Friday Night Notes
Saturday, March 27, 2010
winter's last hit???
It's crazy that last week, I was out for our night of evangelism in a spring jacket, and tonight it was right back with the winter jacket, toque, gloves and boots. It was freezing out there! It only took 20 minutes for my fingers to freeze, and I shivered the whole two and a half hours I was out. A fellow believer said of me tonight: "You're pretty dedicated!"
Despite the frigid conditions, all and all, it was a pretty laid back night of preaching. I was the only evangelist downtown tonight (pastor Tim is away visiting family)
, and I only preached for 20 minutes; I spent the rest of my time handing out Bible tracts. I kept preaching to minimum since I'm still on the mend from a nasty bronchitis... I really need to get my vocal chords back into top shape for Sunday, as I will be preaching both the morning and evening services this Lord's Day.
I gave out a good number of tracts and had a good conversation with a young man and his son. He professed faith in Christ, but it later came out that he was a Romanist. He didn't need any convincing that Romanism was dead religion, so I encouraged him to come worship and learn with us on Sunday. He took a pamphlet with our address on it, and wished me well. I hope the Lord will use the literature I gave him to save both him and his family.
I spent so much time tonight offering tracts to sinners... it was strange to have so much quiet time. It was good to have time to pray, carefully considering the task at hand, and how it all fit in my spiritual conversation. One prayer led to another, one spiritual thought to another... by the time I left the area where I was handing out tracts, I was filled with thankfulness and praise to God for everything He had done for me. My salvation in Christ, my precious wife, my beautiful children, my Christian family, my friends and colleagues, all the temporal blessings one can possibly imagine... etc... etc.
Don't get me wrong... it's good to preach the Gospel of Christ; but sometimes, a little quiet does the soul some good.
Shortly before leaving for the night, I had a truly sad conversation with one of the regular street musicians. The poor soul is a drug addict and an alcoholic, his life, like that of his peers, is a total mess. This man usually doesn't have much time for us preachers, but tonight he wanted to talk. What is in parenthesis were my thoughts, I never uttered a word:
Musician: "Hey man, I'm going through a rough time right now, you pray for me, okay?"
Rand: "Okay, I will. What's the problem, my friend."
Musician: "Well, you know Gerry, the short guy who usually pans near me out here? Well, he died last week."
Rand: "I'm really sorry to hear that, man. How old was he?
Musician: "He was only 48 years old. His liver just gave out. He had Lupus, you know? That's what killed him."
Rand: (Perhaps Lupus had a role in his death, but all those liters of alcohol and all those grams of drugs probably did more to finish off your poor friend.)
Musician: "But it's okay. I know that he was saved, and that he's doing good now."
Rand: (No, my poor friend. I don't think he was and I don't think he's doing to well right now either.)
Musician: "I guess I should be happy. At least he's not suffering anymore. It's just that it's tough for me, I have to go on without my buddy."
Rand: (Oh dear... how can I show you that your belief has no grounds in reality. I feel your pain, dear friend, but you are walking the same path, and are headed towards the exact destruction your friend faced and is facing.)
"Tell me, my friend, how old a guy are you?"
Musician: "I'm 34 years old."
Rand: "My goodness, you're younger than me!"
Musician: "Yeah, well, I'll be seeing ya! Bye!"
The way our conversation ended doesn't translate too well into text; you kind of had to be there. You see, I asked him how old a guy he was because I wanted to convince him that if his friend died at 48, he might not have too much time left to make his life right with God. When he told me his age, I was shocked, because if you saw a picture of me, and then looked at a picture of him, you wouldn't guess for a second that I was older. Drugs have a nasty effect on a person's body. Anyway, he quickly ended our conversation because he knew where I was going, and he didn't want to hear it. He just wanted to hear me agree with his assessment, and comfort him in his sins. When he didn't get what he wanted, he left. What sad misery.
That's it for the Notes for tonight. Remember me in prayer, dear saints. It'll be a busy enough weekend for me. Remember pastor Tim also, for travel mercies as he is driving a long ways to visit family.
God bless you all, dear readers,
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, March 20, 2010
two, mostly quiet preachers...
What a strange night of... well... I don't know if I should even call it "street preaching". It was definitely a night of evangelism, but very little preaching got done.
Pastor Tim is giving his vocal cords another 2 weeks to completely recover from that nasty infection that plagued more than a month ago. So the actual street preaching was up to me again tonight. Thing is, around lunch time today, I started coughing. Nothing serious, but a nagging, incessant cough nonetheless. By the time 7pm came around, I was getting worried. My throat felt swollen and I could definitely see how it was going to cramp my preaching ability. By the grace of God (and probably a bit of my own obstinence), I managed to preach the Gospel for about an hour; the first hour pastor Tim and I spent in the market.
Then my voice was completely extinguished. I could hardly even speak softly with souls that came to talk to me. I was a bit annoyed... okay, I was really annoyed... but we were still able to give out Bible literature and hold up our Bible signs in a very busy marketplace. Thousands of souls read our signs and a fair number of sinners took some literature with them. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit. To Him be the glory.
There are nights when a preacher really feels and sees the spiritual war taking place in our fallen world. Tonight was one such night for me. Unable to speak, I was able to just quietly consider the state of the lost all around me. To get a sense of life in, as John Bunyan put it, the City of Destruction. It's a city filled with revelry, folly, vanity, hopelessness and desperateness. I sometimes wish I could shake people out of their state of spiritual death, yell out to wake them from their slumber of death... but I know better. So I continued on doing the one thing that save men out of destruction: evangelism and prayer. Basically, I looked to God to do what He willed.
A man called me a hypocrite tonight. I was walking across a street corner with my Bible sign and he yelled from his car: "You're a hypocrite Bible-man!" I few thoughts came into my mind. I didn't say anything. I couldn't say anything. My first thought was: "Why, yes, yes I am. In more ways than one, I am a hypocrite." My second thought was: "I wonder if my accuser is innocent of this sin?"
Moments later, a woman at the back of a very long limousine rolled down the window just to blaspheme the Name of Christ. "F%$# Jesus!" she screamed repeatedly. This sad sight reminded me of an incident that took place at my workplace a few years ago. An irritable and backbiting co-worker of mine came into the lab I was working in to complain about another workmate. Trying to keep the peace and not wanting to be guilty of gossip, I just let the person curse and insult our co-worker without interjecting anything, or joining in any way. That was a wise move. Our colleague was just behind one of our instruments, he had walked in quietly, none of us had heard him come in. I'll always remember the look of embarrassment and culpability on the gossips face when she was found out.
Can you imagine what that poor woman will feel like when she realizes that the Lord was there present, as she cursed His Holy Name?
I dealt with a young man for several minutes tonight. Never got his name. I wish I could have conversed with him more easily/effectively, but well, you know... . I don't know if any good will come of our small chat, but we covered a number of topics concerning the faith and he was definitely respectful of my positions. Hope the Lord will do something good in the man's life.
That's the Notes for tonight, dear readers. I have a busy weekend ahead. Please pray for me. I need good health for the coming weeks. I need the Holy Spirit to help me prepare a few sermons. I need the Lord to give me courage and strength... the market can be a very intimidating place when it gets busy in the spring/summer seasons.
Good night, dear saints.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Saturday, March 13, 2010
spoke too soon...
I've been telling people lately how smooth this winter season had been on me and my family this year. No one got sick with a cold or flu.
I've been down with a cold for the better part of this week.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, March 06, 2010
alot of work... alot of preaching...I'm looking forward to Pastor Tim's complete recovery from the nasty infection that's been plaguing him for last few weeks... 'cause preaching for hours is exhausting! I am thankful that the good preacher has been well enough to accompany me for our usual night of street evangelism; there is safety in numbers. There were several instances tonight in which I feared things could degenerate quickly, but the Lord protected us and gave us a smooth night of evangelism. Praise Him!
Things were kept from going awry on a number of occasion by the presence and activities of a massive number of police patrolling the marketplace. We sometimes go through our 3 hours of evangelism without seeing one single police officer, but not tonight. The good men/women in uniform were out in full-force and kept drunkards/revellers in check. They even had a highway checkpoint tonight, looking to put a stop to drunk drivers.
There were alot of people in the market... I surely preached to the Gospel to thousands of souls. Both pastor Tim and I gave out a good number of Bible tracts and several souls stopped to read our Bible signs (two of the four we brought with us is in the picture above)
. Another good thing to mention is Pastor Tim having a very lengthy conversation with a young lady who was in serious need of Biblical counselling. Pastor Tim said, without going into detail, that the young lady was in a very bad situation, but he felt the conversation was quite profitable. The Lord use His Word in the lives of the lost as He sees fit. May He be glorified in us and in the people we ministered to.
As always, however, there was plenty of nonsense which we had to endure; and much of it was quite grievous. One man took one of our tracts and then yelled out: "My hand! My hand! It's burning!" He then threw the tract to the ground and left whilst laughing at us to scorn. A short time after that a woman walked up to me and started reading my John 3:36
sign; she made it up to "he who believes not
" and then turned back saying: "It's too long...". A young man later did the exact same as this woman, except he said: "Well, I don't believe." As he walked away, I finished the verse for him: "...shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him
." The Lord have mercy.
The level of lewdness, the blasphemy and profanity was quite disturbing out there tonight. How I look forward to the day when all of it will be put away! Even so, come Lord Jesus.
On that note, I'll close this street preaching report. It's late and I need some rest.
Have a blessed weekend, dear readers. Enjoy the Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism