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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)

Sunday Afternoon Notes

Monday, August 29, 2011
the worse Lord's Day of the Year...

After 72 hours of viral agony, I was finally able to get out of the house this morning, for the Lord's Day morning service. I knew right from the get-go that this wasn't going to be a pleasant day, for this is the day my city put up the cursed Pride Parade. I was afraid I might not physically be able to go protest the wicked parade with Pastor Tim (I hardly ate anything for the last three days), but backing out felt cowardly and wrong, so I played the man, and the Lord kept me on my feet.

The wind was howling today (probably leftovers from Hurricane Irene). That was a big challenge for us evangelists, since our main witness during the parade are large Bible signs. When Pastor Tim and I made it to the street the parade was going to come by, we struggled greatly just to keep our signs upright. Providentially, the Lord sent Brother Tim, a fellow saint who is in the habit of showing up at the cursed parade to help us. The two Tims held one sign in place, and I went a little further to find a spot that was somewhat sheltered from the gusty wind. That was quite a task. I eventually found a bus shelter where I could lay my Bible sign against, and I then put all my weight (those of you who know me, don't laugh!) against the sign, keeping it from blowing off in the wind.

I was concerned at first that I wasn't visible enough. I wanted to move to a spot where I felt more people would read my 2 Peter 2:6 sign, but I knew I simply didn't have enough in the tank to fight against those winds. That really bummed me out, but I was eventually comforted when I heard several voices cursing at me and was on the receiving end of projectiles.

I don't really want to describe the wicked parade itself. It's as bad as you can imagine (perhaps even more so). I try not to focus on anything in particular in the parade (too disturbing/disgusting), but I do have to keep an overall view for safety's sake. On a few occasions, what was before me was just so wicked, I just looked further down the street.

So many thoughts went through my mind as I watched waves and waves of immorality walk by me. Thoughts like...

- how did it ever come to this?

- is this all the result of idleness?

- banks, libraries, politicians, police, radio stations, school boards... all manner of people and organizations who feel that walking alongside people dressed in leather thongs is a good thing... and none of them would feel it appropriate to participate in anything Christian...

- how is it that anyone could come to the conclusion that bringing young children to an event whose central theme is sexuality is a good thing?

- how can the Lord not judge this wickedness severely?

Pastor Tim also shared a thought with me after the parade was over. We had both seen a man carrying a terribly outdated sign that said: "Time to get out of the closet and into the streets." Pastor Tim pointed out that the sodomites were very much in the streets, and the Christians are in the closets.

What a mess.


Rand

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No Notes

Friday, August 26, 2011
pray for Pastor Tim...

Hello dear readers,

I was unable to go downtown with Pastor Tim tonight due to a really, really nasty bug. I've been bedridden for 48 hours so far, and I'm still too weak to do, well, just about anything.

Remember me in your prayers.

Sincerely,

Rand


Friday Night Notes

Saturday, August 20, 2011
the good, the bad and the ugly...

The noise was intolerable. That's what I want to point out right from the get-go. It was intolerable! From the sound of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, to the disco music coming out of the bars, the loud laughter of drunk women, the blasphemies of wicked men... all of it was so loud. Trying to preach the Gospel loud enough so that people could hear me was quite a chore, and I don't know how successful I was at being heard.

The market was quite busy. It was good to have Brother Rod with us; he gave out a fair number of tracts while Pastor Tim and I took turns at preaching the Gospel. It was an interesting night of evangelism. Great ups, terrible and annoying downs. I trust the Lord was glorified by our efforts.

The Good

A number a Christians came by to thank me for my efforts. Many of them encouraged me with kind words. An elderly couple showed me much grace. A woman also came by and told me she would pray for me and blessed me greatly with kindness. The Lord reward these kind brothers and sisters.

About an hour into our night of evangelism, a woman stood across the street from where I was preaching. She listened attentively for several minutes, and then she crossed the street to receive and Gospel tract and to speak to me. She asked me why I stood there, and preached in the marketplace. I explained to her how the Lord had given His Church a Great Commission in the Bible, and that is why I was preaching His Gospel in the market. She marveled. She thanked me and said 'goodnight'. The Lord show her mercy. (It should be noted that I actually had a near exact exchange with a young man about an hour later... the Lord show favour unto him as well!)

The Bad

I dealt with a young man who claimed to be a Christian during the first half hour of our evangelistic effort. He had a tatoo of the Romanist "jesus" on his chest, and Psalm 23 on his back (the whole psalm!). The young man was with a scantily clad woman who was smoking marijuana, and he himself reeked of alcohol. I told the young man that he couldn't serve two masters. He took exception to my observations claiming that we were brothers and that I shouldn't have judged him. I tried, on several occasions to point out that his way of life didn't show forth fruit unto salvation, but he would have nothing of it. He left holding on to the belief that the Lord would instantly forgive his sin and that we were brothers. The Lord save him from his delusions.

Moments later, I dealt with a couple of young ladies who also claimed to be Christians. Both of them had way too much make-up on, and both were dressed pretty immodestly. I told them that I didn't believe they were honoring God in the marketplace. The answer I got back pretty much summed up their spiritual situation: "Not everything needs to honour God." Oh dear...

The Ugly

Two incidents, both involving homosexuals. It never ceases to amaze me how that particular group of people, who often claim to be victims of discrimination and hatred, show us so much vile hatred and violence.

A lesbian walked up to me tonight and cursed at me. Repeatedly. The woman was probably in her 40s. If it had been an 18 year old, I could have marked it down as immaturity, but forty years old and telling a stranger to "f%#k off"? Quite disgraceful.

Later, a couple of sodomites, with just 5 minutes left to our night of evangelism, broke one of our Bible signs and began to run off with it. Not even thinking of my safety (which was stupid), I chased them into a parking garage. I was furious and annoyed. I managed to get the sign back and it wasn't until I got home an hour later that I realized that had those men been up for a fight, I would have been in big trouble. Providencially, the Lord saved me from, well, me.

I'm still such a hot-head, and that annoys me just as much as the persecuting homos. It was just a sign. Easily replaceable. Not a big deal. Yet, I was in a rage against the wicked men... not exactly Christ-like. The Lord help me to be more gracious...

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 2:21-23)

Remember us in your prayers, dear saints.

Have a blessed week-end, especially the Lord's Day.


Rand

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12:54 AM
  • At 1:01 PM, Blogger Garbacki said…

    God continue to bless and protect you, eh! Your work in your city is inspirational.

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, August 13, 2011
    labourers are few...






    On my way to Pastor Tim's house for a night of evangelism, I had the misfortune of spotting a couple of men huddled together in the corner of an alley, one assisting the other in locating a vein in which to inject heroin in. I wasn't out of my workplace for more than 10 minutes, and I was reminded of the depths of depravity all around me. The Bible says that "the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." (Proverbs 4:19) That fact isn't lost on an evangelist as he observes the wicked vanity all around him.

    I was on my own again tonight. Pastor Tim is miles away, attending revival meetings in the good old U.S. of A. The intimidation factor always seems worse when I don't have my faithful street preaching partner with me. There's nothing like walking downtown, Bible sign in one hand, Gospel tracts in the other, hundreds (if not thousands) of eyes all focused on me; most of those eyes watching me in disgust and hatred. I never would have been able to work up the courage to carry on in the past, but God's grace is an amazing thing! To Him be the glory!

    I had a lot of mockers tonight, but before the harsh words had a chance to discourage me, the Lord sent, on a number of occasions, saints that refreshed me with kindness and encouragement. An number of them said variants of "keep going, brother, the Lord's is coming soon!" My response every time was: "I hope so!"

    I didn't have much by way of one-on-one conversations tonight. Nothing of any promise anyway. The panhandling guitar player was at it again tonight, mocking me with blasphemous songs, he even came by to speak to me just to clarify that he thought I was a *$&#ing hypocrite. I didn't say a word to him... it would have been a total waste of effort, and would likely have motivated him to further persecute me.

    I didn deal with a young couple who asked me why I focused on the wrath of God. They claimed that the Bible signs we used always referred to judgment and wrath. I pointed out that the only sign I had with me tonight was John 3:16, which primarily speaks of God's love, and John 3:36 which mentions God's wrath, but also the way out: faith in the Son! I told him Pastor Tim and I made a real effort to keep our Gospel presentations as balanced as possible.

    "Just like when you go to the doctor, my friend. If you have a health problem, the doctor first gives you the bad news, and then tells you how best to treat the issue," I concluded.

    I didn't think they would receive my explanation/defense at first, but they totally did! They both thanked me for answering their question, and the fellow even quietly said: "God bless..."

    Dealt with another couple a few moments later. That was unpleasant. The young lady took one of my Gospel tracts, thanked me, then spat on the tract and threw it down to my feet. She quickly ran off after her tantrum. You'd think I would have been annoyed, but truly, I wasn't. I felt so sorry for her. The Lord have mercy.

    I suppose if there is one solid positive I can report about tonight, it's my ability to remain calm, and compassionate toward adversaries. Most of the time, when I am faced with obnoxious, rude sinners, my attitude is considerably less than Christ-like:

    "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 2:21-23)

    That said, tonight, on several occasions the thought of answering some adversary quickly in anger or frustration just wasn't there. It's like I was able to see the desperateness and folly of their conversation/conduct and stayed cool. I hope and pray that this is going to be a continual trend. The last thing I want is to say or do something that will bring reproach to the Lord and His cause, when I'm out there presenting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    With that, dear saints, I'm off. It's extremely late, and I have to work a bit more on a sermon I will be preaching on the Lord's Day.

    Remember me in your prayers, dear saints.


    Rand

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    12:53 AM
  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous LarryH said…

    I praise the Lord God Almighty for allowing you to stand & make a public profession of your faith!
    The Word is Life to the living & death to the dying. The children of Light & the children of darkness will each bring honor or dishonor to their father.
    Stand, and having done all stand.
    Praying with you!

     
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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, August 06, 2011
    busy streets...

    Tonight was the busiest I've seen the marketplace this year. Thousands upon thousands of lost souls walking the streets looking for some vanity, some foolish and destructive activity to indulge in. It truly is heartbreaking to watch.

    Due to an uncooperative experiment in the laboratory where I work, I was late in getting downtown for our customary night of evangelism. When I got there, Pastor Tim was already setup and preaching the Gospel. He was facing annoying resistance from three young panhandlers who were begging for spare change across the street from our usual street preaching spot. They yelled out obscenities from across the street, and on a couple of occasions, they walked up to him only to yell and mock. After 30 minutes of that nonsense, the young sinners realized that the good preacher wouldn't be intimidated, so they remained quiet for the remainder of the night.

    During my preaching shift, I was able to share the Gospel with a young man who claimed to have studied the Bible. The conversation wasn't a long one, but I gathered the young man, while religious, wasn't saved. I handed him a Bible tract and encouraged him to prayerfully consider the words therein. The Lord be merciful to him.

    Shortly after that exchange a young woman walked by me, surrounded by her friends. All of them were dressed provocatively, which always presents a challenge for an evangelist. The young woman read my John 3:16 Bible sign and professed to believe. I was about to point out her lack of modesty, but she walked away before I could utter a word. The Lord however would give me another opportunity. Moments later, the same group of women walked by as I was preaching...

    "The Bible says the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good," I began, "what is God watching you do tonight? What words is God hearing you speak? What kind of clothing (or lack thereof) is He seeing on you? What secret thoughts do you have, that He is fully aware of?"

    There was no doubt the young women felt conviction. They quickly turned their guilt into a joke and walked away laughing. What folly.

    I spent a good portion of the night simply standing on a street corner with a Bible sign in one hand, and Gospel tracts in the other. With the crowds in the market, the noise level was so high (from music, chatter, and car traffic), it was difficult to preach. It was so noisy it was difficult to think! However, I did hear a lot of mockery directed at me, and in some instances, directed at God Himself. Only one man, driving a taxi, rolled down his window and said: "God bless you, my brother." The Lord bless him for his kindness.

    We preached the Gospel to a whole lot of people tonight. A good number of souls have Gospel tracts in their pockets. Surely amongst all those souls, we've had some contact with some of God's lost sheep. The Lord use our efforts as He sees fit.

    With that, it's really late, and I'm sooooo tired. Goodnight, dear readers.


    Rand

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