Okay, so I'm generally not preaching on the train any more, except on some rare occasions. But I do talk to people loudly while I am on the train. And tonight, I finally got a complaint for having a conversation. And the guard defended me.
Hah! And I know that this guard does not like me! He has rebuked me for handing out literature on the train (rather sternly). The one time that I asked him to take the GPT, he absolutely refused. But I'm nice to him, so. Hehehe.
So I was talking to this couple behind me, and there was a guy sitting in front of me. While I was talking to them, he got up. When he came back to his seat, he asked me to stop my "proselytizing" and do it some other time, "because every time I'm on the train, you're doing this!"
I said, "Um, sir, I am having a private conversation. So...[I think I said something like mind your own business, but I don't remember.]" Then I turned back to the couple and said, "Here's the deal. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to pay our fine."
"You don't know that!"
"Yes, I do!"
"You weren't there!"
"No, I wasn't: I am only 24 years old. I was not around 2000 years ago." Turning back to the couple, I said, "Scientists have tried to disprove the Bible for years, and all they can find is archaeological, scientific, and [I tried to say historical] proofs."
The boy agreed with me, and the man went and found another seat. As he did, he passed the security guard who had come up near us because of the commotion. He said something, and the guard got right in his grill!
"What did you say to me!?!"
"I wasn't saying anything to you, sir. I was saying--"
"Yes, you were talking to me! What did you say!?!"
"When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh his enemies to be at peace with him." Don't know if that is good exegesis or not, but my brother suggested it.
Then I talked to the couple until they got off the train, explaining about the multitude of translations (the original languages were Greek and Hebrew, and English language changes a lot). And I told them that God has promised to give us the wisdom we need to understand His Word (James 1:5; John 16:13).
Then, three young kids got on the train, and one of them was on her cell phone. She and the other girl sat down in front of me, and the boy stood. When the first girl got off her cell, I gave her the Good Person Test. We got off at the same stop, so I gave her the Gospel on the platform, while the other two listened. They were all grateful that I took the time out to talk to them.
Then, after going home for a bit, I went to do the laundry. I left tracts on all the cars that were parked on the street leading up to the laundromat that I go to every week. But it was closed when I got there.
So I had to go to the one that was further away. I used to go there when I had a car, and since my car is broken, I only go there when it is too late to go to the other one. (The second one is 24 hours, the first one closes to those who want to wash at 9:00; but this was too early for that one to be closed--they might be going out of business, I don't know.)
The first thing that came to my mind was that God had someone that He wanted me to meet there, because the last time I went down there (the Tuesday before the Tampa Boot Camp), I met this guy named LaRon and his wife, and we had one of the greatest conversations ever. He still hasn't called me, which does worry me, but I know that God cares so much more about him than I do, that I'm going to leave that in God's hands. But anyway, that's how I knew.
One more thing: I had started to break one of my $1 bills for a snack at work. If I had, I would not have been able to afford the laundry--the second laundromat is also more expensive in addition to being further away than the first. We're only talking $6.50 to $8.00, but I would only have had $7.75 or something like that in my pocket when I needed a couple of quarters more. So, when God settled me on a bag of chips instead of a "better" snack, He did me a huge favor, because He knew that I would not get the extra change I needed at the grocery store--because I was counting on the first laundromat being open--but it wasn't.
Anyway, when I got there, I spoke to the attendant, who remembered me from all the times that I had been in before, and gave her the Zero Dollar Bill (I'll call it the Zero). I put my laundry in the washing machines and went to get my quarters for the machines.
I dropped one and it rolled and hit the foot of a young woman who was trying to sleep while waiting for her laundry to finish. I apologized, and she picked it up and gave it back to me. I handed her a Zero and thanked her. Then I got her name and turned to walk to the machines.
"Hey, you can't just give me a Zero Dollar Bill for giving you a quarter and just walk away. What is this for?"
So I read the text to her. As we neared the end, I changed a couple of words ("We broke the Law, Jesus paid our fine"), but I still was nervous as to how she would receive it. She firmly grasped my hand and said, "Thank you for reading that. Thank you very much."
I went back to my laundry and she sat there and read it over and over again. The attendant heard what I had said and approved. And there was a lady sitting nearby who also heard. Before I offered her a tract, I went and gave one to another lady, then I came back and offered her one. At first she turned it down, saying that she liked it but didn't need one. She commented on how Lindsay (the young woman) seemed to be very moved. She said that I seemed to have the "gift of evangelism." The Lord held my tongue.
I only said, "No, I'm just a Christian with a few tools. Anybody can do this. It's real easy just--" *pop and lock* (There are a few people who know what that means. Ill demonstrate it upon request at a boot camp near you--or far away.) She didn't want to take any tracts to give to others, which is something I like to offer Christians to help them get out of their comfort zone, but I showed her the website on the back just in case she changed her mind.
Then I proceeded to do my laundry and pass out tracts to the rest of the people in the laundromat. I saw the lady talking to Lindsay as the lady was finishing her laundry and leaving. Lindsay was wiping tears away.
When I put my laundry in the dryer, I handed a Zero to Trudy, who is a wonderful Christian elder woman. Wonderful. We had the most pleasant, God-praising conversation!! And then Lindsay interrupted. I had been praying for her all night.
And she asked me, "Are you Josh, the one who gave me the Zero Dollar Bill?"
"Can I give you a hug?"
I'm glad that God made Lindsay 5'4" and only 110 lbs. If she was any stronger, my shoulder blades testify that they would be crumbled. I didn't know that I held in my hand something so dear, so moving, so joyous. Yes, the Good News is good news to me--but I didn't know it would be good news to her. I was scared as I read the tract that she would hate me, and I was prepared for an argument. But all I got was love.
In fact, I got nothing but love all night. I handed one to one older guy as he was leaving the pool hall (which is in the same strip) and he stopped in his tracks to read it. Just stopped.
One guy did take some extra, and Trudy did, too. I also tracted all of the cars in the parking lot at the time, and gave a bunch to some young adults hanging out at their friend's new job (a gas station next door).
Some other people I talked to:
Eric: He was adamant about remaining a Methodist. I told him I didn't care as long as he didn't go to Hell. He said that he appreciated that, and I reminded him of Matthew 7:21-23.
Esau: He claimed to be a mystic who believes in Islam and Messianic Christianity and Judaism. I told him that Allah does not have a son, but Yahweh does--something Jews don't know. I gave him the Scriptures to look up (Psalm 2, Proverbs 30, and Isaiah 9). He said that he would have to look them up in the original Hebrew. I said, "That's what I gave the references for, so you can look them up." The Lord held me back from rolling my eyes, pointing out the fact that the devil's lies are very powerful tools to keep men drowning in perdition.
Jared: Had a long talk with him about sin, righteousness, Judgment and repentance. He laughed when I said that the definition of absurd is evolution, but he rfused to budge when I showed him four scientific, historically verified reasons to believe the Bible. I pointed out to him that he was fulfilling Jesus' words in John 3:18-20, and that he should not count on repenting right before he died, because he was already hardening his heart. I didn't get too much further with him than that, so, I went inside to give two ladies the What If? card, and I went home. Happy. Very happy.