Category Archives: Religion

Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?

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One day the Lord got my attention while I was standing at a busy street corner in India waiting for the light to turn green. There were little children everywhere, a common sight at many busy corners in Bombay. Tourists are cautioned not to give them anything because once you do, the others will all mob you.

While I was at this corner, feeling a bit annoyed by little hands grabbing at me, I heard from behind me the voice of a young girl.

“Sahib, Sir, my father died. My mother is sick. She can’t beg anymore. And I have a little brother, who is very hungry. Would you please give me a few pennies so I can buy some bread and take it to him?”

The light turned green, and everybody hurried on. But I couldn’t move. What she said pierced my heart, I turned around and saw this young girl, not yet 10 years old. I will never forget her face − one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen on a child. She had big brown eyes, thick black hair almost the length of her body, dirty fingernails, and dust mingled with sweat running down her face. She was barefoot and in rags. She just stood there with her hand extended.

I put my hands in my pocket and took all the money I could find and gave it to her. Then, I walked on.

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, I felt an unseen stranger joined me on this emotional walk. “So, what do you think about the little girl you just met? Is her life as valuable and precious as…” and the face of another young girl appeared in my mind’s eye. I didn’t know the name of the girl on the street, but I for certain knew the name of this new face; it was my own little daughter, Sarah.

I certainly don’t want anyone to feel guilty about lovingly caring for our own children and grandchildren. But the question remains: Is there room in our hearts for one or two of the world’s suffering children, and can we also care for them in Jesus’ name? Can we see them as Jesus does, so special to Him, their worth like jewels beyond compare?

(Excerpts from No Longer A Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan, © 2011, pages 69-72. Order your copy here.)

When I read No Longer A Slumdog, I saw the face of my daughter, Susan, and became a sponsor in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry. I pray this happens to thousands and thousands of Americans, maybe even you. (Larry Who)

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Do You Really Believe The Gospel?

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Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses. The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the replay. Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”? All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!” (Why Revival Tarries, Leonard Ravenhill, ©1959, 1987, Behtany House, Page 32.)

Do we really believe the Gospel? Do we really believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus?

If so, what are we going to do with our beliefs? Will we continue sleep walking like the prison chaplain, ignoring the people around us who are facing an eternity in Hell? Or are we willing to crawl on our hands and knees over broken glass to save one soul from Hell?

The answers to these questions reveal the depths of our love for Jesus.

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Struggling as a Christian Writer?

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A  lifetime ago, I normally preached three times per week. Although I wasn’t a pastor of a church, I preached wherever a door opened.

Once, I taught a series on Christian business practices in a small Iowa town hall. On the second evening, I sat alone, wondering if anyone would show up. At five minutes till seven, a woman walked in and sat down in the middle of fifty chairs. The clock creeped forward, but no one else showed up.

“Sir,” said the woman, “will you be starting on time?”

I nodded my head. “Sure,” I replied, moving toward the stage.

At seven o’clock, I prayed and began teaching to an audience of one. My teaching lasted forty-five minutes and a few others arrived in the last five minutes of it.

I closed the meeting and asked the lady if she needed personal prayer. She did. When I prayed, she received a physical healing for a long term ailment.

Another time, I held breakfast meetings in a restaurant where I gave ten minute teachings. A discussion followed the teachings.

No one showed up on one morning. So there I was in the middle of a restaurant, a preacher with a Bible, a teaching, and no audience. I picked up the menu to check it out when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “I’m here. Start your teaching.”

I opened with prayer and taught my message while all the other customers in the restaurant looked on, probably thinking, “That guy’s a nut!”

Not exactly a successful prototype for others to follow, right?

Yet, I learned a valuable lesson through these efforts. I learned who I needed to please: Jesus. My calling, my ministry, and my life must be focused on pleasing Him. If others are blessed, it will be because I first pleased Him.

So, when the Lord told me to write books and blogs, I did. And of course, I’d love to sell thousands of books, but that is a distant second to pleasing Him.

Now here’s a nugget for us writers: “If an author is willing to go through the various dry seasons of being humbled before God and man, God will eventually reveal mysteries and secrets to the person which may catapult the author onto a gigantic stage.”

Yet, it all begins with just pleasing Him.

Are you willing to pay the price?

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Taco Tuesday Special! Free e-Book on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, a computer, or smart phone with Kindle apps on it, my e-book novel, Jonah, is FREE April 9 – 10, through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

The novel, Jonah, consists of two novellas written specifically for people who live in a post-911 America and who no longer see hope in a watered down, same-o same-o religion.

The main character in the first novella, “Jeremiah,” has his dreams wrecked by a late night visitation with an angel. Then, he receives a prophetic message for San Francisco. Will the city heed Jeremiah’s warning or is the city doomed?

In the second novella, “Jonah,” two prophets receive identical messages for the West Coast. Though each faces different struggles, it comes down to whether or not the people believe the prophets’ words. If the prophetic words are ignored, what will happen?

Fiction or prophecy? Time will soon reveal the answer to all of us.

Print Length: 225 pages.  File Size: 388 KB  Regular Price: $2.99

Free April 9 and April 10, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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“Everyone Pushes Their Version of Morality” by Joseph Farah

 

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The following appeared in Joseph Farah’s Between the Lines Commentary on WND (March 27, 2013).

I got an interesting letter from someone going by the name of Jack O’Scratch recently.

“I know you won’t reply because that is the way you people deal with criticism, but why can’t you just let people live their lives?” he asked rhetorically. “Why must you continue to PUSH your morality on the rest of the world? Do you honestly think your god is so intolerant that he will punish YOU because other people don’t follow YOUR god? Thanks again for reinforcing my belief that I did the right thing by renouncing your evil, pathetic religion.”

I’m going to surprise Jack by replying.

Jack begins by saying he doesn’t like the way “you people,” meaning me, I presume, deal with criticism.

That, of course, acknowledges that my views are often under criticism.

The way I respond, when I think I’m right, is to defend my views – something I would expect everyone to do.

He asserts that I am not letting people live their lives.

Let the record show I have never taken the life of anyone. Neither have I forcefully obstructed people from living their lives the way they want – unless they were threatening the lives of others. I believe in treating people the way I would like to be treated as Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

I have been in error at times in my life. I’m thankful to those who offered me correction. And I try to offer correction to those who are straying from the teachings of their Creator. That strikes me as the loving thing to do.

I don’t want to see people lost. I don’t want to see people miss out on the rewards of obedience to God. I don’t want to see people separated from the love of God for all eternity because of bad decisions they made.

That’s the spirit in which I approach what the Bible defines as “sin.”

I’m not pushing my morality on anyone. My morality is weak. But I do try to promote the morality of the One who defined right from wrong for us.

And make no mistake about it: Everyone involved and engaged in debating social issues is pushing some form of morality.

Every law passed in the history of the world, whether by king’s edict or through the votes of elected officials, is the reflection of someone’s morality – be it a highway speed limit, a seatbelt law, a law involving restrictions on firearms or the very definition of when life begins. Tax laws are reflections of morality. Deficit spending decisions are reflections of morality. There’s just no such thing as a law or regulation that is not a reflection of someone’s morality.

Take another look at Jack’s criticism with that in mind.

Who is pushing his morality?

He rejects God.

Atheists have their own morality, too – and they are among the most vociferous advocates of their view of right and wrong.

Do I push morality? Yes, I plead guilty as charged. But I don’t enforce it. I don’t coerce anyone to follow my view of morality.

Interestingly, I find the very people who attack me for advocating a certain moral worldview attempt to do just that – force their morality on everyone else.

They do it through legislation. They do it through court edicts. They do it through bullying. They do it through heavy-handed pressure tactics. They do it through violence. They do it through intimidation and coercion and name-calling.

So what I’m asking Jack to do today – along with all those who think like Jack – is to take a look in the mirror. He might also want to re-examine that Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

You might also want to contemplate Leviticus 19:18: “[T]hou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

What’s the best way to love your neighbor? Is it not to share the truth? Is it not to save them from death? Is it not to provide them with the key to everlasting life?

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Where’s Mom and Dad?

Although only five years old, I remember that particular September day.

It was the weekend of the Ogle County Fair which meant jumping in our 1951 Ford with my family and driving to the fairgrounds. Upon arrival, my sister went with her cousin to check out the fair. I stayed with mom and dad.

My parents first treated me to a hot dog and Nehi Cream Soda. Afterward, we walked around looking at farm exhibits.

Dad was interested in a tractor at one tent and talked to a lively salesman. Mom listened to the haggling and laughed at the two men. I stood there for a few moments, but the sounds of the fair tugged on my ears.

“Step right up and win yourself a teddy bear.”

“Get your ticket now for the tilt-a-whirl.”

“Hurry, hurry! Right this way!”

Without a word, I turned and followed the sounds. The crowd swept me along in its current to the carnival games and rides. Everything seemed so alive until a revelation dawned upon me: where’s Mom and Dad?

I backtracked to the tractor exhibit, but they were gone. I searched here, there, and everywhere. No parents. Finally, I stopped by a tree and cried. The thoughts of never seeing my parents again and wondering what would happen to me bombarded my mind.

Then, I heard a voice.

“Sonny, I’m here,” said Dad, leaning over to give me a hug.

My life began again at that moment.

This experience occurred years ago and lasted twenty or so minutes, but do you know in India there are 11 million abandoned children whose experiences never end? Little ones left to fend for themselves by poor parents who can no longer afford to care for them. 90% of these abandoned children are little girls.

Three million of these children end up living on the streets. A million or so of the little girls will end up in the sex trade with a life expectancy of 15 years of age.

What can we do?

Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope offers us an opportunity to sponsor children, with 100% of our financial offerings going directly to help the children.

Like my dad on that day long ago, we can be a loving voice to these children which says, “I’m here.”

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It’s Taco Tuesday! So, my e-Book, “Planning + Preparation = Survival” is Free on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle,  Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, or any computer with Kindle apps on it, my e-book, Planning + Preparation = Survival, is free on March 12 and March 13 through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

What is the #1 statement spoken by individuals during large catastrophes?

“I didn’t think this would ever happen to me.”

Why do they say this?

They thought catastrophes always happened to someone else, never to them. And if it did happen, they believed the government would arrive on the scene and rescue them before their cups of coffee turned cold.

If this is your present thinking, then allow me to say one word to smash your ideas to smithereens: Katrina. Yes, Hurricane Katrina, the watershed event when all of us should have learned to never again place our faith in governments to rescue us or our families from catastrophes.

Planning + Preparation = Survival is a no-nonsense book written to show Christians how to pray, plan, and prepare ourselves, our families, and our communities for possible natural and terrorist catastrophes in the near future.
This book should be a required reading for all believers, especially those on the West Coast.

Print Length:  56 pages    File Size:  196 KB    Regular Price: $  .99

Free March 12 and March 13, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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