Showing posts from October, 2016

Rest in Peace

This past Monday, Bobby Vee died at 73 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the singer, his death hit close to home. Bobby’s first concert in February 1959 (following the plane crash in Iowa that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper) was five blocks from the house in Moorhead, Minnesota where I spent most of my childhood. At that time my dad went to Fargo Central High School with Bobby and shared an art class with him. 
Another famous singer who died this past week was Pete Burns of the English band Dead or Alive. They are perhaps best known for their 1985 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, a song I used to play as a nightclub disc jockey.
Whenever people die, those who care about them will often say “rest in peace.” Sometimes the initials R.I.P. are engraved on real headstones as well as Halloween decorations. R.I.P. originated from the Latin phrase “requiescat in pace.”
The truth is that all dead people are not resting in pea…

Kundalini Chaos

Some Christians are quick to demonize Holy Spirit manifestations unfamiliar to them such as people shaking. A few of these watchdogs accuse certain ministers of allowing a Kundalini spirit at their meetings. Kundalini is a yoga term whose origin is the Sanskrit word for snake. One dictionary defines Kundalini as “latent female energy believed to lie coiled at the base of the spine” and “a system of meditation directed toward the release of kundalini energy.”
In response to a YouTube video posted to “expose” one well-known evangelist/pastor, I pointed out these Kundalini hunters don’t know how to test the spirits. 1 John 4:2 says, “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” The minister in question has altar calls for salvation that include leading newborn believers to say, “I confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.”
One critic responded, “So did Jim Jones. What does that prove?” I replied by asking him to prov…

A Eulogy for Leonard

Back in 1995 I became friends with another serious soul winner who was part of the evangelism ministry at Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Leonard Micklin led hundreds to the Lord apart from the church’s scheduled outings. Often when I arrived prior to an outreach or service, Leonard was sitting in the sanctuary confessing the word. I admired his faith in God meeting his needs without having a job or car.
Leonard didn’t seek to promote himself but the gospel. He often wore a baseball cap with the name of Jesus on it and sang praise songs after leading someone to salvation. During one outing in downtown Minneapolis, I was the leader but perceived the Lord wanted Leonard to lead our team for awhile. Leonard was reluctant but agreed to do so. Later I learned the heads of the evangelism ministry were already nudging Leonard to become a team leader.
Not long after I started working for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Leonard often said, “Say ‘Hi’ to Billy …

Think Before You Pink

When in the Upper Midwest I frequently patronize Caribou Coffee, a chain of coffee shops I refer to as my “office.” I like working on my laptop in the relaxing atmosphere plus most Caribou locations give free refills of their Coffee of the Day. Because of my preference for light or medium roast coffee, I usually show up at Caribou in the morning since they sometimes serve only dark roast later in the day.
For now I’ve temporarily cut back on my visits to Caribou Coffee. This time of the year they heavily promote Amy’s Blend, a coffee flavor that is (in my opinion) very overrated. Amy’s Blend is named after Caribou’s original roastmaster Amy Erickson who died of breast cancer in 1995. In addition to coffee, Caribou sells mugs, tumblers, and related merchandise as a tribute to Amy. Their web site states: “Every October for the past 19 years, Caribou Coffee has donated 10% of retail coffeehouse proceeds from Amy’s products to support women and men impacted by cancer in Caribou communities…

Productive Public Preaching

When people hear the term street evangelist, some think of men and women standing in public places shouting out Bible verses. That’s one way of reaching multitudes who might not hear the gospel otherwise. Romans 10:14 says, “And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” All the prophets of old as well as Jesus and the Apostle Paul preached in the marketplace. 
Unfortunately many open air preachers I’ve seen lack compassion and do not speak the truth in love. They preach more about God’s judgment than His mercy. Some call women “whores” because (in their opinion) they don’t wear enough clothing. Jesus didn’t talk like that to the woman caught in adultery. Rude preaching repels sinners instead of drawing them closer to God. 2 Timothy 2:24-25 says, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentanc…