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, April 25, 2009
a whole lot of evangelism to a whole lot of people...

I made it out much earlier than normal, for our customary night of street preaching. So early that pastor Tim hadn't made it back from work yet. Not wanting to waste time, I made my way to the market with Bible tracts in one hand, and a large John 3:16 sign in the other.

Without a doubt, the crowds are back! With the warmer weather finally here, thousands of souls were in the various restaurant, bars and pubs of the marketplace. After a long winter season where I would preach to hundreds of souls every hour, it was quite overwhelming to preach to as many in just a quarter of that time. The Lord use the evangelistic seeds that were sown as He sees fit.

All and all, it was a good night of evangelism. The Lord provided me with safety and the ability to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was little persecution and hateful mockery, and to my surprise (shock... really...), I had several souls thank me for my work. One man in particular, named Brent walked up to me extended his hand and said:

"Let see that hand!"

He quickly took hold of my hand and continued:

"I'm glad your here, buddy. You alright? It's good what you're doing. I spoke to the other gentleman last week, and I'm mighty glad you're here."

With other encouraging words the man blessed me. I can't remember if he took a Bible tract or not, I didn't even get the chance to ask him if he was saved. Regardless, I asked the Lord to bless him abundantly for his kindness toward me.

Another young lady, Candace was her name, ran up to me as I was walking with my Bible sign, and said:

"I love your sign! I really do!"

Candace told me she was in the city for a short time, and that she was presently going to a United church. I cringed when she said that... the United Church is an absolute abomination! She said she attended a Baptist church when she was in her hometown, but how she can go from a Baptist church to a United church... well... I don't know. Anyway, she held the Scriptures in high regard, and compared to the reactions I usually get from the market crowds, I was encouraged. She took a Bible tract and told me she would try to drop by our church. I hope and pray that she'll do just that.

We didn't speak long enough to discuss anything personal, but it was clear that Candace was fighting some serious disease. Her head was shaved and I spotted some sort of tube attached near her collar bone. The Lord help her.

A short time after this meeting, two young men walked with me for awhile as I walked around downtown with my Bible sign. They professed to be believers and asked if they could pray with me. I agreed and they did just that. By the words they used in their prayer, I think the boys were probably charismatics, but again, we didn't talk that long. After their prayer, I prayed that the Lord would sanctify them and make them bold for His honour and glory. We parted after shaking hands.

After that conversation, I reached into my pocket to retrieve some more Bible tracts and the result was shocking. I had only three tracts left. Whenever I go preaching, I always grab a handful of tracts and I always have tons left over after our night of evangelism. Well, not this time!!! A few minutes later, I had given out my last three tracts.

"What a night!" I thought.

Moments later, I met up with pastor Tim and Josiah, a brother from our sending church, who was over to help pastor Tim with a job. I stayed with the brothers for another hour of evangelism but after that hour, I was done. I had been in the market for four hours. So I made my way back home, while pastor Tim and Josiah stayed in the market to labour a while longer. I hope the Lord was blessed them as He has blessed me tonight. (BTW... the picture above is a picture of brother Josiah, holding a Bible sign and handing out Bible tracts)

With that, I'll close the notes for tonight. There was some nonsense that took place, but nothing worth mentioning. As I said, all in all, the Lord really blessed me tonight... and again, the Lord use the work that was done as He sees fit.

How I hope that He will save sinners, and sanctify His saints through our work...

"...to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:6b)



Friday Night Notes

Saturday, April 18, 2009
the trying of Rand's faith...

After all the nonsense that took place last week, you can all well imagine, dear readers, that I spent the week praying for, at the very least, a "quieter" night of street preaching. Praise God for answered prayer!

My shaky confidence was tested from the very "get-go" though. When I got to pastor Tim's house, his wife told me that he would be late, so I would be going out "tout seul" (that's French for "all by my little lonesome"). I snickered and said:

"Alright, Lord."

So I had a look at pastor Tim's collection of Bible signs... the two that were easily accessible were John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The John 3:16 sign was large, the other was much smaller. I opted to go with John 3:16, since 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 has a tendency of riling sinners up, and that's the last thing I wanted tonight. So I started up the street with the big John 3:16 sign when a strong wind blew. The drag on the sign was so strong, I couldn't move forward... at all! I again snickered, and said:

"Alright, Lord."

I went back in pastor Tim's yard, put down the John 3:16 sign and took up the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign. I then paused, asked God to have mercy on me tonight, and made my way downtown. I preached the Gospel there for well over an hour, and had a long conversation with a group of young people who were up to no good in the market. I shocked them all with answers like:

"No, God doesn't love everyone the same."

"Yes, homosexuality is a sin, and yes, a man/woman can have victory over this sin."

"Yes, your priest is lying to you."

"No, you are not a good person."

My answers definitely shook these young people, but the fear of the Lord was definitely lacking. They eventually shrugged me off and went on their way. The Lord have mercy on them, and cause them to consider the truths they heard tonight.

After my first hour of preaching, I took a walk downtown with my Bible sign, offering tracts to whoever would take one. I met up with the Open-Air Campaigners, another group of street evangelists, and my good friend, AND brother-in-the-Lord, Alex. Alex really refreshed me with some godly encouragement... it was really good to be in the company of a friend for a few minutes. After a little time with these brothers, I made my way back to the heart of the marketplace, where pastor Tim was now preaching.

Lots of people were out in the market tonight. The warmer weather brought thousands to the market, so pastor Tim and I worked hard to present the Gospel to as many of them as would listen. I gave out lots of tracts tonight, many souls carefully read our Bible signs (as you can see in the picture above), and both pastor Tim and I had a few conversations with sinners. I also had the chance to speak to a student who used to work with me in the lab (my secular job). She told me she believed in the Gospel and that she would like to visit my church some time. I hope she does.

Soon after this conversation, pastor Tim and I made our way home, and thus ended a quiet, smooth night of street preaching (as quiet and smooth as it can get anyway). I thank the Lord for his mercy and grace toward me.

And that, dear readers, is tonight's Friday Night Notes.


Now, about last Friday...

First, I want to thank everyone who sent me kind words of encouragement over the last week. You all know who you are. The Lord bless you and cause His face to shine upon you.

Second, Jake was correct. It was foolish of me (even in my messed up frame of mind) to equate fear with cowardice. While fear can instigate acts of cowardice, it can also be a catalyst to acts of courage, even great courage.

Third, the question pride... I am, of course, very obviously guilty. I appreciate that none of the brothers and sisters-in-the-Lord who wrote me over the last week made any direct mention of my obvious sin. I'm glad you let me see it for myself. The fact of the matter is that I (and note the "I" here) would love to be strong and intimidating to keep our enemies at bay. I (again, take note) would love to keep wicked men from breaking our property. I (again) would love to effectively defend my brother(s) while preaching in the open-air. I (you seeing a pattern yet?) would like to be able to count on me and for others to count on me to get the job done well and safely. Thing is, that would be a whole lot of faith and glory to "I", and not to God.

Don't worry, I see the problem with that.

The Lord be merciful to me and patient with me...

But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 10-17)



Friday Night Notes

Saturday, April 11, 2009
to say I was afraid is an understatement...

I don't know if I'm going to like this post... I don't know if I should even be writing at this particular moment. My mind is going at 100 miles per hour and there are all sorts of feelings griping me right now. It would probably be wise for me to wait 'till tomorrow to write this week's notes, but then again, I feel that it's important for me to be honest and transparent with you, dear readers. It's important for me to show, at the very least, a little weakness/vulnerability.

Pastor Tim and I were assaulted by one seriously angry man tonight. We were actually on our way back home (we weren't even preaching or handing out tracts), when three men walked towards us... one of them took a swing at my Bible sign and violently pushed me. Two of the three men were breathing threats at us, but only one man was doing damage. For several minutes the man kicked, punched and finally broke our Bible signs. Whenever we tried to stop him, we would be pushed around (the man was strong as an ox).

We tried on several occasions to calm the man with appeals to calmness, but the response was yet more violence. Things were getting out of hand, and that very quickly. While pastor Tim was doing his best to keep the two other men from doing any more harm, the more violent man started pushing me around, yelling for me to run (something I couldn't do... there was no way I was leaving pastor Tim behind). After a few seconds of that nonsense, I managed to evade him long enough that he went back to thrashing our signs. That's when I took out my cellphone:

"9-1-1..." the operator began.

"I need the police at Clarence and Dalhousie RIGHT NOW!!!" I exclaimed.

The police showed up in just under a minute, and by then the men just wanted to walk away (they had seen me talking on my cellphone... one man even threatened to destroy it). One of the men claimed that I had instigated the whole situation by... you're going to love this... hitting one of the men with my sign as they walked by. Both pastor Tim and I laughed. The police didn't buy it either. We were told that the men would be "spoken to" and that they would be receiving tickets for disorderly conduct. I doubt the men truly got either one, but by then, I was just glad we had made it out of that situation with no injury. We thanked the police and made our way to pastor Tim's house... where we prayed for these lost souls.

Now here's where this post may get messy... and I'm all to aware that this account is read by several saints, and will even be posted in a church. I feel like I shouldn't make a big deal about this sad event. That I should show strength and an unflappable confidence in the Lord. Problem is, I don't feel strong at all right now, and I have to confess that it took a couple of hours for my hands to stop shaking. Is this cowardly? I don't think so, since, I assure you, by God's grace, I will be at my post next week. I'll be afraid for some time, but I'll be there.

I feel so absolutely useless in these situation. For those of you who have never seen me, I'm 5 foot something, 100 pounds nothing. I am about as non-threatening as you can get, which has always facilitated the formation of friendships, but sadly, it has also facilitated being taken advantage of by my enemies. So basically, when things get nasty, I'm done... which means pain and suffering for me (which I obviously don't like), but even worse, means heartache for my family and friends. That REALLY bothers me. Is this pride?

Okay... I'm done now... if I keep dwelling on this, it will be an occasion for the devil. I have to abide in Christ, and have Him be my strength and peace.

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. " (Philippians 4:4-7)

I do have some good to report... while our night of evangelism didn't end well, our three hours of preaching was profitable. We handed out lots of Bible tracts tonight, far more than normal, and that despite the fact that the marketplace wasn't all that busy.

Speaking of tracts, a young man walked by me in our first hour of preaching and after accepting a Bible tract, he threw it in my face. His friend, seeing the whole incident was apologetic and took the tract. They both then walked away. About an hour after that, the young man who threw the tract at me spoke to pastor Tim (I was away handing out tracts further down the street). He said he wanted to apologize for what he had done. The Lord show him much mercy for his humility.

A number of people spoke to us tonight, and a higher number still stopped to read our Bible signs... the Lord use His Word as He sees fit!

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1:23)

With that, I close the notes, dear readers. I actually think I can sleep now. Please continue to pray for me, dear saints.

Have a blessed long weekend. Enjoy the Lord's Day!



No Notes

Saturday, April 04, 2009
a Friday off...

I had all my gear ready for a night of street preaching, but rain and high winds were the order of the day. So both pastor Tim and I stayed home and took the night off.

God bless you, dear readers. Have a restful and God-centered week-end.