2020 The year of our LORD

 

While ministering at the Newport News abortion clinic on a hot August day, we were greatly blessed by the Green family. 9 prolife volunteers to the rescue. Praise be to GOD!

2020 may be a year in which many remember as the year of  the Covid, lock down, face mask, Black lives matter protests, church closings, and public schools shut down. 2020, for a Christian ought always to remind them of the birth of Jesus Christ at what was just the right time.  The trials and tribulations that every person on the whole  planet endures should remind us that we are no longer in the paradise, or in the garden where God placed the first man and woman. For those who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we know why all the suffering occurs daily, because of the sins of humans who were made in the image of God. Sadly, for most of the world, since sin is not much spoken of, what we are experiencing are “problems” which can be fixed by: riot, protests, education, money, or government.. Even after thousands of years of humans living on earth and after so many invented cures and reforms, apart from God and His Christ there really is no hope. The media goes to great lengths to convince us that we are only one pandemic away from death due to pestilence, or a stock market crash from famine, or a national disagreement which leads to death by the sword. The motive for the media is not to encourage people to look to God, but to look anywhere and everywhere else for safety, peace, and happiness. A new or different Government, a vaccination or cure for disease, or a life filled with so much entertainment and amusement that we would forget about tomorrow and simply eat drink and be merry.

But Christians know that not only does God exist, but, He has appointed for each one of us a day to die and afterwards a judgment, and nothing invented by men, women, or angels, can interfere or improve on God’s decree. We are not merely outside of paradise, but the way back into the presence of God is blocked to all except for those whom God has reconciled to Himself through Jesus Christ. HE is the blessed of Hope and the only hope for those we call “human beings”. For as God has revealed in His Word, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, we have all like sheep gone astray. There is so much effort expended by men to distinguish themselves by their skin color, their finance, their learning, their strength, their privilege, or their suffering, yet God sees our heart and not our outward appearance.  So often people complain about the evil in the world or the selfish behavior of men and women, What God has made known  through Hos Word and by  His Son is that only God is good and God is the fountain and source of all that is good. God sees mankind as fallen, broken, sinful, and in need of a Savior. Praise be to God, who provided a Savior, and to Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.  Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.   ( Luke 24vs47).  That would be the name of this website, and that would be my heart’s desire, to be used by God for a mission like that, under the banner of Jesus Christ.  So much racism and hatred, and so much anger seemingly in every city on earth.

Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals,

For You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God

From every tribe and language and people and nation.

Like many people I prefer a orderly and consistent life, and am not so comfortable with changes. This year started out as many previous, with an outreach in Jamaica, and some time in Belize working along side some other Christian missionaries in sharing the Gospel. But now, God has graciously provided many opportunities for sharing the Gospel through preaching, offering Gospel tracts, and sometimes holding a scripture board. The small team I generally work with here locally has faithfully gone to the Virginia Beach boardwalk every Saturday except for really when there is bad rain. The crowds in Virginia Beach are much smaller than previous years, but by God’s grace more locals were out, and they were more receptive to hearing or receiving Christian literature, We have provided substantially more Gospel tracts this year than ever before. Apart from a few men espousing the doctrine of “black Hebrew Israelites” we have not been severely harassed by anyone, and thanks be to God, this is without the normal presence of VB police (who have not been present this year). Each week there has been a few people hang around to listen or encourage us, and during the summer, 2 young men joined us for the first time, which was encouraging to us, and I hope they were encouraged. (they came more than once anyway) . If any were to wonder of the fruit of such an endeavor, it is generally not so different than in Athens when Paul preached at Mars Hill. Some mocked, some listened, and we pray that some had their heart opened or at least spent some time pondering in their heart what they heard. Gospel tracts are amazing, because when one is received it may be read by other family members or friends who were not at the boardwalk. On one occasion as my friend Jason was preaching, a middle aged man approached him saying that he had heard Jason several years ago, gotten angry, and left. He made a point to thank Jason personally, confessing that since that time, he had repented of his sins and trusted in Jesus Christ. He was exceeding thankful.

I have also spent most Saturday afternoons at Colonial Williamsburg, sharing the Gospel with a decent number of people, who spend their Saturdays  at the Williamsburg Farmers market, and, this year (due to the Covid), Williamsburg has placed tables and chairs in the middle of Duke of Gloucester Street for those dining outside.  Because of a group of college students / Black Lives Matter protesters, (who condemn everyone in Williamsburg for being privileged,)  the Williamsburg visitors have been much more receptive to the preaching of the Gospel, often bringing me water as an act of kindness.  More recently the College students choose to stay on the far side of Duke of Gloucester Street, nearer to the campus.

There has also been much pro-life ministry locally, especially because most of the Roman Catholics avoided or were told to avoid the abortion clinics during the lockdowns, I was asked by one of the VB pro-life groups to minister outside the abortion clinics in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, in addition to the Newport News abortion clinic every Thursday. The Virginia governor has changed some laws regarding abortion recently, such that, there is no longer a requirement for an ultrasound or a 24 hour wait between ultra sound and abortion. This has allowed the abortion clinics to minimize the days in which they require the presence of licensed MD’s. They can now schedule all the abortions for 2 or 3 days each week, hence the clinics are more crowded on those particular days. Now that the lock downs are over more Roman Catholics are returning. Quite often they would be opposed to someone preaching or speaking to the women entering an abortion clinic, preferring instead to pray the rosary quietly. Depending on their doctrine, repetitiously praying the rosary will either cause God to intervene for the sake of Mary or will minimize the time the person praying must remain in purgatory. Although I would not agree with any of their doctrines, I think the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic is not a place to debate or argue religion. In addition, their presence and numbers on a sidewalk may discourage some mothers from having an abortion, and most people who drive by have no idea what Roman Catholics believe or what the difference between a Roman catholic and a Christian is.

The best blessing of this summer has been to be able to gather with my friends and family in Christ on Sundays. When traveling I endeavor to never fail to meet with some saints on the Lord’s Day, but it is a different group in England, Scotland, Wales Ireland etc. What a blessing to sit under good preaching and hear scripture exposited line by line, and encourage and love one another.  I am thoroughly persuaded that we must worship the Lord at all times and serve Him every day, and redeem the time, deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily, but Oh what a joy for Christians to gather together to exalt the name of Jesus together.  Oh for one thousand tongues to sing ,

To God all glory, praise, and love

be now and ever giv’n  

by saints below and saints above 

the church in earth and heaven…

 

 

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