Fall, 2016: So many praise reports have come in regarding the Real Life Stories testimony books that we just don't have the time anymore to keep this page updated. However ... here is a link you may be VERY interested in: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/General/p-t/ReachingOutToUnsavedLovedOnesThroughTestimonyBooks.htm
January 20, 2013: “I got a call a few days ago from a lady who said, ‘My 94 old mother has a copy of your first REAL LIFE STORIES testimony book (Printed in 2004). She reads it every day, over and over again. She is wearing it out. Do you have any others?’” - Jim Barbarossa
July 15, 2012: Here's some video footage taken of the Lighthouse Book being placed out into the highways and byways: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxHf-txLnT0
May 15, 2012: A week
ago today, I went to the Knox Post Office to put a couple of letters in the
inside mail slot. Then I went to the counter to mail two boxes that
contained 2 lighthouse books each, and 1 Church Outside The Box CD each, and
1 "Vision" poster each, that went to my cousin in New York, and my nephew in
Dallas. I told the man what the contents was in each box, and asked him if
he'd like to have one and what they were about, and he said he would. I
asked him if he'd like some extras. He took 6 more. He took one book for his
"personal" book and asked me to write my name in it with my phone #. He
pastors a small church in Michigan City.
This morning 5/14/12 (Just exactly ONE month after giving away the FIRST book) I went back to the Post Office to see how he was doing with his books, and I would say that he was almost as excited about them as I am!! He told me that he gave them all away, starting his own evangelism program, and said that he'd like to have as many as I could spare, and he would turn all the members of his church he pastors, into evangelists! So, I gave him a whole case! This is only the beginning of a great chapter in the story of a great evangelistic movement in North Western Indiana! I'll keep you posted on any updates.
Love from Bookman Bob
May 7, 2012:
two HUGE doors on May 5 for copies of the REAL LIFE STORIES testimony
books to be made available in the
Here are the details of how God did it. I
felt to zero in on the most popular grocery store in the Red Zone area.
Last summer I placed a number of the RLS books on top of garbage cans and
watched copies be ta
But this summer they have placed “No Soliciting – No Dumping” signs up, and that didn’t sit so well with me and the folding table strategy. Hence, the only place left that I could think of would be to place the books inside the store itself. That option didn’t seem viable a year ago, because I could never link up with the manager to get an approval.
I said that it was.
“Have you seen this copy before?”
“Well, not exactly that one, but I saw one like
it while I was in prison in
Earl Meadows is his name, and he began sharing his testimony. He shared how he had been a renegade, breaking the law for years, until he landed in jail. While in there with a lot of time to think, he surrendered to Jesus. After several minutes of listening to him testify (while the store clerk nearby being forced to hear it all!) … I asked Earl if he frequented the store very often. “Every day,” he told me.
“Do you think I might get in trouble if I just left some copies of the book on the shelf that is near the exit of the store until I can talk with the manger … that it would be okay?”
“Nawwww – he won’t care! Put ‘em out
there! People need this book in this area. They have so little
hope. They need Jesus. He’s their
I silently inquired of the Lord at that moment –
asking Him if He would endorse what Earl was saying. I wasn’t able to
hear the Lord say differently … so I put out one cardboard book holder and
15 copies of the Lighthouse RLS book.
“Those copies will be gone in less than an hour,” says Earl. "You have more copies than THAT to leave?"
"I have the rest of the box these came out of, plus a couple of boxes of the original RLS testimony book you read in the prison," I replied.
“Put ‘em all out, man. They’ll go quickly.”
So I went to my car and got many dozen copies and did as Earl suggested. I put up somewhere around 60–70 copies. Upon doing so, Earl says to me, “I know another place you can put out copies of the book. A lot of people show up there. It’s almost as good as this location. Do you know where Joe’s Place is?”
I told him I didn’t.
“About three blocks down the road.
Right on the corner of Hall and
I showed Earl my contact information at the end of my testimony in the Lighthouse RLS edition, encouraging him to pray about letting me videotape him testifying at a future time. I got his phone number, telling him I would be calling him from time to time if he would be willing to sort of monitor how the books were going at the grocery store, and he gladly said he would. Then I drove off toward Joe’s Place.
Where Earl said it was located, I saw only a small strip mall. A big, well kept liquor store was closest to the road, and there were three other businesses connected. Nowhere was there a sign saying “Joe’s Place.” Hmmmm …
In that strip mall is a well stocked clothing store on the far right. I walked in and a clerk asked me if she could help me. “I’m looking for a “Joe’s Place.” You heard of a “Joe’s Place?”
“Sure have. You’re standing in it.”
“Huhhh? I didn’t get it. The store sign on your store says something much different.”
“No – Joe owns this store. He owns the entire building complex.”
“Ohhhhhh. You have any idea how I might be able to talk with Joe?”
“Sure! Go right over there to the liquor
store. You’ll find him right inside.
“Cool!” So I walked to the liquor store. Just inside the store a very cheerful man greeted me from behind the deli counter, asking me if he could help me. I saw a good sized wooden cross around his neck, and asked, “You wouldn’t happen to be Joe, would you?”
“Great. I just met a guy by the name of Earl a few minutes ago down the road at the supermarket, and he said he thought you would let me put out some free copies of a testimony book. Would that be possible?”
“Sure! Be happy to.”
Now … things like this JUST DON’T EASILY HAPPEN … not in my personal experience dealing with retail store owners. First they want to interrogate you; examine the book; then tell you to get back with them, which can be a very delayed process, and one must be very persistent and patient in the process, only to get a “No” in the end. I call it the proverbial “Salesman’s Putoff,” though if it was my property, I too would want to know what kind of “religious literature” was being made available to my customers, and who actually is behind it, so it’s understandable. But Joe didn’t care to even enter that arena, though I told him I would let him look at the book and get back with him if he would like.
“Naw – not necessary. Just put copies out.”
Well – when the door opens WIDE, Norm, have the
good sense to snap out of your stunned-state and go with the Holy Ghost’s
favor in the situation! “Okay – I
can put up a book holder and fill it with 12 copies and put it up there on
the ice machine out of the way so it won’t be in anyone’s way.”
“Nawww”, says Joe. “Put ‘em right there on the counter where people can easily find them. No problem.”
Okayyyyyy. Thank you Jesus! So I go up to the counter where there are THREE cash registers to give your money to when you purchase some spirits or anything else you want to pay for. No OTHER things to look at to distract your attention. No OTHER “religious” material. No free nothing else to look at. NOW just RLS books! When I told one of the gals working the register what Joe said I could do, she said, “Hey – can I have one of those copies?”
On my way out of the store, I assured Joe I’d be back in a couple of days with a lot more copies of the RLS book – knowing full well a dozen copies would disappear as quickly as a chunk of hamburger would disappear in a pond full of skinny, starving piranha fish.
I have only half a box of the original RLS book left, and six boxes of the Lighthouse Edition RLS book left. I can see those copies all be gone in a month or less (depending how many I put out) easily at those two locations … and then we are out of books to put into circulation. The RLS testimony books are the best witnessing resource I’ve found to date, as Earl gushed out a confirmation when I shared with him that Jim was planning on coming out with an Inmate-To-Inmate RLS book in the future:
have a lot of time to read, and they'll read ANYTHING that has to do with
people's personal experiences. Especially if it offers them HOPE for
them to have something better in life than the old life they had prior to
coming to prison," gushed Earl.
Please pray that if God so wills, we can give brother Jim sufficient funds in the future to print up a SECOND printing of the RLS Lighthouse Edition. I’m just getting STARTED putting copies of the book into circulation, and now getting low on books to give out.
Oh – and one more possible praise report.
On my way to the grocery store, I saw a Biker Club with about three dozen
motorcycles parked out front. Several bikers were standing outside the
Club (located on
Jerry wasn’t really interested in having a copy
of the book either … until I
found out that he and his partner,
I know many of you reading this are aware of the efforts behind these Real Life Stories spiritual seed planting testimony books, and you have been covering this evangelistic thrust in prayer (and thank you so much!). As many have discovered, people will pick up these books if put in an easy place for them to find them. Whether handed out personally, or placed in a retail location for people simply to find … it truly is within 99% of people who have lived 20 years on this planet to find out if God is real, and if He IS, what they are to believe about Him. People don’t tell you that – you just have to learn that from the Holy Spirit, though it is very evident when you let God use you to put these testimony books into the hands of strangers.
Yet the lack of finances is what hinders this evangelistic thrust from getting much traction to date to the degree we believe God would love to see it blossom out. Brother Jim Barbarossa has been “behind enemy lines” now for a number of years, doing everything in his power to try to get Pastors and Elders of local church fellowships to “SEE” the potential in producing RLS testimony books of their own as outreach resources in their respective communities. I too have tried to help give exposure to this vision, yet honestly finding myself so frustrated and discouraged because it seems like you are talking to blocks of concrete, if you know what I mean. If Pastors and church leadership see the importance of using some of their finances to try to help reach lost souls in third world countries … yet remain blinded to the importance of trying to reach lost souls in their back yards in a way that really requires very little effort via the testimony books of testimonies from people in their own churches … it simply says to Jim and I that a HUGE stronghold exists in the local church decision makers.
Perhaps it will take a much greater “falling away” in local churches before church leaders are willing to listen a little closer due to empty pews and leaner offering plates to produce RLS testimony books in their respective areas. Perhaps by then it will be too late, because finances will be less and a “hording attitude” consumes most of them. I even realize most reading this won’t give what I’ve shared a second thought. But a few of you will, and for those of you who DO care … I’m asking that you keep this matter lifted up to the Lord with us in prayer. Meanwhile … we do what we are able to do with what we have to work with, and what a joy it has been to date to be used of the Lord to plant spiritual seeds in God’s harvest field – the world. We are assured “that our labor will not have been in vain”, as 1 Cor. 15:58 assures us.
Monday 5-7 Update: I went back to the store where I left several dozen copies of the RLS books on May 5 and ALL of them were gone! That didn’t surprise me. At Joe’s liquor store, only one copy remained! I left nearly two boxes at Joe’s to make available several more books at that location. Please pray that each book will bring salvation to many, many souls.
- Norm Rasmussen
3-25-12: Jim & Carla Barbarossa: Greetings Lighthouse book participants.
there is one testimony that has affected me so much each time I have read it. T
I want to let my
colleagues read it too. It is a wonderful testimonies in Christ. Thank you for the person who handed me this book.
3-5-12 - Tim: Two pilots heading to Brazil that I gave copies of the Lighthouse book to ... they had to ditch in the Caribean on the way home. Their new engine quit. They are ok, but they lost the two copies. I am planning to replace them when able.
I sell used aircraft parts
all over the world. And with some orders, as I
feel led, I have included one or two copies of the
book. Last week I received word of my first
offical martyred book, he "put it in the recycling
bin". So, I was disappointed about that.
Well, I received the below this Saturday from a customer named Bob!:
"Tim, thanks for the two copies of the Lighthouse book. I called for aircraft parts and found God. My life has taken a dramatic change. I believe the book you sent was a part of the change. Jesus saves - Bob L in Ca."
2-4-12: To all those who wrote testimonies for the book:
I have read many books, but this book really blessed me and gave me the strength I need to keep telling others about Jesus. I took the book to the salon with me last night and they started reading it."IT'S REAL, AND REAL LIFE ISSUES!"
I cried and gave thanks for all of you who have great testimonies that will let others know that there is HOPE. The one thing that blessed me the most is to know that the BLOOD HAS NEVER LOST ITS POWER. All of the testimonies started off one way but they all ended at the feet of JESUS. I would read, cry and give thanks for all of you WHO HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST. You are blessed to go through the trials of life and come out a new person. Just think, God could have chosen anyone, but it was you, and He did this before you came into this world. (Ephesians 1:4, St. John 15:16 and Ephesians 2:1-8).
Now, because Jesus lives ... we can face tomorrow. "Thanks God, that there are others who are able to bring in this great end-time harvest, ONE SOUL AT A TIME."
I will be reading one of your testimonies in church each Sunday and also to some of the people that I witness to on the streets. - Paulette
1-30-12: Volunteers from MISSION POSSIBLE Ministries are passing out RLS Lighthouse testimony books in down town Grand Rapids - through the outreach at DIVISION STREET FELLOWSHIP located at 229 S. Division, just north of the Guiding Light Mission. Here's a video clip about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewaBmImJGqo
12-11-11: My dearest Kathleen has been passing out so many RLS Lighthouse books that it is absolutely stunning -- I'm so proud of her, and I know God is too! If you only knew how quiet and shy she has been for nearly 59 years of her life, you would be as stunned as I am, which only goes to prove that when one has the Holy Spirit inside them, expect a miracle to happen at any time He desires!
We went for a bite to eat at our closest Mall after church service. Of course it was packed with Christmas shoppers. We carried in 12 copies of the Lighthouse Edition with us, ordered our tray food and found a hard-to-find vacant table to eat at. We prayed and trusted that the Lord would give us just the right 12 people to give the books to amidst the hundreds if not thousands of people scurrying around like ants, and wouldn't you KNOW ... He DID! Great afternoon at the mall and the food was great too!
12-8-11: Distributing Lighthouse testimony books at the Battle Creek VA: Video
12-01-11: I had an appointment yesterday at the VA hospital in Detroit. I took along 30 Light House Edition books. From my last visit there I discovered that they have book racks throughout the different floors where the vets (and staff and family/friends of the vets, for that matter) can pick a book off the rack for free, read it, then put it back on a rack for someone else who may want to read it. A given book could be read hundreds and hundreds of times as time passes, providing the pages of the book don't start falling out. So after I put 12 books on one particular rack on my way to my appointment, I then quickly went into the men's room and deposited some filtered coffee that I started drinking when I had left Grand Rapids three hours earlier. After washing and combing my roughly 135 strands of hair (giving thanks; not complaining), I stepped out of the men's room and walked past the rack and was stunned that they were not there. Not one was there! I doubt that five minutes had passed from going inside the bathroom to the time I left the books. Now this particular book rack is placed in probably the most strategic location in the entire VA hospital because it's closest to where most of the people come in and go out of the hospital ... but - was it possible people actually took all those books in such a short amount of time? Couldn't have! That was my first thought.
My second thought was that a staff person or a God hater evidently had removed all the books, because there could have been NO WAY people would have taken all dozen of those books so quickly in my mind ... thus I went quickly into silent "bummer mode" and made my way to my dental appointment. (I found out later that a very high volume of books get removed off the rack as people go into the nearby cafeteria to eat lunch, and they pick up a book and read some while they are eating, and then place the book back on the rack once they are done eating, or sometimes keep the book until they are done reading it and then place it back on the rack a few days later for someone else to read. Thus my conclusion was that they weren't ready to place the 12 RLS books back on the rack! Whew - that made me feel much better.)
I had a break (I'm getting a tooth implant) from my dentist mid-afternoon and walked back out to my car and took the remaining 18 RLS books back into the hospital. I placed all of them on the same rack in the top left position of the rack where they couldn't get missed seeing. It was about 3:45 p.m. I then had to rush back to the dental clinic in the complex and didn't leave until nearly 5:30 p.m. On my way past the rack, six RLS books remained! That told me someone wasn't throwing them away, but rather taking them to read! Incredible. Thank you Father! Talk about a fertile field to plant and water Jesus crops!
Folks - Neither Kathleen nor I nor Precious Testimonies has "unlimited funds" to keep buying the RLS testimony books to pass out like this, so if the Lord moves your heart to help us put more of these RLS testimony books into places such as this VA hospital, (and some OTHER VA hospitals around the Great Lakes region, I promise you that if you designate your donation/s JUST for RLS books to be placed into distribution like this, every penny will be used to purchase RLS books to be placed into distribution such as I was fortunate to be able to do yesterday.
11-22-2011: This will be the first Saturday for our food pantry to be open where we can give out the books. I am looking forward to sharing them with our precious clients. We give them out to everyone we meet as well.
- Ken and Beverly (Ken and Beverly are using the books in the Denver, Colorado area. Their testimonies are on Pages 11 and 106)
11-20-2011: Dear Evangelist Jim (Barbarossa): "Twenty thousand (20,000) copies of the Real Life Stories Lighthouse Edition testimony book has been printed here in the Philippines. We have already given out 500 copies in the Mindanao Island area and another 500 copies in the Dibabawon tribal area. We are also duplicating and passing out the powerful CD's you sent to us. We so appreciate the prayers of God's people, that these evangelistic tools will bring many souls to our Lord and Savior."
Pastor Lloyd & Team
11-12-2011: It was in my heart to pass out some RLS Lighthouse Edition books at the VA hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Veterans Day (11-11-11). God enabled a box of 44 books to go into the facility. I learned a couple of things, I believe, that may reinforce what brother Jim Barbarossa has said all along: It can be very effective to mention to people that they can read YOUR story in the book and what page to find it at, if of course, your story is in the book.
Last year, my story – testimony wasn’t in the older RLS book that I passed out to Vets the last time I passed copies out. Many of the vets refused taking a copy at that time, though I was able to pass out about 50 plus copies total on a couple of different occasions.
This time, my approach was much different than last year. First off, I wrote on the backside of the front cover: You can read my Vietnam story on page 228 if you would like, and signed my name. My initial contact with the Vets was to immediately stick out my hand and say, “Thank you for serving our country”. I realize 99.9999% of the people who has served in the military greatly appreciate hearing such a “Thanks,” so you know they have the immediate thought: I like this person because what they just said to me. (It probably carries even more weight when it’s said on Veterans Day, I would think, though any day will bless them).
Every vet I said that to showed appreciation for it being said. What about 50% would say immediately after that was, “Are you a vet too?” That was what I loved hearing, because then I could say, “Yes I am, a Vietnam Vet, and I’m giving away this free Real Life Stories book, and you can read about my Vietnam story starting on page 228 if you would like.” That perked them up quickly in a positive manner in wanting the book.
Somewhere around 25 – 35% of them didn’t ask me back if I was a Vet . They just showed appreciation for my thanking THEM. And many of those same Vets didn’t want a copy of the book, though I tried using different wording to find something more workable. A “No” last year always meant “No”. Many of those same Vets are angry: Angry at God, angry with life period. In the shape so many are in, both physically and mentally, it would be very easy to become angry like them, I realize, if a person was in their shoes. People in a Vet hospital, at least this one, realize this is the last place they’ll live before passing, and it’s not a very positive environment to be in for most of them, because like most other nursing home occupants, they feel like they’ve been forced to live there – it not being a choice of their own.
But THIS year, when a Vet showed no interest in a book, I would bring the conversation around as quickly as possible to let them know I was a Vietnam vet, and if the person wanted to read some of my story about my being a Vet, they could read about it in the book. I would say about half of them would then say, “Well - maybe I’ll read it. Yeah, give me a copy.”
Again, to reinforce what Jim and Carla have been saying for some time, letting people know that YOUR story is in the book can change EVERYTHING! Where no receptivity to the book was shown previously, suddenly it takes on a more “personal touch” I’m guessing might be the words to try to describe it. Furthermore, if you’re giving that book to someone in your immediate area, and you’ve included some contact information at the end of your testimony, odds are extremely good that if they are being drawn stronger to Jesus by the Holy Spirit, it most likely will be YOU they will be contacting FIRST to ask more questions, and or reach out to, for prayer – for help – or just to somehow be encouraged by. Case in point: Yesterday morning God blessed us with some new much needed kitchen appliances. Two young men of about age 22, I’m guessing, had been at our house delivering one particular appliance three days previous. Before their leaving, my wife Kathleen asked them if they would like a RLS book, and they could read both our stories if they wanted to. She signed the book, I believe, though I don’t know all of what she wrote. So when the two guys starting to leave yesterday morning, one of them said to us, “We read both of your stories in that book. They were quite something.”
We quickly thanked them as humbly as we knew how, and I asked them, “Are you two guys Christian believers?” They both quickly acknowledged that they were. But if you live here in the Western Michigan area, you learn very quickly that because this area is STRONG Christian Reformed (Denomination brought over from the Dutch settlers), kids are raise in a very strong RELIGIOUS environment. They are introduced to Bible truth at a young age in their homes, yet often FORCED to attend church; participate in home daily Bible readings, pray … and once they get out on their own, they are like wild horses who just broke through the fence that has kept them cooped up all their years.
I’m not knocking the Christian Reformed folks, but you find that when you use words like “Saved” and “born again” … you get some VERY STRANGE looks. It is not part of their upbringing, at least for many of them. It is not stressed in their church fellowships. In living in Western Michigan for over 38 years, and being a born again Christian for just over 30 years, I’ve YET to have one true-blue Christian Reformed Christian come forth with their testimony for us to publish. In terms of witnessing like with a RLS book? Forget it! I have a lot of thoughts about the matter, but I'll keep them to myself in this setting.
So the two boys said, “Wow! You guys really went through some things, haven’t you? We don’t have any testimony like yours at ALL.” (If I’ve heard that once, I’d heard that a thousand times!) But I felt to say to them, “Guys – probably the BEST testimonies from God’s perspective are of dedicated Christians who haven’t fallen into every sin this life has to offer like so many of the rest of us Christians have. You don’t need a “blood and guts” testimony like OURS to have a “good testimony” in God’s sight. Learn to do what pleases God early in life and keep do it the REST of your life.”
Saying that I felt was a “dethroning tactic”. I felt to say that so they would read the REST of the book.
I am so blessed to see how BOLD my dear wife, Kathleen, is getting by passing this new RLS book out to others. I think she’s been hanging around Jim and Carla much too OFTEN!!!! (That’s supposed to make everyone laugh – okay?!). My sweetie has a quiet disposition. She’s been held captive by fear when it comes to dialoguing with strangers. That was the OLD Kathleen. She’s growing into a lean, mean, RLS book witnessing machine, thank you Jesus! Hey – she’s getting boldness to give the book to people I would be intimidated giving it too! Now that’s a GOOD thing, because I surely haven’t arrived in the boldness department! It's "on the job training" for me.
Back to the VA to give God “Thanks!” for what He did yesterday: When you pass out a number of books in one day to people like Vets in the situation they live in as I was, you never quite know what to expect. On guy informed me that he had spent 22 years in the Army, retiring as a Captain. He didn’t speak very coherently because of a stroke he had some years back, though I found out his mind is still sharp. Fingers were missing; hands deformed. He was pretty much wheel chair bound I believe. After surface talk, finding out that he considered himself a believer in Jesus, he asked me,
“Why are you passing out that book, if you don’t mind my asking?’
I answered with the first thought that came to mind. “Because I owe God, Fred. I served as a soldier for my country and when I left the military I pretty much hated God and hated those who were responsible for the way the Vietnam conflict was handled. God saved me many years later, and He certainly didn’t have to. But BECAUSE He saved me, He has now given me a chance to be a DIFFERENT kind of soldier, but in a more enjoyable way.”
I was going to say a little more, but he quickly interrupted me, “You’re a soldier for Jesus NOW, aren’t you?!” It didn’t take long to know the answer he was hoping to get: “Yes I am, Fred, and I’ve VERY proud to serve in His Army.”
“I’m a soldier for Jesus TOO in here!” he exclaimed loudly, and broke down crying - uncontrollably - as others watched on around us.
I went with the thought that struck me, as it was a VERY emotional moment for me. “Fred – here’s several copies of the book I’m handing out. Would you pray about passing it along to others in here?”
“I sure will, soldier! You can COUNT on me doing it!”
I walked away wiping tears from my eyes, thinking that Fred had just discovered the most IMPORTANT reason why God had him there, because earlier, he shared tearfully with me that because his wife had died a couple of years back, the family had no place else to put him than it the Vet’s hospital.
I’ll mention one other encounter and close. One guy in his wheelchair was dressed in full military fatigues, with matching military boots. He eagerly accepted a book, and after some short dialogue, I was ready to move on to give books away to others.
“Hold it soldier!” he snapped. “Don’t you go ANYWHERE until I first pray for you!”
He grabbed my wrist, raised his other hand high, and began to pray so loud that everyone up and down the hallways and in rooms with open doors couldn’t help but hear:
“Father – thank you so much for this soldier of yours! Thank you that he cares enough about the souls of others to pass out these books, Jesus! Don’t you let the devil touch him or stop him from doing what he’s doing! Make everyone he gives a book to, to love you more than what they ever have before, and give their soul to You!”
Then quickly he let go of my wrist and shouted loudly, “Now go do the lord’s work, soldier! Now you’ve got your back covered!”
I felt to salute him and thanked him, as he saluted me back. Touching, folks … incredibly touching for me, to say the least. Yesterday was the very BEST Veterans Day I have ever experienced. - Norm Rasmussen firstname.lastname@example.org
11-11-2011: Real Life Stories books - New York
It is exciting to see what is being done
with the RLS books thus far. I am praying about getting a load of books
here. In my prayer time I have been asking the Lord for a creative
way to distribute the one box of books I currently have.
On October 31, I awoke with this idea. This is what I believe I am being led to do. Go in every direction from my house: N, S, E & W - one hour away.
There is not much else in my daily routine that gives me such a joy in the Lord as when I can place a book into someone’s hand and they look at it and begin to smile while you tell them it is a book of Christian testimonies. Free of charge. I could willingly give myself to that task. Yet, I sense that I am being challenged to reach further than I have so far with the RLS books. Taking the books to church leaders (specifically) and include a letter explaining how the books can effectively be used in their community and possibly encourage these leaders to look into having a book in the church or community where they are located.
**This is how I plan to carry out this call to distribute RLS books in my area:
· Through prayer, I composed the letter to pass out to the church leaders. I included it in the body of this e-mail.
·I went to my church (I am new there) and asked if I could make copies. They graciously allowed me to get 44 copies of the letter; also they let me copy a testimony written recently by an Amish gal that I know in Indiana. Inspired by the RLS book!
· Next I went to the Dollar General and purchased 24 manila envelopes for $3.00, and then I got some sharpie markers for $1.75.
·Then I used the Sharpie to circle my picture on the back of the book and write my page # for testimony on the back. (This way if I leave the book package and do not get a chance to speak directly with a church leader, this individual will still have my information)
·I will include a copy of the DVD 'Imparting the Vision...' Individual Testimonies written on 8x10 (another example of using our testimonies) 6 different 3-fold testimonies on the colored bright paper to show how we start in tract form.
· Contact information for myself (as a local) should they want to ask questions or meet with me, I am making myself available.
· Contact information for Jim Barbarossa and Step by Step Ministries.
· Ordering information.
This package will be given
to any church leader that I feel the Spirit leads me too,
no matter how far I might need to drive nor how long I need to wait
to get an audience.
Matt 22:10, "So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests."
Patricia King email@example.com
11-7-2011: Hello Jim and Carla. The two boxes of books arrived soon after you mailed them! We had no idea about the opportunities to share the gospel this book would open up for us! WOW! We are done with the supplies you sent and are already receiving requests for more books! We sent $200 toward books (to pay for what you sent us plus a new order). WHEN YOU GET THESE PRINTED IN SPANISH, WE COULD USE SOME....
We have placed most of the books at two locations of businesses owned or operated by our friends locally. When our next shipment of books come, we will supply the Reach in Action store in Sanford. We have also handed out some books.
Reach in Action (a local ministry offering emergency food pantry, clothing, homeless outreach, prayer, and missions)
Owners: Edison “Eddie” and Dora Libreros
Sanford, FL 32771 (Seminole County)
Ocoee, FL 34761 (Orange County)
My Salon (a hair style place)
Owner: Alexia Clemens
Ocoee, FL 34761
Maria and Bill Warren
11-3-2011: I had to drive over to the Detroit, Michigan Veterans Facility on 11-02-2011 to have some dental work done, and I threw in a box of 44 Real Life Stories (Lighthouse Edition) to put into circulation. (Click here to view a brief video clip while I was there)
When approaching people with the book, what usually works best for me is simply asking in a cheerful voice: “Would you like a free Real Life Stories book? – as I’m putting a copy in front of them to look at. I've yet to experience one person offended or irritated using this approach. My experience is that many will then ask what the book is specifically about, and this is what has worked best for me: "It's a Real Life Stories Christian testimony book offering great hope and encouragement." I've found that puts most at ease, and they are a lot more receptive from then on.
For the few that may not seem interested, I don't try to talk them into taking a copy. I want them to know I respect their position, as to me that is the "golden rule." If someone refuses a copy, that simply is my way of believing God is telling me to save the book for someone else who will be thankful and blessed to get it. A "No thank you" from one is a "Why yes. I would love a copy!" from just the right person God has that particular copy for.
On with the real life VA story. I walked into the VA Facility to the elevators. A black brother was waiting for an elevator as was a black sister. She had a cross hanging around her neck and appeared to be at peace. The brother looked a little troubled to me and so I asked him if he would like a free Christian testimony book. Shean eagerly accepted one and graciously thanked me for it as the three of us stepped inside the elevator. I was in one of my “Weird Norm” moods and I shared with him, “The good book says it’s more blessed to give than to receive. If I had a million dollars to give you I’m not sure I’d give it to you because I don’t know you that well, but a testimony book … I can handle giving away a testimony book to a stranger, no offense!”
He laughed and she laughed and he started thumbing through the book as the elevator came to rest on the second floor.
I hastily walked to the dental clinic only to be told that my appointment had been cancelled, to which I told them no one had notified ME that it had been cancelled. My oral surgeon just happened to be walking by, asking me WHY I was there, and I told him I had driven the 3 hours from Grand Rapids for the appointment. He felt bad and decided to work on me through his lunch hour, bless him, before going to a mandatory seminar at 1 p.m. He told me, “Had you come five minutes later, you would never had caught me. I hope you know you’re lucky?!” I wanted to answer back to him that I was “evidently highly favored in Jesus that day” but felt to remain quiet.
I believe my oral surgeon is Indian or maybe Pakistani. Just before he had to depart, I asked him if he would like a free Christian testimony book. I placed one in his hands, and he studied the front of the cover, and I could sense he wasn’t all that enthused by taking it. Thinking quick, I said, “Yeah – my story is the last chapter of the book. You can read how I was going to commit suicide at age 35 but God graciously spared it from happening, and now I owe Him.”
His eyes suddenly lit up and he said with great interest, “Your story is in here? Wow! I’ll have to read it – thanks!”
As I walked out into the waiting area of the dental clinic, Sean was sitting there, holding the Real Life Story book in his hand. He stood up and walked over to me and very appreciately thanked me again for giving him the book earlier, saying, “You going a really good thing, giving those books away. So many guys need them that come here.”
I shook his hand and said, “Yes … I know, and thanks for confirming it.” I prayed for him as I walked away.
At one point I walked outside the facility to a waiting area where three black brothers were waiting for their rides. I asked the first brother if he would like a free Christian testimony book, and he politely declined. The second one gladly accepted one as did the third. The second one wanted to know if I had served in the military and I shared with him that I had served in the Army and spent time in Vietnam. I then asked him where he served, and he told me. I asked the other two the same, and they also told me. I thanked all three of them for serving our country in the Armed Forces.
Then the second one asked me, “Why you handing out these free books?” I told him, “Well – it’s the least I can do for God. I owe God. I lived my first 35 years living for ME and could have cared less about God. But God stopped me from killing myself and got me properly connected with Him and life has been greatly worth living since. If you care to, you can read how that happened in the last chapter of the book.”
The first guy who initially showed no interest in the book suddenly piped up: “Is YOUR testimony in that book?!”
I said, “Yeah – it’s the last chapter. Chapter 48.”
He then quickly reaches out his hand and says, “I’d like to have one of your books afterall. I want to read about your life.”
The second guy had turned his book over by then and wanted to know if my picture was listed on the back. I said, “Yeah – I’m the ugliest guy on the page,” and pointed to my photo. He laughed and replied, “Awww … you aren’t ugly. God doesn’t think you are ugly!”
I replied back to him with a grin: “I like you! If I had a million dollars, I’d give it to you for sure!” He chuckled as did the others.
I gave out about 20 of the books to different people at the facility but then decided it was getting time to head back to Grand Rapids, to beat the evening rush hour traffic. In the VA facility, I noticed they have some wire book racks placed near high traffic areas with old paperback books for the vets to freely take. I knew these book racks were the perfect place to leave the rest of the Real Life Stories books. Only those people who wanted to read them would pick them up. Others who aren’t interested wouldn’t bother with them.
Because the facility is quite large, once I placed several copies in the first rack, and then moved on to the second and third and fourth racks, about 15 minutes had gone by. When I walked back to the first book rack, nearly ALL of the copies were already gone! A lady was standing at the rack thumbing through a copy, and I watched a guy in an electric cart reach in and grab one in front of her and drive off with it. I thought to myself …. Wow – a person could put out hundreds of copies of the Real Life Stories Testimony Book here. What a fertile location!
I have to go back to the facility again in a few weeks, so we’ll see what the Holy Spirit has to say about that next trip and leaving more copies.
One thing I’m doing with each copy of the book before putting them out into circulation is taking a fluorescent pink Magic Marker and highlighting the top of the last page, where it reads: Please do not allow this book to become a dust collector. Take it and share it with someone. Allow God to use you to help someone through this book.
I would strongly urge everyone to do the same. People can’t be reminded ENOUGH to keep the book in circulation when they are done reading it.
Blessings Through Jesus,
Norm Rasmussen firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Note: Norm's testimony is on page 228 in the Real Life Stories book http://www.precious-testimonies.com/RealLifeGodStories/RealLifeGodStoriesLighthouseBookOrderingPage.htm
11-1-2011: I just wanted to share with you the experience my
daughter and I had on Halloween last evening! We received two cases of Real
Life Stories Testimony Books - Lighthouse Edition from www.step-by-step.org
- 88 copies (A box for me and one for my daughter). We thought of the
different times and places we would be handing these books out. We where
planning on going to a " trunk or treat" for our Halloween night. Then we
talked and decided - because we are new to the neighborhood - we would probably do
better reaching our community by staying home and passing out candy and books
in the Salt Creek Commons Subdivision here in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Little to our surprise, the books where a big hit! As little ones came to the door and got candy, I simply said to the parents: "Hey - you do all the work walking your children around. You deserve something too!"
Not only the shock and surprise on their faces that they themselves where receiving something , but the gratitude in their voices .... "Really? Thanks! This is for me? That's really thoughtful." - where most of the responses I received!
But for me the most shocking where the teenagers
who where behind the little kids that said, "Hey - can I have one if those
books? I'd rather have a book than candy."
So my daughter in turn gave them a book AND candy and we wished them a Happy Halloween! That was one of the many experiences we had!
I must share this one with you because it was quite funny. A group of teenage boys came up (about six of them). I looked at them, and having a teenage boy myself, I asked, "Do you get grounded a lot?"
They all laughed and said, "Yea!"
I told them I kind of thought so. I then said, "Well here's a book for you so when your mom grounds you, you can surprise her and say ... "Well Mom - I already have a book to read. And it will help my attitude!"
They responded, "Awesome! That's cool!"
As they walked off, I wished them well and told
them if they had any questions, they know where I live and are welcome back
anytime with their questions. They thought that was pretty cool.
Needless to say we went through two cases of books pretty quickly. My husband came back with our little ones after only an hour and said, "Wow! Did you really give away all those books already!?"
"Well dear...yes we did!!"
What a wonderful way to spend Halloween! My daughter and I had a good time bonding on the porch, and we had a good time talking to the people in our community! But not only did we talk to them -- we offered to them what no one else did that night and that was hope! Hope found in a little testimony book of what Christ has done in so many lives just like them!
I'm excited to see what Christ will do with the
very tool He entrusted us with! And with the people so willing to receive
Michelle and Airel Otero
Staff Note: Both Michelle's and Airel's testimonies are in this Real Life Stories Testimony Book - Lighthouse Edition on pages 15 and 141.
If these RLS praise reports are blessing and encouraging you, would you please take a few moments and share with us HOW they are encouraging you so we can use it to help bless and encourage OTHERS? Thank you so very, very much! Email: email@example.com
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did! And no one can prove He didn't.). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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For those of you distributing these RLS testimony books, PLEASE take the time to email brother Jim Barbarossa your encouraging praise reports so he can forward those emails to Precious Testimonies that he wants us to share on this page. This is one of the key ways we can keep others updated on what you are observing and personally experiencing to encourage others who may also be considering distributing these testimony books. Thanks so much!