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The Tract Collector

February 25, 2009

Usually, links such as this one are placed at the end of a post. This one, however, I’ll place at the beginning. The reason for doing so will become apparent shortly.

CHRISTIAN SILENCE BEFORE HATE BILL THREAT 

We are curently on a very usual work schedule. We are on ten hour shifts, Monday through Friday, which for second shift, run from 4:30pm until 3:00am. We are also working  most Saturdays. Last week, as I was returning home, I was minded to get on the computer and do some catching up. When I came into the back room, however, I found that the dogs had spilled a box that I had accidentally left there before going to work. This box contained about three thousand tracts and I was certain that most of them were probably ruined. I carefully began to gather them up; sorting as I went since some were in English, and some were in Spanish. They shared the same picture on the front and, at 3:30am, even the languages look the same. Nonetheless, I gathered everything up and, when it was all finished, only about 5 or 6 tracts were ruined. This is a miracle as our dogs (six cocker spaniels, one poodle, one beagle, one shih-tzu….it’s a long story) routinely tear up anything that they get a hold of.

gsps-tract-image

I have a real problem of consistantly over-ordering tracts. If I use up a hundred or so tracts on an afternoon in Kalamazoo, I’ll order two hundred more. This has led to having quite an arsenal on hand; the majority of them being for evangelistic purposes, but several that address specific situations. This may sound like a chronic case of “Compulsive Acquisition Disorder,” but there are some reasons as to why I do this.

( 1 ) PREPARING FOR LEAN TIMES I work for a company whose fortunes are tied directly to those of General Motors. If General Motors stops buying our axles, we’ll be out of work. I’m convinced that the time is coming when I’ll not be able to allocate funds to maintain this flow as I do now. Yet as the social-economic front continues to tail-spin, the need to get the message of the cross out will be as great as ever and possibly more will be ready to lend an ear. I no longer focus on physical preparation as I once did. Our time here is temporal. But a single tract, carrying the words of life, has the potential to be the apparatus by which the Lord brings an eternal soul to repentance. We never know where a single tract will end up, (this makes it even more exciting) and Gods truth cannot return void.

Pastor Greg (who is now in Missouri) once told me about a guy that he gave a tract to while the guy was intoxicated. The guy was not at all receptive, and so Greg just stuck it into his shirt pocket. The tract must have contained a phone number because about three years later, they received a call from the guy. He had been packing away some things when he came across the tract and had subsequently just given his heart to Jesus.

( 2 ) TO SUPPLY OTHERS WHO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS. Lately, the resevoir has remained about the same as CR has been handing out tracts like the wind blows. There are folks who have been reached that wouldn’t have been reached had this source not been available. CR has also assisted with the financial side of this which, in turn, leads to more funds being available for this purpose. Both of us have desired to see more saints from our respective fellowships become involved in street ministry; or at least hand out a few tracts to those around them, but there seems to be little interest. This is troubling and somewhat ominous.

( 3 ) INCREASINGLY HOSTILE AMBIENCE. At some point, the gospel of Jesus Christ is going to be targeted by “hate law” legislation and the ability to acquire such material may cease to be. I know that there’s a general consensus of “it can never happen here” but I believe it’s already planned for here. This is the reason for the link at the beginning of the post. Our window of opportunity will, at some point, close and such material deemed “hate speech.” May we each make the most of every opportunity that remains to reach the lost.

It’s also imperative to understand the times that we’re in and to not maintain a romantic or idealistic view of persecution. When Peter told Jesus “I’m ready to lay down my life for you” he was being serious, but didn’t grasp the whole of this statement. It’s easy to say “I’ll lay down my life” or “I’ll never compromise my testimony” when, we have the freedom to stand on a corner and preach the gospel until the cows come home. I truly believe, however, that the time is approaching when such an act will cause one to be removed from the general undiscerning population. This is when we find out whteher or not we believe the words that we’ve been proclaiming.

I Thessalonians 1:6-7 “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”

Affliction and joy of the Holy Ghost at the same time. The Lord is with us always; regardless of what we may face.

I Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

( 4 ) DERAILED ITINERARIES. this is something that I wrestle with continually. Simply put, a lot of planned ventures into the streets are derailed by events at home which causes the tract resevoir to back up even further. Three kids at home with a host of activities, our oldest son being autistic, and a life that somehow seems to continuously become more complicated often work to thwart my deepest desires to get “out there.” Each trip is a struggle to just get away. Yet this is so imperative and so on my heart that I don’t become weary of striving to carry this out. (Frustrated often, but never weary. Like a couple of weeks ago when the temperature reached 65 degrees and my desire to go to Kalamazoo was thwarted because we were out of goat grain and I had to acquire more. AAAAAAGH!)

I should probably close for now. Lord willing, I’m desiring to embark on a trip that should put a serious dent into the resevoir of tracts sitting behind the truck seat. We’re supposed to be laid off for the week of  march 9. On March 11, I’m planning to leave early in the morning to spend a few hours in downtown Chicago, and/or Grant park, depending on the weather. I’m then planning to drive up to Milwaukee and do the same thing there. That evening, I plan to be in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin to visit David Meyers church. (Last Trumpet Newsletter) The following day, I want to return to the streets of Milwaukee, followed by a return visit to Chicago, and then back home. My wife isn’t crazy about the idea; primarily out of concern for what could go wrong, but it’s been on my heart for some time.

Well, I’ll wrap this up for now. Here’s a few links that are well worth a visit.

EVEN SO IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (Flee The Wrath) This is a story-behind-the-Hymn post as we are introduced to Horatio Spafford. This will encourage any reader.

DEFILED BY MY OWN MOUTH (He Is My Delight) I just learned of this blog. This post encourages us to watch what we say and warns us of the dangers of not being careful. Truly no man can tame the tongue an as such we must strive to walk in the Spirit always.

The following posts are from Richard Peralta who ministers regularly in the streets of Portland oregon.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

A LITTLE BUT BIG BOOK

WENT OUT EXPECTING TODAY

THE TRUTH STANDS ALL BY ITSELF

I Corinthians 1:18-19 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Philippians 1:27-28 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

Philippians 1:27 has been in my heart for two weeks now. May our conversation be in heavenly places and speak the words of life continually. Something else hit me last night. I was on the assembly line when these words were dropped in my spirit: “When the door closes, a person is either on the inside or on the outside.” The door is soon to be closed. I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

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9 comments

  1. God bless you brother!
    It sounds like things are really opening up for you and street ministry. Praise Him! Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send more out there.
    Hopefully we can go together someday,
    Richard


  2. Hi Timbob,

    I just had a few thoughts to share as I was reading your post. I like the Scripture you brought out in I Thessalonians dealing with affliction and joy in the Holy Ghost. It’s such an incredible thing that we can have afflictions yet still have joy in the Holy Ghost. I believe that is because joy in the Holy Ghost isn’t based on our circumstances. It’s based on who Jesus is and being filled with His Spirit. Circumstances can change, but God doesn’t ever change. I’m very thankful for that. Your desire to share the Lord through passing out tracts is commendable. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and He still wants to do that today through those that know Him. I know you probably know this already, but I just felt to say this. Please remember that your family is your ministry too. There is probably nobody else that can be a greater influence in their lives than you. Time spent with them is just as important as the time you spend witnessing in the streets. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds by saying this. I just felt it on my heart.

    May God’s blessing be upon you as you continue to seek to please Him.

    Blessings,
    Carol


  3. It’s so ironic that you mentioned going to David Meyer’s church b/c I just thought the same thing yesterday. — how neat it would be.

    I’ve been listening to a lot of his sermons, and I even found a site where there’s videos of his sermons. — even ones from last month and Jan 2009. His website isn’t that updated yet.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3724235805343610002&hl=en

    I also feel an urgency that time is so near and I find myself caring more and more about how God will get the glory in a situation and if that will lead the person to Christ than anything more. Please continue to pray for my manager as he’s on the verge of accepting Christ I believe. He is still going to church with me on Sundays even after I told him a few weeks ago that I only wanted him to go if he wanted to, not b/c he felt he had to or out of guilt.

    Hope you’re well. I can’t believe you have all those doggies at your house.


  4. I can hear your pain… I am so, so sorry to hear you this way. Yes, God IS with you!!! Please, never downplay hope and restoration. Cindy


  5. last trumpet is out


  6. Hi Richard. A quick work is indeed underway and God gives the increase. CR was saved in November of 2007 and has more boldness than most saints. It’s awesome.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  7. Hi Carol. I reread this and noticed that I came across as kind of aloof concerning the needs of the home front. My household is very complicated and is another area where walking in the Spirit is a must. One ill-timed comment or one selfish agenda can be disasterous for the souls who are watching but still hanging in the balance. The desired trip to Wisconsin is being prayed over as I really want to be in the will of God; even if it’s contrary to what I want. My wife is really against it and the situation is a delicate one to be sure.

    Thanks for helping me to keep a level head. I have a problem of appearing somewhat aloof at home and this is an area where I must be really careful. Especially with souls hanging in the balance.

    Thanks for stopping by. have a blessed day in Jesus.


  8. Hi Code. I have had your manager on my prayer list ever since you first mentioned the situation. It’s awesome to hear a promising report.

    The urgency is great and many are sensing the shortness of time. I copied off more copies of the Last trumpet Newsletter than usual to take into work. Amazingly, there are unsaved people who are more recieptive to this information than others who have been saved for years. I give them to people who are interested. Then a few copies, I just leave in the break rooms. We never know where they will wind up but Gods truth will never return void.

    There are a couple of items in the newsletter that I want to elaborate on in a future post because they really highlight the perilosity of the times.

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


  9. Hi cindy. I apolagize if I came across as discouraged. It’s complicating when the urgency of the hour is so intense and yet those who are closest to us prefer to close their eyes to the truth so desperately needed. My household is a complex arena of competing agendas and it’s imperative to always walk in the Spirit. To ensure that Jesus is truly first in our lives and walk in love toward those who are still in the valley of decisions.

    Once again, the old song “I Need Thee Every Hour” remains ever so true. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus



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