I Was So Worried

I was leading a Bible study in Oakwood 4 – a wing at the juvenile hall. There I met 17-year-old Mario who wanted to turn his life around and follow Jesus. Afterward he asked me if I had been to Oakwood 3.

He said, “There’s a kid there named Carlos, who just turned 14.  He lives next door to me and is like my kid brother. We used to sit on the porch and have long talks. He’s never been in trouble. I’m worried about him over there with those tough guys in Oakwood 3.”

“You’ll be happy to know that a little while ago Carlos gave his life to Jesus. There may be some tough guys in Oakwood 3, but there are also some fine Christians there. When I left Carlos, there was an older Christian guy helping him look up Bible verses for his first Bible study lesson.”

Mario’s eyes filled with tears. “Thank you for telling me! I was so worried.”

I said, “Mario, you are older and I want you to be a good influence on Carlos. When you return home and sit on your porch again, things are going to be different. I want you to read your Bible together. I want you and Carlos to begin praying together. Pray that your families will come to know Jesus. Will you do that?”

Through tears, all Mario could say was, “Yes. Oh yes.”

I left Mario with some recommended churches with youth groups that he and Carlos could attend.

 [To leave a comment click on story title and then scroll down]

Posted in JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

How Do You Know the Bible’s True?

I was leading a Bible study with incarcerated teens. There was a new guy 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 have 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."]

Posted in DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Please Pray Through My Medium

A sick friend asked me to pray for her.  However,  there was a condition involved. She wanted me to pray through her therapist who was a “medium.”

I replied, “But I already have a medium!  Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.’  So you see, Jesus is my medium. When I pray through Jesus I have a direct connection with God.”

She frowned, “Well, I met Jesus once.  He was a sad and lonely man.  He made me the same.”

I smiled.  “I met Jesus too!  He forgave my sins and filled me with His Holy Spirit so I would have peace, joy and love.  He has remained with me all these years.”

“Oh.” She was quiet a moment. Then,  “Well then, go ahead and pray.”  So I did.

When I left the room I overheard her tell the therapist, “I think Kathleen is on a higher level than we are.”

  •  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

[ Would you have answered differently? Have you known others who have prayed through a medium? To leave a comment, click on title of story, then scroll to bottom to "Leave a Reply."]

Posted in ILLNESS or HOSPITAL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

His Place of Blessing

Our friends Carol and Frank are retired with a fixed income. They live in a small house on 3 acres in a rural area. They love the Lord and wanted to serve Him in some special way. Repeatedly Carol heard the Lord speaking clearly: “Step out of your comfort zone. Do something bigger.”

Their idea was to take much of their investment savings plus all of their emergency savings, and build a small two-bedroom apartment next to their home and share it with people in need. They would call it “His Place of Blessing.”

Carol decorated it with an American Patriotism theme. Several friends donated furnishings, even a patriotic quilt!  She added a small bookcase containing a Bible and several good books.

Soon there was a call from the church secretary: “An older woman who lives out of state has a son with a terminal illness.”  As a Christian she had written to several churches asking if anyone would be able to host her for a few weeks, as she couldn’t afford a hotel.

Nancy was their first occupant. Daily she would visit her son who passed away after five weeks. Carol would check on Nancy every other day to see how her son was doing. There were opportunities to pray with Nancy and to encourage her. She and Frank went to the hospital to meet and pray with her 49-year-old son who left behind a wife and three children. Nancy returned home after his burial.

Carol had just finished cleaning the apartment when three young men—college students from the Czech Republic arrived. They came for a 6-week exchange program to learn English by immersion. Carol and Frank simply loved these young men. They introduced them to their church and also to the Christian fellowship for college students.

She was able to find some Christian websites in the Czech language that the young men would enjoy: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/czech/whois.htm  http://www.everystudent.cz / http://jesusfilmmedia.org/video/1_4432-cl-0-0/czech/the-story-of-jesus-for-children    A favorite comic in Czech: http://www.chick.com/catalog/TractList.asp?language=Czech

Funny thing is,  “His Place of Blessing” is not just blessing people in need. It’s blessing Carol and Frank as well.

  •  Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”      Psalm 20:4

[Reader: Is this something you might consider doing? Can you foresee any drawbacks? To leave a comment, simply click on the story's TITLE, then scroll to bottom of page to:  "Leave Reply."]

Posted in HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What is a Saint?

  • According to the Bible, a saint is a follower of Jesus Christ.  Romans 16:15, 1 Corinthians 1:2.
  • We are encouraged to pray for the saints in Ephesians 6:18, not to them. The Bible does not instruct believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God.   1 Timothy 2:5.
  • In fact, the Bible tells us that we believers on earth can “approach the throne of grace with confidence.”  Hebrews 4:16
  • We are to intercede for the saints in Romans 8:26-27 and help the saints in  2 Cor 8:4; and 1Corinthians 16:1.
  • According to Ephesians 4:12, the work of pastors and teachers is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
  •  Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/prayer-saints-Mary.html#ixzz303bVMmFe

How Can You Know if You Are a Saint?

  • When you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ you changed from within. 1 Cor. 6:11; John 3:3 and 3:7
  •  When you study the Bible it is for you personally.  Hebrews 4:12
  •  When you sin you are miserable.  John 16:8-11
  •  You enjoy being around other Christians. 1 John 1:7 – fellowship with one another
  •  You have a new awareness of sin in your life as the Holy Spirit begins to show you. John 15:26
  •  You love God’s Word and hunger for it.  1 Peter 2:2
  •  You desire to change your life, obey God and grow more like Jesus.  2 Cor. 5:17
  •  You desire to talk about Jesus Christ and share Him with others.  Romans 1:16
  •  There is an increase in testing and persecution.  Luke 21:16, 1 Peter 4:12-14, 1 John  3:13
  •  You are almost constantly thinking about God.  Psalms 34:1
  •  You confess Jesus as Savior and Lord.  1John 4:15
  •  You desire to please God and obey Him.  1John 2:3
  •  Someone said that a saint confesses more and more—but actually sins less and less.
  •  You become more and more grateful for God’s blessings, beginning with salvation.

Does this describe you?                                                                                                            Would you like it to describe you?                                                                                              The following link will explain the basics of who Jesus is and how He can transform your  life: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com /

  •  These Inward Trials – Click here to listen:

 

[To leave a comment, click on story's TITLE and scroll down]

Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Young Man From China Despairing

Recently as an online missionary for Global Media Outreach, a young engineer from China wrote.  He said his girlfriend had broken up with him and he was despairing over his loss. Could I offer any reason for him to go on living?

I encouraged him with Scripture and wrote out a prayer for him.  I urged him to sign up for our free 30-day online Bible study.  He did.

Five days later he wrote, “Every time I do the Bible study a peace seems to settle over me.”  Ten days later he wrote, “I’m still doing the Bible study and learning a great deal. I’ve been thinking less and less about my ex-girlfriend.”  Every few days he continued to write to ask questions or share new things he was learning.

One day he wrote, “I am overjoyed with the new life I have in Jesus.  I am forever a changed man.”  He now calls me his “Spiritual Mom.”

How privileged I am to witness the transforming changes God continues to make in lives.

  • Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.     James 1:17
  • Perhaps you’d like to take the free 30-day online Bible study:  http://www.30daynextsteps.com/

 

[To leave a comment, simply click on the story's title, then scroll down to "Leave Comment."]

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Why Did You Come Tonight?

I had a responsive group of minors in my Bible study at the juvenile hall.  I asked them why they had come.  Their answers were typical: “I need to find God” or “I’ve messed up and I need to turn my life around.”

I said, “Let me tell you why I think you’re here.  Jesus once said, ‘No one can come to me unless the Father draws them.’ You see God loves you and is drawing you to Himself—and you have responded.”

I noticed a couple guys wipe away tears as they listened. I added, “It could be that God is also drawing some of the other guys in the day room (who chose not to come) but they are not responding.”

About five minutes later one of the guys from the day room knocked on the classroom door.  He asked if he could join us.  A boy in the back called out, “Tell him why he’s here!”

Several new boys wanted to receive Christ.  It was a precious time.  After praying, one said with a smile, “I feel lighter, as if a huge weight has been lifted from me.”

  • Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”                      John 6:44-45
  •  I KNOW HIM – Click here to listen:
Posted in DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

He Loved God & America

It was World War II and 6-year-old Dietrich was playing with his brother when he saw the soldiers marching up the road. Their uniforms were a different color than the German uniforms.  He ran indoors to tell his mother.

“It’s the Russians!” she cried, as she grabbed the boys’ hands and began running. The soldiers opened fire, perhaps just to frighten them—because they missed. The little family continued running. They ran for nearly two years, begging bread and sleeping in barns and farmhouses.

While waiting to board a ship carrying refugees to safety,  Dietrich had a premonition not to go.  He hid behind a woodpile while his mother searched frantically.  It was after the ship departed that Dietrich came out of hiding. His mother was angry with him until they watched in horror as the ship exploded in the harbor.  Dietrich believed it was God guiding him that day to protect his family.

Their parents died in the war and the boys were adopted by an uncle in America.  Dietrich later married my cousin and became a successful businessman. He believed God had blessed him so he could bless others. They raised four sons and were strong followers of Jesus Christ.

Dietrich loved America.  He longed to see a tall American flag at the entrance of their little town.  The city council issued him a permit.  When it was erected, Dietrich and his wife celebrated by hosting a free tri-tip BBQ for the entire community!

When Dietrich passed away last month, there was no local church large enough to handle the expected crowd.  So they used the fairgrounds! What a tribute it was to a strong man of God, a man whose kindness and generosity was inexhaustible.

  • One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.    Proverbs 11:24

 

 

Posted in HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Should Newlyweds Tithe?

Brian’s story:  “When we first married the thought of getting a full-time job and supporting a wife was frightening. I was a Christian, yet I was unsure about tithing 10% of our gross income.  My wife and I prayed about it and decided we would trust God and do it.

“After one year, I could honestly say that God had been faithful.  We were able to pay all our expenses and still save a good amount.”

A close relative questioned, “Why are you tithing 10% of your gross income? You are just starting out in life. You need that money for yourself!”

Brian responded, “That money belongs to God.  It is not ours to spend.”

Sixteen years and six kids later they are no longer tithing 10% of their gross income. Now they are up to 30% and their future goal is 50%.  Meanwhile they have a small house. Brian recently received a substantial raise. They decided it was time to search for a larger house—and they found one.

Brian and his wife discussed the pros and cons of having a larger home. Then Brian said, “We can get this house, but if we do, we will no longer be able to bless as many people.”

They have decided their small home is perfect.

  •  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.   2 Corinthians 9:7-8 
  • GOD IS READY – Click here to listen:
  • [To leave comment:  Click on title of story and scroll down]

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ice Blended Mocha

Last week we had four workers digging trenches in our yard and laying pipes. They were all Hispanic and spoke broken English. When they took their lunch break I went outside carrying paper cups and a pitcher of ice blended mocha. I told them I’d also brought them something to read.

Their leader asked, “What is it?”
“It’s about Jesus! These are little comic books in Spanish. I think you’ll like them.”          “Really? Are you Christian or Catholic?”                                                                                          “I’m Christian. But Catholics also consider themselves Christian because we both believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.”                                                                                                       He said, “Can I ask you some questions?” From there he asked one question after another.

The next day they returned.  They had enjoyed their booklets and two had shared them with their families. Did I have more? I did.

There were more questions: “Do you believe in heaven and hell? Do you think Jesus is going to return? Do you know of any Spanish-speaking churches?”

The four guys were from three different nearby towns. I went online and found churches in all three towns—churches with Bible studies and church services in Spanish. Three of the guys were happy. One was reluctant. Their boss said, “You take it and you go to that church. You need it! We all need it!”

Their next questions were about the problems they had with their teenagers, with their ex-wives or girlfriends. These guys were dear young men with regular problems and genuine fears and concerns for their families.

When they finished their job I gave each a New Testament in Spanish. The leader said boldly, “Thank you! I’m going to read this! I’m going to read this!”

  •  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.     Matthew 28:19
  •  My recipe for Ice Blended Mocha:  Place in blender: ice chips, water, instant coffee, cocoa powder, milk and sugar to taste.
  •  Comic tracts:  http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp 
  •  In Spanish:  http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0570/0570_01.asp  

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments