Summer Prayer Letter – 7/3/20

Third Watch Ministries, NFP                                                Bob & Ellen Bollow

P.O. Box 1283                                                                                     July 3, 2020

Wheaton, IL 60187-1283  

 

“His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3

 

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

How’s the life over by you? Maybe you, like Ellen and I, are gradually coming out of quarantine, trying to remain productive. Or you are in a free state, missing baseball.  In 1907 in the New York Evening World, Allen Sangree wrote about Baseball, “As a tonic, an exercise, a safety valve, baseball is second only to death as a leveler. So long as it remains our national game America will abide no monarchy and anarchy will be slow.” So basically you can blame the lack of the baseball season for all the problems we are having with much ballyhooed actors. Fortunately then, Baseball is starting up for a truncated season in July. But many people might be tempted to blame God, who, being in control of everything seems not to be doling out enough “Common Grace” to go around.

When I was a kid someone I knew used to wear a button that read, PBPGINFWMY. I was told then it stood for Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet. I’ve often thought this is true from my perspective about all of God’s enterprises, myself included. God isn’t finished. And in the midst of our disappointment and pain and fears, we are often looking at an unfinished product. I still do a bit of painting, though I have to give myself treatments on my neck afterwards these days with a voltage machine and magnets. In the past, I have had some rather long jobs and some might have taken a few days. Possibly stripping wallpaper in a couple big rooms, then repairing the damage, sanding it, priming and painting it. In the middle of that week someone might have asked you (were I at your house) how the job looked. After a day you could have honestly said, “Well, all my furniture is covered and I can’t see my floor. All the walls in the room he is in are pretty torn up. In fact, Bob has not painted anything yet.” In the middle of the job, though I’d do my best to create some measure of order in leaving that night, it might not have looked like much. In fact there were possibly some unknowns. When people would offer to pay me up front I would always turn it down and say, “You can wait until I am finished and when you are happy you can pay me. The materials are on my credit card and I’m not hurting for them.” Suggesting they needn’t worry during the process then, because as yet they’d paid me nothing. I had a plan and I wanted them to trust me for it. I always got paid, so I guess it worked out. Though I have heard a few horror stories of bad contractors who did not deserve the trust afforded them. Some have worked at my house.

But God is not a bad contractor; He is a good and loving one. In the midst of social unrest and pandemic we know God too has a plan for us and for the church. I guess the question is: What part of the work schedule are we in? Until He wraps up this world, making a New Heaven and a New Earth, things are going to look unfinished. I was at an estate sale a couple weeks ago, and the man who’d lived there had been an amateur astronomer. There was a book I almost bought that was about 60 years old, written by a physicist that seemed to outline many things that might at any moment change the earth. The book jacket threw me off; though I now wish I’d bought it just to have around (I own too many books already). It claimed that a distant star some 50 light years away could explode in a super nova and we would not see it, the light not having gotten to us yet. But 50 years later it could damage the earth with radiation. I thought after reading that much that time might be better used reading elsewhere than disasters that might never happen in distant space. I had enough troubling things to think and pray about concerning events in the present near to home. My guess is nothing that the astrophysicist wrote in that book has come true. Could it be that many of our fears about the outcomes of our present times will not present themselves either? I’ve decided to pray for that end for those we know and love. It was the Obama administration’s Rahm Emanuel who quoted Winston Churchill saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. I know God does this for good, unlike the presumed social engineers of History. They say they want to dramatically reduce the population of the planet, but it is up 3 billion since the Georgia Guide Stone let us know their plan. Our Salvation was a plan (the real plan for everything) not just initiated in a small town in the Holy Land just over 2000 years ago, but from “eternity past” as one pastor of my teen years used to say.

From our perspective things may not be going as well as we might hope. God has the “long game” in mind however—though His game is no con. It’s said, “The mills of God grind slowly, but ever fine.” So Ellen and I wait for a clearer picture of how to proceed with college ministry in the fall. Since it has recently been made public that the College of DuPage is doing only online distance learning this fall, with the campus closed for all but small labs. So we will have the bible study at our house fall semester. If you know any students stuck in Illinois who’d like some fellowship, I’d be happy to invite them (or if their Illinois campus is closed). We are having a weekend get together soon with current and former COD students to get going. I will be looking to do some road trips to other places where on-campus work is possible. If you know of a church with a college ministry near an open campus, here or a state or two away, please let me know. The jury is out on a couple I’ve checked into. Possibly I could contact them and offer to show them the ropes, or simply direct saved kids to their church. I did not plan to spend so much of my time focused on campus evangelism when I began working in college ministry, having started Third Watch with Ellen 15 years ago or so. We trust He has a plan to continue the good work He has begun in us and will bring great fruit in our area second semester. I am getting a clear full face shield (the CDC has sanctioned them) so students can see my mug while I talk to them. Thanks for sticking with us as we wait on the Lord.

May the Lord bless your summer with health and peace.

In Him, Bob & Ellen

 

Results of the Work – 3/16/2020

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

I hope your day was blessed and you are living without fear. After all The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him to all that call upon him in truth  [Psa. 145:18]. The exciting story beginning with  “I came to Christ on the first day of cancelled classes.” sadly will not be told, since no one came to Christ today. I actually found no one to talk to I spotted two students studying neither were interested. I’ve never seen the school more empty. Of course no one hangs out there if they do not have a class.  Ironically there is no real community at a community college. So I guess for a while it’s night as Jesus said in John 9:4 “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work.

Thanks for praying,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/15/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope your weekend has been blessed walking with the Lord. I got a little busy and forget to write what happened on Friday the 13th.  Jonathan and Liam each prayed with me to receive Jesus Friday which turned out to be the last day of regular school for a while. I’ll go check it out Monday but with students only coming in for Labs no one is likely to be stuck there waiting for their next class. So it will probably be a ghost town like it is during exams and was on Friday for the most part.

Jonathan was sitting at table in the cafeteria. He had a lunch bag wore rectangular glasses he looked over the top of at me occasionally through. He had brown hair in a mop. Looked to be 19 but I later found out he was 24. He had on tan jeans and a dark t-shirt. His face looked like an average college kid, he had normal speech. He was in a 2 year program at school that is for developmental disabilities students but he was obviously at high functionality in the spectrum. Had a small build not very tall and went to the Bible Church in the next town over. When I asked him what he would say to God if he died and was asked “Why should I let you into Heaven he said, “I would say, ‘I’m one of your sons. I always prayed and I always come to Church.’” I went through the Gospel with him and he knew Jesus had died to take away the sins of the world. He was attentive all the way through. I asked if he would want to be forgiven he did. Then asking if he’d been trusting in Jesus or thought something else he wasn’t sure. I asked if when he asked for forgiveness if he’d trusted Jesus died for him and would be forgiven he said, “I know God is good. When you have an operation… well I had 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out. So I prayed to God that He would protect me.” So I asked if he would now like to trust in God to forgive him because of what Jesus had done for him on the cross there was a prayer he could pray. I talked him through it and asked if it was the desire of his heart. “Yep.” he replied. I said he could pray it silently and only God would hear and he nodded and took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus.  I gave him the book Bible Promises for You and a Bible study on the Deity of Christ. We talked some more for a while about trusting in Jesus by His Holy Spirit and chatted in general and I headed out.

Liam must have been one of the last people in the school which was as I’ve said nearly empty all day. He went to the same church as Jonathan but it had “been a while”. He was a regular degree student sitting in the far southeast lounge on the second floor of the BIC.  He wore a hockey cap, a winter vest and jeans. He had a smattering of beard that hadn’t been shaved for a couple days and a round shaped face and square chin. Looked young.  “Honestly in my opinion it would be a decision up for God [sic]. It would be insensitive and selfish to say I did all these good things. If you think you did then God should really know. He’s always watching over you so…” When I asked him the likelihood he would go to Heaven he said, “70% you know, a C.” As if giving himself a letter grade.  He knew Jesus had died for our sins too and still listened attentively to the Gospel and my stories and explanations of the blood of Christ cleansing him and the Righteousness of Christ that was to his credit leaning forward to look at the booklet I held out. When I asked him if he would want to be forgiven with God inside him or thought something else he said. “Be forgiven.” So I offered him the prayer asking if reflected the desire of his heart. “Yeah it did,” he said after a second of thought.  I said he could pray it silently, “Not that I would hear you but God would hear and you’d be forgiven. Wanna do it?” “Yeah sure,” he replied. And he checked again anyway after looking at it saying, “Out loud?” “No it’s not my business it’s between you and God.” “OK,” he replied and smiled and prayed to receive Jesus.  I gave him 20 things God Can’t Do writing his name and the date and “forgiven” in the front and “Just Ask”. I had explained that the Christian life was, “…asking His help in everything so really the Christian life is Just Ask.”  He asked about the Bible study and I said we were gonna move it to be in our house in Wheaton since they were closing the school and he took my card with my contact info to get directions thinking he might come. I got up to go and he thanked me and I said I’d see him in Heaven and headed out through the empty halls.

So thanks for your prayers for the Ministry and for evangelism today if you had a chance. God truly blessed.

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/12/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope you had a blessed day walking with the Lord. I had a good day on campus and Brady, George and Tabitha Prayed to receive Jesus today. Thanks for your prayers.

Brady was the first guy I talked to sitting at a table surrounded by 4 chairs. I spotted him as I looked North down the hall headed out of the BIC on the first floor towards the Cafeteria. I walked down thinking I would ask him and if he said no head to the Lunch room. He said he’d do a survey. So I sat in one of the chairs. He was a computer guy and kind of looked the part; he was slight and had short light brown hair flat to his head like a cap. He had a warm smile, oval face and was friendly if a little awkward; he was obviously intelligent and did the sound boards for the services at his Methodist Church. He had on a half red and blue (on the top) Iowa State hoodie with a half zippered front and jeans his laptop open on the coffee table. When I asked him what he would say to God if asked if He should let him into Heaven he said, “Because I believe in God–according to the Bible anyone who truly believes in a God gets into Heaven.” He thought he had a 50/50 chance of getting into Heaven. I went through the Gospel with him and he took it all in. As I finished talking about how the blood of Jesus cleansed him he said, “OK I think I get it.” I explained the righteousness of God to his credit and that he had to believe in Jesus by faith. I asked if he’d be forgiven with God inside or thought something else and he said, “Currently I’m the first one.”  So I said there was a prayer he could pray if he wanted to tell God he had decided to trust in what Jesus had done for him on the cross to be forgiven, now as a man, not a child in the church anymore just going along with things. I talked him through the prayer and asked if it was the desire of his heart. ‘Yes,” he replied. Saying he could pray it silently and know he was forgiven I asked if he’d want to and he said, “I think that I’ll pray, but quietly.” And he took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. Holding on to the booklet he said, “There seems to be some more here I’d like to read.” I said there was and explained the Christian life living “inside out”. I gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do writing his name and the date and “forgiven” on the inside and “Just Ask”. I explained now trusting in the righteousness of Jesus to be his righteousness the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. I told him I would keep him in my prayers until next year in the spring and he thanked me and I headed out.

I looped around and went into the Cafeteria and found George sitting at a table. He had a mop of bleach blonde hair that must have been brown before as it looked kind of like straw. He had kind of a squared up face with a five o’clock shadow on his lip his beard not showing anywhere else He had rectangular glasses and was engaged to be married. He was wearing a gray zippered hoodie and black sweat pants. He was a nice average looking guy. I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven and he said, “I mean if He doesn’t I understand. I tried to live my best. If he doesn’t think that it was enough, I’m sorry, that’s all you can say.” I asked him what the likelihood he would go to Heaven was and he said, “I don’t know it’s up to Him not me.” He knew Jesus had died when I asked him what he had done to take away his sins. I went through the Gospel with me and he stopped me after I talked about the blood of Christ and he asked me if there was a time in my life when I prayed and God had a different plan than what I asked for, I told him 3 life changing redirections I did not want one of which was not being able to have kids. He told me his future wife might have fertility problems and I gave him the name of a couple alternative medical doctors I wished I’d known of years before. I wrote down Romans 8:28 and explained I believed God worked things for good. He told me about a Church he watched on TV and I told him I had met the pastor there and, knowing what I did he’d queried me about the need for a decision for Christ. I said that pastor had told me he thought of the Christian life like a strand of DNA. I agreed it progressed like a ladder but every ladder has the first step. The pastor agreed with me then seeing the need for a beginning. “It’s like a chain snapped, a shot from a gun the race begin,” I told him. I explained the righteousness of God to his credit. He said he’d been raised Catholic and there was a lot of guilt in that church. I explained salvation by grace through faith and I asked if he’d want to be forgiven with God inside or thought something else. “Be forgiven,” he said. I asked if he’d want to trust in Christ. He told me about a friend who he admired who was guided by God. I said God wanted us to become like a child asking for His help in all things. He said he thought it was actions that counted and I said the Bible does say faith without works is dead, but it also says without faith it is impossible to please Him. If you don’t ask for God’s help since you cannot control outcomes you could never be certain you’d done something good and I gave him an illustration of a disaster that could come for a perceived good action. I redirected him to the question for him. “I’ve been taking small steps,” he said. I said yes sometimes you need to get a running start, in a relay race only the first runner begins exactly when the gun goes off, the next takes a lot of little steps but then he is handed the baton, but you are not in the race until you take the baton. “I am trying to pass you the baton,” I said. I said that then with God’s power in him he could live. He was persuaded then so I read through the prayer with him and he said, “That’s pretty good.” So I said he could pray it silently and he said, “Sure.” He prayed then to receive Jesus. I gave him a Bible Promise Book, he had a bible and I gave him a Bible Study to read on the deity of Christ. He shook my hand to thank me and told me there was a movie he’d seen on YouTube called “Do you Believe” he thought I’d like it. I got his girl’s name “Emily” and said I’d pray for her when I prayed for him. And I headed out withim.

Towards the end of the day I came out of the science buildings over the bridge and down the stairs and bumped into a woman volunteer with another Christian group (the leader of which I am friends with) standing at a table with a pretty black girl seated there I had not met or seen before. Tabitha had long braids an oval face. She wore a brown sweater and jeans. She had fairly dark skin but her lips were white and she had a similar white dot over her right eye. When I saw her hands I realized she had a skin pigmentation disorder as her fingers were rippled with white as if someone had painted only the very tops of them. I believe she had the skin problem vitiligo. She was really nice they were discussing the Corona flu problems. The school was discussing shutting down for a couple extra weeks leading to Spring Break which the School has now decided to do beginning Monday. Most classes are going to online options until it warms up. The Coronavirus dies at 80 Degrees so a warm Spring would help eradicate it. She worked in a rest home and she said the flu could be quite dangerous to people there. The other campus worker had to leave but we talked a little longer I got her name and told her mine and said goodbye. I got about 12 steps away and I remembered that the other group the volunteer worked with did not really focus on evangelism. A couple students from it had prayed with me to receive Christ, the Gospel not being covered in their studies in a decision manner. So I walked back and asked if she wanted to answer my big metaphysical question I ask students on campus, she said “OK”. So I asked her  “You’re walking down the road you get hit by a bus so you’re dead, and you stand before God and He says, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’ What would you say?” She asked me to repeat it and thought for a moment and said, “I don’t know what I would say.” So I asked what she thought it was that got someone into Heaven and she said, “Following Jesus.” I asked what that would mean. “I recently turned back to God and decided to follow Him,” She explained but I’m just getting back into it, kind of on a journey.” So I explained Christianity was like a blood transfusion and like that God wanted to transfuse His life into her, live inside her with His Holy Spirit but first He had to make her His type by talking away her sin, then she could know Him because he was living inside her. She wasn’t sure How God had taken away her sins. I explained how Jesus had died for her and the rest of the Gospel, taking out a booklet and writing in it. At the end I asked her if she would want to be forgiven with God inside or thought something else. “Have God live inside me,” she said. So I said if she’d like to be forgiven trusting in Jesus there was a prayer she could pray and I talked her through it and asked if it was the desire of her heart. “Yes,” she said. So I said if she wanted she could pray it silently and God would hear and forgive her would she like to do that, “”OK,” she replied and I said she could pretend I wasn’t there and I stepped away and looked down and she prayed to receive Jesus. I explained the Christian life to her asking if she had a Bible and she said, “I have my mother’s Bible.” “Do you like that or would you like to have one of your own?” “Maybe both,” she said smiling. So I gave her a Bible showing her the Where to turn section and saying there were messianic passages she could look up. Or just read something from Jesus in red. I wrote her name and the date and “forgiven” in the front. I gave her 20 Things God Can’t Do and wrote “Just Ask” in the front. I told her I would keep her in my prayers until next Spring. “Thank you so much Bob,” she said and I headed out.

So Thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism today if you had a chance God truly blessed.

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/11/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope your day was blessed walking with the Lord. I had a good day on campus and two African American students, Nia and Kemonie, prayed with me to receive Jesus today.

Nia was sitting in a large sofa chair on the edge of the lounge where we have Bible study on Tuesdays. She was dressed in black leggings and a black zip neck fleece. She had a smaller nose and her straighten black hair was pulled back into a medium pony tail that fanned out behind her head, wide pretty eyes. When I asked her what she would say to God if He asked her why He should let her into Heaven when she died she said, “B/C… I… That’s a good question.” She thought some more and said, “I had faith in Him my whole life.” She thought she had a 90% chance of going to Heaven and went to Church. I went through the gospel with her and her arms were folded across her chest nearly the entire time but she seemed to be agreeing with me. She knew Jesus had died to take away the sins of the world so I explained His imputed righteousness and the blood that cleansed her. The first real smile I got out of her was when I said, “Say you got a boyfriend for about three weeks, you thought he was pretty cool but then it turns out he was cheating on you and stealing your stuff, so you cut him loose.” She nodded at that. “He comes around in about a week and says, ‘Nia I know I did you really wrong. I was even stealing your stuff and selling it for drugs, but I just want you to know I’m gonna be nice to my next 3 girl friends.'” Then she grinned. “You’d be like, ‘Yeah that doesn’t help me at all’. ‘Cause you can’t do good things over there to fix your bad things here. But that’s how a lot of people think. They’re like, ‘I’ve done some bad things but I’ve done some good things too, my good stuff’s gonna fix my bad stuff with God.’ But your bad stuff still out there kicking people around and there’s not much you can do about it. But God says He’ll turn you bad things into good things. It says in Romans 8:28 That all things work together for good for them that love God and are the called according to His purpose. So God can change the trajectory of something bad that happens to us or we do and turn it into something good. Because He controls all future events.” I asked her then if she’d want to be forgiven for her sins with God living inside her or if she thought something else. “Forgiven with God inside,” she said. So I asked her if when she was asking for forgiveness for her sins if she hoped God would forgive her because he was forgiving and she was trying to do good or if she thought, I know I’ll be forgiven because Jesus died for me. I know you knew the story but were you placing your trust in that?” She thought for a while and said, “I don’t ask for forgiveness for selfish purposes.” I wasn’t completely sure what she meant so I repeated the question saying. “I’m not really asking what your motive for forgiveness was but if you believed you were going to be forgiven because Jesus had died for you, what were you thinking?” She thought for a moment and said, “I didn’t really think about that before.” So I said if she wanted to ask God for forgiveness trusting in Jesus and that He had died for her there was a prayer she could pray and I talked her through it and said if she would want to be forgiven she could pray it silently in her heart. Not that I would hear her but God would hear and she would know she was forgiven. “Wanna do it?” I asked. “Yeah,” she said very softly and I gave her the booklet and she prayed to receive Christ. When she was done she said, “Thank you.” “You’re welcome,” I replied. “Thank you,” she said again. I said, “You’re welcome.” I told her the likelihood now she would go to Heaven was 100% trusting in the righteousness of Christ. Then I showed her some of the stuff in the back of the booklet on living the Christian life in the power of the Spirit. I gave her 20 Things God Can’t Do writing her name and the date and “forgiven” in the front. I gave her a Bible study and told her I would keep her in my prayers until Spring next year. She thanked me again and headed off quickly down the hall to her class.

I found Kemonie sitting in the PE lounge on the counter by the exit doors. He wore a purple jersey of some kind and black nylon sweats, white trainers. He had thin ringlets of curls thinner than a pencil. Good looking kid, nice skin, small feature oval face, barley a mustache, a little like Michael Jackson with a smaller pug nose than the original version. All the seats at the long stretch of tables were filled and he sat alone so I asked if he’d want to do a student survey, he really didn’t want to but agreed to answer the one big question about being killed by a bus and standing before God who asks why should I let you into Heaven. He thought for a bit and said it was a good question and said, “I don’t know.” So I asked if he would want to know what the Bible said about how he got to Heaven and he said, “OK.” I wrote his name down and began to go through the Gospel with him. I explained that God wanted to live inside him but first had to make him “His type” so that like a blood transfusion He could infuse His life into him by the Holy Spirit then living in him. I asked him the big thing Jesus had done to take away his sins but he didn’t know. So I told him how Jesus had died for him and rose from the dead and His righteousness could be to his credit, His blood cleansing him and that God wanted to adopt him making him his child. I asked if he’d want to be forgiven for his sins or thought something else. “Be forgiven!” he said emphatically. I told him there was a prayer he could pray to be forgiven and talked him through it asking if he’d like to pray it. He said he prayed every night. I said this prayer was specifically placing his trust in Jesus to be forgiven. He read it through and I asked again if he’d want to pray it and he said, “I just did,” smiling. “Amen?” I said. “Amen,” he replied and I said, “Your sins are forgiven.  He thanked me and shook my hand. I explained the Christian life living “Inside Out” to him saying the Christian life was ‘Just Ask”. He had a Bible on His phone so I gave him the book Bible Promises for You. I wrote his name and the date and “forgiven” on the inside. I told him I would be praying for him and he said, “Thank you, appreciate it.” and I headed out.

So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism if you had a chance today. God truly blessed.

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/9/2020

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope your day was blessed today and you walked in real joy. I had a good day on campus and Jan [pronounced Yan] prayed to receive Jesus today. And I got a couple good seeds planted too with a Jewish student named Cory who took a Bible Study on the Deity of Christ. His family was both Jewish and Christian. And a Hindu who also took The Case for Christianity Answer Book.

Jan was sitting in the Science building in the hall on the North side. I had seen him before but he’d been talking with someone I think so I did not want to interrupt.  But today he was alone. He is an interesting looking guy. He has a handsome face with sharp features and straight, light brown hair down to the middle of his back. He did welding and so had black motorcycle boots on with his straight leg jeans tucked into them, he wore a black short sleeve t-shit with a biker eagle across the front in white.  His voice had a marked Polish accent and he said he was Catholic. I asked him one thing he’d like to do before he died and he said, “Make up for my sins.” I asked him what he would say to God if he died and He asked, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” he said, “Perhaps you shouldn’t.” Trying to figure out a bit more what he thought I asked what he thought it was that go you into Heaven and he said, “The ability to forgive and be forgiven.” I asked how likely it was he would go to Heaven and he said it depends on what happens over time but he said, “Let’s be optimistic, 70%.”  I began to go thought the Gospel with him and he was in a bit of a hurry as his class was going to start, as I finished explaining the imputed righteousness of Christ to his credit he a abruptly said,  “Ok, I get it, continue.” I got to the end of going through the Gospel saying that he could be adopted by faith and become a child of God and be saved by Grace. I asked if he would want to be forgiven and he said that he felt that he would get to that place eventually but there were some things he had to do, almost to merit it. So I turned to the back of the booklet and explained living “Inside Out” with the quote, “Your walk with Christ depends on what you allow him to do in and through you… empowered by the Holy Spirit, not what you do by your own self effort.” I explained everything he thought he wanted to do or God wanted him to do, God wanted to help him do by His power inside him. I said something like, “You think you need to put your socks on after your shoes but what really matters is the man you are that puts on the socks and shoes that God can make you to be.” I explained that in other religions you do good things and god is pleased with you and takes you to Heaven or the Universe is please and you don’t come back as a cow or something, in Christianity you ask God to transform you on the Inside and you become a good man who has the power to do good things.  “Yes that is what I would say I just did not know how to put it into words,” he replied. I took that as agreement so I said that if he wanted to be forgiven for his sins there was a prayer he could pray. I talked him through it the last line of it says, “Make me the kind of person you want me to be.” I explained that he would be asking for God to transform him and change him so he could do what he thought he should do. I said that if God did not give him enough power to do it, He would probably be keeping him from something that would be bad for him in the future that only God could see. I asked if he wanted to pray it silently and he thought for a moment and said, “OK.” And he prayed to receive Christ. I offered him a Bible but he said it would be hard to find one in Polish but his parents had one. I encouraged him to read the book of John showed him the fruit of the Spirit and he said he had to go to class (the door of which was 5 feet off my right shoulder). So I quickly gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do explaining God would give him the power to do anything conditional he asked of him. I wrote “Just ask By the Spirit’s power”. I wrote his name and the date and “forgiven” on the inside and he took it and quickly headed into class.

So thanks for your prayer for the ministry and for evangelism today if you have a chance. God blessed.

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/8/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope God blessed your weekend. I had a good day on campus on Friday and Syed, a Muslim prayed to receive Jesus. I got a good seed planted in Miles too whose girlfriend and best friend are Christians. He did not want to give up control of his life. I explained control was nothing but an illusion anyway and that without God partnering with him he could not know and do the good. I explained using some illustrations that eventually life forces you to accept that you can’t do it alone.  I Asked him if he had ever hear the Beatles song “Help”. He said it was his favorite Beatles song so I quoted the lyric, “When I was younger, so much younger than today I never needed anybody’s help in any way But now these days are gone and I’m not so self assured (And now I find) Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the door.” I said the writer of the song was pointing out that as ya get older you realize you cannot do life without help, man that was my favorite song he moaned. His countenance had fallen as we talked and he said his girl friend’s family had told him he needed God in his life. We left amicably and I talked him through the booklet and prayer. Please pray that the illusion of his independence would “vanish in the haze” and he would turn to Jesus.

Syed was sitting on the small lounge attached to Starbucks. He had on a black shirt on with two parallel white stripes across the chest, sweats and a black Adidas ball cap. He was not a big guy, a bit on the thin side and average height. He had a chin beard and a couple days’ worth of beard on his cheeks, his mustache was not thick. He wore black box rimmed glasses. When he told me his name I assumed he was Muslim, and he said, when I asked, that he went to a mosque. When I asked him what he would say to God to get into heaven he said. I would say that I cared for animals and humans more than myself. He thought he had a 50/50 shot at going to Heaven. I explained the gospel then to him explaining the need for Jesus to be God and a perfect sacrifice. I said that if he believed Jesus was God had died for his sins and rose from the dead he could be forgiven. I contrasted Islam with Christianity at the end pointing out that their god did not live inside people. I asked if he would want to be forgiven for his sins trusting in Jesus or thought something else and he said, “Obviously I would want to be forgiven for my sins.” I said that if he wanted to trust in Jesus to be forgiven there was a prayer he could pray explaining he would be appealing to Jesus as God to forgiven him. I asked if he wanted to pray to be forgiven and he said, “Sure,” and he prayed to receive Jesus. I explained the Christian life was living inside out and I offered him The Case for Christianity Answer Book. He asked if the Library might have the book and I said they would not since it was a religious book. I thought he might want a shorter booklet he could keep on the down low, though he said someone else on campus had given him a Bible. And he did take “The Case for Christianity Answer Booklet which is thin enough to stick in your jeans pocket. I gave him a Bible Study on the Deity of Christ and he took that to read. I explained that trusting in the Righteousness of Jesus to be his righteousness the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. We said goodbye and he was thankful. So I hope I will run into him again and ask how he is doing. He had some interest in our bible study. Please pray he comes.

Thanks for your prayers for the ministry and evangelism on campus. God blessed and I am hopeful Syed will find fellowship or come to ours on campus.

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/5/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope your life was blessed today with all good things. I had a good day on campus and   Jackie, Gabby and Brendan, each prayed to receive Jesus today.

Jackie was the first person I talked to today just down from the locker I use sitting on some chairs in the hall. She is a Latina and attended a Roman Catholic Church. She had jeans with stylish tears across the front long straight brown hair past her shoulders and a large face with soft features, nice looking girl, kinda wholesome look. She wore a blue hoodie. I asked her if she wanted to do a survey but she wasn’t sure. So I asked if she wanted to answer one question, she agreed. So I said, “You’re walking down the road you get hit by a bus so you’re dead, and you stand before God and He says, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’ What would you say?” “Because He loves me?” she guessed. “He does love you,” I replied but that’s not the only reason you go to Heaven. Would you like to know what the Bible says about how you get to Heaven, or not so much?” “OK,” she replied. So I began to go through the Gospel with her. She was very attentive. As I went through I explained how the Mass was symbolic of some of what I had explained to her and when she took it she could just say, “Thank you”. When I asked her what Jesus had done to take away the sins of the world she said, “He died.” So she had recalled some things from Catholic Church. As I finished I asked her if she would like to be forgiven for her sins or thought something else and she said, “Be forgiven.” So I said that I knew she knew some of the story before but in the past when she were asking for forgiveness for her sins “were you hoping God would forgive you because He loved you” or was she trusting in Jesus. “I didn’t know the story,” she replied.  I said if she’d like to be forgiven there was a prayer she could pray and I talked her through it asking if it was the desire of her heart. “Yes,” she said. I said if she’d like to pray it silently receiving God’s forgiveness she could. Would she like to and she nodded saying “Yeah.” And taking the booklet she prayed to receive Jesus. I explained the Christian life was living “Inside Out” asking for God to change her inside and by the power of His Spirit becoming a good woman who did good things. I gave her 20 Things God Can’t Do writing her name and the date and “forgiven” on the inside. I wrote “Just Ask” and “By the Spirit’s Power” in the front too. I gave her a Bible Study and explained it to her. She said she’d been invited to a Bible study today, her friend had just texted her before I walked up, but she was unsure if she should go. I asked if she knew the name and she said she didn’t. She did not know much about it but her friend went. I warned her there were some cults on campus and so if the group met in a room with a larger group of students and if the group was not asking her to attend their Church it was probably fine. But if it was a small thing with just two other women and her friend she should probably avoid it. She was grateful for the guidance. I also encouraged her not to give her phone number to people but just an email. If they started sending her emails she did not want she could just mark them spam and she would not see them anymore. So hopefully it’s one of the good ones on campus. I told her I would be praying for her until spring next year each day. She thanked me and I headed out.

I walked into the Cafeteria and at the other end sitting at a table by a post I found Gabby. She had lighter brown hair and fair skin. I would not have guess she was a Latina. But ended up talking for 2 hours and sometimes she said, “I don’t know how you say this in English,” when expressing a feeling or a thought and then she’d say it in Spanish. She had on a black v-neck shirt and round glasses, black pants. Her hair was pulled back tight back from her face. She was a sweet kid, cute. She knew who I was because I’d walked past her and I guy I knew on campus (her relationship with him was who we spent most of the time talking about). When I’d briefly met her he’d kind of sang my praises, he’s kind of a flatterer so I dismissed it with a self-deprecating joke. I asked her if she’d like to do a student survey for a Bible Study group. She said she already went to a group (that a friend in InterVarsity teaches, Jeff) I said I knew Jeff and asked if she’d like to just answer the one big question or words to that effect. So as I had a half-hour earlier I asked So I said, “You’re walking down the road you get hit by a buss so you’re dead, and you stand before god and He says, ‘Why should I let you into Heaven?’ What would you say?” She had a longer answer and I wasn’t in a position to write it down. But basically she said she worked with the youth at her church and youth were the future (a bit ironic coming from a young woman of 19 years). It turned out there was not much she did not do at her Catholic Church where a lot of her family attended.  “So basically you are trying to do good things, that please God, and He wants you to do so you think that will get you into Heaven,” I replied. She agreed. I said that was good but it really did not get you into Heaven and I began to explain knowing God by being one with Him by the Holy Spirit. I asked what Jesus had done to take away her sins. But she heard the question existentially and told how she had been in a dark place of depression and had been offered anti-depressants but she turned them down and God had brought her up out of it. I think she’d had a lot of relationships fail and there was some depression in her family. She’d been in process for about 2 years but now felt healthy. I explained that was great and that God had obviously been working in her life but that did not save her from her sins I used the illustrations I always use and as I explained that she did not go to Heaven because she was good but because Jesus had died for her, his blood had cleansed her as was symbolic in the mass and His righteousness was too her credit. “Oh!” she exclaimed seeing for the first time. As we talked more about her life I explained how God could live inside her and give her strength by His Spirit if she asked for forgiveness trusting in the work of Christ. I said it seemed like God was around her and guiding her and she agreed. But there was a next step of forgiveness it seemed like she needed to take. I explained the prayer and said if she thought this was something she still needed to do it seemed like she had not yet trusting in Jesus as her savior from sin. “Unless you don’t think so and I’m misunderstanding something?” I said. She said, no she thought that was right. And she took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. I explained more of the Christian life living “Inside Out” and telling her the Christian life was really, “Just ask for God power to do anything He is asking you to do”. I gave her a bible study then and gave her a copy of Bible Promises for You and wrote her name and the date and ‘forgiven” and she said, “Oh!” liking that I had written “forgiven”. Then we talked a lot about the boy who had expressed feelings for her on the weekend but told her he felt God was leading him to something far away geographically. He saw me as I walked away from her and walked up but she was right there waiting to speak with him so I said hi and that Gabby had prayed to receive Jesus. He thanked me and I said it was God’s work but “yeah sure”. So I will be praying for her, I already pray for him and it would seem I’m going to have to take him aside at some point and tune him up. He came to our Bible study 3 times in Spring 2019. Then he left on a 6 month mission trip and goes to her Catholic Church working with the youth under her. His dad is not around and I think that is creating some issues but it seems he has a sincere faith and had been a good influence on her so far.

I walked over to the MAC arts building and saw Brendan sitting on a bench by the elevator. So I went up and road the elevator down so I could easily walk past him and ask to talk. He said Yes. He had a black Levi’s jean jacket on and a grey hoodie under it. He had a mustache that did not touch his beard on his jaw line and his hair was receding but he had to have been no more than 20. Had rectangular glasses with brown thin rims and a face like a regular guy. Wore jeans and black trainers. When I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven he said, “I been raised in a Catholic family, always believed in the scriptures and always lived by the scriptures even if it was not 100% perfectly.” He thought he had a 90% chance of going to Heaven. I went through the Gospel with him and he knew Jesus had died to take away the sins of the world. He listened and said, When I explained the righteousness of God Christ had earned that was to His credit like extra credit in a class with a story I tell he said, “That’s a good example.” “Right?” I said agreeing with him. I explained all I say usually and asked if he wanted to be forgiven trusting in Jesus or thought something else. “Be forgiven,” he said. So I explained other was a prayer he could pray talking him through it and asking if it was something he had not done as an adult asking God to forgive him because he was trusting in what Jesus had done for him on the cross. If he hadn’t he could pray that now so only God would hear if he thought it was something he needed to do. “I could continue to do that,” he said. So I took that as the idea he felt he needed to do so and just said, “Wanna do it.” He said, “Yeah,” and nodded and taking the booklet he prayed to receive Jesus. I explained the Christian life to Him living “Inside Out” by the Spirit’s power. I gave him a Bible Study and 20 Things God Can’t Do and a Bible, he did not have his own just a family Bible and then wrote his name and the date and “forgiven” in the front. He thanked me as I got up to leave, glad for the talk. I said I’d see him in Heaven and show him where all the cool places were since I’d get there first and he liked that and I headed out.

So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism today if you had a chance, God truly blessed.

in Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/3/2020

Hey Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope your day has been blessed today and yesterday and God’s has filled your times with all good things. I had a good day on campus and Alex prayed to receive Jesus. I got some good seeds planted in Ryan, (square chinned, sharp featured guy on the third floor who said he’d think about it, did not think he deserved to go to Heaven when we began); Katia, (Girl in the science building lounge who said she went to lutheran church and said the prayer was the desire of her heart, might pray later I gave her Case for Christianity Answer Booklet) and Will (who took the Case for Christianity Answer Booklet to think about it some more, he was a far off though) I think each got closer anyway. 150 students have prayed to receive Jesus after hearing the Gospel from me at school this year.

Alex was up on the third floor of the BIC just a short toss from the lounge we have Bible study in on the floor below. (We had 9 students this week so it is growing.) He had an oval head medium build a couple days growth of beard struggling to show up here and there, had a black hoodie on and sweats, medium brown hair that came down on his forehead in bangs. He was raised Lutheran and looked like he could have been related to the founder. When I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven if he died he said, “I never thought about this before.” Thinking more he said, “Probably say…” but then he was stuck. I asked what he thought the Church he’d gone to as a kid would say and he said, “You pray and repent of your sins.” So you wanna say that, “I pray and I repent of my sins?” “Yeah,” he agreed. He thought he had about a 70% chance of going to Heaven. He knew Jesus had died to take away his sins but hadn’t put the entire gospel together but he was engaged as I went through the Gospel with a look of realization. So as I finished I asked if he’d want to be forgiven for his sins trusting in Jesus or thought something else. “Ah… forgiven.” he replied. I said there was a prayer he could pray and I explained it in the context of what I had told him. I asked if it was the desire of his heart and he said “Yeah.” I said he could pray it silently so God would hear and forgiven him would he want to and he said, “Yeah,” and nodded. He prayed the to receive Christ. I explained the Christian life to him then. He said he had a Bible someone had walked up to him and given him on campus. “But they didn’t tell you what it meant?” I asked.” “No,” he said and grinned. “Yeah, bad plan,” I replied. I explained now trusting in the righteousness of Jesus to be his righteousness the likelihood he would go to Heaven is 100%. I gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do and wrote his name and the date and “forgiven” on the inside along with “Just Ask By the Spirit’s Power”. I gave him a Bible study too inviting him again to ours. “Nice to meet you,” he said shaking my hand as I made to get up to go. “I’ll keep you in my prayers,” I said telling him I’d be praying through nest year. “‘Cause I don’t know if I’ll see you again.” “You probably will,” he replied. “Thank you, see you around.” “See you around,” I said and headed off down the hall.

So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism Tuesday if you had a chance. God truly blessed. I’ll be headed over again tomorrow and each day until the end of public gatherings if this Coronavirus stuff is for real. Hey it started in China and they basically lie about everything so…

In Him,

Bob

Results of the Work – 3/2/2020

Hey Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I hope your day was blessed today and you are happy it is almost Spring. I personally like baseball and equally enjoy not feeling freezing air getting to my truck. May God provide a warm Spring.  I had a good day on campus and Lucas, Robert and Alex each prayed to receive Jesus today. I’ll be praying they grow in faith.

Lucas was sitting in the first set of couches as you exit the lounge. He had an oval face and light brown short hair had a jacket and jeans on, he looked like the actor Aaron Paul. He had a slight speech impediment. He was raised Catholic and had grown up in the Church but did not seem to be in regular attendance any longer. When I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven he said, “I lived a happy life.” I think he meant he had made others happy. He thought the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 90%. He was affirming of every point I made concerning the Gospel often saying, “Exactly.” Though he struggled with what Jesus had done to take away his sins, not remembering. When I asked him if he would want to be forgiven for his sins or thought something else he struggled a bit thinking at first saying he thought something else saying, “I think… it’s tough.” So after a moment I just asked, “Do you think you would like to trust in Jesus and be forgiven for your sins?” “Yeah,” he said in a tone of voice as if to say, For sure. I think he had misunderstood my first question, possibly thinking I was asking him to add something to what I had said.  I said if he’d like to be forgiven there was a prayer he could pray and I talked him through it and asked if it was the desire of his heart. He thought for a moment and said, “Yeah.” I said he could pray it silently, not that I would hear him but God would hear and forgive him and live inside him giving him strength. He nodded and took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. He said he had a Bible and I explained living “Inside Out” asking God to change him and give him strength. I said Christianity was just asking God for help in all things. He was grateful and I explained that if he trusted in Jesus’ righteousness to be his, the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. He did not want a book of any kind, so I said I would keep him in my prayers and headed into the cafeteria. I will look for him and chat him up in the future. He was a bit of a strange bird but really nice.

Robert was sitting inside the Cafeteria at the counter looking outside. He had a couple days’ growth of beard on him and a Doughboy face. Real nice guy, stick straight dishwater-blonde hair. He wore black sweats and brown t-shirt. When I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven he said, “That’s a fantastic question, pretty loaded…” and then, “very good question.” He continued thinking and finally said, “I tried my best to honor the Church in life. I tried to honor my neighbor and parents. I tried my best to observe what is right.” He had gone to Church as a kid but it had been a while. He thought he had a 60% chance of going to Heaven. He listened closely to the Gospel and he knew Jesus had died to take away the sins of the world. When I had finished explaining that He had died as a perfect payment to God for what we owed Him and His blood cleansed us and his righteousness was to our credit he said, “OK.” With an I get it now tone of voice. I explained God wanted to adopt us and make us his Children and we did so by faith.” “So it’s faith?” he asked and I said, “Yep.” I asked if he wanted to be forgiven for his sins, trusting in Jesus, or thought something else he said, “A life entrusted to Christ,” choosing that line reading it as the description of the circle with God inside written in the booklet. I said if, as an adult, he wanted to place his trust in Jesus to be forgiven, there was a prayer he could pray. I talked him through it, asking if it was the desire of his heart and he said, “Yeah.” So I said he could pray it silently so only God would hear and he said, “OK.” And he prayed to receive Jesus. He thanked me a number of times saying “Thank you so much. “ I explained the Christian life living “Inside out to him also and gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do writing his name and the date and “forgiven” along with “Just ask by the Spirit’s power.” I gave him a Bible study too and explained that now trusting in Christ’s righteousness to be his, the likelihood he would go to Heaven was 100%. “Thanks for this. I’ve been thinking about it lately,” he told me. I told him I would pray for him and he said he’d pray for me too saying God would know who he meant. I thanked him. “You have a wonderful day,” he said as I got up to go. “You too,” I replied and headed out.

 

Later in the day I returned to the Cafeteria and found Alex sitting at the same counter about 25 feet further down. He had on a black shirt and jeans, well groomed mop of hair combed back on top of his head and a high forehead. His head was round and face was puffy, another nice guy. He said he’d attended the Greek Orthodox Church but the one near school he’d gone to had closed from lack of funding. But he attended church with his mother still. I don’t think the ones he attended now were the same denomination.  When I asked him what he would say to God to get into Heaven if he died he said, “That’s a tough one.” Then he said, “Pretty much be myself, treat people how I like to be treated, no point in spreading hate.” He was sure he’d go to Heaven 100%. When I asked him what the big thing Jesus had done to take away the sins of the world he said, “He forgives?” I said He did forgive but the reason he forgives is because He is just and He gets paid. I explained that we owed God something perfect for anything we had damaged in life or hurt since everything belonged to Him. We could not pay, so God became a man and lived a perfect life for us. Then when He dies, His perfect life pays God back for all we owe Him. So our sins are forgiven and He can live inside. He had a wry smile as we talked that seemed to say, “Oh I get this now and I should know this.” As I finished, I asked if he’d want to be forgiven, trusting in Jesus or thought something else. “Definitely this one over here,” he said, placing his finger on the circle with God inside. “It seems like you hadn’t had a chance to put all this together before?” I asked. He agreed.  So I said if he wanted to be forgiven there was a prayer he could pray accepting God’s forgiveness. I talked him through it asking if it was the desire of his heart and he seriously said in an affirming soft tone, “Yeah sure.” I said he could pray it silently so only God would hear and asked if he’d like to. He nodded silently and took the booklet and prayed to receive Jesus. That was great. I explained the Christian life to him, suggesting he read the book of John and also explained the Fruit of the Spirit and living “Inside Out.” I explained that now, trusting in the righteousness of Jesus to be his righteousness, the likelihood he would go to Heaven was in fact 100%.  I gave him 20 Things God Can’t Do writing his name and the date and “forgiven” along with “Just Ask by the Spirit” in the front. I gave him a Bible study also explaining it a bit. I said I’d keep him in my prayers and since I was old and would get to Heaven first, when he got there I’d show him where all the cool places were and he laughed. I got up to go and Alex said seriously, “Thank you.” “Yeah God bless you man,” I replied. “Likewise,” he said and I headed out happy.

So thanks for your prayers for the ministry and for evangelism today if you had a chance. God truly blessed.

In Him,

Bob