Showing posts from January, 2023

Ministering via Text Messaging

To  avoid spam and robocalls, I’m selective with who receives my cell number. Instead, I use Google Voice as my primary phone number. I’ll list that when needing to give out a phone number on paper and online forms. Nevertheless, telemarketers and fraudsters occasionally call me. I refuse to answer if I don’t recognize the incoming phone number. If it’s someone I need to talk to, they can leave a message for me to call them back. I also state in my outgoing voicemail for both numbers that they are registered with the National Do Not Call Registry. Yesterday while online with my laptop, I noticed someone mistakenly sent a text intended for another person to my Google Voice number. At first, I replied by telling the sender they had the wrong number. Then I realized this was a witnessing opportunity. Here’s how the exchange of messages went (my comments are in bold): Maria, how was your trip to Virginia? You have the wrong number. I'm not Maria. I'm lsabella, don't you

Malling the Devil

The reason I don’t evangelize more in shopping centers is preferring the freedom to hand out tracts. Because malls are “private property”, the distribution of literature is usually forbidden. Even if tracts aren’t given out, mall employees try to stop Christians from sharing the gospel because they consider that “soliciting.” Jesus said in Mark 16:15,  “Go into ALL the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”   That includes the largest shopping center in the United States. The Mall of America near the Minneapolis airport attracts visitors from many states and countries. Therefore, it’s a ripe harvest field. I’ve ministered there numerous times with a local church, especially when the weather wasn’t cooperative. My friend Bob Lutsey (nicknamed “the Maller”) frequently goes to the MOA and leads countless numbers of people to Jesus. However, it’s resulted in occasional conflicts with security personnel. Bob has gotten kicked out a few times, but he still goes back there to obey

Mass Evangelism vs. One-On-One

Years ago, a shampoo had television commercials in which a woman claimed if she told two friends about it, they would tell two friends “…and so on, and so on.” Word of mouth has been called the best form of advertising. Nevertheless, large sums of money are spent by advertisers believing that will increase business for their clients. A 30-second commercial aired during the Super Bowl now costs over $6 million. Some Christians question the effectiveness of evangelizing through the media and large gatherings. As someone who has done street ministry for three decades, I agree one-on-one interaction is usually more effective. Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries told me about the time he ministered to a congregation of approximately 1,000 people in Mobile, Alabama. Rick asked, “How many of you got saved through mass evangelism?” Only seven hands went up. That’s less than 1%. However, we shouldn’t discount mass evangelism just because the percentage of conversions isn’t as high as with pe

A Two-Minute Warning

This past Monday night during a football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, 24-year-old Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest and was in critical condition, but is recovering. That game got suspended and then cancelled. It brought to my remembrance the only player known for dying during a NFL contest.   Back in 1971, Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes collapsed on the field in the closing seconds of a game against the Chicago Bears. While he got rushed to the hospital, the game went on before a silent crowd of over 54,000 fans. Chuck was soon pronounced dead from a heart attack. He was only 28 years old.  Football fans look up to players like they are larger than life. Sadly, others have died young through a variety of circumstances. One of them played for my favorite team. During the Minnesota Vikings 2001 training camp, offensive tackle Korey Stringer had a heat stroke and hours later died from complications. He was 27. Another player that

Too Much Church?

Because of the unseasonably cold weather in Tampa last Sunday, I considered skipping church. I didn’t want to freeze sitting in a chilly pavilion where The River often has services. Then again, diehard football fans go to games in much colder weather. So I bundled up and obeyed Hebrews 10:25,  “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…”  After I wrote about that on my Facebook page, one friend complained about churches that closed on Christmas Day. He thought they ignored their first love (Revelation 2:4) by putting their families ahead of God. My former home church in Minnesota has a Saturday night service in addition to two Sunday morning services. If I remember correctly, the pastor canceled Sunday services on one Christmas Day. He felt it was important for families to spend that time together. Another church I used to attend usually meets on Sunday morning and evening. Their pastor sometimes cancels the evening service when it’s a holiday such as Easter or Father’s Day