Showing posts from July, 2018

Spelling Matters

I can understand how non-English speaking people would have a hard time learning my language, particularly the spelling. It’s a bit tricky with the different pronunciation of vowels and letter combinations. Years ago for a high school writing assignment, one of my classmates composed a satirical commentary titled “I Hāt English.” It described how our language has so many rules like “I before E except after C.” Nevertheless, as a writer, I tend to quickly notice spelling and grammatical errors. Often I see people write “to” when “too” should be used, “weather” for “whether”, “there” instead of “their”, and “loose” in place of “lose” (or the other way around). I don’t mean to be critical but it surprises me to see a large number of online writing errors despite the many computer apps available to detect and fix typos. One of my Facebook friends recently posted something about “Tammy Baker.” I’ve often seen Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s last name misspelled. Baker is the more com

Being Brave

When I was a kid, my family received from my grandparents a stereo console that played records only at 78 rpm. Sometimes I put on records meant to be played at 33 or 45 rpm (making the vocalists sound like chipmunks). Other times I listened to old ten-inch discs that belonged to my father and uncle when they were boys. One of which was “ Little Brave Sambo ”, a variation of The Story of Little Black Sambo written by Scottish author Helen Bannerman.  Little Brave Sambo was a South Indian boy who wore colorful clothes and shoes plus carried an umbrella. While out for a walk, Sambo encountered four tigers that threatened to eat him. He appeased the tigers by surrendering all his stuff. The tigers soon argued over which one was the grandest in the jungle. They chased each other around a tree until they were reduced to a pool of melted butter. Sambo then recovered his belongings. In real life, appeasing your enemy isn’t being brave and can have negative consequences. One example

All By Myself

Over the years I‘ve had a few individuals tell me I shouldn’t be doing street evangelism alone. They think it’s unscriptural because Jesus sent his disciples out two by two. Certainly, there are advantages to going out in pairs or groups. Deuteronomy 32:30 says that if one can chase a thousand, two can “put ten thousand to flight.” There is power in agreement. However, that doesn’t mean Christians are useless by themselves. There are examples in the Bible where individuals ministered to others without having fellow believers with them such as Philip leading the Ethiopian eunuch to salvation (Acts 8:26-40). While I prefer having a partner with me on the streets, many times no one else has been available or willing to join me. One day while staying at a church in Hanover, Germany, the Lord told me to go out and evangelize that afternoon. But except for handing out a couple of tracts, I resisted doing so because I wanted someone else ministering with me. While venting before t

I'm on Fire

This morning I had a dream of asking rock singer Bruce Springsteen what inspired him to write his classic hit “I’m on Fire.” When I woke up, I immediately thought about how God wants us on fire for Him. In Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16, John the Baptist prophesied the coming Messiah “…will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The Greek word for fire is pyr (pronounced “poor”). That same word is used in Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming fire.” Many people get fired up for the wrong things. One of them is “ saving the planet .” 2 Peter 3:12 says we should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” So how does one become “on fire” for God? One way is to speak Scriptural promises over yourself instead of death and destruction. James 3:5-6 says, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little

Minutemen Ministers

In the period preceding and during the American Revolution, there were colonials who volunteered to fight the British at a minute’s notice. That’s why they were called Minutemen. During a State of the Union message nine days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001, President George W. Bush told the U. S. military “Be ready.” As soldiers in the army of the Lord, we should always be prepared for sudden opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission. A large percentage of the people I’ve led to Christ occurred in the marketplace as opposed to planned outreaches. For example, I was walking home one night and saw five boys playing touch football in a church parking lot. A thought crossed my mind that when their football landed by me, that would be a signal for me to witness to them. Seconds later, the football bounced my way when one of the boys made a bad punt. However, I continued walking wanting time to myself. When I got home, God kept telling me to “go back.” So I put my shoes o