What is Truth?

 In today’s world we often hear, “there is no such thing as truth” or “if it’s true for me, then it’s true – who are you to question it?  You’re just being intolerant of others!”

This world today changes the meaning of “tolerance” in order to reject right and wrong, when they argue there is no such thing as absolute morality or truth.  You are “intolerant” when you disagree with their point of view.

“Truth” by definition is “the property of being in accord with fact or reality.” (Webster’s dictionary). Truth may have only one right answer and many wrong answers.

For instance, in math, 2+2=4 and never 5,9,36, etc.  People confuse what they believe with what is true.  We need to remind them it doesn’t matter what you believe unless what you believe is also true.

Answers for the skeptic on absolute truth and morality:

1.  Adolph Hitler killed six million of God’s chosen people. According to today’s world view as long as he believed in his heart that it was the right thing to do, then it was perfectly right.  With that logic, then we need to be tolerant of other people’s views because if it is right for them, then it is right?  If it is true for them then it is true?

2. A conservative woman was on a TV program representing the opposite viewpoint of others defending relative truth and relative morality. In her response she asked, “In what situation is rape ok?”  The other guests were silent.  There are no situations in which rape is right.  Therefore, it must be wrong for all people, in all places, at all times and in every situation.  The statement “rape is wrong” is an absolute truth.  If there is one absolute truth, there can be more.

Our job is to challenge people to shake off the indoctrination of “political correct thinking” and help them see there are absolutes in our world.  Then present the truth of the Bible in regard to our spiritual lives.

Jesus said:

  “You will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John. 8:32)          “Sanctify them by your truth.  Your WORD is truth.”  (John 17:17)

 

Excerpt from: Evangelism Explosion website (www.eeinternational.org

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How do you know the Bible is True?

Is the Bible the Word of God?  Is it true?

These are  legitimate and reasonable questions to be asked.  We can talk about the power of the Word to change lives, or the claims the Bible makes for itself – that it is the “Word of God”- or the popularity of the Bible with over $150 million in sales every year.  Perhaps the best response for the seeker and skeptic can be answered in 3 proofs:

H.A.P. – Proof that the Bible is true:

H  History – In all the years of criticism of the church, no one has ever been able to identify one historical mistake anywhere in the Bible. If man wrote it surely one would find historical errors after all these years.  How do you explain this?  The book did not come to us simply from the hand of man, but from the hand of God.

A Archaeology – Out of the 25,000 archaeological finds relating to people, places and events in the Bible, NO detail has been disproved from the biblical record. In fact, every discovery just continues to prove the Bible is true.  This is great proof for accuracy and trustworthiness of the Bible.

P Prophecy Prophecy fulfilled is unique to the Bible alone.  Out of all the religious books in history, the Bible stands all by itself in this area.  It is the only book that has hundreds of very detailed prophecies.  From Old Testament over 2,000 specific prophecies have been already fulfilled.  Of the 333 prophecies predicting the Messiah, ALL concerning His first coming have been fulfilled, and those remaining have to do with His second coming.

As the Bible was written, 25% of it was predicting future events.  Every single prophecy has been fulfilled except for the few remaining ones dealing with the future return of Jesus Christ.  There is no man that can predict the future 100% accurately.  Who can do this?  Only God can.  Fulfilled prophecy is not only proof of the veracity of the Bible, it is also proof for the existence of God.

Think of the uniqueness of the Word of God directed by the Spirit of God through over 40 men of God during a 1500 year period.  These men were from all walks of life, from shepherd to king, many who had never met.  Yet the theme is unified. The New Testament says the Messiah came and fulfilled the promise AND He is coming again!!

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Posted in Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

How do you know God exists?

Here is a question that has been asked many times by many people: “If you can’t see God, how can you believe in Him?”  When you think about it, there are a lot of things we cannot see, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.   Here is a response: “Do you believe in gravity?” Try jumping off a building and you’ll find gravity exists even if you can’t see it.

People assume to believe in God we have to take a blind leap of faith and shelve our brains.  In reality, it is the unbeliever who is acting on faith by believing there is NO God without investigating it for themselves.

By the way, there is NO evidence to prove that there is no God!!  An honest skeptic will have to admit he has no proof that God does not exist.

Answers for the Skeptic – evidence for God:   C.A.D.O.

C  Creation:  Every time you see a piece of machinery like a bicycle, you know it has to have a creator.

A Art:   Every time you see a piece of art, you know it is made by an artist.

D Design:  Every time you see a wrist watch, you know there it had a designer.

O Order:  Every time you see 10 coke cans lined up in an orderly manner, you know they had someone was an “order-er”.

When we look at the universe, what do you see?  We see creation, art, design and order.  If everything else has a creator-designer, isn’t it reasonable to expect something as intricate and complicated as our universe will also have a creator-designer behind it?

Creation/creator, art/artist, design/designer, order/orderer: These are all logical, reasonable evidence that there is a God behind this universe.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”  Romans 1:18-20

Posted in Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

Fear Not!

FEAR NOT!! 

 

When we face the unknown, why is it that the “what ifs” fill our thoughts followed by a whirlpool of fear that pulls us down to sadness, despair and sleepless nights.  For example, an unknown ailment, a layoff from work, a rebellious teen, an unfaithful spouse and the list goes on.

For the Christian, God’s book of answers provides a whole list of “fear nots” to cover the problems which are out of our control.  Over 150 times God says “fear not” in the Bible. Here are a few passages that may provide comfort:

Is. 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you.  Be not dismayed, for I am Your God,  I will strengthen you.

Is. 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, “fear not, I will help you.”

Psalm 56:4  In God (I will praise His Word). In God, I have put my trust.  I will not fear.  What can flesh do to me?

Matt. 10:31 Do not fear, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

2 Tim 1:7   For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The question now is HOW can we “fear not”?  The answer is in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  It starts with our thoughts.  Let’s look at the Apostle Paul’s instructions which he recorded in Philippians while he was under house arrest. 

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

It takes a quiet, focus time to bring our thought life under God’s control, but if we turn our thoughts to Him, He will provide relief from all our fears. Just remember

“There are no panic buttons in heaven” – God is in controlJ

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Storms of life may result in a Final Exam

Have you ever been through a long period of struggle knowing God wants you to learn something?

My suggestion is to:  slow down, focus and pray.

My exam started with one of God’s promises:  Jeremiah 33:3 “Call on me and I will answer you, and show you  great and mighty things that you do not know”. 

In the 16 months of emotional ups and downs as a co-executor of my parents wills  I went through many trying situations.  I found if I could stop and listen and look for God’s direction, He was there handling the conflicts, resolving problems and coordinating opportunities to share my faith as I moved through each month.  Finally, there was a weekend that was the “test of prayer”.

PRAY when things are out of control:

In the midst of trying to get the home property ready to sell, a hail storm came through and caused a lot of damage, especially on the roof.  This brought out an old family acquaintance who lived on the property with his family for 13 years after my father’s death to be of help to my stepmother.  Dutch and his father owned a roofing company and he became the contractor who was to repair the hail damage.

In the midst of the repairs, Dutch approached me about a private sale of the property.  This culminated into a wonderful  opportunity during a difficult closeout.  I had a buyer and someone to watch over the property months before final settlement without even a realtor.  Only God could have coordinated this event.

Proverbs 3:5-6   “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.”

PRAY when you are angry:

During the coordination of the closing of the property, the lawyer dropped the ball several times.    He repeatedly forgot to send on revised paperwork and failed to respond so that by the time I flew in to Texas, I still didn’t have a confirmed settlement date and time.

After arriving at the estate, I still had no email information on how to proceed.  I took a quick nap and awoke at 5:05pm on Thursday night, only to see a bunch of emails going between the lawyer and the title company.  The lawyer had forgotten to send updated information to the lender which would result in a revised settlement sheet. The last message said they may have to once again reschedule settlement.  I was in a panic.  I tried to contact the title company but they were closed.  I emailed the lawyer and got a response saying he would be out of office until Monday (Tuesday was to be the closing).  I was frantic and angry.  After praying with my daughter on the phone, I made a list of what to do and went to bed.  I awoke early to talk to God.  This thought crossed my mind:

                Matt 5:43-44 Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

So I prayed for the those I was frustrated and angry at and God gave me an idea:   Write a thank you card and drop a gift card in each for settlement day for these people.   Thank the lawyer, I questioned?  Yes   The next day I emailed my prayer partners to ask for pray to resolve the settlement issue.  Within an hour, I heard from a sweet lady at the title company who by phone got all the parties on target,  calmed the lender and resolved the settlement sheet so buyer and seller had definite times on settlement day for the morning (I was flying out in the afternoon).  She answered all my concerns and paved the way for a peaceful, focused weekend.  I wrote out all my thankyou cards, including one for her, and yes, one for the lawyer.  When I prayed and obeyed, peace followed.

On settlement day, everything went well and I was giving out thank you cards, when the lawyer commented, “I know you don’t have a card for me.”   I smiled and handed him his card saying, “ Oh yes. I do –  I really appreciate you.”    His mouth dropped open and he held the envelope out like it was a bomb.  He quietly went to his car and left, speechless.   Praise God for His help and direction! 

 

PRAY when you are fearful:

During the weekend we had a terrifying storm.  It was Sunday night after a glorious weekend with fellowship and worship with other believers.  I was alone in a house on top of a mountain, miles away from anyone.  I went to bed early when the winds picked up and rain & hail began to pound the roof.

My cell phone started screaming with a message of a tornado approaching and instructions on what to do. Then  the lights went out.  I had the cell phone and my nook as the only lights.  I am reading instructions:  “run to a basement or room without windows”.   Wait, all the rooms in the house have windows.  I jump out of bed and grab a blanket looking for a room without windows and settled on the bathroom.  It was I was in the middle of comedy hour as I realize I left all my electronics by a window, so I ran to drag them into the bathroom. Then realize my purse is still in the room by a window, so I ran to bring the purse in the bathroom.  Then realize if the roof caves in and I am found, I am in dressed in my pjs.  So I ran to get a change of clothes and bring them into the bathroom.  All the while the wind is howling and hail is falling.  Then I realize, we are 2 days from settlement and I fear damage to the property again.  So I cry out to God:  “Help, I am afraid. I don’t know what to do”.    (My cell phone shows a text – a friend is checking on me and asks if I need prayer).  With a smile I text her back and I know God has heard me and I remember:

Psalm 56:3   “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in YOU.”

The lights come back on and now I can rest.  The storm passed over, the tornado went by but no damage to the property.  I slept peacefully through the night.

 

PRAY when you are worried:

Finally, after 16 months, the last piece of the estate is settled and I am about to fly home.  I can relax because I have seen God work through prayer during testing times.  However, the final lesson is still to come.  As I get the airport, I start to board the plane checking my cell phone.  As I get ready to turn it off, a call comes through from my landline at home.   It is my daughter.  She says, “Mom, it is awful foggy here and took me over an hour to drive home.  I left my cell phone at the school and I am going back to get it.”  She hangs up and I have visions of car accidents, no communication, muggings, etc. of my only daughter.  But as I turn off the phone, I remember to stop and pray and ask God to watch over her and give me peace.  I have 3 hours before I land to find out if she is safe.  God again provides the peace and I sleep the whole way back.  Maybe I have finally learned to pray first and trust God.

Matthew 11:28-30 comes to mind where Jesus said:   

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

May this be an encouragement to you as you face your storms of life.

By: Dr. Nancy Shields

Email: toolkitministries@yahoo.com

Website:  toolkit-ministries.org

 

 

 

Posted in Testimonials | Leave a comment

Simple glass of water

glass-of-water

 

 

 

Who would have thought that an illustration like a simple glass of water could have opened the eyes of an agnostic to the reality of Christ?

My dad was a big supporter of many atheistic authors and quoted from them often along with contemporary agnostics authors. Because he traveled widely and experienced many cultures, his viewpoint on life increased in value with others.

After many decades of prayers and after watching my life dramatically change because of my profession of faith in Christ in finding the “peace of God”,  my dad began to ask me questions.  One morning during a visit, we were talking across a patio table when he commented, “I am impressed by the change in your life-it is real but I am troubled by what you believe. I have been around the world and noticed everyone believes in God in their own way.  Then how can you say there is only one way to get right with God?”  The words fell out of my mouth before I knew it.  “Dad, I am only repeating what Jesus said in the Bible. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

In that moment, God gave me an illustration to help visualize the point.  “Dad, I have a simple glass of water in my hand.  I am very thirsty and I  believe if I drink it, it will help me by quenching my thirst.   But what if the liquid in the glass was a clear, odorless, tasteless, deadly poison and I drank the whole glass believing it would help.  What would happen to me?”  My dad looked at me puzzled and replied, “Well, you would die if it were that lethal.”

I responded, “But Dad, I believed it was water and proved I believed it by drinking it.  It’s not fair that I should die.”   From his own lips came the statement, “It doesn’t matter WHAT you believe in, what matters is that what believe in is the TRUTH.”  Exactly right!!  If the Bible is true (and there is plenty of evidence in history, archeology, and changed lives to substantial that as fact), then there is only one way to get right with God and that is by receiving the truth of the finished work of Je sus Christ, God the Son.

Dad got the point!!!

What you believe DOES matter only IF it is the Truth!!

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “Sanctify them with Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

Have you found the TRUTH?  Have you been set FREE?

Any responses may be sent via e-mail to:

Dr. Nancy (email: Toolkitministries@yahoo.com)

 

Posted in Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

Make me a blessing to someone!

kerrville-gnc-workshop-nancy-and-maridelle kerrville-bible

The Special BLESSING 

 

Good News Club-Workshop

Sept 10th at Kerrville Bible Church, Texas.

TKM: Dr. Nancy Shields

GNC: Maridelle Crake

 

 

 

“Make me a blessing to others” was my prayer last April.  I was flying monthly to Texas to work on settling my stepmothers’ estate.   It was taking up so much time and weekends that would normally be filled with in-church workshops. God provided a lull of 6 months with no scheduled weekends.  I knew God would control my schedule as He always does.

April was a discouraging month of waiting. “Make me a blessing, please, to someone”!  God answered my prayer immediately.  I flew in to San Antonio, Texas on a Saturday and was too tired to drive to Kerrville where the property was.  I prayed and work up early Sunday morning and realized I could go to church.  My daughter pointed out a Bible church that had an AWANA program when she visited in December, so I drove up as church service began.  As I stepped into the parking lot, a cheerful voice greeted me.  She was so friendly I felt at ease immediately.  Others ladies joined as we settled for the service chatted and joined us to listen to the message.  After church I made my introductions and explained how I got there that morning and my teacher training background as well as working with Good News Clubs in the past.   Maridelle exclaimed, “you must be an answer to my prayer”.  It turns out she is a Good News Club co-ordinator, based at Kerrville Bible church. She coordinates a number of  these Bible clubs in the public schools in Kerrville, Ingram and Fredericksburg.

They have not had any refocusing or help for their volunteers in a long time and have been under pressure to leave at some locations.  As we talked back and forth, I knew God wanted me to help.  I sent Toolkit’s information to their mission board and Maridelle selected a 2 workshop seminar for Saturday, September 10th for her teachers just going back into the school system.  It was a huge blessing and answer to both our prayers and for these workers in the trenches of the public schools.  

As I heard the history of these Good News Clubs and their burden to reach the children with the Bible, I was amazed at the oppositions they have faced.  They told me what a blessing and  encouragement the seminar was to them and I rejoice to see how God works through multiple situations and answers the prayers of His people. 

Now we ask for special prayer for these workers and this ministry and for wisdom and strength for their teachers and their leader, Maridelle.  I will be back to do some more classes if she asks for them, but I am so thrilled to see God using Toolkit again in the workshop form through not only local churches but parachurch organizations like Good News Clubs outreach to public school Bible clubs in Texas and Children’s Bible Ministry to public schools in Maryland.

Please pray a hedge of protection as this summer the threat of conflict with “Satan Clubs” being formatted to approach public schools is now on the agenda in several states.  They only seem to be aiming at the schools that host Bible based clubs which may cause enough conflict to have all clubs omitted.  We pray the Lord holds the door open to these children and for these faithful workers.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Toolkit nextJ    

Always in Christ, Dr. Nancy

 

Posted in Testimonials, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God’s Work takes Team work

“God’s Work takes Team work” is a new workshop from Toolkit Ministries.  It made its debut at an annual teacher training last Saturday at Children’s Bible Ministries of MD in Upperco, MD.  These teachers are preparing to start up the school season with “character building” Bible based clubs in the public schools of MD.  This class turned out to be a blessing usable by all of God's people in working together in unity resulting in reflecting His glory and working His purpose in each community.

God’s game plan can clearly be seen in Ephesians 4.  It gives the commitment required by His people (Eph.4:1-7), the purpose of His gifts provided to each believer (Eph.4:11-16) and the evidence displayed by God’s functioning team (Eph.4: 21-31).  Take some time and discover team building – God’s way.

The workshop included building and maintaining volunteer teams whether small such as classroom teaching teams or medium groups like Jr. church teams or AWANAs or larger annual events such as Vacation Bible School.  We included some advance planning worksheets, problem solving techniques  and transitional demonstrations to make team-teaching seamless.  In addition, we went over conflict resolution and practical helps for all team members.

The workshop was a result of a challenge by CBS director, Denise Morgan, to create a class to encourage experience teachers to recruit and build up future leaders through team teaching.  Thank you, Denise!!

This class is now available for in-church seminars and Christian education conferences.  To request a workshop or half-day seminar, please contact Dr. Nancy Shields directly (email: toolkitministries@yahoo.com)  

teamwork-nbs teamwork-cbm082716  

Posted in Teaching Resources | Leave a comment

A Mother’s day miracle

Perhaps many can relate to having a loved one, who has violently rejected Christ for years. That was my mother who later in years developed Alzheimer’s – a deadly brain disease that robs of the person of decision making ability eventually resulting in death. Prayers continued for her and to my surprise,  God had other plans that resulted in a miracle as a special mother's day blessing to our family.

As long as I can remember my mother was a very private person and hard to know.  It wasn’t until her husband’s death and she began to have memory problems that she opened up to me.  She had heard the gospel many times and always became agitated, rejecting her need for God.  The fact is that the only time I had heard her speak the name of Jesus Christ was when she was swearing, which was frequent.  She was diagnosed early with Alzheimer’s’ in 1994 and as the disease took control, many hours were spent in prayer on her behalf.  Both my brother, sister and my children shared our prayers and concern for her salvation as the disease began eating away at her brain.

It was Mothers’ Day, 1998.  The night before I had received an emergency call from the teacher of our Seniors Class asking me to do the lesson in Sunday school the next day. (Our home church was Harvester Baptist Church in Columbia, MD  harvester.org)     

As I was preparing the lesson, I had another call. This time it was from my mother.  She was now in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s’ and had trouble focusing on anything for more than a few minutes so the call surprised me. She asked if she could come to church the next day so I sent my son, Billy and his fiancée Becky, to pick her up fully expecting that she will have forgotten and not want to go. (This happened more often than not).

As Sunday school started on Mothers’ Day, I realized I had left my lesson at home and so I planned on substituting my own salvation testimony.  When I looked up, my mother walked in and sat down in front of me.  This was too bizarre!! Think of it, my mom’s first Sunday school class was being taught by her daughter??  As I read my opening question it struck me how coordinated the timing had been to bring us both to the same place.  The opening question was:  “Have you ever been frustrated when praying for someone for a long time and feeling like your prayers would never be answered?”  (That had been my feeling for 19 years praying for my mother’s salvation).     The class went well even when I shared my personal salvation testimony plus her own husband’s salvation decision a year before he died. Amazingly she didn’t take offense and seemed very alert.  This is impossible!  Her attention span was no more than 15 minutes at this stage and unable to answer simple questions, yet she was over an hour and answering in full sentences.  God must be doing a miracle!!

We then went into the church service where mom always enjoys the choir and music, but normally dozes off during the sermon. This special Sunday we had a visiting evangelist who clearly and simply covered God’s plan of salvation.  Mom was sitting next to me looking at my Bible.   I had "accidentally" picked up my bulky large print Bible instead of the normal small print edition, but it turned out to be the right one for that day. Mom kept hitting me saying, “show me where it says that in the Bible” as she was riveted to the preacher's message. At the end there was an invitation and prayer but she didn’t move or respond.  I wondered if she was still coherent because it was now over 2 hours, way past her attentiveness span.

At the end of the service, instead of diving for the door, she visited with all the people.  I put her in the foyer with Bill and Becky in order to bring the car around. (She had taken a fall  and I didn’t want her to follow me down the stairway).  It took a while to get through the crowd and there were unusual delays at the pickup lane.

When I finally returned, everyone was gone except Bill and Becky, who were in the corner praying (which I found odd).  Mom was holding a lively conversation with Pastor Simpson. Now I know why Bill and Becky were praying.  As I walked up I realized she was responding to questions on how to be saved. Pastor began carefully explaining God’s plan of salvation from the book of Romans.   This was not the first time she heard it and I expected her to cut him short and turn to leave.  But she didn’t.

Pastor explained God’s love for her, why her sin separated her from God and that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to provide the one way to bridge that separation by willingly going on the cross for her, dying and coming alive again.  Now she had a choice to make: to believe in Christ who paid for her sins and ask to receive His gift of salvation or to walk away and reject it.  In my mind I thought she would react as she had in the past by getting angry and saying “I’m not a sinner” or “Jesus Christ was just a man”, but she still listened without objection. I was amazed! Then to my surprise, Pastor gave her an opportunity to back out or think about it later.  I held my breath for a long time.

Mom looked at me and finally said, “Do you have time to wait?”  “Wait for what, Mom?” I responded.  “I want to pray and be saved”, she said.  I had been waiting for 19 years for what I thought was impossible.  Pastor slowly and quietly led Mom in the sinner’s prayer.  For the first time I heard her admit she was a sinner and she prayed using Jesus name without swearing and finally ask for forgiveness and the gift of everlasting life only He can provide.  We rejoiced at her decision- it was a miracle!  God restored her faculties for over 3 hours and she made her choice. 

Even though she slipped back into the Alzheimer’s confusion moments later, there was evidence of her changed life.  No more swearing for one thing and her reaction to the name of Jesus was one of peace.  One time she told me she knew she was saved because she prayed with Pastor and reminding me I was there. In the short time she was herself and sat with me in church, she wanted to read the new Bible we had given her – writing notes on the side.  The months were brief before she again melted into a vegetative, non-communicative state – yet she smiled when we prayed with her.

We all rejoice in this Mother’s Day miracle.  Mom went to be with her Lord, January 2003.  Sometimes we never know what decisions are made before the final end of a life and I am so grateful God allowed us to be a witness to His transforming power.

Luke 1:37 “For with GOD nothing will be impossible.”

 Treasure Chest 1a_c

All Responses should be sent via e-mail to:Dr. Nancy (email: Toolkitministries@yahoo.com)

Posted in Testimonials | Leave a comment

On the Brink-Dad’s Story-

Charles Paige Brook (3/24/20-12/9/99)  Rescued through God's amazing grace!

Shared by his daugher:  Nancy Brook Shields

My dad was a professional flutist with New York Philharmonic but out of WWII he became a self-proclaimed atheist and skeptic. He had a gift for living for today to the fullest with no thought of the issues of tomorrow.  He was cheerful, generous to a fault and well read in everything except the Bible. Our family was dysfunctional probably more so because of the musician working hours. We rarely saw Dad and there were many broken promises which led to bitterness on my part and many years of independent living from my family.

At the age of 33, my life changed as I was born-again through my personal commitment to Christ.  God took away all my anger and filled me with an awesome love for my family, especially for my father. My deepest desire was to share God’s gift with my dad.  However, he immediately rejected me and my faith for many years.  After 22 years of praying and trying to connect, Dad softened as age and illness began to show up in the latter part of his life. He and his wife, Alice, had retired to Texas. I can remember one day after he was diagnosed with leukemia he said, “I wish I had your faith and belief, but I am a humanist and cannot change”.    He had heard God’s message many times through many sources including my own personal dramatic change which he attributed to my self-control. But when I reminded him it wasn’t me but Jesus in me that made the difference and answers were in the Bible, he would just draw back.  He was so well read but never even read the Gospel of John in the Bible or so he claimed.

A little while later we had a talk that I think was a turning point for him.  He was finally asking questions about the Bible being God’s Word.  He quickly changed the argument to the seeming “intolerance” I was showing because around the world many worship god in their own way but I said there is only one way.  I reminded him that I was only quoting Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me.” (John 14:6)  To make the point, I pointed to a glass of water on the table and said, “what if that glass had pure undetectable poison in it and I drank it down because I was so thirsty, what would happen to me?”  Dad said, “You’d die of course.”  I said, “Why?  I believed it is water so why should I die?”  Out of his own mouth his response was “Nancy, it doesn’t matter what you believe unless what you believe is the truth.  The truth is the glass was poison and not water.”    I picked up the Bible and said, “You are exactly right!!  The Bible is the truth that gives you peace – there is a heaven, there is a hell and the only way to get right with God and know eternal life is through accepting Christ because He provided the one way out with His own life’s blood 2000 years ago.  We just have to receive and accept it of our own free will.”

Although he still refused to let me open the Bible, he remembered a verse he always knew as I sang “For God so loved the world… “(John 3:16, 17) a song my mother used to sing.  As I explained what the verse meant and especially to him, he said I never knew it was God’s promise or why it was so special. We were interrupted at that point but he promised to look into the book of John before I left.

 Months later the disease of leukemia took him with a vengeance.  I spent more time as a plasma donor and wanted to keep Alice company during dad’s time in hospital in San Antonio.  Through the weeks that followed, God allowed my brother, Mitch, to spend time with Dad sharing his faith in Christ and listening to dad’s fears about dying.  He was also able to point him to God’s unfailing promises in the Bible. We took turns flying in and out as he went through chemo and other procedures but his body was not very strong.

  I received a panic call from my brother saying dad was in a coma and the medical staff was suggesting hospice since he was not expected to even regain consciousness. I immediately booked a flight and arranged for my son to join us later.  As I flew back I remember an amazing peace and a verse from Jeremiah replaying in my head:  “Call on me and I will answer thee and show thee great and might things thou knowest not.”  (Jer. 33:3).   God was still in control!!  Have you ever prayed for someone so long you almost didn’t believe it would be answered?  But God was listening.

As soon as I landed I told Mitch we had to go the hospital and see dad now!  While Mitch’s wife kept Alice company, we raced to the hospital.  Moving through the halls, nurses and doctors stopped to tell us there was no hope and don’t even bother visiting in ICU because it was too late.  I firmly requested they step aside and allow us private time with our dad.  

As we entered the room, dad had tubes and monitors running everywhere. His hands and arms were so swollen it was like holding a balloon.  He seemed totally out of it, but when I called his name to my surprise he opened his eyes and tried to talk and lift his head, but the tubes were in the way.  We worked out a signal with hand squeezing- once for yes and two for no so we could communicate.  He seemed very lucid as we asked him questions.  Mitch talked to him for a few minutes and handed it over to me.

I remember saying “Dad we love you so much and we want to see you again forever in heaven.  Remember God’s promise to you from the Bible?    For God so loved PAIGE that He gave his only begotten son (Jesus) that if Paige will believe on Jesus, Paige will not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE”.  He loves you and wants you to be with Him in heaven.  We want to see you again too.”

Dad seemed to be listening so I asked him a series of yes and no questions to make sure he could respond and he was still with us.  “Dad, will you receive Jesus as your own savior right now? (A squeeze confirmed he was with us) – Can I pray with you right now?” another squeeze yes… I prayed to the Lord, “God you know dad’s heart and mind right now, he is a lost sinner asking for your love and mercy right now.  Jesus, dad is asking for forgiveness and accepting you as his personal savior. Thank you for saving him and providing him a forever home in heaven. Amen”

When I stopped praying, Mitch was crying and Dad was still there. The look of peace that passed over his face was amazing as the tears ran down his checks.    I asked Dad if he prayed with us and would we see him again in heaven with all the positive responses he gave and the look of peace, God had answered that 22 year prayer and dad was safe in the arms of Jesus.   There were several more minutes of before he slipped back into a coma.  Within a couple of hours his temperature spiked to 107 and the doctors said he was probably brain dead at the point in time. My son, Billy, came to be at his side and with his nursing experience was a great comfort.   For days the doctors kept testing, but there was no recovery and on my birthday, December 8th, we had to make a joint decision to take him off life support.

Dad’s body died December 9, 1999, but I know he lives forever with his Christ in heaven.  I can’t wait to see him again.  Though I miss him more than words can express, I am at peace knowing my Lord is caring for Dad and I’ll see him again.  My brother Mitch is there now after he lost a battle with cancer in sept 11th 2012.  I am so grateful God’s long-suffering toward his creation:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

 

 

 

Posted in Testimonials | Leave a comment