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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 30, 2011
aaahhh... what a night...


Felt a bit overwhelmed on this cold night of street preaching. Nothing spectacularly bad took place, just a lot of different forms of ungodliness and unbelief that I suppose started to wear on me. I get that way sometimes during our evangelistic efforts. I can often, at varying degrees, ignore the wicked actions around me in the marketplace on Fridays, but not tonight. I saw it all, heard it all, and for the most part, it broke my heart.

- As Pastor Tim and I made our way to our customary preaching spot, a young man, seeing our Bible signs, yelled out: "I praise Satan! I love sin! you! I hate Jesus! I hate God!"

- As I was just beginning to preach the Gospel, a car drove by and I couldn't help noticing a young lady, in the passenger side of the vehicle, giving me the finger.

- When Pastor Tim started his preaching shift, a street beggar walked across the street from him and yelled all manner of obscenity at him, ordering him to be quiet and to "keep that God stuff to himself."

- A man came by as I was offering Bible tracts to those who walked by. After taking a picture of my Bible sign, he claimed to be a Buddhist. A few seconds later, he said he was an Atheist. And a few moments after that, he said he was an Agnostic. I told him none of these positions were going to help his soul. He didn't care.

- Pastor Tim dealt with an atheist who pridefully professed to not believing in God. The good preacher made sure to point out that he would believe in God when he would be judge and condemned to Hell. The poor fool then claimed he would never be cast to Hell, because he didn't believe in God. Oh dear...

- I spoke to a young man who marvelled at the "courage" (his words) I had to be standing on a street corner with a Bible sign. I explained to him that carnal courage had nothing to do with it; I told him it was all grace. He told me his mother was a believer with a fervent love for the Lord. I told him that he needed Jesus too. He said "yes", buy his body language and actions said "no".

- I watched a man walk down the street so drunk out of his mind, he stumbled on the sidewalk and fell flat on his back. After a few tries, he managed to get himself back on his feet, and clumsily continued on his way.

- I saw a drunk homosexual (a regular in the marketplace) walk by Pastor Tim and after mocking him, he knocked down one of our Bible signs.

- A young lady walked by with a boyfriend minutes before Pastor Tim and I concluded out night of evangelism. I offered her a tract, but she turned it down. She started walking away, but she then turned around, walked right up to me and asked:

"What's your favorite Bible verse?"

"I'm not sure," I replied, "there are a lot of passages I love for different reasons. If I had to choose one right now, I'd say Romans 8:1."

"What does it say?" she inquired.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus," I replied.

"Why does that passage mean alot to you?" she continued.

"I'm in Christ Jesus, and because of that, I will never be condemned!" I replied.

"So you never sin?" she asked pointedly.

"No, no... you don't understand," I began, "it's not that I will never be condemned because of I have no sin, but rather, I was totally condemned in my sin! I was toast! But then God saved me from my sin. Past, present, future. I am now in Christ, and I will never be condemned."

As I said the last few words of the above, I was getting emotional. I've never done that before in public. After seeing all the misery tonight, and recognizing that by nature, I myself would be contributing to the misery... and then hearing myself say the words "I was toast" and "God saved me" and "I am now in Christ", I nearly started crying.

I did however get a grip on myself, though I think the couple in front of me noticed the passion in my response. The young lady just gave me an indifferent "okay", but the man next to her blurted out: "Wow, that's good man..."


The Lord work what he will in those who heard the Gospel tonight. I trust He was glorified, and that's good enough for me.

Have a blessed weekend, dear saints.


Rand

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12:35 AM
  • At 7:49 AM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    Brother
    Bless God & thank you for the
    Friday Night updates.
    It seems the Word of God gets the same reception everywhere?!
    But the Good Shepard has His sheep & they hear His voice. Then, there are the rest.
    May the lost hear His voice in you.

    You wrote about the young lady lifing her fornicating finger; but here in the U.S. sin has made the Grown Men so WEAK that some cannot wave with ALL of their fingers either, but only have strength to lift a middle finger before the servamts of God.

    You replied; "There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus"
    Bless the Lord that gives the right Word at the exact moment of need. Also for the emotion & passion.

    I think if more Christians would enter the closet in prayer, there would be less homosexuals coming out of the closet in pride. Only a thought.

    Praying with you my brother. Please keep encouraging ALL!

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, April 23, 2011
    finally back at it...


    It took several weeks, but Pastor Tim finally got his sidekick back, and got a new 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Bible sign. You will remember that a young homosexual thrashed our last sign a couple of months ago; well after a bit of work, Pastor Tim finally got the young man to pay for a new sign, and: "VoilĂ !" The good preacher made a number of modifications to the frame of the sign in an attempt to preserve it from kicks, graffiti and slashes. Time will tell if it will endure the harshness of the marketplace.

    After several weeks off, I must admit, I was somewhat rusty. One realizes quickly just how difficult open-air evangelism is physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, when one has been out of the game for awhile. And it's not like Pastor Tim went easy on me on my first night back: we were out there for four hours! It was also cold out there. We've had an usually cold April this year in Eastern Canada; I actually wore my winter coat tonight.

    Sadly, the market hasn't improved one bit in the week's I was absent. It took roughly 5 minutes for someone to suggest I was mentally defective, and less than 10 minutes for someone to curse at me with deep hatred. I had thought that perhaps Good Friday would have worked in our favour: in the past, I had noted how friendlier people were with us when a "Christian Holiday" was nigh. Well, not tonight, I can assure you of that. We were mocked and cursed at, and the Name of the Lord was blasphemed repeatedly. The Lord have mercy on our unbelieving audience.

    We had a few one-on-one conversations tonight, but none of them showed much promise. I dealt with a young man named Brock who described himself as a "New Age Christian". Oh dear, what a mess. I could hardly help him at all, because while he agreed with everything I said, he would afterward claim or profess something totally unbiblical! He left still clinging to the idea that he and I were saved souls, just different. This young man needs to be prayed for!

    I also spoke with another young man who pridefully professed to be a scientifically minded atheist. He first came to Pastor Tim under the guise of someone desiring to know more about our faith. By the time I started dealing with him however, it was clear that the fool wasn't interested in the Truth, but wanted to "show up" the ignorant/inferior Christian with his eloquent and well researched "facts". When I realized this I said: "My friend, the bottom line is the Lord has given me faith, and you remain faithless. Until that changes, you and I can argue until tomorrow morning, and no progress will be made. Good night now." And with that, I walked away and carried on with our evangelistic effort.

    The devil can really waste a preacher's time by sending false teachers/professors to argue without end various points of doctrine and/or teaching. My rule of thumb is: if you share a biblical truth with someone and the answer is "no", or even "yes, but...", then anything else you say is likely not going to get you any further. It's time to move on.

    A good number of Bible tracts were handed out tonight. Please pray that they would be used of the Lord to save some lost sinners. The Lord be glorified.

    With that, I'm off to bed. It's been a busy week, and I have to finalize a sermon for the Lord's Day evening church service. Remember me in your prayers, dear saints.

    God bless you!


    Rand

    Labels:

    12:36 AM
  • At 12:05 PM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    Welcome back to labouring in the field my dear brother. Also thank the Lord for your timely exhortation;
    "The devil can really waste a preacher's time by sending false teachers/professors to argue without end various points of doctrine and/or teaching. My rule of thumb is: if you share a biblical truth with someone and the answer is "no", or even "yes, but...", then anything else you say is likely not going to get you any further. It's time to move on."

    I had this very thing happen to me tonight from a disarmingly attrative young woman, but one who was full of sophistries & cultisms.

    Thank you again for your faithfulness. May you & family have a blessed Resurrection Day!

     
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    Sigh... Still No Notes

    Saturday, April 16, 2011
    still on the mend...

    Ribs are still healing, and to make matters worse, a cold virus ran through my house this week. Coughing and sneezing with two fractured ribs is no fun. You can take my word on that!

    Remember me in your prayers, dear saints.

    God bless,

    Rand


    Ps: Got this shot in my backyard:



    No Notes

    Friday, April 08, 2011
    full disclosure...

    While, in the past, I have opted to keep my medical problems confidential, this time I'll share.

    I was unable to go out for our ususal night of evangelism; the culprit that kept me home is pictured right next to this paragraph. First, and before I begin, you need to understand, dear readers, that I'm 100% Canadian; which means I love hockey. I love it. Very much. Alot. I watch it, and read about it, and once a week, I play it in a league organized by my workplace.

    Well, two weeks ago I was at the rink trying my best to keep up with a really high tempo game (and doing a poor job of it). I had managed to get behind the other team's defensemen and was preparing to receive a breakaway pass straight to the other team's net. Problem is, my defenseman fired a hard pass to me before I was set and the puck struck me on my right side, at the bottom of my ribs. Everyone on the ice and on the benches echoed my "ouch!"

    I felt a sharp pain when the puck nailed me, and I suspected that my ribs were bruised, but I "took one for the team" and continued playing. I went 4-5 days where I knew something was wrong with my ribs, but the pain/discomfort didn't slow me down too much. I even made it for hockey a week after the incident. It was after that game, that the pain got worse. Two days after my second hockey game, I was in agony. Walking, coughing, bending down... all of it made me howl with pain. So I went to the hospital.

    After a six hour wait, I saw a doctor who immediately sent me to radiology for X-rays. The doctor, after reviewing the X-rays said he couldn't make out any fractures but that I had likely seriously bruised my ribs. So he gave me some painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills. I have to admit, I kind of felt like a whimp at that point. All that pain and not so much as a hairline fracture!?!

    The next morning, I got a call from the hospital. It was a doctor who had reviewed my X-rays. She told me that I had not one, but two nasty fractures (Rib 10 and 11, I believe). The treatment was the same (painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills), but she wanted me to know so that if there were any complications in the future, I would have the right information. I thanked her, and felt pretty good about not being so whimpy after all!

    So for the last two days, I've been home, limiting my movements and swallowing pills that only seems to take the edge off (though I'm thankful for that). I know it could take weeks for ribs to heal, but I hope that after a week of being careful, which sadly means an early end to my hockey season, I might be at my preaching spot next week.

    Please pray to that end, dear saints!


    Rand

    Ps: the radiologist was kind of snarky... when she asked me how I had injured my ribs, I said "hockey"... she replied: "you old hockey boys are my job security!"

    Labels:

    11:37 PM
  • At 9:37 AM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    "After a six hour wait" Six Hour Wait? Are they attempting to let you heal naturally before seeing you?
    At any rate, praise God that we are fearfully & wonderfully made. Also rejoice that when we continue to proclaim the eternal Gospel; we can be re-made into His image, that of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ!
    Praying with you my brother.

     
  • At 5:26 PM, Anonymous a witness said…

    Brother,

    I'm very sorry to hear of your injury. I've never had broken ribs but have heard they're as painful as you described. I'm praying for your quick recovery.

    And, you probably won't hear this from anyone else, so, here goes...

    Might it be that the Lord allowed this as a way to encourage you to consider quitting the hockey league? Or at least to evaluate the place that sports (your love of hockey) has in your life? Would you like to encourage your son to pursue hockey and attend the games? Do you think such a passion in his life (as you have) will draw him closer to the Lord and to holiness?

    Sports are the idol of the American man, and Satan has kept many a Christian off the front lines by getting them involved in sports.

    I don't think anyone would argue that hockey comes from the world. James 4:4. 1 John 2:15. There's not much more that needs to be said.

    Physical fitness is important, but only when kept in balance. 1 Timothy 4:8.

    How about instead exercising at home with your sons? You can stay in great shape through body-weight workouts (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-up jumps, squats, etc.), and even 15 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week will do great. You get time with your sons, and you're getting exercise in a safe way - plus you're avoiding hockey (which is probably the idol of many a Canadian, eh?).

    Some things to prayerfully consider.


    God bless you, brother!

    I continue to pray for you on Friday evenings.

    Sincerely,
    Your brother in Christ...

     
  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger Garbacki said…

    Heal quickly brother! Thank you for the update. By the way... Did you score? And did your team win?

     
  • At 1:47 AM, Blogger Rand said…

    Pete,

    The game in which I was hit by the puck was a disastrous loss. The game where I aggravated my injury, I got two goals and we won the game.

    I suppose I can find solace in the fact that my last game of the season was a good one!

    Witness,

    You make valid points, well worth future consideration. However, at present, I don't believe sports are necessarily evil, or altogether vain. Up until now, I have encouraged my children to play team sports. I believe there are benefits, physical and spiritual.

    One thing I will confess however... and I will not cover or make excuses for this sin: I spend way too much time watching hockey (especially this time of the year).

    Rand

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, April 02, 2011
    who's God???



    Cold wind blew through downtown all night tonight, making our night of evangelism a little chillier that we had hoped. That said, we faithfully laboured for the Gospel's sake for a good three hours: open-air preaching, distributing Gospel literature and speaking one-on-one with sinners who had questions or comments. Things went relatively well in that we weren't threatened or attacked in any way; the sad part however is that the Gospel was met with a great deal of apathy on the part of our audience.

    Pastor Tim and I both had little by way of one-on-one conversations; the few that we had weren't very profitable. For example, a woman who claimed to be bisexual walked up to me on two occasions claiming she couldn't receive anything from me because she was quite happy to be bisexual. I replied that if she preferred her sin over God, then that was her right, but that decision would no doubt have dire consequences. Her last words to me as she walked away: "Who's God to refuse to accept me the way I am!" Oh dear. A sinful creature of no strength or consequence at all, pretty much telling God: "Who do You think You are?"

    What folly. Couldn't help but remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:20: "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" I don't think that woman will be anywhere as brazen at the judgment day.

    One of the good things that happened tonight (and it happened to me a couple of times): a man walked by me as I was offering Bible tracts and he turned it down quickly, only to return shortly after, taking the tract and saying something along the lines of: "On the second thought, I think I will look into this!" The Lord show mercy and grace to those who did this tonight.

    The authors of the some of the worse folly tonight were by women. From the lesbian mentioned above, to the young lady who needed to step outside of the pub her friends were in because she was too intoxicated, to the myriads walking about with their breasts popping out of their tops. For some strange reason, sin always seems more disgusting to me when it is publicly practiced by women. I could hardly look at the intoxicated woman, trying not to vomit out the alcohol she had filled herself with, sitting on the sidewalk where someone else, no doubt very recently, vomited out the booze he/she filled him/herself with. What misery.

    Only had a little fun with one young lady who mockingly cried out to me from the other side of the street:

    "There is no God!"

    "The Bible says that 'the fool saith in his heart, there is no God', and this being April 1st, it would seem that this is your day, young lady!" I replied.

    And that 's it for tonight, dear readers. I'm still recovering from a number of heath problems (nothing overly serious, but aggravating nonetheless), so I appreciate your prayers, dear saints.

    Have a safe and blessed weekend everyone!

    Rand

    Labels:

    1:26 AM
  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger Garbacki said…

    I hope your health problems improve quickly brother. Keep up the good work- God's work and, please, keep the reports coming. They are an encouragement.

     
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