Super Bowl '01

Dear friends in Christ,

I just returned home from an outreach trip to Tampa for the Gasparella parade and Super Bowl. Here are my journal notes from the trip as well as attachements of photos:

1/26/2001 Friday

     Richard and I walked Florida Ave in Tampa. As I passed a shopping plaza, a woman called out from her shop "What are you doing?" I walked over to give her a tract. She was already Christian but her friend was not. AS I was ministering to her friend, a Sheriff pulled in. He was not friendly at all as he ordered me to give him my license. Turns out he was from a Christian home and "had it shoved down his throat" as a child. He was very rebellious and even told me he was.

      Gave tracts to two men working. One of them was saved and rejoiced to see me. The other was not saved. At the same time, the boss ordered me to "continue walking!" so that I could not minister to the unsaved man. I tried to give the boss a tract which he rejected. I boldly yelled out, "this is the only man who will proclaim the name of Jesus" as I pointed to the brother. The boss looked ashamed as he looked away from me.

     I ministered to a Spanish brother who loved the Lord. Richard dealt with a very loud woman across the street.

     An elderly woman reluctantly stopped to take a tract "Hurry up, my ice cream is melting and my feet hurt!" she ordered trying to be nice and yet push away the gospel. She was mad at God because he "He took my husband of 55 years."  I tried to tell her how much the Lord loves her but she rejected this thought. The Lord gave me grace to continue to pour the love of Jesus on her, and I prayed for her as she complained about her ice cream and feet again. Then she left.

     Just afterwards, an Hispanic young man jumped out of his car with the obvious appearance of a rebellious and proud teen. The rap music type. He cursed me and said something about dressing up like Jesus. I wanted to walk over and talk to him but he would jump back in the car as I tried to get him to come talk with me. He left with his middle finger pointed up. It was sad.  Then another man stopped, a brother in the Lord. He was in tears as he explained how the cross and seeing me out there touched his heart. He was a drug addict saved by the Lord and now has a ministry to the poor. Bless him Lord!

1/27/2001 Sat.          GASPARELLA PARADE

     Richard and I went to the Gasparella parade with Mel Rolls and Frank Gresham. Mel and the Assemblies of God youth pastors brought out 2 bus loads of on fire for Jesus Teens! As soon as we got dressed, I witnessed to a parking attendant. He quickly received the gospel and prayed with me to receive Christ. I gave him a pocket Bible. A few minutes later he returned and asked me to put my name and address in it.

     We traveled to the bridge and stopped to hand out tracts under the bridge where there was a large flow of people. We handed out several thousand tracts.  A Catholic girl wanted a photo with me. After ministering the gospel to her, she accepted Christ.

     Then a Mason with a Mason hat, after reading my tracts, asked me what church I belonged to. I asked him if he was a Christian. He said "I'm a Mason!"  I repeated "Sir, are you a Christian?" He replied "Let me say this again…" and very slowly he said "I'm a Mason!"  It was now clear that he is a Mason and NOT a Christian! I said "Sir, who is your worshipful Master?"  He said " I don't want to sin against the Masonic Lodge but what I'm about to say is a sin against my Masonic brothers…" Then he spoke softly as if he was telling a secret "We cannot speak about religion or politics!"  It was interesting that this man cares more about sinning against the Lodge than he does about sinning against the Lord our God!  He then left.

     An attractive young girl with her friend pointed to the sun and asked about the ring around the sun, as if it was a sign. I learned that she was 7 months pregnant out of wedlock and the father was now rejecting her with hate. I prayed with her that Lord would bless this child with a Godly father and this girl with a Godly husband. As I was preaching, her friend was clearly under conviction as she tried to hide her beer.

     When Richard and I returned, one young brother in Christ from the teen group who were there witnessing with us from the church, said that a young woman had told him how she spoke with one of us and she was truly impressed. I believe he said that he was able to lead her to Jesus. Praise the Lord, one plants the seed, another waters, but God gives the increase!

1/28/2001 Sund.   SUPER BOWL

     Richard, Frank Gresham and I went to the super bowl. Mel Rolls and 2 bus loads and a van of teens followed us.  I was truly impressed and rejoiced to see an army of Christians already on the streets preaching the gospel. There were even some large banners proclaiming Jesus.

     Frank, Richard and I parked the crosses in front of the main entrance. Super bowl scalpers were now asking $5,000 for one ticket. Fans everywhere lifted up their hands indicating with their fingers how many tickets they needed to buy. Rich, proud, disobedient, the crowd were more interested in the game than their soul. But some, came with questions and recived ministry.

     I was preaching "what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."  A very wealthy man was listening. I was actually trying to preach this to him and it worked. He grabbed his two friends and came back and asked me to say it again. I was able to preach a little to them and then they left.

Al Davis, owner of Oakland Raiders, walked between the crosses. He is the only team owner in the country who will not permit Clergy into the dressing rooms. I don't know the man, but Frank recognized him and shouted "Al Davis!" and when the man turned, Frank said "Your money cannot buy your soul from hell!"  He turned and left.

After 3 hours of standing in the prime spot, a detective flashed his badge at me and said, "You will have to move to the Amendment 1 location which is that way!" as he pointed in a direction. At first I thought it was a joker as he wore street clothes. I looked at Richard and asked "Hey Richard, this man is flashing a badge at me. Is he legit?"  Richard said "Yes, we gotta move!"  Everywhere we went, police were now pushing every Christian with tracts and banners and anything that was Christian, out of the Stadium surrounding areas. It was apparent that someone high up had heard of the massive Christian flood on the stadium and ordered that we all be removed.

     I've never heard of an "Amendment 1 location". I guess that "freedom of speech" is limited to certain locations!?  Anyway, the Lord had given us grace to flood the Super Bowl for 3 hours before being asked to leave. It was getting late and kickoff was near, so we boarded the busses and returned home.  At least we know that the NY fans were humbled.

(Mat 23:12 KJV)  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Love in Christ,