Raleigh, North Carolina

“The Journey 50 States One True Story JESUS!” continues and Lord willing into Canada Summer of 2015.  Recently I spent 10 weeks in Virginia preparing for the next leg of the journey which should take me to September 2015.  Originally I planned to be home for 4-6 weeks, but there were a few delays and setbacks but every work was brought to completion “Praise God!”  During this time there were a couple offers and many encouragements for me to stay home and serve.  Most of which were good, reasonable, justifiable and especially appealing to the heart, comfort and ease.

In following the Lord I have found many things which are hard to do: leaving family and friends, being away from my home Church and forgoing the basic comforts and conveniences are some of them.  So there where good reasons for me to stay, to be with those I love and to enjoy the comforts and ease of being settled down.  But at this time I can’t afford to settle for ease and comfort because of the dangerous compromise this could lead to.  What I mean is my life is not my own and my highest goal is to honor Him who died on my behalf and rose again.  When I’m in a foreign city each week my dependence is fully on God’s provision and my duty to service ever pressed.  Another way to say it is; this keeps me centered in God’s will.  God blessed me with this calling four and a half years ago and I cannot look back.  I’m confident that The Lord will lead me with clarity along life’s narrow way.  So in weakness and with much fear and trembling God enables me to go that He may show His strength and do His will according to His good pleasure which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!  All Glory to God!  Amen

My Dad Loves JESUS!

My Dad Loves JESUS!

So last week the first stop on this leg of The Journey was Raleigh, North Carolina.  The first night was a quick reminder of past events where a church says no but the world says yes.  So I spent that night in a Walmart parking lot and slept well.   Monday morning I met with Pastor Bric Bolin of Neuse Baptist Church and was blessed with a place to come and go from.  How about 50 acres outside the camp?  Perfect!  Thank You Lord!  Raleigh maybe the nicest City I have been to, both the people and aesthetically the place is great.

DSC00903

I found the perfect intersection in which I could park the truck and preach at Capital St. and Old Wake Forrest Rd.  This was just off the freeway, with a huge mall and many other attractions.  The corner lot was vacant and the sign read “Available” so I took that literally.  But did I have the courage to mount the sound system, drive up, set up and preach during the evening traffic rush?  Haven’t all these people heard the gospel and who did I think I was to come here and preach?  So you may understand that I was having trouble being bold in the faith, so Thursday I called on my friends to pray for me.

Raleigh, NC Testing

I spent about 3 hours at my retreat getting ready and I left resolved to go, set up and to open my mouth without delay or compromise in anyway.  That’s all I could physically and mentally do and The Holy Spirit would have to do the rest.  So in broad daylight and with a military mindset I drove onto the property, backed up to the sidewalk, got out, set up the generator, turned on the sound system, opened my Bible, picked up the microphone and cried; “God help me!”   Then, I started with the usual opening words; “I came out today to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins.”  Friends that was it, I had my manuscript of the gospel in hand but that was it!  Maybe I should explain “that was it!”  No manuscript necessary:  The Holy Spirit filled my mouth and the glorious gospel was proclaimed time and again until I literally could not utter one more word!  Hallelujah!  Praise God!  Amen.  If this was the end of the story that would be great but it’s not.  The same thing happened Friday evening.  Wow, the joy of my salvation and all the events like these are the greatest high, the most joyous and humbling.  There is absolutely nothing of the world, nor the combined total of all that the world offers; that can compare to the Gift of Salvation and the Presence God!!!  Like my Brother Ronnie Cardiel preaches, “You won’t want that junk when you have the Most High God!”   To that I give a hearty “Amen”.

I finished out the week in fellowship and worshiping at Neuse Baptist Church and am so appreciative for the love that was extended to me.  Raleigh is a place that I would like to come back to if the Lord wills.

Thanks to all my dear brothers and sisters who prayed and continue to encourage me along the narrow way.  Let’s continue to lay up treasures in heaven, living our lives in honor of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ by the Power of The Holy Spirit!!!   Amen.

P.S.  It’s a joy to write about God’s faithfulness and although He has proved Himself time and again; I need your prayers.  I arrived in Fayetteville, NC and the atmosphere is more resistant.  But greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  Amen.

I hope to write you again in about a week.

Agape

Boise, Idaho 2013

Boise, Idaho 2013      1st week of September

After Seattle, I didn’t know what to expect because the past two weeks I was accompanied by other believers.  But Tatsuo made a phone call and found that Brother Shaun was in Boise, so I had a contact there.  When I arrived I had a place to stay and fellowship.  Praise God!

Shaun and I went downtown a couple of evenings to preach the gospel at Main and 8th Streets.  Through Shaun, I met Don and Shelley when we went to Planned Parenthood to hold signs and preach.  In fact I was blessed to join them on three occasions at Planned Parenthood in Boise.

 

Crying out for unborn babies in Boise. Idaho

Crying out for unborn babies in Boise. Idaho

 

Because Shaun was preparing to take the gospel to college campuses Don and Shelley opened their home to me.  Wow, talk about being spoiled!  The fellowship was the best and this was one those times it was hard to say good bye.

I thank God for Don and Shelly because He richly blessed me through them.

My Family in Boise, Idaho.  Thanks Don and Shelley.  Agape

My Family in Boise, Idaho. Thanks Don and Shelley. Agape

Throughout the week in Boise, the Banner and the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up before men and I pray many will be saved.  Amen.

Thanks, all of you at home and those abroad for the various ways you support me in the Lords work.  May the Love and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ become all the more apparent that you may know the fullness to which we may obtain even now as we wait for the blessed hope in the age to come. Amen.

Until God willing, I may write to you again.

Agape, David

Seattle, Washington 2013

Seattle, Washington 2013

As I attempt to write about my two week stay in Seattle, I realize it can’t be adequately done because God moved again, again and again.  Here’s a very condensed summary;

Upon arrival I was welcomed by Brothers Bob and Manfred of Crossroads Bible Church and provided a secluded, secure and beautiful place to park.

While at my last stop in Tacoma, I discovered that the Brethren I had met in Los Angeles with the sign ministry were in Seattle and would be there through my two week stay.  It was so good to be with them again and during the first week we went down by the Shoreline, to Century Link Stadium prior to a soccer game and to Safeco Field for MLB Mariners games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 What a time we had lifting up the Word by signs and preaching aloud.  That’s just part of week #1

Holy Bible Sign Crew at Mariners Game August 2013

Holy Bible Sign Crew at Mariners Game August 2013

Then week #2, God sent street preachers Ronnie and Tatsuo from LA to herald the glorious gospel.  Each morning began with intense prayer and waiting on the Holy Spirit.  Throughout the week God’s favor was undeniably upon us as the gospel was heralded time and again.  Throughout Seattle and in the surrounding cities of Bellevue, Mercer Island, Lynwood, Redmond, Federal Way as far as Tacoma.  Downtown, in Parks, along the Shoreline, in Malls, at Farmers Markets, Neighborhoods, Apartment complexes, Planned Parenthood, before the NFL game, Seattle Hemp-fest, Costco, street after street and block after block on foot and then from the vehicle.  Yes, as I drove the Gospel call went out as Ron and Tatsuo used amplification calling Seattle and the other cities to repentance, warning of God’s judgment upon America for their idolatry and pleading for souls to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sin.  It was incredible seeing people stop in their tracks, some coming out of office buildings and others listening from their balconies four and five stories high. 

  The preaching went on as much as six continuous hours and we were not aware of the time.  The hostility towards the message of the Cross took on differing forms: Verbal- blasphemy, mockery and threats.   Vandalism- two signs were destroyed; the wooden cross broken, truck was egged and pelted with BBs or airsoft.  Physical- bodily contact, spat on, and struck.  Bottles were hurled and there were numerous attempts to destroy microphones and PA systems.

Here’s the video link of Ronnie preaching at Tacoma’s Farmers Market: http://youtu.be/4muWPFwYiRE

  Earlier I wrote “Throughout the week God’s favor was undeniably upon us…” and after reading the above one may think not.  But God did indeed provide our every need and more: A secluded and safe place for me to park. Ron and Tatsuo bought mats to sleep on outside and a little food, but God provided Christian homes, food, and fellowship.

God granted great favor with law enforcement each day.  God’s hand protected us from harsh physical harm and high cost damage to equipment.  

  The trials, sufferings, mockery and damages incurred were as nothing when compared to the honor God granted us.  That is, every day to herald the Gospel and be spent on Christ behalf.  Literally multiplied hundreds and thousands were called to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.     

  Brethren only God knows but it may just be that Seattle, Washington and area has never heard such an urgent call to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  I’m so grateful for all the dear brethren who prayed, encouraged, provided and labored in the work of the gospel.  Thanks, Holy Bible Sign team, Street Evangelists Ronnie and Tatsuo, Crossroads Bible Church and all the unnamed who diligently labored in the gospel.  All of you dear Saints are a Joy to me even now as I continue The Journey 50 States One True Story Jesus!

Seattle Hemp Fest 2013 http://youtu.be/C4cUHoCsffI

Preaching outside of Planned Parenthood Tacoma, WA    http://youtu.be/XyZ2mV4F0zw

Once again God has provided everything I had need of and having been encouraged I am confident as I move on in answering His Call.   Your prayers, support and encouragement are highly regarded.

 Please consider helping us financially as Brothers Ronnie and Tatsuo will come alongside of me to preach the gospel.  That is, as God provides through you and others who have a passion in fulfilling The Great Commission.

Until next week, God willing I hope to write to you again.

Agape, David

Tacoma, Washington 2013

Tacoma, Washington 2013

  After a quiet week in Olympia I was ready to amp it up a bit.  That is to herald the glorious gospel and to publically confess Jesus Christ has come into the world to save sinners!  But before I could do that I needed to get settled in Tacoma.   After the short drive from Olympia I arrived a Faith Baptist Church and met Pastor Mark Smith who welcomed me as family and provided a great place to call home.  While getting familiar with the layout of the church property I saw something that had me trying to hold back tears.  Here’s what I saw:

Colating the Word@ Faith Baptist Church Tacoma, WA

Bible Production Line @ Faith Baptist Church Tacoma, WA

   These dear brothers and sisters were diligently at work making; New Testament Bibles with discipleship program included.  This particular shipment is going to Honduras.  O’ I almost forgot to mention that the number of Bibles in the shipment is 86,800! Praise God!  Talk about impacting the world for Christ.  I’m so humbled and encouraged to see God’s people who are behind the scenes laboring for souls.  I thank the Lord for blessing me to see this because from time to time I get a little discouraged but the Lord has a remnant zealous for Him.  Hallelujah!

Bible production crew @ Faith Baptist Church Tacoma, WA

Bible production crew @ Faith Baptist Church Tacoma, WA

 Wednesday, while searching the week’s local events I discovered that the friends I met in Los Angeles with the sign ministry were in town and will be in Seattle throughout my time here.  Praise God!  I met up with Jason’s team on the streets and later I enjoyed dinner with them.  It was more like having a family reunion.

Jason and team headed for Century Link Arena Seattle, WA

Jason and team headed for Century Link Arena Seattle, WA

   Thursday morning I was blessed when I had the pleasure to join Elly McMashehu, Joanna Rust, Nathan and others to minister outside the Planned Parenthood in downtown Tacoma.  I was taken by the dedication of these believers who cry out for the unborn and calling men and woman to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.  This was the first outreach like this for me and now I bear another burden of the Lord’s for the unborn babies.  Elly and Joanna thank you for your dedication, for inviting me and know that you are an encouragement to me even now.  I hope to join others in towns I visit to support them and to cry out for the unborn.

 

My friend Elly crying out for the unborn. Please won't you take a stand against the killing of babies?

My friend Elly crying out for the unborn. Please won’t you take a stand against the killing of babies?

Saturday I met up with Jason at Century Link Arena a couple of hours before the soccer game started.  Jason and the crew strategically posted in high traffic areas handing out gospel tracts and lifted up the Word for all to see. Where I was able to open-air preach compelling men to repent and trust Christ alone for salvation. 

Then Sunday after enjoying Worship at Faith Baptist I met up with part of Jason’s team again.  This time it was along the waterfront where hundreds strolled the boardwalk.  Again, the Word was lifted up before men, tracts distributed and the gospel preached to hundreds.   

  There are many other things I could write but I’m eager to go. The ministry opportunities are abundant, co laborers here and others are on the way to join in preaching the gospel.  Praise God! 

So many people with so little time to be saved. (Seattle Market

So many people with so little time to be saved. (Seattle Market)

 Please pray for those in Seattle who see, read and hear the proclamation of the gospel will be saved. Pray the Christians we encounter will be encouraged and moved to actively share the gospel.  Pray for all the brethren; safety, health, provision and courage to redeem the time as to honor the Lord in everything that’s done here.  Amen.

  God bless you my dear friend’s and thank you for everything you do for the Lord.

                                                          Agape,  David

Olympia, Washington 2013

Olympia, Washington

Welcome to the State of Washington and its capitol Olympia!

Arriving Monday evening July 22nd, I settled in at Westwood Baptist Church of Tucson. Where I enjoyed a park like setting which was quiet and secure.

Tuesday, I surveyed the area and found the pace to be slow and that there were no big events scheduled to take place.  At first being disappointed and later seeing it as a blessing.  Remember, I was in Virginia the week prior and now it was back to the streets.  Where the message of the Cross arouses the opposition and so it was in Olympia.  But as the railings of men come from every direction the foundation on which I stand “JESUS” is immovable.  Yes!

Without large crowds and being in a small city I realized it was all the more difficult to stand and speak aloud the gospel.  Hence I spent a lot of time in the word desiring to be better prepared for the next stop.

On Saturday as I drove through town I noticed a crowd and venders at Heritage Park.  A few blocks away I parked, loaded up on tracts, grabbed the small amplifier and hurried there.  Surprise and welcome to Washington!  This was the “FIRST LEGAL HEMPFEST IN THE NATION!” with bands, guest speakers and vendors selling all kinds of drug paraphernalia etc.  After taking this in I began handing out gospel tracts and soon needed more.  Meaningful conversations were hard to come by so the hope is that the Holy Spirit will work through the tracts.

 Olympia, Washington 2013

Sunday evening I came across another gathering “Olympia Symphony Orchestra 7th Annual Capitol Concert” on the grounds of the State Capital.  As I waited for the event to end, hoping to herald the gospel, I checked with the capitol police and was given the go ahead but no amplification. When the show ended I walked out in the middle of the crowd, but to my dismay I could not compete with the noise level of so many people talking and the background music still coming from the loud speakers.  With regrets I left and went back to my retreat at Westwood Baptist Church.  Later I walked and talked with the Lord and looked up at the starry host and all my burdens were gone.  Praise God!

Throughout the week in Olympia the Banner of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Cross was lifted up before men and I thank God for the honor.

Thanks, all of you at home and those abroad for the various ways you support me in the Lords work.  May the Love and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ become all the more apparent that you may know the fullness to which we may obtain even now as we wait for the blessed hope in the age to come. Amen.

Lord willing next week I’ll write about the next stop along; The Journey 50 States One True Story JESUS!!!

Agape, David

Portland, Oregon 2013

Portland, Oregon

  My stay in Portland was for two weeks of ministry and then I caught a flight back to Virginia for a week.  West Hills Baptist Church was home base for me.  Pastor Gregory Sanders and the church family received me as their own.  Settled in, I set out to discover places and events that many might be impacted for Christ.  The past stops in Eugene and Salem had but a few and I was hopeful that Portland would be much different. Here’s a little about what happened.

  The first place I preached was Pioneer Square which is the public square.  This downtown attraction had three major draws; the surrounding retail department stores, small entertainment venues and public transit system.  The crowd here was diverse and so were the responses to the message of The Cross.  Pioneer Square became the focal point of ministry.    Although railers came and went, encouragement came by way of those I saw who seemed to listen intently for a while.  When my time here was done; the gospel had been preached around, through and on every corner of Pioneer Square.

  Another place was the Portland Farmers Market down by the riverside on Saturday which had a steady flow of traffic.  I set up across the street at a busy intersection and pleaded for souls.  Because, I know the Love of God through the Person of Jesus Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit therefore, I cannot but proclaim:

This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.             (Psalm 118:20) 

Nor am I ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; (Romans 1:16)

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)

And saying the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.           (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Here’s a link to Video excerpts taken Saturday July 6th, 2013 Downtown Portland, Oregon as many went in and out of the farmers market.

http://youtu.be/SZx1iJsAJD8

As my second week in Portland was coming to an end I was blessed to have Brother Rob’s company as co laborer in the proclamation of the gospel.  Friday evening we met at the square and took turns preaching at a couple different locations.  Here’s what Rob posted about this on his Facebook Friday July 12th, 2013;

“The gospel went forth tonight in downtown Portland tonight as David Banton and myself brought the truth to lost sinners. There was opposition, and the police told us we cannot use amplification at all in the city of Portland without a permit. This was actually my first run in with the authorities. The validity of the scriptures was questioned, moral relativism was discussed, and we were told that we were a stumbling block to Christ for preaching the gospel. One thing is true; Jesus Christ is still turning this world upside down 2000 years after He was crucified. To God be the glory.”

That’s how street ministry concluded in Portland.  On Saturday I flew to Virginia and returned in 8 days to continue; The Journey 50 States One True Story Jesus!!!

Thanks to Pastor Gregory at West Hills Baptist Church my Jesus truck and trailer were as I left them. 

  The four weeks in the State of Oregon are done (the time has passed) and only God knows what will remain after all to “The Glory of God!”

My beloved brethren in Virginia and those scattered abroad “Thank You” for your prayers and every support!    

  Until next week and God willing I will write to you again from the State of Washington.  

                                                          Agape, David

Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon 2013

  Monday morning before I left Eugene I went to have breakfast with Brother Virgil and his wife Ilsa who I had met at Berean Baptist Church.   This is when I was introduced to Harley, Todd and Al.  They all have a common interest in Jesus Signs International.  In the business world the idea of using signage to deliver a message has to rank pretty high in terms of being effective.  Well of course I think so or else I wouldn’t be driving a billboard throughout the country.  Even so the marketing world agrees.

 Jesus Signs International is a non-profit organization, founded in 2007 by Al Jagger, Virgil Adams, and Willie Houmes—originally known as The Messengers of Truth.  “We believe there is power in numbers and there is power in the name of Jesus!”  They believe that our nation’s bedrock was founded in Jesus, but saw how God began to be removed from monumental areas in our Country.  They took a simple message and within 5 years had distributed 75,000 signs throughout the United States. Their mission is to spread the name of Jesus throughout the country and around the world.  

If you are looking for a way to raise money for your church, missions, or youth group, they have made a way to help you.  Large quantities are available at a lower cost for fundraisers.

Contact them at:  customerservice@jesussignsintl.com.

Al Jagger and Virgil Adams of Jesus Signs Int.

Al Jagger and Virgil Adams of Jesus Signs Int.

Here’s a personal challenge; what’s keeping you from publically announcing to the world your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Sure it’s not socially acceptable today nor has it ever been. But that doesn’t change the fact of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done and that without faith in Jesus no one will escape eternal damnation!

I understand that every Christian is not called to be a street preacher or a missionary to a foreign country but every one of us is called to fulfill the great commission.  There are really no excuses.  Do you purposely share the gospel in the area of influence God has you in?  If so, praise God!  But if you do not share the gospel the question is; “do you really believe in JESUS?” Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commands.”  That question was straight to the point but is one that must be sincerely considered.  There are many ways and tools available that we may incorporate in fulfilling the Great Commission like: (Tracts, CD’s, signage, one on one witnessing and public proclamation etc.).   I still find it difficult at times to share the gospel.  I know that it’s always a lack of faith (Fear) that hinders me. That you may be encouraged, I want you to know that six years ago I was so insecure about walking up to a stranger to talk about Jesus that most of the time I didn’t.  I was in love with Jesus but I was weak and needed a lot of help.  I remember attending a Wednesday night men’s service where the speaker said, “I want you to think about this; is there something you desire to do for the Lord that you think is so far away that it almost seems impossible.”

  Later each one of us was given a permanent marker and a wooden stake.  I thought a wooden stake, what are we going to plant tomatoes?  Then the speaker brought us back to the question he raised earlier and said, I want you to take the marker and write your desire on the wooden stake and when you get home I want you to drive it into the ground.  I know that sounds strange and I cannot remember the significance of doing that.  But I wrote the desire of my heart on it and when I got home I went out back and drove it in the ground.  Then I pretty much forgot about it.  So let’s fast forward to the present.

Back to the question; Are you actively sharing the gospel?  Remember it is every Christian’s obligation.  There are numerous ways and tools available to us like; Tracts, CD’s, signage, one on one witnessing and public proclamation etc.  But the most important tool is Faith in God.

Let’s look at the great commission: Matthew 28:18-20

“And Jesus came up to them and spoke to them saying all authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always even till the end of the age.”

The two factors that encourage me the most are: First that in verse 18 Jesus said, “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” second in verse 20 Jesus said, “And lo I am with you always even till the end of the age.”  Putting these together with the command to go I believe Jesus is saying to You and to me:   There is no need to fear, go forth knowing all authority has been given to Me, I am always with you, when you are afraid I will carry you, so trust me as a little child, I am the good Shepard and remember that when you are weak I AM strong.

I pray this is an encouragement to everyone who reads it as that’s my heart’s desire. There’s one more thing I should mention before moving on.  Remember how earlier, I wrote that about 6 years ago I was afraid to talk about the gospel and how a speaker challenged the men to write their hearts desire towards doing God’s will on the wooden stake?    Okay, I wrote one word on the wooden stake and pounded it in the ground: “Evangelism”

Praise God and again I say Praise God!

My dear friends I want you to know that this took time and how the Lord was gentle with me.  It all started with the desire and a willingness to be stretched a little at a time or as you probably heard before a willingness to get out of your comfort zone.  Although today looking back some of those first steps look pretty small but then they seemed huge!  The Lord never allowed me to see any of them as insignificant nor did He allow the passion to come up higher grow dim.  Even this very day I’m confident the Lord will continue to comfort me each step of the way as I look forward to coming up a little higher.   Amen.

So dear friend what is the next step that God is calling you to take in fulfilling the great commission?  Maybe it’s writing “Jesus Loves You” on heart shaped sticky pad notes and putting them on mirrors in public places, on sliding glass doors as you enter and exit businesses? Or maybe it’s to take one in hand and reach out asking, “May I give this to you?”   The last one got me too, but after a while I did it.  Well, I could keep going but for now whether it’s sticky notes, tracts, a yard sign, CDs, one on one gospel presentations, car graphics, street preaching or ………… Just do it as unto the Lord, knowing Jesus is saying, I am always with you, when you are afraid I will carry you, so trust me as a little child, I am the good Shepard and remember that when you are weak I AM strong.  Amen.

 I will pick up where I left off; Monday morning I enjoyed sweet fellowship with my new friends from Jesus Signs International.  Thank you for the encouragement you are to me.  I think I should mention that Al is 95 years of age and still impacting the world for Jesus Christ! 

  Leaving Eugene it was but a short drive to my next stop in Oregon which was Salem.  Here I was blessed by Faith Baptist Church with a quiet and safe place to call home.  This was so on time as the week in Eugene was trying indeed. As I spied out the land for ministry I was surprised that though the population was greater than that of Eugene the activities here were minimal.  So there were no occasions to herald the gospel to the masses.  Salem in my estimation was a bit subdued as compared to most Capitol cities.  That in no way is a complaint because as in the past, weeks like these provide a time for bodily rest and time for going deeper in the Word.  I spent a lot of time on the park benches around the capitol building pondering the Word.  Matthews account of the gospel chapters 5 thru 7 were my focus.  For now I will only say that precious was the time I had in the word.

Circuit Rider Robert Booth Gospel Minister of The Oregon Country.

Circuit Rider Robert Booth Gospel Minister of The Oregon Country.

The week here went by pretty fast and I suppose that is at least in part due to the restful environment and enjoying time in the Word.   Now I fast forward to Sunday service at Faith Baptist Church where I enjoyed fellowship most of the day.   Starting with Bible fellowship on through the evening worship service I was with family.  Having been blessed by the teaching and preaching of the word and the Love of Christ extended to me was precious. Thanks to all of you for everything. Thank you Pastor Craig for every concern you demonstrated towards me the week I was in Salem and even to my next destination.

  In closing, once again God has provided everything I had need of and by that I’m all the more certain that God is with me as I approach the next stop.  Your prayers, support and encouragement are highly regarded.  Until next week, God willing I write to you again.

      Agape, David

Eugene, Oregon 2013

Eugene, Oregon

  Welcome to Oregon.  Would you look at all those mountains and they have trees all over them!   400 plus miles of nonstop beauty which I spent the better part of 12 hours struggling to maintain a safe balance between watching the road and admiring the scenery. About 9 hours into the journey I arrived in Grants Pass.  After getting a bite to eat I pulled into the gas station, got out to pump gas but there was this guy between me and the pump.   So I said, “What’s up?” Then he answered, “What are you doing?”  I thought I’m tired but started; “I’m on a journey through the country sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ…..but would you step aside a bit so I can get gas?”  Then He said, “You can’t pump your gas here.”  I wondered is this guy going to buy my gas.  But then he told me that no one can pump their own gas in the State of Oregon.  I really didn’t believe the guy and thought this must be a joke.  Yet there he was still in my way and when he asked how much do you want?  I said fill it up but I stayed right there watching him; would he overfill it and would he tighten the gas cap at least 3 clicks?  Well everything worked out and as soon as I got a second opinion I believed the guy.  So, now you know that if you go to Oregon; (Relax) you cannot pump your own gas!  Shortly afterwards as I drove through town I realized that this was not going to be the next stop along the journey.  So I headed north on the interstate and then later I stopped for the night at a rest stop.  Tuesday morning I rolled into Eugene, Oregon and found Berean Baptist Church to call home base.

Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta

  

  I was not in Eugene long before I noticed a similarity like in Grants Pass; which was an openly expressive hostility towards the cross and its message!  This kept me on my toes all week long.  I Praise God for the bright spots, each and every one of them!  

On Wednesday evening there was a bright spot standing along 11th Street.  I went a block then turned around and that’s when I met brother Monte Botts.   Monte is not ashamed of the gospel and in fact has for many years traveled from town to town to herald the good news. He uses signs, tracts and preaching as the Lord leads him so it goes.  Earlier I made mention of Grants Pass, Oregon well as of this writing brother Monte is there today to answer the Court for a criminal trespassing charge he received when He joined the parade carrying a sign with scripture on it!   No worry, the Lord is with him.  Monte and I had a great time sharing testimonies and what an encouragement he was and is to me even now.  Thanks Monte!

Meet Monte Botts

Meet Monte Botts

  After spying out the land I found that there was not much going on.  The transit terminal, “Eugene Station” proved to be a good sowing field.  The targeted market was young to middle aged women.  When I was in Los Angeles, CA about 6 weeks ago Sister Jaylene Daugherty Romero and Brother Tony Miano made lasting impression on me in regard to the issue of abortion.  Because of this I handed out tracts which addressed both the issue of abortion and salvation all in one.  Overall I found women were receptive to the written information and some even willing to talk about it.  There is a really good video produced by Living Waters entitled 18o which contrast the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940’s with the Abortion Holocaust happening in America since the 1970’s.  I think this maybe the most valuable tool to date that we have to effect change. The historical facts of these two horrific events are so well presented that even simple logical reasoning evokes the conscience to cry out; this is wrong, I cannot have anything to do with this, this has to stop!  The video can be viewed on the internet at: www.180movie.com.  You will also find resources that may be purchased so you can make a difference impacting the world for Jesus Christ!  Won’t you please get involved today? 

Saturday was the day I had waited for because there was a Farmers Market Downtown that covered many square blocks and there were people everywhere.  I was all the more eager when upon arrival I saw co laborers at work.  There was a middle aged Asian couple, one holding a sign and the other handing out tracts.  They were so encouraging towards the prospect of the gospel being preached aloud.  So I hurried to get the sound equipment because there were drummers playing nearby and the noise was more than I could speak above.  Upon return, I saw another group holding signs containing scripture and all was well.  At least for a little while but after about three verses of scripture going airborne things changed!  Usually I’ve had what I call the shock factor effect set people back for several minutes and this really allows me to get going if you will.  But this day some of those offended by the gospel were quick to step up to the plate.  While insults came from differing positions in the crowd the first up close encounter was what I call a Christian who thought he ought to come and save the day.  His position was basically that preaching in public was wrong.  One of the brothers holding a sign asked him how he would do it and the guy replied, “You should make friends with people before you talk to them about Jesus.”   The Brother said, “Then you go and do that.”  I thought I was going to laugh out loud but I kept preaching.  Not long after the brother walked away; “Mr. I’m Gonna Stop This” shows up.  When his words failed he moved to take physical action but two things happened that he did not expect and the first was that the space he sought to occupy was no longer available because of instinct I got there before he did and my hand was all that kept him at bay.   While he was crying foul, I kept preaching not knowing what would happen next and then the second thing happened. That’s when an angel stepped between the two of us and after about a minute the little Asian women had sent “Mr. I’m Gonna Stop This” on his way!   Wow, that was close but was it not that God was in control all the time?  Yes I say and praise God!  Amen.    After a little while I stopped preaching because I was tired even though I had not gone on very long.  After entertaining some comments and questions I took a couple of minutes to pray and gather myself that God might grant me courage and strength to preach again.  Once again I raised my voice and the opposition railed but I made it about 12 minutes and then called it a day.  When I packed up I looked to find the Asian couple but they were gone and this saddened me because I didn’t get to say thank you.  Maybe there will be time for that in heaven, I hope so.  The day was still young and I had been invited to a tent meeting that started at 3:00pm.  The funny thing was that I had been invited several times and by differing means throughout the week. First I saw a billboard sign that poised the question; “What if Jesus really meant everything He said?” Then the invitation to come as there would be a tent meeting every Saturday at 3pm. in Eugene.  Early in the week what looked like a parking ticket on my windshield was a gospel tract that included the same invitation.  Remember my friend Monte Botts?  He told me he had gone last Saturday and met some fine people. Then as I prepared to preach the last time Saturday one of the men that was with the group holding signs invited me to go, so that’s what I did.  The preaching was a call to actually obey the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We had a rich time in the word and sweet fellowship. What a blessed way to finish the day.

The Stone Rolled Away!  JESUS is Alive!

The Stone Rolled Away! JESUS is Alive!

Before I went to sleep though I wrote these words;

“What could be more arduous than laboring after hearts or persuading men to cast off their tinsel crowns? I do not know. O’ God help me less this is the end!”  David Banton

  Sunday morning I enjoyed worship and fellowship at Berean Baptist Church.  Afterwards I was ready to go to the next stop, and then again that had been the case several times during the week. 

Before I go let me make this appeal to you by saying;

  It really is an eye opener when one reads the commands of Christ without using someone else’s template to fit them to us.  Just as dangerous it may be that each of us has made our own template. Ouch!

 But wait, think about it! How can we really be sure that we are following the Lord unless we diligently seek Him?  To obey Him necessitates that we know His commands. Was JESUS ever vague about anything?  Did JESUS ever suggest anything? I have not found that to be true.  Everything was black and white, there were No gray areas and JESUS never mixed Words.

  Seriously consider these three verses:

Jesus speaking;

And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  (Luke 6:46)

Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

If you love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

  Please look for yourself at the commands of Christ!  How many can you find?  When you read them what does JESUS say?  Will you take JESUS at His Word?  Will you obey JESUS and follow Him?  

    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27)

Dear Friends, 

  I exhort you to set aside the presuppositions you may have and search the scriptures with childlike faith.  Seek out the commands of Christ, obey and follow Him.  JESUS is the Good Shepard. 

Amen.

    The week in Eugene had its share of bumps and twists but even so I was never alone.  The Lord was with me and working all things according to the council of His will.  In this is the confidence to move on to the next stop along; The Journey 50 States One True Story JESUS!!!

  I love and miss all by beloved brethren.  I appreciate every good thing God has given me through you.  There is joy in thinking that I might see you soon, but for many it will be in the age to come.  Therefore I must by faith believe, thus the smile returns to my face and my heart is full.

  Until next week, God willing I may be blessed to write you again.

                                              Most affectionately in Christ,  

                                                                                         David

Reno / Carson, Nevada 2013

Reno / Carson, Nevada 2013

  Now back in the State of Nevada to fly the banner Jesus Christ and to preach the glorious gospel. Arriving Monday it was not long until I heard mockery, scorn and contempt towards the Lord Jesus Christ. This attitude would be expressed though out the week at least in Reno. 

  Tuesday I was made welcome at Sierra Bible Church and was blessed to be there for the week.  However the first night my phone was stolen while it was attached to my laptop and I was within 2 feet of it!   Wednesday evening I had a new phone and I guess I will end this topic now.

  Thursday I scouted for places to preach.  That night I was so aware how four days here were gone and it did not settle well with me.  I prayed that God would bless me to finish the week well. 

  Friday evening I was blessed to meet up with Gary, Gary Jr. and Elizabeth in downtown Reno.  Praise God!  They handed out tracts and provided encouragement as I preached the gospel outside the casinos. We had a great time and I was so blessed to meet them.

Along the trail to the summit of Mt. Rose.

Along the trail to the summit of Mt. Rose.

  Saturday I drove to the capitol which is the City of Carson.  There was an event where the streets where blocked of for several blocks to raise awareness of domestic violence.  Over one hundred different restaurants and vendors participated.  There were about 5 bands scattered about and one little street preacher in the midst of it all.  Having arrived early I secured permission from the event coordinator on a great place to park and I did.  Well, that lasted for about 15 minutes when the golf cart stopped and the coordinator asked, “Is that your yellow truck?”

When I answered she said, “You will have to move it because we don’t allow any advertising at this event.”  I thought really? No advertising? Maybe it’s no JESUS?  Thinking about the theme raising awareness to prevent domestic violence what better promotion than the Gospel!  No matter I politely complied and found a place just across the same intersection open to public parking. Praise God!  One more thing I thought to be contradictory was how alcohol beverages were abundantly available.  I’m pretty sure alcohol use is close, if not the leading cause of domestic violence.  Right?  Well I could almost hear my Pastor Randy Hahn saying, “David you didn’t come here to win a debate but to share the gospel so move on.”   So I walked around surveying the layout and praying that the Holy Spirit would direct where I was to preach and to grant the courage to do so.  Along the way I met a few police officers, deputy sheriffs and later the Sheriff.  God granted me favor with them. Hallelujah!   Beginning about 7pm I set the public address system on the roof of the truck and preached, broadcasting the gospel across the intersection where I had first set up just across the street.  This was great as there were no bands close by and this was in the center of it all.  Taking breaks I continued until about 8:30, packed up and drove to Reno. 

Sunday morning I attended worship service with the brethren of Sierra Bible Church.  The service was held in the park in Downtown Reno.  The service was great and the weather too. Thanks Pastor David and Brother Terry.  Later, I set out to explore something I had seen afar off all week, Mount Rose Summit.  The drive itself was an adventure with the incline and curves along the way.  I thought I could drive to the summit but there was yet a hike ahead of me.  I spoke with a young man who had just returned, I noticed he had sunscreen on and was diligently wiping down with rubbing alcohol.  Ron was glad to answer my questions and point me in the right direction.  He told of the pace needed in order to get where I wanted to go and to get back before dark.  When I thanked him he replied, “You’re welcome and good luck.”   It was the, “good luck” that struck a chord in me.  What had he meant saying, “Good luck”?  Was it my frame, age or what?  Just to be clear I no longer believe in luck but in the sovereignty of God and using common sense.  But I sure my friend Ron meant well.  It was not long before I began to understand Ron’s actions and words because the trails entry was small, the way narrow and a bit treacherous which lead to the summit!  Did you notice any correlation to scripture in that description? Here’s a hint; it took faith to enter and to continue all the way to the heights. And the scripture is; “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)  Not only did it take faith but it took some work to get there as well. Here I go again with another reference to scripture; “for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)   Now more of the story:  Along the way the sights were breath taking.  Like the wildflowers, the evergreen’s needles, the mixture of colors, green meadows, blue water, white snow, rock structures and the sun.  Then there were the elements like the wind, snow, in places loose footing and being apart from mankind in raw nature.  This is the best I can do to describe the journey which left me awestruck with God’s creation. I wondered what the earth looked like before sin entered the world!  Then, what will the new heaven and new earth be like?  This reminded me of: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

  Wow how time flies when you are having fun.  Now in every direction there were sights to behold.   Green pastures, still waters, valleys, shadows, more colors than rainbows, mountain peaks, Lake Tahoe and the sun.  Then the journey climaxed in praise and worship for all the great things that God has done and has promised to do!  In other words it was time to; “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is Lord.” And “What great things God has done!” Surely, God knows what all the noise and jumping was about and I was blessed to know more of the Joy of the Lord!  Hallelujah!  Amen.

The Joy of the Lord!

The Joy of the Lord!

  Just as night fall came, I made it to the truck and laughed as I saw it sitting alone in the large parking lot.  The run down the mountain had me sitting on the edge of my seat.  The gas mileage was great as I coasted in neutral for more than 11 miles having to brake often. 

What a way to end the week or any week for that matter.  This one in Reno and Carson started somewhat rough and slow but the Lord was and is always with me.  God blessed me to preach the gospel in both cities, I met more dear family members and O’ the mountain top experience!  Praise God! Amen.

   To my beloved Brethren,

  Though I have not made an earnest effort to contact, to thank nor to ask how I may serve you; I do love you, I do thank God for you, I do what to serve you in any way I may and I do hope to rejoice together with you in the Lord!

  May each of you grow in the faith and in the graces of our Lord JESUS Christ!  To God be the Glory great things He has done, He gave us our life when He gave us His Son!!!  

  Until about this time next week and God willing I hope to write to you again.   Agape, David

Sacramento / Citrus Heights, CA 2013

Sacramento, California 2013

Having Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco behind, Sacramento was the final stop in the State of California along; The Journey 50 States One True Story JESUS!!!

On Tuesday I met with the Pastor Kyle Conley of Pioneer Baptist Church of Citrus Hill and we enjoyed a time of fellowship.  Pastor Kyle was glad to provide a place for me to call home for the week.

Pioneer Baptist Church of Citrus Heights, CA  Thank You!

Pioneer Baptist Church of Citrus Heights, CA Thank You!

The pace of the week was slow or better yet very slow as compared to recent weeks.   Wednesday I posted about the prior week’s events in San Francisco and it was not until Thursday before I really spied out the area for ministry. I could not find any major attractions like sporting events or concerts going on that week.  Finally, I found a place where mostly the locals hang out which is Old Downtown Sacramento.  Additionally I thought around the State Capitol would be a good place to share the gospel.  So that was the plan, but Friday the heat was on at 105 and then again Saturday at 108.  Probably needless to say there were very few people roaming around outside so ministry outdoors was nil.  The upside of this is that I had time to be renewed physically and spiritually.  Spiritually speaking I sought the Lord about being dismayed as how so many people look to be unmoved at all by the gospel.  Does it really matter in the proclamation of the gospel that a person in surety and passion pleads with men to repent and believe?  I know the proclamation of the gospel is the means by which God has ordained for mankind to be saved.  Also how the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.  So my question is, “Why does it seem that just about everyone could actually careless?”  I’m confident that they can hear, so what’s wrong?  Do they realize they have set their faces as flint against God?  While reflecting on this subject I remembered how I read one of the puritans who God called to go somewhere foreign to preach the gospel.   The preacher went and came back angry saying, “I went to that terrible place to preach the gospel and found that everyone there loved their sin and wanted absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ.” Then he wrote, “God why did you send me there?” He wrote God’s reply was, “I did not send you there for them but for ME.”  Wow, that really hit home considering how His word does not return to Him void but accomplishes what He sent it to do.  Along with this, I was reminded that God is always at work, how one sows and another waters but it is God who gives the increase!  I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to speak more on the Wrath of God that will be poured out on all the ungodly.  My reply; “May it be so and to God be the glory! Amen.

Sunday morning I enjoyed bible fellowship and worship service at Pioneer Baptist Church. Later I went to Old Downtown Sacramento because of two things; the temperature was about 25 degrees cooler, and being Sunday it was time to preach.  After parking I walked around looking for the busiest place and prayed.  The spot was the intersection of 2nd & K Street.  While I went to get everything I needed, I told the Lord how I had hoped to find someone to go to the streets with me this week and even now it would really be great.  But I know you are with me and have never failed so I go in faith.  After retrieving the equipment I made my way to the intersection.  Getting closer, I noticed a man handing out literature in the road at my intersection.  When I approached he handed me a small piece of white paper which I read.  I thought this is ridicules, Lord you know this is the corner I planned to preach on and what am I supposed to think about this?  Okay, now let me tell you friend that on the small piece of white paper was the gospel. The man was not there when I went to get what I needed to preach! So, I met Ray and asked him a few questions regarding protocol about using amplification to which he responded go for it.  I set up, then preached the gospel using the amp and Ray handed out tracts until they were gone and I was tired.

Hallelujah!! Praise God!!!  Amen.

Meet Brother Ray.

Meet Brother Ray.

Oh, what an ending to the slower paced week and even more; how awesome are God’s blessings towards me!

I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.               O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt his name together.  I sought the Lord, and he heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:1-4)

So this is how it ends in the State of California along; The Journey 50 States One True Story JESUS!!!

Dear Brethren,

May you be encouraged to come up a little higher and walk a little deeper in faith because the coming of The Almighty is so very nigh unto you:

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.    (Isaiah 60:1)                                                                                                                          For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.                 (2 Corinthians 4:6)                                                                                                            To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:18)                 Amen.

I sincerely thank all of you for the various ways you support me in the Lords work.  Until next week God willing that I may write to you again.                                           Agape, David