change your eternity.  
If you have a Bible, begin to read in the Gospel of John in the New Testament.  Read the first five chapters several times over the next while.  Ask God to speak to you and he will.  Perhaps you have never had much time for the Bible. Over time as you begin to read these chapters, God through his Holy Spirit will show you truths about Himself and yourself. God desires to know you personally through his Son Jesus Christ. This is the way to Eternal Life.

Jeremiah 29:13 says “You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”
A website I enjoy is www.heaven4sure.com . I think you will find their articles interesting. I recommend a video called “The Last Adam” found under the “NEWS” tab.  It will be 15 minutes well spent.

We hope you have a wonderful day. May God richly bless you.
Ron and Nancy Burley
ronandnancy77@gmail.com for more questions, comments or other material.

On the reverse side of the letter, more information is shared about their family to add a personal touch and to show that the letter is not from some dubious kook. You may not feel comfortable sharing similar information with people you don't know, but you will be able to add your own personal touch that reflects your comfort level.

So here is the reverse side of the letter:


I’ve always had an interest in maps. As a boy I would sit down with a large atlas and stare at small towns and interesting places and begin to wonder what those people did every day, how they made their living and most of all why they would find themselves living in that particular small location on this great map.  People were likely raised there and never moved away. Perhaps employment took people to a new setting.
We live in a very small community in southern Manitoba. Our roots are Vancouver Island. That’s where we were raised and married. We spent 23 years in Calgary, Alberta and now the past 13 years in Manitoba.
Since beginning this little effort of sending out 3 letters per day, I’ve been reminded of two important things.  One day my mouse pointer will zoom in on what looks to be a very modest home in a district where people may struggle financially. The next day it may focus on a home backing an expensive golf course in a high valued location. It reminds me that the message of God’s Love is the same for the rich and poor, or any color, ethnicity or gender.  God’s love transcends all of our differences and He has chosen to love “All Men”, everywhere, no matter who we are or where on the map we are found. That’s the wonder of the message of the Gospel. I invite you to take some thoughtful minutes and ponder the future. God’s love and forgiveness is available to all. 
We live a simple, rural life, but God has given us incredible wealth through a large, wonderful family. For this we feel blessed without measure. But more important to us is Salvation which brings me into a far greater family – God’s eternal family. The secure Hope of Life Eternal is not something that I would trade for anything. I marvel every day that this treasure is a Gift.   Romans 6:23 says “For the Wages of Sin is Death but the Gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.   None deserve it. We are all born as sinners, undeserving of God’s Love and yet Romans 5:8 says “But God displayed His Love towards us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.