Teens Watching BAD Movie

Once when our kids were in high school, we attended a party with other families.      Nice people, but I felt we were the only ones there who were followers of Jesus.

About eight teenagers had gone to the far side of the house to watch a movie.  I asked the parent, whose home we were in, what they were watching.  He assured me it was some comedy—he was sure it was fine.

I decided to meander to the other side of the house and take a peek.  The room was dark.   I stood and I watched it with them for five minutes.  BAD.  Yes it was a comedy, but it was bad.

I then spoke in a loud, commanding voice, “Matthew and Elizabeth, we don’t watch movies like this!  I want both of you to stand up NOW and walk out of the room with me.”

My kids immediately stood and quietly walked out of the room. Suddenly the lights came on and everyone else quietly followed us out as well.

I found it interesting that our kids were not embarrassed over my action.
In fact, they were relieved.

  • I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.      Psalm 101:3 
  • THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOULyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; Music by Kathleen

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    This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

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Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fishing for Men

Our 11 year-old granddaughter said she was writing a story about my pier ministry.  She wanted to know the first three things I say to someone fishing on the pier.

My answer:  “It’s important that we show an interest in what they’re doing.  So we ask these questions:  1. Have you caught anything yet?  2. What kind of bait are you using?  Then after admiring their catch and checking out their bait we’ll say:  3. We’re handing out some good news about Jesus. Would you like some?”

Usually they are open to receiving a Good News Tract.  If they seem interested and begin flipping through it, I might say, “May I ask you a question?   If you were to die today do you know where you’d go?”  Sometimes they’ll say, “Heaven because I have received Jesus as my Savior and Lord.”  Of course, that’s the best answer!

Other times they’ll say, “I think I’d go to heaven because I’m a good person.”

I usually say, “You look like a good person, but I happen to have with me a Lie Detector Test.”

I bring it out of my pocket and usually this brings a smile to their faces.  It’s a small wooden plaque that says, “Are you a good person?”  There are two boxes below:   YES and NO.   I hand them a small metal cube and ask them to place the cube where it belongs.  Invariably they’ll place the cube on the YES.  Immediately it jumps to the NO.  Usually they laugh. Other times they look alarmed.  I quickly explain there’s a magnet under the NO.  “Why? Because even though you look like a good person, nobody is good enough. The Bible tells us we are all sinners and we all need a Savior…and there’s only ONE.”

Most will agree.  From there we share stories from the Bible and the important message of John 3:16 – that one only needs to BELIEVE on Jesus to be saved.  Of course, once we truly place our faith completely in Him, our  lives will soon show it.

Yesterday we shared with three young men who were sharing a marijuana cigarette as we spoke.   At first they were not interested in hearing about Jesus.  But once we began asking them the above questions, they softened, asked us questions,  took our Lie Detector Test, began to confess their sins and allowed us to pray for them.  We departed with great joy and love for these guys who all agreed they needed and wanted a Savior.

  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16
  • Tracts we like to use: Would You Like to Know God Personally? https://www.cru.org/us/en/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html
  • We use a variety from www.mwtb.org    A popular one:  What are you Trusting? Also, Bad News for Good People & Good News for Bad People and         Heaven’s Gate.
  • For Jewish people?  Love the Jewish People 
  • For young mothers:  Promises for Mothers
  • ONLY ONE LIFELyrics by C.T. Studd, Music by Kathleen

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

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Posted in BEACH, DOCTRINE, Other Religions, PEOPLE, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How Do You Know the Bible’s True?

A special memory from my years doing jail ministry:

I was leading a Bible study with incarcerated teens. There was a new kid in my group—he’d just turned 14.  The others were 17.  Three years is a big difference with teenagers.

The older guys in the group had already come to Christ and were growing in their faith.  I was impressed with their kindness toward Carlos who had never before opened a Bible.

Right off he asked me, “How do you know the Bible’s true?”

“You have asked an important question, Carlos.  After all, who am I?  Just because I say the Bible is true, does not prove that it is.  That’s why I always bring with me, some helpful information that gives us some reliable evidence.”

Together we examined some pages of evidence:

  •  The archaeological findings that substantiate the Bible’s truths
  •  The scientific evidence
  •  The historical evidence
  •  The fulfilled prophecies—made hundreds of years before they were fulfilled
  •  The indestructibility of the Bible—for thousands of years there have been many attempts to destroy it, but the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947 were proof the Old Testament writings are the very same today as when they were written.
  •  Finally, we see the evidence of changed lives in the followers of Jesus.

At this point the older teens began to share how Jesus had changed their lives. Older teenagers can have a profound influence on younger ones.  That, plus the Holy Spirit!  Fifty minutes later Carlos made a decision to give his life to Jesus.

  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.       2 Timothy 3:16-17

[Do you agree with this evidence?  Are there better examples I could have used?   To leave a comment, simply click on this story’s TITLE, then scroll to the bottom where it says,  “Leave a Reply.”]

GOD IS READYRobin Poem by E. Cheney, circa 1931; Music by Kathleen

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

 

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

I’m in a Deep Depression

Two bubbly college girls were working with us at our Bible table on the beach promenade. We were questioning the wisdom of coming on such a cold day,  when two 20-year-old guys stopped by.

The girls engaged them by giving them our “Good Person Test.”  When the guys both insisted they were indeed good, the girls asked if they’d be willing to take our “Lie Detector Test.”   Well whaddya know, they both failed!  They laughed.  It was all in fun.

I then explained that I’m sure they are good guys, but according to the Bible, no one is good enough to enter heaven.  We are all sinners and we all need a Savior, and there’s only One.  They both agreed they were sinners and needed a Savior. 

Jake said, “I recently dropped out of school because of dyslexia and now I’m in a deep depression.  I came down here thinking the ocean air would help.”

I said, “Jake, it is not an accident that you’re here.  God loves you and wants to help you.” While we began sharing the message of Jesus with Jake, his friend walked to a nearby bench.  Elena quickly followed and boldly (yet winsomely) shared Jesus with him.

Meanwhile, Jan and I explained to Jake that as well as having his sins forgiven, when a person surrenders his life to Jesus, he receives the Holy Spirit and all the fruit of the Spirit. “When you receive the Holy Spirit you then have the power to resist sin.” I told him that God wants us to trust Him by thanking Him for our situation, no matter how difficult.

Jake said He was willing to do that–he wanted it ALL!  He said he’d recently started attending a Bible church but had not yet surrendered his life to Jesus, nor had he heard about the Holy Spirit.  He wanted to pray and give his life to Jesus now! Afterward he said,  “I feel different.  I feel lighter and more peaceful. I know God directed me to come here today.”

We gave him two booklets: Would You Like to Know God Personally?  http://www.4laws.com/laws/englishkgp/KnowGod1.html   and
Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-Filled Life?  http://www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/the-spirit-filled-life/
I explained that the booklets complement each other.  The first one shows the importance of surrendering to Jesus.  The second one shows us how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.

I said, “I believe God is already removing your depression.  I also believe God is going to help you with your dyslexia—which will improve as you read more and more.  You might even try reading aloud.”

He agreed to do that and could not thank us enough.  As we began packing up to head home, we praised God that a cold and dreary day could have such a serendipitous end!

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

 

Posted in BEACH, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s in the Bible? It MUST Be True!

I was 15-years-old when I noticed a truck parked on the street with a large Bible verse written across the side.  It said, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.  1 Timothy 2:5.”

I read that verse and I thought about it—and I thought about it for years!     It’s in the Bible?  It MUST be true!

Yet in our church we didn’t study the Bible.  Why not?  Shouldn’t we know God’s Word?  We prayed to mediators more than we prayed to God!  I began to question the religion of my heritage.

That verse continued to haunt me until I attended my first Bible study as a young adult.  It was then I learned that not only was Jesus Christ the only mediator,  I learned there was no place I had to go after death to pay for my sins!  When Jesus went to the cross He paid for ALL my sins!  No further payment or purification was necessary!

I couldn’t believe my ears!  I had needlessly lived in fear of the pain and suffering I would someday endure in order to be cleansed from my sins after my death.  Suddenly I wanted to jump up and down and shout the good news!  I just could not understand why other people with this same information were not sharing the good news themselves!    This was GREAT News!

Then I read in Luke 23:39-43, the story of the thieves being crucified next to Jesus. One of them hurled insults at Jesus, while the other thief rebuked that man for not fearing God.

“We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”   Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Was that criminal worthy of paradise?  Had he joined a church? Been baptized?  On the contrary, he was notorious for his evil deeds!  Yet Jesus promised him paradise!

It was his faith that saved him!  Moreover, the thief didn’t need a mediator.  He went directly to Jesus!

  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.       Ephesians 2:8-9
  • SONG: DEAR LORD OF LORDS – By Kathleen

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    This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

    [To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

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He Applied to Med School – But Why?

David’s deep desire had always been to serve God on the mission field.  He applied to med school. But why?

It was exactly four years since high school graduation.  Now in four days, he would graduate from the university.  He’d opted not to walk with his class, but to receive his diploma by mail.  Why?  Today he was boarding a plane and heading to the University of Guadalajara to study Spanish by immersion for ten weeks.  He would live with a Mexican family that would only converse with him in Spanish.

His parting words were “Mom, what if I’m accepted to med school?  I don’t even know if that’s what I want!”

His mom just said,  “Pray!”

David had been in Guadalajara a week when he wrote that he missed having Christian fellowship. “Could you call some churches and ask if anyone knows any Christian missionaries down here?”

His mother prayed, made calls and was able to find a pastor who knew of a missionary nurse.  Not exactly what he was looking for.  Or was it?

The very next day David called with a high fever and earache.  That very nurse drove him to the hospital, a hospital run by the Southern Baptist Convention! Inspirational music played over the sound system. Framed Bible verses hung on the walls.  There was even a Christian bookstore in the lobby!

David was diagnosed with a ruptured eardrum and told to return daily for treatments. After three days he asked if they could use a volunteer.  He explained that he’d applied to medical school and was waiting for acceptance.  Although he had Spanish class every morning, he was free in the afternoons.  He prayed this might be God’s will.

The answer was YES!  David could work alongside their own medical students, between 1 – 9 PM daily.  He went on ambulance runs, helped in the Emergency Department  and later the Operating Room.  He helped get patients into wheelchairs.  Sometimes they’d ask for prayer and there were opportunities to share the Lord.  He soon discovered there WAS ministry in medicine.

Before he departed Guadalajara he learned of his acceptance to med school.                Today he is serving God in medicine.

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

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Posted in ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS, TRAVELING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Muslim: Pray for Us!

It was a beautiful, sunny day at the beach. Walkers, surfers and tourists crowded the promenade and kept us busy most of the afternoon.  A group of women dressed in Muslim clothing stopped for prayer. “We saw your sign that says you’ll pray.  We want you to pray for us!”

“We’d be happy to!  Do you want prayer for anything specific?”

“PEACE!  Pray for peace, safety and good health.”

“So as Muslims you do believe in Jesus?”

“Oh yes!  We believe in all of them!”

We prayed for the group in Jesus’ name, that God would place His hand of protection on each of them, that His Holy Spirit would guide and direct their lives and give them His peace. We prayed that God would reveal to them His truth, that they would desire to follow Him and obey Him all of their lives.

Afterward they were happy to receive a copy of the Jesus Movie in their own language. We gave them several tracts including  For My Muslim Friend,  Jesus and the Qur’an and the full Gospel message in their own language.  All were well received.  One of the women mentioned that her daughter is attending a high school youth group at a local church.  We asked some questions and learned it was MY church!  Praise God, she’s in a good place!

As they walked away we prayed that God would speak to their hearts as they learn more about Jesus.

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

 

 

Posted in BEACH, Other Religions | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Evangelism – Is it Important?

I was conducting a workshop on evangelism.  The first thing I wanted to do was make sure we were all on the same page.  So I asked three questions:

  1.  “How many of you believe the Bible is the complete Word of God?”

  2.  “How many believe Revelation 21:8 is true – that ‘all unbelievers will have their place in the fiery lake of burning sulfur, which is the second death?'”

3.  “How many believe Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’  is a command for us as the body of believers, and not just for pastors and missionaries?”

I was pleased to see that with each question asked, every hand went up.  I said, “If we believe these things are true, are we not compelled to do all we can to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?

“Remember John Wesley?  He was an 18th century British evangelist who once said, ‘We have one business in life, to save souls.’

“When I first read his words I wondered, ‘Is this correct?  Is not the Holy Spirit the One who saves souls?’  So I did some research and found several Scriptures that supported his statement:

  1. “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?  Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”   1 Corinthians 7:16

2.  “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”   1 Corinthians 9:22b

3.  “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”   1 Timothy 4:16

  1. “Save others by snatching them from the fire.”   Jude 1:23a

If we just think of The Golden Rule we know it’s true:  “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”    Matthew 7:12

If I were drowning, I would want someone to save me.  If I were lost, I would want someone to seek and find me.  It’s simple, really.  Do we care about others?  Really care?  Then we need to tell them.

  • Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.    Revelation 20:15
  • So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.    Matthew 7:12

SONG:  WE HAVE ONE BUSINESS IN LIFE – by Kathleen

This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, Other Religions, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

God or Allah – What’s the Difference?

A Muslim turned away from Islam and became a follower of Jesus.  I was privileged to hear him share his life story.  Someone asked him, “What is the difference between God and Allah?”

His explanation was simple.  “As a former Muslim, I can say that Muslims view Allah as the ultimate creator of all things. Muslims are to be good servants of Allah. They are to praise and worship Allah as they serve him.

“In contrast, Christians view God as the creator of all things, but we also have a personal relationship with God and consider Him our Father.”

Another question: “What exactly does it mean to have a personal relationship with God?”

He explained, “Consider a king who rules a country. He has many servants who are to honor him and faithfully serve him.   The servants serve Him dinner, along with his family.

“The servants do not eat at the dinner table with the king as his family does.  When the dinner is finished and the work is done, the servants retire to their quarters.  Yet the children dwell with their father.  He tucks them in at bedtime and kisses them goodnight.

“Since coming to Christ, I have discovered that the personal relationship the children have with their Father is a love relationship.  The Father loves and cares for His children. The children love and trust their Father.  When I was a Muslim I thought of myself more as a servant of Allah, not a child of a loving Father.”

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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Marry Him!

I received a letter from Lissa, the 17-year-old daughter of a long-time friend.  Lissa loves the Lord Jesus and was seeking Christian advice.  She said she considers me a “sister” because we both are Christians.  She then explained that she had an 18-year-old boyfriend and wanted me to convince her parents that even though they were young, marrying him was the right thing to do.

She said, “He’s a Christian, but he does have a little anger problem.  Sometimes he hits me, but he needs me and I know I can help him.”

I wrote back:  “Dear Lissa, I’m glad you consider me a ‘sister’ because we are sisters in the Lord and sometimes that is closer than a blood relationship.  I’m glad you have a special friend and I’m pleased he knows the Lord.  But I want you to heed your big sister’s advice:

“The way Sam treats you now is the best he’ll ever treat you.  If he sometimes hits you now, he will hit you more after your marriage.

“Don’t marry him until you are confident he has grown more mature than you, in the things of the Lord.  The Bible tells us the husband is to be the spiritual leader in the home.  The wife is called to be submissive to her husband.  However, the husband is to love her AS Christ loved the church.  That’s a lot of love!  Read Ephesians 5:22-33.

“Sam’s most important purpose as a husband is to guide you in spiritual things so that someday he can present you to Christ holy and blameless.  In a sense, you are to be the follower and Sam the leader.

“Your parents love you and they can see the pitfalls ahead.  That is why God has given the commandment to honor your father and mother.  And again, ‘obey your parents.'”

As you may imagine, Lissa did not appreciate my letter, but she did receive my advice.
She thanked me years later when she married her Bible study leader.  Indeed, HE was God’s choice!

  •  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.   Ephesians 6:1
  •  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.             Ephesians 5:22-27
  • I LOVE THE LORDBy Kathleen
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This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/

[To leave a comment or prayer request, simply click on the TITLE of this post and scroll to the bottom.]

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, Love & Romance, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments