The Sower by Vincent Van Gogh

Thank you for reading The Sower. I moved all these posts to http://mikeandsus.org/category/our-ministry/helping-you-share-your-faith/.

After I get all the kinks worked out, I should be posting every Tuesday with true stories, quotes, tips, and resources, so please sign up here for a weekly email with a post from The Sower. The default on the sign-up page is to receive updates from ALL my other blogs and/or our newsletters, so if you only want news from The Sower, go to

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  • click on “The Sower: encouragement to share your faith”

Pat and Nancy dancing

Here’s another encouraging post from our brother-in-law, Pat.

“Had another quiet, peaceful time with Jesus this morning on radiation table. Before I got on the table I was having one of those self pity moments. You know, why me Lord, why can’t I have just a normal day, no treatments, no pain, feel good, enjoy the sunshine, etc. While on the table He reminded me in His still quiet way that He loves me and cares for me every minute of every day. Lord, thank you for that and forgive me for those moments of selfishness. He is great and greatly to be praised!!

“…After my treatment this morning I had about hour to sit until my next treatment, so I sat in the waiting room. Soon a man came in and sat at the table with me, looked at me and said, ‘do I know you?’ I did not know him, so I told him my name was Pat and with tears in his eyes he told me his name was Jim. He wiped his tears and began to tell me his wife was there for treatment for breast cancer. He said they have been married 54 years and he could not imagine life without his life mate. He told me through his tears that he had no one to talk to about this and just needed to talk. We sat and talked for almost 45 minutes (it would have been 15 minutes except they were having trouble with the radiation machine). God is so faithful! I was able to share some of my story and faith with him as mostly I just sat and listened to him as he shared much of his life and feelings with me. Before he left, he was so excited to have someone listen to him, he gave me the name and location of the place he works part time and asked if I would please stop by and see him so we could talk more!!

“God is so good!! In just over an hour He showed me how much He loves me and that it is not about me, but about what He wants from me!! Obedience!! To Him be all glory and honor!!”

Read more from Pat.

This is a good video to send to a Spanish-speaking friend.

I like the flow of his thoughts and plan to come back to this video to “borrow his outline.”

“God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” 2 Peter 3:9 (The Message)

He was a hard man in life. At 89 years old and in poor mental and physical health, Wilbur lay dying in the emergency room.

Two years ago, his son opened his home to “Pappy” and Grandma, hoping that living with them would soften his heart to the Gospel.

While Wilbur was in ER, his son, Jim, shared with him that this was going to be his greatest battle, and that it was not yet too late to accept Jesus. After giving Wilbur some time to think about all that he had said, Jim asked his dad if he wanted to pray to accept Jesus. Wilbur agreed. He seemed to understand what was being said to him and he indicated he accepted the Lord just before he lost consciousness.

Do you have loved ones who have lived their lives in opposition to God? Have you given up hoping that they will ever come to faith in Christ? God can do all things, including taking a sinner to Himself just before he loses awareness of what is being said to him. God has answered many years of prayers for Wilbur’s salvation.

This story was shared with Wilbur’s granddaughter’s permission to encourage you with what God has done.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 35 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 181 posts. There were 15 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 25th with 149 views. The most popular post that day was Redeeming the “Lost”… Fan.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, networkedblogs.com, equipping4eministry.wordpress.com, thesovereign.wordpress.com, and thesowertoolsandtips.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for example of persuasion, bonnie witherall, what can man do to me, jesus memorial, and example of persuation.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Redeeming the “Lost”… Fan May 2010

2

Persuasion and Example May 2007

3

The Jesus Memorial March 2008
6 comments

4

“I Don’t Understand” September 2006

5

What Can Man Do To Me? May 2006

“To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.” ~ Cardinal Suhard

I love the idea of being a living mystery to those around me who do not yet know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Can my life be explained apart from a living Christ within me? Do we, as Christians, make Him attractive to others?

Of course, I also still advocate that we must also speak up about, and not just live out, an authentic Gospel to everyone we meet.

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” ~ Romans 10: 14 – 15 NLT

I had just picked out some envelopes and fifty-percent-off Christmas cards. The gal who helped me find the envelopes was very friendly and very pregnant.

“When’s your baby due?” I asked.

“January 20th,” she smiled.

I held out a tract. “This is for you if you’d like it; It’s about Jesus.” She accepted the booklet and I wrote my email address on the back.

The clerk behind the counter had rung up my purchase and waited as we had this conversation. I turned to him and noticed his name tag.

“Angel,” I commented. “That’s a good name for this time of year.”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “my middle name is Gabriel, too.”

“Really? Do you have a Catholic background?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Are you still following your faith?”

“No, not really,” he replied.

Our conversation stalled out, but I was back in the store a few days later. When Angel saw me, he walked up to me to say, “hi.” We talked more about his name and I found out his father is “Angel” and his brother, too.

“Wow,” I remarked. “Do you go by your middle names?”

“Yeah, but what’s really hard is when the mail comes for us.”

I visited this store early in the morning when they weren’t very busy and I expect I’ll be going back to have more chats with Angel Gabriel, and hopefully, talk to him more about Christ.

Miracle of Miracles is full of amazing stories of God reaching into Muslims’ lives. I couldn’t put it down! Go to Touch of Christ Ministries to order the book.

I also just started reading Muslims Next Door, which is a very good book to understand American Muslims and how to love them to Christ.

“Hi, what’s your name?” I asked, as I extended my hand to the man in the truck.

“Chuck,” he smiled warmly and shook my hand.

It was time for our annual termite inspection. I always chat with the man who comes out, to see if we can talk about spiritual things. We’ve had a different inspector the past few years, so I get an annual opportunity to witness to these men.

I quickly found out that this near-sixty Southern gentleman attended a church near ours.

“It’s gotten too big, though,” he admitted. “I feel like a number.”

“Do you have a small group you can go to?”

“Oh, I bowl professionally every other Sunday so we have extra income for things we want to buy,” he excused himself. “My wife says I need to get my priorities straight.” He went on to explain how his bowling schedule would be busier in December.

“You must be very good.”

“I am,” he beamed.

Chuck went on with his inspection and I prayed for God’s guidance. I immediately sensed that I should give him a copy of Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle. I had several copies in the house for gift-giving to specific people. I didn’t believe and didn’t act on that impression.

Chuck came back for me to sign his “paperwork” electronically, then he said out-of-the-blue, “I wish I could talk more, but the office doesn’t want us talking about religion. You know. . . They don’t want people calling in and complaining.” He excused the company for this policy, then pointed to his heart, “After all, it’s what in your heart that’s important. Right?”

He surprised me because I thought we had a good conversation for the short time we had. I guess he was uncomfortable about talking further. (Maybe I’ll write another post some day on what I think about the “gag order” from his company.)

Of course, looking back, I see a number of directions I could’ve gone with our conversation:

  • I could have talked about God’s command in Hebrews 10: 24 – 25 that we should meet together regularly with believers, but he might have said he “has to bowl” for the income.
  • Maybe we could have talked about how to know what God’s priorities are for a Christian, if he was comfortable that he would be “permitted” to let me talk with him.
  • I would love to encourage Christians who are under “gag orders” but it didn’t seem to be a problem to him.

So, what would you have said to Chuck? How do you witness to someone who is “not allowed” to talk to you on company time? How do you help Christians who want to witness, but are restricted by company policies?

I know what I need to do. God clearly showed me when I prayed about it. Tony (our mailman), Chuck, and another inspector, Marco, are all Christians (or, at least, profess to be). I’m going to mail each of them a copy of The Treasure Principle as a “thank you for your service” Christmas gift.

NOTE: The Treasure Principle is especially appropriate during our hard economic times. I highly recommend reading and re-reading it. You’ll be blessed to learn God’s principles so you might honor Him with the finances, possessions, time, and talents He has given into your care.

I’m not a shopper.

However, I DO like to share my faith with people I encounter, so when I reluctantly had to make a shopping trip a few weeks ago, I still looked forward to going because I never know who I might get to talk to.

I had a fun conversation with the check-out clerk, which I’ll save for another post, and was driving out of the parking lot, ready to get home and back to my list of projects planned for a very busy day. I was fifth in a line of cars, waiting to turn out of the main entrance. Ahead, a man sat on the grass, next to the passing cars, with a cardboard sign that read, “Just Hungry.”

My husband had encouraged me not to give money, since we really don’t know how that money would be spent. If I had bought some groceries, I might have stopped and given him some of my food. Each car drove past without any acknowledgment of him, or his need.

Now, I really wanted to get home. Emotionally, I hadn’t wanted to be out on errands in the first place, but I knew God was speaking to me, so I drove past him and across the street to a fast food restaurant. I found out what kind of gift cards and food coupons they offered and I bought three cards.

I drove back over and lined up in the ongoing queue of cars.

As I approached the man, I rolled down my window and signaled to him. He leaned down at the window, a few teeth missing from his smile and a wooden cross hanging from his weathered neck.

“Jesus wants you to have lunch,” I said, handing him the gift card and a Would You Like to Know God Personally tract.

His smile broadened and he thanked me, asking me how much was on the card.

I bought three cards because I’m keeping one in the car and one for my purse, so I’ll be ready for the next time.

What do you do to help needy people you encounter?

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