Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Great Is Thy Faithfulness 8/24/2013

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I hope in Him!" (Lamentations 3:22-24)

As always, in spite of the absence of some of our regular team members, God was faithful to bring out laborers to His harvest. Steve M. was the lead-off man on the box, again, joined by Dean C., Jeremy, Dan, Dean S., and Steven V.

Steve emphasized the need for repentance:
"Eternity is too long and hell is too hot for you not to know where you are going to go when you die. Because, you will go to face the Lord someday. You will either face Him in His wrath, or you will face Him in His mercy. The apostle Paul said, 'Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.' So whether or not you want to bow your knee in submission as His friend, that is as your Savior, or you put that off until judgement day, God will get the glory He deserves. Every knee will bow, including yours. We are right now in the age of grace. Christ will come back, though, at any time. And when He comes back there will be no place to hide. So you either get right with Him now, and receive Him as Lord and Savior, or you wind up in this terrible, great day, at the judgement seat of Christ."

Dean S. shared this:  "The 'narrow gate,' and the 'narrow road,' is at the end of the sermon on the mount. The beginning of the sermon starts with, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.' Do you see the theme? Blessed are the poor in spirit who meekly go before God, broken by their sin, who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ. Do you know what that is called? That's called repentance. Repentance is the narrow road; hating your sinful ways."

Dan joined us, again, and he does a great job of boldly proclaiming the gospel. Here is engages some who were listening to the preacher.

Dan had a long talk with this couple, answering their many questions and dispelling misconceptions people have about the gospel.

Dan shared this from the box:
"He proved who He was by the miracles that He did. He made blind people see, He made deaf people hear, He raised people from the dead to prove who He was. And you know what? Those people didn't listen to Him. Dear friends, you know what your benefit is? You didn't see those things, but if you hear me, and you believe me, you can have eternal life. Not everybody who saw Jesus in the flesh became a Christian, or believed in Him. They didn't all go to heaven. Some of them are in hell because they had the Messiah in their midst and they did not believe in Him. Christ proved who He was by rising from the dead. But you have that benefit to be able to come to Him at any time. If you go over to the Hilton, there is a bible in every room. There's a church on every corner. God's written a book to tell you what His plan is for you, and you just walk on by like there's nothing happening. You know why you know there's a God? Because God said 'What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.' That's why you feel guilty. Where does guilt come from? Because you know right from wrong in your heart, and you know the truth of God's word when you hear it."

These folks were quietly, but intently listening as several team members took to the box to proclaim the truth.

Dean shakes hands with a young man named David who was very intrigued by the public proclamation of the gospel. David is a believer who attends a church in the area. He had never heard of Ray Comfort nor had he seen street preachers before. Let's pray that David will heed the calling of the Holy Spirit to join the ranks of public proclaimers by getting something started at his church.

Dean C. shared this from the box:
"Do you love the things that God loves, or do you love the sins of this world? Sadly, most people love their sin more than the God who gave them life. They love themselves, and their plan, and their will, more than they love the will of God for their life. People don't fear God. They treat Him like their Facebook friend. If you leave this world, and you have not been born again, you will be so terrified. You will wake up from this life like it was a dream compared to the reality of things. But God is calling you. He's saying 'You have sinned, but my Son has died. In Him I am prepared to deal with you in a way of mercy, and love and forgiveness.' Don't tread on that sacrifice that God made through His Son. Please, repent and believe. Every moment that you are alive is another moment that God is extending His mercy to you. So, turn and live."

It was a glorious time of praising God through the preaching of the Word. Many bibles were requested and tracts given out, as the Holy Spirit worked in people's hearts.

Speaking of Ray Comfort, our brother Dean C. participated in a distribution of the new Living Waters video, "Evolution vs. God," last week. See if you can spot him in this video:

Hint: He is NOT the one in the gorilla suit.

Join us:  LABOR DAY Weekend, Saturday, August 31, at 6:00 pm @ Burbank Police Dept. parking lot, near the corner of Glenoaks and Palm.

See You There!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Fiery Furnace 8/17/2013

". . .Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods. . ." (Daniel 3:17-18)

It was a fine evening in Burbank, as the team went to work. Steve M., Dr. Jack, Dean C., Sai, Jeremy, Steven V., and Mark, were later joined by Andrew and David, from Veritas, and Jack's wife Barbara. This group portrait was shot by our CBC brother Chris L. who, as you can tell, is a professional photographer. Chris graciously volunteered to help document the team's activities throughout the evening.

Dean C. created this innovation: a designated waiting area for the "on-deck" heckler to warm up in while waiting for the current heckler to storm off, or be saved.

It was very busy when we arrived on the mall, so we set up shop in between the Robot Dancer and the Free Hugs people to our left . . .

. . . and the 60 year old recovering addict named John who breakdances, on our right.

Steve M. was our lead-off man this time, and he gave a heartfelt presentation of the gospel, and a call to repentance.

This couple is typical of so many who stand shyly away from the preacher, but who obviously are paying close attention.

Andrew gamely discusses theology with Roger "the Nemesis."

Representing Veritas, David and Andrew gave out many tracts.

This pastor, Kris Brossett, and his wife, from a Church in North Hollywood stopped by to encourage the team.

It was a great night for one-to-ones and proclamation. Often, we find that the later it gets, the more likely that a heckler will emerge.

Once again, Dr. Jack had the distinction of drawing the attention of the first heckler. Dealing with a heckler who may be intoxicated is extra challenging.

Our brother Steve M. also was faced with a hostile crowd of angry hecklers, ones who were drawn by Roger's animated indignation. Roger, of course, is never intoxicated, but he needs no accelerant to reach a fever pitch of verbal abuse.

I contacted our brother David, in Colorado, for some guidance on this issue and he sent the following helpful article:

Thank you for wanting my insight; will do my best. Its hard to give a blanket rule, I've had various opportunities to engage "reasonable" drunks and belligerent drunks and its always a challenge to discern how much or little you share with them.

IF the heckler mic is in effect that mic is for QUESTIONS... not their OPINIONS. If the person is unruly and unreasonable I will just tell them that they are, and that is why I need to turn off the mic. If the person is so intoxicated that they cannot control themselves then don't give them the platform. You are actually STOPPING them from sinning more and that is the loving thing to do.

There are many verses in proverbs that warn us NOT to engage a fool because it tempts us to sinful responses:

Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, [Yet] his foolishness will not depart from him. - Pro 27:22 NKJV

Rebuke is more effective for a wise [man] Than a hundred blows on a fool. - Pro 17:10 NKJV

He who begets a scoffer [does so] to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. - Pro 17:21 NKJV

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. - Pro 18:2 NKJV

[It is] honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel. - Pro 20:3 NKJV

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words. - Pro 23:9 NKJV

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. - Pro 26:4 NKJV

Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes. - Pro 26:5 NKJV

[If] a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether [the fool] rages or laughs, [there is] no peace. - Pro 29:9 NKJV

A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise [man] holds them back. - Pro 29:11 NKJV

It would be the same with Roger who is sober- IF he is disrespectful and angry then don't continue to engage him. The issue is not so much drunkenness as FOOLISHNESS. All the booze does is lower the God given mechanisms that restrain their foolishness. We are there to proclaim NOT argue. You can politely rebuke them for their foolishness/drunkenness and plead with them to repent. NOW- If they stand from afar and heckle you (i.e- the Black Hebrew Israelites) there really is not much you can do about that but to keep preaching. :)

Here is something we all need to be reminded of and this is going to sound harsh... THE GOSPEL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEY ARE. That sounds harsh but its so true. I think we make the error of thinking that "Love" is continuing to give the Gospel to "dogs and swine" so they can trample the Good News... that is not loving GOD. Again we're not talking about a drunk who is humbled and crying over his state and willing to LISTEN to the Good News. If they are "breathing out threats" rebuke them and move on.

Hope that helps,  David


Some further ideas to consider:

-We each need to be clear in our own minds how we will respond to an angry or intoxicated heckler. For what it's worth, try thinking of each slanderous and abusive comment directed at you as another jewel in your crown. Perhaps the most productive response to an insult is to smile, nod in agreement, and inwardly thank the person for blessing you in this way. When we readily and publicly confess our own insufficiency and foolishness, it makes it all the easier to then boldly and assertively glorify the Lord for His sufficiency and His perfect righteousness.If we find ourselves asserting our own wisdom and self-righteousness (sad to say I do this often), it's like taking a turn into a blind alley. It takes glory from God, and makes it harder to turn around and lead our adversary to look to the Son for salvation. Indeed, we should hasten to apologize to a heckler if we misspeak or lose our cool. This happens. Best to admit it and move on. By doing so we remove any excuse for the heckler to be abusive and we respect the dignity of the person. Satan hates human dignity which derives from our creation in the image of God. This is why the enemy works so diligently to destroy human dignity in every way he can.

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)

The Heckler mic is:
    -for people to ask a question about Jesus, the Bible, Salvation, Creation, etc.
    -for any respectful person to pose a sincere question and engage with the preacher in an orderly way.
    -our property so we do have a right to select who will be able to speak over it. Demands for "equal time" are meaningless. (Remember: others can bring their own PA if they want to. It's a free country. But there is no need to encourage them to do so.;-)
    -NOT for the purpose of lengthy debate about different gods, religious viewpoints, or for "sharing" everyone's beliefs so we can take a vote.
    -NOT for profanity. Use your best judgement. One warning, and then zero tolerance.
    -NOT for lecturing. (Note: Preaching the Gospel is NOT lecturing.;-)

-Assertions made without evidence or citation should be challenged. Hecklers are fond of making wild assertions without any factual support. Similarly, we should endeavor to offer scripture, or other sources, for our own assertions.

-We do not have a burden to "prove" the existence of God. The universe exists, you exist, therefore the God who created all these things exists. (Psalm 14:1) Next question. Our job is to share what God has told us to proclaim, i.e. the Gospel.

-We should clearly state our reasons for controlling the mic. When we switch the mic on and off without explaining why, people become resentful and the focus becomes the preacher rather than the message.

 Whatever may befall us, let's keep sharing the Gospel!


Please Pray for the Persecuted Church In Egypt

Falling under the radar in the mainstream news is the persecution of Christians in Egypt. Here are some sources:  Persecution, Christian Post.


Join us!  Saturday, August 24, 2013 @ Burbank Police Department Parking Lot at 6:00 for prayer. Entrance to the location is on Palm, near the intersection w/ Glenoaks.

See you there!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Evolution vs. God 8/10/2013

Only a few days after the latest Ray Comfort video, "Evolution vs. God" (see below) had it's YouTube premier, the CBC team took to the streets and fielded questions about the topic. Our core team of Paul, Dean C. (behind the camera), Sai, Steve, Mark, and later Elder Bob and Dr. Jack, were encouraged by our brother Jorge who was taking Sharon's young nephews to the see the Disney movie, "Planes" at the AMC theater.

In an interesting turn about, a Christian brother named Ian, who attends Calvary Chapel Pasadena, was passionately preaching the gospel when we arrived at the mall.

Ian's M.O. is distinctly different from ours, yet the gospel he preaches is the same. We set up closer to the street so as not to conflict. He also graciously agreed to take turns with us, and then, after we got started, he humbly relinquished the space and joined us in one-to-one witnessing.

Many one-to-one witnessing opportunities were provided by the Holy Spirit.

It was an unusually chaotic evening at the mall, with numerous amplified voices competing for the crowd's attention.

Elder Bob gave an impassioned call to repentance to those passing by.

Dr. Jack, once again, was blessed to receive the attention of an outspoken heckler who seemed to question the good Doctor's very existence. In a voice dripping with condescension and sarcasm, the heckler made assertion after assertion proclaiming the truth of "Science" and the inadequacy of "faith" in providing real answers to the big questions of life.

Dr. Jack responded with energy and conviction, "Evolution is not science, it's speculation about the past. No one was here billions of years ago. You have to accept it totally by faith. No one has ever seen one kind change into another."

Then the unnamed heckler made the following statement in a patronizing tone:  "I respect all religions. And I respect your opinion. But I also respect science. And I respect fact. To sum it up, thank you for your time. You've put a lot of energy into this. You're passionate. It's great that you believe in something. This is the United States, you can believe whatever you want. You don't have to believe in science, you can have any opinion you want. And that's the way it should be. We should all be happy with whatever we believe."

Jack replied: "You can believe in wrong things, but then if you die in your sins you will perish in hell forever! Jesus said: 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.' (John 14:6) Jesus is the only one who gave His life for you, when He poured His blood out on that cross."

Jack did a great job of thinking on his feet in the face of a somewhat hostile crowd that was being egged on by the speaker. These are only a few of the remarks, of course, but the hecklers comment shows the logical inconsistancy of the post-modern world view. This view, so prevalent today, disingenuously claims to be tolerant of all beliefs, yet does not seek to understand any of them, asserting instead that there is no objective truth. Discussion becomes a pointless exercise in attempting to answer loaded questions to no one's satisfaction. Thus it is critical to keep going back to the glorious Gospel, for that alone can save, by God's grace.

In the days ahead we may expect many more such discussions, particularly regarding evolution. A great new resource to give to those who are willing to accept it is the latest video by Ray comfort, "Evolution vs. God."

Please join us Saturday Night, August 17, 6:00pm @ BPD parking lot!

See you there!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to the Box 8/3/2013

It was unseasonably cool in beautiful downtown Burbank. This evening's core group of evangelists included Dr. Jack, Jeremy, Dean C., Sai, Paul, Dean S., and Steve.

Paul has been doing a great job of presenting the Law and the Gospel. Just when you might think that no one is noticing, you can spot several who have sat down within earshot and are intently listening.

"That is the good news of the Bible. There is hope! There is hope today. Because Jesus Christ is able to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. There is hope if you have committed sin after sin and you are reaping the consequences. The Bible says that whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. If you sow a life of sin, guess what? You are not going to lead a good life with that. You are going to reap a life of hardness and sorrow and misery. But God is willing to forgive that sin, but there is a time limit. The Bible says, 'Seek the Lord while He may be found.' He is willing. But the question is, are you willing to turn away from your sin and bow the knee to Jesus Christ?"

This man was off to the side, but was clearly hanging on every word.

Dr. Jack, a Chiropractor with a busy practice, has been indispensable to the team as a "heart specialist" who boldly, yet humbly, shares the gospel with everyone he meets.

Our newest regular is Jeremy. Here he graciously endures the most common form of rejection that we face: a distracted, and vaguely abrupt, "No thanks." Handing out tracts is the ideal way to get started and gain confidence as you gradually realize that it is the Holy Spirit who is doing the hard work of softening, or hardening, hearts. We just show up, smile, and hold out the tract. It's curious, though, how bothered some people are at the prospect of being offered a simple gospel tract to take home. The conscience is a troublesome thing.

Dean C. is the reigning professor of our team, having proclaimed the Gospel faithfully, and eloquently for more years than history records. (;-)

"If you remember nothing else from tonight please remember this: You can do nothing on your own to repair the broken relationship you have with the God that is giving you your life and your breath. We are hopeless, we are helpless, we are lost, every single one of us. And perhaps you are saying: 'Well I'm not as bad as those people over there.' Well, to do that is kind of like the person on death row comparing himself with the person two cells down. It doesn't matter. We are all on death row. And you and I, whether we realize it or not, have offended a holy and righteous God. But this God is a loving, merciful, forgiving God. And He proved that by sending His only Son Jesus Christ down to this earth to live the life that you and I could never live. If you and I could get to heaven by trying to be a good person can you imagine how tragic that could become? You're standing there before God and you think you've got enough points to get into heaven by your own good works, and you miss it by one point? That would be horrifying! God says that none of us can get to heaven by our own effort. That's why we need a savior!"

Our other Dean (S.) is already seasoned, although he is still rather new to street ministry (aren't we all!). His individual efforts extend far beyond the CBC team, including one-to-one witnessing at shopping malls, Walmart, and many other public places. Dean shared with the team hundreds of business card tracts promoting the new video by Ray Comfort, called "Evolution vs. God". The official YouTube premier of this film will take place later this week. We'll be sure to post it as soon as it becomes available.

Dr. Jack has rapidly taken to the box, and his preaching has gained focus and authority. In the background you can see Nathan and Justin from CBC, who dropped by to visit.

Although the present time is quiet, and the Gospel is shared openly, there are many signs that we are in a calm before a great storm. Either there will be persecution ahead, or the Lord will return. Either way, we must be about the unfinished work of the Savior. Pastor Kempiz Hernandez gave a rousing sermon exhorting us to continue what Christ began. Entitled: "The Exalted Christ Commissions His Church," dated 8/4/2013, it can be downloaded directly from the CBC Website.

Help Wanted

In addition to one-to-one witnessing and preaching from the box, there are several ways that you can join with us in serving the Lord. The CBC Evangelism team could use help in the following areas:
-Prayer warriors
-Passing out tracts
-Listeners to stand nearby and pay attention to the preacher. This can draw others to stop and listen.
-Video/Still camerapersons.
-Handing out water bottles when the weather is hot.
-Special events, community tables.
-There are always ways you can participate, as often as you like.
Please call, text or email Steve at (626) 319-6714, ephesianstwo8910@gmail.com.


See you there!