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, September 29, 2012
not much better, I'm afraid...
Can't say I'm as upset tonight as I was last week. There's a kind of cold resignation that comes upon me when I see too much bad. I'm not saying I'm throwing in the towel, not in any shape or form. What I mean is that I, without a shadow of a doubt, made my way to the market tonight fully expecting much evil to come my way... and the market didn't disappoint in that regard.
It's a bad attitude to be sure.
Our John 3:16 sign took more beatings tonight, and in one instance, Pastor Tim took a few blows for trying to protect the sign. The good preacher even appealed to his attacker that he was "just an old man" who wasn't looking for a fight; and still, the drunken twenty-year old shoved and kicked. I ended up calling 911 for some police help, which scared the wicked soul away. An Officer Joseph arrived a few minutes after the fiasco, but by then, everything was well over.
While the physical abuse wasn't pleasant, I have to say the verbal abuse wasn't as grievous as last week. Ha! What a joke. I'm trying to find a silver lining and all I come up with is: "Well... my 60-something-year-old pastor was violently pushed around, but we weren't F-bombed as much."
Okay. I have a really bad attitude. I'm going to have to seriously pray about this.
Actually, here's a more reasonable silver lining: we handed out a fair number of tracts, and we made contact with an old friend who attended our church meetings a couple of years ago. Oh! and I should also mention, in the positive news category, that the guitar player who was so antagonistic toward us hasn't been in the market for weeks now. I had prayed to the Lord for his salvation, or that the Lord would just rid us on his constant berating. Seems the Lord went with the later request, for the time being at least.
I'm going to leave it at that for tonight. It wasn't a good night, yet I know the Lord could still work much good through it.
Brother Larry, an American evangelist who regularly comments here, sent me an e-mail I thought would be best shared with all my praying brothers and sisters who visit this blog:
Please pray for a glorifying out-come to a legal situation our preach team is involved in. Nine of our team was arrested on U.S. Labor Day weekend holiday, as we preached in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana.
13 or 14 people have been arrested, for allegedly violating a city ordinance which bans sharing a religious message between the hours of sunset & sunrise in this 24 hr a day revelry district. If this ordinance is not overturned our team members may face a $$$ fine and up to Six Months in jail.
Thank you for your faithfulness to our Lord.
Bans on "sharing religious messages" in a so-called "free society". How wretched. I'm not looking down on Americans in this regard, my city has similar by-laws prohibiting evangelism during the daytime in the marketplace. Freedom of speech... so long as you keep Jesus out.
Remember these brothers in your prayers, dear saints, and continue to pray for us.
God bless you,
Bro. Luc don't forget I still have a court date coming up for trespassing in the park in Cornwall during Rib Fest. I was not arrested, but fined, but I was remove in handcuffs from the park, and had a ride in a patrol car. Wow! Never had that happen before! It seems I broke a by-law that says if your a vendor selling items you need a license. Since I would not pay the fee to Rib fest for a spot to be a vendor, I was removed for trespassing. I still can't figure out what I was selling - salvation is free, and preaching/giving out gospel tracts is at no charge. So it is going to be interesting when I talk to the Crown on Oct. 16 - preliminary meeting. So as we pray for one another, may the good Lord be magnified in my life, or in my death!
Pastor Tom Newton
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, September 22, 2012
don't know what to do...
What do I possibly write after a night like tonight? Should I even write anything? Should I wait until I've gotten a grip... wait until I've had a good day, then write about terrible events in a semi-detached manner? Seriously, dear readers, I don't know what to do.
Originally, this blog was to help me cope with the various emotions I felt after a night of street preaching... a way to have it all out before going to bed. Basically, a weak man trying to deal with his feelings, hoping to get a bit of understanding/empathy from his brothers and sisters-in-the-Lord, and that was about it. Over time, this little blog became a bit more. It was a way for friends and family (earthly and heavenly)
to keep tabs as to how things were going with me as far as the faith was concerned. It became something else too, something I think is of very high value, but that "something" I want to keep to myself, for the time being at least.
After a night like tonight however, it is so difficult to know what to write. Will I give the wrong idea to a particular reader? Will I cause some offense if I relay something I saw or heard in my three hours of evangelism? Will I sin by letting my hurt feelings, my frustrations, my heavy sadness write this post?
Do I lie, as in, not tell the whole truth? Do I sanitize what I experienced to keep everything unimpeachable?
Tonight was a pretty miserable experience, dear saints. Not the worse night of evangelism I had to endure, but it made the Top 5 for sure. We weren't in the marketplace 5 minutes and I was told my John 3:16 sign was horse manure... except he didn't use the word manure. JOHN 3:16. Clearly, others felt the same way because less than an hour later, a wicked soul smashed our John 3:16 sign. I really feel I need to repeat: JOHN 3:16!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Apparently, those are such vile and objectionable words that they needed to be eliminated from the public place ASAP. Oh! and did I mention, the man who smashed our sign came back a couple of hours later to point out that we were hateful idiots.
I watched a man make crude gestures to Pastor Tim as the good preacher spoke the Words of God; I met a young man who stumbled out of an alley reeking of marijuana, just to beg for some spare change to get another fix; I saw a dozen young ladies, no older than 18-19 years of age in skirts that went way too high, and tops that went way too low... all of them waiting for the bus that would take them to bar strip on the Quebec side (where the bars are open later)
; my poor ears heard some of the vilest insults and blasphemies throughout our night of evangelism... it was continuous and unrelenting; and I on my way back home, I had a very strange encounter with a young lady who was clearly drunk, or high, or drunk and high.
I had a couple of conversations that were friendly enough. I'm thankful for those, but there was a whole lot of awful drowning those two short breaks.
It's taken me two hours to write this post thus far... and I'm tired now. I don't think I want to share anything more, and I don't think anyone reading this post will want to read anything more. I apologize in advance for the depressing nature of this entry, it's been that kind of night.
Remember us in your prayers, dear saints.
So some people smoking weed and a woman with a low top represent the nadir of human existence?
Pal, you honestly don't get out much.
Why not go preach to the drug cartels in Mexico? They actually need it.
Do you know what kind of people these are? They torture their informants, then they decapitate them and hang their bound, naked bodies upside down underneath a bridge as a sign of utter contempt.
I think you've got a rather easy crowd, if you ask me.
I usually junk any and all comments by "James" the troll, but this one actually made me laugh.
Yes, my night could have been worse, I think I mentioned that already somewhere in my post. And yes, DECAPITATION BY DRUG CARTELS would classify as worse.
When you're getting the decapitation argument, you know life's been interesting. LOL.
When we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Brother Rand, don't lose that compassionate heart. It is easy to get hardened after weeks/years of witnessing the depravity of sinners against a Holy God. Your are an encouragement brother!
James, I have witnessed to cartel members, by God's grace unto me. Just wondering what you are doing for the kingdom.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
rained out... and playing Mr. Mom...
There are no Friday Night Notes this week. My wife and my daughter are out of town to attend a family function, which means I am left with the boys, playing Mr. Mom.
It rained most of last night, so I doubt even Pastor Tim was able to make it out for open-air evangelism.
Have a blessed, safe weekend, dear readers...
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, September 08, 2012
well... that was better...
Last week's evangelism night was pretty depressing, as my notes on last Friday clearly indicated. No doubt tonight, the Lord willed to refresh us a bit... (it was desperately needed).
It isn't to say that everything was honky dory, with the University students back in town, there was no shortage of drunk young people mocking and blaspheming. There were also a few homosexuals who couldn't walk by without making some rude remarks. Unlike last week however, the Lord sent us some souls to refresh us, and gave us a number of one-on-one conversations that were quite pleasant.
During my first shift of street preaching, a young couple who were walking on the other side of the street took notice of me, and immediately crossed over to my side. The young lady made it clear that she was quite happy to see me doing the work of an evangelist, and blessed me with many kind words. The two professing believers were visiting from France, where according to them, the Lord was working a noticeable awakening. Their church in Paris went from a membership of five souls, to 200 in less than two years. They said the Lord was saving all manner of souls, and that there was reason to hope the work of the Lord was just beginning. It was a real encouragement to hear of the glorious works of salvation from these two kind souls. Before leaving, the young lady insisted on praying for me, and encouraged me to labour on, that "they who sow in tears, shall reap in joy" (Psalm 126:5)
Shortly after, when Pastor Tim took over the preaching duties, I had another good conversation with a young street musician. I wondered at first if he was looking to mock me, or waste my time with unprofitable questions, but he asked questions, and respectfully listened to biblical answers. We didn't go too deep in Scripture, but I did correct some of his incorrect views on Scripture, and he took it pretty well. I hope the Lord will give me opportunity to share more of the Gospel with him in the near future (he did take a Gospel tract...)
During my second shift of street preaching, a group of six or seven Muslims walked over to me to hear what it was I was preaching. Conversations with Muslims doesn't usually go too well, but the Lord guided me and I was able to keep things from degenerating into a vain debate. I was able to explain the Trinity, the total depravity of Man, and salvation through faith in Jesus alone without any mockery and scorn from the group. I think a few souls within the group began to feel uncomfortable with the soundness of my arguments, and began to encourage their friends to say goodbye, and move on. Sadly, it worked. Here's hoping the Lord will use what they heard from me to save them out of the false religion of Islam.
At my third and last shift of street preaching, a taxi driver parked across the street from our preaching spot, got out of the car, and walked towards me with his hand extended toward me:
"Ah!" he said while grabbing hold of my hand. "You're doing such a great thing! Can I get you a bottle of water or something? I'm so glad you're doing the Lord's work. You and I, we're brothers and I'm really glad to meet you."
I found out that the man belongs to a small Ethiopian church near my house, and he definitely has a great love for the Lord and his people. The Lord bless him for his kindness toward me.
While I was having some fellowship with the taxi driver, Pastor Tim had a couple of one-on-one conversations. I don't think things went that well in the final analysis, but he did get to share quite a bit of truth to some lost souls. The Lord use it as he sees fit.
About half an hour before calling it a night, an older couple came by to take a Gospel tract from me. The man seemed reticent, but the woman was quite keen. She wanted to know more about my Gospel and even wanted to hear my testimony. She concluded our conversation with the French-English expression: "C'est l'fun!" (that is, "that's cool"). She took a tract before being more or less led away by her man. Again, the Lord use what I shared with them as He sees fit.
I thank the Lord for good night of evangelism. I truly hope and pray that wonderful works of salvation and sanctification will grow out of the efforts of us two soldiers of the Cross, by God's wonderful grace alone.
Good night, dear readers.
"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a
tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, September 01, 2012
wanting God out of the public place...
It's hard to stay positive or optimistic when one has seen the things I have in the last week. Last Lord's Day afternoon was the cursed Pride Parade in my city, and Pastor Tim, Brother Rod and I were there with our Bible signs, reminding the wicked that God was watching, and will judge. I didn't write a report because it was too depressing and I felt the wicked parade had ruined my Lord's Day enough. Looking back on it now, and having just finished a three hour stint, preaching the Gospel of Christ in the marketplace, well, I have to say that it's hard to be a "glass-half-full" kind of guy.
Thinking back on the various things that were said and done to us last Sunday and tonight, I'm reminded of Paul Washer's warning that the believer's persecution is rarely noble
. Boy, can I confirm his statement. I'm praying for an awakening, but more and more, I find myself preparing for the worse, if not consciously, then unconsciously.
While all manner of vile immorality and blasphemy is par for the course at the sodomite parade, the wicked spectacle does seem to get worse with every passing year. For example, there are young children walking in the parade now. A few feet ahead are men in leather thongs. A few feet behind a small group of female strippers. And right there in the middle... young children. It is now backward and intolerant to even suggest that children taking part in a celebration of sexuality is immoral. Businesses, banks, politicians, the police, the military... all of them taking part in the wickedness, and looking at us like we were the scum of the earth.
Every passing Friday night of evangelism isn't getting any better either. I was amazed tonight at how many sinners made it a point to come by only to make it clear that they wanted us, our Bible signs and ultimately, our God out of the public place. For example, a young lady came up to me, removed her iPod earphones, and charged me with "forcing my religion on her" for simply offering her a Bible tract. An Italian fellow named Rocco came by to try to explain to me that while I was a "good guy", ultimately, I was stupid in my evangelistic method; I was, in his words, just annoying people with the Bible... it was best for me to leave and do some work at a soup kitchen or something. Another fellow came by just to affirm that his god was winning: "Satan is winning, you stupid ####!" The only reaction from the general public I got from that one was a young lady behind me, who simply took the Lord's Name in vain: "jeeeesuss!"
Speaking of the general public, things are pretty miserable there too. I watched a young man named Steve, so drunk that he couldn't walk, or even stand. Another young man came by to ask me where the strip club was, even after seeing my Bible sign, and he really didn't see anything wrong with that. My personal favorite however came late in the evening when a man claiming to be a Christian read my John 3:36
sign and then asked: "Who's the Son?"
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
I know and have faith that the Lord can turn things around, but to quote Han Solo: "I got a bad feeling about this."
Hi, Brother! I can't begin to imagine how hard it is for you out there in the marketplace. We're praying for you. I know God is working, and will continue to work.