Tag Archives: Religion

No Ice Cream Cone For Jagruti

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Can you imagine being six years old and never having tasted an ice cream cone? Never once having drops of chocolate dribble down your chin and splatter onto your shirt, causing your mom’s eyes to almost shout aloud. Never once taking a bite out of the bottom of the cone and making a bigger mess on your shirt, causing even more problems.

How can this be?

Jagruti is a beautiful six-year old girl who lives in rural Maharashtra, India’s wealthiest state which borders on the Arabian Sea. The financial capital of India, Mumbai, and other large cities in Maharashtra swirl with activity from IBM, Microsoft, Honeywell, Volkswagen, Audi, GM, Fiat, Mercedes, Skoda, and other large international corporations.

Yet, Jagruti has never tasted an ice cream cone.

You see, Jagruti had the misfortune of being born to parents who are Dalits. And as a Dalit child, Jagruti is considered a subhuman, impure from birth, and worthy of nothing but contempt. She is one of the 300 million “Untouchables,” which means just that – no upper-caste person can touch her and she can not touch them. She is denied access to public wells and may be fined for drinking from a water fountain.

But still, it’s only an ice cream cone, can’t she have one?

Jagruti’s papa is a hard working laborer, but being a Dalit, only  certain jobs are open to him. These include harvesting crops by hand or cleaning open-air toilets, latrines, and sewers with his bare hands. This backbreaking work will earn him a few rupees per day, barely enough to support his wife, a baby daughter, two sons, and Jagruti.

So, no money left over for luxuries like ice cream cones.

Jagruti is special child, especially to my wife and me, because we help support her through Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope. The picture above is one she colored and sent to us from her village, nine thousand miles away. A work by Monet or Renoir could never hold a candle to a Jagruti original.

Just so you know: my wife and I have struggled financially. Yet, we support Jagruti, three other children, and plan on supporting more. How? We’ve learned God honors His word.

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given. (Proverbs 19:17)

And pay backs from God are always more than enough.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Where’s The Lone Ranger When We Need Him?

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As a child growing up, nothing stirred my heart like hearing the William Tell Overture and the radio announcer saying, “A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! The Lone Ranger!”

My usual position for the thirty minute program was straddling a painted white oak chair, facing backwards with one of dad’s leather belts looping around the chair’s back for reins. This was my great horse Silver, whose thundering hoofbeats took me back to those days of yesteryear. A pair of six-guns hung from my waist and a black mask covered my face.

Never once, did the Lone Ranger let me down. He always arrived just in time to save Tonto, a widow, a sheriff, or a whole town. Even the despicable Butch Cavendish and his gang were never a match for the masked man. He always saved the day  and then rode off with Tonto, searching for new struggles to set right.

Now fast forward sixty years to today’s America where Evangelical Christians hope and pray for a new political champion, a man wearing a white hat. An updated Ronal Reagan clone would fit the part perfectly. The champion would say no to government spending and new taxation, stop abortion, reverse our slide toward same sex marriage, and set our nation’s eyes back to being a light on the hill. If only, huh?

Well, it ain’t happening!

That’s right! It ain’t happening!

Our God is not thinking about how He can bring us Christians back to yesteryear, the days of Reagan or Eisenhower. It’s not even a passing thought on His heart. He is looking forward to seeing the American Church becoming a holy, blameless Bride without spot or blemish. This is His heart’s desire.

For now, we Christians must align our prayers, hopes, and hearts with His desires for His Church. If not, we will be frustrated, finger-pointing whiners, unfit for His kingdom use.

So, don’t worry about the economy or terrorist attacks or politicians or whatever, but seek the King and learn how to dwell in His Kingdom now.  What we’re witnessing with all the calamities and sad circumstances are birth pangs which you can expect to  continue and accelerate for many years to come.

But out of all this, God will present to Himself a glorious Church.

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I Started A Business Yesterday, But…

Any of us can start a business. To do so, all we must do is discover a customer need, fill that need at agreeable prices for both customers and us, and bada bing bada boom, we are in business.

Sounds easy enough, right? Why aren’t more people doing it?

The answer is simple: money.

It takes money to buy supplies, equipment, rent a shop, advertise, hire workers, meet state and federal laws, insurances, provide salaries, and dozens of other things.

Yet, no matter how well we plan and budget ahead of time, the amount of money needed to get the business off the ground will always be much more than we figure. Always. This seems to work according to the precepts of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the most inopportune time.”

Okay, now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, I started a new business yesterday, but it was not mine.

Sewing

You see, my wife and I bought a sewing machine for a family in India through Gospel for Asia. This gift will empower a poor family to provide funds for their needs through their very own tailoring business. Maybe a family unit will now stay together and a child won’t have to be sold.

As soon as the family receives the sewing machine, classes are provided so people can start putting their new machines to good use. Can you imagine how hope will be sparked in this family? And maybe, each will love Jesus a little more.

Do you want to know how we could afford to help this family?

I sold an older laptop computer and the boxes from our recent move. The total came to $85, just enough to buy the sewing machine. Since the money had been spent on these items long ago, we didn’t even miss it.

If you want to know more about empowering the poor in India, check out all the gifts Gospel For Asia has here. You can also watch a 26 second video on the sewing machine and how it changed one family’s life.

Who knows? Maybe you have some stuff in your garage or attic which can be converted to cash to help the poor in India. If so, it will be an eternally wise decision on your part.

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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, Prophecy 101, is FREE April 16 – 17, through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

Do you prophesy? If not, why not?These may be questions you have never been asked before, or at least, not very often. But did you know that the Apostle Paul asked questions much like these of early Christians? He wanted all to prophesy.

Why?

Prophecy is a gift meant for each of us so we can help other people. (1 Corinthians 12:7 paraphrased)

The Apostle Paul knew the early Christians needed prophecy because of their perilous times. Famines, persecutions, wars, and even shipwrecks awaited many of them so they needed warnings from God. And one of the best ways to do that was through prophecy.

Okay, but what about today’s Christians?

On May 20, 1985, I was planning on committing suicide, but a businessman spoke prophetic words to me which saved my life.

As you can probably guess, I am fervent for prophecy and like the Apostle Paul, I believe all should prophesy. You see, just one prophetic word might change your life, a family member’s life, a neighbor’s life, or a stranger’s life. And who knows? Lives might be saved because you prophesy.Prophecy 101 contains 58 simple lessons that I have learned over the last twenty-seven years on how to prophesy. The book is filled with scriptural and personal examples in a quick reading style.

So, do you want to prophesy? The decision is yours.

Print Length: 231 pages.  File Size: 334 KB  Regular Price: $2.99

Free April 16 and April 17, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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The Road to Reality

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This morning I had one of those weird dreams which forces a person to ask, “Is this really from God?”

In it, I was smoking a pipe. Now, for your information, I smoked pipes for nearly twenty years, but I quit when the Lord delivered me of smoking, just a few weeks after my salvation on May 20, 1985. Yet, I was puffing away in the dream.

Someone in the dream asked me about smoking and my answer surprised me. “I’m giving up pipe smoking because the Lord wants me to deny myself and pick up my cross and follow Him,” I said.

The dream ended and I had no clues what it meant, if anything.

Later this morning, I drove to the grocery store. There I checked my list while walking down the aisle and noticed chewing gum on it. That’s when I received the interpretation for my pipe-smoking dream.

You see, I have always been an avid gum chewer, but even more so, since quitting smoking. A pack of gum usually lasted two days for me.

But standing there in the vegetable aisle, between tomatoes and lettuce, I knew the dream was not about pipe smoking, but instead, about gum chewing. The Holy Spirit then urged me to give up chewing gum, which I did.

So, is chewing gum a big deal to God? Is it a sin?

For almost everyone, chewing gum is not a big deal to God nor is it a sin. Yet, for me, it was an answer to the following prayer I prayed after reading The Road To Reality:

“Lord, show me how I can deny myself and be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission and advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth.”

As I stood there in the vegetable aisle, the Holy Spirit revealed my chewing gum habit cost over $200 per year. This money could provide six months of safety, food, and hope for an abandoned child through GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program.

I’m sure gum is only a first step and there will be many more, but I plan on embracing the life K. P. Yohannan outlined in his book.

The Road To Reality is 207 pages in length. You can download it free of charge or order a print copy.

I recommend the book to all who want to live with eternity stamped on their eyelids.

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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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Filed under Christianity, Church, church planting, Faith, Fiction, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, Inspirational, jesus, Kindle, Kingdom of God, Literature, Prophecy, Religion, spiritual warfare, Writing

Moving Again?

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In 17 years of marriage, Honey and I have moved at least 33 times, with stops in 9 different states and 18 different cities. The latest move was from a home on the north side of Temecula to one in central Temecula, a four mile hop, skip, and a jump for us.

A well-meaning pastor once took me aside and gave one of those lectures no one ever likes to hear.

“Larry, you need stability in your life and marriage,” he said, shaking his head at our wanderings. “No one will ever take your ministry seriously if you don’t settle down. You need to find yourself a city and a good church to park yourself so others will take you more seriously. Please, seek the Lord on this advice.”

If you think about it, his words make sense, right? Shouldn’t a prophetic person build a reputation with a pastor and a body of believers so he won’t look like a wandering gadfly to everyone?

Maybe.

It all comes down to this one single point: obeying the voice of God.

You see, if Honey and I have obeyed the voice of God to the best of our abilities with our moves, then who cares what the pastor and others think. In God’s eyes, our reputations were excess baggage in comparison to the open-door policy at His throne of grace where we can come at anytime for grace and mercy to help us in times of need.

Walking by faith carries with it the possibility we will not always hit the bullseye on the target when we set out on our journeys. Yes, I know we can fast and pray and wait and seek, but eventually we have to get off our knees and walk it out. And from experience, I can tell you there is plenty of wiggle room in the will of God which will end up costing us time and money. All of this will frustrate and drive us to the end of ourselves until we trust Him for everything.

Looking back on the 33 moves, would I do it all over again?

Yes, in a heartbeat! His grace is sufficient and that’s good enough for me.

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