Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I was going to begin this post by stating that it wasn't a particular smashing night of street evangelism... yeah... well...
I hadn't even finished my first half hour of Gospel preaching when I saw a young man, just a few yards away messing with one of our Bible signs. Our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
sign often draws quite a bit of attention. At first I figured he was trying to scribble the sign with marker, so I made my way toward the man and said: "Excuse me, but that's my sign, please leave it well alone." I had just finished uttering these words when I noticed that in his hand was a very sharp knife, not a marker.
I did my best to keep him from further damaging our sign, but I was careful not to wind up on the wrong end of his blade. Suffice it to say that he totally scrapped our sign. I was annoyed, and feeling like I needed to do something, anything, I pulled out my cellphone and took a picture of the young man. I figured that perhaps now that he knew I could go to the police with his picture, he would leave us alone. Then, the man did something incredibly stupid. He walked into one of the nearby stores, walked behind the counter, put away the knife and hid in the store, which he obviously worked in.
A number of things went through my mind. I knew I couldn't let the man get away with his crime since, him working so close to where we evangelize, he would no doubt do it again and again in the future if he felt he could get away with it. At the same time, I didn't feel it was right to call 911 for such a trivial matter, and I didn't have the non-emergency police number. The Lord provide me with direction in less than 10 seconds: a police cruiser just happened to drive by me on the road.
Suffice it to say that the young man, who incidentally professed to be a homosexual, got one harsh lecture from the police officer. Information was obtained and arrangements will be made for the young man to reimburse us for the smashed up sign. The humbled fellow even offered an apology, after his verbal chastisement. I'm not holding my breath as far as the reimbursement is concerned, nor do I really care about that really. I just hope that this episode will keep him off our signs for good.
God be praised and thanked for sending us a kind and just police officer.
Irony of the night: the young homosexual's name was Samuel (Asked of God
The following two hours of evangelism were far less eventful. I had a short one-on-one conversation with a foul-mouthed man who wanted to hear a "gospel-sales-pitch"; he wanted me to try to convince him to receive Christ. I gave him God's New Testament commandment, to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He said he didn't want any of that, so I replied: "Well then, I just can't help you." I told the man that I wasn't going to negotiate some other arrangement with him, or try to sweeten the deal; it was God's Way, or Destruction. He walked away mocking and blaspheming. The Lord have mercy.
We didn't hand out that many tracts during those two hours, considering that the market was fairly busy. I was a bit surprised at just how hard our audience was tonight toward the Gospel. It's rarely good, but it isn't usually that intensely bad.
My last half-hour was a real treat however. I met "me-in-my-early-20s". Okay, it wasn't "me", but someone who was going through exactly what I was going through back then. His name was Nick and he is presently attending the school I went to, studying biotechnology just like I did, and he is one depressed drunkard (as I was
). It was great talking with him. I was able to relate to his problems and show him the Way I took all those years ago. I encouraged him to turn to the Bible and to give it a chance; it's done so much for me! Nick kept saying how happy he was that he got to speak with me. It was great.
The scientific community, especially in my city, is pretty small, so there is hope that I will be able to see and speak to young Nick again in the future. Let's pray to that effect.
After that wonderful conversation, Pastor Tim and I packed it in for the night. We picked up our smashed sign and made our way back home. I commented how not so long ago, we would have been far more upset than we actually were over the destruction of our Bible sign. I guess the Lord is working patience in us, nice and slow. I have to say though, the thought of that young man taking a knife to the Word of God, it's a pretty disturbing scene.
A Good Soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ(trying to be anyway...)
Labels: Friday evangelism
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 22, 2011
no rest for the weary...Our street preaching endeavour capped off one busy and challenging week. Eat-Sleep-Work, that sums up my week. I worked a great deal of overtime and tonight was no exception. I showed up an hour late at Pastor Tim's, and though I was exhausted, I really felt I needed to go with him for our customary night of evangelism. I thank God for His enabling power.
The night started out with the usual mockeries: "I worship Satan!", or "Get real! It's a myth", or various expletives followed by "God" or "Jesus". My head was still mostly on my various work responsibilities (and lately, they are many), so the cursing and mocking really didn't phase me. That's the good part. The bad part is that, with my secular work foremost on my mind, I had a real hard time doing the work of an evangelist; I felt like I was just going through the motions. I know that isn't a good thing.
Very few tracts were handed out tonight. There were plenty of people in the market, but very few received anything of the Gospel. Clearly, both Pastor Tim and I were disappointed. Yet, we pressed on and had a few short conversations with sinners. Pastor Tim tried explaining to a man that Jesus did indeed die FOR HIS PEOPLE, but the man was less than receptive. I had a similar conversation with a man who took exception to me saying that it was God that did the saving, not man saving himself. We don't often speak on the doctrines of grace when we are evangelizing, it was strange how it naturally came up on a number of occasions tonight.
I spoke to a man who said he "really respected what I was doing". He said he was the son of a Presbyterian minister, that he prayed often, and "always looked for ways to improve himself". It didn't take me long to realize that this man, while religious, was without a doubt, lost. I appreciated his favorable sentiment toward me, but everything about the man pointed to a lost state. From his chain smoking to patronage in a market bar, from his superficial knowledge of God to his quick retreat when I wanted to speak to him further about the Lord... none of it felt right. I wish I could have been a bit more pointed, but like I mentioned above, I wasn't really at my best tonight.
Remember me in your prayers, dear saints. Things are pretty hectic in my life right now. I need wisdom and guidance from the Lord.
Have a great weekend,
Labels: Friday evangelism
Be not weary in well doing, for in due season.
In season and out be ready.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, January 15, 2011
finally back to the preaching routine...
It had been awhile. The Holidays, various trips away from home and illness all contributed to a poor attendance on my part for our weekly street evangelism. It felt right being at our preaching spot in the marketplace. I thank the Lord my God for giving me both the ability and the will to be out there tonight, preaching the marvelous, wondrous Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
I was surprised just how many things had changed in the market in just a few weeks. A popular little clothing store near our preaching spot was closed down, and the restaurant right in front of our preaching spot was closed for renovations (looks like they will be doing some serious work in there)
. Both these closures, no doubt, contributed to a quieter night of evangelism; that and the winter cold!
The night started out pretty well. I had a long conversation with a young man named Benjamin, a Romanist who, at first, was concerned for my well-being; he asked if I was keeping warm in the cold winter air. After reassuring him that I was well equipped to take the cold, he asked me about how my faith differed from Romanism. I pointed out the major differences: salvation by faith alone, worshipping in spirit, the priesthood of all believers, and holding the Bible as the sole rule for faith and practice. After expounding on all these, I get the feeling Benjamin was quite undone. He clearly seemed overwhelmed by the information I offered him. He accepted a tract and I invited him to attend our church service on the Lord's Day. I hope he takes me up on my offer.
At around 9pm, Pastor Tim took over the preaching duties and I took a walk to another street corner to hand out Gospel tracts. About 5 minutes later, I took a peak down the street to make sure the good preacher was safe and well. Imagine my horror and shock when I saw two police cruisers parked right in front of our preaching spot. I quickly made my way to Pastor Tim, only to find him having a friendly conversation with a police officer. Both were having a grand old time!
Turns out the police officer was an acquaintance of Pastor Tim's. When I asked about the officer to Pastor Tim, he replied: "Years ago, a man attacked me while I was preaching. Just as things were getting really out of hand, that officer appeared out of nowhere, grabbed my assailant, cuffed him and took him away. Since then, we've been great friends!"
After those two warm exchanges, like the weather, things got pretty frosty. The few favorable responses we got were questionable at best, and then there were the unfavorable/unsavoury responses. One young lady told me to "*$%# off" when I kindly offered her a tract. Then there was a steady stream of blasphemies (towards God)
and mockeries (towards us)
. Despite all this, however, no one threatened us directly, no one harmed us. Praise God! Even our Bible signs nearly made it all night without being kicked to the ground. With five minutes to go in our 3 hour street preaching endeavour, a wicked young lady pushed our Romans 6:23
sign down to the ground. The Lord have mercy on her foolish soul.
While it was pretty quiet downtown tonight, both Pastor Tim and I handed out a good number of tracts, and hundreds of souls heard something of the Word of God tonight. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit, and may He be glorified.
Lord willing, I will be at my post next week... thanks again, dear readers, for keeping up with my preaching escapades... and please dear saints of God, remember to pray for my health...
Labels: Friday evangelism
I am encouraged to see your work going on again. May several wicked hearts be turned by the Lord's great mercy.
There are some men who stand by one of our main streets holding signs that say "Honk if you love Jesus" and "Jesus love you" and other trite things like that. Homely cheerleaders for Jesus is what I call them. Such a worthless approach.
Again... No Notes...
Saturday, January 08, 2011
messed up times...
The Holidays kept me from my post last week. This week, my poor health kept me home.
By God's grace, I trust I will be downtown next week for a night of street preaching with my pastor.
I covet your prayers, dear saints of God.