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)

SICK... Sick Canada

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
this is unreal...

The Bible says:

"Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things." (Proverbs 28:5)

What a proven fact, when you consider the following news coming out of Quebec:

A Quebec judge on Tuesday reduced the sentence of a Montreal man who raped his infant daughter, saying the original ruling was too harsh.

The 32 year old was found guilty in March 2005 of sexual assault and using his daughter to possess, produce and distribute child pornography. The assaults started when his daughter was 24 months old and lasted for two years.

The man was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The court reduced his sentence to nine years in prison.

"There was no violence, such as gagging, threatening or hitting the child," wrote Judge Lise Cote.

So let's recap this sick nonsense. A man sexually brutalizes his own infant daughter, gets a 15 year prison term (talk about getting off easy), but then gets his sentence dropped to 9 years because HE DIDN'T HIT HER AND THREATEN HER ON TOP OF HIS ABOMINATION!?!

This is sick. This is really, really sick.

I would hang that creep and wouldn't lose a night's sleep over it. But not so with the Canadian government and the Canadian courts. No, no. They are far more understanding and compassionate... well... to the criminals anyway.

There is comfort though, and again, it is found in God's Word:

"If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they." (Ecclesiastes 5:8)

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)


Not A Big Fan, But Neil Is Right On This One

Monday, May 29, 2006
blasphemy = money!!!

Neil Cavuto's Common Sense segment on FoxNews is far from being my favorite show, but in this case, the man sure hits it on the head:

Taking Cheap Shots at Jesus
By Neil Cavuto

Just ask Dan Brown. Just ask Madonna. Both have built careers on tearing Jesus down, even as they make outlandish stuff up!

I'm not here to refute "The Da Vinci Code" point by point; just to make this point: Jesus, a good man, and for many, a good Savior, is good material for writers who can't bother with the truth. And aging rock stars who can't handle the truth.

In an age we like to shock to score, going after Jesus, gosh, even thinking you "are" Jesus, is the Hail Mary of financial touchdowns.

It gets people talking, and marching, and protesting. But it keeps otherwise insipid movies alive, and pointless careers afloat. They thrive not on the brilliance of their points, but the controversy of their actions.

Leave it to man these days to think he is remotely capable of judging perhaps the greatest whoever walked this planet of all days. We are that arrogant. That dismissive. That revolting. But mostly that hypocritical. Cautiously avoiding offending Muslims over harmless cartoons of Muhammad, but thinking nothing of insulting Christianity by making a mockery of Jesus.

Going after Muhammad... sacrilege.

Dissing Christ... score.

There's no doubt trashing Jesus will create a buzz for your wallet.

I sometimes wonder whether all that rings hollow in something else: Your soul.

A bit melodramatic, but I really couldn't have said it better myself.



Friday Night Notes

Saturday, May 27, 2006
finally made it out...

There was actually some light rain tonight, as we prepared ourselves for our night of street preaching. But having missed the last two weeks, we were determined to not let the rain keep us from bringing the Gospel to the marketplace tonight. And praise be to God, by the time we made it to our customary preaching spot, the rain stopped, and we had clear weather for our 3.5 hours of preaching.

The warmer weather is back in Canada, so the marketplace is quite busier on Friday nights. While this is a good thing in that many more souls are exposed to the Gospel, there are some pretty serious drawbacks. For example, all those souls are out, for the most part, to sin (drunkenness, immorality, revelry... etc). Another serious downside of the warmer weather is the clothes women wear; or should I say, the lack of clothes women wear.

Anyway, no point whining about the wicked acting wickedly... it's exactly what I'd be had it not been for God's grace in my life.

I had a few conversations tonight with the lost tonight, but nothing too meaningful (as far as I could tell). I did have a couple of humorous/witty exchanges with a few antagonistic souls. Here are three examples:

1- A young woman walked by me as I was preaching the importance of faith in Christ Jesus. "I don't believe in God!" the woman exclaimed. "You will," I answered.

2- A man stumbled towards me as I was holding a Gospel sign and passing out some tracts. "Your nuts, you know," the man began, "holding a big Bible sign like that out here." I looked at the man and with a calm, but direct voice I said: "I find it difficult to take your insult seriously sir, considering you are so drunk out of your mind, you can't even stand straight." Taken a bit a back, the man replied slowly: "That's a good point."

3- I was headed home after all 3.5 hours of our evangelistic effort, when a young lady walked by me and mockingly said: "I'm a sinner!" Without a moments hesitation I answered: "Yes, you are."

And that's my report from "Dead Land" for tonight. We laboured honestly, and we laboured for the glory of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now, it's time for some sleep.

Good night, dear readers, and have a blessed week-end... especially the Lord's Day.


Time To Face The Facts

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
welcome to dead land...

Things are bad, and there are getting worse.

This view is not a surprising revelation to anyone who have been reading my blog over the last year. I have often pointed to world events showing how progressively more wicked the world is becoming, but that isn't the point of this post. No, I'm afraid the point is far more disturbing, and even, grievous.

The church is withering away... without question.

I speak out of pure observation. The northern states of the USA, Eastern and Central Canada, these regions that I am well aware of, are dying spiritually. My observations? Good, sound local churches are starving financially due to a lack of membership; other local churches are compromising with liberal philosophies and doctrines; and others still are disappearing completely, just closing down.

Yes, some local assemblies are growing, but that is NOT a sign of prosperity.

Many challenge my position with: "But there are plenty of churches who are doing quite well! Such and such church actually has 3 services every Sunday!" The answer to this challenge is simple: what is the doctrinal statement of these assemblies? Let's just say that I have serious doubts that these assemblies have clear and defined positions on matters of soteriology, eschatology or Bible versions. It is also a sure bet that these assemblies are, in one way or another, involved in ecumenism. In other words, these "churches" are messed up free-for-alls that usually end up going totally liberal, or eventually split up due to doctrinal strife.

A church that does well is one that is in-line with Acts 20:27. When declaring the WHOLE counsel of God is neglected for the sakes of a warped version of "unity", things are no longer Biblical; which means you can forget about spiritual prosperity.

Salt and light? All I'm seeing is hard ground and pitch darkness.

Why is this happening? Why are sound, fundamental churches dying? Why are liberal, compromising assemblies prospering? Simple. Weak and compromising Christians are leaving fundamentalism for something "lighter". The problem is, "lighter" means less saltiness, and the dimming of the light (Matthew 5:13-16).

I have seen all sorts of down right stupid programs in local assemblies to turn the nation to God, or to revive the church. Forget the "fundamental hard road" of preaching the gospel to every creature (that's way too humiliating and difficult!). No, no! Take a short-term mission trip to Morocco, or Argentina, or Jordan, hang out on a University campus and have "faith discussions" with students; or better still, help build a homeless shelter, or a church building. That will give you the "Great Commission badge" for your whole life.


With godly wisdom gone, there is only confusion of face.

I was visiting a Baptist church a couple of years ago. I was away from home on the Lord's Day, so I looked for the nearest Baptist church and headed for it. As I walked through the door, my eyes were drawn to a huge poster pinned up in the church lobby: "Join us on the trans-Canadian train expedition for Jesus!" The "expedition", according to the smaller print on the poster, was a literal train ride across the continent, where Christians would make several stops along the way to attend "Bible conferences" in ecumenical meetings, and by the end of the "expedition", these "Christians" would be so endowed with power from on high, they would turn Canada to God.

I walked right out of the local "church". A move I have not come to regret since in the years after this train expedition, Canada has started recognizing homosexual marriage, continued to remove all reference of God from public life, and has hardened itself in its godlessness. So much for "turning Canada to God" (I wonder if any of the "adventurers" asked to get their money back).

Not being grieved by this and getting comfort in God's ultimate victory is sin.

I will no doubt get e-mails and comments by callous souls who will quote that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18), and that God, ultimately has the victory (Revelation 20-21). Indeed, God will be victorious, and all of God's elect will be saved, but to just shrug off what is happening to the church in North America today, and even, to go along with it, is absolutely abominable. Read what Ezra did when he heard of Israel's disobedience in Ezra 9... I assure you, he didn't just shrug off the situation.

Facing the facts: Rand's corner of the globe is "Dead Land".

And while things may be a bit different in Western Canada and the Southern US, I strongly doubt these places are in full spiritual prosperity; if anything, I'm pretty sure they are just as bad as us North-Easterners. This is an important fact to come to grips with. I mean, a patient has to first realize that he/she has a health problem before going to the ER. Things are not going to change in "Dead Land" until resident saints realize that they are indeed in "Dead Land", and that their behaviour is probably contributing to the spiritual deadness.

Revival is the only hope.

And no, revival isn't found on short-term mission trips, train rides, or the Alpha course. True, Biblical revival comes to people who humble themselves and diligently seek God's face. Consider some of the greatest revivals recorded in Scripture: Ezra 10, Jonah 3, and Acts 2. This is the only hope left for my part of the world, and it may be your only hope too, dear Christian reader.

Let us pray for this revival from the Lord, and let us honestly serve Him, giving Him our all. That is, after all, our reasonable service.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)

"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)


We Gave It Our Best Shot

Saturday, May 20, 2006
but again, no notes...

Another weekend without any street preaching... we were rained out again. My pastor and I were hoping to go out today (Saturday afternoon), to make up for last night and last Friday night, but the Lord sent us more rain. So I guess I'll have to take a quiet weekend.

I suppose there is some good in having this time off, since I am preaching the evening service tomorrow night. More time to study and prepare my sermon is definitely a good thing. Also, my work has been quite demanding over the last two weeks, so taking the extra time to just take it easy and rest is somewhat refreshing.

All this being said, I must say that I would have liked to have had a night of street preaching. Going weeks without it tends to make me even more nervous when I do make it out again, and there is also the lost to consider; my city needs all the evangelism it can get, even if it doesn't recognize it.

Perhaps I'll get some evangelism done on Victoria Day (we have this Monday off in Canada), and make this weekend a truly, spiritually profitable one.



Time Travel - Expedition # 5

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
remembering a friend...

(if you don't know what this is... check out the other Time Travel Expeditions in the menu bar)


Stephen moved into the biggest and richest house in our neighborhood when I was about 6 years old. He was 2-3 years younger than me, but despite the age difference, we became friends. I suppose that's how it is for everyone at that age; friendships just sort of happens. We lived close to each other, we were both young kids, so we were friends.

I clearly remember how it all started. I was playing in the sandbox my father had constructed for me when the feeling of being watched came over me. I slowly stood up and looked to my left, and there was a short, brown haired boy, watching at me from his backyard, which was across a field that layed between our houses. Always willing to show off my great sandbox, I waved my hand to the boy, inviting him to come over. The boy turned around and ran into his house. At first, I was puzzled, but when I saw the boy come out of his house again, I understood that he had probably just got permission from his parents to come over.

"I'm Stephen and that's my house over there," the boy said.

"I'm Rand and this is my sandbox," I answered. "You want to play?"

Stephen never answered. He didn't have to. Just like that, with those few words, we were carving out dirt roads and building tunnels in the sand. And that's how it began. It didn't matter that Stephen was spoiled rotten, it didn't matter that he was, for the most part, a little terror, it didn't matter that he was a few years younger than me. We both enjoyed playing with our Hotwheels in my sandbox and that was good enough to keep us together.

We were eventually separated, my family and I moved away from our little neighborhood, and though I still got to see Stephen in school, well, it just wasn't the same. Again, I suppose this is a normal event in all of our lives; friendships almost always have a season in which they blossom, and then a season in which they just kind of drift away. I can't help but admit this fact when I look back on my life, but I have to say that while I acknowledge the fact, it does pinch a bit; perhaps I'm the nostalgic type.

I wonder if I would feel less nostalgia over this particular past friendship if I would still see Stephen from time to time; if I could just pick up the phone and say: "Hi Steph, how's it goin'!?!" Sadly, that's a question that will never be answered; Stephen died of leukemia just a couple of years after we moved away from our little neighborhood.



Rained Out!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006
no notes tonight...

There will be not Friday Night Notes tonight. We were rained out (the weather man said it would rain all weekend... argh!), and even if there had been no rain, I probably wouldn't have been able to make it out tonight. This post is actually being written at 10:30 pm from my WORKPLACE!!!

It's been a pretty crazy week at work, and I hope that my overtime tonight will ease things up a bit for me next week. If it doesn't, be prepared to read some whiny posts next week... lol!

Anyway, have a blessed weekend, dear readers.


Damning Their Own Children

Thursday, May 11, 2006
I'm probably going to be called a "very bad man" for this...

In French Canadian circles, the on-going Jeremy Gabriel story is all over the media. I first became aware of this 9-year-old boy at the beginning of a Montreal Canadiens hockey game I watched on television. This young deaf lad, his body deformed by a rare genetic disease sang the Canadian national anthem and didn't miss a beat. It was a great moment.

Well, Jeremy is in the news again... and the news ain't good. Oh, don't worry, physically, the boy is fine. He is happy and healthy (all things considered). It is spiritually that poor Jeremy finds himself in peril. Jeremy, sadly, took a trip to Rome:

"A nine-year-old boy from the Quebec City area lived his dream of singing for the Pope on Thursday in Rome."

It kills me to see that while Jeremy has struggled courageously for his physical life and have won great victories, spiritually, he is being led to the idolatry of Romanism, which ultimately, will lead him to spiritual death. Consider:

"The boy later had a private audience at the Vatican with the Pope, who hugged him and gave him a rosary."

And then, Jeremy's own words, when speaking of the blessings in his life:

"...c'est grâce à Dieu, et le pape, c'est comme Dieu!"

This French phrase was incorrectly translated like this by the English media: "It's thanks to God, and the Pope is the closest thing." The correct translation is: "It's thanks to God, and the Pope, IT'S LIKE God."

In idolatrous Quebec, all youth are exposed to the teachings of Romanism. It's in their schools, on the television, and in their literature. The deception is great, and by adulthood, most Romanists in Quebec actually believe that the Pope has a special "direct line" to God, and that on Earth, there is none more holy. Kneeling before the Pope, is like kneeling before God as far as they are concerned.

What a grievous, detestable lie.

May the Lord be gracious to Jeremy Gabriel, not just in the physical realm, but especially in the spiritual realm. I pray that the Lord would break the power of Romanism in my country, that all the little ones in the land would be spared this terrible path of idolatry.

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:14)

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." (1 John 5:21)


In Case You Were Wondering

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
it's that time of the year...

If you have been wondering why I haven't been blogging as much lately, let me explain: I'm Canadian, and this is the NHL playoffs, which means I am watching enough hockey to carry me through the long summer season.

It's not my fault... it's in my DNA.


ps: work has been nuts too.


Sunday, May 07, 2006
now that was something...

Yesterday, we spent the day at our sending church which is roughly 1 hour out of town. We were there for an ordination ceremony for the head pastor. I had never been to an ordination service before, so the whole thing was quite the learning experience. This is how we spent the day:

1- A time of corporate prayer (2 hours)

2- Formation of an examination council, composed of pastors and members from other churches of like faith, followed by the examination (aka "grilling"... lol) of the pastor to be ordained (4 hours)

3- Then we were booted out of the sanctuary so that the ordination council could deliberate whether they would recommend the ordination of the pastor. They did. (30 minutes)

4- The church members (which includes me) then consider the recommendation of the ordination council and vote for or against the ordination of the pastor. We voted for... unanimously. (30 minutes)

5- Finally, the day was capped with an ordination service which included the singing of hymns, a sermon from guest preacher (and he was great!), and then, following the pattern of Scripture, the men of the church layed their hands on the pastor and prayed for him (Acts 13:2; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6)

Listening to these great men of the Faith dissecting the church's doctrinal statement was a real treat. Our pastor answered the questions well, and his testimonies of both how he was saved and how he was called to the ministry were truly inspiring. It was a really, really blessed day.

I realized something, after witnessing these pastors' conversations and general behaviour: what a spiritual pipsqueak I am! I mean these men, in word and action, are without question great soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord be gracious to me, to make me and shape me into such a faithful, godly man.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)


Friday Night Notes

Saturday, May 06, 2006
the night of the hypocrites...

Another three hours of street preaching done tonight by my pastor and I, and sadly, nothing too positive to report. I seriously struggled with my allergies tonight (the old itchy eyes and runny nose), which made preaching quite difficult, but not impossible.

Hypocrisy was the order of the night. Here are a few examples:

Hypocrite # 1:

As I was preaching the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ Jesus, a man and his family (his wife/girlfriend and a baby) walked by me. The man stopped just a few feet to my right, pulled out a business card and said:

-"Take this and give me a call, maybe I can help you."

The card read: "Jewish Family Services... Pete Cassidy... Outreach Worker."

Not seeing the relevance of him "helping me" with anything, I repeated the necessity for repentance and faith in Christ. His answer: the middle finger.

A couple of minutes later, they walk right by me again, so I seized the opportunity:

-"Some 'outreach worker' you are my friend," I began, "tell me, in what way can a man who gives the middle finger so quickly be any 'help' to me? In what way will you 'reach out' to me, sir?"

He was quite unrepentant and tried to justify his wickedness with the old "well... you started it with your preaching." Uninterested in hearing his hypocritical excuses, I continued preaching and he walked away.

Hypocrite # 2:

The two sodomites were back tonight. They mocked and insulted my pastor as he was preaching, doing their best to get in his face to disturb him. As they were doing this, they cast the following accusations towards my pastor: hateful, ignorant, intolerant.

Can you say H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y?

Hypocrite # 3:

A young man came by and spoke with me while my pastor was dealing with the sodomites. He wondered if I had received a "revelation" from God showing me that I should preach in the marketplace. You see, as far as he was concerned, I was "banging my head against the wall" preaching the Gospel in the marketplace; that is to say, I was in far too hostile territory to see any kind of fruit from our ministry.

-"God will save every one in the end, my friend, we just have to do what God reveals to each and everyone of us to do."

After listening to all this nonsense, I clarified that everything we did, as far as the street preaching was concerned, was according to the Word of God, the Bible. I took exception with his "God will save everyone" philosophy, and the strange thing, is that he was pretty agreeable with what I had to say. At that point, I realized that he was going to agree with everything I had to say, even if it was 100% contrary to his philosophy. With that realization, I put an end to our conversation; he was looking to bridge his philosophy to our Gospel preaching, and there's no way I was going to lose time listening to him try.

With all this wicked, hypocritical self-justification, I must say, our Friday night evangelism was a disappointment. On the upside though, we did distribute a good number of Bible tracts, so who knows, maybe the Lord will yet work salvation in His elect throughout the night and weekend.

Let us pray to that end.


Keeping Busy

Thursday, May 04, 2006
vacation... yeah right!

If you are all wondering where I've gone, well, I apologize... I've been busy. I'm actually off work right now; I took a week of vacation and took my family out camping for a couple of days. We had a good time. It was good to get out of town and enjoy the quietness of a deserted campground.

Upon our return, I went to work in my backyard, setting things up for my summer passion: gardening. Our yard is pretty small and we have been, for the most part, neglecting it over the last two years. Well, no more. I've built a large box that I will be filling with top soil soon and I plan to get some serious veggies growing in a couple of weeks.

My vacation isn't all play though. My wife has got me running around with various errands and I have been helping out with the preparations of an ordination service set for this Saturday. Add to this some preparations for my Sunday School class and tomorrow's Street Preaching, and it's been quite a busy, busy, busy week!

It'll be nice to go back to my cushy government job... lol.