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)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, October 27, 2007
an interesting night...Our usual night of evangelism was under threat again. The weather man warned of a high probability of showers later in the evening. So I went to the Internet, checked out the "hourly" weather forecast and it claimed that it wouldn't rain until 11pm.
"Yeah, right!" I thought.
I don't know how many times we have gone out to the marketplace under such a weather forecast, only to find ourselves under a deluge a few minutes into our evangelistic endeavour. Still, we went out. We didn't go preaching last Friday due to rain, and neither of us (pastor Tim and I)
wanted to go two weeks without some serious Gospel preaching. The longer a saint goes without proclaiming the Gospel, the more difficult it is to get back to it. That's a lesson I have learned all too well. Even after seven years of street preaching, no kidding, I was sweating out of fear and nervousness in my first 30 minutes of preaching the Gospel tonight; and I only missed one week!
The first hour of our endeavour was difficult. We were mocked to scorn by many, and our preaching only seemed to make the people of the market blaspheme and curse all the more. It was as if the principalities and powers of darkness were reminding us that they preferred it when we're not around.
Tough luck for them... for we, by the power and grace of God, pressed on.
The second hour was far more profitable. I had a chance to speak to a young lady named Amélie, who professed faith in Christ and was looking for a good church to go to on the Lord's Day. She was really impressed by our zeal to evangelize, so she was quite keen to find out where I attended church. I invited her to our Lord's Day meeting, and she said she'd surely come by. Praise God!
As I was talking with Amélie, I noticed a man standing to my left, listening to our conversation. I introduced myself and asked the man if he was interested in the Gospel of Christ. The man said he was, but all the while, not being really sure if he believed in the Gospel. He told me that he had been a nominal Romanist for a huge part of his life, and that he really didn't put much thought into the things of God until his mother passed away not too long ago. You see, after his mother's death, he found out that his mother had been faithfully attending a church group for some time. This got his wheels turning about his own spirituality, or lack thereof. I made it clear to this man that all the answers he needed were in the Bible, and that if God was to save him, it would happen through the power of the Scriptures (1 Peter 1:23
). The man's name was Derek and he took a Gospel tract as he left. The Lord use our time together as He sees fit.
There was an added bonus to my conversation with Derek. Amélie had watched the whole conversation, and when Derek left, I said:
"You see, Amélie, had I stayed home and watched TV tonight, Derek would have gone without the Gospel of Jesus. The importance of working at the Great Commission cannot be understated."
I dealt with yet another Christian tonight; this one had some doctrinal questions for me. The young man was beginning to realize the danger of ecumenism in the church today, and he wanted to know what our position on "interdenominational endeavours" were. When I explained that we are completely separated ecclesiastically. That is, we do not have church fellowship or get involved in any ministries that aren't of our doctrinal persuasion.
"So, that's like 'come out from among them...', right?" the young man inquired, referring to 2 Corinthians 6:17
"It's what the Book says," I replied.
The young man agreed with my position, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see him at one of our services soon. I'll be praying to that end anyway.
In our third hour of street evangelism, there were no Christians, or even people who desired to become Christians, but the Lord gave us some victories nonetheless. On several occasions, we were challenged by sinners with trick questions and vain philosophies, anything and everything to justify themselves, and make us look like idiots. The Lord would have nothing of it. He gave us utterance and wisdom from on High. On more than one occasion, our adversaries were left absolutely speechless, knowing full well that the Truth was with us, and all they had was confusion of face.
Praise and thanks be to God for His blessing and direction throughout our time of evangelism.
I'm going to leave it at that for tonight. I'm very tired and I still have some work to do in preparation for the Sunday evening service (I will be preaching this Lord's Day evening)
. Please remember me in your prayers dear saints. Don't take this rather positive account of our night of evangelism as a sign of spiritual ease. I had all sorts of difficulties keeping my attitude right when I was maligned by the wicked; I have trouble blocking out of my mind the images of the half-dressed women I saw all night long; and finally, I am struggling with keeping a half-decent prayer life going.
I'm in bad shape, and I NEED your prayers.
God bless you all, dear readers.
RandPs: humorous moment of the night... as we were heading back home, we walked past a group of women giving out flyers for a dance club called "heaven" (oh! the blasphemy). As I watched some young men taking the flyers, I said: "Trust me guys, it ain't nothin' like Heaven."Pss: at about midnight, it started raining... I guess being an hour off isn't too bad... here's to the Internet weather service!
Labels: Friday evangelism
I truly appreciate your humility. It takes courage to admit publicly that you are in "bad shape".
It is not because we are doing something that most "christians" would not even consider to do that we are automatically in good shape spiritually in all the spheres of our life. The LORD has a lot of work to do in all of us and even in the most sanctified of us. Chrislikeness is a life contract and an infinitely high objective.
The more we get near to the LORD, the more He shows us our frailty and our weakness. I personnaly think that if He would reveal to us the ugliness of our old nature completely and absolutely, we could not support it.
This is the negative side: our old nature still in us and with which we have to fight daily.
But there is also a positive side: the infinite greatness, love, mercy, patience and faithfulness of JESUS-CHRIST, Our Saviour. When He permits that we see ourselves better, He also permits that we see HIM better! We need to see the two sides alternatively.
Keep on the good work. You are an encouragement for us in Quebec City.
We are praying fervently and daily for you, your wife, your family and all the Ottawa group.
LOVE IN CHRIST
Marcel and Lucy
you have encouraged me when I needed it and now I'm here to repay the favor.
I understand what you're going thru, including the less than glorifying prayer life.
Brother, tomorrow is another day. You're strength comes from the Lord anyway...it's not something you bring to the game. Just trust Him and get back out there.
To God be the glory...
No Notes Tonight
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I actually wish I would have been there...
Due to working overtime at work, and weather that just wouldn't cooperate, I didn't make it out for our usual night of street preaching.
I hope to have notes for you next week, and if possible, have a post or two written up for you over the next few days.
Have a blessed weekend, dear readers.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, October 13, 2007
a relatively quiet night of preaching...The cold is back. This was the first Friday night of street preaching where two sweaters and two jackets were necessary to keep from freezing. With the frigid air comes smaller crowds of people in the marketplace, and God be thanked, the cold even seems to tone down the level of unrighteousness in those who seek the city's night life. Not too many young ladies in short skirts when it's this cold, and while there is always an abundant supply of scoffers on any given Friday night, they just don't seem to want to spend too much time irritating us when their bodies are shivering.
All in all, it was a calm night of street preaching tonight. I hadn't had one of those in awhile now, and I must admit, I welcomed the quiet indifference of those who hate God and His Gospel. I know that sounds bad... I know I should want a strong reaction for or against, that indifference is terrible... but after so many weeks of hatred and depravity, a calmer night was good for my soul. I've been having a real hard time lately keeping my focus on glorifying God, no matter what happens to my city, and by extension, my country. The fact of the matter is, while I do
want my evangelistic endeavours to be about service to God, I do very much
desire for souls to be converted, and for God's church to increase. Not seeing this hope realized, after so much labouring, well, it's pretty disheartening. My pastor mentioned this verse to me a few weeks ago... I believe it sums up our current situation..."Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)
There were some positives tonight. I was able to witness to two men I work with in the market. I praise God whenever He gives me the opportunity to share His Gospel with the people who know me and who, in one way or another, has to continue dealing with me (lol
). I thank God that while I have no doubt everyone at my work thinks I'm 100% cuckoo to be preaching the Gospel downtown on Friday nights, they all show me a fair measure of respect. I hope the Lord will open doors for me to continue sharing His Truth with my co-workers.
I also had a bit of fun with a couple of souls during our endeavour. One deranged man got in my face and told me I would do much better feeding the hungry, than preaching. This is how the rest of the conversation went:
"Sir, there is no one here whose hungry," I replied.
"Stop judging people!" the man said. "That's all you do here. You judge people and you think you're so great because you are holding some stupid sign. You do this just to show off!"
"Umm... sir... do you know me?" I inquired.
"No," the man answered sharply.
"So, how can you judge me to be all the things you say I am, without knowing me?" I again inquired.
It was clear that this question caused a brain lock in my poor deranged friend. He stood there, speechless for a few seconds then gave me a friendly "f#?% you!", and walked away. I don't know if this is a bad thing, but I have to admit I was quite amused by that exchange.
Then, I had some fun with two romanists who claimed that I was "one kind of Christian", and they were just "another kind". I took exception with that statement and said:
"No, my friend, there is only "one kind" of Christian. He who follows Christ is a Christian, and everything we know about Christ is written in the Bible."
I knew that my poor romanist friends would have no part of that, and the protests weren't long in coming. When they saw that I had no time for their foolish doctrines, one of them said:
"This guy is closed-minded. That means he's an idiot."
With that, the man left, but his friend lagged behind. So I seized the opportunity:
"You said, a few minutes ago, that I was 'a different kind of Christian', but now, your friend calls me an idiot... tell me, is that a Christian thing to do?"
"No," the other man said, "I'm sorry about what my friend..."
"That's okay," I replied, "but I want you to understand that this is no surprise to me. You see, my claim is that you guys aren't Christians at all, and being called "an idiot" by your friend only solidifies my position. Matthew 7 says that a good tree brings good fruit, and a bad tree brings bad fruit. You friend spoke evil, that's because he is
evil. This is logic, this is Scripture."
"Yeah, but that's taking the Bible quite literally," the man said.
"You're right about that," I replied with a big smile on my face.
The conversation didn't go far beyond that, but praise be to God, the man wanted a Bible tract to take with him. I hope this will be the beginning of a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ for this man.
I then dealt with a homeless man. What a sad case this soul was. His name was Paul and he knew a great deal about the Scriptures; he was even able to quote several Bible passages from memory. All that blessed knowledge, but he is living on the street because while he holds the Bible in high regard, he holds alcohol in higher regard. A fact I pointed out to him. He knew that what I was saying was true, but still, he ignored my pleas to go home and pray. He instead opted to go back to begging for spare change, to get his next bottle. The Lord have mercy on this poor soul.
The night wasn't all pleasant conversations and witty rebukes though. We took some abusive words and Pastor Tim almost had his Bible sign knocked out of his hand by a young man who hated his preaching. What a testament to the callous depravity of our society when a young, strong man (I'd say in his early twenties)
acts violently towards a man who is in his sixties; a man who only wants to proclaim his convictions. It is always difficult for me to remain spiritual when I see such disrespect, such a lack of basic civility. The Lord help me to labour faithfully in this totally depraved, sin-hardened world.
With that, I'm closing these Friday Night Notes. It's time for some rest. I'm really beat. Have a blessed weekend, dear readers. Don't forget to praise, worship and glorify God on the Lord's Day. It is after all, His day.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Terrible... Just Terrible
Friday, October 12, 2007
if you are feeling down... don't click on the link...Their blood cries out to a holy God...
Labels: Pure Evil
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, October 06, 2007
preachers... and crime fighters... lol...After a short time of prayer, pastor Tim and I took our Bible signs and made our way to the downtown marketplace. On our way there, pastor Tim and I were talking about how foolish and dysfunctional our society (our godless society) had become. All of sudden, pastor Tim cut me off and said: "what's going on here?!?" For a moment I didn't know what he was talking about, then I noticed that something had got his attention in a nearby alley.
Looking down the alley I saw a man, shirtless, on a balcony roof, with a 4-foot pipe in his hands. It was clear that this fellow had somehow gotten himself up there to smash a window and steal whatever he could from the building at the end of the alley (which, it turns out, was some kind of investments business)
. Pastor Tim asked the fellow on several occasions to explain what he was doing there, but the man, obviously, wasn't too forthcoming.
"You want me to call the police," I asked pastor Tim, showing him my cellphone.
"Do it!" he ordered.
I called 911 and the police were on-site after roughly a minute. Pretty quick reaction time, but still, the man had a chance to escape through a nearby apartment building. I don't think the police ended up catching the man, but at least an obvious break-in and theft was thwarted. That's crime fighting moment #1.
Crime fighting moment # 2 came about three hours later. Pastor Tim was preaching on our usual street corner when he suddenly stopped preaching and made his way across the street. I was a few yards away from him so I had no idea what had caught his attention. Seeing that something was obviously going on, I made my way towards him. As I got closer to where pastor Tim was standing, I noticed a man, acting pretty suspiciously walking away.
"What happened?" I asked.
"That guy just opened the door to this car and started searching through it," he replied. "I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't own this car and that he was stealing whatever he could find in it."
Pastor Tim's suspicions were proven correct a few minutes later when the actual owner of the vehicle came by. It was pretty sad, the good pastor tried hard to communicate what had happened to the man, but when he saw the Gospel sign, he wouldn't listen at all! It would seem that this man hated the Gospel so much, he wouldn't hear anything of what a preacher had to say... even if it had nothing to do with the Gospel. How utterly sad.
Other than the crime stopping, we did manage to preach the Gospel for roughly three hours tonight, and the reception was pretty much the same as always. We got a few handshakes from people who professed faith in Jesus, we got lots of mockery from people who thought we were absolutely insane, and we got plenty of vile insults and heard all manner of blasphemies from souls who hated anything and everything that even resembles the Gospel. We even had a glass bottle thrown at one of our Bible signs, missing pastor Tim's head by inches. Tough crowd I tell ya!
I did have an interesting conversation with a young man named Derek who complained that all he had ever seen in religion is hypocrisy. From his Romanist upbringing to his drunk, immoral father who professed to be born-again, this poor fellow had seen just about every kind of religious hypocrite. I made sure that he understood that his father most certainly wasn't born-again if he was an immoral drunkard. I cited Matthew 7:16-18..."Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."
I gave him one of our church's business cards and told him to give me a call if he wanted to see with his own eyes, what a real born-again Christian was. He thanked me and went on his way. The Lord show him mercy.
I truly hope our endeavour glorified God tonight. I really made it a point to remind myself that that's what my primary objective should be whenever I go out to proclaim the Gospel. Not saving men, but rather, giving God glory by being obedient to His Great Commission
. It's pretty grim out there, and I have to tell you, when I get back home on Friday nights, I pretty weary and discouraged. My only solace, my only comfort is this: in a handful of men in the marketplace of my city tonight, God was being magnified and exalted.
As He should be.
Labels: Friday evangelism