Showing posts from 2020

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 pornographic 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. One source of that is Babylon Bee, a satirical website often compared to The Onion.
A mini…

Pigskin Prophet?

Shortly after the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago, Facebook friends posted a meme about the late Bob Jones who died in 2014. This prophet had (according to Shawn Bolz) predicted revival would come when the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. At first, I was skeptical of this prophecy. I recalled a similar one that surfaced four years earlier regarding the Carolina Panthers. They lost Super Bowl 50 to the Denver Broncos.
Critics may look at all this and dismiss Bob Jones as a false prophet. However, I know of other prophecies given by him that were accurate. During the late 1980s, Bob prophesied: “The black panthers are coming to the lumberyard of Charlotte.” This was years before the Carolina Panthers entered the NFL as an expansion team. Their home stadium was ultimately built on land that used to be a lumberyard. 1 Corinthians 13:9 says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” It’s possible for someone to receive a word from the Lord but then have that mi…

Wisdom for Witnessing

Street evangelism is a continuing education as long as one remains teachable. We can always learn new ways to approach people and how to handle objections. When certain situations don’t turn out well, it’s good to examine ourselves in case we can do things better next time. A few days ago, I had one of my most challenging experiences as a soul winner.
One afternoon while standing outside the missionary house I’ve been staying at, three boys were slowly walking by. Immediately, I thought of offering gospel tracts to the boys but had left them in the house. So I rushed inside to grab some tracts and then returned outside. As I started talking to the boys, four adults from across the street ran up to confront me. They were alarmed to see me running toward the boys. One man accused me of being a child molester. I replied, “I rebuke that false accusation in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” and then walked away.
I went inside the house but heard the four adults come onto the property. I …

Why Do Churches Close?

During the winter, I often reside at a missionary house in Tampa, Florida. Not far from there are two churches that recently closed its doors. One of them focused on meeting the needs of the homeless. The pastor vacated the property after the landlord announced the rent was doubling. For now, the pastor and his wife will conduct park outreaches like they’ve done before.
The other was a small Assembly of God church where I sometimes attended services and Bible studies. After being there for over six years, the pastors decided to sell the property to a Hispanic fellowship. While it may have been disappointing for these pastors not to oversee a growing congregation, souls still got saved there. Three months ago during a Bible study, I got to lead an occasional attendee to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Four years ago, a megachurch in Minnesota that I visited a few times had temporarily shut down. North Heights Lutheran Ch…

Must We Baptize?

Shortly after I came into this world nearly 56 years ago (tomorrow is my birthday), I was sprinkled as a baby at the Lutheran church my parents attended. It’s one thing to dedicate your children to the Lord. However, there are no examples of infant baptism in the Bible. Even Jesus was an adult when He was dunked in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.
Some Christians insist water baptism is necessary to be saved. One Scripture often quoted by them is 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Many other verses such as Ephesians 2:8-9 make it clear salvation is not based on our works. The getting-wet part doesn’t save us but appealing to God for a good conscience. The thief on the cross couldn’t get water baptized when he cried out to Jesus but still received eternal life (Luke 23:40-43). 
Then there are Christians who argue if …

A Ride on the Trump Train

Recently I got to see the President of the United States in person for the first time. My friend John and I attended the Evangelicals for Trump rally at King Jesus church in Miami, Florida. A few days before I kept perceiving the Lord wanted me to go to Miami but didn’t know why. Then shortly after Christmas, John called me from his home in the Washington, DC area. He asked about staying with me at the missionary house I’ve been living in Tampa. I had goosebumps when John mentioned going to Miami after that. Soon I learned Donald Trump was having a rally there on January 3rd.
Originally I thought of riding with John without going to the rally. I had it on my heart to evangelize on the streets of Miami. John attended previous Trump rallies where people stood in line for hours with no guarantee they would get inside. But on our way through Southern Florida, I felt more of a stirring to be at the rally. During pit stops at McDonald’s I got to lead three people to the Lord (and later had a…