panelarrow

December 22, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
1 Comment

Christmas Vs. ChristMYTHS

THE BABY JESUS WAS NOT BORN ON DECEMBER 25.

What? Are you kidding me? Nope.

The Christmas season brings with it a lot of great and wonderful traditions, but have you ever thought how these customs came about? You may be surprised! Let’s start with that Christmas date.

The early church in the first few centuries did not celebrate the birth of Jesus arguing against celebrating all birthdays of saints and martyrs. The early church fathers suggested that saints should be honored on the day they died for Jesus.

Previous dates for His birth were January, March, April, May and November. It’s not exactly clear why the church settled on December 25th, but the first recorded reference to it was in the 3rd century.

The date we now celebrate was probably to replace the pagan holiday, “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun,” which honored the sun god on what they thought was the first day of the Winter Solstice. It’s fitting that the “Sun of Righteousness,” Jesus, “will rise with healing in his wings” on the darkest day of the year as the Light of the World.

Here are some other Christmas tradition origins: Kissing under the mistletoe may have come from a Druid tradition where enemies would meet underneath it and would stop fighting to declare a truce. Continue Reading

December 7, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
0 comments

Lead Pearl Harbor Bomber Becomes Christian After Reading Tract

“THE DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY” is today, December 7, which is the 79th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor where over 2,300 people died and 1,100 were injured. It was a Sunday morning when the sneak attack by Japanese bombers was perpetrated on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. This terrorist action propelled the U.S. into World War 2.

This is the incredible story of Mitsuo Fuchida, lead pilot of the December 7, 1941, raid on Pearl Harbor. Fuchida was the one who shouted the war cry, “Tora, Tora, Tora!” 

Mitsuo Fuchida fought the United States throughout WWII and was intimately involved in the planning and leadership of the Japanese war effort as flight commander and later as a senior operations officer.

After the war, Fuchida was a defeated warrior in occupied Japan, farming to meet the needs of his family. He was also the only one to return to Japan after the bombing.

In 1950, Fuchida miraculously came to know Jesus Christ as Savior through a tract handed to him while exiting a train in Tokyo. The tract was entitled, “I Was a Prisoner of Japan,” written by Jacob DeShazer who was one of the famous Doolittle Raiders. DeShazer trusted Christ as his Savior while held captive by Japan for 40 months. DeShazer went to Japan in 1948 as a missionary and preached to the nation who held him captive.

Fuchida faithfully served Jesus Christ as an evangelist until his death in 1976. “From Pearl Harbor to Golgotha” is Fuchida’s testimony of salvation. Here it is in his own words:

I must admit I was more excited than usual as I awoke that morning at 3:00 a.m., Hawaii time, four days past my thirty-ninth birthday. Our six aircraft carriers were positioned 230 miles north of Oahu Island. As general commander of the air squadron, I made last-minute checks on the intelligence information reports in the operations room before going to warm up my single-engine, three-seater “97-type” plane used for level bombing and torpedo flying.
Continue Reading

December 7, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
1 Comment

Pearl Harbor Survivor Forgives After Japanese Lead Bomber Speaks

Here’s a touching excerpt about how Pearl Harbor survivor Joe Morgan forgave the Japanese after the naval commander, Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, spoke on the island of Maui ten years after the war:

Shortly after the attack, Joe was transferred to another unit on Maui while his previous unit was sent to the South Pacific where it suffered heavy casualties. Joe felt God had a reason for protecting him, and the only wound he carried from the war was his hatred turned animosity for the Japanese.

He never hated Japanese Americans who abound in Hawaii, just those from Japan. Two years into his Wailuku pastorate, Joe heard that Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese naval commander who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, was speaking on Maui.

“He was flying high above my head that day, giving orders to his pilots over the radio,” Joe recalls in his written account.

Fuchida, however, had become a Christian after meeting a former prisoner of war who had returned to post-war Japan as a missionary. Joe felt the animosity resurface and didn’t know “whether to shake Fuchida’s hand or shoot him” if they ever met. Continue Reading

December 6, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
0 comments

Steve Sage is Dead!

December is always a special time of year because we anticipate the Savior’s birth, but it’s extra-special for me because it marks the anniversary of the death of someone who was a real sore trial to me: me.

Thirty years ago, I became a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, and died to myself.

I was not raised in a Christian household. The extent of my religious upbringing was dad telling me that God could be a beer can, therefore, I was not accountable to anyone and did whatever I wanted, not aware that I would eventually wreck my life and the lives of others.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

For my first thirty-one years, I did what I thought was right in my own eyes, not heeding the counsel of those who tried to steer me onto a straighter road, not realizing that “in the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls….” (Proverbs 22:5)

I had two stated goals before my death:

#1: Live life on the edge.

#2: Find out the dark side of life.

Both were achieved in short order.

Continue Reading

December 3, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
0 comments

A Little Bit of Hangin’

Abraham Lincoln once listened to the pleas of the mother of a soldier who’d been sentenced to hang for treason. She begged the President to grant a pardon. Lincoln agreed. Yet, he’s reported to have left the lady with the following words: “Still, I wish we could teach him a lesson. I wish we could give him just a little bit of hangin’.”

I’ve always loved reading those words from a short devotional written by Pastor Max Lucado. I always remember that little article after Thanksgiving Day is past when the time for giving thanks is over and I start to take things for granted once again.

His little devotion reminds me of the brevity of life, and how one day a person we love is here, but the next they may be gone.

Lucado explained what “a little bit of hangin’” meant when describing an incident that happened while friends were gathered at his home:

Continue Reading