Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 27, 2009
preaching to the deaf and blind...
It's been an exceeding long day. A particularly long work week, a 10-hour work day, and then 2.5 hours of street preaching makes for a very tired Rand.
I was half-an-hour late tonight (due to work)
, so I caught up with pastor Tim who had already started preaching in the marketplace. Not a whole lot to report tonight. We were, for the most part, mocked or simply ignored; much to our chagrin. The good news is that we weren't seriously threatened tonight, and we were able to preach the Gospel without hindrance.
The only conversation I had tonight was with a lost soul named... get this... Emmanuel. Well, Emmanuel wasn't doing to well. He claimed that he was born-again, having the Holy Spirit in him, but he also claimed that drug use was helping him worship God. Oh dear. I explained that there was no way he could be a slave to drugs and the bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ at the same time. The lost soul then said:
"But I pray to God all the time, that if I were doing something wrong, He'd tell me right away!"
"Yes, Emmanuel," I said, "and God has answered your prayer! He sent a street preacher tonight to tell you that you are doing something wrong, and that you need to repent!"
Emmanuel didn't argue against my statement at all. Deep down, he knew he was and is in deep spiritual trouble. Despite this realization, Emmanuel left me as spiritually dead as when he first walked up to me. The Lord be merciful unto him.
This lost sinner was but one drop in the sea of lost souls we preached to tonight. Thousands heard and consequently rejected the Gospel of Life, preferring vain and wicked paths that has never, nor can ever satisfy. Spiritual blindness and deafness is the order of the day in Canada. I sometimes feel like I got Isaiah's ministry:"And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9-10)
No point whining about the situation, God knows what He's doing and His will is being fulfilled in me, as in the lost. Glory to His Name.
One bright moment came as pastor Tim and I walked back home: a young lady walked by us, and after reading one of our Bible signs, said:
"Wow! God bless you guys!"
The Lord bless her for her kindness.
I'm going to bed now... I need the rest.
God bless you all, dear readers.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 13, 2009
fearing God more than man...
A lot has happened tonight... I just don't where to start. Sin and misery was all over the place, but the Lord oft refreshed me as I laboured. How sweet his grace was and is to me!
I was the only preacher from our fellowship in the marketplace tonight. Pastor Tim has been working very long hours at his secular job, and when I showed up at his place after my workday was done, his wife told me he was still at work and wouldn't be joining me tonight. I didn't consider giving up on street preaching, but I must admit that with the hardships I faced last week, I didn't feel to good about going out. I asked God to help me overcome my foolish fears, and to, if possible, send me some brothers to strengthen my weakened courage.
With that, I made my way downtown, bible sign in hand, and preached the Gospel of Christ for over an hour. During that time, I had a few words with souls that showed a mild interest in the Scriptures, and I handed out a fair number of Bible tracts. I also had a good conversation with a man named Eugene. If you look at the low-quality image attached to last week's Friday Night Notes
, you will make out Eugene and Pastor Tim. Yes, Eugene is the quadriplegic man; he and pastor Tim are good friends. It was nice to get to know Eugene; he has quite a tragic story, but the man says the Lord saved him, and without a doubt, he know his Scriptures. We spent a good 15 minutes talking about the Bible... it was sweet.
After this pleasant conversation, I went back to my preaching spot and did some more preaching, and that's when I noticed him! It was the man who broke our Bible sign and attacked me last week. He was across the street, talking to a woman. I'm not sure if he noticed me and decided to ignore me, or if he just totally missed me, either way, he didn't cause any trouble tonight. Still, I have to admit that I was watching my back often at this point.
Just as my stress level climbed, the Lord answered my prayer and sent brother Alex, with another brother, brother Jeff, and two lovely Christian ladies whose names, sadly, escapes me right now. I got to know Brother Jeff over the last few years through my work (of all places)
, and tonight was the first time I have seen him face-to-face. What a blessing he was to me! These dear brothers and sisters were just finishing up handing out Bible literature downtown, and had made a slight detour to see how I was doing. The Lord bless them abundantly for their labour, and their encouragement to me.
Sadly, all that goodness couldn't last, and after a brief refreshing moment with these Christians, I was faced with a difficult homeless man who wanted to show off his knowledge of Scripture. I will give him one thing, his knowledge of Scripture was impressive. He knew, by heart no less, lots and lots of Bible passages, but then confessed that he hadn't spent any serious time in the Bible in years. That didn't sound right to me at all, so I asked:
"My friend, are you born-again?"
At first he was evasive, but eventually he confessed that he wasn't. I tried hard to impress to him that all the Bible knowledge in the world wouldn't profit him in the least if he clung to his sin and ignored the many commandments he actually committed to memory. At first he took what I had to say, but in very little time, the man became argumentative, trying hard to get a hand-out from me. When it became evident to him that I had no hand-out for him, he started playing "gotcha" with me, trying hard to find some fault in me. Seeing that I was wasting my time, I went on preaching while he angrily walked away.
After that nonsense, I walked around the marketplace with my Bible sign, giving everyone in the outdoor restaurants and pubs an opportunity to read the Scriptures. It was good to walk by these patios and hear the people read out loud the Bible passages I was carrying; the Lord use his Word as He sees fit... It has the power to give spiritual life to those whom the Lord chooses: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)
As I made my way back home after three hours of evangelism, a young woman suggested I should "get a real day job", to which I answered that I had one. Seeing that she was quite intoxicated, I didn't want to further waste my time, so I walked away, but the woman would have none of that. She followed me down the street and asked me why I was walking around with a Bible sign.
"I reminding everyone here of the Word of God, miss," I began. "The Lord sent his people into the world to preach His Word, and that's what I am doing. You need to pay attention to this, and you must be born again."
"Okay, but let say," the young lady began, slurring her words, "what if there's a good person, and she doesn't hurt anyone and does her best, and all that good stuff, it's going to be alright for her, right?"
"There's a problem here though, miss," I said. "There is no such thing as a good person. None of us are good persons. You judge yourself by comparing yourself to others, and by that judgment, you think you are a decent person, but in God's eyes, you are a lost sinner..."
And that's where she cut me off. She didn't have any time for this. She said that she hoped I would one day realize that there are other ways to justification with God. I hope she won't hold her breath..."Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
On that note, I close this edition of the Friday Night Notes. Thanks again, dear readers, for keeping track of my adventures (and misadventures), and a heartfelt "God bless you" to all you saints out there who are faithfully praying for pastor Tim and I.
Have a blessed weekend, and a restful Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 06, 2009
another one bites the dust...Our night of street preaching started out real well. Before we even got to our usual preaching spot, we spoke to a young man named David who asked us where our church was and said he would like to visit us on the Lord's Day. A short time later, I took the picture you see here of pastor Tim helping a quadriplegic man who needed some help with whipping sweat off his brow. For roughly half an hour, good things were happening and both pastor Tim and I felt we were making a difference. Sadly, things degenerated quickly after that half hour.
There are times when I swear I can feel the principalities and powers of darkness moving the people against us. My brother-in-the-Lord, Alex, a fellow street evangelist, dropped by to see me and he concurred with me that the people were getting aggressive, and that the night would undoubtedly be an exceeding evil night.
I was just finishing up my turn at preaching the Gospel when I saw an Asian man kicking one of our Bible signs. I walked up to him and told him that he was damaging my sign and asked to stop. The man would not listen so I had to physically get in his way to keep him from further damaging my Romans 6:23
sign. I could see the hatred in his eyes. He clenched his fists and gnashed his teeth in furious anger, and things really looked like they were going to get violent, but then a total stranger told the man to leave me and my sign alone. Seeing that he was outnumbered the man walked away fuming with anger.
With that nasty situation gone, we continued with our evangelistic work. A few souls who claimed to be Christians encouraged us, but the overwhelming response to our preaching was hatred, threats, and scornful mockeries...
"Jesus is dead!" one yelled repeatedly.
"I'm god!" another exclaimed.
We were treated to all sorts of signs of disgust... one man who was driving by our preaching spot blew his horn for several seconds in an effort to drown out pastor Tim's preaching. It was really a difficult test for us tonight. As if all the obscenities directed at us wasn't enough, we had to endure the sinful and absolute base conversation of the wicked; their dress, their despicable words, their drug use, their drunkenness, their lewdness... what a mess.
After two hours of enduring all this nonsense, the Asian man was back, more fierce and aggressive than before. In seconds he broke our Romans 6:23
sign and by the time I got to him, he had taken what was left of the signs and began to run off with them. I still can't believe what I did next...
I ran after him.
I chased him through a parking garage, I chased him down a couple of blocks. When I finally caught up to him, I laid my hands on one of the two pieces of my sign and forced it out of his hand. I had to chase him a bit further in order to get my hands on the second piece of the broken sign. When I grabbed the second piece, the man decided to give me a fight, so I hung on to the signs while he pulled and shoved. Just a few seconds of that and a crowd started forming, which made the man nervous, so he ran off.
Satisfied that I had saved what remained of my sign, I walked back to our preaching spot. On my way back a couple of police officers met up with me and asked me if I was alright (someone probably called them when they witnessed what was going on)
. Back at the preaching spot, I told pastor Tim what had happened. He didn't say anything. He didn't have to.
I tried hard to collect myself after this intense chase and went back to preaching the Gospel. A man named Mohamed (a nominal Muslim)
came up to me and told me I was doing a good thing, and that he admired my courage. I told him that it was by God's grace and enabling power alone that I stood. He tried to convince me that we were brothers and that in the end, we were both serving the same god, but I would have nothing to do with that nonsense. I explained to him that my faith was based on the Word of God, and that nothing else would do. I told him that I appreciated his kind sentiments towards me, but I could not and would not deny the plain teachings of Scripture to make some sort of ecumenical bridge between us. I think he understood what I was saying. He shook my hand and wished me a good and safe night.
A short time after that, pastor Tim and I called it quits and headed back home. On our way home, we met up with the same two police officers I had spoken to earlier. We got a sympathy smile when they saw what was left of our Bible sign.
That's the notes for tonight, dear readers. To be honest, I'm glad this edition is done... I really want to go to sleep now, and do my best to forget tonight ever happened.
Please continue to pray for us, dear saints.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Family Camping Trip - Spring 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
did I mention I got a new camera???
A Yellow-Swallowtail Butterfly (I think...)
Canada Geese with their young chicks
The endangered Black-Rat Snake (I nearly stepped on this monster...)
A Blue Jay
A Female Garter Snake
My daughter (who loves flowers...)
A Yellow Warbler
A Painted Turtle
Gravel Path Through The Forest
A Pileated Woodpecker
My Dad with his catch (brown trout... I think...)