Showing posts from October, 2023

A Grimm Reminder

Every year around this time, Christians post numerous memes and rants against observing Halloween. I get somewhat tired of seeing those warnings. For me, it’s another day to share the gospel . Nevertheless, we should heed the Bible’s commandments in avoiding demonic influences. Ephesians 4:27 tells us not to give place to the devil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says,  “Abstain from every form of evil.” Among the characters associated with Halloween are witches. The world often tries to portray them in a positive light. A pastor’s wife I know once watched a school play by first graders called “Groovin’ with the Grimms.” It featured well-known fairy tale characters created by the Brothers Grimm. One of the songs performed was “Three Un-wicked Witches.” Here’s a portion of the lyrics: We’re three un-wicked witches, what trying times we’ve had. It really burns our britches when people say we’re “bad.” We’re three un-wicked witches, we try hard to be good. Of course, we have our glitches but

Sounding Off on Self-Checkouts

Before I was old enough to drive, self-serve gas stations became popular. The days of attendants filling up your tank, checking your oil, and cleaning your windshield were fading into history. One summer, I briefly worked at a gas station that wasn’t self-serve. Despite being by the freeway, few customers stopped for gas because the prices were higher than at convenience stores. Full-service stations are now almost non-existent. Oregon recently lifted a ban on self-service stations. New Jersey is now the only state where customers cannot pump fuel for themself. It wouldn’t surprise me if similar laws get passed concerning self-checkouts at stores like Walmart. They have become more common during the last few years. As a result, I regularly see complaints about them on social media. Many gripe, “I don’t work there!” So? Didn’t these customers put their groceries in the shopping cart instead of an employee doing that? Whether or not a human cashier is available, they still have to take

Church and Coffee: Do They Mix?

As previously stated in this blog , I’m a regular coffee drinker. This past Monday, I posted this question on my Facebook page: “Do you approve of drinking coffee during Christian meetings? Why or why not?” It generated many responses on both ends of the spectrum. Some want to have their cup of Joe at church. A couple of my friends argued that Jesus drank wine during gatherings. Therefore, He would be tolerant of coffee. Others expressed opposition. Some called it a distraction from worship. I think it would be disrespectful raising your hands to the Lord with a coffee cup in one of them. One friend admitted to being “a coffee addict.” Just like other things, it can be an idol.  Another friend who attends my former home church pointed out coffee drinkers sometimes leave messes behind. During the mid-1990s, I briefly served as an usher at Living Word before they moved into their present building. Back then, they didn’t allow food or drink in the carpeted sanctuary. In recent years,

Miracles Are For Today

One thing that unites Christians is knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, doctrinal differences continue to divide us. Some religious folk called cessationists insist the gifts of the Spirit are not in operation today. They believe speaking in tongues, prophecies, and healings passed away when the original apostles died. A well-known pastor in California named John MacArthur has scheduled a cessationist conference at his church for next October. One of the other speakers is Justin Peters, an outspoken opponent of the so-called “ health and wealth gospel .” Yet they are charging $299 for this event. If they are against prosperity, why the high registration fee ? Isn’t that being hypocritical? I can understand how some Christians doubt God doing miracles today if they’ve never seen any. I grew up attending a traditional Lutheran church that didn’t make room for the gifts of the Spirit to operate. There were occasions when the pastor practiced hypnosis on my fellow co

Take Me to Church

Gospel Life Center in Munich, Germany When I’m evangelizing and find out someone is already saved, often I’ll ask where they go to church. Some reply, “I used to go to such and such church.” Others will say, “I have church at home” or “church is in my heart.” Sadly, many who give answers like that tend to act very unChristlike.  One time at the Florida State Fair, I saw two men handing out brochures. I offered one of them a gospel tract in exchange and discovered they were Christians. When I asked this man which church he went to, he defiantly replied, “I am the church!” I then knew there was going to be trouble. He then tried giving me another brochure about all the “corruption” going on in various churches. Not wanting to read stuff like that, I responded by quoting 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Acting like a spoiled child, this man returned my tract saying he didn’t want to read it. A friend once shared