Saturday, June 30, 2007

Do You Love the Word of God?

Do you really? Watch this video and then ask yourself the question again.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why I Will No Longer Shop at Family Christian Bookstores

My wife and children recently went to our local Family Christian Bookstore to shop for Father's Day gifts. (It's good to be loved). While looking for a particular movie (Time Changer), my wife noticed that the store carried several secular films. On Father's Day, as I opened gifts and cards (Did I mention that it's good to be loved?), my wife mentioned that while she couldn't find the movie she was looking for, she noticed a number of secular movies on the shelves. When she mentioned some of the titles, I became concerned. I knew that some of the movies contained instances of blasphemy.

Later that afternoon, I went to the local Family Christian Bookstore, with pen and paper in hand. I went through the store's movie selection and wrote down the titles of most of the secular movies. I came home and searched for reviews of the movie, on websites like Plugged-In Online and CapAlert. Sadly, what I discovered confirmed my concerns.

The store carried the following movies, all of which contain instances of blasphemy: Miracle, Mighty Joe Young, Lizzy McGuire Movie, Inspector Gadget, Cheaper by the Dozen, Spy Kids, and Night at the Museum. (It is interesting to note that Dr. James Dobson wrote a rebuttal to Plugged-In Online's review of Evan Almighty in which he sited the repeated instances of blasphemy as cause not to recommend the movie. You can read it here. I mention this because I anticipate that Family Christian will carry this movie once it is released on DVD.)

I returned to the store and asked for the manager. The manager was not there. The sales clerk with whom I spoke shared my concern about the movies carried by the store, but said there was little that could be done at the store-level. Any decision regarding merchandise carried by the store would be made at the corporate level.

Armed with that information, I went to the Family Christian website, through which I sent the following e-mail:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to lodge a complaint regarding offensive material being carried by my local Family Christian Store (store #291). The material in question includes no less than seven movies in which the name of God is blasphemed. The titles are: Miracle, Mighty Joe Young, Lizzy McGuire Movie, Inspector Gadget, Cheaper By The Dozen, Spy Kids, and Night at the Museum. Reviews of these movies that indicate their
blasphemous content can be found at,, and other online locations.

It is very disturbing that a store and corporation that categorizes itself as Christian, uses the word "Christian" in its name, and caters to the Christian community, would carry offensive movies on its shelves--movies that take the name of God in vain by using His holy name as a cuss word, or to express disgust or excitement, or flippantly as a slang term.

I was told by the sales associate at my local store that the decision to remove these offensive movie titles from the shelves of your stores would be a decision made at the corporate level. I was also led to believe that it is unlikely such a decision will be made. However, I am holding out hope.

Since I could not be given any assurances that the offensive and blasphemous material would be removed before I visited the store again, I turned in my "Pastor's Perks" discount card. Tomorrow, I will return to the store (when the manager is in), at which time I will ask to be removed from the store's mailing list and turn in my
"Family Perks" discount cards.

Until this error is corrected, I will no longer shop at Family Christian Stores. And, in good conscience, I will have to advise my friends, family members, and others not to
patronize your stores as well.

I hope Family Christian Stores will take this matter seriously. What can be more serious than lifting up the name of God--the Lawgiver and Judge who is able to both save and destroy (James 4:12)--with reverence, awe, respect, and love?

I look forward to your response. More importantly, I look forward to Family Christian Stores doing the right thing by bringing honor and glory to God in and through every item your stores sell to the public--saved and unsaved.

Thank you for your kind and prompt consideration in this matter.

Here is the e-mail I received from Darryl Tawney, customer service specialist for Family Christian:

Chaplain Miano,

Thank you for taking the time to express your feedback.

Please note that the ratings organization we utilize is The Dove Foundation ( You can read more about their organization at that website. We trust their ratings. All of the noted movies fall within the 0-2 ratings noted below. All of the films noted would be considered family-friendly.

And here is my response to Mr. Tawney:


Thank you for your prompt response to my e-mail.

So, if I understand you correctly, as long as the movie falls within the Dove Foundation's "0-2 rating," it matters not to Family Christian that God's name is taken in vain. I was hoping that Family Christian would have used the infallible and inerrant Word of God as its guidelines regarding blasphemy instead of the fallible rating system of an organization created by man.

It is sad that Family Christian and the Dove Foundation consider the blasphemous utterance of God's name to fall under the category of "mild, crude language." Unfortunately, the Dove Foundation, like Family Christian, does not consider the following uses of God's name in the movie "Night at the Museum" (a movie carried in Family Christian stores) to be blasphemous, and thus qualify for the organization's worst rating for language (4-5). The blue text that follows was taken directly from the Dove Foundation website: Language: A-1; OMG-1; H-1; For God's sake-1; Geez-1

Or consider the following Dove Foundation language rating of the movie "Mighty Joe Young" (another movie carried in Family Christian stores): Language: H-3; D-1; OMG/G-6; Cr*p-1

Regardless of the Dove Foundation's rating system, to utter God's name causally,
irreverently, or flippantly (even once) is a misuse of His name, and is therefore blasphemous. How many times must one lie to be a liar? How many times must one steal to be a thief? How many times must one commit murder or adultery to be a murderer or an adulterer? Only once, Darryl. And whoever utters God's name in vain, even once, is a blasphemer.

Something else to consider is this. Even though the Dove Foundation found no instances of the misuse of God's name in the movie "Miracle" (yet another movie your stores carry), the "Plugged In Online" review found the following: "More than 30 mild profanities are included here, mostly 'h---.' There are also a few uses of 'crap,' 'screw,' 'ass' and 'bastards.' God’s name is misused a half-dozen times.
Jesus’ once. A banner at a hockey match reads, 'Soviets get the puck out of Afghanistan' (emphasis added).

Darryl, while I did not receive the answer I had hoped and prayed for, at least I now
know where Family Christian stands regarding the blasphemous use of God's name. I will therefore continue with my plans to turn in my "Family Perks" cards, ask to be removed from my local store's mailing list, and encourage my friends and family not to patronize your stores.

If there comes a time when Family Christian realizes that any misuse of God's name is blasphemous (no matter how insignificant such utterances are seen in the eyes of a sinful world), and if there comes a time when Family Christian repents of its endorsement of blasphemy through the sale of movies in which characters take God's name in vain, I will consider returning to your stores. But, until then, I am sorry to say, you have lost a customer.

Thank you, again, Darryl, for taking the time to contact me.

To date, I have not received a response from Darryl Tawney or any Family Christian representative.

Armed with Darryl Tawney's response, I returned to my local Family Christian Bookstore. This time, I was able to talk to the manager. She was expecting me. I handed her my "Family Perks" cards, along with a transcript of my conversation with Darryl Tawney. I asked her to remove my family's name from the store's mailing list.

Like the sales associate with whom I spoke the previous day, the manager was sympathetic to my position. At one point, she whispered, "I appreciate your conviction." I told her that I would shop at her store again, if Family Christian changed its policy regarding blasphemy in the movies their stores carry.

What will you do? Wanting to have integrity in my position, and wanting to keep my word to Darryl Tawney, I want to encourage the readers of this blog to stop patronizing Family Christian Bookstores, the largest Christian bookstore chain in the country. Join me in upholding the sanctity and holiness of God's name by not spending your money at Family Christian.

If you agree that Family Christian should not carry movies in which God's name is blasphemed, please contact Darryl Tawney and tell him so. PLEASE be respectful. Do not sully the name of God by sinning against Him with offensive or abusive speech. Be kind to Mr. Tawney. Voice your concern with an attitude that brings honor and glory to God's name.

Additionally, I want to encourage you to visit your local Family Christian Bookstore, turn in your "Family Perks" or "Pastor Perks" cards (if you have them), and asked to be removed from the store's mailing list. Again, PLEASE be respectful. Keep in mind, store-level employees do not decide what products appear on the store's shelves. You may find, as I did, that store employees will agree with and appreciate your position.

On a personal note: if you are wondering why I am making this stand now, and not sooner; I have an answer to that question. The answer is that up until a couple of months ago, I was sinning against God in my television and movie viewing habits. I viewed blasphemy as a lesser offense than hearing the "F-bomb" or other forms of profanity. I viewed blasphemy as a lesser offense than gratuitous, graphic violence and explicit sexual content. I, like so many I have talked to recently, attributed my desensitisation to the misuse of God's name to the sad fact that "everybody does it"--we hear blasphemy, to one degree or another (all of which is offensive to God), all the time. I was wrong. The Lord pricked my conscience. I have repented of my sin. And I no longer watch television shows or movies in which God's name is taken in vain.

I feel it is appropriate that I acknowledge my friend, Ray Comfort, for helping me see that while I was not uttering blasphemous statements, my viewing habits were tantamount to passive participation in blasphemy. He also helped me to see that I was literally paying people to entertain me with their blasphemy. Ray did this by developing his new website, Hollywood and God. Ray's most recent book, Hollywood Be Thy Name, has also had a significant impact in my thinking and practices.

While all of Scripture is profitable, one verse that fuels much of my thinking and the way I try to live my life is James 4:17. "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." Why am I making this stand? Because I believe it is the right thing to do. What would God have you do?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Behind the Scenes of Way of the Master Radio (06-26-07)

Today, my daughters, Michelle and Marissa, joined me for Way of the Master Radio "street fishing." We picked a new fishing hole, one decidedly closer to water than our usually spots. We spent the afternoon in downtown Ventura, one of Southern California's popular beach communities.

Things were a bit shaky, at first. Very few people were on the streets. So, we went into the gift shop for the San Buenaventura Mission. The lady behind the counter, friendly as she was, would not go on the radio. But she pointed to a door saying that it led to a meditation garden, and that we might find someone there. That sounded like a great idea. Well......

We walked through the door into a very beautiful garden. Sadly, interspersed among the beautiful flowering plants were numerous statues--icons of the Roman Catholic faith. We entered the garden expecting to find lots of people milling about. No one was there! I had only one minute until I was do to go on the air. So we made our way to the door through which we entered the garden. It was locked! Along the west wall of the garden, there was a gate. We moved toward the gate, which appeared to be locked. We were trapped!

I called "Hip-Hop" at the radio studio. "David, the fish aren't biting. And we're trapped in a Roman Catholic meditation garden!"

Todd came on the phone and asked me to make a decision. Were we a "go-no-go" for launch? Aaahhh!

Moments later, three women and a baby entered the garden. The oldest three of the group appeared to be a grandmother, daughter, and teenage granddaughter. How they got in, I do not know. I didn't care. I prayed...quickly. I approached the teenager. Her name was Jennifer. Her manner of dress and make-up led me to believe she had, at the very least, interest in the Gothic subculture.

Jennifer and her family travel more than 100 miles, from Bakersfield, every six months, so her mother can lay flowers before the statue of Saint Anthony. According to Jennifer, her mother made a promise to Saint Anthony. If Saint Anthony would heal her baby (Jennifer's little sister) of a skin disorder, she would come to the garden every six months to lay flowers a pay homage to the patron saint. Very sad.

Thankfully, she agreed to be on the show. Ray Comfort took her through the Law and the Gospel. Listen to their conversation. Her beliefs were a mix of Catholicism, New Age, and a creation of a god and universe in her own imagination. She was a very personable 18-year-old, but also a confused young lady.

As Jennifer talked to Ray on the phone, a groundskeeper approached me and asked if I was having trouble finding my way out of the garden. Humbly (like I had a choice), I admitted we couldn't get out. He pointed to the same gate we had thought was locked and said, "The gate is open. You push it out to open it."

Okay, so it wasn't my best moment. It wouldn't be the first time a cop came to a door with plans of kicking it open, when someone suggested trying the doorknob. If you can stop laughing, let's get back to Jennifer. Thanks. :-)

I began my follow-up conversation with Jennifer by asking her why she came to the garden, today. She told me that her mother was very dedicated to Saint Anthony, believing that Saint Anthony had healed her baby sister of a skin disorder.

While it did not appear that Jennifer had been truly humbled by the Law (of course, appearances can be deceiving), the conversations she had with Ray and me caused her to reconsider some of her preconceived notions about God and eternity. Listen to the conversation. What do you think?

As was the case with the first hour, I entered the second-hour segment with no one to put on the phone. But the Lord provided someone just in the nick of time (at least as we fallible humans see time). God is never late.

When I asked the young man (pictured here) his name. He said, "I don't use my real name. I use my street name."

"What's your street name?" I asked.

"Puke." was the answer.

Puke identified himself as an agnostic, which was also evidenced by the word "agnostic" written with a Sharpie pen on the back of his jacket. He had lived on the streets of Ventura for a while. He is seventeen.

Puke told Ray that if his girlfriend (who apparently died of a drug overdose) is in hell, that's where he wants to go. He also asserted, at one point, that while he was guilty of breaking God's Law while he was on drugs, he felt he had been able to keep the Law since he got sober. Listen to Ray and Puke's conversation.

I enjoyed a good conversation with Puke, after he got off the phone with Ray. He admitted that he had learned more about Christianity than he had expected. His belief that life on this earth is hell was challenged. Listen to my conversation with Puke. Listen to the humility in his voice. I believe God was at work in this young man's heart.

Before Puke walked away, we made sure he had enough money for lunch--trusting that is how he would use it. As Puke walked away, I asked Marissa what she thought of the conversation I had with him. She began to cry. "It's just so very sad."

I took my two daughters back into the garden. I sensed my little girl needed to debrief and pray. The three of us found a quiet spot and sat closely together on a bench. The garden truly was a beautiful place. Marissa again expressed how sad it was that Puke, a person her age, was living on the streets and was so utterly lost. We spent some time in prayer for both Puke and Jennifer--asking the Lord to save them. I prayed thanking God for His grace and mercy in my daughters' lives. We thanked God for giving Marissa a sense of compassion for Puke. We asked God to use this moment, for His glory, giving Marissa even more passion and compassion for reaching the lost with the gospel. More tears.

Ventura is a town with several antique and gift shops. So, we decided to do a little window shopping before making the hour-drive home. A half-hour had past since we said good-bye to Puke. We thought we would likely never see him again.

As we walked down the street, past a small hamburger stand, Puke ran up behind us and said, "Excuse me." Always enjoying having someone sneak up behind me (not), I quickly turned around. Seeing that it was Puke, I powered down, but not completely. "What did he want?" I wondered.

"I just wanted to say thank you, again."

I shook Puke's hand and wished him well. I don't think he was only thanking us for lunch. I think he was also thankful for the conversation. I know I was.

Yet another great day of fishing. Please pray for Jennifer and Puke's salvation.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Take Up The Shield Project Update

To date, the Take Up The Shield Project has distributed more than 4,200 gift copies of Take Up The Shield to members of the law enforcement family, throughout the United States, Canada, and Nigeria. This has been made possible by the Take Up The Shield Project team, churches, and individuals who see the book as a valuable evangelism and discipleship tool. Through the efforts of so many, Take Up The Shield has been an encouragement to Christian officers, and it has brought the gospel to an untold number of officers who need to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Most recently, the book has been used to serve Christ and to seek the lost, in the following ways.

My pastor and I recently attended LAPD's "Faith Night." During the event, we gave away approximately 100 copies of the book to members of the law enforcement family. This gave me opportunities to have several encouraging conversations with people who came by our table--people like:
  1. The spouse of one of the officers involved in the "North Hollywood Shoot-Out."

  2. A sergeant who picked up the book and said, "I've been looking for something like this. It's hard to balance being a cop and being a Christian."

  3. A deputy sheriff who is also serving as a chaplain for a smaller agency.

Yesterday, I made a one-day trip to Sacramento to preach at Celebration Church. During my flight to Sacramento, I sat next to a recently retired high school teacher. Her name was Sandy. She was on her way to Alaska to enjoy a cruise with some friends. Her father, who passed away not long ago, served with the L.A. City Fire Department for more than 30 years. We had a great conversation. Before we landed in Sacramento, I gave her a copy of Take Up The Shield.

When I returned to LAX, I took a bus toward home. Sitting next to me on the bus was a man named Mark. Mark was returning home from a trip to Italy. He and his sister took their 83-year-old father to Italy so he could visit with family--maybe for the last time. As the bus pulled into the station, I reached into my bag and removed a book. I handed it to Mark and said, "From one Italian to another, thanks for caring so much for your dad." He smiled and thanked me for the book. We shook hands and went our separate ways.

Today, I delivered 110 copies of the book to Chief Robert Sanderson, with the Arcadia Police Department (CA). Chief Sanderson is a brother in the Lord. I sent him a copy of the book with a letter asking his permission to give the book to every member of his department. After reading the book, he called me and accepted my offer. More than 100 members of the law enforcement family (sworn, reserve, and civilian) will now have an opportunity to either be encouraged in their Christian faith, or to hear the gospel--maybe for the first time.

Here is what officers have recently said about the book:

"By God's grace and with His help I have been able to pass out your book, Take up the Shield, to many officers, including my C.O. and X.O. they are not saved as of yet. Yesterday my X.O. was talking to me and said, he and his wife has been reading the book . . . I was excited and almost without words to hear that my X.O. and his wife actually read the book. I must have had a smile on my face the size of my head. I hope seeds fell on good ground and will take root. Praise Jesus!" ~ An officer in New York.

"I ran across your book by browsing the Police One website, and it caught my eye. It’s hard to find good reading material when it comes to Law Enforcement, especially material with a Christian reference. I appreciate it." ~ A sergeant with a sheriff's department, in Texas.

"Our department received the Take Up The Shield books yesterday from my church . . . My Pastor came to all three roll calls and presented the book to the guys. I have been praying that the book will have a impact on several of the guys. I am blessed with an awesome Church that wants to get involved with encouraging the lives of others. My Church is very active in missions in Brazil, Costa Rica, and New York and I am very excited about the opportunity to be involved here with our local Police Departments. I pray that we will carry this message even further to other departments in our area. Being a police officer, you understand how hard it is for someone to get through to the guys; but your book puts God's Word in a way that they will read it and understand it and like it. Thank you for what you do and the way that you do it." ~ A lieutenant in Alabama.

The Take Up The Shield Project was most recently featured in the Tulsa World Newspaper.

I would like to encourage you to order the book. Read it and decide for yourself. If you believe, as we do, that the book is an effective way to bring the gospel to the law enforcement family, then join the team! There are more than 900,00 sworn officers in the United States, which means the law enforcement family numbers in the millions. We want to reach all of them with the gospel. If you haven't already, won't you join us in the effort?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Reason Why So Many False Converts Fill the Church

Late Friday night, I was called to the scene of a suicide. A woman killed herself in her home. Her husband found her body. As sad and tragic as this situation was (and please pray for the woman's family), I saw something else that night that troubled me greatly.

When I entered the home, I saw a book on a counter, not far from where the woman took her life. It was a copy of Joel Osteen's book, "Your Best Life Now."

In no way whatsoever am I suggesting that Osteen's book contributed to the woman's suicide. I can no more make that assertion than I can attest to knowing what was in the woman's heart and mind, before she died. Only God knows. But considering that Osteen preaches a false gospel of prosperity and self-esteem, it troubled me to think that the book had any influence in the woman's life, before she died.

Here's Osteen in his own words:

Is there any wonder there are so many false converts in the Church, today?

Friday, June 22, 2007

What a Joy!

A good friend of mine recently made an interesting observation. He told me that I often write about the "how" and the "what" of evangelism; but I rarely write about the "why" of evangelism. In other words, I write about how to do evangelism. I write about what happens when I do evangelism. But I rarely talk about why I do evangelism. It was a very profound and accurate observation my friend made.

It's late. It's quiet. So, indulge me, if you will, as I think aloud while my fingers move across the keyboard. Why do I do evangelism? Why am I an evangelist?

Before I share what is really on my mind, let me begin by stating the obvious, lest anyone conclude that I think evangelism is about me. It's not about me. It's about Jesus Christ and the people He wants to save.

I am involved in evangelism because my God has commanded me (and every other believer) in His Word, to preach the gospel to lost souls (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15). I am involved in evangelism because I want to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). I am involved in evangelism because I want to be an imitator of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1-2). Jesus had/has compassion for people, and so should I (Matt. 9:36). And I am a worker in His harvest (Matt. 9:37-38). God has given some as evangelists (Eph. 4:11). It took me fifteen years to realize that I am counted among the "some." God is still showing me what that really means.

So, now that I've given you, the reader, a theological answer to the question, allow me to give you a more personal answer--one that meanders back and forth across the fine line separating the natural and the spiritual. Why am I an evangelist? For the joy.

I remember the first time I stepped onto a stool to open-air preach. My team consisted of me, my wife, and my youngest daughter. I was so scared that it took me an hour just to get up enough courage to send my wife and daughter out to gather a crowd for me. Within minutes, a group of 40-50 people, mostly teenagers, were gathered around me. Having spent four days in South Central Los Angeles, during the riots of 1992, at that moment I would have taken the riots over standing atop that stool.

My knees shook. My voice cracked. My memory seemed to connect and disconnect on its own, with absolutely no regard for my nerves. However, I survived. And I preached the Law and the Gospel to a crowd of unsaved people. When I finished preaching and stepped off the stool, instead of dissipating, the crowd drew closer. They wanted to hear more! Granted, it doesn't always happen that way. But it did that day.

What a joy it is to preach the Law and the Gospel, in the open-air! Am I a little nervous each time I step onto the stool? Yes. Do I experience the fear of the unknown and the fear of man when I open-air preach? Yes. But what a joy it is to feel the electricity in the air. What a joy it is, even through a crowd of hecklers and scoffers, to notice every once in a while, a few heads in the crowd nodding in agreement with what I am saying.

What a joy it is to have a front row seat and watch as the Law of the Lord, rightly applied, does its work on the hearts of arrogant, unregenerate people who, up to that moment, had placed all of their trust in their own intellect. What a joy it is to feel the almost peaceful stillness in the air as people cling to the message of the cross and God's amazing grace.

"Does that concern you?" It's the question I most often ask people once I have taken them through the Law and brought them to the understanding that if they were to die at that moment and stand before the holy and righteous God, He would find them guilty of breaking His Law and sentence them to eternity in Hell. "Does that concern you?"

"Yes." It is the most common answer I receive. What a joy it is to watch as hearts that were as hard as bricks only minutes earlier, melt like wax. The arrogant and confident facade is stripped away to expose a person filled with uncertainty who can no longer, with any intellectual integrity, put any confidence in their own flesh. Oh, what a joy it is to hear someone say, "I don't want to go to Hell."

Tears. It is not uncommon to see the eyes of the person with whom I am speaking well up with tears as they hear what God did so that, if they repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, they will not have to spend eternity in Hell. What a joy to see a look in people's eyes that says, "Is it really possible that God loves me that much? Did He die on the cross for me?"

"You mean He is still alive?" I will never forget the evening when a young man asked me that question. I had taken him through the Law and I had begun to share the gospel with him. When I began to talk about the resurrection of Christ, he stopped me, leaned forward with eyes opened wide, and asked, "You mean He is still alive?"

I could feel my pulse quicken as I tried desperately to hide my shock. I was sharing the gospel with someone who had never heard about the resurrection of Jesus Christ! What a joy it was to be the first person to tell him this wonderful news. I love it when people tell me that they have no idea what God did to provide the only way for man to escape His holy wrath. In those instances, God allows me to plant the very first spiritual seeds into the soil of that person's heart. What a joy!

Most of the time (as the above picture indicates), evangelism is simply a lot of fun. I get to meet interesting people from every conceivable walk of life--young, old, and everywhere in between. Every time I engage a stranger in conversation and get past "hello," I prove that it only takes a few moments (not days, weeks, months, or years) to establish a relationship with a person. (Another word for "relationship" might be "rapport.") More often than not, if I am friendly with people, they are friendly with me. Even if they do not like what I have to say, they enjoy the conversation. What a joy it is to serve God by refuting the negative misconceptions many people have about Christians, by simply being nice to people and caring enough about them to warn them about the wrath to come and to share the gospel with them.

"No one has ever talked to me this way." What a joy it is to hear a person say that. Sadly, it is not uncommon to hear this statement uttered by people who regularly attend Christian churches. Many such people are teenagers that hang out at malls on the weekends who admit that they are regular participants in "youth ministries." They've heard about Jesus, but no one has ever told them about the consequences of their sin and the dangers of false conversion. What a joy it is to use the Law of God to help someone see that they are not a Christian, without ever having to point an angry finger at them and say, "You're not a Christian." It's a joy to see people come to that realization through the honest assessment of their own lives, as their consciences are pricked by the Word of God.

"That was amazing. My church should be doing this." What a joy it is to meet other genuine followers of Christ, on the streets. Whenever I open-air preach or engage in one-to-one conversations on the streets, it is not uncommon for me to be approached by Christians who happen to be in the area. Typically, the first words out of their mouth are, "Wow! I've never seen anything like that!" Now, keep in mind, they are not talking about me. They are talking about what they had just seen and heard.

What a joy it is to be able to encourage other Christians to actively engage in evangelism--to assure them that if I can do it, they can do it. In the end, we do what we care about. And if we care about unsaved people dying and going to hell, we will do whatever we can, whenever we can, to reach them with the Law and the Gospel.

I try to keep an ample supply on hand of Ray Comfort's CD messages, Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Conversion. I give these away to Christians and professing Christians (false converts) whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Then I encourage Christians to give the CD's to their pastors--the hope being that, if they are not already, their pastors will engage in, teach, and encourage others to be involved in biblical evangelism.

I thank God for those among the present generation who get it! What a joy it is to teach teenagers how to share their faith. I teach a 10-week Way of the Master class each semester, for junior high and high school students who are homeschooled. It's an absolute blast to see kids go from being introverted and fearful when it comes to evangelism, to sharing the Law and the Gospel to groups of people of all ages, at the mall and on the streets.

It's a joy to watch Josh or Brianna approach a group of people with the confidence of a seasoned street cop and jump right into a conversation. It's a joy to see people clinging to their words. It's a joy to watch them grab the arm of someone less confident and say, "Come on. Let's go talk to someone."

It's a joy to see Lindsey's confidence grow each time she goes out with us. It's a joy to see the Lord take her knowledge of God's Word and put it to use in evangelism.

It's a joy to watch Brandon M. pull out his deck of cards and break the ice with a group of people, by doing some sleight of hand.

It's a joy to hear that Brandon D. took what he learned in the class and put it to use on the Island of Fiji, with the Lord allowing him to see someone make a profession of faith, for the very first time.

It's a joy to watch my three girls--Michelle, Marissa, and Amanda--all step out of their comfort zones and engage in conversations or hand out gospel tracts.

It's a joy to watch young people like Spencer open-air preach for the first time.

It's a joy to encourage a young man like Anthony who open-air preaches on his public high school campus.

It's a joy to receive e-mails from young people like Rebecca (pictured to the right)--young people who desperately want to reach the lost with the gospel. It's a joy to hear and feel the excitement in their voices when they share their adventures in evangelism. Their words jump off the computer screen and warm my heart. It's a joy to be able to encourage them, even though they may be hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.

But it is not only people in this present generation who are beginning to see the light. One of my dear friends and brothers in Christ, Mike, is a good example. Mike's a big guy, with an even bigger heart. For several months, now, Mike has been coming out and participating in street evangelism. Mike loves the Lord and he knows God's Word; but he lacked confidence in the area of starting conversations. Just recently, Mike had a significant breakthrough. What a joy it was to see the smile on Mike's face as he shared that he now feels more confident approaching people and initiating conversations. In fact, the evening when this breakthrough happened, the entire team rejoiced with Mike.

"Tony, can I ask you something?" One of the great joys of evangelism has nothing to do with evangelism. It is such a joy to be able to spend time with another believer, working together as partners in evangelism. It is not unlike sharing a patrol car with a partner. So often, whether I'm with someone I work with on a regular basis, or I'm with someone I'm meeting for the first time that day, the other person will say, "Tony, can I ask you something?"

While my partner and I are walking down the street, or walking through the mall, looking for someone with whom to share the gospel, our conversation often turns to personal and spiritual matters. Some of the best counseling and discipling opportunities I have ever had have been during these quiet walks.

During the last couple of years, I have come to realize that an essential element has been missing from most evangelical discipleship programs and models. It's evangelism.

I have experienced more "Acts 2" church life in the context of evangelism, than in any other kind of fellowship and/or ministry. When I'm out with a team or a partner witnessing, we spend time in mutual accountability. We spend time in prayer. We worship together as we thank and praise God for His faithfulness, protection, and presence. We study the Scriptures together as we talk about doctrine and its application in our lives. Occasionally we'll break bread together--enjoying a meal. Sometimes we'll experience mild persecution together. (I use the word "mild" because, by and large, the American church has no idea what persecution is.) But more often than not, we are having favor with all the people (Acts 2:47). And, together, we're doing the godly work of trying to add to our number "day by day those who [are] being saved" (Acts 2:48). What a joy it is to see the Church be the Church, for the glory of God!

Yes, all of the things I have mentioned are part of the joy I find in evangelism. But the greatest joy of all--something I don't see every day because "the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:14)--is being allowed to watch the Lord do His greatest work--drawing a sinner to Himself, through repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

It is during these rare, miraculous moments that I am reminded of how small and insignificant I am. I am but a herald of the King. As I write this, I find it difficult not to weep because I cannot help but to reflect on the goodness, majesty, and sovereignty of my great God and King. Watching a person pass from darkness into light, from death into life, is the most vivid reminder I have of the fact that I was once blind, but now I see. The great and mighty God who is saving the person standing or sitting in front of me is the same great and mighty God who saved me!

What a joy! Oh, what an incredible, undeserved, and wonderful joy it is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ by bringing His gospel to a lost and dying world! What a joy it is to love strangers in this way. What a joy it is to love and fellowship with my Christian brethren in this way. What a joy it is to be so very blessed while, at the same time, be so utterly unworthy of the blessing.

I wanted to share my joy with you, the reader. I hope I have succeeded in doing that. I want you to know that the joy I have in my heart can be your joy, too (if it's not already). And I want you to know that I will do whatever I can to help you discover this incredible joy--the joy of evangelism.

To my friend and brother in Christ who encouraged me to write this article, thank you. I think I understand, now, why you wanted me to write it. You've been trying to get me to say something--to admit something to myself and to others, without apology. I can do that now. I can say it without apology, and without boastful pride. (Again, it's not about me. It's about Him.)

I am an evangelist. What a joy! Thank You, Lord! To You, and to You alone, be all the praise and honor and glory! Amen.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


This is a video of my good friend, Leon Brown, of He is open-air preaching outside the venue for the 2007 Jehovah's Witnesses Convention.

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15).

Go. Please go!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Behind the Scenes of Way of the Master Radio (06-19-07)

Those of you who follow this blog and Way of the Master Radio will remember that last week's "street fishing" on Hollywood Boulevard did not go quite as planned. So, Marissa and I, determined to have a good show from Hollywood Boulevard, returned there today. And it was a good show. We also enjoyed an added blessing. Ray Comfort and The Way of the Master team were filming interviews for the third season of The Way of the Master television show.

Hollywood Boulevard was packed with people, from all over the world. Our guest for the first hour of the show was a 15-year-old girl from San Antonio named Jennifer. Jennifer said she really didn't have any spiritual beliefs (which would prove to be a trend for today's show) and she believed she was a good person.

Todd Friel took Jennifer through the "Good Person Test." One of the things our listening audience does not get to experience is the expression on people's faces, as the Law does its work. Well, here's a picture of the Law, rightly applied, doing its work. The look you see on Jennifer's face is one of concern.

Once Jennifer was off the phone, I spent about five minutes talking to her. She still wasn't quite clear about what she must do to be saved. She was still relying on things like prayer and going to church. I used a new analogy with Jennifer (at least it was new to me). Click here to listen to my conversation with Jennifer. Did the analogy work?

Krystina was our guest for the second hour of the show. Krystina (18) was visiting from Chicago. She was with her cousins, Chris and Kim, husband and wife (and both are active-duty marines), stationed in San Diego. When I approached the three and asked if either of them wanted to be on the show, Chris and Kim quickly backed away. They said that they talk like marines and wouldn't want to cuss on the radio. I told them that as marines they were trained to exercise self-control and that they probably could control their demeanor for a five-minute phone conversation. But, they pulled rank and told Krystina to do the interview.

Like Jennifer before her, Krystina had no particular belief system, although her family tree was a mixture of Buddhism and Catholicism. And, like Jennifer, I could see Krystina's face turn from a curious smile to a look of concern as Todd took her through the "Good Person Test."

Once Krystina was off the phone, I used my follow-up conversation with her as an opportunity to present the Law and the Gospel to Chris and Kim. When I asked Chris and Kim if they were concerned about spending eternity in hell, as the just punishment for breaking God's Law, Kim said that she wasn't. Click here to listen to my conversation with Krystina, Chris, and Kim, and how I used the Virginia Tech Massacre to show Kim that she really did care about where she would spend eternity.

It was another great day of fishing--an afternoon of serving the King. To Him be all the honor and glory! Please pray for Jennifer, Krystina, Chris, and Kim.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cobrinha's Imaginary God

My daughters (Michelle and Marissa) and I spent yesterday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard. We were there to do my weekly "street fishing" segment on Way of the Master Radio. Unfortunately, technical difficulties made it impossible for me to do my segments. But all was not lost. We were able to distribute a couple hundred gospel tracts to people from all over the world.

Click here to listen to the conversation I had with Cobrinha (pictured above). He is a street musician who is representative of so many people who have created a god in their own imagination. As you will hear in the audio, the conversation never got to the gospel. However, I think, by the end of the conversation, I was able to bring Cobrinha to the realization that truth, not belief, determines reality. Considering how Cobrinha processes information, this could very well be an important seed planted.

And listen to our voices. It was a friendly conversation. You can do this! :-)

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ~ Exodus 20:4-6

Christian: Can You Relate to This Young Lady?

I appreciate this young lady's honesty. Can you relate to her? If so, what will you do about it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

'Hollywood Be Thy Name' (A Book Review)

You decide to go to a movie. You look at the movie section of your local newspaper to see what’s playing. Because of your personal convictions, you will not see a rated “R” movie, so that eliminates most of the films that are presently showing at the theater. You see a couple of “PG-13” movies that might be interesting.

Knowing how Hollywood is constantly pushing the envelope on decency, you check a couple of Christian websites that review movies for content. You learn that the movie you would like to see contains no graphic violence, no sexual content, and the negative language is limited to a few instances of blasphemy. The instances of blasphemy are not detailed, but you are not too concerned. “At least I won’t have to hear the ‘F’ bomb in every other scene.” You say to yourself. You feel that you have made a “good faith” effort to research the movie’s content and you are satisfied that the negative aspects of the movie are mild enough that you can, in good conscience, watch the movie.

You decide to ask your mother to go to the movie with you. You haven’t seen her in a while and this will give you a good opportunity to spend some time together. She is thrilled to spend the evening with you. You pick her up and on the way to the movie theater, you tell her a little bit about the movie and assure her that it will be a couple of hours of good, clean fun.

You and your mother arrive at the theater. You treat her to some popcorn and a soda. You walk into the dimly lit theater and lead her to what you think are great seats. As you wait for the movie to start, you catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. You’re feeling pretty good about the day.

The theater darkens. The opening credits begin to roll. And the theater becomes quiet. You settle in to enjoy the movie. Initially, the movie proves to be everything the positive reviews promised. Then the unthinkable happens.

Your mom’s name is Jane Logan. Of course you have never called her that. You have too much love and respect for her to use her name casually.

Without warning, one of the main characters in the movie becomes angry and uses your mother’s name in a derogatory way. Your jaw drops. You can’t believe what you just heard. You look out of the corner of your eye (because you are too embarrassed to look your mom in the eye) and you see tears welling in her eyes. Just as you try to convince yourself that what you just heard was a mistake, another character in the movie uses your mother’s name as the punch line of a joke. Another character responds to the joke by using her name to express their disgust.

“Come on, mom.” You take her by the hand and lead her out of the theater, repeatedly apologizing along the way. As you make your way toward the exit, you see one of the theater’s managers. You stop and let the manager know how offended you are by the way your precious mom’s name was used in the movie. You demand a refund and the manager obliges, with his apologies.

If this scenario really happened, how would you respond? Would you defend your mother’s name—her honor and dignity? Or would you tell her to get over it because it was no big deal?

Now I would like you to consider how often you hear the name of God blasphemed on television or in movies. Do you walk out of the theater? Do you change the channel? Or do you simply overlook it because, well, that’s just the way people talk these days? How important is God’s name to you—really?

Ray Comfort, founder of Living Waters Publications, The Way of the Master Television, and The Way of the Master Radio has written Hollywood Be Thy Name (Bridge-Logos, July 2007). If the above scenario gave you even a moment of pause, a moment of self-assessment, then you must read Ray Comfort’s book. I am confident that you will never watch movies or television the same way, again.

Hollywood By Thy Name picks up where Ray Comfort’s earlier book, What Hollywood Believes (Genesis Publishing Group: 2004), left off. In Hollywood Be Thy Name Comfort explores the reasons why the Hollywood film industry, which once produced some godly films, has become, by and large, anti-God. “The average Hollywood production,” Comfort says, “uses the name of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ more than the average sermon.”

If you are not familiar with Ray Comfort, his ministry, or his writing, you might be tempted to think that Hollywood Be Thy Name is just another diatribe against a sinful entertainment industry. You would be wrong. Ray Comfort writes the way he talks to people—with the concern of a man who deeply cares about the spiritual condition of everyone he meets. With the same warmhearted style with which he engages people in conversation, Ray tells the truth. He doesn’t attack anyone. He simply exposes the lies and the blasphemy of Hollywood with the truth of God’s Word. There is not a shred of legalism in this important book. Instead, the book is a clarion call to people everywhere to revere and honor the name of God.

Comfort skillfully exposes the beliefs of Hollywood’s elite atheists, evolutionists, and spiritualists. But he also challenges those Christians who continue to support ungodly movies. Then he suggests, powerfully, how Christians can effect change. There is one rock believers have in their hands that can “hit the blaspheming giant [Hollywood] between the eyes.”

As is the case with all of Ray Comfort’s books, the gospel is clearly and biblically presented throughout Hollywood Be Thy Name. The book is replete with Scripture, with each verse and passage carefully presented in its proper context. Warning: Don’t skim his footnotes! The footnotes provide interesting trivia, fascinating history, and Scriptural encouragement. Read every word on every page.

This book will undoubtedly serve as an encouragement and a challenge to both the Christian and the unbeliever alike. I will use this book as a tool in both my discipleship and evangelism efforts.

I have read many books by many Christian authors during the last twenty years. I can think of several that have had a profound effect on my growth as a Christian—books that have brought conviction and a desire to grow in godliness. Hollywood Be Thy Name is such a book. Don’t just read it. Let its powerful message change your viewing habits and empower you to effect positive change in our country!

For more information about how you can let Hollywood know how important God's name is to you, and to watch live interviews with people outside Grauman's Chinese Theater, please visit the Hollywood and God website.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Take Up The Shield Project to Participate in LAPD's 'Faith Night'!

Every officer, firefighter, and member of the armed forces will receive a free copy of Take Up The Shield. I am asking God to allow us to give away 1,000 copies of the book. And I am trusting Him to cover the costs of the book. If you would like to support this effort to put the gospel into the hands of military personnel and first responders, please visit the Take Up The Shield Project website for more information about making a donation.

An event like this, endorsed by LAPD and other law enforcement agencies in the greater Los Angeles area, has never before taken place. Opportunities like this do not present themselves every day. Please help us to bless all who are in attendance that day.

Please pray for the event. Pray also for those dedicated individuals who are working behind the scenes to organize the event, and all who will attend. Pray that the gospel will be presented loud and clear. Pray that many officers will be drawn to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Breakfast (And the Gospel) Is Served!

Monday morning (early Monday morning) we traveled north to Lancaster Sheriff's Station. The purpose of the trip was to cook breakfast for the station family and to give away copies of Take Up The Shield. John (Ten-Four Ministries Advisory Board) and Justin Howard (flanking me in the above photo) spent nine months designing and building the cooking trailer, for the purpose of blessing others. Ten-Four Ministries made an investment in the project, and John and Justin roll out the trailer whenever the Lord presents us with an opportunity to bless the law enforcement family.

Lancaster Station is one of the busiest patrol stations in Los Angeles County. The commanding officer is Captain Carl Deeley (Ten-Four Ministries Advisory Board). Carl is recognized as one of the best commanding officers in the county, and is very well respected by the rank and file. Carl and Chaplain Rick Curtis joined us in cooking breakfast for 80-100 members of the station family.

As we satisfied the deputies stomachs, we also sought to meet their spiritual need. We gave away more than 40 copies of Take Up The Shield. The cost of the books was covered by donations made to the Take Up The Shield Project. We also gave away an equal number of Running Beyond Inspiration. This book has always been a free resource. Since we published the book, we have given away well over 5,000 copies to officers and civilians around the world.

It was a great morning! We were blessed to spend the morning enjoying wonderful fellowship with the deputies, civilian personnel, and volunteers assigned to Lancaster Station.

Please pray that those who received free copies of the books will read them. Pray that the Lord will use the books to present the gospel to those who need to hear. Pray that the Lord will use this simple effort to draw many to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are a member of the law enforcement family, live in the greater Los Angeles area, and would like us to bring the Ten-Four Ministries cooking trailer to your station or department, please contact me at: 661-260-1878.

There is never any charge to have us cook a meal for the law enforcement family. Ten-Four Ministries covers all costs associated with the event. Any ministry-related materials we bring to the event are given to participants as gifts. We will come to your station or department to give, not to receive--to serve, not to be served.

Breakfast (and the gospel) is served! Let us come and serve you.

Behind the Scenes of Way of the Master Radio (06-05-07)

No photos for today's fishing trip. Sorry. I decided to leave the camera at home since, last week, mall security asked me to remove my camera from the premises.

I was blessed today to be joined by my friend, Leon Brown, with Leon drove three hours from San Diego to spend the day with me. The Lord has shown me that the best fellowship, discipleship, and mutual accountability takes place in the context of evangelism. Today was certainly no exception. Thank you, Leon, for your friendship and partnership in ministry.

We went fishing at the Valencia Town Center. The Lord was gracious today. Finding people to put on the phone was easy; even though the we found the second guest with only forty-five seconds to spare.

The guest for the first hour's segment was a 15-year-old named Sam. What drew me to Sam was the shirt he was wearing. His shirt sported the album cover of a punk rock band. The shirt was so offensive, so very blasphemous, you might think that I would walk the other way--find someone else with whom to speak. However repulsed I was by Sam's shirt, the Lord allowed me to look past the shirt to the young man wearing it--a young man who desperately needed Christ. Click here to listen to Kirk Cameron and Todd Friel's conversation with Sam.

Following Sam's conversation with Kirk and Todd, I spent about twenty minutes talking to him--almost missing the start of the scheduled, second-hour "street fishing" segment. There was nothing unique about Sam's objections. "Why did God allow evil?" "How can I believe God exists without proof?" "How can I trust that the Bible is true?" The objections were not difficult to overcome. However, sadly, like so many unsaved people, when given an answer, Sam tried to move on to the next question, instead of dealing with the answer he was just given. So, was Sam really looking for answers; or was he simply looking to justify his unbelief?

Through it all, I was able to get Sam to admit that he had created a god of his own imagination--one who will not judge those who sin against him, and one that will do Sam's bidding. Considering the hardness of Sam's heart, seeing him come to this realization was significant.

While Sam was not humbled by the Law, seeds were still planted. He told me that he appreciated how nice Leon and I had been to him. He said that no one had ever taken the time to try to answer his questions. He believed our motives were sincere. Before we parted ways, I left Sam with this thought. "Sam, if what I'm telling you is not true, then it will have no affect on you, eternally speaking. But if what I am telling you is the truth, then eternity hangs in the balance and you are facing eternity in hell for breaking God's Law. I don't want you to go to hell. So, please consider what I've told you." He agreed to do so.

As is the case with every witnessing encounter, the best I could hope to do was to plant spiritual seeds in Sam's heart and mind. Only God can draw Sam to Himself. Only God the Father, by the power of God the Holy Spirit, can bring Sam to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ--God the Son. Only God can save Sam, or condemn him (James 4:12). I pray that God will save Sam.

Our guest for the second hour was a Hispanic lady who was not at all ashamed to admit she was a senior citizen. Eva was also a professional, having spent the last twenty-seven years serving as an oral surgery assistant for a prominent, local dentist. Like Sam she considered herself to be a good person. Unlike Sam, she attends church faithfully each week. She is Roman Catholic. Sam and Eva couldn't have been farther apart socially, economically, and ethnically. Eva was old enough to be Sam's grandmother. Yet as different as the two appeared outwardly, inwardly they were very much alike. They were both lost, spiritually.

Todd and Eva enjoyed a good conversation. Yet at the end of their conversation, Eva was still holding on to her belief that God will simply forgive her for her sins because she asks. So I took Eva into a hypothetical courtroom and onto a hypothetical airplane ride. Twenty minutes later, I asked Eva if there was any reason why she would not repent of her sin and truly place her faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save her. Click here to listen to our conversation and to hear Eva's answer.

It was yet another blessed day of "street fishing." And today I enjoyed the additional blessing of spending time with my friend, Leon.

In addition to allowing me to have two good conversations with lost people, the Lord once again confirmed the place of His Law, in evangelism. He likewise confirmed that a biblical presentation of the Law and the gospel transcends culture, in all its forms. There is but one gospel for all people. It matters not what the person looks like. It matters not how old the person is. It matters not in which social-economic part of the culture the person holds station. A lost person is a lost person is a lost person. The gospel remains the only power for salvation. And I am not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16).

Please pray for Sam and Eva. May God sovereignly choose to glorify Himself by saving both of them.

Monday, June 04, 2007

'You Have The Right To Remain Silent' Testimony

The following is a testimony by Officer Dan White, with the Baltimore County Police Department (MD). Be encouraged and never underestimate the potential of gospel tracts.

Just over two weeks ago, my civilian partner and I were dispatched to a suicidal subject call. We were advised that a 20-year-old male, Michael, had left a suicide note at his home telling his family good bye and that he was sorry for taking his life. Since Michael was not in custody and his whereabouts were unknown my partner and I started toward another call on the east side of the county.

A county and citywide "attempt to locate" broadcast was given with both the description of Michael and his vehicle description. A marked unit from Precinct 6 observed Michael’s vehicle and stopped it to check on him. When the officer walked up to the vehicle he observed a large butcher knife on the front passenger seat and a loaded shotgun on the rear seat. Michael was removed from the car, without incident, and my partner and I were informed of his location.

Since the Precinct 6 unit was closer to us than the east side call we diverted that call and responded to speak with Michael so he could be linked to further services. My partner, a mental health clinician, and I began an on scene assessment of Michael's mental state. While we talked to him, he was sarcastic, in an attempt to hide his emotional state. However, he broke down early in the conversation. He admitted to suicidal ideations and advised that he went to a State Park in Harford County (MD) where he was going to jump off a cliff, to his death. He told us that he sat there for about an hour but was unable to jump because of his conscience.

Michael decided that he would return home to retrieve the shotgun and the knife and plot his next move. He determined that he would either shoot himself or, if he did not have the nerve, he would commit “suicide by cop,” by brandishing the knife. Michael said he did not get the chance because the officer stopped him and caught him off guard. He said he was suicidal because he is not close with his family. His mother died a year ago to the day. He lost his best friend after a fight over a girl and felt he had nowhere to turn. Since it was obvious Michael needed an emergency psychiatric evaluation and we had our other call on hold, my partner and I informed him that we were taking him to the hospital.

Michael said that he would not be taken alive and after a short struggle, was taken into custody. Michael was then transported to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation, as we followed to drop off the emergency petition.

While driving to the hospital, my partner read the note aloud so I could be better informed as to his state of mind when he wrote it. In the note, he told his family good-bye, told them he was sorry, and hoped they understood he could no longer go on in life. He also mentioned in the note that he could no longer go on with life and mentioned feeling empty inside. He said that his heart felt like it has a big hole in it and he hoped that God would show him mercy.

Once at the hospital, we completed the emergency petition, gave it to the doctor, and explained the circumstances surrounding Michael’s detention. My partner and I had to go to our other call since an east side patrol unit in Precinct 11 was still standing by with a mentally ill subject, in need of an assessment. I felt troubled in my spirit about just leaving without at least briefly talking to Michael; but I had to get to that other call. I felt God’s pull to go speak with Michael. The other call had held for 35 minutes, but Michael’s eternity was worth more than a rush out the door.

My partner returned to our vehicle to clear us from this call and to put us en route to the other one. I went to the Psych room where Michael was being detained. He was quiet and said he was sorry for trying to fight with us at the scene. I told him no harm was done and that I had read his note. I told him he did not have to feel alone anymore and that there was a reason his conscience would not let him jump from the bridge. I told him that out of the 1800+ officers in our department, he got me. I told him that I was even on my way to another call, but stopped to talk to him since he was closer. I told him there are no accidents and that all things happen for a reason.

I gave him a "You Have The Right To Remain Silent" tract. He looked at the cover, smiled and said, "Aw, Man". I told him it wasn’t the regular Miranda Warning he has heard in the past. I told him that it was worth reading and since he was going to be in lock down for a while, he had nothing to loose. I gave him my card and asked him to call me if he wanted to talk about what he was about to read. I told him I had to get to my other call, and I left the room. I waited just out of Michael’s sight for a moment, before looking back in the room at him. He was reading the tract and there were tears in his eyes.

As I walked out to my car, I asked God to extend his mercy to Michael and that a seed would be sown in that young man’s life. I prayed that Michael would seek and find our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ just as we, the members of the Centurion Fellowship, have done.

I have been praying daily and continue to trust that a seed was indeed sown, and that God will bring someone else into Michael’s life to finish the job I started. Please keep Michael in prayer, asking God to bring him to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

I praise God that He led Tony to write the “You Have The Right To Remain Silent” gospel tract so that I could give it to the lost and present them with the Law and the Gospel, when a face-to-face conversation is not practical.

Buy this tract and others like it. Carry them with you and give them out. We may not know or see how effective they are in someone’s life today, but we might when we go to be with the Lord. Be safe to all and God bless.