December 2, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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30 Years a Slave

This old photo from my “other life” circa 1980, reminds me of my “stupid 20’s,” when I had no sense, lived for myself and cared not a whit about anybody else.

I was at a bar called Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico and decided it would be a good idea to dance on top of a table. Suddenly, two Federales grabbed my shoulders and escorted me to the shadows. Thankfully, a Mexican local, whom I did not know, followed us into the “torture room” and negotiated my release. (I’m the smug, shirtless guy standing next to one of the arresting officiales.)

Today, December 2nd, not only marks the day that shiftless guy died in 1990, but also marks my 30th anniversary as a Christian, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, an unworthy servant, worm, wretch, completely dependent on my Master for life and breath and everything I have.

That picture, which shows up every year in my Facebook “Memories,” is a great reminder of what the Lord has done in my life…and in the lives of so many others.

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November 26, 2020
by Steve Sanchez

Thoughtfully Thankful

Psalm 100 is subtitled “A Psalm of Thanksgiving,” and gives us four reminders on how to be thoughtfully thankful to God this Thanksgiving so we won’t get confused and thank a turkey for its giblets.

1st Reminder: SHOUT!

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!” (Psalm 100:1)

Too many Christians are staid, formal, stiff and boring. Our God is none of those. When we shout to the Lord it shows excitement. But why shout? When you are excited about your favorite football team what do you do? Why should the excitement end when you’re in church?

Remember who you are shouting about: God, the Maker of Heaven and earth and you and me. Here’s a suggested shout: “Thank you, Lord!”

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November 26, 2020
by Steve Sanchez

Thank the Universe and an Aspargus

THE WORST THANKSGIVING SERVICE I ever saw advertised was from a church in Dripping Springs that had a special “Thanking the Earth” ceremony. And the silliest bumper sticker ever stuck to a Hyundai said this: “Did you thank a green plant today?” How far away from God these people are to thank the creation and not the Creator.

The Babylon Bee reported that “local atheist Hal Woodring is preparing his heart to humbly show gratitude to the cold, mechanical processes that randomly led to mankind’s existence and his own fleeting life this Thanksgiving, sources confirmed Friday. Woodring plans to bow his head silently before partaking in his family’s extravagant Thanksgiving feast Thursday evening to give thanks to the meaningless, cold, inconsequential universe for preserving him and allowing him to partake in its bounty. His family members report that he does this every Thanksgiving, pausing to thank the meaningless, vast, and ancient universe that doesn’t care at all whether they live or die.”

That was satire, but it wasn’t far from the truth.

Religion News Service reports that atheists and the non-religious have a Thanksgiving called “secular grace” which invokes no deity and has no spirituality, yet it still fulfills a need. Continue Reading

November 10, 2020
by Steve Sanchez

The Morning After the Election 2020

THE MORNING AFTER THE BALLOTS WERE TALLIED, the sun came up, the birds started singing, morning coffee was made, breakfasts were consumed, and families were late to church again. People went deer hunting, or to their friend’s homes or to a million other places. A dog barked somewhere off in the distance. Life went on.

As usual.

Why? Because God is still on the throne, in control, large and in charge. Nothing escaped his gaze; he holds all things together.

Many felt great elation while others profound disappointment over who God put into office and who he didn’t. Remember this: “It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” (Psalm 75:7) Whomever got elected was God’s man or woman.

Thank Him. Praise Him. Our God knows what he is doing.

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October 31, 2020
by Steve Sanchez

Every Christian Should Celebrate October 31!

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 503 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