What the Bible Says About Death

Halloween is a great time to spread the gospel. It’s such an open door. People are already thinking along the lines of spirits, death, and ghosts.

This year, my dad wrote a little tract on “What the Bible says About Death.”

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The tract is purely Scripture and we are excited about using it this year. If you’d like to use it too, please click here. Just print on both sides, cut in fourths, and fold in half.

Here’s what the inside of the tract says:
death tract text

Daughters of Destiny Camp

20131023_063504_23502 Last week Sarah and I spoke at the Daughters of Destiny camp, held once a year at Mountain Top Youth Camp in the hills of North Carolina.

20131023_120454_23507 It was a very beautiful camp! The lodge was built right at the top of a hill with a great view.

20131022_162648_23493 The sunsets were beautiful.

20131022_185236_23495 There were 60 girls, a very nice size because we had the chance to actually get to know each other over the course of the week. We were encouraged by their hunger to grow in Christ, their diligence in note-taking, and their enthusiasm about what they were learning.

20131025_091759_23553 A variety of classes were offered during the days, taught by several moms and older girls. One was a sketching class, pictured above. Some of the other classes were clay sculpting, herbs 101, Scripture study techniques, hair cutting, paper making, weaving, puppet ministry, and creation evangelism.

20131022_122041_23472 On a hike up the mountain.

20131025_170239_23576 The camp ended with a banquet and a “sacred music concert” performed by the girls. The theme of the evening was “the Lord’s love for us” and it was a very special night. Sarah concluded with a chalk talk. (And praise the Lord, we got our travel easel set up and taken down without dad or Stephen with us!)

Some of the girls have come to this “Daughters of Destiny” camp every year since it began — nine years ago! They testify to the dramatic encouragement it has been throughout their teen years. In addition to the teaching they receive at the camp, the friendships made with other like-minded girls is a gift they enjoy throughout the year.

“I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise … The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever…” (Psalm 138:1,8)

St Cloud, Minnesota, Bright Lights Conferences

20131015_160034_23373 There were some neat answer-to-prayer stories about “getting the word out,” and we were grateful to the Lord for those He brought.

20131015_160443_23375 Singing “I am Your Shield”

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20131015_160520_23377 The Counselor skit

20131015_160604_23379 Picking up nametags

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20131008_092615_23149 Staff devotions. John 15 was our theme chapter for the week.

bro-sis st cloud copyThe “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends” session.

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20131009_092533_23181Stephen does about a hundred things back there… I couldn’t name them all if I tried.

20131009_101948_23423 The guilty consciences, trying to convince Bekah that she doesn’t need to confess her sin.

20131009_114249_23209 Here are our two kitchen heroes from the week. Kelly served 3 meals a day to all 40 of our staff, and Mrs. Kramer did the conference snacks… and not just any conference snacks! She made homemade applesauce (9 gallons in all) and other homemade items. Her daughter Abby is getting married this weekend, so we are especially grateful that she still took the time to help with the conference!

20131010_134607_23258 Some very encouraging things happened on our free day, including an hour of witnessing at the mall and many good conversations.

20131010_141158_23265 My dad spent the whole time talking with a friendly Muslim man. Sounded like a very interesting conversation.

In conclusion, it was a great week. We praise the Lord for the beautiful things He did and taught us. Thank you to anyone who was praying.

Bekah’s Birthday Song

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Today is Bekah’s birthday! We surprised her with a little party Saturday night after the conference. Here’s the little song we sang for her. Even though there are a lot of inside jokes, I think you’ll still enjoy it.

Bekah, Bekah, we all love you, full of laughter, full of sun
Faithful, long term Bright Lights member, you provide us so much fun
When you enter, you bring laughter, you bring joy, you make a splash
We are thankful for your friendship and your secret chocolate stash!

Bekah, Bekah, make us coffee, you don’t measure, it’s okay
We have grown to kind of like your simple, tasty, random way
You could use the coffee maker, aero press, or moka pot
French press, or the Keurig maker, make it strong and make it hot!

9:00 we meet at office, ready for the day to start
It has been a two-day weekend, we can’t bear to be apart
We just miss your cell phone singing, tigger boings and little sounds,
More than that we love your laughter, little jokes and friendly bounce.

Phone is ringing, won’t stop ringing, all you want to do is yawn
Coffee filters down to zero, and the precious cream is gone!
Where is Hannah when you need her? Tia’s gone to family camp.
Grace is talking in the bookstore. Stephen, did you take a nap?

Nickie, are you always busy? Sarah’s door is closed the most.
And of course, like every morning, Mr. Mally burns his toast!
Packing orders, finding labels, post office is closing soon
Is it 5 O Clock already? I thought it was only noon.

Think of all our conference memories: stubborn horses, cowboy boots
30 hours without sleeping, and your favorite—durian fruit!
Think of all the Asian cooking: fish eyes, squid, and sea weed bites
And your favorite from Australia, that delicious vegemite.

If you ever get discouraged, think of all your favorite things
Target shopping, purple pillows, coffee mugs and cell phone rings,
IMing Nickie, when you should be working, playing dumb games on your nook
Don’t forget what you have written in your “I am Awesome” Book

Bekah, Bekah, Happy Birthday! Hope that you can really thrive
With the new responsibilities now that you are 25!
dusting your cubicle, learning to drink tea, and with the printer make amends
Bekah, Bekah Happy Birthday! Blessings from your loyal friends!

On a more serious note, thank you to everyone who was praying for our conferences last week! I will post some more pictures soon.

Here are a few things going on today here at our office.

20131015_133823_23372 Sarah and I practicing putting together the travel easel that we will be using next week at a girls camp in North Carolina. (Trying to prevent potential disasters from happening since we will not have our normal technical assistance along! [smile]) We only broke down in tears once, lol, but those were tears of laughter. I think we have it figured out now.

20131015_154710_23408 Since we were gone last week we had quite a few packages of materials going out to many Bright Lights groups today! My Grandpa packed almost all of them. We are VERY grateful for him.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

Prayer for Tonight

We are running Bright Lights conferences in St Cloud, MN this week. The “Strong in the Lord” conference went very well, and the Radiant Purity conference starts tonight. It’s looking like it will be a pretty large conference (there are over 400 registered).

This area of purity is a topic that young people are struggling with SO much! Please pray with us that the Lord uses this conference to convict, comfort, encourage, inspire … that the Word would be clearly taught and understood, that girls would respond to what they hear, and that fruit would remain for God’s glory. Thank you!

20131009_091225_23168 Hannah sharing a testimony during the Strong in the Lord conference a couple days ago.

“Extreme Weekend”

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Last weekend I attended a youth Bible retreat (connected with my church) called “Extreme Weekend” at Willowbrook Bible Camp in Des Moines.

20130929_100704_23103 Mark Woodhouse (an elder at my church) taught through the book of 1 Thessalonians over the weekend.

I had never noticed how every chapter in 1 Thessalonians points to the return of Christ. It is so important that Jesus’ return is consistently on our thoughts! It encourages our hearts and purifies our lives (1 Thess 4:18; 1 John 2:28)!

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Saturday morning we went to a mall to share the gospel. Most of us started conversations by asking people for prayer requests. We’d say something like this: “Hi, we’re from a Christian Bible camp and we’re here at the mall today asking for prayer requests. We are going to pray for them this afternoon. Do you have any requests?”

Often, this led into a longer conversation. We saw many divine appointments.

20130928_111019_23079 I walked up as Josiah and Homer were praying with two guys, so I snapped this picture. Apparently they had a great conversation and one of them was very close to coming to Christ.

20130928_123321_23082 Eating lunch and sharing stories about the witnessing encounters God gave.

20130928_140034_23086 Back at the camp, Tony wrote the prayer requests on the board as we listed them.

20130928_141235_23087 It was fun to hear about the different approaches people used. One guy in our group hung out near the hunting section at Scheels because he found that to be an easy place to form friendships with kindred spirits and then witness to them [smile]. One girl got a manicure so she could have a conversation with the girl doing it. Another girl noticed a lady checking out a bunch of romance novels at Barnes and Noble and was burdened to talk to her about Jesus’ love.

I met an Indian girl who had only been in the US for 2 months. She said she had two Christian roommates that had been doing a Bible study with her! She told me about how they go phrase by phrase explaining what each verse means. It was exciting to have the opportunity to build on what the Lord is already doing in her life. (I left her with a “God of Wonders” DVD. If you are looking for a good evangelistic give-away DVD, this is definitely one I’d recommend.)

20130928_142856_23092 Praise the Lord for a long list of prayer items!

20130928_143015_23096 Praying for the requests mentioned, and, more importantly, for the people who told them to us.

20130930_142400_23104 Good-bye pictures with new friends!