Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
Big day tomorrow
Thursday, June 30, 2005
a post from a chicken...
Spent the night dreaming of tomorrow. It's the nerves again. I've been doing this for 5 years now, and I still get the cold sweats days before Canada Day and the Gay Pride Parade. Each of these "special days" has their own particular difficulty for a chicken street preacher like me.
On Canada Day (tomorrow
), it's the length of time we are out evangelizing. We will be starting at 10 am, and we will continue to 5-6 pm. That's a big day of work when there is only 2-3 preachers (I am thankful that I am not alone, my pastor actually had to preach by himself, for the entire day, before
). So tomorrow is a marathon. We will be praying and fasting all day, while bringing the Gospel to a wicked city.
As for the Gay Pride Parade (a few weeks from now), it's the intensity of hatred we are treated to in a very short period of time. We walk behind the parade with our Gospel signs for about 2 hours, but let me tell ya! the grief and aggravation we go through in those 2 hours is nothing to laugh about. We are called "bigots" and "hypocrites", we are pushed around and threatened, and we are always treated to water (or other drinks
) thrown on us (I won't even mention the vexation of watching their abominations, I'm sure you can imagine what it is like
Anyway, the point is: we are starting our "high days" when it comes to our street evangelism, and that means Rand is in SERIOUS need of prayer for boldness, courage and a sound mind.
I covet your prayers.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
yes, my country finally did it...
I won't say much on this, since I pretty much said all that needed to be said in this earlier post
I will say that this is truly a sad day for Canada. Believe me, I never took comfort in the verse "your conversation is in Heaven
" so much before! Anyway, we'll keep preaching and standing for the Truth, and we'll just let God fulfill His sovereign will... in the end, I know with full assurance that it will be perfect.
One thing I would ask my fellow Canadians though, and with Canada Day just around the corner(this Friday
): when you will sing the national anthem, you will sing "God keep our land, glorious and free," do you actually think God will be inclined to fulfill this request?
Now I'm not living in a fantasy world, I know that most Canadians couldn't care less about God and the fact His name appears in our national anthem, but for those who do (and there are a good number of them
), do you really think that God will continue to bless a nation that scorns His commandments at every turn?
It would seem God gave Canada over to it's wickedness, and the end of this path is death and destruction.
Rand's prayer:O Lord! For Your peoples' sake, will you not revive this wicked nation? O gracious, merciful God, You who are slow to anger, and great in kindness, will you not, once again put Your fear on my fellow countrymen? Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
O God of Truth, spare thy people, and give not the Dominion of Canada to reproach, that the heathen should rule over us. O Father in Heaven, I both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Amen.
Law, Order, and Grace, Sweet Grace
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
a lesson learned...
Something good happened over the weekend (other than the F-18 air show
), and I believe that this event will be of benefit to both myself and to you, fans of A Form of Sound Words
. What happened? I made peace with an enemy, a fellow I believed was a troll.
Now don't get me wrong, this wasn't totally a case of misjudgment. The fact of the matter is the fellow in question left long patronizing remarks in my comment box, sent e-mails around to my readers which demeaned the Baptist faith, and all this while knowing full well that the remarks were not appreciated. My response to all this was the enforcement of my commenting rules
which had his comments deleted and his IP(s) banned. I felt perfectly justified in doing this, since without a doubt, if one wants to maintain a certain order in any given place, rules, and most important, the enforcement of the rules is critical.
But then Saturday happened. The man in question sent me an e-mail, once again criticizing my beliefs and the method by which I blogged. There was something different about this particular e-mail though, it was REASONABLE. Gone was the mockery, the patronizing satire and the demeaning tone. So we had a brief exchange. The man recognized that some of his comments were poor in timing and also recognized that he wasn't going to change my mind about anything through his comments. He apologized for any grief he may have caused (though he was clear that he cared nothing for my views, and maintained that his "satires" were an accurate depiction of my faith
), and basically made it clear that he would bother me no more.
I was thankful to God for this, and now I am thankful to God for the lesson He had for me through this. GRACE. When one studies Scripture, if there is any theme that keeps coming back, it's GRACE. So powerful and great is this theme in the Bible, that it often supersedes LAW. For example: in 1 Samuel 21:4-6, David ate of the showbread which was reserved for the High Priest, and for this, he should have been judged. He had sinned against the Law of Moses. Yet, David wasn't condemned. Why? GRACE.
This isn't to say that there is no place for Law and Order. No, no. Law and Order are necessary to the functioning of any system, whether it be the workplace, a country or even a blog. That being said, there is beauty in GRACE, so here goes: ALL BANS ARE LIFTED. All you folks who have broken the commenting rules
on more than one occasion, you are given GRACE today.
Now don't sin further by disregarding the rules
I have set for my blog. Take advantage of your right to comment here by doing it by the book. I welcome comments on my posts, whether favorable or unfavorable. If it is of the unfavorable type, be RESPECTFUL and share your thoughts, and then, let it go. My comment box is just that, a COMMENT box, NOT a DEBATE box.
If you have forgotten them, click HERE
I hope you all continue to enjoy my blog,
Cows, horses, and an F-18!
Monday, June 27, 2005
nice quiet time in the country...
We just got home from our trip to my in-laws. We had a good time. The kids had a blast playing with their Grandpa and Nana in their big yard.
By far the highlight of my weekend came on Saturday afternoon. My in-laws live on a small farm way out in the country nothing much ever happens. So imagine my surprise when, as I sat miserably in the summer heat, a loud thundering sound came from the sky. It was too long and constant for it to be thunder, so I immediately concluded that it was somekind of jet-airplane. The sound became loud real fast, then, quickly started fading. It stood up and surveyed the sky but I didn't even get the chance to look around for the source of the noise, it was quite gone; so I just shrugged and sat back down.
Then the noise came back, and came back in a big way, so I jumped up off my chair, ran to the middle of my in-laws' front yard and stared right up. And there it was flying low right over the house: a CF-18 jetfighter. The pilot must have been practicing maneuvers for Canada Day celebrations (we celebrate Canada Day on July 1st
), because he was giving us quite a show! The fighter flipped on it's axis a few times, then performed a loop right over the house, and all of this at an insane speed (I thought the sound barrier had been broken... the noise was LOUD
After a 5 minute show, the fighter disappeared into the horizon and both I and my eldest son looked at each other with a smile on our faces, undoubtedly thinking the same thing: "that was soooooo cool!"
Amazing isn't it, we humans have actually created a large machine that can fly faster and with more agility than birds that are born with wings. Sad to think though, that these machines exist to kill and destroy.
Friday, June 24, 2005
no street preaching tonight...
There will be no Friday Night Notes tonight, since I am away, some 700 kilometers away from home! We are spending the weekend at my in-laws, who were missing our kids terribly. So, instead of putting up with a whole lot of nonsense in the marketplace tonight, I get to spend a quiet, restful night with my family (a nice break...
). My prayers are with my fellow labourers in Christ though, as my pastor and most likely, brother Laz are out there, as I am writing this, bringing the Gospel to countless thousands (God bless and protect you guys tonight...
We've had a scorcher of a day here, and it's now translated to quite a warm, muggy night; it'll be hard for me to sleep (remember what I think of summer's warm weather
). It's been a fun day for the kids though: they enjoyed running around my in-law's spacious farmland, and they are enjoying their grandparents' company.
Anyway, I'll be back home in a couple of days, so enjoy the weekend dear readers! If you need a theological fix while I'm away, let me direct your attention to my latest addition to my audio sermons: "What does God look like?
" This sermon, preached by my pastor last Lord's Day is another EXCELLENT message from the Word of God. It fits real well with my "To All Who Worship By Sight
Again, have a great weekend, and don't worry street preaching will be back in FULL FORCE next Friday, for next Friday is Canada Day, the day we street preach ALL DAY to a whole lot of people who come to the city to celebrate our country's birthday (if you are a born-again saint, I covet your prayers for this long day of evangelism
Going to Heaven!
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I've finally figured something out a couple of months ago. It probably won't be much of a surprise to some of you, but it was something that I hadn't worked out thoroughly. My epiphany? When a believer breathes his last, his soul is whisked to Heaven, in the presence of the Lord!
Now I know what some of you are thinking:
-Uh...duh! Rand! the Lord told the thief on the cross: "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
The problem is that "paradise" in the above verse isn't Heaven. How do I know that? Because that day, Jesus wasn't going to Heaven; he was going to Sheol/Hades:"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the HEART OF THE EARTH." (Matthew 12:40)"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached UNTO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." (1 Peter 3:18-20)
Jesus and the thief would meet in Abraham's bosom, the place where Old Testament saints rested in peace, as seen in Luke 16:19-31. If you thought this was a parable, you are mistaken. The Lord identified his parables. In the account of the rich man and Lazarus, no mention is made of it being a parable.
So there I was, for years, believing that we Christians also went to Abraham's bosom when we died, awaiting the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
), where we would join the Lord Jesus Christ and be taken into Heaven. Well, I no longer believe this. After a careful study of Scripture, here's what I came up with:"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Hebrews 2:14-15)
What is this power of death that the devil had? Well, death is separation. When someone dies physically, he is separated from those who are physically alive. The same is applicable to spiritual death. Those who die spiritually are separated from eternal life, because they are separated from God. And there's the key! Christ didn't destroy the power of physical death (we will all die physically one day - Hebrews 9:27
), rather, Christ destroyed the power of spiritual death (separation from God
) towards God's elect. The devil can no longer keep God's people under the bondage of Sheol/Hades/Abraham's bosom because of the guilt of their sin... it's been paid for! This is why we read:"Wherefore he saith, WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)" (Ephesians 4:8-10)
So there you have it brothers and sisters in the Lord! When a saint dies, his soul is taken directly up to Heaven to be with the Lord. So, as Peter put it, let us pass the time of our sojourning here in fear (1 Peter 1:17)
, and look forward to our reward in Heaven... which is literally, in my case, just a few decades away!
Need to lighten things up!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
it's been a busy couple of weeks...
I'm mentally exhausted. Work is extremely busy, I have many on-going church activities and more to come, I have had and will have many family activities to attend, and I've been dealing with an unusual amount of souls who have contacted me over the last few weeks through this blog... I feel drained.
When things get this way, I like to just take time-out and look at these:
And boom! just like that, I'm happy! (man! my kids are a source of joy!
I'm going to spend some time in God's Word now, and a bit of prayer... hope to have more time to blog tomorrow.
Take care, dear readers,
Monday, June 20, 2005
prepare to be blessed...For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 12-14)
Brothers, sisters, friends of A Form of Sound Words
, do I have a meal for you! I don't offer you spiritual milk, but rather, a full course meal with dessert!
As I have mentioned before, in past posts, the pastor of my church is by far the most holy, faithful preacher of the Word I have ever known. Well, I'm glad to inform you today that I will be posting MP3 files of his Lord's Day morning sermons. Take the time to listen to these sermons my friends, they are quite good and profitable.
The audio quality isn't that high, especially in these two "try-out" MP3s; but that will improve since I have purchased new tapes for the original recordings and I am becoming more and more familiar with the audio file editor which creates the MP3s.
The two files I'm adding now are my pastor's last two sermons on the Book of 1 Peter
(they are excellent
). He will be starting a new series in 2 Peter
soon. So, here are the sermons:
-1 Peter 5: 10-11
(classic pastor Tim... superb exposition
-1 Peter 5:12-14
(you'll have to forgive some annoying interference in the first 2 minutes, but please persevere... it's a great message
You can "stream" the files if by clicking on the link, or you can download the Mp3 files by right-clicking on the link and selecting "Save Target As..." I doubt I will be putting up a post every time I update the audio sermon files, so keep an eye on my "Menu Sidebar"... the MP3 files will be added and updated there.
Take care, dear souls, and ENJOY!
Friday Night Notes - Mommy Style
Saturday, June 18, 2005
by TwinklemooseThe Privilege and Joy of Parenting
Presently, my husband is street preaching in drizzling rain to thousands of mostly resentful people. Meanwhile, I had the privilege this evening to speak about Christ with our tender and inquisitive four year old son. This seems so unfair - sorry Rand!
Earlier today, I mentioned to Son that we'd be attending a baptism tomorrow (Brother Laz is getting baptized... we are all thrilled!
). We spoke at length about who gets baptized, how it is done, what is symbolized etc. This evening we talked some more about it and Son got very serious and asked, "When will I get baptized? I... I think I want to do that." I told him at his age people would tend to assume he was just doing what his parents wanted him to do, but that when he was older and sure this was his own choice, then the time would be right.
Mere moments later, as I was shuttling the kids upstairs to brush their teeth and go to bed, Son claimed to be hungry. "Can I have some more supper?" ... "No, come and brush your teeth now." ... I busied myself helping daughter get dressed for like the tenth time today and I was aware of Son going to the kitchen and helping himself to more supper. When he returned to me, I challenged him on his disobedience. "You just finished telling me you wanted to be a Christian and get baptized, but you're not ready to be baptized because you are disobedient. A real Christian wants to please God and his parents..." He was apologetic.
Then, later, when the other two had fallen asleep, I climbed into Son's top bunk with him and we had a real spiritual heart-to-heart discussion. I told him I understood what it was like for a kid with Christian parents, not being sure if your parents beliefs were true, since other people didn't believe those same things. He nodded, relating to this. I told him he needed to pray, not just when we prayed together, but on his own, so that God could answer his prayers and he could learn to trust. He wondered what to pray about. I told him the first thing for him would be that he could be saved from his sins and have a new nature, so that he would desire to please God. He wondered what would happen if he prayed about feeling lonely. I told him that if he knew the Lord, he would never be alone. "When people say they know the Lord, it is because they pray to God and He answers their prayers and then they pray again, and they read His word too... this is how we get to know the Lord and He is like a friend to us."
I was going to leave him, but he called me back. "What else do you know?" ... "About what?" ... "About God..." I paused and thought about how to answer this. "I know Daddy loves the Lord so much that he goes street preaching to tell other people about how wonderful the Lord is." ... He nodded enthusiastically, "Then they believe too, don't they?" I said "No, many people hear the words and don't believe. They make fun of the street preachers and laugh at them, because their hearts are so hard." We talked about sheep and goats in the Bible and how the sheep hear the Word and know it to be true, but the goats do not. Son got serious and asked why we would share with the people who have hard hearts. I told him because we don't know who are the sheep and the goats. Even some of the people who laugh could end up believing.
It was a wonderful discussion. I am so happy to have had that chance to share with my son. I pray we will always be intimate like that and he will never be afraid to open up with me and his father.
Another Woe for Canada
Thursday, June 16, 2005
all the good that killing babies brings...
The university of Western Ontario has given an honorary doctor of law degree to Henry Morgentaler, one of Canada's chief advocates of abortion (didn't I tell you this country is wicked?
In his acceptance speech, Morgentaler said:"By fighting for reproductive freedom, and making it possible, I have made a contribution to a safer and more caring society where people have a greater opportunity to realize their full potential,"
and..."The most important factor is that there are fewer unwanted children, fewer children likely to be abused, brutalized or neglected ... children so victimized they may grow up for a thirst for vengeance which seeks an outlet in violence."
I have to tell you, I find this argument so demented, it would be hilarious, if it weren't so terrible! I wonder how Mr. Morgentaler, who is a Jew, would react if he heard something this:"By fighting for freedom from communism and Jewish supremacy, the Nazi's have made a contribution to a safer and more caring society where people have a greater opportunity to realize their full potential,"
and..."The most important factor is that there are fewer unwanted Jews, fewer Jews likely to be abused, brutalized or neglected ... Jews so victimized they may grow up for a thirst for vengeance which seeks an outlet in violence."
Oh! I'm sure Mr. Morgentaler would find such a speech shocking and quite condemnable. Funny how he is unable, or unwilling, to see just how alike both statements are.
Are we not, after all, talking about the Living, and their right to live?
(for the full story, click here
RandWoe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
The Christian and the Whorehouse
Monday, June 13, 2005
reaching the lost???
This post is in response to a question a visitor named Doug asked me just this afternoon (see the comment box of my post on Romanism). What I will be discussing is a very popular concept in Christians who have been severely influenced by New Evangelicalism and Arminianism.New Evangelicalism:
a repudiation of the doctrine of separation; a summons to greater social involvement; and a determination to engage in theological dialogue with Modernism.Arminianism
: 16th century theology (named after its founder Jacobus Arminius) that opposes absolute election/predestinarianism.The Question:
Is it proper for a Christian to remain in a thoroughly wicked environment like a strip club in an attempt to reach the immoral for Christ? (I know this isn't your question Doug, but just bear with me a minute
I have to say that it absolutely blows me away to think that there is a high number of Christians out there who would say "yes, absolutely" to this question. As I mentioned above, if you really don't believe that God has chosen His people since before the foundation of the world and that Christ will NOT lose any that the Father has given Him, then I can understand your affirmative answer (though I can't understand what in the world you do with Ephesians 1:4 and John 6:39
). If your philosophy is more compassion, less holiness (which is separation, check the definition of the word holy
), then again, I understand your affirmative answer (though I don't have the foggiest idea what you do with 1 Peter 1:15-16
These foolish souls will often argue that "Jesus himself kept company with sinners in places of ill repute!" My answer: "but what a lamentable understanding of Scripture!" Their supposed Scriptural backing is in Mark 2:14-17 (there are parallel passages in Matthew and Luke
). I ask you: what was this place that the Lord lodged in that was "of ill repute?" A heathen temple? A house of debauchery? Uh...no. It was Matthew's house for crying out loud! Yes, the apostle Matthew! Tax collectors were not the sweetest of people in those days (one could argue that they haven't improved much today... LOL!
), so when Jesus called Matthew to salvation and service, Matthew joyfully made a feast and invited his unbelieving friends, TO BE A WITNESS TO THESE SOULS!
The true and godly answer to the question above is an obvious: "No!" God doesn't need anyone going into a house of active immorality to bring the Gospel to His elect. You want to reach the strippers and the perverts for Christ? Wait outside, they'll come out eventually. Your refusal to be defiled by the goings on in the strip club will in itself be a witness. The Bible warns us to not put ourselves in positions where we could be tempted or be hardened by sin (1 Corinthians 10:12; Hebrews 3:13
): OBEY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! (just think of Lot, for example, look at the impact living in Sodom had on his life
Now... Doug's REAL Question
: can a born again Christian remain in the "Roman Catholic Church" to try to reach others?
Well, Doug, look above, I believe you have my answer my friend. Is the false religion in Revelation 17 called a whore? Is idolatry not spiritual immorality?
Friends, STAY AWAY FROM THE ROMANIST WHORE!
You want to reach Romanists for Christ? Wait outside, they'll come out of mass at some point. You want to be a strong witness for the Truth? "Keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21)
and stay out of mass. Again, OBEY THE BIBLE:"And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Romans 18:4)
Dodged The Bullet
but still no fear...
My grandmother is out of hospital. Seems like all she had was a real nasty pneumonia (the infection caused spots to show up on an normal X-ray
). Mind you, she still has a collapsed lung and this is "pneumonia # 3" in the last 6 months, so it's not like she's A-Okay. We can be thankful though that she is eating again, and breathing far more easily. The antibiotics seem to be taking care of the pneumonia, so my grandmother probably just bought herself some time.
I thank God for giving my grandmother this "extra time"; as long as there is life, there is hope. But I have to say, despite this close call, there isn't much fear (as in the fear of God
) in her. As she was preparing to leave the hospital, she took the Lord's name in vain a half-dozen times while (pretty much at the same time
) saying that "the Lord had taken good care of her." I tried my best to hide my aggravation.
Anyway, let's see what the Lord will do... I will definitely look for opportunities to be a witness for Christ to my dear grandmother."It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentation 3:26)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 11, 2005
if it weren't for the last half-hour...
Once again, it was my pastor, brother Laz and myself, out for a night of street preaching. We preached our usual 3 hours to a massive amount of people (it never ceases to amaze me just how busy the marketplace gets in the summer
Tonight was a night of contrasts. There was some good, and there was some SERIOUS bad. Without further ado:The Good:
-I saw my friend Peter. Peter and I worked together a few years back; he and I got along fairly well, and though he is unsaved, he respects and even looks up to my faith (he thinks I'm courageous for street preaching...what a joke...LOL
). What I find really cool about Peter is that he isn't ashamed of knowing me when I'm out preaching. So many of my acquaintances shy away from speaking to me when I'm street preaching (some walk right by me and pretend not to see me
). But old Pete, it's "hey! Rand! how's it goin?" Anyway, it was nice seeing him again...
-A young man named Jimmy came by and asked me how he could know what God wanted from him. I told him that the best place to get that information is in the Bible. I asked him if he owned a Bible, and he said: "Nope." I then asked him if he would read the Bible if I gave him one. He said: "Yep!" So I gave him my pocket Bible. He asked me when and where our church services were and said he'd like to come. Please pray that he does!
-Brother Laz preached again tonight. This time for a whole 30 minutes! Poor lad, it's clear he's fighting the nerves, but he did real well. Wasn't too long ago, that was me, dying of fear. Continue praying for brother Laz, that the Holy Spirit would rid him of fear, and give him courage and boldness.
-I saw brother Tim tonight. Tim is a Christian acquaintance of mine; I see him every year at the Gay Pride Parade when we go out with our Gospel signs to stand against the evil. Tim will walk between my pastor and I and encourage us through prayer for the whole time we are out. It's funny, Tim, a man who suffers from schizophrenia, is the only other Christian who will stand with us when we take the Gospel to the Pride Parade.The Bad:
-My respect for the other group of street evangelist took another hit tonight. One of the men approached me and asked me if I was part of the "King James Bible church". Not knowing what he meant by that, I said that I went to a church that used the KJV. He then asked me if I was part of Grace Baptist Fellowship; when I answered that I was, the man put on a somber face and said: "one thing you have to watch for in your pastor is that he has been deceived by a "spirit of hyper-calvinism." He then went on to argue that the Gospel was for "whomsoever will". I smiled and answered: "yes, but 'whomsoever wills' are those whom the Lord has chosen from before the foundation of the world." I then made it clear that I had no intention in debating Calvinism with him at this particular moment... it was evangelism time. The funny thing: if my pastor is a hyper-Calvinist, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HE DOING STREET PREACHING???
-THE LAST HALF HOUR:
What a miserable experience, and a miserable Rand-failure. Here's EXACTLY what happened:11:05 pm:
Two men walk by while I was distributing Gospel literature. They make sure to stop, look at me, and, with their facial expression, make the biggest sign of disgust they could possibly make. (I sigh)11:10 pm:
I am told, repeatedly, by a drunk man, to "get a life" and that I was a %#%$& @$%#$, and a $&%*$#. (I sigh a bit more heavily)11:15 pm:
a car full of young men slows down and Rand is mocked; they are all chanting: "stupid! stupid! you're soooo stupid!" (Now I'm getting irritated, I have a comeback locked and loaded, but at the last possible second... I refrain)11:20 pm:
a lesbian walks by me and yells: "oh yeah, well I make out with other women, so there!" (my irritation is now full fledged aggravation)
. I answer: "your problem!" (I knew I shouldn't have said anything, but I was now losing it)11:22 pm:
I offer a Gospel tract to a young woman and she answers: "Pfffff, I hate the Bible!" To which I answer, again: "your problem!" (I am getting snippy now, and I know I am not doing too well)11:24 pm:
The lesbian is back. This time she comes with cursings and decides to pull up her shirt two inches away from my face. Providentially, the Lord kept me from looking on to the wicked woman, I turned my head quickly. (Again, I have a "comeback" all set and ready to go, but she walks away too quickly for me to deliver)11:28 pm:
A woman walks by me and notices my Gospel sign. She's walking a bit crooked and her eyes are messed up; she's either drunk or doped up. She attempts to "straighten me out", that I needed to "loosen up" and take a more liberal, "pleasure-filled" approach to life. She is standing inches away from me and the stench of marijuana is eminating from her breath. Annoyed out of my mind I sharply answer: "Lady, looking at you right now, I have to say, that I'll take my psycho-Gospel-sign-carrying life over your messed-up-drugged-up life any time." Knowing that that response, though accurate, was totally carnal, I walked away and took a few deep breaths and asked God to help me through the rest of our endeavour.
I can be such a prideful, angry, snippy, aggressive guy sometimes, it drives me crazy! It's especially bad when I do it during a time when I am representing God and His Gospel. The Lord forgive me and help me to gain the fruits of patience, love, kindness and a sound mind (Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 1:7)
I'm going to bed now... goodnight dear readers...
Thursday, June 09, 2005
another update on brother Yangmi...
Before reading this post, make sure you've read this one
, this one
, and this one
Well, we got some great news from brother Yangmi himself. He called and spoke to my pastor's wife this morning; this is the e-mail she has sent around, summarizing the conversation:
Yangmi just called. The operation has been "successful". There were 3 problems. However, only one was corrected at this time. The other two will be done when the child is 2 or 3 yrs. old.
Of course, Baby is still in intensive care for a few more days. He is very weak. Yangmi said that already (operation was at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, India time, he called 7 p.m. India time) the child's colour had improved. He and his wife are deeply moved, and thankful with tears, for prayer partners here in North America. Psalm 55:22 1 Peter 5:7
He asked to have all informed and thanked.
This is great news! Praise God for His grace and mercy in this matter. Please continue to pray for our missionary, and his little one, as there are still some future hurdles to jump."Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15)"Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare." (Psalm 75:1)
The Immoral Cesspool Called "The Blogosphere"
it's worst than you think...
Today, I realized that I had overlooked a dear soul who has been a faithful reader of "A Form of Sound Words
" by not adding his website to my links. I corrected this unfortunate, dumb-dumb mistake by adding his website under "Christian Blogs", make sure to check out Brad at "Read'em and Reap
After this pleasant deed, something quite UN-pleasant happened. My Statcounter
started registering all sorts of pageloads from websites I had never heard of before. Naturally curious, I checked out these new visitors... what a mistake. I kid you not, nor am I exaggerating, half (if not three quarters
) of the blogs were filled with pornography and other abominable content. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was.
I guess having a "fundamental Christian" website, I attract the right crowd and turn off the wrong one, so I don't often get visits from the unrepentant. This natural tendency probably gave me the inaccurate idea that the "blogosphere" was a somewhat "cleaner" environment than the traditional internet website. Oh well, I guess I can trash that crazy idea.
Watch yourselves out there brothers and sisters, it's a nasty "blog-world"."Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man..." (1 Corinthians 10:12-13a)
Another Update on Brother Yangmi
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
it all comes down to this moment...
Before reading this post, make sure to read this entry
, and this one
. We just received this e-mail from Redeemson, Yangmi's brother who lives in New Dehli (you will have to excuse the broken english):
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This is an urgent message from Yangmi and his wife for all the church members. Just now, brother Yangmi call up to me from Bangalore. He told me that the Baby is in critical condition. Right now the baby is keeping in Intensive Care Unit(ICU). He is in serious condition according to my brother information. After taking scan , the baby condition is very much different from the earlier condition , he became so weak, he is not in normal position so Doctor they put the baby into emergency room.
Now the most worried about the baby is, by tomorrow morning the baby will go for operation. Even thou the baby is very much weak, not in normal, but still the Doctor advise brother Yangmi and his wife to go for operation. Doctor could not give guarantee whether the operation will be successful or not. Yangmi and his wife is so much worried at this point of time. So, Yangmi told me to take special prayer meeting tonight itself . I will call some of my friends and we will be having a special prayer meeting tonight tself for the baby.
Yangmi and his wife needed so much prayer support at this moment from all of you. Please as soon as you received this e-mail, remember in your prayer for the baby. Lets all pray deeply to be a successful operation.
Yangmi and his wife is now leave all the worried unto thy merciful hand. The baby is in God hand now. We can only pray without ceasing, we human being cannot do anything without help from God.Now the rest of the programmed is in God. Let's all pray for the Doctor who is going to operate the baby. May our living God handle the Doctor hand and mind and all the body. Give good knowledge to the Doctor so that he can do operation without any problem. Let God speak to his mind, let his body will be filled with full of spirit. I am so worried, I cannot imagine how my brother and sister in law must be living there in Bangalore. No family member are accompany with them.They are all alone. May God guide them and comfort them.
I will update the news after hearing from Yangmi from Bangalore.
I am going now, to have a special prayer meeting specially for the baby operation that is going to be done tomorrow morning.
I will be waiting for your mail. Please pass this message to all your friends.
May God bless you.
Now as I am posting this (10:30 pm, June 8th 2005), we are literally 2-3 hours from the time the operation is set to begin... please pray for the little one and for our beloved missionary and brother Yangmi and his wife Philewon."And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:15-16)
Somewhat Emotionally Drained
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
running low on inspiration...
I just spent the better part of the day by my grandmother's bedside at the General Hospital. She is in good spirits and surprisingly strong despite having dramatic reduction in lung capacity. She chatted with me about everything and anything, clearly nervous over what is happening to her. I will be going back to the hospital tomorrow morning, in case the doctor comes by with a diagnosis: if the word "cancer" is uttered, I think it will be important for her to have family there for support.
The family seems pretty convinced that this is it, but I'm not so sure. I mean, she is far from healthy, but she doesn't seem like she's at death's door either. Anyway, I'm not a medical doctor, so I guess we'll see.
That's it for now, like I said, I'm running on empty of late... hope to come back soon with more "inspired" posts.
Take care, dear readers,
Watching The Breath Of Life Slowly Disappear
Monday, June 06, 2005
a real, sad shame...
I was taking my customary Sunday afternoon nap with my son and my daughter when my wife woke me up:
"Your sister just called," she started, "she said your grandmother is dying."
It took me a few seconds to process what had just been said, but when I got it, the following course of action was clear. I got in my car, picked up my sister and drove the hour long ride to my hometown. Once there, my mother explained that the consequences of my grandmother's cigarette smoking had finally caught up to her: she has a collapsed lung, a dark spot on an X-ray of her "working" lung, as well as serious heart problems.
After being warned by my mother not to give my grandmother any details about the severity of her condition (you see, a conspiracy of silence has started, my family doesn't want to say the word "cancer" because that's how my grandfather, her late husband, died
), I made my way to the hospital ICU with my sister.
My sister was the first to be allowed to see my grandmother. As I waited in the waiting room, I wondered if it was appropriate for me to have agreed to "the conspiracy", but quickly dismissed the question since I knew, in the end, my grandmother knows EXACTLY what is going on. You see, she's in the conspiracy too. Say no evil, see no evil, think no evil. I then started praying for an opportunity to bring the Gospel to my grandmother. She had heard the Gospel from my parents, and a saved uncle in my family... I even think I spoke to her about the Gospel years ago. Every time though, she would show little interest, choosing instead to cling to her detestable Romanist idols and pictures of the pope.
When my sister came out of the ICU, I made my way in. My sister was in tears, so I was preparing for a somber, sad conversation. To my surprise though, when I entered the room, my grandmother was sitting up, seemingly in good spirits. For about 20 minutes, I listened to her complain and gripe about everything under heaven: the incompetence of her doctors, the foolishness of some of her children, her ICU roommate...etc... etc. I was a bit surprised at just how bitter and angry my grandmother had become. So, not wanting our conversation to be a complete waste, I asked:
"Grandma, do you pray?"
She pretended not having heard what I said. So I repeated, more loudly;
"Grandma, did you ask God for help through this sickness?"
This time, she just smiled and said:
"Don't worry, Rand, I'm going to be just fine. I'll be home in no time, you'll see."
With that, she hugged me, I told her I would most likely see her again soon, and we said goodbye.
At this point, I had a lot of difficulty understanding why my sister was crying. When we stepped outside, my sister and I compared notes. She told me my grandmother was somber, sad, and fearing death. I couldn't explain how my sister and I could have come out of that room with such a completely different picture of my grandmother's emotional state. Then it dawned on me. I was still dressed in my church clothes. You get it? She probably feared I was going to preach to her, so she gave me the old "I'll be fine, don't you worry." By persuading me that she was going to make it out of this, she probably figured I wouldn't insist on the Gospel.
Well, she didn't persuade me of anything except the extent of her distaste for the Gospel. That being said, I will grant her wish to not be bothered with the Faith. The way I see it, if she, at any point, decides that she does want God, she knows who to ask. If it isn't going to happen, then I will give her as much love and care as I could possibly give. Though it will break my heart, I will hold her hand until we say our final, and terrible goodbye
I covet your prayers in this most heartbreaking time,
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 04, 2005
been preaching to the masses...
Well the summer season is definitely upon us... you should have seen the number of people in the marketplace tonight! Thousands and thousands of people just streaming past us all night long. Due to the large amount of people present, we (my pastor, brother Laz, and myself
) opted to preach for 4 hours instead of our usual 3, so I have to say, I'm pretty exhausted now.
Here is a summary of how our night of Street Preaching went:The Good (in no particular order)
-Brother Laz and I had a conversation with a couple of Muslims who asked if I was being paid for my evangelism. I answered: "Nope... just obeying the commandment of my God." This impressed him. He said I was a very brave and good man, but that I was mistaken about Christ being the Son of God. Well, I couldn't let that one just slip by. We had a short, civil exchange, but in the end, I don't think my arguments had much effect. He did take a Gospel tract though, so who knows, the Lord may bring all of this back into his mind tomorrow.
-I had another conversation with 3 young people (2 men and 1 woman
) ; one of the men was the one who really wanted answers out of me, though I think it was an exercise in mocking me. He asked me everything from the Rapture, to the second birth, to the work of the Cross and the substitutianary sacrifice of Christ. The two men, I suspect, were just looking to mock me, but the young lady was very quiet and listened very attentively to my presentation. Perhaps the Spirit was working in her? (one can always hope
-As I was walking with one of our Gospel signs, a man walked by me and once behind me I heard him sigh loudly and say: "Oh god! get a life!" And then out of nowhere another man appeared from behind me and said: "Don't listen to him buddy, you have purpose and that's a good thing." I really don't think the man was a believer, but with the measure of grace God gave him, he was able to see the merit in my evangelism, and the foolishness of the scorner.
-Brother Laz preached (mostly read Scripture passages
) for the first time tonight! He was pretty nervous (just like I was
), but he did alright. Pray that the Lord will continue to give him utterance and courage.The Bad (in no particular order):
-An elderly gentlemen, dressed in fancy clothes, walked by me a couple of times as I was distributing Bible tracts and shook his head in disapproval every time, as if to say: "you dumb-dumb". Well, the second or third time he walked by and started shaking his head I looked straight at him and said: "No fool like an old fool, my friend." I don't know if my heart was right when I said this, but my thinking was, if a man can live 50-60 years and still hate the Gospel to that extent, what a waste of a life. How foolish he has been with the time the Lord gave him.
-I got the old "you've been brainwashed" insult a number of times tonight by a group of young men who were clearly drunk out of their minds.
-An old man interrupted my preaching to say that the Jesus story was all an "allegory" and that none of it was really real. He said he knew this from his years studying theology. I said: "Wow, years of theology and you still know nothing, that's pretty sad, go back and read your Bible." He left angrily, and then a few minutes later, he came back. He stood across the street from where I was preaching for a good 5 minutes. He listened to my every word and then, again, walked away. Was the Lord working, was he being an Agrippa (Acts 26:28
), or was he just looking for a fight, and opted not to at the last minute?
-There is another group of men, who are usually out on Fridays that do open air evangelism. They are quite arminian, so we don't associate with them too much, but don't get me wrong, I'm glad they are there labouring with the grace God gave them. That being said, their lack of Scriptural knowledge is shocking sometimes. As Brother Laz and I were walking with our Gospel signs, one of these men asked: "Why do you carry those signs for?" We answered: "So the unbelievers can read the Word of God, and maybe the Lord could save them through it." The man looked perplexed for a moment, then said: "Oh! okay." But it was clear that he didn't "get it". This made me sad. For a Christian to not be able to see the merit of presenting the Scriptures to the public just boggles my mind. I mean, what does he think of: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
-All the women downtown tonight, with very few exceptions, were barely dressed. As I mentioned in my last post, pretty much walking around in their underwear.
-A large percentage (like 90%) of the people tonight were quite hostile to Gospel. Their speech was hard, using words like "praise Satan!", "God is dead" and other obscene blasphemies. I wonder how long the Lord will forbear this wickedness?
And with that, I'm off to bed... it's been quite a week, and quite a night...
Take care, and God bless you, dear readers,
Rand"Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." (Psalm 118:25)
Oh dear...it's June...
Friday, June 03, 2005
here we go again...
I hate the summer. I really do. Detest it. Despise it. Loathe it. Oh like anything else, summer has it's good sides, but to me, it's kind of like having your wisdom teeth pulled, while your favorite song is playing in the dentist's office. The good just isn't that good.
For as long as I can remember, I wasn't a big fan of summer. While everyone around me dreaded the first snowfall of the year, I would await it with glee. While everyone celebrated the arrival of June, I would lament the loss of my fresh, crisp, cold weather. What forces have shaped me into the winter-loving, summer-loathing psycho that I am? A few reasons:
: I have hay fever. Not severe, but just enough for it to irritate my eyes and my nose, making me pretty uncomfortable. When things get bad, then I'll dope myself on "Reactine", "Allegra", or "Claritin", and they usually help, though they make me drowsy, and I HATE feeling drowsy.
2- Poor internal temperature control
: I have had this problem for as long as I can remember. When it's cold, I freeze. When it's hot, I cook! My body seems completely incapable of self-cooling or self-heating, even just a little bit. Now I'm affected by this problem in the winter as in the summer, but you see, doing something about this handicap is far easier in the cold than in the heat. When I'm cold, I put on more warm clothes, I seek the chair closest to the heater, and all is well. When I'm hot... well... there is only so much I can take off.
3- Warmth makes me sleepy
: I've seen this in others, so I know it's not just me! When in a warm place, the only thing my body wants to do is lay down and sleep. Unfortunately, for me to "lay down and sleep" for 4 months just isn't possible, so every day I find myself fighting this innate feeling to crash. Not cool (pun intended
4- Two words: No Hockey
: Any season that deprives a Canadian of his national sport is a terrible evil. Oh! a few rinks remain open during the summer season, but the ice quality is awful. There is always street hockey, which isn't too bad, but it's not the Real McCoy. Seriously though, there is only one sport I really care to play, and that's hockey... so in the summer, I become quite the inactive slug.
5- Women who need modesty lessons
: Summer is the season that ungodly women come out in public with only their underwear on, or they'll have blouses unbuttoned down to their belly buttons. The Christian experience for a man is hard enough, seeing a little cutie walking down the street in her underwear sure doesn't help matters.
6- "Party time!"
: Summer time of course means vacations, festivals, BBQs, parties, and all the nonsense and foolishness that comes with people who have too much time on their hands, playing and wasting their energy on vanity and entertainment. Oh! I have no problem with vacations, festivals, BBQs and parties if they are God honouring. My problem is that is the noise of the God-dishonouring ones that keeps me from sleeping at night.
7- My Christian summertime responsibilities
: Yep, they irritate me. Not very Christian sounding now is it? Probably isn't. But I'll be honest. Summertime means Street Preaching to huge crowds of revellers and party goers, and the bigger the crowd the more nonsense the preacher has to put up with. And then there are the "special" days of Street Preaching: Canada Day and the Gay Pride Parade. On Canada Day, we preach ALL DAY... it is quite tiring; on the Gay Pride Parade, we carry our Gospel signs behind the "official" end of the parade where we are jeered, cursed at, pushed around, have objects hurled at us... etc... etc... Lots of fun.
So... here we go again with another dreadful summer season... I'm sure I'll make it... but rest assured, there will be a winter-loving, summer-loathing psycho in Canada, looking eagerly outside his window for the first signs of winter's first snowfall...
Update on Brother Yangmi
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
please remember this in your prayers...
As promised in an earlier post called "Important Prayer Request
", here is an update on Brother Yangmi and his ailing son. In the last two weeks, faithful saints have contributed, and our little fellowship used a good portion of it's savings to provide Pastor Yangmi with all the financial help he needed to get his son the heart operation he desperately needs.
Here is an e-mail my pastor just started circulating today:
Dear Brothers & Sisters:
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head over all things to the Church which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
We just received a long awaited phone call from Yangmi this morning.
1.The company that we transferred the money through would not give Yangmi cash, but a cheque. This required Yangmi to obtain a bank account. This takes time in India.
2.When Yangmi returned to hospital the Dr. was "out of station", not returning until June 5. They will meet with the Dr. and he will determine dates. In the meantime the child cannot be admitted. They are staying with friends in crowded accommodations and it is hot.
1.A speedy date for the operation.
2. A successful operation.
3. Harmony in the home where Yangmi, Philawon, baby, another couple and 3 children are living.
4. Protection from Satanic attack at Grace Baptist Church, Uhkrul while Yangmi is away. Things happen when the Shepherd is gone.
5. Shimreingam is taking care of things. He needs strength, wisdom and protection.
We thank those of you who have sent financial contributions. Our God blesses you.
Love in Christ,
Grace Baptist Fellowship
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please pray for our faithful missionary. We pretty much did everything we could on our end... what's needed now is some WONDERFUL GRACE FROM ABOVE!
Again, I'll keep you all posted,
Look Who's Persecuting!
the more things change, the more they stay the same...
Wow! my second trackback in 24-hours! Look out! I'm on a roll!
Yep, I found another pearl of Truth in cyberspace that I felt needed to shared. My good friend and brother in Christ, Pete, has posted an article
he found on a small group of evangelicals who are suffering persecution in Mexico
. Yes my friends, there is still great persecution against God's people in Mexico, and the source of that persecution isn't Islamic fundamentalism, Satanism or even the apostates. No! no! This persecution is authored by Romanists!
Oh! you thought so-called "roman catholics" had repented of their past persecutions against the evangelical, Bible-only church? You thought that Rome was accepting of evangelical Christianity? We did after all see numerous pictures of old Billy Graham shaking hands with the late Jean-Paul the Second? Well, you believe this nonsense because you live in a country that doesn't have a large population that ascribes to the Romanist faith (and here I mean "practicing" faith... not I was "born a catholic" but haven't been to mass in 20 years
). When Romanism rules, it crushes. You need only look at the lives of Martin Luther, John Wycliff, John Huss and this article
Go ahead and read
, learn, and take a stand,