Purpose Of This Ministry

The purpose of this ministry is found in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21:

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

This ministry seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in everything. We are are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ therefore we declare this Gospel in the highways and biways. We preach about sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment to a lost and dying world. Since Jesus' mission was to "seek and save that which was lost", this too is our mission, being empowered by the Holy Spirit whom He has given to all those who believe.

On this site you will find several resources we believe are honoring to our Lord. We hope these resources will help you take up your cross and follow Jesus - they have definitely helped us. We hope you find our site to be both a blessing and an encouragment.

I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. -Philemon 1:6

-Steve (theway1711@gmail.com)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finn Fest NOT Sinn Fest

We spent last weekend out in front of the DECC during Finn Fest. The theme of the day is that the majority of people thought we were protesting and/or against the Finnish people. We were assured by many that the "fins are probably the most christian people you'll meet."

Ironically, we had many people upset with out message, some even flicking us off and/or swearing continually at us because of our message. I guess their idea of, "most christian people you'll ever meet" is not the same as mine. we were told many times as well, "this is Finn Fest not Sinn Fest..what are you doing here!?"

One lady emphatically told me I needed to read my bible more. She said this because she was so sure the Finns are "ok with God". I told here we were not out here because of the Finns but because I know what the bible says about men (in short: they are sinners in need of a savior). I asked her if she knew what the bible said about men. She paused and replied, "nothing!". And I need to read my bible more! The following scripture is just one of MANY scriptures that says just how bad/wicked men really are:

Rom 3:10-12

On a better note, we had many new faces join us this weekend. The Winandy family, Lori (becoming a regular), and Jesse and friends from Silver Bay.

One neat thing that happened this weekend is when Jesse came down from Silver Bay. We met him during Grandma's weekend and he (as well as us) were very excited to get together. This was our first chance. Jesse had just come back from California with Way of the Master learning about preaching and/or open-air preaching. As soon as we hooked up with him, we found a place for him and he started open-air preaching. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures, only video. We tried a few different spots before we found a VERY good spot where people had to stop and wait for traffic. We set up to the side and just behind where the people were gathered. Jesse stood on a tool-box, Josh manned a sign, and I recorded the preaching. It was GREAT! He only had about 30 seconds to share a message with them before they moved on, but many people heard a biblical message about sin, righteousness, and judgment. Open-air preaching in the marketplace! People HAD to hear!

Romans 10:17
Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.

Jesse also had some friends with him who had a few young kids with them. These kids were PUMPED UP about passing out tracts. It seemed every few minutes they were begging Jesse for more tracts to pass out. They were passing out million-dollar tracts, so again, many more people God the message of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Way to go girls!!

Overall, it was a pretty laid-back, good weekend. Finn Fest recorded over 7,000 people, many of which we encountered in our three days of being out there. Just think, between the Air Show and Finn Fest over 40,000 people may have received the Gospel by mouth or the signs...40,000!

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes

Monday, July 21, 2008

Duluth Air Show - 32,000 People Get The Gospel

WOW, what an experience this past weekend! We spent all day (9am-5pm) Saturday and Sunday out at the Duluth Air Show. It was estimated that over 32,000 people attended the two day event...and most, if not all, of them had to walk past our signs.

We arrived on Saturday having no clue what we were going to do, where we were going to go, and how it was going to all work out. We trusted in God, but still, that doesn't always mean things are going to go smoothly. We had a newcomer with us for Saturday, Lori. We met her the day before (actually we had spoken with her months ago on the streets) when we stood outside the DECC to confront people with an anti-abortion message with some other pro-lifers (that was intense, but another story for another time).

Josh and Lori station themselves at one point and I stationed myself a short distance from them. We were in the only funnel area that almost all spectators had to go through. It was a PRIME spot to share the Gospel.

It wasn't long before we got set up along Stebner road that the Air Show authorities approached me telling us we needed to move (they thought we were protesting the war/show). After the "officer" said his piece, I informed him that Stebner Rd. was a public road and that the general rule is that the public right-of-way is within 10ft. of the curb. He said they had a permit for the area and that the road was no longer public. I then let him know that I had documentation from the City Engineer, City Attorney, and Federal Court Cases showing that we indeed did have the right to be there. I escorted him to Josh who had the documents. After a few minutes and a discussion with the head of security, they understood our rights and left us alone. In fact, they stopped several times to ensure we were doing alright, not being hassled, and offered us water and sun-screen. It's pays to be prepared!

The amount of people was amazing. I had no idea this event was going to attract so many people. We didn't have many conversations (people were focused on getting into the event) but it was evident that the majority of the 32,000 people were reading the signs. We received thumbs up, "amens", "praise the Lord", and an occasional passer by wondering what "church" we were with. We also had several middle-fingers, head-shakes, and "get a life" types of things. I would say in the end I had 2 very good conversations with what I suspected to be unbelievers who were curious in our message. As usual, I talked about sin, judgment, and the righteousness found in Jesus Christ.
We were also able to pass about close to 100 tracts on Sunday as well. All we did was stand near the gated walkway and hold out our home-made tracts. We trusted the Holy Spirit would prompt someone to take them from us...and they did! We almost ran out!

We also met a few other believers who were a big encouragement to us. This type of ministry can get pretty mind-draining and seem to almost non-fruitful at times. However, God seems to bring a "great cloud of witnesses" to us just when we need them. I am so thankful to those believers who stop and talk to us, offering us prayer and encouragement. Hopefully we will be in contact with some of them in the near future, esp. those residing in the Twin Cities.

The "highlight" of the two days came on Saturday. Around 3pm the weather turned pretty nasty and a light mist turned into a down pour. The masses of people coming out was astounding. Very few people came prepared for such inclimate weather. they left the gated area in mass and they ALL had to filter right past us, often times being slowed down (or stopped)by vehicle traffic and foot-traffic congestion. They were "forced" to read our message, sometimes for a second or third time. To say we got SOAKED would be an understatement (Just a little FYI, I was soaked down to my underwear!!). It was worth it though, the Gospel was preached via our signs. Lori was a AWESOME for her first time out with us. She stayed the whole day, endured the rain, wind, and cold kept her focus. It was great to see others willing to sacrifice their comfort level (and physical comfort) for the sake of Jesus Christ.

One "picture" I will forever have in my mind is when a large group (probably a few hundred) were stopped by a line of cars coming out of the parking lot. All I could see were hundreds of people, many cars, rain all around me, and Josh's sign exalting the name of Christ within them all. The line of people extended for several hundred yards...hundreds of them! I wish many more could have seen it.
Praise be to God!!

Proverbs 24:25
But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reggae Fest and beyond

We spent Saturday July 12 outside of the Bayfront Festival Park as the Reggae Fest was going on. Although there were hundreds of people that entered the gated area, we had very few conversations. We learned too late that our message should have been geared towards their beliefs, calling them to repentance, to turn to the TRUE God, and obey Jesus. Next year should be more fruitful because our message will meet them where they are at.

The neat thing about this fest, and the Duluth Side Walk days is that a Vincent has started showing some sincere interest in coming out with us. He joined us one whole day on the streets of Duluth for sidewalk days and joined us the whole day during Reggae Fest. He even put on one of our new sandwich boards when I left. He did a great job of calling some young kids on bikes to repentance, to no longer live in sin, and TRUE faith in Christ (see inserted picture).

A quick story:

Josh and Vincent were out on the boardwalk one afternoon. They were walking up and down the boardwalk with sandwich boards on. A couple approached them and thanked them. They said their daughter had either seen us out before and/or talked to us at one point. They said their daughter now FEARS GOD because of the message we were preaching. Now, I don't know if she is a professing christian and what exactly was talked about, but either way, FEARING GOD is a good thing.... A VERY GOOD THING. Praise God.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

A Homosexual Fears God

We found ourselves on the sidewalks of Duluth the sidewalk days from July 9-11. It was a busy time, but the weather was not very cooperative. We did get out for two full days, but missed the last day. It seems the people were more interested in the material things of the world, than the preaching of the Gospel.

We did have a few different encounters with the Police again. We came across the Potato Chip man, who preceded to get in Josh's face AGAIN, call the cops, and lie about us. Sure enough, the police came and had no problem with what we were doing. Funny thing, the Potato Chip man never sticks around to tell his side of the story.

One meaningful conversation I had was with a homosexual I had talked to before. He is talked about in another post. He approached me and we began to talk about small matters. As I was talking to him, two young girls approached and began to talk to me about being judgmental, etc. As I explained to them about God's standard, judgment, sin, righteousness, and eternal hell-fire they did not seem to care at all. I explained to them that on the day of judgment, they'll remember this conversation and wished they were scared back then. Just then the homosexual spoke up and said to the girls..."you should be scared. I'm scared. The two things that scare me are God and his judgment. I'm a homosexual and if the bible is right, I'm in big trouble."

Now, whether or not the guy meant it is not up to me. All I know is that the last time I talked to him, all he was trying to do was prove that homosexuality is ok and God is fine with it. Seems he's speaking a little different tone now.

Proverbs 16:6
By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil

The only other conversation that really stands out to me is a conversation Josh had with a person for the Duluth Bible Church. I got a call from Josh about an hour into his conversation with this guy. When I got there, the topic was about Romans 7 and whether Paul is describing himself BEFORE he was a converted or AFTER he was converted. As I listened to Josh debate with this guy, it seemed the gentleman wanted to hear nothing from Josh. This man was convinced that Romans 7 is describing Paul AFTER his conversion. He also insisted that one can never lose their salvation, even if they become an atheist for the majority of their life. As long as they believe one time, then they are saved. I began to dialogue with the gentleman, trying to show that Romans 7 is speaking about Paul BEFORE his conversion, but the gentleman would have nothing to do with what we said.

Although I see no biblical support for Romans 7 describing Paul AFTER his conversion (outside of it being written in the present tense), the thing that bothers me more than anything, is that many people use Romans 7 to justify their unholy living. They think something to the effect of, "If Paul couldn't do it, then neither can I." And they justify their sinful life, their lukewarmness, their friendship with the world, and the list can go on and on. Now I do not want to downplay God's mercy and grace, but God doesn't just call us to Repentance and Faith and then say, "well that's it, go and do what you please. You're going to fail habitually and repeatedly, but that's ok, I still love you." NO! Jesus called us to be perfect as His father in heaven is perfect. The bible is filled with exhortations to STOP SINNING. Peter tells us to perfect holiness in ourselves in the fear of God. Now, all of this is done through the Power of the Holy Spirit, but it WILL BE DONE none-the-less. For time and space sakes, I'll stop for now. Should anyone like to discuss Romans 7, please contact me so we can discuss exactly what Paul IS saying.

Galatians 5:16-25
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Preaching on July 4th

On July 4th. We set up in front of the Bayfront Festival Park around 3ish. The first part of the day was spend in the Canal Park area. It was a LONG day to say the least. For the most part, the day started out pretty slow, with very little for conversations. There were literally thousands of people that passed by us and read our signs. We did have conversations here and there, but for the most part, the day was slow.

As the sun began to set, the crowd grew restless. Josh walked through the grounds area with his motorized hat on (where hundreds of people were sitting waiting for the fireworks to begin). I got some great film footage of the event. Many people were captivated by his hat and no doubt the message was read. We were thinking of leaving the area around 8:30 but thankfully Josh encouraged me to stay. From 8:30 until 10 (just before the fireworks began) we had many, many conversations. Two conversations stick out to me. One was with a young lady who was very displeased with our message, literally flicking me, josh, and the camera off. It lasted about 15 minutes and in the end, she knew what she needed to do to be right with God, however she had no interest in doing it.

The other conversation was with 3 young adults. The interesting thing about that conversation is that someone had preached to them the day before. Those people preached the law, sin, judgment, and hell to them. I too was preaching this to this small group, however the people seemed to be in fear of God's wrath and eternal judgment on the sinner while they listened to me. They said they didn't like what the person said to them the day before, and were turned off. The funny thing is, when they first approached me, one of the first comments out of their mouth was, "so we are all going to hell because we are all sinners?" WOW! She was not asking out of sarcasm, she was serious. I was able to share the word of God with them concerning God's standard, judgment, the lake of fire, and God's love and mercy for the sinner. No doubt it was one of the best conversations I have had. They were sincere and wanted more answers. They didn't question anything I had to say. I believe they were beginning to accept it by faith.

It's amazing how God often times rewards us when we are willing to go they extra mile. I am so thankful that Josh encouraged me to stay out. Had I not, I would have missed that opportunity with those three young adults.

We learned a lot about what to do next year at this event. Where to set up. When. How late to stay, etc. We are already looking forward to July 4th next year. It's a festival that is sure to attract the thousands, a great place to preach the Gospel.

Romans 10:17
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith, it is impossible to please God

If faith comes by hearing (preaching is the context and not behind a pulpit) and without faith it is impossible to please God, do you think we should be preaching to the masses more?