“Idol Worship in the West”(rough draft tract for Japan)

Idol worship in the west
Anything in your life that commands more loyalty, dedication and devotion than the One true Living God.
1. Professional Sports
2. Collegiate Sports (compare salary of coaches vs dean of school)
3. Fame and celebrity (With Jesus it’s become less so others may become more)
4. The Automobile (America’s love affair with the automobile-a symbol of money, sex and power)
5. Guns
6. Money, riches, wealth
(“You cannot serve God & money.” Matt 6:24)
7. National Security (The new name of the old idol of Nationalism seen especially in times of clear threat and crisis)
Testing for Idol worship
1. The test of time and attention
2. The test of the willingness to question and evaluate (have you crossed the line between interest and worship?)
3.The test of public signs of devotion (behavior, clothing, emblems. What loyalties have you publically advertised?)
4.The test of comparing devotion to other loyalties (shows proof of polytheism)
5. The test of ethical affects
(2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see if you are living in the faith)

Other idols include: Pets, ambition, computers/games/software, financial security, rock stars/athletes/media celebrities, church activities, TV/movies/music/other media, physical fitness, appearance/image, power/control, ,popularity/opinion of others, pills, health, beauty/figure/physique, clothing, jewelry, tools, books, food, individualism or individual rights, church buildings, fun/pleasure, family “Life, liberty and the pursue of happiness”, the flag, the military,

Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”
Psalm 81:9 “Let there be no strange god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god.”
Exodus 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol…you shall not worship them or serve them…”
Matthew 22:37 “And He said to him,’ you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”
Suggested Prayers
Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner and need You as my Lord and Savior, I ask for forgiveness of my sin as I turn away from them now. I am trusting You alone for my salvation. I believe You suffered and died on the cross and rose from the grave to pay the FULL price of my sin. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for the new life I now have in Christ.
Lord Jesus Dear Lord God, I know how easy it is to allow other things and other people to become more important to me than You. I also know that this is terribly offensive to Your holy eyes as You have commanded that I shall have no other gods before YOU I confess to You that I have not loved You with all my heart and soul and mind. Please reveal to my mind now any and all idols in my life. I want to renounce each of them and in so doing, cancel out any and all ground satan may have gained in my life through my idolatry. In the name of Jesus, the true God, amen.
In the name of the true and living God, Jesus Christ. I renounce my worship of the false god of (name the idol). I choose to worship only YOU, Lord. I ask You Father, to enable me to keep this area of (name the idol) in its proper place in my life.

Creating movement: little seeds grow big plants in our neighbors yard

Today I wanted to post a brief story of how we can open doors for others in their workplaces. On my way to the post office, I passed out gospel tracts to those I pass by when walking or people I meet using LA’s public transportation-the Metro. There were at the local bus stop a small group of people working to promote voting in our community. There was a sign they posted and for the PR they were gathering to shoot pictures. I gave some tracts to the people who wanted them which I believe were 5 to 6 for the group of 10. One gal said “I am a believer! I am a born again Christian” She was very excited. So going beyond the surface here is a little explaining of what happens from this one simple act of love. God’s Word says it does not go out without accomplishing what it was meant to do (Isaiah 55:11). By this 10 minute exchange, the door was open for the Christian to tell me and her co-workers that she is a believer/a Christian. Those who are at a place to receive Christ and walk in His ways took the gospel tracts. The others are not there YET! So this opens the door for conversations at her workplace from their trip to take picture. Those who took and started reading the gospel tracts were open and this gal just needs to be available to be used by God to have lunch or small chats at the break station with her co-workers. Her mission fields here at home is now expanded in a workplace that might not be so easy to break the ice. How about you? Where has others labor of love opened doors for you to further the gospel? Where are you planting seeds for others to reap the harvest? We are the body of Christ and this unity brings God much glory!!
I didn’t understand what the whole idea of “movement” ment when Christians talk of this. I hope this post helps open your eyes to the understanding of how our acts or good works can have a ripple affect in our families and communities we serve.metro

Ministering to women

So here I am doing full time ministry in LA. This last week I have had many experiences with women and people on the front lines of reaching LA for the gospel. Some of them have been overwhelmed with the follow up and discipleship needed with women. So they go out and share the gospel! 🙂 Then the person gets saved. 🙂 Then in helping them grow in their relationship with God, it gets a little messy to say the least. Some of the women I know would describe the work after that as working with monsters. Some have this side of them that didn’t come out until they became a Christian. So what do you do? Here’s what some are saying/doing: 1) Some of the gals think “it’s the pastor at my church’s responsibility to help them….I am just doing the outreach part for our community” 2) Perhaps they realllly didn’t become saved? What was I thinking? 3) Perhaps they did get saved and what they need is a church who does biblical discipleship. What do you think? How “messy” is the outreach and follow up in your church families? That was just some of the gals I connect with from being out there with them reaching the lost.
Then comes yesterday 🙂 I only work at Free Tract Society 2 days out of the week. Yesterday I had 2 new gals come inside and talk about their walk with God. After listening ALOT I decided to put together a packette for gals to use 1) In their own life. 2) In their ministering to other women in ministry 3) In those disconnected “stuck” women who need help though they are not in community with other women. Here is what the front page looks like:DSCF3823 It’s called “You are beautiful” I put it together from 2 sources and I think it’s a good intro to a woman’s heart. Next I wanted to introduce her to Jesus and the heart of our Heavenly Father So I copied off a letter from FatherLoveLetter.com It’s an intimate message from God to us!! Then from Neil Anderson’s writings I copied off “What is The Truth About Me?” It helps renounce lies and proclaim truth to free our hearts and minds to embrace God’s Word. It is packed full of verses I would read aloud. When one hits a tender spot I would recommend memorizing the passages &/or doing a more indepth word study on that area in personal bible study time. Here is a picture of it:DSCF3825 Sometimes I find people have needs….deep needs that are rooted in lies about our Heavenly Father The next page is from SetFreeMinistries.com and will help. Again we out loud renounce the lies and speak the truth. This has a tremendous freeing affect. Then the next page addresses the voices we hear….sometimes the lies can be overwhelming. “The truth about thoughts” is the title page. It will help with confusing thoughts to jealousy thoughts to many more common thoughts that I consider voices that affect our emotions and behavior. The verses help us think on the truth. It is truth that will guide us in living for Jesus. The world is full of lies ready to point us in the wrong direction. Hide these verses in your heart and you will run hard for God and the good things from Him. Here is a picture of what it will look likeDSCF3824 The last pages deal with forgiveness. THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE THAT STUNTS PEOPLE’S GROWTH IS UNFORGIVENESS. So enjoy this tool for starting the journey towards walking like Jesus. DSCF3829DSCF3828 So that’s about it for this post on ministering to women. All documents are yours to pass on and share as needed. If you need the originals I can get them to you through e-mail. What discipleship materials have helped you?….or your ministry? Thanks for reading! God’s Grace. Peace. Joy. to you and all you do for God’s glory!!

First blog of 2015 Evangelism

I’m starting to blog again about doing ministry in LA. So wanted to say the biggest amount of my time goes  to sharing my faith and prayer. Most of my time with people is intentional. It can be pretty intense but I have to say that I really think life is short and I don’t enjoy the fluff of life that a lot of people do like hours of small talk. My international friends know exactly what I mean about letting the American culture swallow up your life in simply useless things. We choose what our life will look like. So with that said I hope to blog about what we are learning about sharing our faith{evangelism} and praying. I hope these conversation starter helps people be more focused and using their resources for beyond the here and now..This first blog of 2015 will be on evangelism

So we take these gospel tracts and simply offer them to people as we walk by them or as they walk by us. They are sometimes conversation starters and we sit down and talk with them about Jesus…other times they are just an attempt to set the pace for  a given neighborhood to create an atmosphere where truth is spoken. In LA, I found the spiritual atmosphere changed quite a bit when some of the Christian businesses went out of business. And when a church or ministry is started that also changes the spiritual atmosphere. Examples of this are the amount of crime, broken families, drug and alcohol use in given neighborhoods.The word of God says it will go out and accomplish what it was meant to. It’s a way to bring beauty and a fragrant aroma to often stinky places. So sharing verses you are reading from the bible, living your life according to what the bible says OR sharing the gospel with others is a way to brighten a dark room or in Christian wording, bless others. Some people see God thru visions and dreams so if you are out doing what God wants you to do it’s not uncommon to be in the right place to introduce people to Jesus because God sent them to that exact place to hear from you. If your life is more simple like mine you will probably enter into those “God gifts” more because you are listening to God and letting Him call the shots. One of my friends texted me to say watch out for a certain area because there was a person killed there today. I texted her back that the person’s family was probably hurting and might not know Jesus, so let’s pray for them. After us praying God had her go to the family and share Jesus. Seven people came to know Jesus that night and experienced His comfort in their grieving. God is a very present help in our times of trouble. We can call on Him when we have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus’ death on the cross. He is VERY near to the brokenhearted. Today one of the guys I gave a tract to said he was never taught how to read the bible as a kid. I told him, me either 🙂 Being honest helps people see that we all are learning. God is the one I want to help grow them up. With the bible and our prayers, I am VERY certain people will go from sitting on the side lines to being active in living  out their faith. The bible says what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul, what will you give in exchange for this life you have been given? God tells me I can cash in my life for having a major impact on others if I live for Him and put others first. That is why I have made my life more simple to be available for those people who are hungry to know what that will look like. So I hope that gives you a simple idea of what some evangelism looks like and how easy it is to start making it part of your life. A huge amount of people I meet do not mainly share their faith thru their church outreach. They feel they want to be involved and ready all the time.  Those are the ones who invest their resources in the gospel…and let’s face it, tractsthJYNYNI52 are pretty simple conversation starters!! How about you? Wanna give it a try? Let me know your stories. They will encourage me and others who read this. Can you tell I hang out with internationals? Hopefully my communication style is easy for anyone to follow. Thanks for the read :)>

Bible Study Materials in Chinese 中文读经资料

Possible good resources for #Evangelism #Discipleship #Chinese #Hope

allan at farcountry

As I am pastoring a Mandarin congregation, I have increasingly found that there are not many literatures out there suitable for Mainland background to use. And I am not that familiar with these resources either. Since some members from my church have asked me to recommend some books or online articles for them to read, here I list some web links that I know. If you know any good stuff out there, please let me know too.

Chinese Treasure (信仰宝库)- a good library with materials for all levels of people.

Desiring God (渴慕神)- 约翰。派博事工 – it’s John Piper, say no more!

“圣经概论” - 福音中国网站  - a brief introduction of all books from the Bible. On the same website, there are other books translated into Chinese, but I don’t know anything about them, I can’t find any information about the authors or publishers so I can’t say anything.

China Soul –…

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It’s just a piece of candy or is it?

383730_2645539771291_1045441728_nTonight at a local grocery store as I was price checking for a purchase I observed some college/high school aged gals having fun and remembering their favorite candies from youth. As I was busy in my own world of planning a menu I observed one of the gals open up a case of candies and slip them into her friends purse. I was originally shocked, then mad because I knew God wanted me to do something. Don’t you just hate when God interrupts life stuff to help others???I can tell the atmosphere was thick as I considered what God would have me do thru prayer. With nobody around I asked the gals if they wanted to just return the candy to the box and call it good, or…..the gals quickly reacted in returning the goods and justified the stealing with some quick phrases…I softly said “you took something that’s not yours, that’s called stealing.” I told them I got caught stealing around their age & it changed my life getting caught and I am now a Christian ….God has better stuff for us to do….I then handed then tracts about God’s unconditional love…..How do you handle stuff that’s not right? How do you handle the tension of speaking truth to strangers or your loved ones? I am thankful that God gave me the wisdom and strength to gently guide the gals to make better life choices. We all need people’s help in doing what honors God. Let’s be peacemakers who seek to bring glory and honor to God as we represent to the world what it means to be  a Christian

Discipleship & Team Building

I am currently reading a book by Bill Hull called The Complete Book of Discipleship. When a chapter captures me with inspiration or tools I can use, I will blog on it. In the chapter called “The disciple-making environment: What makes things grow,” Bill defines love as an action designed for the benefit of others. He speaks of people imprisoned and calls those environments places to say “thank you, prison camp” for it’s ability to contribute to their spiritual growth. It refreshed me to see people embracing difficulties to be blessed to be more like our Creator. He then speaks of a phrase “Can I trust me with you?” revealing a yearning for acceptance and a safe place to be real.He says that in order to flourish we need trust, grace, humility, submission and affirmation in our environments. When we trust and as a result become vulnerable, we then are giving others permission to speak into our lives.He speaks of grace being the way we treat others and that better than they deserve to be treated. I like his sentence after that “God treats us all much better than we deserve to be treated” AMEN  Lastly, Bill speaks of Paul’s example to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:3-4. I long to be a person who affirms others like Bill points out  as affirmation is so very powerful and life giving. “I thank God for you. I pray for you night and day! I think about you all the time! I remember your tears! I long to see you! I am filled with joy when I am around you!!!” How incredibly intense this hit my heart. It goes beyond “I have your back” By our words and actions, my prayer is that we will follow Paul’s lead in our team building. So what makes you grow? Who are the life affirming people who speak into your life? Who might need your trust and how are you building it? Thanks for reading 🙂DSCF3571