Justin Bieber

I include a slide of Justin Bieiber in my science slide show. Therefore I linked from Drudge to this article. I then enjoyed this quote that goes along with the thinking of the science presentation:

I can just trust that God got this under control. That’s where I’m at. I’m the type of dude who always wants to figure it out. Science makes a lot of sense. Then I start thinking—wait, the “big bang.” For a “big bang” to create all this is more wild to think about than thinking about there being a God. Imagine putting a bunch of gold into a box, shaking up the box, and out comes a Rolex. It’s so preposterous once people start saying it. At this point, my faith has gotten me to where I am. My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. I think that with Christians, they’ve left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious.

You can read his other comments about Christianity at the article. Just a young man trying straddle the great divide. Hope he lands on the right side.

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San Diego Trip

On a Thursday Sept. 10th, Joan and I traveled to San Diego to see our daughter, Laura Michelle, her husband Joe and our fourth grandbaby, Joshua. I also included four visits to churches to do the “one minute bible studies” seminars. This trip also coincided with a Starbucks Dash for the Stars so we can enjoy our Starbucks opportunities (none in Sparta) and get rewarded with some freebies.
A cancelled Southwest flight gave us a better flight that got us into San Diego in time for Joan to go with Laura Michelle to Joshua’s checkup. I went with Joe as he charged up his electric car, a Leaf, and then breakfast together. San Diego living is just cool.
Friday, I hiked the mountain behind their house. On the other side of the mountain you look on a high tech area where Joe works. I hiked this in May when Joshua was born, but it was a lot hotter today. Joe Rice used to live in this area and he said he walked this every day he could. On my last walk I hiked with a man named Mat, owner of phone stores in Dallas, living in San Diego and concerned about his son Sean. This time I walked alone and it was hot.
I made it down in time to have a Rita’s gelato before Joan and I borrowed their car and headed off to Winchester to work with Mike Stamper’s church. Originally this was going to be a missionary get together with the Stampers, us and Richard Brooks. As it was we stayed with the Stampers only. They had a guest room set up for us and fed us at the house and we had a great time together. They have been missionaries in Kenya and Nepal. They are both talented and high energy people. They have taken over a church that just released their pastor to be a missionary in Madagascar.
That evening I gave a short evangelism sermon followed by a thirty minute outreach. We did around 25 bible studies with people and had two people pray. I spent most of the time talking with one man named Mike on break from his Home Depot job. He was church knowledgeable listing his positions and ministries. He wanted to have the spiritual talk about revelation and the rapture, but a zeal he might have once had was suppressed as he smoked his cigarette and waited to go back to work. Pastor Stamper would be the perfect man to reach into the mysteries of bible life with him; and I told him as much before we parted our ways. While at the church I saw some stats from their California Conquests. These are targeted outreaches where all of the area churches converge upon a single church to outreach. The numbers are impressive; 250 saved, 300 saved; I was impressed. Pastor Richard Cox is the coordinator of these outreaches. This last conference he preached about the need for follow up ministry. What good are 300 convert cards if all they do is sit in a desk?
The next morning we shared a nice breakfast with the Stampers and Mike’s Mom. We got their dating story (always fun to hear) and Mom’s perspectives on life (she is quite the lady). The night of ministry was augmented to the fullest by the fellowship Mike and Yolanda offered to us. We made our way back to San Diego where we would do Sushi with Joe and Laura Michelle enjoying the day together.
Sunday would be spent in Spring Valley at Cris Lloyd’s church. It is nice when a church can give me a full Sunday. I do my science slide show for Sunday School, evangelism sermon for morning service and for the evening service we go out for the 30 minute outreach. This was my first use of two extra slides: one with Bruce Jenner on the box of Wheaties and one of Bruce Jenner on Vanity Fair. The point: DNA determines sex, and there is nothing you can do to change it and you determine sexuality. I precede this with a study done in Minnesota that found homosexual youths were five times more likely to impregnate girls than straight youths. It also found that Lesbian youths were five times for likely to be impregnated than straight youths. I follow this with the Proverb: “As a man thinks in his heart so he is” with the idea being that if you read cookbooks you will want to try and cook and if you read and think about sexual orientation you will tend to try and figure it out with actions. They had a great group of teen agers that were soaking up the science presentation.
I preached my evangelism sermon getting everyone set up to use their phones for our “one minute bible study” outreach that night. Cris and Lori took us out to a Mexican restaurant, something I look forward to anytime I can get out of Sparta. Joan and I camped out at a Starbucks taking care of business until the evening service. The prayer room seemed electric to me, but Cris said it was normal. Wow! The gang went out and did over 50 bible studies and prayed with 15 people that night. The first guy I tried to talk to couldn’t because he was heading to a bus stop. Well as the outreach unfolded I found him again on the bus bench. Dominic did a “one minute bible study” with me. He had travelled two hours by bus across town to see his ex-girlfriend and their two year old daughter. Guilt, no guilt, right, wrong and everything happens like it is supposed to so why bother, but yet he is bothering. God, no God, maybe God. Yet, he feels a responsibility to be a good father. A seed planted waiting for some water of the word to counter the confusion that the world brings. We return to the church where there is victory in the camp.
We shared a desert with Cris and Lori that night. It had been a long day for Cris, yet he gave me the impression they would use the “one minute bible studies” in their future outreaches. I hope so. It was a great outreach as far as I could tell.
Monday was Mexico day. Joan and I had let our passports expire but we crossed into Mexico with Joe and Laura Michelle and baby with birth certificates and expired passports. We whizzed through the border without being stopped and made our way to a rundown resort just north of Ensenada. We set up camp and then headed out the back roads through Baja to Ensenada. We stopped for a fruit dish at a roadside stand to start the trip. Ensenada impressed me. In the distance I saw tankers and was surprised to find a bustling port city on the Baja coast. We walked around, I bought a hat, and Joan looked for her sun pottery before we settled into a little joint for some seafood tacos. The real thing in the real place, too good. We headed back to spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach and in the warm Pacific. That night we went to Charlies where all the American expatriates hang out. We ate fish and shrimp while watching Monday night football. Pretty cool.
We had a pleasant morning with Mexican coffee, Mexican hot chocolate and coconut milk and headed up the coast looking for Joan’s ceramic sun. Found one, a little pricey, but Joan was shown a video from Pueblo where the pottery is made. Audra and Jesus had just been there. A couple more stops, not much bargaining. Joe thinks that in the last major town before Tijuana we will find something. We stop for tacos, delicious, and make our way to the city market with the booths. We walk around without seeing what Joan wants…and then we find it, the man bargains and everyone comes away happy. Our own ceramic sun. Is it just coincidence that in Sunday School back home we would be examining Babylon Mystery Religion and its connection to sun worship?
We have to drive through a downpour into the outskirts of Tijuana which has traffic backed up. The kids in their Catholic school uniforms all drenched trying to make their way home. Mexico is third world, but it is a rich third world, it seems to come down to the basics of keeping things repaired and organized, something just beyond the reach of the third world mindset and pocketbook. We are inching our way to the border crossing when we find out the road we should take is closed. They are celebrating Mexican Independence are using that road to set up booths. It takes a while but we make it to the border, cross without incidence and are on our way home.
The girls would rest while Joe and I went to a revival service with Evangelist Jimmy Robinson from England. Good service. The next morning we would have a breakfast with Joe Rice, Heather, Joey and the evangelist. His son Joey is who I originally bounced ideas off of using a web site or app to do “one minute bible studies” with people. It was nice to be able to show him what I have at this point. This trip was originally set up around dates set for Joe Rice’s church but schedules collided so we were using this breakfast to give him a few points so that he could introduce it to the church at a later date. It was our Joe’s birthday also.
During this time I was thinking about outreach statistics. How many bible studies did we get done? How many people got saved? The statistics speak success, I am using them in this post to evoke success. Pastor Rich Cox preached at July conference with a touch of despair over the statistics that speak success and the reality of no follow up. That Wed. I would be going over to Oceanside to preach for Tim and Sue Moynihan. I decided to add a dimension of our “ambassadorship” for Christ into my evangelism sermon. That night we would have 40 bible studies and we prayed with 5 people. The people that prayed with those people all got phone numbers, even some people got phone numbers even though they didn’t pray. All of this was looking for a way to allow us to have some conversations with people that could go on beyond the outreach.
Thursday we would have ribs at a rib joint that was closed down at one point because of the delicious barbeque smells. This is the lore that surrounds Phil’s BBQ. It was our gang, the Rice’s and their evangelist and then Stacey Dillard and his wife Daphne. It was fun hearing Stacey, Joe and Jimmy trade English preaching stories.
That night we went to Stacey Dillard’s church where I preached my evangelism sermon with the added emphasis of our ambassadorship for Jesus. We went to the local metro station where we did 45 bible studies with 10 people praying. People got phone numbers of people they prayed with as well as just people they did a bible study with. I talked with a man who said he was alright with God. We did a bible study together. He had been through a divorce, she was now his best friend. He was making life happen. He asked me to remember the lady he is caregiver to in prayer. I went the extra step of asking him if he minded giving me his phone number so that I could stay in communication with him. He said yes. He then asked me what church I was part of. I let him know I lived in Illinois and I gave him the flyer for the Chula Vista church. I have texted him since then asking him to let me know if I should continue or not and he texted back: “Thanx brother Kevin I appreciate it”. Onward and upward.
Friday we had pancakes together. Joe went to work. I got a haircut at “Brothers Barber”. The girls did shopping while I hung out with Joshua. I listened to music while I worked on a sermon. He did quite well entertaining himself and sleeping. When he woke up we walked around until the girls came home. Easy night, and the next morning Joan and I hiked the mountain. We got organized for our trip home. Smooth sailing all the way to Sparta.

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A Little Light on Hollywood

Bernie Sanders is the unabashed socialist able to come out of the closet and represent true Democrats because our shadow President with his communist/socialist credentials paved the way for him.

One enduring lie has been the Hollywood blacklist. Well you will enjoy this article if you enjoy truth, even though it is hard to find these days. It starts with a hypothetical film that will never be made and ends with the communists in Hollywood still fighting against those they perceive as ideological enemies. Here is a quote:

Witness the longstanding campaign to prevent director Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire) from receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Motion Picture Academy. Kazan, a former communist, cooperated with HUAC and defended his position in a New York Times advertisement that called on liberals to take a stand against communism. Since Kazan’s cinematic achievements are undeniable, his career violates a significant aspect of the Hollywood Ten legend: that those who defied the committee were brilliant artists and noble idealists, while those who cooperated were vile mediocrities who could build their careers only by destroying others.Kazan finally received his award at last year’s Oscars, but amid renewed controversy over whether he should receive any applause at the event. (Abraham Polonsky [I Can Get It for You Wholesale], a leading Hollywood Communist who led the assault on Albert Maltz, hoped in print that Kazan would be assassinated.) But though Kazan finally received his due from Hollywood, Stalin never has.

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I read about the “Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force” the Marines created to test female ability in compat roles. Apparently, the test results came in and they failed. Here is one article of many. I guess the Marines don’t know the game is rigged.

This came to mind yesterday as I took a hike up a mountain by Laura Michelle’s house in San Diego. Before going up the mountain I pass by a high school. Here in Illinois PE is always coed as far as I can tell. So the kids were on the football field, boys and girls integrated together on both teams. I watched one play unfold with the thought of the Marine program on my mind. The quarterback was a girl.

Well you already know what happens the field shrinks. She cannot throw it as far as the majority of males and all of the defensive players know it so they collapse onto the small ring of distance she can throw it.

Its the same with a hand grenade. The field shrinks. She can only throw it as far as she can.

So what, well if your life is depending upon the only uninjured marine left being able to throw that hand grenade the distance to disable a machine gun and she comes short where a man could do it you are politically corrected out of luck.

Since I read the article the Secretary of the Navy has already insulted the authors of the study and probably intends to make all combat positions available to women despite what common sense tells us.

A nation that can be convinced that sodomy is natural (the body designed for it) will be easily convinced that women are just as strong as men.

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My Daughter’s Insight

Laura Michelle and I realized we had both read some books by the same author, Samuel Shellabarger. She went onto read all of his novels and called me and shared her insights. I asked her to write something so I could publish it here; so here it is:

I am captivated every time I read, Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. I recommended it to my Mom, who read it with the same fascination. When I told Dad about the book he recalled that he had enjoyed other works by the same author and I promptly checked out as many as I could from the library. In the following weeks, I luxuriated in the action and drama filled storylines set in various time periods of history.
As I read the meticulously researched books, I realized I was also learning something of the author himself. What struck me was what appeared to be a clear communication of the author’s outlook on human history and his thoughts on the present and the future. Prince of Foxes was hopeful in the promise of the Renaissance. Captain from Castile explored the promise of the New World. The King’s Cavalier looked at the rise of France and the strength of nationalism. Then, in Lord Vanity we see a degraded Europe, corrupt and immoral, but the characters take refuge in what would become the United States, a new country free from political and moral corruption. Living in the United States today we see that our exceptional nation has succumbed just as every great nation before us. The pattern is apparent to any historical observer; hope rides high on the crest of each new wave of history but then it breaks and the aftermath of disillusion from unfulfilled expectations are swept out to sea. Shellabarger’s stories communicate this pattern so clearly that I wondered if he had found any way of making sense of history’s unbroken pattern.
I found my answer when I read the last book he published. Tolbecken paints a picture of America at the turn of the twentieth century, contrasting past generations of righteousness and integrity with a new generation that has the external trappings of righteousness and honor, but because of a lack of a relationship with God, becomes increasingly disillusioned and hopeless. After the armistice of WWI, Jared (the main character) has a conversation with his best friend, David Mansen who says, “human nature is just the same as it always has been…mass idealism doesn’t change the human heart.” Later, Jared’s grandfather reflects, “Works, Faith, Justification, Sanctification…stood for something that changes but goes on.” He describes people who stand for these ideals as “a few…against the world. But all the truly distinguished men I’ve known belonged to that company.” These statements reveal that Shellabarger recognized that it’s not philosophies, laws, or institutions that make a lasting difference. Instead, individuals who make conscious decisions to do good or evil, to honor or reject God, create change for better or worse.
Regardless of the new worlds in the past or the frontiers of the future, we as individuals must commit ourselves to God and allow Him to work through us. As David Marsen says, “It’s only the individual that counts, the individual that God works through. Don’t hitch Him up to American tradition or to the League of Nations or to any human system. Hitch yourself to Him and see what happens.”

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Colorado Trip

Joan and I just completed our first “One Minute Bible Studies” ministry trip. We left Monday morning about 3:00 am and arrived in Colorado Springs around 4:00 pm. We bought some food for our cook out meal that night and got our first glance at Maggie’s Farm and its sign for overflow parking. We headed out Hwy 24 climbing to 10,000 feet and set up our tent and camp. We had some rain during the night but we managed, having no problem sleeping, with the thunder and pelting of rain going on.
We had our morning coffee, using our “his and hers” Italian coffee makers, over the fire with a bowl of cereal, this would be our morning routine for the next 4 days. I drink usually just one cup of coffee these days from my Italian pot. John Robinson had introduced it to us cooking coffee over a fire in our safari adventure in Zambia. We then visited the park’s museum and got some recommended hikes. We took off for the highest point in the park finding a geocache at the top. Beauty as far as the eye can see. We then hiked to another geocache at dynamite cabin underneath a grassy knoll.

We showered up in our coin operated showers and headed for Denver for our first meeting. I had organized these meetings as a “cheap date”. I would cover costs and be quite content with any love offerings that were taken. I was surprised to find an alternative route to Denver taking Hwy 67 north. Traveling along Trout Creek northward was good Colorado driving, until our highway turned to a dirt road. We had left plenty early but the unknown took away some of the enjoyment of the ride.

We met with Pastor Donovan Dez and his wife Chrystal. They were an army of 5 counting their three young children. Their church had not gotten off the ground yet and so here we were offering them a new tool in the toolbox of evangelism. I should point out that I believe in evangelism in all of its forms. Most Christians would love the opportunity to have a heart to heart conversation with another person about the things of God. Creating that opportunity is rather the job of the church in evangelism or a miracle encounter orchestrated by God. It really is a combination of the two. I have had two encounters with a Christian trying to communicate the gospel to me since my first encounter that led to my salvation 32 years ago. One was a woman asking me if I knew Christ while we were shopping. I happily said yes, and that was that. The other was a Presbyterian lay minister who had made a point of knocking on all the doors of Sparta once and asking if he could pray for any needs. When he knocked on my door I was pleased to recognize him from previous times together and I encouraged him in his endeavor by praying for some needs with him. If my life is an indicator of American Christian trends; most Christians do not look to orchestrate encounters with others to share the gospel.

That makes evangelistic Christians and churches a kind of vanguard fulfilling Christ’s commission to take His gospel into all of the earth. Pastor Dez was a little disappointed that I was not there to help him get rid of the flyers he had for an upcoming revival. No, this would be a different kind of outreach for him. I would explain that we were not here to advertise to the community but to find individuals within the community and take the time to communicate the word of God to them. He had put the “one minute bible studies” document on his Evernote, but I showed him how to use the links at “Just Pick One” on the website. I explained this would be casual outreach and we had no agenda or quota; but were just going to make ourselves available to what God wanted to do. Pastor Dez and I went out in our car and Joan went with Chrystal and the kids in their car.

In our car we stopped where a young man was shooting baskets and he happily did one with us. We then went to a local park. I went to where the young people were sitting together and Pastor Dez went to the skaters. Neither of us made any headway, although a man barbequing took notice of what I was doing and did a bible study with me within the hearing ears of the young people, who all chose to listen verses moving away. It turns out this man was a Navajo just like Pastor Dez. They would compare notes later before leaving the park starting with which families they each were part of.

I went to the basketball court and did my first bible study using the Spanish version on the web page. Our Spanish friend took over the reading from me after the first verse. I then did one with six young men playing a game that led to some good questions and answers. In the meantime, Pastor Dez was at the playground talking with a man there with his kids. They did a “one minute bible study”, they talked, the man prayed and Pastor Dez got his phone number with the hope that he could make the upcoming revival with Pastor Richard Brooks. We exchanged experiences and he said he could see how this could work and we returned to rendezvous with the girls after about 40 minutes.

Joan took the lead in the other car as Chrystal listened from the car. They did one with one young girl and then another with a Muslim girl. Finally, Joan did one with a man with Parkinson’s who invited her into the house to do one with him and his wife. The wife refused and Joan found out that their daughter had been murdered many years ago. They did the bible study, they talked about his life and finally talked about forgiveness. Joan prayed for him and as she was getting back in the car the man came out and asked her who had referred her to talk with him. The answer was no one, but God probably was involved he was told by Joan.

When back together I asked their oldest daughter (maybe 7) what was her favorite restaurant and it was off to McDonald’s we went for a time of fellowship. It was a great time hearing their testimonies of salvation and overcoming marriage difficulties with God. Pastor Dez had been a sermon illustration a few years back by Pastor Tom Payne. Life was difficult and the numbers didn’t add up from working his Walmart job. He wanted to return to his good paying bull-riding life even though he knew it would not be good for his family. He was encouraged to do what was right and trust God. Sure enough, doors would open and the numbers started adding up. They were headed for a small town in Colorado but God had led them to the big city of Denver where they are establishing a colony of God’s kingdom.

That night we drove through thunderstorms getting down to Colorado Springs. A car would do a double 360 in front of me as all of the traffic slowed with a semi just missing him as it slid past him. We hiked into our campsite that night pleased that the rains had missed our camping spot. More pleased about out time with the Dez’s.

Wednesday we went into Woodland Park and parked ourselves at a Starbucks. Our enjoyment of Starbucks going back to our days in Seattle in the late 80’s had been disturbed by reports that Starbucks was a major contributor to Planned Parenthood. I am under no illusion of the liberal bent of most corporations; but it was still disturbing under the shining light of the videos being released. It turned out that all they gave were matching funds to any employee who contributed. A pro-life organization challenged Starbucks employees to donate to its organization via its web site and sure enough at least one person did and Starbucks came through with matching funds. Joan’s research made sitting and sipping the coffee much easier on our psyches.

I needed the time to do some tweaking on my science slide show. I would be showing it Friday night and Sunday morning at two different churches that week. I wanted to add some slides illustrating the Bethlehem Star seen with the convergence of the King planet Jupiter and the King star Regulus in 3BC. I have been trying to add some emphasis on what DNA was responsible for and not responsible for. I added a slide of Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties box, DNA determines sex, and a slide of Bruce Jenner on Vanity Fair, DNA doesn’t determine sexuality, you do. I added some notes about LGBT youths in Minnesota where studies found that these gay and lesbian youths were five times more likely to get pregnant or get someone pregnant than straight kids. Just for kicks you can check out this article and its sources.

That afternoon we showered up at our quarter operated showers at the state park and headed to Pueblo for a mid-week service with Pastor Roy Garcia and his wife Shirley. Pastor Garcia introduced me with an inference that I was going to introduce something that would energize their outreaches, saying that the church was certainly in need of this. I went into a short sermon sharing evangelism stories, the power of the word of God and how to use the “one minute bible studies” website in speaking the word of God to another person. We then divided up in five groups and went out. One group was Spanish speaking and I was able to set up their phones before going out.

I was with Pastor Roy and his adopted son and another young man in the church. I am torn as to what is the best way to highlight the strengths of this outreach idea. Go for numbers so that we can say we spoke the word of God to 30 people in 30 minutes. Go for quality as one bible study leads to one salvation. Let the pastor and his church just have at it. I think the last idea is best, but this night I hadn’t arrived at this point and had four no’s without a single yes. I was eating up our 30 minutes and I had nothing to show for it. Pastor Roy and I sat in the car and talked while his young men did a bible study on a front porch by the church. They took their time and came back with news of having prayed with the man for his salvation. That night several people prayed with different members of the church and we went back to Pastor Garcia’s house for a meal and fellowship with a spirit of accomplishment. At dinner we enjoyed the company of the faithful man of God, the political savvy wife and the bold Christian daughters they had raised.

Thursday was Pike’s Peak day for us. We took the cog rail to the top enjoying the ride, the information and the views. We ate out at our guide’s recommended restaurant in Manitou Springs, Manitou Brewing Company, and began our exploration of the carbonated springs of Manitou. At 4 we headed down to Pueblo again to meet with Pastor Jonah Cruz and his wife Gwen. Pastor Cruz is a personality plus type person and his wife is the daughter of one of the pastors I respect, Ray Rubi. Pastor Cruz is one of those people you can’t help but like. We would go out together with one of his disciples, Sami who had that same winning personality that he had. I thought this would be an interesting outreach.
First I did a bible study with a group of people waiting for their children to finish dance class just outside the church. A no became a yes and we had some dialogue, but it was a little forced on my part trying to make the outreach tool look good. It got us talking as we made our way to a park. Every encounter gives God something to work with and makes a person acknowledge God in a negative or positive way. “Would you do a one minute bible study with me?” It is a very up front statement. The yes and the no and the spirit they are said in tells you a lot about the person. “Pick one.” Using the phone watching a person scroll down the list; you realize they are engaging in the activity. The choice tells you something about where they are at. You read the scriptures in under a minute. This is where a Christian has to try this to understand why I love this means of communicating the gospel. You can sense a presence of God, an anointing of His word and a dominion established for further conversation. I introduce myself and ask their name. I can politely break it off if I feel the “I am not ready to deal with anymore God stuff” spirit. But, usually just the opposite happens. They seem more than willing to talk about the scriptures, their lives and their relationship with God. It is more than me just preaching at them it is engaging them in the things of God and if you listen you can hear the music coming from their hearts (Prov 4:23) and minister to them.

At the park that is just what Pastor Cruz and Sami did. I was trying to lay back a bit and not try and prove anything about the outreach method. I did a couple of bible studies in the park, but really I just sat watching the clouds and the trees move as the two men did their thing in the park. They both confidently went from group to group. The young disciple spent a long time talking to a couple at a table and then the heads all went down as they prayed together. He effortlessly moved on to a single young man at a table who would be joined by a couple of friends as a healthy conversation was taking place between all of them for quite a while. Meanwhile, the pastor had done a couple of bible studies as he moved across the park. I joined him at the far end of the park, we talked, he moved onto a group of young kids and I let him to it. They were both in gospel heaven. The young man now having the people come to him and the pastor (also a young man) having another group of young people show up as he continued his time of ministry with all of them but eventually spending more time talking with a young man he had played basketball with.

We had dinner that night at Pastor Cruz’s house. I learned more about the young convert Sami and his past with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. They got me talking about myself which always makes a person feel good. It was just a pleasant time together. Still, I could feel some of the angst that goes with being a pioneer pastor. That desire to see much, yet have little when it comes to church growth. I feel it as a small church pastor in Sparta, but it is more acute as a pioneer pastor with the expectations that you carry when you go out to start the church. This became one of the blessings of this trip. A chance to minister, without cost (although Pastor Cruz gave me some gas money), to the pastors that needed a boost the most. This way of thinking goes back to my conversations with other evangelists in Prescott when we talked about how to help these kind of churches. A week’s revival with a hand full of people or finding a different way to help and encourage them. I hope this can be that different way. I explained to Pastor Cruz before we left that this can be an easy outreach for him and his wife. They can all get in the car, drive around, do some bible studies and see what happens with no stress and actually even enjoy it.

I couldn’t reserve the campsite over the weekend so we had to move into a cabin in Manitou Springs for Friday and Saturday. Pastor TJ Horta had insisted on putting us in a motel Sunday night after preaching for his church all 3 services Sunday. So we packed up, huffed and puffed, with the higher elevation and moved down the mountain. We finished exploring the different springs with Joan collecting the water from each spring in a bottle. That night we headed down to Fountain for Pastor Ian Kline and his wife Priscilla.

Pastor Ian actually took college classes with Joan while we were both in Prescott. His brother, Dietrich, edited “James Tembo, Detective” down to 58 minutes so I could show it during Sunday schools before I started preaching that Sunday morning. Dietrich is now teaching English in China, and Pastor Ian and Priscilla have their two children in Chinese immersion schools in Colorado Springs. They have a young church full of excited people. We did the slide show Friday night and had good response and some excellent questions afterwards. One question had to do with an arsonist who had a son and even though he never had any contact with the son; the son became an arsonist also. DNA or what? This question gets to the challenge that our legal system and our acknowledgement of God as judge will have to deal with as study after study desperately tries to connect our actions to our DNA or the way our brains work. If DNA caused the father to become an arsonist and he passed it on to his son…how can we punish them for something that was preordained to happen? How can God be a just God, judging arson, if his DNA made the decision for him? My response acknowledged the possibility of sin changing the makeup of the DNA and thus being passed down to the generations to follow as mentioned in the bible. I lean and got the questioner to lean towards a spiritual look. Sin has personality (Rom. 6:16) and in the Ten Commandments God talks about visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Ex. 20:4). My thought is that we inherit and pass down spiritual associations, some to righteousness and some to sin. Had a good night and we all went out for a hamburger.

The next day we gathered for our “one minute bible studies” outreach. I preached a short sermon describing the different evangelistic endeavors of my life and then we got the web page on our phones and went out in 5 different cars. I had some young people in my car. We went to a park with no luck and then cruised the neighborhood doing four bible studies. We gathered back at the church and everyone compared their experiences with people genuinely excited. We took Pastor Ian, Priscilla and kids out to the International House of Pancakes afterwards and had a great time of fellowship. Ian was meeting his one disciple who was working at 5 to go out and do the bible studies. I said I would come back and go out with them.

We picked up Anthony. Anthony was a homeless kid who got saved and has a personality that is worth a million bucks. He reminds me of the actor Steve Zahn. Right away we gave a ride to two kids walking fast to beat the coming rain. We did a bible study with them while we gave them a ride home. We went to a park where all the skaters were taking refuge from the rain. We ran into two kids crossing the parking lot. They said they would do a bible study. They picked “Rapture”. I asked them why they picked that one. He said he had seen some rapture films on TV and he wondered if he would make it. We ended up praying with both of them. We then went up to the skaters where Pastor Ian took the lead in challenging them to do a bible study with us. One young man accepted the challenge and chose “Vengeance is Mine”. It is actually a beautiful set of scriptures centering on love and forgiveness. It started with one of the 8 listening while the normal loud noises of skateboards hitting the cement got less and less until all 8 were sitting before us listening to Pastor Ian as he expounded on the scriptures. He passed out some literature but they were all still sitting there waiting for more so I shared my salvation testimony and let them know that they could pray anytime and anywhere and God would hear and undertake for them. I finished and asked Anthony if he had anything to add. He talked of the frustrations of being homeless and powerless as a victim of the baser instincts of man. He talked of a church where he is loved and he can love. He talked of God who loves and protects him. He said it all and there was a moment of silence before we excused ourselves and walked back to the car. As we walked you could feel the personal joy wanting to burst forth from all three of us. For the Christian warrior it doesn’t get much better than what we just experienced. I said my goodbyes and headed back to Joan to get ready for our final day.

It was off to Aurora, a suburb of Denver. We had met Pastor TJ Horta and his wife Christina in Chinle when we were coming through with 12 of us from the church to Prescott Conference. Pastor TJ is a rapper. I talked with him a bit here and again when I heard he was heading for Detroit. He was called back from Detroit to take the Aurora church. Joan had breakfast with Artie’s wife Sandra and Christina and had spent time talking with her at another conference. Pastor Horta is one of those A plus personalities. He is a mover and a shaker. He remembered me as the man who smiles, but I think he wanted more action than I was giving during the Sunday school slide show. In my sermon that morning I left the pulpit and walked to and from among the congregations describing my salvation, Wickenburg outreaches, march against the Seattle homo parade and finished up with our experience with the skaters the day before. People got saved and we got ready for our outreach that night. Pastor Horta let me know he knew everything would be alright when I left the pulpit. They took us out to fantastic Italian lunch and let us know we would be on our own that night as they were going to preach at another church.

That night we got everyone’s phones linked to the web page and headed out in 5 groups. Our group went to an outdoor commercial area with some restaurants and a Starbucks. We did bible studies with a bunch of people. Joan would do the Spanish version and pray with a family with the help of their New York Bronx member of the church. Pastor Horta’s daughter would end up praying with a girl and everyone came back to church encouraged. Had coffee with Pastor TJ the next morning and then we headed home to Sparta.

Results, numbers, salvations, follow ups…what can I say. I am just chopping wood and I will leave the rest up to God. It was the best week of ministry I have ever experienced!

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DNA Can and Can’t

I have put together a science slide show about the universe, the cell and the eye-brain connection. The final part is meant to illustrate the free choice in life we have. I will be traveling to Colorado next week to visit a few churches with the “one minute bible study” outreach idea. I usually like to include the slide show sermon when I do this. At my wife’s, Joan, suggestion I have been emphasizing in the last part what DNA can and can’t do. This week I want to make this a little more pointed. Right now I just raise questions about favorite foods and books. Now I want to say point blank: DNA determines sex (Bruce Jenner on Wheaties box) You determine sexuality (Bruce Jenner as woman).

Along those lines here is an article I came across at National Review entitled: How Is This Possible? ‘Gay Teens Have Higher Pregnancy Rates Than Their Straight Peers’.

Here are some quotes:

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: At a time when teen pregnancy rates across the state are at historic lows, the numbers for gay teens are surprisingly high. In Minnesota, these young people are far more likely than their straight peers to become pregnant or have gotten someone pregnant, according to a recent analysis of data on adolescent sexual health. That’s a lot of heterosexual activity from gay kids. Indeed, it turns out the numbers aren’t even close. Gay and lesbian youth were about five times more likely to have either gotten pregnant or gotten someone else pregnant than straight youth.

Life is never what the experts say it is when it comes to their conflicts with the word of God. If sexuality or immoral sexuality was not a choice then God would be unjust to judge. I think we have been lied to again.

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