THE TRACTING TRACKER 2018

Welcome to the “TRACTING TRACKER 2018”!

In 2016, I started to list a sampling of my encounters that I have had with people when I hand out Gospel tracts. I have been giving out Gospel tracts regularly for several years now. In November of 2014, I decided to design my own. I currently have three different ones that I give out. Above are pictures of the front and back of one of the three tracts that I give out. All three tracts are business card size. This allows me to fit a few of each in my wallet, which makes it easy to always be ready to hand them out.

Over the years, my encounters while giving out tracts has led to some very interesting conversations and opportunities to evangelize.

Here is an example of one of my favorite encounters from 2017…

Friday, January 27 – Since I had taken the day off from work, I had the opportunity to go out and have lunch with some brothers from church. Our waitress’s name was Jade. After we ordered our food, I asked her a question that I like to sometimes propose to servers at restaurants. “Can I ask you something?” She nodded. “We are from a local church. Is there anything that you need prayer for?”

You could tell that this question struck a nerve of some kind. “I just got a chills,” she admitted. This question effected her greatly. During the meal, she even at one point brought over another waitress to meet us. I guess they are friends and it seems that they have shared life’s challenges with each other. As we offered the other waitress the opportunity to also share with us what she might need prayer for, Jade’s eyes started to tear up. She was fighting back emotion.

We learned from Jade that she lacked “happiness,” as she put it. “I just want to be happy.” I then challenged her to clarify what she meant by happiness. Jade said that she had to think about it and that she would get back with an answer.

Happiness is a common goal for a lot of people, except there’s one problem with it. They have no idea what that even looks like. Jade was no different, she had no answer.

At the end of the meal, I shared with her what the Bible says about happiness, that peace with God is the only thing that brings it. I explained that when we have peace with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we can then handle things such as the death of a loved one. I also explained that without having peace with God through Christ, one’s life is then just a never-ending quest for happiness.

We gave her a Gospel tract and information about our church which she excepted enthusiastically. Please pray for Jade…

Romans 5:1-2 (HCSB)
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

We never know where evangelizing may lead, and the thought of it can be very scary. But, it’s really not. Charles Spurgeon once said…

“Let each one of us, if we have done nothing for Christ, begin to do something now. The distribution of tracts is the first thing.”

Romans 10:14 (HCSB)
“…how can they believe without hearing about Him?”

May you be motivated and blessed by these brief encounters…

Wednesday, September 5 – I was met by a new and very enthusiastic cashier while stopping for my water on the way to work at a mini-mart gas station. “Another day, another dollar. Another day, another dollar…” He kept going on and on. LOL. As I paid, for my liter of spring water, I slid a tract across the counter. “God bless, to you and your family.” He was suddenly silent. After paying, I turned and walked out the door. I looked back at him through the windows as I went to my car. His mantra then turned into repeated “thank-you’s” and energetic waving. I could clearly read his lips as I waved back at him. His enthusiasm was now just as bold as when I first came in, but for another reason? Please pray for him. Hopefully, the Spirit will grab a hold of him and transform him into Christ’s image…

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (HCSB)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Thursday, August 30 – I think it’s important to share evangelism failures along with successes. It’s encouraging to know that you are not the only one who sometimes doesn’t get anywhere when attempting to share the “good news.” On my way home from work, I stopped to get a Frosty at Wendy’s. The tract that I handed the person working the drive-thru window met my offering with complete indifference, and she also made a face as she received it from me. Hey, at least she took it… You never know, right?

Acts 28:24 (HCSB)
Some were persueded by what he said, but others did not believe.

Wednesday, July 11 – I had two interesting encounters this week which confirmed how the world wrongly looks for happiness…

The first was someone at a coffee station in a deli. The overhead speaker was playing Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.” The guy next to me making several coffee’s asked me, “Are you searching for a ‘heart of gold’?” I looked at him and asked, “What is a heart of gold?” I was hoping to explore his attempt to reach out to me, as to make sure that I understood what was possibly behind his question. He quickly replied, “It’s a metaphor… it’s about being happy.” I thought for a moment about the song. Neil Young was singing about a heart that was virtuous, not happiness. I wasn’t going to correct him. I didn’t want to insult him, so I just addressed his question on it’s own terms, putting aside the actual point of the old tune. “No,” I replied. He looked stunned. “You’re telling me you’re happy, that you’ve found happiness?” That abruptly ended the conversation and he became irate. I was kicking myself as I left the deli, because I did not attempt to pursue the exchange further. Sometimes we fail to jump on potential opportunities to evangelize. Admittedly, I bombed.

The second encounter was after offering a Gospel tract to a cashier the next morning, as I bought a bottle of spring water for my commute to work. “Here, something to think about when it gets slow. God bless to you and your family.” The cashier was very enthusiastic about it; more than what I usually get in response when giving out tracts. He said something to the effect of, “Yep, think positive. A little positivity is what we need,” as he held it up. Thinking positively is not what Gospel tracks are about.

In thinking back about these two encounters, it’s fascinating how the world seeks happiness. Yet, it gets mad when others are happy. It also mistakenly thinks that the way to get it is by its own manufacturing of “positivity.”

Please pray for these men.

Unfortunately, the world always turns away from the God who is the provider of happiness…

Acts 14:8-18 (HCSB)
In Lystra a man without strength in his feet, lame from birth, and who had never walked, sat and heard Paul speaking. After observing him closely and seeing that he had faith to be healed, Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet!” And he jumped up and started to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the form of men!” And they started to call Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the main speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the town, brought oxen and garlands to the gates. He, with the crowds, intended to offer sacrifice. The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their robes when they heard this and rushed into the crowd, shouting: “Men! Why are you doing these things? We are men also, with the same nature as you, and we are proclaiming good news to you, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In past generations He allowed all the nations to go their own way, although He did not leave Himself without a witness, since He did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and satisfying your hearts with food and happiness.” Even though they said these things, they barely stopped the crowds from sacrificing to them.

Sunday, June 24 – On our way to my son’s baseball game, we stopped at 7-11 to pick up bottled water and sandwiches for the doubleheader. Usually, I give cashiers a Gospel tract after I pay, offering blessings as I hand it to them. This cashier gave me my change, and then swiftly turned and went around to the back of the store before I had a chance. I guess he had something which needed immediate attention. So, I just left a tract on the counter. Who knows if he will actually check it out. But, if it is God’s will that this was to be the vehicle to bring him to Christ… Praise God! Regardless of our seemingly uneventful attempts, God will even gather His appointed through such encounters.

Acts 13:48 (HCSB)
When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the message of the Lord, and all who had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Friday, June 15 – I had to run to Walmart to pick up a few items to finish painting the bathroom, and to also pick up a Father’s Day card for my dad. The store was fairly quiet except for the employees getting it ready for the day. It had just opened. “How’s your morning going?” I asked the cashier. “So far, not bad. The day just started.” “Here, something to think about and God bless to you and your family,” I said, as I handed him a tract after I paid. He took it gladly and thanked me sincerely. Pray that the Lord might press upon his heart his need for Christ…

Mark 16:15 (HCSB)
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”

Wednesday, May 16 – After changing the designs for my tracts several times over the years, I am most excited about these in particular. I combined my original tract’s scripture verses (keeping it simple by using a larger font size for easier reading and also making it less wordy) with the more recent design look. Please, keep those who receive them in prayer, and may repentance and faith be granted to them by God…

2 Timothy 2:25b (HCSB)
Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.

Saturday, April 14 – An unexpected blessing… The family enjoyed a nice dinner out. As our waitress completed our order, I said that I had an odd question for her… “I am a deacon in a church in Riverhead. Is there anything that you need prayer for?” She paused briefly and then said, “Yes, my grandmother.” She did not reveal any details, but I request that you lift up her grandmother in prayer (and her as well).

So, what was that blessing?

When the waitress had prepared our check after we had dessert, she said to us, “Your desserts are on me.”

Unexpected favor is such an awesome thing to receive. I pray that God grants her His favor, after she reads the tract that we left her in the check binder…

Psalms 118:21 (HCSB)
“I will give thanks to You
because You have answered me
and have become my salvation.”

Friday, April 13 – Two guys working the register at 7-11 we’re enthusiastic about the tract that I gave them. “Some Bible verses to consider and to talk about with each other. God bless to you and your families…” They could have just been nice, but who knows, right?

Mark 4:3-9 (HCSB)
“Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”

Friday, March 23 – There’s an employee where I work, who I have had several Gospel conversations with over the years. He has had many different unfortunate and fortunate occurrences in his life. He claims to be a believer. It’s hard to tell. He is currently suffering from Bell’s Palsy, which is a facial paralysis disorder. Half of his face droops, his one eye cannot close, etc. A really tough thing to endure. Anyway, he was approached by a woman who had also suffered from this horrible situation, who told him that Jesus heals us by His stripes while handing him a tract. He told me that he was really encouraged, and that the tract was from T.D. Jakes. I then explained to him that Jakes denies that God is triune. He was shocked by this because the woman was so adamant about how Jesus heals. Fortunately, he saw that denying that God is one God who is three Persons is a serious error. I post this because it just shows how prevalent counterfeit theology is out there. We (Christians) must always be familiar with scripture, so that we can combat the myriad of false teachings that are among us.

As Paul encouraged Timothy, we must also take seriously the message that we are to be proficient in…

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (HCSB)
“I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Sunday, March 17 – A Jehovah’s Witness came to my door today. Something to remember about this religion is that even though they label themselves as “Christians,” they deny that Jesus is God and also that the Holy Spirit is God (which he confirmed outright). I immediately honed in on this point, first sharing that a key element to my personal conversion to becoming a Christian was finding out that Jesus is God. Jesus being God means that God does not delegate. It means that He takes upon Himself His own wrath, which is meant for the sinner. I explained to him that his “god” was insufficient, because his god delegates what he needs to do himself. I then took it one step further, after asking him if he worshipped Jesus Christ. When he affirmed that he did, I told him that he is blasphemous because he bows down to a non-god “Jesus.” It didn’t seem to phase him. My prayer is that it will, as Greg Koukl says, “put a stone in his shoe.” I made it clear that he needs to bow down to the God of scripture, Jesus Christ, not only acknowledging the Father as God, but acknowledging the Holy Spirit as being God as well. He also had an issue with sovereignty. I explained that our meeting was orchestrated by God. He wanted to credit himself because he knocked on my door. He (several times) proudly bragged about how he and other JW’s go out door to door evangelizing. When our conversation ended, we shook hands. I told him that I was going to pray for him. This also did not phase him. Before he left, I told him to avoid telling my neighbors that he was a “Christian,” again because he did not believe that Jesus is God. Hopefully, God will cause him to repent and trust in Christ. Please pray for him…

John 10:30-33 (HCSB)
“The Father and I are one.”
Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him.
Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which of these works are you stoning Me for?”
“We aren’t stoning You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because You — being a man — make Yourself God.”

John 19:7 (HCSB)
“‘We have a law,”’ the Jews replied to him, ‘and according to that law He must die, because He made Himself the Son of God.’”

Monday, January 8 – It was a borderline freezing commute home as the sleet and freezing rain pounded my windshield, making the drive home much slower than normal due to the slick conditions. I need a little gasoline and a snack to make it home, so I pulled into a Sunoco. After pumping the gas, I went inside for some Nutter Butters. The clerk at the register was very friendly as I handed him a tract after paying. Just before pulling out, I could still see him reading the tract.

Acts 26:20a, c (HCSB)
“…I preached to those… that they should repent and turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance.”

Friday, January 5 – It was about 8:50pm and Starbucks was soon about to close. The parking lot was fairly empty. After giving my daughter and I our hot chocolates, the girl with blue-dyed hair at the drive-thru window hesitated for a moment when I handed her a tract and said to her, “God bless to you and your family.” She, pulled back, then paused for a good 2-3 seconds, cocked her head, and said “What?” (with a slight smirk on her face). I repeated, “God bless to you and your family,” as I kept my hand held out with the tract. Her demeanor then changed, thanking me as she took it from me. As we drove around the building to the exit, we could see her through the windows; passing it to what was probably another employee, who then glanced at it, and then they started laughing. Pray for them. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of changing hearts…

2 Timothy 2:25b (HCSB)
“…Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.”