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 25, 2009
two wet turkeys...

It rained heavily this evening, so I went home after work thinking that our customary night of evangelism was canceled. After a couple of hours though, the skies seemed to clear up, so pastor Tim and I decided to put in a couple of hours of street preaching.

We made it to our preaching spot a good hour and a half late, so we wasted no time, offering Bible tracts and preaching repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. There was a steady flow of people walking the streets of the market despite the treat of rain; in about an hour, pastor Tim and I had preached to hundreds.

My first one-on-one conversation was with a lesbian who seemed somewhat annoyed with my preaching...

"What are you doin'?" she asked sarcastically.

"I'm preaching the Gospel of Jesus, miss," I replied.

She asked me a series of questions, no doubt trying to find some kind of fault in me, but my answers gave her no satisfaction. She then decided to "reason with me", suggesting that my time would be better spent hanging out in coffee shops, offering company and support to the lonely and broken-hearted. She said that that was what God would want me to do. Oh dear...

I thank the Lord for sending brother Alex, a fellow street evangelist, to save me from the lesbian's views of God. The moment Alex and I started talking about what the Lord had been doing in our lives, the wicked woman just walked away. It was good to encourage my brother-in-the-Lord and to be encouraged.

Moments later, I met up with one of my workmates. We talked for awhile about our workplace (we didn't speak to much of the Faith, the man knows what I'm about), and that's when a man walked up to us...

"I'm god," the man said.

"Well, I'm sure disappointed," I replied.

I've used that joke dozens of times before, and I've usually got laughs from everyone. I was sure the same was going to happen here. Thing is, the joke is only funny to those who mockingly claim to be 'god'. To someone who actually believes he is 'god', it's not funny at all. Yes, I had just insulted a very, very disturbed man. For five long minutes (and they felt like hours) I had to listen to the rantings and ravings of a complete lunatic who really believed himself to be god. If I hadn't said a word to the man, he probably would have continued walking. As the man continued his diatribe, I remembered the words of my wife: "honey, sometimes less is more."

Shortly after this unfortunate encounter, the rain started up again. A few drops here and there and within minutes, a deluge! Pastor Tim and I stood in the entrance of a nearby parking garage, waiting, hoping the rain would stop. We stood there with our Bible signs for 30 minutes, and by then the weather calmed down to a light rain. We preached for another half hour and then decided to head home before the rain picked up again.

As we prepared to make our way home, three young ladies walked by us. They were dressed very, very immodestly and I heard one of them say:

"I feel like a hooker, my skirt is too high, my top is too low... I'm wearing high heels..."

"Brilliant," I thought. "Absolutely brilliant."

That's it for tonight, dear readers. We only spent two hours in the market, but we presented to Gospel to 100% more people than if we hadn't gone at all. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit.

Have a blessed weekend, dear readers.



Friday Night Notes

Saturday, July 18, 2009
the misery of a fallen world...

Another Friday night, another night of street preaching in the downtown marketplace. There were some challenges to our preaching tonight, but the Lord helped us and by the end of the night, thousands of lost sinners heard something of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit, and may He be glorified.

I must admit that I felt pretty annoyed at how so many ignored or mocked us tonight, but almost all stood and enjoyed an ungodly spectacle just a few yards away from our preaching spot. That's right, no time for the Gospel of Jesus, but plenty of time to watch a group of teenagers play tribal style music on drums. Lord have mercy...

Despite the noise of that heathenism, pastor Tim and I pressed on with our preaching. Wasn't too long into our night of evangelism that a young man walked up to me and said:

"Hey! you remember me? I spoke to you last week."

It was the man who wanted to debate me on the so-called "gnostic epistles". I had a feeling that dealing with this young man was going to be a sad exercise and it totally was. The man had no time for the Faith that is from the Lord Jesus Christ, he just wanted to have an academic discussion on the evolution of world religions. I kept telling him that while religion has and is evolving (always for the worse), the Faith that is from the Lord doesn't change, for God doesn't change. I told him that the Bible was the Word of God, and that he needed to be born-again to understand that fact. The young man seemed puzzled by my words and I was very much prepared to explain everything to him, but the poor soul wanted no part of that. He thanked me for my time and left. The Lord work in his heart, and give him no rest in his unbelief.

Soon after, a drunk street beggar walked by me with a beer can in his hand and claimed that he and God were "tight". Oh dear...

I also spoke to three men who took an interest in the John 3:36 sign I was carrying. Two of the men were total mockers and scoffers, but one of them seemed to be affected by the words of that verse. I explained more fully what it meant to "have life," and what it meant to be under "the wrath of God," and to my surprise, the man agreed with what I was saying. I hope this will be the beginning of something good for the lost soul.

Moments later a young lady walked towards me and seeing my sign, professed to be a believer. She even said she was preparing to go to Bible college in the Fall. A quick scan of her appearance however, didn't exactly inspire me with much confidence in her profession of faith. She had facial piercings, she smoked, and she had just stepped out of a pub. I came close to just saying: "No!" I didn't because I just wasn't sure enough. In my own personal Christian experience, in the early days, I was in pretty bad shape, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt... but I sure wish I would have made my doubt known to her. Anyway, we spoke for a few minutes and then she took off to go buy a lunch for a street beggar who was sitting on a nearby street corner. I have no idea why she would do this, there are three missions within walking distance that feed and clothes these guys... perhaps she thought that that was the way to win them over to Christ?

Shortly after this conversation, pastor Tim and I made our way home. As we walked with our Bible signs on hand, one man said: "Good for you, I don't believe like you, but you guys sure have guts!" Another man, who worked the door of a night club mocked us by inviting us in his house of sin; this is the second week he's done this. Kind of reminds me of the following section of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, when Christian and Faithful walk through the town of Vanity Fair:

"One trader mockingly said unto them, “What will you buy?” But they, looking gravely upon him, said, “We buy the truth.” At that the pilgrims were taunted and mocked and some even threatened to strike them."

After all this, pastor Tim and I prayed and thanked the Lord for carrying us through another Friday night, and then I made my way home.

That's the notes for this week. Time for some well-earned rest.

God bless you all, dear readers...



Friday Night Notes

Saturday, July 11, 2009
weary soldiers soldiering on...

All and all, it's been a "bleh" kind of week for me... which probably explains why going on preaching tonight was something less than appealing. Yet, what I lacked in motivation, I made up with commitment, and made my way downtown with pastor Tim, Bible signs firmly in hand.

The market was full of activity tonight; the streets were crammed with thousands of people. There some sort of "Blue's Festival" going on in my city this week, so part of the marketplace was cornered off for a live performance. It was... well... it was loud. Oh, and ungodly too. Loud and ungodly. No wonder thousands of people came down to the market tonight.

While it was disheartening to see so many taking in the ungodly spectacle, it was a great opportunity to preach to so many people. We were literally around the corner from where the concert was and there was a steady stream of sinners who both saw our Bible signs and heard the preaching of the Gospel. The Lord use His Word as He sees fit.

There was plenty of mockery and scorn, but to be honest, I was expecting things to be worst than they were. Usually, big crowds means big trouble. Not so tonight, thankfully. We gave out a fair number of Bible tracts, and had a couple of one-on-one conversations; nothing too promising though.

Brother Alex, a fellow street evangelist, came by to say "hi". It's always good to see a friendly face when labouring in "vanity fair". I thank the Lord for Alex. He is the only one from his church who consistently and faithfully goes out for evangelism. He's not a pastor, he's a young man who has realized that the Great Commission is for everyone, and is doing something about it. The Lord bless him and give his tract distribution ministry great success.

Shortly after brother Alex left for home, a man came by and wished to engage me in a conversation on the so-called "Gnostic epistles" and the legitimacy of the Canon. He started... then he asked me what I thought... I answered... then he said "okay", and walked away. I think he thought he was going to "wow" me with his basic knowledge of church history; poor soul, he walked away looking a bit deflated.

Another man mockingly asked me if I had had "any bites" tonight. I laughed and said: "I am a fisher of men." The man just looked puzzled at my answer. Seconds after he left, Simon Peter's words came to mind:

"Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing..." (Luke 5:5)




Friday Night Notes

Saturday, July 04, 2009
whole lot of preaching this week...

That poor Bible sign in the above picture... it had a rough night. Two or three times it was kicked to the ground by sin-hardened souls who felt the need to express their hatred of the Gospel. It's a tough crowd we preach to every Friday.

It rained for much of the day, and even part of the evening, so up until 9pm, both pastor Tim and I thought our regular night of street preaching was lost; but the weather cleared up so we made our way to the market, Bible signs in hand, and we preached the Gospel of Jesus for about two hours. The market wasn't terribly busy, but we still shared the Gospel with hundreds of sinners. We didn't hand out too many Bible tracts though, and our audience was quite unreceptive to our preaching... and that's putting it mildly.

I did speak with a woman who appreciated what we were doing. She seemed to know the Bible fairly well, but it was clear that she had been deceived by the ecumenical movement. She spoke much of the need for denominations to come together, so I made my position clear. I explained to her, using Nehemiah as an example, that getting together with God's enemies and/or those who cleave to errors isn't the Biblical Unity; rather, it is the mixing of clean and unclean (and that mixture always yields uncleanness). She took my rebuke rather well. She even took one of our tracts and said she'd try to visit our church sometime. I really hope she does.

I also had a fairly long conversation with a man who claimed to have both been a Baptist and a "Jehovah's Witness". He expressed, in no uncertain terms, that he had little time for our evangelism. He was going to speak to me because he figured "my heart was in the right place", and he figured he was going to educate me in the Truth. It should be noted here that the man reeked of alcohol. He went on and on, giving me "Jehovah's Witness" apologetics, claiming that my Gospel was a perversion.

"If you died right now, where would you spend eternity?" I asked, disregarding all his nonsense.

At first, the man ignored my question, and continued with the JW sales pitch, making sure to add, at very regular intervals: "you don't know the truth... I'll teach you!" When I pressed him a second, third and fourth time with my question, he finally answered:

"I'm dead, 'cause I've fallen away."

"No," I replied. "You're not "dead" because you've fallen away from WatchTower-ism, you're dead because God never saved you, and to this night, you are rebelling against God's commandments."

"If you knew the truth," the man replied angrily, "you wouldn't be standing here with this placard, you'd be..."

"Drinking booze in that bar with you?" I replied.

Having touched his obvious hypocrisy, the man just walked away. The Holy Spirit reprove this poor man for his sin.

After these two conversations, all pastor Tim and I got was cursings and threats. The horrible blasphemies that were uttered were also truly grievous. After our two hours of evangelism, I wanted to literally run out of the market.

What a vile place we labour in.

That's the notes for tonight.

Dear readers, have a good weekend and a blessed Lord's Day.



Rand's " To Don't " List

Thursday, July 02, 2009
just have to get this off my chest...

1- Don't think that watching/listening to Paul Washer sermons makes you a real "hot" Christian. There's a verse somewhere about being a doer, and not a hearer only.

2- If you are not actively and faithfully committed to evangelism, don't look down or criticize an evangelist; and that, even if you see a genuine fault. You'll just look like an idiot.

3- Don't start a blog with the words "Bible", "Christianity", "Holiness", "Truth", or "God" in the title if you are going to use much of your webspace commenting on Hollywood movies and/or carnal political issues.

4- Don't worship at the e-church. It isn't real.

5- Don't claim that it isn't God's will for your life to do something that you don't want to do; 'cause that's just stupid.

6- Don't make popes out of men like Ray Comfort, James White, John Piper, John MacArthur, or Charles Spurgeon. I'm pretty sure none of them would want to be idolized in any way, and the time and energy you put on following these men, you are not focusing on following God.

7- Don't quote Matthew 7:1 if you don't know Matthew 7:16-20 by heart.

8- Don't draw any spiritual comfort from academic or professional success or your position in any ministry/church. Plenty of pastors/deacons/bishops/elders/priests/successful leaders will one day be cast to the Lake of Fire.

9- Don't play (TV, sports, social event... etc) when there is a service at your local church, or some other ministry you could be helping out with. God is never pleased with vanity or laziness.

10- Don't think for one moment that you have attained. Don't believe for one second that you're a "spiritual somebody". I assure you, you're not.



Canada Day Street Preaching

Wednesday, July 01, 2009
what an exhausting day...

I'm sooooo tired right now... so forgive me, dear readers, if this post isn't too coherent. My family and I made our way to pastor Tim's house at 9am this morning, where we prayed that the Lord would bless our traditional day of evangelism on Canada Day (for my American readership, July 1st is our "4th of July"). My wife and my eldest son joined pastor Tim and I as we made our way downtown with Bible signs and Gospel tracts (my two younger ones remained with pastor Tim's wife).

We set our Bible signs up near a mall where there is always tons of traffic and pastor Tim and I began to preach the Gospel while my wife and my son distributed some tracts. A "mall cop" came by two or three times in an attempt to get rid of us, but we knew we were on public property, so despite his threatenings, we stood our ground. Never ceases to amaze me how crazy the Gospel drives some people. The Lord have mercy on his lost soul.

We were able to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ until lunch time in this extremely busy area of downtown, handing out a fair number of Gospel literature. By 12pm though, the noise level downtown was so high, hardly anyone could hear our preaching, even with the use of an amplifier. So pastor Tim and I decided to split up. One of us would go preaching at our usual preaching spot (seen in the image above), while the other would continue giving our Bible tracts where the massive crowds were; we decided to trade spots every hour.

My wife, being 8 months pregnant, had had her fill of street evangelism at noon, so she made her way back to pastor Tim's place with my son. A short time after they left I had an interesting conversation with a man from the Czech Republic named Joe. Joe knew his Bible pretty well and he was absolutely appalled by the wickedness of the city. He said 50 years ago, the only place you would have found the kind of filth that surrounded us, was in the darkest, most heathen of backward tribes. I agreed.

I'm not sure if Joe was truly born-again, or if he was just religious. I tried to find out by asking, but he was evasive (not a good sign). The Lord be merciful to him.

I spoke to a lot of professing Christians today, but most aggravated me to no end. The bulk of them were out playing with and like the world, and then brought complaints over our evangelistic method:

"Don't you think you're turning people off?" one said.

"Well I'm a youth pastor, and I don't believe you should be convicting people by telling them they are going to go to hell lest they repent," another claimed. "That's the Holy Spirit's job, not yours."

"People are different today, we're more sophisticated, you can't go around like Paul and Peter and preach fire and brimstone," yet another said.

I can't be too hard on them, I once thought as they did. They believe such garbage because from day one, they have been taught this garbage by men who should have been spending less time preaching, and more time reading God's Word. Still, I have to admit, that by the end of the day, I really didn't want to meet another such Christian.

My wife and kids dropped by in the middle of the afternoon to say goodbye, as they were going back home. My eldest then asked me if he could stay to help. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of having my family around in my evangelistic efforts. Violence is always a possibility, and the last thing I want, is to put my children in any jeopardy. On top of that, I know all too well that my countrymen are vile enough to curse, blaspheme and even mock my eight year old son... and that's something I knew I would have a real hard time dealing with.

I therefore wanted to say "no", but I said "yes". I felt it was important for my son to see what his daddy does every Friday, and understand how unpopular his father's faith is. I basically wanted him to see and understand for himself what it was to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in a wicked and perverse world. I think the poor lad got quite an education. One woman walked by him and pointing at me, said:

"Don't believe him! He's crazy!"

Despite the persecution, my son stayed by my side, unfazed by the folly around him. A few Christians came by and encouraged us both, and that put a smile on both our faces.

We saw lots of people we knew during our time of evangelism. We had a short conversation with Brother Chris of the Open-Air Campaigners, Brother Henry of the Gideons, Brother Pascal and his wife Jenny were both out with their baby girl, handing out WOTM tracts, and near the end of the day, we had a small chat with Collin, who has visited our church on a number of occasions. I also had a chance to talk to a couple of teens that were once part of our Sunday School classes. Sadly, both left God behind... the Lord have mercy.

After nearly eight hours of street evangelism, pastor Tim and I called it a day and had a short time of prayer at his house. We thanked the Lord for the safety He gave us, the tracts that were handed out, the conversations that we had, and my son's interest in helping us out.

To God be the glory.