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May 19, 2022
by Steve Sanchez
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28 Days Later

The preacher was shaking hands with his congregants and saying goodbye after the Easter service. He grabbed one man by the hand and pulled him aside. “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” the preacher exhorted.

The man replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.”

Curious, the preacher asked, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

The man looked around cautiously and whispered back, “I’m in the Secret Service.”

We had record attendance at our Resurrection Day service this year, but on May 15, 28 days later, four Sundays after, everything was back to normal.

It’s tough in this post-Christian era to get people to see the value of coming to church after the two big holidays of Easter and Christmas. But a Christian without a church is like a student who won’t go to school, a soldier without an army, a citizen who won’t vote, a sailor without a ship, a drummer without a band, a ballplayer without a team or a bee without a hive.

A pastor asked a man why he didn’t go to church, and he replied, “I don’t go to church because every time I do they throw something at me.”

“What do you mean?” the preacher inquired.”

“Well,” the man explained, “When I was a baby, my parents took me to church, and the minister threw water on me. After I got married, they threw rice at me.”

The pastor answered the man impatiently, Continue Reading

May 5, 2022
by Steve Sanchez
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Praying For Johnson City

If you haven’t noticed, our little “Mayberry” is changing.

For those not old enough to remember, Mayberry was the fictional community in the 60’s “The Andy Griffith Show” which served as a metaphor for the perfect place to live. As far as I’m concerned, Johnson City still is, but the big city is creeping in along with its problems.

Several years ago, an Airstream dealer next to the Pedernales River was busted for “theft by deception” and was wanted in Arizona for the kidnaping and sexual assault of a child. Also, some just-passing-through people from California were busted with 103 pounds of marijuana in their car by the JCPD.

Still, our city is pretty great. According to AreaVibes, a website that helps people find the best places to live in America, the overall crime rate in Johnson City is 62% lower than the Texas average. Our livability score is 76 which ranks 79% higher than other areas.

Yet Austin is getting ever nearer from the East with Alamo City creeping in from the south. With big city growth comes big city problems. I know. I used to live in the land of the knuckleheads. This little utopia may not last forever, but I do know how we can stave off the inevitable, for perhaps a few more years. But we all must do our part and it doesn’t involve building a wall on Highways 290 and 281, nor do we need to load our deer rifles with extra rounds. We certainly don’t have to panic either. The solution? Continue Reading

May 4, 2022
by Steve Sanchez
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Why We Fast

What is a fast? It’s abstaining from food for a limited period of time to seek God. It’s a denial of self for the purposes of intense spiritual activity.

A fast is not eating fast food.

4 Types of Biblical Fasts

The Normal Fast: Fasting from all food like Jesus did for 40 days and forty nights. (Matthew 4:2)

The Partial Fast: This is when you eat or abstain from eating certain things like when Daniel refused to eat the king’s food, but only vegetables. (Daniel 1:12) (Some people may want to fast from going on the computer or anything else that may hinder time with God.)

The Absolute Fast: This is when you eat and drink nothing like Ezra did when he mourned over the unfaithfulness of his people. (Ezra 10:6)

The Supernatural Fast: When Moses went to get the two stone tablets, he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights and ate no bread and drank no water.” (Deuteronomy 9:9)

Biblical fasts could be 1 day, 3 days, 7,14, 21 days, or 40 days. (Judges 20:26; Acts 9:9; 1 Samuel 31:13; Acts 27:33, Daniel 10:3-13, Matthew 4:1-11)

Continue Reading