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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let Me Out


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady


How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Ps 119:103 NIV

“I thought there was no way to reach this community,” the pastor excitedly told his outreach committee members. I’d just finished giving them an evangelism training class. The pastor and the chair of their outreach committee had spent three hours following me through the park and past the sidewalk caf├ęs and shops that surround his church building. “I couldn’t believe how eager people were to hear about Jesus. Only one person got annoyed. Even the Jewish people did not seem to mind talking with us. I feel like I’ve been let out of a cage. I’m going to commit to doing this two hours every week.”

“I’ll go with you,” the outreach chair offered. “Cheryle just speaks scripture and invites people to Jesus. I can’t believe how simple it was. She didn't push us or make us uncomfortable. She just let us watch.”

I wanted to cheer. The pastor had started out dubious about walking around so close to the church. He was well known and respected in his beloved tight knit community and didn’t want people uncomfortable. To his astonishment, almost everyone welcomed the conversation and six people eagerly prayed to receive Jesus. That pastor was starved for what he’d witnessed the Holy Spirit do that afternoon.

“One woman burst into years when Cheryle introduced herself. The woman said we were the reason she’d driven 15 miles to take her children to this park,” the pastor said. “She prayed to receive Jesus. 16-year-old Kyle goes to our local high school. We talked to him a while and then he followed to ask more questions. We need to get him plugged into our youth group. Three junior high school girls prayed to receive Jesus. We saw them a couple of hours later. They were still beaming. We met a man named Jim and when he realized what church I was from, he said my name like I was a rock star. He’d walked by our church every day and read my name and the quotes on our marquis. He was longing for someone to invite him in. Two men wanted to challenge us about God being real. I want our church to offer something where they can come in and feel free to discuss those kinds of things.”

I’m starved for that light to go on for other Christians. I look at Christians struggling to maintain the joy of their salvation. I know that if they would share their faith, it would accelerate their spiritual growth in a way that nothing else would. I look at churches discouraged and struggling and know that if their members would give the good news of Christ to the people they meet on the streets, it would transform the culture of that church in a way that nothing else could. I long to help others share their faith because of what it does for individual Christians, the church, and the lost. It is like a funnel. The Holy Spirit fills us up but if we don’t let Him flow through us and into the world, the funnel gets stopped up.

Are you in a cage about sharing your faith? Are fears of offending or saying the wrong thing, excuses about not having the gift of evangelism, or false beliefs like ‘people don’t want to hear it’ your jailers? Regardless of your spiritual gifts, sharing your faith with others will set you free. Churches that share their faith soar out of their cages as if on eagle’s wings. It is so easy to share our faith. We just speak the words of the Bible and invite people to the party. The true words of the Bible are sweeter than honey and it draws people to it like Humming Birds are drawn to sweet nectar.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Go Witnessing


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady


After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Luke 10:1-2 NIV

“What percent of time are people with you when you are evangelizing?” Steve asked. He’d just spent a day following me through a mall, watching and praying for me as I shared the gospel. Ten people prayed to receive Jesus and a couple more took The Jesus Challenge to ask the Jesus they don’t believe in to reveal Himself to them. It was a good day.

“Not much,” I said. “I’m by myself most of the time.”

“Think about it,” he pushed. “What percent?”

I counted. It was six months into the year and I’d evangelized with 8 people. Some had spent multiple days with me. I compared that number to the total days I’d evangelized and estimated I’d been alone 90% of the time.

“That is a waste!” Steve said. “You should be with someone 90% of the time. People need to see what you do.”

“I invite people to come with me,” I said. “I think it scares them. I encourage contributors to go because I want them to enjoy what they make possible. Now that I think about it, I lead more people to Christ when someone is with me. I don’t know if it is because the Bible says go two by two, because someone is praying, or because I’m more focused.”

“It’s probably all of the above but I’m not talking about the efficiency of more salvations or even blessing people. I’m talking about people waking up to how simple and straightforward it is to lead someone to Christ. I enjoyed seeing what you did today but it was more than that,” Steve said. “I needed to see how simple it is to lead someone to Christ. There were no tricks, no manipulation - just straight scripture and an invitation. I guess I thought talking about religion was private and people might get offended. These people today seemed to want to hear what the Bible said.”

“They do,” I said. “God made us that way. Everyone is born with a need for Jesus. Evangelize simply means to give good news. I often introduce myself as a ‘Good News Christian.’ Everyone wants good news. People mix up evangelizing and proselytizing. It is not my job to manipulate or talk anyone into salvation. I simply share good news and invite people into the Kingdom. For many, the invitation is too good to pass up. Did you notice that if someone didn’t want to talk, I affirmed their privacy, handed them a tract, and pointed to the prayer. Most of them were reading it as we walked away. Many accept Christ just by reading tracts.”

“I did notice,” Steve said. “Today wasn’t scary for me. You just let me watch and pray. That is what I want you to offer to others. Just invite them to follow you, watch, and pray. Anyone can do that. I needed to know how easy it was to fulfill the Great Commission and maybe next time, I’ll want to take a turn talking. If I hadn’t watched, I might have thought it depended on my words. I still can’t believe how simple and straight forward it is.”

Within 48 hours, my phone rang and Steve said excitedly, “I just got a Father’s Day gift. My family took me out to dinner and I led my waiter to Christ. I plan to go out witnessing tomorrow night.” Steve is beginning a journey that is going accelerate his spiritual intimacy, awe, and faith in a way that nothing else will.

So, let’s go witnessing. Invite me to your area. All you have to do is follow, watch, and pray. You can do that. If you want to take a turn talking, ask and I’ll let you, but all you have to do is follow, watch, and pray. Evangelism may not be your primary spiritual gift but you can learn to use your spiritual gifts to fulfill the Great Commission. If you go witnessing with me, I promise you a day of watching the Holy Spirit work. I promise I won’t push or make you uncomfortable. You’ll leave with a fresh understanding of just how much the world wants to know Jesus. Let’s go witnessing.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Monday, June 20, 2011

S & S: Salvation & Sunscreen

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14 NIV

Yes, I know that the Bible says whatever we ask in His name will be done. I know that when two agree in prayer, we are promised that it will happen. I know that we can and should call on the Lord to do miracles as a testament to the power of Jesus. I’ve traveled with evangelists who do this regularly and I’ve witnessed miracles. However, I must confess that when I travel as an evangelist, I stick to the use of one of my primary spiritual gifts – evangelism, and don’t often call for other miracles. My spiritual mentor recently challenged me about trusting the word of God so I’ve gotten a slightly braver on this journey.

“You are already sunburned and it is only day 1 of Bonnaroo,” I said to a young woman huddling under the limited shade of where people wash their hands. This lovely strawberry blond haired, fair skinned woman, wearing a spaghetti strapped sundress was beet red.

“I know,” she sighed. “It is so hot here and I didn’t realize I was getting burned.”

Louise and I talked with her a few minutes and she decided that she wanted to ask Jesus to be her personal savior. I led her in the standard prayer that I lead most people in when they say yes to Jesus but added the words, “Lord, please protect her from the sun.”

The second we finished the words, “In Jesus name, Amen,” two men rushed up to her and without asking, sprayed her completely with sunscreen. They covered every inch of her body. When they got to her face, they instructed, “Close your eyes.” She did and they sprayed her face. They even sprayed the part on her hair. She thanked them and they left. There was no flirtation, no ulterior motive - just protection from the sun.

We were all stunned and delighted by the instant answer to prayer. What a testimony to the power that Jesus is going to have in the life of that young woman.

“See how God answers prayer,” I said to her.

“I do,” she said in awe.

Since praying worked so well with protection against the sun, maybe I’ll get bolder with my requests to God.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Calvary Leads to Calvary


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. Matt 16:18 The Message

“Hello,” I said, walking up to a man and woman sitting on a bench in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mall. I was with Steve Harrison, a board member of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. I’d driven to Philadelphia to participate in Steve’s Quantum Leap program for writers. Quantum Leap helps writers learn how to market their books and services. While Quantum Leap is for writers of every genre, Christian and traditional markets, Steve is a committed Christian and wanted to spend a day following me and learning more about evangelism.

The man sitting on the bench gave us a wide grin, stuck out his hand to Steve and said in a childlike voice, “Hello, I’m Jack.”

Steve shook his hand and said, “Hi Jack.”

“Hi Jack,” I said, smiling. “I’m Cheryle. Nice to meet you.”

Jack delightedly shook my hand. He then turned to Steve and shook his hand again, saying, “I’m Jack.”

“Jack,” I said. “Jesus loves you.”

“I love Jesus,” he said. “My granddaddy loved Jesus.”

Wondering if they had the same granddaddy, I asked the woman sitting with him, “Are you two related?”

“No,” she said. “I work at the group home where he lives.”

“Jack sounds like he knows all about Jesus,” I said as Jack beamed.

“He does,” the woman said. “He talks about Jesus all the time.”

“What about you?” I asked. “If something happened today, would you know where you would spend eternity?”

“I hope heaven but I’m not really sure,” she said. “I go to church sometimes.”

“You don’t have to hope,” I said. I went into the good news of Christ. Throughout my sharing, Jack agreed playfully with me, loving hearing us talk about Jesus. Every few minutes, he stuck his hand out for Steve to shake it again.

Jack’s companion listened to my words but wasn’t very interested until I asked where she was from.

“I live in State College,” she said.

Wow” I said. “I live in State College too. You said you go to church sometimes. Where do you go?”

She gave a name of a local Methodist church I didn’t recognize and added, “I’m not very active.”

“I go to Calvary Baptist,” I said.

When I said Calvary, her entire face lit up. “I know Calvary!” she said excitedly. “They do City Serve. They come out to where Jack lives and help us fix up the place. I love Calvary.”

“We call ourselves the Church Without Walls,” I said. “I love Calvary too. We like to go out into the community and be Jesus to the world. The weekend of City Serve, we cancel all services and just serve. We also send groups overseas to help orphanages and other kinds of projects the same way. We’re pretty excited that City Serve is expanding to other churches in the community.”

Once this woman knew I was from Calvary, everything changed. When I invited her to pray with me, she eagerly agreed.

“I want to pray too,” Jack said.

“Of course you can,” I laughed. Jack and his companion repeated the words after me. When we finished, Jack was grinning and the woman’s eyes were brimming with tears.

“If you fill out a card, I’ll send you free stuff and promise not to hassle you,” I said.

“Sure,” she said, taking the card and filling it out.

“Me to, me too,” begged Jack. “I want one too.” I gave Jack a card and he carefully drew his name in big letters.

“Here is something to help you understand more about what you just did and what to do next,” I told the woman, handing her a tract. “Maybe you can visit Calvary sometime.”

“I want one too,” Jack begged again. I smiled and handed him a tract.

When the day was over, Steve and I had led 10 people to the Jesus that Jack loved so much. Because Jack prayed the prayer, some evangelists might have counted sweet Jack among their salvation numbers but I did not. I could tell that Jack’s grandfather had already led him to Jesus. Because Jack’s grandfather had been Jesus to Jack, Jack helped me lead his companion to Jesus.

I love being a part of a church family that lights up the faces of non-members and even non-Christians. I was 200 miles from my church but because of their determination to be Jesus to the world, Calvary helped me offer Calvary to someone else. When a church is the church Jesus intended, the reach of the church is limitless.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We Can Have Sweet Fruit


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-24 NIV

“Why did you write your book?” the speaker asked. I was in a class that was supposed to teach me how to describe my book so I could increase sales. “Maybe the best way to figure that out is to figure out what makes you mad. Take a moment and write down what makes you mad.”

I sat and prayed about what made me mad. I couldn’t think of anything but I knew what broke my heart. I want to weep when I meet broken, mean spirited, or hardened Christians who make Jesus look unattractive to a world that needs Him so desperately. I want to weep for those poor Christians not experiencing the fruits of Jesus’ spirit and for those they influence.

Jesus got furious at the Pharisees because they were religious but legalistic, judgmental, and just plain mean. He scolded the disciples when they were afraid, wouldn’t let the children talk to Him, and wasted time trying to figure out which of them was more important. He came to give us peace. He told us that the greatest commandment was to love God with our entire hearts, souls, minds, and strengths and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

So many of the people I meet on the streets believe Jesus has no power because the Christians in their lives were not exhibiting the sweet fruits of the spirit that were readily available to them – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It has been my observation that the lack of those fruits in their lives is the single biggest reason people don’t share their faith and why so many in our country are disappointed with Christianity and the church. I wrote my book, The Secret to Everything, to those Christians who longed for more spiritual fruit in their lives.

Pastors Need Sweet Fruit

“I went to church and it made me cry,” a young man at Bonnaroo told me. “Since nothing had ever done that before, I went back. I became friends with the pastor’s son. One day, I was over at the pastor’s house playing basketball and I beat his son at basketball. The pastor got so mad that I beat his son that he started yelling profanity at both of us. I haven’t been back to church.”

“I’m so sorry that happened to you," I said. "It sounds like that poor pastor wasn’t experiencing the joy of his salvation. The Bible promises us what it calls the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The Holy Spirit was what made you cry. He touched your spirit and wanted you to know the Jesus that offered you those fruits. That pastor didn’t demonstrate that to you but please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let me introduce you to Jesus.” Within a few minutes, the young man prayed to receive Jesus

Families of Pastors Need To See Sweet Fruit

After leaving Bonnaroo, I stayed the next night at a KOA. When I went over to the office, a sad looking woman sat outside smoking a cigarette. She was in the middle of divorcing her abusive husband.

“I had to get my daughter away,” she said. “She looks just like me and he was starting to turn his anger on her.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “Do you have church support?”

“No,” she said. “I was saved when I was little but my pastor was my aunt. She was nice to everyone at church but she was always mean to my mother. I don’t know how a minister can act like that. I’ve tried a couple of other churches but nothing has stuck.”

“What about your daughter,” I said. “You say you’re saved but does she know Jesus?”

“She’s been to Bible School and sometimes we go to church but she hasn’t been saved.”

About that time, nine year old Katie, walked up. “Hi,” I said. “Your mother told me you’ve been to Bible School. Did they tell you about Jesus?”

“Yes,” she said.

“What do you know about Him?” She went on to tell me that Jesus was a baby and had died on a cross.

“Did you know He came back to life?” I asked. She did.

“Do you believe it?” She did.

“Have you ever done anything wrong?” She had.

“Jesus loves you and will forgive you for anything.” I looked at her mother. “May I invite your daughter to accept Jesus as her Savior? She already believes and I think she is ready.” The mother eagerly agreed.

“Katie, Jesus loves you very much and is sorry that that your Mommy and Daddy are getting divorced. They still love you and Jesus wants to help you. Would you like to invite him into your life right now?” She nodded eagerly. Together with her mother, Katie prayed to receive Jesus.

Relationship, Not Religion Creates Sweet Fruit

“I grew up in a Christian family,” a woman told me. “They answered the phone with ‘praise the Lord.’ And yet, they were all depressed and angry. They fought all of the time. Two of those ‘Christians’ committed suicide. When I was 12, my Christian father attempted suicide. I found him and saved his life. What bothered me most was that no one over talked about it or anything else. They just put Bible band-aids on everything and never dealt with anything. I still consider myself a Christian but I almost died from bulimia before I realized that I had to have a relationship with Jesus and not just a religion.”

Who Wants Sour Fruit?

God has called me to go into dark places like Mardi Gras, Bonnaroo, and the Ohio Halloween block party to lead people to Jesus. The Bible says where sin increases, grace abounds and I can testify to that. At all of those events, there are “Christians” there who stand on street corners and walk around, yelling judgment down on the crowd. They call the people walking by horrible names and inform them they are going to hell. They don’t stop with judging the “party hearty people.” They also yell judgment on those entering churches whose doctrine they disagree with. I sometimes follow behind what I call the “sour Christians” and apologize to the crowd on behalf of Jesus Christ who loves them very much. That apology often leads people to Christ.

I wrote my book, The Secret to Everything, because I believed Jesus when He said the most important thing we could do was to love God with our entire heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. It hurts so much when I see Christians so miserable that they exhibit hate and depression rather than the life Jesus intended. It hurts when I see Christians worrying, fighting, or looking as if the burdens of the world are on their shoulder. It hurts because I was once one of those Christians and I still remember what it felt like. When I discovered that the secret to everything was to stop working on fixing everything and everyone and just love God and people more each day, the fruits of the spirit began to taste sweeter each day. I wrote The Secret to Everything because I long for more Christians to know how to fertilize and prune to have fruit as sweet as sugar. The sweeter the fruit, the happier we are, the more people want what we have, and the easier it is to lead people to Jesus.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Salvation Bonnaroo Style

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps 139:14 NIV

For most of my life, I worked hard on music. I studied with the best teachers, practiced, and even got a degree in it. There was only one problem – I was not gifted musically and training only goes so far without that gift. What that meant was that I recognized talent, taught the talented, but always knew what I was lacking. The music world is competitive and musicians usually know where they stand in comparison to other musicians. I loved teaching music and was confident with the spiritual gift of teaching, but because I wasn’t musically talented, no matter how much I practiced, I always felt insecure.

A few years back, God dealt with my insecurities and taught me to nurture and appreciate the gifts He blessed me with and accept the gifts and talents He did not send my way. Since I was born into a family of musicians and had spent most of my life around musicians trying to be one, it was both painful and a relief to step out of the musical competitive whirl wind. At Bonnaroo, the enemy tried to hand me back my insecurities and use them to stop me from leading a group of young people to Jesus.

Louise Milligan and I were walking back to our car with the leader of our evangelism team, Rev. Ron Fuller – The Sojourner. It was the last day of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. It had been a good day with 16 people praying to receive Jesus. We were hot, exhausted, and ready to get back when we heard strains of the song, “Take Me Back to West Virginia.” Ron is from West Virginia and couldn’t resist weaving his way between tents to find the music. They finished just as we walked up.

“I’m from West Virginia,” Ron said. Then, using his best imitation of an old man’s voice, he pleaded, “Sing it again for an old man.” They complied and we sang along.

While we sang, I looked at the 12 young people sitting and singing under an open-sided tent. One was playing guitar and another, a harmonica. Three young women, dressed in bikinis, were puffing on pot out of what I now know is a pot bowl. Most had beer cans in their hands. One young man was wearing a bathing suit and two shells strapped across his chest. His girlfriend complained the entire time that he had eaten all of her “mushrooms.” I knew they weren’t talking about portabellas. According to the girlfriend, 7 grams of mushrooms was too much for him to eat and his punishment was to walk around wearing the shells. I prayed for them as we sang.

When we finished singing, Ron stepped behind me, and quietly instructed, “Now, add them to your number.”

I knew what he meant. I stepped forward, used my “outside voice” and said, “You were kind enough to sing for us so I want to tell you about Jesus.”

They were in a great mood. They clapped. One shouted, “Yea Jesus.” I kept it light and fast paced. “The Bible says all have sinned. Sin is the Bible word for making mistakes. Anyone sinned this weekend?” I paused as they laughed, agreeing they knew all about sin.

“It is a level playing field,” I said. “We’re all sinners. The wages of sin is death but the good news is that the gift of God is eternal life. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Jesus loved you so much that He died for you. I want to lead all of you in a prayer to invite Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior.”

They looked at each other, hesitated, and one shouted, “We’ll pray it if you sing it. This is Bonnaroo.”

I stuttered and froze. I’d already noticed that at least four of this crowd was gifted musically. I thought about Ron and Louise standing behind me and knew that while I’d probably never see these young people again, I’d have to go home with Ron and Louise knowing how my music compared to the gifted musicians we’d just heard. Louise is my sister-in-law and I’d been her son’s piano teacher. If I sang, I was afraid she was going to find out just how untalented I really was. The familiar musical shame crept into the marrow of my bones. Then, I got mad that the enemy was using it against me.

“Ok,” I said, shaking off the bad feelings. “I’ll sing a line and you repeat it back to me.” They all cheered.

“Dear Jesus,” I sang and waved my arms for them to repeat it back. They sang the words back.

“Thank you for dying for me.” They cheerfully sang each line as I sang through confessing faith in Jesus, admitting sin, asking for forgiveness, and finally, asking Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

My internal music teacher critiqued as I sang and I was vaguely aware that my melody line made no harmonic sense and that I changed keys at least 3 times. I must have had some kind of rhythm because they clapped as we sang.

When we finished, I said to the now quiet group, “There are 12 of you sitting here. How many of you really sang the words and meant them?” Nine raised their hands. I added nine to our count, making the total of 78 for me and 98 for our entire group.

Later, Louise and Ron said it was great, that I’d gotten quiet at all the right moments. “They clapped along,” Louise said in wonder.

I knew what my musical grade really was but also knew that evangelism is a spiritual gift and that spiritual gift had carried the moment. The harvest was ripe. No wonder the enemy was throwing old insecurities back into my face! I am beautifully and wonderfully made and the gifts God gave me are enough to do what He calls me to do. I tossed those insecurities right back at the enemy. They don’t belong to me.
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Team Jesus


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
KJV Phil 4:13


“You guys sure are a great team,” Ron Fuller with the Sojourners Fellowship said.

“We are,” I agreed. “We used to work together. We’ve been family a long time.”

Louise Milligan is my sister-in-law, friend, sister in Christ, and the mother of 2 of my 4 four nephews. Louise joined me at the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. We both like many kinds of music but we were there to tell concert attendees about Jesus. We heard several times what a great team we were. Team Jesus is the best!

Each morning, Louise and I grabbed a cup of tea, read our Bible, and prayed together. Team Jesus is prepared.

“I hope you are careful,” I told one young man. “You probably have a mother who wants you safe.”

My mother told me to party my “A..” off,” he replied. (You’ll have to fill in for yourself the word he really used.)

Louise walked around behind him, looked, arm bumped him, and said, “It’s still there.” Team Jesus has a sense of humor.

“What is that?” I asked a couple. They were lighting a 4-inch colorful piece of glass and puffing.

“It’s a bowl,” they explained.

“I assume it is for pot,” I said. “How does it work?” They explained the technology and then went on to teach us about how and why people ate poison mushrooms. Louise and I listened without commenting when they said, “It’s natural so it is safe.” Team Jesus just loves.

After they finished sharing about pot, we shared about Jesus. They listened to our good news and invited Jesus to be their Savior.

“I can’t believe what people tell you,” Louise said as we walked off. “Thank goodness they didn’t offer us a puff.” Louise and I have never smoked pot and plan to keep it that way. Team Jesus lives in the world but is not of the world.

“I was worried about that too,” I said. “I always ask when I don’t understand things. It helps me in my work. That information will come in handy for leading someone else to Christ.” Team Jesus wants to know.

A couple of days later Louise and I were walking across the Bonnaroo field when someone called us over. It was our pot smoking friends, clear headed, relaxed, and excited to see us. Team Jesus is effective!

Louise and I walked around for four days in 90 degree plus weather, sharing Jesus. While we were together, 49 people prayed to receive Jesus as their personal Savior. Team Jesus in unstoppable!
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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's A War Out There


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12-13 NIV

It’s a war out there. When it happened the 1st time, I was disappointed. When it happened the 2nd time, I was surprised. When it happened the 3rd time, I knew we were under enemy attack and the team I was with, Louise, Tanya, and I, prayed. When it happened the 4th time I got mad. When it happened the 5th time, it simply didn’t work. The enemy’s newest strategy was to snatch people away, just as they were about to pray to receive Jesus.

Just as two lovely young women were about to pray to invite Jesus into their lives, their long lost best friend ran up and started hugging them. I was disappointed because the moment seemed lost. When they finally finished hugging, I tried to snatch the moment back. The “interrupter” glared daggers and said, “I’m really uncomfortable.” She stormed off, which ended any possibility that the other two were going to pray. The enemy had snatched them away and had used their friend to do it.

Another time, just as we began to pray with a young woman, 3 friends stormed over and demanded she come with them “right now.” The enemy snatched her away and used 3 friends to do it.

It would have been comical if it hadn’t been so frustrating. Later, a drunk burst into our group asking for directions just as the group was about to pray. My sister-in-law Louise is nothing if not bold. She actually ran what I call a “block” by putting herself between us and them. She had no idea where the stage was but she managed to head him in another direction.

On our way out of the park, it happened one last time. We met a lovely but frustrated young woman standing next to her suitcase. She had been standing beside the road for an hour waiting to hear from her friends. As we talked she confessed that she had been struggling and had lost all hope. We prayed for healing for her and shared Jesus. Just as she was about to pray to receive Jesus, her phone rang. Louise and I couldn’t believe it was happening again and we were done with the enemy winning. We waited for the conversation to end, insisted on helping her carry her stuff, and walked with her. She eventually prayed to receive Jesus.

On Day 1 of Bonnaroo, we had 3 salvations but it would have been much higher the enemy hadn’t snatched people away at the exact moment they were about to be reborn. It is a war out there – a war against the spiritual forces of darkness. The enemy may win a battle but he can’t win the war. We have our own secret weapon at our disposal – prayer.

They don’t call them prayer “warriors” for no reason. It’s a war out there and we put our warriors to work. Prayer worked and the enemy didn’t even bother trying the strategy again. On Day 2 of Bonnaroo, Louise and I led 13 people to Jesus. On Day 3, we had 7 salvations. Together, we’ve had 23 salvations in 3 days. I’ve had 50 people pray with me since I left on this missionary journey. Our entire team, lead by the Sojourner, Ron Fuller, has had 65 salvations in 5 days. It may be a war out there but we already know who will win!


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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wonder in Wal-Mart

Give’em Heaven In 2011 – Wonder at Wal-Mart



By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady



Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35-36 NIV

A couple of days before the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival there is wonder at Wal-Mart as the parking lot fills with painted vans, excited people looking for a party, lots of beer, and Christians giving the good news of Christ. In the last 24 hours, our tiny group of about 8 people led 37 people to Jesus.

“I have the best job in the word,” I told one young person, “I get to travel the country giving the best news anyone could ever hear.” In moments, this pierced, painted, and scantily clad young woman prayed to receive Jesus.

“You’ll enjoy the concert more if you drink more water than beer,” I advised a group of young people. “At about day 3, people are walking around looking miserable. Heat and hangovers are a bad combination. They came all this way and spent all this money and they look like me the day after surgery.” They laughed and two of them prayed to receive Jesus.

“Please be careful,” I said. “You probably have a mother at home who wants you to return in one piece.”

“You’re right. I just got off the phone with her.”

“If something bad happened and you didn’t live through this week, do you know where you would go next?” I asked.

“Bonnaroo heaven,” he said.

“And if you got to Bonnaroo heaven and God asked why he should let you in, what would you say?” God adores this young man and in a few moments, he said the words that meant he could go somewhere even better than Bonnaroo heaven.

“My I tell your children the story of Jesus?” I asked.

“They’re not my children but I’m watching them. Sure.”

I pulled out my cube that had pictures and told the children a story that two of them had never heard before. Their eyes were as big as saucers. One of the children was in tears. I asked if they wanted that Jesus to be their savior and they all nodded. I prayed with them and gave them pictured tracts that explained what they had just done.

If you wonder if the wonder of their salvation was real, relax. We have good news and people feel it all the way to the marrow of their bones. They crave what God has to say as people camped outside of Wal-Mart in 90-degree weather pant for water. Everyone wants Jesus, even if they don’t know it.

My beloved Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest'? Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” At Wal-Mart today, we opened our eyes and looked at the fields. They were ripe for harvest. I am filled with wonder.


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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate

Monday, June 6, 2011

We Care

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady


As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. John 20:21 NIV

Jesus has sent me out on the road again. I left today for a month long missionary journey made possible by faithful churches and Christians who love God and people so much that they use time, talents, and resources to lead strangers to Jesus. I'm writing this from Wytheville, Virginia. I want to shout for joy about how much Christians care about leading people to Jesus.

The Church Cares

The Sojourners Ministry out of Manchester, Tennessee cares so much about the 80,000 people about to descend on their city to listen to rock music and “party hearty” that they invited evangelists in and have rallied the community to share Jesus with attendees of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. I am headed there now.

My church, Calvary Baptist, cared enough about strangers to financially and prayerfully support a missionary journey that will reach people who may not ever come to State College, Pennsylvania.

Tiny Hart Haven Baptist Church out of Jacksonville, Florida cares enough about America to donate monthly a part of their limited budget for missionary journeys that span the country.

The church cares about leading people to Jesus!

Christians Care

Pocket Full of Change Ministries has yearly, monthly, and occasional ministry supporters who care so much about leading total strangers to Jesus that they send money that they could otherwise use for themselves. A faithful prayer team spends time praying for the work of this ministry.

A faithful woman who lives in Arizona cared enough about people visiting Tennessee to send money for 2 Bonnaroo concert tickets – one for me and one for someone to walk with me continually praying.

My sister-in-law Louise Milligan, out of Jacksonville, Florida cares about the people in Tennessee. She agreed to be the person who goes with me and is using part of her vacation time to take Jesus to Bonnaroo. Another faithful person heard Louise was joining me and donated her personal frequent flier points for Louise’s plane ticket.

Pocket Full of Change Ministries has a faithful Board of Directors who uses their time, talents, and resources to faithfully and prayerfully guide the work of this ministry.

Christians care about leading people to Jesus!

God Cares

The reason that Christians care about strangers finding Jesus is that God loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus to die so that we could live. Just as God sent Jesus to us, Jesus’ loving spirit dwells in us, and if we tried to keep quiet about how much God cares, the Bible says the rocks would cry out. Just as God sent Jesus to us, so Jesus sends Christians to the World. God cares about people spending an eternity with Him.

It is an honor to be sent by Jesus!

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Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road leading people to Christ, you can donate at

Donate