Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break '09

It was a beautiful Saturday here in central Florida, 83 and breezy. The spring breakers are here in full force.

I met with Steve and Dayna from our Way of the Master Intermediate Class; we prayed and hit the beaches with the unsaved, as well as those who claimed to be born again.

The first few folks did not want to talk and when asked if they believed in Heaven and Hell, they either said, " and I don’t want to talk about it" or another said "...yes but I don’t want to talk about it." Too many distractions for them.

A fellow I stopped and gave a MDB to, said he did believe in Heaven and will be going there. He proudly said he was a believer and that he had admitted his sin, repented and put his faith and trust in Jesus. Very encouraging to me. I asked if we would take a handful of tracts and hand them out when he got home, which he did.

Then I started to talk to Ron. Originally from Haiti he said he was a believer but further prodding showed he was not too sure of how and when he really surrender his life. Said his wife was a believer since she was born. I did not even go there.
Ron said she took him to church and what changed his mind was the movie “Left Behind”.

I asked him if I fell in front of him and had 3 minutes to live, how would I get to Heaven? He said he would pray for me. Sad. When I asked what he would say about sin and repentance, he said something about "...dying like you are could not be a sin." A disconnect here somehow.

Anyway, I gave him the example of a cure for his disease sin) but since he did not know he had the disease it would make no sense to him. I gave him the Good Person test about the law, and he admitted he broke the law. He could never tell me if he really admitted this to God.

Then he tells me he has heard some of this before on Joel Osteen. I had no comment except I told him I did not want his money,,,,,

I gave him some more info and asked him to re-think his walk with God – he was very sincere and I think he will.

Steve and Dayna had some good encounters and will post them later.

Friday, March 27, 2009

3 Minutes Flat!

HA! Think you don’t have enough time to get into a conversation with someone about something as deep as ‘eternal destiny’??? Sure you do.

OK, I had to get ANOTHER phone. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say, I don’t need a complicated one! So anyway…here I am taking another one back. Marcus was kind enough to help me choose this time. While he and Dennis worked out the details, I planned my approach. I like to keep it simple.

As Marcus rang me up and got me all finished he smiled and said, “Thank you and have a nice day.”

“Thank you Marcus. Hey...where will go when you die?” I casually said. He stared at me with a puzzled look for a second as if he had mis-heard me. I gave him a pleasant smile. “You know we are all going to die some day.”

“Well, I…hopefully I’m going to Heaven.” He answered.

“Oh…how will you get there?” I asked him.

“Well, by being a good person and …uh, you know going to church and hopefully keeping the Commandments and all.” He responded somewhat confidently.

“Let’s test your theory, Marcus. Have you kept the Commandments?”

“I think I’ve done pretty well.” He said.

Marcus changed his mind a few questions later and just as he found out that his destiny was somewhat South and MUCH warmer than his original plan, his boss walked up with some work for him.

I had given him a Good Person tract so I told him he’d better read it to get the solution for his problem. Marcus had a worried look on his face as I walked away- but I know this may be the start of a new day for him. READ IT MARCUS.

It really doesn't take much effort on our part to possibly help change a destiny.

Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tony then and now.

Tony then:
It was about two years ago now that I first met Tony. He sure looked sick. He was lying in his bed, pale and very thin. He seemed very cold so, I offered to get him a blanket. He seemed afraid for me to ask. I retrieved one out of the linen cart and covered him up.

“Better?” I asked.

“Oh, yes, better.” He said.

We talked a bit and Tony told me about his life as the owner of a popular sandwich shop. “They called me Tony Baloney.” We laughed and talked some more. Tony told me that he was in the rehab center because he was having trouble with his colon. I noticed that the medication he was on was for cancer patients. When we got to the serious topic of eternity, Tony got very quiet.

As we made our way through the Law of God, Tony began to cry. “Will God ever forgive me?” He sobbed when he realized how grievous his sin actually was to God. I had to wait until he was able to hear me before I gave him the Great News! As I explained what it meant to follow Jesus I gave him the illustration of the parachute that we all like to use. I told him that he should trust Jesus just like a parachute, if his plane were going down. His hands flew to his mouth and he said, “My girlfriend’s grandson was skydiving yesterday and his parachute failed to open!” Tears came to his eyes again and I explained that this was the closest illustration I could think of but that now he could see that Jesus was even more reliable than a parachute that we trust our lives to (or something like that!). I prayed silently that this would not interfere with Tony receiving the Message that he needed. Tony wanted to pray right then to ask God to forgive him. He said he wanted to follow Jesus. I gave Tony a large-print Bible and put his name in the front of it.

A couple of months later I received this note from him…

Tony now:
This year at Christmas I received a note from Tony with a request that I call him sometime. That time was today. It was really nice to talk to him and hear how he is doing. Tony told me today that God has really changed his life since he has been ‘converted’. He told me that for a long time he was an alcoholic, he could not give it up no matter how many times he tried. Since his conversion he has not had a drink. He doesn’t want to offend God. He also told me that he tithes 10% of his income (Social Security). He said that he is currently reading the last chapter of Corinthians. He had a couple of questions for me and we cleared those up. Tony told me that every night he prays to the Lord and when he does he thanks God for sending me and asks God to bless me.

Although Tony is 80 now and not well enough to get out to church, he is growing in the Lord. He is not a false-convert but a living, breathing son of the living God.

Lately I have been praying for clear direction from the Holy Spirit…

Message received loud and clear.

Phillipians 1:3-6 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making my request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,

Jesus: Too Confrontational?

We have been looking around for a place to hold evangelism classes. After leaving applications at some of the local churches, today I got a call from one of the pastors in town. He told me that after consideration and review of our website their board has decided that they would not like to see this confrontational evangelism approach taught in their church.

I asked how their church did evangelism, outreaches, etc. He said they were really not too involved (translated = nothing!) but they prefer a friendship and relational type of approach. | asked how that worked for them in getting out the Gospel and he did not say much except they really encourage a relationship to be built. I then asked “during this relationship building, the person dies and goes to Hell – then what?” I did not get an answer. I did check out their website and see all of their ‘outreaches’ involve church meetings with church people and church dinners with church people. I think that expression is “preaching to the choir” but I wonder what is preached…….

I went on to explain this was the way that Jesus approached people and that it was 100% Biblical. All of the instruction we provide is scriptural and not a man-made instruction. The pastor continued to call it a “method” and I gently corrected him. Telling him that I did not like the term ‘method’ as what we teach is right out of scripture. Other methods he may be used to are EE, Romans Road, etc. but this is about Biblical principles. They are the same as Jesus used with the woman at the well and the rich young ruler.

Additionally I spoke about the events recently attended in the community and how sad it is to see so many people say they are going to Heaven because they have Jesus in their heart. When these same people were asked how to get to Heaven, they could not answer with anything except – “open your heart to Jesus”. NOTHING about the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ and repentance.

In closing, I told the pastor that we clearly follow scripture by explaining Gal 3:24, James 4:6 and Romans 3:19-20. I could tell throughout the conversation he did not care – his mind was made up and was waiting for me to hang up. He was not very seeker friendly to me.

We ended our conversation after I explained that we teach our students that it is not our job to pray a person into salvation with a rote prayer but rather that is the Holy Spirit’s work. When a person is ready to surrender to Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves in and takes over. We have presented the True Gospel as commanded by The King.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Gospel of Jesus vs. Depraved Indifference: Cocoa Mardi Gras

FFM Ministries was asked by Tom Clark at Life Visual to join them at this outreach. Life Visual provides a gigantic movie screen – about 20 ft tall and shows Christian based videos. They had a table and several folks sharing their faith and tracts.

Diana and I were able to go to this event and saw how bad this world is getting. I had never seen so many unaccompanied young people wandering around with all the ‘partying’, drink and outrageously dressed people. By young I mean 10-15 years old.
We went out handing the million dollar bills and through the night were able to give out over 600. Not a lot..

I spoke to a young girl who was with her mom. I think she was about 8 years old. “Mom” had read the MDB and I asked if I could ask the girl some questions. I could see the apprehension on the mom’s face and she said they were Catholic. Now the first question I really had but did not ask – what is this little girl doing out here????? I asked the girl – never got her name – if she ever lied. She said she had and said a person who lies is called a liar. I then asked if she always obeyed her mom and did what she was told. She said yes but mom was quick to correct her. I said , you did say you told some lies, Is this one of them? She admitted she did not always obey her parents. I then explained about salvation through the blood of Jesus and how she was guilty and Jesus paid her fine but she needed to confess, repent and put her faith in Jesus.

There were 6 young girls about 11 to 15 or so. I asked whom I thought was the oldest what she thought after looking at the MDB she got. She said she will go to heaven because she goes to church. I let her know that sitting in a pew would not make her a Christian. She got mad at me and I then asked how I could get to heaven? She could not tell me. Then the one I think was the youngest of the group said – "I can tell you." I said please tell me and she proudly said, "Admit you are a sinner to God, repent, put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and read your Bible everyday!" Wow 1 in 6 could answer! Kind of follows the rest of today’s statistics in the modern church.

There were a few other good conversations as well but the music was very loud, and the distractions were plentiful in this miniature Sodom and Gomorrah…
Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and if every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation...?

Banners For Bait

As we started to set up the booth Friday night, we got onlookers right away. In fact before we were finished Ed approached Jeff to ask about the “Good Person Test”.

“What is it?” he asked.

Jeff responded with the first question, “Do you consider yourself a good person?”
Before Jeff was done taking him through the series of questions, Ed was claiming to be a ‘born-again Christian’. He smelled heavily of alcohol as he handed me his cup of beer to throw away. When Jeff began to talk to him again he blurted out, “Yeah, I’ve murdered seven people!” Although Jeff tried to keep the conversation going, Ed told him that he was a drinker and he was headed to a bar. He walked away toward his destination.

Dennis walked down the street handing out Million Dollar Bills and asking people to step up to take the test. Diana waited at the end of the block and handed each person who would take one, a tract. At one point she had many people around her and all she needed was a box!

Savannah and Taylor, two teen-aged girls were curious enough to come up. After taking them through the test I could see concern in Taylor’s eyes. Savannah was smug in the fact that she ‘went to church’. As I talked to them Savannah got a phone call. I told her I would be finished in less than a minute so if she could wait that would be great. She did. After speaking to them I gave them the pick of any of the ‘prizes’ on the table. We had a great array of MDB’s and Giant Money as well as 10 Commandment Coins along with a great number of other tracts. They both chose Giant Money. As they walked away I prayed that Satan would not snatch away the seed that had been planted. I love to talk to kids. Most of the time they are really curious.

Axle and Zandra were a couple of teenagers who came up to test themselves. They both listened very carefully and answered honestly, although a little reluctantly. Zandra stated that she was an agnostic. After going through the test, they both admitted to being concerned about their destination. I told them both what God has done so that they do not have to spend eternity in Hell. They both gladly took Mark Cahill’s book “One Heartbeat Away”. Over her shoulder Zandra smiled and said they both love to read! I will continue to pray for you both Zandra-I think you will find that book enlightening.

Kyle was dressed in black from head to toe. He even had on black nail polish. I asked if he was Goth but he said no. Chris was his younger brother, tagging alongside. When I took them through the test they were both very honest and also very surprised to find they were criminals in God’s eyes. They also both had a head knowledge of Jesus but weren’t really sure why He came. Many people will say that ‘He came to forgive the sins of the world’ as if this is the panacea for sin. I explained to these brothers that Jesus came to pay their penalty-so that God would have a reason to dismiss their case. I told them that in order to claim that payment they must repent of their sin and trust in Jesus alone. I asked them if this made sense to them. They nodded and said, “Yes.” I gave them a Cahill book to share between them.

Having this booth downtown affords a great opportunity to speak in depth to many people. It also serves as a great training tool for people who need to sharpen their skills. Dayna and Steve have just graduated from the Basic Course and they took turns taking many, many people through the Good Person test. It’s sort of a trial by fire. The banners do the work of gathering the people in. By the time the night is over you have had many great conversations, thereby planting much precious seed.

Luke 14:22, 23 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Max's Prison

I have been really bad lately about NOT blogging…that has to change...

Today I met a young boy around 12 years of age. Scruffy and dirty, he was heading down the sidewalk in his wheelchair at a park near the slides. As I watched him I realized how very limited he was. He could only go on the hard surfaces so he had to stay apart from the ‘real action’. He had to merely watch while all the other kids took part in the games. When I caught up with him he told me his name was Max. I gave him a Million Dollar Bill and after talking to him a minute, I asked him what he thought happens to us after we die. He said he thought we go to Heaven. After opening the Law with Max he realized that he was not in good standing with God. He became aware that he was going to Hell and told me he didn’t want to go there. We talked about God and how He doesn’t want anyone to go, either.

Although Max had heard of Jesus, he wasn’t sure why He really came. When he understood who He was, and why Jesus came and died, Max told me he wanted to follow Jesus.

Max is just a little boy who will live in this chair for as long as he is on this Earth. He will be in his foster home for a long time-but not for Eternity. No matter what circumstances we face here-they are nothing compared with that.

I pray that Max will follow through with his statement that he will talk to God tonite before going to bed.

May God bless you and keep you, Max.

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father in Heaven.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fishing In a Barrel

I don’t even know where to start with this story…there were so many good encounters. Actually there were over 30 GOOD encounters. The reason I know this is that during set up I had a pad of paper on the table as so that I could make a note of what we had and what we needed for next time. After the first young man came up I wrote his name down so I would remember it when I prayed for him. I guess other people wrote on it during the night, because there was a long list of names at the end of the night with comments like, "hard to see his mother dying-will think about it" and "hates us-very angry!". Also one that read, "Daniel-came to Christ 2/13/09-Praise God!".

Dennis and I decided not long ago to order some of the banners from Living Waters. We procured a booth space at a downtown festival and started setting up the tent we got from Sam’s. We also got some blue LED lights since it was going to be a night time event. I will warn you now-there are no great pictures of the crowds. No one had time to take any!

As the Lord would have it we got a space directly in front of one of the most popular restaurants downtown. We were really excited about it!! From the very moment we started attaching those beautiful banners to the sides of our tent we felt the atmosphere changing. The bigger than life question ‘Are You A Good Person’ seemed to be too much to swallow. We were about 10’ from the outdoor diners. Some people even stopped eating! The Friday Fest was slated to start at 6pm but people began right away to approach the booth. This picture was taken before the event ever started.

As we were setting tracts on the table our first ‘guest’ decided to ‘try his luck’ at taking our test. For most of the night people were actually lined up 2 and 3 deep to take the Good Person test!

We had various reactions: people got mad and stomped away-mostly people who claimed to be Christians; others walked away troubled. Some walked away in thought only to return later. One man wanted to pray while standing at the booth!!!

A young man named Troy was troubled and walked away thinking after we talked. About an hour later I heard Jonathan say, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Jennifer.” When I turned around I saw Troy standing there with Jonathan. Troy was asking for ‘about a hundred Million Dollar Bills’ so he could hand them out! I pulled him aside and told Troy it was a nice thing to do but that it would not get him into Heaven. I asked him what he was going to do with the message on them. We talked a bit more and I asked him why he wasn’t sitting down talking with the Lord. He told me that he “didn’t want to have a nervous breakdown, right here.” He told me that his car had broken down beside the highway earlier that very day. He said, “A man came along and saved my life-I almost got run over by a car!” I said it was the grace of God that saved him that day because if he would have died he would have woken up in Hell! He reached into his pocket and tried to give me a big handful of change. I refused-thinking it was all he had. He said it wasn’t but I told him that he should go home and talk to God right now. I saw him walk away-Dennis saw him crying as he walked.

Students from a recent class came and we put them in the booth to administer the test. They got a great chance to administer this test as people walked up and asked to take it!! As a prize we gave out tracts!! Their choice. No one left without tracts and they were asking for them. They would walk up and say, “What do I have to do to get one of those?” while pointing to the Giant Money tracts or a 10 Commandment Coin.

Groups of people would walk up together to watch one of them take the test-it was easy to speak to them all at once.

Our new pastor, John Forsythe was such a blessing as he administered his ‘sobriety test’ using the Red and Blue tracts. He told them if they were sober they should look the same!! It was a hoot! He also got an opportunity to talk with a young Hare Krishna who was shocked to learn a few things about Jesus that he had never known.
Everyone who was there was blessed and all agreed that we have never ever experienced a night of evangelism like that one.

Luke 5:4-9 And as He stopped speaking, He said to Simon, Launch out into the deep and let your nets down for a haul. And answering, Simon said to Him, Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing. Yet at Your word I will let down the net. And doing this, they enclosed a great multitude of fish. And their net was being torn. And they signaled the partners, those in the other boat, to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they were sinking.
Luk 5:8 And seeing, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the haul of fish which they had taken...

It was the closest experience we will ever have to fishing in a barrel! If you'd like to try it-get them here