Praying Together, Staying Together

Can praying together hold a marriage together? Perhaps.

It seem that most incarcerated teens are from single-parent homes—but not all. One night at the juvenile facility, a 17-year-old was grieving over disappointing his parents by getting into trouble.

“They are good parents.  They’ve been married 19 years and this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to them.  Sometimes they argue, but they love God. They pray together every night—I think that’s why they’re still married.”

He’s probably right about that.

  •  And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.    Philippians 1:9-11
  • I LOVE THE LORDBy 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 JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Most Exciting Day of Your Life

When her first grandchild was born she was ecstatic!  She exclaimed to her son-in-law, “Isn’t it wonderful?  Isn’t this the most exciting day of your life?”

His reply:  “No, I can’t say that it is.”                                                                                                 “Oh?”                                                                                                                                                   Then with a smile, “My wedding day was—but this is a close second.”

She stayed with the young family that first week to help out. The baby was six days old when she walked into the living room at 7 AM.  She would never forget the precious vision:  Her eyes welled with tears as she observed her son-in-law sitting on the sofa holding his newborn on his lap.  He held his Bible as he read softly to his son.  The baby’s eyes were focused on his father as he listened quietly.

Newborn & Dad

That newborn is now a teenager.  He, along with his younger siblings, continues to grow feeding on God’s Word as his parents teach it and live it.

How that grandmother praises God for His love and faithfulness to her family.

Are you a grandparent?  Can you identify? 

________________________________________________________
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, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Homeless – What to Do?

We have a homeless population in our community and often we see them panhandling on the streets.  I decided to call the police department and ask their suggestion on how best we can help.

I was strictly advised, “Do not give them money!  Instead, support the organizations that assist them.”

Hmm.  We are already doing that!  So I came up with an additional plan.   I went to a fast food restaurant and purchased gift cards to enclose in envelopes.  Then I went online and did a search for local resources that support the needy.  I came up with a long list and included the most important resources on one sheet of paper.  On the other side I printed the Gospel message from Larry Kent of  On-Tract.com.    Here it is below:

***   The stories that follow capture the heart of the Bible’s message in a fresh, new way.  You are invited to experience them for yourself.

1. The Driver:   A driver was once stopped by a police officer.  He was a good driver and as far as he knew he had done nothing wrong. The police officer said, “I pulled you over because you were going 60 through a school zone.  There were ten warning signs that the speed limit was 15 and you ignored them all.”

Just as the driver had ten warning signs, God has given us ten clear warning
signs in the Bible.  They are called the Ten Commandments.  Have you ever told a
lie, stolen something, or used God’s name as a swear word?  If you’re like me the
answer is ‘yes.’

Listen to what the Bible says in James 2:10:  “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”   God is saying that by breaking one Commandment we have sinned and will be held accountable for breaking all of them, including adultery and murder.  God’s judgment for our sin is death. (Banishment to hell because He will not allow sin in His presence). Romans 6:23a   If the story ends here, there is no hope for us…

2. The Convict:   An innocent man approached a judge and volunteered to be executed in the place of a convicted murderer.  The judge consented. The next day the judge told the convict he had a decision to make.  “An innocent man has been put to death in your place.  If you will accept his payment for your crime, you are free to go.  If you will not accept his payment, you will be executed for your crime. Which do you choose?”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was sinless but voluntarily gave His life to pay the
penalty for your sins and mine.  (God’s judgment for our sin is death). Three days
later He rose from the dead. “God showed His great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8
“The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23b

As a result of Jesus’ death in your place, you have two choices:
Receive both God’s pardon for your sins and eternal life by repenting (sensing
your sinfulness and desiring to turn from it) and placing your trust in the Lord
Jesus, ORReject both God’s pardon for your sins and eternal life by trusting in anyone or anything other than Jesus to make you acceptable to God, thus bearing the penalty for breaking God’s law yourself.

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son of God
will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36
Knowing about Jesus doesn’t mean you believe in Jesus…

3. The Skydiver:    Skydivers demonstrate their belief in their parachutes when they jump from the plane.  Followers of Jesus demonstrate their belief in Him when God’s Spirit changes their thoughts and desires.  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17
God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.” Ezekiel 36:26

Just as entering a garage won’t make you a mechanic, attending a church won’t make you a Christian.  If you would like to receive God’s pardon for your sins and the gift of eternal life, consider a prayer like this:    “Jesus, I believe You paid the penalty for my sins when You died on the cross and rose from the dead.  I want to turn from my sins and place my trust in You as my Lord.  I am willing to follow You the rest of my life.  Thank You for the gift of eternal life. Amen.”

The desire of real followers of Jesus is to: “live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10

The above is available in 100 languages at: www.on-tract.com                                             When life doesn’t make sense:  www.godlife.com

“Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13   

_____________

[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

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

            

Posted in Atheism, DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, People Helping People | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Professor Ridicules Christian

Rachel was a university sophomore taking Spanish.

The professor, speaking Spanish, asked the class a question:  “How many of you believe in angels?

Rachel was the only one to raise her hand.

The professor chuckled.  “Tell us why you believe in angels.”

“I believe in angels because the Bible speaks of angels.”

Another chuckle. “Are you saying that you actually believe the Bible is true?”

“Yes, I do believe the Bible is true.”

The professor laughed aloud and continued to question Rachel while ridiculing her Christian beliefs.  She stood strong while the rest of the class remained silent.

Three students caught up with Rachel after class to tell her they were also Christians and were silently praying for her.  Rachel thanked them but in the future decided she would remain silent as well.

What would you have done? Have you heard of similar tactics in colleges and universities?

_________________________________

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 Atheism, COLLEGE CAMPUS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Enemies in County Jail

      • Here’s a precious memory from my years doing jail ministry:

One night I was doing a Bible study with two men in county jail who were enemies.They were in the medical unit,  as one had a broken leg and the other diabetes. They lived four cells apart.  I’d spend time with each of them separately, studying the Bible and praying with them through the small pass-through opening in their doors.

The deputy on duty said, “I don’t get it. Those two ask for Bible study, yet they hate each other. You should hear them!  All day long they curse, shout and argue with each other.”

I talked with Clarence first:  “This is not God’s way.  Jesus said that if you don’t forgive others for their wrongs, then you can’t expect God to forgive you.  Are you pretending to love Jesus or is it real?”

He said, “It’s real.”

“Then you need to love your brother. You need to forgive him and you need to ask him to forgive you. As a true believer, the Holy Spirit has given you self-control. You need to exercise that self-control. You must control your temper and stop the arguing.”

Then I went down the hall to Mike and told him the same thing.  Mike said, “OK, I’ll forgive him, if he’ll forgive me.”

I went back to Clarence and said, “Mike is sorry for the bad things he said to you. He is asking you to forgive him.”

Clarence said he’d forgive Mike. So I urged both of them to call down the hall and tell the other one you’re sorry.

Mike yelled, “Hey Clarence! I’m sorry, Man. Forgive me?”
Clarence yelled back, “Hey Bro! I forgive you. Will you forgive me?”
Mike yelled, “I forgive you! Thanks Bro!”
Both men were wiping away tears.

The deputy gave me a thumbs up as I left that night.

I walked to my car feeling overwhelmed with love for God. “Thank You Lord for making it so easy!”

  • But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.       Matthew 6:15
  • MARTHA Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth; Music 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, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

I gave my kids a warning when they were young:  I told them that someday they might be reading a book, or perhaps they’ll be in a movie theater with friends. Suddenly they may realize that what they are reading or watching is bad.

“I don’t know what it will be, but when the Holy Spirit speaks to your conscience, then you will know it’s something bad.

“If this ever happens, you must not linger.  If it’s a book, don’t even turn the page.  If you’re in a movie theater, don’t ask your friends what they think. Don’t wait for your friends to say anything.  Instead, you simply say, ‘I am not watching this.  I’m going home. Goodbye.’  Then stand up, walk out and call me.  I will pick you up.”

I explained that the first realization that bad stuff is on the screen is the Holy Spirit speaking to our conscience.  If we ignore the Holy Spirit then very quickly Satan will jump in and take over.

Watching it for one minute may be enough to snag you.  Then you won’t want to stop watching.  If you obey the Holy Spirit immediately, then Satan cannot step in.

We need to be careful about what enters our minds through our eyes and ears. What goes in stays in.  It can cause bad thoughts and we don’t want to be reminded of evil.  If it never enters our mind, then it cannot bother us.

I told the kids, “It might even be an assigned book at school.  If this happens, tell the teacher it’s against your religion to read it.  By law, the teacher will have to replace it.”

This actually happened in a high school Honors English class.  The student said nothing to his parents until later.  Instead, he first took the book to the teacher and told her he could not read it because it offended his religious beliefs.  The teacher immediately replaced it with another book.

_____________

[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

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

Posted in HERE & THERE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Names Added to the Lamb’s Book of Life

A friend and I were headed to the pier to share the Lord with fishermen.  We noticed three young men, probably 20 – 22 y.o. walking toward us.

I said, “Hey Guys!  We’re giving out good news about Jesus.  Would you like some?”

They stopped and all three nodded and put out their hands. As they began to look at the pamphlets, I said, “May I ask you a question?  If you were to die today, do you know where you’d go?”

All three shook their heads. One said “I would hope to go to heaven.”

I said, “What if God were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ How would you answer Him?”

One said “I try to be good.”

“I’m sure you do.  In fact, all three of you guys look like you’re good people.”

“Thank you” they chimed.

“But the Bible tells us no one is good enough, that we are all sinners.  Do you believe that’s true?”  They nodded.

I explained that since we’re all sinners we cannot save ourselves. We need a Savior. Jesus was the only person who ever lived who never sinned one time.  Only He qualified to be the sacrifice for the sin of the world, and our Savior.  That is the reason He came to earth – to save us!  When we are willing to turn away from our sins and turn to Him, He is willing to forgive us.

They asked a few questions and finally I asked, “Would you guys like to receive Christ right now and know that you are saved and someday going to heaven?”

They all nodded.  I began to pray and they repeated after me, asking for their sins to be forgiven, asking that God would send His Holy Spirit to indwell them and fill them with all the fruit of the Spirit, so they will have the desire and the self-control to turn away from the temptation to sin.

Afterward they said they were happy and were eager to start going to church, but didn’t know of a good one in their city, which was two hours away.   I happened to know an excellent church there and they wrote down the name.  After I returned home I contacted a friend in that church who agreed to welcome the guys next Sunday.

We walked away thanking God for making it so easy for us–and for them!  We were so encouraged that we did it again just a few minutes later.  That’s right!  Three more at the end of the fishing pier,  prayed with us to give their lives to Jesus!

  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   1 John 1:9
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23
  • ONE BUSINESS IN LIFEQuote by John Wesley–circa 1780, Music and arrangement 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 BEACH, DOCTRINE, People Helping People | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gateways to Better Education

The mission of  Gateways to Better Education  is to create faith-friendly public schools where students have the freedom to express their faith and learn about the importance of the Bible and Judeo-Christian history, thought and values. They envision public schools as learning communities enriched by appropriately and lawfully including this important information.

Gateways does this by equipping parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members in America’s 99,000 public schools. Many public school children are learning only the secular side of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. They don’t understand that these traditional holidays teach important lessons about Christianity.

The problem goes beyond how Christianity is treated during the holidays. Even the mention of God is now suppressed in many classrooms. Both teachers and students are uncertain about their rights of religious expression. Many feel the law forbids any discussion of God or even praying privately over their lunch.  But this is not true!

The Holiday Restoration Campaign is designed to help correct misinformation and restore accurate teaching of the religious nature of these traditional American holidays. This is done in a positive, relational way.

The goal is to have as many Christian parents as possible give a Gateways Holiday Card to their children’s teachers. This is an 8-page card that looks like a beautiful greeting card. In a light-hearted story a public school teacher is informed about what is legal and appropriate in the classroom. They will find the legal documentation and lesson plan ideas helpful and reassuring. Check out Gateways’ website: http://www.gtbe.org

Learn how you can join in restoring the real reasons for the seasons for public school children at:   www.GoGateways.org  or www.facebook.com/GatewaysToBetterEducation

  •  Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.     Deuteronomy 11:18-20
________________________________________________________
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 Holidays, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

God and the Broken Arm

A Christian physician was asked to see a troubled woman in the emergency room.  He talked with her awhile and determined her deepest need was for a relationship with God.  Unfortunately, he was soon called away to see another patient.  When he later returned to the troubled woman he was disappointed to discover she had been released.

Two weeks later that doctor’s 5-year-old daughter took a hard fall sustaining a broken arm.  It was necessary for her to spend the night in the hospital before her early morning surgery.  The doctor decided he’d stay in the room with his daughter.  During the night the nurse came to check on the girl.

What a surprise to discover the night nurse was the same patient the doctor had seen in the ER two weeks earlier!   The doctor listened to her again talk of her fears and troubles.  He then opened up the Bible and shared with her the only solution to her problems…the saving message of Jesus Christ.  The nurse prayed with him that night and surrender her life to the Savior.  The doctor then recommended a good church in her area of the city.

Later he shared with his wife that somehow he felt God allowed their daughter to break her arm at that very time,  so that he would have another opportunity to reach out to that troubled woman and lead her to Christ.

_________________________________

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, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

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

    _________________________________

    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, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments