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Santa Cross

December 13th, 2010 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in The Cross - (2 Comments)

The “ARE YOU READY?” cross provides ironic juxtapositions at interesting places. 12-year-old Seth Lewis is unafraid to remind Whittier Christmas Parade-goers about the real reason for the season.

Note the shadows in this next one… (more…)

A Thousand Words, Part 3

March 22nd, 2010 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in The Cross - (5 Comments)

I had an assignment for evangelist/cross carrier Peter Johnson on the day of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hermosa Beach: Take the cross and stand in front of the bars as a reminder to the partiers that they need to be prepared.

Without hesitation Peter took up the cross and held it in front of the outdoor patio—and got some very strange, unanticipated results.

It took us both by surprise. We were shocked and nearly offended at what happened next. Instead of an angry outburst directed at Peter, or a middle finger shoved in his face, something much, much worse happened. (more…)

A Thousand Words, Pt. 2

March 15th, 2010 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in The Cross - (1 Comments)

On Hollywood Blvd. there are some strange reactions to the cross.

And some interesting juxtapositions….

Then there’s the ridiculous!

A Thousand Words, Part 1

March 8th, 2010 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in The Cross - (2 Comments)

Here’s the first part of a random sampling of interesting images of the “ARE YOU READY?” cross at various evangelistic locations we visited.

This isn’t Hell. It’s the end of the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown. They celebrate the finale by firing off about a million firecrackers at once.

There’s a whole lot of choking and coughing that goes on, which, of course, prompts our important eternal question. 

A reporter from the OC Weekly  asked me what I thought about the coalition of Vietnamese gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups that marched for the very first time in the Vietnamese New Year (Tet) Parade. My answer may have  surprised her: “They have a right to march in this parade like any other group; it makes no difference to me, really. We’re not here to protest; we didn’t come to this neighborhood to make a political statement. We came to share the good news with all lost people, and that includes the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups in this parade.”

The reporter was taken aback.

“You see,” I continued, “we love gay people. We’re not out here to yell and angrily point our fingers. We want them to know that they have broken God’s Law, His 10 Commandments, and that they need to repent and trust in Jesus to be saved. They’re no different than the rest of the people out here who don’t know the Lord.”

The reporter had another question. “What do think about the area’s church’s decision to withdraw their participation in the parade?”

It was now my turn to be surprised. I thought about her question and realized that indeed, there were no churches marching in the parade. “That’s ridiculous,” I answered. “The Christian churches should be out here. We’re called to be salt and light in the community and it’s absolutely astounding to me that they would withdraw because of the gay groups.”

So the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups won the day. All they had to do was make their presence known and the Christians go running. As an alternative to retreating, the church could have devised a strategy, like doubling or tripling their presence. That way, people would remember this parade as the day that so many Christian churches participated. Instead, it will forever be known as the day the gays marched for the first time in Westminster.

Sin wins.

Yet God did not leave Himself without a witness. From eternity past, He knew the Organized Church would wimp out and run from this opportunity to be a witness for the Risen Lord with their tails between their legs.

In His infinite wisdom, He also ordained that a ragtag little evangelism team of seventeen adults to be there—for the very first time— smiling and friendly, holding an old rugged cross and ready to tell of the fact that Christ died for homosexuals, too.

(Note: 12,000 Gospel tracts were handed out
to an estimated 10,000 parade-goers.)

Click here to see some big time dignitaries get the Gospel hand delivered to them. I’m talking Congressmen and the like.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

[Jesus said]: “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

[Jesus] called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 ”Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
(Mat 18: 2-5)

Cross Purposes

November 12th, 2009 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in The Cross - (17 Comments)

We received delivery of our new wooden cross last week. Emblazoned with the words “Are you ready” (we forgot the question mark), this prop elicits all types of responses. The purpose of this cross is to just hold it and engage whoever is interested in talking with us about it. 

I encouraged 17-year-old Peter Johnson (our youngest teenage open air preacher) to try it out on the campus of El Camino College the day after we got it. Here’s his report:

I got out of my first class at 10 ’till nine on Friday morning.  I have my cross folded up so I can carry it.  I decide to start with prayer.  God always seems to do more after I pray, but of course that’s just a coincidence. 

I took the cross out into the center of campus and held it up so that passersby could read the words “Are you ready” with my right hand while passing out gospel tracts with the left. A construction worker saw the cross and scoffed, “Are you ready? I’m ready to break that cross over that guy’s head.” 

Next, a Catholic girl walked up and asked what the words “Are you ready” meant.  I explained how we need to be ready for eternity and was able to convince her that religion does not save; only through humble trust in the blood of Christ are we saved. 

After her, a “Christian” guy who had never heard of the term “born-again” was encouraged to examine himself and get back in the Word.

Another student walked past and mocked, “I’m converted. I used to be pagan, but now I’m a Satanist.”  “Are you ready?” I replied. 

I was privileged to have a few short conversations with more students and was even offered some brief words of encouragement by fellow Christians as well as a few others who blessed me with more curses.  Even three atheists came by to argue! It was truly amazing how the cross elicited so many different reactions.

The highlight of that day was when a guy came up from behind me, wanting to talk. I took him through the law, Judgment Day, God’s justice and holiness, Hell, then the Gospel. He seemed very humble and open, asking me if he could repent anytime. ”Yes,” I answered.

He bowed his head to pray. 

“Wait, wait,” I said, “do you even understand what repentance is?” After I was assured he knew what he was doing, he prayed and then I prayed for him. By that time there were seven other Christians gathered around to observe.

I was very excited to hear Peter’s report on his first successful experience with the cross; so much so, that I couldn’t wait to try it out this very afternoon at El Camino College. Knowing from past experience that whatever bad things can happen—will happen when I try something out—I braced myself, and picked up the cross. (Click to see all the horrible things that happened to me at the Chinatown parade earlier this year.) 

I stood straight-laced and straight-faced setting my face like flint toward the oncoming students. I prayed silently, ready for anything.

This is what happened: (more…)