Mark Cahill in Cedar Rapids Last Night

Wow. Last night was a remarkable evening! Rarely do I see an audience respond with the same level of warm enthusiasm that they responded to Mark Cahill last night. For over two hours we heard story after story of powerful witnessing encounters — along with much-needed instruction for the body of Christ.

One of the things I love most about Mark’s messages is that they don’t just convict; they also equip. He has an endless supply of witnessing ideas and insights.

Here’s the way Mr. Cahill handles money at his booktable:
1) Take as many books as you can use.
2) Throw whatever donation you’d like into the box. If you don’t have money, just take books anyway.
3) If you are struggling financially, take some money out of the box for yourself and your family.

How REFRESHING! Why don’t more Christians handle money this way?!

After the presentation, Mr. Cahill stayed around for a really long time answering questions. He was actually the last one to leave. We really appreciated how he stayed and talked with us even though we all knew he was tired because he had just come off a busy weekend of speaking.

(And for those of you who know Nickie, this is Nickie’s family. 🙂 They have some neat stories of witnessing outreaches and had some good questions.)

If you have never read One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, or One Heartbeat Away, you have got to order them and read them! I’d recommend you read One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven first. If you’d like, you can listen to it for free online on Mark Cahill’s website here. (Then you’ll probably want to order them for all your friends. 🙂 ) This book is the #1 book that helped me learn to share my faith. I can’t even express how grateful I am for how the Lord used this book in my life.

Next you can order a stack of One Heartbeat Away — which is a great book to give to the unsaved people you witness to. It is also very helpful for learning how to answer unbeliever’s questions. There are lots of great “apologetic-type” books out there, but I’ve found this to be one of the most helpful for witnessing because it was written by someone who does a whole lot of witnessing himself, and is very familiar with most common questions that unbelievers in America are asking today. For example, what do you say when someone claims to believe in reincarnation, or that the Bible cannot be trusted, or that there is no absolute truth? One Heartbeat Away is packed full of good answers.
To order: www.markcahill.org
(Quick Note: There are a couple places in the books that refer to various sinful lifestyles. Not real explicit, but would raise questions for younger children.)

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” (1 Thess 2:4)

St Patrick’s Day Report

Wednesday, March 17th was a full day! It started in our church basement where we folded 4,000 tracts while having an evangelism training time. We had two goals: 1) Distribute the tracts, 2) Get into one-on-one conversations with people in the crowd.

Getting into one-on-one conversations about the gospel isn’t as hard as many imagine. We watched some Way of the Master Youtube Clips for ideas, shared some stories, and printed up a “St Patrick’s Survey” to help with starting conversations.

Getting ready to head downtown!

It is so easy to pass out tracts at parades. Everyone is expecting to be handed stuff. We just announce “history of St Patrick!” as we’re passing them out and it’s a lot of fun. People are curious about who St Patrick really was.

Carissa talked with these three teens for over 20 minutes. She did an amazing job with one-on-one conversations!

I had to take a picture of Carissa with her survey paper because it was so wrinkled from use. Carissa is eleven, and she had never really done “witnessing” this way before. But wow, did she take off! From what I was told, she was explaining the gospel to people left and right and when it was over she didn’t want to leave. Praise God for how He is working through Carissa!

One of the highlights was working with a team of 9 college students who joined our group at the last minute. They were in the area using their spring break for service / evangelism projects. It was a huge blessing having the extra help!

During our sharing time afterwards, many reported about the neat conversations they got into and the thirsting hearts they were able to share the gospel with. We decided to add up how many people total we were able to actually talk with about the gospel. The total came to 160! That means that 160 people at the parade had a one-on-one encounter with a Christian about the gospel. Praise the Lord for how he arranged these conversations!

Afterwards we enjoyed exchanging ideas and tracts with the college students who joined us.

We concluded the day tired out, but so happy. It was encouraging to see some who hadn’t done very much witnessing catch a zeal for sharing the gospel. It was also neat to see how many more you can reach when you mobilize a whole team to go out. There is a fellowship in sharing the gospel together that doesn’t compare with anything else!

Are We Praying? Are We Praying Hard Enough?!

Photo: Stephen Mally

“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” -Thomas Paine

Many in our area are praying and fasting tomorrow (Saturday) for the urgent crisis we are facing in Congress. Please consider joining us!

“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him…”
Joel 2:12-14

“Hast Thou No Scar?”

Last week I went to an Emmaus Bible College extension class that’s held on Monday nights at a nearby church. The topic was Daniel. I’ve just been reading Hebrews, and the comments made at the class pulled together some thoughts for me…

Imagine the pleasant surprise that awaited Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Instead of feeling the flames, they found themselves in the presence of the Son of God! What incredible joy they must have felt. When King Nebuchadnezzar called them out, I wonder if they thought, “Aww…do we have too??!”

How often do we fear suffering for Jesus–when actually God richest blessings and joy fall on those who are “counted worthy to suffer for His Name”. (Acts 5:41) Paul expressed how he wanted to suffer with Christ so he could experience a closer fellowship with Jesus through it. (Phil 3:10)

This life is too short to live “comfortably” here on earth. Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Heb 11:1 – 12:1) who have gone before us and found God faithful (even in great trial), let’s embrace their same faith–knowing that we have the same God. And may any wound or scar we receive along the way be counted as an eternal treasure. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

“Hast Thou No Scar?”

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendent star
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that encompassed me, I swooned;
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the master shall the servant be
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

Amy Carmichael,
Gold Cord: The Story of a Fellowship

Photo: Abby Kramer

St Patrick’s Day – Begin using it for the Lord!

Karissa passing out tracts at the parade last year

St Patrick’s day is a time when crowds line the streets anxious to be handed anything. Candy, pencils, toys, or tracts:). It is such a great opportunity. The tract we use explains the story of St. Patrick and includes the gospel. St. Patrick was actually a great missionary and the two letters he wrote (that still exist) are mostly quoting Paul. We simply go up and down the streets passing out the tracts and saying, “History of Saint Patrick!” It’s so much fun!! 🙂 It’s also a great time to get into one-on-one conversations with people who are just standing around.

Our “St Patrick’s team” from last year

Sharing stories and reports after the parade

If you live near Cedar Rapids you are welcome to join us! This year, we are meeting first at our church at 9:00AM for some evangelism training. Then we will divide into teams and head downtown. It will be an exciting day. Contact us for more info.

For those who live further away, you are welcome to use our tract and distribute them at the parade in your city. Click here to view tract. Don’t forget to print it on green paper (preferably light green).

Even if you aren’t able to go to a parade, you can still print off some tracts to pass out to those you come in contact with between now and the 17th. Stores are already making a big deal of St. Patrick’s day–so we should take advantage of it too!

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.

If you’d like to see reports from passing out tracts previous years at the parade, click here or here.