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, January 29, 2010
it's a cold one out there...
There are no "Friday Night Notes" tonight, dear readers, due to the following two reasons:
1- it's -20C outside (-4F)... -30C (-22F) with the windchill. That's just too cold to be out on a street corner for any length of time.
2- it's our wedding anniversary this weekend, and my wife and I could only go out and celebrate it tonight. So we TOTALLY did!
Have a blessed weekend.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 23, 2010
the loss of godly wisdom...It's been such a busy week that I couldn't believe it was again time to go out street preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ; time just flew by! I've been busy putting together a scientific article at my work (Lord willing, I'll be going to Salt Lake City in the spring time to present some interesting data at an international conference), so I have to admit that I felt a bit off tonight. When things get too busy, I have trouble focusing on matters at hand; whether they be at work, at home, or in the case, in the marketplace.
Nevertheless, I made my way downtown with Pastor Tim, figuring that the Lord could strengthen and give me the wisdom I needed to preach His Gospel. I also figured that a tired and frazzled preacher was better than no preacher at all. I'm sure the ungodly and the principalities and powers of darkness would disagree with my assessment, but what do I care what they think!
At first glance, tonight's evangelistic effort seemed to me to be, well, quite fruitless. I say "at first glance" because I'm all too aware of the marvelous things the Lord can do in the background, hidden from view. That said, it was a real spectacle of ungodliness tonight. A street beggar playing old 1960s songs on a guitar got more attention than the Gospel of Life we were preaching. I doubt I gave out more than 10 Bible tracts in over 3 hours of evangelism. All the conversations we had with sinners turned out to be unprofitable, with most of them ending with mockery and contempt toward us.
The words and actions of the masses in the market tonight were a perfect reflection of the state of society in general in the West. Absurdity. Absolute absurdity. Have you been keeping up on the news? In the last five days, this is what made the news:
- An American weapons company was caught putting Scripture references on their products. There is an absurdity right here, but it does end there. A big brouhaha is created over the small inscriptions on the said weapons (a tempest created by those who hate the slightest smell of godliness)
, which ultimately are only references like 2Cor8:12, not the actual verse, as if these would aggravate how the Middle East views the West. There's a second absurdity.
- A movie named "Creation" is coming out. Problem is, it's a favorable "bio-pic" of Charles Darwin. Absurd. But I'm not done. The film apparently boasts that Darwin "knowing how incendiary his ideas were, wanted to make sure he had incontrovertible evidence to back them up." Incontrovertible evidence? Really? Absurd.
- A Republican won an election in Massachusetts. The American Christian Right is celebrating. The fact that he calls abortion and gay marriage "settled issues", and that he posed nude in a smut magazine named Cosmopolitan, didn't put a damper on the celebrations. Absurd.
- Pat Robertson claimed that the earthquake in Haiti was God taking vengeance for a "pact with the devil"... enough said.
Tonight I dealt with a young man who thought Richard Dawkins was a very intelligent man and that I would do well to get edumacated
by him ('cuz u no, us Chrissians ar a dumm bunsh)
. I spoke to a young woman who spent 4 years in Bible college but couldn't agree with me that my street preaching was in-line with Scripture, that Jesus preached more about Hell than Heaven, or that God could save men through simply preaching repentance and faith in Christ (I told her she wasted her money on her education)
. I also spoke to a very, very drunk couple who, after reading John 3:36 on a sign I was carrying, said: "I agree with that! We're with ya!"
There is such a bankruptcy of godly wisdom that I feel overwhelmed by the sheer folly of the wicked all around me. Whether they be religious or not. Reminds me of the following verse:"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
The foundations are destroyed. All the righteous can do now is to wait on the Lord
for:"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright." (Psalm 11:4-7)
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 16, 2010
a question of perspective...My friend and brother-in-the-Lord, Pete, made a mild complaint last week of cold weather in his neck of the woods. It was 0 Celsius in North Florida. Well, I was thanking the Lord for the mild weather He provided for us street preachers tonight. It was 0 Celsius.
All and all, it was a pretty smooth night of evangelism. We preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the marketplace from 8 pm to 11pm, and I'd say that things only started getting unpleasant at about 10:30 pm (the later it gets in the market, the more dementedly wicked the people get)
. I gave out a fair number of Bible tracts and lots of people read our Bible signs. Lots of people... and none of them kicked, punched, spat or made any attempt to break or damage the signs. It was a good night.
Even the street beggars were kind to us tonight (they usually don't care for us much, they see us as competition for peoples' attention)
. A number of these most wasted souls took some tracts and spoke kindly with us. I prayed and continue to pray that the Lord would be pleased to use us to save some of these sin-ravaged souls. What an amazing miracle that would be to behold! I believe and know that my God can save anyone... regardless of earthly circumstances..."Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear." (Isaiah 59:1)
Brent was back tonight. He's the soul that has refreshed me with kindness on more than one occasion... always making sure that I am well and offering a short "pep-talk" to give me courage. The good man spoke to both pastor Tim and I, offering his usual encouragements and then scooting off back home. Please pray for Brent. He definitely likes what we are all about, but I don't think the man is saved. He's been so great to me, I hope to be able to be a help to him, and I truly hope the Lord will save him.
So like I said, a smooth and good night of preaching... and then 10:30 pm arrived. Just half an hour, but what a miserable half hour it was. A group of people walked by me when I was handing out tracts and one of the ladies made sure to tell me that they all hated me and everything I was about (she actually used the word "hate", and all of them nodded in agreement). Moments later, another woman, after reading my Bible sign said: "I don't believe that 'the wages of sin is death.'"
"You will," I replied.
She didn't appreciate my reply. Oh well...
There were plenty of cruel mockeries, displays of hatred, people shouting at obscenities at us... etc... etc. Suffice it to say that I was watching my watch closely from 10:30 to 11 pm, begging the Lord to keep things from degenerating into violence before we called it a night. The Lord answered that prayer with an affirmative, and I am thankful. Very thankful.
That's it for tonight, dear readers. Thanks again for keeping up with my street preaching adventures. God bless you all!
Have a good weekend and a glorious Lord's Day,
Labels: Friday evangelism
Quick note to let you know that I'm still praying for you (my Friday Outlook reminder still pops up!), and have been following your weekly updates. Stay strong! And keep sharing!
God bless you,
What an encouragement you are to me.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 09, 2010
an exercise in dexterity...A frigid night of street preaching tonight. It went down to -15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit); -20 Celsius with the windchill factor (that's -4 Fahrenheit my friends). Both pastor Tim and I were out in our full winter gear: heavy snow boots, thick winter jackets, heavy mitts and heat packs for my fingers and toes. At first I thought that my gear wouldn't cut it and that I would be one frozen preacher by the time our 3 hours of preaching was done, but I fared rather well.
Street evangelism is such extreme temperatures is quite challenging. For example, I can tell you that after an hour in such sub-zero weather, it becomes difficult say certain words when preaching the Gospel: my lips get so cold, that certain consonants are impossible to clearly enunciate. Also, have a look at the picture above. Have you ever tried handing out small Bible tracts with heavy mitts on? I don't know how many times I nearly dropped my tracts in wet snow tonight, but it was more than five times.
The cold weather also made for a quiet marketplace tonight. We still preached the Gospel to hundreds of souls, but there were a few stretches where no one was around (you don't see that happening in the summer time!)
. Pastor Tim and I only gave out a dozen tracts each, and pastor Tim was pretty much the only one to have one-on-one conversations with sinners and saints alike; on two occasions, the good preacher was encouraged by Christians. I have to admit, by the end of the night, I was beginning to feel left out! ;-)
I did have a short one-on-one conversation with a wicked soul who came to me with the sad and terribly used idea that I wouldn't be "Jesus-only" if I were born in another land where Christianity wasn't well established. I, of course disagreed. I told the young man that if God was to save me, He would have saved me wherever I was. I also made clear that some of the most faithful and godly Christians in the world are the ones who live in countries where the Gospel is suppressed, and Christians are persecuted heavily. The sad soul had no appetite for my profession, so he walked away, shaking his head. The Lord be merciful.
The only other persons who spoke to me... well other than those who hurled mockery and profanity at me... were a group of three young people. They thanked me for my Gospel work, told me that "I was blessed" and that "the Lord would remember and reward me", but then they walked into one of the bars at the end of the street. "Oh dear..." I thought. They confessed that I was blessed and would be rewarded of the Lord, but as for them, well, none of that! Trade it all away to play with the world. Again, the Lord have mercy.
I did witness a rather funny one-on-one conversation between pastor Tim and an old Romanist. It wasn't really a conversation because pastor Tim just let the old man talk, figuring that any discussion would be a waste of time. The old "you need to preach more positively" came out, along with some "don't speak of judgment and sin", and a dash of "God wants to save, not judge". I tried hard not to laugh while I watched pastor Tim do his best not to roll his eyes. When the old man was done with his monologue, he walked away and I just couldn't resist saying:
"You heard the man! Now shape up preacher!"
Rand"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Labels: Friday evangelism