Friday, November 30, 2007

Doubting Christianity can Lead to Buddhism

At the young age of 10 Ryan was questioning Christianity because he said "It didn't feel right." This questioning or doubting eventually lead him to Buddhism.

Ryan worked at a local bookstore and was given permission from management to be on The Way of the Master Radio just this past Thursday. After the radio segment with Ray, Ryan told me that he was willing to talk but that he didn't want to debate. He made it clear that he didn't want to compare his worldview with the Biblical worldview and felt no need to do so. But for not wanting to "debate" he had some very song opinions about Christianity.

As with many of the eastern religions, Buddhism is not easy to understand. Little has been done to understand this religion, which has gained much popularity in recent times. All that one needs to do is to go to the nearest Christian bookstore and look at the apologetics section to see how minimal the materials are on Buddhism.

Ryan finally admitted that even to espouse to have no worldview--is a worldview. So I explained to him that Buddhism does not answer the biggest questions of life such as, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. Only Scripture can give us the answers to these questions and more! Christ alone offers forgiveness of sins! Ryan in attempting to rid himself of his Christian upbringing and is hardening his heart against the Gospel. Please pray for him.

Click here November 29, 2007 - Hour 2 to listen to the full segment it starts about 20 minutes into the program.

You Just Never Know...

You just never know…

The first segment of the Way of the Master Radio was with Ty. He was not sure that he wanted to even be on the air but with some encouragement, he went for it.

Ty had made a god in his own image to suit himself. In his worldview, God did not reveal Himself in the Bible. In his words, "the Bible has contradictions". I guess after having your mouth wired shut for 2 months is not enough to put the fear of God in you. When asked what exactly these contradictions were, he actually did not know. I told him that he was basing his entire eternal destiny upon something he could not even articulate.

It is always amazing to see people toss the Bible aside as if it was a work of gorillas. Few know that the bible is not one book and that it was not written by just one person. Ty was very challenged by the Gospel and said that he needed to do more research. Because Ty had rejected the Bible it was not surprising to find that he did not know much about, God, death, the afterlife, or the way of salvation.

I think Ty's friend Scott was very impacted as he listened to the show in his car. I approached him after the radio spot and asked, "Where you listening?" He shook his head in disapproval and said, "Yep…there is one thing Ty said that I would not of said…" "What's that?" I inquired. "Ty said that he didn't fear God…and I would have never said that…I fear God!" He said with his hand on his chin.

Scott really enjoyed the curved illusion tract. He was very receptive as I talked to him outside his car…so you just never know.

Click here November 29, 2007 - Hour 1 to listen to the full segment it starts about 40 minutes in to the program.

Society's View of Aging Well

I read this on MSN News the other night and it caught my attention:

"My first glimpse of the inevitable came when I noticed my favorite shimmery blush creasing above my cheekbone. It was around my birthday (I had just turned 28) when the changes started: I soon began to see the freckles across my face as irreversible sun damage, the crinkles around my eyes as permanent — not just a side effect of smiling....I'm not even 30, but I already feel I'm going downhill."

And of course the further I read I was sure that the article would provide some sort of tip on how to keep oneself looking young. That's what the world does. It tries to preserve something that is ultimately unpreservable.

I am 30 years old and I already see signs of aging and though inwardly I feel like I am still 18 years old, I know outwardly that I am not. I saw the first signs a couple of years ago, at 28 years old. I was in a supermarket, in California, and the box boy at the check out line smiled kindly and said, "Thank you Ma'am." I had never been called ma'am before! I thought maybe he was just being kind, but I was only deceiving myself because "ma'am" is not the normal California lingo. You see, here in Texas it is an honorable thing to be called "ma'am" no matter what age you are. It is done out of respect. But in California people address someone as "ma'am" when they are beginning to look like one...or at least that is how I see it. :-)

Many women are drawn to tips on how to look younger but we must face the truth that one day we will not be as beautiful as we once were, no matter how much we try to do to preserve ourselves. That's why we, as women, need to cling to the word of God and meditate on His truth. This is the only cure for aging well! I am reminded about Proverbs 31:30 which says "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

I am currently reading a book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and paused at the spot where he says:

"Our resurrection bodies will be free of the curse of sin, redeemed, and restored to their original beauty ... the only bodies we've ever known are weak and diseased remnants of the original bodies God made for humans...I expect our bodies will be good-looking...but God will decide what our perfect bodies look like...Of this we can be certain--no matter what we look like, our bodies will please the Lord, ourselves, and others. We won't gaze into the mirror wishing for a different nose or different cheeks, ears, or teeth. The sinless beauty of the inner person will overflow into the beauty of the outer person."

Society's view of aging well is temporal and focused on the physical appearance but God's cure for aging well is eternal. We must fix our hearts on the fact that Christ has redeemed us, those that are believers, from the curse and focus our eyes on the Word of God which will never fail us.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Time of Reflecting

I was reflecting on my recent trip to 13 countries in 13 days to film The Way of the Master Season 4. I just can’t get over the fact that I traveled to so many countries in so little time. The volunteers in each country were so helpful. The team was such wonderful troopers. The food was great. And to top it off we preached the Gospel every where we went. None stop. We went what felt like a million miles an hour and believe me my eyes showed the effects of it. But I just can't get over what an honor it is to be a part of all this. I am truly in awe of God's mercy and after a month of reflection, I think everything is finally settling in. Or maybe it was all the ice cream that I ate that is finally settling in.

I was looking at some of my photos, the other night, and paused at the Czech Republic and specifically the Astronomical Clock which sits in the middle of Prague, the capital city mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square and is a popular tourist attraction. It was a site to see.

The Astronomical Clock has three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months.

The 12 Apostles come out every top of the hour for a few seconds and then return back into to the two little doors that they popped out of. Then the crowd, of hundreds, gasps as what they just saw and quickly scurries to finish their business.

I wonder if the individuals truly consider what the apostles taught and if they stop to think about whom it was that the Apostles followed. Jesus Christ said many devastating things. For example, in John 14:6 where he declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." It amazes me how many people travel from all of over the world just to see this attraction and are simply not aware of the history behind it all. Nor do they ponder the words of Christ.

But for me it was a memorable day. I had turned my back for a second to help out some of our volunteers and the next thing I saw was Ray Comfort standing directly in front of the huge clock. There is never a dull moment when Ray Comfort is around! His mind is always on one thing...the Lost! And I knew exactly what he was going to air preach. But none of us where expecting this...
My heart pounded with great joy and anticipation to see what the crowd would do and what Ray would say. As he began, to my surprise, the chattering amongst the huge crowd grew quite. Then an applause erupted after he finished. I wasn't expecting this either but then it dawned on me that the applause was started by the volunteers that accompanied us for the day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Black Friday

I plan to go witnessing on Black Friday. This the day after Thanksgiving where, figuratively, the merchants finally get into the “black” as far as profit goes since it is the busiest shopping day of the year.

Because of the anticipated sales rush and to be the place where shoppers go first, many merchants open early. Places like Best Buy and Circuit City will have huge sales with limited stock. As a result, many people arrive early Friday morning and line up outside the stores. Actually, they begin the previous evening as early as 8 PM and camp overnight (which might do late tommorrow night as well).

Best Buy and Circuit City open at around 5 AM. Target/Kohls open at 6 AM. What we are going to do is have several people arrive, all but one get out and hand out cookies and tracts with someone preaching for about 5 minutes from the back of a pickup. The individual in the truck will say something like this…

We are handing out cookies as you will need the energy today as you shop. They also have a million dollar bill to give you as you will be spending millions today.

Speaking of millions, almost 5 million people will die between today and Christmas. Most of those will not even know it was their last day when they woke up that morning. What will happen to you when you die? Ask yourself this “Have you been naughty or nice this year? Santa Clause does not know but God does. He sees hatred as murder, lust as adultery… law and grace preaching etc…

After about 5 minutes we will pile back into the cars and go to the next location.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Whitefield’s Pulpit

I have been very impacted and challenged by the life of George Whitefield who was born on December 16, 1714 in Gloucester, England and died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. He is known for his preaching in America which was very significant during the 18th century movement of Christian revivals, called “The Great Awakening”.
While preaching in the field George Whitefield used this collapsible field pulpit for open-air preaching because the doors of many churches were closed to him. The first recorded use of the pulpit was at Moorsfield, England, April 9, 1742, where Whitefield preached to a crowd estimated at "twenty or thirty thousand people."

Whitefield usually awoke at 4 A.M. before beginning to preach at 5 or 6 A.M. In one week he often preached a dozen times or more and spent 40 or 50 hours in the pulpit. It is estimated that Whitefield preached two thousand sermons from his field pulpit and without any amplification could be heard by more than 30,000 people. In his lifetime, preached at least a total of 18,000 times and addressed perhaps 10,000,000 hearers.

His original pulpit is in Garland, Texas at the American Tract Society where I had to privilege to visit, this past May.

"I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields . . . I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches."
George Whitefield

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jeff wants to go to Hell?

This man, Jeff, just broke my heart. He was on the second segment of The Way of the Master Radio last week and I don’t know if he was just looking forward to going to Hell--couldn't see how that would be possible for anyone in their right mind--but seconds after he got off the phone with Ray Comfort I asked him how the radio talk went. He said, "Fine...I guess I am dammed for Hell."

I asked, "Do you care if you were to die tonight that you would go to Hell." "No." He said unashamedly.

"Jeff, you don't care about going to Hell?" I repeated. "No." He said again, with no care at all.
So I asked bluntly with a hint of a smile, "Jeff, are you that hard of heart that you don't care about where you spend all eternity?"

He didn't really answer, so I continued, "You must soften your heart because the Bible talks about how God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." I pray that Jeff will humble himself in the sight of the Lord. Click to listen to the second segment. It starts about 20 minutes in November 15, 2007 - Hour 2

Passing on a Godly Heritage

The other night I stayed up quite late as my husband and I intently listened to a teaching from Emeal Zwayne (E.Z.) the General Manager of The Way of the Master. He presented a message on November 4, 2007 called "Passing on a Godly Heritage". E.Z. reflects upon our recent trip to Europe (13 Countries in 13 Days-The Filming of Season 4) pointing out that the moral decay of Europe starts with the erosion of family values. Listen and be both blessed and challenged as I was...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Keller, TX - Home of the largest Buddha in America

Driving down a rough and dusty Northern Texas road one would not expect to find tucked away at the end of a side road an ornate and ancient looking Chinese entrance to a Buddhist temple. Yet, that is you may find if you take the correct dirt road. In fact, another example of everything in Texas being bigger is exemplified within the Buddhist temple located in Keller, Texas.

Within the walls you’ll find worn out homes with no signs of life within the dusty windows. Two dogs lie resting in the shade from the Texas heat - the only signs of breath. Tucked behind trees are shrines and statues honoring the leaders of the Buddhist faith. Walking down the concrete path to the Buddhist temple that contains the largest statue of Buddha in the United States the details and dragon statues take shape with each step - adding to the mystery of what was inside. Some of the paint on the dragons has worn, and the butterflies hovering around our heads were extra large - everything is bigger in Texas. Yet, still, no sign of monk life.

Steve, a friend, notices down the opposite direction of the path we took to the temple, two kids on bikes. Mary (my cousin through marriage), Steve and I rushed down to try and find someone who may speak English regarding setting up a dialogue with a Buddhist monk for The Way of the Master Radio show - we did not expect to find smiling children speaking fluent English.
At the opposite end of the walkway sits an old gymnasium with a stage on one end of the hall. Fold-up tables contain the students school work, while at the opposite end of the gymnasium is an old dining room set with a dark oak table with six chairs - ornate decor, of course.

The children are eager to speak to us, and smile during our greeting, as if they had not seen visitors for some time. We ask to see inside the temple as well as have a conversation with a monk. They explain that the monks work at night and go to sleep at noon, so all the monks were now asleep, and despite my attempts to have the children wake one of them - it didn't happen. However, they were more than happy to show us the temple and the largest Buddhist statue in the United States - we gladly accepted their invitation.

At the door of the Temple we took our shoes off, and after a few rounds of photographs with the children we were ready to see inside. As the door was opened by one of the ten year old children, the first thing I expect to see was the golden Buddha towering to the ceiling of the 20 plus foot ceiling, however, grabbing all of our attention through the doorway was the life-like figure of a Buddhist monk sitting cross legged with a jolly smile flowing from his wax face. The dark spiritual nature of the room hit us like a damp mist as we enter the temple, and the 20 to 25 foot golden Buddha smiled at us.

The kids look at our faces to read our expressions and we could tell they revered the temple, yet feared it as well. Which is perfectly understandable; the wax figure of the founder of the temple is so life-like, it stood far more impressive than the largest Buddha statue in the U.S.

The children explain that the spirits come to life at midnight, and that the lamp next to the human figure comes on by itself around midnight - along with his levitation above the floor of the temple. I stay to ask the children about their beliefs and the possibility of an interview on Thursday through who would be the proposed interpreter - a 13 year old child. They agree to the interview and promise to check on its arrangements, while we are lead back to their gymnasium classroom where they entertained us with disco lights and rap music - the perfect accompaniment to their break dancing and gymnastics.

The children were absolutely sweet and hospitable. Yet, there was a sad reality to the existence in the Buddhist compound. The place didn't represent truth and Buddhism doesn't solve life's most precious questions "Why do we die?", and "Where do I go when I die?", plus "How can I be forgiven for all my sin?" etc, while the illusion of a pious simple life blinded them to their sin against the God of Israel. I was very grateful to spend a day at with the young children. They gladly heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how they could be forgiven for sinning against a Holy God. A few days later, I went back and brought them all candy. The children ran to my car with giant smiles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Killed in an Instant

I just got an email that a woman was just killed in front of the bagel shop on Bellflower Blvd in California, right next to The Way of the Master headquarters. She was on her Moped and the car in front of her slowed to turn into the bagel shop, the car behind her didn’t see her, and hit from behind. Please pray for her loved one’s and that this will cause salvation to be gained by all those affected. It just reminds me that 150,000 people die every 24 hours and that anyone of us can become a part of that statistic on any given day. My plan for this afternoon/evening while I run errands is to pass out tracts to different people that I may run into and see what happens. I have so much joy in sharing my faith and like Paul I will say, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” Now let’s go share our faith while there is still time!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Verse a Day

I try to memorize a verse a day from the Bible. My goal for this week is to memorize Eph 5: 15-21 which says…

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."

I love the Word of God and when all is said and done the one thing we will be able to stand on are the Scriptures. I try to memorize as I go about my daily business. For example, as I am making lunch (heating up a T.V. dinner) I have my bible near me so that as I am waiting for the microwave do to its job I can memorize. I also do this as I'm folding laundry, it allows me to keep focused and makes the time go by quickly.

God’s Word is good for our soul and better than our necessary food. When I'm driving in the car I memorize…just kidding…I keep my eyes on the road, but when my husband is driving and especially if we are in traffic it’s a great time for me to review the verse for that day. I find the more I do this, the more I want to memorize. I figure in less than six months, I could have the entire book of Ephesians memorized. Just think of that…one entire book of the New Testament memorized. If there ever comes a time when we no longer have the Scriptures available to us (e.g. due to persecution) I want to have as much Scripture, as possible, hidden in my heart.

I want to be like an old saint I met three years ago. Naomi, 94 years old, was in a convalescent home. Though she couldn’t get out of bed she was eager to greet me with a warm smile when I visited. We talked about the Lord and I still remember the day she gently corrected me when I recited a scripture reference wrong. “Oh no…my dear….that actually is in the book of Colossians.” She said with a grin.

Naomi put me to shame at 94 years old! She knew so much of the Word of God that I was challenged and convicted to memorize more. When you’re 94 (if God grants you and I that long to live) and you are in a bed, hardly able to move, unable to go as you please, and not even food is desirable. Will Scripture be your daily bread?

I am reminded of a familiar saying from Ray Comfort, “No Bible…no breakfast. No read…no feed.” We should hunger and thirst for the Word more than we do our daily food. Why not take this challenge for yourself. No Bible…no breakfast. No read…no feed!?