Posts

Showing posts from 2017

A Permit to Preach

Image
Every minister who takes the gospel to the public occasionally comes into conflict with authority figures. Even in the United States where the Constitution guarantees “freedom of religion”, various laws and ordinances have been passed in an effort to hinder God’s word from going forth.
Two weeks ago in Crystal, Minnesota, I was with a group of soul winners sharing the gospel at a carnival. Although it was in a public park, a carnival supervisor came up to us saying we weren’t allowed to evangelize there because we didn’t have a permit. We continued moving and witnessing in the park until a policemen told us “no preaching”. We then moved outside the park perimeters and talked to individuals walking towards or leaving the carnival.
Then this past week at the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, I passed out tracts along Main Street and struck up conversations with other ministers there doing the Lord’s work. One Baptist group was promoting a motorcycle giveaway. When I showed…

Online Boundaries

Image
For about a month now, I’ve experienced an unexpected surge of friend requests on Facebook. Until recently I might get one or two per day. Now they’re pouring in at a unprecedented rate. One morning I woke up and had sixty new friend requests waiting for me! 
A fellow evangelist I often work with has also seen this happen but only accepts friend requests from people he already knows. As for myself, I will accept most of them as long as my potential friend appears to be a committed Christian. They must also have a legitimate profile photo.
At the time of this writing, I now have over 3,600 Facebook friends from different parts of the world. Most of whom I’ve never met personally. Yet many of them want to chat immediately after I accept their friend request. That prompted me to draft a letter that I now display on my Facebook page. This letter clearly outlines things I will and won’t do online. I’ve had to email this letter to new friends who apparently didn’t notice it the first time.
Whe…

It’s the Same Old Song

Image
A few years ago I spent the weekend at a Christian retreat center in central Minnesota. In the sanctuary, Terry MacAlmon’s “Precious Lamb of God” was repeatedly heard on a CD player in between meetings. This is one of my favorite songs by Terry. However, I chose to stay away from the sanctuary as much as possible.
It’s happened before when I got tired of a song because the pastor, worship leader, or person in charge overplayed it. One minister I know habitually plays the same song over and over on his iPod at the end of his meetings. A favorite of his is Roy Fields’ “In the Presence of Angels.” I liked that song when first heard at the Lakeland Outpouring meetings in 2008. Now I cringe whenever hearing it. That’s unfortunate since it’s really an anointed song.
Another tune that’s become annoying to me is the David Ingles composition “Lord We Magnify You.” There’s a church I’ve attended for many years that (in my opinion) still sings that hymn too much. At one recent worship service, the…

Follow the Leader

Image
Remember playing “follow the leader” when you were a kid? While working at a roller rink during my late teens, I occasionally played that game with the younger skaters. They followed me around the rink copying exactly what I was doing.
On social media sites, entertainers usually have the greatest number of followers. Let’s look at the top five on Instagram… Taylor Swift: 49.6 million followersKim Kardashian: 48.1 million followers Beyonce: 47.2 million followers Selena Gomez: 45.9 million followers Ariana Grande: 44.6 million followers Now look at the five most followed people on Twitter (according to friendorfollow.com)… Katy Perry: 101,038,793 followerJustin Bieber: 92,035,447 followersBarack Obama: 91,940,321 followersTaylor Swift: 85,432,857 followersRihanna: 75,338,688 followersEverybody follows somebody. A person with a huge amount of followers doesn’t mean he or she is worth following. Adolf Hitler amassed millions of devotees before triggering World War II resulting in much death…

Love the Jews

Image
Some believers are reluctant to share the gospel with Jews because of past atrocities done to them in Christ’s name. Nevertheless, they still need to hear the Good News to be saved. A Jewish convert named Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 (NLT), “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes–the Jew first and also the Gentile.” 
Once I lived with a family in Virginia that had a Christian mother and a Jewish father. The mother originally didn’t want me witnessing to her husband because other believers tried forcing the gospel upon him. Three days before I moved out, the Lord instructed me to witness to this man. After mentioning this to his wife (who gave her approval), I asked him questions about his eternal destiny. He wouldn’t pray with me but listened politely as I mentioned a few Old Testament prophecies pointing to Jesus as the Messiah.
At the Mall of America near Minneapolis, some of their kiosk workers are from Israel. W…

Conviction vs. Condemnation

Image
Two nights ago I briefly listened to an online church service. I logged off after hearing a young preacher say, “You’re not going to come here [to his church] and feel condemned…or convicted.” I believe he meant well since he talked about mistakes the church made generations before him. Unfortunately, many ministers who emphasize grace disregard the Bible’s warnings on not obeying God’s commandments.
Certainly God doesn’t want us feeling condemned. One dictionary defines condemn as “officially declare (something, especially a building) to be unfit for use.” That same dictionary defines condemnation as “the action of condemning someone to a punishment; sentencing.” Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” As long as we stay in communion with the Lord, we shouldn’t fear condemnation. There is always hope for redemption.
On the other hand, Jesus told a woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)  G…

Remember Their Sacrifices

Image
Every year on July 4th, my fellow Americans celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s declared independence from Great Britain. Yet many of them take our freedoms for granted. It’s often been said, “Freedom isn’t free.” Over the years, countless U. S. soldiers shed their blood so we can enjoy this prosperous nation God blessed us with.
What’s also tragic are the veterans neglected by the very people who should be assisting them. Fortunately, President Trump recently signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. This will hopefully cut down on the number of bad VA employees making it difficult for veterans to receive benefits they deserve.
In the meantime, many homeless veterans are begging on street corners asking for help. I go out of my way to minister to them as well as other veterans I’ve seen wearing caps indicating they fought in certain wars. First I approach these veterans by thanking them for their service and mention that I spent time in the Army Nationa…

God Needs You

Image
Occasionally I hear believers say, “God doesn't need us…we need Him.” Of course, I agree with the latter part of that statement but have to take issue with the first part.
Throughout the Bible, God used man to help accomplish His plans and purposes. What if Noah had refused to build the ark? Except for animals that live in the sea, all of creation would have perished in the flood. 
What if Moses didn’t go before Pharaoh and told him to let his people go? The Israelites might have stayed in captivity longer until God raised up someone else to be the deliverer. In fact, Moses killing an Egyptian in Exodus 2:12 and then going into exile delayed Israel’s time of deliverance. Instead of 400 years as originally prophesied in Genesis 15:13, Egypt’s affliction upon Israel lasted 430 years.
Look at this passage in Ezekiel 22…
30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.  31 The…

A Dedication to Dad

Image
On this Father’s Day, I want to take time to honor the man who brought me into this world and took care of my needs while growing up.
Richard C. Post was born in 1943 in Hood River, Oregon. His father was stationed there as a soldier during World War II. The family later moved to North Dakota. My dad eventually graduated from Fargo Central High. The late singer Bobby Vee was one of his classmates.
After a brief stint in college, Dad settled into a career as an interior decorator. Over the years he worked at various furniture stores in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Dad could have made more money as a traveling salesman but opted for jobs that allowed him to come home every night to be with my mother, sister, and me. Often our evenings were spent watching TV and playing an occasional board game. Dad sometimes brought meals home for us such as hamburgers and Mexican food. In recent years, we’ve often eaten at Asian buffets.
During the 1970s, Dad’s work prospered him enough to own three cars incl…

Children’s Day

Image
Probably a question most kids ask is, “How come we have a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day but no Children’s Day?” Many adults answer, “Every day is Children’s Day.” One time I noticed a Children’s Day on a calendar given to me for Christmas. I eagerly showed it to my parents wanting another day to receive presents. Our family observed Children’s Day only once. My dad simply gave me money to go bowling that day.
According to Wikipedia, Children’s Day is observed on different days in different countries. Children’s Day in the United States actually predates both Mother’s and Father’s Day. Many churches started it in the 1860s. Today there are Americans campaigning for Children’s Day to be a national holiday. They believe there are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual reasons for children to have a special day of their own.
Psalm 127:3 (NLT) says, “Children are a gift from the Lord;they are a reward from him.” Those involved with raising and teaching kids should be careful not to abu…

The Six-Day War...50 Years Later

Image
Tomorrow will be the golden anniversary of a noteworthy event relating to end-time prophecy. On June 5th, 1967, Israel launched attacks on six neighboring countries that amassed troops near their borders threatening invasion. The war ended just five days later. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Israel routed her enemies and possessed additional territory including the eastern half of Jerusalem. For the first time in 2,000 years, the entire city was in Jewish hands.
Since the Six-Day War, Israel has given up some of her territory in hopes of lasting peace with her neighbors. Shortly after the Gaza Strip was turned over to the Palestinians in 2005, rockets from there were fired upon Jewish settlements. The PLO’s charter still calls for the destruction of Israel.
This past week, President Donald Trump delayed his promise in moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. According to a White House statement, this was done “to maximize the …

Free Radicals

Image
To some people, the word radical has negative connotations. For example, “radical Islam” refers to Muslims carrying out suicidal bombings such as the one this past Monday in Manchester, England that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others. Although there are peace loving Muslims who condemn such attacks, the fact is the Koran has verses endorsing acts against “infidels” who won’t convert to their religion.
The liberal media wrongly compares “radical Christians” to radical Islam. Yes, there have been a few violent acts carried out by extremists in the name of God. However, true followers of Jesus will not kill their enemies except for soldiers defending their country or officers confronting criminals. Even renowned atheist Richard Dawkins stated, “There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”
The New Oxford Amer…

Break Every Christian Chain

Image
Since I started using email in the late 1990s, electronic chain letters frequently show up in my inbox with the exhortation to “pass it on.” They vary from inspirational stories to virus warnings. Often these messages contain partial truths or totally false information. For years I received online petitions against Madalyn Murray O’Hair campaigning for all Christian programming to be taken off the air, even though O’Hair had been dead since 1995!
More recently, a couple Facebook friends posted a prayer request for a 22-month-old boy who supposedly shot himself in the chest with a nail gun and was near death. Upon seeing this, I started praying about the situation and immediately perceived it was an e-rumor. A search on truthorfiction.com revealed this prayer request has circulated online since 2010 (meaning the boy would be 8-9 years old now). The validity of this is in question since no places are mentioned or even the boy’s name.
I’ve also received emails containing valid information …

Suicide is Not a Solution

Image
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield often joked that he got no respect. One of his famous one-liners was, “I called suicide prevention…they put me on hold.”
In real life, suicide is no laughing matter. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, each year more than 32,000 Americans take their own lives. This past January, an eight-year-old boy in Cincinnati hung himself with a necktie in his bedroom. This happened two days after he was attacked in a school bathroom.
I can relate to people who contemplate ending their lives. During eighth grade, I experienced much name-calling and physical abuse from my classmates. Going to school had become so traumatic I wanted to die. If my father had a gun, I probably would have shot myself. I considered swallowing poison but fortunately was too scared to follow through with that.
A couple months before giving my life to the Lord in 1991, I was driving on the freeway one night when suddenly I had recurring thoughts of taking my own life. Two days la…