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DDGEN

June 23, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
2 Comments

DD is Now “Emancipated Minor” Age Today

My daughter DD is now eligible to be an emancipated minor in the great state of Texas. Here’s the law:

Any minor petitioning a Texas court for emancipation—that is, being declared an adult in the eyes of the law—must be a Texas resident, 17 years old…and able to support and manage one’s own affairs.

Now, my hope is that DD will never have any affairs because Karen and I, as imperfect as we are, have raised her with Christian values. Snicker.

A lot has changed in the life of my “Baby D,” for one thing, she is no longer a baby.

D1

Last year, as the credits rolled on her 16th birthday, she really came into her own….

D6

But, I’m sure her first prom date at age 15 put the final nail in the coffin of the term “baby,” unless, of course, some high school wisenheimer shouted “Hey, Baby!” when I wasn’t around.

D4

But then, he’d have to contend with Dad.

Guy-getting-punched

During her 17th year we saw her get straight A’s in school….

DD A

…an appointment to the homecoming court of Johnson City High School

DD homecomingDDActress best

DD play LBJ…awards for best actress in a state-wide high school play competition, of which I saw her perform and die four times, (and I cried each time).

Then the worst thing of all! She did almost die when she rolled her truck 1-1/2 times at 10 P.M. one Saturday evening. I’m the one who got the call, every parent’s nightmare. This is what she wrote after escaping with just a scratch on her arm:

“About 2 hours ago I got in an accident. I was driving home from work and I went off the road a little and swerved to miss a pole, when I lost control of my truck and ran off the road, through a barbed wire fence and rolled. My truck is totaled. I’m fine, but it made me realize how fragile life is.

DD Truck

“When I got home I held my little sister as she cried into my chest telling me she loved me. It’s honestly a miracle I’m alive right now and it is all because of God.

“Do not take one moment for granted because in one instant everything can be taken away from you.”

She also joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes…

DD FCA

…and won quite a few academic awards—all during her 17th year of life!!!

DD Academics

All I wanted to do in my 17th year was get out of school.

I’m DD’s dad. I can brag. I’m proud of her. I’m also hoping that if I write this she will see how much I appreciate her and not take advantage of that darn Texas law.

One more thing, since I’m boasting of my “not so little girl”: She was also voted “Most Popular” in her grade, (along with my good friend, Deven Downey, who I will buy a steak for if he accepts an offer I made to him).

DD8

Yes, she’s 17. She’s come into her own. The Lord Jesus has made her who she is. Perhaps he is honoring all those years before when she stood for Jesus as a young’n.

DD started sharing her faith when she was 4-years-old! The first time I wrote about her, this is what happened (Read the full story here.):

At Supercuts on Friday, in the middle of my haircut, my 4 year old D.D. asked Barbara, the hairstylist, if she knew Jesus . D.D. then asked if she was going to Heaven.

I wonder if shoe polish will cover the razor-induced bald spot behind my left ear?

Then I found another post about how she witnessed to a mohawked guy at age 5.

At age 7, she was unafraid to hand out tracts to law enforcement at our first USC game.

At age 8 she stood her ground against an obnoxious atheist!

At nine-years-old she almost got eaten by a pelican when she tried to give it a Gospel tract!

Yet she arrived back home safe and sound after an evangelistic outing to the Michael Jackson Memorial where she handed out 1,000 specially made commemorative tracts!

And believe it or not, at the tender age of ten, she did her first extended open-air preaching gig at Pink’s World Famous Hot Dogs! See for yourself!

At age 12, she worked her way up to a better quality video as she stop light preached at the 3rd St. Promenade!

But all that’s in the past… She’s now, today, seventeen! Though she may not be as zealous as when she was in the single digits, under her dad’s shadow, it doesn’t matter. I love my Baby D regardless if she ever hands out another tract or preaches another open air sermon. She is a precious gift to me and her Mom. As she enters her eighteenth year our hope is that she will continue to follow Jesus all the days of her life.

And that she’ll do her chores.

HAPPY 17TH BIRTHDAY D.D.!!!

DDDD

ali3

June 7, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
6 Comments

When I Met Muhammad Ali

I MET MUHAMMAD ALI LONG AGO in a little restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. I walked up to him and said, “Hi Champ!”

old aliHe was very slow, muddled, and slurred his speech. Obviously, all the years of fighting in the ring had taken its toll. He weakly stuck out his hand for me to shake. I remember it being very limp. He then shuffled away.

That was it.

I’m not sure if I was a Christian back then, but, if I was, I do remember this: I did NOT tell him about Jesus Christ. Ali died as an outspoken Muslim.

“There is no denying that Muhammad Ali is the most famous and influential American Muslim, ever,” wrote Muslim-American scholar and cleric Yasir Qadhi, on a Facebook post.

According to CNN, Ali told a reporter in the mid-1990s that he thought constantly about death, especially during his five daily prayers. “Thinking about after,” Ali said. “Thinking about paradise.”

muslim Ali

If I could have a “do-over” I would have chatted a little longer with the former Cassius Clay and asked him where he would go when he died, Heaven or Hell.  Like every Muslim I have talked to he would probably have said, “Only Allah knows.”

“Well, what would get you into Heaven, Champ?”

Muslims, like Ali, usually respond by saying that if their good outweighs their bad, they will make it to Paradise.

“So, you have to wait until then? What if it’s too late and your good isn’t good enough?”

One of the biggest differences between Christianity and Islam is that no one can be good enough to make it to Heaven.

I’d explain to the Louisville Lip that one sin committed—one lie, one lustful thought, one blasphemous word—will find him guilty on Judgment Day and he’d end up in Hell. I’d tell him that the Bible says that “there is no one righteous, not even one…there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Then I would tell him about the God who loved him so much that he gave his one and only Son,Muhammed-Ali1 that whosoever believes in Him will not perish—will not go to Hell—but have everlasting life.

I’d plead with him to turn from his false god to the One True God, to Jesus, who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I’d give him a fighting chance for Heaven by asking, “Would you like to turn from your sins and trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins today?”

Yes, I would have said all that, but didn’t. I missed an opportunity to share about THE GREATEST with “The Greatest.”

(Photo credits: www.jacobinmag.com; Yasir Qadhi’s Facebook post; www.dailymail.co.uk; www.mensfitness.com)

 

father son

June 3, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
0 comments

Like Father, Like Son

Last time, I shared about Jerry, a man who was given a few weeks to live while he was in hospice care at a Veteran’s hospital. I shared the good news that Jesus Christ saves sinners; he believed, repented, was baptized on the spot in his room…then five days later, he went directly into the arms of his Savior. (Read about it here.)

Did I fail to mention that Jerry’s son witnessed the whole thing? Continue Reading

next step

May 24, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
5 Comments

Jerry’s Next Step

JERRY HAD ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT because of a terminal illness, so his wife asked me to visit him at the Veteran’s Hospital so that I could give him the Gospel. I started the conversation by asking him what his next step would be. He pointed upwards.

“Heaven?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

“Why are you going there, Jerry?”

“Because I’m a good person….”

good person

I gently explained that no one is good enough and asked if he had kept God’s Ten Commandments, which is God’s Moral Law. He understood that he was a liar, a thief, an adulterer-at-heart, a murderer and a blasphemer, that he’d be found guilty on Judgment Day and he’d end up in Hell because of his sin. I vividly described the consequences of his sin and the reality of Hell for all those who would die unforgiven. Continue Reading

prayer3

May 17, 2016
by Steve Sanchez
0 comments

Answered Prayers May Be the Problem

I was grousing to God about my problems the other day and he answered me through a classic devotional I read every morning called “Streams in the Desert.” It was compiled by a missionary’s wife in the early part of the last century as her husband lay dying for seven years. Perhaps this excerpt will speak to your situation as well:

“We do not know what we ought to pray for…” (Rom. 8:26).

Much that bothers us in our Christian experience are really answers to prayers. We pray for patience, and our Father sends those who bug us the most, “because…suffering produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3).

prayer2We pray for unselfishness and God gives us opportunities to sacrifice ourselves by thinking of others and giving up our lives for them (Philippians 2: 3-18)

We pray for strength and humility, and “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians 12:7) is sent to torment us. Or we are asked to do something we think is beneath us, or we are unjustly accused and no one listens to our defense. We then lie on the ground pleading with God to remove that thorn. But he says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (1 Corinthians 12:9)prayer

We pray, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5) and money disappears, our kids get sick or disobedient, or some unknown trial comes along where we have to exercise faith like never before.

We pray for gentleness, and there comes a perfect storm of temptation to be harsh or irritable.

We pray for quietness and immediately, every nerve is tested to the limit so that we may learn that the only peace we have is in Jesus (John 14:27).

We pray to be more loving and God sends us obnoxious, irritating people, letting them say unkind things that cut to the heart. He does this because “love is patient, love is kind…it is not rude…it is not easily angered…It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5; 7-8)

Yes, we pray to be like Jesus and God’s answer is: “I have tested you in the fiery furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10); “Will your courage endure or your hands be strong?” (Ezekiel 22:14); “Can you drink the cup?” (Matthew 20:22)

The way to peace and victory is to accept every circumstance and every trial, as straight from the hands of a loving Father, and that every one of our problems is lovingly and divinely appointed by Him.

So, pray up or shut up.

Trust God.