Imagine with Me – Acts 19 Happening Again Today

The theater in ancient Ephesus

The Book of Acts in the Bible is one of my favorite stories ever – talk about adventure after adventure! Acts 19 records some of Paul’s time with the Ephesians. He spent three years in Ephesus during his third and final missionary journey. During this time, the city of Ephesus was changed forever through the power of the Gospel.

Acts 19:11-12 says, “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.”

When I read the Bible, I imagine what it was like to live during those times. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), I try to picture the exact same events happening today!

Imagine if an evangelist, or maybe your pastor, walked in the power of God to the extent that people literally waited for him to hand out his personal garments so they could take it to the sick that they would be healed. Imagine a hospital today getting cleared out because God’s power to heal was so present and so explosive that no one could stay sick. Because of the power of Jesus’ blood throughout all ages, we can still see awesome miracles today!

God’s work in the city through Paul and the other believers was so impactful that people were in complete awe and wonder. It changed their lives forever. Acts 19:18-20 says, “And many who had believed come confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”

The goodness of God brings people to repentance (Romans 2:4), which is why the Ephesians recklessly burnt their magic books. When the Gospel takes over a city, it changes everything! The Gospel made such an impact on Ephesus that it forever impacted the city’s financial market.

Acts 19:23-41 describes a silversmith named Demetrius who had become rich from making and selling shrines of the Ephesian’s goddess Diana. Angry that the Gospel stole his business, Demetrius gathered up all his fellow shrine makers and said in Acts 19:26-27, “Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”

The Gospel made such an impact that people literally stopped worshipping the goddess they had faithfully revered for generations! So much so that the people who depended on this trade freaked out!

We may not bow down to shrines and statues as a society anymore, but there are certainly idols that have captured our society’s love and worship:

  • What if people were so on fire for the Gospel that the R rated movie business panicked and started attacking local churches because they knew pastors were guiding their congregations away from the filth?
  • What is the pornography business collapsed because Christians started boldly preaching purity and showed people that they could completely renew their minds in Jesus, being free from sexual bondage?
  • What if the marijuana market failed because people who love Jesus showed the world through their behavior that the joy of the Lord far surpasses any temporary high you could ever get from a drug?
  • What if the jails slowly started to clear out because people were won over by God’s goodness and turned away from their crimes?

Seeing any of these things in our world today would be a close equivalent to what Paul saw in Ephesus! The same God who worked through Paul works through us today! We can see our cities transformed through the power of God!

The shrine makers were hurt financially to the point that if they did not take some drastic measures, there industry would be COMPLETELY destroyed. So, they stirred up a mob.

Acts 19:28 says that the city was “full of wrath”. You know you are preaching God’s Word with boldness when it starts to make some people angry! Verse 29 says that “the whole city was filled with confusion”. Acts 19 says that whole city was so angry that they mobbed the theater (the public gathering spot) and chanted for two hours “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”. The city clerk eventually forced the crowd to disperse because he was concerned that this riot would attract the attention of the Roman leaders. Shorty after the riot, Paul says goodbye to the Ephesians and continues his journey to other cities.

When you preach the Word of God, it will cause division. Darkness and light cannot cohabitate. When you bring The Light, the darkness will get angry at you (like the mob in Ephesus). Jesus’ Light brings a beautiful revolution to every place it touches. Let’s walk in the same boldness that Paul exhibited. We will see God perform miracles, and our communities will be shaken up and transformed through the love of Jesus!


Keys to Remember When Preparing Your Speech

Public speaking is an awesome skill to have. We will all need to speak in public at some point in our lives, no matter what career we end up choosing. Most people fear public speaking, but thorough preparation can make public speaking an enjoyable experience rather than a nerve-wracking ordeal. Here are some of my top tips to remember when you are preparing a speech!

• The #1 goal is to satisfy your audience. The speaker must have the audience’s needs and wants at the forefront of their mind when they are preparing their presentation. Before you start writing, think about the kind of audience you are addressing and what they will find interesting and enjoyable.

• Choose your topic carefully. Speak on something you have either experienced yourself, something you care deeply about, or something you have thoroughly studied. One of my first speeches was on giraffes. I do not have much personal experience with giraffes, but I am passionate about them and have studied them! When we do have personal experience with our topic, our stories are powerful tools for connecting with the audience.

• Be specific and detailed. Even if you are speaking on a fairly well-known topic, try to include some facts that your audience probably does not already know. Fun facts are perfect for capturing the audience’s attention!

• Research thoroughly, then use only the best facts. Do more research than you need for your speech. You never know when an audience member may come up to you afterwards with more questions!

• Be targeted in your speech. You need a precise goal of what you are going to cover. Only attempt to cover two to three points, as too many points will overwhelm both the speaker and the audience. Having a limited goal in what you want to cover will prevent you from trying to cram in too much information.

• You must practice. Some people can wing it, but they are usually speakers with decades of experience. Practice cures the fear of public speaking and allows the speaker to grow in confidence.

• Be an entertainer. No, you do not have to get up there and juggle or swallow fire, but if you bore your audience – you are toast. Even a short story can help liven up your speech! Visual aids and illustrations can also help to bring your speech alive.

Last but not least, enjoy your public speaking experiences! You have valuable information to share with others – now get out there and do it!

Sharing Jesus with Mormon Missionaries

It was a busy Wednesday morning last fall, and I had several major school deadlines fast approaching. As I was frantically working, I heard a loud knock at the door. I got up to see if my mom had heard the knock. We saw two boys standing at the door. Thinking that they were boy scouts, my mom opened the door. They were not boy scouts – they were Mormon missionaries.

Mormonism has been one of my study interests since the fall of 2017. In my home state of Arizona, Mormonism is very prominent. The Mormon ward in my neighborhood is a constant reminder of their presence. Although they may look similar on the surface, Mormonism and Christianity are fundamentally different. I have great respect for Mormons, but it is clear to me that Christian and Mormon doctrine completely disagree on key areas of doctrine.

After learning about Mormonism, I have been waiting for the opportunity to talk with some Mormons about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. So when the missionaries came to my door, I was conflicted. Yes, I was eager to have a discussion with them, but I also had a school deadline!

As I was debating whether I should stop and talk, I remembered something that had happened the other day on my college campus. As I was rushing to class, I passed a girl who was crying. I thought about stopping and asking what was wrong, but the pressure to get to class on time drove me forward. I wondered afterward if I had allowed school pressure to stop me from ministering to someone who needed help.

Considering that experience, I decided that talking with the missionaries was more important than school. I gave them some cold-water bottles, and after small talk (mostly about how hot it was outside) we were off to the races on Mormon doctrine!

We talked for the next fifty minutes. We covered everything from the Mormon doctrine that Satan and Jesus are brothers, to the dubious history of the Mormon church, to how the Mormon church views grace, to why Mormons feel the need to have additional books outside the Bible. Boy, did our conversation keep me mentally on my toes! I do not normally have to think so fast!

Honestly, I did not have a lot of great “rebuttles”, but I was not aiming to turn our conversation into a debate. My goal was to ask honest questions and gently point out some of the dubious, unbiblical doctrines of the Mormon church.

They kept telling me that I should read through the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God if it is His Word. They said that God’s Spirit would reveal to me that the Book of Mormon was indeed God’s Word. To this, I basically responded that I have God’s spirit, I pray in tongues, and I already hear God through being quiet and listening to His voice in my spirit. When I said that God always leads me back to the Bible and to meditate on the Bible when I need help with something in my life, the one guy responded that he would definitely encourage people to go back to the Bible even if they do not accept the Book of Mormon! Well, at least we kind of found something we agreed on!

Overall, it was a great experience. Christians should never be afraid to discuss their faith with other people. We do not need to pressure ourselves to get everyone we talk to saved – our only responsibility is to do our part in telling people about Jesus. During my conversation, I did not necessarily feel like I was making any head way, but along the way I was sharing my faith in Jesus and sharing what Christianity says about various topics. I did not reap a harvest right then and there, BUT I did plant seeds. I pray that other people who love Jesus will talk with these young men!

Towards the end of our conversation, I asked them if very many people opened their doors to them. They said no and that they only had good conversations with people every one in one-thousandth encounter. They also said they have to deal with angry people, and they expressed to me that their job can be discouraging.

As a Christian, I was able to show them love and courtesy simply by opening the door and talking with them. And as those two gentlemen move forward in life, I hope they will always remember that a Christian opened the door and talked with them. And I also hope that they considered what I said to them, and one day change their mind and decide to follow Jesus rather than Mormonism. When we step out and plant seeds by talking with people, there is always tremendous hope that those seeds will grow into an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ!

How Women Are Treated by the Abortion Industry

The abortion industry is often portrayed as an empowering force – a bastion of hope for the women who have been overlooked by society. It would be easy to believe that abortion clinics are a safe haven for women, a place where they are always treated with respect and receive the highest quality of healthcare. But this façade couldn’t be any further from the truth.  In her book, The Walls Are Talking, Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, and other former abortion workers reveal how the abortion industry really treats women.

The attitude of abortion workers.

Workers often start out with the noble intention to help women in crises. But it was impossible for the workers to maintain their good intentions in the atmosphere of the abortion industry. Johnson reveals that working for an organization that is focused on making as much money as possible by killing unborn children forced the once passionate abortion workers to become cold and indifferent. Johnson writes, “Although abortion advocates are constantly spouting slogans declaring their unwavering love and devotion to women, in reality, it is commonplace for some clinic workers to ignore, marginalize, blame, and ridicule the women who trust them,” (page 18).

The heartbeat of the abortion industry is the pursuit of money.

Johnson states that “As an organization that rakes in over one billion dollars annually, the abortion industry’s heart beats exclusively for the almighty dollars made shedding innocent blood,”(page 70). Their motivation for performing abortions is certainly not the well-being of the mother or some moral motivation of caring for women, “As long as the business is profiting, there will never be a reason too heinous to end the life of a baby at the request of its mother,” (page 105). The general sentiment expressed throughout the book was that the abortion industry takes an assembly line approach towards patients – getting them in and out as quickly as possible – rather than truly taking the time to care for them.

Furthermore, Johnson reveals that several women who had life endangering complications for their abortion were only compensated a few hundred dollars for their troubles. And the main reason the abortion industry compensated them was so they could get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement, forcing them to never speak about their abortion complications publicly. The abortion industries’ focus on making a profit is part of what makes them so evil, with Johnson stating it best, “there is no darker place on earth than one that profits from the death of innocent children,” (page 127).

Abortion is medically dangerous.

Abortion is portrayed as being a simple, safe procedure, similar in severity to getting a tooth pulled. Despite popular belief, the medical complications are often very serious. Some of the bloodiest chapters in the book are the accounts of the side effects and complications of abortion that are so carefully hidden. Whether or not the patient experienced an emergency complication, all abortions still cause irreparable harm to the woman. As Johnson writes, “our customers walked away with a human life unnaturally ripped from their bodies and a lifetime of psychological and oftentimes physical repercussions,” (page 71). Instead of protecting and promoting women’s health, abortion carries a host of dangers and often harms women, both physically and mentally.

Clinic workers would ignore signs of abuse on patients.

This book repeatedly shows women being mistreated by the abortion industry rather than emboldened. Obvious signs of abuse were often ignored rather than reported to the authorities. In wanting to allow women to do whatever they wished with their bodies, one of the former abortion clinic workers admits that they allowed a repeat customer, a prostitute, to continually go back to her pimp. They neglected calling the police, even though they noticed signs of abuse on her body. Rather than empowering women, the option of abortion gave men power over women, consequence-free sex.

The abortion industry is the expert in marketing.

If abortion is really a risky procedure and the women are often treated poorly, then how has the abortion industry maintained its squeaky-clean reputation to the general public? It’s simple: marketing is powerful, and the abortion industry knows this and uses it fully to their advantage. They have striven to mask abortion, trying to make it seem normal. They have even tried to portray it as rare, a small percentage of their preventative health services, which just is not true. Most importantly, the marketing of the abortion industry. The power of recognizing the humanity of the “fetus”. No matter the gestational age, abortion clinic workers and patients alike were flipped upside down when they had an opportunity to see the fetus for what it was: a human child. “We must dehumanize the unborn in order to accept abortion” (page 77).

It is our job to look past the marketing lies of the abortion industry and see it for what it is – a greedy industry that feeds on the blood of unborn children.

All quotations from The Walls Are Talking by Abby Johnson, written with Kristin Detrow

Overcoming Miserably Hard School Assignments

My junior year of college, I was required to take a communications research course, which is based on social sciences research and statistical analysis. I heard during my very first semester that this course was HARD, and boy were those rumors true!

I struggled through the first few weeks, trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Before I could catch my breath, the biggest project of the semester came due. I had to sort and analyze a complex set of data using a software called SPSS, which is a statistical analysis program designed for social sciences research.

I was in tears after two hours of working on the project. Due to all the technical and statistical jargon, the instructions were nearly impossible to understand. I had no prior experience to draw on, and because it was an online class, I was unable to go to my professor’s office hours – I was stuck.

This assignment was a tangled mixture of math, statistics, and a stubborn computer program. As a communications major who loves writing and reading, this extremely technical project felt like a cruel joke. Who would do this to me?!

After an emotional breakdown on Wednesday, I finally got some headway on the first step of the project (there were four major steps). Unfortunately, I did not know how to properly save my work on SPSS. After several hours of gaining momentum, I lost all of it and had to start over. Cue another emotional breakdown (although not as bad as the first breakdown!). Day one did end in victory, but it was hard fought.

On Friday, I watched many, many instructional YouTube videos, and finally got the first three of four steps down. I emailed the first three steps to my professor for review and got the thumbs up!

On the next Wednesday I tackled the dreaded fourth step which was the most complicated. I had no idea what I was doing. By this point, I was less upset and more just fed up with the project. It took every bit of self-discipline I had to get it done. So more YouTube videos later, pausing the videos many times so I could perform the exact steps, and I made it!

Finally, fourth step complete and I sent my final report to my professor for the last review before I officially turned it in. She only made one minor correction! I was SO happy! I am thrilled to say that I received an A on the project that I thought was completely impossible to complete.

We are all going to face some school assignments that feel impossible to finish. Do not give up friends! If you push through you will reach the victory like I did – that oh so triumphant feeling when you push “final submission”.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” The Bible talks constantly about being patient and persistent.

Victories do not come right away, but when they do come – they are oh so wonderful! God designed us to embrace and conquer challenges, such as fickle computer programs and tedious statistics!

Hiding in the Light – A Must Read!

Every person needs to read Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary – I am not even sure how to describe this story adequately, but I am going to give it a try in hopes that you will check out the book for yourself.

Rifqa Bary was born into a strict Muslim family in Sri Lanka. Her family was highly respected in their devout Muslim community as the Bary family had been Muslim for the past 150 generations. When Rifqa was a child, her family moved to America, but they carefully guarded themselves from their new secular culture and clung to their strict Islamic lifestyle. Abandoning Islam would be unthinkable, a horrendous crime – a shameful dishonor to the family.

Which is exactly what Rifqa did. Her autobiography chronicles her journey of her early life as a Muslim, converting to Christianity as an early teen, and then escaping her family home when her father discovered her conversion and threatened to kill her.

Early Life in an Oppressive Muslim Culture

Rifqa’s life with her family was hell on earth. When she was a child, her brother destroyed her vision in one of her eyes by hitting her with a toy. In a culture where girls were already viewed as less valuable, this deformity lowered Rifqa’s status to less than human in her parent’s eyes. To make matters worse, she was sexually abused by an uncle. In this male dominated society, the shame of the abuse was not placed on the abusive uncle, but on Rifqa. I do not want to steal the thunder of her story, but suffice it to say that Rifqa was abused, neglected, and shamed by her family, primarily her father. She never received the love and nurturing that is expected from parents.

Even Rifqa’s mother, the only other female in the house, was abused by her father and her oldest brother. The oldest brother even held the mom at knife point, demanding she make him food. Allow me to digress for a minute, but I do not think women in America realize just how good we have it. Rifqa and her mother did not even question the abuse at the hands of the men in their lives – they just accepted the male dominance and abuse as a part of their Muslim culture. Yes, there are still sexual abusive men out there (like the Democratic nominee for president), but women in the Western world are truly blessed to not have to submit to abuse!  

Honor Killings Are a Real Threat

Rifqa’s father clearly threatened to kill her, and after many years of abuse and threats, she was confidant he would have the boldness to carry it out. Honor killings seem like such a foreign concept to Westerners, but they happen in our own backyards! I was shocked to find this story of a young woman who was murdered by her own father in my state of AZ. He ran over his twenty-year-old daughter with his vehicle in a parking lot. It appeared that she was converting to a more Western lifestyle, and she had also refused an arranged marriage years before. Supposedly, this was enough to drive her devout Muslim father to murder her.

While it is very difficult to find accurate numbers on how many honor killings take place across the globe every year, it is undeniable that it is a real threat in devout Muslim cultures. But Rifqa struggled to convince people that her life was in real danger. From her Christian friends to the court systems, no one seemed to believe that she was in real danger if she was returned to her parent’s home. I think this is an area where people need to learn more about other cultures to understand threats and dangers that may not be very prevalent in our own culture, but very real in someone else’s.

Failures of the Social System

Rifqa’s descriptions of the foster homes she was placed in after she ran away were truly horrendous and should cause all of us to question if our states are doing an adequate job in caring for foster kids. While the Florida court and then the Ohio court were processing Rifqa’s case, she was bounced from foster home to foster home to foster home. Some of her descriptions were stomach churning – many of the homes she was placed in were only slightly better than her family’s abusive home. Finally, at the end of her time in the system, Rifqa was placed in a foster home where the parents truly loved her and treated her as one of their own. I am interested in fostering one day, and I want to make sure I am the kind of foster parent where kids feel safe with me and comfortable in my home!

The Joy of Knowing Jesus

My biggest takeaway from Hiding in the Light is Rifqa’s passionate relationship with Jesus. In the book, she describes several times – starting in her childhood – where she tangibly felt God’s presence. In the times when she was not directly feeling God’s presence, she was drawing closer to Him by diving into reading the Bible. She took tremendous risks to practice her faith while living with her family – every time she read a Christian book, poured into her Bible, or snuck out of the house to attend a prayer meeting or Bible study, she was risking discover and brutal punishment from her family. But she could not be kept away – she had truly fallen in love with Jesus, and nothing could stop her. As she grew in her understanding of the Bible and her relationship with fellow believers, she talked about how many of her bad habits fell away. Rifqa allowed her relationship with God to completely transform her from the inside out, taking the ultimate risk to be in relationship with Him. Rifqa’s passionate, courageous love relationship with Jesus inspired me to trust God with abandon, be more bold in my faith, spend more time with God, and not take for granted my ability to read the Word and fellowship with believers freely.

There are so many things I could say about Hiding in the Light – it is truly a page turner. Every chapter is packed with new adventures! But I think I will have to let you read it for yourself. It is such a beautiful story and wonderfully written that I can not adequately describe it here. But I can tell you here what Rifqa would want you to know. Whatever sacrifices we have to make and whatever pain we have to go through – a relationship with Jesus is worth it all – He’s just that good!

Keys to Making the Most of Your Single Years Pt. 2

Welcome back! A while ago, I was thinking about how I can use my time of singleness most effectively, so I reached out to my friends and family and Facebook and asked what they would go back and tell their single selves about this time in life. Two weeks ago, I covered the themes of enjoying the single years, being patient during this time, and making sure you can provide for yourself. This week, I am going to focus on the themes surrounding relationships – both our human relationships and our relationship with God:

You may be single – but you are not alone!

Friendships and family – invest in these relationships to make them strong! Just because you are single does not mean you have to be lonely. I honestly feel like the term “single” is a misnomer. After all, we do not suddenly start calling people a “double” when they get married. Just because you are not romantically involved does not mean you are alone. At all. Look around you – there’s probably a lot more single people in your life than you realize. Enjoy the friendships, family relationships, and fun times with these people, but do not allow them to become the center of your life because God should always be the center.

Draw close to God and pour yourself into ministry opportunities.

We are not all called to get married, but we are all called to minister to others. You can be single your entire life and still fulfill God’s purpose for your life! Singleness is the opportunity to pour yourself 100% into the ministry opportunities you feel like God is leading you towards. You don’t have to make the decision with your spouse or significant other – you can just do what you feel like God is leading you to do. Your future spouse will come into your life as you are serving God and following Him. Nearly all my Facebook friends mentioned that the single years are the time to really press into God and draw close to Him. One of my friends, Pastor Paul, mentioned that “Enjoying every stage of life is only possible through the filter of enjoying God”. God will always be faithful to you – always. Being single is not always fun or easy, especially when you have the desire to be married! However, being single is an incredible time of growth and development as you learn to depend and trust God.

I hope you have enjoyed this two part series! God has incredible plans for you and me, and I can’t wait to see what He does in the future!

Keys to Making the Most of Your Single Years Pt. 1

I was praying the other day about the most effective way to use my time as a single person. While I want to get married and have a family, I also realize that singleness is a unique, wonderful time in life. When approached with the right perspective, I think our single years can be some of the best days of our lives. I reached out to my friends on Facebook and asked them what they would tell themselves about being single if they could go back in time. A LOT of people commented with their insights, so I decided to compile the common themes and share them here!

Singleness is a short season – enjoy it!

Many people mentioned that singleness is a very short season in life – this genuinely surprised me because sometimes it feels like I have been single forever and I get scared that I am going to be single forever. But my Facebook friends were obviously not concerned about this; rather, they encouraged me to use this time to pursue my passions and interests.

The single years are the freest time in life to pursue our interests without having to worry about the needs and wants of a significant other. Being single can be lonely sometimes, but one of the biggest perks is you can make decisions about where you feel led to serve, what hobbies you want to pick up, what career you want to pursue – without having to talk with a significant other about your decisions.

Be Patient – Do Not Rush!

I think many of us (myself included) have the desire to get married young and start a family soon. Our desires only grow stronger when we see friends of ours getting married young (I have had this happen quite a few times!).

However, most of my friends emphasized the importance of taking the time to get to know potential significant others as friends first before diving into a romantic relationship. Keep God involved in every step of the process and do not risk becoming unequally yoked. While being patient hurts sometimes, diving into a relationship with the wrong person hurts WAY more! I think my friend Shannon put it best, “Better to wait long than marry wrong.” Take your time in finding a spouse. The perfect match for you does exist – do not get impatient in the search! As we wait, God will continue to work on us and our future significant other before He brings us together as a couple. Recognize how valuable and precious you are, be patient, do not settle, and realize God has the right match for you at the right time!

Make sure you can provide for yourself and do not cut your education short!

Two ladies mentioned specifically to make sure that you can be financially stable on your own, and part of that process may include going further in your education. Sometimes I think it is especially easy for us ladies to daydream about meeting and marrying a man who can supply for all our financial needs. But the truth is, whether we remain single or get married, we are probably going to have to be financial contributors, at least for a season in our lives. Do not move out of your parents’ home too quickly – take your time in making sure you are financially secure.

I hope these insights helped you as much as they helped me! I cannot wait to share two more key insights about singleness in my next post!

2 Keys for Successful Kid’s Ministry from Dwight Moody

I have volunteered in children’s ministry since I was twelve years old. Now that I am twenty, I have learned quite a bit from trial and error about running a children’s church service. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned was to never play a game involving Vaseline (believe me, Vaseline is beyond sticky!). The more I learn, the more I realize I still have a lot to learn! I recently read a biography on Dwight L. Moody, a famous evangelist in the 1800’s who ministered to millions and led thousands of people to a relationship with Jesus. He got his start in children’s ministry, and he had a lot of insight into ministering to children!

Prioritize Kid’s Ministry

After being saved and dedicating his life to God as a young man, Moody began his ministry in Chicago. Moody passionately and consistently went through the streets and poor areas, collecting children to bring to Sunday school. His Sunday school grew and grew to hundreds of children, and in 1858 Dwight was the leader of the largest Sunday school in the US. Dwight even founded a Christian school, one for young women and one for young men, near his home in Massachusetts. He made the tuition inexpensive because he felt compassion for children who could not afford an education. Even after becoming one of the most famous preachers in the world, Dwight continued to care about children – realizing that ministering to children and young adults is never inferior to ministering to adults.

Be Creative in Kid’s Ministry

As someone who started out in children’s ministry, Moody was known for his creativity for attracting the street children to Sunday school and then teaching them effectively through object lessons. Early on in his days in Chicago, Moody would walk up and down the poor streets of the city with a pony and a pet squirrel to capture the children’s attention, passing out candy and fruit as he went! He wasn’t bribing the kids; he was just appealing to their natural curiosity so he could then tell them about Jesus. Even when Dwight began leading crusades with thousands of adults in attendance, he would still take the time to hold services for children, where he would use illustrated sermons and props to reach them at their level of understanding. One of his most notable illustrated sermons was “the book with no words” which held a black page to represent sin, a red page to represent Jesus’ blood, a white page to represent salvation, and a gold page to represent heaven. Moody was a master at using creativity to minister to children!

Children’s ministry is sometimes a challenging calling – but it is so rewarding! When we pour our hearts into kid’s ministry, we stand on the backs of spiritual giants like Dwight Moody who were experts at ministering to kids. Furthermore, we are following Jesus’ example of loving children and showing them His special attention and care. And that is a worthy calling!

Why You Should Buy a Pro-Life Shirt

The pro-life clothing sold by organizations like Live Action is more than just a garment – it’s a message, and you never know what connections you may make through wearing and sharing that message.

I am a pro-life college student who loves to wear my “A Child, Not A Choice” t-shirt around. I am never really sure if people are catching the message, but people are noticing it far more often than I could have imagined .

Last summer I wore my t-shirt to a family Bible conference. Because this ministry is staunchly pro-life, I wasn’t expecting any negative reaction to my shirt, but I was blown away by the reaction I DID receive.

As I was wandering around the lobby, I was approached by a cheerful woman in her mid-thirties with curly black hair. She walked up and said, “I love your shirt!” and we were off to the races. She had never heard of Live Action, and I got the opportunity to share about Live Action’s awesome work with her.

But I was totally unprepared for what she would say next.

Over the course of our conversation, she shared that years ago she had had an abortion. She had woken up in the middle of the procedure and asked the medical staff to stop (which they didn’t). She proceeded to talk about how an abortion means regret for a lifetime.

This woman had moved forward with her life after this painful experience. By this point in our conversation her husband and young children had wandered over and joined her. She has a beautiful family, but it was obvious to me to me that she deeply regretted never getting to meet the child she had aborted.

Thankfully, this woman had received God’s grace and healing. I assured her that as a post-abortive mother she has an amazing testimony to share. I may never see her again, but I was deeply humbled and privileged to hear her story. Abortion has claimed many victims, both babies and mothers, but it is powerful to see mothers having the courage to share their regrets over their abortions.

It’s incredible to me how damaging abortion is, and how people in the church have often experienced this hidden hurt without our knowing. You just never know who has been either directly or indirectly affected by abortion .

I never would have gotten to hear this precious woman’s story if I had not been wearing my pro-life shirt. Wearing a pro-life shirt shows everyone around you that you care deeply about this issue and you’re ready to hear their experiences. You may be helping to change the culture on the life issue, or you may be connecting with someone who already shares your views. Either way, it’s awesome how a simple message on a shirt can make an impact and bring opportunities.

So wear your pro-life gear with confidence! You never know how it might help build connections, and as in my case, you never know what stories it might allow you to hear.