Friday, April 18, 2014

Having A Child


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a child? Maybe you already have children. Being a parent is both an awesome privilege and huge responsibility.

I was child number five in a family with seven children, yes seven! I was the most mischievous and spiteful of the bunch, and I tested my parent’s concept that having children was indeed a privilege. I poured wet gravel from the aquarium on my friend’s head, painted nail polish in books, shoved my cousin down the stairs, and the list goes on. My rotten behavior did convince my parents that raising children was a huge responsibility! They prayed a lot for me (and for themselves), and God answered them before I had to go to prison. What happened?

I noticed a joy in my older siblings, which I knew came from their relationship with God, and I wanted to experience this myself. Therefore, when I was six years old, I asked God to forgive all of my sins, and trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.  Even at that young age, I understood that God had changed my heart, which resulted in me loving others. The joy followed; like any relationship I grew over time in understanding how much God loved me and where I needed to change.

Now I am married, and we recently took the crazy leap to parenthood.  And what a sleep-deprived, yet fantastically joyful experience it has been.  I discovered the most amazing revelation was being able to relate to God who also had a son. God the Father allowed His Son to be beaten, bullied, and killed! I’m not sure I could allow my son to go through that….so why would the Creator of the universe allow this? His motive: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)  

The depth of His love has become so much more real to me after the birth of my son. Jesus came to earth knowing that it would cost His life to purchase our salvation. Wow! How do we respond? He is not asking you to do good deeds and try to earn eternal life, because we can’t. "It is by grace (an undeserved gift) that you have been saved through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works that no man should boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9 All that is necessary to become God’s child is for you to agree with Him that you are sinful (self-centered), and sincerely ask for His forgiveness, and then invite Him into your life to take control (be your Lord).  That is how you receive His Gift! Would you like to make that decision today?

The fact that I met you today to tell you this amazing news was God trying to tell you how much He loves you!

Stephanie Shirley

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nelson Newsletter April 2014

Happy Spring! We welcome the warm weather, flowers, honey bees, and new life. This letter targets a few new life stories from our neck of the woods. We trust they build your faith in God!


Stephanie’s New Life This month we feature our daughter Stephanie’s testimony, “Having a Child.” She has been faithfully sharing Christ by using her tract featuring her family as a point of common interest. She tells us that God has been using it to keep her actively involved in outreach, even though she is a mother of a toddler and expecting in September. She asked that we pray for her and her husband David to inspire others in their small group to reach out. Enjoy!

Kevin’s New Life! A young man named Kevin, our lifeguard at the pool, is a new creation! (2 Cor. 5:17) Our house church has been praying for Kevin’s salvation, and Danelle and I have befriended him and shared truth with him for three years. I finally had an opportunity to share the entire gospel with him two weeks ago. We discussed his anger with God over his grandparent’s health problems, the purpose of the commandments, and salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Then I asked him what prevented him from giving his life to Christ. He thought for a moment and then said, “Nothing!” I told him that the decision was between himself and God, and I explained what he needed to do. Since he was working, I encouraged him, “Later on get alone with God, and talk to Him out loud, because it will help you think about what you are saying. Then tell Him that you a sinner and you want to surrender control of your life to Jesus.” Three days later he did just that! Praise God! He has come to our house for dinner twice in the last two weeks so that Danelle and I could help him get started in his new relationship with Jesus Christ. He is eager! Please pray for Kevin’s growth and desire to share Christ with others.


New Lives In Pamplona, Spain Danelle and I are headed to Spain in one month to teach, train, and bring new life in Christ, May 15- June 2. We will assist Dominic Marrone (in the photo) and the church with outreach to college students, as well as training the American LINC team. Please pray for us to prepare for the numerous teachings and the relationship seminar using Steve’s book – now in Spanish! We will take both the English and Spanish copies to use to reach students. Please ask the Lord to provide the remaining funds for the trip as well. We still need $2,000 in special gifts. If you want to help us, go to and click “Give.” Enter 5951 and follow the prompts. Thank you very much!

Yours in Christ’s love,

Steve and Danelle