Monthly Archives: January 2010

‘To Save A Life:’ Christian film’s messages valuable

They’re not setting the world on fire yet, but Christian-themed films produced by churches are getting better.

At least, that seems to be the trend if you’ve been following movies like “Facing the Giants” (2006) and “Fireproof” (2008). All were produced by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., and each got a little better than the one before.

Now comes “To Save a Life,” a movie about teen suicide and other contemporary problems for high-schoolers. It’s produced by New Song Community Church in Oceanside, Calif., whose youth pastor, Jim Britts, wrote the screenplay.

The church’s proximity to the epicenter of the movie industry means it was able to capitalize on nearby talent to direct, film and act. Production values are excellent. It’s opening on about 440 screens nationwide today.

In “To Save a Life,” basketball star Jake (Randy Wayne) has a pretty, popular girlfriend, Amy (Deja Kreutzberg). His friends love to do shots and play beer pong after the big game.

They are the cool kids. To be one of them, Jake had to ditch his uncool childhood best friend, Roger (Robert Bailey Jr.). But when Roger commits suicide, Jake hits a wall of doubt and guilt. He begins to question his choices. Still, changing his ways and looking out for lonely misfits could cost him his friends.

(It is cool to see films that speak kindly of faith and family based values being made. Now it is up to us who so often complain about the bad things  to support these films and the people making them. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Read more of the above story ‘To Save A Life:’ Christian film’s messages valuable.)

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Louisiana prison gives inmates chance to earn ministry degree …

Jerome Derricks says he heard God’s call early. He only wishes he’d answered sooner. By the time he did, he was serving a life sentence for murder in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola. “I ran from my calling all my life,” said Derricks, 44. “But I like to put it like this: God finds people wherever they go.” At Angola, God has been finding men regularly. So far about 150 of them have earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and another 100 are on track to graduate. Derricks was a member of the first group of graduates, getting his degree in 2005. “It was an idea that just grew and has kept on growing,” said Norris C. Grubbs, the seminary professor that oversees the Angola program. “It’s not easy. They’re taking the same program our students at the seminary take: 126 hours and the requirements for passing are the same.” Since starting the program at Angola, the Baptist seminary has begun similar ones in the Mississippi and Georgia prisons. Angola and seminary officials believe they are the only full-time, college-accredited programs for ministers in the nation’s prisons.

Graduates of the seminary now officiate at the prison’s 18 inmate churches and also do one-on-one ministry and grief counseling.

 The prison has 23 graduates of the seminary who act as missionaries in eight satellite prisons in Louisiana.

Derricks’ church is at the prison reception center, where new prisoners are first held, and he ministers to the 98 men on death row.

(The above story should show with God and through salvation in Jesus there is always hope while a person is still living. Just look at what happen to Saul who became Paul in Acts chapter 9 . Read more of this cool story Louisiana prison gives inmates chance to earn ministry degree .)

‘Joker One’ – a lesson on faith

A Christian who commanded a Marine platoon in Iraq has written a book about his experiences and how faith played a major role on and off the battlefield. Donovan Campbell was an intelligence officer during his first tour of Iraq, and on his second tour he commanded a platoon of about 40 Marines in Ramadi. The platoon was known by its radio call sign, Joker One, which is also the name of Campbell’s book. The commander’s story recounts how he and his men prayed the 23rd Psalm before every mission. They fought from house-to-house for seven months, and during that time, one of the Marines under Campbell’s command died, forcing him to deal with his own crisis of faith.

(I guess it is true there are no unbelievers in a war zone. Read more  on this ‘Joker One’ – a lesson on faith.)

Your Answer to Worry

What are you concerned about:

Your job: Losing it or finding one.

A son or daughter who is headed down  the wrong road in life.

Your parents getting a divorce.

Not being able to pay your bills this month.

Your health.

Your grade at school.

There are many things in the world to worry about. Below is video sermon on how Jesus told us to handle worry. Below that  is the printed copy of the sermon. I hope it will bless you.

There are many things in the world to worry about.

Matthew 6;25-33

This is telling us not to worry but why.. the bible doesn’t tell us bad things won’t happen in this world because bad things do happen.

  1. God loves us. It tells us in Romans chapter 8 that nothing can separate us from the love which is in Jesus. God may not always take away our problems but he will love us while we go through them and help us handle them.
  2. Worry doesn’t help. Worry is like a walking chair it will give you something to do but won’t take you anywhere. I believe a main reason some people get ill is because they get too stress out with worry.
  3. God will meet your needs. If you have a need which is not the same as a want God will meet it we are told in Philippians. God takes care of the birds so he will take care of us. So often we think of where we can get help and that is understandable but at times we just need to trust the Lord to meet our need.
  4. Last of all we need to do what it says here in verse 33. hearing this verse is what brought coach Tom Landry of the Dallas cowboys to faith in Christ until then he had just been a church goer instead of a true follower of Jesus.

Heaven, Hell,Purgatory and God’s word

Here is a video sermon I did last week about there being a third place your soul could end up when your life is over on this earth. Below the video is some of the written copy of that sermon.

Today we are going to look at the doctrine of there being a third possible place you could go when your life on earth is over.

 Purgatory.  Now I have friends and family who follow a faith which teaches this. I have a lot of respect for different people who teach this doctrine  I believe the Bible teaches that there are only two possible places you will go when your body dies and that is heaven or hell. There is no in between or waiting place.

Lets look at what the Bible says because I can be wrong, your pastor or priest or spiritual leader may be wrong at times  but the Bible is always right.

John 14;1-6

So why is there no purgatory.

  1. God’s message  brought through and by his son Jesus showed us the way to heaven.  No where in the Bible  does Jesus teach there is some waiting place . in fact to the one thief   who was crucified  with him who  came to faith in God, Jesus said to him  today you will be with me in  Paradise.
  2. If there is a purgatory why should anyone put their faith in Jesus  and repent of their sins while they are living .You will always have a chance in the next life.
  3. Purgatory takes away the grace of God and puts it back on man’s works. The Bible  teaches it is by the grace of God through faith and not one’s works that anyone is made right with God.  Those who teach there is a purgatory also teach people can pray  you out of there after you die. It takes the focus off of Jesus and implies salvation is about man’s works.
  4.  Heb. 9:27 When you die you face God. Those who have put their faith in Jesus  and welcomed into heaven. Those who have rejected Jesus  are condemned to hell.

There is only Heaven and Hell after this life. It is a matter of life and death that you put your faith in Jesus. Heaven or Hell are your only choices after this life. Your choice is based on if you know Jesus. Please put your faith in him.

Rebels a fit for wayward teens

MarMark Schiller is a Harley-riding tough guy with long hair and multiple tattoos who remodeled his wayward life and works tirelessly to help people in need. About nine years ago, Schiller turned a tattered  biker bar into a house of worship and a safe spot for teenagers to gather. Rebels in His Hands, commonly referred to as Rebels, is an outreach program housed in the former watering hole where Schiller once worked as a bouncer. Rebels, short for “real everyday believers encouraging lost souls,” offers nondenominational church services, Bible study classes, 12-step recovery programs and youth and prayer groups.

(It is nice  somebody who has been changed by the living God Jesus reaching out to other souls in his name.  Read more of this story Rebels a fit for wayward teens.)

No get-well cards come after surgery

Dear Miss Manners — I have been dealing with a serious hip condition, and this summer it was time to have surgery so that I would ultimately have a support group of caring people keeping me in mind throughout my process and sending positive thoughts and prayers.

So I shared my plans with my (14) relatives and a few (4) close friends and (6) neighbors, plus the guy I work with, and (10) social message board friends.

All these people are also well aware that I have had a hip problem for many years.

When I went through my mail after the surgery, I discovered there was not one get-well greeting card in the bunch. Not a one!

// The hurtful thing is that people dropped sending cards without replacing the intent, which is to show that they cared. But truly caring, in such a case, requires more than sending messages by whatever means.

(We need to show others we care. No matter if we send an email or a snail mail card. The Bible tells us to visit the sick and a way we can do that is by sending get well cards. The above was part of a column written by Miss Manners. We need to get back W.W.J.D. What would Jesus Do. You can read the whole column including  the thoughts of Miss Manners on this issue, No get-well cards come after surgery -.)

No-More New Year’s Resolutions 1-1-10

Below is a video teaching I did on why I no longer make New Year’s Resolutions but make goals. Below the video is a printed copy of  what I said.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It is January 1,  2010 the first day of the year.

Well a lot of people like to make New Year’s Resolutions like working out more, eating less, spending less money which would be a good one for our government leaders to embrace. I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions some years ago. I now make what I call goals and prayers because you may want do something in the new year but only if it is the will of the Lord will it come to pass in the new year.

What are your goals for the 2010.

Spirituality: If you have not you might think about reading through the Bible in the new year. Increase your prayer time or believe God to do things that might seem impossible to your human mind. Luke 18:27 says nothing is impossible with God. If you are a follower of Jesus have you ever shared your faith with  those who aren’t saved. If you aren’t a follower of Jesus have you ever studied about who Jesus is with an open mind and heart? You might do that in the new year.

Prov. 21;5. It is right and proper to make out goals or planes for the new year. Now we should always be willing to submit our planes to the Lordship of Jesus knowing he can and might change our planes. Prov. 3:5-6 says to trust in the Lord and not lean on your own understanding.

Painter and priest expresses his love for God through his art

There’s no steeple out front, no rows of pews inside, not so much as a crucifix on display.

Still, this cramped little art studio is the closest thing to paradise the Rev. Bill Moore has found. It’s the place where the 60-year-old Catholic priest serves God by creating abstract paintings that he sells by the hundreds.

No ordinary preacher, Father Bill, as he’s known throughout Pomona’s fledgling arts district, long ago discarded his clerical collar in favor of a painter’s smock. Only on Sundays does he trade it for vestments to say Mass at a local church or one of several detention facilities for youthful offenders.

All other times Moore is head of the Ministry of the Arts for the West Coast branch of his religious order, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. His job is to serve God by painting whatever comes to mind.

“That’s Bill’s gift, his talent, and we have to support that,” says the Rev. Donal McCarthy, the order’s West Coast provincial and Moore’s superior. “When you’ve got a creative person, you shouldn’t stifle that creativity.”

Leaders of the order, founded more than 200 years ago in France, know of no other member whose only mission has been to paint. But then Moore, a child of the ‘60s who can quote the words of Jim Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Jesus Christ with equal facility, has been a barrier-breaker since he ignored his provincial’s order his freshman year of college to study either philosophy or theology. He majored in art.

Moore, who was ordained in 1975, spent much of his career as a traditional Catholic priest who happened to paint. That changed in 1998 when his superiors created the Ministry of the Arts.

Soon he had moved into a studio in a century-old building in this hardscrabble town 30 miles east of Los Angeles. He secluded himself in a rundown industrial neighborhood that was just beginning to reinvent itself as an arts district.

He still lives there, with his cat, in a cramped loft behind his work space. For entertainment he occasionally tunes in an ancient TV that requires hanging a coat hanger on its rabbit-ear antenna.

But he doesn’t mind.

“I don’t know what it is to be really wealthy, but I feel so rich,” he says. “I get up in the morning and I do what I love to do.”

(The question we will all have to answer in the next life is not what kind of kob did we have  but did we serve God and did we accept God’s gift his son Jesus the way the Bible said to. Read more about this priest  Painter and priest expresses his love for God through his art.)

Former bank robber found ministry following crimes

A slug fA slug from a .357-caliber Magnum ended Ken Cooper’s 13-year career as a bank robber and started him on the path toward redemption and a network of five prison ministries. Cooper describes the moment when he encountered a sheriff’s deputy as he walked out of his last score in 1982. “As if in slow motion, fire flashed from the shooter’s pistol.. Someone screamed, the sound bouncing around my mind like an echo.  Cooper wrote in his book, “Held Hostage: A Serial Bank Robber’s Road to Redemption.” Ken Cooper’s 13-year career as a bank robber and started him on the path toward redemption and a network of five prison ministries.

 Cooper details his double life as a respectable husband, father and “gentleman bank robber” and the punishment for his crimes: Spending a few years in “The Rock,” Florida’s toughest prison, known for its murders, rapes and suicides.

But before he got there, he says he found Christ in a county jail while awaiting sentencing. He wrote that his conversion occurred after he fell to his knees and prayed, “Jesus, I’m a horrible sinner; please come into my heart and change me. I’ve made a terrible mess of my life — and the lives of others.”

After being released from prison about four years later, Cooper co-founded five prison ministries, which have sponsored more than 2,000 men coming out of prisons.

The ministries provide inmates with a place to stay and help with their adjustment to life outside the bars. They teach classes on overcoming addiction at Lawtey Correctional Institution, one of the state’s four faith and character-based prisons. .

The faith-based prisons are an effort to reduce the number of people returning to prison by offering character-based programming for prisoners.

(This is a cool story  which shows the power of Jesus that saves souls and changes people on the inside. Read more on this man who was changed by the living God who is Jesus- right here.)