Sunday, May 27, 2007
The greatest injustice in all history was the death of the innocent Son of God at Calvary. It was a great obscenity yet it satisfied the justice of Holy Creator God in a way so clever that even the devil didn't see it coming! What a Gospel we have! No need for gimmicks and free lunches to "sell" it. It is the most powerful message imaginable and it was again offered to the people of Grafton Street this afternoon by way of public preaching! After I preached for about ten minutes to a moderate crowd I thanked the people for listening and jumped off my pulpit (plastic 2 step stool from Woodies!) to be greeted with an enthusiastic handshake from a chap who a few weeks prior had prayed a prayer of salvation outside the central bank. I asked him was he reading his BIble to which he said "no". I asked him how he would feel if his girlfiend returned 66 unopened love letters he'd sent .... he got the point!
Earlier I was talking to 2 young chaps who were real messers and their attitude changed in a dramatic way when the Lord first healed one chap of a sore knee (he asked for prayer after I told him that Jesus was the same today as he always was and will be) and the second of a head cold. Although they were not converted I have no doubt that they experienced a demonstartion of the Spirit's power and so had more than a wise argument to contend with! He wishes none to perish but all to come to repentance!! Believe it. I was greatly blessed to see while preaching a certain cross dressing gent who has been a client of the Mustard Seed Team (Trinity Church's homeless outreach). He stopped and listened to the clear Gospel presentation. Hallelujah.
The photo shows a Brazilian believer holding up the name of Jesus with us. Often when we evangelise we are joined by other believers and this chap, like others, was trulty blessed and encouraged. Ant
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Hi There! I am just back from a 2 day trip to UK with my good evangelist friend Oliver. We arrived in Liverpool very early on Friday morning and with the aid of our wee PA preached the cross and the message of salvation to hundreds of unsuspecting commuters coming off buses at Queens Square Centre. GO TO THE VIDEO VAULT TO SEE VIDEOS OF THIS PREACHING. One beaming black brother joined us briefly and encouraged us greatly! The call is to preach and the results??...That's God's business and He promised that His word would not return void (Great motivation to preach...THE WORD!! and not fancy religous ideas!). We were equipped with our permits (small laminated cards containing articles 18, 19, 20 and 30 of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights / Geneva Convention") in case the Police tried to stop us. I think they backed off in Liverpool however when they saw the video camera I had!
When leaving Liverpool a while later we both felt that it was right to take a small detour to Manchester which we did. Outside the Arndale Centre we set up stall and first Oliver preached on the matchless name of Jesus while I held the "Jesus" sign aloft prayed and handed out some tracts. A few believers went by and encouraged us, one of whom was a traveller from Carlow who loved Jesus. I told him that the book of Acts was full of "Travellers"! Some discussions ensued with enquirers but it was only the next afternoon in Leicester City outside McDonalds that most interaction happened. On either side of the road at a busy intersection of pedestrian streets we both sat on bins 5 feet high and held "Jesus" aloft. Lots asked us either "Who is Jesus?" or "Why are you holding that up?". I was amazed how the Holy Spirit gave me a different answer for each person. That was very exciting. I also asked them in return "Why did Jesus die on the cross and not just forgive us without the cross?" Nobody could answer that and so I had ample opportunity to let them hear the good news for the first time. Wonderful but shocking too!
Later on, when I got off my perch and crossed the road to assist Oliver who at this time was being questioned by about 10 muslim males, at least 2 of which were somewhat agressive (vocally), I got stuck in and asked one chap in particular who was more genuine in his questions "Do you believe God is Holy?", "Of course" he replied. "Are you Holy?" I asked to which he replied "NO". "That's the problem I said and praying 3 times a day will not make you perfectly Holy for God...That's why Jesus came for you". Minutes later another muslim asked me 3 times to pray for his father who had a bad back. "I will only pray in the name of Jesus..do you stil want prayer?" "O yes please" he replied after which I grabbed his hand, called out to Jesus to heal his father (by name). I then looked at my watch and boldly said. "Look it's 20 to 5 now. Ask your father what time he got healed when you get home". Hallelujah I believe God worked a miracle even though I saw no evidence myself. We will have plenty of time in heaven to review all such prayer and outreach but for now we must be obedient to the call.
I missed my dear wife and fellow worker on the trip but she was out on Grafton Street late on Friday ploughing the corner of the field God called her to at the same time I was in UK. It was the highest privalege to hold up the name of the King of Kings in a foreign land...and something tells me that I'll be doing it again sometime!!
One moment that blessed me mightily was the sight of a muslim girl covered completely in black but for the one slit where her darting eyes could be seen. Her eyes fixed onto the name of "Jesus" and I called to her saying "He loves you". I then saw the shape of the black fabric change below her eyes which indicated that this wonderful name brought a smile to this oppressed young lady!
The photo is of Oliver talking to Barbara (a pre-believer from Poland) in Liverpool. She was a bit of a tough nut but boy did she have the gospel explained clearly to her.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
After preaching about the wonderful cross where our punishment was taken for us I stepped off my wee steps and was greeted by one or two lads who ushered a third teenager to me saying that he wanted prayer. Thinking they were messing I was slow to take them at their word but as I spoke to the chap called Craig I soon realised that he was deeply affected by both the word of God and by the fact that only 2 weeks previous he nearly died but was saved by his mother. I asked him if he harmed himself to which he said he didn't but that he didn't want to elaborate on the details. Never have I met a guy so ready to receive the free gift of God's grace. I said he'd have to overcome his pride and not care what his mates thought, and there were about 4 of them in close proximity who were getting increasingly agitated and distracting. He said he didn't care and by his demeaner I believed him. I took his hand and led him in a prayer of repentance and faith. It was wonderful.
What next you ask? I gave him a tract, after giving him a Bible and explaining how trustworthy God's word is, and pointed out my name and mobile number at the end of the tract. I said I wouldn't text him or contact him until he contacted me. I left him at that. Why didn't you get his number for follow up? Because I believe that true converts follow us up. Last night when on outreach at 12.30am Joao from Brazil came up smiling to me, for the second week running. I first met him 3 weeks ago just after Cece (from Metropolitan Church) prayed with him to recive Jesus. There may be principles but THERE ARE NO RULES and our calling is to be led by the Holy Spirit. I'm not an expert in these matters and I am being taught of the Lord on an ongoing basis but I do honestly believe that much traditional evangelical "Follow up" methods are non-biblical and ultimately counter productive. Come on guys and girls now is the time to post a comment!
I spoke on Friday to my good friend Ray Shiels, pastor of Every Nation Church and he said that his church has been transformed of late by 2 things, one is the gathering of citywide pastors for prayer for the city and the second was the "John 3:7" nighttime outeach. Both of these he stressed were kingdom projects seeking the welfare of the city and not his church! I know that as we seek first THE KINGDOM all these things will be added. Sowing and reaping they call it.
If you are a intercessor don't think that we are always "fired up" and have no needs. All evangelists will agree that we are in desperate and constant need of E N C O U R A G E M E N T and the fresh I N F I L L I N G of the Holy Spirit. We are so grateful for those in Trinity Church and elsewhere who pray for us. THANK YOU! Pray for Craig (mentioned above) and do ask the Lord if he is sending you out to join us. I'm encouraged but today we had just 3 on Grafton Street witnessing...
Sunday, May 06, 2007
"But we're Catholic" the two chaps said to me as I offered them a gospel tract on Grafton Street on Saturday afternoon. Without delay or even thinking I said to them "What's that?" Then they stopped in their tracks and struggled to find an explanation for their beliefs. They explained briefly that they were following the teachings of "the church". "Are you Born again?" I asked. "No" they both said. "But Jesus said you must be Born again...", "Ah but we were born again at our baptism..." one of them replied. "It didn't work , did it? I mean we still have a heart that belches out sin in thought word and deed after baby baptism". The main talker replied "Oh yes but we go to confession..". "If you told the priest all your sins at confession you'd keep the poor man half his life, but you just tell him a selected few off the top. Confession of sin is biblical but it is for believers after they have entered into God's kingdon through a genuine repentance and trust in Jesus at the cross" I replied. The 2 chaps said earlier in the conversation that they were seminarians but I was left grieved in my heart at the thought that the traditions of man had nullified the word in God in their lives.
Was I any different? Absolutely not. They said nothing that I didn't myself believe in the past until the day I let go of my pride and stuborness and sin and asked Jesus to forgive me for living for myself. Only then did God intervene and come into my life, that was on Ash Wednesday in 1985 at Belfield Church. I am certain that in myself there is no good thing and that I DESERVE TO GO TO HELL becuase I offended a Holy God, I slapped my creator in the face and poked my arrogent fingers of sin in his loving eyes. I trampled underfoot the precious spotless blood of Jesus. I joined the mocking crowd in spirit calling for the death of Jesus. Even his name was offensive to me...but now, by His miraculous and wonderful grace I loooove the name and I proudly lift it up on Saturday afternoons for all to see (again by His grace). If you are reading this and have not yet turned to Him in repentance (180 degree turn) and faith than go to the sidebar of this blog and click on "Good enough for heaven?" for your wee test. Following this shut the door, fall on your knees, and call on the name of "Jesus". You can e-mail me then if you wish . Click on "View my complete profile" to get to the e-mail. Respond to the voice of God, not that of the enemy!
Oh yes, the photo!! That's Maurice who joined us on Saturday afternoon wearing the shirt I told you about. When you think of the utter nonsence of most logos on clothing today it nice to see a shirt that has an eternal message...even if the colours clash a bit! Maurice was in his mid 50's and had wasted his life,wife and family in gambling before he met the One who paid everthing so we could have a free gift of salvation.