Thursday, October 22, 2009

Meet Phil (15)

Phillip Brunswick, otherwise known as Peanut Butter, and I go back a couple years. He used to be really good friends with my little brother Mark.

Phil is definitely a thinker, which is why I like talking to him so much. He isn't afraid to speak his mind and thats good because his mind works pretty well.

I have witnessed to the dude before and the big thing that keeps him from coming any closer to Jesus is that he can not cope with the fact that if it is all real then those people that he loves most will spend eternity in hell and he won't be able to enjoy heaven if this is so. (Yes, that was all one sentence. No, I don't know how I passed any english courses either...iether...eether...ayther.. idk)

He and I talked about a lot of stuff but it always comes down to that. I really don't get why that is such a stumbling block for him. Let me see if I can wrink (write/think) about that and come to some solution as to why it is the way it is.

If he goes to heaven and his family goes to hell 1) he won't be able to enjoy heaven therefore 2) heaven won't be perfect therefore 3) I won't believe it.


1) I explained to him that in the face of the creator of all beauty, goodness, and perfection, a finite creature such as himself would be consumed in the shear awesomeness of God. I don't think that in His presence we could ever not have joy (that is, of course, only if we are in a right relationship with Him - other words we would melt in fear).

2) Perfection is a state that God defines and is Himself. Have you ever talked with someone who had a different definition of perfection that yourself? We can not allow perfection to be described by fallen people, only God is perfect and He knows what perfection is. I used to think that heaven would be perfect if it had all my idols in it, but we all know better now, right?

3) At the end of the day believing and trusting in Christ or the Bible is a decision. Some might say, "I can't believe it" but believing and trusting is a choice we all make. In the face of centuries of attacks from every front the Bible has stood the test of time. I just wish more people would legitimately test it to see for themselves.

After typing point 3 I have realized that I am talking to myself. Lately, I have been having some struggles with prayer. I don't really believe that God will answer them. I have really been concerned about it, but just recently I read Mark 11. In the chapter Jesus says that He will give us whatever we ask. Just believe and receive. I struggle with that, but I kinda just ended my stuggle after writing about # 3 up there.

It is my choice, whether or not I will trust God's word or not. So, lets start doing that!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ninja Sibs!!!

Last words of the only person to witness the greatest ninja fight ever:

These two young warriors were almost too powerful for my weak eyes to lay weak eyes on. Their speed was so extraordinary that their weirdly placed and functionally useless red ribbons tied around every limb on their bodies were the only things that I could see.

I was called in to be a witness of this great battle. I was a very young boy and the ninjas some how put red ribbons on my arms too. Their speed was crazy!

I could tell this was going to be a fight to end all fights.

A truly intense battle!

Suddenly, a flying kick broke the tension!

Quite possibly the slowest fastest kick ever.
The damager to her nose would prove to be both bad for her face and for our noses.

But she was not easily beaten. She returned the favor with a right hook.

And a right upper cut. (I had a great view of this one.)

Then, showing her expertise in all sorts of martial artsy moves she gave a right handed head lock.

Truly a spectacular battle. Sadly, the awesomeness of this fight was far too great for a small boy such as I. I died after this clash.

I am not quite sure how I had time to write this or how anyone will ever know the story of the Ninja Girl Fight of Ages!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meet Athena (14)

Before I was talking to Athena I got to talk to a guy named Tony. Me and Trabo stood in the middle of the walk way in the student union. Just us against the world. After asking Jesus for wisdom and giving Him the glory for whatever would happen during our talks we split.

Trabo went to a table of girls that were promoting the cure for breast cancer. Pink was all over that table. Before he went over there I was like, "Dude, I don't think its a good idea to go over there." But of course, who am I to say you shouldn't share the Gospel with someone. My argument was that it may not be wise to go to them because you would continue to be interrupted. People would constantly walk up and when you are witnessing people are usually looking for anything to change the subject. But he went anyway and I am glad he did.

I on the other hand headed to Tony. He was sitting on a bench all by himself. I tried something totally new with him. I started out with questions about slavery. I asked him if he was against all forms of slavery. Surprisingly, he got where I was going and in his views he included any form of having a boss is a form of slavery. So, he said he wasn't against all forms of slavery. Then I asked him would he ever want to be slave if his master was: the kindest person ever, the richest person ever, loved him more than anything, gave him ownership of everything he owned, never gave him anything he could not handle, promised that everything he allowed to happen would be for his good, but the master would expect him to do whatever he wanted whenever he told him.

Tony said he wouldn't go for it. I was totally surprised, but perhaps it is a view into the heart of man. Man does not what to give up control. Too bad we never had control in the first place.

Tony's roommate came up and he said they were going to go eat lunch so I thanked him for his time and he left before I got to even begin the Gospel. Here's is a little secret, I just found out he is in my class. This fish won't get off the hook that easy. Hehehe...

But after Tony left I met up with Athena. Athena was very open to talking. I loved it. She is a catholic but doesn't really practice. That is pretty typical in my experience. When I asked her to explain to me how to get to heaven she said, "Now that is a tough question."

It's funny that before I was a Christian I would have said the same thing. I had no idea how to get to heaven. I could tell you what were some things God wanted me to do, but I had no idea how to get to heaven. Athena was in the same place I was once in.

Instead of going through down the Way of the Master route I shared my testimony. I was sure to include my sins and God's judgement. I shared with her how much I deserved punishment from God. It is crazy to think that I am forgiven. God was so angry with me before, and rightly so, but now...

I thought about this earlier today. God saw me in my sins, and He saw how much I loved living for myself always doing whatever I wanted and He promoted me. He promoted me to be His slave. To be His slave is a higher honor than being the greatest of kings... He has changed me so much. "God, I love you. Thank You so much, Father."

I shared with Athena my concerns about the Catholic church. I even went over imputed vs infused righteousness with her (consult your local neighborhood pastor with any questions you may have).

By the end of the talk I asked her to read 1 John for a couple of reasons. She had said she wasn't sure you could know if you are going to heaven (1 John 5:13) and I was very concerned for her salvation (1 John is a book full of tests that shows you if you are a Christian). I was concerned because she had a catholic background and for some of her answers during our talk.

All in all a good day. Oh yeah, and Trabo got booted from the table by the girls. Hate to say I told you so, but he did it for God's glory and some girls got to see someone who loved Jesus enough to get shoo-ed away from a table. So, this post was really boring. In the future I will definitely talk a little more time before I write these things down.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Memory of Uncle John

This past Wednesday we held a memorial service for my Uncle John Johnson. I was asked to speak and say a prayer at the service. Here is what I shared:

Times like these always seem to get me thinking.

After I had heard about what happened and the shock had went away I found myself trying to think of all the memories or traits that I would never forget about Uncle John. And in his case they were easy for me to put into words. Fishing. It is no secret that Uncle John loved fishing. I couldn’t talk about Uncle John without at least mentioning fishing. But he wasn’t only a fisherman, he was my Uncle, and I also remember my Uncle loved to joke around. I always saw him with a smile on his face. I can’t remember a family get together that he didn’t pull me off to the side to tell me a joke like it was some government secret. And no matter how many times I saw him he always had a new one to tell me, whether it was funny or not.

Uncle John was a light hearted, funny, gentle man. And I only have good memories of the time we spent together.

But I think it wise to not only remember those times of joy with John but also this present time of sadness and soberness. I couldn’t only think of the old days and how he was always ready to tell me a joke, but of today and what he would want to tell me now, to tell us now.

And there is no a doubt in my mind about the message that John has for us today. If he could speak to us right now after being on the other side he would tell each one of us one thing.

“Get ready to meet God.”

John’s untimely passing is a reminder to each and everyone one of us that we have an appointment with our Maker, and that that day can come at any time.

But I think the reason I am here today, the reason I have been asked to speak is to announce that that appointment, that day we face God, does not have to be one that fills us with fear or anger. We don’t have to pretend it will never come but we can embrace it with hope and joy.

You see we have every reason to have fear of that day. We know that we haven’t lived up to God’s standards. Each of us has lied, each of us has stolen; we have all broken God’s laws. The thought of having to stand before Him and account for everything we have done should make us tremble.

But if you do fear that day you don’t have to, for our God of justice is also a God mercy. And He has looked down from heaven and seen our sins, our filthiness, and instead of crushing this fallen world He has provided a way of salvation for it.

Jesus Christ, God Himself, came to us because we could not make it to Him. He made a way where there was no way before. You see, we have a sin debt to God and He promises that He won’t let one sin go unaccounted for.

But, Jesus sees our debt and promises to pay it for anyone who would trust in Him. Jesus demonstrated His love toward us in that while we are sinners He died on the cross for us. He took our sins upon Himself and stood in our place of guilt before God. On the condition that we turn from our sins and trust only in His death and resurrection all of our sins can be forgiven because He paid the price for each one of them. And in all of this God is just, by accounting for all of our sins, and He is the justifier, by dying for everyone our sins.

So, that day does not have to be a day that brings us fear, or make us angry; it doesn’t have to be a day we try to ignore. That day can be a day we look forward to. That day can be the day we finally meet our Savior.

So, let us think of all the joyful memories we had with Uncle John. Let us think of all the time we spent with him and the influence he had in all of our lives. And let us think of his wishes now and what he would want to tell us if he could.

On behalf of the family I would like thank everyone for joining us today to remember our John Johnson and I would like to end this service in prayer.

Lord we pray that you would give us peace in this time. We ask that You would bring to our minds those times of joy spent with Uncle John. Please remind of us of his laugh and his jokes. Remind us of his voice and his touch. Please comfort us in his absence, and also help us to comfort one another. And Lord Jesus, we thank you for your love demonstrated toward us on the cross and we ask that You would help us to come to know it and embrace every day. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Meet Quintin (12)

The other day I posted a talk with Katie and Ollie as number 12 but I totally forgot about my talk with Quintin.

If you go back and check I have already erased the mind of the blogpost and replaced it with different info. It will never even know what happened.

Anyways, Quintin was a really cool talk. I saw him standing on the sidewalk by the green just looking. That is my favorite posture to see on Tell it To'Em Tuesdays! He was just looking around. So, I started up a conversation with him.

Turns out, Quintin was from ... oh crap! I totally forgot where he was from. But he has been all over. If I remember correctly he grew up in either France or Spain (or Portugal? I don't remember but I think it was France...or Spain...or Portugal.) He had also lived in Scotland (or Ireland) for a while before coming to the states.

He went to a catholic school growing up and lost his faith (or never had any faith), but since coming to America and meeting his current girlfriend he had been going to church.

After talking with him I got the feeling that his spiritual life was very shaky. He was not very sure of things and his relationship with his girlfriend was straining because it. But I don't want to get too personal.

I had a cool talk with Quintin because I really got to connect with him. Sometimes when I get into witnessing mode* I may tend to lose interest in talking with people in hopes to get the Gospel across. This is because many times a conversation will end before I even get to the Gospel. Because of this hurried frenzy (frenzy is such a cool word. It makes me think of piranha. In this context I am using for exaggeration purposes) I am in I don't really get to connect with people and I turn them into marks. Not a good thing.

This is a sweet pirhanna pic.

After my talk with Quintin I realized that although it is important for me to get the Gospel out to as many people as possible I should also attempt to reach people on a relational level. It is the age old battle of Relational Evangelism versus Piranha Evangelism (I just made up that name for it.)

When you share your faith what are some things you do that you want to change?

(witnessing mode)*
Sadly, I should always be in witnessing mode (1 Peter 3:15). Also, because I do this Tell it To'Em Tuesdays I may convince myself I don't have to witness to people on regular old Wednesday or Take A Bath Saturday. I have to always be ready to share the faith. Pray for me.

One last piranha pic to think about.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Should we share numbers of attendees?

OK. This is post is just a thought. I feel as though even asking this question may get people (the imaginary people I pretend are visiting my blog) all cold shouldering me.

I want to ask the question, should we share numbers of attendees, baptisms, cards signed, aisles walked, etc?

I know what I'm thinking you are thinking. I'm thinking you are thinking, "Dude! Rik! What's the big deal? Some people are really into recording those numbers so that in a couple years we can graph it all perfectly and show our grand kids what Bildad was telling Job (Job 8:7)"

This is my thought. Simply recording the numbers to show to everyone may be a step that leads minds down a path of Ends Justify the Means mentality (Man! I just spent like 5 minutes trying to think of the word that begins with a P that means the ends justify the means. I gave up if you couldn't tell).

If we put numbers up in public then people are already getting the impression that numbers matter. If numbers didn't matter then they wouldn't have been put up. With this first step taken, churches have followed the logical path into the Numbers Game. Listen to Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort and you will learn that 80-90% of "converts" can't be found in churches a year after they raised their hands or walked the aisle or signed the card.

Potentially that is the problem. So, now you are either like, "Rik, cool it buddy. They are just numbers." or you are like, "Ok, yeah. I am so on board. Down with Numbers!" To which I say, "Nay. We want the numbers to go up, but that is secondary to what we really want." To which you say, "Huh?" To which I say, "Read on!"

I propose something so revolutionary, something so out of this world, so something I stole from my company. I say how about we ... wait. I just realized something. This is not a joke, I seriously just realizes something. My solution is a numbers based solution. I am so lame. Its kinda funny how I could think this out for a whole 10 minutes before I started posting and realize that my logic is flawed. But, I will go on because I kinda built up some tension.

I was gonna say, before I so logically interrupted myself, that maybe instead of focusing on 'numbers' of new converts that tend to be fig trees with no fruit, how about we focus on what matters, a.k.a bearing fruit (John 15:8) . The problem with my logic is that we would have to have some way of recording the fruit (for example. So-and-So came by this week and ministered to me while my children were sick. Or, Yada-Yada called me and really encouraged me to be patient with my husband.) then tallying them up for people to make some sweet pie charts and bar graphs out of.

However, maybe we could still make it work. You see I thought I would record how many of those bearing fruit scenarios a church had and then share the total number in a weekly bulletin, thus the cognitive dissonance occurring with my whole rant about numbers. But, you could instead of tallying them simply share some in the bulletin and allow people to be encouraged from other peoples' faithfulness and love toward their brethren and sistren.

Maybe it could work or maybe I am weird or maybe both.

As an aside. My beautiful and godly fiance called and said the P word from before was Pragmatism. I love her.

Meet Katie and Ollie (13)

I just got done talking to Katie. She was out on the green with her little 8 week and 2 day old puppy. He was a pug. I thought he was supposed to have a little piggy twisty tail but I guess as a pup they are straight (or Katie got jipped).

I figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone today. I could witness to someone and pet a puppy. I got my wish. Katie has a catholic background but does not like organized religion. I asked her why and she said, "Catholic School". What could kids be learning in there that always turns their hearts from the Lord.

My guess, Legalism. Even though on their own people always resort to legalism, if it is pushed on them they hate it and form their version of legalism.

This was Katie's case. The talk was really good, almost too good. I am thinking I am going to test something. I am going to stop trying to guard every word to make it politically correct and just say things bluntly. After thinking about maybe I won't. The reason behind me wanting to do that is because I want people to respond to the message, but it is not my words that move hearts. It is the Spirit of Christ. If it is my words moving people then there is no power in it for the Gospel is the Power of God unto salvation, not my words. Katie and I talked about post-modern thought and what or who God is. The religion she has made up is formless and shifting constantly. At one moment God could be it, she, he, all three, everything, or not there. I used to be a devout follower of that religion.

She also talked about hypocrisy in the church, which I can do nothing but agree with. The conduct of those proclaiming to be Christian is causing people to blaspheme the name of Christ. But, I think there is a good argument against the idea that because of hypocrisy someone would deny Christ.

I don't like Bob. He is a jerk. I have never met you, but I have met Bob and Bob says that he is your friend. Should I conclude that I don't like you because I don't like Bob?

Of course not. I should not judge you by the conduct of Bob and people should not judge Jesus by the conduct of people who say they know Him.

Back to Katie. The dreaded phone ring signalled to me that our talk was almost over and I had not gotten to share the Gospel with her. So, I walked her to her car and did my best to share with her the message of Christ's death on the cross for her sins. I forgot to share His resurrection because of the hurry I was in, but again, God is in control and orders all things. If God is going to save her He will get her all the knowledge she needs.

I am just glad that I got to get her thinking about spiritual things. She said she would definitely think about it. The rest is up to God (and so is everything that is not 'the rest'. he he he.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet Brittany, Christopher, Azmite, Hop, Dan (7-11)

Alright, I am like 2 weeks behind on keeping up with this and before I forget I need to start putting this stuff down.

I had a really good talk with Brittany (and I am sure I got some special Sun Burn Crowns in heaven)! She was sitting down by herself on a bench and I really try to talk with people that look like they are sitting by themselves on a bench. I will keep each talk short because I do not remember much, so the big thing with Brittany was that after we had talked about her sins and she realized that God would justly punish her she said, "Maybe, God won't judge me that way." I asked her if she was saying that because she did not want to go to hell or because she believed that were possible. "I guess I am trying to soothe my conscience", was her response. It was pretty cool. I got to share the Gospel of Jesus with her.

Christopher is the same Christopher from one of my first posts. I found him at the same bench in the same spot. I got a picture this time so now you know I could take, right? The first time I met him I knew his accent was not from Florida (which is what he told me.) He is from Russia! I knew something was up with that accent. So, I was talking to him and I am getting the feeling from that he is cool with whatever. I mean I talk to him about the Gospel and he seems to 'blah' about it. God save me from ever being ambivalent about your Gospel! I reminded him of my church. Still haven't seen him visit. But, my prayer will use whatever weak words I said to be seeds in his life. My hope is that God will bring someone along to water it.

Ok. This next person was a great person to talk to, but in the spiritual realm it was a terrible talk.Her name was Azmite (not sure how to spell it). She was very nice and had a lot of opinions. Opinions are good. I like to hear about what people think. However, when all of your opinions are anti-biblical you have got some problems. I knew from the beginning it would not be the smoothest talks in the world, but I have had a couple of pretty nice weeks and a talk like this was past due. The jist of the talk was her preparing herself to listen to me "sell" her Jesus. You would not believe how much I hate the idea of "selling" Jesus to anyone. Jesus is a person, not a thing. I share His story, I don't sell Him. Honestly, there was not an offensive word spoken between the two of us (except the selling Jesus comment, but I know she did not mean to offend me) but the talk was terrible because there was no soberness from her. There was no evidence that she would ever think about her sins, ever think about God's judgment, ever think about the price my Lord Jesus paid so that she could be set free from her sins. Its kinda funny that this talk bugged me so much. To be honest, I would rather be threaten by someone after witnessing to them than have someone walk away from the Gospel with their noses up or without a care in the world.

After talking with Azmite, I picked myself up off the ground and slumped over to the Student Union to try and witness to some more people. On the way there I was walking by this guy and decided to walk and witness. His name was Hop. He said he was down for talking and so I had to jump right into it. When I an walking and witnessing I feel the need to rush things because I don't know where the person is headed or how long I have to talk with them. The jist of the talk with Hop went like this:

R: So, what do you think God will do with you if you have broken his laws?
H: He is gonna let me into heaven.
R: What? Why would he reward a criminal?
H: I go to church.
R: All you have to do is go to church to get to heaven?
H: Yeah.
R: Are you sure?
H: ...yeah.
R: Are you sure?
H: ...yeah.

Then I let him walk away. I thanked him for letting me talk to him and just stopped in my tracks. Hopefully, the talk shook him a little and wobbled his position on the whole 'bribe God' thing. If you think that reading your bible, going to church, sharing, being a nice person, praying, singing, giving tithes, or any other thing you think pleases God is going to get you into heaven then you should give up right now. George Whitefield said, “Works? Works? A man get to heaven by works? I would as soon think of climbing to the moon on a rope of sand!”

Dan. Dan, Dan, Dan. Dan, was the shining light at the end of the tunnel for my day. After talking with Azmite and Hop I needed Dan. I asked Dan what the Gospel was and he actually told me. It took a little coaxing but he said it. He knew it! Dan, was a young christian, I think a year old. It was so refreshing to talk to him. I asked him if he deserved heaven and he laughed! I asked him if he has been reading his bible and he had been. Dan is so rare on a college campus! It was just good. Not much else to say.

Go! Go out there and bring the Gospel to someone. Anyone.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Witnessing Witnessing

Alright, its been a while and I have to put this down before Tell it To'em tomorrow comes and I get way too far behind.

So, this last Tuesday was a "No Go" with the evangelism because I had a big group meeting for class. We spent way too long on this Electronic Business Game, but it turned out we tied for first place in the first round so we are looking pretty good for now.

But after the meeting as I was walking to the shuttle bus I saw this guy who looked familiar. I had seen him passing out Gospel Tracts before. My ChristianDar was going crazy and I had to check him out. He was with another guy I had never seen before and they were going around witnessing to people. When I found them again the new guy was sitting with a guy at a table and John, the guy I recognized, was sitting behind him at another table. He was watching them intently, and probably praying the entire time.

I am listening to this guy share the Gospel with this other guy. Then I notice that Keith, the new guy with John, is really laying out the Gospel. He was hitting it all. I mean from prophecy, to the disciples, to lambs, to resurrection, to aliens (I added that one for exaggeration purposes. This sentence was begging for some exaggerating.) Kudos to him, he was slamming scripture on this kid like crazy.

Afterwards the kid was all, "That was a lot. You are too condemning. God is love." This is a summary of what he was saying. At this point I started praying that Keith would bring up Galatians 3:24. After I get down praying a minute or so goes by and John gets up and sits at their table. Then he says, "Excuse me. Let me interrupt for a just a second and share Galatians 3:24. It says that the law was given as a tutor to lead us to Christ."

It was awesome. After they were done talking to that guy we find out that he is the president of an on campus Christian Club or Group or something. When they were done, John had noticed that I was watching and listening in the whole time and if you have been witnessing for a while you know that if you see somebody showing any kind of interest when you are witnessing to someone else then they are the next person you are talking to.

They locked on to me the moment they left his table and were on me like dogs on Jezebel (that is probably one of the lamest things I have ever said...if you didn't get that you better read your bible. 1 Kings 21:23). So they came over and we had a great time in fellowship. We shared testimonies. I asked for tips on witnessing and we exchanged numbers and email. John goes to Grace Community Church.

Man, if you haven't tasted Christian Fellowship you need to get yourself some. Hmm, hmm, good. When is the last time you had genuine fellowship with a brother or sister?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet Brian (6)

If you look at the picture with Keith, you can see Brian in the background. While I was talking to Keith I could see Brian was listening in. We also caught eyes several times and man, was that ever uncomfortable. If I had the choice of witnessing to strangers or locking eyes accidentally with a stranger for a split second...Man, that would be a toughy.

I used the fact that he was listening in and we uncomfortably caught eyes to start our conversation. He agreed that he was uncomfortable during those eternal split seconds as well.

Brian was from New York but I didn't hear any accent (too bad, because that would have been sweet). He had grown up going to catholic school. I knew he had heard about God's Laws and so I told him that I was going to run him through some scenarios that are very familiar to his catholic upbringing but the end will be much different from what he had learned in the catholic church.
He had 15 minutes till class and I asked him for 10 of them.

Maybe I can explain what I am talking about when I say 'I run people through the Law'. When I say Law I don't mean every single one of God's Laws. There are laws in the old testament that we do not follow anymore because we are in the new testament. Out with the old and in the with new, so to speak. But it is not a total trashing of everything in the old. The new testament speaks of the end of the law (Col 2:16, Rom 10:4, Gal 3:23-25, Eph 2:15). But there were some laws that Jesus carried through to the New Testament. He brings forth the Ten Commandments, the moral law of God leaving behind the civil and ceremonial laws that were specifically written for the Jews. All of that to say, Jesus brought the Ten Commandments before sinners and therefore I want to to. So, I use the Law to show people their need for Jesus (Ga; 3:24, 1 Tim 1:8-11).

If we are honest everyone will admit to breaking the Laws of God.

1)Have you always put God first in your life?

If you break any of the following laws then you have broke this law.

2)Have you ever treasured anything more than you do God?

This is the negative side of the commandment #1.

3)Have you ever used God's name without giving it the respect it deserves?

For example, OMG!

4)Have you always set apart one day in seven for God?

5)Have you always honored your parents?

6)Have you ever hated (strongly disliked) someone?

God calls that murder. (Mat 5:21-22, 1 John 3:15)

7)Have you ever looked at someone and had X-rated thoughts?

God calls that adultery. (Mat 5:27-28)

8)Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you?

For example, music off the net or candy from a store.

9)Have you ever told a lie?

10)have you ever been obsessed with something?

I normally just go over #'s 9, 8, 3, and 7.

Brian understood he would be guilty but didn't get that Hell made sense. I explained to him why Hell is reasonable and it made sense to him.

By now, my time was almost up. I think a good question to ask people when I am done going through the Law and sharing the Gospel is to ask them, "Why would you not respond to this message today and submit your life to God?"

He said he still had other questions. In a way, I can feel for him. I had questions too, but when I seriously started questioning God (beforehand I didn't care about God, but when I thought about if it were true then I seriously started questioning) I also seriously started searching for answers. Not just to prove God and the bible, but also to disprove. I wanted the Truth, no matter where it led me. Funny thing was it lead me to Christ (John 14:6).

I recommended he read 'The Case for Christ'. It was a fast, interesting read and answered all the biggest questions in a way that wasn't some fringy psycho kinda way.

I also gave him an invitation to my church and I hope to see him this weekend. That would be awesome. It was a great talk.

Meet Keith (5)

If I remember correctly his name was Willard Keith Charles, but he introduced himself as Keith. After being rejected twice I thought if I could sit with him I would spend the rest of my break period with him if I could. I think I had about an hour.

So, I was upfront about everything. I used to kinda try and swing the spiritual stuff on people out of the blue, but I think it is a more comfortable conversation and easier on my conscience if I come out upfront and explain what I am doing. I told him I am putting together a blog of encounters with people I meet and talk to about spiritual things.

He was down with it. By the way, I am still using my "Are you afraid of talking with strangers?" It is so good for me. I wanted to get to know him because I figured I had an hour so he told me about his life. Turns out he has 2 kids and an ex-wife. The relationship with them is rocky but it would seem his kids are beginning to want to get closer to him. I think his daughter is around 21 years old with 3 kids and his son is 19. Keith is going back to school to get his bachelors.

After the talk I told him I would be praying for his family and for his school work.

Talking to him was a little different than your normal person. He said that he read the bible and I think he even quoted scripture (from Peter I believe. He said it had something to do with wife's submit to your husbands.)

But when I asked, "If you stood before God, Keith, and he asked you,'Why should I let you into My heaven?' what would you tell Him?''

He said, "I am a good person. I have lived a good life." Now, when some one says that to me flares start flying and warnings signs blow up and tomatoes melt and some body sings the bohemian rhapsody in my head. I'm saying that is a big no-no.

Why is that a big no-no, Rik? What is the big deal?

I am so glad you asked. The big idea is that whenever some one attests to their own goodness they are saying, "I don't need God's forgiveness" or "I am such a good person I deserve His forgiveness". These are dangerous statements because it is a spit in the face of a God of grace. It is an offense to Jesus. He said, "No is good except God alone." (Mark 10:18) If you have lived a life good enough to get into heaven that means that Jesus died for no reason. You did not need Him. Trust me, when you meet Him in heaven and look at His hands and at His side you are not going to be saying, "Hey, that was a real nice thing You did down there, but...heh...I found my own way." That just aint gonna fly.

"...there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Eph 2:8-9)

So, after he said that I had to try and dig deeper. Towards the end of the conversation he began to talk about Jesus and how He paid the price for us. After hearing that it was like a load off of my shoulders. I can not judge whether he is a Christian or not because I just met him, but he knew about Jesus and he talked as if he were a Christian. I figured I would play it safe and share the Gospel with him to make sure he agreed with it. He did and then he had to go. It was a good talk and I thank God that He set it up.

*Closing question*

If I said to YOU why should God let you into heaven, what would you say?

Tell It To'em Tuesday!

So, this Tuesday was a stinker, at least in terms of the weather. If you share your faith then you know what I am about to talking about here. Almost every time I go out to share my faith I start to get a little sick. Not I got to find a bathroom sick or I got to go to the hospital sick, but more of a I don't want to move very fast because there is something in my stomach that is turning me into a big chicken baby (that's right a chicken baby, as scared a your run of the mill chicken but as cute as a baby, but the baby has butterflies in his stomach. On second thought, I guess the feelings are just butterflies in my stomach. Scratch the chicken baby thing. It was lame anyway.)
I always get nervous and don't want to talk to anybody because lets face it Talking to Strangers about Jesus/Heaven/Hell/Judgment is very uncomfortable. But in America that is pretty much it for now. We are uncomfortable. There are places in the world right now where if you are caught reading a bible you will be beaten, thrown into a labor camp, and tortured. In terms of Devoted Christians it would seem that America holds candle where as places like China are set on fire.

But, anyways, this Tuesday it was drizzling so me and Trabo were ready to give up and just read our bibles (not that reading your bible is bad or not as 'holy' or 'pleasing to God' than evangelism, but there is a time for everything [Ecl 3:1] and Tuesdays are our time for spreading the Gospel of Christ). I knew that I had to discipline myself and not give up so easily because it is drizzling.

So we prayed and then headed to the new Student Union. The Green was kind of empty because of the raining and the wet grass.

This is what the Green looks like. On a good day people will be laying out all over the place, but because of the new Student Union that may become the new hang out, which would be sad because the Green is a public speaking area which means if I feel bold enough I can use it to open air preach. I am not sure if it is the same with the Student Union.

But the Student Union did have plenty of people there sitting around. So Trabo got to talk to a guy sitting next to a trashcan. I tried to talk to two ladies but the first lady named Sandy said she wasn't in the mood to talk about spiritual things. So after getting out of the fetal position in a dark corner and taking my thumb out of mouth from the rejection I picked myself up and went to the next person. I can't remember her name because we talked for a minute maybe. She was sitting on a chair near the fountain in the above picture and I asked her if I could talk to her about spiritual things. She said, "I believe in God and Heaven and Hell and if you commit suicide you go to Hell. That's good enough, right? I'm sorry I am waiting for this call." That was the end of that conversation.

Let me say, if I had never heard about Christianity and that was all I heard about it, I probably would have laughed in her face as I walked by her. If you had one sentence to share with the world what you believed about God would it sound like that? Would it even make sense? Would God agree with it? Honestly, I think her response upsets God.

Go ahead and leave a comment, give me your best shot. You have one sentence to explain to me what it is you believe in.

(Trabo witnessing next to the trash can. Trabo on the left in gray. It was a good thing he didn't wear his leisure suit.)

So, I headed back to the Student Union and ran into Keith and Brian.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is Everlasting Hell Reasonable?

If you spanked your child, what could that child do to you?


If you hit your wife, what could she do to you?

Perhaps call the cops, but probably make you sleep on the couch.

If you hit a police officer, what could he do to you?

You are going to jail tonight. Probably with some bruises.

If you hit the President of the United States, what could he do to you?

You will be shot before your fist even gets close to his face.

So, you did the same thing in every situation. You hit somebody, but you got a different consequence in every situation. So, what changed in order to give a different consequence?

It was the authority of the one whom you attacked. In each case the authority of the person was different. The President has more authority than an officer, who has more authority than your wife (in most cases), who has more authority than your child (or you have a monster, not a kid).

Apply that same logic to the Ultimate Authority, the Infinite Authority. When you sin, your sins are primarily against God because it is His image (Gen 9:6) you are supposed to bear. That means we are His representatives on Earth. When we sin we show that God is a sinner, which is a lie and is an attack on God's character. Our sins are primarily vertical (Psalm 51:4) rather than horizontal, no matter what the sin.

So, what consequence does an attack on the Infinite Authority deserve?

An infinite punishment. Everlasting Hell.

Meet Todd (4)

Todd was sitting on a bench listening to his iphone. Normally, I don't talk to people with earphones in but I did it anyway today.

Before this, Trabo had caught up with me and we prayed about the witnessing and he went to talk to a girl on a bench and I went after Todd.

Todd was probably my favorite person to talk to all day. He was a very very very laid back guy who grew up in the Presbyterian Church. I could have said anything to him and he would have been cool with it, but he was also engaged in the conversation. Usually, if you talk with some one who is laid back they are also almost oblivious to what you are saying.

Turns out I had witnessed to Todd probably a year earlier. So, I got to go down a totally different sort of questions with him. You see, I had already talked with him about the Gospel and God's Laws and he still had not changed his life.

So, I got to delve into questions like, "Why do you think you haven't submitted to God? Do you think it could be that you would rather have your sins than have God?"

Todd, said, "No." If I could sum it up, he said, that he has no interest in God. He believes in God but has no interest in reading in general, much less reading the bible. He has no interest in the things of God and thinks at the end of the day he is a good person who will earn heaven.

After talking with him for a while I brought up the fact that he must not really think he deserves hell. Then I explained why it is reasonable that telling one lie is worthy of eternity in hell. I will write another blog about that little explanation some other time. But after explaining it he understood.

Then I passionately shared what Jesus had done for us and left him there on the bench.

I remember someone saying, "If they cannot see the tears in your eyes let them hear them in your voice."

Have you wept over the lost lately, in eyes, voice, or heart?

Meet Alexa and Christi (3)

After talking with Christopher, who was a Baptist, I saw two young ladies sitting on the green.

I decided to go talk to them. They were Alexa and Christi. They had met each other in a campus bible study group called FOCUS. They were both catholics, and they were both super sweet ladies.

We started to talk about spiritual things. I was prepared for this to be a long talk because we were spending a lot of time on questions such as "Do people who have never heard of Jesus go to hell?" and we were talking about each other's lives and how we came to grow or shrink in the faith.

They had both admitted to stagnating or declining in their discipline with God. Alexa said she had not read her bible or gone to church in a while. I assume it was the same with Christi.

But before we really got to talk about the Gospel I asked, "How much time do you girls have to talk?"

Now, the reason I asked was because I wanted gauge how much time we could spend on these other things and how much time I would have to share the Gospel, but when they checked the time they had missed some calls and had to leave.

These girls were very sweet and we both hoped we could talk again another time.

The moral of the story goes never ask someone how much time they have. Just get the Gospel out there.

This may be a good place to talk about, "Why it is so important to get the Gospel out?"

You have to begin with what the Gospel is. The Gospel is the Good News of Jesus Christ. What is the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is that God Himself took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He came to Earth and lived a perfect sinless life. He then proceeded to be beaten, spit upon, mocked, betrayed, flogged (whipped with a roman device that held broken bones and pottery tied to many pieces of leather), nailed to a cross, and have God the Father pour out His wrath and Crush Him. Jesus took this punishment not out of any wrong He had done, but for all the wrong we have done. He then proved His divinity by coming back to life after the 3rd day in His tomb.

This is so important because it is only through turning from one's sinful ways and trusting in this act of Jesus that one can be seen as righteous and innocent before God in Heaven even though we do not deserve it. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).

The fine for our rebellion has been paid for and it is only through that payment can a God of justice also be a God of mercy.
Everything we do should be aimed at the cross. It's About the Cross.

Meet Christopher (2)

Before I started talking with April, I remember seeing a guy sitting on a bench all by himself. I thought, if he is still there when I am done talking with April I will go talk to him.

As providence (God's Providence [Pro 16:33, John 6:44, Eph 1:3-6, Acts 4:27-28]) would have it the dude was still there sitting all by himself on the bench.

Now, this guy was big. Not super big, but if we had to duke it out he may have been able to knock me out with one punch, but I am pretty quick. Yeah, I could have taken him.

So, I tried my line out on him. "Excuse me, are you afraid of talking to strangers?" It worked like a charm. I got to sit down with him and talk. He was studying Criminal Justice and I was like. YES!!!! If he is taking justice classes then he should get the whole God is just in punishing people for crimes thing perfectly.

Man, was I wrong. When I walked him through the law and asked him if he were concerned about going to hell he said, "No, I go to church."

Huh!? I explained to him that if he were guilty of breaking the law he could not just say to the judge, "Judge, I go to church so I know you will let me go."

He understood that, but there didn't seem to be much concern with him. I explained the Gospel to him and told him that Jesus said in order to be saved you must "Repent and Believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:14).

He was a gentle giant kind of guy. I asked him if he had any questions for me and then said I appreciated the talk.

Then I thought I should give him an invitation card to HBC (Harvest Bible Chapel, Jacksonville).

*A Final Thought*
You never really know what is happening in some one's heart when you are talking with them. He may not have seemed concerned about going to hell, but perhaps in his heart he was trembling, or he was laughing. The only One who knows is God. It is God's job to convert the heart, it is my job to carry the message.

You could ask yourself, have you ever tried to hide from other people what was happening in your heart?

Meet April (1)

So, normally me and my good buddy Trabo (picture of us to the right ---->) will try to get some witnessing done on Tuesdays and get some Bible Study done on Thursdays. We call it our 'Tell It To'Em Tuesdays' and our 'Thru the Bible Thursdays'. Both of those terms are copyrighted so don't even think about using them.

But, I am sure you know how it goes. We looked out on the green Tuesday afternoon and were like, "I am way too scared to talk to anybody about Jesus."

Look, don't judge us, ok. I know the bible says the 'The righteous are as bold as a lion' (Pro 28:1) and it says "Whoever captures souls is wise' (Pro 11:30) and we shouldn't be afraid or nervous because Jesus said ' Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ... And behold, I am with you always ...' (Mat 28:19-20) Man, that one is a good one, but come on! We were way too chicken to talk to people that day so we went up and read our bibles together. It was really good. I think we read Job 8 and Hebrews 5.

Ok, so then our Tell It To'Em Tuesdays became Tell It To'Em Thursday and vice versa for the other day. And this is one person I met.

Her name was April. I stood around looking at potential people to talk to and there she was, just sitting on a bench staring at grass (to be fair there were some guys playing football on the green so she may have been looking at them but she had sun-glasses on, so who knows), occasionally looking at the time on her phone. So, I tried a totally new opening line on her. I said,

"Excuse me, are you afraid of talking to strangers?"


"Would you mind if I talked with you?"


And we were off. It went great. April said she was a Christian and she had grown up in the church. Now, someone might get that far and say, "Oh, you are a Christian? Then I don't need to talk to you. Good bye."

But, if God is sovereign then I am not talking to her on accident. Plus, I said I was a Christian for 10 years and the entire time I put my wants, goals, and dreams before God (just in case you were wondering, Christians should not live a life like that.)

So, I dug a little deeper. I asked her if she thought she was a good person and what she thought God thought of her. She gave a typical answer, "I am not perfect, but I do my best" (or something along those lines). Then I walked her through God's Law.

Normally, when you do this people repeat the fact that they are not perfect. Little do they know that it doesn't matter. In fact, admitting that you are not perfect is admitting that you are guilty. They get that part, but it is linking the fact that if you are guilty then you deserve punishment. Nobody ever wants to admit that they deserve hell.

*Time Out*

I deserve to go to hell for breaking God's Laws.

*Time In*

When I speak to people who say they are Christians, I try to do a couple things.

1)I want to explain the Gospel and make sure they agree with it.

2)If they do, then I try to ask them how their spiritual life is going (are they reading their bible daily, praying daily, do they have a church, etc).

Why? because if you are a Christian, then you are my brother or sister and I care about. Not to say I don't care about people who aren't Christian, if I didn't care about them I wouldn't be witnessing would I?

Oh, man, crazy convicting question coming...ready...Do you care about people who are not Christians? Are you witnessing?

Ok, ok, back to the counting thing.

3)If they are doing fine, then I usually try to enjoy a short time of fellowship with a fellow brother or sister in Christ. Those have been rare, but great times.

'And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works' (Heb 10:24)

4)Then I try to invite them to do some evangelism once in a while with me.

This time with April I am not sure if I got through #1. She had to leave early to go to class, so I wanted to make sure she understood how the penalty for her sins against God had been paid for. I explained how Jesus came and died and rose again. How He alone paid for her sins in His blood.

Of course, she said she had heard it before, but before I end this post let me leave this troubling piece of information.

She had not once mentioned the name of Jesus when I asked her about God or how to get to heaven.

'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks' (Mat 12:34, Luke 6:45)

If your mouth never speaks about Jesus, then does your heart treasure Him?

If you are a Christian and somebody asks you about how to get to heaven, will you mention Jesus?

Do you ever mention Jesus?

It has finally come!

For the past couple of semesters at school, school has taken on a totally different role in my life. Sure, I still go to school to learn and take classes to get my degree, but now I think I have a new priority when I get on campus.

When I became a Christian I used UNF as my 'fishing hole'. The place is humongous with plenty of people walking with nothing to do so it is very easy to walk up to people and start up conversation. So when I say 'fishing hole' I mean, College Campuses are prime places for evangelism (Oh no! The 'E' word!!!).

I remember when I was first starting witnessing I would park in the farthest parking lot from school, then I would sit and pray that God would prepare me to witness to someone and then prepare someone to get witnessed to by me. Then I would wait till I saw somebody walking to class and would walk with them.

Then my evangelism turned into purposely ordering my classes so that I would have a nice break period to use for evangelism. That was great because it helped me to gain more boldness from the Lord so that one day I actually did some Open Air Preaching. If you don't know what that is, it is when you you go to place with a good amount of people and preach the Gospel loud enough for the people to hear. It has a bad rap (wrap?) because some people use this form of evangelism as a way to use harsh language and harsh tones, but not all Open Air Preachers are this way. Nonetheless, if your tone, demeanor, or looks do not inspire some animosity from the crowd THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL WILL!!!

(DISCLAIMER: I know I look angry in this picture, but I don't think I was. Hehehe...Those campus reporters know exactly when to take a picture don't they? Man, I need to work out more. I think in this picture I was trying to teach them how to fly. That shirt is awesome, though. It has the ten commandments in order and they are in the form of a cross. Good Stuff.)


If the whole 'fishing hole' thing is flying over your head, crack open your bible to Matthew 4:19 or Mark 1:17.

Some posts will be coming of how the fishing is going! Keep me and the people I talk to in prayer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

We are going to the beach! (Tomorrow)

"It is not my greatest work, but it will have to do. It didn't take as long as usual because I had the kids helping me out. "

That is what I am gonna be saying tomorrow at the beach after I beat everybody in the Sand Castle Building Contest.

We plan on going to St. Augustine Beach between 9:30-10am. We got some family coming and hopefully I will get to see Alana's twins and the baby girl and hopefully some friends from church.

If you read this you are invited (I think that means only Alana).

I am so lame.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some favorite things

When I was driving to church with Daizzee today I realized something awesome.

We were driving down 295S and had just passed the 103rd and we were listening to John MacArthur preach on the Doctrines of Grace.
I turned to her and thought, I could do this for the rest of my life.

Yeah, it was pretty good. I love Sundays, I love some good ole preaching, and I love Daizzee.

(So, sappy.)

I wanted to post some of these pics, but didn't want to think of something new to write so I am gonna just piggy-back them right here.

Here are my kids...
Gabby is 7
Gracyn is 6
Eddie 2


This whole day has been a clean the house day. These used to be an everyday sort of thing with me and girls.

Everyday after school I would pick them up and then tell them the first thing they would do would be clean up the house. That has kinda fallen off the way lately, but today we did it again.

Tell your kids their jobs are important. What I do is give the girls a real checklist for their work. They really like to put their lists on the fridge and check them off when their done. It works pretty well.

So yeah, the girls cleaned up their respective rooms while I did some laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and finally cleaned my room.

That was the entire day, until...

Some old friends came over for a good ole game of BALDERDASH!

If you have never played it then an argument can be made that you may have never lived life yet. So you better get on it.

I got schooled last night my boy Paul. But, Balderdash is a game that is good even when you lose, and sometimes even better if you are losing.

Balderdash inside joke:

What is Qauckerwadger?

A game in which a badger is greased up and people attempt to strike it with flaming coconuts. The badger is eaten afterwards. This game has never been played.

good stuff...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Enter Blogger

This is my first blog. So I can update you on everything I have been doing for the last hour.

I have been thinking of names for the blog. I asked the girls to help me out and here is a list of what I got from them...

Preaching for God (gab)
Preaching the Gospel (gab)
What should I do with my sins (gra)
Singin for Jesus (gra)
Eddie boy raised both his hands (must be a pentacostal jk)
Kings of King (gab, thats right Kings of King she is 7)
Children love Jesus (gra)
Witness (gab)
Listen to the Lord God Jesus (gra)
Pray as long as you want (gra)
Jesus died on the cross for our sins (gab)
Jesus rose again (gra)
I want to know how to go to heaven (gra)

I left out a whole bunch, but I guess you kinda get the picture of what I have been doing to these kids. Ya know, 3 years ago I would have thought if some kids were giving me these answers they must have been crazy brainwashed weirdos, but now I can't help but think I have done at least a couple things right.

Eddie boy is huggin my arm and throwing himself at my body, so that means I have to go get the kids ready for a pool day.

Before I go, listen to what Gracyn just gave me as an blog site name "I need to get rid of my sins".

These kids are crazy!!!

Ok, gotta go take my brainwashed little children to play with their Auntie Daizzee and her neice (Ryan) and nephew (Ricky).

Hope this worked!