DEC 19th, I traveled out to Columbia Missouri to spend Christmas with my very
old friends, Jed and Cindy Smock. It is always a great joy to spend the holidays
there because their traditions and their celebrations are always so blessed.
of the traditions is that I get to tell the kids a story. Most don't know this
but I am an old time story teller. I got started about 25 years ago with Gary
Cattell's kids. After church I would tell the kids stories about my childhood.
I was one of eight kids, with a mother who was just like the mother in "My
Big Fat Greek Wedding" and a saintly father who taught me I could do whatever
I set my mind to do. Every day was an adventure, a crisis with power realignments,
practical jokes, or a war. My whole family grew up telling stories.
the stories that I told were about my childhood, but then I ran out. Since the
kids wanted more, I next took some of the smaller incidents in my childhood and
embellished them. The kids then had to decide what parts of the story were real
and which were mad up. Soon though I ran out of those too.
I finally wound
up having to weave the stories out of thin air. I had two series of stories. The
first, for the younger kids, was about a magical story book that took John and
Judy to many adventures. The second series was about Joseph Baber, a Christian
police man who was framed and forced out of the Washington DC police by corrupt
officials. He became a world famous private detective.
I would start with
just a wisp of a plot, and weave the story on the fly. I found it challenging
to be able to keep one step ahead of the audience. All extemporaneous, I built
the plot, the characters, did plot reversals, and included a moral lesson. The
challenge was to keep the kids enthralled and to throw out enough false clues
to keep them guessing. For me, the greatest challenge was when the kids figured
out where the story was going. If they did, I had to change the plot, do another
twist, and change the outcome - all on the fly. This year's story was one of the
better story lines. I kept Jed's daughters hanging on till the very last minute,
when I revealed the guilty party.
I rested up in Missouri, and after the
Christmas holiday, I traveled from Missouri back to Pennsylvania, and then up
to Mansfield, PA to spend New Year's eve with some dear friends, John and Juanita
Burgeson. John and Juanita are the owners of Kingdom Company, the church's one
stop solution for all audio and video needs.
Kingdom Company has been the
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tool for expanding the church's mission field for many years. If you have any
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New years eve celebration was a joyous occasion sharing the hope and joy of the
Lord with fellow believers. I met some very interesting people and got many chances
to share my vision for the college campuses. John was especially interesting.
He lives next door to John and Juanita in a castle. Yes, a castle. John is a veteran
of many years of street preaching himself. He preached in NYC with David Wilkerson,
and is currently working to train young men for the ministry. He also worked with
Teen Challenge for many years, and has some very interesting "war stories"
to tell. I did not talk to him enough, but plan to rectify that on my next trip.
shared a message that I feel the Lord has laid on my heart with the Burgesons
and several friends. It was well received. We discussed the possibility of committing
the message, entitled "The Judgment of the Church has already begun",
to a video and distributing it through Kingdom Company. We, after several conversations
over the next few days, came up with a plan for several videos.
video will be "The Judgment of the Church has already begun". Next we
want to do a video that lays the Biblical foundation for street preaching, and
answers many of the objections that are raised against street preaching. The last
video will be entitled "Bringing the Lord back", and will deal with
what the Bible lays out as necessary for the Lord's return. I believe that it
is in the church's power to bring the Lord back. This video will show biblically
how it can be done.
the 4th of January, I returned to Kingdom Company, and began working on the first
of the videos. The evening of the 5th, I addressed a group of people, called Kingdom
Builders, that are preparing for a great harvest in the Mansfield geographical
area. I spoke on the subject "The Judgment of the church has already begun".
wish I could say it was a huge success, but it was not. It was all my fault. I
based my talk on a Powerpoint demonstration, but after I got started, I had major
problems with the PP. As a result, I lost my tempo and fumbled around badly. Once
I stumbled, the rest was stumbling downhill.
Thank the Lord for the Burgesons
who jumped in and pulled my chestnuts out of the fire. Next time I present the
talk, I will test the Powerpoint better, and practice abundantly.
blessings came out of my week at Kingdom Company. I met a fellow named Pat who,
in times past, preached with Jed at Mansfield State University. He still goes
out from time to time and uses a method not as confrontational as what we use
in CMUSA. He interviews students on camera and asks them what they think about
eternity. It can be a very effective method.
We hit it off great as we spent
several hours swapping war stories. Pat gave me two contacts. The first was Julian.
This Elmira, NY, street preacher had been booted out of his home church for doing
what the Lord had him to do. I went up to Elmira intending to encourage him in
his trial. As it turns out, I was encouraged myself. His testimony is a unique
one. He came to the realization of the reality of God as an atheist contemplating
an acorn on a mountain top in southern Spain. That began his search, and before
too long, he had come to know Jesus.
It is not often that we run into someone
that we can label as "simpatico', but Julian was one for me. It seemed that
on every point we were in agreement, as we swapped testimonies of how the Lord
had lead us down very similar paths.
He has started a work in the poorer
section of Elmira. He has a large building and is doing much with it. He is bringing
together Christian entrepreneurs to start businesses in his neighborhood. He has
started a new school for children, and one for street preaching. Also they are
planning on a soup kitchen to feed people in the run down section of Elmira. Considering
the foul economic times that we are in, I believe the Lord will bless this work,
and that God will be greatly glorified. I have always believed that in times of
financial crisis, the church is called upon to minister to their community. If
they do, souls will be saved, and the church will shine with His glory. Unfortunately,
giving is off, and most churches have expense structures as big as their sanctuaries.
second contact was with a pastor in the Gettysburg area. Again, Dr. Mike is a
veteran street preacher. He has invited me to come down to his church to speak,
and then to go out onto local campuses to do some preaching. If you remember several
weeks ago, I told you about a pastor in York who used to listen to me preach while
he was a student at PSU. It turns out that Dr. Mike knows Jack and they have street
preached together. I am waiting on hearing back from Dr Mike to set a date.
brings me up to last week.
There has been a prophecy circulating around
from a source not known for prophetic words about a run on food stores shortly
after the inauguration. When I heard the prophecy, I realized that I had been
thinking almost the exact same thing for some time. On Monday, just to be a little
prepared, I went to the store to stock up on some staples, enough for a couple
of weeks for me and some others that I take care of. On Tuesday I prepared an
old fashioned root cellar in which to store some potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Wednesday, I made it out to campus. The campus was winter picture perfect, but
the temperature was down in the single digits. It was one of those days when your
gloved fingers are hurting by the time you reach your destination. When I arrived,
everybody was inside the lobby of Willard Building. Gary and a number of Christians
hold court in the lobby. It takes me back to
early eighties. There was a revival burning at PSU in the late seventies and early
eighties. Sometimes up to twenty of us would gather in the lobby to hold church
every day. Gary has it going on also. I am very gratified to see it again.
preached one class break, and surprise of surprises, I was able to gather a small
audience for a few minutes. The fellow in the center is an atheist who also asked
to be a friend on my FaceBook account. He is what I would consider an honest atheist.
atheist who fights against God is not what I would consider an honest atheist.
A true atheist would not care if someone believed in God or not. He would only
find belief to be illogical, but would not try to fight against that which does
not exist. Such is Adam. The other atheists fight against God indicating that
there is much more there than what is said. It belies a belief in God coupled
with a belief that He is evil and must be fought. Simply believing in something
that does not exist is not a sufficient evil to justify such a battle. Come Spring,
I am going to be focusing on examining the atheist philosophy under a microscope.
It is most illogical.