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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Holy Spirit Always Follows Up

At the Big Texan

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13

When people call on the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit always follows up. He connects the dots. He chains things together in ways we cannot imagine. He goes before us and prepares the way. He works when we don’t see Him or know it. He works backwards by forgiving past sins and redeeming the lost and forward by preparing the way and adding to the work we do on earth. He never stops and certainly never ceases to amaze me.

 When I woke this morning, I realized I was 6 hours from Amarillo, Texas and The Big Texan. I had only planned to drive 4 hours but I couldn’t stop. I visited The Big Texan on my first missionary journey in 2002. No – I have never taken the “Eat all 72 ounces and all the sides in the right amount of time and you get the steak free” challenge. My 10-ounce steak lasts 3 meals.

The Big Texan is a party. The shooting gallery and games blink and sing. People take pictures by the stuffed grizzly bear and in the giant rocking chair. Musicians travel from table to table and take requests. The wait staffs dresses in full cowboy garb and are a hoot. People cheer and watch the ticking clock as brave souls sit at the head table turning green at the gills trying for a free steak. Limousines sporting steer horns pick us up at campgrounds and customers sit at long wooden tables eating together.

As I drove, I remembered the past Divine Encounters from there. A couple who had given up on God because their only child had died, prayed and invited Jesus back into their lives. Wait staff, limousine drivers, and customers met Jesus there. I’ve taken at least 3 others from this ministry over the years and we’ve encouraged and prayed for countless people. I saw faces in my mind and prayed for them, knowing that the Holy Spirit was still following up with them.

When the driver picked me up tonight, I recognized him immediately as someone who had prayed to receive Jesus in 2012.

“You’re the quarters lady,” he said  excitedly.

 “Good memory,” I said. “We prayed together last year.”

“I still have your card and quarter. I was just looking at it this week.”

“How are you? Did you start going to your mother’s church like we talked about?” Thank you Holy Spirit for supplying that detail.

“I did in the beginning,” he said. “My brother got married and he and his new wife even started going there.” Thank you Holy Spirit for adding to the work.  “They still go. I work most Sundays so I’m not going as much. I looked at your card this week and thought that I needed to do something about that and now you’re here.”

“I think you do need to do something,” I teased. “God worked pretty hard to put me in your limousine. I know there are many drivers and yet here you are. I almost stopped and camped about two hours back. God must want you in church. What about your daughter? Don’t I remember that you’re divorced and worried about your relationship with her?” You have no idea what a miracle it was that I was putting the right story with the right person.

“Things are better. She has moved here and just had a baby.” Thank you Holy Spirit for answering that prayer.

“It sounds like God is doing good things. I’m looking for a church for tomorrow morning. What church does your mom go to?” He gave me the name and his mother’s name. Maybe I’ll actually meet her and his brother and sister-in-law. He also committed to go to church on Wednesday nights even if he couldn’t go on Sundays.

Later, it was rewarding when the musicians remembered me from last year. I asked for my favorite hymn, In a Garden.

“Yep,” one of the singers said. “We like it when people ask for these kinds of songs. You were sitting at that table right over there last year.” He was right.

“I seem to remember that all of you already love Jesus,” I said. I found that out when I was there in 2002.

“For a long time now,” he said, nodding as they started to play and sing.

The Holy Spirit miraculously follows up when anyone calls on the name of Jesus. At Pocket Full of Change Ministries, we try to follow up and usually succeed but the Holy Spirit always follows up.

Once, after praying to receive Jesus, a woman had to bolt to catch an airplane without me giving her any information or telling her what to do next. I found out later that God sat her next to a preacher on the plane who explained to her what she did, what she needed to do next, and gave her a Bible. I could tell many stories like that.

It is a special gift to me when the Holy Spirit miraculously puts me in the right place at the right time to follow up with someone I led to Jesus in the past. Sometimes I meet people hundreds of miles from where I met them originally and there is always a reason. It has happened many times over the years and you would think I would be used to it by now but it is like a sunset – thrilling every time.

It was a good night. I gave the gospel to 4 people – none of them met Jesus yet but God’s word will not return void and the Holy Spirit will follow up and use it to work its way into their lives. I rescued a lost child in the name of Jesus. I prayed for a husband and new father who waits tables there and goes to school full time. I’m about to go to bed but the Holy Spirit will be busy following up.

If you want to know how you can have the Holy Spirit in your life, Email me, Cheryle and I’ll introduce you to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit follow up with you too.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013


By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Jackson, Tennessee

Jackson Evangelism Team

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" John 4:7

Jesus used props to draw people to Himself. There are Bible stories about donkeys, well water, fish and loaves, and sycamore trees. I am a big fan of using props as a conversation starter – in fact – I’ve even used fans to lead someone to Jesus. Sometimes, I carry the props and other times, people are considerate enough to walk by playing with a prop interesting enough to comment on.


It helps with evangelism to stay current so I hang around people who can keep me current. I noticed a young man sitting in the mall, wearing Beats, and listening to music. If you don’t know what Beats are, watch out. You might have lost your relevance. My Bible study group taught me about Beats and I told them at the time that I would use that information to lead someone to Jesus. Sure enough, when I commented on his Beats, this young man was duly impressed and willing to talk. Pulling out my iPhone sealed the deal. There in a mall sitting on a park bench, spiritually troubled Ishmael tearfully met Jesus.


Bubbles are the best. I’ve lost count of the number of times blowing bubbles has helped lead someone to Jesus. I use Bubbles when I teach evangelism to demonstrate spreading the word of God. I have a routine I when I lead a retreat and usually give everyone a bottle of bubbles to play with throughout the retreat. I carry bubbles all the time. I have a bubble machine that I sometimes set up on my campground picnic table. It draws a crowd. Our Jackson evangelism group was resting on a bench when we noticed a young mother and son her son walking by blinking and glowing. They had not been to a nuclear power plant. They had been to the Dollar Store. Blinking rings and glowing headbands always deserve a conversation. That conversation led to giving the mother the Gospel. When her young son got restless, I pulled out my handy dandy bubbles and blew them for him while I gave her the Gospel. It worked like a charm. She prayed to receive Jesus and when she looked up, she had tears in her eyes and said, “That was a lovely prayer. Thank you so much.”
New Christian
It was a good three days in Jackson. Four people met Jesus. We had 20+ Divine Encounters and at least 5 good leads for the church plant headed up by the Fullers with the Sojourners Fellowship. The props involved in these encounters also included a t-shirt, a plastic bag opener, body wash from Victoria’s Secret, a puppy, a software system, a dog harness, tracts, business cards, watermelon, and an iPhone. 

Carry interesting things in your pockets or purses to use to start conversations. Notice what others are carrying or playing with. Use it to start a conversation. If you don’t know Jesus, Email Cheryle and I’ll share Him with you and mail you a bottle of bubbles.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grandma's Prayers Are No Secret!

By Cheryle M. Touchton

The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Jackson, Tennessee

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Tim 1:5-6 NIV

Victoria’s Secret? Really God? I argued as I walked through a mall with Pastor Ron and his wife Amanda Fuller. There was no mistake. I had what I call a “drawing feeling” to go into the store. I like their vanilla body wash and I had left my bottle in Jacksonville.

“I need to go into there,” I stammered. “I use their body wash. I’m out. You don’t have to go in with me.” Ron and Amanda graciously encouraged me to go shop but didn’t follow me in. I groaned, wondering if they thought I was going to buy unmentionables.

 “May I help you?” I lovely young lady asked. She even looks like she should work here, I thought. She led me over to the vanilla body wash and then to the cash register.

“Are you from here?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“You look like you should be working in Victoria's Secret,” I said. “You are lovely.”

“Thanks,” she said shyly and beamed.

“Do you go to church here?” I asked.

“I sometimes go with my grandma.”

“Do you know where you are going in the next life?” I asked.

“I don’t have a clue,” she admitted.

“Has your grandma told you about Jesus?” I asked. Of course Grandma had told her about Jesus.

“Is Grandma praying for you?” I asked.

“I’m sure she is!”

“Well, your grandma has prayed me to you.” I told her what I did. I gave her the Gospel. She eagerly prayed to receive Jesus.

“Call your grandma and tell her what happened,” I suggested. “Also, you probably want to tell your Grandma’s church and ask them what to do next.”

It was fast. It was meant to be. God had it all planned and had prepared the way. I was in the store in under ten minutes. No – Ron and Amanda were not surprised someone had prayed to receive Jesus.

“Her name is Britney,” I said. “She had another customer so I didn’t get her contact information. Promise me you’ll follow up with her.”

“Amanda,” Ron said. “Cheryle just gave me permission to go into Victoria’s Secret.” We all have to make sacrifices for Jesus.

Grandma did all the work. All I did was swoop in and finish it. Victoria may have her secrets but a Grandma’s prayers are no secret! Are you praying for a grandchild? Want company?  Email Cheryle and I’ll pray with you.

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Hopelessly Longing For Grace

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

I have trouble machines. It doesn’t much matter what the machine is. I seem to start with the opposite of what needs to happen. So, it didn’t surprise me that I was having trouble getting diet coke from the McDonalds beverage dispenser. I was wishing we could return to the days of restaurants making drinks for you when I noticed a woman watching and grinning at me.

“I have trouble with machines,” I confessed.

“It’s not you,” she said, she said encouragingly. “Ours works much better. I always have trouble here.”

“So you work at another McDonalds?” I asked. It was the opening line for me to find out that while she lived in Tennessee, she was from “all over.” I noticed her taunt skin and the telling signs of crystal meth damage to her teeth. Her eyes were clear and she was speaking intelligently and clearly so I guessed she was currently, drug free. I knew there was a story and wanted to hear it.

“Do you go to church where you live?” I asked.

“No!” she said. “Churches won’t have me. I’m not like them.”

“I’m not sure there is a type for God,” I teased. “He traveled with reformed prostitutes and thieves. Forgiven murderers were the heroes in several books in the Bible. What about God?” I asked. “Do you know where you are going in the next life?”

“I’m basically an atheist,” she answered. “I don’t know what to believe in. I know I’m going to hell though. I’ve made too many mistakes to go anywhere else.”

Before you say it, I too was tempted to point out the incongruity of saying she didn’t believe in God while stating she was going to hell. Debate has never worked for me and people running from God are often illogical. Yes, her words proved that deep down, she believed in a god. She just didn’t believe in the God I’m in love with. My God stands ready to forgive anyone who repents. There is no sin too big for my God to forgive. My God stands ready with open arms for sinners and the broken hearted to run into them.

“Everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” I said.

“I sure have done that,” she agreed. “I know all about sin.”

“We all do,” I said. “The wages of sin is death, which is probably why you say you are going to hell. We deserve punishment for our mistakes. But the Bible also says that the gift of God is eternal life. God loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus to earth so that whoever believes in him will be saved. Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn you. He came so that through Him, you can be saved. My favorite line in the entire Bible is all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved. I want to help you do that right now.”

She backed away without without getting her drink. “No!” she said, putting her hands in front of her face. “I can’t. There is no hope for me. None! No hope at all.”

“Yes, there is. Jesus loves you,” I said as she ran away.

Who told her there was no hope? How did she get such a warped picture of God? What had she done that she thought was too horrible to be forgiven? No wonder she was trying to convince herself there was no God. Who wouldn't want to deny belief in a god that they thought had completely given up on them? Pray for her.

Are you wondering if your sin is too great to get into heaven? Are you afraid you’ve committed an unpardonable sin? Let’s talk. Email Cheryle

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do You Have Your Groove On?

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Flatwood, West Virginia

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40:31 NIV

All day, I kept thinking how good it felt to be back in the “groove.” This is the 10th Pocket Full of Quarters Journey and I definitely have a “way” I do things. I looked up the word groove and it means a settled or monotonous routine. Well – my way is settled but it certainly isn’t monotonous. Then I looked up the phrase, “Get your groove on” and I loved it. It means to have fun dancing or to get one’s “swerve” on. Yep – that’s it. I dance my way through these journeys and when I’m listening to God and following directions, I definitely have my “swerve” on.

It occurs to me that you might like to know what this “groove” is. It definitely has a pattern:

Meditation, Prayer, and Bible Study

I start every morning with an extended time with God – meditating, praying, and studying the Bible. I always end my time asking God for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry it out. I “prayer walk” America as I travel which means I pray for the people in the cars, malls, parks, houses, busses, ambulances, schools…I pass. I pray every time I step outside my camper for the people who have been there before me or will be there after me. The main reason I post pictures is that I hope you will join this prayer walk.

Praise and Worship

I travel listening and singing to praise music. I go to church on Sundays and other times I pass a church worshipping. I worship by lakes, oceans, on mountains, and in green pastures.

Drive and Stop

I ask the Holy Spirit where to stop. When something gets my attention or someone makes a suggestion, I assume that is the Holy Spirit talking and head in that direction. When people invite me to their area, I try to say yes but I also try to leave enough time between destinations to do the work of the journey – otherwise – it would be more efficient and cheaper to fly places. I limit driving to two-three hours a day unless I have a hard deadline. While I do speak and do events along the way, the wandering and responding to the Holy Spirit is the calling of these journeys.

The 6 E's

People call what I do evangelism but on the Pocket Full of Quarters Journeys, evangelism only one of the E’s of the Divine Encounters God sends. On these journeys, I do whatever God puts in front of me. Unlike evangelism events where we use a specific “process” to give the Gospel to as many lost people as possible, on these journeys, I’m often spending hours or days with people. I call this work the 6 E’s:
  • E1 - Evangelize: Giving the Gospel and leading people to Jesus.
  • E2 - Encourage: Encouraging the discouraged.
  • E3 - Exhort: Reminding Christians of “who” and “whose” they are. I can be direct and firm but surprisingly, this is what people thank me for the most.
  • E4 - Exorcise: Satan is a thief that comes to kill and destroy. It makes me furious when I see him and his demons torturing people and I’m getting bolder daily about praying with people to bind the foul demons ruining their lives.
  • E5 - Ease: People need help. I try to ease the pressure, pain, or work of the people and situations I see. This can be everything from carrying groceries, doing yard work, helping decorate for a Bible school, spending time with a lonely person, or going through grief scriptures with the broken hearted. I’ve been known to mediate arguments, break up riots, write business plans, and teach people how to shake hands and answer questions at a job interview.
  • E6 - Educate: People tell me their stories and issues and I use scripture, parables and life stories to teach Biblical principles.

Write and Post

My evenings are filled with writing stories and posting stories and pictures.

Today, I woke up and spent time with God. I worshipped on tops of mountains and by lakes. I prayed for people. I “evangelized” to two college students who both promised they were going to read the tract and pray to meet Jesus. I spent time “educating” and “exhorting” a lovely, sweet, and innocent Christian 19 year old “preacher’s kid” whose current boyfriend isn’t saved and likes to “party” more than she is comfortable with. I loved seeing Biblical “understanding” come into her eyes about why her parents are worried. I also gave her a “lesson” on how to lead her boyfriend to Jesus. It’s been cold and rainy all day so Shiloh and I have stayed wet and cold. I need to pull out my jacket and lose the sandals. I’m writing this story, posting pictures, and saying goodnight. Pray for the 2013 Pocket Full of Quarters Journey. Tomorrow I get to go to church.

So yes, for today, I have my “groove” on – my “swerve” and it feels great. Do you know what your “groove” is? Do you have it on? If you do, you know exactly what to do next. It feels like you are soaring as if on eagle’s wings. If you’re not sure have it on, you probably don’t. It's easy to get it back. Let’s talk. Email Cheryle

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