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, September 27, 2008
a smooth night of preaching...

I felt somewhat heavy before I even went out for the traditional night of street preaching. It wasn't fear. It wasn't any health problem. It wasn't because I was, once again, by myself for the Friday evangelistic effort. I felt heavy because the Lord was, and is continuing to deal with me on an important issue: ministering unto Him. More precisely, I am only now realizing that, despite my work in the ministry, despite my evangelism, despite all the "spiritual" work I am involved in, ultimately, I am hardly spending any time attending unto the Lord.

I don't know if any of this is making any sense to you, dear readers, but I assure you, I am NOT just dreaming up a problem here. I guess the best way for me to effectively share where I am at right now, and the conviction I am feeling, is to give you access to the following sermons:

Paul Washer: Glory of God in Marriage
Paul Washer: Glory of God in Ministering to the Lord
Paul Washer: Glory of God in Missions
Paul Washer: Glory of God in Moral Purity
Paul Washer: Glory of God in Motivation

Once you've listened to the sermons on "ministering to the Lord", "missions", and "motivation" I think you'll understand why I am feeling heavy ('cause you'll probably start feeling heavy yourself). The concepts and practices Paul Washer speaks about are so lacking in North American churches that I think for many a Christian, these sermons are real shockers.

If you don't have time to listen to these sermons, but would still like to understand what I'm talking about, consider this quote by Andrew Murray taken from his book, Absolute Surrender:

"God has a plan for His Church upon earth. But alas! we too often make our plan, and we think that we know what ought to be done. We ask God first to bless our feeble efforts, instead of absolutely refusing to go unless God go before us. God has planned for the work and the extension of His kingdom. The Holy Ghost has had that work given in charge to Him. "The work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13:2). May God, therefore, help us all to be afraid of touching "the ark of God" except as we are led by the Holy Ghost."

O wretched, foolish man that I am! I am so guilty of making my own plans, doing things my way, and only after, asking God to bless. O Lord, help me! I need to be weary doing things in the power of my own flesh. I need to look to God to show me what to do, when to do it, and to do it by His strength.

All these thoughts were swirling around in my brain hours before making my way downtown to preach the Gospel. On a number of occasions, I wondered whether I should forget about going out; I thought perhaps it would be better for me to just put my face down to the ground and pray. I'm not sure if I made the right decision yet, but I opted to go out street preaching. The Lord said: "go out and preach the Gospel", I thought, "so go out and preach!"

It was a pretty smooth night of street preaching. I saw and spoke to several saints of God who were either evangelizing in the market, or simply on their way home from work. I spoke to a man named Colombia, a brother-in-the-Lord who was really encouraged and happy to see me doing the work of an evangelist in the marketplace. I also had a number of conversations with some brothers who were labouring with the Open-Air Campaigners. All these were a real encouragement to me.

There was some nonsense however. I was grievously mocked by a very wicked woman at one point as I was preaching the Gospel, and as I made my way home after three hours of evangelism, I was forced to endure the antics of a drunken fool who gave everyone around him a hard time. All this said, the ungodly weren't too aggravating tonight. I distributed a fair number of Bible tracts, and most of the exchanges I had were quite civil and kind. Praise God.

The Lord use the work I did tonight as He sees fit... and may He be glorified now, and forever. Amen.

Please continue to pray for me, dear saints of God.

God bless you all, dear readers...



Sadly... No Street Preaching Tonight...

Friday, September 19, 2008
the curse of asthma...

There are no Friday Night Notes tonight, for I was unable to go out street preaching. Last night, my little girl spent the night coughing and wheezing, the consequence of a cold virus and her asthma. My daughter's condition deteriorated significantly today, so my wife and I ended up at the Children's Hospital; we spent a good 8-9 hours there, watching a team of 9 health care professionals work to get my daughter's blood-oxygen level to normal. What a day!

I'm pretty exhausted right now... so I'll keep this post short. After watching this monitor for about 6 hours, hoping and praying for my little girl's blood oxygen to stay above 92%, I have to say... I pretty brain-dead.

The good news is that the hospital released my daughter after several rounds of steroids and oxygen masks, and she seems to be breathing far easier at the moment. She's not out of the woods yet though, the pediatrician gave us drugs and puffers which will have to be administered every 4 hours in order to keep my little one's lungs open and clear. Good times... good times...

I appreciate all your prayers, dear saints of God.

Remember me also in your prayers as I am playing the role of pastor for the next two weeks, while pastor Tim is away on vacation.

God bless you, dear readers...


Friday Night Notes

Saturday, September 13, 2008
lone ranger rides again...

I apologize for the poor quality of the above picture... my cellphone camera isn't the greatest to start with... and the young lady that took the picture didn't have a steady hand when she took the picture... she was laughing at me... (more on this later).

It was just me and Jesus tonight. When I arrived at pastor Tim's house, his wife told me that the poor man was in bed with a nasty cold. So I took a Bible sign, a bunch of Gospel tracts, and made my way downtown with the Lord as my sole companion.

Upon arriving at my customary preaching spot, I found myself dealing with a street person named Kenneth. This poor soul was in emotional and spiritual torments; he cried, he raved, he got angry, he got depressed... all in the space of a few minutes. I tried hard to keep him calm and share with him a good word from God's Revelation, and I believe I've succeeded to some measure. I told Kenneth that he had no peace because the Lord wasn't giving him peace. At first, he vehemently denied this, but later, in tears, he admitted that he longed for peace. After a good 20 minute talk, the poor soul thanked me for my words, shook my hand, hugged me, and thanked me. I promised him I would pray for him, and that if he came to church on the Lord's Day, I would give him a Bible. I hope to see him again.

Moments later, I spoke with a young black man who wanted to know "why a loving God allows bad things to happen to good men." My answer to him was two-fold.

"First off," I said, "there is no such thing as a good man. Second, the reason why bad things happen to sinners (for that is the only kind of man that exists) is because this is a fallen world, and in a fallen world, bad things happen."

It was clear that the young man had no time for my answers. At one point, he commented that he tired of hearing me say the phrase: "the Bible says..." To which I answered that that was the only thing he'd get from me. Answers from the Bible. When it became clear that our conversation wasn't going anywhere I walked away, as he mocked and jeered. The Lord have mercy on his soul.

A short time after this, a young lady stepped in front of me and asked me if she could take a picture of my Bible sign. The young lady was without a doubt making fun of me, but I never turn down those who want to take pictures of our signs. The way I see it, whenever they look at the pictures, they will be reminded of God and His Word. So, the young lady took her picture, and had a good laugh. That's when I thought to myself: "hey! might as well get something out of this!" So, I asked the young lady to take the above picture. In her unbelief, she got a double laugh, and I got a picture for my blog. Oh well... Christians aren't suppose to be a proud bunch!

Finally, I had a short conversation with an ex-WatchTower follower. He told me his name was Johnny and that he was now an agnostic. I couldn't resist asking him why he used the Greek word agnostic, instead of the Latin version: I-G-N-O-R-A-M-U-S. I know... I know... I'm a really, really bad man. Anyway, the poor soul was now a hodge-podge of messed up doctrine, claiming that "the Bible was probably all "bull" anyway." I tried to clear up, from Scripture, some of the messed up theology he was carrying, and to his credit, he listened. We covered a list of topics, including how God ordained the Fall of Man. This surprised the young man greatly, so I wanted to show him the passage where we are told that the Lamb of God, Jesus, was slain from the foundation of the world. My logic was that if Jesus' sacrifice was a done deal from the foundation of the world, it pretty much means there had to be a Fall ordained as well. Sadly, I was unable to find the passage right there on the spot (and that annoyed me to no end); I knew it was in Revelation, but I just couldn't find the verse so I could show him from my pocket Bible. Don't bother telling me now, I know it's Revelation 13:8...

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Anyway, I made my point using Ephesians 1:4, saying that if God had chosen a people to be holy and without blame in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, that pretty much meant that there would be a Fall at some point. This definitely made my argument, but I have to tell you that not finding Revelation 13:8 was still bothering me, so I promised him that I would send him the Scriptural reference if he e-mailed me sometime this week (I gave him one of my business cards). I also promised that I would answer any of his questions concerning the Faith, so long as he honestly sought the Truth. I hope and pray that the Lord will save Johnny from his literal, self-confessed ignorance.

Now, I'm tired. So that's the notes for this week. Please pray for pastor Tim to recover from his illness dear saints of God, and that strength and boldness be given to me in the weeks ahead, as my church responsibilities will only increase.

Good night, and have a blessed weekend, dear readers.



Family Vacation

Saturday, September 06, 2008
truly enjoyed God's creation...

Greetings friends! My family and I just got back from a week spent in a nearby provincial park which I continuously refer to as "my happy place". We enjoyed great weather as we hiked in the Canadian wilderness, paddled in a canoe through a clear lake, and camped out under the stars which the Lord has created. After days of fresh air and plenty of physical activity, I must say that I am both feeling refreshed and exhausted (lol).

I have more pictures from our trip, so if any of you want to see more, just comment or send me an e-mail, and I will send you a link to view all the pictures (full-size).

Lord willing, I will be at my post next Friday, preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the marketplace. I also plan to be preaching all of my church services for the next couple of weeks as my pastor is set to take off on vacation. I appreciate and covet your prayers for these next few weeks, dear saints of God.

Have a blessed Lord's Day, dear readers...