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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

July 6, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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Pastor Steve Got a Tattoo

MY TATTOO WAS GOING TO BE A REALLY SMALL ONE that simply said, “Mat. 6:33,” the abbreviation for my life’s verse: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). I wanted to be reminded of it, forever—in ink! It was going to be so very tiny and hidden on the underside of my wrist, that the only way anyone would ever notice was if I gave a high five right above their sight line or smacked them with what my teen daughters call a “Juicy Forehead.”

I was never, ever going to get one but my daughter DD convinced me. Yes, I blame her.

On her 17th birthday she begged me for a tattoo. I said no.

“Please, Dad?”

“No!”

A week later: “Dad?” Please?

“No!”

A week and a half later….

It went on like that for several more months—begging, cajoling, nagging—did I mention that she was a teenager?—until I relented and called the tattoo parlor (do they still call them that?). Much to my delight, the law said you cannot get a tattoo in the great, awesome State of Texas until one is eighteen years of age. Strike a victory for Parental Rights!

Figuring she would eventually forget about it, I let it go with a smile in my heart, thanking God that this body-art desire phase would soon pass, all the while hoping she would not take a secret road trip to Nevada with her ne’er do well high school friends. You know who you are.

She didn’t forget.

On her 18th birthday I lost my right of refusal; DD was now an adult. She could vote, join the military and even get a…a…dreaded tattoo. “Hey Dad, are you gonna get one with me?”  Continue Reading

June 22, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
2 Comments

The Solution to Suicide

I TRIED TO KILL MYSELF IN 1989. Things were tough, I was deeply in debt, drug addicted and thinking things were never going to change. I tried to take the selfish way out because I had no hope.

My Uncle Brent shot himself through the heart with a deer rifle when I was a little kid because he had no hope.

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain took their lives despite the fact that they were rich and famous because they had no hope.

According to the Centers for Disease Control suicide rates have gone up 30% since 1999 “among both sexes, all racial/ethnic groups, and all urbanization levels.” More than half of these individuals had no mental health issues.

The World Health Organization reports that nearly 800,000 people take their own lives each year—one person every 40 seconds—and for every successful attempt, twenty more try. 45,000 people died in America by their own hands in 2016.

Some people believe in the false notion that once this life ends all their problems will be over because there is nothing after death, we just get buried in the ground. That is suicide’s appeal. That everything will be better.

When I tried to take my life nearly thirty years ago I didn’t think of the afterlife nor the people I would leave behind; I just wanted out. Life was overwhelming. I thought there was nothing to live for anymore.  Continue Reading