Leap Day Brings a Giant Leap!

Leap Day brought a giant leap for our family and Tomorrow’s Forefathers! (For those of you who don’t know, Tomorrow’s Forefathers is the name we use for our family ministry.)

God has made it possible for us to buy a building!!! One block away from our town square is a commercial building that we will now be using for office space for Bright Lights and other aspects of the ministry, as well as a bookstore and resourse center for our community, etc. etc. It’s a solid building (3,770 sq. ft. with full, dry basement) one mile from our house. It needs a little fixing up.

We closed on the sale (debt free) this morning, and we are very excited and grateful to the Lord. This has been developing over the past few months, and we have been encouraged to see the Lord’s hand in many ways. I will be posting more details soon.

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Tomorrow morning we have an open house and dedication ceremony planned. (If you live in the area, please join us! We are having rolls and coffee from 9-11am with a dedication ceremony at 10am.)

St. Patrick’s Day – A Report from Last Year!

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Click here to view tract

Note: The tract is a PDF file and will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it. Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader.

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St. Patrick’s day really is a “witnesser’s jackpot”! It’s a day where thousands of people gather on the sidewalks and streets and do nothing except pick up candy and watch a few floats go by…or drink beer. Often they having nothing to do as they are waiting for the parade to start and they are eager to talk. Below is a summary of one of the witnessing conversations I got into last year.

“Hey, I’m taking a survey—would you mind answering some questions?” I asked two guys and a girl who looked like they were in their mid-twenties.
“What’s it about?” they replied.
“It’s about St. Patrick and the 10 commandments…” I answered.
“Oh, we’re bad people,” they said and laughed as they took another drink from their beer bottles. But one guy said, “Sure, I’ll take the survey”.
“Okay!” I replied, “The first question is, ‘Where was St. Patrick born?’”
“Ireland”
“Nope! Nice try, but he was actually English. He was captured as a slave and brought to Ireland. Second question: ‘Why do you think St Patrick was such a great person?’”
“Uh…he was Irish and he drank beer?”
“Uh, no, sorry.” I smiled, “He was a missionary and brought the gospel to Ireland. The third question is, “Do you consider yourself to be a good person?”
“No, I’m bad!” he emphasized.
“Yeah, he is!” his friends told me. “He’s going straight to hell!” they joked.
I continued, “The forth question is, If God judged you by the 10 commandments would you be innocent or guilty?”
“Guilty. Definitely.”
“That’s for sure!” his friends added.
“Would you like to know the way St Patrick preached we could be 100% sure we are going to Heaven?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said.
“Well, St Patrick preached that we have all sinned and when God judges us we’ll all be guilty. But when Jesus died on the cross, He was taking the punishment that we deserved from God—it’s like we switched places with Jesus—and He took our punishment. That doesn’t mean the whole world is going to Heaven now—but it means that those who choose to come to God and follow Him can, because He made a way for us to be forgiven.”

I was thrilled to see a serious look in his eyes as I said this—I could tell he was comprehending what I was saying.

His friend interrupted, “Are you saying that my friend’s going to hell because he is Irish and he drinks?”
“You weren’t listening, were you?” I replied.
“He never listens!” replied the more serious guy who had just taken the survey, “But I heard you,” he said.
Wow, those words really made the whole talk worth it to me! I thanked him and left him with a tract.

After the parade was over, we shared stories as we ate our bagels. Some very good reports were shared and we were encouraged by the good talks we had gotten into that afternoon. Praise the Lord who is faithful to do through us what He calls us to do!
“Faithful is He that calleth you who also will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24)

Not everyone I talked to last year at the parade was receptive, but I expected that. I often remind myself that we can’t see inside the hearts of those we talk with. They may have been truly influenced by what we said to them, but they don’t admit it right then. However, they will go home and think about it. (And we can go home and pray for them!)

A sucessful witnessing conversation is not leading someone through a little prayer to “ask Jesus into their heart.” A sucessful witnessing conversation is leading someone to understand the truth of eternity and their Creator’s amazing plan of salvation.

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Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Last week Stephen and I drove to Des Moines to help out with the “Homeschool Day” at our state capitol.

The event was planned for homeschoolers to build better relationships with their representatives, to make their presence known to the legislators, and to lobby on a couple of bills that are up in the state house right now on the issue of homeschooling.

Stephen photographed the event and I provided special music and helped greet and direct people, etc. The whole day went very well and it was fun being a part of it.

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Tours were led throughout the day

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A radio station interviews a homeschooled student

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A rally was held in the afternoon with a HSLDA speaker, a Generation Joshua representative, a local homeschool-dad attorney, and a few others.

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A homeschool family talks with their state representative

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Stephen’s Sermon

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Stephen spoke this morning at church on the book of Jude. He had lots of insights and I thought he did a great job. (Instead of having a pastor at our church, we have multiple elders. Different men take turns preaching the sermons.)

Jude warns us that there are men who seek to lead the church astray with false teaching, and his main emphasis is that we should “earnestly contend for the faith.” That means that we need to be diligent about defending Biblical truth.

Coloring Book

Sometimes life seems to be a series of unfinished projects. One unfinished project that we’ve had on our list for a while is a coloring book to go along with our book, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. A few weeks ago, Sarah and I decided to tackle this project so we could have it done for Homeschool Conferences this spring. It’s been going well.

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After picking out the pictures we wanted to include, we needed to modify some of them to make them easier to color.

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Editing pictures on my dad’s Tablet PC–the wondeful tool my dad has used for the pictures in both of our books and in Bright Lights materials.

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Sarah working in her “office” (which is actually her old bedroom).

Walking the path in the snow

Yea! Another Iowa blizzard! I’m happy about the foot of snow we just got.
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Wow! What would I do without a dad and brother to shovel our path?!

I’ll explain the purpose of our path for those of you who don’t know. Our family has 2 houses back to back, with a path connecting them. We kind of live in both houses. We usually sleep and eat at the “new house” but spend most of the day working at our “old house.” (I know, creative names.) When people come over to volunteer for Bright Lights, they join us at the old house where we have all of our computers and office equipment set up. We bought our new house about 3 years ago out of a desperate need for space and it has been perfect. It was a neat story how the Lord provided it, and we are so grateful to Him. Maybe I’ll post more of that story later.

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The back of our old house. (My dad made this trellis in between the 2 yards.)