Last Week in the Trenches – September 2012

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I Resigned! The biggest news of September is that I have resigned as Senior Pastor of Community Baptist Church.

Last month we asked you to pray that God would bring balance between my roles as

Senior Pastor, People of the Free Gift and homeschooling dad. There must have been a lot of you praying, because that prayer has been answered and God has asked me to step out in faith and trust that He will provide for my family’s needs.I announced my resignation to our Leadership Board last Wednesday and to the congregation on Sunday. September 30th will be my last official Sunday at the church, and they have asked me to share about the ministry God has placed on our hearts.What this means on a practical level is that I am balancing my time between applying for jobs, raising funds for People of the Free Gift and being a godly husband and father.

We are praying that God would provide the funds for us to be fully supported and move to Utah as planned. We would ask that you would pray about partnering with us financially in this ministry.

As we discussed in last month’s newsletter, our ministry has come under the 501c3 banner of Kaleo House (calvaryle.org/kaleohouse.html), so please make your checks out to Kaleo House and write People of the Free Gift in the memo line. Send the checks to 925 Rodeo Queen, Fallbrook, CA 92028. We are still in the process of providing a means for you to give electronically.

What this also means is that I am now available to speak to your congregation on Sunday mornings and provide a break for pastors who need it. Please pray about inviting us to speak at your church, or speaking to your church’s Pastor about this possibility.

Former LDS Testimony Video God has allowed us to come in contact with several former LDS people in the last few months, so we are putting together a DVD of their testimonies. If you are a former LDS person, or you know one, who has given their life over to the true Jesus, we would love to include your testimony. We are also looking to interview people who have converted from Christianity to Mormonism.

Still Time to Join Us for our Utah Mission Trip Will you pray about coming out to Utah with us in October? Our family is partnering with Russ East and Utah Partnerships for Christ (upfc.org) and we are inviting your family or group to join us. We plan to arrive at the “Blue House” in Ogden, Utah on the afternoon of October 13th and depart back to California on the morning of October 19th. We are able to house the first 10 people who respond to this invitation for $10/person/night in the Blue House. We will not limit the invitation, but you will have to factor in the additional cost of hotel.

Here are a few of the things we plan to do while in Utah: Visit a local LDS ward and look for opportunities to invite people to the Blue House that afternoon for a BBQ and to hear the gospel Visit Utah Lighthouse Bookstore (utlm.org) and hear Sandra Tanner teach Visit the TV20 station (tv20.tv) to view a live recording of Heart of the Matter with Shawn McCraney (hotm.tv/) Tours and witnessing trips to Temple Square, Museum of Church History and Art and the Beehive House We’ve added a trip to BYU to the schedule per request!

Here’s some of the logistics to help you plan: The cost of housing in the Blue House for the first 10 people who respond will be $10/person/night You can calculate the estimated fuel cost for the trip at mapquest.com. We are planning on between $300 – $400 per vehicle to travel from California through Utah and back. A good rule of thumb is to plan on $5/person/meal Plan to pay for parking at Temple Square. The tours are all free. As Jesus promised, witnessing may come at a cost, but it will not be without reward in heaven.

Three “Reaching Out to Your Mormon Neighbor” Seminars Thank you to Pastor Sam Calhoun of Windsor Hills Community Church (windsorhillschurch.org) in La Mesa, CA, Pastor Lee Hamby of First Baptist Alhambra (discoverthejoy.org) in Alhambra, CA and Pastor Jason Jahn of Portico Church (beta.porticoanaheim.org) in Anaheim, CA for hosting our Reaching Out to Your Mormon Neighbor seminar. We had a great time training and fellowshipping with your churches.

Current “Reaching Out” Schedule 1) Oceanside – Saturday, September 29th – 10am – 3pm – Calvary Baptist Church – 3320 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA, 92058 (cbcoceanside.com)

2) Montclair – Saturday, October 6th – 10am – 3pm – Bethany of Montclair – 9950 Monte Vista Ave., Montclair, CA 91763 (bethanybaptistlife.org)

3) Aliso Viejo – Saturday, January 19th – 9am – 1pm – Grace Hills Church – 24521 Moulton Pkwy, Aliso Viejo, CA 92637 (gracehills.com)

We are currently offering two seminars: “Reaching Out to Your Mormon Neighbor” and “Why Should I Trust the Bible?” If your church would like to host a seminar, or have us speak to your congregation, board or Pastor, please contact Jason at peopleofthefreegift@yahoo.com or 760-468-1035.

Six Great Conversations Conversation 1: This was a continuation of my conversations with sister missionary Mahuru from our trip to Temple Square in April. As I mentioned last month, Sister Mahuru contacted me by phone and we have been talking ever since. Our latest conversation centered around the evolution of the Mormon concept of God. We started with Moroni 8:18 and then walked through how this verse compares with the infamous Lorenzo Snow couplet “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may be.” Please pray for Sister Mahuru and her companion that they will continue seeking the truth and that God would open their eyes to inconsistencies like this in Mormon doctrine and the truth about the “one true God.”

Conversation 2: I had the awesome opportunity to go witnessing with Jerry Benson of Challenge Ministries (challengemin.org) at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. Jerry allowed me to use some of his million dollar bills. This is a great way to start conversations with people. There were two college students visiting the area from Switzerland. When I asked them why God would allow them into His heaven, they said, “I’m generally a good person.” When I followed up and asked what their plans were to deal with the sins they had already committed, they didn’t give an answer. I had a chance tot share the gospel with them. They weren’t quite ready to accept Jesus as their Savior. Pray that they will encounter other genuine Christians that care enough about them to share the good news of God’s grace with them.

Conversation 3: While at Balboa Park, I also spoke with a lady named Margerie. Margerie had problems with organized religion and the concept of hell. I asked her if it would be loving for her to force her children to live with her if they had expressed that they wanted nothing to do with her, her house rules, her way of life, her advice or her support and provision? Pray for Margerie that she would think more about the grace of God that has offered her not only the chance to not go to hell, but has offered her the gift of Himself.

Conversation 4: While at the Community Center near our home, I met a New Zealander LDS man named Nico. We had a brief conversation. After finding out I was a Christian, he said, “That’s great. We are too!” This started a conversation by email and we plan to get together soon to discuss the teachings of Jesus. Pray for Nico that his eyes will be opened to the fact that the LDS church, though named after Jesus, believes in a different Jesus than is taught in the Bible and that Jesus contradicted several LDS doctrines about God, pre-existence, the identity of Jesus, the apostasy, eternal marriage, etc…

Conversation 5: An LDS apologist from “Challenging Anti-Mormon Apologetics” started a conversation with me on Facebook. The focus of our conversation has been on the “Impossble Gospel” of Mormonism. If you would like me to send you a great tract on this topic, please email me. This man calls himself Eusebius, and I have been able to share many quotes from Mormon Scriptures, apostles and prophets with him, as well as the truth of the gospel from the Bible. Pray for him that he will actually look at the information he has been given and turn from law and trying to earn his salvation and embrace the gospel of God’s grace.

Conversation six: An older LDS man named Dan attended the “Reaching Out to Your Mormon Neighbor” seminar in Anaheim. Dan was quite a unique individual. He currently attends the LDS church after leaving the LDS church of a period of 35 years. He described his “born again” experience at a Billy Graham crusade, and he finds many problems with LDS doctrine. When I asked him why he’s a part of the LDS church, he said, “I just haven’t found anything better.”

Testimony of Anita Boyle Here is my conversation on Facebook with former LDS and current Christian Anita Boyle. · Me: I’m curious. What’s your story? Are you former Lds or just have a heart to reach them? · Anita: I was born and raised a mormon. Did the whole thing, seminary, mission, temple… It wasn’t until I was 40 that I found the truth. My only daughter has been saved as well, and some family members have left mormonism, but want nothing to do with any religion and the rest are still firm believers in mormonism. · Me: What was it that lead you out of the church, and more importantly, into a relationship with Jesus. · Anita: I had a coworker/friend who was a Christian. We began a discussion in which my motivation was to “convert” him to mormonism. We continued this conversation off and on for a year. I was forced to dig deep into the Bible to find answers to his questions and one day it just hit me like a ton of bricks that I was the one who was wrong. I prayed for understanding and I received it. It came down to me choosing between Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. I chose Jesus. · Me: That is a great story. I’m curious. What were some of the questions that caused you the most trouble? I know it’s different for everybody, but it’s always helpful to hear somebody’s story. · Anita: the grace vs works thing really got me thinking…the parable of the woman who married the 7 brothers and Jesus saying that there is no marriage in heaven really got me thinking too. The realization that there HAD NOT BEEN A TOTAL APOSTASY? That blew my mind. no apostasy…no need for a restoration. It was a lot of things coming together and me being at a point in my life where I was willing to turn my back on everything I knew in order to have The Truth. · Me: So basically learning what Jesus really taught? … that is one of my favorite lines of conversation. · Anita: yes, and realizing that the Bible is the Word of God and trustworthy.

Networking Our passion at People of the Free Gift is advancing God’s kingdom. One of the ways we want to do that is connecting you with other ministries and churches that are doing great work reaching out to those in the LDS church. This month I’d like to connect you with two of these ministries.

Plant Utah is the ministry of Matthew Anderson. Matthew stepped down from his position as Pastor of Hillsboro Christian Church in Missouri to pursue the call of God on his life to plant a church that plants churches in Utah. They plan to move to Utah late in 2012 or early in 2013. You can visit Matthew’s website at PlantUtah.com.

Mike Menning is a Pastor to Church Planters in Utah. He is the man in the know as to what is going on in the world of church planting and evangelical Christianity in Utah. You can email Mike at mikemenning@gmail.com if you are interested in receiving his newsletter.

People of the Free Gift Reaches 72 “Likes” Thank you to all of you who have “liked” our Facebook page. For those that haven’t had the chance, you can go to Facebook.com/PeopleOfTheFreeGift. We post interactive questions regarding Mormon doctrine on this page as a continuing follow-up to our seminars. This has lead to some great conversations with current LDS as well as the opportunity to connect with former LDS.

About our family: Jason and Amy have been married for 9 years. We have three boys named Noah, Elijah and Jude. About 14 years ago, Jason helped his best friend come out of the LDS church and into a relationship with Jesus. Through that process, God gave Jason a heart to reach the LDS people. About 9 months ago, God called Jason and Amy to start People of the Free Gift. Our desire is to do 4 things: Teach Seminars, Fill the Pulpit, Lead Mission Teams and Assist Church Planters/Pastors. We are currently raising funds to be fully supported in this ministry and our goal is to move out to Utah to be a part of a church plant scheduled to launch in early 2013. Utah will become our base of operations and we will travel where the Lord calls us to serve Him.