Places where Gospel tracts and Gospel of Johns’ distributed: Knoxville, Atlanta, Memphis and Tulsa airports. Several restaurants in Joplin. Northpark Mall(Joplin, Missouri). Wal-Mart. Gas stations. Friends. Airplanes.  A chain bookstore in Joplin. Many other places in the Joplin area.

(The McDonald’s over the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma.) This place is above and across the highway in Oklahoma. If you live or been thru this area before, you know what I mean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_%28Will_Rogers_Turnpike%29

 

My primary purpose of Christmas break was to visit my parents, family,  and friends. Yet, I always look for an opportunity to get the Gospel in any place the Lord allows.

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It was a beautiful cold night on Market Square. The Christmas lights were lit, lots of people walking around, Salvation Army giving away free hot chocolate(Thank you!), vendors selling their wares, ice skating, and Christmas carols sung at various locations.

This was a wonderful night to distribute Gospel of John books and Gospel tracts.  Tonight, people were  more receptive to receive Gospel material than other evangelism nights. One Jr. High man took a Gospel tract. As I walked away, two of his little brothers came running to me wanting a gospel tract.

The following Bible verse  demonstrates  what occurred later on this evening.(Of course down on Market Square it happens frequently, but not to the degree it did tonight.)

2 Timothy 3:5 (English Standard Version)

having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

In Krutch Park, I about handed a lady a Gospel of John. She looked at it and then looked at me with pure disgust and hate. Here is her exact words to me in our brief conversation:

Lady: “God does not want you doing this $%@!  He wants you to feed the poor and take care of the sick”

She starts to walk off not before I tell her:

Me: “The Bible tells me otherwise.”

Lady stomps back in my direction and very snooty and very  loudly proclaims:

” I  am a pastor. I have a Master of Theology and I can speak Greek and Hebrew fluently.”(The first sentence out of her mouth told me she also speaks “sailor” fluently.)

I could have got into a verbal diatribe with her. I only ended the conversation with the Holy Spirit giving me the Word of God to speak directly to her. I don’t know why this was the verse he wanted me to give her. In my flesh I would have quoted 2 Timothy 3:5 to her, instead the Lord prompted me to tell her:

1 Corinthians 1:18 (English Standard Version)

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

She then stomped off in a big huff.

She saw what I was handing to her was the Gospel of John. Normally, it is a “Go to Hell” gospel tract which would get me a mean glare. Yet, it was the Bible that she did not want me handing out.

As far as proclaiming theological training, to me she did not possess the spirit of a true Christian pastor.  If she is a pastor of a Christian denominational church, it is disappointing but biblically prophetic  to know that there is a female wolf in the  Knoxville sheep pen .   I used the Shepard’s staff(Word of God) to drive her away from me so I could continue doing the Lord’s work.

Matthew 7:15-16 (English Standard Version)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

Downtown Knoxville has very liberal unbiblical so-called churches to deter people away from hearing the pure Word of God in a Biblically sound church. Yet, these churches are in existence because according to the book of 2 Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:3 (English Standard Version)

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…”

 

NOTE: God makes pastors, not theological degrees. (See following verses.)

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (English Standard Version)

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

 

Colossians 2:1-4 (English Standard Version)

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.”

I would also say that being Christian is not just solely feeding the poor and helping the sick.  I cannot take full credit for the following response I could have given her: “We can feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and heal the sick. Then when they die these people will be the best fed, clothed and healthy as they go thru the gates of Hell.”

I found it neat as the Lord revealed to me how tonight was the first night of the official lighting of the trees in downtown Knoxville by letting me distribute several copies of  the Gospel of John. The front cover of the Gospel of John had two words, “The Light.” The true light of Christmas is none other than Jesus Christ!

John 8:12 (English Standard Version)

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”



Proverbs 16:9 (New King James Version)

A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

I had a blessed time with family and friends during my annual Christmas visit. Despite the snow,getting bumped and delayed on buses going home,   sick people, a water heater going wacko, and  a screw in my dad’s truck tire;  the Lord had his hand in directing me to the people needing a word of encouragement and a gospel tract.

God used these situations to lead me to the people needing to receive a gospel tract and/or encouragement.  I prayed for God to go before me in any encounter during the trip and in the Joplin area.  Several people at the various Greyhound bus stations picked up the Santa Million Dollar bill or the little bible book(a quarter size tract with various bible scriptures with an opportunity to repent and put their faith in Jesus.)

The mall evangelistic outreach was me. The snow on Christmas bumped people to reschedule their Christmas on the weekend. Others had the flu. Mom and dad had to babysit a water heater til a repairman came to the house.

So, it was Monday morning when the roads were safely cleared to do the outreach. I almost did not get to go out to the mall after taking my dad’s truck to the tire shop. He had a screw in a tire which was slowly going flat.(At the tire shop, I met a Christian family. The father and I started talking and it was an encouragement to me during my time at the tire shop.  I left a gospel tract in the waiting area.)

Went to a bank to cash some Christmas moola and gave the bank tellers some Santa Million Dollar Bills.  Left on the table a million dollar bill at a fast food burger eatery.   Then FINALLY, I was off to the mall….AGAIN.

I prayed for the mall cops at Northpark Mall to be blind to the evangelistic outreach.(Never fun to have the mall cops(i.e. Paul Blarts) tell you to stop or throw away any tracts.) I was able to give out some Million Dollar Bills to mall shoppers.(This includes both those I did not know personally and those I did know personally.)   I made sure every chair and bench in the mall had a gospel tract. I returned to some of the benches and put out more tracts that the previous tract was in the hands of a mall shopper. I did the fish feeding of dropping the million dollar bill on the ground and stand to the side watching shoppers picking up the bill.

The Lord gave me opportunities to talk with friends receiving the tracts. One of them actually thanked me and gave me a hug for giving them the “little bible” gospel tract. When you witness to friends, I did have the butterflies in the stomach more than I would a total stranger. There were at times I was hesitant giving a tract to acquaintances, yet the Lord gave me strength to overcome the apprehension .

I probably spent about two hours at the mall before heading out. As I was leaving, I just prayed and thanked God for the opportunity to share my faith at the mall.  I hope many put their faith in Jesus. Yet, I was not done…….

It was off  to Books-A-Million……(Thank you to Tony Miano for posting on his blog about book stuffing.) The bookstore is half the size  of the one in Knoxville.  Many popular titles and especially the Joel Osteen(Ostink) books received a free bookmark.  I was able to make it over to the New Age and Witchcraft section and went to town with the Santa bills.

On the ride back to Knoxville, I was able to give out some of the bills, the new year’s resolution tracts, and the little bible ministry tracts to lots of people at the greyhound locations and on the buses.

The last bus taking me back to Knoxville was the most fruitful. After several of us got tired of hearing a man snore very, very, very, VERY loudly in the back of the bus, we moved to the front after many got off the bus at a stop en route to Knoxville.  Who would have thought this snoring man gave me the opportunity to be reseated around both Christians and non-Christians.  Those around me were interested in the gospel tracts. So many of them were given several to share with their family and friends. A lady old enough to be my mother  was sitting next to me.  She shared with me of  her life and being remarried and having children and grandchildren.  We got to the stop for our lunch break. She only had about sixty-five cents. I ended up buying her lunch and gave her a “little bible” gospel tract.(It had a happy face with “Jesus loves you” on the front and had the scripture explaining about what it means to repent and put her faith in Jesus. ) From the discussion I had with her, I could tell she had some spiritual background, but unsure if she was saved. So instead of automatically assuming she was a Christian, I still gave her a tract.  The bus stopped at Knoxville and everyone either got on another bus or Knoxville was their last stop. Once we got off the bus, she gave me a hug and thanked me for the lunch and the gospel tract. I was definitely thanking the Lord for this encounter with this lady and pray for her salvation or strengthened her faith if she was a Christian.

So after I got back to the house and showered, I went to evening services at Calvary Chapel Knoxville. I was able to tell those about my adventures in witnessing encounters.

EXTRA: I was able to see my church family at Calvary Chapel Joplin. I gave the gospel tracts, “The Man of Salvation”  to the prison ministry guy at CC Joplin, Ron Wright.  Some will be given to the CC Joplin Saturday Evangelism team and potentially in the prison outreach after approval from the organization. He works with the organization, “Bill Glass Champions for Life”. Once they review the tract, Bill Glass may be potentially using “The Man of Salvation”  So pray for this gospel tract to be used to the glory of God. It give scripture, why you need to be saved, repentance, and faith in Jesus. (all using the name of Jesus in an acrostic fashion) If you are interested in purchasing a pack of  “The Man of Salvation” please contact Calvary Chapel Knoxville at 865-609-1385 (phone), (web)  http://www.calvaryknoxville.org/ , (mail) 2864 Alcoa Hwy, Knoxville TN 37920, (email) knoxville@calvarychapel.com

E-Team during the Holidays

December 21, 2009

A-Team becomes the E-Team

From A-Team to E-Team

Ephesians 6:12-20 (New King James Version)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

While you may not be armed with guns and neck chains  like Mr. T. and the A-Team, you are armed with the weapons of spiritual warfare.

The E-Team has formed in Southwest Missouri.(Still accepting Christian believers to join. Those of you around the country, especially the Way of the Master people, pray for this group. WOTM people you are apart of the SW Missouri team in Spirit through your prayers.)

I will be leaving tomorrow. One day on the bus, then I arrive in Joplin, Missouri in the morning. I am so excited to see family. It has been last Christmas since returning home. It will be a blessing to see family and friends. More exciting, God has allowed me to join with others in Southwest Missouri to share our faith(evangelizing) in Jesus.

Doing evangelism back home comes with different scenarios than in Knoxville.  Evangelizing in my hometown, I will share my faith with those I know more personally than the three years I have lived in Knoxville.  Joplin-area is quite smaller than Knoxville. I am not intimidated by the fact of  being potentially being rejected by acquaintances.(It is not me or anyone on the Evangelism team being rejected but many will reject the salvation message of  Jesus and Him Crucified.) I am just an instrument in the Lord’s hand.  Places to evangelize are smaller and limited than Knoxville.(Yet,  everyone in all areas, both small and large, need the message of Jesus saving them from their destructive paths.)

If you share your faith in Jesus, prepare to be rejected. If it happened to God and the men  he used in the Bible,  we should expect the same to us.(I Samuel 8:7 is a great example of people rejecting God as their King.) We will get caught in the crossfire due to being the messengers.   We should not be afraid of rejection. Evil man can only do so much to us.

Matthew 10:27-28, 32 (New King James Version)

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

This verse in an encouragement to the believer sharing their faith.

Merry Christmas to all. Remember the greatest gift you can receive, if you are not a Christian, is accepting  Jesus as your Savior. Just turn away from you selfish lifestyles and put your trust in the truth of Jesus Christ.

Acts 8:25 (English Standard Version)Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

It was back to the mall after church service ended.  Many people picked up the Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill off the floor and out of the soda machines bill slot. I had some of the Christmas gospel business style cards. I left them on benches and tables. All of these tracts were being read as I watched them picked them up. Some kept the tracts. Others put them back down and another would pick up the same tract.

I was in the food court and seen a group from my church eating lunch. The smiled and chuckled as they watched me drop the bill tract on the ground and get picked up by the public.

As I sat at the table from the church group explaining how evangelism takes place within the context of an indoor public arena(i.e. mall). I set a Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill on the table a few inches away from me.

A young black man in his late teens stood up at the table across from our table and picked up the tract. The man showed the tract to his family and asked if I had more of the MDB. I gave him what I had left in my pocket. He asked me about the M.J. MDB.  He said his family and himself love Michael Jackson. From M.J. on the front, I said, “On the front is the King of Pop. Now he is no longer alive. Yet, on the back of this bill is the gospel message about the King of Kings, Jesus who is alive forevermore.”

I shook his hand and  introduced myself and he told me his name was Phil.  He told me he was from Cincinnati, OH and was visiting family for the holiday.  I asked him about his spiritual background. He said he was a Christian, yet he did admit he did not go to church as often as he would like.  He has a relative in the ministry and attends their church once in a while.

I just encouraged him in his walk with the Lord. His relative listened to our conversation. He asked me about where I got the tracts. I told him about Living Waters website. http://www.livingwaters.com

I also told him about the same tract with President Obama face on the front. I explained to him and his family how I will use the person on the front of the bill to transition to the gospel on the back of the bill.(Transition with Obama to the gospel….yes Republicans/conservatives/etc….you can make the transition. Let me explain: During Obama’s presidential campaign last year Obama major themes was “Hope” and “Change”. While Obama offers temporary hope and change during our lifetime, Jesus is our eternal hope and we become a brand new creation when we repent and place our faith in Jesus.(I Timothy 1:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17) Phil and his family was impressed.(Maybe more of surprised shock of a white guy in the South being able to take the natural realm of using President Obama as a springboard to the Gospel.)

After we parted company, I went to my car. In my glove box I had a sealed package of 100 Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bills.  The Lord impressed on me to go back to the food court and give it to Phil.  So I did. I went up to him and asked him if he wanted a the M.J. MDB package. He happily grinned from ear to ear and warmly received the gift. I told him to make a promise to me.  I said, “I know you and your family love Michael Jackson and it is a neat novelty item to give to friends and family, yet I want you to be able to explain to those given the tract about the gospel message on the back, using the same transition I gave him about the King of Pop to the King of Kings. ” He promised me he would. He joyfully thanked me and gave me the “bro” handshake(starts with the firm grip to the fingertip grip).  I told him to have a safe trip back home and God bless.

In my heart I was jumping for joy of how the Lord gave me the opportunity to encourage a fellow brother in Christ and encouraged him to share his faith in Jesus.