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EYES TO SEE (Evangelism… #2)

whiteuntoharvestIN GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY,






       Jesus told the disciples to start in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. We too need to start where we are, and pray for His Spirit to open our eyes to the people right within our path. Your field changes with life circumstances. I became a Christian when Steve was going through medical school, so my first “field” was my neighborhood and the wives of other medical students. When I had children, their friends were my next “field.” Each neighborhood we moved to was a new “field,” and I have also sought to minister in what experts call the “fertile field.” (More about that soon.)

Though some of you are rural, most of us have a neighborhood of sorts. When I did the cruise last year, the other speaker was Amy Lively, who has written: “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.”

Amy put hundreds of invites to a coffee for women in her neighborhood mailboxes. Twenty women

showed up. That led to an amazing ministry. Watch this two minute clip:




     James Engel, evangelism expert from Wheaton college said: “Common sense would argue that the best audience for evangelistic effort are seekers, who represent the fertile field.” There are two groups of people whose hearts tend to be more open to God than those of other people.  They are the “fertile field.” When I evaluate the people I have led to Christ in my life, most of them were in the “fertile field.”

Who are they?


Feeling downLast week our own Lizzy told of suddenly becoming aware of her neighbor’s deep need — and so they are reaching out. Several others of you chimed in on this truth — and Liz shared how a cousin in crisis called her. Then she had a divine encounter at her mailbox with an elderly gentleman who’d been hurt by the church sixty years ago and hadn’t been back. When she asked him how he was he told her he had cancer. And she hoisted the sail and asked him if he knew Jesus. It was right, it was appropriate — and he opened up and she is going to follow up. People in crisis are looking and need the lifeline only Jesus can give. I see this in prison — when I share the Word I can almost see it sprouting before my very eyes, for it is fertile soil. The other obvious fertile field is:



millenial-leadersNineteen our of twenty individuals become Christians before the age of twenty-five. Howard Hendricks said: “You know, we’re really not too smart. We put eighty-five percent of our effort where we will get fifteen percent of the results and fifteen percent of our effort where will get eighty-five percent of the result.”



Father, “lift up my eyes that I may see the fields white for harvest.” Alert me to people in my life in whom You are already at work. May we pray this without ceasing throughout the day.


  1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
  2. If you have anything to report to encourage the rest of in this journey, a way you are already sensing God at work, please share!


Prepare your heart with this:


3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field.

4. Read John 4:31-35

        A. In context, what preceded this passage?

        B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.

        C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does he give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?

        D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?

        E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What

            insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?

        F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel.” How did the Samaritan woman fit in that

                 category — yet how many did she reach?

       G.  Read Acts 8:4-8 to see where Philip went and what the response was. Thoughts?

5. Read John 4:36-38

            A. What is Jesus saying here?

        B. Give an illustration of sowing and also of reaping — if possible, from your own life or how you may have

                  labored hand in hand with another and rejoiced together.

I also want to say a word about when you feel you have hit a roadblock, for though you haven’t reaped, you have sown seeds, and as Ecclesiastes say, “Our own Shirley shared last Friday that she wondered if a friend she saw at a Christian concert might be a Christian or spiritually open, only to find out in conversation that this friend was leading a Buddhist group. Shirley felt discouraged, like she had failed. Yet that friend opened up to her about her beliefs, saying she had never shared with a Christian before. I was cheering — for it shows she saw love and empathy in Shirley — and Shirley truly listened. I believe some seeds were sown and am praying for this friend.

         C. What does Ecclesiastes 11:6 say and how might this be relevant to Shirley’s situation — and yours?

6.  Jesus prayed all night to ask God to show Him His disciples. As you kneel before the Father, where 

     does He move you to begin? How does He lead you to begin?

Thursday-Friday Evangelism Panel

This video is so valuable we will be watching it this month and again next.  Watch and then share your notes and comments.


7. Notes and comments.



8. Share what God is doing in your heart or in your life evangelistically. How can we pray?








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Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. 1.  what stood out?  Well, I am glad to hear about the Amy Lively book and will look for that.  I am the least good with meeting neighbors because I have always been single and have mostly lived in Apartment complexes, and keep to myself.  Recently, though, my church began participating in this movement (across the country) called praying4every home.  Here is the link: http://pray4everyhome.com/pray/  You plug in your address and email address and they begin sending you names from 5 homes in your neighborhood to pray for daily (that they eyes of their hearts will be open, if they don’t know Jesus, that God would drawl them to Himself, etc…)  After you pray the todays group, you click on the link in the email and that checks them off the list.  It continues for several weeks till you have prayed for a hundred neighbors and then it starts again, with that same group.  I have been doing that for several weeks now, so I’m seeing the names of many of my neighbors…so maybe God is using that to prepare me for another type of outreach to them?
    2.  I’ll just say briefly, I shared my answer to this at the end of last weeks!  Had a great opportunity with my 75 year-old Aunt Janet to share the gospel yesterday at lunch.  She is definitely a seeker but has mostly done her seeking for anything but Christ (Transcendental meditation, native American Indian beliefs, etc…)  Praying so much that God will drawn her to Himself and use anyone He can to work with Him in that. 
    (Dee, there are a couple of quotes up there that I think got a little messed up, see the one about 85% work on 15%, etc… :))

      1. I did see it, but I was o.k. my phone and couldn’t send an email. When I went back to copy the quote, it had already been changed.

    1. Oh Mary I love this idea. Thank you for sharing. I am going to try it.

    2. Mary!
      I am experiencing a bit of a complicated week, but couldn’t resist thanking you SO much for sharing this simple, simple tool for prayer!  I signed up immediately and am blown away by the concept.  Truly beautiful.  

      1. 🙂  I agree, Jackie R!  I’m so glad the man at my church who also has stage 4 breast cancer shared it with our entire church!  Trying to fill in the map across our entire country!  Not sure if other countries are involved or not, but that would be great!

  2. Looks like another exciting week Dee! No time to answer; off to church. Praying for those in St Cloud Minnesota and NYC due to terror attacks. 

  3. Dee, I think the James Engle quote should read “common sense would say…”  Though sometimes I don’t trust my own brain to be seeing things right!  I do have a bit of a learning disability and I definitely mess up every post I put in here, in some way!   If you fix it, feel free to remove my comment here. 😀 

  4. I realize I am not a very good neighbor. I want a ministry but at the same time want to stay away from people because “I don’t like them that much!” How can that even be possible?  How can I want to bring others to Jesus but yet stay away from them at the same time?

    1. Karen
      I too appreciate your honesty. I love taking my questions to the Lord in prayer. The other day I felt this feeling of hostility toward someone and I started asking the Lord what it was and started praying for the person. I am not sure of your background and if there is something in your life that needs healing but I know the Lord in prayer can reveal so much if we get quiet with him and I know if we ask Him to give us a love we do not have, He is so faithful in that too, I am asking for a compassion for the lost, Not sure if any of this is helpful and I certainly have my own struggles in this area at times as well  I think your honesty in sharing is a HUGE step.

    2. Karen–I so appreciate your honesty! There is a certain “cost” we pay to share the Gospel. I relate and am praying for you (and me!) right now that He would strengthen us to love our neighbors well. Glad you are here with us!

    3. Karen, when I read this I related so…then I thought of most of us on this blog, Introverts unite. 🙂 Last Friday the last place I wanted to be was at a loud, crowd filled High School football game but my son is in marching band. I enjoyed watching him and his friends but retreated to my car (safe place) and hung out until he went onto the field in the beginning and at half time. I was hoping I didn’t see someone I knew from my neighborhood because I didn’t feel like socializing-and I hadn’t washed my hair that day anyway so I felt drabby-lol! So at half time when I came out of my hiding place and went to the fence in front of the stands to take a video of my son, a neighborhood friend snapped my picture from up in the stands and then texted it to me and said, “I spy Rebecca” so I turned around and she was waving from up in the stands and I waved back. 🙂 🙂  I felt awful because I wanted to go up the stands and sit next to her to talk yet I just wanted quiet and even if I did I probably would need help getting back down. 🙂  Just to say, I can relate! 

      Soooo…how? I am praying that God would strengthen me in those introvert times to sacrifice my comfort to love as He did for me. I need to pay attention to the lies in my head about myself and others and then knock those lies out with the Gospel and then I can be more attentive to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing. I guess a lie would be anything negative about that person for that means I forget that I too am an idolator and like the woman at the well, He knows my wandering heart-every inch of every evil thing in my heart- yet loves me to the moon and back. When I think of the time He spends with me in my ugliness I am encouraged to spend time with others in theirs.  I was lost but He found me so the only trustworthiness, kindness, gentleness, and sacrificial love in me is Him in me for I am prone to wander and I can be oh so prideful, self centered and overly protective of my heart in regard to people. SO I am asking him for eyes to see, for a heart to genuinely listen and love for when He fills me with His love I will genuinely be interested in others.

      1. Rebecca this whole post is beautiful. Thank you for your honesty. I had an experience last month that I was praying for opportunities with my neighbors. That very same night a home across from me had a small fire. I so wanted to go out but my shame of being seen living in my new home ( due to my separation) by the police and fire depts some of who i know kept me from going out. The next day when they were outside cleaning up I went over and helped a bit and apologized for not being a very good neighbor. I still have not connected with them well and i am asking the Lord to show me ways how. I lived where I am for a few months not wanting to be seen. I am over that thankfullly but the shame still comes and goes having been the one to leave my home. I know the enemy wants to keep me down with shame so it is a battle to ask the Lord to help me fight that. 

      2. Oh Rebecca!  How I laughed to read your Friday night football story!  I laughed WITH YOU, not AT YOU, for I find myself “hiding out” regularly!!  I ask myself “How can an almost 60 year old woman hide from people who only want to interact happily with her??”…..I feel like a bit of a nut sometimes….but I know I’m a beloved nut who Jesus has great compassion on!!  You expressed “the way it is” so well!!  Thanks for that!  The comraderie along the way as we seek to spur one another on – and OUT of our comfort zones! – means so much.  🙂  

    4. Karen – I am amazed at your boldness, your humility in speaking of your people problems.  🙂  There are many, many days that I could echo your precise words!  I just returned from my home state and a 5 day extremely “people intense” visit…..my first day back I was like a zombie and desired nothing so much as to be a hermit….and even yesterday, my 2nd day back, I had to FORCE myself to go to my small group at church (which I love!), force myself to go and sit on the porch with my ailing daughter for a couple of hours afterwards….and those are the people in my life that I certainly DO love!  I think that the “secret” lies somewhere in the joyful sacrifice of falling so deeply in love with Christ that my own selfishness – DEEPLY imbedded in my soul – is displaced by the love and compassion of Christ Himself.  I fail in this daily.  Daily.  Sin has had it’s way with me and “bent” my life in so many ways….and yet, and yet…..He LOVES me lavishly, abundantly.  Meditating upon Him in HIs Word and praying HIs Word back to Him creates new creation change in me….and I find my feet going where I would not ordinarily choose to go!  🙂  And since we are being forthright here…..I sometimes find sacrificial love for my neighbors easier than sacrificial love for my husband, for instance!!  My own home and family are often the toughest challenges for me.  They are often my fields of defeat.  But how thankful I am that “His mercies are new every morning”…..

      1. Oh Jackie your whole post so real and so honest and your last few sentences struck my heart how I can relate. Does all of this make us Ragamuffins?

  5. Dee Thank you so much for this topic. I just came out of a week I felt so on fire and a week I felt I actually had purpose. On my way to see my daughter and her boyfriend and in all honesty I needed a Holy Spirit nudge. One thing I have been discovering this week and have to confess is my “self centeredness” with “my time” and a bit of complacency and I believe the enemy will even feed those thoughts. I have been having to do spiritual battle with that and rising above my feelings. I am praying about my time with my daughter praying with expectancy of something new and fresh.
    Love the little video and shared with my walking buddy as we have prayed for our neighborhood together wondering what we could do. I am so excited!!!

    1. oh LIZ–your words here, such WISDOM:my “self centeredness” with “my time” and a bit of complacency and I believe the enemy will even feed those thoughts”.
      I am convicted of my own ickiness, yet inspired by your enthusiasm! thankful to Him for you

  6. Dee,
    We have a Bed & Breakfast in our home and have met people from all over the United States, Canada and the world  (Scotland, France, New Zealand, the Philippines, England, Lithuania, Austrailia…..).    So, I have had some “hit and run” experiences with my “transient” neighbors, for they are my close neighbors, if only for a night.    “Hit and run” in that I may share a piece of my personal redemptive story, but never see this person again.     I tend to not say anything about the Lord to my guests, but sometimes it has come up naturally in conversations.   I also do “undercover” work, by placing small libraries in my guest rooms with a variety of books, including a Bible and various Christian authors, historical novels, books on local hiking trails, etc.      I also provide a few dvd movies for guests, including a couple of true stories of the hope that Christ brings.    
    This summer we had a wonderful guest for seven weeks.  She was here for medical treatment and over the course of time we developed a friendship.    We continue to correspond and I recently sent her a link to my story of the loss of our first daughter  that you, Dee, published here on the blog in February of 2015.  (Dee, thank you for encouraging me to write that.   I may never have done it, if you had not encouraged me.)
    I am not a bold witness to Christ.   I am often disappointed in myself about that.    I’m reminded of this Steve Green song, “People Need the Lord”.        
    (In the 80’s my husband directed a Youth For Christ ministry in northern Wyoming.   He is a born evangelist and saw many kids come to Christ.  He sang this song at our first fund-raising event.)   
    Everyday they pass me by,
    I can see it in their eyes.
    Empty people filled with care,
    Headed who knows where?

    On they go through private pain,
    Living fear to fear.
    Laughter hides their silent cries,
    Only Jesus hears.

    People need the Lord,
    people need the Lord.
    At the end of broken dreams,
    He’s the open door.

    People need the Lord,
    people need the Lord.
    When will we realize,
    people need the Lord?

    For me, it all boils down to whether I fear man or fear my God more.

    1. Nila What wonderful opportunities and I love how you have items available for them to read or watch. I loved hearing your testimony I pray it touches your friend.
      The apostle Paul prayed for boldness. I have been praying for that too. I think the enemy likes to rub that in our faces and make us hang our heads when we are not bold. Lets show him we are not defeated and allow the Lord to strengthen us in this area. I listened to Chip Ingram the other day and he shared he too gets that fear and how he had not reached out to his neighbor. It was very relevant to this study. We are not alone!

      1. Liz,
        Thank you for the Chip Ingram link!   I really like his teaching.

    2. May I have the link to your story, too, Nila?

      1. Miriam,
        Here’s the link where Dee wove my story into  a lesson on suffering:

  7. 1. Fertile fields.  My daughter works full time in youth evangelism, and I work in a cancer clinic.  I know people are in crisis when I see them, but I never thought of them as fertile fields before.
     3.  No matter how cheerful someone looks, they have grief or trouble on some level.  
    4e.  What people are more fertile?  The people in this Samaritan town aren’t youth, and there was no crisis, yet Jesus knew that they were and the woman were ripe.  I guess I’d say the ripe fie is where God puts you; where He is at work, regardless of how it looks in our eyes.

  8. I think this is great that you are doing training on evangelism, Dee. So many of us, me included, are so intimidated at the thought of talking about Christ to others, because we do not want to offend. I just listened to the video at the end – so much good stuff there. I don’t have time to read the books recommended, but wish I did. I am truly sorry that I cannot regularly participate on this blog at this time, but I am following along as I can. Life continues to be tough here. Just a couple of thoughts that stood out to me on the video: we have to have a great deep concept of God to do evangelism in an increasingly hostile secular world, and we have to fear God (love God) more than we fear the disapproval of people. If we truly love people we will risk the “pain line” (that is, the possibility that they will react with hostility) to tell them about the Person we most love in the world.

    1. I love this, Diane!

  9. The prayer stands out to me as I desire to reach those in whom God is already at work. I do need boldness as well as a quiet spirit to be available. I find that I rush from one plan to the next and this may be my self-centeredness driving me.
    I have an opportunity to share New Testaments to fairgoers on Thursday morning. Hoping that I will have opportunities there to listen as well for needs expressed and maybe people in crisis will respond. The booth is in conjunction with Child Evangelism Fellowship and I am happy to realize children and youth are a fertile field! Thanks, Dee, for these good guides.

      1. It’s been a busy week for me, but I really wanted to jump in and report on my morning at the Big E fair!
        I was blessed to be able to give out about 135 Bibles in 4 hours! Many  children wanted to do the craft with several workers, and I saw how true it is that children and youth are fertile fields. They all seemed to be listening and interacting so well and made salvation bracelets with the colored beads. Others will be doing this all weekend, and I have one more opportunity next week. Previously this would have been out of my comfort zone… I am so glad I left my old self behind!
        It is always a joy to interact when someone has questions and point them to Jesus. A young woman said, how do i find verses about grief so I pointed out an index. She said she accepted Christ when she was young yet turned away. I will be praying for her; her name is Sophronia so pray with me for her growth and comfort in her grief.
        Another resource I found this week on Haven Today with Charles Morris. He is interviewing Rico Tice and offering his book, Honest Evangelism!
        Hoping to catch up as I travel to the Maine coast for 2 days.
        Yes, Ecclesiastes 11:6 is a good reminder that each interaction with someone may bring them closer to the harvest of eternal life…Listening is important.

    1. Shirley, I agree! Dee encouraged me when she said youth are fertile fields. It is encouraging since I have teens at home and in the work I am doing at church in middle school. Pray for I am meeting with our new Youth Pastor Tuesday night. He wants to hear my ideas. I have a few ideas but am not sure for I am still getting to know the kids and the leaders so Pray.

      1. Praying for you, Rebecca. I am sure your ideas are going to be a blessing to the youth.

      2. Rebecca–SO thankful for this and praying for Tuesday! Keep me posted!

    2. Shirley this sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I will remind myself to pray for you. One of the first bibles I really studied from was a Child Evangelism study bible. It was so good for me as a new believer.

  10. What stands out to you from the above and why? 

    I have recently (the past 5 years) thought about my students and how I could show them Jesus each day. You claim that young people are one of the fertile fields. Although my job is taxing, both mentally and physically draining, I try to remember that God has me in this place to share His message of love.

    If you have anything to report to encourage the rest of in this journey, a way you are already sensing God at work, please share

    I shared a couple of stories on last week’s blog, but I will share again here. 
    This past week (or so) a student came to my desk and had a shirt on that said “The Andy Needham Band.” I recognized that band as a Christian band and commented to her how I liked them. We then had a conversation about where we go to church. This made me smile inside! 

    Another example is a student “lost” his lab paper and because he is such a conscientious student was extremely worried about the end result. I made the comment to him that when I lose something I pray to God and say, “God, You know where _______is, please help me find it.” I then release the worry to God (I told him this) and I’m not allowed to fret anymore. By the way, he has gay parents (dads). Hoping I show him Jesus’ love.

    1. Laura, it is wonderful that you are working with youth. These stories were inspiring and young people so need compassionate teachers.

    2. Laura ~ 
      Such encouraging stories here.    Thank you.   You are a light in a dark place.   

    3. Laura–you are in such a “fertile field” and I thank Him for putting you there, for your boldness, and especially your heart for these kids. You are an inspiration!

      1. I thought you all might want to know the student with the “lost” paper found it in his notebook when he got home Friday! I said to him, “See? No fretting allowed!” He laughed and told me he wouldn’t anymore!

    4. Laura you are definitely in such a fertile field. Looks like the Holy Spirit is leading you to see things and make those connections. I am sure you are a blessing and a light for many in your school.

  11. 3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field.
    I’m not sure how this relates to my “field?” 
    “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭14:13‬ ‭ESV
    Is it saying that we may not be able to convert everyone? That doesn’t seem too encouraging for our study! Not sure about this one….

    1. I like “so they may be open.” Don’t assume they aren’t. 

  12. What stood out is Lizzy and Liz’s updates! So encouraged to get to hear how God is moving and that we get to partake in prayer for their neighbors. I Love AMY. :))
    3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field.
    Even though they may put on a happy face inside they are aching and deep inside their joy is temporary-it is never enough for it comes from circumstances and so they have this deep ache for God because God put that in us. 

      1. Thank you so Dee! The lies are there-look at your oldest two and how you have failed, what do you possibly have to offer? That is satan.
        We are teaching our children/teens that the Bible is an instruction manual of how to live right and how you can impact others around you by living right. Yes it is but let’s start with Jesus-He is the Word..the Bible is ALIVE-living and ACTIVE..Yes we share the Gospel but it usually focuses more so on living right. I read a great article on trying to be “relevant” to our culture so much so that we are leaving the Gospel out and becoming “irrelevant”.  Our youth pastor and his wife are new. This is their first month with us. They have four young boys and have a new diagnosis of Aspergers in their oldest and one of the other boys has health issues so they are in the fire and can relate with us and other kids in our group with Autism/Aspergers. God is good and I believe it is by no mistake He brought them to our church! So pray God would give me HIS ideas and we would be of the same mind. :))) 

  13. 4. Jesus had just met the woman at the well and she recognized him as Messiah and ran to tell the people in her village.
    The disciples returned and asked Jesus to eat something. He responded, I have food to eat that you know nothing about.  They were puzzled by his answer. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
    In John 4:35a, Jesus gave the picture of the fields ripe for harvest.
    He instructed them “Open your eyes and look!”
    The Samaritan woman reached many people. So they were her fertile field (probably neighbors).
    In Acts, Philip went to Samaria where many were healed, evil spirits were released and great Joy was in the city.
    Thinking of Samaria, I think of people in our communities who are looked down upon because they are different, and
    think this, too, is a ripe field. They have experienced discrimination and feel hurt and bitterness.

  14. Well, I mentioned last week I have to follow silently these days, but I am so encouraged by all of you it’s too hard not to join in the party! My kids are home all week, so I’m missing my study & have some extra time to be here, which so blesses me. I got the “Discipleship Unlimited” brochure in the mail today (Linda Strom’s prison ministry that Dee helps with) and every month, it just blesses and inspires. What an incredible example of one of the most difficult, outside-of-anyone’s-comfort-zone places, and yet FERTILE land. I am so in awe of what God has done through Linda and her faithfulness.
    3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field. “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” 
    I think many times our nature is to try to cover up the pain. I know, and I hate this, but I sometimes become sarcastic when I am actually deeply hurting inside. It can be hard to be vulnerable, to trust. So I think the instruction is to not miss the pain someone may be trying to cover up, gloss over.
    4. Read John 4:31-35
            A. In context, what preceded this passage?
    Jesus had just asked a Samarian woman at the well, to give Him water. She questioned why a Jew would ask her for water, and He responded with “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:14), and revealed He knew everything about her, and that He is the Messiah.
            B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.
    They were concerned for His physical need of hunger, and did not get it when He said He is fueled by something greater than physical food.
            C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does he give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?
    There is a limited amount of time when we can reach out to lost souls. 
            D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?
    “lift up your eyes and see”—He is telling them to open their eyes, and look at the fields of people around them who need to hear the Gospel. 
            E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?
    Samaria was not a place Jews wanted to be involved. The fertile field will likely require me to go out of my comfort zone, to a place where I may not be immediately welcomed.     

    1. Your point E – WOW!  That really hits me.  It is a sad commentary on my life that I never want to be uncomfortable, yet God wants my comfort to be in Him and not in anything else.

      1. MaryB-humbled that you read my posts–and I so empathize! I hate being uncomfortable! Oh I am a creature of comfort! Sometimes I forget that, because I don’t think of myself as particularly materialistic (though I’m picky about bed sheets and toilet paper)–but my comfort idol runs much deeper than materials. I don’t like to feel out of my zone. And yet, as you said so well–“God wants my comfort to be in Him and not in anything else.”

    2. Lizzy I can so relate to your answer regarding Proverbs 14:13 I too can cover my pain pretty well with laughter. It helps stuff it down and can be such a mask. I also think of how many times I have heard of someone taking their life by suicide who did a lot of that as well. I think there are many masks people wear and sometimes even when we may encounter bitterness and anger we have to remember their is a heart under there just waiting to be touched by Jesus and our encounters may be just that opportunity.

    3. Lizzy – I get that same Discipleship Unlimited brochure and my thoughts echo yours!!  LOVE how Linda has RUN through open doors!!!  I also love the discipleship emphasis the Lord has led this ministry to tackle…..my own heart has been moving steadily over the past years from active prison/jail ministry to the re-entry of prisoners into “the world”……and discipleship is a key part of the picture!  I eat up everything I can read from this ministry for it has been SO used of the Lord!  

  15. Sharing the love of Jesus can use words, but usually it is our actions that get noticed.  Reading the Bible as you enjoy the outdoors has caused many a neighbor to ask what I’m reading. Yes, an open time for sharing!  That leads to them asking for prayers, again an opening to sharing.   We have to be very observant of those who ‘see’ us. We need to see them as God sees them with eyes of love.   

    1. Jean love these thoughts you shared here. We do need to see others as God sees them. Lord give us your vision. We had a great video last week on Empathy that Bing shared with us that was a great example of that.

  16. Read John 4:31-35
            A. In context, what preceded this passage? 
    Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well.
            B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.
    They are thinking He is hungry. He turns it around and is talking about being fed by finding the people who need to know about Him. He references a “harvest” but He isn’t talking about food, rather people to be harvested. I’m not sure I am explaining this very well…
    C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does he give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?
    He talks about the harvest; waiting for the “food” to be harvested. He tells them the time is right for the harvest now – no waiting. I believe He is explaining to them that He won’t be there forever, and they need to gather the “food” now.

  17. This summer I moved from a house in rural Connecticut, where I lived for 16 years, to an apartment in a fairly large city. Our building faces a park. Sadly, that park is filled with dozens of homeless people – definitely people in crisis, many entangled by terrible addictions, many mentally ill. Every time I walk out my front door, I see these people. It is impossible not to feel sorry for them but as the weeks have turned to months, I have begun to feel a sort of compassion overload. There are just so many! And what can really be done about this? I am worn out with being asked for money every time I go for a walk. Too, there is crime that comes with this situation – drug deals taking place right out in the open and the police are stretched so thin that the dealers know nothing will happen to them. Occasionally, there have been some violent interactions too, as the homeless population tries to claim their ground and get housed people out of “their” park. A couple of weeks ago, when I was walking with my husband, a young man marched up to us and stood directly in our path, forcing us to walk around either side of him. Nothing happened and no words were exchanged but it was obvious that he wanted to intimidate us.  
    Yesterday, as I walked through the park, I just tried to really look at each individual instead of doing what I normally do – averting my eyes to decrease the chances of getting panhandled – and thought about this study. Every one of these people is in crisis. Talks about a fertile field! But is this MY field? I wouldn’t know where to begin. And I don’t think my husband would be happy if I did. Or am I using that as an excuse? Because, truly, a lot of these people are pretty scary. I’m not sure what I am supposed to do here.

    1. Wow Marie, this is hard. The safety issue is huge I would think. Then again He loves us all and I believe if we have faith then He covers us. Do you see police officers around? I wonder if you could somehow set up a lemonade stand (might have to get a city permit) and give out lemonade to these people? I don’t know where this idea came from; perhaps He is speaking to me? If they came for lemonade you could give them a scripture too. You could write the scriptures on small pieces of paper like a fortune cookie. If you only did it once a week then they would look forward to it I would think. Maybe their hearts would turn and they would be kinder to others? I don’t know, your situation is difficult for sure. I will be praying for you.

    2. Marie do you belong to a local church where you can maybe bring this field to their attention and get others to pray with you to have the Lord lead you in what maybe you could do? I can relate being overwhelmed by needs. But we get overwhelmed in our own strength. God is never overwhelmed and He gives the strength and the ability to supply for these needs.

    3. Marie I so thought of your field in front of you when reading Acts 8:4-8. Lord help us to be your hands and feet and give us a willingness to go where the fields are ripe and ready. We pray for Your direction in this to lead and guide us each step of the way. Give us a compassion for those you bring into our fields and give us Your Holy Spirit boldness and anointing wisdom and discernement. Help protect us from the Evil one. Help us to be so connected to the Vine abiding in You as we do this work and that all that flows out of us is You! We NEED You in reaching out to those who NEED You.

  18.       4. F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel.” How did the Samaritan woman fit in that category — yet how many did she reach?
    She was messy—but humble, soft, receptive—she was hungry. She had tried many other ways (men, etc) and knew and she knew that only true nourishment would fill the craving within. John 4:39 tells us “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.
           G.  Read Acts 8:4-8 to see where Philip went and what the response was. Thoughts?
    Phillip goes to Samaria 3 years after Jesus had been there with the woman. Now they are receptive, eager to hear the Truth. When Jesus had sent out the disciples, in Matthew 10:5, they had been instructed not to go to the Samaritans. But now, after His encounter with the woman, and her spreading the Gospel, they are fertile ground.  I’m wondering if this is because Jesus unveiled their eyes and opened their ears, and now they are ready?
    5. Read John 4:36-38   A. What is Jesus saying here?
    Be faithful to what He has called me to do, and not focused on the outcome. I may be the sower. I may not see the harvest, but I am called to sow. 
    We are all a team, called to work hand-in-hand. It isn’t about any one of us winning a huge crowd—for it isn’t me, but the Spirit who woos. The focus must come off me, and simply be my offering. My act of obedience to what I am called to do: share the good news. 
    Does Hebrews 11:13 apply here? “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
            B. Give an illustration of sowing and also of reaping — if possible, from your own life or how you may have labored hand in hand with another and rejoiced together.
    Not sure if this fits, but it came to mind reading this. My very best inseparable friend from the time I was 6 until 16, was from a un-churched, somewhat anti-God family. Words can’t describe how close we were, matching our outfits when we were little—we both had different pain we struggled with and became each other’s closest confidant. But by the end of high school, our lifestyles were too different, and she claimed to be agnostic. I continued to pray for her, we always respected each other, but our interactions were sporadic over the years. Then about 5 years ago, I heard she had become a Christian, deeply committed to her Christ-centered Church. I cried. I still get tears. I rejoice with those who led her to Him, and humbly believe, as she says, our friendship sowed seeds in those early years. 
             C. What does Ecclesiastes 11:6 say and how might this be relevant to Shirley’s situation — and yours?
    Oh wow. This verse hit my heart—didn’t expect it like this really. I am called to keep pressing on, being obedient to share Christ, to teach my kids Truth. And then “at evening withhold not your hand”—have hope. Don’t give up. Believe that His Word will not return void, and I do not know when it may take root—so I must be ready, be open, be hopeful. I can so quickly get discouraged, cynical even. But I am commanded to stay faithful to the task before me, and hope-filled.

    1. Love your story about your friend, Lizzy!  You sowed seeds way back and I know that God used that as well as the waterer and harvester to bring her to salvation!  It is very hard and discouraging work sometimes to just the the sower and not the reaper, but when we look at it as team work (like you mentioned) we can rejoice with the angels for every soul who comes to Him, knowing that no labor for His sake is in vain. 

      1. Thank you Mary–and you are so right. Her story really is incredible. We’ve been able to stay in touch and I am just blown away at how He has transformed her heart. I honestly didn’t have the faith to believe it would ever happen…I think I needed this reminder just to encourage myself! When the focus is really on the person, not my “convincing” I can rest (a little better!) and trust that He may use me, but He’ll use others too–it’s not dependent on me! Sorry to ramble, but you encouraged me this morning with that other difficult relationship you know about. I can never lose hope! 🙂

  19. D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?
    He says to go and harvest the “food;” find people!
            E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?
    Samaritans were people the apostles would have avoided. Jesus is suggesting to them to get their “hands dirty” by speaking to these people. The woman at the well was obviously ripe. He was telling them to not be afraid, there are people hurting who are not like you who need to know about me. He wanted the disciples to know that some believers might be very different from them.
            F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel.” How did the Samaritan woman fit in that category — yet how many did she reach?
    I have not read that book, so I can’t really know the right answer to this question. I can surmise he meant that the gospel, the story of the good news was meant for all people. Yay! That would even mean those who belive in other Gods, religions, etc. this SO reminds me of my young missionary friend whose family lives on an island in the Comoros, where most are Muslim. Now that is brave to me!

  20. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    I liked Amy’s video about inviting neighborhood women to coffee. It reminded me of neighborhoods the way they used to be! My mom had a friend at the kitchen table two or three times a week. I do work 2-3 days a week, but when I’m home, and even when I’m driving around, neighborhoods appear empty. A lot of women work full-time these days and in the evenings, you see the garage door open, the car drive in, and the door shut! I used to be pretty good friends with my next door neighbor, Lisa, when she went part time, but when she went back to work full-time, I rarely ever see her. But actually most of the neighbors on my street go to church. I also agree that people in crisis are open. That’s when my own dad became open, after my nephew (his grandson) died.
    2. I’m afraid that I don’t have anything to report. Sometimes, I will text my son who is in med school and currently working in the ER that I am praying for him and I will share the specific things I’m praying about. Last week, I had prayed that he would bring comfort or reassurance to those he encounters in the ER and he texted me because our family friend was back in the ER that day. She’d had surgery the week before at the same hospital and Adam had visited her twice while she was there (she’s known him since he was 7 because she used to live down the street) and returned to the ER with a problem and she was so happy to see him and he hugged her. So, I told him that I had prayed that prayer. I call discharged patients on the telephone and occasionally the Lord will come up in conversation, or I will tell someone that I’ll pray for them, but it’s hard to make a connection over the phone with a stranger. Really unique is that all of my co-workers are Christians, so no need to share with them!
    Also, thanks for praying for my request I posted on FB; Adam arrived safely in San Diego last night.

      1. When I was working as a bedside caregiver I did have some opportunities to pray with patients. This “telephonic RN job” is temporary; a break from 26 years on the floors as a staff nurse. Our jobs are most likely going to be outsourced to a professional call center in Ireland by next year, so most likely, I’ll be returning to some sort of staff nurse position a couple days a week!

  21. 4. Read John 4:31-35
            A. In context, what preceded this passage?
    The woman at the well’s encounter with Jesus. She went to tell everyone and they were coming to Him.
            B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.
    The Disciples were concerned about the physical more than the spiritual-and the season was now as people were approaching. Jesus was showing them that the time to reap is now and this is why they were there. It is their food which brings delight to the soul eternally. It isn’t passing like the satisfaction from eating is.
            C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does he give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?
    That harvest time is here and that means it is ripe for picking and if they don’t pick it the time will pass and it will be no more. 
            D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?
    To look up and see the harvest is ripe.
            E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?
    These people were broken, bruised, out casts, and people Jews wanted nothing to do with. Those people tend to be more open because they don’t have the blocks in the way as others do who have man’s approval, comforts and control. 
            F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel.” How did the Samaritan woman fit in that category — yet how many did she reach?
    She was broken, an outcast. She was told her whole life she wasn’t worth much being a Samaritan woman. She is someone who was called the scum of the earth and yet she reached many. THAT is beautiful! The upside down Gospel! 🙂
           G.  Read Acts 8:4-8 to see where Philip went and what the response was. Thoughts?
    He went to Samaria and the response was amazing-they all listened and responded. It was very ripe field. 
    This reminds me of the fields he puts us/me in. My meeting with the Pastor went great and I think God is laying on our hearts the desire to help facilitate inclusion of kids on the autism spectrum-they are the least of these-the kids with disabilities, in my opinion, are part of the Samaritan group in America. That field is there and these kids need to encounter Him in us and it would help if we weren’t afraid to reach out due to communication issues. I was before I had children on the spectrum so I can relate. It can be awkward-very awkward but Jesus wants us to embrace that.  

  22. 3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field.
    I think this proverb speaks about the outside not always matching the inside. A person may smile and say “Oh, fine!” when you ask them how they are; they may even chuckle or laugh, but inside they are carrying around a deep pain or sorrow. I really think the video Bing shared last week about empathy portrayed it so well. I heard recently that a better question might be, “Tell me what’s going on in your life right now?”
    4. Read John 4:31-35
    A. In context, what preceded this passage?
    Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. His disciples didn’t witness it because they went to buy food.
    B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.
    To be fair, the disciples were clueless about what just happened! They’ve got food on their minds and they’re thinking Jesus must be hungry, too, and they want him to eat. Jesus uses food as a metaphor, saying that He has food to eat that they know nothing about. They don’t understand and wonder if somebody else already brought Jesus some food. Jesus explains that doing the will of His Father in heaven is “food”. He goes on to say that they should open their eyes and look at the field which is ripe for harvest! I have a feeling that Jesus’ encounter with the women “energized” Him and filled Him in a way that meat and potatoes couldn’t!
    C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does He give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?
    The harvest of the bounty of the earth when it’s all ripe and ready to pick.
    D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?
    Open their eyes and then they will see there’s no need to wait – the “fields” (people right there in Samaria) are ripe for harvest….their hearts are open to God!

  23. E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?
    The Samaritans were used to being looked down on. They weren’t in the popular group. There are a lot of people on the “fringes” of society….people who suffer from mental illness, a disability, a chronic illness, or perhaps have served time in jail. People who don’t live in neat, upper middle class neighborhoods. However, even those who appear to fit in in all the right areas might be hiding a deep regret, a past sin, or something that makes them feel like God could never love them.
    F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel”. How did the Samaritan woman fit in that category – yet how many did she reach?
    She didn’t have a “neat, clean life”. In today’s world, she wouldn’t be the respectable woman married for 25 years who was faithful to her husband. She was the one who was known to have a lot of men and was most likely gossiped about. A somewhat checkered past and present. But she went back into town and told everyone she saw about Jesus and they believed her and went to see for themselves. This sudden transformation really got their attention.

  24. Thinking more about “E”, I’m thinking we have to be careful about not “classifying” people too much based on their life situation as to whether or not they are in the fertile field….we are all expert “mask-wearers” and have been hiding ever since Adam and Eve hid from God. The saying is true that you never really know what goes on in someone’s home.

    1. I so agree too Susan. The field for the harvest has no classification. Although perhaps those with many worldly treasures and comforts might have such a reliance on those things and take such pride in that they may be harder to reach but  the need for Jesus in their lives is still so great. a void is still in their heart without Him. Our affluence in America is one of the biggest things keeping people from seeing that need. I think I just headed down a different trail with my thoughts:)
      Thinking though on the Ragamuffin Gospel just thinking of that movie “Ragamuffin” I so loved that movie I highly recommend it if you have not seen it.. Rich Mullins had such struggles in his life yet still he loved the Lord and was reaching people for Christ. How often might the enemy tell you we are not good enough to be sharing. 

  25. Thinking about vs 31-34 we can really get stuck on the comforts of this life and feeding ourselves with many things not just food while forgetting there are many out there starving spiritually. Jesus was sharing what would really satisfy and all they would ever need.

  26. 5. Read John 4:36-38
                A. What is Jesus saying here?
    That the reaper reaps the harvest for eternity that the sower worked hard to build and so they can rejoice together in the reaping.
            B. Give an illustration of sowing and also of reaping — if possible, from your own life or how you may have labored hand in hand with another and rejoiced together.
    At work, God brought a friend into my life who I spent time with at lunch, and at her home. This was a sowing time. When we were first getting to know one another we went to lunch and she asked why whenever I talked about anything I would insert God into it. I told her that if we are to be friends she needs to know me and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t for He is my life and then God led me to give my testimony. It surprised me how accepting she was for she struggled trusting people. After about 5 years in the car on our way back from lunch, she told me she is thinking about Jesus a lot lately. I invited her to come to our church and then God weaved some of my friends into her life and three of us went to her home a few times. A few years later I left my job to stay home with my boys. I called her after a few years to see how she was and the first words out of her mouth were, I get it. I said get what? She said, I get what you were saying about Jesus all those years. I said so you know Him now? She said yes. She and her live in boyfriend had a baby and were going to get married. They hadn’t found a church home yet and lived too far away to come to ours. I let my friends who sowed with me at church know and we rejoiced together!  I have tried to get in touch with her over the years and would love to hear how they are doing.

  27. Read this from a plane early in the week.  I do have a hard time digging in when I can’t hit this hard Sunday and Monday.  I’ve done some of the study quickly — and am encouraged that I can identify situations where I’ve been blessed to sow seeds that later turned to harvest.

    I started watching the video.  What struck me (ok, this is strange) at the beginning, both the image and in Tim Keller’s words, is Tim Keller and Becky Pippert.  He referred to how long ago she wrote “Out of the Saltshaker.”  I’ve taught about ageism for a long time, but have experienced it this year — primarily from one person, but a person who holds decision-making power.  There’s been nothing subtle about it; it’s been put in words to the point that colleagues have seen it (and it has happened to others and me before in more subtle ways) — I’ve been written off as too old.  I hadn’t grasped how much this has impacted me (because it doesn’t impact me in most circles) until I saw the beginning of the video.  I realized that this has impacted my thinking/attitude:  A gift to recognize this so that I can be more intentional in seeking the Lord, changing my thinking.

  28. On the run but wanted to add this quick thought. I am wondering if each time we feel fear or any other obstacle within ourselves that could be our indicator God wants to work  here and the enemy wants to stop us. I could look at those things trying to stop me in a whole new light to MOVE me. How exciting is that!!!!!
    Having lunch today with my sister in law and going to the Hillsong movie Hope will Rise tonight with my sister who agreed to go with me. Praying for God to be there and the Holy Spirits wooing in both of these visits.

    1. Oh I have wanted to see that movie and have never found a theater near me that was showing it!!!  I hope you have a great time, Liz!

      1. Mary I was very inspired by it. Praying for my sister and what she took away. I am sorry you cannot find a location near you. I just went to the site and found this info if you want to bring it to your location. Maybe that would be possible????

      2. Mary e this is the corrected link disregard what I posted as a link earlier. Are you still in Ohio? I saw 25 theaters in that state. Our state only had 2

        1. Humm…it confuses me because it looks like I have to put in a church contact person and commit to needing so many tickets, etc… I just want to see where it is showing in my area. Yes, I’m in Ohio, a far out suburb of Columbus.

    2. Will pray, Liz, for these visits!

      1. Thank you Shirley hope your day at the fair went well. I need to read what you posted:)

        1. The day at the fair was a blessing. I have great thoughts on the work of Child Evangelism. Many children wanted to make salvation bracelets and heard a clear explanation of the gospel. They are really open. I am looking forward to one more opportunity next week. It certainly is out of my comfort zone, but hoping to  connect with more hurting people.
          Love that video of Ray Boltz: Thank you for giving to the Lord!

      1. Dee the movie is a powerful sowing and watering tool. I was so blessed that my sister said yes to coming with me. They truly lift up Jesus.

  29. 5. b.  When I was in nursing school I quickly met a couple other Believers and we sat together as a group in our huge lecture halls (for classes like Anatomy, etc…) as well as hanging out together at other times.  One day this student came walking all the way down from the top of this lecture hall to the 3rd or 4th row where our little group sat and said, “can I sit with you guys?”  We were happy to have her join us, of course and we all became good friends.  In that friendship, the Lord provided frequent opportunities to share Him with her (Patty.)  One day she actually got really mad at me (though she was the one who brought it up!!!!) when she asked me how I knew I was a Christian and I shared my testimony with her.  She said, “Well I’ve done that!!” (in a very mad tone!) I said, “Okay, then I guess you are a Christian, Patty.  Only you and God know if you have truly given your life to him and if you say you have then I’m not judging you, I will take you at your word.”  About a week or two later, another friend in our group shared a gospel tract with Patty that made sense to her (I guess you could say, the eyes of her heart were opened!) and she prayed with that friend to receive Christ.  So, I did not reap the harvest but I guess I planted some seed, and I quickly saw the harvest and rejoiced in it. 

    1. Love this story, Mary.

  30. Ask God to open your eyes to see your field. Wow-such a powerful prayer! And when we do, He surely will take us up on it. I have not had an opportunity to talk about Jesus literally but I feel like I am seeing my work place and my students through a different set of eyes. I would say I am learning to depend on God more for how to respond to my students probing sometime provocative questions with regards to the body in a way that relates to my faith. I have not used the word faith yet. I am hoping that the different ways I present my arguments would open doors for individual talks later on where I can bring it up without ulterior motives of converting my students. I would say that the Lord is “staging the scene” and using me to be one of the links for my students introduction to the gospel. It is exciting to be a part of His purposes in this world. I just need to be faithful and continually ask Him to open my eyes to see the field.

  31. G.  Read Acts 8:4-8 to see where Philip went and what the response was. Thoughts?
    He went to Samaria. The people there were “unclean,” and it must have been difficult for him. But, he knew that Jesus would want him to be in the midst of even the seemingly worst people because they too could be saved. 
    5. Read John 4:36-38
                A. What is Jesus saying here? 
    I think He is saying that some will sow and not see results, but others will reap the benefit of what those have done; they will get to see the results. This is ok. Just plant the seeds.
            B. Give an illustration of sowing and also of reaping — if possible, from your own life or how you may have labored hand in hand with another and rejoiced together.
    The only thing that ones to mind to me is my friend/colleague who knows I am a Christian (she is not; claims agnostic), who went through a long battle of illness with her mother who finally passed a little over a year ago. She asked me about bible passages and hymns that might be nice at the funeral. I gave some to her and coached her on the conversation to have with her mother about knowing Jesus. Turns out her mom believed,  but hadn’t been to church for awhile. My friend has also watched me go through a myriad of troubles in my family, specifically with my daughter, that continually stretch me, and she can’t believe that I can somehow manage to survive it all. I tell her it’s because of Jesus that I can make it. She has not “converted,” and seems as stubborn as can be about it, but maybe I am planting seeds and someone else will reap later on?
    C. What does Ecclesiastes 11:6 say and how might this be relevant to Shirley’s situation — and yours?
    It says you need to sow seeds without worry about what will come of it. Shirley planted the seeds (a hard field indeed!) and she may not be able to see the end result, but God knows that she tried, and this person may turn to Him in the end. Same for me and my situation.

    1. Oh yes! Watering, of course ?

  32. To date I have been more of a sower and a waterer I confess in all of my ministry to kids I have been fearful to do any reaping. First of all it  is the Lord who reaps the harvest not me. But I take it so seriously that I have wanted to make sure a child really knew what they were accepting. I wanted it to be real. I may be over thinking this. I had the honor to pray with a grandmother and her precious 5 yr old granddaughter last Sun. Her granddaughter was having struggles in school. I told her how much God loves her and how precious she was and she so quickly soaked in those words. It was interesting to me that she kept calling me Elizabeth and not Liz. I meant to ask her grandmother where she got that. It actually sounded so beautiful to me ears to hear her say my real full name. We had an older gentleman comeand sing that song abouschool teachers teachers I do not know the name maybe someone else knows what I am talking about. But he pointed right to me during it and I have never met him before and I am currently not teaching. I will love being in heaven one day and being pleasantly surprised who I may see that maybe I never got to know hear on earth was impacted and I Beleive that will be all the better I do not:)

    1. Liz,  I wonder if you meant the Ray Boltz song “Thank You For Giving To the Lord.”    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFrdJ2V3r7Y

      1. Deanna YES that is it. Thank you for sharing:) Nice to see you! 

  33. Ecclesiastes 11:6 yes keep sowing do not get discouraged of the results if you are not seeing them. How beautiful actually when we do not sometimes and then later on find out something took hold and blossomed, just like a few stories we have heard her Lizzys  and Mary e to name a few and Laura I believe yours in process as well as all of us I am sure. Keep praying the Lord of the harvest will bring the laboroers for all we are praying for. What a sowing our prayers are!!!!! 

  34. 6.  Jesus prayed all night to ask God to show Him His disciples. As you kneel before the Father, where  
         does He move you to begin? How does He lead you to begin?
    I have been thinking about this all day today and I believe I need to start this conversation with my sister. I just don’t know how to begin….she was humiliated by a pastor when she was 16 and has never gone back to church. It was all driven by gossip among teenagers. So sad. Dee, how did you approach your sister who didn’t believe?

  35. The video panel was very good and I want to listen again. The thing that stuck with me most was that the biggest reason for our fear in Evangelism is the fear that God will not show up or something to that effect. Again I need to go back and listen but the gist of that made sense to me and really made me want to trust Him more and step out in that faith and watch Him show up!!!!!!!!! I KNOW He is faithful.

  36. I took three pages of notes from the panel-so much good stuff! If I were to summarize the theme of the panel to personalize it, these are what stood out for me:
    1. The root source of all of my fears for evangelism boils done to a God problem. I can be beset by fear because I doubt God will see me through my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. (Becky)
    2. Out of gratitude for the love of Christ for me should spring a love for others to tell them about Christ. I honor God when I share the gospel with others. (Erik)
    3. Jesus had no temperament-he was always appropriate in his responses. (Tim)
    4. I have to be ready to go deep with my friendships to the point of reaching the pain line. I am to be willing to sacrifice friendships rather than engage in pragmatic calculating superficiality. (Rico)
    5. I need to have a secure identity in Christ.

  37. 7.  The video-  Very excited about this!  I took a couple pages of notes but will just share a few quotes/thoughts:
    Tim Keller began the discussion by pointing out that for many, many years, churches in the USA have depended on “marketing” (having a good program to offer) rather than evangelism to grow a church because you get rapid growth.  Those days are coming to an end.  (I’m thinking maybe that is a good thing, that those days are ending?!)  
    Someone mentioned that, when we consider all the many fears people voice about evangelism (why not to do it) we really need to look at the “fear under the fears”  Which is basically “What if God doesn’t come through?”  We all talked about that with regard to letting go of idols.  Specifically I remember Rebecca voicing (with regard to filling the comfort idol need with eating pie in the evening) will God be enough???  Will He fill it, or will I be left alone, without the comfort I’m so longing for? 
    I liked the concept of having a “seeker Bible Study” and one question I wish someone would have asked is…do you do that one on one (just yourself and one non-Christian) or yourself with a whole group of non-Christians?  If a group, how large?  I could see it being kind of hard to try to drawl out several people relationally, with deep questions with more than one or two folks at a time.  Any experience with this, Dee?
    There are so many other great quotes I could include here but I don’t want this to be a book!  I guess the last thing that continually convicts and challenges me is what I think the British man said, that we have to continually be “slaying ourselves in prayer.”  We have to be willing to die to self and seek the good of others.  It’s not comfortable to seek out new relationships with non-Christians.  The bottom line is one that was asked in the wonderful movie I recently saw The Insanity of God…it comes down to this…is Jesus worth it? Left to my own devices I’d slather on muscle cream every evening and veg out in front of the TV (and possibly eat pie.)  We all have a battle with the flesh to wage as long as we are in this life.  I need to pray more faithfully that the Lord will put in my heart HIS love for the lost because I simply cannot conjure it up in myself no matter how much I try.  I can try, in my flesh, to check of a list off spiritual activities, including evangelism, but that will have no eternal value.  I need a genuine love for God and others that I can only get from Him.  So that brings me to question #8…
    8.  Pray that I will die to self and that God will fill me with His love for Him and for others.  A love that compels me to share know Him and share Him more and more.

    1. Mary I can sense your excitement here.  I love this….. “Left to my own devices I’d slather on muscle cream every evening and veg out in front of the TV (and possibly eat pie.)  We all have a battle with the flesh to wage as long as we are in this life.  I need to pray more faithfully that the Lord will put in my heart HIS love for the lost because I simply cannot conjure it up in myself no matter how much I try.  I can try, in my flesh, to check of a list off spiritual activities, including evangelism, but that will have no eternal value.  I need a genuine love for God and others that I can only get from Him”  
      Dee thank you so much for sharing this EXCELLENT resource on evangelism. I am excited with what I am hearing and ready to apply it. My walking friend in  my neighborhood and I want to do something in our neighborhood. We have been praying and have been praying for the people here and I think the Lord is already leading.

      1. Thanks, Dee

  38. More on the video Finding out what is the cause of the anger you may encounter. I had a 2nd time to run into he elderly man I met this week. Now this was all God and prayer as I walk around my neighborhood a lot and usually the time I walk I never see anyone except the others who walk. A girl I walk with could not walk on this one particular night and lo and behold heading towards this mans home who was outside with their dog!!! A first for almost a year! Anyway I did some follow up conversation and asked about his doctors apt and somehow in our conversation I also found out his father and mother divorced when he was 5 and never was in his life till his dad was sick and dying then he wanted to see him and he refused to go see him. Just a lot more hurt and sadness but a direction and understanding for me to pray! I do not usually have a lot of interaction with men. I think I feel a bit safe due to his age but it is not a usual practice for me. I am wanting to meet his wife so I can visit with both maybe in the future.

  39. Last Friday night the conference, “Cry Out” taught me a lesson which applies to this study. PRAY about all things-where do I begin, what does God want me to do, pray for the people God sends into your path of life.  Find the bible verses that speak to you. Jesus prayed before calling his disciples. Why? If Jesus prayed, why don’t I especially before I speak with a person about God. 
    I was praying about seeing a person. The opportunity came to meet with her. When I suggested we pray about a situation, she backed away twice. She was not ready to take action with prayers.  I was shocked. She was not ready but I was. So I prayed after we parted.  Prayer led me to her.