Thursday, August 23, 2007

John MacArthur on the Emerging Church Part 01

John MacArthur not just speaking about the emergent church, but lays down the brutal, honest, stark truth about the Gospel.

John MacArthur on the Emerging Church Part 02

Sk8er KidZ

This happened three weeks ago (July 30th)...just now getting around to posting it.

My son rode in to work with me so he could spend the day at the skate park/dirt jumps down at Goose Gossage park in Colorado Springs. I stopped by the park at about 4:00pm to pick him up, he had his bike, skateboard and a cooler so I was walking across the park to help him get all his stuff together so we could head home...

There was a group of 7 or 8 boys (probably from 10 to 14 years old) all sitting on one of the stunts sitting there laughing and having a good time. It felt like one of those divine appointment I stood there for a few seconds and I heard one of them say to one of his buddies " you have a pen?" They scrambled in pockets...not one of them had a pen. I reached in my pocket and said "Well, what color do you want, black or blue?" and offered them a pen from my pocket as I stepped up onto the stunt with them.

They started drawing mustaches on each tried to draw glasses on another boy, they were having a riot just goofing off. I stood there laughing along with them, the whole time thinking and praying silently "How can I crack this conversation open?"

Then, one of the boys swore...another one of the boys looks at him pointing a condemning finger and jokingly/sarcastically shouts out loud at him "SINNER, you are a SINNER!"

Wow...I could have driven a Mack Truck through THAT door!

I knelt down and asked..."Hey, do you guys know what sin is?"

Did that ever get their attention.

They all huddled around as I walked them all through the ten commandments. It was my very first one to many witness encounter. There were a bunch of people down at the skate park that afternoon, but amazingly I only had to say two or three times..."Hang with me here a few...this is VERY important..." to refocus a boy as his mind wandered to other action in the park.

I had asked about lying, stealing, blasphemy...when on perfect cue an attractive teenage girl, not dressed very modestly, walked across the park right next to us to go sit on a bench. And of course one of the boys made a comment about her "hotness". You know that not a single one of those boys had the slightest CLUE that it was a sin to look upon a woman/girl with that kind of intention in their heart? I got to talk about how God cares about the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts, the intentions behind those thoughts - not just the actions we take, not just the things we actually DO, but even the things we THINK about.

I got the "Well, God is a forgiving God" response...we got to talk about how a good Judge would judge them in a courtroom and it doesn't matter how much you ask for forgiveness, if you break the law - there WILL be consequences.

Well...not one of them wanted to go to Hell, so I transitioned to grace and the cross, repentance and faith. One of the boys paused me with "Are you like a preacher or something like that?" I said "No...I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and He has placed a burden on my heart, so many people are going to end up in hell and He doesn't want that to happen, so I talk to people about this Truth whenever I can."

His response? "Wow man."

I asked if any of them had a Bible at home. I ask this a lot when I get to that part of the conversation...not one of them had a Bible. My wheels started spinning and I heard myself ask "Would you all like to have a Bible?" I didn't have any with me...and I didn't expect their response...the unanimous answer was "Yes!". Then my wheels really started spinning as I scrambled to figure out how I could get them all Bibles IMMEDIATELY.

I pulled out my cell phone, called Calvary Worship Center, got the secretary on the phone and said "Hey, Denise, I'm at the skate park and I need eight Bibles for some kids right NOW." She says "I'll have them waiting for you, you can pick them up right now."

One of the boys says "My Mom will be here to pick me up at 4:30...will you be back by then?" It's now about 4:20 and I tell him, "You betcha". I hop in my car and scramble for the church trying to figure out how in the world I can get over to Calvary and back to the skate park by 4:30.

We get to Calvary and Denise is there with the Bibles. She hands me one separately, it's very nice bible, leather bound and it's even in one of those nice covers with pockets and a zippered closure. She says "I'm not sure about this one, use your judgment. It belonged to an older man that died, his wife brought it in and asked that we give it to someone that needs a bible." I knew immediately which boy to give it to. All those kids hung in the conversation, but there was one in particular that focused VERY intently on everything I said.

I headed back to the skate parking thinking..."there's no way I'll get there by 4:30, besides that...will those kids even still be there? I mean, what skater kid waits at a skate park for some nutty 'preacher' guy to bring them a Bible?"

I pulled back into the skate park at 4:30...I really didn't even expect to see those kids ever again. Surprise...THEY came running out to ME in the parking lot, swarming me for those Bibles! It was incredible. As I handed a Bible to one of the boys he looks at me and says "You mean, I get to KEEP this? This is mine?"

And as I handed that boy the "special Bible"...his face lit up, "Wow, this is really nice...and I can KEEP this? Thank you very much." as he walked toward his mom's car as she had just then pulled in to pick him up...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pridefest Pueblo, CO

We met some folks in front of Angelo's Pizza Parlor at was very encouraging to have so many people out there with us! We chatted for a bit and armored up in prayer and the eight of us headed over to the River Walk to have some eternal conversations.

I didn't really know what to expect from Pueblo Pride; Colorado Springs Pride was pretty well attended, but Pueblo is a much smaller city. I give them all credit for turning out, but I'd be surprised if there were more than 1,500 people including the vendors. We had a pretty high ratio of folks out there sharing compared to attendees - and with another five coming in later, a crazy high ratio.

By the time we left at about 2:30 we were getting feedback from some in our group that they were approaching people that had already been "tracted" and a few that had already had conversations. The event ran until 5pm but it was really dying down already by 2pm, we were walking out and we ran into the "witnessing shift change" group - another group of 5 from Pueblo West we had invited, but they couldn't make until later.

By the way...we tried out a new tract, that was really well received...


Homosexuality has been under attack for some time now. Since the 1990s, when same sex marriage became an issue, the media ridiculed and publicized it in such a way, they forced us to take sides. As this caused such a stir in society, an even more important issue was being overlooked because we allowed ourselves to be caught up in the here-and-now. The more important issue is, what happens in the “there-after?” And because the here-and-now is only temporary, the there-after is worth looking into. Listen to what the Bible says. “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” When you die, you will stand before God and be expected to give a detailed account of your life. On that day, how will you do? Here is a quick test. Have you ever told a lie (even once)? Have you ever stolen anything (the value is irrelevant)? Have you ever used God’s name in vain (this is called blasphemy)? If you have done these things, you have sinned against God and He sees you as a lying, blasphemous thief. On Judgment Day, you will be guilty of breaking His laws, the 10 Commandments, and end up in hell. But God doesn’t want that. The Bible says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Simply put, you broke the law and Christ died to pay your fine. Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. If you will repent (turn from your sin) and put your trust in Jesus Christ, He will forgive your sin, take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh to desire the things of God and grant you the gift of everlasting life. Isn’t that amazing? So, repent today. God will never let you down. Then read your Bible every day and obey what you read. See John 3:16 and John 14:21. God bless you!

...and that should be our mindset about reaching out to any homosexual, because it is NOT anyone's sexual preference that will keep him/her out of heaven...but what? It is absolutely EVERY person's unrighteousness before God as measured by God's Holy standard - The Ten Commandments. Steve from Pueblo West was with us yesterday, and he had the most simple, honest and disarming response when people asked him about their sexual preference.

When asked, "...but what about the fact that I'm homosexual?" Steve's response is, "Look, I can't even get past LYING, much less my sexual sin..." It's very disarming, because most Gays and Lesbians already have their boxing gloves on and are ready to step into the ring and beat the tar out of you about their sexuality (nature vs nurture, is it really a sin, etc).

I had two tough conversations.

One with a guy that was holding out hope that science was going to be able to reverse the aging gene before he died so he could live forever. I asked him..."If we live forever, we'll run out of room here pretty quick won't we?" He said we'd be living on the Moon and Mars by then...we'd eventually start populating the Universe and it will all be like Star Trek. He said his mind was "very scientific" so he just couldn't believe the Bible. He used the old argument about how the world is round, but that even way back then in Biblical times everyone thought it was flat.

I stopped him cold and explained that even in the Old Testament, the earth is described as a circle, suspended in space when the SCIENTISTS of the day were saying the earth was flat. I wish I had remembered to say that science of the day also said the earth was supported by some huge animal when the bible clearly said it was suspended in open space. Not sure if it would have mattered though.

I tried to crack him open by talking about the Theory of Evolution and that even Darwin himself said it would be proven by the discovery of "transitional forms" and that Darwin said it was just due to the fact that we haven't uncovered enough "archaeological record" to show those transitional forms. Well...his answer was..."Yes, I know that...but we just have NOT still uncovered enough of the archaeological record." I said..."Well, it's been another 150 or so years since Darwin, there are still no 'innumerable' transitional forms." He pointed to "Lucy" and I talked to him about how she was proven a fake.

I was then able to tell him that he was holding out hope and faith for his eternal destiny in unproven theories and even science fiction! Well his eyes glassed over...he offered a refutation of the Bible because of "unbelievable" things like the global flood, Adam and Eve. I told him, even the Bible says that many things will seem foolish to those that don't yet believe. He had to move on (he was one of the event organizers).

Next toughie was a guy that answered "Oblivion" to the question "Where do you think you will spend eternity?" I asked him how he came to that conclusion...he said "It's a mix of Budhism and Jewish beliefs". Wow...more incredible throw a bunch of junk in a blender, see how it tastes and hang your eternal destiny on mumbo jumbo. That was the toughest conversation I've ever had about eternity. He thought I was condemning him...even said "I'm fine with what I believe, but you are here trying to jam something else down my throat."

I said "Hey, look, I'm only here because the Truth matters, I care about your eternal destiny". I shook his hand and moved on.

I did have some fine conversations with a few other people...I'm AMAZED at how many people proclaim their own goodness and even claim to be going to heaven because they "believe in God". How can any of us ever rest knowing the extent to which these lies continue to live in the hearts of deceived and lost people?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

8 year old boldness!

One of my wife's students ended up in the psych hospital after another "cutting incident" a few days ago, so we went by to visit her last night. My wife went in and I headed over to the Sprint store to check on a new phone.

Sprint was I drove back on over to Cedar Springs (local psych hospital). As I was backing into a parking spot by a big open grassy area next to a picnic table, I notice an older lady and a little boy at the picnic table. As I was backing in...I hear the little boy say "Hi!". I look over and say " are you doing?". "Good" he says.

I hop out of the car and go sit down at the table. I say "Hi, I'm Keith." He extends his hand for a handshake and says "Hi, I'm Joe (not his real name)". Then he starts showing me his brand new Broncos jersey and then goes into detail showing me his football helmet that he hand painted from memory, with a GREAT caricature of the Broncos logo on the side!

He and grandma were there waiting for his mom to finish up a visit with Joe's 17 year old big brother who's being treated for schizophrenia. Pray for that 17 year old.

I notice a football in the grass and I ask "Is that your football?" He says "Yeah! Want to catch?" So we walk over and start tossing the ball back and forth. I'm thinking to myself..." it right to throw down the Gospel to an 8 year old kid with his grandma sitting 25ft from us that who knows what she might say? can I open up this conversation to an 8 year old without freaking him and/or his grandma out?"

We're tossing it back and forth and he goes "Hey throw it ahead of me so I can run for it!". This kid is the most outgoing little bugger I've ever met! He comes running back and says...

"Hey...are you a Christian? I am!"

I kinda muttered..."Um, yeah I sure am."

Doh! This little 8 year old kiddo beat me to the punch! How AWESOME is that!?

Then Joe asks "You want to take a break? Let's go sit down."

We go sit down and well...the conversation is now wide open so I start talking to Grandma. She's only been saved for 3 years, came out of the Catholic Church, Jesus got a hold of her through her daughter and now they all attend church together.

We then started talking about sharing the Gospel. She was a little hesitant...I remembered I had a brand new copy of "One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven" in the car, I grabbed it and we went over the Winning, Winning, Winning concept and she was hooked. I gave her the book and she promised to read it asap.

She asked me to write my contact info in the book...I did, her daughter came out from visiting her son we all chat for a few and they head home...and I sit there amazed at the unfettered, unashamed boldness of this 8 year old boy. Then these things start running around in my head about coming to Jesus as little children...what a lesson I just learned.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Combat Chuck Movie Trailer

This video is just funny...especially if you are a Five Iron Frenzy Fan. Not meant to be salvational, equipping or challenging...just plain funny.

Check out this video: COMBAT CHUCK: THE MOVIE TRAILER 2

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Awesome story...

A friend of mine, Steve Johnson from Colorado Springs shared this story with me last night. It is powerful and wonderful how God answers prayers. I shared this story with the family last night at dinner, my voice cracked and the tears flowed...

Here's the story straight from Steve:

I went on a marathon trip to Ohio to pick up a camper and then on to Michigan to spend some time with my daughter and her new husband. He is in the Coast Guard, and there was a Coast Guard festival in Grand Haven. On the way to Ohio, I spent most of the time driving through Kansas praying. I REALLY felt the leading of the Lord to keep praying, and so I did. One of the things I was praying about was the fact that my daughter (and her new husband) are not saved, and that they would be drawn to the Lord and someone would explain the gospel to her. I have discussed this matter with her in the past, and it seems that dad is not making much headway in the salvation department. I know that salvation is of the Lord, but it seems that my daughter did not want to hear it from me.

Anyway, while in Grand Haven, a woman pulled up next to us and parked her car. It had a mural of Jesus reaching down to save someone from drowning. I asked her about it and she said that she wanted to tell everyone about the Lord and this was a way to do it. I asked her how she shares the gospel, and she said that she did NOT KNOW HOW! She really believed that God wanted her to get this mural done and put it on her car, and her and her husband drive it around and give out tracts. WOW.

So I told her that I was a street preacher and evangelist. That me and my wife and many others in go out and share the gospel with the lost in Colorado Springs and all over the state. That we share the gospel easily, biblically and effectively...the way Jesus did. She was so excited! She was in tears about doing that, and wanted to know all about it! This woman wanted me to explain what we did, so I gave her the entire gospel. I looked over at my daughter and she was hanging on every word. Again, WOW. God is good, isn't He.

Anyway, while we were driving back to the campsite, my daughter dug out a CD that she wanted me to hear. She played a country song named, BELIEVE. I am not a country music guy, so it was the first time I heard it and it was great. Better yet, my daughter loved it and wanted me to listen to it. I do believe that many seeds were planted that day, and God is drawing her to Himself. Many prayers were answered, and please pray that the seeds planted will be watered by a faithful seed sower and that God will make them grow.

God bless
Steve Johnson

So...there's this "random" lady in Michigan that obeys God telling her to get her car painted with a mural, and to buy a bunch of tracts and to share the Gospel using her car - even though she doesn't know how she's going to put it into words to share it. Is that obedience and boldness in the face of fear or what?

Then God brings Steve along to share all the training resources for how to share the Gospel, to encourage her...and oh, by the way, Steve's unsaved daughter gets to see prayer answered before her eyes - AND she gets to hear her FATHER go through the Gospel message again.

On the way home last night I picked up a young man hitchhiking as I headed up the on ramp to I-25. I had a book in the back seat...and he noticed "The Stranger on the Way to Emmaus" sitting there as he put his bedroll and backpack on the seat.

We headed on down the highway...

I was looking for a way to work the Gospel into the conversation when he asked about the book in the back seat! He grew up in a "very strict Christian home", but he walked away in rebellion for a few years. Then he met a Christian girl in California - and he said that the Holy Spirit really laid into him. His name is Wade and it turns out...he is on fire. He has taken literally Jesus' words to "put down your nets and follow me". He is hitchhiking his way to New Orleans to serve in an outreach ministry reaching to lost people, demolishing and rebuilding their homes in the wake of Katrina. Yeah...believe it or not, there are STILL people down there without homes!

He was kinda quiet, and soaked up everything I shared with him about one to one witnessing. Luckily I had a Cahill CD in the car (the "Awake" message)...not a book though (darn), dropped him off as I turned off I-25 to head to Penrose. I told him to "Take it to ALL THE WORLD young man!" He beamed at me shaking my hand and said "Yes, I certainly will!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Are you awake?

I can barely type after listening to this message.

I challenge you...listen to it now, give it your attention, give God your attention.

Are you awake?

Comment me on it...but listen to it.