University of Iowa

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Answers in Genesis now has a new little 4-to-a-page postcard available for distribution. Yay! (So nevermind about my last post. [smile])

A few hours ago my friends Nickie, Nolia, and Luke and I passed out several hundred of these postcards at the University of Iowa. There was a lot of interest! All we had to say was, “Did you hear about the debate between Bill Nye and–” and many were immediately interested in our postcard. Several stated how much they loved Bill Nye.

I found it interesting how stores that normally would be opposed to advertising something Christian were very willing to help us advertise this debate.

When I explained to a man who worked at a liberal bookstore what I was advertising, he said, “Well I want one!” taking a postcard with intrigue. Then he offered for me to put a whole stack at the front of his desk. “Then people can take one as they go by,” he told me.

I wish I had more time to put up posters in all the stores in town.

More Ways to Spread the Word

Although Answers in Genesis has promotional materials available for the debate, I wanted something that could fit 4 to a page and still be readable. So I tweeked their design and put together the sheet below. I thought I’d post it in case anyone else wants to use it too.

Tomorrow we are going to try to go pass out 1,000 of them at a nearby university. It’s very easy for people to go and watch this online.

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Click HERE to print these. (If anyone would like it to say 6pm CST instead, let me know and I can e-mail you a different PDF.)

These are also great to give cashiers or basically anyone … I was at the post office the other day and the man behind the counter exclaimed, “I love Bill Nye the Science Guy! You can watch this online? I might just do that! Thank you!”

Even though the debate is coming up very soon (this Tuesday) this may actually be the IDEAL time to let people know about it. People easily forget stuff like this if you tell them too far in advance!

Bright Lights in a Barn

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Last weekend we did a little retreat for the older girls in our Bright Lights group. We showed several DVDs by Leslie Ludy. The truths she shared seemed to really resonate–evidenced by the good times of sharing after each DVD! I know I was very blessed by them!

I especially appreciated her strong emphasis on being “others focused” — looking at Christ and pouring our lives out for others — but not being inward focused. The church of America is often WAY too focused on “me.”

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We are grateful for the many answered prayers and God’s provision during the weekend. One of the special parts was simply the location: “the barn” at Nickie’s house. Her family built it to use for ministry purposes. It looks like a barn on the outside and like a cozy living room on the inside. It was a perfect atmosphere for our group.

Nickie’s family came to a point several years ago where they were considering adding on to their house. Although they could have really used more space since they have a large family and only one bathroom, they decided to make a Matthew 6:33 decision instead and build a building next door that they could use for ministry purposes. They’ve put a lot of work into their ministry barn, and it’s going to be exciting to see how the Lord continues to use it.

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During the retreat, we were really glad for the TIME we had with the older girls to simply talk, eat, and get more acquainted with each other. At normal Bright Lights meetings there is just not enough time to have very long conversations.

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We split into two groups for our one hour of prayer (which we divided into 5 minute segments). We highly recommend doing this with groups, it’s a huge blessing. See sample schedule here.

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Most of our Bible studies on Ephesians 1-2 were in small groups, but for our last one we divided into pairs. Sarah printed a little list of things for them to do, such as look up the 5 times the term “heavenly places” is used in Ephesians.

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Hannah explaining the rules for the scavenger hunt that she and Shelby planned.

20140125_165710_26002 It’s COLD out here! [smile]

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For our final session, we watched a message by Leslie’s husband, Eric Ludy. We didn’t have time to watch the whole thing, but showed minute 28-60 of his message “Hold the Position.” It’s about holding firm our position in Christ, resisting the enemy, and allowing the Lord to develop patience in us as He uses the difficulties in our lives to strengthen us. It was a dramatic and inspiring ending, and the girls really enjoyed it. [smile]

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3)

“we … rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience. And patience, experience; and experience, hope…” (Romans 5:2-4)

“…count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work…”
(James 1:3-4)

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I’m often reminded of how fast time goes; how quickly girls grow up and move on in life. We have precious little time to invest in their lives. The decisions they make right now will greatly affect the course of their lives. Thankfully, if the Lord is their Shepherd, He will continue to guide and strengthen them … but may we take advantage of opportunities to share all we can with them! Time is short, and we need reminders to stay the course and run the race for His glory!

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)

How Many Ways Can We Use This?!

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I imagine that a majority of you are already planning on watching the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate on February 4. Hopefully many of you are already planning to live-stream the event for a group!

This morning as my dad was out shopping he had three different conversations with people about the debate.
“Have you heard of the big debate coming up?” he’d say.
Each person he asked responded with great interest, saying, “No, what big debate?”
“It’s between Ken Ham from the Creation Museum and Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
All three had heard of Bill Nye. Only one had heard of Ken Ham.
Then my dad continued, “It’s getting a lot of publicity because the creation/evolution issue is so critical. If evolution is true there is no standard for right and wrong. (People are just “animals” and we are all a big accident!) But if we are created by God, we are made in His image, for His purpose, and there is a standard for truth.”

Dad came back excited about his conversations and about the great “witnessing-conversation-starter” we have for the next twelve days! It’s easy to bring this up with anyone because it’s simply a news item. People like news and controversial debates.

We can share with people that the seating in the 900-seat auditorium sold out in 2 minutes because people are so interested in this debate! We can also share what today’s e-mail update from Answers in Genesis stated: “We already have registrations for an estimated 650,000 people attending in groups to watch the event.” (Wow, praise the Lord!)

And then, if people are interested to talk, we can then ask them, “Do you have any beliefs about the topic of origins and how we got here?” and pray that the Lord opens their heart to be willing to talk with us. Let’s not miss the good opportunity this debate provides us to speak of our Creator with people in the next week and a half. Let’s make the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16).

What you can do:
-Print out and carry the little postcards with you so you can give it to those you talk with (cashiers, bank-tellers, waiters, neighbors, etc.).
-Pray for open doors for conversations.
-Consider live-streaming the event. (In your living room, church, a local university, or a community center…) There is still time—we still have twelve days. Answers in Genesis has provided posters.
-Sign up at www.debatelive.org to receive e-mail updates.
-Pray for others who are live-streaming the event, and for fruitful conversations afterward. The other night I was talking to a friend who is live-streaming it in a large room at his college and he’s very excited about how the Lord will use it.

Some Highlights from the “Rise Up” Conference

20140102_104909_25810 Over the turn of the New Year, Sarah and I attended a conference in Tennessee called “Rise Up” – it’s a conference connected with our church. We were so refreshed by the fellowship. We were able to spend time with many friends and “friends of friends.” We also appreciated the depth in the Bible teaching (one of the main reasons we went).

20140101_215441_25793 There was an additional Bible study time from about 9pm – 10pm each evening for the young people on Ephesians 6. I’m now convinced that I do not think about the armor of God enough – each piece has such a rich supply of meaning for us! (In the picture above, “spokesmen” from various teams were sharing insights they had received through the studying the passage together.)

20131231_222126_25756 At 10pm, we had hymn sings … which was SO much fun because the singing was GREAT.

20140102_004023_25806 Late on the last night, four of us began talking about witnessing. More and more kept joining our circle until it grew to this group of about twenty. Though we didn’t all know each other, there was a bond as we were all discussing how we can be better witnesses (and better followers) of Christ. We just sat around answering each other’s questions, and I was so encouraged by the good insights shared and the zeal for the Lord in the group!

20140102_005912_25808 Around 12:30 am, someone mentioned, “I think we are supposed to be out of the hotel ballroom by now,” so we ended with a special time of prayer. I think I will always remember that spontaneous late night discussion.

I just looked over my notes from the conference. Here are a few quotes I jotted down during the sessions. They probably aren’t word for word, but hopefully they’re pretty close.

“In Acts, every time they had a problem they had a prayer meeting.” -Mike Attwood

“There are 530 million north Americans that need to be reached with the gospel in the next generation.” -Scott Degroff

“Our own personal relationship with Jesus must remain top priority. If we have that, we will remain unshaken in our Christian life.” -Roy Hill

“We cannot be filled with the Spirit and filled with self at the same time.” -Scott Degroff

“If my wife treated me the way the bride of Christ in America is treating Jesus it would break my heart. I am jealous on His behalf; I want His bride to love Him!” -Scott Degroff

“The enemy of usefulness is pride.” -Mike Attwood

“One of the best ways to encourage someone is to remind them of what the Lord has already said. That’s what the Holy Spirit, the Comforter (or “Encourager”), does (John 14:26).” –Lynn DeGroff

“Ask yourself ‘Am I going to be happy to give account to Christ of this past year?’ You cannot live it over. It’s done. And you will give account for it.” -Scott Degroff

“The term ‘evil speaking’ (Eph. 4:31) means ‘speaking down about the people of God.’… Have you ever found that you thought more and talked more about Christians the way Satan [the accuser of the brethren] does instead of the way Christ [who is interceding for us] does and been convicted about that?” –Scott Degroff (Also see James 4:11)

“If you stumble, instantly confess it and come right back to that place of intimacy with the Lord.” – Scott Degroff

“Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:9-10)