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“HELP! I’M STUCK IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND NEED MONEY!”

I just received one those cheesy messages from a friend’s hacked email account. But, instead of deleting it, I redeemed it. This is how….

FIRST, HERE’S THE MESSAGE: “I Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to (Turkey) and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager.

“I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account, the bad news is my flight will be leaving very soon but I am having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let me leave until I settle the bills, I need your help/LOAN financially and I promise to make the refund once I get back home, you are my last resort and hope, Please let me know if I can count on you and I need you to keep checking your email because it’s the only way I can reach you.”

spammer

HERE IS HOW I RESPONDED: “Oh no! What can I do? How much do you need? Can I send it to you tomorrow? That is such a bummer.”

THE SCAMMER’S REPLY: “I’m so glad to read from you, thanks so much for your concern,All i need is ($2,750).You can have the money wired to me via Western Union.Have it wired to my name and present location, here are the details you need to have it wired to me..”

“Name : W________ S________
Address: Ebusuud Street 18 Sirkeci, Fatih, Istanbul
Country: Turkey
Amount : $2,750

“Kindly visit any Western Union outlet or Walmart close to you and go ahead with the wire transfer and show them the address you and present location you are sending the money.

“Once you are done kindly e-mail me the Confirmation details (MTCN) for the pick up of the funds.

“Let me know as soon as you are heading out to the Western Union Outlet.”

MY RESPONSE: “Is that all you need? Would $5,000.00 be better, to give you a little extra cash if you need it? Please let me know soon. I sure hope you are okay. What a tragedy! Nothing worse than being stranded in a foreign country. Wow!”

SCAMMER’S REPLY: “Glad you willing to help…that all i need at the moment keep me posted as soon you have it done email the transfer details. I owe you alot.”

HERE’S MY COUP DE GRACE RESPONSE: “That’s what friends are for. First, though, please click this link and tell me what you think.Then I will proceed. I know I’ve given this test to you before, W________, and you’ve passed, but I want to make sure. I will let you know! Blessings! (And hang in there. Help is on its way!)”

WHAT I DID: The link I provided was for www.NeedGod.com, but I hid it from the Scammer. Will they answer these questions honestly? 1. Have you ever told a lie? 4. Have you ever stolen anything (no matter how small)?

THE SCAMMER’S RESPONSE: None. That was the end of the email exchange.

But, good news! As I am writing this post, I just received another email from a friend stuck in…Manila!

******

Now learn how to deal with telemarketers by clicking  “Telemarketer Payback Time.”

Images courtesy of MediaBistro.com, Seagirtpd.net
unbroke

I had the opportunity to attend a preview of director Angelina Jolie’s film “Unbroken.” I say Jolie’s film, because she made sure that Louis Zamperini’s faith, which was featured prominently in Laura Hillenbrand’s excellent book, was reduced to an inoffensive, feel-good type of belief.

Though well-made and interesting as a Prisoner-of War film, it was ultimately a disappointment as “a true story.”

unbroken 2As the Religion News Service reported:

Angelina Jolie’s highly anticipated film “Unbroken” features the true story of an Olympian and World War II veteran who was only able to extend forgiveness to his captors after he encountered Christianity.

The problem? The Christianity that is central to Louis Zamperini’s life is almost entirely absent from the film.

“Unbroken” features the real-life story of Zamperini, whose plane crashed in the Pacific during World War II. After spending 47 days adrift at sea, he spent two years as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Louis_Zamperini_at_announcement_of_2015_Tournament_of_Roses_Grand_MarshalAfter the war, he wrestled with addiction and his marriage nearly ended in divorce. All that changed in 1949, when he attended a Los Angeles crusade by an up-and-coming evangelist named Billy Graham. The two would team up together during later crusades.

louiszThe film doesn’t ignore faith, but it includes no mention of Jesus or Graham. Faith is portrayed more generically — unlike the 2010 book by Hillenbrand (she also wrote the best-selling “Seabiscuit”), which was praised by Christian readers for capturing the drama of Zamperini’s conversion.

And no wonder that Jesus is not mentioned, (except as a curse word), in the film. Here’s Jolie’s view of faith and God:Jolie

There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike. I don’t feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don’t really know if it’s better to just not believe in anything, either. (From Celebatheist)

Her hubby, Brad Pitt, essentially has the same view as well:Brad_Pitt_PF

When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self,” he says. “I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible.” (From Parade magazine, October 2, 2007)

He told the Daily News, “I’m probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic.”

So, it’s no wonder that “Unbroken” is more of a movie about one man’s perseverance against adversity, a pull-yourself-up-by your-bootstraps film, than it is about the real test of courage: to live for Jesus in a God-hating world.

So what did Jolie leave out? WORLD magazine reported this in an interview with Zamperini earlier this year:

…Zamperini talked about Billy Graham. The veteran’s appearance at the Billy Graham Library that morning carried special significance for Zamperini: He became a Christian during a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles in 1949.

A huge, black-and-white photo of a young Graham preaching to thousands hung on the wall as Zamperini remembered his conversion to Christianity. He had returned from the war traumatized and depressed from the extreme abuse he endured, and he had turned to alcohol for relief. He initially resisted his wife’s suggestions that the pair attend Graham’s tent meeting, but he eventually relented.

Hillenbrand located the sermon Graham preached that October evening in 1949, (listen to it here), and included the scene in Unbroken. As Zamperini battled anger and bitter memories of the hellish ordeal of war, Graham preached: “Here tonight, there’s a drowning man, a drowning boy, a drowning girl that is out lost in the sea of life.”

RNS-GRAHAM-LA bThe next night, Zamperini returned to the tent, and Graham again preached the gospel of salvation from sin through faith in Christ. This time Zamperini responded. He and his wife both embraced Christ.

Zamperini said he was thankful for Graham’s ministry, and thrilled that Hillenbrand included the account in her book.

EVANGELIST BILLY GRAHAM CRUSADETo not have included Zamperini’s faith in Christ, is to deny the true reality of why he had to go through what he went through.

It’s a coup de without grace; an hors minus d’oeuvres; a concerto forgetting the finale.

It’s a fairy tale with the last page torn out, a marathon without a finish line, the crucifixion without a resurrection.

Without an understanding that Zamperini saw himself as a sinner, one who had broken all of God’s Commandments and was therefore guilty and condemned to Hell, reduces his life to just entertainment, another survivor’s tale, the triumph of the will without triumph of the Spirit.

Everyone needs to know how they have fallen short of God’s glory. All must understand that if they have told one lie, that makes them a liar, one theft, a thief, one utterance of God’s name as a curse word is blasphemy, and one lustful look, one hateful thought convicts them as an adulterer and murderer. On Judgment Day, God will find them guilty and send them to Hell for all eternity.

The truly great news that was left out of “Unbroken”, is that God forgives. When Louis Zamperini put his faith in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who died on a cross, was buried for three days and rose again, when Zamperini turned away from his sins to demonstrate how he trusted Christ, he was a new creation: the old is gone, the new had come.

Because he was forgiven, he had the power to forgive his Japanese captors. That was how he was able to “make peace” as the movie said in the end credits, with his enemies. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When we were God’s enemies, Christ died for us. Because Louis Zamperini was forgiven, he was now able to forgive.

What Angelina Jolie did with her film was unforgivable.

WORLD magazine reporter Jamie Dean concluded her interview with Zamperini in this way:

I asked Zamperini—who maintained a devout Christian faith and service throughout the rest of his life—how important it was for the story of his conversion and faith to make it into the book. His reply was simple: “There wouldn’t be a book without it.”

Zamperini saw his conversion as the hinge for all that went before it, and all that followed in his long life. He wanted as many other people as possible to hear about salvation through Christ through his own story: “That’s the message of the book.”

Sadly, this was not the message of the film.

***********

P.S. When the movie comes out on Christmas day people will Google to find our more about Louis Zamperini. If you’d share this link and ask your friends to click on it, it will show up higher on Google’s search, and the Gospel will be further proclaimed. Thanks.

P.P.S. I grew up in Zamperini’s hometown, Torrance, the first twenty-five years of my life, and, as a pastor, was responsible for the people who lived in that city who attended Hope Chapel, Hermosa Beach. I was always curious as to why Torrance Airport was called Zamperini Field. Now I know.

Should you see the movie? Sure. Just understand that it’s not the whole story. Even better, read the wonderful book.

***************

Listen and watch “What Hollywood Believes” by clicking here, and discover the personal beliefs of Jim Carrey, Britney Spears, Bruce Willis, Jack Nicholson and over 100 top celebrities. Buy the book for 4 bucks by clicking here.

what_hollywood_believes

Now, watch HOLLYWOOD AND GOD!

*****You can also watch “Captured By Grace,” subtitled “After Unbroken: The Rest of the Louis Zamperini Story,” put out by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Click here to get the DVD.

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

This is the incredible story of Mitsuo Fuchida, lead pilot of the December 7, 1941, raid on Pearl Harbor. Fuchida was the one who shouted the war cry, “Tora, Tora, Tora!”

Mitsuo Fuchida fought the United States throughout WWII and was intimately involved in the planning and leadership of the Japanese war effort as flight commander and later as a senior operations officer.

After the war, Fuchida was a defeated warrior in occupied Japan, farming to meet the needs of his family. He was also the only one to return to Japan after the bombing.

In 1950, Fuchida miraculously came to know Jesus Christ as Savior through a tract handed to him while exiting a train in Tokyo. The tract was entitled, “I Was a Prisoner of Japan,” written by Jacob DeShazer who was one of the famous Doolittle Raiders. DeShazer trusted Christ as his Savior while held captive by Japan for 40 months. DeShazer went to Japan in 1948 as a missionary and preached to the nation who held him captive.

Fuchida faithfully served Jesus Christ as an evangelist until his death in 1976. “From Pearl Harbor to Golgotha” is Fuchida’s testimony of salvation. Here it is in his own words:

I must admit I was more excited than usual as I awoke that morning at 3:00 a.m., Hawaii time, four days past my thirty-ninth birthday. Our six aircraft carriers were positioned 230 miles north of Oahu Island. As general commander of the air squadron, I made last-minute checks on the intelligence information reports in the operations room before going to warm up my single-engine, three-seater “97-type” plane used for level bombing and torpedo flying.

The sunrise in the east was magnificent above the white clouds as I led 360 planes towards Hawaii at an altitude of 3,000 meters. I knew my objective: to surprise and cripple the American naval force in the Pacific. But I fretted about being thwarted should some of the U.S. battleships not be there. I gave no thought of the possibility of this attack breaking open a mortal confrontation with the United States. I was only concerned about making a military success.  (more…)

Here’s a touching excerpt about how Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Morgan forgave the Japanese after the naval commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, spoke on the island of Maui ten years after the war:

Shortly after the attack, Joe was transferred to another unit on Maui while his previous unit was sent to the South Pacific where it suffered heavy casualties. Joe felt God had a reason for protecting him, and the only wound he carried from the war was his hatred turned animosity for the Japanese.

He never hated Japanese Americans who abound in Hawaii, just those from Japan. Two years into his Wailuku pastorate, Joe heard that Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese naval commander who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, was speaking on Maui.

“He was flying high above my head that day, giving orders to his pilots over the radio,” Joe recalls in his written account.

Fuchida, however, had become a Christian after meeting a former prisoner of war who had returned to post-war Japan as a missionary. Joe felt the animosity resurface and didn’t know “whether to shake Fuchida’s hand or shoot him” if they ever met. (more…)

On December 1, 1990, I was still dead in my sins, thinking I was a good person. I was right with the Man upstairs and I had no fears because I knew I was living my life the way I was supposed to: as a drug-abusing, womanizing, gambling thief.

But everything changed the next day when I looked up, knelt down and bowed my head in submission to Jesus Christ.

broken-chains-manIt’s a good thing He didn’t tell me what was going to happen over the ensuing 24 years because I may not have chosen this path. Thank God He chose me. I can, like the Apostle Paul, say this whole-heartedly:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

My story before I became a Christian is a crazy one. I was a meth addict who sold stereos out of the back of my car in the desert. I was robbed at shotgun point by dealers. I had my face smashed against a steering wheel…and I ultimately challenged the devil to show himself in a field at midnight. I guarantee you that you will not be bored when you listen.

Please listen to my very eventful and entertaining testimony as shared on KDRP Radio by clicking here.

Image Credit: DBO4

Church Planting 101

November 12th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Hope Chapel Hill Country - (2 Comments)

One of the things I’m learning to do is to do everything, (and in a church plant, I pretty much have to do everything), to the glory of God…including the mopping of Hope Chapel Hill Country’s church floor.

mopped

THIS IS THE STORY OF THE JOEL AND VICTORIA OSTEEN BIBLE and why I offered a $100 to buy it.

osteen4I asked a new friend of mine what Bible he was reading. He went out to his truck and showed me the “Hope for Today Bible” by the Osteens.

I think I overreacted.

I told him to give it to me right then and there so I could throw it away because the Osteens do not teach in accordance with the truth. I actually used stronger language and included the word “heretical”. (See a 60 second example below.)

He was reluctant to give it to me because he paid a hundred greenbacks for it in response to one of their money-osteen3grubbing pleas. So, I offered to buy it from him for the same amount and give him a solid Study Bible to replace it.

He hemmed and hawed.

“Tell you what. Think about it until Sunday, then you can decide what to do,” I requested.

Sunday came and he gave it to me, no charge. I gave him the Study Bible and a reading assignment: Read one chapter a day in the New Testament. When he finished, I would buy him a brand new leather bound edition.

I’m going to place the “Osteen” in my Bible collection next to the Robert Schuller “Possibilty Thinkers Bible” and the Book of Mormon.

1 Timothy 4:1-2: The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

Pastor Steve Died

October 9th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in News - (0 Comments)

From a Facebook post: “Still doesn’t feel real that Pastor Steve has passed away so suddenly…but God knows the span of our life. It was his day to go home.”grave

My friend’s wife panicked when she read this on Facebook. She told her husband who was also shocked. He wondered why I hadn’t shown up for a Chamber of Commerce luncheon and now knew the reason: I died.

Needless to say, reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Still, a very influential pastor did die: Pastor Steve Mays of Calvary Chapel South Bay. I used to listen to his broadcast, “Light of the Word” on the radio, and many of my friends went to his church, which was just about twenty minutes from where I used to live in L.A.

It was a sudden death. Pastor Steve went in for back surgery, a blood clot formed, then he went to meet Jesus.

Bittersweet.

Bitter for those who loved him, sweet for him because he gets to rest in the everlasting arms forever. This is the hope that all have, no matter their background, no matter their skeletons, no matter their sins.

CroppedFocusedImage695364-steve-mays-finalBefore he became one of the original founding pastors of the Calvary Chapel Movement in the 70s, Pastor Steve had a multitude of skeletons and sins in his closet. Read this short article about his life from a blog called “God Running.” I cried and thanked God for his mercy. Perhaps, you will, too. Here’s an excerpt:

“Steve’s life was often heavy with suffering. He battled drug addiction as a teenager which led to a series of strange and destructive events while he was still living at home with his father and mother. One time when Steve’s parents came home, as they opened their front door, water gushed out. Steve turned their house into a swimming pool by stuffing towels under the exterior doors and filling the place up with water. They found him in the living room smoking a pencil. He was completely oblivious. Instead of acknowledging the damage he’d done, he talked to them about the show he was watching on TV–but the TV was turned off.

“Another time Steve’s parents arrived home to find him fixing a meal for a friend who lived inside the clock hanging on the kitchen wall.

“Another time he terrorized his parents by angrily pacing around the house while swinging a machete.

“The bewildering thing about Steve’s behavior was that he was a normal kid until junior high school. His parents didn’t know it but during that time in junior high he was….Click here to read the rest of the article.

I have a new Pentecostal friend who has proven to me that he walks with the Lord.

I met Amalio a few weeks ago when I was searching for a contractor to help put in new flooring in our church building due to a flood from a neighboring business. Also, I needed some minor remodeling done.

The first contractor I met gave me a quote of $12,000.00,  a bit more than I could afford. The second man surveyed the space, wrote down some figures but never got back to me. The third also had a quote that was too high.

Cost of house constructionI did not know what to do so I called a former congregant who was a handyman and he suggested Amalio. When I met him he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: He would provide me with two days’ free labor if I purchased the materials at Home Depot.

DEAL!

“But why would you do this, Amalio, you don’t even know me!”

He looked at the walls of Hope Chapel Hill Country, smiled, and said, “It’s for God’s Kingdom!”

“Let me pay you, though; what is your daily rate?”

“No, I can’t,” Amalio insisted, “I believe God wants me to do this for free.”

And he did. Top notch high quality work! I bought Amalio and his co-worker lunch each day and he could not stop talking about Jesus. His eyes would light up; he was enthusiastic; he had joy, joy, joy, joy, down in his heart—that bubbled up to his face.

Yes. Amalio was a Christian anomaly.

I instantly felt a bond with this brother and we spent so much time encouraging each other that week, I had to work extra hours on Saturday to get my sermon done for Sunday.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

He said he would pray for our little congregation, then asked, “Do you ever get dreams and visions?”

800px-Michael_Lukas_Leopold_Willmann_001“Not really,” I replied. “I hardly even remember my dreams. I believe God speaks primarily through his Word and I just try and obey what I read. I’m not opposed to dreams or visions, it’s just that God doesn’t work that way with me.”

He told me I should pray for a dream. I shrugged silently to myself.

That night I dreamt: I was at Hope Chapel Hill Country’s building, but it looked very different, you know how dreams can be. There were about forty or fifty people having a good time, some had guitars and were playing them; moms had happy babies, it was a mixed age group and everyone was joy-filled. My daughter DD was in our sound booth trying to get everyone to settle down so we could start worship. I was in front trying to get everyone’s attention so I could preach.

Then I awoke.

I was encouraged. I was hopeful. I so wanted this dream to be true.

But was this dream from God?

Only time will tell.

In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
(Acts 2:17)

Image: schoenbergconstruction.com

You’ve heard about the Challenge. People from all walks of life, from George Bush to Dolly Parton, from Donald Trump to Bill Gates in (a slow-mo reverse intro). Heck, even Tom Cruise and John Travolta broke away from their Scientology commitments to take it up! Sadly, President Obama couldn’t find the time between golf games, fund-raising parties and fighting terrorists to do it. (But wait! It appears that he did do it! Click here.

ice 3Though it’s for a good cause, I do have an issue with the ALS Foundation’s use of embryonic stem cells for its research, so I decided to do a very different type of Challenge. If you are a believer, perhaps you will challenge yourself!

I found this video to be very inspirational, encouraging and downright useful when challenging those who say we were never a Christian nation.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted this hilarious video.

I took a calculated risk at Hope Chapel Hill Country today by preaching on evangelism. It was a fun sermon, with videos, on how to share our faith by simply asking one question…then running away. It’s also a nice reminder on why using Gospel tracts are so important. Perhaps you will want to teach this at your church. Use anything you want. Videos are included as well. Enjoy.

                                       Sharing Your Faith w/One Question                                             
Mark 16:15

Mark 16:15: Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation.

Bill Bright: 2% of Christians share their faith.

Think about it: How many of you have had a born again Christian share with you about Jesus over two times in the past five years?

Paul wrote this in Philemon 6 (NIV ’84): “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

The Living Bible: And I pray that as you share your faith with others it will grip their lives too, as they see the wealth of good things in you that come from Christ Jesus. (Explain)

I have found, after being an evangelism pastor for over 10 years at my other church, that people have many reasons for not sharing their faith.
Take a look at this video and see if you can relate to any of these?

While I’m sure that one of these eight reasons might be yours, I think we could narrow them down to just two: fear and not knowing what to say.

But what if I showed you a way this morning where you could share your faith by asking only one question and one question only? Do you think you might be able to do it?

As you know I’ve challenged you to invite people to church, but what if, at the same time, you asked this one question that would motivate people to actually come?

I’m not joking. All you have to do is ask one simple question…then run away.

But after you have asked this question, people would then understand God’s standard for getting to Heaven, the consequences if they fall short of His standard, and the solution through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection on their behalf. They may even thank you after you ask this question, too! (more…)

Yes. That’s right. I’ve been a Christian for nearly 24 years and a pastor for over 16, yet 9 years ago I became sober.

recover

Sober-minded.

Furthermore, six years ago I was an active member of A.A.

How could this be? Have I been the biggest hypocrite in the world? (more…)

10 Months and Counting

July 29th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

TEN MONTHS AGO TODAY I arrived in Texas to plant Hope Chapel Hill Country.

I never thought I would move to Central Texas after living my entire life by the beaches of Southern California. And I never, never, ever, ever wanted to plant a church. Ever!

Has it been easy? Not at all. Am I learning to trust God like I never have before? Yep.

Step_of_faith
I was reminded of this Spurgeon quote:

“Cannot you trust God for temporal things? “Ah! I wish I could.” If you cannot trust God for temporal things, how dare you trust him for spiritual things? Can you trust him for your soul’s redemption, and not rely upon him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for your need, or is his all-sufficiency too narrow for your wants? Do you want another eye beside that of him who sees every secret thing? Is his heart faint? Is his arm weary? If so, seek another God.”

If you haven’t yet read why I made this move, then click here: http://wp.me/p1GZWy-3Af

AN ATHEIST WROTE AN ARTICLE ABOUT ME entitled, “Steve Sanchez Thinks He Has the Right to Harass People About Jesus.”

His name is Bruce Gerencser and his blog bio says this: “For twenty-five years Bruce pastored Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. In 2003 Bruce left the ministry and is now a secular humanist.”

adam1

I loooove when atheists criticize me then post my entire blog article on their websites, because, well, I usually write about our great Savior. This used to happen frequently when I lived in California, not so much now. He took issue with my witnessing to a witch in Walmart several months ago. Here’s an excerpt:

“Steve Sanchez is a fundamentalist Christian who thinks he has the right to witness, evangelize, proselytize, and preach to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

“You see, the Steve Sanchez’s of the world think that they are demonstrating love when they badger and harass people who have no interest in what they are selling. They are a special class of people who are not bound by the same social conventions as the rest of us. Treating others with decency and respect doesn’t apply to Steve Sanchez. He is willing to be an a——- for Jesus because his right to evangelize and preach supersedes any person’s right to personal space, even at work.”

For the most part, I agree with Bruce, except, I try to be exceedingly gracious and friendly when sharing my faith, and I shared with the Walmart witch during the time I was making a transaction with her.

adam2Bruce also gave his readers a  a call to action:

If Walmart does not have a policy in place to deal with people like Steve Sanchez then they need to implement one immediately. If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being sued by harassed workers like Courtney. Walmart has a legal obligation to provide their workers with a workplace free from egregious religious harassment.

If you would like to send Walmart and email about this, please go here. If you send Walmart an email, please mention this blog post. Also, you will need to choose a Walmart store. Search for stores in Dripping Springs, Texas and choose the first store. (it is in Austin)

Regardless of what Bruce wrote and his misinterpretation of events, the bottom line is this: Through his anti-evangelism/anti-Christian article, Christ is preached! (He posted a very evangelical cartoon by Adam Ford that accompanied my article.)

So, thank you atheists, once again!

Read Bruce’s blog account by clicking here.

Click here to see the worst witnessing encounter
I ever had with a guy named Ted the Atheist.
It was filmed and has been viewed
over a half million times.

Cartoon by Adam4D.com

Thankfully, this did not happen at the Seniors Center I have been attending. At the 47:45 mark, Mr. Shackelford tells the story of what happened at a Seniors Center that forbade prayer, worship and Bible study. It’s only five minutes long and a great encouragement that the law still protects religious freedom.

The All-In-One Pastor

July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Texas Tales! - (0 Comments)

I was doing some paperwork while talking to a CPA.  He asked if I had a scanner so I could send him some documents. “Of course,” I replied, “I just don’t have it set up yet.”

“Shame on you,” he joked.

easy

I reminded him that I used to have a secretary, a book-keeper, a web guy, and people to clean up afterward when I was at my big church. Now, I’m it.

An All-In-One Pastor.

Not complaining. Just the new reality. I’m starting to realize that my “To-Do” list will never end and I’ll probably always be behind.

Oh, yeah…and I get to study, preach and meet with people, too!

Including construction guys.

Someday, I may even find the time to read.

I’ve been going to the Hill Country Senior Activities Center since arriving last year in Texas with the intention of getting to know the community by making acquaintances with the elders of Dripping Springs, as I serve them and pray for them. (Click here for part 1 of this story.)

buckFour new visitors came to Hope Chapel Hill Country last Sunday as a result of my efforts. One of them was at the Center today and I offered to pray for her, but she stopped me. “We better go outside,” she warned.

“Why?” I asked.

“I’ve been reading your blog.”

“How did you know about my blog?”

“It was on the back of the bulletin you gave us last Sunday; seems like you cause trouble everywhere you go,” she said with a smile. “Jesus caused trouble, too.”

Before I prayed for her, another woman stopped me to tell me how God healed her of a cancerous tumor after I prayed for her several weeks ago. “They were going to cut me open, but when the doctor checked me, he said everything was gone. I want to give God all the glory after you prayed for me.”

And how has it been going with the manager who seems to have been against me from the get-go? Well, a few weeks back she called me up front, handed me the microphone and asked me to pray before the meal.

I think I will continue to visit the Seniors Center.

(Image: Buck Hayden, part of the original family that settled and built up Dripping Springs in the late 1800s.)

With my church plant work here in the Austin area, Dripping Springs to be exact, I have not been posting at this blog regularly. Rest assured, I do try to share my faith everyday, mostly it’s with my church invitation/Gospel tract flyer. And since I live in a small town now, I have not preached in the open air…until the X Games were hosted in Austin.

I had not shared my faith in this way since standing “on the box” with Ray Comfort in Newport Beach way back in September, 2013. So how did it go?

Like falling off a horse. Or a preaching stool.