Obeying God vs. Man

Burger King once used the advertising slogan, “Sometimes, you gotta break the rules.” If you’re truly living for the Lord, He will occasionally lead you to do things that may seem risky and go against man-made laws. Sometimes I have evangelized in shopping malls even though security people will try to stop that because they consider it “soliciting.”
A recent exchange of emails with a Facebook friend about illegal immigration reminded me of a situation that happened fifteen years ago. In April 2003, I flew to Berlin to share the gospel in Germany. Originally I was scheduled to fly back to the U. S. a month later but opted not to despite my return ticket classified “non-refundable.” The Lord told me my leaving Germany then would be in His permissive will but not His perfect will. Eventually, He led me to visit other European nations.
By September I was in Spain and perceived it was time to come home. One day I went to the Madrid airport hoping the airline would let me use my old return ti…

Boasting in the Lord

When you step out to fulfill the Great Commission, be prepared for some Christians who will challenge your motives. A former Facebook friend I never met personally once wrote accusations against me on my wall based on erroneous information. I emailed a message to him offering to discuss his concerns privately. Instead, he posted another public comment “warning” other people about me. Sadly, another Facebook friend I had been ministering to chose to believe this man’s lies. Before I could email her an explanation, she blocked me after sending a message complaining about my “boast posting” (referring to my evangelism reports). This is how Satan can use believers to “sow discord among the brethren”, which the Lord hates! (Proverbs 6:19)
The dictionary defines boast as “talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements.” It’s not wrong for a believer to testify what the Lord has done through him as long as He gets the glory. Psalm 34:2 says, “My soul shall make its b…

Real Ramadan

Every year Muslims observe Ramadan. One dictionary defines it as “the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.” Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to Muhammad during Ramadan, which is referred to as the “best of times.” Because Islam follows a lunar calendar, the dates of Ramadan change every year. For 2018 it began on the evening of Tuesday, May 15 and ends this Thursday evening (June 14).
For nearly two decades the White House has hosted Ramadan dinners. President Trump had one this past Wednesday after skipping it for 2017. I’ve even seen some churches displaying signs wishing their Muslim neighbors a “blessed Ramadan.” Certainly, I’m in favor of reaching out to non-Christians. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” However, I have a problem with encouraging religious practices contrary to the word of God.
Would you tell a Muslim to have a “ble…

Why I Like Jesse Duplantis

Ministers experience enough persecution from worldly people who don’t care at all about the things of God. It’s sadder when attacks come from within the body of Christ. Three years ago, Creflo Dollar was heavily criticized for launching an aborted fundraising campaign to acquire a multi-million dollar jet. Now evangelist Jesse Duplantis is receiving similar flak for his intent on obtaining a Falcon 7X for his ministry. Previously in this blog, I addressed the issue of preachers with planes. In this article, I want to share my experiences with Jesse’s ministry.
The first time I heard of Jesse Duplantis was in late 1992. A friend encouraged me to watch Jesse as a guest speaker on Kenneth Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice of Victory” program. What I saw was a preacher I could definitely relate to. Like myself, Jesse used to work in the secular music business. I was also drawn to Jesse’s outgoing personality and sense of humor. He didn’t come across as a stuffed shirt but someone who loves Jesu…

Standing vs. Kneeling

As a kid in school, we began the day by standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Back then, none of my classmates made an issue about it. It would have been considered abnormal for refusing to do so. Patriotism wasn’t forced upon us. We were simply taught to honor our country and its leaders.
Currently, there’s a controversy over football players and the national anthem. This was initiated two years ago by Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick took a knee not to honor God or fallen soldiers but as a protest against alleged mistreatment of blacks by police. He told reporters, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” I admired Kaepernick’s playing abilities but disagreed with him dissing a symbol that represents freedom for all Americans.
Since becoming a free agent following the 2016 season, Kaepernick hasn’t been ab…

Bad Habits to Break

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma magazine who still writes a weekly column for them called “Fire in My Bones.” Brother Grady often points out things done by Spirit-filled Christians that need changing. One of his best articles is titled “9 Bad Charismatic Habits We Need to Break” (which was published five years ago). I encourage you to read Lee’s article in its entirety but will share the list of habits…
1. The body slam 2. The courtesy drop 3. The song that never ends 4. The amateur flag corp 5. The wannabe telethon offering 6. The sermon with seven endings 7. The praise-a-go-go dancers 8. The ear-shattering amp 9. The “jump-start” glossalalia
After reading Brother Grady’s article, I thought of two more annoying Pentecostal practices...
* Telling the congregation to “turn to your neighbor” numerous times to say something. I think it’s okay to do this once or twice during a service (I even tried it years ago when giving a speech on Bible prophecy at a Toastmasters meeting) but some …

God’s Gold

Yesterday a Facebook friend griped about the Catholic Church “…surrounded by gold and all the riches of the earth and I believe Jesus must be sad with them. I’d rather be poor and get by as I am…Those dreams of a Ferrari and touring the world will never come around for me.” He’s right. My friend’s dreams won’t happen unless he renews his mind to what God’s word says. As Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Certainly, I’m against Catholic doctrine that contradicts Scripture but them having gold is not a sin in itself. When Solomon’s Temple was built, precious metals were used. 2 Chronicles 3:4 says, “He overlaid the inside with pure gold.” Many of the things in the tabernacle in Exodus 25 were also covered in gold. Would I use gold if I built and pastored a church? Probably not but I still want a nice place for my congregation to meet and to see them blessed. 
What about heaven with its streets of gold and surrounded by a wall made of precious stones? D…