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October 3, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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When God Doesn’t Heal, Part 2

“What a long, strange trip it’s been” is an album title from the 60’s band Grateful Dead; it also sums up the last five years of my life here in Texas. I moved here from L.A. on September 29, 2013 and it has been quite the roller coaster. There were more hardships, losses and disappointments than I can count—but, just as many blessings. Each time I was at the end of my rope, God provided an inch more. When the other shoe was ready to drop, I tap danced. He’s taken me to the precipice time and again, yet I never fell off. Why? I leaned on the Everlasting Arms and trusted in a faithful Savior.

Still, there are times when bad things happen to everyone, when enough is enough, when life becomes so intolerable, so painful, all we can do is get on our knees, look up and cry out to God, “Why?”

For the last seven years, I’ve been taking great comfort in a devotional called, “Streams in the Desert.” It is a compilation of writings from godly authors on the theme of Christian suffering, put together in a little book by a woman who watched her missionary husband suffer for many years before he died.  I came across this particular article attributed to someone simply as J.H.M. It’s in the public domain, so, I thought you’d be encouraged by my sharing it with you:  Continue Reading

October 3, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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When God Doesn’t Heal, Part 1

I WAS MAD AT GOD. My daughter was sick and getting progressively worse; we were headed to the hospital and I couldn’t afford another emergency bill. And He wasn’t doing a darn thing about it.

Earlier in the week my High School Senior had complained about some pain. I asked her to tell me that if it got any worse we would go to the doctor. It was Homecoming Week and with all the activities, the Community Pep Rally, the Senior Skit, the Parent’s Skit, the special dress-up days, the friends and all the hullabaloo, not to mention the Big Game on Friday, she neglected to tell me that her condition wasn’t getting any better…until Sunday, right after church. Laurel weakly whispered that she was in great pain.

I looked on the computer for an Urgent Care. All closed. Even Web MD couldn’t help.

Then I got mad at her, sensitive dad that I am. She could’ve told me on any other day of the week that she wasn’t improving. After all, doesn’t the Bible say that for six days you shall get sicketh, but on the Lord’s Day you shall not because it’s too expensivith? No, it doesn’t.

That’s why I got mad at the Almighty, too—and for good reason.  Continue Reading

August 27, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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Doing the Gospel Different

How do feel about Christians who present the message of Jesus a little creatively? What is your first reaction to someone proclaiming the Gospel in what you perceive to be an unseemly or undignified manner? Are you happy and excited or embarrassed and ashamed that they are a brother or sister?

There are many different ways to reach people for the Kingdom of God, ways that we may think are kooky, ineffective or weird, but, can advance the cause of Christ further than we ever expected. You may not do it that way, I may not do it that way, but if the Good News is proclaimed accurately, then, it doesn’t matter what we think. We serve a creative God who uses creative people to get his saving agenda done.

What do you think about the cross-walkers? Our fellowship hosted Steve Epp a year ago who’s walking the cross throughout America. Why does he do it that way?

“I’m reaching out to the younger generation who’ve experienced drug abuse and home abuse,” he says. “I took to the street because they are sure not coming to our churches. I tell them that God loves them and I love them. I want to show that living for Jesus is a life of surrender, and I’m trying to show them that by example.” 

In 2015 Mitchell Manning carried a 12-foot cross from Florida to California as a way to represent his faith because “the cross is the whole point.” In 2014 Arthur Hollands did it because “I just want to share that people are loved, and you can have peace in your heart.” But the most famous living cross carrier of all is Arthur Blessit, who began his cross-walk in 1969 and still continues to this day. He has been in 324 countries and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Longest Around-the-World Ongoing Pilgrimage/Walk.”

I met a man named Skipper a few weeks ago in Johnson City as he was biking around the country for Jesus. He was just leaving to pedal back to Sacramento, California, his home.  Continue Reading

July 26, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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What to Do About President Trump

THE ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN OVER FOR NEARLY TWENTY MONTHS. Half of Americans are rejoicing, the other half cursing over the election of President Donald Trump.

Regardless of how you voted or whether you are happy or sad, laughing or mad, there’s something you can do that can and will change the course of this country, influence the governance of our new President and grant you a semblance of peace no matter your political persuasion. That’s right, instead of demanding a recount, wishing for a third party candidate or smashing Trump’s Star on Hollywood Blvd. you can make a tangible difference in how America can indeed be made great again.  Continue Reading

July 18, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
2 Comments

Sharing Your Faith with One Question. Only.

It is possible to share your faith using Gospel tracts by asking one question and one question only. Seriously. All you have to do is make this query using a six-word question, then run away. When you ask it, the person will receive all the information they need to go to Heaven if they choose. That’s right. Contained in that 6-word question is the possibility that a person will hear about how they have sinned, how they will face God on Judgment Day, the possibility of Hell and the redemption God offers through his son, Jesus. Too good to be true? Read on….

Sharing Your Faith w/One Question. Only. (A short, fun teaching) 

                                          
(Note: These are sermon notes from teachings I have given over the years. Adapt them however you like.)

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 some 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 in which you could share your faith by asking only one question and one question only? Do you think you might be able to do it?

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 will 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! Continue Reading