Gospel Opportunities

I had a chance to join some friends witnessing in Mountain View, CA a few Friday nights ago.  We handed out tracts, preached on the street corner and have one on one conversations.  The first conversation that I had was with Pete.  Pete was not a Christian and was willing to dialogue about the gospel.  It was a good conversation because he clearly heard about the person and work of Christ but it did not lead to his turning from his sins and trusting in Christ.

Gospel with Peter

Sharing the Gospel with Pete

Another one on one conversation that I had was with a Hindu gentlemen.  We were able to speak about the gospel but he was unwilling to turn to Christ.  It was very hard for me to talk with him as he was unwilling to admit that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  He kept on reiterating that what I was saying was true only if one believed in the bible but he did not believe in the bible so he rejected all that was said.  One thing that should be understood is that truth is not relative and does not depend upon a persons affirmation.

Gospel with Another

Sharing the Gospel with a Hindu

Other men in our group were able to share the gospel with individuals.  It was encouraging to hear others share the gospel with grace and truth.

Gospel Conversations

Mike having a gospel conversation

Daniel did some gospel paintings during our time in downtown Mountain View.  It was the first time that I saw a gospel sketch board in person. It was encouraging to think through other means of presenting the gospel.

Gospel Painting 1

Interactive Gospel Painting Presentation

My favorite question of the evening was asking people about what they thought about the paintings that Daniel had created.

Gospel Painting 2

Glow in the Dark Gospel Painting

The art question led to Daniel being able to share the gospel with this couple who was walking down town.  I may have to bring paintings with me in the future.

Gospel Painting 3

Glow in the Dark Gospel Painting

Towsley Canyon Travel Break

As I drove from Visalia, CA to Menifee,  CA a few Saturday’s ago I stopped to go on a hike with a friend.  We enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we hiked on some of the non-typical trails along the Towsley Canyon loop.  It was a beautiful day with a little breeze.

Towsley 1

Exploring Alternative Trails

As we hiked off the main trail we were able to look back and see the normal long trail begin the switch backs up the side of the hill.  Instead of going up the normal loop we ended up hiking up into a canyon.

Towsley 2

Looking at the normal loop climb

I enjoyed this stop as it helped break up the monotony of the drive and gave me a chance to stretch my legs.  I found that it is important for me to try and schedule some breaks into my longer drives.  I am thankful that I was able connect with a friend on the way down.

Towsley 3

Exploring Alternative Trails

Promotional Video

On March 26, 2015 I was able to shoot a promotional video with the help of a couple of friends.  We began with a few hour shoot at the fireside room at Placerita Bible Church.  It was just me Josh, Anna, and the camera.  I enjoyed shooting this interview.

Video Shoot

Me and the camera

After the interview we shot some B-Footage at Undergrounds Coffee Shop.  I had a great time talking with three guys about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  We were all enjoying the time in the word so much that we forgot at times that there was a video being shot.

Discipleship 4

Discipleship

My friend’s Josh and Anna did a great job of putting together this day.  Thank you Anna for composing the proper shot and Josh for recording the sound and putting together the awesome promotional video. Simeon, Daniel, and Troy were great and it was a joy to open the word with you guys.

To view the promotional video please click on the link below.

Promotional Video

 

Food and Reading

As I prepare to go to Brazil I find myself constantly traveling and working on different assignments in preparation to go to Brazil.  Often the traveling means that I am not able to eat at home.  This means that I have breakfast, lunch, or dinner by myself.

Food and Reading 1

Reading and Chef Salad

I try to redeem the time so I often eat with a book that I need to read.  Currently the book is The Brazilians. The Brazilians is a book about the society of Brazil.

Food and Reading 2

Reading and a Gourmet Sandwich

From salad, to sandwich and to teriyaki rice bowls the food has helped nourish and further the reading or studying that I need to complete.

Food and Reading 3

Reading and a Teriyaki Bowl

Hiking and Discipleship

One of the things that I enjoy doing is going on hikes around where I am staying.  Often I find myself hiking alone.  While I am by myself I enjoy listening to sermons, praying and having a time to think.

Walnut Creek Hike 2

View from a hill in Walnut Creek

Other times I get a chance to go hiking with different guys.  Normally these hikes include great discussions about discipleship, biblical truths, and life situations.

Walnut Creek Hike 1

Kevin and I in the hills

I enjoyed my conversations with Kevin as we got to hike through the hills around Walnut Creek.  I am so encouraged by Kevin’s willingness to think about what the bible says about some current issues.

Walnut Creek Hike

View from another hill

Sharing Brazil and Family

Family always leads to mixed emotions,  you will always love them but they also know how to push your buttons in a unique way.

One of the hardest parts of sharing Brazil with people involves sharing with family.  As I talk with different family members about Brazil it brings up mixed emotions.  Some of the conversations are very easy to have and I absolutely love these.  Other conversations are harder and I do not enjoy these conversations.  No matter if I enjoyed the conversation or it was hard they are my family and I love each of them very much.

The more family members that I get to share with the more real going to Brazil seems.  One of the hardest parts of going to Brazil is leaving my family behind.  The flip side of saying good bye is that I will get a chance to spend more time with family during this year than I have been able to over the past few years.

I look forward to having more time to visit my cousin and her kids.

Cousins Kids

Me and the kids

It was encouraging to be able to see my

Sharing Brazil and Friendship

I would say that one of the best parts about visiting people to share about Brazil is the friends that I get to catch up with.  Most of these friends have helped me through some difficult situations in my life.  Many times we are simply discussing and reminiscing about what has gone on in the past.  Good times and hard times and everything in between.

Friends

Friends in Temecula, CA

Some of these friends I have not not seen in a while and even have new family members.

Willet Family

Friends in Nipomo, CA

At times you even have the pleasure of holding some of the new members

Me and Sophia

Holding Sophia

When visiting friends sometimes they give you the opportunity to do things with or for them.  Some of them are very easy to do and others are more difficult.  This one was pretty easy because I was able to babysit the precious Sophia.  She slept through most of the time that I was babysitting.

Sophia Sitting

Tough Babysitting

Brazil Facts VI – Religion

Brazil is a country which has many different religious influences.  The “Spiritist” influence from the indigenous people.  The “Catholic” influence from when the Portugese came.  The “African” influence from when the Slaves came.  The “Baptist”, “Pentecostal”, and “Universalist” influence from missionaries.

Brazil Freshwater Idol

Fresh Water Idol in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

All of these religious influences have left their mark on the people in Brazil. According to the 2010 Census of Brazil the State of Rio Grande Do Sul has a religious breakdown of:

Roman Catholic (nominal) 68.8% – 7.36 Million

Evangelical Mission 18.3% – 1.96 Million

Evangelical Pentecostal 8.4% – 0.9 Million

Spiritist 3.2% – 0.34 Million

None 5.3% – 0.57 Million

Other 1.2% – 0.13 Million

Brazil Catholics

Catholic Church in Gramado, RS, Brazil

I do not know or understand all of the effects that all of these religions have had on the people of Brazil.  However, it is my desire that the LORD Jesus Christ would impact all of the people in Brazil in a mighty way.  The gospel is able to cut through all ethnic, cultural, and religious barriers.  The Apostle Paul saw this transformation happen at the Church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8.  It is my prayer to see the gospel radically change the lives of many in  people in Rio Grande Do Sul so that they would not only their neighborhood or city but their regional, state and geographical neighbors.