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Sunday, May 23, 2010

When God Is Silent

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God. Ps 38:15

What do you do when God is silent? I pace, fret, and assume I’ve done something wrong. When I don’t hear His voice, I look for other voices to guide me. Thankfully, God’s silence is loud enough to overshadow doubts and other well-meaning voices.

I hugged my grandchildren goodbye. My daughter-in-law, Whitney, and her mother, Elaine planned to visit Whitney’s sick grandma and then head to the Charlotte Airport to fly to Jacksonville, Florida. I watched them drive off, already lonesome.

I cranked Halleluiah and was distracted by the domestic scene in front of me. A tiny grey mother kitty carried her babies, one by one, to a new location. She carefully and tenderly held babies by the skin on their delicate necks. I thought of my own grown children. I still had a mother’s tender heart that longed to carry babies but they didn’t need to be carried any longer. I felt a moment of nostalgia as I remembered carrying my babies from one location to another.

I put Halleluiah in reverse and realized I didn’t know where to go next. I was stunned. Since I began these journeys in 2002, I’ve always had an instinct about the next location. I panicked because I couldn’t hear God. I remembered my morning devotions with my grandchildren. Should I also have done private devotions? I sat in the car and prayed for wisdom. God was silent. Why couldn’t I hear Him? What was I doing wrong?

I called Bob. He’s never silent. “Bob, I don’t know where to go next.”

I heard the computer keys clicking. “What about Myrtle Beach. You can be there in a few hours. They’ve got a KOA. You haven’t stayed near the ocean yet.”

I hung up and called the Myrtle Beach KOA. They had room. I couldn’t make myself reserve a spot. I called Bob back.

“It doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what’s wrong. I always know where to go.”

“Maybe you can stay in Charlotte.”

“Both Charlotte campgrounds had room but I couldn’t make that reservation either,” I said.

“What about Wilmington, North Carolina?” he offered. I sighed. He was trying to help but nothing felt right.

“When you don’t know what to do, I guess you do the next right thing,” I said. “I’m going to grocery shop.” I drove across the street and filled Halleluiah with food. I still didn’t know what to do so I filled Halleluiah with gas. I ate lunch but still no word from God.

I started driving. I called Bob again. “I’m just driving. I have no idea where I am or where I’m going but I was bored sitting there. I guess when I figure out where to go, Tom Tom will figure out where I am and send me there.”

I passed a shopping mall and saw a Massage Envy. I have a membership because of my fibromyalgia and was behind in using my pre-paid massages. Maybe God wanted to give me a massage. Unfortunately, they had no openings.

I was wasting gas so I drove into the parking lot of a sandwich shop that had free Wi-Fi. I got a diet coke and was sorry I’d already eaten lunch. I briefly considered eating again but knew that wouldn’t help. I decided to sit in Halleluiah and use their free Wi-Fi until God told me what to do. I looked at my watch. Three hours wasted and I was only 3 miles from where I started. It was time for Whitney’s plane to leave so I called her.

“Are you at the gate?” I asked, picturing Ava and Noah excited about boarding the flight.

“No,” she said frantically. “We’re going to miss our flight. I have to go. Chris is calling. He’s trying to find us another flight.”

“How can I help?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said as she hung up.

Suddenly I knew why God had been silent. Whitney was going to need help. He couldn’t tell me earlier because the need hadn’t even happened yet.

I called Bob. “Whitney missed her plane. Now I know why I’ve been sitting here. God wants me to drive them to Jacksonville.”

“Their stuff won’t fit in the camper. You don’t have enough seat belts,” he argued.

“I have 2 belts in the back, 1 in the middle, and 2 in the front. That’s enough. You’re forgetting the rule about vehicles – you can always put in one more thing.”

I called Whitney back. “God hasn’t let me leave Charlotte. He wanted me to wait on you. I’ll drive you to Jacksonville.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “We can’t get another flight out. But I don’t want to interfere with your ministry.”

“Whitney,” I said. “You and Chris donate to this ministry. Today you get your very own minister. God kept me in Charlotte for 3 ½ hours waiting on you to miss that flight. Let me help.”

“We’re sitting in the lobby of the airport. The kids haven’t even eaten yet so we’ll have to stop for lunch.” I looked at my watch. It was after 2.

“I’m going to take a minute and repack Halleluiah so I’ll have room for your stuff,” I said. “I’m 30 minutes away. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Bob called while I was repacking Halleluiah. Packing Halleluiah is his job. I’m not the most methodical person in the world and he likes knowing where things are so he can help me find stuff.

“Where are you putting things?” he asked frantically.

“Anywhere I can. Ouch!” I screamed.

What happened?” he demanded. “Are you safe?”

“I’m lowering the spare tire so I can put stuff underneath. It was hot and burned me. I’m parked and safe. Yuck.”

Now what?” he said.

“I got grease all over me.”

“Cheryle,” he said. “I didn’t think you could lift the tire by yourself.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I’m going to figure it out. I just wish it wasn’t so hot. I’m putting the boxes of books underneath.”

I went inside and realized that the toilette area could act as a closet.

“What are you doing now?” Bob asked.

“Stuffing stuff in the toilet.”


“Well, technically, the toilet lid is closed. I’m stuffing stuff inside the toilet closet.”

“What if you need the bathroom?”

“I’ll take the stuff out. I hope no one opens this door or they will be crushed.” Bob’s blood pressure rose even more.

When I finished repacking, I headed to the airport with Bob still on the phone. It was a good thing it was Saturday or his job might have been in jeopardy.

“Cheryle, find out what airline they’re at,” Bob instructed. “You have to get in the correct lane.” Sighing again, I resisted the urge to remind Bob that I’d been driving to airports as long as he.

I drove up to find two hungry grumpy children disappointed about no airplane ride, a frazzled Mama, and a weary Nana waiting in the airport lobby with 2 giant suitcases, 2 backpacks, 2 car seats, 2 purses, and a stroller. We loaded everyone and everything in tiny Halleluiah. We stopped for fast food and drove to Jacksonville.

I felt honored to serve my children. I was like that mama kitty carefully carrying her babies to another location. I thanked God for my wonderful daughter-in-law who allowed herself to be ministered to by the ministry she supports so faithfully. Whitney’s mother, Elaine, rode in the front. She and I had known each other since 3rd grade but had never really spent any quality time together. We had hours to revisit memories and fill in the intimate details of our lives. At the end of the drive, Elaine and I left the car planning our next outing. At one of our stops, Whitney witnessed one of the Divine Encounters she makes possible through her donations. Tiny Ava rode in the middle seat. She isn’t much of a traveler but having the resources of Halleluiah available made her trip more pleasant. Noah rode in the back with his mother and enjoyed their quality time. It was a fabulous trip.

When Whitney tried to pay for the gas, I argued. “You’ve already donated to this trip. It would be like you were paying twice.”

“Take the credit card!” she insisted. I did.

I spent the night at their home, went to church with them the next morning, and hit the missionary road again. This time I knew exactly where to go and when I arrived, I met the person God had sent me there to meet.

I learned a lesson about God’s silence. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve done anything wrong or that I couldn’t hear Him talking. In fact, it wasn’t about me. The answer wasn’t prepared yet. I’d been tempted to listen to other voices more willing to speak but God’s silence spoke louder than those voices. Maybe the next time God is silent, I’ll just relax and wait.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 NIV

Since the beginning of the 2010 Pocket Full of Quarter’s Missionary Journey, Belle the Missionary Dog and I have traveled in our camper van, Halleluiah, through 20 states evangelizing and handing out quarters. I’m writing from Florida but soon will be heading up the East Coast. Every person we meet is in a different phase of the continuum of his or her walk towards or away from The Truth. Below are a few recent examples.

Seekers – Need The Truth and Time to Think

Jules said she was a former Mormon. She left the church because she thought the rules were silly. She lived in Utah, where everyone she knew believed the same teachings. She’d never heard about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or that grace was free if you asked. She was a young mother and wife and said, “I want my 2-year-old son to learn about God but I can’t take him to a church I don’t believe it. I’m trying to learn about other religions.”

“May I tell you a little about traditional Christianity?” I asked. She nodded eagerly and listened with rapt attention. At the end of the “Truth Lesson,” I invited her to pray to receive Jesus.

“Not yet,” she said, backing up. “I have to think about things. Can I keep this information?”

“Absolutely,” I said. “Here’s a card to my website. The quarter in it represents the free grace of God. The website contains more information. Jules, I can see it in your eyes. You’ve recognized the truth. This is simple. All you have to do is ask Jesus to help you in your unbelief and pray the prayer in that pamphlet. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.”

Rebels – Wait Until Truth Has Their Attention and Go Slowly

Emma grew up forced to go to church and hadn’t personalized it. When her sister announced she was a lesbian, Emma’s religious mother struggled. Emma decided religion was judgmental and rejected it. Then her best friend got addicted to cocaine. She worried about him and watched him ruin his life until he met Jesus. She said, “The change in him was amazing. He is off cocaine and productive. Now he wants me to think about Jesus. I suppose all of this could be real. It has sure helped him.”

“What do you know about becoming a Christian?” I asked.

“I suppose you have to go to church and get baptized,” she said.

“No,” I said. “Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus. Those things you mentioned are important but not about becoming a Christian. May I share with you the way?” She nodded and I spent the next 20 minutes reading scriptures that demonstrated that the Jesus loved her, wanted a relationship with her, and was waiting for her to invite Him into her life. She listened openly but I knew that if you push a rebel to pray for salvation too soon, it could postpone that decision for years.

“Think about it,” I suggested. “Read this. I’m sure your friend would be honored if you prayed this prayer with him.”

The Fearful – Need Help Identifying and Releasing What is Blocking Truth

Sandy was a non-practicing Jew. A Christian friend helped her understand Jesus was real and possibly the Messiah that her faith was waiting on. She knew how to pray to receive Him but was terrified of what it would do to her family relationships. When I probed, I found the root of her fear. It was deep and went back to her childhood. An aunt had become a Christian. The family ostracized the aunt, who later committed suicide.

I took her hands. “Tell me exactly what you’re afraid of.”

“I’m afraid I’ll become a Christian and end up doing the same thing as my aunt.”

“Sandy – you already believe in Jesus. I can see His Truth in your eyes. You’ve come too far to stop now. Are you worried that meeting Jesus will change you so much that you’ll lose control?”

“Yes,” she whispered. “I don’t know what I’ll be like. I have a son. What if I do what my aunt did?”

“Can you make a decision to trust God with that fear? You don’t have to trust Him yet, just decide to.”

“I can try,” she said. Her hands were trembling.

“Good job. Now, let’s ask God to remove the fear.” She agreed and I led her to ask God to remove the specific fear. She looked up and took a deep breath.

“Tell me the first thing that came to your mind after you prayed to remove the fear,” I said.

“I can!” she said excitedly. “I suddenly heard myself say I can do this.”

“Do you want to invite Jesus into your life right now?” I asked.

“No,” she said thoughtfully. “I think I should pray that prayer with my friend. She deserves that.”

“What an honor,” I said. “She will remember it forever.”

Deceivers – Bolt from the Truth – Even While It’s Pricking Them

A shabbily dressed man knocked on my window. I cranked Halleluiah for a quick getaway and rolled the window down. Belle barked warningly.

“My car overheated. I tried to buy lunch but my credit card won’t work. You’re in ministry. Could you loan me a few dollars? Give me your address and I’ll mail it to you.”

“I won’t loan you money but I’ll give you some. I live off donations so I don’t have much.” I pulled $5 from my wallet. He reached through the window.

“Wait,” I said, pulling it back. “First, let’s talk about Truth.” I presented the gospel of Jesus. “Jesus is The Truth.” He took a tract and pretended to be interested.

“I’ll pray for you.”

“Sure,” he said reaching for the money. “I can always use prayers.”

“I mean now,” I said, keeping the money where he could see it but out of his reach. I prayed for his character and for Truth to be revealed. I finally handed him the $5 and he snatched it away. He literally ran from the car, jumped in his supposedly overheated car, and sped away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trekking and Tracting Through Carowinds

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Mark 16:15-16 NIV

OK – I admit it – I love amusement parks. They are fun. People are generally in a good mood and receptive to receiving information about Jesus. I also like rides. I go to amusement parks whenever possible.

My Pocket Full of Quarters journey rule is to go where I’m invited and do what I’m asked. My daughter-in-law Whitney called to say her 92-year-old grandmother was gravely ill. Her grandmother, Louise, was my Girl Scout troop leader when I was child and I love her dearly. I knew she was in Charlotte, North Carolina visiting her youngest son.

“How can I help?” I asked immediately.

“Mom and I want to go to Charlotte. Chris has a business trip and can’t keep the children.“

“If you take the kiddoes to Charlotte, I’ll meet you there.” I negotiated. “They can help me tell people about Jesus while you and Elaine visit Louise.”

If you’ve been reading this blog, you may remember that my youngest granddaughter, 1-year-old Abigaile, helped me hand out tracts a few weeks back. Now, 2-year-old Ava and 6-year-old Noah were going to get a turn. I’d been to Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte and knew they would enjoy it so I began making plans.

We arrived at the Charlotte hotel about the same time. “Gi Gi!” Noah said excitedly. “You’re going to love this. Look.” He opened the drawer and pointed to the Gideon Bible.

“Gideon is a ministry that hands out Bibles,” I explained, showing him the name. “I’ve met people who worked with Gideon. God has told them to put a Bible in as many hotel rooms as possible.”

“Let’s go see if there is one in your room,” he said excitedly. Sure enough, I had one too.

“I’m going to put it with your ‘talk to God books,’” Noah said, getting the Bible out of the drawer and taking it to the zippered zoo bag that holds my Bible and study books.

“I brought the ‘talk to God book’ you like,” I said. “We’ll read it tonight before you go to bed.”

That night, I read the children a devotional and showed them the tracts. “We’ll ride rides tomorrow but our job is to tell everyone about Jesus. I need you to help me give these to people.”

The next morning, as we were walking across the Carowinds parking lot, Noah said, “Look Gi Gi, look. Look!” He pointed to a license plate.

“Where is it from?” I asked.

“No,” he said excitedly. “Read it.” The words across the bottom read “In God we Trust.” I thanked him for being so observant and took a picture. We entered the park and began riding rides and handing out tracts.

Ava liked giving tracts to preschool girls like herself. She’d walk up shyly and simply hold it out. I’d ask their mother’s permission and after the mom nodded, the children took the tracts. These cute tracts had a picture of cow and the cover read, “You’re very special to God.” As we stood in lines, Ava beamed as their mothers read the words that told these tiny children about how much God loved them and how they could find Him. Even at 2, Ava understood the importance of what she was doing.

Noah also understood what we were doing and figured out right away which tract was for which age group. We had Transformer tracks for adolescents, Cow Tracts for preschoolers, and Billy Graham tracts for adults. He passed them out everywhere.

Unlike Ava, there was nothing shy about Noah. Worried that a “no thank you” would discourage him, I warned, “Not everyone wants to hear this good news. It is our job to share about Jesus and their job to say yes or no. Even if they say no, we are always nice. We want them to see Jesus in us.” He accepted that and stayed hopeful when 2 people said no thank you. They were polite and so was he.

As we walked out of the park, Noah reached in my purse and grabbed the rest of the tracts. He handed them to everyone we passed. When we were down to 1 Transformer tract, he asked, “Can I keep this one? It’s about transformers.”

“Absolutely,” I said. “We’ll read it before we go to bed tonight.”

We saw many people reading our tracts. We don’t know if anyone prayed to receive Jesus but I’ve met an amazing number of people who say getting a tract played a vital role in their becoming a Jesus follower.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Gift

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Cor 9:15 NIV

I met a man who had given his country the gift of his faithful service. Dennis was 19 when he signed up to serve our country. He fought in Viet Nam. He came back to America to go to school on the GI Bill. His fist day of college, the professor had everyone introduce themselves and tell a little about their lives. When Dennis told his story the professor said, “Why don’t you come to the front of the room and demonstrate how to bayonet a baby?”

“Thank you for serving for us,” I said. “I’m so sorry that America didn’t treat you better when you came home. I entered college in 1970. I remember what professors said about the war and the soldiers. It was terrible. I had a cousin in Viet Nam and I got so angry.”

I met Dennis in the Charlotte KOA Campground. He was there to help a friend with their gun display at an NRA Tradeshow. Dennis had recently retired from a 35-year career as a fire fighter in Chicago and was spending his retirement traveling the country and living in campgrounds. He was single with no children.

“Many of the Viet Nam Vets have had a hard time,” I said. “That war seemed harder on our solders than the others. Maybe it was because of how they were treated when they returned.”

“The average World War 2 Vet saw front line combat 30-40 days during their enlistment. We saw it almost every day for the entire time we were enlisted,” Dennis said. “You can be under that much stress for only so long without it damaging you. I had nightmares for years.”

“Did it make you cynical about your country?” I asked.

“Not my country but it made me cynical about people. People do stupid things.”

“The people I’ve met also tell me that it made them have a hard time with the concept of God,” I said.

“Recently, I was in the hospital. The doctor came in and told me I had a spot on my lung and they were going to give me chemo. He walked out. The next thing that happened was a Chaplin walked in to pray with me. Next, a priest came in. Then a Rabbi. Wait – I'm not done. A Cleric came in. I figured I was covered on the prayer thing. God had heard from all sides. I was just glad a Buddhist didn't come in. The Buddhist would have told me to try to accept it and I didn’t want to accept it.”

“So did you have cancer?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “It turned out to be a lung infection. I still had a hard time. 12 weeks of antibiotics shut down my kidneys. Then it left me with 6 weeks of gout.”

“How are you now?”

“OK,” he said. “My foot still hurts.”

“It sounds like those prayers are working. If you had to pick, which of those religious brands would have worked for you?”

“I guess the priest. I don’t think any of them have it all right.”

“I have a real simple definition when I ask people if they are a Christ follower. Do they believe in the God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Do they believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the son of God? Have they confessed their mistakes and asked Jesus into their life? Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, not a religion. The religion might come later but it starts with a relationship. Are you active in the Catholic church?”

“Semi,” he said, pondering what I’d said.

It was time to go. I prayed about what to give him. The answer came and I walked to the car. I grabbed my book, The Secret to Dealing With Pain and Related Depression. It dealt with pain and contained the way to Jesus.

I walked back over and handed him the book and a card with a quarter in it. “The quarter represents the free grace of God. It is a gift. All you have to do is ask Jesus into your life. He makes everything better. This is a copy of my pain book. I don’t think you’re depressed but you mentioned pain.”

“Thanks,” he said, looking pleased. “May I make a donation or something?”

“This book is a gift. We live off of donations but this book is a gift.”

He opened his wallet and pulled out a $20 bill.

“You don’t have to do this,” I insisted. “This was a gift.”

“I don’t have to do anything,” he said. “I don’t do anything I don’t want to. I want to give you this.”

I knew I had to accept his gift so I took it. I prayed he would accept the real gift that the book told about.

Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Losing Perspective in the Darkness

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 NIV

I was on the phone with My Best Friend Nancy as I stepped outside my camper. It was dark and Belle needed to walk.

I can’t see anything,” I cried. Nancy didn’t like hearing that. She frets about me traveling alone and does not like me being outside at night.

“I can’t see and I can’t remember where the lake is. I can hear the frogs but it sounds like they are everywhere. How do I know I’m not going to walk Belle into the lake? Do they have alligators in South Carolina?”

“Yes,” Nancy said. “They do have alligators. Alligators eat dogs.”

“Great,” I said. “I’ve completely lost my perspective in this dark.” An alligator didn’t eat Belle and I didn’t fall in the lake.

A couple of weeks later, I stepped outside in the pitch-black dark in Colorado. I knew there was a giant cliff close to me that dropped hundreds of feet into the canyon below but couldn’t remember which direction it was in. I knew that if Belle and I walked over the cliff, bad things were going to happen. I turned on my tiny flashlight beam and still couldn’t get my perspective back. I had completely lost my way and that tiny beam that pointed in one direction didn’t help. I needed a light that lit up the darkness all around me.

I meet many people who have lost their way. It is as if they are wandering around in the darkness and do not even notice it is dark. They don’t know which way to go or that there is anything available but darkness. They have lost their perspective about the difference between right and wrong. They have no idea of what living in the light could even be like. They have no memory of anything but darkness so darkness seems normal. They wander around dangerously close to a cliff and sometimes they fall over.

Occasionally, people shine tiny lights their way in the form of rebukes, pep talks, or advice. “You can do better,” people suggest. “Stop or you’ll kill yourself,” frantic loved ones cry. Unfortunately, like my tiny flashlight beam, these poor lost souls see the light but it does not illuminate the darkness or help them find their way out.

The only hope is to allow the bright illuminating “Sonshine” of Christ’s love and grace burst through us in the form of love, grace, faith, and kindness. The light of Christ is so bright that not only will it light up their darkness, it will make them long to walk towards it. Once they accept the love and grace of Jesus, He will convict their heart about sin and show them a way out.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who and Whose Are You?

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 NIV

Who are you? Whose are you? What thoughts dominate your mind? What emotions control you heart? Whom or what do you worship? What increases or depletes your strength? Whom or what do you love with your entire mind, heart, soul, and strength? The answer affects your life and eternity.

People answer most of those questions in the first 5 minutes I spend with them. They speak words that mirror their thoughts. They wear emotions on the set of their jaw and the bent of their shoulders. They demonstrate what they worship by what excites or hurts them. Their strength is obvious by the shape of their body and the speed of their gait. The sweet aroma of Christ is unmistakable and the lack of it is as painfully obvious as a gaping hole left in a ship by an enemy torpedo.

The signs of pain are everywhere. God has called me to minister to people on the streets of America. I hear shocking stories as I travel. I witness shocking deeds. Some are so broken that they have lost faith in ever being happy again. Some are so hardened that bitterness spews out of every breath. I want to weep when I meet Christians who spot evil on every street corner and have taken it upon themselves to be the “sin police.” I apologize when I meet Christians and non-Christians who been so damaged by the "sin police" that they have rejected Christ and Christ’s church completely. People casually and jokingly share deeds so mean spirited, dangerous, or evil that I shudder as I recognize the deep pain behind their lighthearted words.

It is not hard to discover what is important to people. What we do with the information depends on who and whose we are. The easy way out would be to play the "sin police" by pointing out what people are doing wrong and how they could do better. After all, those mistakes are usually obvious to everyone. If we’ve spent time studying the Bible, we could hurl the words of God as an indictment and feel self righteous as we do it. The problem with that approach is that it focuses on behavior and not the heart. God cares about the heart. The behavior is a mere symptom of what is going on in the heart.

When I meet people on the street, I have a moment to influence a heart and if I focused on behavior, I’d lose that moment. When I focus on judging or reacting to behavior instead of having compassion for the damaged or hurting heart, it means that something is wrong with my heart.

What I long to do with every pour of my being is to let the perfect forgiving understanding loving heart of Jesus shine so brightly that that even if someone rejects it, they never forget the attraction. The heart of Jesus saw the sin of the prostitute but ministered to the damaged heart. The heart of Jesus rebuked the pious religious people so intent on living by rules and regulations that they had no room left to love. The heart of Jesus was compassionate to a thief condemned on a cross. The Jesus I want to radiate prayed for His executioners while His blood dripped onto the ground below.

My job on the streets of America is to love God with my entire mind, heart, soul, and strength and let that love bubble up and pour over every person I meet. Knowing and doing that are two different things. It is sometimes a challenge to love God with my entire mind when my mind whirls with uncertainty about what lies around the next corner. Loving God with my entire heart grows difficult when I let my heart be damaged by damaged people. It is impossible to love God with my entire soul when my soul craves what is out of my reach. I can forget to love God with my entire strength when my body is made uncomfortable by the demands of God’s calling. When I allow earthly distractions to interfere with loving God, the babbling brook that represents my love for others dams up and stops flowing. The only answer is for me to stop trying to solve every difficulty and turn my entire attention back to loving God with all that I am.

On those days when I manage to love God with most of my imperfect being, I notice beauty and peek around the next corner with anticipation. I recognize damaged hearts even as they hurl unfair, untrue, or cruel words about my Savior or occasionally me. I’m able to minister to a heart instead of reacting or taking harsh or ugly words personally. I accept the blessings God gives today and trust that they are not only enough, they are abundant. I serve God with the strength I have and He multiplies it and pours it out on the world the same way He fed 5000 with just a few loaves and fishes. When I love with the heart of Jesus, people want to know more of the Jesus who creates such love. My love for God grows as I witness the power of that love in their lives and suddenly, I have more love to offer to the world.

When the “who” of me becomes a Christ-follower seeking the Mind of Christ and the “whose” of me is God’s beloved, forgiven child, I can walk on water, move mountains, and say to the wind, “peace be still.” That kind of power is available to you if you want it. Who and whose are you?
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What A Day

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Ps 118:24 NIV

What a day. I love sprinkling Jesus everywhere, but I must confess that if I get to pick, sprinkling Him across the towering red rocks of Colorado and Utah and along the Colorado River would probably be my first choice. In my last career, I was confined to an office. Now I get to do my work hiking places like Hovenweep National Monument.

As Belle and I hiked up and down the steep rocky canyon of Hovenweep National Monument, we shared Jesus with a Wicca practitioner and a Park Ranger. When we got back to the Visitor’s Center, Belle put on a trick show for an entire class of 5th graders. While she performed, I got to talk about Jesus. They were interested in reading Belle’s blog so I handed out my cards. The teacher thanked me for taking so much time with them.

As Belle and I hiked, I remembered the flat tire I’d had in Hovenweep in 2002. At the time, I thought it was crisis but it lead to the salvation of the man who changed the tire. This just goes to show that I don’t know what is good for me. I hear from him from time to time and he is doing great.

I also took great pleasure in the fact that because I’d prepared for this journey by working out at Curves, I was able to hike the steep rocky two mile trail with little effort.

This afternoon, I went to the grocery store. The woman in line ahead of me was angry about everything. I’m not sure what got her so angry but she was slamming her groceries out of her cart. In her fury, she laid her wallet down and panicked when she couldn’t find it.

“Here it is,” I said quietly, pointing the wallet that was perched on top of a can of peas. “You seem like you’re having a bad day.”

“I am,” she huffed. “This grocery store charges too much and they don’t take care of you.”

“We’re cheaper than the other grocery store,” the clerk argued.

“You’re too crowded,” the woman retorted.

I opened my purse and handed her a pamphlet entitled, Steps to Peace With God. “You look like you need this,” I said.

“I have peace,” she snapped.

I just looked at her and she looked sheepish. “I don’t believe this stuff but I’m sure you mean well.”

“I absolutely mean well,” I said.

“Ok,” she said, sighing. “I’ll take it and read it.”

Tonight, I took the 21 mile Canyon Land boat and dinner tour out of Moab. As I walked in, I remembered the sad college student who’d worked the ticket counter in 2002. She’d had a number of personal tragedies and what I call a “pocket full of tears.” I shared Christ with her and when I returned in 2003, she was a completely different person. She’d become a Christian, joined a church, and gotten active in a Bible study. Tonight, when I walked up to the same counter for the 3rd time, we immediately recognized each other and both got excited. Mallory was happy, had graduated from college, was still active in church, and had married a Christian man. Jesus had truly emptied her pocket full of tears.

For the dinner portion of the tour, I sat with 4 people who said they were more spiritual than religious. Three were interested in my story and life but not Jesus. The fourth, sitting next to me, was a former Mormon from Utah and was willing to talk about Christ. I gave all of them quarters and cards. I quietly shared the way to Christ with the former Mormon and gave him a tract. Since he was sitting with his 3 friends, who were busy religion bashing while we talked, I didn’t push him to pray with me but I showed him the prayer in the tract.

“Thank you,” he said, taking the tract.

Just in case you think my day was perfect – it wasn’t. I got lost a couple of times. My GPS took me down a dirt road that had a fence at the end of it. You haven’t lived until you turn a camper around on a rocky narrow dirt road. A cabinet flew open while I was driving and hurled food items at poor Belle. Something fell off the shelf above me while I was driving and conked me in the head. I was without cell coverage most of the day. I had to hook up my camper up in the dark and I scraped my hand while I stumbled and fumbled around. The hose didn’t connect properly and soaked me. I plugged in the electricity and it didn’t work. Shivering and wet, I walked to the campground office in the cold black night. Fortunately, they were still there and got my electricity working.

My life on the road is hard. Often, I long for my comfortable bed and luxurious shower. I always long for my husband. Days like today make it all worth it. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904 614 3585.

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

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Date Day

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matt 7:3-4 NIV

Sunday was Date Day. Date Day is better than Date Night because it lasts all day and all night. Bob and I hadn’t seen each other in 3 weeks and we planned to pack Sunday with a day of worship, romance, and adventure.

Our day began worshipping at the San Felipe de Neri Church in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’d spent the night at Hotel Albuquerque Old Town and the church was just a couple of blocks away. Bob and I strolled through Old Town holding hands and quietly walked into the church packed with people.

Fray Manuel Moreno started the original church of San Felipe de Neri in 1706. Fray Manuel was a Franciscan priest who came to Albuquerque with 30 families from Bernalillo in 1704 or 1705. Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez, the founder of the city of Albuquerque, originally named the church San Francisco Xavier, after the Viceroy of New Spain. The Duke of Albuquerque changed the name to San Felipe de Neri in honor of King Philip of Spain.

On a rainy day in the summer of 1792, the old church completely collapsed. A year later, Albuquerque built the church currently standing on the Old Town Plaza. This lovely church is in the shape of a cross, has the Stations of the Cross on the 5 foot thick walls, and was constructed of adobe.

It was a peaceful service filled with prayer, reading the word of God together, and singing. We sat in anticipation as the Priest began his Homily.

The Priest said a parishioner once commented that no one ever had ever heard him talking badly about other churches or religions.

The Priest answered, “We have enough to talk about in this church. When we finish fixing everything here, we’ll talk about other churches.” We all laughed.

The Priest’s response is the best example of Matthew 7:3-4 I’ve ever heard. When we finish fixing everything about ourselves, we can start fixing other people.

We left the church and ate authentic New Mexican food in Old Town. We visited shops, again holding hands. Bob bought me a lovely mother’s day gift – you may have guessed what – a dramatic necklace. Who is surprised that I wanted that. We went to the movies and saw – you can probably guess again – Date Night.

We’d hoped to take the gondola up the Sandia Mountain and eat dinner at the Hotel on top of the mountain but the ice cold rain and hail discouraged us. I wondered if it was an example of the heavy rain that had collapsed that tiny church so many years ago. Instead, we drove around the city taking in the sights and ran a couple of errands. We ate New Mexican food for dinner. What can I say? We don’t have Mexican food in State College, Pennsylvania. After dinner, we returned to our hotel. I do not plan to write about the rest of our delightful Date Day.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to or call Cheryle Touchton at 904 614-3585.

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

Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries