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Showing posts from 2023

A Place Called There

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Sometimes I’ve ministered to homeless people who told they were forced onto the streets because of moving to take on a job that didn’t work out. In response, I testify about the time I got stranded in Pittsburgh and spent the night in a homeless shelter. The next morning, a man I met in a church offered to let me stay with him for a few days. Two days later, a friend offered to wire me money to buy a bus ticket. That allowed me to travel to a friend's place in Minneapolis. Had I insisted on staying in Pittsburgh, I might have found myself back on the streets. I share that story for three reasons. First, I know what it’s like to suddenly not have a roof over my head, but God’s been faithful to provide. What He’s for me, He can do for them. “...God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34 KJV) Second, God often uses other Christians to bless His people. Where will you find believers gathered together? In the house of the Lord. I encourage the homeless to get plugged into a church

Wise Guys

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I appreciate preachers with a sense of humor. Many Christians (including myself at times) tend to take themselves too seriously and need to lighten up more. Proverbs 17:22 says,  “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”  I also enjoy listening to comedians as long as their material is clean and don’t contain profanity. To this day, I still laugh while watching old Three Stooges films. Who could forget all the crazy sounds made by Curly Howard, plus his various catchphrases? One of which sometimes used by the other Stooges was: “Oh, a wise guy!” I was once married to a woman whose maiden name was Kerley. Although that short-lived marriage ended acrimoniously, one fond memory of my late ex-wife was her calling me a “wise guy” when I said or did something funny. To which I replied, “What do you expect? I married a Kerley!” God wants all of us to be “wise guys”, or in other words, have wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 (KJV) says,  “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all

Fat City

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At the Lutheran church I attended during my childhood, comic strips from the local newspaper were posted on a bulletin board. One I remember was Hägar the Horrible sitting at a table with his first mate Lucky Eddie. They had the following conversation: Eddie: “Is gluttony a sin?” Hägar: “Is it fun?” Eddie: “I think so.” Hägar: “It’s a sin.” Of course, God is not against us having fun. 1 Timothy 6:17 says He “...gives us richly all things to enjoy.” That would include food. But like most other things, eating can be abused when done in excess. Scripture has a few things to say about those who eat too much: “So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (which means ‘graves of gluttony’) because there they buried the people who had craved meat from Egypt.” - Numbers 11:34 (NLT) “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” - Deuteronomy 32:15 “Do not mix with w

Running from the Devil?

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Shortly after giving my life to the Lord in 1991, I got involved with Toastmasters. This organization helps individuals develop their public speaking skills. One talk I created for a humorous speech contest was titled “Crap Music.” It was inspired by a coworker who jokingly talked of mixing country music with rap. That speech came to my remembrance after reading about a rapper claiming to embrace Christianity. Lil Nas X burst onto the national scene with a huge hit in 2019. “Old Town Road” set an all-time record by logging 19 consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. That song combined elements of country and rap, plus featured an appearance by Billy Ray Cyrus (of “Achy Breaky Heart” fame). Lil Nas X also gained notoriety for coming out as gay and creating “Satan shoes.” Now the rapper claims to have entered his “Christian Era.” In a teaser clip for a yet-to-be released song, he sang these lyrics: Father stretch my hands The lonely road seems to last the longest Help me

Clap Happy

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Every church has traditions. Some are good if they draw us closer to the Lord. Then there are practices I don’t care for . One is a preacher telling the congregation to “turn to your neighbor” numerous times to say something. Another is excessive clapping during services. A couple of evangelists I respect often encourage believers to “give Jesus a handclap.” I heard another one exhort us to “give the Bible a clap offering.” Although these are sincere gestures to honor God, I avoid doing those things.   In his book “Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits”, Kenneth E. Hagin stated: “We’ve just gotten ‘clap happy’ in Charismatic circles, and it grieves the Holy Spirit.” He gave a detailed explanation of why clapping is not worship ( this article shares more excerpts from Brother Hagin’s book). Applause shows appreciation to man. 1 Timothy 2:8 says we are to lift holy hands to the Lord. I’ve sat in meetings when someone started to clap while the rest of us were listening to a prophetic utterance

Don’t Be Fuelish

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In 1973, the Ad Council started releasing a series of public service announcements urging Americans to “Don’t Be Fuelish.” In one of them , actor James Garner complained of numerous cars on the highway with only one person in them because of a purported gas shortage. Fran Tarkenton made similar remarks in another TV ad. Although the Minnesota Vikings quarterback was my favorite player then, I disagree with this propaganda. We still have plenty of fuel fifty years later. Unfortunately, we have an occupant in the White House hindering American oil production in the name of “climate change.”  Those old PSAs came to my remembrance after an incident that happened two weeks ago. While walking home one night, a man parked at a gas pump asked if I needed a ride. Thinking this might be a blessing from the Lord, I answered, “Yes.” He then asked how far I live from there. I said, “About a mile.” He then requested a couple of bucks for gas. As I pondered what to do, this man suddenly asked for

Street Fisher: A Book Review

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Evangelism is a continuing education. As long as we remain teachable, we can always learn new ways to approach people and respond to certain situations. I’ve written a book on the topic, but take time to read those by other evangelists like the one by my mentor Nick Kinn . This past week, I read another book about soul-winning. Last Monday, I went to a church service in Arcade, New York. Guest minister Kevin Riordan had a table filled with copies of his book “Street Fisher: Living on Mission for God.” At the end of the meeting, I asked Kevin if electronic versions are available to download. He offered me a complimentary printed copy. I soon learned from his book that we come from similar backgrounds. Kevin and I were 27 when we committed our lives to the Lord. Both of us received salvation in March (although his conversion happened nine years after mine).  Many tips shared in “Street Fisher” are similar to what I teach in my evangelism seminars. Kevin includes many of his experie

Banning a Banner

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For most of my life, I’ve lived in Minnesota. I grew up in Moorhead and moved to Minneapolis at 21. Eventually, I left the Twin Cities area when the Lord called me to travel as a full-time missionary. In recent years, I’ve returned to Minnesota for extended visits in the spring and summer. I prefer avoiding their brutally cold winters. Another thing I don’t like is the state’s political climate. Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage before the U. S. Supreme Court did. One of their congresswomen is Somalian-born Ilhan Omar, who supports the BDS movement, Black Lives Matter , and defunding the police. Current governor Tim Walz got reelected despite the lockdowns he imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some locals have called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” the “Land of 10,000 Taxes.” Minnesota has one of the highest taxation rates in America and ranks third on welfare spending per person. Minnesota has become known for protests, including the ones that erupted after the deaths of George