Holy Hugs and Kisses

Probably everyone in the world has been affected by the coronavirus scare. Cities, states, and countries have issued varying levels of lockdown. I’m used to hanging out somewhere every day to drink coffee and work online with my laptop. McDonald’s, Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee are still open but currently serve only drive-thru customers. Therefore, I’m mostly having coffee at home.
Churches have also been impacted by the coronavirus. This past Wednesday I planned on going to one’s midweek service but found out they were live-streaming only. Fortunately, I heard of another fellowship that stayed open and went there instead. It felt good to worship the Lord in the presence of other believers. A guest minister advised us not to be critical of pastors who temporarily cancel gatherings out of respect to government guidelines and concern for those fearful of the virus.
Although I’ve mostly stayed at home working on various projects, there have been opportunities to share the gospel. Four d…

March Madness

Every year at this time, fans flock to college basketball tournaments often referred to as March Madness. However, a new kind of craziness has affected this and other events. For the last few days, the airwaves have been dominated by reports concerning the coronavirus. Sporting events have been canceled. Schools are closing. Flights to the U. S. from Europe have been halted. Stores are being depleted of toiler paper and other necessities. I can imagine things like this happening after the church is raptured.
Some churches have canceled services in response to political leaders discouraging large gatherings of people. However, believers who know their authority in Christ can resist all diseases including the coronavirus. Back in 1910, a plague swept through portions of Africa. An American missionary named John G. Lake went over there to help and the plague never touched him. A doctor asked Lake what he’d been doing to protect himself. Lake replied…
“Brother, it is the law of the Spirit o…

Picturing Jesus

Over the centuries, many have speculated what Jesus looks like. Artists have created stained glass depictions of the Lord as well as paintings like Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Artwork like this can minister to people. On the night of my conversion, I saw this painting in the home of my sister and her husband. To this day, it holds a special place in my heart. It’s a reminder of how much the Lord loves us.
Recently I turned down a friend request from a young man whose Facebook page promoted religious ideas that go beyond mainstream Christianity. Among them was criticism of Christians having artwork of Jesus. This man considers that idolatry. Let’s examine the Second Commandment… 
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”  - Exodus 20:4-5 (KJV)
One could misinterpret this passage as a complete prohibition of statues and pictures of any living thi…

A Vent About Lent

Whenever visiting the Washington, DC area, I usually stay with a friend who’s a retired government worker. Shortly after meeting Jim at Calvary Campground nearly thirteen years ago, he invited me to live at his home in Northern Virginia for a season. During that time, I got to lead him in receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since then, we’ve gone to various church services and revival meetings together.
Jim is still a member of an Anglican Church that’s more traditional than I prefer. Nevertheless, I’ve gone to a few of their bible studies and other gatherings. This past Tuesday, we went to an all-you-can-eat pancake dinner. On our way there, I noticed a sign in front of a Methodist church doing the same thing. Soon I learned this is a tradition with some denominations the day before Ash Wednesday, which signifies the start of Lent.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines Lent as “the period preceding Easter that in the Christian Church is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and pe…

Is That Gold Dust Real?

Twenty years ago I made my first visit to Calvary Campground in Ashland, Virginia. One of the speakers for their Winter Campmeeting was a Brazilian named Silvania Machado. After standing on the platform for about twenty minutes during praise and worship, Sister Silvania brushed gold dust out of her short blonde hair plus had oil flow from her hands. I didn’t dismiss these signs but questioned the purpose of them. A few people in the congregation later testified of being healed.
I’ve seen gold manifestations at other places. The year before during a church service in Oklahoma, the fillings in my mouth changed from black to a whitish-gold color. Other people supernaturally received gold teeth (I later met a man in Germany who received four of them). I’ve also seen gold dust appear on ministers such as Joshua Mills while they are preaching.
Although I don’t seek after signs like this, gold dust has shown up on my face and in my Bible. One time with the latter, I found some while looking up…

Another One Rides the Bus

Not having owned a car for almost two decades, I often use public transportation to travel around the country. Whenever possible, I avoid overnight trips by bus. The last time I had done that was in June 2016 going from Boston to Virginia. A pastor in South Hill wanted me to lead outreaches there and offered to buy the ticket. Then a few days ago I took a bus from Tampa, Florida to Washington, DC. The Southwest and Amtrak fares were higher than usual. So I checked the Greyhound website and found a one-way ticket for only $69. 
Greyhound restricts passengers to one free carryon and one checked bag. Two extra bags may be checked for $20 each. Usually, I travel with four bags (one of them filled with tracts and gospels of John). I repacked my stuff into three bags by downsizing and placing my duffel bag into one of my suitcases. My backpack was used as the carryon. Despite using a scale at the missionary house to get everything within weight limitations, both my two suitcases were slightl…

Why I Boycott Babylon Bee

Anyone who knows me will tell you I enjoy comedy. Jesse Duplantis and Kenneth Copeland get me laughing with some of their preaching stories. Worship leader Roy Fields would make a great stand-up comedian with his impersonations of fellow ministers. In my monthly newsletter, I used to publish jokes in a “Holy Humor” column. Nowadays, I usually share a “Friday Funny” on Facebook and Twitter. As Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”
However, Christians should avoid humorous materials that contain profanity and conjure up immoral images. Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.” The next verse goes on to say, Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” It grieves me to see believers share misleading news stories on their social media pages even if it's meant to be a joke. One source of that is Babylon Bee, a satirical website oft…