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The enemy’s counter attack successfully resisted.

April 29, 2011

Sit – Rep Update from the Battle for Clunes.

Gentlemen we face a crafty and cunning opponent in our battle for the prisoner’s of war in Clunes. Because of the field deployment of our ultimate weapon, which of course is prayer. The enemy was unable to resist us directly. The enemy instead chose to counter attack with indirect peripheral attacks that were designed to distract, confuse and discourage those involved with deploying the prayer cover. In the same way that Satan cannot directly attack God but instead chooses to attack those who God loves as a way of hurting God. He employed the same tactics with me and others in the church who were involved with the battle to liberate Clunes.

Enemy Tactics Evaluation.

Firstly my sleep was attacked with four nights of sleeplessness. I believe this was intended to keep my from rising early and seeking daily the face God, in short he attacked the physical weakness of the flesh. The next phase of the attack was the intimidation and harassment by one of  Satan’s resident “dog’s bodies” of a close sister in Christ. A mentally disturbed man began to resume his harassment and stalking of my sister in Christ. The attack was three fold in it’s attempt to cause damage. First it was to force me to take matters into my own hand’s so as not to be in Clunes physically. Secondly the attack was designed to rob me of the peace that surpasses all understanding and make me doubt in God’s protection and provision. Thirdly it was to place the seeds of anger and vengeance in my heart and with this sin in my heart, make my prayer’s ineffective in reaching the Lord. There was only one solution to this crisis and that was to take it before the Lord in prayer and put it in His care. And God as always was faithful in dealing with the attack. The other method the enemy used to attack was to attack my means of transport, thank you to my brother Troy who promptly turned up with jumper leads.

My brother Troy’s prayer life was also attacked via the infirmities of life. But Troy fought his way through this and was faithful in his prayer life.

Also thank you to the anonymous Saint who took care of one of my material needs with a most generous act of sacrifice, I won’t mention names, you know who you are sir. I pray that God blesses you for your tender heart and great gift. I salute you and am indebted to you.

Every prong of the enemies attack was nullified and stopped dead by the Lord and the Saints under His command.

On Wednesday night after the Church prayer meeting I was long overdue at the caravan park, but when I finally did arrive, I immediately had to apologize to a new friend that I was over 1 hour late in my promise to sit down and have a talk about God. But as things go I believe that hour was trivial in comparison to what God did in my new friend’s heart as we discussed all things spiritual.

My friend, if you read this, I sincerely believe that God has his Hand on your life, you just need to humble yourself before His Holy Throne, repent of your self reliance and put your trust in Jesus. In short fully surrender your life into His eternal care. Do this and he will make you a living Testament of His great goodness and mercy, and that is the very best a Saint can hope for in this life. You are in life an old soldier and I know that God can use you mightily in order to rescue other prisoners of war that Satan has in his grip. You understand and have the qualities of a sense duty, responsibility, sacrifice, courage and steadfastness. You just have to enlist into the Lord’s army first.

Men we need to pray for Fred, Glen and his family, Troy and Graeme for their eternal salvation.  I have the conviction that it is this group of men that God has chosen and wants to use as the Gospel guerrilla force that takes Clune’s from the enemy.

Gentlemen it is our responsibility to pray for these men and also to meet their spiritual and also according to our means their physical needs.

Balaam’s Donkey signing out – more battle sit-reps to follow.

You know what we must do, acquit yourselves faithful.

For the Glory of God!!!!!

Dismissed.

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Gentlemen, our objective is to take Clunes from the enemy….

April 27, 2011

Intel.

Clunes is a very small town about 30km to the north west of Ballarat. It is a town that has traditionally struggled since its peak during the gold rush in the area ended about a 100 years ago. During the gold rush Clunes once boasted a church with a congregation of 800 people now the town has less people in total and no Gospel active church in the town. Everywhere you look the down is in the process of being run down. The only centers of prosperity are the pub which does a roaring trade (Satan would have it no other way) and the handful of essential businesses. The town’s people are gripped by apathy towards the Gospel and nearly every house has some form of eastern mysticism displayed such as buddhas, tibetan flags and other types of  ‘magic’ charms. Substance abuse is also a common trait. Satan has a tight grip on his prisoners.

Objective.

But I believe the time has come to liberate them, because of the following circumstance that may work in our favor.

Sit-Rep.

Over the last 18 months Clunes has been flooded 4 times, the governing bodies have been completely inept at first preventing the flooding and also at meeting the needs of the people who were impacted (some for the fourth time) by the floods. The media have long forgotten the story and the towns people are bitter about that fact.

So two weeks ago we sent care packs into the town, which consisted of daily essentials like tea, coffee, milk and a Bible. We went in and the packs received gratefully, we consoled the town’s people with the promise that we had not forgotten them and that we would continue to pray and do what we can to meet their needs.

We then followed that up with a movie night in the town hall in order to support the flood victims with a pleasant night out at the movies. About a dozen of the towns people responded and we had good night. The Clunes town hall is really something to behold  and is worth a trip to the town to visit.

The faithful “dirty dozen” from my church also helped with the logistics of putting on the movie night. I am truly grateful for these brethren. Particularly encouraging was the work ethic of the newer members of the congregation with regard to evangelism! These are all good people to have at your back when you bring the Gospel to a new city.

Mission Brief.

The Brass has decided to infiltrate the caravan park with an agent in order to win over the residents and form them into a Gospel Guerrilla Force in order to liberate the town from Satan’s grip. This agent is completely expendable and quite frankly possibly a little mentally unstable. His special skills are the ability to talk about Jesus even when he is under water and his close resemblance to the other residents of the caravan park will help him hit the ground running. He is to be resupplied daily with visits from brothers and sisters from the church, who will also build bonds of friendship with the residents of the caravan park.

Also this whole mission will be covered from the air with prayer, in fact the whole mission will be soaked with continual around the clock prayer cover, we have the ultimate advantage in our right to call upon the Lord and we must use every advantage. This aspect of the mission is the most critical because we are not fighting flesh and blood, but demonic spiritual powers and authorities who are in terms of power superior to each of us individually but at the same time infinitely inferior to the Lord, who answers our prayers.

Make no misunderstanding if we fail to pray – we will fail.

Gentlemen you know your jobs, acquit yourselves faithful.

Any questions?

No?

For the Glory God!!!

Dismissed!!

Another fruity Thursday……………

April 18, 2011

It is school holidays in Victoria and in Ballarat that means children in their early to mid teens are wandering the city streets. It is a very sad state of affairs but an accurate measure of the sinfulness of the society we live in. So it was natural when the Heritage Baptist’s small band of evangelists hit the streets we would encounter a few young children.

The team this week was the ever faithful Peter, Nick the newcomer and myself.

This week was a little different for me personally. I had made some changes in my life in order to facilitate a more intimate relationship with the Lord and stop the dryness that was creeping into my walk with God. In the recent past I had struggled maintaining a healthy prayer life, because when I tried to pray at home I was constantly distracted by the many shiny things around my home and so I found it hard to focus on God.
I live alone and human nature being what it is and because I was already struggling with meaningful prayer, now I also started to struggle setting aside time for regular prayer. So I decided to talk with my Pastor, confess my struggles and make myself accountable by having my morning prayer in the church and offering to be there for anyone who wanted to pray at the same time also.

I truly love my God but I also know that love must continue to grow in-order to please Jesus.

Because I was again praying as God intended – Satan could no longer use my previous short comings in this area of prayer to sow doubt and apprehension into my evangelism efforts. I had a clear conscience and was eager to share the Gospel with someone, anyone in fact. I felt fresh, invigorated and courageous.

Sharing the Gospel two teenage boys.

I often use an offer of $20 to anyone who can prove to me they are a good person as a way to engage a person with the Gospel and these two boys were at first eager to take my money because they truly believed that they were good, but after a walk through the artillery range of the Ten Commandments they were left shell shocked and had been humbled. They had been stripped of their delusion of righteousness. In fact one of the young men looked positively relieved when I shared the good news of the cross with him, especially after he had admitted that he understood he deserved Hell for breaking God’s laws.

Side note – 3 days later the two boys walked past the sushi shop I was in and as soon as we saw each other we gave each other a nod of greeting. But presumably as the boys recalled the Gospel they both slumped at the shoulders and put their heads down as they walked past in what seemed like conviction. It would seem that the Holy Spirit was at work! Bless the Lord

Two more teenage boys aged 16.

Same method same Gospel same result. What bothered me was that one of these boys had attended a Christian College in Geelong but had not even the vaguest idea about what the Gospel was before that night.

A mixed group of teens aged 15-16.

Same method same Gospel similar result. The group again showed contrition and conviction, but there was one young girl whose attitude made me shudder. As I took the group through the ten commandments when I asked if any of them had looked at another person and had inappropriate sexual thoughts about them; with the intent of showing them that Jesus proclaimed, that an impure thought life in God’s eyes is just as if they had physically committed adultery. The young girl made the statement without a hint of modesty, but rather defiantly and somewhat aggressively that she was thinking those thoughts right now. I couldn’t maintain eye contact after she said that but she stared on defiantly.

I can’t imagine what kind of exposure to sin had turned what should have been a innocent child into a such a brazen and sexual predator. This is the second time this has happened and I wonder what is happening to our youth.

Even as I ponder this state of the world’s youth I also know that the Gospel can restore anyone and so God willing – we will go out next Thursday again with what the world most desperately needs…………..the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lost Sheep, Bridge Repair, Gold panning, Fishing, Caravaning and the Gospel.

April 9, 2011

I love combining my favorite recreational activities with personal evangelism, my latest effort was one of the most pleasant ever.

First I will set the scene. I have a friend whose name is also Michael and we met around 5 years ago when because of his circumstance he literally cried out to God for help and God answered by sending a couple of Christian’s to him on a Thursday night.  Michael was told the Gospel and responded by enthusiastically coming to church for nearly a year. We even became housemates. Unfortunately Michael lacked true biblical repentance and wasn’t willing to let some sins go.  So when some false brethren at the church behaved in a hypocritical and unchristian  manner, Michael dismissed Christianity as false based on that same manifested  behavior and  then used the opportunity to return to his previous life. After he stopped attending church, I maintained contact and a friendship with him for a couple of years. But as he sunk deeper into his old sinful life my presence became a painful conscience  prod and he became embittered with me also.  So we parted company after I enraged him one morning.

Fast forward 5 years and during Wednesday corporate prayer I asked God what had become of the people I had called brothers who then later had departed from the faith and I even called out the names of a dozen people (all of whom I ran into over the next couple of weeks) including Michael.

When I bumped into Michael we had a coffee together and caught up. Michael’s life had been in decline since leaving church and my life had generally been in the ascent. He had a falling out with most of the people whom he had previously plunged back into sin with and was now isolated and impoverished. I offered him a couple of days work to help financially and he was genuinely grateful. As he bemoaned his old friends about how selfish and fickle they were, he realized that he had done the exact same thing to me. He apologized to me and we re-established out friendship

Fast forward another two weeks and we were driving away from Ballarat for a three day caravan trip, which was to include gold panning, fishing, camping and unbeknown to Michael a fair slice of the Gospel as-well.

We set off Thursday at 10 am after some frenzied last minute packing in a Toyota Forerunner towing a classic silver 1948 Carapark Caravelle, which had been lovingly restored by yours truly.

Gold panning.

We drove a secret location where I had found Gold before only to find the creek was bone dry. So we made a cup tea and pulled the Gold detector out of storage. We worked our way along the creek and bumped into a man also panning for Gold. We spent an hour with him and he taught us 10 years of gold know-how as he found speck after speck of gold. In ten pans he found about 2 grams of gold flakes (about $800 worth).  Michael and I realized we were ill equipped for the task and have resolved to return soon with better equipment and put our new know how to work. The conversation was about gold and more gold as we drove away to a secret fishing location. The drive was uneventful and we talked a little about my new church and the people there but in general the Gospel door was still closed.

Fishing.

We arrived at the secret fishing location and even before we put the kettle on we had the rods in the water. We then set up camp and I showed Michael the practicality and coolness of the caravan, he wasn’t so convinced but humored me with an occasional “it works for me too”. Michael started the camp fire and I have to say he is probably the best camp fire starter and maintainer I have ever seen. That afternoon we caught about a dozen red fin and ate those same red fin for dinner, the meat was so sweet (the only pity was the 3 billion bones those fish have). Michael elected to sleep in the back of the truck because it was too dark to put up the tent and I went to sleep in the caravan – it was only 8 pm but after the hard work of panning for gold you get sleepy very early.

Still no Gospel.

I awoke the next morning at 2 am feeling rested and refreshed (I think it was God) because I got up checked the rods and then read and considered the whole Book of Romans in one go,  followed by sincere heart baring to the Lord in prayer and soft hymns by the camp fire. Michael awoke after the sun came up and I had already caught 4 fish by that time. As he made a cup of tea Michael saw the Bible open in the caravan and told me  about how a  secular research documentary had shown that shown that based on two grave sites the Israelis and the Samaritan’s were genetically the same. I then told him that the Bible agrees with the documentary because the Samaritans were the Jews left behind during the captivity of Israel and that they had intermingled with the other peoples that had been introduced as a labor force by the Babylonians.  So they should be genetically very similar to the Jews of the first century.

Better than before but still no Gospel.

That day I caught around twenty red fin and Michael caught three, he seemed almost apologetic about it but I reassured him that I still considered him a fisherman, but only if he does better tomorrow. That afternoon we decided to move to another secret fishing spot but first we wanted to get some supplies and takeaway in town. As we drove into town my caravan turned a few heads but my priceless moment was when a young woman crossed the road to get a closer look at the cool “old school” caravan.  She even tried to peek in a window unknowingly while Michael and I watched on eating our takeaway up the road.  I felt like a proud parent that was being credited for his son being an astronaut, it was nice feeling. Michael chuckled as I looked on  in my endorphin induced glowing smile.

We got to the new secret fishing spot well after dark and I was tired after driving, but Michael decided to sit down in the middle of the caravan. We had one of the most frank and truthful conversations that I had ever had, about life, the church and God.  We talked very late and shared very personal information and fully restored the friendship and I also think that my credibility as a Christian was elevated in Michael’s assessment after I had been dismissed on account of the previously mentioned  wicked behavior of the false brethren. Looking back I think during the earlier parts of the trip I had been keenly scrutinized and examined for signs of hypocrisy. I guess I was also assessing Michael and had seen some changes for the better in his character also.

Much better but still not a full Gospel.

Later that night I was violently ill as I deposited that nights chicken and chips takeaway outside the caravan door at 3 am. While I pulled  faces and made animal noises Michael laughed and commented at my expense.  I then quickly returned to sleep and didn’t awake until I heard Michael tell a man that his missing dog was behind the caravan eating what I had expelled the during the night. I was too embarrassed to get up immediately and played possum until I was sure the man and his dog were gone.

We then proceeded to fish and we fished hard. Michael caught over 20 fish and I got about a dozen. We caught red fin, golden perch, catfish and about an equal amount of carp.  We took all the fish except the carp back to the church dam and released them later that night. The drive home was in the rain but good conversation was about all manner of topics. We made plans for even grander excursions.

As I write this I feel I could have pushed the Gospel harder but strangely I feel in my spirit  like the weekend was complete and that what I had set out to do for the Lord’s glory was accomplished. I was confused. As I considered this I silently questioned God as to why I felt this way, and in my heart God told me – Michael already knows the Gospel, but what he needs now is to know is that the Gospel is true.

As I conclude this post I search for a pithy way to explain that a Christian’s behavior and conduct is as important as their faithfulness in preaching the Biblical gospel but it is just beyond my grasp.  What I can say is that I have seen many many people turned away from the truth of the Gospel before the Holy Spirit has done its work because of the way the majority of people in Christendom conduct themselves in the name of God.

Hypocrites in the Church make void the Gospel in the eyes of those who are examining and testing the Gospel as the absolute truth. A single righteous and holy life is the strongest affirmation of  the truth of the  Gospel and  draws a more  sinners into the Kingdom than a thousand Bible truths spoken by a thousand hypocrites.

As Christians we should be unique and distinct from the rest of the world because we live in accordance to the truth of God which is diametrically contrary to worldly wisdom.

The Bible states, he who does not gather instead scatters. Every day we need to examine ourselves and make sure we through our conduct are gathering into the Kingdom the lost and if we are not, then the Bible says we must be scattering people out of or away from the Kingdom. There is no third option.

Evangelism Update – March 20th 2011

April 6, 2011

Street Evangelism Update – March 17th, 2011
Last Thursday evening (March 17th) we ventured out into the streets of Ballarat, our mission, to locate the lost and bring the gospel to those who so desperately need to hear it. We were able to distribute many tracts as well as engage in a twenty minutte conversation with Nick, a young Indian student, details below

Conversation – Young Indian StudentNick was in Ballarat visiting his mother, we bumped into him along Sturt Street and offered him a million dollar tract which he accepted. Initially reluctant to engage in conversation we were able to continue speaking with him and he began to open up, sharing with us that he had just completed an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and was about to start a PHD in communications. He also shared his love of music, having palyed piano and violin up to grade six but putting it on hold to pursue his studies. This created a wonderful opportunity for us to steer the conversation tot he spiritual and to present to Him with a God who is not only passionately interested in hm but in fact so interested that He took on the flesh of man, lived a perfect life and took Nick’s sin upon himself, dying in his place while still considered an enemy of God.

We used the law of God to examine his personal standing before a holy and righteous God and this brought about much conviction.

We callenged him to consider the amount of time he invests in pursuits that are only temporal, and how much more time should he spend examining the claims of Jesus to whom his response could affect his eternal existence and how he would spend it. The point was well received and the discussion finished on a very positive note with this young man challenged to explore the claims of Jesus and to consider not only His response but that indeed a response is required, to do nothing is as much a rejection of Jesus than a spoken one. We managed to get a new testament into his hands (Thnks to Nick who had brought one with him), as well as some aditional gospel tracts. Please pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit and salvation for Nick as God works on his heart

Posted by Troy Geri – March 20th, 2011