Friday, July 5, 2013

Taking It To The Streets on July 4th

This year for July 4th we really felt led to go out and just share Jesus with people in addition to celebrating the freedom that we have here in America.

Dean prepared by getting a huge American flag to carry, having "American surveys" as conversation starters, and making signs on foam board.  Here are what the signs read - some quotes were shortened to fit on the board:

"The time has come to turn to God and reassert trust in Him for the healing of America. - Ronald Reagan"

"If God is just, then I tremble for my country. - Thomas Jefferson"

"Repent America!!  Can liberty be secure when we remove the conviction of sin?"

And then I really felt led to make a sign that used the word "freedom", since we celebrate our country's freedom on this holiday.  So I had Dean make me a sign that said:

"True freedom is only found in Jesus Christ"

I had quite a few scriptures that talked about freedom that I wanted to bring out, but they just wouldn't fit on the board.

We also received some wonderful tshirts from a facebook friend, Heather Clark.  These shirts came just in the nick of time and were perfect.  She works for the evangelistic ministry "Repent America" and also writes for  Here is a picture of the shirt:

Dean also had some surveys to start conversations.  The surveys started with American history questions and eventually led into "religious" questions which allowed a doorway to the Gospel discussion.

We set out as a group:  Me, Dean, Courtney, Alex, Marcia (Dean's mom), Bernard, and William & Deborah Reliford.  We started in Downtown Durham - walked Main Street and American Tobacco Campus areas.  The streets were almost completely bare. 

We headed out to Hillsborough Road, knowing that there might not be a lot of foot traffic, but at least there would be some street traffic and we could take to the sidewalk corners and the bus stop.

We had a wonderful time in the Lord - being together and fellowshipping - sharing the Gospel, praying with a couple of folks and displaying the signs and flag.

Here is an account that one of our favorite sisters in Christ, Deborah Reliford:

Our 4th of july was spent with Melissa Padgett and Dean Padgett their children, Dean's mother and another awesome man of God that we met today...Dean had a list of questions concerning some history facts about the fourth of july and questions about the first president a few other questions and then the last questions were spiritual which left the door wide open for ministry opportunity. I tell you it was awesome as we stood at the bus stop in Durham N.C. and poured out the love of JESUS to this lost soul but by the time GOD was finished she received an awesome word from Dean and then he gave me the honor to pray for her..then others from our team today prayed for her..we were hugging and praying for her and showing her the LOVE of GOD...she even threw her alcohol away that she was attempting to drink when we first started talking to her..the bus came and she threw it in the garbage can...even after the doors to the bus closed she was waving at us...WHOM THE SON SETS FREE IS FREE INDEED!

We really had high hopes of getting to talk to crowds of people like Dean does when he goes crosswalking, but we know that even if only one person receives the Gospel Truth, that it is all worth it.

Out of Luke 15 we see how Jesus responds to one soul......

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

We are just eternally grateful that He even chooses to use us.  It's the freedom that we have received in Him alone that allows us to live each day fully with no regrets.

Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
 Mark 5:34
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Luke 4:18
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Galatians 5:13 [ Life by the Spirit ] You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
1 Peter 2:16
Live as
free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
 And one of my very favorite chapters and ultimate freedom instructional guide....

Romans 6

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We would love to have you come with us anytime! 

We truly wish we could do this type of work EVERY day!

Loving Radically Through Christ,


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