Posts

Showing posts from 2018

The Lord Likes to Party

Image
One of the things that repelled me from Christianity during my youth was seeing religious folk look unhappy and speak against those wanting to have fun. It’s unfortunate some God-fearing people don’t know how to enjoy life. That’s why I appreciate fellow ministers like Jesse Duplantis, Rodney Howard-Browne, and John Scotland. Their meetings are often filled with joy and laughter. 
My birthday is coming up in two weeks. That got me reflecting on how as kids most of us got excited when we turned another year older. Perhaps relatives and friends celebrated with you while you ate cake and ice cream plus opened up presents. Sadly, some children are deprived of these things. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays at all (as well as Christmas and other holidays). The Watchtower calls that a pagan practice. However, the Bible does not say anything against observing birthdays. 
The truth is the Lord likes to party. The Bible mentions various feasts and celebrations the Israelites had such…

God With Us

Image
One of the alternative names for the Son of God is Immanuel (also spelled Emmanuel), which literally means “God With Us.” That name is mentioned three times in the Bible: twice in Isaiah and once in Matthew. Occasionally while street evangelizing, I have ministered salvation to men named Emmanuel. Most of them already knew what their name meant.
Many times I hear Christians pray for God to “be with us.” While this may sound holy and religious, it is unscriptural especially in a church service or prayer meeting. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20,“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Certainly we should ask God for guidance and to order our steps. But the Lord Himself will never depart from our lives unless we renounce our faith in Him.
There are numerous verses stating God will always be with us and never leave us...
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He …

Take Time to Listen

Image
Fans on the comic strip “Peanuts” might recall today being Beethoven’s birthday. The German composer born on this day in 1770 was heavily admired by the toy piano playing Schroeder. Beethoven is perhaps best known for his Fifth Symphony (a disco adaptation of that piece became a #1 song 40 years ago). He wrote prodigiously despite increasing deafness.
A few people suspect I have a hearing problem when I ask them to repeat something they said. Sometimes I heard them accurately the first time but want to make sure I did so. Other times it’s more of a listening problem on my part. I made the mistake of letting my mind wander while other people are speaking to me. Another bad habit we need to avoid is thinking more about how to respond to someone while they are still talking to us. Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.”
It’s often been said that God gave us two ears and only one mouth because it’s more important to listen than to talk.…

In Pursuit of Peace

Image
During the holiday season, we are often reminded of what the angels declared when the Son of God was born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. Luke 2:14 says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” The New Living Translation of this verse reads, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Jesus came to reconcile all sinners to the Father but that doesn’t happen to everyone by default. One must choose to be in right standing with God.
Still, there are individuals who persist in finding peace apart from Jesus Christ. Some dabble in cults or other belief systems because they want to continue living in sin. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” Other unbelievers try to categorize Christianity with other religions claiming they’ve been the cause of every war on this planet.
Most everyone wants peace in their house and for their country. They sh…

Homophobia vs. Christophobia

Image
A war continues against Christmas and traditions associated with that. It’s bad enough the PC police insist on people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas to avoid offending non-Christians. Now a liberal-leaning publication has gone to faultfinding a popular animated classic many of us watched while growing up. The HuffPost criticized “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for being “bigoted” and “seriously problematic” because of bullying scenes. It was even labelled “homophobic.”
That reminded me of an exchange of emails I had around Christmastime eight years ago. It involved a disc jockey familiar with my old novelty songs still being played on Dr. Demento’s radio show. A New Yorker who calls himself A-Log didn’t like a YouTube video he saw of me preaching against same-sex marriage. He thought it was hypocritical to talk about God’s love but not accepting alternative lifestyles. What I find hypocritical is LGBT activists campaigning for equal rights but trying to force God…

Inherit the Earth

Image
Jehovah’s Witnesses are among the most difficult people to witness to. The Watchtower has indoctrinated them with false interpretations of Scripture. One of which is only 144,000 people will get into heaven. All other Jehovah’s Witnesses will supposedly live forever in an earthly paradise. This is a gross misinterpretation of God’s word.
Revelation 7 identifies the 144,000 as Jewish evangelists, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel that will minister during the seven-year tribulation period. Verse 9 from that same chapter refers to “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” standing before God’s throne clothed with white robes. In case you have doubts as to where this is taking place, Psalm 11:4 says, “The Lord’s throne is in heaven.” The Bible clearly shows there is room for more than 144,000 people in heaven.
To defend their paradise doctrine, Jehovah’s Witnesses often quote what Jesus said in Matthew 5:5; “Blessed are the me…

An Open Letter to the Caravan (and Those Helping Them)

Image
To whom it may concern:
I pray this letter somehow reaches the thousands mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who are traveling through Mexico towards the American border.
First, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to come to the United States. As a natural-born American citizen, I’m thankful for the prosperity we have here. I also recognize my nation was largely founded by immigrants seeking a better life for themselves and their families. All my ancestors came over from Europe many years ago.
There’s a missionary house in Florida I often stay where I’ve met many immigrants originally from Spanish-speaking countries. As far as I know, all of them came to the United States legally. Videos I’ve seen of some caravan members forcing their way into Mexico indicate they have little respect for authority. I don’t want people like that entering my country. We have enough crime here as it is.
You should be warned here in America our citizens have the right to bear arms. If I lived near th…

Defenders of the Faith

Image
Today is Veteran’s Day in America (known in other countries as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day). It was exactly 100 years ago when World War I ended. Since then on November 11th, military men and women have been honored for defending freedoms we often take for granted. Having spent time in the Army National Guard myself, I get to enjoy perks some businesses offer.
Many of you may have never served in your country’s armed forces. But if you’re a Christian, then you’re a soldier in the army of the Lord and called to defend the faith. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” The New Living Translation of this verse reads, “if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” 
The apostle Paul faced many situations where he found himself “…in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7) While evangelizing, I regularly run into folks who oppose C…

Redeeming the Time

Image
This morning marked the end of daylight savings time for 2018. According to Wikipedia, “Daylight saving time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less.” A phrase often used to remind people how this works is “spring forward, fall back.”
Most of America observes daylight savings time except for Arizona (minus Navajo tribal lands), Hawaii, and overseas territories. There have been various debates regarding this practice. I personally prefer having an extra hour of daylight in the evening especially when doing street ministry.
The Bible has an account of a supernatural extension of daylight. Look at what happened in Joshua 10…
12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood s…

Avoid a Political Spirit

Image
During a recent road trip with a fellow missionary, we entertained ourselves by listening to various videos on YouTube through a smartphone (I was playing DJ since my friend was driving most of the time). Many of the ads that interrupted the streaming were about political races going on in the states we drove through. It’s bad enough political ads in America focus on the negatives of a politician’s opponent. But now I’ve noticed many ads only talk about why we shouldn’t vote for a particular candidate. They don’t even mention the candidate they want us voting for!
I’ve also noticed many of my Facebook friends making negative comments about politicians they don’t like. While I occasionally speak out on political topics on my Facebook page and in this blog, I am careful not to make personal attacks on politicians I don’t agree with. Titus 3:1-2 says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, g…

Connect the Dots

Image
A game you might have played as a child was “connect the dots.” Like the picture shown in this article, you drew lines to various dots in numerical order. Often you didn’t know what the picture looked like until almost all the dots were connected.
Our Christian walk can be like playing connect the dots. The Lord leads us to do things that we sometimes don’t understand why. Often His purpose is revealed while He’s “connecting the dots.” Many times it takes a step of faith to get the process started. In his book “It’s Your Move”, Kenneth W. Hagin compares divine guidance to a chess game. When we make a move, then God makes a move. We continue taking turns until the big picture comes together. 
There are many stories I could share illustrating this truth but will focus on one that happened during the summer of 2002. While staying at a missionary house in Tampa, Florida, I perceived the Lord wanted me to travel to San Antonio, Texas. At the time, I didn't know anybody there. Nevertheles…

Called to Preach?

Image
Every believer should be involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. However, only a small percentage of Christians are called to an office of the fivefold ministry (one pastor I know believes it’s about 3%). God also needs people in the marketplace to be a witness and help fund the end-time harvest.
Evangelist Stephen Hill often said, “You know you are called to full-time ministry when secular employment is undesirable.” If you perceive God is calling you, then there will likely come a time when He instructs you to step out in faith and leave your job or business. That thought may sound a little scary at first. But if it’s God’s timing, He will make sure your needs are met as long as you follow His instructions. Isaiah 1:19 says, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” 
The transition into ministry and the preparation time involved varies with each individual. Sometimes God calls His people to step out quickly and completely. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus told …