Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Junk Mail-YAY!

I don't know about you , but sometimes I can't believe all of the junk we get in the mail! I know I wouldn't make a tank with it, but I can do something useful.

When I go through the mail to get rid of it, I keep the return envelopes. Some of the envelopes already have postage paid, but if not I make sure to include a stamp. Million Dollar Bills are one of the tracts I like to use. I know how happy people are to get these so I know they will pass them around.

So, when you feel like your junk mail is giving you a headache, let God use it for good!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Pit Maneuver

Friday night we got to the site early and set up the booth, pretty quickly. All of the vendors at this festival were doing the same. I noticed the Police were positioning their officers around the affair, as well.

People began to arrive to wander around. We all handed out tracts and quickly got into some conversations. As things slowed down, I noticed an officer standing at the entrance to the park.

"Come on Josh, let's go talk to him!" I said. I like talking to Police Officers. I feel that they are doing a wonderful job and I always want them to know they are appreciated.

I greeted the officer, checking out the chevrons on his sleeve. I told him I wasn't sure of his rank.

"You can call me Mike." he said.

"Hi Mike." I introduced myself and Joshua. We told him that we appreciated their presence. We had a bit of trouble a few weeks ago with someone and it was comforting to know they were here.

"Did you get one of these, Mike?"

"What is it?" he asked.

"It's a gospel tract."

"Oh, OK."

"I'm trying to do a pit maneuver on you, Mike," I told him. Our good friend Tony Miano, first gave me the idea to use that phrase. Please try this at home!

"A what??" he laughed.

"You know, a pit maneuver. I'm trying to get you to stop moving forward long enough to read this," I said with a smile.

Mike told me he was a Christian and we talked a little bit about that. We had a great conversation about sharing our faith and he wanted to know more. I ran back to the booth to look for a copy of Tony's book Take Up the Shield but found I had given them all away. I brought him a copy of Mark Cahill's book, One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven. It's a great idea to have some of these resources on hand for the occasion when you have a great conversation and you know someone is very interested in knowing more.

A big THANK YOU to all of the officers who watch over us daily!! Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is there not a causeway?

Allyson and I thought we were going to do some exercise and walk the causeway this morning. This bridge looks daunting. We put our game faces on and started heading west. As we walked we observed that the weather was grand, even if it was a bit cold for our locale. "At least we don't have snow on the ground!" we laughed.

As we passed people we gave out tracts, making use of our time. At the other end we decided to walk down by the water. It was a beautiful day, sun shining off of the waves. We noticed that birds of every sort were hanging out underneath the bridge. We made up stories about them-ok I did that not Allyson. Anyway, we decided to go back up and do the return stretch.

We walked and stopped. As we did this we noticed for the first time the flex in the bridge. "OK, this is creepy. Let's get to the other side." Now of course, the causeway is built to flex, but standing there feeling it with nothing under you but water, is kind of scary.

I noticed something causing waves below us. "Look!" I yelled. We stopped to watch a mother dolphin and her new baby swimming. "That is so cool!!" We talked about how Heaven might look with the crystal sea being clear. We laughed about how little we really understood.

At the bottom of the ramp we started to pass a man with a small brown dog. He said his name was Ross and he introduced the dog as Brownie. He was originally from the Philippines but has been here 40 years. He is an engineer and now retired. We talked to him about death and he told us his brother had recently died. He told us he was a Catholic man and we asked him if he had kept the 10 Commandments. He seemed concerned that we were not Catholics. At first he was reluctant to speak with us but we told him that we did not follow a man-we follow Jesus. We also clarified that we were not Jehovah's Witnesses. After we cleared that up he spoke more freely. After some discussion, Ross was waved away by his wife, who was waiting for him.

As we walked toward his van, he told us that the only time he had questioned God was when his brother died. He said he spent much time asking God, 'why?'.

We gave him a Good Person tract and asked him to read it later. He told us he would and waved goodbye.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just go.

Since the nurses are very familiar with the patients, I usually ask them if they have anyone I should see first. On this particular morning I was told the man I should really see wasn't here but instead, he was in the hospital.

I decided to make the trip on Tuesday. I was really dragging my feet today. I really needed to snap out of it! I prayed on the way that the Lord would take care of all the details. I knew that if I would just plant the seed, salvation would be up to Him. When I got up to the room I was concerned because I could see that there were no sheets on the bed. As I peeked in the room I saw an elderly lady sitting in a chair.

"Hi." I introduced myself and told her I was from the nursing home.

"I'm Geri, Charlie's wife. Charlie is down in dialysis right now. You are welcome to wait with me." She gave me a weak smile. Geri looked very worried and tired.

We talked for a while about her children and grandchildren. We talked about Charlie, whom I had yet to meet. Soon enough the subject of death was discussed. I asked what she thought about the afterlife. She told me about her father, who was trained for the priesthood in Rome.

"He came back and told my grandmother that he just could not do it. He was a wonderful man", she reminisced. "He instilled in me a very strong belief in Purgatory."

Oh, great, I thought. Ok Lord, You have to do the work. I am going to do what I came to do. Seeing that Geri was a Roman Catholic I knew that she would be familiar with the 10 Commandments, so I took her through a few of them. She admitted to lying, stealing and blasphemy. Then she told me that God would not send her to Hell because nothing she did was 'that bad'. We went through a couple more Commandments and then finally she told me she would end up in Purgatory.

"You know, good works!" she smiled.

"You know Geri, that is really a comforting thought, but the trouble is there is no Purgatory mentioned in scripture. And if it were true then why did Jesus have to die?" When I said this her jaw dropped slightly. She just stared at me as though this were the first she was hearing of something that really shocked her.

"If God is truly Righteous and Just, as scripture says He is, He will be bound by His Holiness to send you to Hell for eternity-no chance of escape for you! God sent Jesus to die for us because we don't have the payment He is looking for. You see, Jesus died so that He could pay our penalty. We deserve to go to Hell-we did the crimes. What God expects of us is that we humble ourselves and admit that we've done wrong. We don't deserve Heaven but He made a way for us to spend eternity there. We must repent, or turn away from our sin, admitting we are wrong. Then we must follow Jesus, putting all of our trust in Him. 'For by grace are you saved, through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast.' There will not be one person boasting in Heaven that he got there on his own. Does this make sense to you?" I asked her.

"Yes, this really makes sense" she said.

We talked some more, Charlie still did not return and I had to get going so I told her I would come back to see Charlie. I determined that family came in the afternoon so I would come the next morning.

At 9am the next day I walked out of the elevator to Charlie's room. As I got there I could see that the name had been taken down off of the wall. I stood there for a moment before turning to the nurse's station.

"Is Charlie gone?" I asked.

The nurse hesitated. I told her I was from the nursing home. "Did he pass?" I asked.

"He passed away last night. His wife and daughter were with him." she said. I hoped that Geri had shared what we had talked about.

As the elevator slid down to the ground floor I prayed for the family. I thought I was going to see a man named Charlie. Instead I talked to his wife. The Lord is in charge of who I see, I am just to go.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I prayed before getting on the plane that I would be able to talk with whomever I sat with. After all it was going to be a long ride-11 or so hours. Since Dennis was already in Tel-Aviv I was traveling alone.

The nice couple I sat with are Israeli, living in Texas. It 'just so happens' that they live in the same town my sister does. Small world. We had a nice, uneventful flight.

A couple of hours before we landed I noticed that they were awake so I started a conversation. Their names are Sara and Ya'akov and they told me that they always come back once a year to Israel. They have a home there. They were very anxious to see their grandchildren. They asked me what we were going to be doing while in Israel and I told them that I really wanted to go to Petra. They both said at once, "Don't go!" They told me that they also had a trip to the Sinai desert planned but their son, who is a commander in the IDF warned them not to go. "It isn't safe, people are being kidnapped."

We went on to talk about politics and of course they asked me what I thought of our new President. I don't like talking about politics because you are always going to make someone mad and I find that two very intense topics do not mix well. So I said something non-commital and went on to ask them if they went to synagogue in Dallas. They told me that they are not 'religious Jews'. I asked what they thought about the afterlife.

Ya'akov said he thought there was some sort of afterlife but he wasn't sure what it would be like. He also said he thought Hell was right here. Sara believed in Heaven but not Hell. I asked them if people had to be good to get to Heaven. Ya'akov answered affirmatively, even though he previously said he wasn't sure if there was such a place. Sara said she thought one had to be good, as well.

When asked if they thought they were good people, they told me they tried to be. I asked if we could look at the Law of Moses. They nodded. I took them through some of the Commandments and asked if they had ever failed to keep them. They were both honest and admitted failure. I asked them to tell me a bit about the Exodus. Sara told me that was when the Israelites came out of Egypt, led my Moses. I asked what they did on the last night with the lamb. She told me that the lamb was roasted and eaten. I asked her why the blood was put on the doorposts. She told me that when the Angel of Death saw it he would pass over the house. If it wasn't there the firstborn would be killed. I told them that Jesus was called the Lamb of God and He was slain for the sins of the world. I told them that it was foretold that He would come as a Lamb over 700 years before He ever arrived. I asked them if they had ever read Isaiah. They had not read it, but were still listening.

" Jesus died to pay for our sins once and for all time. He was slaughtered like the animals that were killed in times past." Sara mentioned that once a year Yom Kippur was celebrated and that atonement was made. "But scripture states that 'without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin' so how does that work?" I asked her. She was thoughtful.

I told them that typically, Jewish people were awaiting their Messiah, but that they had missed Him. He had already come as a Lamb and they failed to recognize Him. The next time He came it would be as a Lion. He would not come with mercy but to slaughter and destroy. Ya'akov had left his seat but Sara was very concerned. She asked, "What will happen to us?" I told her that would depend upon whether or not she had surrendered and recognized Him as Ha'Maschiach. "A time is coming soon that will make the Holocaust look like a picnic." I said. She became very concerned.

"God has made provision for us, even thought He knows we aren't perfect. He made a way for us to be forgiven and to be able to go to Heaven. It is only though the Lamb slain for the sins of many that we are able to be reconciled to God. The very fact that there is a state of Israel is a testament to the hand of God. He foretold that Israel would become a nation in a day. He also had much to say about the Messiah and you must get to know Him."

As we landed I gave them a little Good Person booklet to read. They both promised that they would read it.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The lopsided smile gave her away-she had had a stroke. It had affected her on the same side my grandmother's stroke had. She said her name was Jean. She was small and looked scared. Nothing special about her. She was unremarkable to the human eye.

"I don't know what time they will come to get me today." she said.

"Are you waiting for therapy?" I asked her, knowing the schedule was different today.

She nodded. "Well, since it's Saturday it might be different."

She nodded her head and told me she forgot what day it was. Easy to do in here. Every day was the same. Same food, same people. Florescent lights instead of the sun.

We talked about the horrible weather conditions 'up north'. She shook her head from side to side. Jean was nearly deaf and told me so as I watched her continually try to adjust her hearing aid. This always makes it more difficult. But nothing is impossible with God. One time I was talking to an old Irish man who was nearly deaf and even though I was sitting next to him, almost screaming in his ear, he could not make out what I was saying. Then the Lord showed me his calendar, which was hanging on his board. I took it down and rolled it up, making a sort of bullhorn. After that, he heard me just fine.

After a few minutes I got down to the business of eternity. Jean thought she was ok, as far as being a good person goes. She faced off with the 10 Commandments and found out that she had failed to be perfect. This caused her to politely justify herself. We went back over a couple of the Commandments and she stopped. I asked her where God would have to send her she hesitate and said, "Well, I think that God would have to...Hell." Her shoulders slumped when she admitted this.

I watched her a moment and then asked her if she knew what God had done for her so she would not have to spend eternity in Hell. She didn't understand what I said, so I began to write it out on paper. As I wrote the name Jesus my pen stopped-just stopped writing. For some reason I had another pen in my book so I just continued on. I saw behind her a picture of a dapper man in a WWII uniform. When I explained why Jesus came I told her that, just like someone who went to war, He did it for all of us. At this her eyes teared up and she nodded her head. When I was finished Jean told me she was tired.

"Hard to think." she muttered.

"I know I've given you some heavy things to think about. But I know you realize this is very important, too. The only one who can make this decision is you, Jean. You don't need me."

She nodded and told me thank you for coming in to talk with her. I left with a heavy heart. Allyson was waiting for me in the hallway and we stopped to pray for her and another lady that Allyson had just finished with. After speaking to another lady, we parted ways around 11am.

At around 4pm, my cell phone signaled to me that I had received a message. it came from Tucker, another friend who works at the nursing home. "I am just calling to let you know that the work of the Lord goes on! Jean ________ has just prayed to received the Lord Jesus Christ and I wanted to let you know!"

Unremarkable? Obviously not to God!

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh Canada..again.....

I met a couple from Canada, gave them each a million dollar bill and decided to start the conversation quickly by asking if they believed in Heaven and Hell. The lady quickly said Heaven – yes but Hell is here on earth. She said she was Anglican and did not believe in a real Hell. I asked her where she thinks evil people like Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Marx, etc. went when they died. Would they be with her in Heaven? She said no but not sure where they are and was not sure if God sent them anywhere.

We spoke for a while about her sins by going through the Ten Commandments and really she just brushed it off. Even though she admitted she was a sinner, she said she would be going to Heaven since her Hell was here. She went on to explain how her brother died a painful death from cancer. She did not understand it and even went to her minister. I asked her if she thought her brother’s cancer should have been borne by someone evil since he was a nice guy? She confirmed this and did not understand what God was doing.

I had to agree at this point that God’s ways are not our ways and I don’t understand many things. But God is sovereign and He knows what and why He does what he does. I let her think about the idea that if she want to possibly see her brother again (don’t know if he is in Heaven or Hell) and also to be able to ask God these questions, then she needs the salvation that only she can get from the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I gave her the Gospel and let her think about it as she and her husband had to leave.

A quick review of the Anglican belief is a bit like taking Episcopalian, Catholicism, Reformed, The 39 Articles of Religion, Book of Common Prayer, etc. into one big bucket and yet belief the major tenants of the Gospel get distorted. For example their BCP states; "By hell, we mean eternal death in our rejection of God." This means they do not see Hell as a real place where the damned are weeping and a gnashing of teeth as clearly proclaimed in the Bible. Again, another manmade religion that rejects the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Clean v. Unclean

Today I was witnessing in my usual spot in Indialantic, FL on the small boardwalk there. The most interesting conversation was with 2 young Muslim men. After handing a million dollar bill, I asked if they believed in Heaven and Hell and I received a non-answer. I asked if they were Muslim and of course they said yes.
Without going through too long of a narrative here I think I‘ll look at the most interesting parts of the conversation as this lasted about 25 minutes.

I asked about Mohamed and if he was a good prophet and they said yes. When asked if he could lie they said no, and they went on to say the same about Jesus. I then reiterated the point about Jesus not lying which they confirmed. I pulled out a small Gospel of John and before I could say anything, the first fellow asked if that was a Bible, which I told him it was one book of the Bible from the Injil or Gospels. Typically I do that to be able to ask the Muslim to read John 14:6. I was asked “ How could you touch the Holy Word of God without cleansing myself”
This opened a great conversation where I explained that done of us could ever be clean enough for God and that Jesus said:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. (Mat 23:25-26)

So no matter how much they washed they were never clean enough on the inside for God. They explained the concept of washing prior to praying and how they must pray inside the mosque.

(I researched a little bit and did not see the ‘rule’ of washing before handling the Qur’an or entering a Mosque except in very special circumstances, which I will not detail here – I think these two, were misinformed)

I then asked both if they ever lied or stole anything and after a little wait, they admitted to this. I asked if they ever murdered anyone and that I had. Their expressions changed a bit and I explained how Jesus said that if you ever had anger toward your brother, then you had committed murder in your heart. Again they said they had. I explained that God sees them as filthy and unclean. Then I asked how they would get clean enough on the inside to pray to a Holy God, the first one said by reading the Qur'an. We started over from before that they were, by their own admission not clean enough to pick up the Qur'an ….. I showed them the trap they were in.

Muslim #2 said that God could have more than one Son as He could do anything. I agreed He could do anything and He could not lie. I reminded them of John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
So how could God have more than one Son when he specifically said Jesus was his ONLY Son?

There were a few digressions here and there. I brought the conversation back to Jesus and asked them if they knew why Jesus, God in human form, came to earth. They did not know so I explained how before Jesus was on earth, the people trying to become clean would hold onto the horns of a bull or ram to transfer their sins onto the animal, then it was sacrificed instead of the sinner. I was then able to present the Gospel to them and how it was Jesus, as He was the only sinless person on earth was able to take on the sins of the whole world, including them and die on their behalf. He had to do it because none of us are sinless so we could not. Jesus then paid the debt on our behalf. That even thought this gift is available, it mean nothing unless they decide to humble themselves, confess their sins to God through His Son, Jesus Christ and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ’s redemptive power.

To explain a little bit more, I used the courtroom analogy about being sentenced and a fine they could not pay. Then someone comes into the courtroom and pays that fine on their behalf. Then the judge could legally set them free as the fine have been legally settled and paid in full. That is what Jesus did.
Please pray for these two men as they heard the Gospel for the first time.