Alcohol and Slurred Speech

A guy walking along the beach stopped at our Bible table. He reeked with alcohol, had slurred speech, but said he wanted to learn more about God.  I asked him if he were to die today, did he know where he would go?

He said, “Right now I don’t know. I know I need to get right with God, but I need to clean up my life first.”

“How much have you had to drink today?”

“Just two beers.”

I thought to myself, “Yeah, right. That’s what they all say.”

I said,  “I believe you have a drinking problem. You want to get right with God, but you think you need to clean up your life first.  I want you to know something: You cannot clean up your life. You cannot overcome your drinking problem by yourself. Jesus can clean up your life, but first you must turn your life over to Him.  He can do it, but you cannot.”

I talked to him about enrolling in Teen Challenge, which has an 86% success rate for those who complete the program. I explained that he would have to live there for one year, but there is no cost.  His expenses would be covered by donations from people who want to help.  Participants must be over 18 to enroll,  but most are in their 20’s and 30’s.

He wasn’t sure he was ready to turn to Christ today.  He needed time to think about it, but he wanted us to pray for him.

We gathered around him and prayed. We prayed that he would recognize the depth of God’s love for him. We prayed that he would call out to Jesus for forgiveness and that he would surrender himself to God’s control. We prayed that he would allow the Holy Spirit to come and live inside him and change him forever, that God would fill him with peace and a new purpose in life. We also prayed that he would enroll with Teen Challenge where he would get help.

He thanked us with tears in his eyes.  He left with the phone number for Teen Challenge, a new Bible and a booklet that would show him step-by-step how to receive Jesus and then walk in the Spirit.  That is… when he is ready:  http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/classics/the-spirit-filled-life.html

  • Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.    Romans 10:13
  • For more information on Teen Challenge:   http://www.teenchallenge.org/
  • SONG: THE PARALYTIC – Click here to listen: 

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

 

 

Posted in BEACH, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Will Happen to the Children?

When our children were young my husband’s work required that he travel to attend conferences. Of course he preferred I accompany him, but we had small children and I hated to leave them.

Yet there were times when I did travel and the grandparents would come and stay.  Always in the back of my mind there was the thought:  “What if something happens and we never return? What will happen to the children?  Will they grow up learning to love Jesus and the Word of God?”

My heart would ache as we prepared to leave. A few days before departure I would have a private conversation with each child.  I’d take one aside and say, “I want to talk to you about something that is very, very important.”

His eyes would get big and questioning. I’d continue, “What I’m going to tell you is the most important thing in the whole world. Nothing is more important than this.  It’s about Jesus Christ.  I want you to always remember that loving Jesus and putting Him first in Your life is the most important thing in the whole world.  Nothing is more important than this. Okay? You will remember that, won’t you? I know you will.”  Then I’d give a hug.

The next time we traveled I’d go through the same routine.  Now they are adults and I praise God that our kids are firmly committed to following Christ with their lives, as are their spouses.  To this day I believe that these short conversations were not in vain. Of course, there were other ways God helped us raise up godly children. There were our daily devotions, Bible study, prayer time and of course, guitar playing and singing praises to our God.

These memories I cherish.  I praise God as I see our children raising up their children with the same zeal for Christ.

  •  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ 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 3:14-17

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in RAISING KIDS, TRAVELING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

To Joy Behar: I Heard God Speak Too!

Recently,  Joy Behar from “The View” accused Vice president Mike Pence of “mental illness” because he says he hears from God.  “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus, it’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.  That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct,” said Behar.

I’m sorry, Ms. Behar, but God does speak to His own.  He tells us in Jeremiah 33:3  “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Most of the time God speaks to me when I’m reading His Word.  I may not hear His voice, but He clearly gives me direction and guidance.  There have also been times when I’ve actually heard God speak.  Let me share one experience:

I was in a difficult situation. Things were not going well.  I desperately needed God’s help. I knelt down by my bed and cried out to God. “Help me!  In the name of Jesus, help me!”  Throughout the day I would return to my knees.  Again calling to God, “Help me!  Please help me!  I can’t go through this!  I need Your help!”

Then I heard it – God’s voice.  It was not audible, but it was clear.  I heard each word distinctly as He spoke to my inner being.   He simply said, “I will help you, but you must do it.”

That was it.  I knew it was God reassuring me.  Tears began to flow.  I praised God. I thanked Him. I stood up and I knew that yes, I CAN do it!  Yes, I WILL do it!  God said He would help me.  So of course I can do it!

I walked away from my prayer closet refreshed.  Hope had been renewed.

  • My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.    Philippians 4:13
  • Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.   Jeremiah 29:12
  • https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/february/praying-for-joy-hellip-behar-nbsp
  • What about you?  Have you ever called out to God with a desperate need and heard Him respond?
  • SONG: INTO THE LIGHT – Click on story’s title to listen: 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

How Do You Spend Your Days?

I asked Anne,  “How do you spend your days, now that Jim is gone?”

I had attended a luncheon to honor Anne, our former Bible study leader from way back. Years ago she and her husband left for the mission field and then later retired. Now she is 80.  She was her husband’s caretaker before he succumbed last year to Alzheimer’s Disease.

When I asked her how she was spending her days, her response touched my heart. She said she lives in a retirement community where there are many widows who are lonely. Every day she makes a point of calling or visiting one person. When she visits she’ll bring flowers from her garden, or an interesting magazine article. Sometimes she’ll pick up a couple of muffins from the bakery to share.  Most important, she makes time to read a verse of Scripture and pray with her friend.

How like Anne!  She is still serving the Lord, reaching out to others, and meeting the needs of those around her. How blessed she is—and how blessed are her friends.

  • Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.   Titus 3:14

 

Posted in HERE & THERE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shopping is Her Therapy? Please!

I once heard a woman say on Christian TV that shopping is her therapy.  I thought to myself, “What an appalling to thing to say!  What a shameful Christian witness!”

We are NOT to go shopping for therapy!  We’re to go to Jesus, not anywhere else—especially shopping!  Shopping is not the solution to our problems. Besides, shopping can become addicting!  As Christians, we must exercise self-control, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

When I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit came to live within me and I was born again. I became a different person from the inside out.  That is when I received the fruit of the God’s Spirit:  the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as described in Galatians 5:22-23.

All true Christians have all the fruit of the Spirit available to them. We simply need to exercise it!   If it’s self-control we need, we talk to God:   “Lord, You know I need self-control in this area of my life. I cannot resist this temptation on my own. Yet now I have Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for helping me. I know that with Your help I can do this.” Then you take a step of faith and do the right thing. I’ve experienced God working through me, helping me exercise self-control, love, patience, joy, etc.  He IS faithful.

But what if we need therapy?  We go to Jesus. We feed on His Word. We thank Him and praise Him that He is sufficient. We reach out to someone in need. We look for ways to serve God more. We do it with joy.

Some may need professional help.  Your pastor may be able to direct you to a Christian counselor.  But please do not go shopping!

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Word “Crap”

It has been a blessing for me, these past nine years, to serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach.  Carla, a 17-year-old from New York has been writing me for three weeks.  She’s had the usual teenage questions about life, love and God. Yet I’ve also noticed her frequent use of the word “crap.”

“Today I feel like crap.”  Or, “I don’t like it when the other kids talk crap about me.”

I decided that after three weeks it was time for me to comment:  “Dear Carla, Today I want to give you some constructive criticism. I’d like you to try not using the word “crap” because it is crude and unladylike. Instead, you might say, “I’m not feeling myself.”  Or, “I’m feeling lousy.”  Or, “I don’t like it when other kids say things about me that aren’t true.”  If you want to attract degenerate or immoral people, then use curse words and you will.

“I realize ‘crap’ may not be considered cursing by some.  But I have a young friend who became engaged to be married. Her fiancé used the word ‘crap’ in my presence. I told him I would appreciate it if he wouldn’t curse around me. He was taken aback and said, ‘I wouldn’t consider ‘crap’ a curse word.'”

“So, what does it mean?”

He became quiet. Then, “I never thought about that.”

“Carla, I have never again heard him repeat it, and they’ve been married over ten years. Nor have I ever heard my own family members talk like that.  There is really no need.  I’ve come to believe that when people curse it more often indicates they’re not too bright and probably don’t have a very large vocabulary.”

Carla wrote back: “Really? Wow! I never looked at it that way. You have taught me a lot and I appreciate it.  Carla”

How I love that girl and pray she’ll make wise decisions with her life.

  • The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.   Proverbs 12:15
  • For more information on Global Media Outreach: http://www.greatcommission2020.com/map
  • SONG:  I KNOW HIM – Click on story’s title and scroll down to listen:  

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

Posted in GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Love Problems

Most of the people who contact Global Media Outreach:  http://www.godlife.com/)  are hurting.  It doesn’t matter where they live in this world; most are hurting because of love problems. “Pray for my marriage.”  “Pray that my husband will come home.”  “Pray that I can find a godly wife.”  “Nobody loves me.”  “Does God love me?”  “My wife doesn’t love me.”  “Nobody wants me.” Their stories are sad and endless.

Raj  from India had a love problem.  His girlfriend’s parents had suddenly arranged for her to marry another, because Raj was not of the same caste.  He was devastated and said he wanted to kill himself.

I began encouraging him with Scripture and wrote out a prayer for him online.  He agreed to do our 30-day online Bible study.  He wrote almost daily to say the Bible study was helping him—making him more clear-headed.  But as the day of his former girlfriend’s wedding approached,  he again began to despair.

I suggested we pray for the soon-to-be newlyweds.  I wrote out my prayer and asked him to agree with it.  I prayed that God would bless their marriage with a deep love for one another.  I prayed that she would no longer think of Raj and that Raj would no longer think of her.  I prayed that Raj would begin to praise and thank God for his situation—showing God that Raj will trust Him, no matter what.  I prayed that God would fill Raj with His Holy Spirit so he could experience all the fruit of the Spirit, especially the peace, patience and joy.  I then suggested that Raj pray this way every time he begins to feel low.

It worked!  Soon Raj had accepted her marriage and moved on.  He is now involved in a Christian church, is going to Bible study and meeting new young people.

  • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.     Romans 8:37-38.
  • Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.   1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • For more information on Global Media Outreach: www.godlife.com

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in DOCTRINE, GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH, HERE & THERE, Love & Romance, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

FIRE!

We recently had a huge wildfire in the hills above our home.  It quickly  developed into the largest fire in California history with 700 homes destroyed locally.  The hot, dry winds induced the fire to rapidly spread to surrounding communities causing significant devastation.

Even though we live on the hill, we were never told to evacuate!  We went to bed. But the smell of smoke was so strong we could not sleep. We knew there was a fire in the next town and we thought the wind was blowing their smoke our direction.  Little did we know the fire had already reached our hill!

Around 11:45 my husband got up and discovered the sky at the top of the hill was red.  We would need to evacuate–but where would we go?   Motels will be filled with people who evacuated earlier from the next town.  Just then a friend who lives at the beach texted:  “Come and stay with us.”  It was 10 min. before midnight. I felt God directed that text!

When we walked outside we were shocked at the swirling hot smoke above us and the red embers falling from the sky.  The streets were packed with cars trying to evacuate the hills.  Most traffic signals didn’t work and it took a half hour to drive one mile to the beach.  Many people stayed up all night hosing down their roofs and putting out spot fires.  They not only saved their own homes, but the homes of neighbors.   These people are heroes.

It was interesting to hear the different responses from people who’d lost their homes.  One friend called the next morning and said, “Our home burned down but we are thanking God for the many years we were able to live there.”   Or, “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  We will still bless the name of the Lord.”

Then there was,  “Why me?  Why did our house have to burn?”  Compared with:   “Why not me?  Why NOT our house?”

Those people who were surrendered to Jesus Christ, seemed to come through this tragedy with hope.   One friend said it became a platform for them to share Christ with many people.  They were able to explain that they were trusting God and He had given them peace:  “What we lost was just stuff.” 

Whatever disaster strikes, as followers of Jesus, we know our God stands firm and we can always, always trust Him.

  • In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.     1 Peter 1:6
  • Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,  for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.   Proverbs 3:25-26

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Grocery Bagger: Need Help Out?

I was going through the checkout line when the young man bagging my groceries asked if I wanted help out.

I didn’t need help, but I looked at him and wondered if he knew the Lord.  So I said, “Thank you! That would be nice.”

I’ve discovered most of these young workers enjoy an opportunity to get out of the store and into some fresh air. While walking to the car I made some small talk:
“Have you worked here long?  Are you a student? Hey! I’m taking a survey! May I ask you one question?”

“Sure.”

“If you were to die today, do you know where you’d go?”

“No, not really.  Maybe hell.”

“Oh dear!  You know Jesus came to earth just so He could save people, so they don’t have to go to hell. We’re all sinners and we all need a Savior.”

I reached into my purse and said, “I have a booklet with information right from the Bible. It’s called, “Would You Like to Know God Personally?” You might like it.  It will show you how you can make Jesus your Savior so you’ll know you are going to heaven.”

He said, “Hey, thanks! I take my break in 10 minutes—I’ll read it then!”

Just in case he wanted to learn more, I had written on the back of the booklet: https://www.godlife.com .

  • For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.     Luke 19:10
  • He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”                 Mark 16:15
  • SONG:  MY FRIEND – Click here to listen: 
  • What about you?  Have you ever considered sharing Christ in this way?

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Earthquake with a Three-Year-Old

Marni’s three-year-old was coloring nearby when the earthquake started. He looked over at her questioningly, “What’s that?”

“It’s an earthquake, Matthew. Come sit on Mommy’s lap. We’re going to sit under the archway and thank Jesus for the earthquake.”

While he was getting comfortable, she began praying, “Thank You, Lord, for this earthquake. Thank You for the gentle, rolling motion. Thank You for taking care of Baby Elizabeth sleeping in her crib. Thank You for taking care of Daddy at work. Thank You that many people are talking to You right now. Thank You that we can trust You. Thank You that You are in control. We love you.  We pray in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.”

The earthquake was over and Matthew jumped off her lap and ran outside to play.

The phone rang. It was the neighbor with children the same age.  She was frantic. “The kids are hysterical!  I’m shaking. I yelled at Robby to stand under the archway and ‘DON’T MOVE!’  Then I ran and grabbed Lila out of her crib so we could sit together under the archway. The kids are sobbing. We’re all trembling.”

Marni glanced outside at Matthew happily digging in the dirt. She thought to herself, “What a difference it makes to trust God and to thank Him.”

  • LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.       Psalm 84:12
  • …always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.        Ephesians 5:20

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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/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments