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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.

Those Dam Guys!

June 4th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in E-vangie Tales - (0 Comments)

I took my first bike ride of the spring and noticed a bunch of construction workers busily repairing our little levee. I offered them each a raise in the form of a one trillion dollar bill gospel tract, then preached a 90 second Gospel message to this rough-hewn bunch.

The result?

DamThe foreman said: “We don’t want to be preached to while we’re working, especially here on the street.” His fellow laborers nodded, winked at each other and smiled mockingly.

“I’m working too; I’m a pastor.”

“It figures,” replied the foreman with disgust.

I then concluded my sermonette to the construction crew’s now-turned away backs: “I’m saying this to you because I love you. Consider what I’ve said. You’ve been warned. I’m Pastor Steve Sanchez and you’re all invited to Hope Chapel Hill Country in Dripping Springs.”

And with that, I pedaled away.

Think any will visit?

Courtney, the Walmart customer service lady, (looking down), kept answering “Summerland” when I asked if she’d go to Heaven or Hell when she died.

wiccan“Heaven or Hell?”

“Summerland.”

The only two choices I’m giving you are Heaven or Hell.”

“Summerland. I’m a Wiccan,” she declared.

Since she wouldn’t answer I had to go to Plan B: I  preached a one minute Gospel to her so she’d understand there is no Summerland, only Hell, because of her idolatry.

What did she do? Thanked me over and over again to get me to go away. “Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.”

Yet I didn’t go away until she heard fully the full Gospel, thank you very much.

A co-worker walked behind her and gave me a Thumb’s Up.

Another co-worker, a Muslim, in full head covering, began her shift. I resisted giving her the Good News because too many people were lining up at the counter.

I know my limits.

The next day I received this comment on Facebook from an atheist: “I don’t understand why you bible thumpers just cant leave us the f*@k alone, funny how we, who choose alternative ideas, don’t push our thoughts/ideas on to you bible thumpers but you think its ok to bombard us with your thoughts and ideas.”

Here was my response: “I would have to be the most hateful person in the world to NOT share the Gospel with Courtney, or you for that matter. If I didn’t share, I would be overlooking the fact of your horrible future reality. So no. As a Bible Thumper, I love you too much not to speak.”

urselfn 1urself 2urself 3Comic by Adam Ford

I had the great privilege of being on Ray Comfort’s YouTube show, “The Comfort Zone” today and want to hear what you think.

ComfortAThis is my first trip back to California since moving to Texas in September. I got to talk a little about planting Hope Chapel Hill Country, the church I now pastor in Dripping Springs.

comfort bI know this much: My hair looks a lot grayer than I expected! I’m on for about ten minutes starting at the 15:00 minute mark.

IT WAS FATHER’S DAY at Hope Chapel Hill Country this morning as two visitors, a father and daughter, made professions of faith at the end of my message. Without looking at each other, after I made the invitation to turn to Jesus in repentance and trust, they raised their hands. I told them: “Remember this day as Father’s Day on Mother’s Day, the day you came to your Heavenly Father.”

handyThe young lady is a high school friend of my daughter DD. who brought her Dad. And, yes, I plan on meeting with him regularly and encouraged my daughter to do the same.

It’s called discipleship.

The biggest frustration and the greatest consolation is that Jesus is in control.

What do I mean by that?

I can do nothing else to make people come to Hope Chapel Hill Country. I pray for this church; I prepare the messages diligently; and I go out into the street and invite them in, but it’s only Christ who brings them in.

The hardest thing to do in planting a church is to wait when the future is uncertain.

Please read my article explaining why the numbers are so important, and please let me know if you disagree. Click here.

He is Risen Indeed!

April 20th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Special Days - (2 Comments)

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!

I try to re-post this wonderful illustration of this wonderful day every year…

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life, positive or negative, and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”

To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.African_king_from_Catalan_Atlas_(1375)

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.

As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.

“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!”

“What do you mean, ‘This is good?’ How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”

“If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”

*****

God was pleased to crush Jesus and put him under all that suffering knowing that we would be saved by His death. That’s real love. What truly seemed so horrible and tragic was really… very good!

Happy Good Friday!

Gustave_Doré_-_Crucifixion_of_Jesus

*****

Now read a not so good thing that happened to me on a Good Friday in 2007. It’s called “Murder at Peet’s.

The Titanic Evangelist

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in HIStory | SUDDEN DEATH! - (14 Comments)

JOHN HARPER was an evangelist on the Titanic. On the anniversary of this tragedy, after 1,517 people perished in a watery grave, I want to remember a man of God who provided  hope for those who had little aboard the Titanic.

Here’s an excerpt from the Baptist Press on this great man:

When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Harper successfully led his daughter to a lifeboat. Being a widower he may have been allowed to join her but instead forsook his own rescue, choosing to provide the masses with one more chance to know Christ.

Der Untergang der TitanicHarper ran person to person, passionately telling others about Christ. As the water began to submerge the “unsinkable” ship, Harper was heard john harpershouting, “Women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats.” Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, “You need this more than I do.” Up until the last moment on the ship Harper pleaded with people to give their lives to Jesus.

Four years after the tragedy at a Titanic survivor’s meeting in Ontario, Canada, one survivor recounted his interaction with Harper in the middle of the icy waters of the Atlantic. He testified he was clinging to ship debris when Harper swam up to him, twice challenging him with a biblical invitation to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” He rejected the offer once. Yet given the second chance and with miles of water beneath his feet, the man gave his life to Christ. Then as Harper succumbed to his watery grave, this new believer was rescued by a returning lifeboat. As he concluded his remarks at the Ontario meeting of survivors he simply stated, “I am the last convert of John Harper.” Read the whole article here.

I GOT MY MONEY BACK FOR THE FIVE TICKETS I BOUGHT FOR NOAH, the movie.

Here’s why in 6 points. (But make sure you read the other two links at the bottom as well.)

1) I knew going in that it was unbiblical. That was not my issue. But it’s not only unbiblical, it’s laughably unbiblical: the only similarities between the Bible’s account and this film were these: guy with beard that never grows, (nor his sons’ beards) builds an ark and a flood happens, wiping out the human race. (No wonder…It was based on Gnostic and Kabbalh teachings! See link below.)

noahzzz

2) Russell Crowe’s emotions run the gamut from anger to confused and back again with no in-between.

3) The plot was incoherent. Silly even. It was as if a college film student was given $130 million and was told, “Make a biblical epic just like the “Lord of the Rings.”

4) My 12-year-old kept asking me how long the film was and kept looking at the time. Methuselah would’ve been bored, even if he had some berries to munch on. (Don’t ask. A silly plot point.)

5) Yes, the visuals were great. But you can get those from a kaleidoscope for a buck.

6) Speed tears. I remarked to my 14-year-old that those tears cried were very fast. I wonder if they were CGI drops? Did they use Super Onion Powder in their eyes?

I ended up asking for my money back after it was over. I have never done this, but the film was so horrific, I had to. I simply asked the manager and he suggested that I get my money back. I expected to get credit. The lady cheerfully refunded the money, nodding in agreement that the film was bad. My conscience is clear. I didn’t demand it; I simply asked nicely. Smiled even.

Darren_Aronofsky_GIFF_2013.jpegI understand that many may disagree with my review. That’s fine. I wanted to enjoy it, but couldn’t. Others may disagree with my asking for my money back. That’s your right. My conscience is clear.

P.S. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the director, Darren Aronofsky, an atheist), was mocking Christians. In fact, he was. In essence, the film portrayed Noah as the “seed of the serpent” because this movie was based on Gnostic and Kaballah tradition. Read this illuminating article by Dr. Brian Mattson that proves Darren Aronofsky has made fools of all Christians who loved this movie. Read it…and weep: http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil

P.P.S. And this review is hilarious: “I’m a Christian and I Think Noah Deserves a 4 Star Review” http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/03/29/im-a-christian-and-i-think-noah-deserves-a-four-star-review/

When I got the call from God to move to Texas on June 21, 2013, to plant Hope Chapel Hill Country (read about “my call to Texas” in part 1 by clicking here), I had no idea what was in store for me. I just wanted to be obedient. Within about two months, we sold our home, bought a new one, and we all moved. I have now been here over six months and our church just finished our first quarter.

Texas is a whole ‘nother country from Los Angeles, California, where I have lived my entire life. Here are just a few things I’ve noticed that are different after living here for six months.

1) Everyone’s a Baptist.

baptist

Or a former Baptist. The rest are Methodist. And if not, then First Baptists.

There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians. And let me tell you, it is refreshing since where I used to live, L.A., is a primarily atheistic culture.

2.  Cedar Fever

cedar

I’m told that the pollen levels are some of the worst in the nation due to a proliferation of Mountain Sycamores in the Hill Country. Thankfully, it takes about two to three years to develop an allergy. I’ll keep you posted in 2015. Achoo!

3. Scorpions in the house! No explanation needed. Just don’t put your pants on the floor. Or blankets. Or shoes. Or kids.

scorpion

4. Deer in the backyard. Also, wild turkeys.

deer

Sadly, we are starting to see Austin in our backyard, too, due to a construction boom. And they are all moving from California!

5. Huge, ridiculous shifts in weather.

cold car

I was surprised to find that Auto Club doubled our home insurance after moving from SoCal. “Yep,” an agent explained, “Texas gets the worst weather in the country.”

When I got to my office at 8AM one Sunday morning before church, it was about 74 degrees and humid, so I wore shorts. At 10AM I went outside and the temp had dropped to the mid-forties. After service ended at 12:30PM it was in the 30s. When I got home at 5PM, it was 28 degrees. This was a 46 degree shift in temperature in less then 9 hours…in the daytime! And yes, I changed into long pants.

6. Gas is cheaper. Electricity, too. Water is three times higher.

gas

7. Unparallelled beauty in the Texas Hill Country.

beauty3

(Both images are from our sub-division.)

beauty 2

Also, Texas is known as “The Friendly State.” I have found this to be true. It has been so easy to make friends with strangers, neighbors and the local pastors. Most people wave when they drive by your car. “Thank you” is heard a lot. Also, Texas is #1 in job creation and dead-last in signing up for ObamaCare.

8. My vote mattered. For the first time in my Christian adult life, all my votes counted; that is, every proposition I voted “Yes” on, won! (Yes, this was a GOP Primary, but hey! This is exciting! Never happened in California. EVER!)

countTake the last election for example:

Proposition 1: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places. RESULTS: 97% voted YES!

Proposition 2: SECOND AMENDMENT. Texas should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry. RESULTS: 87% voted YES!

Proposition 3: FRANCHISE TAX. Texas should abolish the state franchise tax, also known as the margins tax, to encourage business growth. RESULTS: 88% voted YES!

Proposition 4: WELFARE REFORM. Texas recipients of taxpayer-funded public assistance should be subject to random drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits. RESULTS: 95% voted YES!

Proposition5: NO LAWMAKER EXCEPTIONS. All elected officials and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances as their constituents. RESULTS: 99% voted YES!

Proposition 6: OBAMACARE. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” should be repealed. RESULTS: 93% voted YES!

9. That I would miss California so much, especially my church family and friends.

hope

tony and gang

lw

10. How much I would enjoy planting Hope Chapel Hill Country!

communion

Click: Read about our Hope Chapel Hill Country Grand Opening.

Click: Here’s what I do day-to-day.

Click: Here’s Hope Chapel Hill Country’s weekly attendance report for the first quarter.

Click: Here’s the Bible translation we are using and why.

Click: Read about my terrible trial at the Senior Citizens Activity Center