Wednesday, November 28, 2007
1. Do you really talk to Satan?
Um. No. It is just a literary technique used to make a point.
2. Why should I buy the book if I can read the blog?
The blog is just a sample of what is in the book. The book goes much more in-depth and has much more commentary and self-examination questions. There is also more Bible study.
3. Who publishes your book?
At this point, the book is self-published. For ordering information, you need to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. I would like to get copies for my church. Do you give quantity discounts?
Yes, I do. Please contact me for more details.
5. Any future plans for more books?
Yes, I am working on another book, Rants of a Homeschooling Mom. In addition, I am planning on a book called Ten More Letters from Satan, due out next year. I am also designing a Bible study/small group study version of Ten Letters from Satan.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Today I overheard you talk about "that" church down the road. "Those people aren't really Christians," you said.
Your reason? Because they use a different style of music than your church does! Their pastor had asked to partner with your church for a community outreach program (*shudder*), but your pastor refused. "After all," he said when he explained it to the leadership in your church later, "they aren't like us. They just have different beliefs."
Did you know that "that" church stole 5 souls from me last week? (It still burns me up thinking about it.) And they stole the souls of 8 children from me the week before! (Almost as many as your church did that week.) They insist on using the same Bible you do and preaching from it each week. They also reach out to the lost and steal souls from me, just like you do.
But that's okay. By seeing them as "different" and not as "spiritual" because they sue a different style of singing and music, you keep from working together with them and stealing more souls from me!
Such a trivial thing to let people go to Hell for, but that's okay. I will be sure to tell them that they might have been reached if you had not been so stubborn. It will make their misery so much worse, knowing that they could have avoided their fate - had you taken action.
Thanks for the extra souls!
Why do we let such small issues divide us as churches?
I am not talking about important issues, such as what it takes to get to Heaven.
I am talking about things that really do not matter.
The Bible doesn't tell us that only hymns are holy. Or that singing hyms is the sign of a spiritually "dead" church.
The Bible doesn't say that people who wear jeans to church are not really Christians. Or that wearing a suit and tie is wrong.
These are man-made issues that keep churches from working together. And I think they break God's heart.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Wow! I was impressed today!
There was a lady in the grocery store parking lot asking for money for food. You told her no and walked off, even glancing at the kids she had with her as you did so.
The grocery cart you had full of food made this all the more wonderful. AND the cross you had hanging around your neck was a special bonus.
Did you hear the older child plead her about how hungry she was as you walked away? I cackled with glee when I saw a tear slip down Mom's cheek.
You just make my work easier and easier. The little girl saw your cross, you know. Now she thinks people who wear those things are just plain mean. She is only 6.
Matthew 25:31-46 talks about ignoring those who are hungry, thirsty and in prison:
"Then the righteous will answer him (Jesus), 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did
we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe
you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit
Then the King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you
did for one
of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you
cursed....for I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was
thirsty and you
gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not
invite me in, I
needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in
prison and you did
not look after me.'
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we....not help you?'
He will reply, '....whatever you did not do for one of the least of these,
you did not do for me.'"
Helping those who are less fortunate is just like helping Christ himself. (The Bible says so. See above.)
I have been approached many times by people wanting/needing money. (My husband says I have "one of those faces" - I guess it's because I smile a lot.) There are times when I simply don't have money on me or cannot help right at that moment, but I will actually give out my number (cell number) or church info (we have a food pantry) and not leave these people hanging.
I have given groceries out. I help as much as I can.
It is our duty to help those in need. Anyone who reads Matthew 25:31-46 and can tell me otherwise with a straight face is living in a fantasy land.
I can hear you now: "How do you know that the person won't spend the money on drugs or booze or whatever?"
I have several responses to that:
- There might be physical signs of drug abuse in the person asking. In that case, giving cash may not be a good idea. However, that doesn't mean you cannot help. Give a gift certificate or offer to purchase groceries for them. if there is a food pantry at your church, offer to help them through that. DON'T ignore the person or send him/her away empty-handed.
- Sometimes I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to give money. Not always. I have emptied my wallet before and given it to someone in a parking lot, along with one of my cards. She broke down and cried in the middle of the lot. So did I. Follow how the Holy Spirit moves you. He knows more than you do. You will be blessed.
- Sometimes I am prompted by the Holy Spirit to NOT give cash, but in each case, I was prompted to do something different - a gift certificate, refer him/her to the food pantry, etc. Follow your leading from the Holy Spirit and do what you should. Do NOT ignore the person or not offer some sort of help.
Now, I will address one concern someone has asked me about before: safety.
In each case, I have been approached in places where the crime rate is pretty high, but I never felt threatened.
However (and this is where prayer and following what the Holy Spirit is telling you is important), if I felt like I was being warned in the Spirit about something, I would heed whatever I felt was being impressed upon me. In that instance, I might simply give a card with the church inforjmation on it and invite the person to seek help there. I don't know. If I get in that situation, I will write about it. :)
The bottom line is this: In any circumstance, there IS a way to help.
So please do.
Did I have a great laugh when the offering plate was passed around last Sunday!
I saw people putting in spare change, people putting in just a few dollars, and people not putting in anything! If Christians are supposed to tithe ten percent of what they earn, I would say most of you are living off of a pittance.
That is fine with me. It takes money to buy Sunday School curricula, pay the mortgage, and have electricity. It takes money to provide food for the needy and to pay the salary for the church secretary (and nothing is better than for someone to call the church and having no one to answer the phone). It takes money to have running water and provide snacks for the kids in children's church.
So I will keep whispering in your ear how that money is really yours and how the church shouldn't ask for money, anyway. After all, why does it matter that He provides your job and He makes sure your every need is met? You are the one working, right?
Just keep your hand on your wallet and don't give up a cent.
"But I really need this money! We are struggling to pay bills as it is! We can't live on 10 percent less than what we already live on! We'll be out on the streets if we do!"
I know exactly how you feel. I really do.
My husband and I did not tithe for the longest time. We really were struggling, too. I had tithed as a single mom, but when I remarried, we just gave less and less and then stopped because we were struggling so much.
But then we made a decision. God can and will provide. So we started tithing.
Immediately, a financial disaster struck. Someone had compromised our bank account and fraudulent charges were made. We were in dire straits. But we remained unwavering. We. Would. Tithe. Period.
Then, the blessings started coming. My husband began getting more hours at work (they had been cut to less than 40 hours per week). We're better off income-wise after tithing (because of the extra hours) than we had been previously without tithing.
Malachi 3:10 flat-out says to test God with your tithe and He will bless you. So what are you waiting for?
For those who are financially blessed and still don't tithe, I am baffled. If you think you did it all yourself, you are wrong. If you think you do not have a responsibility to God to give back a portion of your earnings, you are wrong.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I visited your children's church service last Sunday. Well, to be honest, I did not stay back there too long - all of those happy children being hugged by the children's church volunteers made me sick, and they kept talking about The One over and over. Plus the songs, the stories, the laughter. There were even three children who accepted Him as their Saviour - I could bear it no longer! I had to leave.
However, I did stop by the main sanctuary and looked in on the proceedings, and what I saw there warmed my heart.
The Pastor was asking for volunteers to help with the children's minstry. Not a lot - just one Sunday a month - but I loved your reaction! You crossed your arms and thought - "Not me! That's not my calling! The noise, the runny noses, the tears, the silliness - nope, that's a job for someone else!" I chuckled with glee.
I glanced around the sanctuary and saw similar reactions from many of the congregation. Sure, there were a few that were less obvious and wore a blank smile on their faces and nodded in all of the right places, but they thought the same thing: "Not me."
I love it! Less children's ministry workers mean less little Christians running around. Less little Christians mean less teenage Christians. That means less adult ones, and then they have kids and repeat the cycle. Ahhhhh....nothing like generation after generation coming to be with me. Hehehehehehehehehe
AND, having kids accept Him means that their parents might accept Him, too. That just ruins the whole household.
So I just thought I would write you a note and encourage you to keep up the not so good work!
When is the last time you volunteered to help with the children's ministry?
I teach a Sunday School class and help with AWANA. One of the adult Sunday School classes has "adopted" me and my class and if I need anything - volunteers, supplies, etc. - they happily get it for me.
I'll give an example - I am having a Christmas party for the kids in my class. I am expecting a big turnout, so I went to my sponsoring class and asked for help with supplies and also a volunteer to help me with all of the kids (normally, I am the only adult in the class).
Within minutes, I had 3 volunteers and the class had arranged for supplies to be purchased.
That is an example of the love of Christ in action.
Kids are the future of the church. They are our whole future.
Is it noisy? Yep. Is it tiring? Sometimes.
But the biggest reward is knowing that those precious ones will walk the streets of gold one day. And when they run up to you, hug you, and tell you they love you, it is the best feeling in the world.
How often do you help out the children's ministry?
I visited your Sunday School last Sunday and was overjoyed to see so many of you had not attended. I become very anxious when I see people participating in Bible study. That's why I have so many activities to keep you out late on Saturday nights.
I heard some lessons not well prepared, so a lot of your allotted time was consumed in talking about ball games and business concerns. Furthermore, many classes reported no contacts during the week. It was wonderful! And even more exciting was the fact that many of your classes do not have F.A.I.T.H. teams and place no emphasis on reaching lost people. You're making my job so easy that I am thinking about taking four weeks' vacation next year instead of my usual two.
Also, I've noticed that the lonliest place in town on visitation night is the church. I always sweat this night out, because if you go out and tell someone about Jesus they might get saved. But you Sunday School members are so easily turned away by a lot of important events I have planned for you on that night. I have also discovered that it is more comfortable for you to stay at home than to go out and visit, and besides, you've earned a little R&R - because I always make that your busiest day of the week.
Well, I just wanted to drop you a note and encourage you to keep up the mediocrity! No sense in you getting all worked up about this gospel stuff anyway. Why, people may begin to think you are a fanatic if you do.
In conclusion, let me say that I am always here to assist you. If anyone starts putting pressure on you to become more involved in the Great Commission, just let me know. I have a pit full of excuses.
Hope to have you with me soon,
The above letter was given to the leadership of our church by the pastor yesterday. It really got me to thinking.
If Satan really did write letters to members of the church (and Christians in general), what would he say? How would he feel? What would he think?
I think it would shock church people if they really could hear the thoughts of Satan. I really do. I think that too many church members/Christians feel like Satan is this funny guy with horns and a tail that is just so gosh-darned silly.
He's not. He is evil, real and seething with hate for those who truly follow Christ.
What would Satan think of your Sunday School? Of your church? Of you?
I hope this blog makes you think. I hope it makes you squirm. I hope it makes you examine your heart and ask some really deep questions.
- "Do I really believe in Hell?"
- "Do I really care if people are lost and die and go to Hell?"
- "Am I doing all I can to make Jesus famous in my corner of the earth?"
- "Am I reaching out to those I can and sharing the Gospel?"
- "Am I just warming a pew and not really committed?"
- "What can I do to carry out the Great Commission?"
I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to leave them here on this blog.
If this blog made you think, pass it along to your fellow Christians.