Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Don’t Sell Timeshares – I Sell Mansions

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 KJV

I have the coolest job in the world. I sell free mansions built on streets of gold. My husband Bob usually thinks my job is cool too, but it often involves weeks without seeing me. We try to plan romantic weekends about every three weeks. He was due to arrive the following Saturday and I worried a little about how I was going to explain why touring a timeshare was going to be a part of his romantic weekend in Sedona.

People often invite me to meet with their unsaved or spiritually confused or troubled friends and relatives. I’m always amazed at their courage for taking such a risk. I do my best to honor them, as does the Holy Spirit. I was eagerly awaiting two such appointments the following day.

I got an email about one of the meetings. “He’s excited about the meeting but asked if you sold timeshares.”

I emailed back, “I don’t sell timeshares. I sell mansions.”

I had been out all day and was hot and tired. It was 5:30 PM and time to return to my tiny hotel room for my microwave dinner. I’d been in Sedona for 10 days and there was still no news on camper repairs. No one had prayed to receive Jesus in two days and I confess to fighting discouragement. I couldn’t face going to the lonely four walls so early so I guiltily decided to spend the extra money to eat out.

New Christians

 Dinner was delicious. The two women next to me were from Florida and I was happy to talk about home. While they believed in Jesus, neither went to church, were sure about eternity, or had a relationship with Him. By the end of the dinner, they had prayed to receive Jesus. I left feeling vindicated about my decision to eat out.

As I stepped outside, two men asked where I was from. That’s my line, I thought and decided to be a good sport. They were actually working inside a tiny shop that appeared as if they were selling Sedona tours. Since Bob was coming to town for a romantic weekend, I thought a tour might be a good idea.

As I looked at tours, the man wearing the nametag Alan said, “What if I could get you that for free.”

I went to laughing. “You’re selling timeshares, aren’t you?”

“Well,” Alan hesitated, looking sheepish. “I’m certainly setting up timeshare tours but if you will just spend 90 minutes on a tour, you can get that dinner for free.”

“If I listen to your sales pitch, you have to listen to mine,” I joked. “I sell the best product there is. I’m a Christian and help people have eternal life with Jesus. I had someone ask today if I sold timeshares. I told them, ‘No, I sell mansions.’ The Bible says we get a mansion in heaven.” 

“It’s only fair for you to get to give your sales pitch," they said agreeably. “Listen to us and we’ll listen to you.”

“I won’t buy a timeshare,” I warned. “We don’t even know where we will be living next month. I have to take care of that before I think about timeshares. Besides, I’m a Christian and it would be unethical of me to take your tour just for free tickets.”

“That’s OK,” the man called John Wayne (it was his first and middle name) said. “This is for marketing. You know lots of people. Even if you don’t buy, you could tell others. That would make it worth it.”

“And you know a lot of people too,” I teased. “If you meet Jesus, you could tell a lot of people about Jesus.” This time they gave a big belly laugh.

“When is your husband coming to town?” Alan asked. We checked logistics and the only thing that worked was a helicopter tour.

I must have looked nervous because he said, “They have a perfect safety record.”

“Seriously,” I said, looking at the cost of the helicopter ride. “I’m really not going to buy a timeshare. I should not waste anymore of your time.”

“That’s OK,” John Wayne said. “I make my $40 just for sending you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me that? I’m in ministry and I help people. I would take the timeshare tour just to help you make the $40 dollars. I’ll do this but you have to let me tell you about Jesus first.”

They agreed.

It was my turn to talk. Alan had no idea where he would go in the next life. John Wayne said he’d been pretty good and he really hoped he would go to heaven.

“A good choice,” I quipped. “That certainly beats the alternative.” They both laughed again.

“Have you been perfect?” I asked. His answer was a big fat no.

“We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” I whispered. “The wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life. My favorite line in the entire Bible is that all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. Being good will not get you into heaven, but calling on Jesus will.”

I stopped and watched before adding, “The really cool thing about calling on Jesus is that you only need faith the size of a tiny mustard seed to do it. God will fill in the rest.”

John Wayne was under conviction. I could see it in his face. Alan was politely smiling but I knew his answer
John Wayne
was going to be no.

“Can I lead you in a prayer asking God to be your savior? I promise, I’m going to sign up for the timeshare tour whether you say the prayer or not.”

They both laughed again. John Wayne eagerly agreed to pray.

 “Let him pray. I have to watch the store,” Alan said.

“No one is here and you don’t have to close your eyes,” I encouraged.

“I need to watch the store,” he said.

Understanding, I quietly said, “When John Wayne is finished praying, I’ll give you something that has the prayer on. You can look at it later.”

John Wayne reverently repeated the words I asked him to pray. When I said the words “I believe Jesus rose from the dead,” he hesitated slightly and I waited.

Finally, he nodded and slowly repeated the words.

The next line I asked him to pray was, “I believe, help me in my unbelief.”

John Wayne looked up, a little startled. “It’s right from the Bible,” I said. “It is for people like you who believe, but still have some doubt.”

He nodded his approval and gratefully emphasized that part of the prayer.

 “Come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen,” he quietly finished. He looked stunned.

“That is the Holy Spirit you are feeling,” I gently explained.

“I feel good,” he said in wonder.

“I know,” I said.

It was time to fill out the long and complicated forms for touring a timeshare. John Wayne’s hands were trembling so much that I took the paper from him and filled it out, giving way more personal information then I intended to. I remembered the words,Do not love the world, as I envisioned the difficulties of identity theft. At least they didn’t ask for my social security number. When asked for $20 to hold my spot, I hesitated. They assured me it would be refunded if I showed up. I knew it might be a scam but it was worth $20 to give the gospel. I handed them the $20, only wishing I’d had 2 rolls of quarters to give them.

I gave Alan a tract. “We could still do this,” I offered.

“I’ll level with you,” Alan said. “I’ve prayed prayers something like that many times but it didn’t work. I used to teach youth Bible Studies. I just gave it all up.”

“You said prayers like this,” I said. “There is an important line in that prayer that you might not have prayed. It makes all the difference in the world and in eternity. Have you ever asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Until you do that, Jesus might be a neighbor that you know is good but He isn’t your family.”

“Maybe not,” Alan said, looking almost hopeful. “I will try that tonight.” He took the tract. “You’re a really cool lady.”

Poor Bob. On the way back to the hotel, I called to let him know that part of his romantic weekend was going to include a timeshare tour.

“We’re taking the tour for Jesus,” I said, babbling out the story. “And we’re taking a helicopter tour. They promise it is safe.”

Only my wife…,” was his response. Bob is a good sport.

No, I do not sell timeshares but I do admire a good sales person and these charming men were certainly good. Yes, I admit to be good at giving good news and helping people say yes to it. “Selling” Jesus is easy and I make no apologies for doing it. After all, who doesn’t want a want a free mansion built on streets of gold?

Donate to Help Lead People to Jesus


Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team

Friday, May 25, 2012

Did You Know - What a Cairn Is?

Cairn In a Tree

Cairn in a Man Made Arch

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

I learned a new word this week – Cairn. A Cairn is a word used in mostly English speaking countries. It refers to a man made pile of stones.  I saw them for the first time on Saturday.

On Saturday, I went hiking in Sedona, Arizona with my friends Susie and Gene Emery. They live in Phoenix and had driven down for the weekend to join me in evangelizing.  Since we all like hiking and this is the busy season for Sedona, we decided to evangelize on the trails along the Red Rocks.

Gene and Susie

“Have you seen the park with the Cairns?” Susie asked.

What is a Cairn?” I asked.

“It is a pile of stones that someone builds,” said Susie. “There are lots of them in a park here.”

We drove onto the amazing Upper Loop Road. The mountains of red rocks took our breath away. When we came to a ranch called, Red Rock Crossing, Susie pointed and said excitedly, “That’s it. Turn there.”

I’d been on that road many times. In fact, Belle and I had just been on it the day before. Because Red Rock Crossing was called a ranch, I didn’t realize it was a public park there for me to enjoy.

We had to wait in line to go in. The parking lot was full. The cars formed a line and when a car left, they allowed another one in. The waiting added to our excitement. Finally, it was our turn to go in.

Cheryle and Susie
We parked, grabbed our water, and went hiking. We walked along a river flowing beside a backdrop of red rocks. People were everywhere, biking, swimming, hiking, and frolicking. We stopped and talked as we meandered along.

We gave the gospel to a challenging young couple who believed their afterlife involved their mind making its way to the planet that that attracted it. We offered comfort to a grieving family gathered to honor their deceased husband, father, and friend. We asked and gave directions. We gave the gospel to two very tattooed young mothers. It was a day of sowing seeds.

“There’s one!” Susie suddenly exclaimed. “A Cairn.”

I looked over and saw a tiny pile of stones that looked a little like a snowman. 

“There is one in the tree!” Susie said pointing again. I looked up and sure enough, someone had managed to balance round stones on a tree limb.

Cairn Field
We walked around the corner and there were hundreds of them. They were on logs, in trees, and on the ground. Some were simple piles. Others were amazing engineering feats. One was an arch that we could not figure out what held it together.

People bent over to build their own so we decided to join the fun. Suzie and I added a rock to a pile. Hers stayed on much better than mine. 

The word “Cairn” comes from a Scottish Gaelic word. You can find them all over the world on mountaintops, on sea cliffs, in deserts, along rivers, and in tundra areas. Some are tiny with three or four stones and some tower several feet tall.

Apparently, someone comes along and builds something with rocks. Someone else sees it and builds ones of their own. Soon, like Red Rock Crossing, Cairns pepper the terrain. How have I traveled so much and never seen them before? I thought you would find them as interesting as I did.



Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trust God that the Harvest Is Ripe

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."  John 4:35-38 NIV

Are you surprised at my willingness to take the gospel into places like rock concerts, Mardi Gras, and drunken college block parties? Many are. They think it hard. I have to admit, sometimes it is. I’ve been hit, yelled at, and ignored. I usually spend weeks afterwards suffering from sinus trouble from all the dust, cigarette, and pot smoke. I work long days and my feet hurt. I’m willing because the harvest is even riper than the smell of their unwashed bodies.

You may be surprised, but I find that going into a 4-day drunken loud rock concert in the middle of a cow pasture in 95 degree weather is a picnic compared to trying to share the gospel in places where New Age, the Occult, the paranormal, magic, and/or astrology dominate the culture.

The places dominated by what many call “New Age” are usually beautiful, deceivingly peaceful, and a magnet for tourists. You can recognize them by magic shops, unusual temples, offerings for spiritual readings, and stores with crystals and rocks in the windows. You see women, usually in their forties or fifties, attired in dressy casual but marked with colorful free flowing long skirts and dramatic jewelry, taking potential clients to meals to discuss developing their mind, body, and spirit.

This culture is big business. This culture actually started in the mid 20th century and many are highly educated in the practice. There are organized and popular conferences led by people with advanced degrees in the differing New Age nuances that include science, the paranormal, the occult, the blend of many religions, astrology, psychology, and magic. Gift shops carry their product lines of crystals, crystal balls, wands, charts, and various stones containing the secrets to the universe. The practitioners charge fees for their services much like a doctor or an attorney and many visit these cities for the primary purpose of working with these practitioners.

Sedona, Arizona is such a place. In fact, many consider it the heart of the paranormal and occult in America and even the world. There are portals, vortexes, healings, and readings advertised everywhere. I’ve visited similar cities in California, Utah, and West Virginia, to name just a few.

I’ve been in Sedona ten days. My hotel is right between a New Age Temple and Training Center and a  church that has statues of Jesus, Mary, various goddesses, and Buddha in it. I overheard one woman, who was at dinner with a potential client, talk about the energy in the tongue and why she has her clients lick the rocks. People here carry crystals and visit vortexes for energy. One man told me my vortex was the Ringing Rock in Pennsylvania. I had to look up vortex and Ringing Rock. There is indeed a Ringing Rock Park that features rocks that sound like a bell when they are struck. A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid. Sedona is reported to have several "vortexes of subtle energy." If you visit them, it is said that you feel better for days. Since most people who travel with me say I have too much energy all ready, I am not sure I need to visit these.

When I told one woman what I did, she asked, “Can you make a living doing this? Maybe I should think about doing what you do.”

“I’m in ministry,” I said, smiling. “I do this because I love God and people. I made a lot of money in the corporate world but gave that up to do this.” She did not understand and was no longer interested in doing what I do.

Anger and even bitterness at the words “Jesus” or “Christian” abounds. Eyes narrow at a hint of Bible quotes. I see shoulders tense. One man said angrily, “I used to be like you. The only reason you ask me about my afterlife is because you aren’t sure about yours. No one can be sure. I used to be just like you, believing all that Bible stuff (but he used a different “s” word) – now I’ve found the truth.”

I’ve had multiple people tell me that after they die, their mind is going to find its way to the planet that most attracts it. I've been told that since we came to be by an explosion of the stars, we will return to them. Some say they connect with the energy of the rocks and let it flow through them, giving them magical powers. Some believe the rocks are portals for aliens from other planets. Many started out a professed Christian but feel they have moved beyond it. One man even quoted the scripture where we are promised that we will be able to do everything Jesus did and more. He said the things they do in Sedona are the "more." He also said that by using all the other gods, he gained more power.

The response to the gospel is heart breaking. To be among so many hardened, dull, or angry eyes is frightening. I’ve given the gospel many times since I've been here. I’ve had 6 people pray to receive Jesus in 10 days. I’ve felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit several other times but the people said no – for now. I’ve talked with Christians who are gradually letting the philosophy of the culture seep into their love relationship with Jesus and I want to weep at the sadness I see in their eyes. The most painful thing for me is knowing that everything they are seeking and more is available through Jesus.

Taking Jesus into places so entrenched in this way of thinking is the absolute hardest part of my job. It is so hard, I have trouble enjoying the natural beauty of such places. This philosophy has such a hold on the residents’ mind, body, and spirit that it feels fruitless to speak the gospel and yet I know the word of God will not return void. Even if I don’t have many call on the name of Jesus (6 in the 10 days I've been here,) I suspect giving the gospel in these "spirituality" magnets is the most important part of my work and I invite you to join me as I do it.

In the past, I have led some New Age followers to Christ, but I’ve found that it takes many “touches” before even a tiny crack of willingness opens in their mind, body, and spirit. Each of us who gives the gospel is part of those needed “touches.”

If you visit places like this, I beg you – don’t give up on or judge the people who practice these arts. Please, love them and be one of those “touches.” Be willing to love the people enough to risk the anger and rejection for the sake of their soul. Be gentle. Speak the scripture. Don’t argue or defend your faith or the word of God. Never preach, criticize, roll your eyes, sigh, or judge – just offer the gospel of love. Invite them to meet Jesus. Give them something to read. Don’t take the rejection personally. Trust God that he is more powerful than even the most hardened mind – after all – he is the Rock of Ages. Trust that the word of God will not return empty and speak scripture.

The harvest is ripe, even in beautiful cities taken over by darkness. Some sow and some reap and if all are faithful, we will joyfully bring in the harvest.



Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ministrivia Seems So Trivial

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: KJV Eph 6:5-7

“Ministrivia” is what Pocket Full of Change Ministries calls those mundane tasks that seem trivial and yet are critical to leading people to Jesus. The problem is, I’d rather be with people leading them Jesus then doing Ministrivia. I know Ministrivia is important – I just don’t want to do it. For those tasks, I just have to work as to the Lord.

This week, in Sedona, surrounded by lovely red rocks, I’ve been giving the Gospel and also catching up on Ministrivia. First, there were the unwritten stories. I can’t write all encounters but some stories must be told. I love writing. However, after I write comes the Ministrivia. I have to proof (Bob helps), insert HTML code, and post on our website, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Then there are the photographs. I love taking pictures. What I consider Ministrivia is downloading, formatting, grouping, and uploading them onto our FTP site. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

There are the pesky receipts that try so hard to escape. Pocket Full of Change Ministries is a non-profit company and receipts are an absolute must. In receipts, the IRS is my master. I have to collect them, try to read the fading ink, categorize them, put them in an expense report, and mail them to the bookkeeper. I can’t say anything positive about that process. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love leading people to Jesus. I love following up and hearing how Jesus works in their lives. What is Ministrivia is all of that work in between. I have to get their contact information and put it in the database for snail mail, on Constant Contact (our e-mail software), and on Talk Fusion (our video software). Each is a different format and requires individual input. After I capture the information, I send new Christians a free book and cover letter and try to follow up. Recently The Sojourner Fellowship offered to send books out and follow up for discipleship. I’m thrilled but I still have to get the books and contact information to them and put the contact information into the databases. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love interacting with people. The electronic world has made that so easy. I text, Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, and talk on the phone. The Ministrivia comes because most calls require tracking of information and follow up. I take, file, and retrieve notes, create reminders, and follow up. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love life on the road. It is an adventure. However, if I don’t keep up with camper Ministrivia, “Life on the Road” becomes the “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Campers do not offer the grace of Jesus. I have to check tires, get oil changed, refuel gas and propane, service the generator and air conditioner, check water lines and levels, dump wastewater, and carefully hook and unhook everything in exactly the right order. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Gadgets – can’t do without them and can’t keep up with them. The amount of Ministrivia is overwhelming. Cameras, computers, cell phones, WiFi connectors, and ear buds need charging. If I don’t delete e-mail and photographs from my “smarter than me” phone, the phone’s memory begins acting like mine. It seems like I am forever putting batteries in something. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Ordering – what did we do without the internet? I have to order tracts, books, stationary, business cards, post cards, gifts, and bubbles (yes – I did say bubbles).  This requires getting online, reminding myself how to use their website and software, and pulling out credit cards. I don’t like it but I need this to do my job. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

I love writing and speaking short inspirational messages. However, each must go via the bossy internet or laborious snail mail. It takes getting on line, fighting bugs in software, and often entering or speaking the same thing multiple times because of software or user error. Snail mail is the most tedious of all. I find those tasks dreary but I try to work as to the Lord.

Let’s face it. I don’t enjoy Ministrivia. Recently, my beloved very part-time admin person, Barbara Gobbs retired so for now, I’m “it” for Ministrivia. I do it for the privilege of being allowed to be with someone when they meet Jesus. If you hear me whining about Ministrivia, remind me that I am a servant of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.

P.S. -  I’ll take any and all offers of assistance so I can spend more time directly leading people to Jesus.



Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stop Complaining - You Have What You Need

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19 KJV

Silly me. I thought I was supposed to witness to him. I was stuck in Holbrook, trying to get Halleluiah the Camper Van drivable so I could limp to Phoenix to get it completely repaired. I didn’t know how long I was going to be there. I was looking for how God was going to use this situation and had already led one person to Jesus. 

Holbrook Repair Shop
A scruffy bearded windblown man with skin leathered from many hours in the Arizona sun walked into the repair shop. He didn’t quite look homeless but his wrinkled stained clothing and dirt covered hands suggested a rugged outdoor life.

“Howdy,” he said, poking his head into the waiting room."I like your dog."

Belle In the Waiting Room
“Hi,” I said. “She is Belle the Missionary Dog." We spent a few minutes with Belle doing her Jesus thing. He was duly impressed.

"Are you here getting something repaired?” I asked.

“No Ma’am,” he said. “I’m just here to pick up a hook for my truck. You got something broke?”

“Yes,” I said, sighing heavily. “I’m in ministry. I travel the country in a camper. Last night, I rode over a curb and really broke poor Halleluiah the Camper Van. Now I’m stuck.”

“What kind of ministry?”

“I’m a Christian,” I said. “I help people discover a relationship with Jesus. Are you a Christian?”

“I don’t call myself a Christian,” he said smugly. “I just follow Jesus.”

“Ok,” I said. “Let me ask you question. Do you know where you will go in the next life?”

“I do,” he said. “Do you?

“I do,” I said, smiling at the challenge. He reminded me of Daddy. Daddy always turns my spiritual questions back on me. “I’m assuming you mean heaven. When you get there and God asks why he should let you in, what will you say?”

“I don’t have to say anything,” he said. “My name is already written in the book of life. Is yours?”

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the beast,) whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8 KJV

I laughed aloud. “It is. It sounds like you’ve called on the name of Jesus. I’m curious. Why wouldn’t you say you were a Christian?”

“I don’t like what a lot of Christians do. Some lie, cheat, and steal. Some even murder in the name of Jesus. If they would follow Jesus, they wouldn’t do all that. I follow Jesus.”

“Do you go to church?”

“Of course! I’m a pastor and a prophet. I preach everywhere I go. I’m not always popular but I preach the truth. God has some hard truth for you right now and I’m gonna give it to you even if you don’t like it.”

“And what is that?” I asked, warily.

You need to stop complaining. God wants you to know that you have everything you need to do His work. If you let God, he will give you everything you need. You keep getting surprised at problems. You think it is supposed to be easy to do God’s work. It isn’t. You are going to keep having problems but God will give you everything you need to handle them. You think you need that camper but you don’t. You are doing His work and He will provide for you, however he chooses. I’m imagining your husband is pretty upset about you having these troubles. You tell him that God is giving you everything you need if you will just take it. Your husband needs to stop worrying about everything and trust God. You may not want to hear this but you need to stop complaining. Just do your work and take what God sends you.”

At that point, I was frantically trying to remember if I’d mentioned how frantic my husband was over my argument with that curb. If I had, I didn't remember it. I wondered if this bedraggled man had talked to the repair people. After all, Bob had called several times with questions and suggestions. The repair shop knew Bob was concerned. I didn’t think this man could have talked to anyone at the shop because he had just walked in. I was starting to suspect God really had sent me a prophet and am not sure why I was having so much trouble believing it.

“Ok,” I said. “I receive that.” We talked a few more minutes and when he left, he firmly and completely repeated himself. I tried to take his picture but he told me that he didn’t allow people to take his picture.

Later, I called my best friend Nancy and relayed what happened.

“Cheryle, he must have been a prophet sent with a message from God. Trust me, people don’t walk up to me and say things like that.”

In the 2 weeks since the camper incident, I’ve thought about this man’s words many times. While he was chastising me, I didn’t know it, but a friend was already on the way to rescue me. She and her husband took me into their home, gave up their bedroom for me, got me to the repair shop, and drove me to the rental car agency. I must admit that I was having trouble accepting their generosity but I remembered this man’s words, “God will provide for you if you let him.”

The insurance has covered all costs, including living while I wait. I don't know when the camper will be fixed but I’m staying in a tiny simple but comfortable hotel in beautiful Sedona, while continuing my work.

People have fed me, gone witnessing with me, and donated to the ministry. As I sit here, a couple is driving two hours to spend the weekend with me - take me out to eat and to evangelize with me.

If my camper doesn’t get ready in time for my next event and I have to fly to Tennessee to evangelize at the Bonnaroo Rock Concert, someone here has already offered to keep Belle in Phoenix until I can return.

My sister-in-law, Louise Milligan, is meeting me at Bonnaroo to evangelize and has offered to pick me up at the airport and drive me to my next destination, Jacksonville, Florida. To quote her email, “My car is at your disposal.” God is providing if I let him.

Since that curb brutalized Halleluiah, 15 people have prayed to receive Jesus and many more seeds have been planted. Apparently, I really don’t need the camper to do God’s work. I’m doing my best to stop complaining. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I have everything I need to do God’s work.



Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team

Friday, May 18, 2012

God Used Zombies

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

John 3:19
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

“How about them?” My friend Susie asked. We were in the mall witnessing. I always coach the people I’m training, that if they notice someone or feel some kind of “drawing,” they should trust that and speak up. Susie was very good at hearing the Holy Spirit.

I looked over and saw two young men working a kiosk that sold protective screen covers for electronic devices. Both had hair spiked in a Mohawk and holes in their ears stretched so wide that my pointer finger would have fit through them. Violent looking body art covered the arms of one.

“Sure,” I laughed. “Why not.”

“So,” I said, as I walked up to the kiosk. “What did your mother say about those ears?”

They looked a little startled so I repeated my question.

“Mine hated it,” one said as he gave a cheeky grin.

“My mother was cool with it but my grandmother hated it,” the other said.

“What about the body art,” I asked the one covered in permanent color.

“Same thing,” he said. “Mother was cool. Grandma hated it.”

“What if you change your mind?” I asked. “The holes don’t look like they will grow back together.”

“Oh,” one said. “You can have surgery.”

“How long have you had it?”

“Five years.”

“I guess you must know if you like it,” I said. “How old are you guys?” They were 24 and 26, old enough to know what they wanted.

“Tell me about your body art,” I said. “You have some interesting pictures there.”

He pulled up his sleeve. It turns out that the bloody pictures were Zombies. He started to explain Zombies but I stopped him.

I always wonder what God is going to use to get someone's attention. This time, it was Zombies.

“I know all about Zombies,” I said. “I’m a writer and I talk about them in one of my books. I actually did research on them.” That got their attention.

“I travel the country helping people find faith in Jesus,” I said. “I run into people living on the streets, miserable and alone. I call them the walking dead. Their heart is beating. They walk, talk, and sleep, but their eyes are dead and they are dead inside – just like from Night of the Living Dead.” I also call them the night people because they want to hide how they live under the cover of darkness.

“Wow,” one said, impressed. “That is exactly what a Zombie is. They are the living dead.”

“I meet them all the time,” I said. “Jesus is the only person who can bring them back to life. When they pray to receive Jesus, I see the light come back into their eyes.”

That comment launched us into a discussion. These young men were philosophers. They had been friends for a while and thought alike. According to them, the afterlife had to do with intellect and was more complicated than we could comprehend as humans. One of them hoped that he might actually make it heaven but he had no idea if that was possible. They both had some church background and had a vague belief in Jesus. They had given the antichrist a lot of thought. One asked if I thought it was President Obama. The other stated that since the antichrist was someone who attracted everyone, it was most likely Jesus.

They pretty much believed in everything and nothing all at once and took great delight in trying to draw us into an intellectual debate. They had all of the cockiness and swagger of young people who thought they could figure out the answer to everything but were proud of themselves for being comfortable with not having to know for sure.

I couldn’t help laughing out loud. I was completely enjoying these impudent young men. I knew better than to debate – they would have happily taken me apart.

“Sounds to me like you are attracted to Jesus if you think he could be the appealing antichrist,” I teased. “I’ve heard people suggest that the President was the antichrist but I have no inside information on that. I have to admit that Jesus being the antichrist had never occurred to me. That was a new one and I’ve heard a lot on the road. I probably have opinions about everything you just asked and said, but it doesn’t matter what I think. It only matters what the Bible says. The Bible says Jesus is the Light of the World and the truth and the way. It calls Him the Good Shepherd and says that the only way to the Father is through him. He is certainly my light and the light for the former Zombies that choose that light. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short and that the wages of sin is death, so I’m not surprised when I meet the people I call Zombies. The gift of God is eternal life and my favorite line in the entire Bible is that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I paused for a minute and added, “You know, Jesus himself came back from the dead.”

“I know,” one of them said softly.

I felt it. "It" was the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I could tell that Susie noticed it too. I never lose my awe of watching what I call the Holy Spirit hook – that moment when the Holy Spirit grabs them.

“You only need faith the size of a mustard seed to call on the name of Jesus,” I whispered. “I suspect you have that much. You admitted that you believed. I’d like to ask you to call on Jesus right now. There is a line in the Bible that says, ‘I believe. Help me in my unbelief.’ We could include that in the prayer. You have no idea of the wonder that waits for you at the other side of that prayer.”

“Ok,” the tattooed wonder said eagerly. “Wait! I should probably make sure he is OK with this.” He turned to look at his friend.

“I am,” the other young man said. “Why not?”

Together, they said they believed in Jesus – that he died on a cross and rose from the dead. They prayed, asking God to help them with any part of them that didn’t believe. They confessed their sin and asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

When they finished praying, all of the cocky confidence was gone. They were stunned into silence. I let the feeling settle over them.

“Thank you,” one of them finally said.

“What you are feeling is the Holy Spirit,” I explained. “Believe me, you have only just begun on this journey. The Bible says all of heaven is rejoicing and there is no party like an angel party.”

They gave me their names and addresses for follow up. I gave them a tract that told them what to do next. They let me take their picture so people could pray for them. They were respectful and gentle as we said goodbye – forever changed.



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Give 'Em Heaven

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. Ps 126:6 NIV

I met Deb at a women’s retreat. I was the guest speaker and everyone was so gracious. I felt celebrated as these women listened to every word. The topic was my favorite and the name of my latest book, The Secret to Everything. The last session was on evangelism and I shared some stories from the Pocket Full of Quarters Missionary Journeys.

A few weeks later, a check arrived in the mail made out to Pocket Full of Change Ministries. There was a little note at the bottom of the check that said, “Give ‘em Heaven.” Those words became the slogan for our Pocket Full of Quarters Missionary Journeys. In 2011, the slogan was “Give ‘em Heaven in 2011." Since then, Deb has been a faithful supporter of evangelism through our ministry. Our nickname for her is “The Give ‘em Heaven Lady.”

What we didn’t know was that she had an evangelistic sorrow of her own. Her son-in-law, the father of 2 of her grandchildren, was not a Christian. Deb was helping strangers find Jesus when someone she loved so dearly was lost.

The city Deb lives in was on the route of this journey and Deb invited me to stay with her. I do my best to go where I’m invited. Unfortunately, I hit a curb about 3 hours from her and did major damage to Hallelujah the Camper Van. I was discouraged and when a mechanic got Hallelujah temporarily drivable, I was tempted to end the journey and bolt for home.

Deb was having none of that. She went into gear. She and her husband rushed to me. How could I head in the direction of my home when I had people driving towards me? I headed towards her house and met her in the middle. We met at a mall, went witnessing together, and led 5 people to Jesus. It was exactly what I needed. Deb reminded me of my call from God.

Deb took days off from work to help me get the camper into the shop, unpack the camper, and pick up the rental car. She and her husband gave up their bedroom to give me the most comfortable room in their lovely house. As we spent time together, Deb began sharing her evangelistic sorrow.

“I want to meet your daughter’s family,” I said excitedly. “Let’s plan dinner together. We’ll see what the Lord does.”

It was risky. Even knowing that it could backfire, Deb loved her son-in-law enough to take the risk.

I spent the day before the scheduled dinner quietly writing stories and praying for Deb’s loved one. Please, I begged God. Deb, helps so many with her support. Please use this ministry to help her loved one.

I felt God whisper, The seeds she has sown into the lives of others will return to her.

I prepared for the evening. I prayed, read the Bible, and enlisted people to pray. I must admit to being nervous. I never know if my job will be to sow seeds or reap the harvest. Most times, I joyfully accept whatever assignment God gives but this time, I wanted to reap the harvest and wanted Deb to have the joy of being there.

God promises to give us the delights of our heart and dinner was delightful. Deb’s family was as much fun as Deb. We laughed at the children’s antics and enjoyed good food. It turned out that her son-in-law and I loved many of the same things. We talked about comic books – which I love. Then, I found out he is a Wizard of Oz fan. Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie and references to it are some of the chapter titles in my first book, Pocket Full of Quarters. We spent a few minutes talking Wizard of Oz philosophies. His face lit up the way mine does when I talk about it. Finally, we moved on to his views about God and church.

It took a while and I tried not to rush. I gently spoke the scripture and he respectfully listened. I felt the Holy Spirit take charge and the Holy Spirit’s words come out of my mouth. Feeling the Holy Spirit move through me and into someone else is the single most holy feeling I have and suddenly I was right in the middle of it.

Deb’s husband slipped away with the grandchildren when the conversation turned serious. I was impressed with the honesty and insight of this young man as he asked questions and challenged the answers. I knew that once he accepted Christ as his Savior, God was going to be able to use him in mighty ways.

Finally, I saw it - the blessed conviction of the Holy Spirit. The hair on my arms stood on end, much as it is doing as I write this story. It was this young man’s moment – his moment to receive the sweet Light of the World. I invited him to meet Jesus and he said yes. He quietly said the words that would change him forever.

I walked out with the words, Walking on Sunshine, running through my head. When we left the restaurant, he hugged me and whispered, “Thank you.” When Deb got home, he texted her the words, “Thank You.” The next morning, he texted Deb again, “Thank you.”

I’m still saying thank you to God. I love leading people to Jesus and it was God’s special gift to me to let me lead the loved one of someone I love to Christ.

Brave faithful Deb sowed seeds into "giving people heaven" by donating to Pocket Full of Change Ministries. She did it while weeping for the lost in her own family. As Psalms 126:6 promised, Deb returned with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with her.

God Working - Texas Style

New Christian - Limo Driver

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; KJV Eccl 3:4

Was God calling me to have dinner at the Big Texan or was it just so much fun that I wanted to go? I was 300 miles away from Amarillo, Texas and wasn’t really sure I “should” drive that far. Besides, I already had my dinner ready and waiting in the fridge and it would be cheaper to eat “in.”

I prayed about it and realized my logic didn’t matter. If I wanted to go to the Big Texan and God was willing to give me the delights of my heart, I could let that happen. I pulled into a campground around 5:45 PM and asked them to order my “limo.” Yes, I did say limo. The Big Texan sends a free white stretch limo to pick guests up from hotels and campgrounds. Before I climbed in, I asked the limo driver to take my picture.

As I rode over, I began talking to my driver. It turns out that he had recently moved to the area and was trying to figure some things out in life. When he prayed to receive Jesus, I was grateful I’d tossed the logic out the door and let God delight me.

They seated me in a row of wooden tables and I began snapping pictures of the cowboy outfits and animals on the wall. Their singers came up and asked what they could sing for me. Of course I asked for my favorite hymn, In a Garden. They knew it and they sang it and I sang along.

At The Big Texan you usually sit right next to someone. A couple sat down and I immediately recognized what I call the “frozen look of horror” in the woman’s face. I knew something had happened to her and we began to talk.

Grieving Couple
 It turns out that they had lost an adult daughter just three years ago. They were both born again Christians but bitterness and sadness had shut them off from church and God. They were still suffering terribly. To make matters worse, their sister-in-law had suddenly died and they were on their way to help with the funeral details. I shared the story of and my feelings regarding losing my adult son. We all knew this was a God ordained moment and were in awe that God had brought me from Pennsylvania and them from North Carolina for such a time as this in Amarillo, Texas.

“I can’t believe I’m talking about this,” the woman said. “I have never talked this much about her before.”

We talked about grief and I gave them the grief scripture card I carry.

“The Bible says we go through seasons. It has been your time to weep,” I said. “I suspect that it is your time to laugh again and that is why God sent me here.”

Somewhere in all of this, we ate but I couldn’t tell you what the food tasted like. When I was ready to leave, I asked if we could pray together.

“I haven’t prayed in years,” she said hesitantly.

“God misses you. It is time for you to move into a new season,” I encouraged. “Please pray with me.”

They agreed. I touched both of their shoulders and we prayed together. I asked God to send comfort and healing. I asked God to help Doris and Limon to be willing to receive it. I prayed for Limon’s brother who had recently lost his beloved wife and asked God to use Limon and Doris to help him. When we finished, Doris was in tears. We talked for a few minutes and when I joked about something, she actually laughed aloud. I looked at her now relaxed face and realized for the first time that she was pretty. Praise God. He was already sending his comfort.

As I walked out to catch my limo, I felt like it was my season to dance. I did not think life could get any better but the second limo driver had been struggling spiritually and was ready to call on Jesus and be saved. God certainly put on a big show at the Big Texan.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Holy Spirit Glow

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14 KJV

Have you ever been with someone when they prayed to receive Jesus? I have. I keep my eyes open when we pray because I love to watch for it. The “It” is what I call The Holy Spirit Glow. It usually starts in the middle of the salvation prayer. There may be a tremor in their voice. If I’m holding their hand, sometimes we both feel a jolt. Maybe their hands start to tremble or the eyes flood with tears. Occasionally people will grab their chest as the power of it steals their breath or lean on me because their knees buckle. Some beam from ear to ear and others stare stunned, as they process what just happened. It amazes me every time that such a tiny little prayer can evoke so much power.

Britney was my sales clerk at a mall in Tennessee. Her supervisor had actually helped me shop but then, turned me over to Britney to check out. I had already found out that the supervisor did not want to talk about spiritual matters, which was fine. I never push. She walked off and I began a conversation with Britney.

Britney was a sweet college student who had been going to a Baptist church with a friend for 2 years. I could not imagine returning to a Baptist church week after week and not praying to receive Jesus, but Britney had never met Jesus personally. She was a seeker who returned to church gathering intellectual information about the possibility of Christianity in her life.

I gave her the Gospel and she listened eagerly, as if hearing it for the first time. Just to check, I asked one more time if she had ever invited Jesus into her life and she just shook her head.

“Every week, I’ve felt like I was missing something,” she said. “I’ve tried to understand but it didn’t make any sense.”

I understood. She need needed Jesus. Without Jesus, what she was hearing was foolishness. I asked if she wanted to pray with me and she shyly nodded. She repeated the words I said and confessed her belief in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We asked God to help her with her unbelief. She confessed that she was sinner and asked for forgiveness. When we got to the part asking Jesus to be her Lord and Savior, she gasped and froze in silence.
I misunderstood. Another customer had walked up and I thought she was worried about helping the customer.

“It’s OK Britney,” I encouraged. “Don’t worry about the customer. This is important. Let’s finish this.”

“I know,” she said holding her chest. “I just can’t catch my breath.” She frantically fanned her face as the tears flowed. She paused, took a deep breath, and said, “Dear Jesus, come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. Amen.”

She stood up straighter than she had the entire time we had talked and said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

The customer had politely stepped back and waited while we finished. She seemed to understand what we were doing. I wanted to give Britney a moment to compose herself so I talked to the customer.

“Are you a Christian?” I asked.

“I am,” she said, looking amazed. “And all I can say is praise God.”

I love to capture the Holy Spirit Glow on someone’s face. I usually ask if I can take a picture right after someone prays but the supervisor had walked back up and looked annoyed at me.

“Thank you for your business,” she said firmly. It was my cue to leave. I try not to stay beyond my welcome so I walked away and so did the supervisor. I waited for a moment and went back to where Britney was waiting on the still amazed customer.

“This is for you sweetheart,” I said, laying the “You Made the Right Decision” tract on the counter. “I’m praying for you.”

“Thank you,” she whispered as I walked away. There is no mistaking the Holy Spirit Glow.

Why Quarters?

Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team



Friday, May 11, 2012

I’m Too Impressed With the Holy Spirit to Keep Whining

Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2012

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,or, whine, Israel, saying, "God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me"? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. Isa 40:27-28

I wanted to whine. I did whine. I whined about hitting a curb in Hallelujah. You never never never want to run over a curb in a camper. It is hard to believe how much damage that can do.

It happened in Holbrook, Arizona. They were too small to have a shop that could really fix Hallelujah but a very kind Christian mechanic got it drivable enough to get it to Phoenix. The mechanic in Phoenix says it will be weeks before it is ready to travel again. I’ve told that mechanic that people are praying for them and this will be the easiest repair ever.

God’s children have been wonderful. I am staying in the home of a ministry supporter. Amazing Deb Schmidt took days off from work to help me get the camper to the shop, get a rental car (paid for by insurance,) and unpack the camper and load what I needed into the rental car. Even though she has four cats, she has welcomed Belle the Missionary Dog into her home. I feel cherished.
It had been quite the drama and I must confess to being discouraged at first. However, the Holy Spirit put on such a show that I had to stop whining.

On the morning after the accident, I got a call from my ministry mentor, Ron Fuller, from the Sojourners Fellowship. “How can I help? I’ve found where it happened on the aerial view and I can see why you thought it was a driveway. There is a church nearby. I can call, tell them we have someone on the road, and get them to help.”

Silly me. I hadn’t even thought about asking for help from the Bride of Christ or God’s people. I told Ron that if the mechanic couldn’t get Hallelujah drivable, I’d call him back. I was encouraged by the call.

I was at the mechanic’s shop considering heading back to Pennsylvania when Deb called to say she was heading to me. When the mechanic got Hallelujah drivable, I called Deb and we agreed to meet in the middle between Phoenix and Holbrook. She, her husband Steve, and I went witnessing together in a Flagstaff mall and would you believe that six, yes – I said six, people prayed to receive Jesus. I would never have stopped in Flagstaff if I had not hit that curb.

At the mechanic’s shop, a Navaho woman who grew up on the reservation was getting her school bus repaired. She had grown up practicing traditional Navaho religion and had only been attending a Christian church for three weeks.

“I don’t understand what they are talking about but I know Jesus is real because I feel good when we sing about him.”

I felt like Phillip talking to the Ethiopian as I explained Jesus and Christianity. Through her broken English, I gave her the children’s version of the gospel, starting with Jesus being born to a virgin. She cried as she prayed to receive Jesus. I would not have been there if I had not hit that curb. I wondered if I was going to get “whisked” away to Phoenix and not have to drive.

On Wednesday night, I spoke at my former women’s group at North Phoenix Baptist Church. After hearing how the Holy Spirit had worked, they lined up afterward asking when we could go out witnessing together. If I had not hit that curb, I would not have stayed in Phoenix long enough to go witnessing with these women.

Sedona, Arizona is the paranormal heart and “portal” of America. I’ve recently read 2 books on Spiritual Warfare and have always wanted to spend quality time there evangelizing, praying, and doing spiritual warfare. It is an hour from Phoenix and I’ve found an inexpensive hotel that has a microwave/fridge and takes dogs. I have booked 7 days there. Please cover me in prayer. If I had not hit that curb, I would not be spending a week in Sedona.

My insurance policy had a surprise camper clause that allows me $2,000 in living expenses while I wait for camper repairs. I was worried about the funding on this trip and that will certainly help. I just found out that there will be no $500 deductable because our insurance record is so clean. Hitting that curb will actually help with finances.

How could I possibly whine and complain when the Holy Spirit has put on such a show?

To Donate

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Prayer Request - Woops

The good news is that Belle and I are safe, hooked up at a campground, and the water and electrical on the camper seem to be working.

Do I have your attention? We had a distressing incident tonight. As we pulled into Holbrook, Arizona to look for a campground, I accidentally drove past the KOA entrance. I decided to turn around in a Taco Bell parking lot and pulled into what I thought was a parking lot with two paved entrances.
Unfortunately, the road I pulled into looked smooth on my side but was actually one side of a very high curb - an optical illusion. When I heard the sickening crunch of what I knew was the low hanging and delicate underside of the camper hitting bottom, I knew we were in trouble. I drove on across the curb to look.

Broken Wastewater Bolt

What I know that is broken is:
• Driver’s side running board is cracked with bent metal that interferes with closing of the door
• Driver’s side door panel is broken away from bolts and hanging loose
• Back bumper is cracked and hanging loose
• Waste water hose bolt is broken and hose is hanging loose
Door Panal Hanging Off
I managed to prop the wastewater hose up and drive the ½ block to the KOA. I’m hooked up for the night and thankfully electricity and water is working. I don’t see any tire damage. The KOA owner knows a mechanic friend that he will call in the morning. Bob says my wastewater “prop up” job won’t make it the mile to the mechanic so in the morning I’m using my handy dandy duck tape to try to get safely to the mechanic.

Busted Running Board
 Please pray:
  • For me – I had this exact same accident about 10 years ago in a convertible in a tiny town in Georgia. Isn’t there something about ‘fooled me once, shame on you – fooled me twice, shame on me?” I’m feeling discouraged and foolish. I just want to go home but I’m 30 hours away.
  • For the mechanic – that he will know what to do to get us rolling again.
  • For Progressive Insurance – they tend to only cover things fixed at their approved mechanics and I don’t have much choice here.
  • That I’ll find a way to get to my activities in Phoenix on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (I’m about 4 hours from Phoenix.)
  • For Bob – I called him with this news just as he was boarding the second leg of his flight after saying goodbye to me (he was visiting me in Albuquerque.) He didn’t sound good and I don’t imagine this has been a very pleasant flight for him. He hates it when I’m in trouble and he can’t help.
  • For the person/s God is going to so much trouble to send me to.

Friday, May 4, 2012

ThePerfect Plan

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 NIV

I’m a planner. I help people, businesses, and ministries write life and business plans. I believe God gives us the ability to plan and we have an obligation to use it. Having said that, I know that the only way to be a part of the perfect plan is to listen to God and have the courage and discipline to act. I begin each day asking God for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry it out. When I listen and act, the results are amazing.

I had plans for last week. I was going to look for places to live and pack for leaving on a trip the following week. Then I got a call from the Sojourner, Ron Fuller.

“Riley is going to be in Kennesaw, Georgia for the Big Shanty Festival. Why don’t you make that the first stop on your missionary journey,” Ron said.

Ron and Amanda Fuller run the Sojourners Fellowship out of Manchester, Tennessee. Over the years, we have ministered together and they have become mentors and family.

A few years back, Ron had introduced me to Riley Stevenson, Head of Global Evangelism, for Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Riley is a laidback Texan who has a special anointing for evangelism. When I join his team for evangelism events, I am blessed to be caught up in the whirlwind of that same anointing.

Wow. Spending time ministering with Ron, Amanda, and Riley sounded wonderful. The problem was, Bob and I were looking for somewhere to move next and still had not found anywhere.  Bob and I prayed about it and I felt that special “drawing near” that I have come to recognize as the Holy Spirit.

I started planning. My plan was to drive to Manchester, spend a night with the Fullers, and head together to Kennesaw, Georgia. At the last minute, that plan changed. Duty called and the Fullers needed to minister locally. They couldn’t go to Kennesaw. Knowing I still hadn’t found a place to live, Ron suggested that maybe I should stay home and house hunt. I was certainly “off the hook” about leaving a week earlier.

Again, I prayed. Since I have a habit of always doing the hardest thing, often when I realize God is giving me an easier way, I feel relief. I waited for the relief but it didn’t come. On Monday, I set out, not completely sure where I was going.

What an amazing week. A few hours into the journey, my best friend, Nancy Edwards, invited me to her house. She is an hour away from where Riley was going to be. A few hours later my friend Kathy Tolbert, invited me to her house. She lived on the route to Nancy’s house. God had amazing plans for me – plans to fellowship and to minister. I felt so treasured. I left those 2 houses feeling cherished and filled up.

I arrived Friday night at the Big Shanty Festival. Only hours after I arrived, we went to a mall where 10 people with me prayed to receive Jesus. On Saturday, 19 people honored me by allowing me to lead them to Jesus. On Sunday another 15 people said yes to Jesus. As I expected, Riley led an amazing evangelism event. 542 decisions were made for Christ. What an honor to be a part of such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday night, I drove to Manchester and spent a night with Ron and Amanda. They were disappointed at having to miss being with Riley but they had an incredible week in ministry that included a salvation.

The week was different than any of us planned but it was the perfect plan. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by people who listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. It is the only way I know to be a part of the perfect plan.

Photo Gallery

Join our Prayer Team



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Woodcutter Finds Jesus and Peace

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Love is patient, love is kind and  is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, NASU 1 Cor 13:4-5

My evangelism partners Laraine and Sandra Marlena and I wandered through the crowd of noisy laughing families. Kennesaw Baptist Church had a booth and their “Jesus Loves You” green balloons floated everywhere. Mothers juggled eating their sugar coated elephant ears, carrying their newly purchased arts and crafts, and trying to keep up with excited children. Kennesaw loved their Big Shanty Festival.

We noticed a ruggedly dressed man with shaggy sandy blond hair sitting alone staring at the sidewalk. What caught our eyes was the stark contrast of the happy families and bleak aloneness on his face. At first, I wondered if he was homeless and then I realized he was just rugged. He was an artist woodsman for the festival. The 3 of us felt it at the same moment. The Holy Spirit drew us to him. He was a long way from home. He lived in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and his face lit up when he heard that I too lived in Pennsylvania.

“I’m spiritual but not religious,” he said. We assured him we were not there to preach religion and he relaxed a little. He was seeker of spirituality and had built a kneeling bench in his woods. I told him about my kneeling bench in my sunroom.

“I have a relationship with the Father of light and peace,” I told him.

He had heard it all before and had given up on a god with a name so none of us expected him to receive Jesus. We had underestimated the power of the word of God and the depth of his need for Jesus. When we began speaking the word of God from the book of Romans, his eyes lit up with hope. We felt the Holy Spirit working as we quietly gave the gospel of love. When we invited him to pray to receive Jesus, he bowed his head and quietly and humbly begged Jesus to become his savior. When he looked up, he was a new man.

Sensing the pain in his life, Sandra Marlena asked, “Is there anything else we can pray for you today?”

Tears sprang to his eyes. “Yes,” he said. “My marriage. We are in trouble.”

We understood. The three of us surrounded him and touched him as we agreed in prayer for peace and love in his home. We commanded the demons of anger, bitterness, and sadness to leave his home.

When we finished, Laraine told him about 1 Corinthians 13. “It is all about love,” she said. “No matter what, just love your wife. Love will fix everything. When she complains, tell her you love her.”

I pulled out what I like to call the “evangelism cheat sheet.” It contains the script and scriptures for leading someone to Jesus. I gave it to him.

“Lead your wife to Jesus,” I begged. “She may not know it but she longs for him just as much as you did.” I gave a short lesson in how to lead someone to Jesus.

We came back later and watched him work. People crowded around for the noisy show. He saw me, smiled, and gave me a thumbs up sign. He took a giant log and with sawdust flying everywhere, a beautiful owl emerged. The crowd cheered.

We had 19 people pray to receive Jesus that sunny Saturday but the woodcutter was the one that stayed with me. He may not know it, but because we asked God for it, there was already peace in his home.

You can see pictures of the woodcutter and his work by going to the photo gallery and looking at Georgia – Kennesaw – Shanty Festival Day 1. Photo Gallery

Join our prayer team and help us pray for people like the woodcutter. Join our Prayer Team

Help me stay on the road ministering to people like the woodcutter. Donating

Follow the entire journey. 2012 Pocket Full of Quarters Missionary Journey