Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

The prodigal daughter

November 22, 2016

Blessed yesterday to be back in downtown. We even got to do some preaching :).
Towards the end of the day, God brought “Brandi” by. My guess is that she was around 30 years old. She is your typical homeless girl bound by heroin. She was raised in Alabama in a southern Baptist home. She has two kids who are being raised by her parents in two separate homes.

We listened to her story. And as we did, the Holy Spirit gave us some insight into where she was currently at spiritually. We shared and encouraged her that God is not very far away. In fact, he is just camped out next door. He is just waiting for her to turn to Him. She listened.

We reminded her of the “Prodigal son” story, of which she had heard many times before. However, we put her into the story as the “Prodigal daughter”. The Father is there waiting with open arms to through a party upon her return, but she just has to get to the point where she “has spent all”, and “comes to herself”.

We also reminded her that she is indeed responsible for that which she knows. And of course being raised “Southern Baptist”, she knows about Jesus and the salvation that He alone brings. It was good for her to be reminded of this, because in her sharing, she has allowed some demonic influence to change her thinking, which is so very common out on the streets.

We asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and said, “well, as long as I don’t have to stand here and close my eyes” . So we did.

She shared how she misses her kids. Heroin is no doubt nullifying the pain.

She seemed to have hope as we parted. Please pray for her. She could have been any one of our daughters. Thank you.

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An encounter with “Jesus”

April 3, 2016

We must never underestimate the power of one encounter for Jesus. I was reminded of this yesterday.

While traveling north on the bus, i stopped off at a local Walmart to use the restroom and pick up some water. While at the water aisle, i reached up to grab a bottle when i heard, “Hey! It’s good to see you again! Remember me?” My eyes immediately fell upon his name badge, which read “Jesus”. Bing! “Yeah! I remember you! At the neighborhood market close by where i live”.

Here we were…..

Approximately 6 months ago, i pulled into the neighborhood market parking lot and quickly noticed the “cart pusher”. I walked over to him to say hi. Then i noticed his name tag saying “Jesus”. I smiled and said that i really liked his name. Then of course, we asked him if he knew Jesus. He said that he did. We had a great visit in the parking lot that day.

Now…..

Approximately 6 months later, 5 miles north, and at a different store, here he remembers me. I was amazed. I complemented him for his remembrance, and of course knowing all the time that it was the Lord indeed that brought it all to pass. I asked him what God was currently doing in his life, and he shared a testimony of how God blessed him recently by being able to return to Walmart after quitting his last store. He realized that it was a mistake and that God showed mercy upon him and what a blessing it was to be able to work. We stood there sharing for a while, then parted knowing that we would see each other again.

One encounter can make a difference. We must never underestimate it. Go Jesus!

name-tag

Seeing and hearing

March 23, 2016

Like anything else in life, if we don’t use it or practice it on a regular basis, we can become less acquainted with that which we used to do on a regular basis.

This past Saturday, i was seeking God and wanting to go out again and be led of the Spirit to where He wanted me to go. This is a big part of the ministry that the Lord has given me and called me to over the years. I have seen some really divine moves of God into this realm of the Spirit. My heart craves for more of the Spirit of God to “see” and to “hear”, then to move into that realm.

As we were waiting upon Him, He soon gave us the route to take and the place to go. We were to head out on foot east, then turn north and walk up to the “Target” store. As we walked, we prayed, and at the same time looked around to see if there was any people around that He might be leading us to. During the approximate mile long walk, there was no one who we sensed we were to talk to. Soon we were at the Target store and walked into the restroom. Once inside, we spotted a young guy washing himself at the sink. We knew immediately that he was the one to speak to. However, not at the present time.

We left and went outside after hearing to wait out there for him to come out. After a few minutes, we looked ahead down the walkway and spotted him. Our immediate thought was “wow, he sure looks different from when he was under the lights in the restroom”. We proceeded to follow him. Up ahead, we saw him take a left into the store next door. We heard to wait there for him to come out. After waiting a few, he comes out, and we say to him, “Hey brother! Come on over here and tell me what God is doing in your life”. We saw that he had a shirt on that had a small cross on it and a ministry name under it.

He began to share his testimony of being saved right after getting out of prison, and being now clean for 30 days. He shared how God had delivered him and how thankful he was. I asked him if he has been tempted to use again since being clean. He said “oh yes”. I then heard that i was to pray for him regarding this help. So i asked him if i could pray for him. He smiled and said “sure!”. As we did, we really prayed for his protection. We covered him in the armor of the Lord, from his head to his toes. When finished, he was blessed and encouraged. We soon parted our ways. He went down the walkway, i took off to my left and went across the parking lot.

After about 10 minutes and turning to my right to follow the sidewalk, i look up ahead to the intersection and i see him and a guy standing with him at the light. As i walked up, i immediately noticed that the guy that was with him was the guy that i originally saw in the bathroom. I said to him, “Hey you were the one who i saw in the restroon”. He said that he remembered seeing me also. I then was amazed at what had just been revealed to me…..

Here i was in the presence of these two guys, one who i thought was the one from the restroom in which i prayed with, the other who i didn’t pray with which was the guy from the restroom. Just how did my “seeing” and “hearing” play into this all? Was God once again just showing his sovereignty? Would things of changed out differently if i were to of “saw” and “heard” differently? Was this just how it was all to play out, i.e. the guy that i prayed with was the reason why i was to go to “Target” in the first place?

I find it all interesting.

Then the guy introduces me to the other guy. He quickly shares his testimony of being saved and how he was also clean from addiction. He lit up as he was sharing about God’s power to save and keep him. They were both there that day to also collect money at the intersection for the ministry that they were a part of. All three of us rejoiced at God’s goodness and how our divine appointment all transpired.

Someday we will see clearly, see completely. Until now, i endeavor to “see” and “hear” more clearly as i approach the gates of heaven.

“My fate is sealed”

August 10, 2015

I had just finished walking up by the freeway that leads through downtown and was circling back around when i noticed that there was a different guy at the off-ramp holding his cardboard sign. I walked over to him and said Hi, reached in for some change and a “Born of the Spirit” card. After a short talk about the card, he tells me that he has died twice and went to hell each time. Then he said something that really made me jump up and take notice. He said that the last time this happened, he was asked by God to give up his hatred. He refused to do so, so he said……

“My fate is sealed”.

I then proceeded to ask him about Jesus to find out where exactly he stood with him. I asked him if he had been born again and if Jesus was his Lord and Savior. He said that he did not believe that he needed Jesus to get to God. He believed that he could go straight to God and bypass Jesus. I proceeded to tell him about the cross and the sacrifice that Jesus paid for him and that if he would believe so, Jesus would forgive his sins and he would not have to pay the wages for them which is death. Also that by receiving the forgiveness through Jesus, his fate in hell is not sealed. I told him that he is believing a lie that comes from the father of lies, Satan.

I then said, “It is quite possible that God would send this little nobody in a red shirt to remind you of His Son Jesus and what you could have today by believing in him”. He listened, but refused. At the end of our visit, the Holy Spirit had me get rather straight with him. I pleaded with him that he did not have to believe a lie and that Jesus is there waiting to forgive his sins so he would not have to go to the real hell and spend eternity apart from God.

Soon i parted. I am praying and believing that God in his love and mercy will still continue to reach out to this man before it’s too late.

A very sad encounter. Believing that your fate is sealed? But yet, not believing in the One who makes it all possible for one’s fate to not be sealed? Sounds like a lie to me.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom.6:23)

“Out the gate”

July 23, 2015

gate

It’s what i call it when you go out the door (or it could be a gate) and God has someone immediately there in your pathway. It could be right as you open the door and there stands somebody, or it could be within a few feet. Either way, there is a person there. Now the question here is, do I notice the person? And if I notice them, do I care? Am I in too much of a rush to even want to notice them? And, if I do indeed notice them, so what? Do I just think it is life and so what?

I am convinced that God is always moving people, and causing them to be at a certain place in a certain point of time so someone can reach them with the most important message of all time, the gospel. And as i have always said, “He saved us to reach people for Him”. He does the placement, then we are to do the seed planting. And of course, He causes the growth.

The key is that when we go “out the gate” we are in the Spirit?. We are quickened by the Spirit. We are watching, looking, seeing, and hearing. This of course must have started while we were behind the four walls, and then moved out into the world for the day.

Here are two recent examples of what i am talking about.

A couple of days ago i went out my front door to go get my car that was parked a couple of blocks away from the previous night. Where i live, parking is at a premium. The short street has six apartment complexes. And while there is some rented spaces off the street, most of us park on the street.

As i walked away from my front door and turned left, i immediately saw this guy standing there on the lawn staring at an orange tree. I asked him what he was up to. He told me that he was placing “fruit fly” traps in the tree. He then explained a little about his job with the state. Our conversation included a chat about the nice weather we were having that morning. As he was packing up his stuff i asked him if he was a “follower of Jesus”. His reply was “well, not as much as I should be”. I then encouraged him that God is not far away, and that all he needed to do was to turn towards him. And by doing that, God would surely meet him right there. He left thanking me for the  reminder.

Today, while i was at work and coming out from the back room, through the doors (out the gate) and onto the sales floor, i immediately saw this guy pass in front of me on the main aisle. He was holding a bible and reading it as he walked along. I said, “hey! what are you reading?”. He stops and shows me. I read it so that he can hear it.

“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.”

“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mk.13:12-13).

I told him to not hate those who will do this. And i also said that sometimes those who are closest to us, i.e our families, are the ones who we could receive the most persecution from. He had this look on his face which seemed to read….. “I see. I get what this is saying”.

He leaves and i say, “God bless you!”. And off i go to put some meat away on the shelf :-).

I hope that we will all be more encouraged to be in the Spirit when we go “out the gate”, knowing very well that God could have somebody there waiting for us for His plan and purpose.

God’s love, all about people

July 20, 2015

Let us always be reminded and never forget that God and his love is all about people. “For God so loved the world (people) that he gave his only begotten Son,”
If we are saved it is for people. We are called and gifted to reach people.
I love how God moves people, places people, in our path so that they would hear one more time about His Son. That’s love.
If we are “in the Spirit” we will not miss out on the opportunity.

Today i was at the cross walk, and this lady is standing next to me. I’m looking straight forward waiting for the light to change. Out of the corner of my eye i noticed her look over at me real quick. When she did, i sensed that God was up to something.
I get on the bus and sit next to the window. And who comes down the aisle? And where does she sit? Yep just like a magnet :-). I believe that God can and does move people to his own choosing.

We soon get on the train together and spend the next 30 minutes conversing. She is currently a “Buddhist”. She was raised in a Christian home though. It was just God and his love reminding her again about His Son. We spread the seed. God gives the increase.
Pray for her tonight.

God’s love, 3 guys, and a “Jesus Bus”

January 17, 2015

Last night we were checking in with Holy Spirit to see if we could get a jump on where we might be going. Sometimes He lets us know in advance, other times not. This was one of those times where He laid a particular street upon my heart. Sometimes it is certain areas, corners, or even pictures of where we are to be. In any case, when this happens, it goes from what He places in the heart, then to the mind. Such was the case that it was indeed 82nd Av.

For the first hour it was relatively quiet as we traveled via bus and light rail to get there. Once we made it to 82nd transit center, we ask the Holy Spirit where to go and what to do. As we looked both directions, we sensed that the left was the way. As we walked, we prayed. After about 6 to 8 blocks, we sensed that it was time to jump on the bus and head south. The bus came and off we went. A couple of Jesus cards passed out with little feed back. After a mile or so, we knew that there was a Walmart ahead to get some water and a snack. So we headed that way. That was done. So we again hopped the bus and made our way south.

Again, pretty quiet on the bus. As I looked out the window to my right, to my surprise, I spotted the “Jesus Bus”. Yep. There it was parked on a side road just off 82nd. As the bus came to the next stop, I immediately jumped up with not a lot of thinking involved. 🙂 As I looked over at the bus, I noticed a guy with his dog standing on the sidewalk singing and playing his guitar. Nice I thought. We introduced ourselves and spent the next few minutes sharing what God had been doing in our lives. He shared about the ministry that the Lord has called him to. How he travels all over the United States with his dog in the Jesus Bus. God brings people of all kinds across his path. Many are blessed, some can’t stand the bus, and some get saved 🙂

After a while I was moved upon to head across the street where there happen to be a bank that I bank with. I was off to get him some gas money. After I returned, this other guy shows up who is also a believer. He shares a little about his experiences with Jesus.

Then we all noticed a car in the middle of the road, just to the left of where we were talking. It had stalled and cars were trying to snake their way around to keep going. We then all took off to help him push his car to the curb. Once at the curb, the driver gets out to thank us all. A short way into our conversation, the other believer takes off, and now its just me, Cas (the owner of the Jesus Bus) and David, the guy whose car gave out on him. Oh, and lest I forget, God was there too 🙂

A short way into our conversing with David, I said to him, “Hey, where ya at with Jesus?” This begin our conversation in this time of divine appointment 🙂 He began to tell us where he stood with God. What he believed now. He said that he used to go to church and study the Bible. He assured us that he believed in God, only that he wasn’t too sure about Jesus these days and the Bible. My new friend Cas, led by the Spirit, shares all the right scriptures that David needs to be reminded about. I assure him in love, that he is indeed responsible for what he knows. Especially what he knows of the Bible. He listens well. We remind him how much God’s loves him, and that through His love, He even allowed his car to stop right next to some guys and a “Jesus Bus”. What a God! Right.10734117_1491414041121922_717046348752541166_n

Once again. God is perfect and exact in all His ways. Nothing is “happen chance” with Him. His love is just plain too powerful to let one go without continue reminders 🙂

He sends them….

June 26, 2014

Over the years one of the most awesome things to see at our mall gathering on Tuesday nights is how people are drawn right to us.

Tonight was no different. I had been sitting there at the table and chairs as usual, just waiting. I was going over some notes from the last week out on the streets, when i looked up and saw a guy standing at one of the empty chairs next to me.

We both reached out to shake hands as if we already knew each other. We smiled at each other and i said, “Hey brother, sit down and tell me what God is doing in your life?” He smiled and sat down.

So for the next hour we both conversed about our journey with God. We both shared about our previous marriages and what we have gained through the process. I shared my testimony of disobedience to the call of God on my life. We talked about the consequences of making wrong decisions. He also shared about the music ministry the Lord has given him.

Halfway through our visit he tells me that earlier in the day, he had been praying that the Lord would send someone to encourage him and someone that he could visit with. (He was up from southern Oregon with his wife for a few days).

We finished with prayer. The Lord had just encouraged us both.
What a God! A God that wants us to experience him through people.

Chasing dreams, or?

May 6, 2014

Just like God….
Yesterday morning, i was given this thought….
“We can spend our whole lives chasing our dreams, or we can get filled with God and begin to find out what we were created to “Be” and to “Do” while we are living here for a few days on this planet.”

Then i get on the bus….
I see a guy coming down the aisle to the back. He appears to be uncertain or lost. Then he does a little spin around before he sits down.
I say to him, “hey! How’s it going?”
His reply? “Good! Just having a “Dreamy life”. Bing!

Then i shared with him what i had received, “We can spend our whole lives chasing our dreams….”
So we spent the next 25 mins. in conversation about dreams, God/Jesus, the need for a spiritual birth etc. He also mentioned how he used to have a “Gideon bible” and enjoyed reading it. Bing!
I had one in my back pocket, which i graciously gave him.

As i have said many times, “God is all about people”. He will daily lead you to people, or bring them right to you. And if, we are not off in our own little world, and have the blinders removed, we will see the realm (kingdom) of God come here on earth.

And why not this “sign?”

April 2, 2014

There is an ever-increasing need out there in the world today. In my years of ministering out and about with people, I see a huge need that is basically going unnoticed. In some cases it falls under not wanting to believe that it exists, or in other cases, it is not wanting to address it because of fear.

And what might this need be?

People from all walks of life are increasingly being possessed with demonic spirits, or as biblical and mildly put, unclean spirits. From a worldly perspective, most are considered as “mentally ill”. Precisely. That is what happens to one who is filled with unclean spirits. The physical manifestation shows up in their speech and actions. Most would say that when they have seen a person acting strangely or talking to themselves, that person would be mentally ill and needs medication and help. Certainly there are cases where a person has been affected physically that would alter their mind. But to put all under this classification is a grave mistake.

Certainly the world in most cases would not look at something through spiritual lenses. The physical is the much more readily acceptable way to deal with things, right?

But, in this post, I want to address a huge need for those of us who are believers. To be awaken to and hopefully come to a place where we will take action. For the time will soon come where this need will be so prevalent that many hearts will fail because of fear. It is pass time to look into what Jesus taught us believers, and what would “follow those who believe”.

Most of us have no problem with believing that Jesus taught that his followers would pray for the sick and they would be healed. In fact, many do this on a regular basis. Some are healed immediately, others are not, and some are healed later. We have understood and believe that “healing” is common and does occur. For most of us, our understanding and faith takes in physical healing. And at times, even takes in “mental” healing. But what about demonic spirits? What did Jesus have to say about this type of healing? Was it something that should be occasionally done? Was it separate from physical healing? Was it in a classification all by its self and only practiced by a few who were chosen to do so?

Let us take a look into what Jesus taught about this.

First off. When Jesus sent out the Twelve Apostles, “he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out,” (Mt.10:1)

“and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils (Mk.3:15)

“and gave them power over unclean spirits;” (Mk.6:7)

“and gave them power and authority over all devils,” (Lk.9:1)

Not only were they sent to “preach” and “heal the sick”, but just as equally, they were equipped with the “power against, power to cast out, power over, and authority” over all unclean spirits/devils.

But you say, “that was the twelve, that was their calling”. One could stop here and rightfully say that. But…

Jesus made sure that one would not fall into this trap of thinking. And how did he do that?  He commissioned “the seventy”. He made sure that if you were (key) one of his disciples, you are sent and you are equipped.

This is also why he first said to them,

“The harvest truly is great, but the labourers  are few:” (Why? Because not many want to be his true followers, obey his commands and go out into the world). “pray to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into the harvest.” (Lk.10:2)

Jesus says to the seventy labourers, and he says to those of us who are followers of him,…..

“Behold, I give to you the power to tread on serpents (Aramaic idiom for enemies) and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Lk.10:19)

Here he says that we will have the “power” and the “protection”.

Now to address those who still might have doubt as to whether this would still include all his followers.

In the book of Mark we have the very well-known “Great Commission”. If you are one of those who would say that this was only for the “eleven” that he appeared to after his resurrection, then all we would have to do is read all the books of the New Testament that follow the gospels and see if that is true. What about all his followers after him? History bears the fact that his true followers have always followed his commands, and are still doing so today.

Jesus said that after his followers go out into the world (this is key) and preach the gospel, these “signs shall follow them that believe” (Mk.16:17). This word “signs” means “an indication, a mark, to indicate-signify”. So we can safely say that those who are true followers will have these marks. Namely, “they will cast out devils, and lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”.  These signs will signify that they will either be believers and doing the works of God, or unbelievers. The dividing line between believers and unbelievers will be much clearer and profound in the coming days. This is not just for a select few that are gifted or called to the ministry of casting out devils as most would think.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name (key) shall they cast out devils; they (those with whom had the devils cast out of them) shall speak with new tongues.”

If you have ever dealt with a demon possessed person, one of the first things that is noticed is their speech. Their language is not comprehensible. Here Jesus says that once they are set free, they will speak again with a new language.

In closing, the two main reasons that we are not seeing more unclean spirits cast out of people is because of fear and unbelief. However, the good news is that in the coming generations, God will be raising up many younger people who will be fearless and believing. They will not only be that, but because of the times at hand and the prevalence of demonic possession, they will either be in or out as a believer. In fact, the generations that He is raising up, will no doubt be showing and teaching the older believers who never had the wherewithal . When this begins to happen through us, we must remember what Jesus told them that came back rejoicing because the demons were subjected to them.

“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Lk.10:20)

The times are a changing. Will we be ready and active? Will we believe by our actions all that Jesus taught? Or will we be only selective followers and thus not be a disciple at all?

(PS. The Lord laid this on my heart last week when a spotted a young man (maybe 20-25) on several occasions during the day. One look at him would tell the story. Each time i saw him walking, he was in a complete trance as if he had no control of where he was going or what he was doing. I had never seen him before. He was not a drug case. His eyes were pure darkness and piercing. He was talking quietly to himself as he walked all around the downtown area. He appeared to be completely robotic and controlled.

I have been in prayer since. My heart is heavy for this need. This man is someone’s son. Should we just sit back and say “oh well, that so sad?” Should we just go after the easy? Again, i say that unbelief and fear will keep us from being all we should be for the Lord. May God help us all.)