Issue 19, Jan 26 - Feb 6

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***In this Journal, I am trying something new. With a lot of photos, the load time for the Journal gets excessive. So, all the photos are thumbnail versions of larger photos. To view the full photo, click on the thumbnail.

Monday and Tuesday - Penn State University

The atheists at Penn State are unlike most atheists I have come across. It is amazing. They are there every day, hanging out with Gary and me. At the same time that the photo to the right was taken, one of the atheists, Tristan, was doing a video. It is now on YouTube Take a look at it. It almost sounds like they are our fan club in disguise. YouTube

Gary always preaches first, and I arrive on campus later. My mornings are often taken up in prayer, fulfilling obligations to clients of my corporation (DMCons, Inc), composing and publishing my journal, taking care of the CMUSA bulletin board, and lately providing content for a new web venture - Kingdom Insight. I will tell you more about this later.
The preaching at Penn State in the winter time has always been somewhat slow. In really inclement weather, the students don't like to hang around outside. But that does not mean that we lack opportunities. During classes there is usually a group of students who stay around the lobby of Willard building. The atheists are very faithful in this regards. Conversations, questions, and debate continue during the class periods every day. Perhaps this is why the atheists are so friendly. We hang out with them.

The subjects I preached on were the basics. When parents raise children, they do not raise them and instruct them to twiddle away all their substance on wine, women, and song. The parents do not take their daughters aside just before they leave for their freshman year at PSU and tell them they are expecting them to bed down every guy on campus. Surprisingly this approach got a rise out of them. I perceived that some of their hearts were pricked because they knew that they were living lives of which their parents would disapprove.

After one of my preaches, a young lady engaged me in a private conversation about a friend of hers that was having great problems with his faith. When he came to PSU, his belief system was greatly challenged, while at the same time he discovered the pleasure of sin. He apparently was ensnared by an immoral situation, fully aware of it's sinfulness. But like the dear held captive by your headlight, he can't seem to move out of the way of lifetime of sorrow.

I counseled her about the battle that every Christian must go through at some time in their lives. I call the "The Contradictions". That is a time when the enemy, your circumstances, and your way of looking at things all seem to conspire together to prove to you that your faith is wrong. The enemy puts on a good show to prove it, and the only way that a Christian can weather the storm is to place you trust in Christ.

I have my ABC's of faith for when logic and reason conspire together to kill my faith. I don't try to figure it out. I merely submit to God, resist the devil, and wait for him to flee. I pray: (a) I don't know what is going on here, (b) I don't NEED to know what is going on here, and (c) The Lord will bring me through it.

I remember vividly the first time I experienced his flight. It was when I was a very young Christian. I had been under a cloud of severe oppression. My mind was in great turmoil. I suffered from extreme condemnation and a sense of being accused. I was miserable, but I clung to my faith. I prayed my ABC's continually, and waited on the Lord. It was a long time - close to a month.

It seemed like I could not sink any lower. I was on the train into Philadelphia, eyes closed, crying out to God. Inside I felt like I was in a mental bunker, pressing my back against the door to keep whatever was outside from coming. Then in an instant, less that a second, it all lifted. Like a switch turned on, all of the depression, condemnation, an anguish was replaced by extreme joy, peace, and rejoicing. I will never forget it. It was that one victory that began all other victories.

I experienced an instantaneous victory. From that moment on, the enemy's lie that I can not win against him could no longer affect my belief. I had won. He had fled precipitously. From that moment on, I knew I could win every time he attacked.

I did not have a lot of time, she had to go to class. I told her how he must fight the assault on his mind. Hopefully she was able to convey some of what I had told her. In all seriousness, though, I doubt she could. In addition to there being a woeful lack of knowledge of the Bible amongst most professing Christians, there is an even greater lack of understanding of the nature of the Christian walk and warfare. Christianity is not a ticket to a princess ball where every imagination of our hearts is fulfilled. It is a call to warfare against personal evil. It is a call to death of the old man. There may be campus ministers and pastors teaching sound doctrine, but there does not seem to be any who are engaging the students on the battlefields of their minds, and teaching them how to fight the good fight.

One of the most frequent criticisms of the confrontational style is that we don't fraternize with the sinners. In one sense that is true. The traveling preachers are constrained by their short times on a campus as to what they can engage in. We try to take advantage of what opportunities that come up. I know that Jed Smock frequently will take students out to eat or go with them to their cafeteria. Of course these little tête-à-têtes go unnoticed to our detractors. But because of the size of the task, and the need to cover as much ground as possible, Jed's time on any one campus is limited. There is always another campus beckoning.

But there is another side to this criticism. Our detractors think that friendship evangelism is much more effective than confrontation. Penn State is the crucible. Here, the gospel has been preached without a break since Easter of 1977. Either I or Gary Cattell have been in front of Willard or in the lobby all day long, week after week, year after year. But the truth is that even though we befriend the students, for the most part it has no more effect on them than does the confrontational style of preaching. Both styles are used by God, and both are needed.

We at the Campus Ministry, USA have often discussed the difference between the ministries of those of us who concentrate on one campus and those of us who travel full time. For many years our hope has been to have enough dedicated people to be able to have both focuses. For many years, our vision was of a network of campus groups that were dedicated to the public proclamation of the gospel, and a financial base that was strong enough to support those preachers who worked only one campus.

The traveling preachers are able to raise support because of their notoriety and their novelty. They make many more contacts across the country. Those preachers who work one campus are at a great disadvantage in this regard. Still, as far as I know, our vision has never changed. To have a network of campus organizations to support local preachers, and also to provide logistical support for the travelers. It also is our hope to be able to address the lack of understanding on how to wage the war against the devil, which I addressed above.

Penn State University

While I was away, Gary had a little excitement. A class had an assignment where they had to come up with a "business", implement it, and then were graded on how much money they made. The business this group came up with was "Pie the Willard Preacher". For a dollar, you could smack a whipped cream pie into a surrogate preacher's face. A good market analysis, I would add. Appeal to a deep seated need of the people and you will succeed.

Gary was spared being the target, but he did take the opportunity to pie his surrogate. Not many of us preachers get to pie a heckler. Usually it is reversed. The pie-ing also is on the YouTube video by Tristan the atheist (Redpill - a reference to the red pill in The Matrix).

Wednesday - Tuesday, Kingdom Company, Mansfield, PA

I returned to Kingdom Company to work on several projects. As I mentioned before, I am working first on a message to the church entitled "The Judgment of the Church has already begun". I was able to tape several segments to that message, and in addition, I gave the message in a slightly modified form to a group called Kingdom Builders. This is a group of people coming together to plan and prepare for a large move of God in their valley.

I am working on editing the tape of the message I gave to Kingdom Builders, to cut it up into pieces and to load it on YouTube When it is done, I will be offering the full hour long DVD for a $15 donation to my ministry. It will be available from me or through Kingdom Company. In the meantime, it will be available on YouTube in 6 parts.

If you would like a copy of my first video, please email me back with your name and address, and I will make arrangements. I don't yet have the problems with Paypal straightened out, so we will have to do it the old fashioned way. I'll send you the video, and you send me a check.

The vision that the Kingdom Builders are working toward is a very exciting one for street preaching. Kingdom Company is quite possibly the largest supplier of audio/visual equipment, church growth programs, and membership retention programs in the world. Their leadership is very forward looking and supportive of transforming an area for Christ. Their goal is to put together a reproducible model for transforming a whole area. And they know that the public preaching is the center piece of model.

To that end, Kingdom is planning to put out a call across their massive contact database for street preachers to come to the Mansfield area this summer to blanket a two county area with street preachers. We are going to be in touch with all the pastors in the area to plan the event, and hopefully to prepare them for what will be happening in their communities as a result of public preaching. The hope is that I will be able to take the pastors through the many scriptures on street preaching that explain what the expected outcome will be, why that outcome, and how it furthers the Kingdom of God, rather than hindering it

My preparation in that undertaking is to provide tutorial videos giving initial training to prospective preachers, and then to do some hands-on instruction before the preachers actually go out.

I will be giving them a theological base for preaching, then also instructing them in what to expect when they do. There will be opportunities for other preachers to come and teach also. As we draw close to the time, when this effort starts to solidify, I will be putting a call out to the preachers to come to Mansfield to train new preachers.

Our hope is to get a large number of people initiated into public preaching to cover the countless street corners, fairs, sports events, bars, etc. that we can not cover. The CMUSA preachers hit campuses, and there are a lot of other preachers on the circuit. Ruben Israel, our night shift, has done a stellar job covering every major crowd drawing event in the Northern Hemisphere. But there is so much more work to be done.

The Kingdom Company's desire is to take preaching to the next level - popular involvement by local bodies. It is a very high vision. The desire is that once the "model" is developed, it can be implemented in other counties countrywide. Their commitment is to do it once, then do it again, and again. I believe that this effort may be a great leap forward for the street preaching movement.

The Way of the Master has made some good advances in the movement, but their understanding is not full. They avoid the very thing that Jesus said He came to do. When He sent out His disciples to preach, He told them that He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Mt 10:34-35). He came to divide, to polarize.

Unfortunately, the Way of the Master's avoidance of controversy as much as is possible empties the preaching of the power it is supposed to have. They have not yet seen that Jesus said He came for that exact purpose. Nonetheless, I rejoice that Jesus is preached. It all helps.

But those of us who use the more biblical method of confrontational evangelism need to be reproducing ourselves faster.

The website to be the visible focal point of this attempt at blanketing two counties with preachers is in a pre-launch state. It's URL is http://kingdominsight.ning.com/. I invite you all to come on over and join. The website is modeled after FaceBook, with most of the same features. We have My Page, Members, Photos, Videos, Forums, Events, Groups and Blogs. That is just about everything. This networking site, though, is focusing on the Kingdom of God, and the upcoming attempt. Join, invite some friends.

It is also hoped that this site will become a resource for publicizing the street preaching phenomenon, and a means to raise funds for the preachers. If anyone has any questions, you can email me at JBaber@prodigy.net, or post on my wall at Kingdom Insight. I realize that most of the preachers have their own websites, and we do not wish to circumvent or eclipse these sites. This is going to have some actual marketing behind it, and our hope is that we can generate more interest in and more finances for what we are doing.

Please go on over to Kingdom Insight for a look.

There are other projects that I am hoping to get to before Spring sets in and good preaching weather makes being inside a torment. I want to download sixty thousand archived posts from the CMUSA bulletin board, in order to begin to do a compilation of the thousands of posts that I have made online. Some of my most insightful messages have been on the BB, and I need to organize them as a resource page for CMUSA, and for Kingdom Insight.

I will be at Penn State for some time, but I am planning on returning several times to Mansfield to work on these projects, and to help organize this event. In April I have been invited to go out to Missouri and preach with Jed in the Missouri/Kansas area. This trip I am planning on doing. I can think of nothing I like better than to preach with Jed.

Although I am not preaching every day, I get out when I can, and I still need your help. My contributions for January were almost nonexistent. I am sensitive to the financial hard times we are in, but please help out if you can. I am working as hard as I can to open out new avenues of support, not only for myself but for all those who are full time in this movement.

But in the meantime, I am dependent on the generosity of those who truly love the Lord and who love those He puts on the front lines of the war. We are happy to wage war against sin, and even lose our lives in the effort. When I preach, oftentimes I will first pray, "Lord if a death is needed today to save souls, you have my life. Do with it as you will." We who are on the front lines depend on you behind the lines to also have such a commitment to the Lord. Please help me out, if you can, no matter how small. If you do not, I for one may be forced out of the ministry. A small loss to the Kingdom of God to be sure, but a loss to me equal to death.

Wednesday - Friday Penn State

I returned to PSU to take care of some things I just couldn't do in Mansfield. Mostly I needed to get caught up on all those pernicious "living" chores like laundry, read and respond to mail, bills, ministering to those in my circle of friends, etc. While most of that means working from home, I was able to get out on campus several days. With the weather down into the 0-10 range, teeming crowds were definitely not in the picture. But as I have said before, God is still glorified.

Back in the early 80's there was a revival at Penn State centered around the preaching at Willard building. Every day was a church meeting. At times there were as many as 40 Christians from all the campus groups gathered for fellowship all day long, every day. The Spirit was very strong, and those who were there for it remember how the Lord moved. I spoke to an old friend today and we waxed nostalgic over a bible study I conducted way back then. He remembered how the Spirit moved so strongly that we all were pulled along in the revelation, actually competing for an opportunity to share what the Lord was saying.

We would meet in a classroom from 8:00 until midnight, then go down to a local Wendy's to eat and fellowship until sometimes 4:00 in the morning. Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end. But they did when I withdrew from full time ministry to build a "financial base" to support me in the ministry.

I rejoice that Gary's faithfulness has produced such a phenomenon again. In the Willard lobby, again the students are being drawn to consider the things of God daily. When the weather is better, the gathering is outside, but with no degrees outside, the lobby is very comfortable.

In the middle picture, the tall student with the orange trimmed back pack told me he feels called to preach himself. In the bottom picture lower right corner, the gentleman standing right in front of the candy machine is none other than Ed A from KingdomInsight.net. He drove on down from the frozen northern Penna mountains to experience the preaching for himself. Welcome Ed. He and I had a very long talk, building one another up in the faith. I greatly enjoyed the fellowship.

On Friday, there was not much going on. I got on campus late because of other work I had to get caught up on. On the left wearing the dress hat is Tristan. He is the atheist who did the video mentioned earlier. Notice the book he is holding. Guess what it is. Yep. A Bible.

I asked Tristan out of curiosity why he was holding a Bible. His response was that it was a replacement for another Bible which, in his opinion, had a bad focus. The translation of his new Bible is KJV. Very interesting that an atheist would be considering the proper focus that the Bible should have.

And here is the audience for the last preach on Friday. Gary and I went home to warm up, and get some dinner.

All in all, though, the day was very productive. It is very exciting to me to have the fire burning strong enough to draw believers and even atheists together specifically to discuss the gospel. It is like nursing a nuclear reaction to get it to critical mass - when the reaction is self sustaining.

One more thing, I did a little video to practice putting things up on Youtube. It isn't much, but here it is. Youtube.

See you next week,

Bro

Once again please consider supporting my ministry.  If you can't support me yourself, would you be able to give me any contacts you have of churches that might be open to my ministry as I travel? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.    
Bro Cope
3598 N Atherton St, Apt 1
Port Matilda, PA 16870
814-883-9183

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