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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, July 30, 2011
so much misery...



It was an up-and-down kind of night, as far as evangelism was concerned. I was on my own tonight (Pastor Tim is out of town spending some quality time with his son and grand kids), with a pocket full of Gospel tracts and a Bible sign in hand, right there on a street corner in the marketplace. Downtown was busy enough, but not as busy as I figured it would be considering the warm weather and clear skies.

The first hour of my evening of evangelism was less than stellar. A woman walking by with her boyfriend fastened her eyes on me and my John 3:16 Bible sign and gave me the finger. No idea why. I didn't think asking for an explanation was going to be a very profitable use of my time.

Moments after that encounter, an elderly man, in a snarky voice, pointed out that he appreciated my "quiet preaching" (I wasn't preaching at the time, I was just handing out Bible tracts). He scoffed and rejected my Bible tract offer, and walked away, his nose pridefully up in the air. The Lord have mercy.

My second hour of evangelism didn't start out too well either, as I started feeling physically ill. Not sure if it was the humidity or if I'm slowly coming down with something, but I felt week and queasy. I did my best to shake it off and pressed on with a second round of Gospel preaching. An Iranian immigrant came by as I was preaching and took one of my Bible tracts. She claimed to be a believer but judging the way she was dressed, I had my doubts. She shared with me various problems and hardships she was going through and how she needed the Lord to help and uphold her. I encouraged her to get close to God by joining a sound, Bible-preaching church, and invited her to our church on the Lord's Day. She said she would come by on Sunday. I hope she does, as I hope the Lord will save and sanctify her.

Right after this conversation I ran into David. I met David for the first time a few months ago, he was high on drugs, but at the same time, knew he was in big spiritual trouble. I encouraged him to leave the wicked downtown environment, head home and start seeking God in prayer and in the Bible. I was shocked to see him take off for home that very second, and I was hopeful that perhaps the Lord would do something for the young soul.

Tonight, David had a bunch of Bible tracts in his hands. He was labouring with the Open-Air Campaigners and he had obviously been spending time in the Bible. He seemed to have made some progress spiritually, but the more we spoke, the more I was concerned for him. I don't think he's having a great deal of success over his addictions, and he is definitely tormented by various fears. Bottom line: I'm seeing evidence of a man who is trying to self-reform by religious works. He asked me to pray for him, and I promised I would. I encouraged him to build and work on a real relationship with the Living God, through Bible meditation and prayer. I hope he will again receive and follow my advice.

During my third hour of evangelism, I dealt with three lesbians who were for the most part, totally ignorant of the Gospel of Christ. I explained God's New Testament commandment that all were to repent (change their minds) of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The women weren't too disrespectful (there were a few shenanigans), they took a few Bible tracts and went on their way. The Lord save them out of their ignorance, unbelief, and immorality.

With roughly thirty minutes left to my night of evangelism, I decided to walk around downtown with my Bible sign; there were so many people walking the streets, and many more sitting on outdoor restaurant terraces, I figured that taking my Bible sign around would be a good way to show forth the Word of Truth to many, many souls. I was, of course, mocked by many, scorned by others. I did however get some encouragement:

"God bless you, my brother," one man said, while driving by in his car.

"You're on your way to Zion, my friend," another man said. (I think I replied something like: "Can't wait to get there!")


That's all I have to report for this week. Remember me in your prayers, dear saints, as I will be responsible for all preaching duties at church this Lord's Day.

Have a blessed and safe weekend...


Rand

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12:17 AM
  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Jake said…

    I wonder about David. What if he's not one of the elect? If he is one of the billions that God has lovingly decided to torture for all eternity then, no matter how hard he tries, no matter how much he prays, he will never be saved. How sad for him.

     
  • At 1:51 PM, Blogger Rand said…

    Jake… how long has it been? A couple of years now?

    It’s a shame that you haven’t gained much wisdom in that time. You are still quite quick to charge God with unrighteousness. It’s like you took lessons from James/Taffy, the troll who still visits my blog weekly just to blaspheme. I really hope one day, you will learn the valuable lesson Father Abraham learned: “Shall not the Judge of the whole Earth do right?”

    There are a lot of reasons why people come to religion. Some need to feel included in some social club. Others need a feeling of justification despite continuing in their sins. I wish everyone who came to my church were, in your words, “trying hard” and “praying much”, for those actions are proofs of the Second Birth. Without the Second Birth, no one “tries hard”, or “prays earnestly/honestly”.

    I mentioned in my post that I spoke at length with David. I learned many things about what he believed, and about his general way of life. I didn’t include much of our conversation in my post because I feel I need to keep such information confidential. Suffice it to say that the two godly actions you ascribe to David, well… I’m really not sure those are happening.

    Anyway, I think I’ll leave it at that. You’re not really looking to understand. You’re just looking to kick dirt on my faith (“... lovingly decided to torture for all eternity…” - that’s cute, really).

    Wonder why you’re doing that again after such a long hiatus… you bored?

     
  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Jake said…

    I was waiting for my computer to finish processing a BLAST search so, yeah, bored. I was reading a blog post that made me think of you:
    http://www.patheos.com/community/slacktivist/2011/08/01/we-too-fall-with-it/

    This part was especially striking:
    "[St. Augustine said,] "We should not rush headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it.”

    ...

    He wasn’t actually writing about science, but about the way we approach and interpret the Bible. Specifically, he was warning against a prideful overconfidence in the way we interpret [it]"

     
  • At 5:37 PM, Blogger Rand said…

    Heh hee.

    Is it too easy to point out that quoting such statements at someone else is simple enough? Applying it to oneself is where wisdom lies. You read that quote by Augustine and thought of me. When I read such quotes, I think of… well… me. Not Jake, whom I have had nothing to do with in roughly 2years.

    I judge myself routinely, Jake. As the Bible commands me to do so (Matthew 7, 1 Corinthians 11… just off the top of my head). I really don’t need your help.

    I know all too well how long BLAST searches, MASCOT searches and other database matching algorithms can take. Surely, you can find something better to do with your time than good-old-fashion mockery?

     
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    The Sad Legacies of Compromisers

    Saturday, July 23, 2011
    the error of Jehoshaphat...

    Interesting article on FoxNews.com:

    Campus Ministry Drops 'Christ' From Name

    I especially love these statements:

    "We felt like our name was getting in the way of accomplishing our mission." (Wow!)

    "Sellers said researchers found that 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated by the name Campus Crusade for Christ." (I laughed out loud when I read that one... 80% of Christians and 99.9% of non-Christians despise our evangelism)

    "We were not trying to eliminate the word Christ from our name." (Thing is, you TOTALLY did!)

    Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, was a compromiser who did away with any form of Biblical Separation, and eventually yoked himself and his ministry with Rome. It is fitting that his ministry, built on shaky foundation, is slowly crumbling, spiritually.

    Wonder how long before Cru gets its first homosexual teacher/leader, or how long before it recognizes salvation through other names, not solely the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Stay tuned.


    Rand

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    Friday Night Notes

    the "cute" religious simpleton...



    The marketplace was busy, but not quite as busy as I thought it would be, considering the warm weather and the clear skies. Still, Pastor Tim and I shared the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with thousands of souls who were walking the market's streets. The Lord be glorified by our efforts, and may He work what He wills in the lives of those we ministered to.

    Our evangelistic effort didn't start out too well. A guitar player (and I'm being gracious in calling him that) has been making it a habit over the last few weeks of setting up right across the street from us as we are preaching the Gospel. His goal is quite simple: drown the preachers out with his noise, and hope the people walking by will drop change in his guitar case. Well he did it again tonight, but this time he went his usual evil and began to sing blasphemous and mocking songs. We eventually moved further down the street and continued our work there, as the sad soul continued with his evil. It was pretty sad/funny... in one of his mocking tunes, he sang that "them Christians are just after your money", yet we were handing out free literature, and he had his guitar case open. Reminded me of...

    "They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards." (Psalm 69:12)

    Moments later three young men came by to speak to me. Matthew, Patrick and Joel were their names. They were covered in tattoos and piercings, but claimed to be Christians. Wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt, I asked them were they fellowshiped. The answer wasn't much of a surprise: Dominion Outreach Center. Note the word "church" doesn't figure in the name (that would be too fundamental!). Anyway, just like their assembly these guys were charismatics, extremely modernistic and liberal in their theology, and they weren't fans of my "in-your-face-type" evangelism. I talked with them, tried to reason with them and while they were agreeable, they definitely didn't agree. Patrick on numerous occasions went into bizarre monologues about how "he felt the Holy Spirit wanted to use me" in such-and-such a way, and that I was poised to receive great blessings from above (sounded like a long fortune cookie blessing/prediction). I didn't ask for any details on "his feeling", I figured that would be a total waste of time.

    I really, really dislike dealing with charismatics. It's frustrating to use the same terminology, but wind up with totally different ideas/concepts. For example, when Patrick spoke of me being near to receiving some great blessings from above, I knew what he meant. He was speaking of earthly/carnal blessings. When I told him that the Lord had and was blessing me in immeasurable ways, not with riches and possessions, but with spiritual blessing, it was clear he didn't have much time for what I was saying. He answered my statement with this: "yeah, but it's good to have a nice car, house, and to be blessed with physical things." And that my friends is the garden variety charismatic right there: seeking and desiring the supernatural, wanting to be Christian superheroes who heal and bless people with a mere touch, all the while wanting worldly riches, comfort and ease. What folly!

    "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)

    Seeing they weren't making much progress with the old fundamentalist, they "prayed" for me (and that was pretty bizarre too), and after a bit more admonition that I should really rethink my evangelistic method, they left. I sighed a sigh of relief.

    Roughly an hour later, I dealt with two couples, and both conversations went rather well. With the first couple, the man accepted a tract from me but said he didn't believe the Bible was a reliable authority for faith and practice. He claimed that after centuries of copying and translating, the Bible as we have it today, is unreliable. So I recounted how I had visited "The Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibit a few years ago and that the Biblical passages translated from those scrolls were identical to the pocket Bible I carry with me everywhere. He didn't have an answer. The woman smiled affectionately at me, it was clear that she liked my reasonableness. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think she was necessarily receiving what I was saying, but rather, she probably looked at me and thought I was a cute/innocent little man. Tough on the pride, but I guess that's a good thing.

    The other couple I spoke too had more promise. She was Caucasian, he was African-American. She asked the bulk of the questions, he just nodded in agreement when I answered. We spoke about the WatchTower's bizarre doctrines on birthdays and holidays, and the many quirks of the myriads of cults and false religions. I told them that the Word of God was the Bible, and with that, there is no need to run to a pope, or guru, or any religious group that ultimately, draw people away from God's Word. She took one of the tracts I was carrying and said: "I'm so glad I spoke to you!" The Lord be merciful to her.

    The last half-hour of our night of evangelism was difficult. The noise level of the market, with its many street musicians was extremely high. It was near impossible to find a quiet enough spot where we could preach. We did our best, and I trust the Lord was able to use what we were able to do.

    On my way back home, I met Brother Layton of the Open-Air Campaigners. They were just packing in their gear, having presented the Gospel a few blocks down from where Pastor Tim and I were. We exchanged a few kind words of encouragement, and left each other with a "God bless you, brother." The Lord bless him and his team.

    That's all for tonight, dear readers. Do remember us in your prayers...


    Rand

    Labels:

    12:44 AM
  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger pregador27 said…

    Awesome work brother. I hope God touches the hearts and lives of those you spoke to- even those who seem too far off to have received anything you said.

    Our Lord bless you and your family brother!

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, July 16, 2011
    just an observation...



    I was on my way to Pastor Tim's house for our usual night of evangelism when I walked by this idol on the front lawn of a now closed Romanist house of worship. I found it interesting that despite the building being long renovated into a hall for various artistic presentations, the idols stayed. During the course of our night of street evangelism, we needed to guard our Bible signs diligently, knowing that if we left them be for just a few seconds, the wicked would take them away or destroy them. Is it not interesting that the same people who can't get rid of God's Word fast enough, ultimately love the Romanist idols. Food for thought for the few Romanists that continue to visit my blog.

    It was a warm lovely day with hardly a cloud in the sky, so suffice it to say that the market was extremely busy. Thousands of souls walking the streets looking for shops, restaurants, bars and other forms of diversions. Right in the middle of it all, two preachers with Bible signs and Gospel tracts, preaching the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many souls heard or read something of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ tonight. A few took Gospel tracts, and sadly, fewer still came by to speak to us. That said, who knows what the Lord will do? I don't question or doubt God's ability to save, revive and awaken. The Lord do as He pleases, and may he be glorified.

    I had a really short conversation with a woman who didn't take to kindly to our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Bible sign. I didn't make any attempt to have a reasonable conversation with her because it was clear, she was in no state of mind to be reasonable...

    "That's discriminatory!" she said.

    "It's the Bible," I replied.

    "I don't care," she continued, "it's against the law."

    I wanted to ask which law she figured I was violating, or ask whether she wanted to call the police to report me, but I figured either one of these would be pretty foolish. There was no need to further upset the infuriated sinner. I just let her huff and puff, and then she walked away and I continued with preaching. The Lord be merciful to her.

    A man walked by me a few moments later, professing to be an evangelist himself. He said he was currently pastoring a small church on the Quebec side of the border and that he was really glad to see me "doing some good work for the Lord". The man was with his wife (they were both out celebrating the 22nd wedding anniversary), and they both encouraged and blessed me. The Lord bless them!

    Another man, sometime later walked by and marvelled at what he called "my courage". I replied what I always reply to that particular compliment: "Only by the Grace of God." He laughed and continued on his way.

    Brother Marcio joined us around 9:30pm, just as we were starting our last 30 minute shift. He distributed many tracts and walked around downtown with one of our Bible signs. He and Pastor Tim ended up staying downtown a little later than I (with a 45 minute bus ride home, I knew I had to go), I trust the Lord used them for His honour and glory.

    I thank all of you who have been praying for us over the last months/years. You know who you are and I, for the most part, know who you are. You have and continue to bless us. I trust we are an encouragement to you, as we serve our God in the way the Holy Spirit has directed us.

    God bless you all, dear readers,


    Rand

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    1:30 AM
  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger Ransom said…

    Since we're not really in the habit of fashioning Asherim these days, I don't think there's anything else quite like a "bathtub Madonna" to remind me of the contemporary relevance of Isa. 44:16-17.

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    Praying for yours and pastors Friday night witnessing & preaching! Be blessed & victorious.

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, July 09, 2011
    messy night...


    It was so warm this evening, that I opted to leave behind a vest I usually take with me for our night of evangelism. The market was teeming with life; thousands of sinners eating, drinking and being merry. The noise level was high and ungodliness abounded. As we made our way to our preaching spot, I marvelled at the desperate state of the people around me: unbelieving, lost and not caring.

    We had just finished setting up our Bible signs, barely 2 minutes into our time of evangelism that two sodomites showed up, obviously scheming some mischief against us. Both Pastor Tim and I held our Bible signs tightly and waited to see what folly they would attempt on us. Turns out, they had stickers with foul language on them and they wanted to stick these abominations on our signs. Things were getting pretty tense when providentially, a police cruiser came driving by. We flagged him down, but the two sodomites rushed to the police officer, to state their complaints against us. We just let them have their time, being confident that the police officer was no fool. The police officer dealt with the sad souls for a good 15 minutes, and then directed them away from us. The officer, after speaking to Pastor Tim for a quick minute, came by and said:

    "Everything's alright now, have a good night."

    I thank the Lord for good police officers. They have been kind protectors more often than adversaries thus far. The Lord bless them.

    I had good conversation with a man named William tonight. At first I thought he was a mocker, but then he started asking questions and claimed to be interested in the Gospel. We spoke for about 10 minutes. I explained his need to have a real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and his need of the second birth. He listened and was quite agreeable. I encouraged him to read the Scriptures; that's when he showed me that he had the Scriptures on his iPhone. I hope the Lord will begin/continue a saving work in William.

    I spoke to a panhandler who claimed to be a believer, and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I had my doubts but I listened to what he had to say. He told me he appreciated our ministry and bid me farewell. A couple of hours later, after having seen him with a bottle of booze in his hand, and him angrily yelling at other panhandlers, the man came back to our preaching spot. I seized the opportunity:

    "My friend, are you born-again?" I inquired.

    "Of course I am," the panhandler replied. "I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour."

    "I have a lot of difficulty believing that my friend," I immediately replied. "The Bible says that a man can't serve two masters. Which means you can't serve the bottle and the Lord at the same time. You need the salvation of the Lord."

    Well, at first, the man wasn't too happy with my assertions. Regardless, I kept my cool and reasoned with the man. By the end of our conversation, the man said he would pray about all we had talked about. I hope he does, and I hope the Lord will hear him. For his sakes.

    The mockery and the insults were very grievous tonight. After an hour and a half, I was beginning to get pretty down at the general response to our evangelism. That's when a frigid wind blew through the marketplace, bringing with it some heavy rain. In less than 10 minutes, we went from a warm July evening, to a damp, cold night (complete with the occasional lightning bolt). At this point I was really, really annoyed I had left my vest behind.

    Pastor Tim and I continued handing out tracts and preaching the Gospel for another hour, and then made out way home. As we left, a nearby street musician cursed at us and said:

    "You shouldn't be coming over here preaching the Gospel when everyone just wants to get drunk!"

    Crude... sad... and probably quite true.

    Lord have mercy.


    Rand

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    1:45 AM
  • At 4:03 PM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    Brothers continue "In season & Out of season." Sometimes it seems the street preachers see more unseasonal response then others.
    Never mind, be not weary in well doing!
    Not come here and preach? Maybe the Government should not put up traffic signs & signals, when every wants to speed?
    Not come here and preach? Should Christ Jesus not come to save sinners, when they always wish to be rebels?
    Blessings!

     
  • At 2:09 PM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    We are praying for your outreach on Friday night the 15th.

     
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    Canada Day!

    Sunday, July 03, 2011
    sorry for being late...

    (Full disclosure: My family and I were away all week last week. We were far out of town on vacation. I didn't like missing our annual Canada Day evangelistic effort, but the cottage we rented could only be booked on the last week of June. I didn't leave Pastor Tim high and dry however. I worked things out with Brother Rodrigo and Marcio for them to be there to help the good preacher throughout the day. Without further ado... here is Brother Rod's report...)






    Dear readers,

    First I have to apologize for the intrusion. This is not Rand, but I will use his space on the Web to give you an account of how our Canada Day evangelism was. He was not able to participate this year because he was away with his family, but the Lord gave us the opportunity to do it.

    Well, introducing myself, it is enough to know that I have a privileged position in this world, I am a slave of Jesus Christ, but you can call me Rod if you want. :)

    My son (Marcio), Pastor Tim and I arrived at the preaching spot (right in front of the Rideau Center) a little after 9:00AM and we started the work before 9:30. Pastor Tim tried to talk to the many people heading the Parliament using a speaker and a microphone, but some entertainers and their noisy presentations made his work impossible at a certain time. So we could “only” give out tracts and walk with the big Bible signs from that moment on.

    The Open Air Campaigners were there as well and helped us a lot by watching Pastor Tim's stuff and giving us water sometimes. May God bless them!

    I am happy to report that thousands and thousands (and thousands) of people were challenged by the Word of God on Canada Day as they passed by those “crazy” guys holding the signs. Some (apparently Christians) would encourage us with words like “God bless you”, “That's what they need”, or “I agree with what you're doing”, and there was even an old lady, Spanish speaker, who not only encouraged me, but also told me a lot of passages she knew from the New Testament. That was great!

    A considerable number of people asked us if they could take picture of us holding the signs. “SURE!!!” I hope they will post those photos on Facebook or whatever, so that others will read the Word of God too. Awesome! :)

    However, for the most part, people were hostile to us and despised the “Words of eternal life” as if they were garbage, but there was nothing too serious concerning our physical integrity. A few situations we experienced:

    1. One atheist came to Marcio and started questioning the existence of God. As he tried to discuss with him, another guy to whom he had just given a tract “came to his rescue” by answering the atheist's questions and making him silent.

    2. Two guys tried to knock down the sign Marcio was holding with punches.

    3. Marcio was hit twice by paper balls (or something like that).

    4. Marcio talked to some Muslims who asked him about his beliefs. When he answered, they doubted everything he had said. Marcio then asked if they believed that Jesus was a prophet and, after hearing their positive response, he told them: “Then you have to believe what He said: I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me”. They didn't know what to say and left.

    5. A man showed me his bad finger once.

    6. Another man said I should give him a break and stop doing that (at least) on Canada Day, followed by the “F” word.

    7. Another man pointed his finger to my face (very very close) and said: “Look into my eyes! God is dead!”. He laughed with his partner and left. It amazes me that he thought that was funny.

    8. About 4 p.m., Marcio and I were holding the signs in the same place when a drunk man showed up. First he tried to convince us of how boring our lives were, holding those signs while he was “free” to get drunk and high, and then he said: “I have read the %$#@ Bible many times, and it says that we have to repent. Well, I will live my life and I can repent before I die, and when I get to Heaven I will kill both of you.” I felt sorry for him.

    9. One of the Gideons gave Marcio a New Testament, which he put in his pocket. Later in the day he spoke to a woman who asked: “How can I have Him in my heart?” He said: “Read the Bible!”. Then she (probably jokingly) asked him if he had one. He pulled the New Testament out of his pocket and gave it to her. She was surprised and happily accepted it.

    10. There was a reporter close to the Parliament recording (or doing it LIVE maybe) something for the TV channel he worked for. When I noticed that, I positioned the sign in a way that his spectators would read the Word of God. I hope it worked! :)

    None of our opponents gave me a change to reply to their nonsense as they would speak and leave immediately, so my strategy was to ignore them completely, pretend they were not talking to me, or sometimes look seriously in their eyes for them to know I was not joking there. Some of them changed their behaviour after finding out they were not being funny at all.

    As Pastor Tim said, for the most part Canada Day is just an excuse to get drunk, and it breaks my heart to see so many people ignorant of God like that. They couldn't care less, which reminds me of the following passage:

    “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. ” (Judges 17:6)

    We went back to Pastor Tim's a little after 5 p.m., joyful that the Lord had strengthened us to do His work, and despite all the bad things we saw and heard, it was a great experience to serve the Lord by spreading His Word on Canada Day, and I hope we will be able to do it again next year.

    Also thank you for your prayers! I know you expected Rand to be there and prayed for him, but even having the wrong name, our Lord, who knows all things, heard your prayers and was gracious to us.

    All being said, let His name and His name alone be glorified.

    God bless you all!

    Rod

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    11:55 PM
  • At 12:16 AM, Blogger Rand said…

    God bless you, brave souls, for your hard work.

     
  • At 11:10 AM, Anonymous LarryHu said…

    Wow! Now that's what I'm talking about... Thank you, Brothers.

     
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