Friday, December 27, 2013

Into His Marvelous Light 12/21/2013

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

The team brought the light of the Gospel into a strangely darkened mall on this shortest and darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. Team members included: Mark, Dr. Jack, Jeremy, Steve M., Forest, Dean & Sai, and Steven V.

Curiously, the Christmas Tree itself was dark, as well as the lighting fixture which usually illuminates our (lately) regular corner spot.

Steve M. was blessed with a heckler whose questions were mostly based on the YouTube movie "Zeitgeist." As the linked articles show, this movie is constructed of falsehoods, logical fallacies, and straw-man arguments. Steve did a great job of redirecting the conversation back to the real issue, personal salvation: God's righteousness, our sin, and the need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Often, the tone of such questions can be openly hostile and disrespectful. The epistle of James (1:19-20) instructs us to "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."  One simple step we can take in that direction is to quickly introduce oneself and get the heckler's first name so that the discussion is less acrimonious and more cordial. Of course, this is not always possible, but even making the gesture can help defuse the tension.

Confession Department

Another consideration that is often overlooked in the heat of "battle" is that when the heckler is a young person, i.e. late teens to early twenties, we have a greater responsibility, as adults who are seasoned in our faith, to model a measure of grace and Christ-likeness that is greater than the worldly attitude of our adversary. The Lord's commandment to "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you," (Matthew 5:44) is the most difficult one to follow, is it not? Yet, we need to be prayerfully prepared NOT to defend ourselves, but rather to defend the Gospel. It is so very tempting, when confronted for the umpteenth time with a leading and insincere question, one based on false pre-suppositions, to strike back rhetorically with an attitude of impatient condescension. I am frequently guilty of this. Yet, I believe, if we can step back, take a breath and refrain from responding in kind, we can bear the shame, and allow the spirit to do His work.

Here is a brief video in which Steve effectively redirects the discussion:

From World Magazine:

Jeremy reports that his Father's business has been well supported by the community, after the recent court decision. Please keep the Phillips family in your prayers as they continue to walk by faith.

JOIN US! Saturday, Dec. 28, 6:00 P.M., @ Burbank Police Department parking lot.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Christmas Greeting To Share

Here is a clever Christmas message animation that you may want to share a link to in your email correspondence this holiday season.

Merry Christmas from the CBC Evangelism Team!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hark! The Heralds! 12/7/2013

Merry Christmas! That was the message brought by Choir Director Tim Adams and the hardy CBC Choir members who joined the Evangelism Team on this chilly and festive night. Singers included: Tim and Cindy, Ruth, Robert, Rebekah, Chelsea, Elder Bob, and Nestor. Here is a video of the choir singing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing":

Proclaiming the Gospel

Tonight's team members included:  Mark, Jack & Barbara, Jeremy, Sharon, Dean, Sai, and Steve.

We were joined by Pastor Alvin, seen here with two of his biggest fans. Pastor Alvin, Sharon, Jeremy, and the rest of the team, spent the evening engaging many persons in one-to-one witnessing.

Thanks to all the Choir members who braved the chilly air to bless the mall-goers with carols that proclaim the true meaning of Christmas: Our Lord Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, to die on a cross as a sacrifice for sinful men so that we may be reconciled to God. This is the Gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ!

Colorado Bakery Update

Our own CBC brother Jeremy informs us that a Colorado Judge has ruled against his Father's bakery in the matter of his refusal to make a cake for a "same-sex" wedding ceremony. You can read the entire decision here. It includes a bold and clear statement of faith by Jeremy's Dad, including a quote from the Gospel of Matthew. Here is a reasonably fair article about it. We will post further updates as (end time) events unfold.

Come All Ye Faithful!

Join us at the FREE CBC Christmas Celebration Concert on December 13, 14 & 15! See the CBC website for details.

Next Evangelism Outreach:

JOIN US! Saturday, December 21st, 6:00 pm, at the Burbank Police Department parking lot.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Calvary Bible Church Evangelism Team!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The A.M. Shift 12/4/2013

This morning's team included Dean, Aldo, Tony and Steve. It was a chilly one, for North Hollywood (47°F, which is a balmy day in Chicago!), but the gospel was proclaimed and many tracts went out. Tony delivered another great Gospel proclamation:

It's an interesting dynamic at the Station in the morning. Busloads and trainloads of commuters stream by, hurrying to work. Many display faces of steely determination as they embark on another busy weekday. And yet, it seems, they can't help noticing and thinking about the brief snippet of the message being shared. Usually the stoplights conspire to slow their progress across the street and so they hear a bit more of the message. Even the mere presence of a believer on a box surely jostles their attention. Our prayer is that they will hear enough, whether all at once or cumulatively, for the Holy Spirit to plant a seed.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to travel plans, there will be NO CBC OUTREACH AT NOHO STATION on Wednesday, 12/11, and 12/18.
The A.M. Shift will continue, however, on TUESDAY, DEC. 24, and TUESDAY, DEC. 31.
After that, the A.M. Shift will resume it's usual Wednesday A.M. slot on January 8th, 2014.
As always, please check this website for any further changes or updates.

Merry Christmas from Calvary Bible Church Evangelism Team!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gospel Hanukkah 11/30/2013

For one evening the Mall became a marketplace of faith, as a large crowd gathered for the Menorah lighting ceremony. Our task, this evening, was to present the truth. The fulfilled prophecies of Isaiah 52-53 were referenced and explained in several of the gospel presentations from the box.

The hardy team included: Mark, Jeremy, Jack, Dean C., Steve M., Dean S., and Steven V.

Menorah Lighting

 The orthodox Jewish organization, Chabad, was present at the mall to light a menorah for the fourth night of Hanukkah. We briefly met with the Rabbi, who remembered us from last year, and we respectfully agreed to his cordial request to quiet our amp during their ceremony from 8:00 to 8:30.

The exact beliefs of the Chabad organization are a little hard to pin down. But, based on their website, and the personal experience we have had with them in the past, they are a "movement" of Jews who seek to bring Judaism back to faith in the Torah, the traditions of orthodox observance, and into a social program of good works and service to the greater community. Interestingly, they proclaim a messianic hope that has been placed in a line of men who were descendants of the originator of the movement in Russia over two hundred years ago.
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:1-4)

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He forknew. (Romans 11:1-2)

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25 NKJV)

Almost 50 bibles and hundreds of the "Santa" Million Dollar Bill tracts were given out. Although it is impossible to know how many of the faithful Jews took tracts or Bibles, it is our prayer that the eyes of the Jewish believers in God the Father, would be opened to God the Son, Yeshua, Jesus. And that, rather than trusting in their own righteousness before God, they would repent of their sin and put their trust and faith in the perfect righteousness of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many of our team are blessed to know several born again, Jewish believers in the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. Several in our own congregation are of Jewish heritage. Often, those Jews whom the Holy Spirit calls to faith in Yeshua become shining lights of wisdom and knowledge, and zealous for evangelism.

Something To Look Forward To

"I was honored today with having a few stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead animals thrown at me."  George Whitefield

2013 Holiday Cheer - Downtown Burbank will kick off a month-long celebration with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa’s Downtown Wonderland on December 7. Festivities will continue right up through New Year’s Day with dozens of events throughout the district.

JOIN US!! This Saturday, 6:00 pm at the Burbank Police Department parking lot, on Palm Ave., at Glenoaks.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holidays Fast Approaching 11/23/2013

With Thanksgiving arriving Thursday, Hanukah on Wednesday, and Christmas not far off, the Mall area was busier than usual. Our faithful team of evangelists was kept very busy with tracts, prayer requests, preaching, picture-taking (a new witnessing method!),and even guitar-playing. Tonight's crew included: Mark, Sharon, Jack, Barbara, Steve M., Dan, Jeremy, Dean C., Richard, and Steven V.

Dr. Jack and his wife Barbara, greeted Pastor Tim, and his wife Tina, who stopped by to encourage the team.

Several Firsts

Take Your Picture?

Ever the evangelist, Sharon came up with a smart way to open doors to the Gospel. By offering to take pictures for couples and groups with their camera, she was able to have a golden opportunity to share the Truth, and grateful listeners to hear it.

Kingston Trio, Minus Two

Our CBC brother Dan brought his guitar and sang one or two gospel songs between the proclamations of the preachers. It was an interesting idea, and Dan has a great folk music style. The jury is still out as far as the response of the crowd. Between the Christmas tree, the other performers and the general seasonal hustle and bustle, the mall area is getting a bit chaotic. Although the music itself was good, the circus-like atmosphere was not conducive to people stopping and listening. Yet numerous Bibles were requested, so we will "play it by ear" next week.

Wednesday A.M. Shift (11/27/13)

Dean C. joined us on the morning shift at NoHo Metro Station. He did a great job, and it is always a good opportunity to reach lots of people, and to build our skills on the box. We keep a low profile, equipment-wise, for quick setup and teardown. Many people listened and some responded as they rushed to work. As always, the Holy Spirit seemed to use our presence to clear the area of cultists (i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses) who were out in force when we arrived.

PLEASE JOIN US! Saturday, Nov. 30, 6:00pm, at Burbank Police Department parking lot, entrance on Palm at Glenoaks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NoHo A.M. Shift 11/20/2013

Pastor Alvin joined us for this week's A.M. shift at NoHo Station. Again, just like last week, by the time we had finished praying, the Jehovah's Witnesses were gone from sight. Pastor Alvin was excited at the prospect of witnessing to the cult members, and after tracking them down, had several friendly conversations with the "Witnesses."

JOIN US! Wednesday mornings, 6:00 - 8:00 A.M. at North Hollywood Metro Station, Lankershim Blvd. at Chandler. Parking is available across the street in front of the Golf shop. Please RSVP to Steve if you plan to be there.

Also, JOIN US at our usual Burbank outreach on Saturday night, at 6:00 pm, at the Burbank Police Department parking lot, on Palm, near Glenoaks.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Faithful Service 11/16/2013

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:2-3)

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing." (Matthew 24:45-46)

Debbie is one of our most faithful team members. She was joined by Sharon, Mark, Jeremy, Dr. Jack, Forest, Dean, and Steven.

Paul Washer: Reality

NoHo Outreach

Following in the footsteps of our brother Tony Miano, and of course our recently departed (to Colorado) leader Dave, the CBC Evangelism team is adding a Wednesday morning outreach, at North Hollywood Metro station, to it's weekly schedule.

Our first time out Paul and Steve were blessed to take turns preaching from 6 a.m. to about 8 o'clock. We were met by a small team of Jehovah's Witnesses who were already in place at the station. By the time we had finished praying, they were gone, having retreated to the relative safety of the opposite side of the domed entrance. It was sobering to consider all the times that they have been out there trolling unanswered. Why are so many willing to invest so much of their lives for a lie? May the Lord deliver them from blindness.

If you look closely at the photo above you will see the woman in the picture here. She was waiting in line for a bus and suddenly started waving and telling us "No pictures, no pictures!"

Then, just as quickly, she retreated, perhaps realizing that there is no law against standing in a public place taking a picture. Indeed, sometimes we wonder about the many facebook pages, websites and publications where our pictures have appeared unbeknownst to us. This is another reason for us to be sure that we are sharing the Gospel message frequently from the box. One never knows who will see, and hear, some isolated portion of our testimony.

The NoHo Metro Station outreach is scheduled for Wednesday mornings from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00. We meet at the usual place, on Lankershim Blvd., by the newspaper boxes, near the crosswalk. Street parking is available across the street in front of the golf shop. Steve sends out a text the night before to confirm. Please RSVP to Steve if you DO plan to JOIN US.

Also, JOIN US at our usual Burbank outreach on Saturday night, at 6:00 pm, at the Burbank Police Department parking lot, on Palm, near Glenoaks.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bringing Light 11/9/2013

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:3-5)

In His continual faithfulness to answer prayers for laborers, the Holy Spirit provided a strong group of brothers and sisters:  Mark, Dean S., Dean C., Paul, Sharon, Jeremy, Dr. Jack, Barbara, and Steven V.

Elder Bob joined us later and he also took a turn on the corner box with the satellite group.

Blessed with Hecklers (Sort of)

Dr. Jack was blessed with an inquisitive and very polite heckler, named Miguel, who explained that he wants to write a screenplay about the second coming, set in modern times, but showing Christ "not as a white man, but rather as a black woman."

Jack asked Miguel why he would want to change the character of Jesus. Miguel replied that he wanted to show that the "message is universal, and it is beyond the messenger." Jack replied: "The messenger is everything. If you take Jesus out of the message, you don't have a message. Because the Bible says that Jesus is the Word. And the Word became flesh. So Jesus and His words are one. You cannot separate Jesus from His words."

Jack followed up by giving Miguel the gospel.

Steve's heckler approached the mic with what seemed to be a chip on his shoulder. Identifying himself as "Joseph" he expressed a concern that there are many terms that Christians use, the meaning of which most non-Christians don't understand. A small crowd gathered as Joseph, with a tone of incredulity, asked many lengthy questions which zeroed in on the meaning and importance of Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross. It was a perfect opportunity to share the Gospel in a clear and thorough way. Several times, Joseph looked around to see if anyone in the crowd wanted to ask some questions, but only one woman spoke up and said, "Keep going! You're asking some great questions!"

In fact, it began to seem as if Joseph was better acquainted with the Gospel than he initially appeared to be. Afterwards, Joseph came forward to shake Steve's hand and he admitted that he attends Grace Community Church, and we all had a good chuckle over his well-intended role playing. Although we don't use this technique, due to it's inherent deception, we've often kidded about doing that. Joseph was quite convincing, Steve was grateful for the "perfect" heckling, and it undoubtedly served a good purpose. Since none of our team was in on the ruse, Steve claimed to have a clear conscience about it. (Although he could be heard repenting later in the parking lot, just in case.)

Gospel Proclaimed

Brother Paul has been faithfully growing in depth and stirring content.

"Our sin has brought about a chasm between us and God, and we can't get to Him. God wants us and He has made a way. He has leveled it with the Cross. You may cross (that chasm) through the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus says, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.' There is no other way. There is no other system. He saved us not on the basis of deeds we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy. It doesn't matter how many good deeds you have done, you cannot make up for your sins. Somebody has got to take the punishment for those sins, and God says, 'I am going to send my Son into the world and He is willing to receive your punishment.' But you've got to turn from your sins, you've got to repent, you've got to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. 

For with the heart a person believes and, guess what, it results in a visible change of lifestyle. If you believe in Jesus, get ready, get your seat belt on, because you're going to be going for a ride, and it's not going to be an easy ride, because the Bible says that all those who desire to live godly in Jesus Christ will be persecuted. And this world has no tolerance for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why people cringe when they hear the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why people use the name of Jesus Christ as a swear word when they hit their finger with a hammer. It is because they do not believe in the God who made this world, and they do not want Him in authority over them. That's what the Bible says of those who reject the authority of Jesus Christ. Yet the scriptures say every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It's gonna happen friends. What will it be? Do you want to bow the knee under His judgment? Or do you want to bow the knee in submission to a glad and wonderful God, who has given His Son for you? That's the choice tonight! Choose life that you may live! And Life is in Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world. . ."

Do Tracts Work? 

Here is some encouragement:

The Ultimate Proof of Creation

Here is a fascinating video from AIG: