Sunday, December 20, 2009
David Swanson, Community Life Pastor at Chicago’s New Community Covenant Church interviews Anthony Brabazon, a part time street preacher and evangelist from Dublin, Ireland in December 2009.
David: When I encounter a street preacher I often wonder what led that person to the decision to proclaim the Gospel in such a distinct manner. What were the experiences that led you to spend time on the streets of Dublin preaching?
Anthony: A Few things: Primarily the command of Jesus in the great commission and the promise He will be with us. Also a love for the lost who are unattracted to church and greatly deceived by what the media says about Jesus. In Ireland despite a good catholic upbringing, which I also received virtually nobody can explain why the Lamb of God was slain at Calvary. I am also aware that time is very short and the work is very great. Because He went up that hill for me I can be bold for Him. i often think that the first 2 letters of God are GO (while the first 3 letters of satan are SAT!).
David: It's interesting that one of your primary motivations is the realization that many contemporary people will not come into a church building. Here in the USA there has been an effort to reinvent church so the "unattracted" people will, in fact, be attracted to church. The thinking seems to be that if church doesn't look like church people will give church a chance. Do you think this is a valid effort, or does street preaching more realistically connect with the unreached?
Anthony: Both are probably valid but in general church is for believers and Jesus is for the lost. Every church seems to start out wanting to be cross focussed, free and Jesus centred yet over time the cancer of humanism (man and happiness centredness) can seep in silently, it is in this context that I would have a concern that its the gospel that some want to dilute to make the church more "attractive". Some will always be offended by the cross, especially the religious. Jesus focus can shift to church focus and the message of Ephesians 4 where the work is done by "the saints" can be filtered out as leadership is elevated higher than serventhood and all works are "checked out" or filtered for approval which leads to the saints clamming up and becoming spectators. Jesus went to seek and save the lost and I don't see him passing out flyers for the upper room meeting but healing preaching and ministering where people were. Many pray for seats to be filled by incoming sinners while I often pray for them to be emptied by the outgoing saints.
David: Many of the street preachers I have encountered seem to portray a very one-sided Jesus: angry and bent on sending people to hell. What do you think people's perception of Jesus is after encountering your street preaching?
Anthony: When I speak of Hell I normally speak about it being a place I deserve, this gets people's attention because they expect me to be self righteous and just tell them they deserve hell. I also say how Jesus went there for us and speak of Holy God's love for us in doing this. I have seen others speak only of the sin of others and I am not surprised that people are turned off by this. I have no idea what most people's perception of me is after preaching. I always thank them for listening and speak a blessing over them. We often worship on the street (singing to the Lord and not man) before witnessing or preaching because of the power of worship (Psalm 149 for example) which binds up the strong man.
David: I imagine you have experienced many different reactions- both encouraging and discouraging- to your street preaching. Are there any stories that stand in your memory that you could share with us?
Anthony: One night I was in a busy pedestrian zone in Dublin called Temple Bar. Although I like to be with at least one other saint I was alone this night and as I held high the name JESUS a French atheist started asking questions. I felt the Lord told me to not answer him back while he began to give his opinion about the BIble being untrustworthy etc.. i asked the Lord silently was there anything about this man I needed to know and then, without hesitation i asked him did he have a sore chest? He immediately stopped talking and his eyes widened as he stared silently at me. I knew I had about 15 seconds if that to witness and I told him that God knows everything about him, loves him and sent Jesus to take his sin on the cross. He slowly moved off, silently, and when at the end of the street he turned around and stared back at me. I knew the Lord had given me a "word of knowledge" and that this greatly impacted him, much more than my reasoning with his arguments would have that night. To God be all the glory.
Another time after my wife preached a rough living young heroin addict asked how he could get this new life. We prayed with him, he repented and over the following days we had ongoing contact but he then seemed to drift off an back to the old lifestyle. 2 years later I was again on the street witnessing and he came up to me with his fiance. They both were fervent for the Lord and testified to the great work God was doing in their life. Needless to say I was blessed and encouraged beyond measure. Hallelujah!
David: You seem to have observed that though many people won't enter a church building they are still interested in Jesus. In your interactions with people on the streets, what are some of the problems they have with the church? And what is it about Jesus that is fascinating to those same people?
Anthony: It is important to distinguish believer from pre-believer here. For the pre-believer they are often afraid to come for fear of getting caught up against their will, this would be typical for the Irish in Ireland. Foreigners in my experience are much more willing to visit, possibly because they warm more to fellowship being away from home, and they are more adventurous. Up to recently the Catholic Church held great power over people and any "non-catholic" church was viewed with deep suspicion. This has greatly, though not entirely, changed.
For the Believers who don't attend church regularly some have been spiritually abused but more have seen churches drift from revival to religion with predictable services and only limited controlled input from the members. Psalm 150 churches are rare. When you speak to such people not about church but about Jesus they light up and rich fellowship ensues. What fascinates and delights these people about Jesus is that He is the one they love and they are reminded of this first love in such discussions. Many evangelical awakenings and revivals bypassed Ireland but the ones that didn't are of note, especially the 1859 Ulster Revival where a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred in the North of Ireland but its spread was limited by a very strong Catholic Church combined with a tribal anti-catholic mentality amongst some in the revival. Many mature Irish Christians today can trace their new birth to the Charismatic movement of the 1970's and 1980's when again the Holy Spirit was poured out, this time in the Catholic Church largely.
David: Given your own experience on the streets of Dublin do you think more Christians should proclaim the Gospel in such public places? Should those of us who are pastors spend less time preaching in our churches and more time preaching on the street corner?
Anthony: If the Lord leads them to do I would be delighted. To stand up for Jesus publicly is life changing and it would bring great new vision into any church. Having said that I know the thought is daunting to many and I often advise that it it best to start praying for those who do go out and then simply stand with them on the street, or even observe them from across the street while praying. It wont take long before they join in themselves and start to be used by the Lord. This is the teaching method Jesus used. If a family never goes out but only meets with its own members it goes a bit weird (although it always sees itself as normal). The church can become a bit like this when we do not regularly engage atheists and pre-believers with the message of the cross.
We have been given food for distribution in a famine land and, as the Lord leads, every distribution method should be considered. There is a war on for the souls of men and women and while not all are called to be frontline troops all are called to help in the effort. A fisherman needs the boat builders, the fish processing plant and many other persons to be effective but the goal is ...to catch fish! Pastors need not regularly preach on the street but they might be open to God calling them to do it on occasion. they certainly should lead by example and on occasion do some form of street work.
Anthony Brabazon was born in 1961 raised Roman Catholic and was born again in 1985 on Ash Wednesday after hearing the words "repent and follow the gospel of our Lord". He began street evangelism within weeks and after a break of about 18 years returned to it with his street preaching wife and a mixed group of friends from different churches. He is a qualified architect and runs his own small company and regularly encounters clients while standing on a stool in the crowded streets of Dublin or other towns holding up a JESUS sign. While attending different churches down the years and currently Every Nation Church in Dublin he has been known to consider the street his church with the pedestrians his congregation. He runs evangelism blogs Alien On A Mission and Evangelism for the Terrified as well as a YouTube Channel
David Swanson is Community Life Pastor at New Community Covenant Church in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Prior to his gig in the big city, David served on staff at a church in an affluent Chicago suburb. He is the son of missionaries and spent his formative years in Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
"Do you believe the whole Bible?" I was asked today by a group of 3 teen girls. "I mean do you believe in Adam and Eve and if so surely they were involved in incest!" This is a common issue raised by genuine (and some not so genuine) enquirers. The truth is that they had more sons and daughters than Cain and Abel and yes brother and sister married to procreate our ancesters. God forbade incest later in Leviticus 18. The issue here is the sharing of "Genetic damage". God forbade incest to protect us from ourselves, a risk that was not present in the pre-flood early generations like Adam's. Another teen said "Science has proven Evolution". I said "Evolutionary science has proven evolution". Chance cannot explain the complexity and life we see. I said that if they had an open mind they should google "creation science" and read some scientific arguments for special creation.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
"I don't believe in Jesus" the Italian Girl said as soon as she had asked me why I was holding up the name of "Jesus" in Temple Bar Square on Saturday afternoon last. "Well do you believe that a person called Jesus Christ existed?". She paused and then said yes. "Do you believe he died on a cross?". She paused and then said yes. " Do you believe the tomb was empty a few days later?". She paused and then said yes. "Who took the body?" I then asked. "The authorities" she answered. "Why didn';t they then rodiuce the body to put an end to christianiy then?" I asked to which no answer ensued. The truth is He rose from the dead. NO other explanation can account for the empty tomb. She was left to ponder both this and the fact that one of her four friend also was instantly and completely healed of back pain after I asked Jesus to heal Him. I wish I was an italian speaking fly on the wall at the pizza restaurant that night as they might have considered Jesus together later! To God be all the Glory. I was particulary blessed that night when my polish frien and sister in the Lord upon hearing this testimony and herself receiving prayer testified to a healing of a heavy cold (on Tuesday). The Supernatural is the very-natural and we should walk in it to glorify God. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven! Hallelujah! Ant
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I was utterly offended on Grafton Street recently when a gentleman told me my ancester didn't exist! He said Adam and Eve was a myth...What an insult! He was telling me I was an animal by this assertion. Disgusted and shocked I was...."Wait a minute" I hear you say "Are you that sensitive?". Let me say this: We are so conditioned by our lying society to accept the adult fairy tale of Evil-ution. It is an illogical God defying "thoery" whose fruit is amorality. It is also Illogical as design speaks of Designer, even Machine means Maker yet any machine is utterly crude in comparison to Nature itself. And don't speak of this "Mother Nature " guff as if "she" made herself. Evolution may allow for some wee gods created by man in his image but not for Creator God who made us in His image. Death entered the world, not as an integral part of the "creative" process as required by survival of the fittest Evolution but as a result of Adam and Eve's God defying sin. The whole of creation was subjected to the virus of death from this time...(hello nasty virus' and deer eating lions). If this were not true then Jesus' death at Calvary was a useless waste of life.
In the western world the laws are becoming increasingly anti Christ. Gospel preaching can become a "Hate Crime" when certain parties are "offended". Let me again put it on the record that I am offended by Evolution. I am not an animal but am made by God in His image...as are you! To worship Nature instead of God is like thanking only the postman for the Christmas gifts you got in the mail and saying nothing to the true giver...How would you think the Giver feels?
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I met a new architectural client in their house in Shankill this week and when she began to explain her house problems she used the Lords name as a curse word...but immediately she apologized to me and said she saw the name of Jesus on the back of my car and assumed it was "a praise word and not a swear" . When you think of how easy people curse with the Holy name (never Budda , Mohammud or Krishna or any other dead man) you must conclude, like me, that it is demonically inspired. And we know from God's word that the enemy HATES the name of Jesus with a passion. It reminds him of his folly at Calvery when the only innocent man ever died and thereby set the guilty free through His death. That's why we are not ashamed to lift up the Jesus sign in public places. I am not ashamed of the One I love.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The three photos show Maurice preaching the eternal Gospel on a wet Grafton Street today. Many mocked, many ignored but, thank God, some listened. May God be merciful to these people and open their eyes to the indescribable danger and folly of sin and the astonishing mercy of God as shown by Jesus at Calvary. Before Maurice's preaching we were taking shelter under the canopy of McDonalds' as an almighty downpour came and cleared the street of people. many gathered in doorways to shelter and then a loud alarm was triggered and rang in all our ears for about 5 minutes. This was most uncomfortable for all but I knew God wanted me to preach the second the alarm stopped. when it did stop I, standing on my stool with "JESUS" held aloft spoke asking "How many Warnings must we receive before we listen to God".
I spoke of warnings of heavy weather, alarm bells and collapsed economy and yet we stubbornly ignore the voice of God to return to Him. I then spoke of the rejection of Jesus on the cross by the Holy Father because He was carrying the sin of all on Grafton Street. I am not ashamed of the GOspel nor the One I love yet so too are too many not ashamed of their sin which they daily parade...Oh God please send revival to Ireland, a new pentecost where people realize the error of their ways and the work of Calvary in bringing them into a relationship..AND NOT A RELIGION!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Yesterday Myself, Jim and Leigh drove down to the city of Wexford where we were joined by some of the local saints and for about 2 and a half hours lifted high the Holy Name of Jesus to the Opera going public. 360 years ago, in 1649, at the bullring beside where we ministered there was a massacre by Cromwellian troops where blood flowed. We however spoke of different blood: the matchless innocent blood of Jesus in which mankind's only help of salvation rests... the blood without which there is no forgiveness. The Photo shows Jim holding his own private church service!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Richard Dawkins' assertion on the national TV station RTE that God does not exist was intellectually absurd. How can anyone say that somebody does not exist...Does Mr Dawkins know everything? I am sure he'd admit he doesn't so. I would then ask what if God is simply outside of your knowledge? Dawking like Attenborough riles against the madness of the idea of a nasty God who allows virus' eat away at people. The common mistake they and countless others make is that they forget ( or deny) the fall and its effect on creation. God's original creation was very good, not nasty but when man and woman cut themselves off from God by their free will rebellion (shhhhh.... sin I mean!) things went truly pear shaped. In their arrogance mankind then points the finger at the creator God. What was God's response? He bankrupted heaven by sending his most precious possession, HIs only son Jesus, the Innocent One, to take the rap for us rebels...In the meantime we pamper ourselves with hard hearted and callous lies about a creation with a Creator, design with a Designer, order without an Organizer, life without a Life Giver...hardly science!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tonight I felt led to go into town (Dublin) at 1130 pm for evangelism. I felt drawn to Temple Bar and it was in its usual sodomite nighttime mode. Instead of tut-tutting the situation I was filled with God's love for a lost people. I settled on the corner of Temple Bar and Eustace Street where there was much pedestrian and taxi traffic and held up the name of JESUS. God graciously reached out his hand to heal a Hernia (after a word of knowledge), an achilles tendon problem and a headache from peole from Ireland, Italy and Germany. The Hernia was quite awesome but my deepest passion is that greater conviction of sin will come and heart transformations ensue. Before I went in I was considering how many promise us they will "come to church" on Sunday and never show. I believe the Lord wants us to meet one to one with new believers first and not expect them to come on their own to us. Remember we must GO not just be expecting them to come! Remember also we have no power of our own but are dlivery boys for the wonderous power and message of God!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Why do we lift up the name of "JESUS" in public places? To many its foolishness but to those whom God is calling it is the power of God! We were in Kilkenny last Saturday and I remember speaking to a group of 5 lads who were rather curious about the sign. I believe they were less curious in their heads and more challenged in their hearts after they heard the simple Gospel of Calvery and chatted amongs themselves about the 2 of the 5 who received instant miracles of healing (injured foot and bruised ribs). For the sceptical Christians who scoff at miracles please be assured that I informed the 2 who were healed that these miracles were no comparison to the miracle of a new heart and a new spirit such as Jesus offers. The message God gave me to preach on High Street was "Did God make a mistake in sending Jesus to the Cross?" I explained that if humanism and effort based religion was true then He did make a mistake...but if the only way to heaven was by faith is the matchless innocent blood of Jesus..then He didn't!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Having turned down offers to witness at the Croak Patrick Annual Hill Climb and the Saturday U2 gig at Croke Park I made space, by the grace of God to join my pal Oliver tonight (Monday) outside Croke Park for the final U2 concert. As I was arriving on bike I got a call from him explaining how a family matter detained him...so I was alone...Well not quite, I did have the Holy Spirit with me! I chained the bike to a post took a high viz jacket from my rucksack, which also contained coat and hat in case showers came, and walked up to the security barriers. I didn't have a ticket (a Garda requirement) and I did have a rucksack (a banned item). When I approached the Garda I said "I'm on official business" and was flagged through! Hallelujah! I eventually parked myself at a traffic island half way down Clonliffe Road and raised high THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES, The matchless all sufficient name, The name by which we are SAVED. JESUS. For the next hour and a half tens of thousands saw the sign and many brief witnessing encounters ensued. I am not ashamed of the one I love and the One who loved me so much that He gave His Blood. One chap I spoke to had been to church for a few years, read the BIble, believed Jesus was innocent but wasn't so sure that he was guilty! I pray that some eternal seeds were sown and that some people call on His name tonight when the music fades away! Hallelujah. Ant
Friday, July 10, 2009
Hi there..It's been a while! Busy moving office and all that but now...the Good News of Jesus' death and resurrection must be spread in this dear land of ours. I am going out tonight to meet some believers to go "fishing" and I trust God will reach the lost through us. Time is short but God arm aint! Hallelujah
The photo shows Jim (with Jesus) beside a fortune teller sign. God has given spiritual gifts such as prophesy to His people and my passion is to see people move in the spiritual gifts on the street. I believe the demonic counterfeits (such as fortune telling) would be rightly exposed by such a demonstration of God's power (like Moses before Pharaoh's magicians!). Sadly for many believers it is as Leonard Ravenhill said "For fear of false fire people settle for no fire at all!". It's great to see the Spirit of God move in a church building but WHY NOT ON THE STREETS like it was with Jesus?
Monday, May 18, 2009
The following text is from R.A.Torrey's larger work, "Methods of Christian Work" (Chapter 6, pages 222-233): Although it is about 100 years old it is, in my opinion, largely timeless. It's long but I suggest you print it out and read it like I did when I came across it. I was blessed and I trust you too will be blessed and challenged. Hats, wonderful as they are, are optional! Enjoy:
1. Their importance and advantages.
1. They are Scriptural. Jesus said, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." Every great preacher of the Bible was an open-air preacher. Peter was an open-air preacher, Paul was an open-air preacher, and so were Elijah, Moses and Ezra. More important than all, Jesus Christ Himself was an open-air preacher, and preached for the most part out of doors. Every great sermon recorded in the Bible was preached in the open air; the sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon on Mars Hill, etc. In this country we have an idea that open-air preaching is for those who cannot get any other place to speak, but across the water they look at it quite differently. Some of the most eminent preachers of Great Britain preach in the open air.
2. Open-air meetings are portable, you can carry them around. It would be very difficult to carry a church or mission building with you, but there is no difficulty about carrying an openair meeting with you. You can get an open-air meeting where you could by no possibility get a church, mission hall or even a room. You can have open-air meetings in all parts of the city and all parts of the country.
3. Open-air meetings are more attractive in the summer than hot, sweltering halls or churches. When on my vacations, I used to attend a country church. It was one of the hottest, most stifling and sleepy places I ever entered. It was all but impossible to keep awake while the minister attempted to preach. The church was located in a beautiful grove where it was always cool and shady, but it seemed never to enter the minds of the people to go out of the church into the grove. Of course only a few people attended the church services. One day a visiting minister suggested that they have an open-air meeting on the front lawn of a Christian man having a summer residence near at hand. The farmers came to that meeting from miles around, in wagons, on foot and every other way. There was a splendid crowd in attendance. The country churches would do well in the summer to get out of their church building into some attractive grove near at hand.
4. Open-air meetings will accommodate vast crowds. There are few church buildings, especially in the country, that will accommodate more than one thousand people; but people by the thousands can be accommodated by an open-air meeting. It has been my privilege to speak for several summers in a small country town with less than a thousand inhabitants. Of course the largest church building in the town would not accommodate more than five hundred people. The meetings, however, were held in the open air, and people drove to them from forty miles around, and at a single meeting we had an attendance of 15,000 people. Whitefield was driven to the fields by the action of church authorities. It was well that he was. Some of his audiences at Moorfields were said to number 60,000 people.
5. Open-air meetings are economical. You neither have to pay rent nor hire a janitor. They do not cost anything at all. God Himself furnishes the building and takes care of it. I remember that at a Christian Workers' Convention a man was continually complaining that no one would hire for him a mission hall in which to hold meetings. At last I suggested to him that he had all outdoors, and could go there and preach until some one hired him a hall. He took the suggestion and was greatly used of God. You do not need to have a cent in your pocket to hold an open-air meeting. The whole outdoors is free.
6. You can reach men in an open-air meeting that you can reach in no other way. I can tell of instance after instance where men who have not been at church or a mission hall for years have been reached by open-air meetings. The persons I have known to be reached and converted through open- air meetings have included thieves, drunkards, gamblers, saloon-keepers, abandoned women, murderers, lawyers, doctors, theatrical people, society people, in fact pretty much every class.
7. You can reach backsliders and people who have drifted away from the church. One day when we were holding a meeting on a street comer in a city, a man in the crowd became interested, and one of our workers dealt with him. He said, "I am a backslider, and so is my wife, but I have made up my mind to come back to Christ." He was saved and so was his brother-in-law.
8. Open-air meetings impress People by their earnestness. How often I have heard people say, "There is something in it. See those people talking out there on the street. They do not have any collection, and they come here just because they believe what they are preaching." Remarks like this are made over and over again. Men who are utterly careless about the Gospel and Christianity have been impressed by the earnestness of men and women who go out on to the street and win souls for Christ.
9. Open-air meetings bring recruits to churches and missions. One of the best ways to fill up an empty church is to send your workers out on the street to hold meetings before the church service is held, or better still, go yourself. When the meeting is over, you can invite people to the church (or mission). This is the divinely appointed means for reaching men that cannot be reached in any other way (Luke 14:21). All Christians should hear the words of Christ constantly ringing in their ears, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor," etc.
10. Open-air meetings enable you to reach men. One of the great problems of most ministers of the Gospel to-day is how to get hold of the men. The average church audience is composed very largely of women and children. One of the easiest ways to get hold of the men is to go out on the streets, where the men are. Open-air meetings are as a rule composed of an overwhelming majority of men.
11. Open-air meetings are good for the health. An English preacher was told that he must die, that he had consumption. He thought he should make the most of the few months he had allotted to live, so he went out on the streets and began preaching. The open-air preaching cured his consumption, and he lived for many years, and was the founder of a great open-air society.
II. Where to hold open-air meetings.
To put it in a single word, that you wish to reach. But a few suggestions may prove helpful.
1. Where the crowds pass. Find the principal thoroughfare where the crowds throng. You cannot hold your meeting just at that point, as the police will not permit it, but you can hold it just a little to one side of that point, and the crowds as they pass will go to one side and listen to you.
2. Hold them near crowded tenements. In that way you can preach to the people in the tenements as well as on the street. They will throw open their windows and listen. Sometimes the audience that you do not see will be as large as the one you do see. You may be preaching to hundreds of people inside the building that you do not see at all. I knew of a poor sick woman being brought to Christ through the preaching she heard on the street. It was a hot summer night, and her window was open, and the preaching came in through the window and touched her heart and won her to Christ. It is good to have a good strong voice in openair preaching, for then you can preach to all the tenements within three or four blocks. Mr. Sankey once sang a hymn that was carried over a mile away and converted a man that far off. I have a friend who occasionally uses in his open-air meetings a megaphone that carries his voice to an immense distance.
3. Hold meetings near circuses, baseball games, and other places where the people crowd. One of the most interesting meetings I ever held was just outside of a baseball ground on Sunday. The police were trying to break up the game inside by arresting the leaders. We held the meeting outside just back of the grand stand. As there was no game to see inside, the people listened to
the singing and preaching of the Gospel outside. On another Sunday we drove down to Sell's circus and had the most motley audience I ever addressed. There were people present from almost every nation under heaven. The circus had advertised a "Congress of Nations," so I had provided a congress of nations for my openair meeting. On that day I had a Dutchman, a Frenchman, a Scotchman, an Englishman, an Irishman and an American preach. We took care at the open-air meeting to invite the people to evening meeting at the mission. That night a man came who told us that he was one of the employes of the circus, and was touched that afternoon by the preaching of the Gospel, and had come to learn how to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. He accepted the Saviour that night.
4. Hold meetings in or near parks or other public resorts. Almost every city has its resorts where people go on Sunday. As the people will not go to church, the church ought to go out to the people. Sometimes permission can be secured from the authorities to bold the meetings right in the parks. Wherever this is impossible they can be held near at hand. One who is now a deacon of our church spent his Sundays at Lincoln Park before he was converted; an open-air meeting was held close at band, and here he heard the Gospel and was converted.
5. Hold meetings in groves. It would be well if every country church could be persuaded to try this. Get out of the church into a grove somewhere, and you will be surprised at the number of people who will come who would not go near the church at all.
6. Hold open-air meetings near your missions. If you have a mission, be sure to bold an open-air meeting near it. It is the easiest thing in the world to keep a mission full, even during the summer months, if you hold an open-air meeting in connection with it, but it is almost impossible to do so if you do not.
7. Hold open-air meetings in front of churches. A good many of our empty churches could be filled if we would only hold openair meetings in front of them. Years ago, when in London, I went to hear Newman Hall preach. It looked to me like a very orderly and aristocratic church, but when I left the church after the second service, I was surprised to find an open-air meeting in full blast right in front of the church, and people gathered there in crowds from the thoroughfare.
8. Be careful about the little details in connection with the location. On a hot day, hold the meeting on the shady side of the street On a cool day, on the sunny side. Make it as comfortable for the audience as possible. Never compel the audience to stand with the sun shining in their eyes. Preach with the wind, and not against it. Take your own position a little above the part of the audience nearest you, upon a curbstone, chair, platform, rise in the ground, or anything that will raise your head above others so that your voice will carry.
III. Things to get.
1. Get it thoroughly understood between yourself and God that He wants you to do this work, and that by His grace you are going to do it whatever it costs. This is one of the most important things in starting out to do open-air work. You are bound to make a failure unless you settle this at the start. Open-air work has its discouragements, its difficulties and its almost insurmountable obstacles, and unless you start out knowing that God has called you to the work, and come what will, you will go through with it, you are sure to give it up.
2. Get permission from the powers that be to hold open-air meetings. Do not get into conflict with the police if you can possibly avoid it. As a rule it is quite easy to get this permission if you go about it in a courteous and intelligent way. Find out what the laws of the city are in this regard, and then observe them. Go to the captain of the precinct and tell him that you wish to hold an open-air meeting, and let him see that you are not a disturber of the peace or a crank. Many would-be open-air preachers get into trouble from a simple lack of good sense and common decency.
3. Get a good place to hold the meeting. Do not start out at random. Study your ground. You should operate like a general. We are told that the Germans studied France as a battle ground for years before the Franco-Prussian war broke out, and when the war
broke out there were officers in the German army that knew more about France than the officers in the French army did. Lay your plan of campaign, study your battle field, pick out the best places to hold the meetings, look over the territory carefully and study it in all its bearings. There are a good many things to be considered. Do not select what would be a good place for some one to throw a big panful of dishwater upon you. These little details may appear trivial, but they need to be taken into consideration. It is unpleasant, and somewhat disconcerting, when a man is right in the midst of an interesting exhortation, to have a panful of dishwater thrown down the back of his neck.
4. Get as large a number of reliable Christian men and women to go with you as you possibly can. Crowds draw crowds. There is great power in numbers. One man can go out on the street alone and hold a meeting; I have done it myself; but if I can get fifteen or twenty reliable men to go with me, I will get them every time. Please note that I have said reliable Christian men and women. Do not take anybody along with you to an open-air meeting that you do not know. A man that is in the habit of making a fool of himself be sure to leave at home. He may upset your whole meeting. Do not take a man or woman with you who has an unsavory reputation. Probably some one in the crowd will. know it and shout out the fact. Take only people who are of established reputation, and well balanced. Never pick up a stranger out of the crowd and ask him to speak. Some one will come along who appears to be just your sort, but if you ask him to speak you will wish you had not done so.
5. Get the best music you can. Get a baby organ and a comet if you can. Be sure to have good singing if it is possible. If you cannot have good singing, have poor singing, for even poor singing goes a good way in the open air. One of the best open-air meetings I ever attended was where two of us were forced to go out alone. Neither of us was a singer. We started with only one hearer, but a drunken man came along and began to dance to our singing, and a crowd gathered to watch him dance. When the crowd had gathered, I simply put my hand on the drunken man, and said, "Stand still for a few moments." My companion took the drunken man as a text for a temperance sermon, and when he got through I took him for a text. People began to whisper in the crowd, "I would not be in that man's shoes for anything." The man did us good service that night. He first drew the crowd, and then famished us with a text. The Lord turned the devil's instrument right against him that night. If you can, get a good solo singer, or even a poor solo singer will do splendid work in the open air, if he sings in the power of the Spirit. I remember a man who attempted to sing in the open air, who was really no singer at all, but God in His wonderful mercy gave him that night to sing in the power of the Spirit. People began to break down on the street, tears rolled down their cheeks, one woman was converted right there during the singing of that hymn. Although the hymn was sung in such a miserable way from a musical standpoint, the Spirit of God used it for that woman's conversion.
6. Get the attention of your hearers as soon as possible. When you are preaching in a church, people will oftentimes stay even if they are not interested, but unless you get the attention of your audience at once in the open air, one of two things will happen, either your crowd will leave you or else they will begin to guy you. In the first half dozen sentences you must get the attention of your bearers. I was once holding a meeting in one of the hardest places of a city. There were saloons on three of the four comers, three breweries, and four or five Roman Catholic churches were close at hand. There was scarcely a Protestant in that part of the city. The first words I spoke were these, "You will notice the cross on the spire of yonder church." By this means I secured their attention at once, and then I talked to them about the meaning of that cross. On holding a meeting one labor day, I started out on the subject of labor. I spoke only a few moments on that subject, to lead them around to the subject of the Lord Jesus Christ. Holding a meeting one night in the midst of a hot election, near where an election parade was forming, I started out with the question, "Whom shall we elect?" The people expected a political address, but before long I got them interested in the question whether or not we should elect the Lord Jesus Christ to be the ruler over our lives.
7. Get some good tracts. Always have tracts when you hold an open-air meeting. They assist in making permanent the impressions and fixing the truth. Have the workers pass around through the crowd handing out the tracts at the proper time.
8. Get workers around in the crowd to do personal work. Returning from an open-air meeting years ago in the city of Detroit, I said to a minister who was stopping at the same hotel that we had had several conversions in the meeting. He replied by asking me if a certain man from Cleveland was not in the crowd. I replied that he was. He told me that he thought if I looked into it I would find that the conversions were largely due to that man, that while the services were going on, he had been around in the crowd doing personal work. I found that it was so.
9. Get a gospel wagon if you can. Of this we shall have more to say when we speak of Gospel Wagon Work.
1. Don't unnecessarily antagonize your audience. I heard of a man addressing a Roman Catholic audience in the open air and pitching into the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. That man did not have good sense. Another man attempted a prohibition discourse immediately in front of a saloon. He got a brick instead of votes.
2. Don't get scared. Let Psalm 27: 1 be your motto: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" There is not a particle need of being scared. You may be surrounded by a crowd of bowling hoodlums, but you may be absolutely certain that you will not be hurt unless the Lord wants you to be hurt; and if the Lord wants you to be hurt, that is the best thing for you. You may be killed if the Lord sees fit to allow you to be killed, but it is a wonderful privilege to be killed for the Lord Jesus Christ. One night I was holding a meeting in one of the worst parts of Chicago. Something happened to enrage a part of the crowd that gathered around me. Friends near at hand were in fear lest I be killed, but I kept on speaking and was not even struck.
3. Don't lose your temper. Whatever happens, never lose your temper. You ought never to get angry under any circumstances, but it is especially foolish to do so when you are holding an openair meeting. You will doubtless have many temptations to lose your temper, but never do it. It is very hard to hit a man when he is serene, and if you preserve your serenity, the chances are that you will escape unscathed. Even if a tough strikes you, he cannot do so a second time if you remain calm. Serenity is one of the best safeguards.
4. Don't let your meeting be broken up. No matter what happens, hold your ground if you can, and you generally can. One night I was holding a meeting in a square in one of the most desperate parts of a large city. The steps of an adjacent saloon were crowded with men, many of whom were half drunk. A man came along on a load of hay, went into the saloon and fired himself up with strong drink. Then he attempted to drive right down upon the crowd in the middle of the square, in which there were many women and children. Some man stopped his horses, and the infuriated man came down from the load of hay and the howling mob swept down from the steps of the saloon. Somehow or other the drunken driver got a rough handling in the mob, but not one of our number was struck. Two policemen in citizens' clothes happened to be passing by and stopped the riot. I said a few words more, and then formed our little party into a procession, behind which the crowd fell in, and marched down to the mission singing.
5. Don't fight. Never fight under any circumstances. Even if they almost pound the life out of you, refuse to fight back.
6. Don't be dull. Dullness will kill an open-air meeting at once. Prosiness will drive the whole audience away. In order to avoid being dull, do not preach long sermons. Use a great many striking illustrations. Keep wide awake yourself, and you will keep the audience awake. Be energetic in your manner. Talk so people can bear you. Don't preach, but simply talk to people.
7. Don't be soft. One of these nice, namby-pamby, sentimental sort of fellows in an open-air meeting the crowd cannot and will
not stand. The temptation to throw a brick or a rotten apple at him is perfectly irresistible, and one can hardly blame the crowd.
8. Dont read a sermon. Whatever may be said in defence of reading essays in the pulpit, it will never do in the open air. It is possible to have no notes whatever. If you cannot talk long without notes, so much the better; you can talk as long as you ought to. If you read, you will talk longer than you ought to.
9. Don't use "cant." Use language that people are acquainted with, but do not use vulgar language. Some people think it is necessary to use slang, but slang is never admissible. There is language that is popular and easily understood by the people that is purest Anglo-Saxon.
10. Don't talk too long. You may have a number of talks in an open-air meeting, but do not have any of them over ten or fifteen minutes long. As a rule do not have them as long as that. Of course there are exceptions to this, when a great crowd is gathered to bear some person in the open air. Under such circumstances I have beard a sermon an hour long that held the interest of the people, but this is not true in the ordinary open-air meeting.
V. Things absolutely necessary to success.
1. Consecrated men and women. None but consecrated men and women will ever succeed in open-air meetings. If you cannot get such, you might as well give up holding open-air meetings.
2. Depend upon God. There is nothing that will teach one his dependence upon God more quickly and more thoroughly than holding open-air meetings. You never know what is going to happen. You cannot lay plans that you can always follow in an openair meeting. You never know what moment some one will come along and ask some troublesome question. You do not know what unforeseen event is going to occur. All you can do is to depend upon God, but that is perfectly sufficient.
3. Loyalty to the Word of God. It is the man who is absolutely loyal to God's Word, and who is familiar with it and constantly uses it, who succeeds in the open air. God often takes a text that is quoted, and uses it for the salvation of some hearer. Arguments and illustrations are forgotten, but the text sticks and converts.
4. Be frequently filled anew with the Holy Spirit. If any man needs to take advantage of the privilege of fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit, it is the open-air worker. Spiritual power is the great secret of success in this, as in all other Christian work.
R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) was a Congregational evangelist, teacher, author, born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was educated in Yale University and Divinity School. After a period of skepticism he trusted in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Soon after he pastored in Ohio and then in Minnesota. In 1889 Dwight L. Moody called Torrey to Chicago to become the superintendant of the school which became known as the Moody Bible Institute. He also served as pastor of the Chicago Avenue Church, now the Moody Memorial Church, for twelve years. Between 1902-1906 Torrey and Charles Alexander conducted a very fruitful evangelistic outreach in Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, Britain, Germany, Canada, and the USA. From 1912-1924 Torrey was dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles during which he pastored the Church of the Open Door. His remaining years involved holding Bible conferences, teaching at the Moody Bible Institute, and other endevours. (Adapted from "The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, Elgin S. Moyer, Moody Press, 1982)
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Maurice was preaching up a storm on Grafton Street today and I sensed the Lord wanted me to stand a short distance away from him and Jim and hold up my "Jesus" sign. Shortly after this 3 teenage girls aproached me and one of them asked me numerous genuine questions about God, all in rapid succession. She wanted the truth and I was happy to answer although I admitted I coundn't answer all her questions. I did however get opportunity to pray for her friend's sore leg and when she then went walkabout to check her leg she was amazed...Jesus had instantly healed her! (read mark chapter 16!) Whatever attention I had before this was dramatically amplified. I believe these three girls left amazed by God's presence and power. I wish all the saints reached out like the words of a Van Morrison song says "..He healed the sick and He healed the lame...and He says you can do it too in Jesus' name". To God be allllll the glory! Photo is of Leonidas, our dear brother and street preacher, now in Burundi.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"No thank you" the Watchtower lady said to me when I asked her if she would like Jesus to heal her back. I had been asking them why did Jesus die on the cross and their answer, like other religious people, was vague and incorrect. In the past when Jehovah witnesses called to the door I would be intimidated into a discussion about their strange interpretation of their version of God's word (the new world translation). But this time I kept it simple...because the gospel is simple. The innocent son of God dying for the guilty. I then asked Jesus for a "word of Knowledge" and I sensed God was saying that the lady on my right had a bad back. I thought "a bad back!...that's so common that seems more like a guess of knowledge" I then felt mildly convicted that I had asked God and then doubted His leading. "Do you have a sore back" I asked her...cutting across her explanation of things watchtower.."Yes she said" without hesitation. I was disappointed that she rejected the offer of healing prayer..but...I trust that God can reveal himself to her through this word. We concluded the disussion with some pleasenteries. The 2 ladies were very sincere but very lost and deceived. Only the blod of Jesus can set people free, not any religous works.
And the photo? it's of me in Limerick recently! Ant
Saturday, May 02, 2009
As we were on Grafton Street today holding high the matchless name (of "JESUS" of course!) 2 teenage girls came over for a chat. One said her boyfriend had dumped her just now, she was heartbroken but I told her that Jesus himself was "Dumped" at the cross when the Father rejected Him. We discussed why He suffered this rejection and how it was for our acceptance.She'd never heard the like! I gues they are too busy in the religion classes teaching them universalism and humanism that they've no time for the simple truth! .How wonderful is our God however that we can freely proclaim His word on the streets. Last week in Limerick we had to battle with the rain. Each time I stepped out of the shelter, when I though the rain was easing it would immediately come heavier! This wasn't good enough. I had a wee bit of faith for God to clear the rain but when I was then joined by my friend John (fellow Fisherman of course!) my faith rose (2 can put 10,000 to flight!) we boldly prayed and within a minute the rain had stopped and the sun was beaming...The preaching soon followed on Cruises Street to the glory of God! Ant
Saturday, April 18, 2009
While I was out late last night on Grafton Street I got chatting to 2 Brazilian chaps who were operating rickshaws. They said they loved Jesus but as we continued the conversation I had a sense that they did not yet know Him personally. They were Roman Catholic but, despite their excellent english had great difficulty answering the question as to why Jesus willingly went to the cross. "To show His love for us" one said. I said "Well I love my wife but I wont jump in front of a luas (tram) to prove it" They were stumped. I explained, as had been patiently explained to me, a moderately devout Catholic at age 23 (25 years ago!), that He went to the cross because I was guilty and He was innocent and my sins could be dealt with by that way only. It occured to me that the thief on the cross who turned to Jesus said the very same "We deserve our punishment but this man is innocent". That is the wonderful simple Gospel or "Good News" anything different is a dangerous deception.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute." (Proverbs 31:8)
If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ you have access to the throne of grace where pre-believers and unbelievers do not have access. I am slowly but surely learning about intercession and the above scripture speaks massively to me on the matter. They cannot speak for themselves before Holy God...but we can...and we must to bring glory to Jesus and see the lost converted. What do you think? Ant
Sunday, March 29, 2009
4 of us drove up from Dublin and ministerd on the streets of Dundalk yesterday. We were joined by Maurice, the local evangelist, and then after for a brief time by a lovely african sister from the local Mountain of Fire Church. We held high the name of Jesus and preaching the matchless gospel of God's forgiveness. The first location we chose near the large Tesco supermarket attracted perhaps the most foul mouthed youths we've seen in a long time. Heartbreaking. We found that we needed to worship more on the street this time than normal to dispel the spirits of darkness. We worship by singing songs like "Jesus, all for Jesus" and "Here is love" with the guitar, closed eyes and raised voices. Worship is warfare.
When we relocated to the main street the grace flowed as did the street preaching. Car windows were rolled down and people appeared at shop doorways to hear the message. Although much seed was sown and tracts distributed there was very little one on one encounters and the hearts of too many remained cold or indifferent. We will soon see revival in the land where the Holy Spirit is outpoured and multitudes kneel on the street in brokenness and repentance...Only God can do this and now...following Dundalk ...we are burdened deeply to pray for this...Limerick next!
The photo shows Maurice, perhaps one of the most faithful and consistant street evangelists in Ireland.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
12 saints met today in St Patrick's Park and retraced the lines of the poddle river as it would have flowed in the time of Patrick when he baptised people there 1500 years ago. With the Country in crisis we called out to our sovereign Lord for mercy. Legally this country is built on the foundation of Jesus (read the preamble to the Irish Constitution and be amazed), yet morally this nation has forgotten such roots and godly history. Today was a small act in many ways but I believe it was a spark which will fan into a flame. Next year a larger prayer gathering will be held at the cross in Phoenix Park entitled "Dedicate Ireland". Paul O'Higgins wrote to Tomas Kennedy recently about this and said "...We would envision that this would be a large gathering of believers and that we would rededicate the land to Jesus Christ and ask cleansing from all blood guilt and idolatry.
This will be to lift up no man except the Man Jesus Christ..."
I found it odd in one way that God would call me (with Tomas) to call the meeting we had today. I say this because I see myself primarily as an evangelist and street preacher and not an "intercessor", yet I was gripped by the conviction that we must take simple steps of obedience as God leads regardless of what we think! I also had the conviction that God would show us the details of what to do on the day...and this He certainly did!...Oh to the joy of carrying out the will of the Father.
One thing God showed me in the Spirit during the prayer was that in the past the fire of God came on believers at this location from where they spread out across the land and yet again God will send us out as firebrands across this nation to bring the eternal life changing powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah. Ant
Sunday, March 01, 2009
"A debt we can never pay off ourselves is what Jesus is willing to deal with if we come to him in faith". This topical word amongst others were the content of the street preaching on the main street in Drogheda today where my good friend Jim and myself went. Again God manifested HIs glory in revealing a word of knowledge on a girls sore shoulder and followed up with a healing miracle. In the conversations we had a few people understood, probably for the first time why Jesus died for them.
Drogheda is a religious town and both times I preached I felt a leading to say that Religion will not get you to heaven or reconciled to God. "You can fool man with religion but not God"
Friday, February 27, 2009
Of course you are invited!! but don't come under obligation! A few of us are gathering before God to ask him for mercy for Ireland at this troublesome time. WE NEED HELP and OUR HELP COMES FROM THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. Of course banks, govrnment, IMF, EU may be used in the recovery process but we must see through all this to the hand of God and call out to HIm! We also are not keen to see the economy "bounce back" only for multitudes to be again decieved by riches and end up seperated from God for now and eternity.
The location of our meeting is significant I believe in that underneath our feet will be the Poddle river which was the location of many baptisms during the days of Patrick. Indeed it is reported that the first church he established in Dublin was located on an island in the middle of the Poddle river at this location. I believe that in his day the glory of God was manifest in this land and that once again we can cry out to HIm for a fresh outpouring of the wonderful Holy Spirit. Go to http://www.amiando.com/prayandfast.html?page=256417 for details.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
My friend Dave Kinsella came to Dublin today and I was glad to join him and some others at North Earl Street to preach and witness for Jesus. We met a young man who had hatred and murder in his heart towards his childhood abuser. My good friend Jimmy helped explain about forgiveness and the fact that it was not an emotion but a decision of the will...and an essential part of our own reconciliation to God. I told him that unforgiveness was like swallowing poison and expecting your enemy to die. By God's grace the man humbled himself, spoke words of forgiveness and asked Jesus then to forgive him and come to be his Lord and saviour. . . What a joy it is to serve our wonderful King! AB
The photo was taken in Temple Bar Square last month..No I'm not busking but worshipping the King. Why you ask? Read Psalm 149 for the answer. I believe that there is gret power in lifting Jesus higher in worship as well as in name with the sign!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
What a shock this one is! No need to go into detail but it was certainly:
* a surprise
* beyond man's control
So we got into debt, with everyone egging us on like banks, marketing, peer pressure and our own ego. Now we dearly wish we had no debts. All of this, although vividly real to us, is only a mirror of what is REALLY going on.
We all have a debt before our creator God which can't be paid off...or can it? God knew our hopeless state and sent Jesus His son to be crushed on the cross for our sin. If we get on our knees and ask His forgiveness we can have A NEW START with a CLEAN SLATE! ...not based on our "goodness" (boy what a myth!) but based on His blood paying the price of our rebellion against Him.
It's appointed to a man to die once and then comes judgement. Why not be ready this time!
Saturday, January 31, 2009
After the street preaching today (by my anointed wife) outside the old town hall in Bray (now McDonald's) Jesus healed a young chap's ankle. Supernaturally God revealed a word of Knowledge to me about the injury and after the prayer the chap ran off and back (when I asked him to) and testified to his friends about the healing. Much traffic and many other people heard the word of life today. Street evangelism gives you more hunger...for more evangelism because the harvest is rich. Next week we plan to be at Temple Bar Square and next month in Drogheda. Oh that the people of Ireland would humble themselves before the King of Kings. As I said to a small gang today "If you are ever going to get to Heaven religion will have nothing to do with it. It will only be by Relationship with Jesus".
The photo is of Jim warming up with 2 brothers form Mountain View CF behind. It was a pleasure and an education to see them move in the anointing of the Holy Spirit as they operated in their spiritual giftings. Thanks Aengus and gang for coming!
Friday, January 30, 2009
There may be one, there may be 5 or there may be more but outreaches are planned Outside Dublin throughout 2009 on a monthly basis. See the dates and places on the sidebar! What do you need to come? A new heart and a new spirit. If you are lacking this it is freely available from Jesus Christ, bought not by your good deeds but by HIs perfect blood. The detail agenda of each outreach is available from God after the event (what fun it is to be led by the wonderful Holy Spirit!). If you know Jesus then you know us! It's all for him. We are part of a church but the outreach promotes no church only Jesus. If you love to share your faith..join us. If you don't know how to or are scared of sharing your faith but wouldn't mind some training...come stand beside us and learn. Either way you are more than welcome!and finally...If you are a Dawkinite who thinks God is a myth...come out and talk to us! Ant (O87-9795454 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I can honestly say that God’s glory descended on Temple Bar today as we ministered on the street. It started when the busker we prayed would move on eventually did. I respect buskers as they are seeking an honest few bob but often the music they play is not the most conducive to a move of the Holy Spirit! After he’d gone I took out my own guitar and began to worship. I wasn’t seeking any crowd nor money but I do understand the power of praise and how, on the street , it can clean up the spiritual atmosphere. When my wife arrived and joined me in singing “All for Jesus” it wasn’t long before she was ready to preach and boy did it grab attention.
The foot traffic began to stop and listen to the message about those who insulted Jesus at the time of His trial. It was anointed. As she was finishing and giving an invitation to people to approach those holding up the name of “Jesus” to find out more about a relationship with God a young man approached and I ended up talking to him. He was in a desperate state, had run out of a rehab programme and wrestled with serious thoughts of ending his life that day. He prayed with us but I know the battle rages on at present for him. I explained how the enemy is a liar and can’t get at God but is trying to get God by killing you and bringing you to hell forever…but God’s love is reaching out to you. This man was in a war, one that Jesus already won at Calvary.
Earlier in the day I spoke to a lovely young chap who was utterly deceived by athiesm. He admitted he wasn’t even open to any persuasion. I then told him that Jesus is alive and can heal any sickness he now has in his body. I then asked the Lord where any such pain might be. “Do you have a sore shoulder” I asked. “I have a dislocated shoulder” he admitted. I asked him if he’d like healing prayer and he said no and began to walk away. As he did I said that God knows everything about him and loves him dearly. He had rejected religion but had never heard the gospel. He was now rejecting Jesus but I believe that he may one day turn. This I pray for.
After the preaching a group of 5 hardened Dub late teens went by with some smart alec comment. I called them back and declared that Jesus heals today. The lad with the huge black eye asked for prayer after which he admitted to feeling better. I was a bit surprised the blackness was still there but they went on without delay and I would have loved to have heard the chat among them after they’d gone.
Apart from the above thousand saw the name of JESUS lifted high. To God be ALL the glory. Next week it’s Bray…so Pray for Bray!! Ant
The photo was taken a few weeks ago on Grafton Street. I find our message gains relevance when ambulences show up...it reminds people of their vulnerability. See if you can make out anything in the reflection!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The Soldier proudy told David that he had killed King Saul "the Lord's anointed" and waited for his reward with a smile...But he was judged and lost his life! Read about it in 2 Samuel Chapter 1. This is a solemn warning for us to not destroy, or boast in putting down, God's people. We know Saul had tried repeatedly to destroy David yet David mourned his judgement and death. Too often we as believers gloat in the demise of a saint whom we deem to be "missing God". The more I go on with Jesus the more curved balls I can get from some believers...yet they are people dearly beloved of the Father and for whom Jesus died. We are called to love our enemies, for whom Jesus also died, so how can we bypass the saints! Remember satan's plans are always to destroy and bring division...always.
Of late God has called us to be part of Every Nation Church in Dublin. This is both exciting and daunting. It is the church previously pastored by my dearly missed and departed friend Ray Shiels and I trust that God knows what he is doing placing us here!
In parallel with this I believe God has called me once monthly to take our 7 seater car to various towns around Ireland on the last Saturday of each month to do some street outreach for Jesus. As I write Bray, Drogheda, Dundalk, Limerick, Wicklow, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Newbridge, Roscrea and Carlow are on the agenda. Plans are in formation and my earnest desire is that they re the plans of our Wonderful Holy Spirit and not Ant!! Let me know your thoughts.
Photo shows Oliver last year in Temple Bar getting the attention of the Law and the Ladies!
Friday, January 09, 2009
Okay...Come down off your high horse and consider this. There was once a judge who sat in authority in the courts of the land. Regardless of the crimes brought before him he always said to the perpetrator "I forgive you..you are free to go". What an absurdity! Such a judge would be a BAD Judge..or more to the point he wouldn't be a judge at all because he would have no regard for the law. Is God in heaven, our creator, a judge or not? If He is He cannot be "All Forgiving". Too many people on the street say he is all forgiving but our call as believers is to explain that Jesus died as the payment for our guilt before Holy (perfect) God. When the pin pricks of guilt hit we must avoid the temptation to lash out at the messenger saying "Don't Judge". God is a judge and I too judge Molesters, Terrorists, Rapists, Thiefs and Gangsters. God goes further and judges all men and finds all guilty and then places that guilt on His beloved son's shoulders, let's Him take the rap and offers not a universal amnesty but a promise of forgiveness to those who turn to Him in humility. God is forgiving but not all forgiving and without the shedding of (His) blood there is no forgiveness. Happy New Year.