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A Thank You Is Great, But Encouragement Is Remembered

Yesterday, I received some wonderful encouragement on my website ( http://jesusalive.cc ). After reading it, I got into the shower and felt lead to write a blog about it. My original title was "A Thank You For The Thank You's," and I wrote a whole blog on that. However, after I finished, I realized I missed a BIG point. So, this here my second attempt.

     The story began a few days ago. I received the following comment from a man regarding one of the studies I wrote for the website: "Thanks for the write up. I stumbled across it as I was writing something else. I(t) saved me a good deal of time in research. Many thanks, Stone." I replied back, You're welcome. Glad I could help. Thanks for taking the time to let me know it helped."

     I am always thankful when someone takes the time to thank me for something I have written, or to let me know it has helped them, I should also add it doesn't happen very often.JesusAlive gets around several th…

A Note To "Christians" Who Hate Donald Trump

I write this just a few days after yet another famous actor spewed out his hatred of President Donald Trump at a Hollywood awards ceremony. For this speech, he received a rousing ovation from his fellow colleagues. In my lifetime, I have never seen such hatred poured out upon any President (or perhaps any person at all). We see this unrelenting hatred displayed daily on the news, on late night t.v. shows, in our newspapers, on social media, and more.

     None of this is really that surprising. However, what IS surprising is the number of people who call themselves "Christians" who are displaying this same hate. We should expect "hatred" from those who are not Christian. If a person is not a Christian, they belong to Satan (Eph 2:2)(Col 1:13)(1 Jn 5:19)(2 Tim 2:26), and Satan "is" hate. He hates God, he hates Christians, and in fact, hates everyone (see: 1 Pet 5:8, Jn 10:10, 2 Cor 4:4, Rev 12:10). In turn, those who belong to him have this same hatre…

Till Death Do Us Visit?

I woke up this morning thinking about a t.v. commercial that I saw several years ago that I think was the greatest commercial I have ever seen. I don't remember who ran the commercial, or all of the details of it, but here is what I do remember.

     In this commercial, there is an image of a very old man who is seen calling his family one by one, and asking them to come to his house for dinner on a holiday (I think Thanksgiving). One by one, you can see the family members on the other end of the phone at work and home shaking their heads "no," they just can't make it. Then, it cuts to the old man sitting at a big table eating alone on the holiday. Then, it shows the same thing happening again the following year. Then, one more year.

     The following year, around the same time, we see the family members getting a call that the old man has died. We see the family members crying and devastated. Then, it cuts to all of the family coming through the door of the ol…

My Old Friend "Skeet"

I don't know exactly why, but for quite a while now, I wake up in the middle of the night, use the bathroom, then lay back down and something comes into my head that I can't stop thinking about and it keeps me from going back to sleep for an hour or more. The other night, that thought was an old friend from high school. As I was "in the shower" just a bit ago, thoughts again flooded my mind about him, so (as you know by now) he is my topic.

     "Skeet" was short for "Skeeter." I don't know how he get that nickname. I was "Bird," I because when I ran track and cross-country, I looked like a bird when it runs (because of my short legs). As I remember, we first met because we ran track together. As I talk about in more detail in my testimony, I was introverted, not very outgoing, and socially awkward in high school. I didn't have a lot of friends, but Skeet was one of them.
     Skeet was a very troubled young man. His home li…

The Fiery Preacher From Peoria

As I was in the shower, I began to think about writing a new blog. As I pondered what to write on, I felt lead ("God In The Shower") that I should write about the church service I attended last Sunday. I was visiting my hometown in Peoria, and attended a church called Riverside Community Church. I first went to this church during Christmas Eve after strongly feeling that God was leading me to go. The pastor is an older, kindly, unassuming looking man, with a British accent, who if you asked someone "describe what your perfect grandfather would look like," it would be him. What I am trying to say is that you would not expect the words he preaches to come out of him.

     After that first service in December, I left church with a fire that I hadn't had in a while. It was awesome! This church is set in the downtown area of Peoria, in the midst of the poor, downtrodden, homeless, and gangs. They are working to change lives in the name of Jesus. The day I was t…

"What If...?"

Why does God allow suffering? I discuss this here. In that study, I speak about both Christians and non-Christians. However, for this post, I want to focus on Christians.

     As I say in the study, there are many reasons why God allows (or causes: see below) Christians to suffer and face trials. Here are a few: to bring people to repentance and submission, to deepen our faith, to help us know Him in a better and more intimate way, to get us to lean on Him more, to make us stronger, to give us more joy and peace as we see Him work in our trials, to use us to help others with similar trials, and more...
     All of these things are certainly true, and we can find many examples in the Bible. However, I feel like God has shown me something regarding this. When do we most often turn to God? Isn't it when we face trials, have problems, or need something from Him? On the flip side of this, when do we least often to turn to God? Isn't it when things are going well, when we aren&…

Billy Graham

Yesterday, Evangelist/Pastor Billy Graham died. As I speak of in "My Testimony" , I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a Billy Graham Crusade on Oct 27, 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. Of course, this totally altered the course of my life, however, it was far more than I expected. It was also during that Crusade that I felt like God gave me a sign that He was going to use me in some powerful way. What has happened since has been nothing short of amazing. (I will not go into details on that, but it is in my testimony.)

     In addition to my salvation, Billy Graham changed my life in other ways as well. After that Crusade, I returned home and ordered and read every tract that was available from Billy Graham's sermons (like 300). I later read his autobiography "Just As I Am" which was amazing and very inspiring, and moved me to go deeper in my walk. My wife and I attended 3 other Billy Graham Crusades in the years that followed in San Antonio, Charlott…