“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness” - John Calvin
The ground upon which the city of Brisbane city rests, is another walking ground of men and women dead in thier trespasses and sins. Thier "Romans 3" misunderstanding of God, and love for sin, is proof that they hate thier maker. Oh how we ought to plead with God for thier salvation, if he be pleased to grant them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
Andrew Walkington was the first preacher up for the night, and he did a good job expounding the gospel to a gathered crowd of individuals.
Myself (Josh Mitchell) and Andrew Hsu were the last two preachers, and we were discovered by quite a few drunken sorts who slandered us, and were hypocritical in their attacks upon the both of us. None the less we persevered and did our best to answer questions presented, and to preach the gospel in the light of the truth of Creation, and His revealed word.
The team were used greatly of God tonight, with many reports of successful witness encounters with all sorts of people from various cultures, backgrounds and so on. Praise God for the faithful members of Operation 513, to strive to preach the gospel in this dark city of Brisbane. May the lamp of the name of Christ one day be lifted high in this place, that the darkness of sin should flee for fear of He who is light: Jesus Christ.
To God be the glory, great things he hath done, and shall do for the glory of His great name, may we be quick to encourage each other, lest we be hardened through the decietfulness of sin.
This week was going to be a odd day because the rain was hanging around so the only thing I could do was go out to the pier and see what happens.
So getting there at 2pm and sitting there reading the Bible and praying no one had turned up by about 2:30 so I went out by my self and started to hand out tracts and chat to the few people out there today. As i was walking round i noticed that there was a really big storm cloud coming out my way so I stood and prayed that God would hold that cloud back until at lest 4pm when the preaching finish. Man how great is God that cloud never moved it was like the wind picked up and just held the storm there, till I was finished.
Then just as I was about to leave I noticed that there was a council worker coming, the thought crossed my mind that he was there to see what I had been handing out as there are cameras on the length of the pier. Just then he walked right passed me and over to the kids that are there every week "Jetty Jumping". Even though the signs are there. So he put a stop to them pretty quickly. Letting them off with a warning, next time its a fine of $150 on the spot. As he walked back passed me I asked him if they were going to be out here every week as are the kids. And if I could get his phone number to report anyone there in the future. I said that I would be out here every week preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he thats fine make sure you preach to these kids about breaking the law, so thats a good thing that we have the council on our side, unlike the Gold Coast Team (http://www.xanga.com/hallelujah_joshm).
I finished chatting with him and as i was leaving to head home i was just praising God for the day, and the storm being held back.
Please join us out there each week, Just send me a email and ill tell you every thing you need to know.
Go Serve Your King
I arrived there and it was a lovely hot sun day out and I was going to be in trouble because i forgot my hat and just re-shaved my head the day before, but hey in everything God tell us to give thanks. So I did as i was sitting there reading my Bible it got to 2:30pm and no one else had come so i moved out on too the pier and started tracting and trying to engage people into a conversation, but this day as soon as i started to talk about Godly thing the people just moved on, just like light to a cockroach. So that was about it for the day.
If you want to join us there on Sundays meeting just to the left of the pier at 2-4pm feel free.
Go Serve your King.
Today was a very dead day as it was storming when i met up with Chris, as we were waiting for the rain to clear we herd a guy yelling from across the road, we turned to see 2 other guys standing right in front of the Coffee Club street preaching. So i said to Chris hide your tracks, we're going heckling. So we ran over through the rain and as we approached the guy turned to give me one of there tracts and then I noticed him. This was a guy that I had done some work for about 18months ago, so we chatted to them for a while to see where they were at and what there aim was for there street preaching.
By the time the rain slowed and the sun came out, it was just about time to head home, so Chris and did 1 lap of the pier as the Dolphin Watching boat arrived and then headed home.
Feel free to join us out there on Sundays 2pm till 4pm meeting just to the left.
or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go serve you King!
What a miracle! My car normally overheats very fast (30mins on a hot day), because of its many problems. Holes in the engine where oil is coming out, radiator leaking, and the list goes on. God kept my car at a normal operating temperature for my two hour drive from Morayfield to Gold Coast. I still can't believe it was anything, but the providence of God. Hallelujah! :)
Since it was raining a LOT, I turned in to Nerang Baptist Church and visited David Lazenby, and also had the pleasure of chatting with Tania Fuesel. Both these nice people used to serve frequently with me on the Gold Coast team, and are now much busier in their local church. It is sad to not see them reguarly, or to have thier service, but while evangelism goes in, a church has other roles that MUST be carried out. After a lovely get together, we parted company, and I drove to Surfers Paradise.
I had about 45 minutes to hand out tracts and chat to people, since I had no soldiers to team up with me for Open Air. I walked the area, handing out about twenty tracts, thankfully with next to no rejections :)
Then I met Dale. Dale is a skinny kiwi (islander/maori?), who is now a mormon of 12 months. We had a good chat, he didn't want to do the good test, but we discussed the gospel, and by God's grace was able to explain to him the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and give him some pointers to identify what the mormon church was. He took the CARM web address, and two tracts with my email. Lord willing I will get an email from him, if God converts him and pulls him out of that religion. Dale has a family and he has a born-again brother who must have been praying for him, like mad!
I got to hand out some more tracts, and then I had to head home.
Please pray for soldiers for the Surfers Paradise area, limited resources at the moment, but we press in anyway for our God is great, he has commanded we preach the gospel to every creature, and if God be for us, who can be against us! :)
God sure used His christians tonight in preaching the gospel. It was a good night with many conversations being had. A lot of people hearing the true gospel for the first time in thier life. God even brought two new people out to witness tonight, so that was pretty cool, both to meet them and observe them in action.
I chatted a ex-lutheran young man, who did not understand the gospel properly. After explaining the gospel clearly, that man began to say he was just having trouble believing. Having a little experience recently on this particular issue, I cut to quick and pointed out his loved his sin. He readily admitted that this was what he was having trouble with and the source of his unbelief. He didn't like God judging him. I pointed out how many sins he had committed over the last five years, and there was thousands and thousands. The young man said he would think about it tonight and read his bible.
Glory to God to be used by God, for the glory of God :)
Please pray for those that God used us to witness to tonight. S D G
Saturday, 12 January 2008
Another week and another battle to fight, as I approached the battlefield of Brisbane city I was rather excited about the outreach. Tonight would be my last night in Brisbane for a few weeks, since I am going to the United Kingdom for two weeks of outreach over there.
The mall seemed quiet as I made my way to King George Square, but looks have been known to be deceptive. We met as usual, prayed, and read the Bible as a team. Then once 9pm rolled around we were into the mall for the preaching.
Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, this also was his last night, since he will be in Thailand on mission for 5 weeks.
While he was preaching, I was on the Bible table. While I was waiting for people to approach two Korean students came up to me and asked if they could have a Bible in English so that they might learn to improve their language skill. I gladly gave them Bibles, and also gospel tracts. Hopefully, as they improve their language, God would grant them repentance.
At 10:15pm, it was my turn to preach. So I started off by declaring the majesty of God, and then I noticed a couple of people stop to listen. I did a call out and engaged them in open air discussion. It turned out that one of them was an atheist, and he wanted to talk about the existence of God. So engaged him in an apologetic over how we know that there is a God.
An atheist attracts an atheist. All of a sudden I had two atheists, but this second one claimed to have been a Christian before seeing the ‘light'. He wanted to debate over some alleged contradictions in the Bible. I enjoy this kind of debate, because often times many people in the public have these questions, and as ministers of the Word we need to be able to answer their questions.
We covered a lot of ground in regards to the existence of God, and then I got to use my favourite argument against atheism, and that is the argument from morality. For if there is no supreme being then, there cannot be any moral absolutes. The atheists I was dealing with argued that the law gave us morals, yet the law came from peoples morals. I pointed out that was circular reasoning.
By this stage another atheist had joined the mix, so it was me trying to dialogue with three atheist at once. I do have to say that they were all very polite, and they were men who had spent some time thinking about the subject. It is always refreshing to debate someone who knows why they hold to a certain position.
I presented arguments to them from teleology, cosmology, and morality, and slowly the arguments made ground. Finally after realising that since they didn't know everything, there could be evidence for God, they admitted that no longer would they hold to the atheistic world view. Two of them declared themselves agnostic, and took some literature, and the third declared that he now believed in God, and wanted to learn more about Christianity.
During this time two young men were ripping up Bibles and tracts, then throwing them at me as I preached. The ground around me was white like snow from all the destroyed Bibles. The police came and then in front of the people watching the officers made the two men pick up everything, they then issued them a move on order and allowed us to continue.
The night finished strong with many hearing the Gospel. Please be praying for all who heard the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Adversity has a funny way of sharpening your mind for the task at hand. I just watched a TV show called War Lords. It commented on how after Pearl Harbour was attacked, that President Roosevelt became very clear in his determination to see his nation protected from the Nazi and Japanese war forces. Previously he appeared to be vague and not wanting to go to war, but in one day his resolve had changed.
Today was our first week anniversary, since getting arrested by some angry QLD policemen. I got up prepared to preach in first in case they came back, and God used it to get glory for Himself.
A reasonably large crowd came in, and by God's grace alone I was able to preach for a very long time, answering many questions. I can't remember everything that went down, but a great portion of the dialogue with the intrigued crowd was over evolution and its claim to be truth.
I made some mistakes, which my collegue Josh Williamson corrected me afterwards. For which I am very appreciative. The wounds of a friend are faithful, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
I had made the comment that Genesis only makes allowance for incest as the solution to "Where Cain got his wife".. but that if one believed the big bang and evolution of the species.. then beastiality was the actuallity for them. The problem was that the heckler asked me if we came from beastiality, to which I responded, yes. Of course I didn't even notice that I had mishead his question. The crowd seemed lightly humoured, but the truth seemed to have sunk down deep in thier eyes.
It was a good day, and we had Glen Dibben (pastor of Australia and Filipino Bible Baptist Church, MORAYFIELD) visiting and also David Lazenby from Nerang Baptist Church. We enjoyed thier company, and since the weather was bad, we headed for cover and fellowshipped the afternoon in.
Please pray that God will bring Surfers Paradise to life, and that it might become a place of holiness where his name is known.
To God by the glory,
Seriously though today, was super sun shiny, and it meant not too many people were stopping to listen to my pleasantly annoying voice.
Keith Rocheford joined my today, which was a real pleasure, he is a super nice guy and an interesting street preacher. He preached on evolution, that thing that makes believing scientists feel like they have monkey breath.
I got to chat to one of Keith's hecklers. He was a dark-skinned fellow called Mohamed, and yes, you guessed it he was an ex-muslim. He was living life "the sin way" and was mixing relativism into his islamic beliefs and took a few pot shots at Jesus Christ the Son of God along the way during our conversation. I found him a nice chap, a little difficult to pin down but he did go through the whole gospel, with a very full explanation, and even why the Koran is not the book of God. Mohomed gave me his word he would read the bible, so I pray the Lord converts his soul, if it pleases Him. Please pray for William his mate also.
Four young girls in bikini's stopped to listen in our crowd, and I we went through the ten commandments. They quietened down after a while, and accepted bibles and tracts afterwards, which was thrilling!
I had one lady who wanted to know why Christ died, which I was very pleased to answer.
We didn't have a lot of people stop today.. but a lot of open hearts. Which is quite a bit different to the last twelve months of Open Air preaching has seen. I noticed a lady with a smirk on her face as I preached on the big dud (the big bang) and why christians have a rational logical basis for thier belief in Jesus Christ (creation to judgement day, and beyond).. I began preaching on death, and how it would reach all of us one day. I preached on how death could hit us at any minute, in a variety of different ways, and how 350 ppl have died on QLD roads in the year of 2007. I preached that death was the one valid reason we have, for striving to find out the truth about where we came from, so we would be certain what we would meet after death. That lady lost her smirk.
It was a great day. My car was overheating something terribly, but I trust God shall provide my needs.
If you are a christian reading this blog, please pray for the coming few weeks: that God will send labourers and resources into the harvest, just like Jesus commanded us to pray. Your prayers ought not to be in vain.
For the glory of He who said: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." For JESUS CHRIST,
This blog typed in by one of Jesus's little servants,
For other good blogs check out:
Oh and friends can I leave you with a thought: "Don't worry if evangelising will cost you something, worry if you are in rebellion to Christ's command, get right with Christ, your days are numbered by God. If you die in your sin, then all you have to look forward to is the fiery judgement of an angry God. John 3:38"
Saturday, 5 January, 2008
The day was strange for me, I felt tired, and I felt like doing nothings. So in my ‘wisdom' I decided to go out on the streets, but not preach. One would think that I would learn, but I never do. Whenever I have said ‘no' to preaching, I have always ended out declaring the gospel.
It was good to have Andrew Hsu back from his trip to Taiwan, so since he hadn't preached in awhile I thought it would be good to put him up first. However, this changed when Josh Mitchell arrived on the scene. It was Josh's schedule week off, yet for some strange reason he appeared in the city. So we put him to work right away and got him up on the Brisbane box declaring the gospel.
The night was fairly quiet, and there wasn't many people in the mall. Josh Mitchell did a good job, and then it was time for Andrew to preach. Hsusy got up and declared the gospel in his normal fashion. But I didn't get to hear all that much of his message since I was in a one to one conversation behind the preacher.
At around 10:45pm, Andrew thought it to be good to make me preach for the night, I tried every excuse to avoid preaching, but Andrew wouldn't buy it. So I got up thinking that it was a quiet night, so I will do a ten minute message then stand down. But God had other plans...
I was going to do my "Booze Sermon" based on Proverbs 20:1, but before I could get into it, I had a couple of hecklers opening up on me. So I dealt with them to the best of my ability. Yet as any preacher knows, a heckler is a magnet for more hecklers.
As I finished with the first two hecklers I got fired upon by a young man who had many questions and statements in regards to the hypothesis of evolution. This topic interests me from an apologetic mindset, so I engaged him on that topic. But like most people who hold to evolution, this man didn't realise that there is a lack of evidence when it comes to macro evolution.
Every time I would ask for evidence he would avoid the questioning, or change topics. During this time another regular heckler was standing beside me yelling abuse at myself, and blaspheming God.
The crowd was growing as the debate raged over Creation and Evolution. I particularly like dealing with this topic, since it is so easy to swing from Creation into the fall, and then into personal sin. From there it is but a small jump to declare the Gospel.
Mr. Evolution would only cite his year eleven biology book as evidence, but he wouldn't tell me what part of the book supported evolution, nor would he tell me what evidence the book presented.
The crowd had given birth to other hecklers, so I was busy trying to deal with four people yelling at me all at the same time. Upon being asked to wait there turn three of them agreed, however, the fourth would not.
The questioning then turned to "how do we know Christianity is true?" They also stated that it was just made up by a few guys who wanted to make a quick dollar. So again we entered into the apologetic realm and answered the questions in regards to that. Then as the hecklers have done in week previous, they asked about the historical Jesus, and if there was any evidence for Him. I do find it quite amazing that these questions always appear, and no matter where one preaches a heckler has to ask that question.
I built the historical case for Christ, but the vile young man next to me wouldn't accept it. I pointed out to him that non-Christian historians actually record about Christ, and that they all had bias against Christianity, yet he wouldn't accept history.
He then started to do his ‘apologetic' to the crowd that had gathered. He tried to make the case that if he believed his shoes to be alive, and if he wrote a book about it. Then would that become a religion, and would that become truth? I replied to him that it may cause some people to worship his shoes, however, it wouldn't make it true. Moreover, I stated, it would be highly improbably that your opponents would write historical accounts saying that your shoes are alive. Yet the opponents of Christianity wrote about Christ Jesus.
By now a young islander named Ricky appeared on the scene, I had already spoken to him earlier in the night, so I engaged him in the gospel. The crowd listened, as I explained the love of God towards sinful humanity, and how we didn't deserve mercy. As I spoke you could see the conviction in the eyes of Ricky. Yet, throughout my talking to him, people tried to drag him away. He stayed firm and listened to the whole gospel, and thanked me for presenting it. - Please pray for him!
By now it was after midnight, so I wrapped it up. A few people took in-depth tracts, so pray that God will use the gospel presented tonight to change their hearts.
As I was packing up I was approached by Mr. Evolution, who wanted to talk more about Creation and evolution. So we discussed that to a deep level, and I made the case for the existence of God from a morality view point. Sadly the man couldn't see his own circular reasoning, it is always hard to witness to a blind man who wishes to stay blind. But we can rejoice in the fact that God is the Sovereign one in all matters.
Sunday, 6 January, 2008
The heart rate was up, and the nerves were pumping as we made our way to the Gold Coast. Exactly one week ago we were arrested for witnessing, but we knew we had to return to preach once again.
The weather was threatening, but for a time it held off. Josh Mitchell was the first and only preacher of the day, and God blessed the gospel with bringing in some of the largest crowds we have seen on the Gold Coast.
I was on the camera and I was expecting the police to appear at any time, and at one point a police officer stopped, looked at the crowd and then kept walking.
After an hour of preaching, the heavens opened up and God sent forth the rain. Many of the listeners wanted to learn more, so they took good in-depth gospel tracts.
Tuesday, 8 January, 2008
Each year in January, the large Pentecostal youth movement "Planet Shakers" roles into town. And each year thousands of youth attend the event in order to ‘party for God'. In the past I have worked as security at these events, but the things I saw as a guard, made me realise that we needed a Gospel witness in the place.
I arrived at 1pm, and met up with Keith and Josh Mitchell. Since I was known to the security it didn't surprise me to see that they were already watching me and following me, while I was at the event.
We decided that we would head across to the Southbank parklands, and do some witnessing over there, while the conference delegates were on break. When we arrived I did a Way of the Master radio interview with a youth pastor for a Salvation Army church. He knew the Gospel, but he couldn't verbalise it, so we helped him to the best of our ability to understand how to present the gospel in a clear and logical fashion.
After this, we decided we wanted to hand out some tracts, since the youth were not getting a biblical message inside, but rather they were getting from the conference preachers, nothing but false assurance and demonic lies.
We started to hand out tracts, and many of the youth thanked us for the tracts, and many even stopped to talk.
Now you need to picture this, we are on public property, away from the convention centre where the event is being held. Then from around the corner we are approached by a group of Planet Shaker security guards, who come to complain about us witnessing. They formed a circle around me, and tried to intimidate me to stop witnessing, so I pointed out to them that since we are on public property they can't actually stop us. This caused one of the security guards to snatch a tract out of my hand, and start to call me a hypocrite. I asked why I was a hypocrite, and he stated: "Because you say there are none good, yet claim to be good". I replied that I did not claim to be good, and nor would I even claim such thing, since after all the scripture says we have all sinned, and none of us do good.
He declared that he didn't like what I was saying, and I replied that he didn't like the Bible then. He just laughed and said that he was a Christian, and what I was saying is lies. So I asked him what part was lies. He couldn't answer but just spoke about how they are true and we are wrong.
Before I could respond, I was approached by Mark Penny, who is one of the top guys from Planet Shakers. I only know Mark from last year, when he tried to stop our witnessing, but in the end agreed to let us continue.
This year he and I chatted about general things, and then he encouraged us to keep up the good work. He then left stating that we could hand out tracts outside the venue. I later found out that the security guard that was with him told everyone that we are JW's.
That night we decided to go into the free night session to see what was happening in the realm of Pentecostal youth. To be perfectly honest I was sickened by what I saw. The band whipped the crowd into an emotional frenzy, then Russel Evans got up and told everyone to listen to him, and got the crowd doing waves around the auditorium.
After this they had some slower ‘worship' songs, that always seem to focus on ‘me' instead of God. After the crowd was all emotionally stirred up, it was time for the offering. The man doing the offering, told us that if we want to give our heart to Jesus, then we need to give in the offering. Since where our treasure is, there is our heart.
He then went on to use the Creation account to prove that God wants you to create space in your wallet, so that He can fill it with money. Then he promised healing, wealth etc to all those who obeyed.
I was outraged, how could a thief be allowed into the pulpit, how could a money hungry charlatan be allowed to minister to so many people. The only verse running through my mind was 2 Peter 2:3.
After the showmanship was over the ‘evangelist' Reggie Dabbs, came out and did another show to the people, and started the chant of "bye, bye, bye, bye" and we were told to say this to all our hurt and pain. He then declared that we should say "shut the front door" when pain tries to come back to us.
The message he preached, was nothing more than psychological dribble. He spoke about Jesus Christ coming to help you with your sorrows, and how He came to make you feel better. This is NOT the Biblical gospel! If Jesus wanted to make you feel good He could have sent you a hallmark card, He didn't have to die! The Gospel is about God saving sinners who don't deserve mercy. Yet Planet Shakers seem to miss that point.
I was heart broken as thousands stood to pray the prayer of "bye, bye, bye, bye".
Thursday, 10 January, 2008
Today we returned to Planet Shakers, since thousands of youth were getting a false gospel, we knew we had to do something to make sure they understood the true gospel.
We began by handing out tracts, thousands were going out, and many pastors were coming back and thanking us for the tracts that we had given out. People even wanted to pray for us, since they were excited to see people declaring the gospel.
But then... two of the top Planet Shakers organisers approached, and one of them lied to Keith, and then tried to snatch all the tracts off him. Keith pointed out that we were on public property and that he couldn't do that. The man then assaulted Keith by grabbing him, and again Keith warned him that was assault. The man just ignored, and told him that he would make us move.
The other Planet Shaker leader then began to yell at all the youth that they shouldn't take these tracts, since they are wrong and the message on them is not true. I replied that we were not a cult, but rather we are from Baptist churches, and that the message on the back is from the Bible. The youth stopped, and didn't know which way to go, so I called out "get the information that Planet Shakers doesn't want you to have!" This resulted in many youth eagerly taking tracts. The first leader then started to take them of the youth as they walked past, so I went and circled behind him, and gave them tracts again. This made him keep moving further and further back until he realised that we outnumbered him, and that he could not stop the gospel tracts.
A bunch of youth swallowed the lies of the false prophets from Planet Shakers, and began to rip up the tracts saying that the message was false, yet when questioned on which part is false they could not answer.
After awhile, I went and spoke to the first Planet Shakers leader, and asked him what part of the message does he disagree with. He was stunned, so I asked him "why do you hate the gospel?" He replied that he didn't and that he did agree with what the tract said, this led to me asking him "why then did you try and stop the youth from having it? All you have done is created a situation in their mind where they now believe the gospel to be false!"
The man apologised, and was sorry for trying to stop the gospel. He stated that he agreed with all the tracts message, and that he also believed that message to be truth. He then apologised to Keith for lying and assaulting him.
I must say, that based on the fruit that Planet Shakers produce, then I would have to declare them as nothing more than an anti-Christian, anti-Gospel, religious party. In which the Bible is not respected, but rather the words of the leaders are taken as truth.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown intothe fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. - Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)
Soli Deo Gloria!