Jail Ministry

The evening at the Knox County Detention Center was a tremendous blessing. The Lord allowed me to share with several men the Word of God, spiritual encouragement, and prayer.  The Lord laid on my heart to read to many of the men a Psalm from the book of Psalms. I prayed for the Lord to let me read the Psalm which would speak directly to the heart and soul of  each man.  Many of the men received a New Testament Bible and a new believer took a new believer guidebook in helping him on his Christian walk. I left rejoicing and praising God that men behind bars are more free, by Jesus Christ, than they were on the outside.

Cumberland Strip Evangelism

After leaving the Knoxville Detention Center, the Lord gave me the physical, spiritual, and emotional strength to top off the night by Evangelizing down on the Cumberland Strip.  Handfuls of tracts were passed out. I had a variety of tracts from different organizations and businesses.  When I finished handing out tracts, I stood on two different street corners and started reading the Bible.  After the second place I stood was directly across four bars, a Taco Bell, and a liquor store.  One man kept yelling at me as he walked by…..”No one can hear you, no one can hear you!(He was singing the statement over and over.) I called out to him that “Jesus loves him” and “I follow Jesus and not him by obey his Word to publicly proclaim his Word in the streets”.

Another man walked by and in a cadence he was yelling at me to, “Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!” I called back saying, “Jesus Loves you.”

Both men entered the bar of their choice to fill themselves with alcoholic spirits instead of choosing to continue to listen to the Word and be saved and be filled with the Spirit of God.

One incident that shook me as I was walking down the strip was seeing a young person that attended our church. The young person was with a group of friends. They waved and smiled at me as we walked by each other. I gave them a gospel tract created by some Calvary Chapel people.  The tract is called “The Man of Salvation”. For some reason seeing this person down near the bar areas concerned me and I quietly prayed for them.  I do not know why they were out in the college bar section as I knew they were of high school age.

Conclusion

It brought  my attention to see how the men in jail for the crimes they have committed have a more willing ear and broken heart to love of God and the Gospel. The men with a personal walk and repentance in Jesus are truly free.

It also brought my attention to see how people going to bars and elsewhere in public are very closed to the Gospel message.  They believe they have found freedom in having the ability to do whatever they desire and with no care for the consequences following feeding on the flesh.  Sure, many like the church friend I saw participating in  negative worldly activities, may feel that by going to church on a Sunday or any other religious ritual then be able to do whatever their heart desires the rest of the week.

These bar hoping people are not truly free. They are  in chains and prisoners to their flesh than those behind jail bars finding true freedom in Jesus Christ. My old worldly days was going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays followed by going to alcohol bars and strip joints on the rest of the week.

God’s Word speaks on having a “fence rider”/”one foot in church the other in the world” mentality.

Luke 16:13 (New King James Version)

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Matthew 12:33 (New King James Version)

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.”


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Thank the Lord for the spiritual and physical strength walk in the heat of the night for street evangelism.  My tract supplier sent me three different envelops full of tracts.

A college student in a Chevy was given a tract while pulling out of the Taco Bell. Another group of college kids(wow at 30, I am calling college student, “Kids”) were from out of town looking for a steak restaurant near the college strip. I told him not really in walking distance on Cumberland Ave. Yet I gave them a Gospel tract.(A.K.A. Spiritual food) A street prostitute walked past me and I gave her a Gospel tract.  Then I past by three different phone booth locations and placed tracts.

After about thirty minutes, I got in my car drove to the Pilot for an Icee(Any size for 99 cents during the summer month.) and put gospel tract in the bathroom.(Something for someone to read while they think hard on the pooper.)

The Lord just gives me impressions on my spirit to lay a tract while passing out gospel tracts. I did have some competitors while out passing out gospel tracts: the Budweiser girls. If the devil cannot just get a guy to drink alcohol, then Satan uses very attractive and scantily dressed women to lure guys into drinking.

BONUS: Keep a young man in your prayers(He found one of the Gospel tracts I left in  Chick Fil A in Georgia while taking the pastor to the airport over two weeks ago.) The young man contacted me via the website I stamped on the back of the tract. He needs Salvation and a good solid church home.

Walking for the Lord

October 30, 2009

Isaiah 52:7 (New Living Translation) “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation,the news that the God of Israel reigns!”

I definitely was able to get a walk  in Smokey Mountain area. I walked both on the UT(University of Tennessee) Strip and Market Square.  Which the Lord brought this previous Bible passage to mind. Lots of the Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bills were given away.

There are some days the Lord gives me an open door to carry a conversation with a person I give a gospel tract. Today, it did not happen. No worries. I am thankful to the Lord the gospel was handed out to about 5o persons. One large college man with tattoos up and down his arms asked very politely for one after I gave one to his friend. Pray for this guy. I pray before and after I handout tracts. Yet, God move on my heart to pray for this young man. The Lord also burden me to pray for a young couple.(They both got a Million dollar tract.)  It is always good to pray for those you evangelize.  However, there are some encounters the Lord wants us to lift up in prayer.

Walking past a bar on the UT Strip, one of the local rock stations was doing a live remote. There was two ladies working the live remote.  I was not going to pass up the opportunity to give them each a tract. Perhaps, the gospel message will be mentioned during the live remote. It would be neat to know, maybe on the other side of Heaven,  these ladies would mention the encounter of receiving a Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill to their listeners.

 

 

After a long nap and feeling tons better.(The getting sick was definitely spiritual warfare.) I grabbed some Million Dollar Bills and headed for the University of Tennessee Strip.(Bar and restaurant area on Cumberland).

I always begin and end in prayer when I go out to fish(street witness).  It is the power of the Holy Spirit which gives me the ability to share Jesus with people.

The Strip was jammed packed with college students and Knoxville police.  Some people took bills, others refused, and many came up to me asking for them. It is refreshing to me when people come up to you asking for the Million Dollar Bill tract.

Some officers called out to me curious to what I was passing out.  I gave the gospel presentation to a group of six officers. Whoot! After the gospel presentation, they told me if I encountered any problems to get their attention.

This night was even more exciting as I was able to attain the attention of several groups of college students. Most take the bill and go on their way. Yet, God gave me more time with the groups and individuals to proceed with the Million Dollar question. (Are you going to Heaven?)

One instance where I was able to ask the question and get at least a 3 minute conversation with a young man.  He confessed he had not been to church in a while and the church he admitted to attending was one down the road from my church.  He was a little tipsy and from the looks of the group he was in attendance was not a group I suspected he  did not really fit in. As his group was dragging him away, I encouraged him to read the back of the bill, read his Bible, and get back to church as soon as possible. After he left, I said a small prayer for this young man.

It is very disappointing to see many young people make the same choices I made in the past. I used to both go to the bar on Saturday night and attend church the next morning.  The bars provide students with unrealistic pleasure which go against the Word of God. The hopes of seeing scantily dressed women show off their hooters after drinking too much was a draw for me to go to bars. Yet, I knew the Bible had clear warning from participating in events at the bars.(wet-t-shirt contests, etc). It took some tough situations for me to experience to know God has better plans for me than what I tried to gain at bars.  I eventually came to repentance and faith in the Lord during this time. Now, I want to be able to reach the college students for the Lord. Many times it means going where the college student goes on nights( bars, waffle house, football games, etc).

I know there are mothers, fathers, grandparents, pastors, and church people praying for there prodigal children.  I wonder at times, if many of these praying people are asking God for someone like myself to encounter their child in these situations?

Here is a Chick tract  which gives a story about many of the situations I encounter at the bar district.

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0099/0099_01.asp

Many think I am hokie  for  street witnessing.(Actually, a Hokie is who you are if you attend Virgina Tech.) People can think whatever or discourage me from street witnessing.  I must be faithful to God and his words, “Go into ALL the world…”, Right now my world is Knoxville, Tennessee.  I must obey God rather than the idle threats of man.