0

Basketball Outreach – Teaching Christ Through Magic Tricks

Posted on May 13 , 2017 in Blog & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons

Dear friends,

It was so awesome being the Bible Teacher at a 6-week Church Basketball Outreach. Parents from all over the city send their kids to learn how to play basketball, and since the Basketball program is run by a Church, it’s understood that the kids will get a 15-minute Bible lesson each time.

This is an outstanding opportunity to reach unchurched kids and their families every week!

Every Saturday I had 15 minutes to share with three different age groups. First the youngest kids. The next hour the Intermediate boys, and then the next hour the Intermediate girls.

Between the 3 age groups, more than 150 kids and adults heard a Bible Message every weekend! Praise God!!!

How do you keep the attention of a gaggle of kids who are bursting with excitement and want to run and play Basketball rather than sit and listen? Well, God has made us very visually oriented. We retain information better when we hear it AND SEE IT. That’s why I love love love Gospel Magic Tricks!

Gospel Magic Tricks, or “Object Lessons,” can be an outstanding way to grab kids attentions (and the attention of the adults too!) and have them REMEMBER what was learned!

The topics were selected to build up to the gospel message. Here is what was taught each week:

  1. 2 Things That Make God Different From Us.
  2. We need God’s directions, and can’t make it to God by doing what “seems right” in our own eyes.
  3. Sin can look fun, but it hurts us. Sin is a trap.
  4. What is Eternal Life?
  5. Is the blood of Christ applied to you?
  6. The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Please feel free to watch one or all of the videos below. The sound quality is not superb in some of these, so you might have to increase your volume.

Part 1: Who Is God?

 


 

Part 2: We Need the Bible!

 


 

Part 3: Sin is a Trap!

 
 


 

Part 4: What is Eternal Life?

 


 

Part 5: Why is the Blood of Christ Necessary?

 


 

Part 6: The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Here are some photos from the six weeks. Please feel free to click on them to enlarge them.

We love you and thank Jesus for you!

Thank you so much for your prayers, financial support, and notes of encouragement, without which we would not be able to reach the Lost for Jesus Christ!

Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

0

December Newsletter: Jesus Did SOOO Much This Summer

Posted on Dec 17 , 2016 in Beach & Blog & Camp & Church_Teams & Colleges & Kids_Ministry & Newsletters & Object_Lessons & Sermons & Street_Evangelism & Subways & Training

Dear friends,

Recently I mailed off our latest paper newsletter.

God has been doing AMAZING things, and it’s a privilege to share some of it with you. I pray that this newsletter is a blessing to you!

God gave us Divine Appointments with Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Atheists, Agnostics, and just about anyone you can imagine.

We’ve also been able to go into Local Churches and build up, train, and encourage Christians to share their faith wherever they are!

And we had lots of Mission Trip Groups come to us this summer to train, be equipped, and go back home to be more effective Ambassadors for Jesus where they live!

I pray that you’ll be as encouraged as I am!!!

This newsletter has mostly photos in it, so it doesn’t take too long to read.

If you want to read it right away, or if you don’t get a paper one, please feel free to read an electronic version by clicking on the graphic below…

If you don’t usually receive the paper copy of the newsletter, but would like to, please contact us and let us know your address and we’ll gladly add you to our mailing list! ๐Ÿ™‚

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

0

New Gospel Magic Trick – The Solution to Racism

Posted on Oct 22 , 2016 in Blog & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons

Dear Saints,

My heart is very heavy because the racial divisions in this country are getting worse.

Clearly, whatever we’re doing any it isn’t working.

This may sound crazy, but I have the answer to racism and recently shared it with a group of teens and adults, illustrating it with a magic trick.

If you’re at all curious, please take 5 minutes and watch this brand new video (below).

And please share this with others who you think will be blessed or challenged by it.

Our world needs to hear over and over that our problems are a result of us turning from Jesus, and the solution is us humbly turning to Jesus!

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

Thank you so much for your prayer support, financial support, and notes of encouragement, without which we could not be out reaching the Lost for Jesus!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

1

April Newsletter: Jesus Has Been Outstanding – We’re Back on the Streets!

Posted on Mar 22 , 2016 in Blog & Church_Teams & Newsletters & Object_Lessons & Sermons & Street_Evangelism & Subways & Training

Dear friends,

Recently I mailed off our latest paper newsletter.

This goes out about 4 times per year.

God has been doing AMAZING things, and it’s a privilege to share some of it with you. I pray that this newsletter is a blessing to you!

God miraculously kept us on the Mission Field by providing for us much faster and completely than anyone imagined! As a result, we’ve been back on the streets, and having Divine Appointments with Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Atheists, Agnostics, and just about anyone you can imagine.

We’ve also been able to go into Local Churches and build up, train, and encourage Christians to share their faith wherever they are!

I pray that you’ll be as encouraged as I am!!!

This newsletter has mostly photos in it, so it doesn’t take too long to read.

If you want to read it right away, or if you don’t get a paper one, please feel free to read an electronic version by clicking on the graphic below…

If you don’t usually receive the paper copy of the newsletter, but would like to, please contact us and let us know your address and we’ll gladly add you to our mailing list! ๐Ÿ™‚

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

1

New Kids Gospel Magic Trick: The Loop of Life

Posted on Feb 04 , 2016 in Blog & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons

Dear Saints,

I love love love working with kids. They’re great.

So when my church asked me to give devotions for their Basketball Outreach program, I was excited to do it!

The video below is Part 2 of a 3-Part series with the kids. Each week, I give the devotion to 4 different age groups, from 1st Grade all the way up to High School. In this video, I am sharing with the youngest group.

This is also a “Pre-Evangelistic” message, where I intentionally did not share the gospel message YET because I wanted to get the kids ready for it. By God’s grace, I’ll be sharing the gospel when I’m with them again next week. Please be in prayer for that.

I also want to thank my friend, and fellow Open Air Campaigners Missionary, Brian Harmon, for patiently teaching me how to do this rope trick, because, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out on my own! Waaaay too confusing! Thanks Brian!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

So here’s the video. I hope it is an encouragement to you!

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

Thank you so much for your prayer support, financial support, and notes of encouragement, without which we could not be out reaching the Lost for Jesus!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

0

New Quick Gospel Message: What Does God Treasure?

Posted on Dec 10 , 2015 in Blog & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons & Subways

Dear friends,

Physical “object lessons” can be a super way to start a gospel conversation with someone. Also, because God has designed us to be visual, a good object lesson can be an effective way to help someone remember and retain the gospel message!

I recently learned about a GREAT IDEA for an “object lesson” from Open Air Campaigners Missionary Chris Reick. He told me that he got the idea from OAC guy Michael Bussen. (I love that I have a great, godly, and creative team that shares ideas with one another!)

This object lesson uses a shiny-sparkly gold treasure box to ask the question, “What Does God Treasure?”

I think this would be great to use with Children at a Kid’s Bible Club!

It could also be effectively used with adults as well.

I had the chance to try this out in the subway with adults last week, and the video is below.

I invite you to please take 7 minutes to view the video and see for yourself what it looks like to evangelize in the subways. Exciting stuff!!!

If you want one of these “treasure boxes” for yourself, please see this page with instructions on how to make one: http://luke-15.org/how-to-make-your-own-what-does-god-treasure-treasure-box/.

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

0

December Newsletter: An Amazing Summer!

Posted on Nov 24 , 2014 in Beach & Blog & Camp & Church_Teams & Kids_Ministry & Newsletters & Object_Lessons & Sermons & Street_Evangelism & Training

Dear friends,

Last week I mailed off our latest paper newsletter.

God has been doing AMAZING things, and it’s a privilege to share some of it with you. I pray that this newsletter is a blessing to you!

This newsletter has mostly photos in it, so it doesn’t take too long to read.

If you want to read it right away, or if you don’t get a paper one, please feel free to read an electronic version by clicking on the graphic belowโ€ฆ

I also included a flyer for a device that automatically blocks pornography from every device in your home. No software needs to be installed on any of your devices. This is a win-win for everyone because families are protected from destructive pornography, and this helps fund the vital front-line evangelism work we do.

Please check out this flyer at: http://Luke-15.org/2014-11-OMTS.pdf

If you don’t usually receive the paper copy of the newsletter, but would like to, please contact us and let us know your address and we’ll gladly add you to our mailing list! ๐Ÿ™‚

We love you and thank God for you! Please contact us anytime and let us know how we can pray for you!

And please feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be blessed by it!

For Christ and His gospel,

Mark, Shelby, Vivienne, Juliana, Caleb, and Gabriella

0

Camp Ministry Was Very Special This Year

Posted on Sep 15 , 2014 in Blog & Camp & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons

Dear Praying Friends,

Working as the Youth Pastor at Camp is always wonderful, but this summer God appeared to work in extra special ways.

I’ll do my best to share what happened so you can be a part of the amazing ways God moved.

You’d think that at a “Christian Camp,” we’d get kids that “have it all together.”

That’s not the case at all!

About 1/3 of the kids come from homes where they do not attend church. For them, this week at camp is all they get for learning about who God is, who God says they are, their need for salvation, and how to become a child of God.

Many of the kids, and teen staff, shared with me about their broken homes, the hurts of divorce, and abuse.

As Youth Pastor, it is my privilege to preach 11 times each week:

  • A 5-Day Series on “The Gospel Through Creation,”
     
  • A 5-Day Series on “The Early Ministry of Jesus,”
     
    and,
     
  • A stand-alone evangelistic Bible message to close out the week.

These messages are very powerful because they’re right from the Scriptures. I believe that kids are very intelligent and can understand Theology if it is explained to them, and that was definitely the case this summer. So many kids reacted so positively to the Word of God and the Gospel Proclamation!

Approximately 130 kids attended camp the two weeks I Pastored there.

Of the 130, about 27 kids publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior! I find that astounding!

Many more confessed to not living the Christian life they should and committed to turning from idols in their lives. Please keep these new brothers and sisters in Christ in your prayers, and let’s praise God for the tremendous work He’s done!!!

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1)

Each Friday evening, the kids can share what God did in their lives that week. Want some encouragement? Need to be uplifted? Hear these kids (and older teens) share in their own words how God worked in their lives at camp this summer. Very cool!

In addition to the preaching, I also presented “object lessons,” or “Gospel magic tricks.”

These help to reinforce the teaching.

(And they’re fun too!)

I believe we can understand and retain information when we can both hear it AND see it.

The “object lessons” and paint board messages are very helpful for the kids to hear and see the message!

This year I decided to try five brand new object lessons I hadn’t done before.

One of them is called “The Instant-Solved Rubik’s Cube.”

If you have 2 minutes and 12 seconds, you’re welcome to view the video of it below:

If you would like to see all five of the new object lessons, you can do that at: http://luke-15.org/2014/09/5-new-gospel-magic-tricks/.

Give It To Phillup!!!

One of the most special ways God worked this summer at camp was through a 9-year-old boy name Phillup.

Tragically, he was trampled while playing a game with the other campers.

He was taken away, in tears, by ambulance.

God took something very bad, and turned it into something really tremendous!

Please please please check out this amazing and inspiring true account of what happened to this boy at: http://luke-15.org/2014/08/give-it-to-phillup/.

A Moment of Insanity…

The camp has a 40-foot-high zip-line, and during my free-time one day, I was talked into jumping off of it.

Why did I do this? I’m not sure. I’m thinking temporary insanity. Maybe not temporary???

The staff duct-taped my phone to my hand so I could make a “video-selfie.” They played the video before I got up to preach one night and the campers loved it! If you’d like to see me humiliate myself, here it is. Enjoy!

What the Teaching Is Like:

When the Word of God is preached, God works powerfully. I never know how God will work through His Word, and it’s fun to see what He does.

This year I developed a brand-new message for “The Early Life of Jesus” series. This message was #4 of 5 in the series.

Out of all the Bible Messages I preached at Camp this summer, this one on “Jesus and Nicodemus” appeared to have the strongest impact. After I was done, at least 7 campers (that we know of) asked an adult how to be born again, and committed their lives to Jesus Christ!

God’s Word is powerful because God is powerful!!!

So if you have a spare 29 minutes and 27 seconds, please watch this vital message entitled “You Must Be Born Again.”


 

I have some photos that will also show how God moved at camp this summer. I pray you enjoy these…

Click on photos to enlarge them...
This is super: 5 dozen kids singing songs to Jesus! A good number of these kids come from unchurched homes, so the teaching they get this week is foundational and vital to them.
This is super: 5 dozen kids singing songs to Jesus! A good number of these kids come from unchurched homes, so the teaching they get this week is foundational and vital to them.
Sharing the gospel using a physical "object lesson" is a great way for the kids to retain and internalize what they learn because they hear it and see it.
Sharing the gospel using a physical "object lesson" is a great way for the kids to retain and internalize what they learn because they hear it and see it.
This was Part 1 a 5-day series on "The Gospel in Creation." There were a whole bunch of unchurched kids, which is VERY exciting! We learned God is "Eternal," meaning He always existed and always will. We learned that God does not have a body of flesh and bones, but is a Spirit. We learned that there is only 1 True God, and He exists in Three Persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. We learned that God does not need anything. He is self-sufficient. We learned that God is omni-present (everywhere at all times), and that God is more powerful that everything! Great Theology there, and the kids really "got it." Please keep them in prayer.
This was Part 1 a 5-day series on "The Gospel in Creation." There were a whole bunch of unchurched kids, which is VERY exciting! We learned God is "Eternal," meaning He always existed and always will. We learned that God does not have a body of flesh and bones, but is a Spirit. We learned that there is only 1 True God, and He exists in Three Persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. We learned that God does not need anything. He is self-sufficient. We learned that God is omni-present (everywhere at all times), and that God is more powerful that everything! Great Theology there, and the kids really "got it." Please keep them in prayer.
These are the wonderful 60 (or so) kids I had the honor to preach to the first week. 17 kids that week publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior, and many more committed to giving up idols and following Jesus more closely! That never gets boring!!!
These are the wonderful 60 (or so) kids I had the honor to preach to the first week. 17 kids that week publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior, and many more committed to giving up idols and following Jesus more closely! That never gets boring!!!
I love these smiles! Two of my daughters, Juliana, and Vivienne.
I love these smiles! Two of my daughters, Juliana, and Vivienne.
Me and Phillup. I hope you got to hear about how God worked through this young man. Amazing! Please check it out at: http://luke-15.org/2014/08/give-it-to-phillup/
Me and Phillup. I hope you got to hear about how God worked through this young man. Amazing! Please check it out at: http://luke-15.org/2014/08/give-it-to-phillup/
This is Bub, the Director of Programming. I thought it was funny that he attached signs to his table that said "Free Advice." :)
This is Bub, the Director of Programming. I thought it was funny that he attached signs to his table that said "Free Advice." ๐Ÿ™‚
This is the cabin that Juliana (bottom-left) and Gabriella (bottom-right) stayed in!
This is the cabin that Juliana (bottom-left) and Gabriella (bottom-right) stayed in!
And what could be goofier than a cabin of boys? Caleb is on the bottom-right.
And what could be goofier than a cabin of boys? Caleb is on the bottom-right.
This is Raveena, one of the teen staff girls. Let's just say that Raveena is a little "intense." She adopted me as her daddy for the time I was up there.  :)
This is Raveena, one of the teen staff girls. Let's just say that Raveena is a little "intense." She adopted me as her daddy for the time I was up there. ๐Ÿ™‚
This is part 2 in a 5-part series on "The Early Ministry of Jesus." We learned that "In the Beginning" Satan successfully tempted Adam to sin, with disastrous consequences. Adam was humanity's representative, so all of us are under sin. After Jesus' baptism, Satan tried to temp Jesus to sin. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness and, in His humanity, was hungry and tired. Still, Jesus, being perfect, successfully defeated Satan's temptations, each time using Scripture to thwart the enemy. Jesus is God, and greater than Satan. Satan is destined for the Lake of Fire, and so is anyone who belongs to Adam's family. Jesus will be our Deliverer if we are adopted into His family. A vital lesson!
This is part 2 in a 5-part series on "The Early Ministry of Jesus." We learned that "In the Beginning" Satan successfully tempted Adam to sin, with disastrous consequences. Adam was humanity's representative, so all of us are under sin. After Jesus' baptism, Satan tried to temp Jesus to sin. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness and, in His humanity, was hungry and tired. Still, Jesus, being perfect, successfully defeated Satan's temptations, each time using Scripture to thwart the enemy. Jesus is God, and greater than Satan. Satan is destined for the Lake of Fire, and so is anyone who belongs to Adam's family. Jesus will be our Deliverer if we are adopted into His family. A vital lesson!
Caleb and one of his very-best friends, Kjell.
Caleb and one of his very-best friends, Kjell.
Juliana made a character from one of her favorite book series, "Sailor Moon." Clever girl!
Juliana made a character from one of her favorite book series, "Sailor Moon." Clever girl!
This was part 4 of "The Early Life of Jesus" and God used this message very powerfully. The Religious leaders thought there were 2 things you needed to be "right" with God: you had to have the right birth (be Jewish) and you had to do good deeds. Jesus met with Nicodemus & told him that "You Must Be Born Again." Jesus pointed out that our first birth is actually sending us to death because we all come from Adam. And Jesus used Numbers 21 to point out that our "good deeds" aren't as good as we think they are. We NEED a second birth. Our first birth puts us into the family of Adam. Adam was a sinner, and his family inherits his sin, leading to the Lake of Fire. We must be ADOPTED into a second family, Jesus' family. Jesus was sinless, so those in His family are seen as righteous, leading to Eternal Life. How are you adopted into the family of Jesus? I told the kids that I'd share that tomorrow. At least 7 kids came to adults asking how to be born again, and they all gave their life to Jesus! Praise God!!!
This was part 4 of "The Early Life of Jesus" and God used this message very powerfully. The Religious leaders thought there were 2 things you needed to be "right" with God: you had to have the right birth (be Jewish) and you had to do good deeds. Jesus met with Nicodemus & told him that "You Must Be Born Again." Jesus pointed out that our first birth is actually sending us to death because we all come from Adam. And Jesus used Numbers 21 to point out that our "good deeds" aren't as good as we think they are. We NEED a second birth. Our first birth puts us into the family of Adam. Adam was a sinner, and his family inherits his sin, leading to the Lake of Fire. We must be ADOPTED into a second family, Jesus' family. Jesus was sinless, so those in His family are seen as righteous, leading to Eternal Life. How are you adopted into the family of Jesus? I told the kids that I'd share that tomorrow. At least 7 kids came to adults asking how to be born again, and they all gave their life to Jesus! Praise God!!!
These are the amazing 70 (or so) kids and teens I had the privilege to teach the second week. About 12 kids that week publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior! I find that astounding!
These are the amazing 70 (or so) kids and teens I had the privilege to teach the second week. About 12 kids that week publicly testified to repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior! I find that astounding!
Juliana and one of her best friend, Raiya.
Juliana and one of her best friend, Raiya.
Our final meeting was a camp-fire meeting outside. I taught on "Jesus and Bartimeaus."
Our final meeting was a camp-fire meeting outside. I taught on "Jesus and Bartimeaus."
As it got darker out, the black light and fluorescent paint made the message "glow in the dark." The kids really understood that they needed to turn from their sins and trust in Jesus!
As it got darker out, the black light and fluorescent paint made the message "glow in the dark." The kids really understood that they needed to turn from their sins and trust in Jesus!

Another neat thing that happened is that my 15-year-old daughter, Vivienne, was asked to volunteer to be a part of the Horse Staff this summer. That meant that she went up to camp a week before it started and stayed there all summer!

I’m so proud of how hard she worked too. It’s a LOT of work to clean the horse stalls, carry the heavy saddles, move the bales of hay, and the many other chores that need to be done early in the morning until evening time.

Not only that, but she worked with campers, helping them with the horses, and even walking alongside as they went on trail-rides in the heat.

Way to go Vivienne!

We missed her soooooooo much, so it was extra special for us when we’d drive up to camp for my preaching weeks, because it meant that we were reunited with Vivienne for another week!!! Yay!!!

I hope this post has encouraged you. God is working in the next generation!!!

Thank you for your partnership, prayers, and financial support, without which we could not be reaching the lost for Jesus Christ!!!

Please share this update with others you think would be blessed by it!

all for Jesus,

Mark (and family)

0

5 New Gospel Magic Tricks

Posted on Sep 10 , 2014 in Blog & Camp & Kids_Ministry & Object_Lessons

Dear friends,

People are very visual. We often remember important truths better when we can “see” them illustrated.

This is why Gospel Magic Tricks can be so effective!

I have a number of “standard” tricks I use, but this summer, when I was the Youth Pastor at Camp, I wanted to try five new ones.

So the following are five brand new “Gospel Magic Tricks” that you can learn and use as you interact with both kids and adults. (I’ve found that the adults often get more amazed than the kids and beg to know how I did it!) Just tell them that the “truth” is more important than the “trick.”:


The King of Hearts:

This is a good object lesson to begin a 5-day Bible Club, as it introduces the gospel. A deck of cards is used to illustrate that Jesus alone is the King of kings and, through the gospel, can be King of our hearts!
 


The Impossible Balance:

This trick uses a belt and a piece of plastic to teach that God made things to work a certain way, and sometimes God made things to work in a way that we don’t expect.
 


Instant-Solved Rubik’s Cube:

This trick makes use of a “Rubik’s Cube” to teach that we only make our sin problem worse, and only God can solve it!
 


Disappearing Sin:

A silk and a velvet bag are used to teach that we might be able to hide our sin from each other, but we can’t hide anything from God. Hiding our sin isn’t the answer. Applying the blood of Jesus to us through repentance and faith is the answer!
 


Tied to Jesus:

A number of silks are used to teach that the only way to be tied to Jesus forever is to admit your sin, repent, and trust in the gospel. None of the “good things” we do can earn our way to Heaven.
 


 

I pray that these object lessons will be a blessing to you and that you’ll even be able to use them yourself! Please feel free to share these with others who you think will be blessed by them!

all for Jesus,

Mark