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You Blessed Me, Man

Oct 15 2011

We were doing an outreach with several local churches on a city beach in the Boston area this summer.  It was very unique in that there were tourists on vacation, local teens enjoying their summer breaks, homeless people taking advantage of the access to public restrooms, many immigrant families, especially Muslim women with their children, and members of gangs, including, we're told, the Cambodian Bloods, all together in one spot.

During one of our afternoon performances, I asked the audience for a large bill with which to do a trick.  A twenty-something man covered in 'bling' pulled out a huge wad of cash, peeled off a $100 bill, and handed it to me. After pretending to tear the bill, then vanish the bill, I used it to teach the parable of the lost coin.  Eventually I reappeared the bill and returned it to the man.  After the show, he came up to me and said, "You blessed me, man."

Later, some of the local clergy, as well as some of our homeless friends confirmed what we suspected from the start.  He was a fairly big time drug dealer in the area.

So, what did it mean when he said, "You blessed me, man"?  Was he just being nice?  Why did he use the word 'blessed'?  Was he trying to use jargon he thought would be most meaningful to us?  Was he trying to manipulate our team somehow?  (This seems unlikely, as he was probably carrying more money than the value of everything everyone on the team had combined.)  Was he remembering a devout, churchgoing mother or grandmother whom he had long neglected, but our message brought her to mind?  Was he letting us know there was a chink in his armor, and the Holy Spirit was slowly calling him to Christ?  Was he just saying he liked the show? 

"You blessed me, man."  What does it mean when a big time drug dealer says this to you?

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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