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 24, 2010
not much fun... being reviled...

A tough night of street preaching for us tonight. The couple in the above picture definitely played a big role in making things quite difficult for me. Even after 10 years, seems like my skin isn't quite thick enough...

Our evangelistic effort didn't start off too badly. I spoke to a man named John, and that conversation went really well. It's not every day you can tell a Romanist that he is completely wrong in spiritual matters, and he actually takes it! I encouraged John to read the Scriptures, put away the Romanist dogma, and just follow what the Book says. He didn't disagree with anything I said. I hope the Lord has or will start a good work in him.

I had a few short conversations with fellow believers (some were evangelizing, others were just walking by), which is always nice. One young fellow even asked me if I was "reformed theology", and when I answered "yes", he gave me a high five and said "right on!" I also got a few words of encouragement from people who walked by me as I preached and handed out Gospel tracts.

For the most part, however, tonight was a night of grievous mockery and blasphemy; and when I say grievous, I mean GRIEVOUS. Some of the base and disgusting things people said to us tonight, well, I don't care to dwell on it too much, much less write in this post the full details. Trust me, it was bad. Both young and old hurled all manner of wicked speech toward us tonight, most with a generous amount of obscenities, for good measure (or should it rather be 'evil measure?'). The couple in the above picture stood there for a good 15 minutes, laughing at my every word and not sparing any opportunity to mock me with the most filthy words. When they walked away, I thanked the Lord for his tender mercies.

A drunkard also came by and disrupted our preaching efforts. Pastor Tim finally had enough, and started preaching against drunkenness. Offended, the man warned Pastor Tim that he would, get this now, report him to 'his pastor' (clearly the man had now idea that Tim IS a pastor) and that he would see to it that Pastor Tim's pastor reprimand him for his harsh words towards drunkenness. We both tried real hard not to laugh.

Shortly before putting an end to our night of preaching, a young lady took one of my Gospel tracts and again, get this now, acted like she was defecating on the tract. Her friend thought it was pretty funny. I was... well... not as impressed. Another gentleman, standing a few feet away saw the whole thing happen and asked me, with disgust:

"Why would anyone do that?"

"Because they hate God," I replied.

I could tell that my answer didn't satisfy the man. I think he was mostly insulted that anyone would do such a thing to a man who was obviously harmless (aka, me). I told the man not to pay any mind to the nonsense, that I had seen worse, and that I would no doubt, see worse in the future. Sad, but true.

On that downer note (it wasn't a good night), I'm off to bed. Good night, dear readers. Have a great and safe weekend in the Lord.

Dear saints, remember me in your prayers, I will be preaching the evening service this Lord's Day. God bless you all!



No Notes

Friday, April 16, 2010
the beauty of God's creation...

Poor health and rain kept me off the streets of the market tonight... so sadly, there will be no Friday Night Notes.

Enjoy these pictures I've taken over the last few weeks:

Male and Female Golden-Eyes

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Flying Black-capped Chickadee

Male and Female Purple Finches

Male Cardinal

God bless you all, dear readers.

11:37 PM
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Prudence said…

    Beautiful photography of God's beauty!
    What tracts do you use on the street? We did a study of some recently at the ladies' missionary prayer group meeting.

  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger Rand said…

    Hi Prudence,

    We use tracts written by your dad, a couple Pastor Tim wrote, and a number of tracts from Evangelical Tract Distributors (all of those were proof-read for doctrinal accuracy).

    Pastor Tim has a tract with the title "God, Jesus Christ and You" written in bold letters. I love that tract, it forces a decision by simply reading the title.



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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, April 10, 2010
    a sweetheart kind of night...

    The insanity continues!!! Two weeks ago, I was street preaching with my full winter gear on in sub-zero degree weather. Last week, I was in a t-shirt during our evangelistic endeavour... it was a balmy 24C. It was 0C tonight. I actually had to contend with freezing rain during my first hour of evangelism. Like I said, insanity.

    While the temperature was nasty, the people I preached to and offered Gospel tracts to were, for the most part, pretty kind. I got several kudos from believers who walked by, and even had a number of sinners take a tract and, get this, actually thanked me for it! I know... I almost fell over a couple of times!

    There weren't too many one-on-one conversations tonight. I guess it was too cold and people just didn't want to chat outside for too long. I did speak with a young man who took a picture of me and my Bible sign; he was taking a night class in photography and asked me if he could take a few shots of me and my sign. He had the same SLR camera I own and we talked photography for awhile. I find it profitable sometimes to just talk and not try to force the conversation; it lets people know that, well, I'm normal (lol). I hope the Lord will use the pictures the young man took to save.

    The mockers were still present. One young man came out of a pub and asked me to come in and have a beer with him. I respectfully declined. Another man offered to pay my "cover charge" if I wanted to enter a particularly ungodly night club in the midst of the marketplace. Reminded me of this portion of the John Bunyan's famous book, "The Pilgrim's Progress", where a seller of vanity mocks Christian and Faithful:

    "One chanced mockingly, beholding the carriages of the men, to say unto them, "What will ye buy?"

    Well, just like the characters in the classic book, I bought and continue to buy Truth, and have little time for the follies being sold in the market. I thank the Lord my God for his great work of grace in my life.

    "Buy the truth, and sell it not, also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23)

    Lot of people took Bible tracts from me tonight. Just off the top of my head, I remember a bus driver, who actually rolled down the window of his bus and requested a tract; I remember a young man at a bus stop who pretty much ran after me to get a tract; and I was really pleased when a couple of street beggars took tracts from me tonight. Beggars are usually hostile toward us (they feel we get in the way of them making money), but not tonight. I was especially pleased with my sudden (and probably, temporary) popularity amongst the people since I was all my myself tonight. I again thank God for His hand of protection on me.

    With that, I close this edition of the Friday Night Notes. Have a blessed weekend, dear readers. Don't forget to honour and keep the Lord's Day... it's a real blessing!



    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, April 03, 2010
    what a week... what a night...

    What can I say? It's a crazy country I live in! Last week, I was freezing while giving out Bible tracts downtown (it was slightly under -10C). I had my gloves on, a toque and two jackets on. Tonight, pastor Tim and I preached the Gospel in a balmy 20C warm spring night. That's a 30 degree Celsius jump in a week! C-R-A-Z-Y!!!

    Suffice to say, I didn't have my winter gear on.

    The combination of the fine, warm weather and the fact that, being Good Friday, most people had the day off work today, brought tons of people to the marketplace. Lots and lots of people to preach the Gospel to. Pastor Tim and I both preached tonight (we're both getting over lung infections), and handed out a good number of tracts to sinners. I get the feeling we did better than usual tonight because it was Good Friday. That's not to say that everything was just peachy for us out there, but the general attitude towards our ministry was slightly more favorable tonight. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit. To Him be glory and honour forever. Amen.

    Pastor Tim and I both had conversations with a group of "Muslim" men, and both of us ended up walking away from the conversation after realizing it was a complete waste of time. We were, ultimately, being mocked. You'll notice that I put the word "Muslim" in quotation marks because the men were downtown chasing after sin, there was nothing spiritual about these men. I was told by these men that I needed to "open my mind" to their religion. I answered that I preferred keeping it well closed from their abominable practices.

    A few minutes later I had a pleasant conversation with a woman named Rachel. She was at best an agnostic... she had some spiritual beliefs but they were pretty "new age". She asked how I came to be "such a religious guy". I explained to her that the Lord saved me, and that the practice of my faith wasn't mere religious liturgy, but rather, a natural response to the work of God in my life. She seemed really taken by my passion and joy in Christ. She said:

    "You certainly seem happy!"

    She took a Bible tract and thanked me to have shared my thoughts with her. I hope the Lord will start a work of grace in her life, even tonight!

    It was about an hour after that conversation that a very drunk man, still holding a beer can in his hand walked up to me. The young man said he knew me. It took a couple of seconds, but I recognized him... it was Andy. In my teen years, I worked on a farm in the summertime; Andy's parents owned the farm. I watched Andy and his sister grow up, I even babysat them from time to time. I had hear that Andy had gone in a bad way... drugs... alcohol... and that, while he was a teenager!

    This wasn't the first time I had seen Andy in the marketplace. Twice before I saw him, both times the company he kept mocked me to scorn, while Andy quietly walked away. This time, he was alone. This time, he didn't want to walk away. It was clear in our long conversation that Andy has come to realize that he had thoroughly messed up his life; and that he did it in record time. He is just 27 years-old. I could also tell that he felt a tremendous amount of guilt over how I had been treated in our last couple of meetings. He shook my hand a minimum of four times, and at one point, I think he wanted to hug me.

    I made it clear to him that I held no grudge, and that I was genuinely concerned for him. That I was concerned for his very soul. I told him to stop drinking. I told him to call on me if he needed help. I gave him a Bible tract and asked him to come to church. He kept telling me that I was right, and that he was going to get in touch with me. I wanted to believe him, but I recognized that look on his face. The look of addiction. Do any of you know that look? I could just tell that for me to suggest he put away the booze and drugs, for him, it was like asking him to cut off his own legs.

    I truly hope he does get in touch with me. I pray that he will come to church on the Lord's Day, but I'm not holding my breath. Call me a pessimist if you will, but I know that getting out of that kind of addiction requires a "Class A" miracle! The Lord has and does deliver those from time to time, but not too often. O that the Lord would deliver poor Andy tonight!

    I have to say, going back to our street evangelism after my time with Andy wasn't easy. My heart was heavy. The Lord did help me though, and I carried on. Lots of souls read my Bible sign and lots of people took tracts from me in our last half-hour of evangelism.

    I'll close the notes with this plain statement... after the mind-bending week I've just had, spiritually, I think it sums up what is in my heart: "Thank you, Lord, for saving me from my sin and folly, which would have ruined my life!"

    Have a safe weekend, dear readers. Remember to honour the Lord's Day.