Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crosswalking in Raleigh

I felt God leading us to Raleigh to do a cross walk. My mom (Marcia Rowland) and our sister in Christ, Deborah Reliford, joined me on the walk. We began our walk on Capital Blvd. We started walking from the McDonalds and made our way to a shopping center when a lady pulled up in a van beside us. She just looked at me without saying a word and it appeared as though she had seen a ghost. As we began to talk I soon discovered that she used to be close to God, and that she had strayed from Him. She said that she had a lot of guilt from her past mistakes.

I took as an opportunity to share my own story about how God delivered me from my past guilt. Tears begin to pour from her eyes. She said that she didn't know how to get back to God and she has tried but keeps failing. I explained to her that we can't do anything within ourselves, but we have to rely on Him and He will give us those desires if we ask. Sometimes just admitting to God our weakness is what He wants us to do. The Bible says in James 4:6 - But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

God gives grace (His strength and favor) to those who humble themselves. All pride and human abilities leave when we realize that God works through our weaknesses.

Pride says, "I can do it myself" while being humble cries, "I need your help God!"

I asked mom and Deborah if they would pray for her. As they prayed, a great joy came over this lady and she began to sing from her heart. She had a beautiful singing voice, and I noticed her countenance started to change. God really blessed this lady, as well as us.

After we prayed three teenagers came up to me and asked what I was doing. I told them I was preaching the gospel, and then I asked them how their relationship was with Jesus. They said "Okay" but they knew they were not doing everything they should be doing. So I told them that we have to come to God by humbling ourselves, and I squatted down and asked them to squat down with me. I told them that we have to humble ourselves by bringing ourselves lower and letting go of our pride and repent of our sins and God would do a work in our lives. They seemed to devour every word. I could tell that they had never heard anything like that before.

We continued our walk down Capital when all of the sudden the lady that we first met in the van comes running after us. She ends up walking with us the rest of the day, singing and praising God along the way.  We were not expecting that at all. Praise God for His many blessings!!

I talked to many people about Jesus this day. It always amazes me how people respond to this visual.

I want all our readers to know that I ONLY do this for God's glory. I even have had many opportunities to receive money from people, but I refuse to use this as a money thing! I want to give the Gospel to people free of charge. The scripture says in Matthew 10: 7-8 - And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Now I know there is nothing wrong with receiving money from people, because the scripture goes on to say a worker is worthy of his food...

1 Corinthians 9:12-15 - Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.  

I believe that not taking peoples money in a society driven by money and greed will only help to further the validity of the gospel.

I went back a few days later to Capital Blvd. Two teenagers chased me down for about a quarter of a mile to talk to me and get a picture. Also a great couple pulled up and asked me what I was doing this for. I talked to them for probably thirty or forty minutes about my testimony and what God was doing with the crosswalk. Then the man offered a prayer for me. He asked that God would strengthen me and continue  to use me in this way for His glory.

I also talked to four people at the Food Lion. I could tell by the way they talked that they were Christians. I challenged them to go even deeper in their walk with God, and to listen to His Spirit to use them to step out and do something "out of the box" for Him.

Yet another day in Raleigh we went downtown. As I walked through town you could sense that people were caught up in life. I believe that if Jesus himself were to return and walk down some of our streets in America He would just be overlooked.

We have heard the name Jesus so long in our country that it has become just another name to us. That name has lost its power in our lives because of our love for money, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. The Bible even says in Matthew 24:36-44 - “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

It will come as a thief to those who aren't interested or those who are caught up with this life. If you are a Christian and you spend most of your time on worldly affairs, then you are missing the mark. It's not just the real bad sins that we think of either that hold us back. It said they were eating, drinking, and getting married. These are just everyday things that we do. These things are not bad in themselves but when they become our God then we have missed the boat.

I talked to two young girls who said that they were saved. As I begin to talk, one of them walked away, but the other one stayed. I asked her if she was sharing her faith with anyone, and talking to God in prayer, and she said "Not like I should." I asked her what her husband would think if she got up in the morning, got dressed, drank her coffee, fixed her hair, and then walked out the door without speaking to him. She said her husband would probably think she was mad at him. I told her this is what we do to God everyday, but we don't think about it because He is not the most important thing in our lives.

Jesus gave His life for us; He left His throne to become a servant for us. The least we can do is acknowledge Him and thank Him, and share what He has done for us. She agreed, and I gave her a practical way she could start honoring God. I told her that first thing in the morning, before she does anything, to get on her knees and thank God for the day and worship Him. Her eyes got real big when I said that. I think it sounded different to her....almost alien!

Praise God for all that He has done and continues to do with Radical Life Outreach Ministries! Thanks to all of you that have supported us and still support us with your prayers and gifts.

To God be all the glory and to Jesus Christ our savior,

To be continued……



I'd like to take a moment to also recognize and thank Freedom Baptist Church of Durham.  We were asked to come and speak to them about our ministry on Sunday the 9th.  At first I didn't know how we'd take up an entire hour of time, but as Pastor Ronnie Bell told Dean at one point "She's on a roll now" :)  It came easy as we just talked about the ways that God is working in our lives and our community.

We were then able to team up and help out a little with their Fall Festival the following Saturday.  Ronnie Bell is the new pastor at this church and really just wants to see the Word and Spirit of God grow exponentially in the surrounding community. 

Thanks again Ronnie and LuAnn!  We can't wait to work together with you again.

I also want to take this time to say a big "Thank You" to everyone who has sent me cards, notes, messages, scriptures, or prayers in the passing of my cousin Melanie.  It has been a rough two weeks for me at times, but God is good - ALWAYS - and He has brought me through the worst part.  There were moments when I knew I was being spiritually attacked and tormented, but I am just so thankful for my loving, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled husband who came along-side and helped me get back on track at just the right moment.

Until next time....Loving Radically Through Christ,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Am I Lukewarm and Loving It?

This is a hard message but it's truth.

I hope you will take the time to listen to it like we did. 

Yes it's almost 40 minutes long - but it's well worth it.

You cannot leave the same.....well, you can.....but you can't leave without at least having the knowledge.



Monday, September 3, 2012

Other Ministry Endeavors

We've been out and about so much lately that I haven't been posting on the other great things God is doing in our lives.

Last Saturday we were able to join with Open Arms Fellowship (Creedmoor) to do a FREE clothing and school supply outreach at Twin Circles Mobile Home Park in Butner.  This is the same mobile home park that we have been out to many, many times delivering food, hanging out with the kids, having dinner with families, ministering the Word and doing the mobile VBS.  We love the folks in this community and love to spend time with them helping out in any way possible.  Some pictures from that outreach are below.

We have also been able to attend and help out with Friday Night Street Church in Durham at MacDougald Terrace Housing.  These people are the passion of Pastor Terry Shuff of Bull City Outreach Ministries.  He goes out to these neighborhoods food and clothes and many other things, but more importantly he brings them the Word!  This Friday night street church was a wonderful experience, and for the past 2 Friday nights Dean has been able to preach to the residents that attend.  We get the Jesus music going, bring out the folding chairs, and just begin to have church right there where the people the middle of the apartment complex.  This past Friday night Terry and Angie were out of town - but the show went on!  Dean and I, Jeff and Kem Shuler, William and Deborah Reliford, Michael Perra, Chris Hull, Kelly Gordon, and a handful of other people that I can't remember names for, came out had church.  It was a great experience, as always, and we look forward to next Friday night and every Friday night, as long as the Lord keeps this going.

Yes it's dark outside....yes it's late....yes it's a rough neighborhood....yes there is gang activity, drug deals, senseless murders, addictions of all sorts, children running around without parents who care....but we care and love these people because Jesus loves them.  Let us not forget that He died for us while we were still sinners....His love for us was made perfect in His sacrifice unto death.  But that is not all folks!!!  He gives us NEW LIFE....a CHANGED LIFE!  If we will agree to give Him our whole life....our whole heart....our entire beings....He will mold us and change us and rejuvinate us!

Hallelujah!!  He did it for me, He did it for Dean, He did it for Pastor Terry, and many others.  If He can do it for us, He can do it for you and He can do it for the people of MacDougald!

We have also had lots of calls lately for people needing food.  So we have done many deliveries.  We have a shelf in our home dedicated to non-perishables and also have a deep freezer for meats and baked goods.  If you would ever like to donate to this, we would be very appreciative!  Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we will be happy to meet up with you!

As always, thank you for helping us serve people in our community all in the name of Jesus.

Loving Radically Through Christ,


Sunday, September 2, 2012

More Crosswalking Stories!!

We have sooooo many crosswalking stories to tell that we just can't get them all typed up and posted!  So sorry!!!  We are getting quite a few requests for an updated post of Dean's most recent endeavors.  I'll start by saying that it is virtually impossible to recount EVERY story, however we're going to detail a few of them below and include some pictures.  Please feel free to share this blog post with your friends and family.  It's very encouraging to see that so many people are interested in hearing about our gospel sharing ventures! 

Last Sunday Dean went crosswalking through the Butner-Creedmoor area.  This past Friday he took the day off work and went back to Downtown Durham, South Square and Southpoint areas and also Chapel Hill.  Then on Saturday he went to Oxford and Henderson.

This is the most effective and powerful ministry tool yet because people are so interested in what he's doing and will stop and listen to what he has to say.  It's one thing for us to bring free stuff to people....of course they hang around and chat.  But it's a whole different story for people to approach you and become genuinely engaged in conversation about the gospel.  It's just amazing!

These were the first people we came into contact with in Henderson.

I met Pastor Lashun Mitchell and his children (pictured above) in Oxford.  He said he had been hearing about me at work for about 2 weeks and had said that he would like to meet me.  And then we ran into each other on Saturday.  He said that he would like to go crosswalking with me sometime soon.  He is currently pastoring a church in Chapel Hill but has just recently moved to Oxford and is looking for a building here.  Hopefully when he finds a local place I will go and speak to the congregation.

This is the manager and a couple of wait staff at Golden Corral in Henderson.  Before we left I got to pray with our waitress.
Across the street from the Golden Corral in Henderson is a car dealership.  A group of about 10 people gathered around to see what I was doing.  Of course I explained it to them, and when they wanted pictures, I took the opportunity to share the gospel with all of them.  One of the people in the group was a car salesman.  After seeing me and hearing about what I was doing, he tried to pull out his wallet and offer money to me.  However I explained to him that I would not take the money because my job was not to come out and collect money from's to come out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
I was also at a Food Lion parking lot in Henderson and I was sitting on a bench and sharing with 3 or 4 of the employees when a few other people came up.  I was able to share my personal testimony and also the vision that God had given me about doing this type of ministry.
Everywhere I go people are in shock and awe....they're amazed to see someone doing something like this.  Some people are a little hesitant at first, and that's understandable.  But once they realize that I'm out only to share the gospel they are usually joyful and excited and encouraging.
I also get a lot of people that follow me.....whether it be following me on their moped, or walking behind me for a while, or seeing me pass them by and following me in their car until I stop and they get a chance to ask what I'm up to.  One particular person was a man on a moped who followed me for a bit and took some pictures.  When I got the chance to talk to him, it was encouraging because he was currently heading up a Celebrate Recovery program in his area....a Christ-based addictions recovery program, kind of like AA, but all based on freedom from hurts, habits and hangups through Jesus Christ.

A man approached me in the Roses parking lot in Oxford.  He asked if he could get a picture and I asked him how his relationship with Jesus was.  He pulled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal a tattoo of Jesus' face on his upper arm.  I said "Yeah but is he in your heart?"  And he said that he was....that he had been there a long time. 

Now I don't know the true condition of this man's relationship with the Lord, but I do know that this brings up a great point for professing Christians today.  Lots of us have Him on our shirts....around our necks....even permanently tattooed on our body somewhere.  But none of that is what makes us a Christian.  If we're going to wear Him as body art, or proudly display His name on our bumper stickers, then we need to make sure we have embraced His claim on our life. 

Jesus Himself says in Luke 6:46 - “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"

And in speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 (people claiming to be the representatives of God), Jesus says - "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

THIS is why we need to rely on His Spirit daily....because in ourselves we don't have the power.  His sacrifice and His righteousness is what provides the means and access.

In Butner as I walked down a side street, about 8 or 9 people came out to the road to greet me and starting shouting in amazement "Jesus is walking down the street....It's Jesus!"  Now let me make something abundantly clear here to everyone that may be reading......I do NOT think, nor do I profess to people, that I'm the real Jesus.  I don't want people to think I've lost my bearings.  I'm just obeying what God has told me to do.  I am just a common man saved by an uncommon, mighty, amazing, merciful God!

At one point while in Butner I came to a park and sat down under a large shelter because it was very hot out.  I sat there with my eyes closed and prayed.  As I was praying, I could hear footsteps coming up behind me.  A man came up and said "That's a mighty big message you are carrying there.  What are you doing it for?"  I told him that I'm a street minister and that I use this to get people's attention so that I can preach the gospel to them.  Then he asked me if I needed any help.  I asked him what he meant by that, and he said that if I needed him to drive me anywhere he would load up the cross on his truck and take me wherever I needed to go.  I declined the offer but thanked him for his kindness.  He then went back to his truck and got some bottled water for me.  Afterwards I got back to business....not too far away at a laundromat parking lot.  I could hear people giggling behind me, so I turned around to find four teenagers looking and talking amongst themselves.  They asked if they could get a picture, and of course you know I never pass up a picture because that opens the door for God's Word to be preached.  Cars then began to pull up left and right until I had a crowd of fourteen or fifteen around me.  What do you think happened next?  I talked to them about Jesus!  What greater message is there but Jesus and what He's done for us.  Afterwards many thanked me and hugged me, and some have even friend requested me on Facebook so they can follow the ministry.

Let me give you another statement from the mouth of Jesus....out of the book of Luke.  "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

We hear this and know this, but isn't it amazing when it actually happens for someone?  I decided to go near I-85 exit where it is the busiest.  I walked along the main road and into the Butner Food Lion shopping center parking lot.  I walked by every shop with the cross in hand.  As I got to the end of the strip mall a car pulls up beside me.  The girl asked if I could pray for her.  I said yes and told her to park and come over.  The young lady comes up with her mother and her daughter and begins to tell me her story.  She said that she didn't go to church, but today she had decided to go.  The pastor had been talking about Jesus and she prayed that if Jesus was real, would He please reveal Himself to her.

This is a familiar position to take, because sometimes it's hard for us to believe in something that we can't see or feel.  We ask God to reveal just prove Himself to us.  Imagine this girl's surprise when the very one she wanted to be revealed to her was standing right in front of her face in a tangible form just hours after she had asked.

I told her that today was her day and that God was going to transform her life.  Right there in the parking lot this young girl and her mother made a confession of faith and vowed to start living their lives for the Lord.  I explained some things in the gospel and then we prayed.  I gave them my card and told them to stay in touch with so me that I could continue to help them and support them on their journey.

I always try and get people's contact information or give mine to them.  I want to be able to follow up with them, help them out, disciple and counsel them in any way that's needed.  I have made lots of new Facebook friends in the process, and I look forward to the many more I will make in the future.

Below are some additional photos that have been taken during the crosswalks.

This is the man in the last blog post that approached me in the KFC parking lot and prayed The Lords Prayer over me.

Through all of this I have thought about how awesome these days have God has He is blessing and transforming lives.  I can't help but get emotional about how good our Savior is and how when we were sinners Christ died for us.  He showed His love for us even when we didn't give Him a second thought. 
When you realize the magnitude of His love for you, you can't help but desire it for others.
Until next time....
Living Radically For Christ,