Archive for the ‘Ministers’ Category

“No thank you. I have no need”

May 31, 2012

In street ministry, we get to see first hand how the masses respond to the Gospel. Most times, those who appear to be well off, pass by as to not even acknowledge our existence. I could be handing them a card and there would be no acknowledgement whatsoever. Not even an eye contact when looked at. It would seem that they already know what you are trying to give to them and they are not interested. On some occasions, they pass by so close, that they knock the card out of my hand.

We are thankful for the words of Jesus that says, “No one comes to the Father, unless he draws them”. We do acknowledge that it even takes the Father moving on their heart for them to even reach out and take a card. There is great contentment in knowing that the Father is always in control.

Today, we were in the NW part of town. It’s an area that we frequent about once a month on the average. It, like all the different parts of town, has its own type of people and spiritual darkness that goes with the territory.

It was a sunny beautiful day with lots of people out for a weekday. One corner that I usually stop by to hang out, has a drinking establishment on all four corners of the intersection. When the weather is nice, this makes for lots of people sitting around eating and drinking.

Before long, I notice that the response is practically nil. There is no “preaching” going on this day. Just standing there and holding out a card with a few occasional words. Many pass by, with most, there is no interest whatsoever. Maybe, one in 20 take one.

Then, guess who God brings by? An older homeless man. Yep. And what do you think he did when he approached me? He took a look at the card. That’s right. He noticed the card. He said, “I wish I had glasses to read it. I lost mine”. I briefly shared with him what is was about. He smiled and said, “God bless you. Thanks for being out here”. (Do you think he might have known a little about the neighborhood?). He thanked me again and proceeded across the street.

Soon, two scriptures come to mind.

“For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt.9:13b) Those who think they have no need of a Savior, he did not come for. But, those who are “needy”, he came for.

“But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matt.19:30) Those who might think that they will be first, will end up being last. Those who appear to be last, will be first.

Soon, we left walking down the sidewalk. Maybe one in four, took a card. We came to a restaurant, and there was a young girl who was a waitress, going back inside. I said to her, “hey, can I share this with you?” She took one look at it and said, “no thanks”. She then looked me right in the eye and proceeded to tell me why she didn’t need Jesus. (I am noticing more and more, that the younger generations are getting more bold in telling you why they don’t need Jesus. The spirit of anti-christ is surely raising up.)

While listening (Key) she said the words, “lost soul”. The Spirit said to me to “go for that one”. When she stopped for a second, I proceeded to talk to her about being a “lost soul”. Our meeting was all to remind her once again that she is lost without Jesus. She had said in our conversation that she had others tell her that she was a “lost soul”. Conformation for her again?

Took off to the well-known “bookstore” in town. The Father brought some by there. Good day.

“That man changed my life!”

May 11, 2012

Someday we will all be very surprised as to who God used to reach people that he was calling.

Today I heard an awesome testimony from a young guy who I hadn’t seen in almost a year. I remember that we had some good God conversations along the way. He showed up with a friend on a corner where I was hanging out. After talking a while he said, “hey do you remember that guy that sat on that corner over there (as he pointed) last summer that had those scriptures on a cardboard sign?”. I paused for a moment as my mind searched for that time. Boom, I remembered.

Last summer there was a homeless man who sat on a very busy corner downtown. He had the usual homelessness gear such as a pack, sleeping bag, dirty clothes and worn out shoes. But, this guy was different from most. This guy was a minister of the Gospel. He sat there with his bible from which he would occasionally read out loud. And yes, he did have a hat sitting there for money.

My mind went back to the couple of times I visited with him that summer. I remembered that he knew the scriptures very well and would engage with a lot of people while sitting on the sidewalk. What I remembered about him the most was this big old cardboard sign that he had taken a marker and wrote some scriptures on it. He had it propped up for all to see passing by. He was a soft-spoken guy, but big and burley. I remembered, I liked him. I did give him some money, but can’t remember how much. A truly different kind of minister for sure. One that most people would pass by and think, “give me a break, get a job” or “sorry, but how are you doing any good?” or “your no better off than all the other homeless bums out here that beg for money”. So goes the story……..

Then we fast forward to our brother who shared what had happened when he had met the man. He said that one day he walked by and stared at the guy, then took a glance at his cardboard sign and walked away. Then, he heard the man yell out, “hey come back here for a minute!”. So, around he turns and heads back to the man. Soon, he takes up a seat on the sidewalk right next to him as people go rushing by.

My friend didn’t go into all the details that happened thereafter, but he did tell me something that I will never forget. He said, “I WAS “BORN AGAIN” THAT DAY“. That man changed my life!” Wow! I thought. I was humbled. Bless God! We will never know completely, all those He uses and how He uses them. Beware less we think, “Oh how can God use that person? Look at what he is doing”.

The bottom line is: God has used and will use anyone he wants to use. And not only that, but how he wants to use them. We dare not judge.

Ministers of the Lord the Spirit

November 18, 2011

…..”ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2Cor.3:6).

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (3:17)

“But we all, with unveiled faces reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.” (3:18)

Out of the “Church building”

July 20, 2011

When you step out it’s doors and converge with the world, you then begin to live in reality. You see the ravishment of sin. You hold it’s hand. You smell the very pits of hell. It’s then, that you partake of the reality of God working in the world.

What God is doing on the streets

June 30, 2011

Street ministry, like all ministry, involves people. What is really awesome to see, is lives being changed whether it appears small or big. Also, to see change in a relatively short amount of time. Like on many occasions, today we got to see two people being changed.

Just last week, James and I were on a corner downtown hanging out as usual. This nineteen year old guy came up and started talking. He was playing the “know it all” and did very little listening at first. He confessed that he was raised in a Christian home, but was now trying to find God his own way. He talked a lot about how he disagreed with the way the world was and gave his reasons as to why. As time went on, the Spirit was moving and he was beginning to do a little more listening. When it was all said and done, he agreed to have prayer with us, and we all finished with shaking hands and smiling.

Today, exactly one week later to the day, he came by again. This time, he was different. He was a little more laid back. He listened more. I asked him how he was doing. He began to tell me that now he was going to church, and he had a lot more to say about Christ this time.

He had a tripod and a video camera, and asked if he could interview me with some questions. He said that he was going to make a video to show to people. His questions where very good. He asked if I believed in Hell and who all would go there. He asked that if I could go back and do some things over, would I. And if so, what would they be. He asked me do I believe that Jesus is the only way to God. He also had some more questions in which I answered the best that the Spirit gave me.

Then he began to share some deep spiritual things about the Devil and his fall. He shared about light and darkness. This had once again confirmed what the Lord had showed me a few years ago about the younger generation coming up. They would advance more quickly and receive deep revelation faster than those previously (see my post on “God’s Army”).

Here was a guy that in one week had scaled a mountain on the spiritual level. This is what God wants to do and is doing.

We encouraged each other and he said to remember him in prayer as he walked off looking for other people to interview. Bless the Lord for what He is doing!

The other guy is an addict that I have known for about three months now. The first time I met him was when I had been sharing at this corner a short distance east out of downtown. He had been strung out and was begging for money like most. He at that time, was very opposed to hearing the Gospel. However, I prayed for him and believed that I would see him again.

For a couple of weeks after, I would see him and he would smile and say hi. One time, the three of us were heading to the local mall for our weekly gathering and they noticed him, not knowing that I had met him before. One of the brother’s laid it pretty straight with him. I sensed that it was from the Lord, so I just stood back and prayed. So did our other brother James. (Ps. This is important if you go out with some other brothers or sisters and find yourselves talking to one person. Usually, if you gang up on one person, it won’t last very long, and they will have to leave. Seen it more than once).

We would see him a few more times before today. Each time, he was becoming more aware of God and not being so rejecting of Christ.

Today, he came around the corner where we were at. He appeared to be sober and had a lady friend with him for the first time that I had noticed. As he was passing, he turned back and leaned towards me and smiled and said, “OK, I will take one”. He for the first time took a tract. He had refused them before. This was a big step. When one reaches out of their own free-will and takes a tract, it is BIG in God’s economy. It is a blessing to see the Spirit move on one to reach out and take. The results are up to God.

So, we today, bless God for what He is doing. He is moving on hearts, trying to get them to turn. It is truly awesome to see him move and change people. He is in the “changing people business” for sure!

A day in the life of a street minister

October 9, 2010

It’s not a “classified” church minister position. Most churches don’t have one that is on their “paid staff”. You can’t study to become one, then receive a degree and get a job as one. Most don’t have a clue what it entails. When you say “street minister”, most think of the homeless. Yes, it does involve the homeless, but that is just one segment of the ministry. Other’s think of it as the “street preacher” on the street corner. Yes, that also is a part of it, but certainly not conclusive.

In my particular calling of street ministry it has to do with people who are out and about. Kind of what Jesus did. People that are outside of a building, or car, headed somewhere on foot. These are people in the life of a street minister like myself. See my post  https://rjperalta.wordpress.com/2007/02/17/the-people-of-the-streets/  for more definition on street ministry.

One such day would be as follows:

I try to stay away from routine. It is far easier said than done, for sure. It has been a few weeks now since I have broken out of the typical routine. I am very thankful to have again a day like this. This encourages me to remember all those days that I have had that were very similar to this one.

This morning while getting ready for the day, I saw myself walking down a road in which I have not been down in about a year. So, after getting ready I headed out the door onto the sidewalk. Ah, the streets! Here we go again!

Soon, we boarded the bus and headed over the river to the train (light rail). If I can back up for a moment, there where three guys sitting in the back of the bus besides myself. I had just listened to the three of them talk about “brothers” and living in the “hood”. When the bus arrived at the train stop, we all got off as usual. As I approached the platform, I noticed the three brothers standing there. I felt led to go over to them and share Jesus with them, so I did. Two of the three quickly went into all kinds of excuses of why Jesus can’t be the only way. They both had Muslim backgrounds. The other guy said he was raised a “Baptist”. We soon had some common ground because he was a believer in Jesus, while the other two weren’t. The train came and we all got in. The two other brothers went up front and sat down, while me and this other brother stood and continued to talk about Jesus. It was good. My hope is that the other brothers will read the Jesus tracts that they indeed did keep. My stop came and I said God bless you to them all and went out the door.

I headed west on this main street that I had seen myself on earlier that morning. (I might add that I had seen myself walking and only making contact with people who were coming towards me on the sidewalk). My first gentleman was a black brother from Ethiopia waiting for the bus at the stop. He smiled when he saw the Jesus card, and said that he knew Him. We visited for a few minutes before his bus came. It was very encouraging.

I turned to my left after this brother got on the bus, and quickly noticed a lady that used to work where I work. We smiled at each other, and I said God bless you. I have shared Jesus with her before. She was in a lesbian relationship, and I am not sure if she still is. God faithfully puts us together every so often, and it’s always in very unusual places. Isn’t God faithful and awesome!

Then I walked for a while before seeing anybody. Then this guy named Larry came walking his dog down the street. I said “hi”, then gave him a card. He quickly acknowledged that he too was a follower of Christ. We spent the next 30 minutes sharing. He shared about his alcohol problems, in which he was now 10 days clean, and attending meetings. He said he had to leave his life in California and start over up here. He talked about being lonely at times. I shared how I could relate with him on that. We both hit it off, and really had awesome “fellowship”. We had prayer, then I gave him one of my contact cards, then we departed.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I was so thankful for the water fountains along the way. It seemed that God had placed them every so often along the way.  Soon, I saw up ahead, a homeless man gathering his things next to a local market. I stopped to talk with him, and handed him a card. He looked at it and handed it back. He said. “Oh, I believe in mother nature”. I assured him that “mother nature” was not going to save his soul. (I thought to myself, mother nature surly hasn’t saved him from his alcohol problem). I said God bless you and departed.

I walked for a while, then noticed a bike coming ahead down the sidewalk. Usually, I stand there and hold out a card. Sometimes they reach out and grab it and keep riding. This guy went by for a moment, then slammed on his brakes and skidded around. I handed it to him and he said, “oh yeah, I believe in Jesus!”. He began to share how his sister recently died from cancer, and that God was the only reason why he was here today. She had been his best friend. He went on and gave testimony about God and was greatly encouraged to have the opportunity to share it. He went away “charged” on his bicycle.

A while later, I saw two brothers coming. One was pushing the typical shopping cart full of bottles and cans. As they approached, I asked them if they knew Jesus and handed them the cards. They smiled and said, “Oh yah”. “We couldn’t live without Him”. They were in a hurry, and one brother said “please remember me in prayer”. I said I would. He reached over and gave me a big hug. The other brother did the same. It was “sweet” in Jesus!

Soon, I was praying to find a restroom. I knew that there was a large grocery store coming up on my left, I just couldn’t see it yet. Praise God, before long, there it was. I went into the store and soon found the restroom. Once inside I noticed a young guy combing his hair. I asked him if he knew Jesus. He didn’t give an answer, but said that he believed in a “higher power”. I assured him that he needed Jesus to get to God. Shared that Jesus is the only sacrifice for our sins. He didn’t object. Soon he left, taking the card with him. As I left, I saw him outside the restroom. I smiled and said God bless you. I sensed that he was battling homosexuality.

Now, I had sensed that this was my turning back point. So I headed back on the other side of this main road. Soon, I heard someone coming from behind. I turned and smiled and gave him a card. He looked at it, and shouted that he was also a believer. He said that he was going to be singing in his church choir tonight. We blessed each other and he walked up ahead.

As I proceeded, I saw a hispanic man coming up the sidewalk. I was thankful that in the morning the Lord had reminded me to bring some more spanish tracts. He gladly took one. I could see his face that he looked like he was battling Meth.

By this time I had used up all my tracts and was saying “God bless you” to all those who passed by. One young lady sitting at a bus stop acknowledged that she was with Jesus. I encouraged her to stay close to Him, because things are not going to get better. She agreed.

Soon, I was back at the train stop where I had started. I got on and headed home. I was tired. I do a lot of walking in my ministry, but this was the first time in weeks where I walked for a long distance without very little stopping. I figured it was probably six miles.

Well, that’s one day in my life. They are all different. I always enjoy seeing what God has planned for the day, and its always about people. It always about Jesus.

God bless you as you go out and Do what you were created to Do. Tell somebody about Jesus today!

Forsaking the “Call” of God

September 12, 2010

What needs to be reminded to those who have forsaken the call of God on their lives, is the serious consequences that follow.

When I say “call”, I mean the special plan and purpose that God has place upon ones life. This could be a broad spectrum that encompasses a vast area of the individuals particular gifting and talents. When it’s all said and done, it is what the individual was created for. No where, is the individual to have his or her’s own plans.  It must come from getting to know God on a personal level, and finding out in time, what one was created for. It’s a process that all believers must embark upon. If there is no investment to find out, then it will not be found. The only way it comes, is by seeking. All things of God come through seeking Him and His will. No seek, no find.

A life spent without knowing God’s plan and purpose, is a waste, so to speak. Think about it for a moment. God has created the individual by His plan and design, His will to be done for that person while on earth. Because God is exact and makes no mistakes in all creation, how can we think for a minute, that it’s “hit and miss” with Him? Take a look at the universe and see how everything falls into place. The human body, how it’s design is beyond comprehension. God is God, and He is perfect in all His ways. Even for the way we were created to walk in.

The God given gift of free-will always comes into play. I know that there are those who think differently, but it still doesn’t change the fact that in a given day, we make countless decisions all by our free-will. We choose, moment by moment. Yes, God is sovereign, but He designs us as creatures of choice. Make no mistake about it.

Part of my testimony involves a period of time in my life where I personally chose to turn away from what I knew that God had call me to, and what I was created for. This involved a one on one encounter with God, where I purposely argued with Him that I knew what was best for me and that I was going to do what I deemed best for me. I did, and the consequences were very costly to say the least.

He respects our free-will. Think about it for a moment. He gave us this “free-will” in the first place, yet He turns it over to us to chose and use it as we see best. Now, I must certainly say, that all the time that this takes place in our lives, He is continually trying to mold and shape us after His will and not our own will and ways. This “molding and shaping” involves a lot of “tough love” for sure. God sees all of eternity and we don’t. He knows what is best for us, so He continually moves in many seen and unseen ways. Always pursuing us with His love, which is God’s love, not human love. It works in ways we can’t comprehend, for it is God’s ways, God’s love.

This all was brought to mind again this past week. I was reading from the book of Romans, on the street corner, and a lady stopped and listened to the words. Soon, we engaged in an conversation that had to do with her husband. She shared how that several years ago her husband was doing the same thing that I was doing. Now he was an alcoholic and they are homeless living out of their van, both they and their youngest son. She shared awesome testimonies how God had worked in the past. Now they were desperate and in great confusion as to where they were at and where they were headed. She knew the reason for all of their woes. She was just trying to hang on for another day, as she watched her son and husband deteriorate.

After we finished talking, she asked if I would mine meeting her husband and son. She knew where she had left them that day, and hoped that they were still there. So we took off and walked a few blocks. Soon, she pointed to them on the corner, a block up from where we were. When we got there, her husband was standing next to a pole holding a cardboard sign that read, “Any amount will help us. Homeless and $1 will help”. Their 16yr. old son was sitting on the ground next to him.

Here was a family that had reached the bottom in a relatively short amount of time. Once, they were actively involved in their church, and actively involved in ministry. Now they were bagging for help.

We had an awesome time sharing. They related from sharing about the past, how God moved in their lives. Testimonies that were powerful. All from the past. How sad to hear nothing current. I was moved to give them a twenty, then it went to the current provision and how thankful they were to God.

I encouraged him to get back on track with God, and that His “gifts and callings were without repentance”. (once He gives something, He doesn’t take it back). We had prayer and finished our visit. I gave them my number and hope that they will come to our gathering on Tuesday nights.

In closing, there is a high cost to pay when one chooses to go his or hers own way. Whether it’s forsaking God, or forsaking His call on our lives, the price is steep. Many have yet to return. Many have years of pain and sorrow that could have been prevented, if only they would have stayed and chosen to do what they knew to do.

Where are you today? Is He still Lord? Are you still following Him with all your heart? How about the “known” plan and purpose of God, the call of God on your life? It’s not too late, if your heart is still soft. Turn before it’s too late. Save yourself some heartache, some pain and loss. There will be no regrets. God’s way has none.

Don’t forget the Court House!

March 27, 2010

If you haven’t yet, pray about going to the “court house” to share Christ. Not religion and church, but Christ.

I am always reminded when I visit the court houses, how awesome the opportunities are. Today was no different.

I usually don’t get “marching order’s” until my feet hit the sidewalk or street. But today, I heard “the court house” shortly after awaking this morning. On average, I probably am led there about once a month, to every six weeks.

For those of us who are led to pass out tracts, this to me, is the most receptive place, bar none. When you are out on the streets passing them out, I would say as an average, 1 out of 10 would take a tract. This of course, would differ as to where one might be. But this is a good overall average.

However, at the court house the average is around 6 out of 10. This is huge if you consider the average, as far as getting the “seed” into their hands. Why do you think that it would increase here over other places? Maybe, because they are facing some kind of problem in their life? Maybe, because there is typically not someone trying to hand out something in front of  the court house? Whatever the reason, I find it very positive.

And not only for passing out tracts, but I always find several people that are willing to talk and share what is going on in their lives. Could this be because of “what” is going on in their lives? Nothing like difficulties in ones life to cause them to take inventory, right?

Many times, I hear positive testimonies of what God is doing in their lives. It is very encouraging. Heard two of those today.

So, pray about visiting the court house. This thought just came to me, pray and ask him if I should go by myself or with another. My thought (and only mine) is that too many would give off the idea that you are some “church” group passing out “God” stuff. I don’t know. I always go alone, and don’t sense anyone getting that idea ( I am sure there are those who indeed do though).

Well, may you continue to be blessed as you go out for Him!

What are we offering the next generations?

March 22, 2010

As a collective body, or as individuals, what are we offering them spiritually?

Today was a very thought provoking day after talking to some young guys during my lunch break. I walked over to the local “Jack in the Box” restaurant and sat down to eat my lunch and drink a cup of coffee.

As I usually do, I try and follow the spirit as to where to land. I sat down in the booth next to a couple of guys in their teens. I sat there eating and listening to them talk about the typical things two teenagers might talk about. Finally, one of them got up to go to the bathroom and I turned around and said hi to the other guy that was there. I handed him one of my “Jesus” cards and he looked at it and said, “Oh, I go to church”. That didn’t shock me because I might have heard that 5,000 times before.

So, I began t ask him about his church and to what was going on there. He didn’t really say a lot, other than to say that he went there and it was OK. His friend returned, and I also asked him. He said that he also went to church, but it was a different one than his friend. They both attended Christian churches.

I asked them both again, “what was happening there?”.  Again, I got no real response. No excitement with them talking about their church.

So, I began to share with them what God was trying to do with the younger generations. How He wanted them to prepare spiritually for what’s coming ahead. How He wanted to unleash His power through them. I quoted the passage where Jesus said that “greater things than what I have done, they will do.” As I always say after this passage, I said, “And where is that power that Jesus was referring to? Do you guys see it happening? In your church? How about, when you guys are out and about with your friends?”

I asked them, “Do you share Jesus with your friends?” They said, “no”. I could not help wondering what these two have been taught at church and home.

As I usually try and do, I finished up with trying to encourage them to seek God above all else, and to follow Jesus and his teachings above all else. I also wanted to leave them with something to look forward to in the coming days.

I gave them an example such as this………

This is what He wants to do with you guys. Say you both have just finished lunch here and you step outside and notice off in the distant parking lot, a man in a wheel chair pushing himself across the parking lot. Now this time, you are both with four other friends. So, one of you says to the other, “hey see that man over there in the wheel chair. Lets go pray for him!”. So you all take off at a good speed and catch up with him. One of you asks him if you can pray for him. He says something like, “well, if you think it will do me some good, go ahead, do it”. So one of you prays to God and asks him to heal this man. After finishing, one of you says, “how do you feel now?” The guy in the wheel chairs says, “well, I can feel my legs tingling!”. One of you says, “good, God is healing you now as we speak”. By this time, there is several people watching from their cars in the parking lot.

One of the boys says to the man, “It’s time to walk my friend!” “Can I lift you up so we can see the power of God?’ The man says, “sure, why not!” You all pitch in and help the man up. One of you pushes the wheel chair from behind him, and it goes rolling across the parking lot. By now, this has a lot of people watching.

All of a sudden, the man says, “Let me go!!!!!”…….. He stands up straight and takes a deep breath…..and……

TAKES OF RUNNING ACROSS THE PARKING LOT…….JUMPING AND YELLING, “I CAN RUN NOW!!!!!!  I’VE BEEN HEALED BY GOD!!!!!!

People are now getting out of their cars and watching and listening to the man. “I BEEN HEALED!……..I BEEN HEALED!

Finally, others from the parking lot come over and you tell them all how God has healed the man. Several turn their lives over to Jesus because they “saw” the power of God.

Back at home, you share this with your other friends and they get excited. You all pray and ask God where does He want us to go next. What does He want us to do next.

See, this is what God wants to do with the next generations! Just church and religion are no longer cutting it. They want to see and partake in the real deal. They want the power, they just don’t know it yet. Why? Because they are not taught about it. All they see is “show and production” in most of their churches. “Cookie cutter” services are not what they want. There is no real power in service after service, that has the same routine Sunday after Sunday. Sing for twenty minutes, take the offering, give the announcements, here the speaker/pastor for 30 minutes, sing a closing song and run home.

Until they see the “church” being the power to the outside world and being “equipped and sent out” into the world, they will have no use for the church as we currently see it today. They are not interested in getting the same thing that they get in the world, entertainment and show. They have already had enough of that.

They are already thinking…….. “If God is real, show us the power!” “We want to have a part of His power”  “We are no longer interested in playing church” “What’s with this “church” thing anyways?” “What good is church?” “I’m bored”

Praise God! The church as we now know it will be changed. It might be in the “twinkling of an eye”……… Get ready!

Street preachers, check this out!

January 22, 2010

I was surfing under the “witnessing” category today and found this. This is a must for street preachers. Check out the old fashioned picture. How about the people in the crowd? Awesome! Hope you are blessed like I was!

http://a-voice-crying-out.com/2010/01/21/bold-little-preacher/