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, April 19, 2014
Good Friday...

A whole three hours of street preaching and not one of our Bible signs were knocked down by those who hate the Gospel.  That's a first in a long time.  It probably helped that the number of souls in the market tonight was rather low; but hey, I'll take it!

It just dawned on me, just now as I wrote the above paragraph, that it's a truly sad state of affairs when "good news" of our evangelism is that "no one trampled the Word under foot".  It really shows the demise of faith, genuine and otherwise, and the rise of religious intolerance.  The fact that our preaching was done on "Good Friday" didn't even register with most of the people we ministered to; the "Christian" holiday has become just another cultural/historical day-off-work that no one really cares to know anything about.  From the perspective of a Christian fundamentalist like myself, there something really disappointing about that, but I think even on a purely cultural and historical context, there's something sad about this new reality.

Despite the low numbers of people in the market, Pastor Tim and I handed out a fair number of Gospel tracts, and had a few conversations with the lost.  I'm not sure how well Pastor Tim's one-on-one conversation went with a young man, but it looked profitable.  I on the other hand had one of those silly conversations with a young Muslim man.  If I had a dime for every instance where a Muslim has tried to convince me that his/her faith was superior because...

1- The Qu'ran is pure, never changed, and isn't messed up by translations.
2- Muslims believe in Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed.
3- Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

The first two statements are ludicrous, and any careful study of Islam proves their idiocy.  The Qu'ran is a wretched book, with a number of sections that are unintelligible.  The Moses and Jesus described in the Qu'ran, the Moses and Jesus Muslims believe in are nothing like the Moses and Jesus described in the Bible.  They are entirely different people.  As far as the third statement is concerned, I'm way passed the age where I feel the need to believe in something, just because a large portion of the population think it's a great thing.

Still, the young man tried his pitch, and I shot him down every step of the way.  No doubt the young man was a devout Muslim, but it was clear that he was an ignorant one, since he couldn't answer simple questions on the teachings of the Qu'ran.  Either that, or he wouldn't answer my questions, fearing they would make my arguments for me.  I ended the conversation and the young man wasn't too pleased with that, giving me warnings of hellfire if I rejected "the-prophet-mohammed-glory-and-honour-to-his-name".  "Consider me warned... and I'll take my chances..." I said, unable to keep from smiling.

Not much more to report I'm afraid.  Like I said, it was a quiet night.  It was good to finally be able to make it out after being prevented of three weeks.  I trust the Lord was glorified.

Have a blessed weekend, dear saints.


No Notes

Saturday, April 12, 2014
technical difficulties...

I had the absolute worse day at work today.  I was in the lab 'till 10:30pm, trying to get an HPLC to behave.

I know Pastor Tim went out to preach the Gospel.  I hope things went well for him.


No Notes

Saturday, April 05, 2014
rained out again...

Pastor Tim and I didn't go out street preaching last night due to rain.  Silver lining: April showers bring May flowers.


No Notes

Saturday, March 29, 2014
rained out...

I will be preaching the Lord's Day evening service... remember me in your prayers, dear saints.


Friday Night Notes

Saturday, March 22, 2014
kept the police busy...

What a night.

Where to begin?

I suppose I should start by mentioning that there isn't a camera-phone picture attached to this post because... well because with everything that took place, pulling out my cellphone to take a picture of our surroundings just didn't cross my mind.

It didn't take long for our night of evangelism to quickly degenerate.  If memory serves, I had been preaching the Gospel for no more than 15 minutes when a man professing to be a Christian came over to "set me straight".  At first I thought I was in for a "you're-not-evangelizing-right", with a side dish of "you-need-to-preach-more-lovey-dovey".  Instead the man, who claimed to be a Christian, started a diatribe about the inaccuracies of the Bible and how, ultimately, God's Word was unreliable.  I let the man talk for a couple of minutes, then tried to give an answer, but this was a monologue, not a conversation, so I moved a few feet away from the man and began preaching the Gospel again.  That infuriated the man who began to curse and swear at me (remember, this was a professing Christian).

At this point I began praying that the Lord would rid me of this wicked soul, when something caught my eye over on the other side of the street where Pastor Tim was offering Gospel tracts to those who walked by.  A young woman violently kicked one of our Bible signs to the ground.  Pastor Tim walked over, picked the sign up, but undeterred, the woman kicked the sign back down, screaming and yelling at the good preacher.  So both of us had crazies yelling obscenities at us, but my "crazy" quickly became of no consequence.

Things were about to get real serious over on Pastor Tim's side, as I noticed a deranged homeless man walking towards the young woman and Pastor Tim.  This was a potentially explosive situation: I knew the homeless man was going to defend an old man over a cursing, violent twenty-year-old, and that's what had me worried.  I was afraid the man was going to physically assault the young woman and then, well, the game would be on, if you get my drift.  So I quickly ran across the street to try to get in the way of whatever was about to happen.  The crazy so-called Christian who had been harassing me got a chance to say: "That's right! You run away you brainwashed coward!"  Which I must say annoyed me, but I had more serious things to worry about than my pride.

When I got next to Pastor Tim, there was a bit of a standoff, where the wicked woman traded obscenities with the homeless man.  Eventually, the woman turned to Pastor Tim and I and said: "What you're doing is illegal, and I'm calling the cops!"  To which we answered: "Go for it!"  That annoyed the woman who proceeded to kick our Bible signs (all three this time) down to the ground, and made good on her threat to call the police, before running off into the night.

So in the space of two minutes, Pastor Tim and I were surrounded by police cruisers, with one police officer taking charge, asking us what was going on.  We explained the situation and after failing to locate the woman who had lodged a complaint against us, the officer in charge asked us for identification to confirm we weren't troublemakers, and that we would be left in peace afterwards.  A quick check on his laptop and the officer gave me back my ID and said: "You guys aren't doing anything illegal and you are free to continue as you wish.  Goodnight."

The officer left, and within 5 minutes another homeless man came to see me, to enquire of my well-being.  I was surprised that he cared what happened to us, but a bit thankful.  My thankfulness however turned to serious concern when the very drunk homeless man said: "Don't you worry guy, if anyone would have given you serious trouble, I would have pulled out my 9mm and would have backed you."  Now these drunks are pathological liars, so perhaps he didn't have a pistol and was all talk, but he moved something heavy in his jacket when he said "9mm" and well... that was a thought that gave me the willies!

I was only beginning to settle back down... preached the Gospel for about 15 minutes, when another homeless man showed up and expressed some dissatisfaction toward my preaching.  It started with cursing, then came the threats, and then violence.  I got pushed around some, the man tried his best to break the Bible sign I was holding, but was unable.  That's when Pastor Tim showed up, and seeing that there was two of us, the man relented but he struck again the minute Pastor Tim walked away.

At this point, Pastor Tim rushed back and told me to call the police.  I really didn't want to do that, the last thing I wanted is for us preachers to become an annoyance to the police.  That's when a man came up to Pastor Tim and I and told us he was a police officer from out-of-town and that he wanted us to call the police right away.  Providentially, at that very moment, a police cruiser just happened to come by.  The out-of-town officer ran to the police vehicle, showed off his badge and explained the situation to an in-uniform officer and a plain clothed passenger.

Once again, three police cruisers descended on our corner, but this time, we weren't the targets.  Three officers detained the homeless man, and the plain clothed man was an observer named Dwayne.  I know his name because he visited our church assembly just a couple of weeks ago; he is the nephew of one of our church members.  With Dwayne and the out-of-town officer's help, everything got sorted out quickly: the homeless man was warned to leave us alone and to leave the area.  Dwayne and the officer he was assigned to remained on our corner for a good 20 minutes while we went back to our evangelism, to make sure we were safe.

I thank God for the work of the various police officers that dealt with us tonight.  They were professional, wise and in the end, quite kind to us.  Still, I much prefer Friday evangelism nights that don't require the presence of police.

The rest of our night of evangelism was pretty miserable.  Our Bible signs were spat at, and there was no shortage of blasphemy and mockery.  The only upside is I did hand out a good number of Bible tracts.  Who know what the Lord will do.

I have to admit, it's difficult to calm down after such an eventful night.  That said, I'm in far better spirits than in my earlier years when I had to deal with violent opposition.  Getting to be an old warrior for Christ, I suppose.

Anyway, I'm going to give some sleep a try now... wow... what a night.

God bless you, dear readers.

2:52 AM
  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger James Bradshaw said…

    Have you tried carrying a taser? That would teach them ...

  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger Rand said…

    There's a thought that's going to fester...

    LOL (Just kidding... as I'm sure you are too).

    The reality is physically, the homeless man that attacked me wasn't much of a threat. I'm not a big tough man myself, but I could have taken that man down had I chosen to do so. But out there, on Friday nights, I'm an ambassador for Christ, and the last thing I want is for the unbelieving world to see a Christian beating up on a sinner.

    So, bottom line is a taser or any other self-defense isn't the answer. The examples set forth in Scripture are far to clear:

    -Moses killing an Egyptian in an attempt to become Israel's saviour.
    -Peter swinging a sword at Malchus' head.
    -Jesus patiently suffering at the hands of the wicked in His passion.

    It's not an easy situation to be in, but I know what example I'm to follow:

    "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)

    In the end, the Lord showed forth his mercy and care to us street preachers, and delivered us. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness.

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    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, March 15, 2014
    nice to have some support...

    It was a far busier night tonight.  Temperatures are beginning to climb, and my fellow Canadians are beginning to come out a bit more.  It was still a relatively chilly night, but the wind wasn't nearly as bitter as last week; won't be long now, and the snow will begin to melt away, and summer street preaching will begin.

    Our night of evangelism started out pretty well; a man came out of a restaurant near our preaching spot, and quickly came by to speak with me.  He said he felt the need to come by and encourage me... that I was "doing a good thing".  What he added blew me away:

    "I'm a father, and as a believer, I spend a lot of time teaching my kids about 'what not to do', but seeing you here tonight, I realized that I need to start teaching my kids about 'what they should be doing'."

    He walked away shortly after saying this, then he stopped and asked me if I would accept a donation.  I declined.  When I do Gospel work, I like to follow the words of Christ literally:

    "... freely ye have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8b)

    A number of other saints came by, from various local assemblies, to offer us words of encouragement.  One young man offered to get Pastor Tim and I some hot chocolate to warm us up.  The Lord bless these dear saints for their kindness and support.

    Pastor Tim had a short conversation with a couple of Muslim women that proved somewhat unprofitable.  According to one of the women, Pastor Tim's understanding of "jihad" was erroneous (despite the fact the good preacher actually read the wretched Qu'ran, cover-to-cover).  According to her, "jihad" was about the inner-struggle in individual Muslims, not violent war on infidels.  Both Pastor Tim and I had a good laugh.  They were either insanely gullible, or they thought we were.

    Our Bible signs almost made it through the night without once being kicked to the ground, but alas, our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign (our most popular) got taken down with less than an hour left to our evangelistic effort.  Something interesting happened as I was about to walk over to pick the sign back up: a man I've seen regularly downtown (perhaps a homeless man, I'm not sure) told me to keep preaching, and that he'd fix my sign... and he did!  I wanted to thank the man for his assistance, but after fixing up our sign, he just walked away.  The Lord be merciful and gracious to him for his kindness toward us.

    Around 11pm, it was definitely time for me to head home.  After hours of listening to the ungodly conversations of the wicked all around me, it got pretty wearying.  It truly is awful, the extent of the degeneration of our society, and that, in such a short period of time.  The Lord have mercy on Canada... for we are ripe for judgment... or are we already being judged?

    Goodnight, dear readers.

    Have a blessed weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day.


    Friday Night Notes

    Saturday, March 08, 2014
    preaching to a tough crowd...

    Weather-wise, tonight's open-air evangelism was far more comfortable; it wasn't anywhere near as cold as last week.  Sadly though, the hearts of those we ministered to, by and large, were cold and hard as ice.

    I think our night of evangelism would have been pretty miserable, were it not for a pleasant surprise: Brother Rod was able to join us tonight.  He showed up about an hour after Pastor Tim and I got started, and it was really nice to get some reinforcements just as things started to go downhill.

    Some of our Bible signs took more beatings tonight.  If memory serves only one of our three Bible signs went through the night without being kicked aside.  Actually, no... come to think of it, all three signs were manhandled.  One young man trampled one of our signs underfoot... can't imagine the trouble the poor wretch is in, especially when one considers Psalm 138:2...

    I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

    I did have a "special moment" during my second turn at street preaching: as I was preaching on the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ, I noticed a little boy watching and listening to my words.  He was in the back of a car parked across the street from our preaching spot.  He had rolled down the window half way and listened attentively.  Just before the car left, the boy gave me a "thumbs up" and yelled out: "God bless you!"

    That was the highlight of my night... the only highlight.  Everything else was blasphemies, threats and mockery.  The harsh and crude words were particularly grievous tonight.  You'd think I'd be quite hardened by now, and unaffected by the foul language of the wicked... but I have to admit that the wicked world finds a way to vex me with its evil communications.

    Still, we did minister the Gospel to hundreds of souls tonight, and several Gospel tracts were handed out... who knows what the Lord will do!?!

    To Him alone be all honour and glory, now and forever.