Friday Night Notes
Saturday, October 31, 2009
safely through another Friday night..."God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
On several occasions tonight, pastor Tim and I could have been in, as the Psalm states, "in trouble". Thankfully, the Lord delivered us from every danger that came up. On one particular occasion I was able to disarm (used figuratively)
a very drunk, very dangerous man who had no problem with harming me or my property. On another occasion, we got a little help from our friends... the police (nothing too dramatic... but it was sure nice to have those men come before things degenerated)
Whenever we go through nights like tonight, I always start to wonder how in the world I ever got into the business of street preaching. It sort of make sense for a man like pastor Tim. He's tough, both mentally and physically. Then, there's Rand. No toughness there. None. Yet, there is little doubt in my mind, that the Lord directed my steps to this most difficult, most noble, and most neglected of ministries. The Lord use my efforts as He sees fit, for as long as He sees fit.
It rained for much of the afternoon and early evening, so I didn't think we'd actually make it out to the market for our customary night of street evangelism, but the Lord stopped the rain just in time for our evangelistic effort. I didn't expect there to be a lot of people in the market since the weather was less than favorable for "a night on the town". I was however surprised with just how many souls were out and about. Don't get me wrong, all and all, it was a quiet night in the market, but we still shared the Gospel with hundreds, if not thousands in just a few hours.
During our two-plus hours of street preaching...
- a couple of Romanist priests walked by with their fine clothing and their nose stuck high in the air... no doubt making sure to look down on the practice of our "crazy sect".
- I dealt with a very drunk, violent man named Patrick. I was able to speak peaceably with him for a few minutes, but after those few minutes, Patrick became quite antagonistic and well... the word forceful comes to mind. Using a bit of cunning and sweet diplomacy, I was able to leave Patrick on somewhat good terms... in one piece to boot!
- both pastor Tim and I had a conversation with Catherine, the yoga-for-Jesus, Romanist, I-only-say/do-things-that-feel-good, "Christian". Pastor Tim didn't have much time for Catherine, so he not so subtly left her to me to handle. So I let Catherine talk... and talk... and talk. After a 10 minute monologue in which Catherine listed all the wonderful works she has done over the years, she concluded by saying: "It's just that I don't think you'll get what you want by preaching like you are doing." When I asked her what it was she thought "we wanted", she answered: "I-don't-know". Seeing that this was a problem, she asked what it was we were after, to which I answered: "God's glory". She claimed to want the same thing, but it was clear she hadn't the foggiest what that entailed. She then went back to pastor Tim and he spoke with her for a good 15 minutes. The Lord give this poor woman the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)
- a sharply dressed man showed up while I was preaching and shook my hand. He said: "You probably don't hear this often, but I'm really happy you are here, and I love what you're doing. It must be really hard, but we need men who will preach the Gospel. I really appreciate your efforts."
- as we made our way back home after nearly 3 hours of Gospel preaching, a man knocked on the window of one of the pubs we walked by to get my attention. He felt it necessary to give me the middle finger... can't win them all I guess. ;-)
On that note, I'll end this edition of the Friday Night Notes. I'm exhausted from a very busy week, so I'm going to bed now. Remember me in your prayers, dear saints... I'll be preaching the evening service on the Lord's Day.
Dear readers, have a blessed and safe weekend,
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Lookout! Mr. Popular coming through!Even after 10 years of street preaching, it is near impossible to anticipate just what will happen in the market. No way of knowing whether I will be in grave danger, or if I will simply be ignored. I try not to dwell too much on what 'might' happen when I prepare for a night of street preaching, but for the most part, I can't help it. My mind just naturally wanders into possible scenarios, all sorts of scenarios, from great fires of revival to the severest of persecution, and everything in between.
Well, nothing could prepare me for the largely warm reception I received tonight. No, there were no 'great awakenings', sadly, but there was an appreciation for my efforts. A refreshing change I must say!
As I made my way downtown, my John 3:36
Bible sign firmly in hand, I met up with Emily, a young lady who attended some of our meetings a couple of years ago. She was on her way to some kind of special church service, but made a bit of time to chat with me. It was nice to catch up. After a short conversation, she took off for her activity, and I moved toward the old preaching spot. By the time I made it to my preaching spot, two other souls expressed their approval of my Bible sign. One man even said:
"Those are Words of Wisdom... good stuff!"
I have to say that at that point, I was feeling like a rock star! Way too much praise in way too short a time... I confess that I kept thinking that everything would go sour before my first hour of preaching the Gospel ended, but to my surprise, it totally didn't. If anything, things went really, really well.
A young lady came by to ask me why there was an Old Testament and a New Testament, and also wanted to know what "being born-again" was all about. I showed her, using the account of the Exodus, how the Old Testament was picture of New Testament truth; in essence, how the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. She saw right away. I then went on to explain that while everyone in the world was and is born once, but that we are all born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1
). I then pointed out that those who are born-again are those whom the Lord makes spiritually alive, through the reading or hearing of God's Word. She seemed quite pleased with my explanations and thanked me before leaving.
The young man who was by her side didn't care much for me however. He made sure I felt his disapproval with an austere look as I spoke to his friend. When she walked away, the young man pointed to my John 3:36
sign and said:
"I think that verse is wrong... I don't think I believe that."
"I wouldn't believe it either, if the Lord hadn't saved me," I replied.
Moments after this conversation I met a brother-in-the-Lord, a man named Paul, who was handing out Bible literature with the Open-Air Campaigners. We had a pleasant conversation I encouraged the brother to continue to faithfully work at the Great Commission. He wanted to have my church's coordinates, so we could have fellowship at a later date... I hope the Lord of the Harvest is preparing another faithful worker!
It was well into my second hour of street preaching, when I met a Romanist fellow by the name of Michael. We spoke about the demise of church attendance and what a shame that was but I made sure I didn't leave it at that. I told him that after reading the Bible, I could no longer be a Romanist (that always shocks them
). I asked him if he spent quality time studying the Scriptures, and the answer wasn't at all surprising:
"No, and come to think of it, hardly anyone in my catholic family reads the Bible," the man answered.
I explained to the man that he needed to start reading the Scriptures. I told him to stop blindly following the teachings of men, and to find out for himself what the Lord has revealed. He agreed that he needed to do that. Let us pray for this lost soul.
As the third hour of preaching drew near, I was getting seriously cold; temperatures are dropping up here in Canada! I did however have a conversation that was somewhat funny, and the humour warmed me up some. A young man wanted to know what I was up to with my big John 3:36
"I'm preaching the Gospel of Jesus, my friend. Do you believe the Gospel?"
"Of course, I'm as right-wing conservative as you can be!" the man answered.
"Well, that's nice, I'm right-wing and a conservative, but listen, plenty of right-wing conservatives are going to spend eternity in hell," I said.
"No way," the man said, clearly disturbed.
"Look, if you're not born-again, I don't care how right-wing or conservative you are, your sins will sink you to Hell, guaranteed," I continued.
"Well, I went to Bible camps, and I go to church every Sunday, and I just don't believe you really need to be born-again," the man obstinately continued.
"You've been to Bible camp?" I said. "Great, so you know something about the Bible! You surely know that there is a book in the Bible called the Gospel of John, and in the third verse of the third chapter of that Gospel, Jesus said: "Except a man be born-again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." What do you make of that, my friend?"
"You f*%$# guy, you!" the man replied.
And here I laughed and laughed. You have to understand, the man did curse, but he wasn't really cursing at me, it was more like: "Oh man, did you ever get me there!" Anyway, despite the Scriptures being crystal clear, the young man still claimed that he was 'alright' without the Second Birth. To that, I said:
"Hey! my friend, suit yourself. I'm not going to win any prizes or awards because I've convinced you of the Truth. This whole conversation is for your benefit, not mine. I'm telling you how it is. This is what the Bible says, if you don't like and want to continue in whatever you think is right, go right ahead, it really isn't on me."
The young man appreciated my candor, and I know that deep down, he knew his position was contradictory and unbiblical. He shook my hand and went on his way. The Lord be merciful unto him.
Shortly after this conversation, I made my way back home where my wife was waiting up for me with a warm bowl of soup to thaw me out. Praise God for caring wives!
That's the notes for tonight, dear readers. Have a great weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Saturday, October 03, 2009
feeling a bit better today...
Hello dear readers!
I apologize for the delay in posting. I didn't make it out to the market yesterday due to poor weather, and feeling "under the weather" (the latter being the primary reason). It only rained lightly yesterday, so I believe pastor Tim did make it out for some preaching. I'm glad the market had a preacher last night.
I'm feeling better today, but not 100%. I covet your prayers, dear saints.
Have a glorious Lord's Day everyone.