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)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
dark and stormy night...
We were rained out tonight, so no Friday Night Notes for this week.
Next week, there will likely be a guest blogger. Stay tuned.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 18, 2011
drunkenness, folly, and wretchedness...I had a lot of work to tend to in the lab today, so I was late for our customary night of evangelism. Pastor Tim was already downtown, handing out tracts when I arrived at our street preaching spot. I was an hour late, so I hit the ground running and began preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ the moment I arrived in the market.
The market was extremely busy tonight. Thousands of souls walked by our Bible signs, some heard some of our preaching, and others received various Gospel tracts. Surely we ministered to some of God's lost sheep tonight. The Lord use our efforts as he sees fit.
The chief observable sin in the marketplace tonight was drunkenness. I don't remember dealing with so many seriously inebriated souls in one night. Many of these drunks mocked us, with a number of them giving us false praise. A few truly sad souls tried to "talk sense to us" whilst their brains were swimming in alcohol. Two men, in particular, come to mind...
The first was a well dressed man; likely a rich man. He took one of the Gospel tracts I was offering and began reading it next to me. The man had been doing a whole lot of drinking because he smelled of liquor and he struggled to keep his balance as he read my literature. Eventually, he said:
"I got to tell you, man... I'm a Christian, but I really don't believe in this bull####."
"Well, I have to tell you, my friend, that I find it very difficult to believe that you are a Christian, given the circumstances in which we meet tonight," I calmly replied.
The man stared at me for a few seconds, obviously aware of his level of intoxication and how my observation was purely logical. Not finding any arguments to defend himself with, the man slowly walked away.
Moments later, I dealt with the second memorable drunkard. This man was the total opposite of the first. He was an old street beggar with raggedy clothes, who obviously was ravaged by years of serious alcohol abuse. He approached me with a request for money, claiming that he was hungry. When I asked him why he didn't go to the Shelter at dinner time to eat, he claimed that he had gone too late (a typical excuse)
. The man then began to claim that he wanted to sober up and get his life on track, a claim I didn't take at all seriously, he was very manifestly reciting what he thought I wanted to hear; always in an effort to get some money.
"If you want to get your life back on track, my friend, you need to rid yourself of the booze that is destroying your life," I said.
Just as I finished saying that, I noticed the inside of a plastic bag the man was carrying. It was filled with empty vodka and beer bottles. I told the man that if he was serious about changing his ways, then it was time for him to rid himself of all the contents of his bag, and never go back to such destructive ways. That's when things got out of hand. The man was obviously annoyed at my refusal to just fork out some change, he began to take out all the empty bottles of booze that were in his bag. He pointed to them all and seriously said:
"There, they're all yours... for 50 cents."
It was difficult to not laugh, but I kept my composure. Seeing that this exchange was quite unprofitable, I walked away from the man and began to preach again, but the man wasn't done with me. He kept following me, doing his best to hinder my work. He repeatedly put his hands on me (and they were disgustingly filthy)
, and when he yelled at me, he actually spat in my face. One word: gross. That went on for a couple of minutes, at which point a man came out of a nearby restaurant and warned the drunkard that if he didn't stop pestering me, he would call the police. The poor drunk got the picture and walked away. I thanked my rescuer, and went back to preaching the Gospel.
With about 30-45 minutes left in our night of evangelism, brother Marcio (a dear brother and fellow member of our church)
joined us and handed out Gospel tracts around the marketplace. It was nice to have a brother come and share in the work; the Lord bless him.
There was so much more... but I'm just too tired now. Suffice it to say that there was and still is plenty of work for faithful evangelists to do in our ungodly society. Watching the people walk by me tonight, with their multiple tattoos, piercings and immodest/bizarre dress, it really hit home just how far down, spiritually, Canada has gone.
The Lord revive His church and awaken this lost and foolish country, for His honour and glory.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 11, 2011
not too stellar...
I was called a Nazi tonight. Not sure how that works, but that's what was said. Some ungodly man saw me walking by with my John 3:36
Bible sign and called me a Nazi. Kind of funny when one considers the fact that I worship a Jew.
Just a few moments later, I was called a "coward" by these two
. I have no idea why. I didn't ask because I knew the answer would be less than stellar. They stuck around for a few minutes (felt like hours)
, mocking me, ripping up a Bible tract and paradoxically, calling me "hateful". People began to take notice of them (and me)
when the woman started... well... to keep this post "PG-13"... she began to act lewdly. I averted my eyes, prayed and they both got bored persecuting someone who just wouldn't revile back. When they left, a couple of Muslim men came by and asked me if the wicked couple were giving me a hard time...
"Yes, they were," I answered.
"Why would they do that?" one of them inquired.
"Because they hate God," I replied.
Both men were incensed. They couldn't believe anyone could be so rude and mean-spirited. They both said they appreciated me "being a bigger man". One of them asked a few questions about the John 3:16
sign I was holding a the time. Being Muslims, they wouldn't go much further than "Jesus, the good prophet", and they eventually left... after shaking my hand.
The rest of the night went much smoother. Had a few short conversations and I handed out a number of Bible tracts. One fellow came by and asked me how many souls I had converted (no doubt attempting to point out that my evangelistic method was somehow lacking)
"Not a one!" I replied. "God does the converting, I just hope to be used as the messenger."
"Okay," he said, "how many souls did God save through your preaching?"
"I honestly don't know," I replied. "And perhaps it's best for it to remain that way. No risk of pride if God never reveals to me, this side of glory, the results of my preaching."
"Well said," the man replied, taking with him the Bible tract that was in my hand.
Soon after that conversation a family walked toward me from across the street. The woman was nodding approvingly as her two little boys came up to me. One of the little ones asked if he could have one of my tracts, and I most certainly didn't turn him down! The woman, obviously, was a sister-in-the-Lord. We had a short conversation in which she had many kind words for our ministry. The Lord bless her and her home abundantly.
Such a crazy mix of experiences tonight. Good highs, terrible lows. All and all however, spiritually, things are pretty desperate in my corner of the world. Like I said to a man tonight: "The Lord can't come back soon enough!"
Remember me in your prayers, dear saints.
RandPs: Sister Christina, I heard the bad news. My sincerest condolences. God bless and help you and yours.Pss: Sister Nancy & Brother John, you are both in our prayers.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, June 04, 2011
busy streets... a continual tide of lost souls...
I wish I hadn't been so tired when we were in the marketplace, preaching the Gospel. Had I been a bit sharper, I think I could have appreciated a great deal more the various events that took place tonight. Oh, I'm not going to report any mass conversions here, just a few sweet and nice events that encouraged us and gave us hope that the Lord will yet work great things through our efforts.
For the first time this year, I saw Brent downtown. Brent in years past has often dropped by to shake my hand and encourage me in my evangelistic work. He typically says: "I love what you're doing man! This is a good thing. I hope you are alright, I want you to be alright." I'm not convinced Brent is born-again, but he appreciates the preaching of the Gospel. Let us pray that the Lord will use what he has seen and heard to bring him all the way.
A few minutes after seeing Brent, a woman walked by me and showed her disgust with a facial expression. She then said to her boyfriend: "That's just so wrong, there's nothing right about all that!" I looked at the couple and slowly replied: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil...
A brother-in-the-Lord came by as I was handing out Bible tracts on a street corner. I had met this brother last July during our Canada Day street-preaching endeavour. Like last year, the brother encouraged me with kind words, making it clear that he was quite pleased to see me continuing in the ministry. We spoke about his church pastor, Pastor Rick, who I mentioned a few weeks ago, was fighting prostate cancer. He told me that Pastor Rick had had a successful surgery but that he was still unable to minister at his church. Let us pray the Lord will grant him a complete recovery. Before leaving, the good brother embraced me, gave me a heartfelt "God bless you," and went on his way.
For a few weeks now, I've been handing out Bible tracts near our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
sign. I noticed that if Pastor Tim or I are near that sign, no one tries to knock it down or damage it. The second we leave its side however, sinners do their best to rid themselves of this most convicting passage. So, not wanting to see another one of our Bible signs bite the dust, we are now babysitting our sandwich-board sign as we evangelize.
Before leaving the marketplace after three-plus hours of evangelism, a young man walked up to me, obviously high on something. He claimed to be under serious conviction of sin. He said he knew doing drugs was destroying his life and was inconsistent with a godly life. He said he would purpose to do right, but wound up in his favorite sin, every time. So I gave him this piece of advice:
"My friend, what are you doing the marketplace on a Friday night? Will this place help you get close to God, or will it get you closer to your addictions? When you got up this morning, did the drugs come a-knocking on our door? Or did you make your way downtown to get your fix? If you want to succeed, don't set yourself up to fail. Go home. Right now. Sober up. Spend time in the Scriptures. Go to church on the Lord's Day, and whatever you do, don't come back to the market. If you can help it, don't ever come back to the market."
The young man just stared at me for a few seconds, as if I had given him the greatest wisdom ever. He then replied: "Right! Okay!" And off he went for home. The Lord help him get things right, once and for all.
There is plenty more, but I'm too tired now. We gave out a lot of tracts tonight, and thousands of people heard or read the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ tonight. The Lord use our work as He sees fit, and may all honour, glory and blessing be His, now and forever.
Have a safe and blessed weekend, dear saints.
Labels: Friday evangelism