December 1998 Newsletter
"Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath." Nehemiah 13:21
STREET PREACHNG AND THE RESULTS
In less "SUCCESSFUL" countries and times there was no need to defend publick ministry except to acknowledge the commands from the Word of God. But in America in the Laodicean times even Christians get influenced by the world and tend to measure activates by their visible "RESULTS" and "SUCCESS". The above scripture should serve, as sufficient example, that "we ought to obey God rather than man". Here Nehemiah preached-publickly to correct an evil situation. Should preaching be used as a weapon against sin? Nehemiah answers that question by his example and by the results. Notice that no one was saved or converted to Judaism or turned from their gods or made a profession or came to church., yet good results DID occur. The evil situation was eliminated because the "weapons of our warfare are not carnal, BUT MIGHTY". Was Nehemiah a good man? Was he a good example? Did he obey God's perfect will in testifying AGAINST them? Did he build his ministry with the results? The answer to the last question is YES; but he built it STRONG and the problem is that you can't see strong. But we are admonished to walk by faith and not by sight. Do you think that the Lord of today would bless someone's ministry in ways that cannot be measured with the standards of the world (Lk. 16:15b) if only they would obey his simple commands to be a publick witness? "But without faith it is impossible to please him." Hebrews 11: 6
ON THE STREETS
This good publick ministry month began in Memphis, TN; one of our favorite places to minister. Dave Laverty and I held our big banners on the street, at the entrance of two huge malls on the busiest shopping day of the year ... the day following Thanksgiving. Holding the banner at a busy intersection for an hour should be required as a post graduate study in human psychology. One of the several times we ministered on Beale Street I was holding a banner on the sidewalk quite a ways from the entrance of one of the bars, when the bouncer came and told me to get off the sidewalk because the bar owned the property all the way to the street. So I moved exactly 10" onto the street. Later, after consulting a police officer I returned to inform the bouncer that "All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone". I told him I would be in the original location if he cared to discuss it further. He didn't! We joined pastors Galen Hall and James Melton for an unusual Sunday afternoon street meeting in their respective towns ... Union City, TN and Martin, TN. They both have exceptionally great publick ministries in their churches with nearly 100% participation. They both have great innovative ideas of how the gospel might be furthered. I took notes. Tulsa, OK is to be listed in the top 15 of fabulous cities to preach in the downtown section. A main mall pedestrian area in the very heart of the business/commercial section fills with congregants 'eager' to hear the message of the abundant life in Christ. Pastor Doug Coates has been a good and consistent minister to this outdoor church". We ministered with him there on three occasions. We pulled up to a not-so-busy square in Mt. Pleasant, TX and prepared for a street meeting. Then we noticed a group of about 12-30 prisoners doing some landscape work around the courthouse. We preached liberty among the captives and gave opportunity for the Lord to lead captivity captive. We left after the meeting, then had to return to the same area in a short time ... all the prisoners were gone. We joined 25 folk, including at least a dozen publick preachers, on 6th Street in Austin, TX for a great Christmastime publick witness. Pastor Hank Thompson's church has grown it's own group of publick preachers from the youth department because of years of consistent involvement in this vital area of ministry. We always enjoy being with them.
ULSTER PREACHER RETURNS TO ULSTER
David Laverty has taken advantage of a gift ticket home to Northern Ireland. He was going to have to leave, due to immigration complications in a couple of weeks. So he went home for the holidays and to minister there until he can solve these problems. He goes home well armed with publick ministry experience ... having served with the team for 11 months. He was anxious to try his experience out on the streets of his homeland. Pray for David as he faces some comfortable temptations in the next six months. He was a great blessing to us and we look forward to having him return to serve again with us in June of 99.
IN THE CHURCHES
We were greatly honored to minister with and to the following churches in December. Old Paths Baptist, pastor Galen Hall, Union City, TN, Bible Baptist, pastor James Melton, Sharon, TN, Amazing Grace Baptist, pastor Doug Coates, Tulsa, OK, Mt. Pleasant Baptist, pastor Frank Stringham, Mt. Pleasant, TX and Capitol City Baptist, pastor Hank Thompson, Austin, TX.
The poem below actually happened as I preached the gospel during the Christmas season in downtown Tulsa, OK. The scene lasted a full 7 minutes because their bus had to maneuver in traffic so that he could safely pick up the kids. There were two teachers/chaperones and the first allowed the kids to receive tracts, but the last gathered them up and put them in the trash can walking within five feet of my preaching to do so. I told her without minced words that she would see this whole scene replayed in 3D and color at the Great White Throne Judgment and to her great demise unless she repented and received the gospel.
The Battle of Ms. Claus (a poem)
Twas the same month as Christmas and all through the town
A gospel was preached but twas that of a clown.
For "Christmas" was now dropped for "Xmas"
A matter of grave consequence,
The King of Christmas had been exiled by force
While Santa had stolen mens hearts in his course.
A prophet of Christ stood boldly to share
God's timeless, saving message in the open air.
His words rang through city so strong and so clear
Though most folk passed by with deafened ear.
A field trip of school children tarried for their bus
Hearing the gospel and hearing folk cuss.
Receiving the good news in ear and with hand
The kids seemed a joyful and happy little band.
Still one lady teacher with heart full of flaws
Stirred a fuss with such rage, she could be Ms. Claus.
Driven by hatred she worked with great tact
To counter the gospel by stealing their tract.
So open and blatant this warfare was fought
She marched past the preacher tearing tracts he had bought.
The preacher waxed bold and for all then to hear
Warned children of teachers who there would appear.
At God's judgment for waging such vehement war
Against the truth of the gospel, Christ Jesus and more.
By preferring a fable and dulling the sword
Of the Lord's saving message to be found in His.
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