Thursday, July 31, 2008

William Brannon - Ambassador's Academy #4



I had the privilege of leading 5 men during the Ambassador's Academy and one them being William Brannon that had just turned 18 before attending the Academy . Before the Academy, William had never open air preached before and while at the Academy he was able to demonstrate his ability to share the Gospel on the box at LivingWaters before we got out to Hollywood.

This video is of William's Open Air's in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theater. This young man did an amazing job of proclaiming the Good News. I never had to coach him on what to say. He was ready the moment he came out and I believe that God is using him for amazing things.

A friend of mine said that William reminds him of a young Mark Cahill. Ray Comfort said that Mark Cahill is the only guy that makes Ray feel lukewarm when it comes to evangelism. I can attest for myself after reading Mark Cahill's Book, "One Thing You Can't Do In Heaven" and watching some of his videos that Mark has a zeal for the lost that is very desirable for any believer

Praise God for William's desire to seek the lost and preach the truth in love, because one day, all of us will stand before the Lord. Someone once said that all religions lead to God. This is true. And when we stand before God he will either be our Judge or Father. God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble. If by faith we repent and put our trust in Jesus alone for our salvation we will live forever with God instead of receiving the just penalty for breaking God's law which is eternity in the lake of fire. Check out Williams Web site also at www.fearlesswitness.com.

Until the Lord's nets are full.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ambassador's Academy July 2008 Day 02

It was another amazing time as seasoned street evangelist shared their ideas, tips and on-hands experience of how to witness to the lost. I had got home late the previous night and after blogging the first day into the night through the morning until 2am I wasn't able to get out to Academy until noon.

I managed to get lost on the way to the Hotel as I was listening to one of Ray's sermons about dumb things he said he does as I passed right by my exit and drove several miles until I realized the scenary had changed to something I wasn't familar wit so I turned around and managed to find my way back with my GPS.

I got there for the afternoon session where there was an hour of Q&A for Open Air Preaching and then another full hour of Q&A for one-2-one conversations. After that Tony gave us one of the most heart wrenching stories with the title of his message "Don't Quit". Many were brought to tears and Tony's emotions got the better of him for a moment but he was able to carry it through. Everyone was very encouraged and were definitely not planning on quiting.

The Day wound down and I was able to meet with my team agnd get to know them. For some reason when Tony called out my team on Wednesday. I didn't realize that the 5th guy on my team, Craig had been there all the time and some how we didn't get to greet each other on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures. I seemed to have lost my pictures for Day 02 of the Academy. If I find them I will put them here but until then please forgive me for not sharing pictures of Day 02.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ambassador's Academy July 2008 Day 01



Here is 4 of my team members for the Ambassador's Academy. From left to right is William, Joshua, James, and Chad. One team member, Craig has not arrived yet so I'm praying that he will arrive soon safely.

I had been asked by my good friend Tony who is the Director of the Ambassador's Academy to lead a team out onto the streets of Hollywood, Glendale and Huntington Beach for the purpose of guiding and encouraging them to engage people in conversation and open air preaching at locations throughout Southern California.




The first night at the Academy was an hour long session where Emeal "EZ" Zwayne, introduced the participants to the Academy.



And then Tony finished off the session by sharing his own testimony of how he became involved in evangelism and answered participants questions.



The second hour was spent in fellowship. Team members gathered their teams together for conversation to get more aquainted with each other and share experiences.











Please keep the LivingWaters staff, Team Leaders and Participants in your prayers as they under go 3 days of intensive evangelism training for the glory of God. Amen!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Condemnation - Hollywood July 19, 2008

Today was one of those days where I got up and was experiencing lower back pain so I wasn't really planning on getting to Hollywood on time but when Dru called me and told me that a couple of people had told him that they would be out there, I kicked myself in high gear, got ready and got down there.



Some things that I like to point out to people that plan to come out is where to park and where to get your ticket validated. The place to park is just North of Hollywood Blvd on Highland Ave. Parking is just $2.00 with validation for 4 hours.



You goto the Los Angeles Inforamtion Center just inside the large opening to the Kodak Theatre. In the picture it is on the left side behind the Kiosk.




So I walked to the corner of Hollywood & Highland and found Jackie witnessing to one of the guys from the Kiosk set at the corner selling windspinners and roller shoe skates. Jackie is so on fire for God and I am constantly amazed by her energy and knowledge for Gods word as she speaks to people while sharing the Good News.



Jackie had a friend with her but apparently when I got there she left. She had never done evangelism before but Jackie said that she had been asking for awhile that she needed to come out so she did managed to hand out some tracts. I can imagine that the way people were treating her probably made her feel very uncomfortable. That is some thing I had to overcome because I do not like it when people ignore me or talk bad about me, especially when they blaspheme God. But this is what people will do. Jesus said , ""If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you."(John 15:18)Persevere, overcome, stand firm in the faith because the righteous are as bold as a lion!



So I got up on the box and began to preach the word. Sharing the bad news first and then sharing the Good News next. How will they understand the cure if they don't understand the disease? A lot of people heard the Gospel today. There were several people cursing God's name as I spoke the truth in love. I begged with those who were blaspheming to stop and repent because they did not realize what they were doing and would face God on judgement day whether they believe in Him or not.



After about an hour, I decided that we should cross the street so we did and found a great spot where I could have a tiny bit of shade. I got up on the box and began to preach again as Jackie continued to hand out gospel tracts. It's such a blessing to have another laborer out there with you because not only for encouragement but also to hand out tracts, back you up in conversation and prayer.



Another wonderful blessing that we enjoy but doesn't happen as often is when someone approaches you and encourages you for preaching the truth. Several people thanked us verbally or in one case me and another guy pumped fists and said amen. One gentleman by the name of Dan stopped and asked us what ministry we were with. I told him I was from Granada Hills Community Church and Jackie said she was from Shepherd of the Hills. I told him we are involved with a ministry called Way of the Master. I encouraged him to share his faith and he told me of friends of his who do the same thing we do up in San Fransico. Praise God!



The highlight of the day was when a lady by the name of Michelle walked up with a sincere look on her face and struck up a conversation with Jackie. She had been watching in the background and was encouraged and was looking for a church near by in Hollywood so I recommended to her www.thehollywoodchurch.com. The Church is located on Hawthorn & N. Gardner. One of the pastors there taught a Bible Study Methods class at Cornerstone's Eternity Bible College where I attended for a semester.

Jackie and I encouraged this lady to get into fellowship at a local church and read her bible daily. She said she had a bible at home but i asked her if she would like another one and she said yes with a big smile. We agreed that we cannot have too many bibles. I try to bring a bible to give away each weekend and so I pulled it out and Jackie opened the bible to a couple key verses of scripture because Michelle was struggling with her assurance.



Jackie spoke out loud for everyone to hear these words of Jesus,

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30)



and also Romans

"Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 8:33-39)



This woman was crying and thanking us for sharing these verses with her. She hugged us both a couple of times and I gave her a card from my church with my name and phone number in case she wanted to get a hold of me. Jackie prayed with her and people were watching. Michelle looked over and notice a group of people smiling and she said, "They must be Christians because they are smiling" and she laughed.



It was a beautiful experience. I haven't felt goose bumps like that in awhile. It was very moving and I pray that God is using her for His glory. I thank God for the boldness that He has given me & Jackie to be out there today to proclaim the Good News.

The day isn't over yet because after heading home I'm planning on going back out to Glendale to meet up with my good friend and fellow evangelist Tony Miano and the Last Words Ministry Crew, Leon, Dede and several other Christians for some Trivia Open Air, One-2-One conversations and gospel tract distribution. Until the nets are full. Amen!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hollywood Open Air Trivia 07/12/08


Typical attractions that you will see on Hollywood Blvd. Get your picture taken with a superhero for only a buck.

On Saturday at about noon I got a call from Tony Miano and he said that he and his daughter Michelle would be joining me out on Hollywood Blvd. I was happy to know that I wouldn't be out there alone so I packed up my backpack with my amplifier and tracts and brought my new camera along. God is the reason why I go out to Hollywood because i'm not trusting in myself, i'm not trusting in my ability or my experience but I'm trusting that God will use me for His glory to draw lost people to Jesus Christ. So here is how the day went.


When got to my favorite street corner I was confronted by this gentleman who accused me of harassing him because I took his picture. I've always tried to be nice to him but i'm never sure how he is going to react to my presence.Watch this video of him heckling Dru Morgan during a previous adventure to Hollywood Blvd.


Somehow I managed to walk right by Tony & Michelle without either of us noticing each other so when I looked back, there they were handing out tracts.


We decided to do Open Air Trivia because I've been doing a lot of Stoplight Preaching in Hollywood so I wanted doing something different this weekend. We were surprised to find a few spots on the sidewalk that were open so Tony decided on a very special spot right in front of a Sheriff's patrol car.



So we started handing out million dollar bill gospel tracts.



This guy came up to us and seemed to be encouraging us but was also prodding for what we believed and this young man tried to teach us that a person must be baptized to be saved. Of course this is not true. We are saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves, it is a free gift, not as a result of works so that no man may boast. Baptism is a something a Christian does as a sign of obedience not as a requirement for salvation.


After we handed out a bunch of tracts, Tony got up on the box first and used trivia to draw a crowd. Notice how Tony elevated his foot to keep the crowd entertained while giving away money for correct answers to trivia questions.


Tony took the whole crowd through the good person test and promised that someone in the crowd would get a $5.00 gift card to In n Out. Tony just asked everyone if they had ever stolen anything and people were honest and not shy about admitting that they were thieves. No one is innocent of stealing and this goes for the rest of the 10 Commandments because it is written "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." (James 2:10) It doesn't matter if people believe this or not because God's Word accomplishes what pleases Him. No need to get into an argument so just move on to the next question.


Something that is noticed by many evangelist when open air preaching is that people have no problem listening to the law as people admit their sins before others, but what may be a surprise to many is that once we mention Jesus name the big crowd disappears. This is something that we should expect because Jesus said, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you."(John 15:18) So Tony said he was going to write a blog about this soon with an idea of how to keep the crowd from shrinking when sharing grace with the crowd.


It was my turn up on the box next so I got up my honest fear is that I wont get anyone to stop but for some odd reason I am able to always draw a crowd. The gentleman to the far left with the blue hat took the good person test and was humbled by the law, he understood the bad news that none of us are good and that all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag before God. I then shared the good news with him while others listened around him and I gave him a $5.00 gift card to "in n out" as an example of grace. I told him that even though he had not passed the good person test he would still receive the gift because I wanted him to have it.


There was no excellence of speech. Just the law & grace. The bad news and the good news. Repentance and faith in Jesus alone or eternity in hell forever. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God unto salvation.


The young man is a journalist on a business trip from Vienna Austria. After handing him a million dollar bill gospel tract he asked me what it was and I told him it was a gospel tract. He said that he didn't believe that God exist so I used the builder/painter analogy which caused him to rethink his statement as he agreed that a building is proof that there is a builder, a painting is proof that there is a painter and creation cries out that there is a Creator. I shared the law with him and then grace and before he walked away we shook hands and I gave him a booklet to read.


This lady had walked up several times and taken gospel tracts from me and Tony and was hanging around. It looked as if she might be homeless and appeared confused so I didn't want to treat her any different than I would anyone else so I asked her if she had read the back of the bill which she replied that she hadn't read it.

I explained to her what the million dollar was and listened to her describe what she believed. She believed in many different things, she declared that she had not lied, stolen, used Gods name in vain, etc., and I so shared the gospel with her so that in-case she never read the tract that she would at least hear it and by faith, repent and put her trust in Jesus alone for her salvation.

At the end of the conversation, she disagreed with me and shoved the gospel tract back into my hand and walked away. She had several tracts so I'm hoping that she will be reminded of our conversation and that she will stop creating a god in her mind that she is comfortable with because God has said that no idolater will enter the kingdom of heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9,10)

Don't feel like you've failed if a person is not convicted over their sin and refuse to believe what God has said in His Word. Think of how the rich younger ruler walked away sad because Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give the money to the poor and then come and follow Him. Jesus didn't run after him because the rich younger ruler loved his sin more than he loved God.



Here is Michelle handing out tracts to a group of people. Michelle is such a great encouragement to me because when I was her age I was not sharing my faith even though I had professed to be "Christian" I was not concerned about other people spending eternity in hell.



I'm so thankful to God that I was able to watch the Firefighter video of Kirk Cameron because it brought conviction to my heart and caused me to examine myself to see if I was truly in the faith and then turned from my sins and put my trust in Jesus to save me. I have to confess to anyone that might read this blog that I am a wretched man and the chief of all sinners. I still make very stupid mistakes and sin against God but I am broken over my sin and I pray that God will change my heart and make me willing to please Him. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith and not of myself. Definitely not saved because of anything that I've done because all my righteous acts are like a filthy rag before God. Thank you, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dede First-Time Open Air - Glendale 07/05/08



After a whole day of evangelism at Shepherd of the Hills FireWorks Spectacular me and Tony were tired. I could tell as I walked up to our Glendale spot to find Tony sitting on his open air box with his head down. He looked depressed with his head down looking at the ground but when I approached him he looked up and smiled and I knew that he was simply tired like me. I had planned to goto my usual spot on Hollywood blvd., but my leggs were screaming for rest so I saved my strength for Glendale.

There is always something new or interesting to talk about Glendale and this weekend was no exception. I grabbed what remained of my gospel tracts and began handing them out and was joined by my good friend Dede who is planning on attending the August Ambassador's Academy where she will go through 3 days of intensive evangelism training from the worlds best evangelist. Biblically taught in the classroom and then taken to the streets for actual hands on training. I've been open air preaching ever since I attended the first Academy in April and will be leading a team out on the streets this July.

Well... Dede told me that she wanted to do Stoplight preaching and asked me if I would go with her down the street where people gather at the light. Of course I couldn't resist the opportunity. I grabbed my backpack with amplifier and so did she and we went and setup at the corner.

Dede asked me to get up on the box first so I did and I Stoplight preached several times. Some people laughed and there was very mild heckling and also encouragment from Christians in the crowd although there were very few in favor of what I was doing. When I mentioned that being a buddist or muslim would not get you into heaven, a lady yelled out in front of the crowd that all religions lead to God. Of course this is not true and I yelled back that Jesus said that He is the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Jesus.



Dede was next up on the box and she had been practicing with a piece of paper with a gospel message typed on it but Dede managed to do just fine when she stopped reading off the paper and began preaching from the heart. A group of kids gathered at the light and the kid with his back to the pole was telling his friends that there are some bibles that are false causing his friends to dought. The kid on the right came up to me as Dede was preaching and asked me about this and I encouraged him to read the bible for himself and not to be distracted by his friends lack of evidence that the bible isn't true.

The security was closing in and they called the police as the amplification was bothering the mall security and the patrons that were eating outside at the tables across the street. After Dede was done, the police officer was very polite and happened to be the same man that signs our Amplifification permits. He asked me if I had my permit but unfortunately I had never made a copy for myself so I had to admit that I wasn't carrying my permit so I politely got off the box and turned off the amplifier. The policer officer was very nice and said he didn't have a problem with what we were doing but wanted us to make sure we had our permit next time.



So me and Dede Stoplight preached some more without amplification when an older lady on a golf cart with an awning on top came to the light. I tried to get her to take a tract when she asked me, "What is it?" When I told her she began to say some of the most vile things I've heard from an senior citizen. There was a huge amount of hate coming from her tone and I warned her that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and God has said that no murderer will enter the kingdom of heaven. This only made things worse as the lady drove off at full speed. I felt so sad for this lady because all I tried to do was give her a piece of paper and in return she cussed me out and then took the tract from my hand and tore it up and threw it on the ground. Please God, help her!



After awhile some other brothers and sisters in-Christ that we've never evangelized showed up and shook our hands and hung out with us as a lady and her son approached to debate us on our belief and approach to sharing with others. The lady professed to be Jewish with an eclectic view on style of religion. She boasted of her son's desire for spirituality and choice to be a buddhist. As she described her graven image of who God was to her I pointed out several times to her that she was breaking the first and second commandment by creating a god in her mind that she was comfortable with and also putting this god first before the one true God that could save her. Her son said he didn't beleive there was a God so i used the buidling/painter analogy that Ray Comfort taught me through a Way of the Master episode that shows that creation cries out that there is a Creator that created all things.

It was getting late and i was tired so me and Dede decided to leave as the other Christians stayed there and continued to engage the mother and son. I felt it was hopeless to continue sharing with them as me and Dede had both shared the law with them but they were not humbled or concerned that God would punish them for their sins so we leave it to God as we do with all conversations and open air preaching. All souls belong to God. If it pleases God, He will draw them to repentance and faith. We shared the truth in love. Until next weekend. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Amen.

4th of July Evangelism Explosion!

It was another amazing experience at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, California. God has given Pastor Dudley a beautiful church with an amazing amount of resources to draw the biggest crowds I have ever seen for any 4th of July event. God blessed us with a great day of evangelism as Shepherd hosted it's 10th year of Fireworks, Rides, Shows and Food.

Dru, Tony and his family showed up around 1pm to set up the canopy so we could distribute 8,000 gospel tracts and 500 bottles of water. We were all very anxious to hand out tracts and so I took it upon myself to put America, America tracts on car windshields as I walked up and down Corbin just North of Rinaldi and then proceeded to tract every car on Rinaldi between Corbin and Tampa. I think I tracted Tony & Dru's cars as well but I guess it didn't hurt.

The water bottles were soon flowing and the gospel tracts were going like hotcakes. My hands were frozen after every 3rd water bottle I pulled out of the ice chest. It was very painful so I would sometimes let people grab their own water so I could keep my hands dry as well as the gospel tracts. I really liked the America, America tracts for 4th of July. I wonder if people thought they were program guides for the Shepherd of the Hills fireworks show because people made sure to stop and get one. Unfortunately, the America, America tract is being discontinued. I hope there are still some left so I can stock up for next year.

After about 5 hours in the hot sun, all of us handed out more than 500 bottles of water. Using my Ralphs card I was getting water fairly cheap and the ice was even on sale. We went through 120 pounds of ice and had 5 ice chests of various sizes. We even had some Starbucks iced coffees that Dru used as a prize to people that would try and prove to him that that they were good people. Of course, no one is good, God says so in the bible in Romans 3:10-12. It's amazing that so many people believe that that are good and God's word tells us that most of us will proclaim our own goodness but the 10 cannons of God's law quickly disolves any hope that anyone is remotely good according to God's holy & perfect standard.

As night began to fall I began to break open the 2,000 glowsticks and throw them into my ice chest that I had taken the top off and I sat there as masses of people walked up and asked, how much? I told them if they got a gospel tract from my friends that I would give them a glowstick for free and I begged them to read it. Some came back for more and acted as if they had never gotten a glowstick from me as I noticed 4-5 glowsticks wrapped around a kids neck. Some kids grabbed handfuls I yelled out that if they took more than I told them that it was stealing and that God hates thieves. So one kid that heard me say that threw them back in the ice chest and wasn't sure what to do. I reached in and gave him one and told him bye, please move along. Some were very thankful while others were out to corner the market on glowsticks. And special thanks to Tony's daughters and Nicole for opening the glowstick containers and putting the connectors on the ends.

At the end of the night as the fireworks began to go up into the air, we all tore down the tent and cleaned up and began to leave because it had been a long day, but me and Joey had other plans. We stocked up on tracts and walked to the intersection just before the fireworks ended and as masses of people waited at the light, we passed out hundreds of gospel tracts within 15 minutes along with the rest of the glowsticks. People didn't want to stop until I yelled out "FREE GLOWSTICKS" and then people swarmed around the ice chest in search of their favorite color. One father came back with a handful and tossed it back into the ice chest appologizing that his son had been greedy. Thanks Joey for getting me a really good deal on the glowsticks, i'll be calling you next year if you don't call me first!

Then, all of a sudden I got an amazing idea as I saw the huge crowds of people all around me. I raised my voice and began stoplight preaching to hundreds of people standing around me wondering what in the world I was doing. Some heckled while others seemed pleased at what i was doing. I yelled at the crowd to stop crossing the street because it was a red light and cars were desparately trying to make a left turn so I managed to control the crowd long enough for them to realize that the guy in the left lane had forgot how to drive and so people started walking through the red light hundreds at a time.

I'm glad there was more evangelist out there this year. Thanks to Tony, Dru, Mike, Mariah, Michelle, Marissa, Amanda, Nicole, Dede, Jackie and Joey. I hope I didn't miss any one. Imagine that there was an estimated 60,000 people there. We could have utilized a lot more people but hopefully next year that will change for the better. Pray for God's will to be done with every one that received a gospel tract and/or heard the gospel through one-2-one conversations or stoplight preaching. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God. Amen!