Archive for youth pastor

Japanese Kids & Christmas

The timid youth hid their emotions as we began the English class.  Today, the last class before the break we would talk about Christmas.  Not about the pagan origins of the celebration that still remained to a vast majority in Japan but about the Christian meaning.  When I asked what Christmas was about besides Santa Claus, the blank stares I received reflected more than lack of English ability but little or no knowledge whatsoever of Jesus’ birthday celebration.  I had been surprised before in my English classes but never more than now.  These students seemed to never have heard of Jesus.  It was a wonderful opportunity for me, but I wondered if these junior high students might never have heard about Jesus if I had not come to Japan.  When I talked about the cross, the resurrection and the fact that Christians believe Jesus is God in the flesh, there may have been a glimmer of recognition in one or two pair of eyes.  The bottom line is that I am thankful that I did come to Japan and share the Good News of the Gospel because I not sure they would have ever heard the message otherwise.

Note: This is throwback article written a number of years ago while I was in Japan.

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What You Worship You Become

The title pretty much says it all.  If you worship a particular ideology, you will become like it.  If you worship an icon of society like a political figure, you will become like that person.  If you worship the truth, you become like the truth.  But which truth are you talking about because in our world there are supposedly multiple truths?

First of all, let us define truth.  According to Webster’s dictionary truth is “that which accords with fact or reality”.  For example, a math problem has one answer that is true not several answers.  In other words, there are not multiple truths but only one.

Now, we must decide where the truth resides.  Does it reside in politically correct philosophies, some religious dogma or in the Bible?  They can’t all be true as Webster pointed out.  In fact, in many ways they contradict each other, so there is no way they can all be true.

Two thousand years ago Jesus came to earth and fulfilled numerous prophecies of the Old Testament written hundreds of years before.  In addition, historians like Josephus attest to the truth of the New Testament.  Today you can go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked and visit churches on many of the prominent sites of the Old and New Testament.

Now, you can try and deny the facts of the preceding paragraph, but in the end there is no getting around them, and what is listed there is only the tip of the iceberg.  If what I have stated above is true(and it is quite easy to verify), then it is time to set aside the false and embrace biblical truth and place our worship where it belongs.

Teachable or Intractable?

As we navigate the curves and straightaways of life we all have lessons to learn that God is trying to teach us. If we learn them quickly through following God’s biblical guidelines and praying ahead of time, we can usually avoid many of the more serious problems in life. However, if we cling to our stubborn ways and harden our hearts to God’s life lessons, then serious problems will almost certainly face us. Jonah is a great example of someone who ignored God’s directives and ended up in a disgusting place. Let’s come humbly and repentantly before God when our errors confront us and willingly do what Jesus, our Master and Savior, wants us to do. Such a route is by far the easiest in the long run.

Hafren’s Midwest Book Review

The Midwest Book Review just sent me a review of Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart.  Here is an excerpt:

“This is the story of an adventure of two youths…  The two fellows looked different and because of that others stayed away from them, but that doesn’t stop their quest…  Are they afraid?  Perhaps.  But this trip holds many surprises for them…

This story is one of overcoming evil with the help of God, friendship, and helping your fellow man.  It is an entertaining and God-principled story that any teen should enjoy.”

Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart is available from amazon.com and from the Lighthouse Christian Publishing website fantasy page 2.

Hafren Book Cover

Christian Teen Fantasy Released

The Christian teen fantasy entitled Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart was just released by Lighthouse Christian Publishing and is available from their bookstore and amazon.com.

The back cover reads: “The invasion of Hafren has begun.  Two unlikely youths are thrown into the fray attempting to thwart the evil.  At time their efforts even turn humorous.  The outcome remains uncertain as the two head directly for the trouble’s source.”

Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart is available from amazon.com and from the following link: http://lighthousechristianpublishing.com

Character Concert Slides