Beloved Saints! I covet your prayers tonight please!Yesterday seven of us were led to stand for Christ at a gay-pride event here in Elmira NY. We donned red T-shirts with the words "Liberated from Sin" on the front and on the back "By the blood of Jesus". We prayed and fasted on Friday and sought the Lord for the stategy specific to the occasion. By midnight we were satisfied that God had heard us and given us a plan. We were to go into the event in silence and lie down prostate on our faces in humility and complete vulnerability before God and men to plead for their wretched souls. It was held outside in a public park in the center of the city. I approched the police officers who were looking at us suspiciously to inform them of who we were and of what we intended to do. The seargent was a woman who said "O no you are not!", I asked why not and she replied because she said so. I questioned the rightfulness of trying to prohibit me from walking through a park into an event that was advertised for all especially families. So I told her we were invited. They said nothing about dissenting opinions, just all are welcome. So I began to walk into the park and she said "You are not allowed to speak to anyone here about your religion" and that is when I knew I must obey God rather than men. I returned to the others who waited on the other side of the road and informed them that if they did not want to get arrested to stay there as it looked like we would. We prayed and all followed, all of the magnificent seven, we held the scriptures aloft and walked in silence with heads bowed into the center of the park. The welcome was fierce as you could imagine, they called us every unspeakable name that they could. We arrived at the stage and got on our knees and lay down in the midst of all of the ensuing hostility. I have learned through many a similar event that God is always most present when we are most vulnerable. Lying face down on the grass at the feet of these vicious people was suicide. The noise was unbelievable, the screaming, the cursing and then suddenly the sound of hand cuffs going on my brother next to me. Seconds later I felt my arms go behind my back and for the first time in my life the cold metal of the cuff links went on real hard!I could not believe it, I gulped as my face was now pinned to my open bible. I called to my wife who saw my hands behind my back as she too was soon cuffed. They had me roll over and the crowds now were screaming and celebrating. Up I went as they excorted me away. We were not silent as we left! "WOE TO AMERICA!"We were sped away to the police station where they did not know what to do with us. We had not been arrested, we did not have our rights read to us, they just carted us off. Please see and read the links below. The paper was accurate in their description of the events, the TV was typically slanted, they ony show us in cuffs looking like criminals, they did not show us walking calmly through the park or on our knees, or lieing prostate before God. They did not interview us etc. God will have the last word!After about 45 minutes in the police station we were charged with disorderly conduct and let go. Well we went right back to the park and spent the rest of the afternoon on the other side of the street preaching, praying, ministering. You should have seen the faces as we marched back up the street with the bibles held aloft once again!! It was awesome! I have never had the joy of the Lord like that, two brothers who are shy and quiet began to preach like uncaged lions, I sat in tears watching the fire of God come upon men who are just simple vesels and boy it was powerful, they preached in tandem, "repent and believe" , "Come to Jesus" back and forth it went. Our number grew from six, to seven to fifteen by late afternoon. One woman in the park who my wife had been ministering to for three weeks surrendered to Christ having seen us get arrested. She said " I must now become a Christian and follow you" as she donned a red T shirt!! Halleluia!!!!!!!!!!LinksWritten story from news.http://www.wetmtv.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=7d9d3e42-4aea-4bb4-88b2-6b5a923ee7b4For video:http://www.wetmtv.com/default.aspxOn left, the third link down is 18 News Video, click that.Under top stories, Protesters Arrested.Newspaper:http://www.stargazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070624/NEWS01/706240328/1001/NEWSRead the article then click on the picture gallery link under the photo shown. The picture of the protesters is the last one in the set of 5.We were not looking to get arrested, we were not wanting to be defiant, but when that woman told me that I could neither walk in the park or on the side walk or even speak with anyone about my faith, I decided then and there that I must obey God and the vision He had put in my head about lieing down in His presence in their midst.Please pray for us for tomorrow, it has been an incredibly difficult day, we were not welcomed in our church, I was summoned and scolded harshly by the pastor. Different ones were getting flack from all sides, we had very few supporters. We had one brother from our church of over 150 call us and encourage us. We were not even given a chance to share what happened, for the incident was not even mentioned, it was as if we did not exist. Very awkward and very sad! It stung real hard, it was brutal. Many folks cheat on their taxes(fraud), speed in their cars, celltalk while driving, the general infractions that most of us do in some degree or another. But go and stand for Jesus, get arrested for Jesus and we were treated like criminals!Brothers and sisters, it is a dark hour, good is called evil and evil is called good. These people invited familes, mothers and fathers and children to their event that culminated with nearly two hours of drag queens and drag kings, thrusting, girating and grinding dressed in provocative clothing and this was what they wanted the children to see and enjoy? All this outside on a Saturday afternoon!Tomorrow we will go to court and ask for time to get legal counsel. It might be that we must plead guilty to the charges of disordely conduct, but I hope not? The last time I was disorderly was when I was a drunk! Please pray that the cause of Christ advance boldly giving great courage to the saints for if we do not meet and defeat this insidious spirit head on it will end up putting us or our children to death! This I am not prepared to allow!Please feel free to email us with your prayers, we desperately need them.[email protected]Your Brother,Julian Raven
I am praying for you. May God give you wisdom.In His Lovecharlene
Julian, I will pray for you all, but I have to say, to call yourselves "the Magnificent Seven" doesn't sound too Scriptural. "Jesus made of himself no reputation" Paul said, and no one faced as much hardship and physical persecution then Paul did. He never called himself anything but humble names, and only had to bring all of this following up, only to defend himself against those trying to hurt the Church, but reluctantly because he didn't want to "boast" or complain ---[b] Co 11:23-30 Are they ministers of Christ? I (speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.[/b] And as far as this part:
for if we do not meet and defeat this insidious spirit head on it will end up putting us or our children to death! This I am not prepared to allow!
Tonello left the stage shortly before the demonstration.He told the gathering that "one of the most important things about Elmira, and any city, is diversity." Tonello, the first Elmira mayor to appear at the event, said he knows some people would say he should stay away."But this is exactly what the mayor of Elmira should be doing," he said to loud applause.Tonello commended the Star-Gazette for its yearlong series on tolerance -- part of which appears in the newspaper today -- but said he didn't care for the word "tolerance.""I think it's very important that we celebrate," he said, "not tolerate."
Praise the Lord! God is just and faithful! Psalm 37Being in court was like being in at home. The judge was merciful and just, some in the group were under great fear and condemnation but as the other proceedings went on we could see how the judge loved God. As we all stood before him, he himself counseled us like a father about getting an attorney! His final words to us will say it all. He said My flock needs all the help it can get! It was as if God spoke through him as he confessed to the dire needs of the people of our city and that he say our work as good! Alleluia!Thank you for your prayers! I believe that the case will be dropped by the DA. We will now seek counsel as to what really went on that day. The sad part about this is only three from our church came to support us and one from another local church. It was published in the paper that we would be in court. The fickle and cowardly nature of people is that they will sit by and watch you fry waiting to see the outcome, if you come off a hero they will pat you on the back if you get jail or lose then you will be condemned.God is our vindicator, we only need Him and your prayers.I requested to speak with the pastor as he had slapped verbally me the other morning and walked out of the room. I needed him to make account for his accusations. I got a call that it is now with the elders. We are already leaving quietly, but we might get the boot tonight?WIth love and great joy!Julian Raven
Thanks for posting this Julian, you have our prayers. I'm greatly encouraged by your faithfulness.
Maybe it's time to find a new church, brother. Even your pastor scolded you? Wow... what pathetic believers.I know most folks believe we should never get involved with law suits, however Paul made it perfectly clear that he was talking about law suits [b]among believers[/b]. In your case, I think you need to contact one of those Christian Law Associations and have them look into whether or not your civil liberties were violated. Not as a vindictive thing, but so that next year you will have the absolute freedom to go into that vile crowd and minister without disturbance from the Nazi storm troopers... I mean, the police.We're doing it here in NC, and to great effect. It will work in The People's Republic of New York as well.Our politicians have forgotten that their power comes from the [b]people[/b].God bless that judge you stood before!Krispy
Thank you Brother!, There are few words of encouragement coming our way so any water is an ocean. Are you involved with the Dr. Brown? I just got off the phone with a local reporter who has been writing a piece on street preaching. We had no idea that such an interesting story would develop. He, an unbeleiver commended me for standing up for what I believe! I will link that article when it comes out. I discussed an open forum with him, a public debate held in the park. I offered the homosexual community cake and tea, that I would supply and that I would serve them. Then we could have a good old American debate about the propriety of the event since it openely invited familes and the last two hours were back to back drag queens and drag kings dressed in lingerie thrusting and grinding? Let the people decide!!!I spoke to a couple of the folks who stood with us and they say they got a call from the pastor and we will all get a roasting tonight at 7.oo p.m. Please pray for us!
It was a dogfight! After nearly three hours, the smoke screen of the enemy lifted and reconcilliation shone forth!My Pastor, infront of elders and others openly apologized and we all embraced and the devil lost again!Now let us see what will come.With love and grace,Julian
Praise the Lord for forgivenessin his lovecharlene