Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ambassadors' Academy - Day 2

Today started with a visit to Living Waters and then to Hollywood where we had three locations to preach. As you can see above, Ray Comfort, Founder of Living Waters, graciously encouraged us during the trip to Hollywood Boulevard.

Mike (above) did a great job in his first open-air sermon. Chris - aka Superman - heard the Law & Gospel during this session.

Shauna is from Dallas and runs Just One Girl. What an incredible blessing to hear her preach for the first time and she brought the true Gospel like I have rarely heard before.

There is much more tell and it may take a few weeks to pass along everything I would like to. Be encouraged. There are able and ready evangelists leaving this academy each month coming back to your communities to preach the truth.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ambassadors' Academy - Day 1

Most of the day was spent in the classroom as we had the pleasure of seeing members of the Living Waters Team instruct on various topics including courses on open-air preaching, tracts, transitioning conversations and an inspirational by Tony Miano titled "Don't Quit." Ray Comfort spent most of the day with the class and Kirk Cameron was very gracious with his time as he literally missed lunch in order to speak with all of the participants.

The actual time spent in class is just a small portion of the value in this training. Imagine meeting Christians from across the world that feel the same way you do about evangelism. Imagine getting to know individuals that deal with the same emotions and feelings that you do. All of a sudden, you aren't the only one that has this passion for the lost. You aren't the only one that can't get others to go witness with you. You aren't the only one with the fear of talking to others about Christ. The bond that is immediately felt is powerful and it is just Day 1. Imagine what the next two days will be like?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ambassadors' Academy - Day 0

I travelled to Southern California today to participate in the second Ambassadors' Academy sponsored by Living Waters Ministry. Even though the training has not yet started, I am very impressed. From the moment you apply to the Academy, Tony Miano and the Living Waters Team is supporting you. I received phone calls and e-mails for approximately one month prior to the academy. My wife is also with me and she has been supported by not only our team leader, Leon Brown, but a lady mentor, Trish Ramos.

Our first stop was at Living Waters and then over to In-N-Out Burger just down the street from the ministry. I'm not used to employees standing in the drive through lane so I took the opportunity to give her a million dollar bill tract. She acted surprised by the tract but somehow I believe that most of the employees have been exposed to Living Waters tracts.

Upon arriving at the hotel we were greeted by Tony "The Lawman" Miano and Leon "Downtown" Brown. My wife is in the picture as well.

Tommorrow is the first day and we will have class with some of the finest evangelists of our time, including Ray Comfort. If this experience is anything like the experience thus far, we are all in for an incredible blessing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quote Of The Week

"God has not called the Church as an institution to farming, manufacturing or other such community development projects; He calls us to preach and teach all that Christ taught. We cannot stand by and let secondary ministries be substituted for the basic priorities of the Great Commission." K.P. Yohannan

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Utah Struggles

I had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah this past week. I have been involved in emergency vehicle/pursuit training for over a decade and once in a while I get the opportunity to travel in that capacity. I would be shadowing members of the Utah Department of Public Safety for a few days to evaluate their training program. Before leaving I packed my usual array of books and tracts in hopes to give them out to the officers that I would meet. I had some additional plans on this trip. With the high Mormon Population and the large Temple located in Salt Lake City I had big plans. In fact, I told a few friends about those plans but as God would have it, His plans were different.

Let me first tell you about my plan (I kind of liked it). My schedule was tight but as soon as I stepped off the plane, I was going to head to the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple.

I was going to pass out a few Placebo Tracts to the visitors outside the Temple and see what conversations may be waiting for me. I was nervously anticipating my plan but as my plane landed I received a phone call that would eventually prevent me from visiting the Temple.

One of the individuals I needed to meet with while in town could only see me that evening. I missed an opportunity at the Temple but God would have other plans.

The Utah Department of Public Safety was gracious to give me a room for free at their academy. I knew what to expect and had plenty of experience staying in dorms but this room was different. I quickly noticed the two rooms, two televsions, two couches and a kitchen. Much to my surprise, I was given the room that belongs to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety when he is in Salt Lake City.

What an incredible opportunity to be around future law enforcement officers in the State of Utah for two days. I left as many tracts and books behind as I could and the Commissioner will have a copy of Take Up The Shield when he visits his dorm room again.

One misconception I hear about those that proclaim the Gospel is that "they have a gift" for it or it is somehow easy. I know for a fact that some of the greatest evangelists of our time often struggle with the same issues that other Christians use to not share their faith. I struggled mightily in Utah.

I had an evening free so I went to a popular mall where hundreds were gathering. I sat in my car scared to death and so upset that I couldn't seem to stand up and proclaim the Gospel like I wanted to. God is so gracious and at the same time I was asking God to give me courage, I received the following e-mail:

"...You are blessed and you have the favor of God on you wherever you go and whatever you do. You are the salt and you are the light of this earth in Jesus Name amen."

While my struggles continued, I was able to spread some tracts around the mall. I flew home home the next day and while my struggles continued, God had something wonderful waiting for me on a plane from Denver to Tulsa. Come back in a day to hear that story........

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

John Piper On Prosperity

You can see more resources from John Piper's Ministry at Desiring God.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quote of the Week

"This is a day when we have become very clever at developing techniques, a day when we are apt to be urging people to witness; and what usually happens? They witness for a while, and then they stop. Then they are exhorted to witness again, so they go a little further, then stop again. But why do they stop? Have you ever noticed in the Pauline epistles that Paul never urges Christians to witness nor has he anything to say about foreign missions? Nothing! How interesting! If you have to constantly be telling people to witness, something is wrong with them. If you always have to be pumping up people to get them interested in foreign missions, something is wrong with the people. What is Paul always doing? He is consistently bringing you to Christ and leaving you with Christ. When Christ is central in the heart of the man, what does the man want to do? He wants to tell others about Jesus, and he will do so effectively. Let Jesus Christ be central in the heart of a man, and he is going to be burdened and troubled because millions have never heard of Christ. It is going to disturb him and bring into action. What he needs is not more exhortation; he needs Christ. And the Christ within him who died for the world will speak through him to that lost world. Without true passion for Christ, nothing works consistently. It loses its power."

Joseph S. Carroll in "How to Worship Jesus Christ"

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Just Not Comfortable

I had lunch with a dear friend yesterday and the subject of evangelism came up. He told me that just last week his Sunday School Class spoke in detail on the subject and at the end of the discussion they agreed that everyone has a different style of witnessing and that open-air preaching may be good for some but other methods may work for others.

I agreed with him and asked him what his method was.

"Well, I like to live my life a certain way and wait for people to ask me what makes me different."

That's interesting but what if no one asks you?

"Well, I'm not sure."

What if we walk out of the restaurant and see people walking towards a cliff. They are about to walk right off the cliff and die. Would you say something to them or would you wait for them to ask you about the deadly cliff?

"I would absolutely say something to them."

It is the same way with evangelism. If we don't say something to them, many will perish into hell. How we do that, whether it is open-air preaching, a tract, or one-to-one, I'm not sure matters but don't you think we should be saying something?

"It's just not comfortable for me to do it. It's not my comfort zone"

It really isn't mine or anyone else's either but Jesus didn't command us to wait and be asked, he commanded us to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature) - Mark 16:15. Wouldn't you agree that "preach" is not wait and be asked?

My friend was thinking and I could tell that this is something he had never heard before. I believe he hasn't. Our churches aren't exactly emphasizing evangelism in a Biblical way or even emphasizing evangelism.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15th - Peace Officers Memorial Day

Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day. It is a day this Country remembers our fallen officers from the past. It is a day we should all remember how fragile life is and how important it is to know God now.

Flags are supposed to be flown at half staff today. Sadly, I saw many in my community that weren't. Next year will not go by without a reminder in my community. I encourage you to do the same.

This is the day each year that our President speaks on the lawn of the Capital about the heroes that died the previous year. I took the above picture in 2006 when I attended this ceremony. Regardless of what you think about the President's politics, he is unbelievable in this ceremony. After he speaks, he spends hours with the families of fallen officers. The ceremony is actually stopped until he is done. He gives so much of himself and I watched in awe as he went to every family member and gave hugs, shook hands and took pictures. This is not the norm for this ceremony. I attended under a previous President and that did not happen.

Here is the President among the families as I watch.

It's Time To Get On The Bus

If I was given the pulpit this Sunday, I would walk up at 10:45 a.m. in front of the 200+ attendees in my home church and say this:

"I am so glad you came today. 150,000 people will die today in the world. Some will die in this community. Many of these souls are heading for hell and God has commanded us to plant his seeds of salvation. Today, this church will follow God's command and we are going to leave here as a group and witness to hundreds of people in this community. We will stop waiting for them to come into this nice building but we will go to them. Please walk outside and get on the buses waiting to take you to the lost. It will take an hour and you will be back here in time for lunch. I'll see you on the bus."

Would I see them on the bus? How many would you see from your church? It's time to get on the bus.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Want To Find God

This is a great witnessing encounter courtesy of Trish Ramos with Fish With Trish. You will notice that in just a few minutes, the Law is shared along with sin, judgement day, hell, false converts, repentance and salvation. What a wonderful, Biblical sharing of the Gospel. You will notice that this young man did not get offended or upset. Why should he? He is being told a message that rarely is even spoken in our churches today. He is fortunate to get this message now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

National Police Week

On October 1, 1962, President Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 which designated May 15th each year as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week containing May 15th as National Police Week. It was not until May 15,1982, that the first National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service was held in Washington D.C,

Each year, thousands of peace officers converge on our Nation's Capital to honor the officers that have died in the previous year and years past. Currently there are 18,274 officers listed on the National Police Memorial.

I have attended these events in Washington D.C. two times and I can sincerely say that my career was changed. Throughout this week, I will be writing about my previous experiences and thoughts during these events. Today, I would like to share an e-mail I received from Tulsa Police Sergeant Stephanie Jackson just a few minutes ago. She is attending the events this year as the December 2007 National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund Officer Of the Month. Here are her thoughts from Day 1:

"I was truly moved to tears when I got off the plane there were over 15 honor guard members from different agencies forming a "U" around the exit ramp from the plane waiting for family members of fallen officers. They pinned the moms with the blue cop ribbons and then retrieved their luggage, loaded them in police cars and gave them a motorcycle escort to their next destination.

My husband made friends with a man behind us on the plane and when we arrived at baggage claim his wife was wearing a blue ribbon. They explained they lost their son in the line of duty. All I could do was cry and embrace them both and say thank you. No words can describe the emotional high from watching the honor guard officers serve those families and light up the cold rainy day with a sea of motorcycle and patrol unit lights. Everyone was just captivated and amazed. It was so many motorcycle units just coming and going from the airport.

This is an amazing experience and I haven't even really started the trip!"

Friday, May 09, 2008

Christianity & Schools

The stories below are disturbing to say the least. While I fully understand the separation of Church & State in public schools, I'm not sure the below examples should apply to that:

A Ohio Science Teacher who had kept a Bible on his desk for 18 years but did not use it in school has been ordered to hide it.

A Wisconsin School has banned Christian artwork but allows Hindu, Buddhist and satanic representations. A lawsuit has been filed against the school after a teacher refused to grade a student's art that had "John 3:16" written on it.

Drive To Remember

Drive To Remember is a drive from Vancouver, BC to Washington D.C. that raises awareness about line of duty law enforcement deaths. I first met the individuals responsible for the drive almost a year ago and they eagerly published an article in their paper about the Take Up The Shield Project and we have been in contact ever since. The drive stopped by the Tulsa Police Memorial today and I had the privilege of participating in this event.

Drive To Remember is just one of many events happening this month as we near May 15th, National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The tour left Tulsa after we had dinner and they are in route to Washington D.C. where they will participate in the national events scheduled for next week.

The Drive was inspired by a letter written by Allison Eales, the daughter of slain Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Rocky Eales. We were privileged to have the Eales Family as our guests yesterday.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ten Commandments in 5 Minutes

Here is a great way to learn the Ten Commandments from Pastor Steve Sanchez. Steve runs E-Vangie Tales and is one of my daily reads each day. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sergeant's Last Words

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed while responding to a bank robbery call at approximately 11:30 am this past Saturday.

Three men dressed in female Muslim garb had robbed a Bank of America on Aramingo Avenue. Sergeant Liczbinski encountered the suspects on East Schiller Street and stopped their car. As he exited his patrol car, a suspect opened fire with an AK-47, striking Sergeant Liczbinski several times. Several citizens who witnessed the incident rushed to assist Sergeant Liczbinski, wrapping his wounds in an effort to stop the bleeding. Sergeant Liczbinski told them "Tell my wife I love her", before he fell into unconsciousness and died.

This is an unbelievable tragedy and in the midst of it Sergeant Liczbinski was able to articulate his last words here on Earth: "Tell my wife I love her." I can't imagine the grief that his family is enduring yet they were given this gift. Sergeant Liczbinski loved his wife so much, his final thougths were nothing but her. I wonder what else he was thinking about? He was about to enter eternity and he knew it. Did he know he was about to see his savior, Jesus Christ, or did he not know?

We will all die...guaranteed. We can't overcome that. Sergeant Liczbinski didn't know that morning that would be his last. This morning could be yours. When that day comes we will likely not have the privilege Sergeant Liczbinski had. He was able to speak his last words and I can only imagine that those last words mean more than anything to his family. Sergeant Liczbinski was thinking of his wife and that is beautiful. Did you know that Jesus Christ is thinking about you? He wants everyone to come to him in true repentance and trust. He does not want to see anyone perish.

Please don't wait to speak your last words. Please don't wait to put your trust in Jesus Christ and Repent of your sins. We will all enter eternity one day. Today is the day to prepare for that.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Is It Really Courage?


I met you on Wednesday April 30th at the ESLETS Conference in Lake George, NY. I was at your table in the morning. I asked where you were from, and when I realized who you were, that I read your articles. Anyway, I enjoyed your presentation, as did the other two officers from my PD. The thing I was most impressed with, however, was your last statement about Jesus. I am a Christian also and I know how hard it is to make a statement for Him in our profession. I admire your courage and dedication. Keep up the good work."

Is It Really Courage & Dedication?.......................

While the e-mail is an incredible encouragement and I do appreciate it, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I can speak for hours in front of strangers about a myriad of topics and enjoy it. Then, in the final slide of my presentation I tell everyone who my Savior is and that if they don't know Jesus Christ that I encourage them to come speak with or or visit the Ten-Four Ministries Website. It sometimes feels awkward; I sometimes stumble over my words and I sometimes wonder if I will offend anyone. This is why I am ashamed. I am in tears as I type this and I refuse to give my Savior nothing less than the highlight of any presentation.

How about you? Are you boldly standing up for Jesus? If what Jesus did for us is true, should we not be screaming from the roof to everyone below of what an awesome gift he has for all of us? It's time to get included!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Holly's First Open Air Sermon

It's Holly's first time to Open Air Preach during the first ever Ambassador's Academy.Holly, thank you so much for this encouragement. It came at the right time for me. After identifying some great locations over the weekend, I ordered a microphone and amplifier last night. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

More From the Hall of Fame

Pictured above is an interesting piece I saw at the Baseball Hall of Fame this week. I just returned from seeing Expelled. More about it later but it is a must see. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Going To The Hall

I spent this past week in the Albany, New York area speaking at a conference sponsored by the New York State Police. I am an avid baseball fan and this trip gave me the opportunity to attend the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. What a great trip it was. I invited my father to come with me and we had three great days of fellowship. The car above is probably the only police car in the Village of Cooperstown. I was there an entire day and it never moved.

I have been fortunate to meet many officers from across the United States and I am never dissapointed. I have written several articles in the past on the issue of police training so when I get invited to speak based on those articles it gives me the opportunity to discuss Jesus in a setting designed solely for police training.

Do I get nervous? Unfortunately, yes. Have I been able to overcome that? By the power of the Holy Spirit, yes. The one-hour speech on police pursuits to a few hundred New Yorkers was no different but God is awesome and at the end of the speech, an officer came up to me and thanked me for what I had said. It was a fellow officer in Christ and his encouragement made the entire trip worth while.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Amanda "Thinks" She Is Saved

It is week 7 in the Way of the Master Basic Training Course and that meant a class trip. It was time to put into practice what the class has been learning and watching on video for almost two months. I called on a wonderful street evangelist to help.

The plan was to split the class up and go to the park. I would take half the class and Jason the other. Jason showed up and reported that the park was "full". I was hoping the class would get plenty of opportunities and it looked like the park would provide it.

We arrived at the park to only see two families. I approached one family and gave them a Million Dollar bill and then asked if they were to die today where did they think they would go. They happily proclaimed Heaven and we had a wonderful converstaion about the Law & Gospel. While it is not my place to determine someone's salvation it was evident that this family was bearing fruit. Another key is that they enjoyed speaking to us about God. If someone proclaims to be saved and then acts annoyed to speak about Jesus with you, that is something to be concerned about. Why would a true Christian not want to speak about their Savior?

It is different at best to witness here in the Bible Belt. Almost everyone you encounter claims to be a Christian and many have a very good head knowledge of Jesus and even go to church each week but it is clear that many times things are not what they seem.

Since the park had cleared out we moved to Wal-Mart and I quickly saw Amanda. She was with four others and when I raised a $20 bill in the air and told her it was hers if she could pass a test, she stopped and let her friends keep walking. It was meant for us to speak to Amanda and she was brought to tears telling us about her pending divorce. Amanda admitted she was not a good person but said she would go to Heaven because she trusts in God.

What concerned me about Amanda was her words. It was subtle in her conversation. She said "I think I am going to Heaven." & "I hope I am going to Heaven."

"Amanda, if you are telling me that you only hope to go to Heaven then you are telling me that the Blood of Jesus is not good enough. Amanda, you must be born again and you must not only trust in Jesus but you must repent of your sins. Amanda if you are not sure of your salvation then one of these may be missing."

Amanda was humbled by our conversation and the class saw how gracious and good God can be when you carry out his commission.