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This Was Your Life and A Gallon of Milk

January 19, 2009

This morning was one of reflection. (Actually yesterday morning as it is well after midnight) I found myself driving to church and asking the Lord for clear indication as to whether I’m in the right place or if I’m being over-neglegent in certain areas of responsibility. I’m troubled as those in my household that seems to just not understand the seriousness of the times and often pray the dangerous prayers such as “Lord Jesus, please do whatever it takes to wake them up.” I’m perplexed in that I have a burden to get into the streets on a more regular basis, but my life is so tied down by work and obligations at home that opportunities are scarce. And when I do get out, there’s the persistant feeling that I’m neglecting responsibilities at home.  On top of it all is the constant wondering if it’s even making a difference. We know that the word of God will not return void, even in the form of a tract that seems poorly written, but questions remain nonetheless.

This morning…er…yesterday morning, we had a missionary family in. Grady and Rebecca Pickins have been married for four years. A supernatural match that only the Lord could have arranged, as Grady told of how he proposed to Rebecca only nine days after meeting her. Prior to meeting each other in Cairo, both had been in the field for some time. Rebecca was in Africa for three years before going to Thailand for a year, and then Indonesia. Grady had been in Europe and in the middle east. Between the two of them, they have worked to spread the gospel in about fifty countries. They cannot be more than thirty years of age, however, from their testimonies and the stories shared this morning, it sounds like they have seen more in a few short years than most of us witness in a lifetime. They have two children, both of which were born in Jordan.

For the past two and a half years, they have been in Jordan, teaching and undergoing intensive training in Arabic which, from what I understand is a very difficult language to learn. One example that they gave was how some words are spoken, but are never written. Other words are only used in writing, and never spoken. It’s as though there are two arabic languages; one written and one spoken. Well, this fact, in and of itself would be enough to give me a headache. They are currently in the states (well DUH) and are preparing to head to Iraq where they will be long term missionaries training up disciples in that country. They will be residing in Sulainmaniya, a town southeast of Irbul with a population of almost 87,000. They are to be here long term as they plant churches throughout this area. Another notable fact is that the town is near the Iranian border where currently a lot of people are coming to Jesus. (I must have missed the CNN report) 

The entire morning was incredible as Grady preached a message based on John 8:32 while telling of the many complexities in this part of the world; even in Jordan. He told of the many souls who have come to Jesus and, in my heart Matthew 24:14 kept coming up. The entire morning was awesome to say the least. To think of all that Grady and Rebecca have seen and witnessed could have caused me to feel completely on the shelf insofar as spreading the gospel is concerned. Of all the tracts distributed and people talked to, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Yet I remember something that Richard once stated. It was along the lines of “we don’t have to see the results; we just have to be obediant. God gives the increase.”

 Of all the incredible testimony that came forth on the morning of January 18, the single thing that I needed more than anything else, had nothing to do with the middle east. As Grady began his presentation, he told of a time when he was twelve years old. He was with his mom in a supermarket when he noticed a booklet sitting on top of a gallon of milk in the dairy section. He began to take it when he thought to himself “no, that’s not mine.” Another voice reassured him “take it. It’s for you.” Well the booklet happened to be the tract “This Was Your Life”  published by Chick Tracts. He took it home, and subsequently gave his life to Jesus. A few years later, he was in a fuindamentalist bible college then he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (He was asked to leave this college shortly thereafter and he went on to Rhema)

Because of a single tract, placed in a location that most people, including myself, would probably think to be inappropriate, Grady came to Jesus at the tender age of twelve. Today, he and Rebecca are preparing to head to Iraq for a long term stay. Only God knows how many lives have been touched, because of a tract, planted by a person whose name we will probably never know on this side. Words cannot tell how much I was in need of this encouragement. This afternoon, I relayed the story to CR and it seemed to be a piece of encouragement that he needed also. Truth can never return void and upon being confronted with it, a person is called upon to make a decision. Sadly, most tracts will land in places where they will never produce fruit, but the one that does will alter the very fabric of the everlasting as a priceless soul receives the truth that will make one free.

I haven’t ordered Chick tracts for a long time, but a particular one came to mind while I was listening to Gradys testimony. It features two demons who are assigned to keep a particular kid from going to church on a given night. Well the two demons blow it when they get caught up in watching a television program (lol) and fail to effectively distract the boy. He goes to the meeting, hears the gospel and gives his heart to Jesus. He eventually goes on to become an evengelist and millions of souls are born of the Spirit as a result. It’s been a long time since I saw it, but this is the basic outline. (I think I should order some)

Well, I need to go as it’s after2:00 am. The layoff is over and I go back to work on second shift tomorrow. Please keep Morgan in prayer as she came home tonight and her life is in turmoil. I am in need wisdom concerning this situation and walking in the Spirit is an absolute must. It’s often a very fine line between gathering and scattering and scattering is certain to be the result if I try to navigate this situation in the flesh. I’ve done enough damage over the years; especially during the season of rebellion. As we begin to grasp what’s at stake, the lyrics of “I Need The every Hour” take on a much deeper meaning. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

Mark 16:15-18 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

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6 comments

  1. I oftentimes wondered why certain couples meet so easily and have this wonderful abundant Christian life whilst most of us are struggling in so many areas and once married, it’s even more of a struggle.

    I also think many are searching in America for the truth, but at the same time, because we have every need met and then some, people don’t see a need for a Saviour. And even for the Christians, we feel pulled in so many different directions, that oftentimes, I feel very guilty because I haven’t spent enough time in prayer or in reading the scriptures. I feel very dragged down by this world, and sometimes wonder if God has given up on me yet. I often wonder if I’m doing more harm than good. It’s so hard for me to live transrationally (above the circumstances) when I feel so overwhelmed by all the pressure around me.


  2. Hi Code. I think that living in a western culture creates a lot of distraction; most of them necessary. Distractions from work, obligations to others, the car needs new tires, the goats need hay (seriously I must run and get hay in a few minutes when I would rather be in the word) and a thousand other things to “keep us busy. It’s a never-ending battle as we become pressed beyond measure.

    As far as how Grady and Rebecca met, it’s incredible, but not common. I rushed into marriage instead of being patient as do many. Yet it’s dangerous to think of what may have been different but to just be mindful of the souls that are around us presently and love them with the love of Jesus.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  3. Timbob, I am glad to hear you were encouraged by the story of the tract, whose owner will possibly not know it’s outcome this side of eternity.

    However, I would like to also encourage you that God’s glory (our principal aim) is achieved not only in the souls who hear the Word and respond, but in your obedience to obey His command to preach. Your faithfulness in obedience is God glorifying, even should not another soul ever repent and believe!

    I would also like to share that I also feel discouraged at times that I don’t see people I have witnessed to, repenting and believing. I know that God calls, I know He opens hearts and eyes to His word, I know that one plants, one waters, but God gives the increase. I know all that. Yet when I have a run of seeming failure – I start to question what I am doing wrong. Yet, my obedience to preach the word in season and out, is what is required, and I must trust Him to build His kingdom, as He said He would.

    Finally, Our Lord is understanding of our obligation to meet the needs of our family. He has given you a ministry and a vital role to fulfill as the leader of your family. This can often be “played down” in some assemblies, but it is a such an important role. Have you heard Paul Washer’s message:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=102081227118

    It is very good.

    And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

    I hope this reads with some coherency – I’m sorry I have been called away lots of times during the writing, so I can only hope it makes sense..

    Blessings to you,
    Beyondbluestockings.


  4. Hi Beyondbluestockings. Your comment is very coherant and uplifting. I sometimes wrestle with discouragement, but there’s no situation in my life that caught God by surprise. When it all works out, we’ll probably be astonished at those things which seemed little but had an everlasting impact. I apolagize if I sounded discouraged in the post. The morning with Grady and Rebecca was very encouraging in a number of ways, but for me it was a reassurance that, even if we don’t see the results, the truth of Jesus will never return void.

    As you point out, God gives the increase. Thanks for taking time to comment. I can relate to being called away while trying to write. It happpens a lot here.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  5. HI Timbob

    I think the story of the tract can teach us that God uses very little things, sometimes, to win people to him. Every post we write is just a little thing. But maybe, somewhere, someone just happens to come upon one we wrote, and they give their life to Jesus, or they want to know about Him. We will never know until we reach heaven. I pray that no word that we write goes unread – that it helps someone, somewhere.


  6. Hi Marianne. Gradys testimony was so encouraging. We know that Gods truth will not return void. I think we all might be amazed at the results stemming from things that we did without even thinking about it. Thanks for topping by. I’ve been running a lot lately, but will swing by as soon as I can.

    have a blessed day in Jesus.



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