Saturday, June 28, 2008

Out of Control

This video speaks for itself. Please watch it first and then go to Tony Miano's blog to read his remarks on Todd Bentley's "revival."

Spurgeon on Sugarcoating the Gospel

It never ceases to amaze how many of Charles Spurgeon's quotes seem so applicable to the modern church. Below is one good example. Many blogs and web sites highlight Spurgeon's words, but I guess there's a good reason for that.

We of course keep our eyes on Christ always, not lifting any man above another, but we can still appreciate the words and works of those He has raised up to serve a lost and dying world. Enjoy!

"Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel
which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that
is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed
to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground,
so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul."

-Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Elderly

The Elderly are among the most difficult people to reach. Although you'd think they should be thinking of eternal matters and their standing with God, often they are not. In fact much of what I share seems to go right over their heads. They are many times much more interested in telling you about their lives or circumstances.

Antonio was one such man. He is Eighty-five years old and a WW II veteran to boot having fought both the Germans and the Japanese. He agreed with all of what we shared but still didn't seem to show conviction or a true grasp of the Gospel as it pertained to his eternity. We gave him a cold bottle of water and some tracts in Spanish along with the Mormonism VS Christianity DVD. I urged him to consider what we had discussed and parted with a hand shake, but I sure didn't like the feeling I had when I walked away. I know The Holy Spirit can reach him but please still pray for Antonio.

Pray for the laborers

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Dave had it posted in the church bulletin that he was planning some morning outings to reach the lost. His idea was to go out to an area where immigrant workers hang out in Queen Creek waiting for day work from local landscapers and contractors. We also found out that the Mormon elders had been frequenting the area which caused us concern, so we headed out with the Mormon VS Christianity videos in hand--in Spanish of course. Dave brought free water and spanish tracts along with a pack of Spanish Million Dollar Bills I had which turned out to be a big hit with them!

The workers were more than happy to mug for photos!

It's always such an encouragement when people respond with concern for their eternity. One concern of mine when sharing in Spanish is that I get the right message out the right way. It's definitely a challenge when it seems like you're getting funny looks and expressions, but when they finally get it and show concern, I know The Holy Spirit is at work.

Dave brought his mini DVD player to show a preview.

And yes indeed, the Mormon elders were out in force.

Once they saw us, they walked to.....

and fro. I don't think they were in the mood for a conversation with us.

All in all, it was a great outing although my brain usually feels a little scrambled after that much use of my already lacking Spanish. Please pray that these men who have so little and risked so much to make it here, heard the Gospel and have responded. Regardless of their legal standing in this country, their souls are just as precious to God as any others.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Right in the Solar Plexus

Listen all the way to the end. It's a shocker

Soccer and Fishing

“Daddy, can we go street fishing instead of going to soccer practice?” It’s rare that I am tongue tied for words, but my seven year old daughter has a gift for doing just that. “Well, um, uh…I don’t think that’s a great idea, but what about after practice in the park.” Pretty quick thinking if I do say so myself. “Okay, let’s go.” So off we were to soccer –and fishing.

My nine year old daughter also came along. She devised the plan. “Okay Dad, we’ll hand out the tracts and you can do all the talking.” That sounded good to me since everyone looks the same to them. That is, I still have a tendency to size up people who are perspective tractees. Usually it’s a dialogue in my head; “No, that guy’s beard scares me and that girl flipping her hair is on her cell phone. What if it’s an important call?” My girls were faithful litter tract passer outers. “Did you get one of these? Thanks a million.”

The first people we encountered were Keeshawn and Derrick, both age 12. My youngest pulled out the optical illusion tract and went to work. “Which on is bigger? Okay, now which one is bigger?” Keshawn remained more or less quiet while Derrick was engaged and I think, a little entertained too, by these young evangelists. I went through the Law and the Gospel with them both. Keeshawn wasn’t too concerned but Derrick turned a bit serious when asked where he would end up without Jesus. I urged them to carefully consider what we had discussed and they both promised they would.

After we wrapped up our conversation, Keeshawn and Derrick continued on their skateboards as we moved on to other fish. God only knows what they did with His precious Gospel. Please pray for them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Building Foundation

Here is an email I received from a brother that attended the Ambassadors' Academy with me back in April. We didn't serve on the same team, but we were all touched by Vic's testimony and baptism in the ocean at Huntington beach. Vic's words are such an encouragement and I wanted to share them here. he was kind enough to give his permission. Thanks Vic, for your faithfulness.

Brothers and Sisters,

Today my wife and I attended a new church (as we've been looking for one where the Word is preached expositionally). It's a tiny church called Cleveland Park Bible Church, and it was founded in 1939. I'd estimate that there were about 75 to 100 people there this morning. I have passed by this church so many times in my life that it's not even funny. But I never "noticed" it really. I am here to tell you, the Word WAS PREACHED expositionally. To boot, the pastor that preached was probably the 3rd guy in the line-up, and a lay person at that. Magnificent! Unbelievable! He preached Jude. The hymns were done with a piano, and they were: The Church's One Foundation, How Firm A Foundation, and the one about which I'm going to write the words for you here, Am I A Soldier of the Cross. As we sang I had tears in my eyes because I thought of our Lord Jesus Christ, this war we are in with such high stakes for the lost, and also about all of you. I miss you all so very much. Keep fighting this good fight, brothers and sisters, run this race with sure and steady feet at a marathon's pace, and endure to the end.

I love you, In Christ, Vic

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb?And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His Name?Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease,While others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody seas?Are there no foes for me to face? Must I not stem the flood?Is this vile world a friend to grace, to help me on to God?Sure I must fight if I would reign; increase my courage, Lord; I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word. Amen.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Help Wanted

The first Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix is held on the first Friday every month and provides a great streetfishing environment. Lots of boothes and people crowd the blocked-off streets for an evening of music, food, clubs and of course, art galleries.

After a night of both open air preaching and one on one witness encounters, I stood and talked to a good friend and fellow fisherman about the evening. He told me something that caught me by surprise; He struggles with one on one witness encounters. I never would have thought this because he is very involved with a group of local evangelists as well as having done several missonary trips abroad where the Gospel has been preached. I have also watched him preach in the open air. To me, this guy does it all! I offered what encouragement I could, but I had me thinking. What would it take for him to clear this obstacle and move forward with personal conversations?

The answer came to me when I was reading a book by Ray Comfort called The Bluebook on Evangelism. In it, Comfort answers a question on whether it is better to hand out lots of tracts or to concentrate on one on one witness encounters. In short, his answer is both, but he also added that "The problem is that we have a lack of laborers. I know of some people who find one-to-one difficult, but they can pass out tracts like a machine" (Comfort 28).

The real issue is that this wouldn't be an issue if there were just more laborers for the harvest. Laborers who could encourage and fill the gap for those of us who have difficulties in certain areas. So to my friend I say, keep fighting the good fight and pray. Jesus said this in Luke 10:2. "Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."