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

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Saturday was the big move for the new and returning college students. On Saturday night, they were on the UT strip(Cumberland St.) like locusts. A couple of interesting meets with some students.
One was a returning college student “laying the mack” on some new college freshman girls. I was once a college student and I knew what this college guy was attempting to do with any lady he could seduce. If you parents are not praying for your college student, especially those of you with daughters, you need to be praying hard. Simply for the fact, some  guys would like to “initiate” your little girls into the college experience.
One of my favorite current street preachers is a guy named Tony Miano. Tony is a former law officer.(Check out his facebook page or his blog: http://thelawmanchronicles.blogspot.com/ ). I remember how protective he was when one of his little girls accompanied him on a street evangelism day.
So back to my Saturday night…. I approached the hormonally charged college man and in front of the girls he was seducing, I said, “Hey, brother, Jesus loves you” and gave him a bible tract. I slowly walked on  down the sidewalk. I suddenly heard him scream from the top of his lungs, “I HATE GOD!” He was quite angry I(or should I say God place me in the girls and his path) broke his little “mack attack” on the girls.
About 15 minutes later after a bathroom brake at the Krystal, I walked back to the area. Low and behold, the girls were still there talking, minus the guy. Obviously, the girls were not impressed with the guy’s rant.  I talked to the girls, they were freshman and there first night on the town and away from family. I told them to be careful tonight and have an enjoyable evening. I gave them each a tract and told them, “Jesus loves you.”
The love the young man had for them was not the same love Jesus has for them. The young man had erotic intentions. Christ had a self-sacrificing love(most commonly referred in the Greek as “Agape” love).
I knew these girls had fathers or potentially had a “father figure” in their life and if a horny college man approached them with thoughts  of sleeping with them, those daddies would have grabbed the kid by the collar and gave him the right foot of christian fellowship on his butt.
I could obviously tell this kid had ill intentions towards those girls. Ive seen from doing street ministries around bars of many guys slipping a drug in a girls drink  so they could rape a woman. I believe God placed me at the right time to stop a potential victimization on a young college woman. I could have whooped the little kid, but God had a better and creative way to get the kid’s attention as well as the girls seeing how he responded to the presentation of the Gospel.
When you go out street witnessing, you will come into situations which may have a dual effect. The main one is the presentation of the God’s Word. The second may meet a immediate need or crime prevention.  Always start with prayer and asking for strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit when sharing the Gospel. Always end with prayer. God gave you the opportunity to plant a seed. It will be exciting to see the results of the planting of the seed when you get to Heaven. You may not see the result here on Earth, but God will reward you for your faithfulness to the Great Commission.

Jesus and his Agape love always wins, especially against a horny college boy.