Saturday, July 18, 2015

Put No Confidence in the Flesh - 7/11/2015

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
(Philippians 3:2-4:1 *)

Saturday Outreach

This weekend’s outreach started with a bit of a surprise.  Steve sent a message a few hours before we were to meet that he was unable to attend due to an emergency!  As he has the equipment, tracts, and Bibles (and getting them from him was going to be a little complicated), there was some question as to what we would be doing or even if we would be going out.  However, Dean, when he learned of the situation, gave generously from his personal stock of tracts and Bibles so that we would be well supplied.  He also brought an amp and a box.

As if that wasn’t enough to give God thanks for, the Lord also gave us several laborers to preach and hand out all those Bibles and tracts.  We had so many people, in fact, that there just wasn’t room and we needed to spread out to the surrounding corners just so we weren’t doubling up and handing multiple tracts to the same person.

We were also without a camera, but fortunately were able to make use of a phone’s camera to capture the pictures found in this week’s blog.

Two new people joined us this week.  One of them, Shawn, has stopped by once before a couple months ago.  The other, Ricky, attends another church but has recently become disenchanted with them because they don't have Bible studies or a desire to do evangelism.  He has been going out on his own to evangelize and recently started visiting Calvary on Sunday mornings and a couple of the men’s small groups during the week.

Both of these new men were seen talking to multiple people throughout the evening!

And it was a busy evening, at that.  Even before the first man spoke from the box, conversations, like this one with Dean, were already happening.

And would keep going all throughout the evening.

While there were quite a few conversations, there was an overarching “thread” that started when we arrived, and wove it’s way through the bulk of the evening.

That thread was Micheal.

Michael is an interesting fellow, and a reminder to always stay on guard with those who claim the name of Christ.

Early on, with his Star of David necklace, cross of Christ tambourine, and dancing feet, he seemed to be merely an overly charismatic, messianic Jew.  He spoke of the wonders of Christ, read from his Bible, and part-prayed/part-sang the Holy Spirit’s protection over us.

His presence did delay our preaching a bit, but there was nothing really theologically wrong with his song, and it seemed a joyful one to our Savior.  At points it admittedly was a little more spiritual warfare-ish than this author would have liked, but a good portion of his ad-hoc song was singing straight from his Bible.

We were all more-or-less comfortable with this unusual, impromptu worship session (as comfortable as conservative Christians can be in the presence of a dancing, messianic Jew!)

And when he finished singing he left and we were able to begin preaching the Gospel.

However, about thirty minutes later he returned and began hanging out with our group.  The first problem we noticed was his stepping on the gospel by singing such that the men on the box needed to wait to speak.  Next, he began participating and engaging in one-on-ones, even leading them in song-prayers.  Finally, it became awkward as he was moving and dancing in the midst of us in the very small space of the corner.  It began to feel a bit like an old-fashioned revival meeting about to start.

At this point we probably should have asked him to leave because he was becoming the attraction, rather than it being about Christ and His Gospel.  However, we still didn’t know what to make of him...until his prayers turned toward healing.  It was also revealed that he had handed Mark a business card, where he offered his services as a faith healer.

The member of our team who had originally begun cultivating a relationship with him had to back up and tell him, “I’m not comfortable with this” as the conversation moved further into the realm of healing.  He directed Michael to speak with Mark who could do a better job of explaining why the type of guaranteed physical healing that he was promoting falls outside of Scripture.  However, at the option to discuss it Biblically, Michael walked off.

Faith healers like this are certainly not every day encounters for us on the streets of Burbank.  However, how many times have we had people who appear biblical, start to partner with us before suddenly taking a non-biblical turn?  (see further in this blog for Steve and Richard’s similar encounter the week before on the Fourth of July)

As we’ve mentioned before, it's important to test those who claim to be of Christ, making sure they hold to the core doctrine - yet, to our discredit, this is something we often shy away from doing when they sound pretty good.  We can tell a Mormon from a mile away, but when someone like this comes up, we honestly have trouble knowing how to respond until things start getting out of hand.

Before we move on, one last thing about Michael.  It should grieve us that he has become enraptured with physical healing as a promise one is owed when enough faith is expressed (or, in his version, when the devil has been properly chased away and is no longer able to prevent it).  It should concern us because any type of enough faith = guaranteed result shows at best a misunderstanding of who God is as Sovereign who owes nothing to us, yet who gives generously (Romans 10:12).

There was nothing about Christ that he said or sang that sounded wrong.  He also seemed to hold to a right understanding of repentance and salvation.  What then of his standing?  We can’t say for certain.  We know that there can be error in a true believer’s understanding of the Bible - we are all testaments to that - but we must also be wary of those who dogmatically hold to doctrines that run contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture - particularly when those doctrines are elevated above the Gospel or used for financial gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

Please pray for Michael that it would please our great God to correct his error and draw him to Himself.  Pray also for our growth in the area of discernment.

As a side-note, we noticed that when Michael read from his Bible, it didn't sound quite right.  There was some concern in the group that it was a prayer book and not a Bible but, after a little research, it turns out that he was reading from the Common English Bible (CEB).  While the publisher calls it a translation, it appears to be a paraphrase compiled and backed by some rather liberal scholars.

It is certainly not our place (nor ability) to do a review of translations on this blog, but we thought we’d take a moment to point out some potential issues with it to encourage you to test it if you are interested in, or encounter someone with, this particular Bible.

You can look up any verse on their site to compare with your preferred translation.  After just a few minutes of review on a couple verses, we found differences such as propitiation missing (1 John 4:10, et al), support for women and possibly even same-sex couples in the wording for who can be a pastor (Titus 1:6), an odd missing reference in Isaiah about Jesus’ mother being a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), etc.  In fact, it seemed that each verse looked up brought with it a raised eyebrow.

Because it is a paraphrase, that means it is an interpretation of what the Bible means rather than what the Bible says.  And because it is an interpretation with the backing of several groups like the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. known for capitulating to the world on issues such as Homosexuality, we caution strongly against its use.

One nice, unexpected thing about using Dean’s tracts for those of us who hand them out, was the different variety.  Forest particularly enjoyed handing out the Titanic tracts across the street, in front of the mall.

Vinny noticed that this man was watching us for quite awhile, and engaged him in conversation.

When he arrived, and we saw all the people who had come to help, Dean was heard saying, “I hope I brought enough tracts”.

The evening could not have been planned better.  We did use just about all that he had brought, but did not run out.  Many people came, including several to speak on the box, making up for a missing Steve and Jack.  We were also missing some of our regular tract-hander-outers, but new people came to fill the void.  It was a well planned evening...except that it came out like none of us had planned!

We praise the Lord who directs the steps of men (Proverbs 16:9) according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), and once again for His graciousness in supplying more than enough so that we could proclaim His name in our small corner of the nations.

Come Join Us - 6-9 pm
See the calendar on the upper, right-side of this page for our location each week...
Tracts and Bibles supplied!

Fourth of July

This year, the Fourth of July fell on a Saturday so there was no official outreach scheduled in Burbank.  Steve and Richard took advantage of this to go down to Hollywood in the afternoon to pass out tracts and do some preaching.

While waiting for the subway at the NoHo station, they spent time observing the Black Hebrew Israelites, who were out in particularly large numbers this day.

As we mentioned a few months ago in a previous blog entry (regarding Seven, about 1/3rd of the way down), this group is a racist religion that claims salvation is exclusively for black Hebrew descendants.

Misusing verses from the Bible, Jesus is said to be black and that that somehow means that salvation is exclusively for those who are also black.

Note that regardless of Jesus’s physical appearance (and he was likely average looking for people in the region where He was born), that His appearance and race are not what defines salvation.  Nowhere does the Bible say that!  Quite the contrary - Paul, in Romans, reminds us that salvation is to the Jew first (chronologically, the Law came through them) and then the Gentiles (Romans 1:16-17).  He also reminds us that God is not the God of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles (non-Jews) as well. (Romans 3:28-30)

Salvation is by repentance and faith in Jesus alone - not by obeying the Law or being born into a particular lineage (Acts 20:21).  Reliance on these things is not trusting in the sufficiency of Christ in salvation, and is damning.

Remember that it was Paul, himself, who said that he counted his being a "Hebrew of Hebrews" as rubbish so that he might gain Christ, having a righteousness in Him and not the law (Philippians 3:4-9).

Note that most of the BHIs that we have encountered reject the majority of what Paul says out of hand, and have no willingness to listen to these kinds of arguments.  Like with most religions that use parts of the Bible to support their false ideas, they do not want to hear the other parts of the Bible that contradict what it is they want it to say.

Steve and Richard's destination wasn't the Metro station this day, so they listened until the Subway arrived, then headed down to Hollywood to hand out tracts and to try to compete with the other performers there for some air-time.

While they were there, a man with a very similar looking setup as the one they had (Aker amp, mic, Bible) walked up, preaching as well.  Steve described his message as a little crude (using some unneeded twisting of famous peoples' names as he pointed out their sin), but generally sounded OK as he read from the Bible.  Ok enough that they allowed him to come in close and preach in front of the tract box.  They didn't officially invite him but, like our encounter with Michael, a lack of denial and of testing became tacit approval.

It seemed OK, if not a little awkward, that he was so close until he began proclaiming the trinity as a lie, invented by the Roman Catholic Church!

They didn't think twice before packing up and moving to a new location to put distance between themselves and the false gospel.

Earlier, before moving, the guys were pleasantly surprised when this man stepped out of his Micky Mouse character long enough to claim his faith in Christ, encouraging them to keep sharing the Gospel!

Only in Hollywood!

Wednesday Outreach
North Hollywood

Come Join Us - 6-8 am
Please stand with us for morning evangelism on Wednesdays at 6:00 AM at the North Hollywood Metro Station on Lankershim Blvd.

It's a great opportunity to share the truth with the thousands of commuters who pass through this area.

Please watch for text announcements on Tuesday evenings. Don't forget to RSVP if you plan to join us on Wednesday mornings.

Abortion Clinic
Mission Hills

“God will forgive me!” and “Don’t judge me!” were this man’s battle cries as Don, multiple times, had opportunity to speak with him.  He would have nothing to do with being guilty of anything, as the baby they were killing was "just liquid", anyway.

These arguments that an unborn baby is just goo or water or whatever are complete nonsense.  Like Biology 101 kind of nonsense.  You know that even when they say it, that they have to know it's just...silly.  This reminds us to what lengths carnal man will go in their flesh to deny their Creator (and their responsibility to Him).

Let us not underestimate how far one will go - and what foolish things one will say - out of hatred of the God of the Bible.  Praise the Lord because we were once like this man, yet we were washed, sanctified, and justified in Him (1 Corinthians 6:11).  Maybe we didn't say something foolish like unborn babies are water, but we too were rebelling against our Creator, and worthy of only His wrath.  Pray for this young man that this death will follow him forever until it drives him to a repentance that leads to salvation.

Earlier in the day a Mexican man pulled in and dropped a girl off.  Joe (in the hat) speaks Spanish, and was able to get him to talk (from his car) before he drove away.  The man claimed to just be a friend of the girl, but Joe asked him to please pull the girl out, anyway.  He said he would give her a call, and drove off.

We didn't hold out much hope that he would call but maybe 45 minutes later the girl came out of the clinic looking worried.  It turned out he DID call her and she decided to keep her child (praise the Lord!)  However, now she had a problem.  Her husband (not the man) was the one who told her to get an abortion, and she was frightened about the position she was now in of having to tell him that she didn't.

Lupita, one of the Catholic ladies, took her to the pregnancy clinic across the street to get help.  We may never know how the situation with her husband worked out because of confidentially issues, but we can take joy in the saving of the baby, and prayerfully ask the Lord for Him to move in the husband’s heart on this issue.

Finally, we reiterate what we do each time a baby’s life is spared:  If a baby is saved only to die in their sins later, than it would have been better for them if they had never been born.  We say that as solemnly as possible.  So to that end, while giving joyful thanks to God for saving the life of this baby - and for letting us witness this miracle - we also ask Him for the gift of eternal life which only comes through Jesus Christ.  And we ask not just for the child, but for his or her parents as well.

Every Wednesday and Saturday at 8-10 am
10200 Sepulveda Blvd
Mission Hills, CA  91345

No Experience Needed and no need to say anything if you are not ready - come hold a sign, pray, and bring encouragement to those who are standing for the innocent.

Articles and Media

“Yesterday’s release of a video showing the senior medical director of Planned Parenthood casually discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies is a moral challenge thrown right in the face of all Americans.”

“A paraphrase can be used alongside a Bible translation to give insight into what the Bible means. A paraphrase of the Bible, though, should not be viewed as the Bible, but rather as an author’s idea of what the Bible says and what it means by what it says.”

Bible Translation Comparison
The following are a couple links showing CEB (and many other Bibles) how they compare relative to other translations.  It was a little difficult to find charts that weren't on a site promoting a particular translation (ex: KJV) and that didn't have questionable theology, so we've provided these links as helpful but without necessarily endorsing the underlying site:

* All verses from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Glendale Cruise Night 2015

Please join us at the 2015 Glendale Cruise Night event!
Brand Boulevard, 5:30 p.m., THIS Saturday, July 18th

Monday, July 6, 2015

In Exile, In Hope, In Christ - June 27th, 2015

11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
11:13-16 These all (Heb 11:4-12) died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
11:39-12:3 And all these (Heb 11:17-38), though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Heb 11:4-12 and Heb 11:17-38), let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Hebrews 11:1-3, 13-16, 39-12:3 *)

Saturday Outreach

How great is our Lord, who allowed the gospel to be heard in Glendale once again!  What mercy and kindness when nothing but wrath is deserved after we, as a nation, enshrined the rebellious raising of our fists against Him.

Nor did His mercy stop with us merely having a presence in Glendale, but supplied new workers so that our number was as full as ever.

Luz, Richard’s wife, was spurred on by the recent Supreme Court news and the realization of just how dark it has become.  She desired to make a stand by joining her husband this evening.

Earnest attends prayer meetings at CBC where he heard about our team.  His father was a street preacher in downtown Los Angeles for many years, and Earnest grew up handing out tracts.

He hasn't been out doing street evangelism for several years but, like riding a bike, it didn't take him long to get going again. 

Steve also found out that Earnest does the camera work for his church and was quick to recruit him to film our team...

...and he demonstrated far more courage than this author and his long-distance photographs has ever had!

Speaking of cameras, we were also joined by Eddie who does a majority of the camera work for Living Waters, and is the Director of the recent Audacity movie.  We met Eddie a few months back when he came out with us on a couple Thursday outreaches to film Dean’s testimony.

Today he came just to preach, and it quickly became clear that he has done it many times before!  He employed the very clear and refined version of the gospel that is often found in use by other members of the Living Waters team.

Often preaching and street one-on-ones produces little immediate fruit, so the exception to that is always thrilling.  The pictured couple appears to have been convicted as the gospel was spoken, and Richard was blessed to led them to Christ through a prayer of repentance.

We praise the Lord who is mighty to save!

If you are one who is concerned about a prayer to salvation, know that so are we and we don't take that task lightly.  Walking someone through any kind of prayer can always be a little dicey because we don't want to influence them or cause them to think the prayer, itself, is what saves.  On the other hand we certainly don't want to place a roadblock in front of someone who says, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30).

It would help us at each of these opportunities, if our mind would turn to Jesus speaking of the four kinds of soil (Matthew 13:1-8 and 13:18-23).  That parable reminds us that regardless of how the person started, if they are truly saved they will continue on in salvation.  For the evangelist, this parable also warns us, indirectly, of our need to disciple the one who has claimed a repentance of faith so as to guide the new believer.

What's interesting about the parable is Jesus spoke of four types of hearers, but only one of them didn't understand what was said (the seeds, or good news, that landed on the path and were snatched away by the devil).  The other 3 did understand, and all three of them responded positively!  We could even say that from the outside, all three of them would have looked the same when they prayed to receive Christ.  But of those three types of hearers, only one (those who were the "good soil") withstood the test of persecution and were able to long resist the world and who abided in Christ and who obeyed and made disciples.  They were the only ones who persevered to the end. (Matt 10:22)

Again, notice what Jesus said about the two types of hearers who looked like they were good soil hearers at first...Jesus said that the seeds that fell on the rocky soil joyfully received the news and even endured...for a little while.  But then when trial or persecution came as a direct result of that news, they immediately fell away (see Matthew 10:33 for a frightening statement by Jesus for this type of hearer).  The other seeds that were sown among thorns also appeared to have been well received by the hearer, but the cares and riches of the world (the thorns) choked the life right out of them (see 1 John 2:15-17).

The importance in this, for the evangelist, is not merely leading one to Christ, patting them on the back and saying "See ya in Heaven!", but in walking besides them to nurture their growth, to make sure they really understood, to make sure they are reading their Bible daily and attending a Bible believing church - to perhaps even be their first Christian friends!  The Lord has called pastors to be the primary leader in their growth, but we are also called to disciple and, in some very real way, to make sure they arrive at the pastor's door unharmed.

Rejoice with us at this apparent fruit of repentance in this couple, and pray that the outward sign of confession that this couple demonstrated was a true reflection of their inward state and that they bear much fruit of salvation, and continue on in growth!

Sebastian (taller guy) and Cory spoke with Razmik for 30-45 minutes on quite a few topics ranging from Catholicism to God using evolution, to objections about claims that the Bible is inerrant, to unspecified contradictions in the Bible, to Christians merely preaching and not doing any good (work).  Each one of their points could be expanded in its own blog with suggestions and thoughts on ways to answer each.

However, overall, the common theme seems to not be an inability to hear or to understand the words being said, but a lack of submission of their wills to the God of the Bible.  There’s a limit as to how far any argument will go, and no argument will end in one’s salvation.  The Holy Spirit, when he chooses, will bring repentance through His word, so while there are valid answers to everything brought up, our answers should be all about pulling them back to what God says and to see their sinfulness and Jesus' sacrifice.

Todd Friel (using a clip with Voddie Bauchman) illustrates this point well: Voddie Baucham: Apologetics NEVER saved anyone. Ever.

Razmik (and even Earnest jumped in a bit) did a good job of using the Bible to address the errors and red herrings.

Razmik did make an interesting observation about being watched by the guys to see that his actions matched what he was saying. When a homeless lady asked for money, they waited to see what he would do.  After he gave her some money, they followed suit.  It's a good reminder that we are being more than just heard.

These kids were handed Good Person tracts earlier, and Jack did a follow up to see if they had read them.  They hadn’t, so he decided to walk them through it, starting with, “Where would you go if you died tonight?”  The results were initially mixed (some Heaven, some not sure though hoping for Heaven, one sarcastically said Hell), but after “confessing” their guilt (to the good person questions), they all then said they would go to Heaven because their good deeds would outweigh their bad.

How ironic their self-righteous assurance came after knowing they were guilty!

When asked if that logic would work down the street at the Glendale Courthouse, they all said no!

So they realized they 1) had done bad things (lie, stole, etc), 2) that a just God must punish them, and 3) that their perceived good works isn’t enough to save them from that just punishment.  Once Jack had set the framework of man's problem, the news of Jesus’ death as a sacrifice that turns away the judging wrath of God was met with excitement!

Oh, what a glorious Gospel we have been given!

Pray for these kids.  There did seem to be an understanding and even a change in demeanor as the conversation went on.  One girl in particular expressed sadness at the realization that she was a sinner and joy at the news of the complete forgiveness available in Christ.  But understanding - or even sorrow - are not enough to be saved if one is unwilling to repent and trust in Christ as their savior.  One kid said that he planned to wait until he was older.  Repentance, like all good things (James 1:17), is a gift that comes from God, and to presume it'll be given on demand is a fundamental misunderstanding of who God is and who man is.  That’s a heart that hasn’t yet seen it’s sinfulness before a holy God.

Pray for them all in their various stages of understanding because at the moment they began to understand who they were, Jesus seemed like such an incredible hope.  Pray that those seeds aren’t snatched away and that they grow and take strong, eternal root.

This lady started by thanking us for being there, but it was quickly apparent that her motivation wasn’t so that people would hear about freedom found in Christ but the “freedom” found in the removal of bad thoughts.  Her belief was that good people like herself could spread energy into corrupted mankind to give that freedom.  She declared at one point that all men are corrupt, yet would later say that she, herself, isn’t.

The blasphemy uttered so casually by this lady is mind boggling.  Her self-effacing humility and desire for good in the world was nothing short of raging pride.  Putting aside the fact that she was literally just making stuff up about how things work, she elevated herself to the position of god and savior!

Goodness, in her view, originates from her and emanates outward into mankind (by her energy and good thoughts).  That goodness saves them from their corruption by freeing them from their bonds of bad thoughts.  While probably ignorant to what she was actually saying, she came just shy of calling herself mankind's savior.

It’s hard to know what to do with something like this. Sometimes the nonsense and self-deception is just too much to find a foothold to start.  About the only thing that can be done is to give an accurate picture of the true God or of Christ using Scripture.  Jack planted the seed that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and that no one would come to the Father any other way. (John 14:6)

Speaking of the true Savior, in Philippians 2 we are reminded of His humility.  He didn’t just come to save us, but He came to give glory to the Father by being obedient to Him, even to the point of death.  His humility is more than just (and this "just" is huge) spending 33 years on earth and dying on a cross at the hands of His creation.  The eternal Son of God, through whom all creation was created, took on human flesh to become like us.  He was then subjected to the same temptations we have (without sinning), living the perfect life we couldn't live because of our corruption so that, at His death, He could be a propitious sacrifice - a sacrifice that bore the wrath of God in our place.  To this day, Jesus, this humble redeemer, who is Lord and King over all creation, continues on forever in the likeness of man (Heb 7:24), ever living to make intercession for those who draw near to God (Heb 7:25).  There is no end to the depth of His condescension from God to God-man, and is but one facet of His glory that we will ponder in awe for all eternity.  Even after an eternity, we will continue to be driven to ever greater heights in our praise and adoration to God as we barely begin to understand just how lowly the infinite God made Himself to be.

The closing point Jack said to this false savior was a reminder that God hates the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).  She replied, “I am very humble” and then left.


...after Bibles...

...after more Bibles...

...after even more Bibles...

...after even lots more Bibles...

...went out!
We nearly ran out of both English and Spanish ones!

The other side of the street is a particular favorite for Dean with it’s more intimate, stoplight preaching.  This week the security guard from Forever 21 came out and (politely) asked him to remain past the front of the building.  This is similar to the request we got from the Burbank mall a couple weeks ago to stay off a specific part of the side-walk that was shared with the mall.  Normally Dean is on the clearly public sidewalk side of the store, along the street, but there was a violin player there, so he had moved a little deeper into the Americana area.  He humbly submitted to the guard’s request, and though a little cramped, he and Eddie preached from the Bible without further issue.

"Preach louder!" was this lady's opening cry as she approached the box.  She was supportive of us being there, but was a bit wild-eyed about the recent supreme court decision.  Jack thanked her, but refrained from adding fuel to the fire.

We repeat this often but it’s worth repeating once again as we are all particularly thick-headed when it comes to this: when the world seems to not hear us, we naturally want to say it louder (as this lady was insisting on), or with better arguments.  Taking a bull horn to someone’s ear will no more help them to hear the message of truth than answering their every argument will open their eyes.  Praise to our God that He has not left it on our shoulders to save - only to proclaim faithfully (and accurately) His word!

In fact, the preaching of God’s word with no gimmick or show or clever arguments is enough to catch the attention of the one whom He desires to hear.

Glendale has fast become a favorite in our group for Bibles and tracts.  However, the performers have slowly increased since we started coming here some 6 or 7 months ago.  Please pray that if the Lord wills, that this area will continue to be relatively calm where many Bibles and tracts are taken and the preaching of God's word is heard.

With this being the first weekend after the recent Supreme Court ruling, we weren’t sure what the initial reaction to our presence would be.  Overall, with the exception of the one lady already mentioned in this blog, it wasn’t even brought up.

However, we have no illusions of the issue blowing over, and by all accounts from Christians wiser than us, it’ll only get worse as the courts now try to reconcile the irreconcilable contradiction with what man demands is his right and what God has clearly and plainly said is an abomination.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that throughout the Scriptures, godly men and woman lived by faith, as exiles, longing for a better country.  We must remember that our freedom may go - and perhaps soon - but that doesn't change who we are and where we are going...if indeed we live as exiles in this land (Hebrews 11:13), hating the things of the world (1 John 2:15), and persevering until the end (Matthew 10:22).

The format of our outreaches may change over the coming months and year and we may not forever be allowed to stand on street corners and proclaim Christ as we have in the past.  We may even go from street to underground in ways we only read about in other parts of the world.

But our mission does not change.

We are told to proclaim the gospel, and that order (Mark 16:15) has not been rescinded, and will not be be until we have died or rescued.

I implore all readers to boldly speak the truth, with grace and humility, making the most of every opportunity (Eph 5:16, Col 4:5).  In your personal, study time, focus on what is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).  Study your Bible first, and the latest apologetics last - remember who it is who saves!  Let the word of Christ dwell richly in you (Col 3:16).

Be ready to tell of our hope, which is the grace that will be brought at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13, Titus 2:13), and which was made alive in us through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3), who was buried and who was raised on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4) and who is coming back to judge (Psalm 96:13, et al) and to save (Isaiah 35:4, et al).

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:1-3)

Above all, pray with John: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20)

We will be back in Glendale in just a couple weeks for the Glendale Cruise Night (their annual car show).  See our recent post for more details...

Come Join Us - 6-9 pm
See the calendar on the upper, right-side of this page for our location each week...
Tracts and Bibles supplied!

The Morning Shift
NoHo Train Station

Come Join Us - 6-8 am
Please stand with us for morning evangelism on Wednesdays at 6:00 AM at the North Hollywood Metro Station on Lankershim Blvd.

It's a great opportunity to share the truth with the thousands of commuters who pass through this area.

Please watch for text announcements on Tuesday evenings. Please always RSVP if you plan to join us on Wednesday mornings.

Articles & Media

Todd Friel, Voddie Bachman: Voddie Baucham: Apologetics NEVER saved anyone. Ever.

Tim Challies: You Don't Really Know Who Your Friends Are Until...
"For as long as you and I have lived, at least if you have lived in this Western, first-world culture, friendship with Jesus has been beneficial. At worst this friendship has been neutral so the benefits have balanced the drawbacks. And while I am no prognosticator of doom, it seems increasingly clear that a relationship with Jesus will soon be more and a more of a liability before this watching, judging world."

Lehman Strauss: Why God Became Man
"The Apostle Paul wrote, ''And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh . . . ' (I Timothy 3:16). Confessedly, by common consent the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is outside the range of human natural comprehension and apprehension. It can be made known only by Divine revelation in the Holy Scriptures, and to those only who are illumined by the Holy Spirit. It is a truth of the greatest magnitude that God in the Person of His Son should identify Himself completely with the human race. And yet He did, for reasons He set forth clearly in His Word."

"There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17)."

John Piper: The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son (transcription of sermon from 03/08/1987)
I really don't believe it is possible to grasp the central drama of the Bible until we begin to feel this tension. Up until the coming of Jesus Christ, the Bible is like a piece of music whose dissonance begs for some final resolution into harmony. Redemptive history is like a symphony with two great themes: the theme of God's passion to preserve and display his glory; and the theme of God's inscrutable love for sinners who have scorned his glory.

* All verses from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Glendale Cruise Night Notification
July 1st, 2015

As July arrives, we turn our attention once again to the Glendale Cruise Night outreach.

Last year we handed out over 7,500 of the giant $100 bill tracts, as well as many DVDs and Bibles.  We are excitedly looking forward to going out again.

You are welcome to join us...even if you have never handed out a tract in your life!  This is a good place to learn as people are in a fun and festive mood, and glad to take them.  Kids are welcome, too!

As America descends further into darkness, our Father has been gracious in giving the people of Burbank and Glendale at least one more chance to hear the gospel of Christ.  Come and help us make the most of this opportunity!

See below for event details...

Booth and Parking
Look for our booth in the Community Group section of the event.  They have not yet provided the layout of the event, and we won’t know exactly which booth is ours until the day of the car show, but last year we were in front of the FedEx Office store between W California Ave and W Wilson Ave.  This may change, but we will likely be in that same general area.

Glendale has provided a map of parking locations around the strip: Parking Map.  Last year the Orange St. parking was the one closest to our booth.

Note that there may be a fee for parking, so plan accordingly!

Event Times and What to Bring
The event officially starts at 5:30 pm and ends at 10:30 after a fireworks display.  Feel free to come for as long as you like!  You do not need to let us know ahead of time you are coming, though you are more than welcome to email Steve with questions.

The team, through the gracious donations of the church, will provide all of the tracts.  All you need to bring is yourself and a bottle of water as it will probably be rather warm.  Also consider bringing comfortable walking shoes.

Help to Set-Up/Break-Down
If you are able to help in addition to participating in the event, please send an email or text to Steve so that we can have a head count of how many people willing to help set-up or break down the booth.

Only 1 to 2 people are needed to come a few hours before the show to set up the booth.  Coordinate with Steve as to the exact time, but set-up more or less needs to be completed by 2:30 pm.  After the booth is setup, at least one person needs to be with the booth at all times until 5:30 pm.

We can use as many people as are available at the end of the day to help break-down.  The booth needs to be torn down, everything packed up, and it all taken back to the cars.  We’ll park as closely as possible, but it may still be a bit of a walk (we’ll have carts, etc, to help).  Estimated time for this is 9-9:30, though it could be a little later.