Upcoming Conferences and Misc. News

20130424_164851_20989 We decided to do a postcard this year to let previous Bright Lights attendees know about the 2013 conferences.

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We’d appreciate prayer for the Lord to work in girls’ hearts this summer, and that the Lord would continue to arrange the details of these conferences. Nickie is putting together a handbook for each girl to supplement the Strong in the Lord conference and we are excited about that project! Please pray that the Lord would use it.

20130417_155803_20949 Things have been busy around here as we are now gearing up for a few home school conferences this spring in Oklahoma and Texas. We’re grateful to some friends from our local Bright Lights group who have provided some extra help.

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Stephen turned 28 on April 16th. He’s pretty difficult to shop for, so he usually ends up with a very random assortment of gifts, haha.

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The other day Sarah and I Skyped with a Bright Lights group in New York. They had made a list of questions in advance for Sarah and it was fun to be able to get to know them a little. It was a special time!

20130414_165237_20937 A recent visit to a CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) international get-together at the University of Iowa reminded me of how much need there is for international students to hear the good news of the gospel. I learned that there are 1,500 Chinese international students just at the University of Iowa alone (3,500 internationals total at that university)! So much opportunity. Now we’re brainstorming about organizing a trip for international students to the Creation Museum.

20130420_193609_20977 Carl Kerby and his son, Carl Jr., were in the area and able to spend the evening with us the other night. It was a big encouragement! If you aren’t familiar with their teaching and resources, you should be! See their website here. The resource from them that we use the most right now is DeBunked a DVD made up of several short videos which are great to use for showing to unbelievers. If you’ve been to a Radiant Purity Conference, you’ve seen the 8 minute Ark Debunked video which answers the question “How did Noah fit all those animals into the ark?”

“Herein is My Father Glorified…”

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Last week we were blessed to host the Martin family in Cedar Rapids for a few days. They told us that they like to cram their schedule as full as possible, so Dr. Martin spoke 10 times in 7 locations in 3 and a 1/2 days while they were here. I could hardly believe it!

20130409_080945_20855 In every location they loved him (and his Power Points [smile]).

20130407_181100_20775 He spoke on Sunday evening for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then, even after another 30 minutes of eager questions, still no one seemed to want to stop.

20130409_131341_20877 It was fun seeing even kindergartners learning so much.

I felt very blessed to be able to tag along and listen to most of his talks. He covers so much information, I learned new things each time he spoke. I almost felt like his presentations kept getting more interesting the more I heard them.

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In almost every location the principal or school director talked to us about how they could get Dr. Martin to speak again “next time” for a longer amount of time. [smile]


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Stephen appreciated having Dr. Martin teach his Light Shop group.

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Sarah and I were excited to spend some time with Taryn and Mirren. In this picture they are leading a discussion with students at Emmaus Bible College called “Resting in God’s Promises: Finding Fulfillment in the Seasons of Singleness.” We love Taryn and Mirren’s ministry mindset, Christ-glorifying joy, and good insights.

A verse that was resonating in my heart after the Martins left was John 15:8 which says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” The Martins choose to pour themselves out day after day to strengthen believers, and the eternal fruit that is being produced for God’s glory will one day be seen.

On that note, recently I’ve seen the hand of God working in people’s lives in some extremely clear ways. It has reminded me that though there is much of the Lord’s hand we may not see right now, He is working. He is answering prayers! May we praise Him as we ought, and never stop abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor 15:58)!

“…And Having Examined Him…”

Last Sunday, my dad spoke for Resurrection Sunday on Pilate’s examining of Jesus and Jesus’ identity.

20130331_140432_20744 Our friend, Gloria (right) is a part of our church and attends the University of Iowa. She invited her friends to come to church today and we had a very nice time with them afterward.

“Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, ‘You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him …'” (Luke 23:13-14)

Dad’s 4 Questions

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My dad went to Iowa City to witness to university students on Good Friday. He developed a four question plan to start conversations with the students. It worked pretty well! I just tagged along. Here’s what he did:

Walking up to people sitting on benches, he’d hand them a little paper called, “Good Friday or Bad Friday?”

As they took it curiously, he’d ask, “Is today Good Friday or Bad Friday?”

This broke the ice.

The he continued, “Can I ask you a couple Easter questions?”

Almost everyone agreed.

“What’s the Passover?” my dad then would ask.

Some people already knew, but most didn’t. This gave my dad the opportunity to share the story of the lamb’s blood on the door — a foreshadowing of the death of the Lamb of God (which we remember on Good Friday, and, hopefully, every day of the year).

“The third question is: ‘What is truth’?” my dad would continue. The students’ answers to this question would tell us a lot about them.

Dad would then explain that truth is “the standard by which all else is measured.” And … that ultimate standard would have to be the Creator Himself! (What/Who else could it be?) Jesus is the Creator. Jesus said that HE is the truth. One day we will all stand before that “Standard” to be judged.

This led us to the 4th question: “How good do you have to be to go to Heaven?”

We had a lot of interesting conversations. Some were more open than others, but most appreciated the talk.

I was reminded that having a PLAN to start conversations (such as a similar series of questions) is often very helpful. It gives confidence and keeps the conversation on the right subjects. Using a holiday makes it even more natural.

The next day we did something similar and used another question. We’d say, “Jesus, who rose from the dead, will someday judge the world. What can a person do to prepare for that day?” It’s a way to move from the topic of the resurrection to the topic of our urgent need to be saved.

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I walked by this girl, Ann, who was sitting on a bench reading her marked-up, beat-up Bible. Good sign =) I thought. We hit it off right away, and I learned that she was involved in leadership with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). She’s passionate about evangelism and was telling me about the various ways they share the gospel. I was really grateful for the Lord’s hand in making our paths cross.

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Simultaneously, my dad became friends with this young man from Albania and they had a long talk about the resurrection and the gospel.