Day 1 [Key West, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014

A very special day today, as our 2014 MPT got underway….I would have to describe it as seeing the Bible come alive, to see God’s Word demonstrably presented in a number of ways.

DJ got up early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and get bitten by thousands of mosquitoes. Ha!

Sunrise at Coppitt Key

He then headed back home so he could be there in time to pick up Zaria and Isaiah after school. And after he left, Earline sat here with tears in her eyes because DJ told her “he got it!”, that he was really starting to understand what mission work is all about, about making yourselves available for HIS purposes, whatever that might be.

I spoke this morning on Facebook briefly how, even though we don’t deserve it, God is being KIND to us again at the beginning of THIS tour, like He did in 2010, because He provided the Keys Presbyterian Church apartment as a wonderful retreat place for us to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for our upcoming journey.

East side of church

One interesting characteristic of this location, is that there is a naval training center/airport just a few miles southwest of here, and as soon as it gets light, you will experience pilots taking off in their F-18s [think Top Gun movie]. No sleeping in around here! Ha!

We walked to a little restaurant a couple blocks away, where it looked like a lot of locals were going and had a GREAT lunch. [Great idea to always look for where the locals go!]

Even found a place next door with microwavable ice cream! [See, Earline isn’t the only one who microwaves her ice cream….hmmm!]

Shake

Pastor Bill then picked us up, along with a ministry friend, John Dunn, and we headed to Mallory Square, on the northwest tip of the island.

Pastor Bill and John Dunn

Pastor Bill then set up his board…he said they discovered the plans for the easel he was using in the ancient ruins at Ephesus, Turkey, of how to construct this board presentation that apparently Paul used when ministering to the Greeks in the Roman Empire. [smile]

Prepping the boards

He also said Peter, though, wasn’t a big fan of the easel board presentation of the Gospel.

HA!

A lot of expensive water craft can be seen from here.There is also apparently a speed boat festival going on this week that draws a lot of people [and vendors.]

Girl and daughter with speedboat

sailboat

Coconut lady

Including this guy who was apparently telling everybody their future [wonder if he ever plays the lottery?!?].

Future guy

I found this gentlemen over by the restrooms, with orchestration coming from his little portable speaker, as he played along on his wooden flute “Ave Maria.” He was quite good!

Ave Maria flute

Pastor Bill does about a 20 minute presentation a little before sunset, and then another one right after. He has several topics he can do, and this first one he did was called Two Religions.

Two religions pres

Pastor Bill comes alive when he’s preaching….and he was just coming straight from the Bible. Simple Gospel message. It really was fascinating to watch! Some people would stop and watch, most would just saunter past, sometimes right in from of him while he’s talking!

[By the way, Pastor Mills, I am not sure which is you is more “height-challenged”, but I think Pastor Bill might have you beat! But as with you, sometimes the best comes in small packages. Pastor Bill is actually an avid swimmer, and 63 times has swum the 12 miles around the island of Key West! He said it takes him about 6 hours. Whoa! In fact, in September 2009, as far as he knows, he was the FIRST person to swim across the Sea of Galilee from north to south, a distance of about 14 miles. He said it was tough, especially when the wind picked up – it took him about 10 hours.]

After Pastor Bill’s first presentation, everybody then was calling attention to the gorgeous sunset, apparently awed by what they were seeing, but oblivious to the One who MADE what they were seeing.

Sundown

So, how many people were watching?

Sunset watchers

Then Pastor Bill did his second presentation, this one called “Is God Narrow-Minded?”

Pastor Bill starts narrow minded

Narrow minded pres

Sometimes people will react to him. Some will ask questions, some will make fun of him, most will just ignore. All the while John Dunn would be there PRAYING….John is a member of Pastor Bill’s church. John had a bad accident up in New York some 30 years ago, and he is in an increasingly tough physical condition, and yet he has been doing this with Pastor Bill for 28 years. Wow!

Earline and John

So, what’s the point?

It is like Paul told his tearful friends in Ephesus after he had ministered there for 3 years, and knew he would never see them again:

From Acts 20: When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.”

Pastor Bill puts it out there….he is being faithful to preach. But it is the Spirit that changes the hearts: “a change of heart produced by the Spirit” it says in Romans 2:29.

And Jesus plainly stated, in John 16:8-9, some of His LAST WORDS to His disciples, that:

And when He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me.

So, share the Truth, tell the Good News, and let the Spirit do His work…because the PROMISE is:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It WILL accomplish all I want it to, and it WILL prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

And that TRULY is Good News!

Okay, time to pack up!

Tearing down

[Are you sure that piece goes in there? Ha, after 3 times a week for 28 years, I think he’s got it!]

Thanks, Pastor Bill, and thanks, KEM, for letting us join in your ministry.

[Tomorrow we trike over to Key West!]

TGG,

jon

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