Right after church and lunch, I hit Cumberland Strip(all the restaurants near the university.). Gave away several different tracts(Chick, Million Dollar Bill, Man of Salvation, etc)

One  older man wearing a Habitat for Humanity shirt took one of my tracts and as he was walking away spoke very loudly and sarcastically, “This is one of those ‘Holy Roller” tracts. What should I expect in the Bible Belt and in the State of Tennessee?”

I also went to a couple different corners on Cumberland Strip and read large portions of Scripture.(Book of Isaiah and John 3 and 4). One college man walked by me and scolded me saying, “You are wasting your time no one can hear you above the traffic noise”.) Ironically, he heard me since he walked right by me. So no time wasted on him as I prayed for his salvation in Jesus.

After watching a play in morning services in church about a Christian man appearing before the Bema Seat of Jesus. This seat is for the believers to be rewarded on what he or she has directly or indirectly done to honor and glorify the Lord.

For the unbeliever, the must appear before the Lord as they are cast away from the Lord into everlasting hell and fire.

I want to as much as I can in the power of the Holy Spirit in this life to bring God glory!  God be the glory for anyone repenting and coming to faith in Jesus or a believer becoming led by God to share their faith in Jesus more boldly.

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Today was the monthly “First Friday” in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is a monthly event held on the first Friday of every month. Everything “artsy” happens in the downtown area of Knoxville.  Nothing wrong with the Arts and there are many artists here that are talented. However, there are some that take their gift and it is used in a very non-Christian way.  This is an open opportunity to share the Gospel and hand out tracts.

Several of the Million Dollar Bill money tracts, Fellowship Tract League tracts, and a Wretched “Todd Friel”  Gospel show on DVD  was handed out. The DVD went to some Jr. High skater boys. The DVD is geared towards a the school and college age crowd.

However, I never go out to do Street Evangelism without praying first. When Evangelism in the open, always pray and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit in leading you and protecting you. I go out in my Hawaii t-shirt and shorts. I am not one to do the suit and tie. Especially with hot temperatures.  As far as materials, I pack my satchel/murse with Christian materials.  In my satchel are my pocket New Testament Bible(Holman Standard edition), Gospel tracts, New Testament Bibles(Holman Christian Standard: This is the Southern Baptist translation also known as the Hard Core Southern Baptist….hence the same first letters in each word as Holman Christian Standard Bible.), Greg Laurie’s New Believer pocket guide, hand gel…yes you come across some of the homeless and you will be thankful later, and a couple of Spanish tracts.

I walk all around the downtown area and greet people as they are handed a gospel tract. Other times, I lay a tract down by a table or chair. Most people are gracious in taking the material. You will always encounter the meanies, but even more of a reason to pray for those that reject the Gospel message. They are rejecting Jesus and not you so never take it personal. One encounter the guy refuses the tract and asks me, “Are you a Jehovah Witness?” I replied, “Nope!” He still refused the Gospel.

To get to the atmosphere of the area. When First Friday occurs, pretty much everything “Anti-Bible/Jesus/Christian” comes out in FULL FORCE.  Yet:

1 John 4:4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

“You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Most all the vendors selling their wares and services(example: Yoga and Palm Reading) have New Age, Unitarian, Open Homosexuality, Buddhist, Eastern Mysticism, Catholicism, Socialist, Communist, Witchcraft, Pagan, and the list goes continues of views opposite of Biblical Christianity. It is weird feelings of demonic oppression I face during this monthly event. You enter the devils playground, expect demonic attack in all manners.  Most of the attacks were mental and emotional. Other attacks were from vendors that know me and I am a deterrent to their pagan and demonic businesses.

What ruffles my feathers is when the vendors or people downtown combo parts of the Christian faith and mix it with paganism, yoga, and New age mumbo jumbo. That is very sacrilegious and when you read in the Word how in both the Old and New Testaments how God is displeased when people mix the religious practices of pagan nations with his standards.

Here is a passage from God’s Word about his views on witchcraft and paganism….which have their roots in drug use.

Nahum 3:3-5 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

3 Charging horseman,
flashing sword,
shining spear;
heaps of slain,
mounds of corpses,
dead bodies without end —
they stumble over their dead.

4 Because of the continual prostitution of the prostitute,
the attractive mistress of sorcery,
who betrays nations by her prostitution
and clans by her witchcraft,

5 I am against you —
the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
I will lift your skirts over your face
and display your nakedness to nations,
your shame to kingdoms.

Many of the New Age girls dress very loosely to expose almost all their chest to attract guys to their booths or the ritual dances they do using a hypnotic drum beat(Drum Circles). The drum circles have lots of  intentions of drawing crowds with very loud beats to drown out any potential street preacher proclaiming God’s Word.

After about an hour of  passing out tracts, I thanked the Lord for the opportunity of Evangelism and proceeded home.

It has been awhile since I have been able to go to the downtown area without freezing to death and actually meeting people casually walking downtown and bar hopping. The weather was walkable tonight. So after talking with God, I grabbed some gospel tracts to distribute. The first stop was the UT bar strip, the second stop was Market Square, and finally to Old City area. Several tracts were both handed out and left in visible locations.  Jesus died for those partying in downtown Knoxville, many will not set foot in a church. So Jesus tells us to go to the sinner.

Now many of you will say, I evangelize by feeding the poor, smiling at someone, etc.   It is biblical to do good works and let Jesus’ love shine in us and through us. Yet, when Jesus fed the crowds and healed the sick, he did not stop with the act of kindness. The act of kindness was a “door opener” to present the Gospel. Yet, many of us fail to transition the act of kindness to share the Gospel with a person.(I don’t mean inviting a person to church, the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses do well enough.) The Gospel is Jesus shedding his blood on the cross and rising from the dead to save those who come to him in repentance.

Many say, I leave the preaching and evangelism to the Preacher. Unfortunately,  the Great Commission was for all followers of Christ. You don’t have to quit your job and have mass crusades like Billy Graham. One way of evangelizing is to simply  give someone a tract. Many Christian bookstores and internet businesses have Gospel tracts. Just find one which fits your personality and can explain to someone if they inquire. Tracts are inexpensive and many places on the net you can get for free. Just use discernment in the tract us attain. Not all tracts are biblical or Christian.  My favorites are tracts from Chick tracts(the comic book tracts) and the Living Waters tracts(the million dollar bill tracts).

Praying for warm weather a.s.a.p.! Easier to hand out tracts when weather is warm and clear.

Ezekiel 3:17-18 (New Living Translation)

“Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately.  If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths.”

Black Friday Evangelizing

I admit it was crazy to get on the road and to the mall on Black Friday.  Yet, after prayer and a morning devotional in the book of Psalms, I pressed onward.  I always start with prayer prior to evangelizing.  Ended up parking way out in “No-man’s Land” I did a one  package(100 count) test run of the Santa Million Dollar Bills.

SIDENOTE: With the Supreme Court cases like Pruneyard, I could walk in freely and talk to anyone. I cannot just go up and start handing out tracts without catching the attention of the mall cops(Paul Blarts’). Thank the Lord, he blinded the eyes to the mall cops in my general surroundings.

So tract distribution has a different approach than outdoor public venues.  1. Talk first, then give tract. 2. Conventionally place tracts in public eye.(drop a bill, bill in coke machine dollar slot, on a bench, chair, food court table, on top of the hand dryer in the bathroom, and etc.)

The mall was packed like sardines and people were rushing as fast as they could to get the next deal in each store. The only ones really interested in talking were the elderly sitting on benches watching people shop.  So one of my methods in the mall during busy traffic times is to quickly drop a bill on the walkway. Then I watch a few feet away while someone takes the bait(Thus, many in evangelist call evangelism, street fishing. )

I drop my first bill. I wait and wait…..wait some more…..then trusting God, I walk on knowing someone will pick up the bill.(Even if it is the Environmental Services, i.e. maintenance.)  I head to the inside entrance of JC Penny and drop a bill. Within minutes someone picks it up.(Walked away and came back and noticed the bill was gone.)  I stick a Santa buck in the Coke machine slot and a teen takes the bill.

I do this method of bill dropping on the ground for a few rounds around the mall. One instance, a lady picks up the bill and very loudly reads it to her shopping party and those in earshot.(One bill= five listeners)

The next few rounds, I target empty benches and chairs. Black Friday shoppers need a sit down break. So watching many shoppers read the bill on the bench. Some take the bill with them, others leave it for others to read. I had one elementary school girl give me my bill I dropped. She thought I did it on accident. I told her to keep the bill.

It was getting close to lunch, so I go where most hungry shoppers congregate….the food court. Santa bills in the food court go like hotcakes. The first one in the food court to grab a Santa bill tract was a  chocolate candy sample guy.  He started reading it to his coworker handing out the chocolate kisses.(Yes, I found all the chocolate candy people and they gave me candy samples. I was able to hand a Santa bill to one of the sample candy people.)  At empty tables, I left a Santa bill.

I had  one person walk up to me, thinking I accidentally dropped the bill. I did tell her thank you. So, I found a new home in the food court for the bill.  After leaving the food court, I started to return to my car. HOWEVER, God gave me the nudge to the best place to get the most readability out of the Santa tract. I walked around the area where the Mall Santa  was sitting. There were benches galore around the area.(They each got a Santa tract. Some more than once after a person decided to keep the tract.) There was a line to see Santa, so I did give out a few Santa bills to some children after I got permission from the parents.

I dropped one Santa bill in the hallway of JC Penny leading to the bathrooms. I walked a few feet away and saw a man sitting on the ground waiting on his wife in the bathroom. Apparently, she took awhile because he picked the tract I dropped and read the message. He put the tract back on the ground and  with a worried look kept rubbing his forehead and staring at the tract. I quietly prayed for him as the message was taking root in his spirit.

I still had some Santa bills left as well as some various other tracts in my possession. I had the rest of the day free so I pressed on with the evangelism.

God blessed me with the Black Friday mall shoppers, so I prayed and asked if he grant me favor to go across the street to Boarders bookstore and place some free bookmarks(tracts) in some popular reading materials. He gave me the green light.( I have learned to pray first and let the Lord go before me.) Books are popular Christmas gifts. (So why not give some food for thought when it comes to reading you favorite book?)  Most all  fiction books have some religious references scattered throughout the pages. So why not give the real Christian message to the religious ideals in fiction books.

Some popular books and authors got my tract approval(Or disapproval pending on how you look at it.) One popular book among teens and the goth crowds is the Twilight series. I noticed the majority of teen fiction books had some occultist or dark themes.(Vampires, witches, etc.)   I went to the classic section and did more bookmark placements. One of the positives of having a mother teaching me to read at a early age  and taking  American Literature class in college was to recall popular titles. Some classics which got tractd’  was “1984” and  “Count of Monte Cristo.”   I stuffed any book with the Oprah selection sticker.

I did go to the  Christian non-fiction section. Most of all the “Faith” teachers got my tract. Also in the tract stuffing was Rick Warren and Joel Ostink( I meant Osteen. Heh! Heh!)

I ended up in my car praying for the seeds planted at the mall and bookstore.(I have made it a habit of beginning and ending in prayer when Street Fishing.)

I went home for a brief break.(I.E. Eating Thanksgiving leftovers. Yummy!)

Market Square Christmas Festival Kickoff

I arrived early and was able to secure a parking space next to Market Square.  I grabbed  twenty Billy Graham Decision magazines and my satchel containing a variety of tracts.(This is one of the handbags given to me by my mother’s prayer group. If a woman is in possession of the handbag, it is called a handbag. If a man is in possession of it, it is called a satchel. Enough said.)

I  placed a  dozen Decision magazine on all the benches in Market Square. The rest  of the magazines I gave out to the public.

I walked around and handed out the last 25 Santa bills.  I switched to a stack of Michael Jackson Million Dollar bills and various business card style tracts.  During the duration of my time in the downtown area, I walked around handing out the tracts saying, “Merry Christmas” or “Here is a million dollar bill for you”. I had several ask me what the reason for giving them out. I told them there was a gospel message on the back of the bill or tract. I did get rejected a few times.(The times I did was when I said “Here is a million dollar bill for you”. Saying, “Merry Christmas” almost guaranteed the person taking the tract.

The only two times I said, “Merry Christmas ” the tract was rejected. One by a girl who threw the tract in the trash and another by a man asking why I was giving the tract. He thought I was giving a business flyer and promptly walked away after I told him about the gospel message on the tract.  I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for him.  I always pray for all the tracts I give out to have a positive effect. Yet, sometimes, God leads me to pray for certain individuals receiving a tract.

I did receive some positive and much-needed encouragement from Christians in Market Square. I only hope it is reciprocal and they are encouraged to share Jesus.  One of my consistent Market Square Christian encouragers is a street musician, James. From talking to him, he has the fruit of a believer. He earns most of his money by playing his wooden flute in the downtown area. He helps me in handing out tracts. When a person drops a dollar in his hopper, he thanks them and gives them one of the tracts.  If people stick around and visit with him, he starts sharing the Gospel with them.

I do find enjoyment from serving Jesus in this capacity. As time passes, I hope the Lord keeps giving me opportunities to evangelize.  When the Lord gives you the opportunity to serve him, do it.   I always want to make myself available to serve the Lord. If I could evangelize full-time, knowing my daily needs would be met, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I want to leave you with a quote from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon. There are many biblical ways to evangelize. Spurgeon has a way with words on strategy.

“All men are not to be reached in the same way, we must be wise to win souls, wise
with wisdom from above. We desire to see them conquered for Christ, but no warrior
uses always the same strategy; there is one for open assault, for another a siege, for
a third an ambush, for a fourth a long campaign.”

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.