Friday, July 27, 2012
preparations and vacations...
There will be no Friday Night Notes for a couple of weeks. My family and I will be on vacation.
God bless you,
Pray for this issue, brother.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
too many "other" responsibilities...
Pastor Tim and I were unable to make it out for our customary night of evangelism. The good preacher is celebrating his wedding anniversary, and I was stuck at work until 10pm.
Remember us in your prayers, dear saints.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, July 14, 2012
hot... hot... hot...
Weather has been extremely hot these last two weeks... my country really is a land of extremes temperature wise. Five months from now I'll be freezing in sub-zero degree winter weather, standing on the very same spot I was cooking on tonight.
Pastor Tim and I were in the marketplace for our usual three hours of evangelism tonight, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, handing out Gospel tracts and carrying with us Bible signs. We ministered the Gospel to thousands of lost souls tonight, who for the most part regarded us as a nuisance. I'm still amazed at the level of bitterness directed at us for simply reminding people of God and His Gospel. That said, I have to admit that the level of mockery and scorn we experienced in years past have somewhat lightened up over the last little stretch. I hope that's a trend that will continue for awhile.
We had a few one-on-one conversations with people who had questions, and had a couple of chats with believers who came by to encourage us. I spoke to a young Muslim who wanted some precisions on the person of Christ and what He accomplished on the cross two thousand years ago. I was really surprised with how well that conversation went. The young man didn't argue, he just asked questions, listened to my answers, thanked me and walked away. Too often, conversations with Muslims end with vain babbling and unfruitful arguments. I hope the Holy Spirit will use the information that young man got tonight to begin the work of salvation in him.
Both Pastor Tim and I had a short conversation with a French Christian couple at the start of our third hour of evangelism. Benoit and Lysianne came by and expressed their support for our efforts, and asked us if they could pray for us! Benoit prayed a lovely prayer and after a little more chatter, we evangelists went back to work and the young couple took off for home. I pray that by our example, in time, the Lord might use Benoit and Lysianne to thoroughly evangelize their French community.
Near the end of our night of evangelism, I watched a group of young women walk by, many of them under the influence of alcohol, acting foolishly. I gathered they were celebrating a "bachlorette" since one of the women wore a veil and the party seemed to be focused on this one woman's person. Watching their foolish behaviour, hearing their vile speech, I couldn't help but remember this Biblical passage:
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:37-39)
With five minutes left to our labour, I started gathering our Bible signs when I noticed that a large group of people were around our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Bible sign. The camera phones were out and everyone was laughing hysterically. I couldn't hide my disappointment and distress; it was written all over my face. Curiously, when the group noticed me standing behind them, their laughter quickly dropped and they all began walking away. Some of them actually seemed to be ashamed of themselves. I hope and pray that this experience will teach of these souls that:
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God." (Hebrews 10:31)
The Lord have mercy on the souls we ministered to, and to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
God bless you, dear readers.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
needed a break...
I finished work at 8pm tonight (I had been running around since 7am this morning), which coincidentally, is when Pastor Tim and I make our way to the marketplace for our few hours of open-air evangelism. I knew I wouldn't last too long, so I didn't bother dropping my stuff off at Pastor Tim's house, and just made my way downtown. I preached for about half an hour, and called it a night. The good preacher continued in my absence.
In that half-hour, I had a couple of one-on-one conversations, but gave out very few Gospel tracts. I spoke to a young woman who wanted to know what my thoughts were on premarital sex. I explained what the Bible taught on the matter, that is, how it is an especially grievous and damaging sin. The woman and her partner had little to offer as far as a counter-argument, and yet, I got the distinct impression for both of them that despite the reasonableness of Biblical teaching, neither of them were going to change their ways. The Lord open their eyes.
I spoke to another woman who claimed to be a Bible reader, and yet, she was quite perplexed by my John 3:36
sign. It was as if the teaching of John 3:36
was completely foreign to her. It made me question whether she truly spent any time in God's Word.
That's what I saw all around me tonight. A people who sort of knew better, but didn't care to do better. A people who, if forced to, could see the uprightness and virtue of God's ways, but couldn't be bothered.
The picture at the top of this post... I snapped that shot as I left Pastor Tim to catch my bus home. Twenty to thirty men and woman, watching three bums banging on drums as if it were something remarkable. The same three or four beats... over and over again... sometimes they would bang loudly... other times softly... but in the end, the same annoying three or four beats. It reminded me of this article, written by conservative commentator, Mark Steyn: Gradus and Narcissum
. The bottom line? We are in a culture of ease, where anything that requires the slightest discipline, or tiniest amount of hard work is tossed aside, and the path of least resistance is taken. It's what most in Canada are doing with the Gospel, and now we have a populace who are mesmerized by tattooed, multi-pierced floaters, banging the same beats on drums, over and over again.
Even on my way back home, a young couple sat behind me, and I couldn't help but overhear their conversation:
"Are you religious?" the young woman asked.
"Not really," answered the young man. "I do pray from time to time, but only when I really need something, or if I'm in deep trouble. I don't read the Bible, follow any rules, or anything like that. I just go to God when I want something."
I kid you not, that's exactly what he said, and he was laughing as he said it. No discipline, no earnest seeking the Truth, just keeping a concept of God, in case something messed up his life of ease. What a mess!
The young lady said she wasn't at all religious, and that she had never been in a church. She said the only church she had seen the inside of was on TV. Her words made it clear that she had spent no time at all in learning about God's Word or religion in general. Whatever spiritual teachings she had received, she got from prime-time television. Again, what a mess.
I have asked, and continue to ask that the Lord would both revive His Church and awaken Western Countries, which once, not that long ago, feared the Lord.
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
There is little left of the foundations, dear saints... we need to pray.
Canada Day Notes
Monday, July 02, 2012
what a day...
Wow... that was a busy day! I'm absolutely exhausted. Two church services, the Lord's Table, four-plus hours of street evangelism, and I capped off the night by taking my kids to a nearby park to watch July 1st fireworks being shot-off.
For those of you reading this outside of Canada, July 1st is Canada Day... our version of the American Independance Day or "4th of July". On this day, in the nation's capital (where we live)
, all the downtown streets are blocked off, and people are free to walk up and down the streets to, well, party. Every year, a number of Christian groups from various churches head downtown on this day to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Canada Day is a great opportunity to reach tens of thousands of souls with the Gospel without much effort at all; one just has to stand anywhere along a downtown street with a Gospel tract or a Bible sign, and just like that, the Christian is a mass-evangelist!
Due to the fact that Canada Day landed on the Lord's Day, Pastor Tim was unable to come out for evangelism. So it was me, Brother Rod and a group of youngsters from our church who took the Gospel to the masses. The young people performed quite admirably. For over four hours, they kept up Bible signs despite nasty gusts of winds, they put up with terrible blasphemies and mockeries, and worked hard at presenting the glorious Gospel of Christ to thousands and thousands.
Overall, the afternoon of evangelism was bittersweet. Sweet because we weren't hassled by anyone. The by-law officers left us alone, and those who opposed themselves to our work didn't stick around long enough to be a real problem. I had a few mockers come by, but I was able to answer them well. Those who just wanted to insult or demean us took their shot and quickly ran off. I recall one woman coming by pretending to be a lesbian with "an honest" question: "I'm a homosexual, is there a place for me in Heaven?" When I answered that there wasn't and that she needed to repent, she ripped one of our Bible tracts (I have no idea if she thought that would hurt my feelings or something)
, and walked away.
Bitter because very few tracts were handed out, and not many one-on-one conversations were had. Pastor Tim and Brother Rod reported a similar experience at last year's Canada Day. We seem to have a sad, ungodly trend. We need to pray, dear saints.
Anyway, we quit ourselves as men, and laboured hard for the Lord. I trust he was magnified and glorified by our efforts.
Remember us evangelists in your prayers, dear saints.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)