Showing posts from April, 2012

A Blast from the Past

Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked instrumentals. When I was ten years old and got my first tape recorder, I often taped music off the TV.  One source was NBC’s “The Today Show.” Back in the 1970s, the weather forecast of various cities was displayed while instrumental pieces played in the background (like what The Weather Channel does now during its “Local on the 8s” segments). A few days ago, I was waiting on the Lord when an old instrumental I hadn’t heard in years suddenly popped into my mind.  Since it featured a trumpet as the lead instrument, I figured the recording was by Herb Alpert. So I did some searching on YouTube and found that song, which I discovered is titled “Jerusalem” (from Herb’s 1971 album “Summertime”). Initially, I was surprised the song would have any spiritual connotation. Then again, Herb is Jewish and even had an uncredited role in the movie “The Ten Commandments.” One might ask why the Lord would bring a song like this to my remembrance.  I li

Stayin’ Alive

During my grade school years, classmates frequently picked on me.   Eighth grade was by far my worst year in school.   The increased name-calling and bullying I experienced had me seriously contemplating suicide.   Fortunately, I didn’t follow through with that. One thing that helped sustain me during that difficult year was the music of the Bee Gees.   By 1978 I had become a faithful listener of Casey Kasem’s radio show “American Top 40.”   The Bee Gees had become my favorite group the year before.   So it was exciting for me to see the Brothers Gibb dominate the record charts due to the titanic success of their music from the movie “Saturday Night Fever.” The following year, I got to see the Bee Gees live in St. Paul, Minnesota.   That concert inspired me to write my own songs and briefly learn how to play the guitar.   The Bee Gees had a God-given talent that influenced multitudes of people. However, the reality is that all musicians are mortal and will someday me

The Right Kind of Bait

Two years ago I started using million-dollar tracts after a fellow evangelist gave me some. These tracts look like real money but contain a gospel message printed on the back. I can honestly say they are effective conversation starters.  Before receiving a recent order of million-dollar bills, I briefly used tracts that definitely looked like Christian literature. They had crosses and words such as “saved” clearly printed on the front. While many people still took these tracts, a large percentage didn’t. I believe some of the latter would have at least engaged in a conversation with me had I offered tracts that didn’t look so “religious.” Unlike most other tracts I’ve used in the past, people frequently walk up and ask me for a million-dollar bill. Often they will ask for another one to give to a friend. Nevertheless, I’ve had Christians and non-Christians comment that using million-dollar tracts is deceptive because it’s not real money. I beg to differ. Evangelism is often

Satanic Verses?

Two days ago I visited a fellow street evangelist in Ashland, Virginia who I hadn’t seen in over a year.   This man previously blessed me with numerous gospel tracts including the “million dollar bills” I enjoy handing out.   Since I was running low on those money tracts, I hoped he had extra so I wouldn’t have to place a special order for them.  T o my surprise (and disappointment), my friend revealed he burned all his tracts except those that quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.   I’ve dealt with “King James Only” advocates before but don’t remember knowing someone who suddenly became one. During our meeting, my friend repeatedly claimed the New International Version was satanically inspired. That prompted me to look up a few evangelistic verses from the NIV… Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  - John 3:3 “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” - John 3:7 “