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, July 26, 2008
still trucking along...

I went out preaching earlier than normal today. Pastor Tim and I usually have our night of street preaching from 8pm to 11pm, but I knew that just wouldn't happen tonight; there is no way I was going to last 'till 11pm! I have learned several ways to manage my sometimes grievous health problems over the last few weeks, and one of those ways is to be in bed at a decent hour to get good quality rest/sleep. So I went downtown right after work (around 6pm) and with a Bible sign in hand, distributed Gospel tracts for a good hour.

I gave out a fair number of tracts during this hour, and lots of souls saw and read my Bible sign. I was very pleased with how things were going until a woman approached me and said: "is your last name XXXXXX?" I told her it was, but I hadn't the foggiest idea who this woman was. Turns out, this woman is my sister's neighbour; apparently, my sister told this woman about my Friday night activities. Anyway, this woman was extremely difficult to deal with: she tried very hard to get me to agree with some of her ecumenical, new age and downright heathen concepts. She kept using the words "universe" and "God" interchangeably and spoke of concepts like "good energy" and "bad energy". Oh my... what a mess. I tried, on several occasions, to end our conversation with a "let's just agree to disagree", but the woman would have none of that.

I was preparing to just walk away when a man drew nigh to hear something of what I had to say. This man was far more rational, and somewhat interested in the Bible. His name was Jeff and Jeff confessed that while he didn't have much time for God in his life, he was pretty sure there was a God in the universe, and he was also quite sure that he would be judged by him some day. Now that's someone a preacher can work with! LOL! So both Jeff and I spoke of biblical matters, desperately trying to tune out the frequent objections of my sister's neighbour. I spoke to him of the judgment that is to come, the righteousness that we must attain to but are unable to attain to, the salvation of the Lord, and the eternal state. I went through all these pretty superficially, so I encouraged Jeff to study the Bible for himself. Before leaving, he asked me if he could talk with me again... I, of course agreed. I told him where to find me on Friday nights, he thanked me and went on his way. Fearing having to deal with ecumenical/new age/pop psychology woman again, I took off as well, and took over preaching duties from pastor Tim.

While I was preaching, two young ladies stopped to listen for a few minutes. One of them eventually came by and asked me a couple of strange questions. I wasn't sure at first if they just wanted to make fun of me, but after a couple of minutes I realized that they weren't mocking, they were just totally ignorant as far as the Bible is concerned; and I mean seriously ignorant. We spoke for a few minutes and I think my knowledge of Scripture both surprised and intrigued them. I gave them a couple of Bible tracts and encouraged them to study God's Word. I don't think the Lord was dealing with them at that particular moment, but who knows what the Lord will do tonight... tomorrow... next week... etc.

The night wasn't all rosy with rational, logical conversations. I was called an idiot numerous times, twice I was told I would die a virgin (made me laugh both times...), and a myriad of sinners wagged their heads and cursed as they heard my preaching or beheld my Bible sign. Many would used the Lord's Name in vain as they walked by me. How wretched.

I prayed alot tonight. I thank the Lord for working in me to remain in fellowship with him as I went about proclaiming His Gospel. It's shocking how easy it is to evangelize by the flesh. I didn't want that tonight; I knew I needed the Lord to keep me on my feet physically, and to give me wisdom in my evangelistic effort. So I got focused, and prayed every moment I could. It was good... real good.

Now it's time for bed. Thanks again, dear readers, for keeping up with my Friday night adventures.

The LORD bless you, and keep you:
The LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

(Numbers 6:24-26)



No Notes Tonight

Saturday, July 19, 2008
weather and health not cooperating...

It rained tonight... so street preaching wasn't going to happen.

Even if the weather had cooperated, I still wouldn't have been able to go out preaching. You guessed it: more health problems. I'm definitely on the mend after a difficult week, but I have to say: THIS HAS SERIOUSLY BEEN A ROUGH YEAR FOR ME!

Please continue praying for me, dear saints of God.


Friday Night Notes

Saturday, July 12, 2008
good to be back at it...

It was another "sell-out-crowd" in the market tonight. Thousands of souls crowded the streets and pastor Tim and I were right in the middle, preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything went as well as it could, really. I have no accounts of mass conversions or a great revival to announce, but we were able to share the Gospel with many souls tonight. Many listened attentively to our preaching, even more took Gospel literature, and a good number of souls asked us some questions concerning our Hope. On a number of occasions, we were even able to disarm and speak kindly to those who hated our preaching. Thank the Lord for His lovingkindness towards us street preachers.

Our night of street preaching didn't start out too great though... we had a very, very unstable woman who hindered our efforts for several minutes. That was no fun. She claimed that she had been reincarnated several times, and then claimed she was a 'catholic', and to top it all off, she claimed to be a Christian. I attempted to set the woman straight, but failed miserably. Pastor Tim didn't even try, he just did his best to get the woman to leave. She eventually did, cursing and hollering at us.

After that unpleasantness, the Lord gave us a smooth night. No one threatened us, and the mockery wasn't anywhere near the usual level of intensity and vileness. Several people stopped by and listened, for several minutes, to our preaching. Many more stopped right in front of us to carefully read the Scriptures on our Bible signs. The Lord use His Word to effect the Second Birth in some of these souls.

The Lord also greatly blessed me and encouraged me by reuniting me with a young man named Mike. I had shared the Gospel with Mike several months ago on one of our Friday nights of evangelism and I had even given him my pocket Bible (for he was interested in reading the Scriptures and didn't own a Bible). He came by tonight, shook my hand, thanked me for dealing with him last time we saw each other, and told me he still had my Bible. It's too bad the Lord hasn't saved him yet, but he's got respect for the Gospel and he has that Bible... who knows what the Lord will do?

Moments after my time with Mike, I walked around the market offering Bible tracts to whomever walked by me. One young man took one of my tracts, and then threw it on the ground in disgust. I shrugged my shoulders, picked up the tract and continued my work. That's when I noticed that another young man across the street from me had witnessed the whole sad incident. This man walked over to my side of the street with an extended hand and took from me the tract that the other fellow had thrown to the ground...

"You're doing a good thing," the young man said. "This is born-again, right? My girlfriend is born-again."

"Are you born-again, my friend?" I asked.

"No, but I'm working on it," the young man replied.

"Are you reading the Bible?" I further inquired.

"Yeah, a bit," he answered.

"Well, you keep reading that Book, dear friend," I said. "The Bible says that the Word of God is the incorruptible seed of the New Birth, so if you are to be born-again, it will happen by reading and studying God's Word."

The man thanked me for my time and further encouraged me to press on. The Lord bless him by granting him life, and life eternal.

Finally, moments before we left the marketplace, a Christian couple came by to encourage both pastor Tim and I. The woman was particularly impressed by our evangelistic effort. "You guys are like John the Baptist," she said, "your the voice in this wilderness!" I suppose we were.

That's the Notes for tonight. I again thank you all of you, dear readers for your continued prayers and support. The Lord bless you abundantly.



Canada Day

Tuesday, July 01, 2008
preaching to the dead...

I made the mistake of listening to the news on the radio this morning. Just before making my way downtown to preach the Gospel to those who would be celebrating Canada Day (the Canadian equivalent of the 4th of July), I heard this: "The Governor General of Canada has opted to honour Henry Morgentaler with the Order of Canada...". My heart sank, and then I felt nothing but a deep loathing for my country. You see, Henry Morgentaler (for those of you who don't know Canada too well), is a 'doctor' who challenged the anti-abortion laws in Canada and won. He and his 'clinics' are responsible for the murder of thousands, if not millions of infants in Canada. With fresh in my mind, I went off for a day of street preaching.

I had to pray... seriously pray to get over my frustration and anger. I didn't want to evangelize with a "now-you'll-get-it" attitude, nor did I want to get so discouraged as to develop, over time, a "to-Hell-with-all-of-you" attitude. In the end, I think my preaching was balanced and appropriate; I preached on sin, repentance, Christ's substitutionary sacrifice, and the eternal state, and then I preached against my wicked country:

"The Bible tells us that the wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God. Well, Canada is full of the wicked, and Canada has forgotten God. This nation is ripe for God's fierce judgment. Hell is prepared for nations like Canada. So today my friends, are you part of the problem, or part of the solution. Will you continue to do wickedly before God, and reap the Lake of Fire, or will you repent of your sins, and come to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ?"

My preaching, for the most part, was met with a quiet hatred, and occasionally, loud mockery. My fellow Canadians have nothing left of the fear of God. They have no significant Biblical knowledge, they couldn't care less about anything that even looks like holiness/godliness, and their lives are full of sin and vanity; and they love it that way. I was effectively preaching to the dead today, for the most part.

This said, amongst the thousands souls downtown today, the Lord undoubtedly had a people. Those who were already converted were out distributing Bible literature, and those whom the Lord was drawing to Himself came to us, and received something of the Gospel of Christ. There were believers from local Brethren churches, Associated Gospel churches, and Baptist churches; all labouring for the Gospel's sake.

Pastor Tim was unable to come with me today, since his family had organized a big party for his 40th wedding anniversary. I thought I'd have to labour alone all day, but the Lord had mercy, sending me a fellow labourer. Jean, a young lady that worked with me at the research institute, came out with me and was my evangelistic companion for a good three hours. I would like to send out a public "thank you" to Jean, for her help and I pray that the Lord will continue to use her as a faithful evangelist.

Jean and I handed out lots of Bible tracts today, and countless souls read my Bible sign. I had a few short one-on-one conversations with sinners, but nothing significant enough to share in this post. I did have a long conversation with Constable Koch, a police officer patrolling the downtown area during the Canada Day festivities. Constable Koch, or as I know him, Peter, was actually my lab partner years ago, at a hospital laboratory. He left the world of science to become a police officer (I sometimes wonder if the prospect of working with someone like me for life sparked his departure from the scientific world). It was nice to speak to an old friend, and I hope that seeing each other again will stir up some memories for my friend Peter; I've put in a lot of hours of witnessing in him... lol.

I had another conversation with another authority figure, of sorts. As I was distributing Bible tracts in the middle of a main downtown street (the street was closed to traffic), I noticed the unimpressed glares of a couple of city by-law officers, or 'police-want-to-be's", as I call them. They stood there mumbling to each other for a few minutes, then they pulled out their cellphone and talked with some city grand-puppa, and finally, they walked towards me and said:

"I just called our headquarters, and we'd like for you to move to the side of the road," the man said.

"Well, I don't understand," I began, "the road is closed, there is people all over the street, there are vendors of every kind right in the middle of the road, so... I fail to see the problem here."

With that plain statement, I had them... and they knew it. The young man was at pains to try to explain to me why my presence in the middle of the road was illegal, when so many others right behind me were doing the same. He couldn't well say: "Well sir, I just really hate the Gospel, so I want to rob you of your rights and freedoms to rid myself of you." After listening to his pathetic attempts to get rid of me, I said:

"I'm here for another 25 minutes, then I'm gone. Why don't we just leave each other alone for that long?"

He agreed quickly, and left me alone. This whole episode isn't too uncommon for street preachers. In western democracies, it is difficult for the authorities to outright rob you of your rights, but that certainly won't stop them from using I-N-T-I-M-I-D-A-T-I-O-N. Does not the Lord tell us to be "wise as serpents, but harmless as doves"?

After 4-5 hours of open-air evangelism, I was done... and I mean DONE. I made my way to pastor Tim's daughter's house to join the anniversary celebrations. It was nice to leave a worldly, mostly wicked party, and spend some time with faithful believers. Pastor Tim's family all took turns praising and thanking him and his wife for their love and faithfulness, it was a really sweet time.

Finally, dear saints of God, I want to thank you all for your prayers. Physically, I felt pretty good all day today. I thank the Lord for His mercy and grace toward me.

Dear readers, thanks for keeping up with my evangelistic escapades. Even when I go out preaching by myself now, while I know that the Lord is with me, I also know that I have many souls who are thinking about me, and praying for me.

God bless you all,