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November 6, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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I Went to Beto O’Rourke’s Socialist-Democrat Rally!

YES, I ACTUALLY WENT TO A BETO O’ ROURKE RALLY! If you aren’t a Texan, then you need to know that Beto (pronounced Beato in the Hill Country), is Conservative Ted Cruz’s liberal arch-rival. But, wait! Before you pick up stones, let me explain. My daughter wanted to go. Since we had not seen each other for a while and she was down from college with a freshly pierced proboscis, nose ring and new-fangled University politics, I accompanied her.

It was a sacrificial act of love.

She wanted some assurances that I wouldn’t argue, roll my eyes or preach.

Agreed.

I had a far more inventive plan to try out….Heh, heh, heh….

In case you didn’t notice there’s a war going on in the America.  Continue Reading

October 31, 2018
by Steve Sanchez
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Martin Luther: Lunatic for the Lord

There’s a poster in our Youth Wing that says, “Do you seriously think God can’t use you?”

Then it lists a whole lot of people from the Bible who no one would ever think could be used for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom.

  • Noah was a drunk.
  • Abraham was too old.
  • Jacob was a liar.
  • Samson was a womanizer.
  • Rahab was a prostitute (who ended up in the generational line of Jesus).
  • Elijah was suicidal.
  • Lazarus was dead.

God also used a crazy man in the 16th century who was rude, crude and a Jew hater. He was also a worry wart, always thinking God was going to strike him dead for his sin. His name was Martin Luther and the reason you are a Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Pentecostal or even a non-denominational believer is because of what he did on Oct. 31, 1517, commonly called the Protestant Reformation. It’s been 501 years since the day faith in God was RE-formed, and we celebrate our independence from hierarchical religion and cherish the truth that we can come to God on our own, by faith, through his Son Jesus Christ. Though this truth has always been with us, it was hidden for centuries. What Martin Luther did changed the direction of Christianity forever—all because God used this one man.

Every Christian should celebrate the third greatest Holy Day of the year after Christmas and Easter: Reformation Day, not that silly Halloween, the day that ghouls, ghosts and gross gaggles of the grave are happily acclaimed while death, murder and fiendish activity is lionized.

It all came about in this way: Continue Reading

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