Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School Supply Thanks

I recently posted a blog about Dean's brother losing his job and the need for his 5th grade son's school supplies.

I had 3 people eagerly respond....and I know those 3 people will not let me thank them publicly, but they read the blog....so they know who they are.

THANK YOU!  From us and directly from Dean's brother's family.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.

We also purchased him a book bag and gave some money for required school agenda and vocabulary book.

Dean's brother is still looking for work as of yesterday, so if you have a lead for him (experienced painter) or feel led to donate to help with a specific utility bill, please give us a call or send us an email.

Loving Radically Through Jesus,


Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday Crosswalk

This past Saturday I set my sights on Downtown Durham again.  My mother (Marcia Rowland) and my son (Dillon Padgett) joined me in the walk.

When we immediately began the walk, a couple ran up to us and asked us for a picture.  They were Christians and told us about how God had touched their lives.  Isn't it great that He started our journey out with encouragement?

After that we were on our way to the mission field.  As we continued down Mangum Street, an SUV pulled up beside us.  It was a guy that I had met the prior Friday during my first crosswalk in Downtown Durham.  I had asked him last week if he would be willing to walk with me sometimes and take pictures, and he said yes, but I wasn't sure if he was serious or not. 

Well he obviously was serious!!  And he was there to take pictures. 

We approached Main Street and I saw people outside eating.  As I passed by one place, a lady asked if she could take a picture of me.  Eager to start preaching I told her "yes".  As her camera snapped the photo I said "Now I get to preach."  She said "No I really don't want you to."  And I replied that I let her get the picture, so she should allow me to preach in return.  She explained that she was an atheist and didn't believe Jesus existed.  I had talked with a professing atheist last week too.  I asked her what she thought happens when you die, and she just said that we die and that's it.  I asked her if she ever wondered if there was more to life than just this.  She said that it didn't bother her.  I noticed that she had cigarettes and wine on the table and I said "If this is all the life you will have, I see that you are speeding up the process of ending it with those."  With that they just laughed.  I began to tell her what Jesus could do for her and she insisted again on not having this conversation.  She started to become agitated, and the more I talked, the more angry she became.  She didn't want to let go of her lifestyle and her views and I was just cramping it.  When I saw that she wasn't responding at all to the Word, I gathered up my cross and continued with the walk.

We walked down a little further and a man standing outside of a shop said "Hey Jesus....Hey.....Jesus didn't have wheels on his cross."  The Holy Spirit immediately put a word on my lips, which I will be using in the future, since many people like to criticize with this point.  I said "You know, so many people focus on the insignificant things so that they don't have to focus on the cross."  And he replied with "You're right."

As we began to talk to him, a small crowd gathered.  A lady came up behind me and started telling me about how she had been raped and all the things her and her sister had been through in life.  She poured her heart out to me and I just listened and took it all in.  She was attached to me like glue and would not part from me.  My son, Dillon, was witnessing to the guy we first talked to, and my mom said Dillon had a glow on his face as he told the man about Jesus!

We talked to another lady standing in the crowd and I asked her how her relationship with Jesus was.  She said it was good, as do most people.  I asked her if she was living right and she stated "halfway."  So I asked her, "Look, if you were applying for a job and you called and asked them if you had the job and they told you 'halfway', would you be secure with that answer?"  She said "no" and I said "We can't live halfway for Jesus either.  He wants our whole heart."  So I asked her if she was living in sin and she replied that she was....she was living with a man that she wasn't married to.  I asked her if they were having sex and she admitted that they were.  Then I asked her if she thought she would go to heaven if she died right now and she replied that she thought she would because she was nice to people and tried to do good.  I told her what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  DO NOT BE DECEIVED!  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

I said "According to what you have told me, you are living in fornication.  Do you still think you would go to heaven now that you know what the Scripture says about it?"  She replied "Probably not, I guess."  I told her that I didn't want her to be deceived.  Then I told her the Good News.  "Now that you understand what sin can do, let me tell you what Jesus can do.  When you believe on Jesus, you are accepting his sacrifice for sin.  In other words, He took the penalty of sin for you.  Jesus died so that you could be forgiven and free, and all you have to is repent of your sins, allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life, and He will help you overcome that sin that leads to death.  Apart from God we can do nothing.  We need His transforming power to change us so we no longer have the desire to practice sin."  She told me that it was her plan to do things right and get married and she thanked us for talking with her. 

By her standards, this lady thought she was good.  But we can't live by our own standards!  We have to live by the standards God tells us in His Word!  There are so many people deceived in this way.  I see it over and over again.  It is important that we tell them the truth and not toy with them on this matter.  It could mean the difference between life and death! 

At this point, my mother and son went to get something to drink, so I went a little further down Main Street.  As I was walking a teenage girl came up behind me and asked for a picture.  She had two other young ladies with her.  Then I saw two young men get out of their car and come over to where we were.   I let them take a picture and afterwards I got to share the gospel with them.  The two young men, Derrik and Patrick, were really under conviction.  I noticed that one of them had a lot of scars on him....like scars from a knife.  I asked him about the scars and also asked him if he was waiting for death to submit his life to God.  He replied "You're right.  I've been running and I need to get things right."  I told him that God wanted to use him in a mighty way and that it was not a hard thing to give his life to God.  I gave him Romans 10:8-10 - "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture says 'Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.  For 'whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"  Then we prayed together and both young men gave me their phone numbers.  I told them that if they were serious, I would contact them and help them go all the way with God.

After that I headed down the other side of Main Street and continued to talk to people about the Gospel.

We decided to also venture to Roxboro Road and the traffic was pretty heavy.  There were lots of people out and about.  I walked for a while and didn't talk to anyone.  But I finally came upon a church where a small group of people had stopped and waited for me to come by.  When I approached, they asked for a picture, and you know the drill by now....they get a picture if I get to preach.  They agreed and I did what I love to do....share the gospel of Jesus Christ and what He's done for me!  I continued down Roxboro Road towards a shopping center and my mom followed behind me in the Jeep.  People were turning around to look and coming out of their shops to catch a glimpse and get a picture.  A police officer came over to where we were and walked up to me.  I was a bit worried at first that he might be trying to stop what we were doing, but it turned out that he just wanted a picture like everyone else.

I told my mom that I would meet her at the Roses, so she drove ahead and I set out walking again with the cross.  As I got near the shopping center, I approached a little grassy area.  All of a sudden there was a crowd of twenty or more people gathered around me on the grassy area.  They all stood there and listened as I preached the life-saving gospel of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 

Hallelujah!  God's presence was mighty for sure!

By this time we were getting a little hungry and thirsty and we decided to go into KFC for dinner.  I propped my cross up against the building and went inside and grabbed a seat.  As I sat there people began to stare.  I mean....it's not everyday that you see Jesus at KFC, right?  (Disclaimer folks....I know that I am NOT the real Jesus.)  As I began to eat a family of four came up to me.  They were excited and said "We saw you walking down the road and we followed you here.  We just wanted to know what you were doing."  So I told them to go and get their food and come sit down and we'd talk.  They explained that they actually weren't coming to eat, but just to talk to me.  So I told them about how God had given me a vision in my mind....about how it would look if Jesus were to carry a cross through our cities.  I told them that God wanted people to become aware that Jesus is coming again soon, and that this would be a sign to many to prepare themselves for His return.  He told me it would shock people and even convict people of their sins.

As we ended the day, I loaded the cross onto the Jeep and a man came over from the bus stop.  He told me that he wanted to pray for me.  I could tell that he had some mental problems, but he prayed The Lords Prayer over me and it was a beautiful sound in my ears, as I'm sure it was to God.

I would like to encourage all believers who may be reading this blog post.  If you've ever desired to be a witness for the Lord, but have been afraid to step out because of fear or lack of self-assurance, don't be!  Let me tell you from my own experience, and my family can confirm, I am shy in crowds and I don't like speaking up in front of people.  I get very nervous when I do anything like that.  But you have to kick down those barriers by faith, and step out in obedience.  Then, and only then, will God reward you.  He will give you SUPERNATURAL BOLDNESS to perform His will.  You will begin to be so bold you won't even recognize yourself.

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

God Bless All Of His Saints!

Stay tuned for more!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Anyone Interested In Joining Dean?

Dean wants to go out cross-walking and witnessing again this Saturday around lunch time.  It will probably be in Durham again, and will be for a couple of hours.

He wanted me to post and see if anyone was interested in joining him?  Even if you feel like you can't be a "speaker", he really needs someone to help him take pictures and pray and give out contact cards to people who stop him.

I will doing a clothing outreach and a ladies study during that time and can't go with him :(

Please pray about coming out to help him and give him a call at 919-665-8997 if you're interested!

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Current Families In Need

We have a couple of families that have recently request school supplies that they cannot afford to purchase for their children going back to school next week.  If you have any that you would like to donate, please let us know.  We will definitely get them in the hands of some children who need them!!

Also, Dean's brother went to get his check on Friday and was told then that he was being laid off right then for lack of work.  He has been doing painting for a local company.  If you know of anywhere hiring for that type of work, please let us know.

They also have a son going into the fifth grade next week at Butner Stem Elementary School.  We would like to be able to help them out with his school supplies so they will not stress and worry about this.  I plan to go this weekend and get most/all of the supplies.  If you would like to donate a WalMart gift card to help out with this, or join me at WalMart this weekend to help out, we would be most appreciative :)

Fifth Grade Supply List
·      Small index cards
·      Dry erase markers
·      10 notebooks
·      Highlighter
·      Pencils
·      1 inch binder
·      Colored pencils
·      Dividers
·      Loose-leaf notebook paper
·      Tissues
·      Sandwich size Ziploc bags
·      Clorox wipes
·      Headphones
·      1 3-pronged folder
·      $9.00 for vocabulary word study book

Optional: Markers, Crayons

Lastly we have a family that is in need of diapers (sizes 5 and 6) and two toddler beds.

As always, thanks in advance for helping out!

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Monday, August 20, 2012


About a year ago a vision popped into my mind. I imagined what it would look like if Jesus were to walk down the streets of our city, bearing a cross on His shoulders. I had played with the idea for a while, but really never did anything with it. Then an opportunity presented itself last year at the Durham Gay Pride Parade. I dressed up in full Jesus outfit, bearing a rather large cross on my back, as a visual witness there. My presence, or rather the visual presence of Jesus, was not a very welcomed sight at this event. The people mocked, laughed, and even cursed at me.

But it wasn't me they were angry with...it was who I represented that angered them.

Of course they had their Jesus in the parade and rolling around on skates, but they didn't have a problem with him because he represented their cause. That was a great experience, and I believe it did some good.

When God gives you a vision, His purpose will always succeed if you step out in faith.

That was almost  a year ago, and I haven't thought about it much until recently. This past Friday I felt strongly that I should pull out the Jesus outfit again, and carry the cross through downtown Durham. So I loaded up the Jeep and headed to Durham. When I arrived, I parked at a local church that I had attended once.  I opened my truck door, and in full Jesus garb I pulled the cross out of the back of the Jeep.  Suddenly I noticed that people were already staring.  They didn't say anything, they just stared. Then I hoisted the cross up on my shoulders and began walking towards the downtown area.  It only took just a few steps and then it started.  People begin to yell, "JESUS", and some were laughing and snickering.  The closer I got to my destination, the more the onslaught would build.  Many people looked shocked and didn't know what to think or say.  Then as the steady stream of traffic zoomed by, people would yell out of their car windows, "HEY JESUS!"

Finally I arrived at Main Street.  As I continued walking down the sidewalk of the city, I could see and feel people gawking at me. 

I guess so, it's not everyday you see Jesus walking down Main Street, or any street for that matter.

As I pressed forward I saw a man and woman standing outside of one of the shops.  The man yelled out, "HEY DIDN'T I SEE YOU IN A ROCK BAND ONCE?".  I didn't acknowledge him at all and kept my pace.  Then as I passed he shouted, "OH YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE!"  I still did not respond, but kept my stride.

Then I approached a girl probably in her early twenties.  She asked, "What are you doing ?" and I told her that I was being a witness for Jesus.  Then I stopped and set down my cross and begin talking with her.  I asked her where she was with her relationship with Jesus.  She said she was an atheist and didn't believe in Jesus.  Not only that, she didn't believe Jesus ever existed.  I asked her why she didn't believe he existed even though there is historical facts that say he did.  She tried to explain her mind set on the matter, but other people were starting to come up to me.

People were wanting to take a picture with me, so I agreed, but only if I could preach to them.  They agreed, took a picture with me, and I preached.

People driving by in their cars would hold up traffic just to take pictures of me.  The response to what I was doing was overwhelming, and this was just the beginning.
I would meet up with many other people. One particular lady stuck out in my mind.  She walked up to me and looked me up and down, with her mouth gaping open. I asked, "Are you okay? " She responded, "I'm a little weirded out."  I asked her if she needed prayer for anything and she said she needed a job and she also needed prayer for her menopause.  I prayed with her, and the presence of God was mighty on her, she said, "OH I FEEL SOMETHING, OHHHHH WHEEEW!"  I could feel God's presence too, and I told her before I left, "If you want all these things, seek first the kingdom of God."  I went further down Main Street, when a hot dog vendor yell out to me, "JESUS, HEY JESUS, COME OVER HERE AND BLESS MY CART!"  I thought he was mocking, but turns out he was an awesome brother in the Lord.  I stopped and talked with him for about thirty minutes, and we had prayer and worshipped God with uplifted hands right there next to the hot dogs!  Then another brother saw us from across the street and ran over to join us.  We had an awesome time ministering to one another.

After that, a young guy on a bicycle rode up next to me and asked what I was doing, in a sour tone of course.  I told him that I was being a witness for the Lord and asked "WHY, have you come  to criticize me?"  He said, "No, I'm just real skeptical of people like you, because I have seen it done the wrong way."  I responded, "I know what you mean...people that tell you you're going to hell, but don't offer any hope in the process right?" "Yes!" he said.  "That's exactly it, amongst other things!"  I told him that I wasn't there to condemn anyone, but only to share the good news of the gospel. Then about that time a curious woman came up to us, and together he and I witnessed to her, and explained to her how to be saved.  Afterwards the man on the bike shook my hand and thanked me for what I was doing, then rode away.

I decided I would go to another location, so I headed back to my Jeep, but before I could make it a man and woman walked from behind a building and asked for a picture. I said, "Okay, but I get to preach to you."  They agreed, we took a picture, and then I preached.  After I preached to them for a little while the man wanted to know how he could get in contact with me so that I could come to his church and speak.  He said, "I will talk to my pastor about it."  So I gave him our web address and my name.  He recently friend requested me on facebook.

I loaded the cross back onto the Jeep and headed to Ninth Street. When I arrived there were just a few people out walking. So I unloaded again and was on my way.  I got the usual stares, and double takes, and a few people actually would turn to go another way.  My cross has wheels on it so I can pull it, and as I passed by a bar, a drunk yelled out, "JESUS DIDN'T HAVE WHEELS!" and everyone erupted with laughter and continued shouting as I rolled away.  One guy called me the Anti-Christ...not sure what he meant by that.  I continued around the block, and people continued to point and laugh.  I was back at the Jeep and off to my next destination

I decided to conclude my walk on Hillsborough Road.  Before I went down Hillsborough Road I went down LaSalle Street and stood in front of the MAXX-X pornographic movie store.  I stood right at the exit to the store, so that as they drove out of the parking lot the first thing they saw was a visual of a cross and a man dressed up like Jesus.  After that I made my way down Hillsborough Road.  Many people were pulling over in their cars trying to get a picture on their cell phones.  I saw people looking out the windows of the stores to catch a glimpse of the cross-wielding Jesus.  Some people would pull up next to me in their cars asking what I was doing, while others would pull over, get out of their cars and run over to get a picture.  I told them my usual stipulation for pictures, they would have to let me preach to them.  I got to share the gospel to many, many people! 

To end the day on a high note, a group of teenagers pulled over and asked if they could take a picture with me.  They said they had been following me around.  So right there on Hillsborough Road I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to five teenagers.  They listened intently and hung on every word I believe the Spirit of God was saying to them.

Praise God!

Jesus be glorified for the great things He did that day!

We are called to share the gospel, and if we listen to the Spirit, He will give us unique and effective ways to do it.

I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus was lifted up THIS DAY!

As Christians we don't have to bear the cross that Jesus did, but we can put wheels on one and carry our own.


Radical For Jesus,


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We had such a good weekend and we're looking forward to this week ahead also!

Friday night we got Courtney all packed up for camp.  She headed out to Camp Discover with Youth for Christ of Roxboro yesterday.  Please join me in praying that she'll be safe, have a good time with fellow Christians her age, and discover a lot about her relationship with the Lord.  Middle school is such a fragile time period that needs to be covered in prayer for sure.

Saturday I went to my ladies Bible study (Beth Moore's James: Mercy Triumphs) and then to a niece's birthday party.

Sunday was church and just a blessed day!  I was able to take my new friend Sam(antha) to Sunday School and church with us.  I had gotten her a new Bible and she dug right in during service!  Then to get her really broken in, we took her to do food pick ups and deliveries.  We were able to take her with us to hand out food in two neighorhoods in Durham.  While there, Dean was able to minister to and pray with several people about their current relationship with the Lord.  Sam expressed several times how much she loved going to church with us and doing the ministry work, and she hoped that we will take her with us again next time.

Most definitely we will!

After the food deliveries we took a break at Pastor Terry's pool and then we were off again.  We headed to Roxboro, to East Rock Community Church, to hear the most talented David Solomon preach on God's provision. 

We did a little home maintenance on Courtney's braces (don't worry - just clipping some long wires with wire cutters), sent her off with hugs and kisses, and finally headed home to crash. 

What a wonderful weekend!

Tonight we will be joining up with Bull City Outreach Ministries, Emergency Chaplains, the City of Durham, and some other groups at the corner of Hyde Park and Liberty Streets in Durham, for National Night Out.  We'll be out there rain or shine.  It's from 4 to 7 - so come out if you can to share the Name, the Word, and the Love of Jesus with us!

Tomorrow we'll be blessed to work with the youth group at Bethel Christian Center.  The youth leaders will be out of town and we have been asked to step in and teach on Wednesday night and possibly Sunday morning. 

Wow....what an honor! 

Please keep us in prayer and see to it that we are directed by the Spirit for Divine Words and Divine Appointments.  We're going to do an extension of our alien-themed verses and ideas that we used for the kids in the mobile VBS.

Thursday we'll hopefully be teaming up with an old high school friend, Jeremy, to deliver a much needed couch and chair to a family in Durham.  Big thanks to him for volunteering his time and truck to help us get this need met!

Saturday I'll be joining with Open Arms Fellowship from Creedmoor to do a back-to-school clothing drive in Twin Circles Mobile Home Park in Butner.  If you have kids clothes or mens clothes that you would like to donate, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. 

Thank you so much for joining with us in all that's needed and being done.  We greatly appreciate it!

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Psalm 116

Just sharing the Psalm that I had the pleasure of basking in with my morning coffee....wow, what a thankfulness!  What a mercy!  I hope I am able to fully realize the depth of this plea.

God has surely offered me everlasting hope through Jesus' sacrifice....and He surely delivers me daily through His Spirit.

Psalm 116

Amplified Bible (AMP)

I love the Lord, because He has heard [and now hears] my voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.
The cords and sorrows of death were around me, and the terrors of Sheol (the place of the dead) had laid hold of me; I suffered anguish and grief (trouble and sorrow).
Then called I upon the name of the Lord: O Lord, I beseech You, save my life and deliver me!
Gracious is the Lord, and [rigidly] righteous; yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He helped and saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my life from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling and falling.
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
10 I believed (trusted in, relied on, and clung to my God), and therefore have I spoken [even when I said], I am greatly afflicted.
11 I said in my haste, All men are deceitful and liars.
12 What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? [How can I repay Him for all His bountiful dealings?]
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and deliverance and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord, yes, in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious (important and no light matter) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (His loving ones).
16 O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid; You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord, yes, in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the Lord’s house—in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)