I never had the courage to read the Bible

 

Reading FieldnotesMarion* had read little of the Bible during the 20 years she had been away from church. She felt it was too daunting. Recently, however, she started going to church again and even offered to help prepare the meal for a session of a marriage course. To thank her for her effort, one of the leaders, Kat, gave Marion a copy of Fieldnotes, GoodSeed’s annual compilation of testimonies.

Reading through the book, Marion was struck by the stories of those who began with no knowledge of the Bible but, by the end of each account, had come to faith in Jesus Christ.

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Video preview for “By This Name” Interactive Edition

We live in a world where spirituality is in and the Bible is out.  God is anything we make him out to be and a growing majority believes that he is nothing more than an impersonal force.

Utilizing a seldom used, but solidly biblical method, By This Name powerfully sets apart the God of the Bible from all other forms of spirituality, all the while answering two questions: “Who is Jesus?” and “What are the cross and tomb all about?” It establishes the authority of Scripture and gently compares the biblical worldview to other worldviews in an objective, non-arm-twisting way.

 Supplement your reading by watching video clips accessible via the web and DVD.

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Introducing the new “By This Name” Interactive Edition and Leader’s Guide

By This Name leader's guide and interactive edition

By This Name is our premier evangelism and discipleship resource. We are pleased to announce the launch of two new books in this family: By This Name Interactive Edition and By This Name Leader’s Guide.

In today’s world, many adopt their own brand of spirituality to make God out to be anything they want. A growing majority consider God to be an impersonal force. As believers, we often wonder how to respond to these worldviews.

By This Name utilizes a seldom-used but solidly biblical method to set apart the God of the Bible from other forms of spirituality, all the while answering two questions: “Who is Jesus?” and “What are the cross and tomb all about?” It establishes the authority of Scripture and gently compares the biblical worldview with other worldviews in an objective, non-arm-twisting way.

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A scene straight out of the book of Acts

A scene straight out of the Book of ActsIn a quiet German city, the Monday night study had come to an end. Fourteen participants had been coming together once a week for fifteen weeks. Several were believers who had wanted to learn more about the Bible. Others were accompanying friends who had never read the Bible before. In this gathering were Germans, Russian-Germans and Italians. And in all the weeks that the group met, no one dropped out.

There was nothing new or radical in what was taught. The study leader simply used the German edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus to take the participants though a simple and coherent explanation of the gospel message. For many in the study, they heard the gospel clearly for the first time.

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That’s not going to work

Storm clouds

Anne* grew up in a family that was fairly religious. Her mother would read and teach the Bible to her four children. Anne remembers Mom rousing the children early on Sunday mornings to get them ready for church service.

But as she grew up, Anne fell away from Sunday school and, by the time she reached high school, she had dropped out of church. The crowd she hung out with were troublemakers. They introduced her to alcohol and she ended up getting into trouble with the law. Though there were people who cared enough to ask her why she was walking this path, she turned a deaf ear to them. She simply didn’t care to listen or to change.

Fast forward to her adult years. By now, Anne had married twice, ending up with a daughter and five step-children. With so many young ones to care for, she tried to clean up her life. Anne modelled her mother’s behaviour—she took the children to church, started reading her Bible and did her best to be a good person.

When her daughter was baptised, Anne felt a strong desire to find God. But how? She had thought that being a good person—helping others and doing good things—would make her acceptable in God’s eyes. But there was a nagging doubt in the pit of her stomach that she wasn’t succeeding. However she didn’t know where to find answers.

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Counselling with “By This Name”

Worldview Rethink Visual Aids organizedAs a church counsellor, Stephen* encounters Christians in all manner of difficulties—couples facing marital problems, people who are suffering depression, others with addictions of all kinds, even a few who are suicidal. While the challenges that his clients face come from many diverse sources, one common theme he’s discovered is a lack of understanding of who God is. Stephen is discovering that more and more, people today—even Christians—do not know much about God. Their knowledge of God’s character—his sovereignty, holiness, power, love—is very limited, or worse, incorrect. As a consequence, their lives are filled with little hope. They have a low view of God.

Additionally, many clients believe that they can make themselves right before God. They strive to act right, speak right and live right. They fail to understand the power of sin in their lives and how, on their own, they cannot lead lives acceptable to God. They have an unbiblical view of their human nature.

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Sharing the gospel with the seeker, the confused and the hardened

TERM SeminarIn today’s world, many of our friends, neighbours and family are not familiar with the Bible. How do we share the message of the gospel with clarity if they don’t have foundational information like who is the God of the Bible and what is he like?

And in churches, how do pastors and leaders help their congregations be equipped to share the good news to a community that may be indifferent or hardened to yet another gospel presentation?

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The architecture of “The Story that Matters”

Architecture

Question: Can you tell me how The Story that Matters was written? It seems like such a short booklet. Can it explain the gospel clearly?

Answer: Here’s some background to the booklet that may help you understand its architecture and purpose. The Story that Matters was created with at least three important considerations.

First, the concise nature of the booklet enables it to be used for mass distribution or as a give-away on a personal basis—this for less than the cost of a greeting card.

Secondly, the booklet was designed to be read in under an hour. We did this to appeal to those who may not like reading but will read a small booklet. To achieve a quick reading time, we had to balance an accurate and sufficient gospel presentation with a succinct word count. If you have read one of our bigger books like By This Name, you will see that we do have resources that explain the gospel message in much fuller detail. ForThe Story that Matters, we were conscious of every word. So we distilled the good news, doing our best to ensure that the key concepts were explained without adding bulk to such a small booklet.

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Thanksgiving: our international office building is fully funded!

GoodSeed: Olds BuildingIt is with real joy and thanksgiving to the Lord that we can inform you that, as of June 30, we were able to deposit in the bank the balance needed to purchase the office building in Olds, Alberta. In the last two years we have witnessed an outpouring of generosity that has amazed us. You have been part of this project and we want to say a heartfelt thanks. We look forward to the Lord’s continued leading as we use this building for His work.
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How do I share the gospel with a young lady who has difficulty reading?

Woman reading bookQuestion: I gave a friend one of your books but I’ve since found out that she is dyslexic. Can you suggest how I can share the gospel with her?

Answer: An audiobook would be good for your friend and, depending upon her background, we have several that might work for her. We currently have these (with more being developed):

In addition, here are some additional suggestions.

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