Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

College Evangelism

On Tuesday brother Dean and I payed a visit to Living Waters, the ministry where I used to work at. It was a great blessing to be able to spend some time (albeit only a few minutes) with my brothers and sisters there, most of whom I had not seen in years. We didn't stay too long because Tony Miano (who heads up the Ambassadors Alliance for the ministry) invited us to go with him, Chad Williams and Ray Comfort to do some evangelism...and he was very anxious to go preach. So off we went. This turned out to be a great blessing as well.

We first tried Fullerton College, only to find it nearly empty due to Thanksgiving week. So we changed plans and went to Cerritos College instead. Here are some pictures:

Setting up.

Chad starts out by asking trivia questions for money.

"YOU are the man!..."

"...who wins a dollar!"

This young man thinks he can win $20 for being a "good person"...

...so in comes Ray to take him through the "Good Person Test".

Ray deals with a few hecklers.

The crowd gets bigger...

And bigger...

Now, I don't know how things normally go for these brothers when they open-air in colleges...but I'd say they hit the jackpot that day, as far as crowds and hecklers go. There had to be about a hundred people intently listening to what was being preached. We had more than a dozen hecklers get up on the "heckler's box" to give their questions and comments. Their objections ranged from good, to goofy, to outright ridiculous.

Ray and Chad proclaimed the Gospel that day, while Tony and Dean mostly recorded everything on video.

And me? I was content to stand by and simply watch and listen, taking some pictures. I took note of many interesting ideas for open air preaching, some of which I just may use when I go back to Mexico.

Dean (above) and I with Ray Comfort.

Heading back to headquarters after the battle.

Friday, November 26, 2010


It has come to my attention that many of you who check this blog are not on my email list. I send out an email newsletter about every month, which goes into more detail about the goings-on in ministry, our needs, and prayer requests. If you would like to sign up to receive my monthly updates, you can let me know here. Just place a comment below with your email address. Your comment and email will NOT be seen by anyone by me. I have comments on moderator mode now, which means I have to approve them before they can be published (I will NOT publish them ).

Thanks and God bless!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

"But THANKS be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57

But THANKS be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
2 Corinthians 2:14

"THANKS be to God for His indescribable gift!" 
2 Corinthians 9:15

" ...always giving THANKS for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father"
Ephesians 5:20

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through him."
Colossians 3:17

 May we never cease to give thanks to God EVERY DAY for His many blessings, and for the infinite, matchless grace and love He has shed abroad in our hearts--namely by sending His precious Son to die on the cross for our sins, and by regenerating and renewing us with His Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord Jesus!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shut down in Hollywood...again.

I've been really blessed to be able to preach the Gospel with my brothers in arms from CBC and from the Burbank and surrounding areas. To be honest this is one of the things I most looked forward to about my visit here. On Thursday we went to the NoHo Metro station (the usual fishing spot). Friday it was mostly NoHo again...but we also went to Hollywood Blvd. I hadn't been there for about 6 months; the last time I was in Hollywood was when brothers Dave (who heads up the CBC team) and Nathan were both cited for open air preaching. The cops were cracking down on street performers and costumed characters on the Boulevard--as a result of complaints from business owners--and of course we ended up being lumped in the same category as them. The charges: "loitering" and "obstructing the sidewalk". I remember that afternoon seeing a golden statue man in handcuffs, and various costumed superheroes being rounded up and taken into police cars. By God's grace I didn't caught preaching that day.

The case against Dave ended up being dropped, and several months ago I read a news report about the superheroes and their fans protesting their ill-treatment by the police. (This news report mentions their recent victory in court.) So I thought to myself, surely by now things have cooled down in Hollywood, and everything is back to normal.

Though it certainly appeared that way when we got off the Metro and set foot on the famous star-lined sidewalk last Saturday evening, my hopes were short-lived. Yes, there were street performers dancing, playing loud music, and doing their thing on the Boulevard. And yes, we did get to preach--with amplification, I may add; brother Tony Miano joined us that day and had the honors of going first. But as soon as I started getting comfortable there, and believing that maybe even I would get the opportunity to preach in Hollywood again, I found myself surrounded by several police officers. By this time Dave had been open airing without amplification or a box, and not many people were stopping to listen to him. Never mind that street dancers had drawn a large crowd on the very block we were on. Never mind that Hare Krishnas were dancing to loud music only several yards away. We were the targets of police harassment. Apparently someone had called to complain about us, only us. And the cops just about ignored everyone else, and went only for us. Tony and Dave spent a considerable amount of time reasoning with them, to no avail. They threatened to write us up for the phoniest of charges (Tony describes it in more detail in his blog). Our First Amendment rights were most definitely compromised. One police officer remarked that while we certainly had free-speech rights, she believed that people have a right to not be "offended". I remember thinking,  What? Not only will you not find that in any written law anywhere, but your opinions mean squat in the court of law. Since when is violating a police officer's personal beliefs equivalent to breaking the law?

Despite the grave injustice done to us, Dave and Tony complied with the officers and we eventually left Hollywood Blvd.

I write this post with the hopes of reminding all who read this that, even though this may seem like a tiny, insignificant case in comparison to the sufferings of our brethren in other parts of the world, persecution is already here. This is only the beginning. If by the grace of God we live in a "free" country, may we learn to appreciate our freedom and boldly proclaim the Gospel on the streets while we still have the time. The day is coming (real soon) when the cops will do a whole lot more than politely ask us to leave.

Friday, November 19, 2010


So I'm in California for two weeks. Got here on Tuesday. Two days prior to my coming here, I found out that on Monday and Wednesday brother Paul Washer would be preaching in the chapel services at the Master's College, which is not too far away from where I am staying. A friend and I drove down there to see him on Wednesday...and I'm so glad we did. The service was short; he only preached for about 30 minutes. He read an excerpt from the Puritan John Flavel, called "The Father's Bargain". It's a conversation between the Father and the Son that takes place in eternity past. Here it is below, please read it carefully.

“Here you may suppose the Father to say when driving His bargain with Christ for you:
The Father speaks. My Son, here is a company of poor, miserable souls that have utterly undone themselves and now lay open to my justice. Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them.
The Son responds. O my Father. Such is my love to and pity for them, that rather then they shall perish eternally I will be responsible for them as their guarantee. Bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee. Bring them all in, that there be no after-reckonings with them. At my hands shall thou require it. I would rather choose to suffer the wrath that is theirs than they should suffer it. Upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.
The Father responds. But my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite. Expect no abatement. Son, if I spare them… I will not spare you.
The Son responds. Content Father. Let it be so. Charge it all upon me. I am able to discharge it. And though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures… I am content to take it.”

Brother Paul rightfully told us that we have no idea what those words mean--for if we did, we would not have still been in our seats. We would have gone wild.

It's true. It deeply grieves me how little I really understand the Gospel. If only I had a greater glimpse of Christ crucified for me, my life would be SO DIFFERENT. If only I had a greater understanding of everything that took place that terrible day on Calvary, IT WOULD CHANGE EVERYTHING. My Lord, my Savior--the KING OF GLORY--crucified for ME! Bearing upon Himself my own SINS and the very WRATH that I deserved!

How can I be anything other than a SLAVE OF CHRIST??? The Gospel ends my rights, my self-esteem, my desires...my LIFE!

Oh, the Gospel is truly enough! It is truly sufficient to transform us, to encourage us, to empower us, to keep us from sin for the rest of our lives!  Look to Christ and be saved, all the ends of the earth! Brothers and sisters, turn your eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

Brother Paul shed many tears as he describe the Cross, and all Christ did to save us. A great solemnity fell upon the entire auditorium. I'll never forget the last words that came out of his mouth, before he unexpectedly turned around and headed for the back door:

"And He slaughters Him there."

As he was about to leave, several people in the audience started to clap. He quickly turned around, held out his hand to point at them and warned, "DON'T".

Having said that, he walked out the door.

There was dead silence in the auditorium. You could hear a pin drop. We all just sat there for several minutes until, one by one, people began to leave. 


Here are the two sermons he preached at the Master's College:

The Depth of the Gospel, Part 1
The Depth of the Gospel, Part 2

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Day! Part 2

So yesterday's run-in with the gangs was a little out of the ordinary.  But the day didn't end there, however...

The crowd died down shortly after the street rumble and the preaching of the Gospel. The Urbans, brother Giancarlo and I then walked to a shopping center in Centro to do some errands. We ended up splitting up, with Giancarlo and I going to another shopping center many blocks away. About forty minutes later we left this other shopping center and approached the nearby Plaza Universidad to look for a place to have lunch...and something strange caught our attention:

Colorful carriages parked in the square. As we drew closer, we noticed pictures of what looked like Vishnu, Krishna and other Hindu deities decorated on the bottom of them. I started to worry a little.

Directly behind the carriages was a stage with an audience of people seated before it and other spectators standing around. It was then that I noticed many Hare Krishnas walking around the plaza. As we walked toward the stage we saw:

That lady was fanning a realistic-looking figure of a man of great importance, though I don't know who he was (pardon my ignorance of the Hindu religion). Another man was repeatedly bowing before some other graven images. There was a man on the microphone spewing forth blasphemous nonsense, telling the audience that Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life...but the only way to get to Jesus is through Krishna, as he is a superior being...or something to that effect. My spirit was stirred again. Food would have to wait--I was going to preach.

We walked past the stage and some booths that had been set up to sell food and other Hindu goods. I was really grieved by all this idolatry, as was Giancarlo. We found a good spot and I took out my amp, mike and a little foldable stool I had in my backpack. As I preached many people stopped to listen, even some Krishnas. I read to them the part in Acts 17 where Paul preaches in Mars Hill. I stressed the fact that God does not dwell in temples made with hands, and that He is not served by human hands. And that religion, man's effort to gain his own salvation, will not save anybody. Neither Kirshna nor any other religious figure could save them, I told them, only Jesus. I asked those listening and passing by to consider their eternal soul and reasoned with them about sin and judgment to come...and as I explained the cross the Lord broke me right in front of everyone. I begged them to realize everything Christ did to save us. Giancarlo told me afterwards that I started to weep just as a Hindu band on stage began to play loud music. I didn't really notice at the time. I kept right on preaching and desperately pleading with sinners to repent and trust in the Savior. As I was preaching Giancarlo was able to get into some good conversations with people.

I lamented the fact that we had hardly brought any tracts with us yesterday (!!!). But the Gospel still went forth. Again. I praise the Lord that He allowed Satan to round 'em up just so they could hear the Gospel.  What the enemy meant for evil God meant for good.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crazy Day! Part 1

Today was full of unexpected surprises...and great witnessing opportunities.

It was our second Sunday meeting today at our new location--the conference room in the Guadalajara Inn, Downtown. El Centro de Guadalajara is usually very crowded on Sundays, and I did not want to miss out on a great evangelism opportunity. So I brought along my amp and mike to preach on the streets afterwards. After our service was over (we had a whopping 3 people show up), all of us left the hotel and walked to a nearby pharmacy. As I was waiting for the Urbans to get what they needed to buy, I stood up on a bench and did a quick open-air to the multitudes of people walking by. By the time I was done I had managed to pretty much clear out most of the people from that area. :-|

But then we all walked a little further down the street...and saw many people gathered around what appeared to be a street brawl. A gang of punk rockers (all of them having the stereotypical punk look: excessively long, spiked up hair/mohawks, black leather jackets with patches, pins and studs) were taking on "normally" dressed gangbangers. This was a serious street-fight; they were beating each other with belts and rods. The stronger and more numerous "normals" gained the upper-hand in the fight, and began to repeatedly punch several punks in the face. Some of the punks ran away, others just stayed behind and did not even fight back. They allowed themselves to be mercilessly beat up by the "normies". It reminded me a little of a recent video put out showing Christians getting beat to death in Orissa, India. The brawl lasted only a few minutes, but it seemed a lot longer watching it. By the end of the fight the punks were severely injured and the faces of some were full of blood...and the police were nowhere to be found. Typical of the Mexican authorities.

As a former punk/skinhead in my B.C. days, I have to admit it was a very sad sight. As sinfully depraved as they were, I sympathized a little with them and their plight. My spirit was stirred and angered by all of this hatred, and as they were fighting I felt like getting up to preach right in front of them. But then I remembered Proverbs 26:17: "Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him." So I waited a little until the fight was over and all the gangbangers began to run away. And then, at the urging of Lina, I got up on a concrete bench in the middle of this little plaza where the altercation took place. All that came to my mind at the moment was the seven things the Lord hates in Proverbs 6:16-19, so I started by reading that. I had the people's attention. I told them how the Lord abhors those who are full of hate and whose feet are swift to shed blood. Then I explained that hatred is murder in the eyes of God, and told the people listening that if they were looking down on those wicked gangbangers, they should examine their own hearts in the light of the Word, because in reality they are no better than them. After preaching sin and judgment I proclaimed the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many heard. I pray the Lord touches their hearts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I posted the audio of this a while ago...here's the video version. Open air preachers, watch this several times!

The Idolatry of Street Preaching from pat necerato on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Nov. 2

Here in Mexico, Halloween is not nearly as big as El Día de los Muertos. On this holiday people commemorate their dead loved ones and pray for them to get out of "Purgatory". For some it's a day to venerate death; for others it's just another opportunity to party and get drunk. In any case I didn't want to miss this great opportunity to preach the Gospel. So on Tuesday we went to el Centro de Guadalajara to be light among all this wickedness and darkness. I remembered to get some pictures:

They set up booths in one of the plazas were they sold sweets and baked goods, especially pan de muerto, bread of the dead. This bread is eaten, but also offered up in shrines to departed loved ones.

Chocolate skulls...the horror!

People like to stop and listen to clowns and their foolishness, but not the foolishness of the preaching of the Gospel.

Here are some shrines of dead people in another plaza. They appear to be celebrity shrines. Notice the drinks, bread and candles. The whole area smelled of incense. Hmm...what does the Word of God say about making altars and offering up incense to strange gods?

These skeletons got a lot of people's attention.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of us sharing the Gospel (Lina did, hopefully I'll put some of those up soon). But we went to our usual fishing spot, Plaza Tapatía. While open air preaching I was ruthlessly heckled by a militant Catholic. When he heard me preaching the Gospel and say that salvation is through Christ only and not any man or religion, he started to loudly yell that we were a cult that began in the 1900s in Kansas (I think he confused me with a Pentecostal) and gave some of the usual erroneous Catholic arguments. He stood a few feet in front of me and was trying to preach over me. He actually managed to gather a good-sized crowd. I tried to reason with the guy, and even challenged him to a debate right there on the spot but he didn't want to let me get a word in, he just kept loudly and angrily "preaching". It remained like this for several minutes. I just kept preaching the Gospel, and refuted some of his erroneous arguments, but the crowd's attention seemed to be focused on this man (and mind you I was talking through an amp!). 

Because of this some of my brothers and sisters stood right next to where he was (as he was shouting) and started to preach to the crowd--at the very same time that I was preaching.

And the tummult got worse: some professing Christians who had been listening to me share the Gospel came over to "help" us and tried to scare the guy off. One Christian street preacher that we met right then and there, who was holding up a large sign about salvation through Christ, even got angry with the Catholic, went up to his face, and just about pushed him, telling him to go away. 

It was sheer chaos for a couple minutes. 

Finally he left, and the crowd shortly dissipated. They had probably only stopped to listen to the crazy Catholic because it looked like he was angry and looking for a fight. The people here seem to love to be spectators of such commotions. But the Gospel went forth, many people heard, and that's what's important. Please pray for those who heard the Gospel and for the angry Catholic heckler.