My next assignment, chronologically, was my biggest. I created a newspaper-like publication, “The Main Issue”, which I had distributed door-to-door throughout my city of Kelowna. Jesus Christ is the main issue, and I used issues familiar to most unsaved residents to point them to Christ.
My brother, please keep in mind that I share my humble exploits for one reason, to show you that a Spirit-lead, Jesus-and-me christian will benefit both the world and Christ’s church more than dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Jesus-and-us christians combined. Okay?
It all started as a thought, a preposterous notion, that I could reach Kelowna with the gospel of Jesus Christ through a publication. Over the months and years thoughts piled up on each other until I had quite an accumulation. Could this possibly be the leading of the Holy Spirit? No way, couldn’t be…. could it?
To the Lord Jesus I said, “Lord, I think there is a 10% chance that this is You and a 90% chance this is me.” After a few months passed, thoughts continuing to roll around in my upstairs, I said, “Lord Jesus, I think there is a 20% chance this is You and not me”. Over several months and much prayer 20 grew to 30, then 50, up, up, up.
I told the Lord I would never begin this assignment without a clear word from Him. Months after that commitment I was tired of waiting, picked up pencil and paper and began to write…. about two sentences. I repented, and went back to waiting upon the Lord. And then it happened….
I like breaking up my workday (I was a one-man electrical contractor) by having lunch at a restaurant. An acquaintance came in accompanied by his friend and they sat at another table. Soon this friend, I think his name was Levi, came to my table, asking to talk. I immediately discerned him to be a sound and sure elder-in-Christ. He was from England. He said the Lord Jesus sent him to Canada but had no idea why. This was the beginning of a friendship.
A few weeks later he asked to pray for me and passed unto me what he said was a word from the Lord: It was time to begin my assignment…. the Lord would be with me…. there would be much fruit…. things like that.
He had previously narrated another occasion whereby the Lord told him to drop everything, leave His England and travel across Europe. He had no clue as to why. Eventually he encountered a young, very discouraged evangelist by the name of Reinhard Bonnke. He prayed over this brother and prophesied. That was, it seemed to him, the prime reason he was sent to travel throughout Europe.
Before leaving Kelowna Levi phoned me to say goodbye, saying he did not previously know why he was sent to Canada, but now he knew at least one, if not the only reason. Did our Lord Jesus Christ send this dedicated elder brother to Canada for the purpose of delivering a message to me? It really seems that is so.
While driving away I prayed something like this, “Lord Jesus, I believe I heard from You, and I hereby begin the assignment You gave me.”
The Holy Spirit revealed some details regarding this project. The paper was to be called The Main Issue, there would be exactly ten issues with a space of three months between, I was to cover all of Kelowna and areas beyond. He also gave me the subjects of the first five or so papers, the first being “Evolution vs Creation”.
Please understand that my only qualification for such a huge undertaking was that I was a Jesus-and-me christian.
And please understand that I have as many faults as most. At times I can be a real jerk. I am slow to learn. I lack gratitude. I have a temper. I have bouts of discouragement. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. Though I know Jesus hates hypocrisy, I even fail at that occasionally.
I knew with a certainty this project would only succeed by direct intervention of the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I had no money, I had no publishing experience, I had little spare time. But I was a branch connected to “the true vine”. All accomplishments, if any, would come via relationship with Lord Jesus. I had long ago made it a practice to spend the first hour of the day with Lord Jesus.
This is my story….
My teen-age, computer-savvy son told me I definitely needed a computer. Where would the money come from? I got a call to rewire a large old house that a broken-down lawyer purchased and wanted transformed into nine rental units. It was a lot of work. There were disputes between contractors and lawyer, and I think I was the only tradesman that got fully paid. Ta-da, I had my computer. My son demonstrated the wonders of my pc. Having only used a typewriter, I was thoroughly impressed. With this marvel I could correct a mistake without having to retype the entire page, I could move entire sentences and paragraphs at will, I could italicize and change font size with a click or two. Absolutely amazing!
My wife not only surrendered her sewing room but bought me a large L-shaped desk. A friend who ran a printing business gave me access to a huge assortment of photos, cartoons, illustrations.
I soon realized I could not work my five-day work week and accomplish The Main Issue; the amount of research and writing and design was incredible. So I asked our Father if I could drop to a four-day week. Still insufficient, I asked permission to work three days.
How could I possibly work two days less and cover this heavy expense? I couldn’t. The cost of each issue was, (by today’s comparative) about $12,000 every three months, half for printing, half for distribution. I considered selling space, just like every other publication, but that could demean ‘the main issue’, the gospel of Christ. Perhaps I could market a product, using the paper to advertise. No, that just didn’t seem right.
How did the cost of printing and distribution of all ten issues get covered? God did it; I certainly didn’t. My wife worked part-time at Kelowna General Hospital and I was now limited to part-time at my trade. We had rent to pay and teens to feed. The only bible comparative I have is the feeding of multitudes with “seven [loaves] and a few little fish”. What Jesus did He did again.
After a few missteps (a few? did I say a few?) I arrived at a strategy. I carefully packaged and forwarded my complete layout to a printer in Montana (everything is cheaper in the US) and a few weeks later they delivered between 38-42,000 copies to our post office for door-to-door delivery. I drew strength from my friend Richard. I published his phone number so he could take most of the calls. (The angry calls always came first, followed by encouraging calls.)
For two or three days after each distribution there was an evil oppression hanging over our house; the enemy did not like us preaching “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” to his people.
The gospel of Jesus Christ was delivered to every house throughout Kelowna. (Apartments were difficult to reach.) Some only received a few issues, others all ten. Many thousands have read testimonies of the reality of God and the precious gift of His Son. Seeds were planted throughout Kelowna approximately every three months for about four years.
Today and every day someone somewhere is reading The Main Issue, not in hard copy but via the internet. Soon someone will be reading it in spanish, hindi, german, russian and every other major language.
What was accomplished by a few Jesus-and-me christians can again be accomplished through a few Jesus-and-me christians in every city of the world. I proved that.
NOTE: The Main Issue is available at www.larryjones.ca