Showing posts from May, 2019

A Living Sacrifice

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a federal holiday during which Americans remember those who died while serving in the armed forces. Regardless of where you’re from, I believe it’s important to honor your nation’s soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend freedoms often taken for granted. The dictionary gives several definitions of the word sacrifice . One is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” Having served in the U. S. Army myself, it grieves me to see people dishonor military personnel. Many servicemen and women have been killed, wounded, or paralyzed so that even ungrateful civilians can live in a free society.  Sacrifice is also defined as “an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.” Although Abraham was instructed to offer his son Isaac as an obedience test in Genesis 22, God forbids the sacrifice of humans such

The Mark of the Beast

A few weeks ago, I stopped at McDonald’s after spending part of the afternoon passing out gospel tracts. Because the cashier line was long, I used a self-serve kiosk to pay for my food. I was a bit surprised when noticing the order number on my receipt was 666. Just about everyone knows that number is associated with the Antichrist as mentioned in Revelation 13… 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,  17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. While many Bible prophecy followers believe the mark will be a microchip, it could also be a tattoo. Until a generation ago, tattoos in Western countries were mostly seen on military men. Nowadays, both men and women from all walks of li

The Christian Thing to Do

Some people think being a Christian is defined by doing certain things. Two weeks ago, my hometown newspaper published an article about a former USDA employee who’s also the lay leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Phyllis Johnson claimed that addressing climate change is the “Christian thing to do.” I feel a need to respond to that exhortation. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” That would include feeding the hungry and looking out for our neighbors as Johnson pointed out. I also agree we should be good stewards of this planet’s resources. However, the fear-mongering over climate change can be disputed both logically and biblically.  Over 40 years ago there were news reports of a coming ice age. Then there were worries about global warming. Some environmentalists talk about rising sea levels. If the latter is happening, then why aren’t masses of people moving away from coastal cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Ho

A Response to #TheJesusChallenge

John Gray and Jomo Johnson One pastor in Washington, DC has gained national attention for issuing what he calls “the Jesus Challenge.” Jomo Johnson is exhorting believers to sacrifice one item per day, per week, or per month for a year. Johnson stated in a YouTube video, “Jesus told the rich young ruler, sell all you have, give it to the poor, then you’ll have riches in heaven…We want to be able to follow Jesus in this lifestyle of minimalism.”  As a missionary, I’ve lived minimally for over two decades. In 1998, the Lord directed me to give away many of my belongings since I would be doing a lot of traveling. Four years later, the Lord told me to downsize even more so that everything I own would fit into three bags. Soon after I got blessed with a new luggage set...three suitcases on wheels. Since then, I’ve often had to bring all my belongings with me because of not having a permanent place to live. In recent years, I’ve sought out panhandlers by offering snacks to those