Monday, April 19, 2010

The Word wins

This past Friday at a local event we were able to bring the Word to many people. For the first time in a while, I spoke to many Believers who really encouraged us.

One of the first couples I spoke to were very interesting. The lady, recently from Russia was enjoying the Million Dollar Bills and her eyes brightened when I gave her a Russian tract. We find that having tracts in different languages is a real ice-breaker. The fellow with her said he was a Messianic Believer and was Jewish. I explained I was also was a Jewish Believer and we had a great conversation.

A lady with her son came over to take the Good Person test. I started with the son and asked him if he lied or had stolen anything which he admitted to. The mom interjected “he has been forgiven of everything”. I then asked, “When he stood in front of God would he be guilty or innocent?”
He admitted to being guilty and I said God was a just God and would have to send him to either Heaven or Hell and since you said you were guilty – where would you go?
The mom grabbed the boy and said “he has been forgiven and we are leaving” The boy pulled back and wanted to hear the rest of the story….The Word won and he heard the Gospel.

A local assistant pastor at a Presbyterian church came over to encourage us as well. He said something that is so true and most churches – his church does little for evangelism and many in the church don’t stray out of their comfort zone.

All in all a great night with the 6 evangelists and our Pastor coming out as well.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Taste for Blood.

As soon as I got to the event Saturday night, Dennis took me aside to let me know about a guy he had just met. He described this guy as 'having a taste for human blood'. Hmmmm. OK. He told me that he had tried talking to him but the guy told him that he had demons. Dennis said he was very unfocused and then he walked away.

Well, I watched him for a while. He seemed drawn to the kids at the event...not good. I told some of our fellow evangelists who were out that night and we prayed for him. All I could think of was that he was someone's child. I continued to watch him and then told one of the guys, EC that I was 'going in'.

As I walked near him I could see that he was absolutely filthy. His nails were all very long and you could immediately see dirt under them all. I also noticed that he had numerous scabs and sores covering his body. As I got closer I saw human bite marks on his exposed skin. I wondered how he compared to the maniac of Gadara.

"Hey, I like your shirt!" I said. "What's the cross for?"

"It's what Jesus did. See the skulls? They are death!!" He had a very strange look in his eyes while we talked.

"Yeah. What about this other cross? What's that about?" I asked. He mumbled something unintelligible. "Can we talk? Do you have time? You seem like a very interesting guy. Let's sit here."

He consented and we sat down. I told him my name and he told me his. He said he was 19. (I am going to change his name in this blog for his sake.)

"Do you live around here Tom?" He told me he did. He also told me that he was raised in 'the system' of foster care since he was very young. He told me that he had been sexually abused and mentally abused. He can not read or write.

"Then they threw me out on the street, now I live with my real Mom." As he spoke you could see he was under great pressure to try and focus. He was very aware of everything around him and yet he didn't look directly at anything.

"I'm sorry that you had to go through all of that." I told him. "I want to ask you some questions. Do you think you could answer some for me?" He nodded. "Where will you go when you die?" We talked a bit about the reality of Heaven and Hell. Tom didn't like the thought that he might end up in Hell but told me he didn't think he could go to Heaven because of some of the things he had done. I won't relate those things here.

"When Jesus hung on that cross He looked far into the future and saw your face, Tom. The Bible says that He bore all of our sins. He knew each one you would commit and He decided to pay for every one of them." At various points in our conversations I could see his muscles constrict and he would seem to go into a trance-like state.

"Do you believe that everyone has demons?" he asked me.

"No. But I do believe that some people have demons." I told him.

"I have demons." he said. "I see demons and angels and other things that people don't see." He quickly stood up and asked if I would come with him to go see a guy.

"Why do you need to see the guy?" I asked, fully aware that I had friends all around me but was not going to go beyond where they could see me.

"I want to get a cigarette." he said. At various points during the evening he would simply stand up and change the subject.
After he got the cigarette we walked away from the crowd a bit so that he could smoke it. "I tried to kill myself, I slit my wrists. I got hit by a car and thrown halfway into a parking lot." I thought of the father who took his demon-posessed boy to Jesus. (Luke 9) I found myself praying that the Lord would speak to this boy through his fog.

"I'm a destroyer! See that bicycle over there?" He pointed quickly at a bike across the parking lot. "I could tear it down and make weapons out of it! I can make a weapon out of anything." He told me that he sometimes fought even though he didn't want to. "I put the last guy in a full-body cast. When I was in jail I bit a huge hunk out of my arm because I didn't want to fight." Suddenly he got up and walked toward our booth.

Dayna was sitting on the slope behind the booth and I could see she was praying for us.

"Let's go sit over here with my friend, Dayna." While we sat with her I told Tom that the only one who could speak to God about his sin would be him.

"Yeah, I know. I talk to him alot." he said.

"The only thing He wants to hear from you is complete surrender." At this his eyes became wild and I could see the muscles in his arms and hands completely contort them. "Only you can do it and it may be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life." Dayna prayed as we talked. "If you think this is something that you can do then go ahead."

Tom talked a minute about how he could never close his eyes here. We told him he was safe and that the Lord would protect him if He made Him Master of his life.

"Have you ever played 'chicken' with a semi-truck?" he asked us.


"Well, I have and we were about this close when we finished" he measured about a foot's space.

"Well, you can't clean yourself up, Tom. You have to go to God and ask Him to cleanse you from all of this filth and sin that we talked about."

"Yeah, I know. I want to do that." he said.

"Do you need Jesus?" I asked.


"Can you say it?"

"Yeah." he answered but never said it.

"Tom if you want to talk to God go ahead." I invited. "I will pray for you and then you pray, ok?" He nodded.

I prayed out loud while Dayna prayed silently for us. Tom stared straight ahead with wild, staring eyes. His hands were contorted again and he looked as though he was fighting himself.

He bowed his head and started mumbling gibberish. He kept it up for a few minutes. Then he suddenly stood up and walked away from us.

I walked down to him and said, "Tom did you pray?"

He was very angry now and said, "Yeah I was praying in tongues, don't you know that?" And then very calmly he said, "They have crosses over at that table and I want one but I don't have any money."

We walked over to the table with him. The crosses were made from nails bound together with wire. He chose a purple one and Dayna bought it for him. The lady showed him how to adjust the leather and he put it around his neck. He stood still for a moment holding onto it.

"That cross won't protect you, you know that don't you? Only Jesus can save you, Tom".

"I know."

We parted ways and he took my hand twice saying thank you each time.

Please pray for him. God knows his real name.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Night at the Street Festival...

We have a monthly street festival here called Friday Fest and it brought out its usual lost people. There were many opportunities for us to witness and preach the Gospel. We had our “Are You a Good Person?” booth set up to invite people to take the Good Person test.

The event starts
around 6P and it’s best to talk to the folks early in the evening. There was the family of Wiccans who avoided us but were polite when declining the Gospel tracts. There were the “Christians” who did not want to take a tract because they were going to Heaven. So when asked if they knew others who were not going to heaven, they walked off in a huff.

There’s a local church that gives out red bracelets with the phrase “Living Dangerously” – they say that this bracelet helps them to identify with Jesus. Many folks I talk to with these bracelets actually tell me that they are going to heaven and hold up their arm with their bracelet. It as if the bracelet is getting them to Heaven. I asked them how they are getting to heaven and get told that they know Jesus or they have accepted Jesus or something other than what Jesus really did on the Cross. My point of this is while talking to a lady and her pre-teen son; she said she was going to Heaven. I asked how and she said she goes to this particular church but forgot her red bracelet tonight. Wow – I thought if one of the bracelet believers died without the bracelet on – where do they go? It’s between them and the Lord if they are truly saved.

I gave a Trillion Dollar bill (we use both millions and trillions now – inflation of course) to a man and the conversation started.

“Here’s a trillion dollars for you”

“What is it?”

“It has a Gospel message on it with the trillion dollar question – will you go to Heaven when you die?”

“I hope so, and I want to ask you something – who told you about the Bible and who tells you what’s in it?”

“God tells me as it is His Word?
A few other questions back and forth and he was pushing to get into an argument about something but not sure where it was going yet.

“My brother committed the ultimate sin and committed suicide and cannot go to Heaven”

“You or I don’t know where he went, that is between him and God and you don’t know what happened between them, even to the end” I knew this was leading to an argument as he was getting louder and into my face a bit more. “You need to be more concerned where you are going when you die. If your brother went to Heaven, then you better be sure you are or you will never see him again, Are you Catholic”

He smiled, and said he was born Catholic and that it is the only church and there is no way I can stand out here and know what the Bible says because you must be told by someone with greater knowledge than me.

My reply, “I have been told with someone greater than me – God through the Holy Spirit”
Off he went and then got stopped by Jennifer…..

Wes and Justin showed with their cross and started to open air preach. It went OK and only a few people getting upset with the Truth. I was led to preach as well.

All in all – several tracts and some Bibles now in the hands of people who need them.
By 9 O’clock we were all pretty well mentally exhausted and all had big days on Saturday, we shut it down and went home….

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Family Fest

This Saturday, our church, along with 2 others in the area sponsored a Family Spring Fest with kid's bounce house, pop corn, hot dogs and all the usual kids stuff. One of the games gave out the Hey Kid's! tract about the Ten Commandments to everyone who participated - a few hundred given out!

FFM had our ‘Good Person’ booth set up and we were inundated with kids and parents who wanted tracts and Bibles. The kids all wanted the Million Dollar Bills and 10 Commandment coins.

There were many great conversations, over 500 tracts were absorbed by the kids and 20+ Bibles as well. Some wanted the Chinese Gospel of John because they wanted to learn to read Chinese and would go ‘on-line’ to figure it out.

One 13 yr old girl had a nice cross necklace. I asked what that meant to her and the reply was “I liked it and my dad bought it for me”. Again, I asked the meaning of the cross and she really did not know. I took her through 3 of the 10 commandments and she knew she was guilty. When I talked about her guilt and God sending her to Hell when she dies she was shocked. I then explained the Good News and the Cross. She said she would think about it.

A couple of points I used with the kids that seemed to get their attention:
At the end of the conversations, I said, “When you go to bed tonight, please think about this conversation, tell God you are a sinner since you did admit to lying and stealing and not honoring your parents all the time, tell Him you are sorry and want to change (repent) and you want to accept the payment that Jesus made for you on the Cross.”
I pray these kids all listened and spoke to God on Saturday night!!

Most of these kids are victims of the modern, watered down Gospel message. Those who said they were going to Heaven, said it was because they accepted Jesus into their heart. SAD! Most did not know, even in the basic concept, that Jesus paid the price for their sins.

What was interesting, since many attending were church goers, is that when the parents would come over to the table with their kids and I started giving them the 10 commandments, the parents would tell them to listen up! The parents also heard the True Gospel. I figured once I said they were headed to Hell without repentance and faith, the parents would take them away as usually happens in more secular environments.

I know they are young but once they were told that Jesus was the only perfect and sinless person and only He could make the payment for them, they did understand. Why isn’t the church telling them this???

One boy about 10, said that because he had broken some of the Commandments, God would have to send him to H – E – Double hockey sticks…. At least he understood the reality of his sins.

All in all a very great night telling all of these people of the wonderful news of the Gospel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

From Israel...with love

Debbie and I can't believe we have been in Israel two weeks. We have been
fortunate to be able work with Stephen and Pat Apple at Calvary Chapel Tel
Aviv in serving the poor and homeless here in Tel Aviv.

There are many volunteers from all over who come alongside the needy here
and show them Christian compassion; CCTV has been doing that for the past 7
years. There are many languages spoken on the street and in the church and
that hinders communication, but somehow God works through the differences to accomplish His will. It is awesome to worship together and listen to His Word be spoken in English and Hebrew; how Jesus perfectly fulfills the OT
prophecies given to the Jewish people.

This first picture is of a couple on the worship team at CCTV, believe it or not, another 'Dave and Debbie'. You
can see God working in many ways here; a local messianic youth group does
hip hop and rap on the boardwalk on Saturday nights, attracting an
interested crowd, right outside our hotel. (we're on the left)

We were able to travel to Jerusalem on Easter afternoon and to northern
Israel. Israel has been at war ever since its birth; the second picture
shows one Israeli gunboat replacing another on constant patrol at the
Israel-Lebanese to prevent terrorist attack.

This last picture is of folks
being baptized in the Jordan River, just south of the Sea of Galilee.

This is an amazing land and people. We are blessed and privileged to be
here and want to deeply thank you for your prayers and support.

God is good, all the time!

Dave and Debbie
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Monday, April 12, 2010

Israel Report

Our friends Dave and Debbie report from Israel:

If you look closely, you can see the million dollar bill in front of the store owner in the Arab quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Not sure who gave it to him.

The shopkeeper wasn't happy when we didn't buy anything...oh well...we were watching a local messianic youth group to 'Christian rap' on the beach when a couple of Kabbalah evangelist-types invited us to learn more about their 'enlightenment'....

they got a dose of the law and grace, and off they went...challenged and hopefully wiser.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Allyson and I decided to stop at a local diner this morning for a break. As we sat and talked I noticed a man at a nearby table. He looked like a biker. His head was shaved and he had a long beard. With him sat a huge man in a leather sleeveless vest from a local biker gang. I was a bit embarrassed because when I looked at him he looked at me. I would have sworn I knew him from somewhere.

We continued to talk and I continued to try and figure out where I knew him from. I thought perhaps I had talked to him on the street and I was trying to remember the encounter but it just would not come to me. We finished up and walked out to the parking lot. I was telling Allyson about a period of time a few weeks ago when I had been reviewing over and over with God about how horrible people were getting and how it was getting to me. One night I was telling God over and over about how awful it was and I finally decided to just get out of bed and pray about it. As I went into the other room I thought 'Psalm 14.' I had thought to myself, 'Oh, stop.' Allyson and I were laughing about that. I told her when I got down to pray I thought 'Psalm 14' again. I told her I thought 'OK, maybe I'd better read it before I pray, just in case.' Allyson laughed out loud at this and said, "Yeah, just on the off chance He might be trying to tell you something!" It sounded pretty ridiculous now that she said it that way. Well...this is what I read:

Psalms 14-The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy there is none that does good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread,and call not upon the LORD.There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

I felt so foolish after reading that! Here I was griping to GOD about how rotten humanity is becoming and here He was telling me He already knew it ALL. I mean I don't even have to see ALL of it!!! How obvious was that?

When we finished I walked to my truck and then my mind split in half! Part of it was trying to figure out what exit to leave from and part of it was trying to figure out that guy.

I quickly decided I needed to go out the north exit since I could avoid traffic and get over the causeway faster. As soon as I turned the vehicle in the direction of that exit I knew I was going to see that man again. When I drove past the front of the diner he walked out from behind a concrete wall and put his hand up as if he were calling a cab. He seemed a bit embarrassed when he raised his arm, almost like, 'Why did I do that?" I pulled up to him and rolled down the window. It was very smooth and natural and not weird at all. I told him that I thought I knew him but could not remember where from.

He said, "No, I don't know you."

"Really? Because I really think I know you from somewhere." Now I tried to be conscious that this could go wrong but it wasn't that way.

"Where do you work?" he said.

"No, it's not there. I am a street evangelist. My name is Jennifer."

"I'm Jeff."

Since I was in the middle of the driveway I knew the conversation wouldn't be a long one so I wanted to be sure to give him a gospel tract. I handed him a Good Person booklet and a Million Dollar Bill.

"I have one of these."

"Did I give it to you?" I said.

"No, I would have remembered you." he said.

"OK, well Jeff do you know where you'll go when you die?" I asked.

"I'm going to Heaven, I've accepted Jesus into my heart." Jeff said.

"Jeff, I mean no disrespect but I want to ask you you really think that the Creator of the Universe really needs your acceptance?"

"Well, I think whatever works for you, works for you and it might be different for someone else."

"Jeff, Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life-no man comes to the Father but by Me.' There is no other way."

Of course at this point there was another car behind me that needed to get through so I had to move. Jeff started to back away knowing I was going to be moving.

"Jeff , will you promise to read that?" I asked him in reference to the Good Person tract.

"I promise, I will."

We shook hands and I told him I'd see him around.

This encounter was meant to be-right in front of me-obviously!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Aguas Vivientes!

I could not remember my password when I was on the net last night trying to pay a bill. Arrrgggh! Finally I broke down and called Jose' in Customer Service. He was a very nice young man with a heavy Spanish accent. He was very helpful and solved my problem.

After we were finished with the password issue Jose' asked me if I had any other questions. I just love that. Of course I told him I did.

"Jose' I have a question for you that is off the usual subject, but please take this seriously. I want you to really think about this, OK?"


"How do I get to Heaven?"

He was quiet a moment and then said, "You have to do the right thing, you have to obey laws and be nice to other people."

"Do you do those things?" I asked him.

"Yes ma'am, I go to church and confession and take communion, and I'm nice to other people. I try to do the right thing."

"You are a good man?"

"Yes ma'am. I try to be." he said.

"Jose' I want to test your theory, OK? But I want to make sure that before you answer these questions you really think about them and you are honest before God-OK?"

"Yes ma'am."

I knew that this call was being taped and I also wanted to be respectful that Jose' was at work. I quickly went through 3 of the 10 Commandments and we discovered that Jose' had lied, stolen and blasphemed God's name.

He quickly justified his actions. "But I haven't committed anything really big."

"So you think maybe God will weigh everything and decide that you did more good than bad?" I asked.

"Yes ma'am." Even I would vouch that he was very polite.

After talking a bit more Jose' was struck by the fact that our sins and acts of disobedience are something that we cannot erase. They will stand forever, unless erased and forgiven by The Only One Who Can Forgive.

Jose' also learned the reason that Jesus really came-to make a payment for us that we CANNOT. We simply don't have it! We talked about repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone.

"You can't hang on to your good works, Jose'. You must let them go and hang on to Jesus. He's the only way!" I quoted John 14:6 to him. "I hope you will really do some thinking about this. I don't want you to go to Hell, Jose'."

"I don't want to go to Hell either!"

"The only way for you to avoid it now is to talk to God. Beg Him for forgiveness and put your trust only in Jesus! How do you say Living Water in Spanish?" I never can remember that!!! (Sorry Spanish-speaking friends!)

"Aguas vivientes."

"That's it! Go to that website, Jose'."

"Wait a minute...I want to write this down!" I could hear him scrambling at his desk.

After getting off of the phone, I prayed for Jose' that he would seek God and not stop until he found Him.

I am so very thankful that we have resources for the Spanish-speakers out there!!