Journal year 2003
12/14 Inverness, Dunnellon Parades
Army of soldiers for the Inverness parade. We had 7 crossbearers in the parade this year! Thank you Jesus!
There was a brief comment in the Citrus Chronicle Newspaper made about the crosses being carried in the parade
Amanda Poliseno, 10, appreciated the group who carried a collection of crosses down the parade route. "Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus," she said. "Of all the floats, they really know what Christmas is about."
The Lord blessed us with another army of cross carrying soldiers in the Inverness parade this year! Again we used the sign "Jesus the Only Worshipful Master" which is an offense to every Mason and Shriner, but those who are not involved with this cult, are not even aware that it is offending those who idolize the Lodge. I had it at Stacy's Western clothing store this week, and a Mason came in with much anger and said to Stacy "IS THAT YOUR SIGN?" She replied "Oh, yes! Do you like it?" He scowled "NO!" and turned and stormed out and drove away! I was blessed that Howard and Stacy Patrick took up the cross and walked the parade with us. Some precious brothers who had joined us for the parade last year also carried crosses. Charlie, Johnny, Leonard and his father who drove the truck, Louis, Tres and his son, Jason and Pam, all joined with Richard Martin and myself to carry the cross and hand out tracts. The Lloyd-Jones' boys, Nathan, Reggie, Paul and Steven walked the rout and passed out tracts and then returned to their vehicle on their skate boards. The sign on the truick, which seems to offend the Masons every time, brought out the devil in a police officer at the end of the parade, who screamed at our driver (because he pulled into the shoping center parking lot). It became evident that he was offended by the sign so I told him that the Lodge will take his soul to hell, that he needs to get out of it and repent!
The Lord gave me the boldness to preach during much of the parade rout and I continued to proclaim the gospel message to the people along the roadside. My voice was sore by the end of the parade.
In the evening, Richard, Tres and I all walked the parade in the Dunnellon parade. We passed out many tracts. I personally had some 8,000 tracts passed out by the helpers who came to pass out the tracts in the 3 parades, and Richard and Tres had their own tracts which may have added another couple of thousand tracts distributed to the people.
12/12 Crystal River Parade
Mark Aller, Louis (in glasses) and his friend, Richard Martin and myself
(I'm actually bald), beginning the parade!
Last Saturday, the Lord faithfully blessed me again with a team of warriors to pass out some 4,000 gospel tracts and carry crosses. There were 3 of us carrying the cross in the Parade. After the parade, a man who had been backslidden for the past 7 years, had a long talk with us and began to weep as we prayed with him. He promised to come to church on Sunday, and in keeping with his word, he DID come to church, where the Lord worked on his heart. This precious and wounded brother wept during the entire service in which a children's Christmas program declared the meaning of Christmas. I was moved and wept with the hurt brother during and after the service.
11/14 Gainsville, FL University of Florida campus
Michael, Richard and I carried the crosses to the University of Florida campus. I met a Hindu that really didn't seem to want to talk to me. But I did get to witness to him for a few minutes until he finished his hamburger and then he left. In the meantime, another young man had stopped to listen to me. The young man asked if he could ask me some questions of which I said “Sure!” We must have spent over an hour talking as I shared the truth of God's word to respond to his own concept of who God is and spiritual things. I fully proclaimed the gospel message of salvation to this young man. It seemed to be a very fruitful conversation and I do believe that good seed was planted in the man for a future harvest.
Michael again brought his sign which caused a gathering of students surrounding him to debate with him over the sign. He had solid ministry opportunities for the full 4 to 5 hours that we spent there. I went to the main plaza and had very little response, only having a few Christians talk briefly with me and only a few students would take a gospel tract, so, being near the end of the day, I went to return to where Michael had stopped with his cross and sign which maintained a crowd of souls for him to preach the whole time. Before I could get there, a student talking on a cell phone, rode up to me and said “My friend wants to talk to Jesus!” and he handed me the phone. I said “Praise the Lord, what can I do for you!” the guy on the phone had some spaced out ideas about God and Biblical things of which I countered with the truth of God's word for some 30 minutes before the student on the bike needed to go. When I arrived to where Michael was standing, there were still some students disputing with him and I was able to talk with one of them, a young lady who was offended by the sign and some things Michael had said. So I confronted these issues with her and she was able to make peace with Michael before we left.
10/27 Key West, FL Fantasy Fest
Holding the crosses on Duval Street. Richard witnessing to a man.
Mike Awe faithfully came again to pass out boxes of Gideon New Testament Bibles with another brother Jay Adkins. Scott and another brother from West Palm Beach also faithfully come each year to preach in Key West.
Once again, I would estimate that there were only about 10 of us in Key West to proclaim the gospel to this lost and dying crowd of about 80,000 revelers, as well as the drama team from Southeastern Bible school.
Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Key West again opened up their church classrooms for us to sleep in each night. Pastor Ernie Delouch has a radio station that is the only Christian station on the island of Key West. With an 18 mile radius limit because of his small wattage output, Ernie wants to be able to reach out to Cuba but needs a bigger transmitter. If you wish to help him to get the gospel out further, please call him.
We passed out many thousands of tracts and witnessed to people who would stop to talk with us. One man stopped to talk with me and said that he was really impressed. He met me in 1991 when I first came here to Fantasy Fest to preach and he said that I made a lot of sense to him. I asked him if he had given his heart to Jesus yet, with which he replied “ No. But, I'm still considering it!”. I said, “Don't wait too long!”
I would love to announce that I had prayed with some to receive Christ, but this year, I was only able to plant the seed of the word of God into the lives of those who stopped to talk with me, or by way of the many salvation tracts that we passed out.
Tray, a friend of Richards from the Assembly of God church in Dunnellon, made the effort to come out here to preach with us. Tray is a very humble gentleman with a sweet spirit. He was definitely outside of his comfort zone experiencing first hand, the mockery and rejection of this partying group of people.
Tray witnessing to a lady. Revelers reading Michaels sign.
Michael wore his “John the Baptist” sackcloth outfit and attached his sign to his cross, which drew the attention of many of those who passed by. Some would laugh and say, “Wow, I'm all of those, I guess I'm going to Hell! Ha, Ha!” If I was nearby when they said this, I would reply, “You don't have to! You can still repent!” Hoping to catch a fish for conversation and proclaim the gospel message of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The sign was so effective, that even a TV crew had to take a few minutes to video tape the rough long haired man in sackcloth with the cross and sign.
Michael's sign drew the attention of the TV crew!
I had a very effective conversation with a group of teens who were trying to find an excuse for their sins. The Lord gave me the grace to find scripture that confronted every excuse and one young man kept saying, “He is making sense, lets get out of here!” I said “The reason you want to leave is because the Holy Spirit is convicting you of your sins and you don't want to be under conviction!” He understood that but still wanted to leave.
A very attractive young woman who was only wearing sexy “Victoria Secret” underwear stopped to tell me that she was a “born again” Christian. I told her she needed to put some cloths on. She said “I'm not sinning!” I replied “God's word says that if a man looks at a woman to lust after her in his heart, he has committed adultery with her! Every man that looks at you and lusts after your body is committing adultery with you!” She replied, well, I'm not the one sinning!” I then reminded her of the scripture in Matthew 18 “if one should cause another to sin, it would be better that a millstone be put around their neck and be cast into the depths of the sea!” She was finally under conviction and left speechless.
Scott from West Palm Beach holding my cross. Holding crosses at the boardwalk.
Another woman, who was totally nude with body paint, walked up to me as I continued to turn another direction as to avoid looking at her, and she said “I'm a Christian! I'm a Christian!” I said “Mam, you need to put some cloths on!” She kept saying she was a Christian, I kept turning away from her and told her to put some cloths on. She finally left saying “JUDGE NOT LEST YOU BE JUDGED!” I think this is one of the only scriptures the wicked know!
Our very presence, without even saying a word, is judging the wicked. I have on my cross “Jesus Loves you” on one side and “King Jesus Saves” painted on the other. I would simply step up to a spot, and put my cross upright, and people would come up to me and tell me that I shouldn't judge people! I haven't even said a word, and they say that I'm judging them. But I know what God's word says:
2 Cor. 2:15-16
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:  To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Our very presence, as the savour or fragrance of Christ, is the smell of death to the wicked, as the very word of God judges the thoughts and intents of mans evil heart!
Those of you that were praying for us, Thank you!
10/20 Haines City, FL
Today, MIchael Siemer, Richard Martin and I will travel to Haines City, FL. Next weekend, we hope to make it to Key West to preach at Fantasy Fest, as we have for many years presceeding this. You can read about some of our previous trips at my newsletters
9/27 Savannah, GA
Brian C. O'Connell of Crystal River, Fla., preaches to 21-year-old Sebastian Schebtz, a German living on Tybee Island. They spoke on Bay Street on Monday. O'Connell and a friend were in town promoting the benefits of being born-again. Ann Stifter/Savannah Morning News
Walked Bay St. in the heart of Savannah. We met a Pastor of a church. He had seen us several times as we walked the other streets and said that he had even prayed for us.
Ann, a Newspaper reporter for the Savannah Morning News followed us and asked many questions and took photos while we ministered. I met a young man from Germany, Sebastian, and proclaimed the gospel to him in detail. Ann is an unsaved Catholic and so she also got to hear the full gospel message as I shared with Sebastian.
Richard had a tattoo shop owner get very upset with him, ordering him to leave as Richard was right in front of the store. The man called the police on Richard and the officer, who was a Christian, told the shop owner that Richard as legal.
The first day of walking in Savannah, along hwy 21, I prayed with 5 to receive Christ. The next two days, we walked a very heavily traveled road called Abercorn St. At the end of the day, we had some resistance right at the end of the walk. Resistance is usually my best indicator that the devil is mad and doesn't want us there. A man who claimed to be a Christian, was indignant with us. He said that we should not be doing this because someone might be distracted from driving and crash. (It would be pointless to explain the many millions of drivers through the past 7 years that have safely driven past). Carnal Christians never consider the power of God and the ability of the Almighty God to keep drivers safe in the midst of the preaching of the word. While most Christians that drive by and love the Lord, honk and wave or hold up their Bibles, this man came to tell us that we should not obey the Lord and what the Lord has sent us to do. It was interesting that the Lord had prepared us for this encounter the night before in the Wednesday night Bible study which was about the disciples who were indignant over the woman who "wasted" the fragrant oil in the alabaster box on the feet of Jesus. Her good deed of praise and worship unto the Lord was seen by the carnal mind of these disciples and weighed by their carnal thoughts. As we talked with this "indignant" Christian, another man came over to order us off the Mall property, as we were now in the parking lot ready to put the crosses on the car and head home. This man too, claimed to be a Christian, after I pressed him several times asking him if he was a Christian. Although he finally acknowledged he was, he gave no indications that he truly was one. No fellowship, no comments that he appreciated our work but that he was only doing his job, nothing. In fact he refused to take my salvation tract. So then, within minutes of each other, two men who claimed to be Christians, had come out to order us to cease our work for Jesus Christ and "Get off the streets!, Get off our property!"
May I comment here, that some of the worst enemies of the preaching of the gospel, are those who claim to be Christians! They are sometimes well meaning Christians, usually carnal Christians who do not understand spiritual warfare, but they come to steal the faith and hope of those whom are attempting to be obedient to the Lord.
In 1 Kings 13, we read of a man of God, who was sent by the Lord to proclaim God's word to the King. God had ordered this man NOT to stop to eat at any man's house. Another man, who claimed to also be a prophet of God, told the man of God that God had told him to invite this man back to his house to eat. The Man of God listened to the other man and went back to the mans house to eat. Because the man of God believed this other man instead, and disobeyed the Lord, he was killed by a lion!
Saints, if God gives you an order, DO IT! Get your mail DIRECT! Don't be led by the voice of Christians that lead you to disobey what God has ordered you to do!
9/17 Brunswick, GA
We arrived here yesterday and walked the cross this morning. One man prayed to receive Christ and I had a long conversation with a man who proclaimed himself to be agnostic. At the end of the day, a man who appears to be of the Rastafarian group, began to demand that I tell him what color Jesus was. I said he was neither black nor white, but that he was a Jew. He continued pressing me with this question so I told him that His blood was red. The man was demon possessed and cursed frequently and threatened me several times. He also challenged me to go to the "south side" which I assume is the dangerous, low income part of town. I assured him that we intended to make our way to the south side in the next few days.
Prayed with 2 to receive Christ. I met one man who rode up on his bicycle and I handed him a tract and asked “Are you a Christian?” He replied “I'm a believer!” “But are you born again, have you asked Jesus Christ into your heart?” I returned. He again said “I'm a believer!” I knew something was wrong so I pressed in and said “Can you say Jesus Christ is my Lord!” He said “I'm a believer!”. Now I knew he was avoiding the question. I explained “The word of God says the devils believe and they tremble, but it also says that you cannot say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. So then, the only way you can confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord, is by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, you cannot enter heaven and you will be cast into hell. Now can you say that Jesus Christ is my Lord?” Again he beat around the bush so I read him the scripture:
1 Cor. 12:3
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
He resisted the word and made some excuse and rode away!
The next day, while we walked the cross along Norwich Road, the same man rode up and said “Jesus Christ is my savior!” I said “Praise the Lord, man, you did it!” He said “You really hit me hard with what you said yesterday. Last night I couldn't get it off my mind. I realized that I had fallen so far into sin, that I could not confess Jesus as my Lord! Your words impacted me! You were an angel sent to me by God!” The man was being touched by the Holy Spirit and began weeping. He hugged me and I prayed with him before he left.
At the end of the day, as we were packing up to leave, we encountered the same man that I met yesterday. He may be a Farrakhan “Nation of Islam” cult member with racial hatred and rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was full of rage and hatred towards us.
We walked Norwich and I prayed with 5 to receive Christ. At the end of the day, I met another man who appeared to be of the same Farrakhan cult.
The Local Newspaper The Brunswick News
, which you can read if you click the link, did an article on Richard as we carried the crosses. The Paper incuded his photo.
9/15 Jacksonville, FLA
Richard (with his family) and I traveled to Jacksonville and carried the cross through the city this past week and a half. One gentleman, after giving me every excuse possible to resist repentance and praying to invite Jesus into his heart, finally surrendered and prayed with me to accept Christ. After we prayed, I looked up at the man, and the floodgates of washing tears came streaming down his face! I saw him again the next day, he said "I have felt so much better since I prayed with you yesterday!"
I took a 1 month trip to the country of Honduras. Here are my journal notes and photos of the trip!
5/22 Crystal River, FL
Through the month of May, Richard and I have continued to carry the cross in Crystal River, Inverness and Ocala FL. On June 3rd, I hope to be on a plane with Mike Awe, Judy his wife, and Sam Bass to the jungles of Honduras, Central America, where we will work passing out tracts, ministering in church's and helping missionary Frank Monterroso, in any other capacity he needs. I will return the first week of July!
5/1 Ocala, FLA
Richard, Denise and Hunter in front of the abortion clinic in Ocalla, Fla. along with other Christians whom join here every week to protest the mrder of children.
The past 3 weekends, Richard, Denise and I with their son Hunter, have been going to the Ocala Women's Center (an abortion clinic) to lift up Jesus Christ and pray against this slaughter of unborn children. Last weekend, we walked about 1 mile to the center. I met several people during the walk of whom I was able to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ to. One young man has not been in a church for 2 years. He was open to the ministry of the gospel and we left him with a Bible to read. He asked me which gospel he should read first. I led him to the book of John. As the women arrive for their abortion, these Christian soldiers plead with them not to kill their child. A pro-life clinic is next door and will help the women any way possible to give birth to the child. Several weeks ago during a storm, a tree fell on the clinic and split the operating table in two. They quickly rebuilt and continue the slaughter!
4/2 Baton Rouge, LA
Movie screen being put up in the parking lot of the church! The second photo is the viewers watching the movie.
After leaving Jonesboro, I headed to Baton Rouge to meet up with Lance Rowe and work with him. Parked at a Missionary Baptist church called Riverbend Church, the Pastor has had much difficulty reaching out to this backwoods community. He asked us to help him. So Lance implemented his Friday night “gatherings” by offering food and a movie. We would walk from house to house and pass out flyers inviting the neighbors to come and fellowship, no preaching, just a movie and food. The movies all have a Christian theme, yet keep the interest of the viewer. Each week, the number of those whom have come to fellowship, has been growing. Last Friday night we had 40 people here for the movie as we cooked hamburgers and hot dogs. After the movie, there are those who hang around and we have a chance to minister to them one on one. Another advantage, is that, each home we visit, we are establishing friendships and have had many opportunities to pray for the occupant and those who are open for the gospel, will let us share Jesus with them. Walls are coming down, as some, who swore they would never step foot on this church property, have come to visit us here at the church. Two of these neighbors are now coming to the church services. There are a few hard crackers to crack, but it is evident that they are beginning to soften by our weekly visits.
3-10 Jonesboro, LA
As I began my walk in Jonesboro, I had barely walked for an hour when my wheel on the cross locked up and so I had to carry the cross on my shoulders to the church for a quick repair, then I continued my walk through town. My throat had been sore, I was getting strep throat, and it was getting worse through the day as I walked. At the far end of town, where I turned to return to the church, I was in so much in pain, I could hardly talk or swallow. So I had every hope of getting back to the church and going to bed. While I was still half an hours walk from the church, a man called to me from the other side of the railroad tracks. I couldn’t hear him with the traffic noise next to me, so I crossed over the tracts to talk with him.
The man said that his wife wanted to invite me over for dinner. My sore throat groaned as I really didn’t feel like putting any food at all through the pain barrier of my throat, but now I was simply in the hands of the Lord and had found a soul that was hungry for the Lord. So I accepted the offer. I asked him if he was a Christian, and he said “No, but I want to be!” The man wanted to carry my cross and so I let him carry it to his house. His eyesight is very poor, although he is still young, possibly in his 40’s, so I helped him overcome some obstacles and as we approached the house, his wife came out with the camera, weeping tears of joy as she took picture after picture of her husband walking with the cross over his shoulders.
The man suffered from several physical ailments and cupped his hand to his side. We entered the house and I quoted him James 5:14-15 and asked him if he believed the Bible. He said “Yes!” so I anointed the man with oil, and prayed for the healing of his body as he and his wife wept in the presence of the Lord. Before eating the meal, this new brother in Christ laid down his utensils and said “I would like to pray for this meal!” and with this, he gave thanks for the food the Lord had provided as well as many other things. After the meal, the wife, a committed Christian woman, played the piano and we sang unto the Lord and afterwards, they drove me home as it was now after dark and it had gotten cold. She said that she had been praying for years for her husband to come to Christ, and the entire night she was in tears of Joy as today, her prayers had been fulfilled.
The salvation of this man and the wonderful results were totally done by the Lord. This man had declared himself to be an atheist in years past to others around town. The man said that when he first saw me, he thought I was a fool. But then, he said, something overcame him and he suddenly realized that the man with the cross really believed in what he was doing. Several times during the evening, it was clear that the Holy Spirit was working on this man. I can honestly say, that there were NO wisdom of words on my part that turned this man to Jesus since I could barely talk and reserved my words for short answers to their questions. The Lord used the vision of seeing a man carrying the cross to win this mans heart to Jesus!
While walking the cross in Ruston, I met a young man who prayed with me to receive the Lord Jesus into his heart.
Mardi Gras e-mail!
While on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, I had a short conversation with a young man. His friends were beckoning him to “come on!” so he gave me his card with his e-mail address and he asked me to write him. Here is my correspondence after Mardi Gras!
I met you on Bourbon Street while I was holding a white cross. You asked me to write to you. If you wish, we can correspond on Biblical matters.
A Servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, Brian
Yes I certainly remember you. I must say that I truly believe that you are an angel of the Lord because of that night. After speaking with you briefly on Bourbon Street, I was arrested and thrown in jail. I thought I was going to be in there all night (many who were arrested when I was were), but the Lord worked his blessing and sent a lawyer (whom I've never met) to get me out for no pay. The attorney is a fraternity brother of mine's uncle (whom I've never met), but he was able to make calls and get me out and is working to get all this stricken from my record.
Do I believe in miracles? Yes I do. Do I have a renewed sense of higher beings controlling our destiny? Yes. Do I have a renewed sense that God looks after those who are in need? Absolutely.
I honestly feel that if I hadn't stopped to speak to you on Tuesday night, I would've remained in that cell. Thank you Brian, for doing what you do for Him...I know he'll have a special place for you.
Thank you for the wonderful testimony of the Mercy and love of God towards you! My greatest desire is that you would totally fall in love with Jesus Christ, who already is very much in love with you! And that you would surrender your life to live it for Him! Allow the Bible to become a daily part of your life and read about the very God who loved you enough to die on a cross for you!
Your friend in Christ Jesus our Lord, Brian
If God had a plan to send one of his messengers to "look after" me, I feel that it was you. I can't thank you enough...I can't thank the attorney who has never met me before enough...I can't thank Jesus enough. I have thanked him everyday since then and it just feels right. I don't see it as "something to do" anymore. Please feel free to share this story with your Bible group...share it with anyone who'll listen...the power of Him is truly amazing, and He's there...everywhere.
Also Your Friend in Christ, James
Bourbon Street - Mardi Gras
3/4 Fat Tuesday
Jackson Square on Fat Tuesday as the revelers gather!
We entered Jackson Square a little after 12 noon. The day was very foggy, wet, windy and cool. The mockers, as they have annually, gathered to mock us while we preached. The Pope mocker came to mock as always, but was not as vocal as in the past. He also did not wear the Pope outfit but dressed in black with shoes that had flames painted on it, wearing a mask of a distorted face. He stayed for a little while and left.
At sunset, as we were leaving Jackson Square, Lance had a really good conversation with a Catholic girl who wept as she gave her heart to Jesus. We walked over to Bourbon Street and Orleans and landed our crosses there. Through the night, the workers that came with us prayed with about 4 people that accepted Christ Jesus. I had a Catholic, totally drunk and next to falling over, take my tract. He backed up and sneezed really hard to which I said “God bless you!” He then staggered over to me to return the tract saying “I have to give this back to you! I sneezed when I accepted your tract, and that is a bad omen!” I smiled and said “Yes! But I said `God bless you' and that breaks the omen!” He staggered backward, looked at my tract, and said “Oh!” while he began to read it.
His friend tried to lift my cross and it toppled without ground support but I caught it. I tried to get him to leave it on the ground so it would not hurt anyone. We began to talk and after a conversation, he prayed with me to ask Jesus into his heart. He seemed to be very blessed and even said that he felt different. Later, however, as we were leaving (after 10-11 hours on the streets), I met up with him again on a side street. He asked me where I went to church and I encouraged him to come to Celebration church where we are parked. He asked “If I tell my pastor (a Catholic priest), do you think he will agree that I should come to your church?” I replied “Probably not! Most Catholic priests are not born again and they do not understand the born again message!” After some further conversation, he tried to make me commit to join him at his Catholic church this Sunday. I told him that I would be in northern Louisiana and I would not be here. In his drunkenness, he was getting very belligerent and insisted that I come to the Catholic church of which I remained firm on my prior commitments. He then got very angry and slammed my cross onto the street and left. My heart hung heavy as I had such wonderful fruit with him earlier in the night. I pray the Lord will use this incident to show him the evil that is in his heart and that the Holy Spirit will begin to work in him.
Rained all day so we stayed in. Went to Victory Assembly for worship at 7:30 PM. Lance with 15 others went out at midnight until after 4AM.
Bourbon Street. The revelers on the balcony would throw beads to the people below! My cross was a target and throughout the night, the revelers would hurl these beads at the cross with great force, stinging the flesh with pain when they hit us instead!
We returned to Bourbon Street and Orleans St. We had no trouble with the police tonight. As soon as we set up the cross, a demon-possessed, drunken mocker began to rail against us. He was to become an annoying gnat for the next hour or more. A man from India of the Hindu religion began asking many questions about Christianity and as I tried to answer his questions, this mocker would interfere trying to “buddy up” with the Hindu, cursing us and saying that the Hindu knew more about Jesus than I did. I tried to ignore this mocker and continue to minister to the Hindu but the mocker, time and time again, would inject his perverted thoughts. I did, however, get a chance to have the Hindu pray with me, a prayer to the Father in heaven, that if Jesus truly is the only way to know God, and that his god was a false god, that God would reveal this to him, that Jesus would manifest himself to him. I can only trust that the Lord will answer this prayer as this man had a sincere, seeking heart. After the Hindu left, the mocker continued to rail against us so we gathered in a circle and prayed that the Lord would move this man away from us. During the prayer, the man threw his empty can of beer hitting my feet and left! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
Shortly thereafter, another man came with the same spirit and I told one of the sisters with us, “Man, that same demon jumped into this man!” But he too left after a short disturbance. Another young man came, who was Episcopalian, saying that he wanted to know Jesus. He prayed with me to receive Christ into his heart and afterwards he was very thankful with tears that we would help him find Jesus.
We had a day time feeding at the wall again but could not find many homeless. As usual, the city rounds them up and puts them in jail during Mardi Gras to “clean up the streets!” But some did come and eat the spaghetti Cookie cooked. Raven Ministries came by the place where we were feeding and with the 70-100 people group they have, they worshiped the Lord right there. After the feeding, we returned to the camp.
We made some crosses out of PVC pipe so that we could take them onto Bourbon. As we approached Bourbon from St. Pete, an officer met us and said that we could not take these out on Bourbon Street and forced us to turn around and leave. We went around the block to Orleans and Lance waited as I tested Orleans and Bourbon. I took the PVC pipe made cross and set it upright next to 2 police officers, in a way, challenging them so that I could tell them that last night, we were told that we could take a cross made of pvc onto Bourbon Street. They said nothing! In a few minutes, they moved away from me, but only a few moments later, a drunk came leaning against my lightweight cross, forcing me to hold his weight, and then he mockingly grabbed the cross from me and tried to take it away, pulling it down. The officers were watching and immediately grabbed the guy, lifting him into the air and carried him away. Thank you Lord! Finally, officers that were on our side!
Our team of soldiers on Saturday night! The PVC pipe cross and the Banner over the revelers heads on Bourbon Street.
Lance followed with his banner, and another banner we brought, and Michael came with his PVC cross which is made identical to mine but with a flip chart where he could preach to the people on the Bourbon cam as he did last year. Michael walked along Bourbon street to the cam that was located at St. Peter and he remained there for the night while we stayed here. I had many conversations with people who would come by to argue or to ask questions. Lance had a guy who just got out of prison stop to talk with him and they talked the whole night.
Michael Siemer and Brian Chamberlin made it in today!
We made it out to Bourbon Street on a gloomy, cloudy evening which eventually turned into very light rain. Lance carried a banner with the name “Jesus” and a Christian flag on top. Earlier this year, Lance had some trouble with the police as he held his cross on Bourbon street so he made the banner. In the 13 years I've been on Bourbon street, and most of them with the cross, I've never had a problem with having the cross on Bourbon Street except for one occasion where a wicked police officer forced us off the street. That year, we simply moved to another location and had no further trouble. Tonight, however within the first few minutes of holding the cross on Bourbon and Orleans, the police circled me and ordered me to take the cross off of Bourbon Street saying that it was “dangerous” and that it could “hurt someone”. I asked them “Where should I go with it?” and they instructed me to move on to Orleans about 10 feet from Bourbon street. So I complied and moved the cross. I had some good ministry with several people who had stopped to talk with me. One of them was a Catholic girl who started by getting mad at me for being there feeling that I was condemning her and the partiers for “having a good time!” I reasoned with her comparing this party to “Sodom and Gomorrah” and quoted Mathew chapter 24 of the “hypocrite” being defined as one who “eats and drinks with the drunkards!” At the end of our discussion, she let me pray with her and afterwards she was full of praises complimenting us for being out there. Another girl stopped to talk for a few minutes and then her friend jumped in saying that they were just “having fun!” The Lord had me give her a very real “reality check” and I said “Sis! Are you aware that tonight, someone WILL be raped at this `party'? And that there is a very good chance that it will be more than ONE person who will be raped?” She agreed and got very sober and walked away very quickly.
As I was getting into a conversation with a man, the police came over and ordered me to move the cross away from where I was standing and “go over there” pointing to Bourbon Street. I said to the female officer “Another officer told me I could NOT hold the cross on Bourbon Street!” She said they were trying to film and that I had to move away from there. The TV show “COPS” was there filming the Police beating up these “partiers” and I was “in the way!” So I pleaded with the lady, and now there were several more officers quickly wanting me to be moved, I said “Where do I go?” They ordered me to go across the street “and take your friend with you!” pointing to Lance. It was now clear that it had NOTHING to do with my cross as Lance was not holding a cross but was simply wearing his robe and holding a banner saying “Jesus” on it which was legal since it was not a danger to the public as they had considered the cross. They simply didn't want the show “COPS” to show the Christian representation on the streets of Mardi Gras. So the police then ordered Lance to leave also!
We then walked to Bourbon and St. Peter Street one block up. I moved off of Bourbon by 10 feet as instructed at the last intersection and after getting into a real good conversation about Jesus with a man, the police surrounded me and ordered me to get off the streets with the cross. I responded “At Orleans Street the police told me to move 10 feet away from Bourbon Street, please help me, were should I stand?” They said “You don't understand, you cannot stay here AT ALL! You HAVE to leave!” So they ordered me to leave completely. So I began to leave and suddenly a fight broke out and the police scrambled away. On TV, you tend to operate by pride and adrenaline and so it is with the police who are like little children getting their glory. So they nearly beat the life out of these 3 guys who were fighting. Instead of them beating each other up, the police decided they would finish what they had started and they really gave these guys a beating, then kicking them and dragging them behind a police fence where they slammed them against the wall, yelled at them with a warning, and then sent them on their way back into this “fun party!” In the meantime, the ambassadors of the “Prince of Peace” are ordered to leave, so we walked on back to the truck in a drizzly, cold, damp night as the mockers historically repeat their revelation when we pass by “HEY! JESUS DIDN'T HAVE A WHEEL ON HIS CROSS! HA!HA!HA!"
Lance and I walking the Riverfront and on Canal Street on a Jericho march around the French Quarter!
Ashley, Mercedes, Mel Paul, Lance and I walked the full circle of the French Quarter on a prayer walk that took some 4 hours. We passed out tracts and spoke to people along the way. Ashley had stopped to talk to an older man along the river walk. We waited for awhile and I finally decided to walk over in case she was having trouble ministering to the man. I stood nearby and listened to the man who was an atheist trying to sell a foolish argument to a girl that had experienced a powerful deliverance from the Lord, which is next to impossible. Ashley has had a one on one encounter with the living God. As the man proclaimed his heresies, I would make some injections, such as, when the man said “Here is the truth…” and as he would give his heresy, I would calmly say “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life…” Then the man, speaking of his heresy proclaimed it to be the light, and I would say “Jesus is the Light of the World”! The Man would scream at me “MEN TOLD YOU THAT!” I would reply “God's word told me that!” “MEN WROTE THE BIBLE!” he would scream and I would reply “God wrote the Bible!” The man then asked “WHO WROTE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS … GOD?” and I replied “Yes! God wrote the ten commandments on stone with his own finger!” The man went into a rage as he screamed at me some more. I simply quoted scripture, told the man that one day he will have to bow his knee to Jesus and confess him as Lord, even if he has to do so from hell! “There is NO HELL!” He cried out and he finally said “I know how to get rid of you!” and he got his clarinet from it's case and began to blow it in my face with all his might so Lance and I both began to blow our shoffars along with his clarinet and they began to harmonize. Lance then sang “Oh the blood of Jesus” and the man then focused on blowing the thing in Lances face. What a sight in front of the tourists walking the riverfront to see this man going berserk and we simply remained calm the whole time. The man was playing a tune of which Lance recognized and said real loud as he laughed “Hey Brian, the man is playing God Bless America!” The man got frustrated and changed the tune but in his attempt to reject Jesus Christ, he didn't realize that he had now been playing “When the saints go marching in!” Lance then complimented the man and said “Hey, you're a good musician, could you play Amazing Grace?” and the man started to play “Amazing Grace”! The man was amazed himself and said “Hey, your real good, your B__S___ works!” And he shook hands with us before we left!
Glory to God, the Lord was magnified!
Mercedes, Lance and Ashley!
We finished walking all of the parade routs. On Friday, the rain came in a flood so we drove the parade rout we had appointed for that day and prayed over it. The feedings went well with about 100 people being fed at each feeding. At one of the feedings, one man became very problematic and at one point was screaming at us. It all began when some of the Christians with us tried to minister to him. He had lots of scripture in his memory and spent about an hour trying to impress the young Christians with his knowledge of the word. Very often, he would get things mixed up and confused and finally Lance came over to talk with the guy. When Lance tried to pursue the condition of this mans heart towards the Lord he got very irate, defensive and very arrogant. It was clear this man was harboring much bitterness and the conversation of this man turned to “All Christians are hypocrites!” The amazing thing is that we had just fed him a very delicious meal in which he not only ate several helpings, but had a third plate in his hand, filled to the brim, for a later meal when he was hungry again. We had given away all the food and non was left. Just before we left, another hungry homeless man came for some food and Francis asked the angry bitter man “Hey, this guy is hungry and we don't have any food left. Could you give this man your extra helping?” The man went into a rage calling us hypocrates and said “I know this man! He has a house!” and with more yelling, he threw the extra plate of food on the ground spoiling it completely.
Feeding the homeless at "The Wall".
He got so very violently loud and angry, we just started singing “Oh the blood of Jesus…” drowning out the words of this man until he finally left. Then we sang “Victory in Jesus!” Hallelujah! The Lord won the battle! The man did not return for our next feeding on Saturday night, which was quiet and fruitful!
Able Plaisance worshipping the Lord while a homeless man beats the drums in rhythm!
We prayed over the city gates on Saturday, pleading the blood of Jesus at every road that enters the city and blowing the shoffar!
Praying at the city gates (Huey P. Long Bridge above) and then blowing the shoffars!
Walked the cross in Chalmette East of New Orleans. Lance and Francis walked one cross towards the east several miles and returned while Mel Paul and I walked to the west several miles and returned. Along the way, I had one man getting into his car with his 2 friends. He stayed out as I proclaimed the gospel and received the salvation message and prayed with me to receive Jesus as Lord. As we went further, we passed by a National Guard Amory. After we had passed it and were about half a block away, a security car pulled up with 3 military men who jumped out. The driver was extremely upset and I went to hand him a tract and said “Would you read this about Jesus brother?” He steamed “I'm not your brother!” I responded “Your right! If you are not a Christian, your not my brother!” He ordered me to be quite and said that if I return in front of the barracks to protest I would be arrested. I tried to reason with him that I have to return in order to get to my vehicle parked on the other side. But he was not very willing to listen and returned to his car where as I said “If you do not give your heart to Jesus, you will burn in hell!” I'm not sure that was the best thing to say but it was the only thing that was on my heart at the moment to respond to this evil man. I looked at the other two as they were returning to the car and asked if they were Christian. One replied “I'm going to hell!” and closed the door, the other said “I'm going to a tittie bar tonight!” and laughed as he got into the back seat and they sped away. My heart was racing as I turned to go back to the car and still had to pass the base entrance. But there was no further trouble and we finished the prayer walk for the coming Mardi Gras parade that will march down this street in a week.
In the evening, we fed the homeless at the French Quarter!
Walked St. Charles Ave. with Ashley, Mark, Jerry and Francis. Jerry prayed with 7 to receive Christ on Canal St.
One of the prayer teams walking the parade routs and interceding for this city!
I arrived in New Orleans last evening as Mardi Gras approaches. The peak of the Mardi Gras revelry takes place in two weeks. But the revelry begins early here as the city prepares for a series of Parades each day leading up to the peak of this party which is called "Fat Tuesday", the day before the Catholic day of repentance called "ash Wednesday" 40 days before Easter. Fat Tuesday is when the Catholics indulge in every sin imaginable before the 40 days of fasting (in which they really don't fast). Catholics are not the only ones here although they are the majority. Backsliders, Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterian, Methodist .... it doesn't matter which denominational name they have identified themselves with, if they have come to revel in this party, they are all lost without Jesus playing a religious game with God! While they folly in the darkness thinking that God doesn't see, they are convicted by the presence of the street preachers that come here to shine the light of Jesus Christ in the dark. You have every kind of sinner on Bourbon Street during this perversion of a celebration and the last thing they want is a reminder that God is still on the throne. The cross of Christ is a constant reminder of the horrible death Jesus endured to save sinners. But even here, there are some who will be convicted to the point of repentance and will turn their lives over to Jesus in the next few weeks. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds!
The next few weeks, the parades will take over various parts of this city, each one with the names of Pagan Gods such as Zeus and Bacchus. This isn't surprising to me as when I traveled to Rome several years ago, I found various statues of pagan gods erected by order of Catholic Popes, a foundation to the idol worship of Mary and the saints.
This next week, we hope to walk every parade rout and pray over each rout and for this city. Today we had such a walk. A 5 mile parade rout with 7 of us praying over every inch of it as we walked with the cross and interceded. You can help us with prayer for this city which cannot be much different to Sodom and Gomorrah!
Cookie and Deborah, some friends from Lockport, have planned to come and cook for the homeless on the streets of the French Quarter. We should have our first feeding next Tuesday. I met one of these street kids tonight at Celebration Church. 6 months ago he was a homeless kid on the streets and now he is in love with Jesus and wants to go out with us to feed his friends and minister the gospel to them. Yet he is afraid that his friends will reject him now that he is a Christian. I assured him that he would be an asset to our work on the streets.
Lance, Francis and Mel Paul have already arrived and we are expecting Brian Chamberlin and Michael Siemer to arrive as we enter the heart of Mardi Gras. There are many others whom we expect to come to preach with us for the peak of the party.
Celebration Church and Pastor Dennis Watson have made plans to help us greatly this year as the people in the church are venturing out with us into the work of the ministry. We are really blessed to see the people of this church willing to make great sacrifices to win their city to Jesus Christ. They have provided a place for us to park each year since we first visited them in 1997 and are building a place for large groups of street preachers to sleep and shower which is currently in construction. Another group of about 50 street preachers (nearly all are former drug and alcohol addicts) from Raven Ministries are expected to arrive here at the church for Mardi Gras.
Your prayers are coveted as we enter into a battle for the souls of men and women who are under a great cloud of darkness!
2-8 Gasparella Tampa, FL
In the month of January, Richard and I have made various trips to surrounding cities to carry the cross such as Gainesville, Ocala and Tampa. In Tampa we made ourselves a stumbling block to the bouncers at the nude bars on Dale Mabry. After walking about a mile south on the hwy, we stopped to hold up our crosses in front of these bars next to the hwy for a portion of an hour. One bouncer came to Richard asking him to move, which he refused to do!
Richards cross can be seen at the bottom of the bridge.
I was on top of the bridge when I took this photo!
We returned again for Gasparella last week, a party where they portray a pirate invasion on the city of Tampa. On this day, the space ship Columbia was destroyed upon entry. Richard's wife Denise and Hunter their son helped us to pass out several thousand tracts to the partiers. We were unable to get into any fruitful conversations with the partiers but pray that the tracts will touch their hearts.
Gasparella partiers gather on the water for the events!
This gave me the ability to help with the morning Bible studies and more recently included evening Bible studies 2 days each week.
Mardi Gras is approaching fast and I am praying about meeting up with Lance in New Orleans as soon as next week.