I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t

Photo credit: Bob Vonderau on flickr

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

One day during the course of his daily routine, Tim* came across a man along the street and they struck up a conversation. As they chatted, Tim learned that the man was “religious” and that he enjoyed reading books. A light went on in Tim’s mind—this man would be interested in reading a book about the Bible! Tim asked the homeless man to wait and hurried back to his car to get the copy of By This Name that he knew was on the back deck of the rear window. To his surprise, the book wasn’t there! Then he recalled that he had already given it away. Now he didn’t have anything to give to the man and the opportunity to share the Gospel with this homeless man was lost.

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I wonder if I just wasted a bunch of money

Photo credit: Liz West on flickr

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

Calvin* and a friend were going on a four-day road trip for a conference. They estimated that it would take four days by car to get to their destination and they planned on stopping for meals at diners and restaurants. As part of the trip, they loaded the car with copies of By This Name with the intention of giving them out at every place they stopped for food.

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Ever consider your handyman?

Photo credit: Chris Isherwood on flickr

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

I was having a chat with the handyman who had come over to my house to fix a leaky pipe. He had paused for coffee and we took a few minutes to chat. I learnt that he was more than just a handyman—he was a husband, father, grandfather, a house builder, a chicken farmer and a fan of folk music. He was not a stranger anymore but someone I knew. He was someone I could share the Gospel with. Just before he left, I asked if he preferred reading or listening to a story. He said he wasn’t much of a reader so I reached into my Be Ready Box (BRB) and offered him the audiobook version of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” as a token of my thanks. He accepted.

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I gave a book. Did it have impact?

I gave a book. Did it have impact?

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

We’ve talked about “Personal Distribution Points” and “Be Ready Boxes” and living a lifestyle of just giving away gospel tools. But does it have impact? Here are several testimonies from people who received a GoodSeed tool.

My colleague of 20 years
Tony* had witnessed to his colleague at work for 20 years, but to no avail. He then decided to give him a copy of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus.” To Tony’s surprise, his colleague read it twice! Tony said his colleague could explain the Gospel back to him very clearly, from A to Z. Because they were at work with many people present, they decided to get together at a later date. When they met, the man again explained to Tony the whole Gospel very clearly. Tony said, “I’ll pray for you.” He replied, “Why?” Tony said, “Because now that you have the information, you need to make a decision” to which the man replied, “But it’s black and white, and I’m in the white! You can pray for my wife and children so that they too will understand.”

She said “Wow” every five minutes
“I just want to thank you for your prayers for Irina*. The Lord is doing something incredible in her heart! The book you gave her for Christmas—‘The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus’—she has read it in one weekend. She kept turning the pages and saying ‘wow’ every five minutes… This book totally changed her perception of the Bible… She can see how the Bible answers all the questions that we might have. Now she recommends the book to everyone, saying it should be a bestseller and that all her friends in Russia should read it. Moreover, she started reading the Bible as soon as she was through with this book!”

A brand new believer brings another
“As you know, our church has ordered almost 1000 copies of ‘The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus.’ People use them for witness and follow-up. Very helpful!  Recently a believer from our church led a young woman with cancer to the Lord. He then gave her a copy of ‘The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus’ for follow-up. She read it and passed it on to a visiting unsaved friend who read it all in one day and got saved. PTL! She said, ‘I never thought I could get my sins forgiven.’  She is planning to come out to our church soon.”

Passing it on and impacting lives
“I met you at your sister’s funeral as I knew your [other] sister. At that sad time for you and your family, you gave me a book ‘By This Name’ by John Cross. It was such a great book in that it was so easy to understand and the history of the Bible and its correlation to other related events was fantastic. I enjoyed the book so much that I passed it on to my nephew’s wife; she passed it on to her sister and [the passing on of it] is on going. I wanted to tell you this because it has such an impact on the people who passed it on. So thank you.”

Many of GoodSeed’s tools are designed for just “giving away” or passing on. They explain the message of the Bible clearly and simply in an objective manner. The three key books that you may find useful to have on hand to give away at a moment’s notice are:

(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)

Are you ready to give the Good News?

t's so easy to share the Good News. Just give it away!

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

All believers are given the biblical mandate to live a lifelong lifestyle of being ready to share the Gospel at a moment’s notice. This sharing doesn’t happen by accident. It starts with us cultivating a deliberate lifestyle of being ready so that when God puts into our lives the opportunity to share, we won’t miss it!

Over the years, the GoodSeed staff members have found that giving a person a book, audiobook or DVD is the simplest way to give someone the Gospel. In under a minute, we can give someone a well-developed tool that will explain the Gospel, step-by-step, story-by-story, to a person with absolutely no understanding or knowledge of the Bible. Through giving away, we have seen so many people come to put their trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation. Being ready to give away a gospel tool requires some very simple planning: 1) Identifying your Personal Distribution Points and 2) Preparing a “Be Ready Box.”

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Don’t rush Advent–or the gospel

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Candles

“Haste makes waste.”  We’ve all learned that some things just aren’t worth rushing.  Celebrating Advent is one of them.  Sharing the Gospel is another.

Advent is a slow and purposeful celebration. It cannot be hurried or abbreviated.  It is more like a buffet than a drive-through.  Each week’s candle kindles a new truth: hope, love, joy, and peace. The light of one glows onto the next until the final candle, representing the Saviour born in Bethlehem, is illuminated. If we rush through the holidays without taking time to reflect on these truths, Christmas loses its significance.

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Jesus who?

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Teacher, you swore!” Mrs. Barclay had just begun to read the Christmas Nativity to her third-grade class when Lisa, a bright little girl in the front row interrupted. It took a moment before she realized Lisa had never heard ‘Jesus Christ’ as anything but profanity.

(Fast-forward ten years…)

Now a college sophomore driving home for Christmas, Lisa squints through the windshield at a billboard protruding from a field. Silently the sign’s letters form on her lips as it whips by… “Jesus.”

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Give the gospel. Then what?

Giving a Christmas giftFor the past few Christmases, many people have taken the opportunity to share the Gospel by giving friends, neighbours and co-workers copies of What are Christmas and Easter All About? Using “Easy-English,” this fully-illustrated booklet has been a real help in explaining the core message of the Bible to people with absolutely no Bible background.
Praise God for some of the stories we’ve heard of people who have believed the Gospel simply by reading this booklet. One family received it as a gift at a Christmas concert and it had a huge impact on them! (Read more about their story.)

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Christmas can be weird!

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Christmas decoration

“Christmas time can be weird! What other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?” ~Unknown.(1)

How did all the holiday weirdness begin? Some point to the ancient Druids and their mysterious winter solstice rituals. Others insist it was the Romans who first decorated with evergreen boughs. There’s also debate between the Scandinavians and the Germans as to who first brought a mid-winter fir tree indoors. One legend tells of Martin Luther who on a snow-covered Christmas Eve around the year 1500, decorated a fir tree with candles and read the Christmas Story aloud to his children.

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Do Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 speak of Satan?

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Books covered:
The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus: Chapter Four, Section 1 “I Will”
All that the Prophets have Spoken: Chapter Four, Section 1 “I Will”
By This Name: Chapter Four, Section 1, “Two Ways”

Do these passages speak of Satan?
In a day and age when the Scriptures are often mangled and twisted out of context it is important that we know why we teach what we do concerning Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. We do not want to allegorize or read a deeper meaning into a passage unless the passage is clearly intended to be understood that way by the original author. We also recognize that some Bible scholars would take a different viewpoint on these passages and this is reflected in some study Bible notations.

In writing The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, the goal was to get down to the basics without being sidetracked on some of the exegetical challenges that exist. There are certain parts of Scripture that are harder to interpret and we would put Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 into that category.

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