Thursday, March 27, 2008

America Defines Sin...

I just read this today and wanted to share it with you. This is a long post, but worth taking the time to scroll down to take a look to see how far America is sliding away from the Lord and how we need to reach neighbors, co-workers, and everyone we come in contact with with the gospel.

The info. was just released on March 11th. Isn't it amazing? So many people think that they are good. Some have even told me that they don't think they are a bad person and they have never broken any of the 10 commandments. Yet, I believe that each and every person knows the difference between right and wrong. The problem is that they are too full of pride to admit that they have sinned. They just try to become immune to their sin (they reach the point where they can't stand hearing about the Lord because they feel guilty) so that in a little while of living in sin it becomes "o.k." in their mind.

I wanted to add a few Bible verses before you read the survey.

Romans 3:12 "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Remember, the Bible says in Romans 3:23
"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Also, if you look up a couple verses to Romans 3:20 it says that
"... for by the LAW is the knowledge of sin."

Also in Galatians 3:24- " Wherefore the LAW was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

James 2:10 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole LAW and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

James 4:17- "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

James 4:4 -"... whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

There is HOPE for sinners...Christ came into the world to save SINNERS!

Isaiah 55:6 -"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: "

Romans 10:12 -"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. "

Romans 10:13- "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Mark 1:15- "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."

Most Americans believe in sin, but differ widely on just what it is
Study results released today from Ellison Research (Phoenix, Arizona) show the vast majority of Americans (87%) believe in the concept of sin.

“Sin” was defined in the research as “something that is almost always considered wrong, particularly from a religious or moral perspective.”

The findings are from a study independently designed, funded, and conducted by Ellison Research among a representative sample of over 1,000 American adults.
Ellison Research is a full-service marketing research firm.

People who believe there is such a thing as “sin” were asked whether they would personally define each of thirty different behaviors as sinful.

The behaviors a majority of all Americans describe as sinful are:
Adultery 81%

Racism 74%

Using “hard” drugs such as cocaine, heroine, meth, LSD, etc. 65%

Not saying anything if a cashier gives you too much change back 63%

Having an abortion 56%

Homosexual activity or sex 52%

Not reporting some income on your tax returns 52%

A number of other behaviors are considered sinful by a significant portion of all Americans, although not a majority.
These are:
Reading or watching pornography 50%

Gossip 47%

Swearing 46%

Sex before marriage 45%

Homosexual thoughts 44%

Sexual thoughts about someone you are not married to 43%

Doing things as a consumer that harm the environment 41%

Smoking marijuana 41%

Getting drunk 41%

Not taking proper care of your body 35%

Then there are behaviors that fewer than one-third of all Americans see as sinful:

Gambling 30%

Telling a “little white lie” to avoid hurting someone’s feelings 29%

Using tobacco 23%

Not attending church or religious worship services on a regular basis 18%

Playing the lottery 18%

Watching an R-rated movie 18%

Being significantly overweight 17%

Not giving 10% of your income to a church or charity 16%

Drinking any alcohol 14%

Working on Sunday/the Sabbath 14%

Spanking your child when he/she misbehaves 7%

Making a lot of money 4%

Dancing 4%

A clear majority of just about every type of American believes in the concept of sin, although there are a few differences. For example, 97% of Black Americans believe in the concept of sin, compared to 86% of Whites and 80% of Hispanics.

Not surprisingly, religious people are much more likely to believe in sin, but the concept is commonly accepted even among those who are not religiously involved. Among Americans who regularly attend religious worship services, 94% believe in the concept of sin, although this only drops to 80% among those who do not attend services. Among those who attend services, the concept of sin is fairly universal among Protestants (96%), Roman Catholics (91%), and those who attend other types of religious services (94%).

One of the biggest differences in whether people believe in the concept of sin is actually not even religious, but political. Among political conservatives, 94% believe there is such a thing as sin. This is also true among 89% of moderates. But only 77% of political liberals believe in the concept of sin.

These kinds of differences can also be seen in whether people define various behaviors as sinful. Overall, people who attend religious worship services not only are more likely to believe in the concept of sin, but they are more likely to include numerous behaviors under that heading than are those who are not religiously involved. However, there are also differences within the religious world.

Protestants are more likely than Roman Catholics to include most of the thirty different behaviors as sin – sometimes dramatically so. The biggest differences include gambling (50% of Protestant churchgoers define this as sinful, compared to just 15% of Catholics), failing to tithe 10% or more of one’s income (32% to 9%), getting drunk (63% to 28%), gossip (70% to 45%), and homosexual activity or sex (72% to 49%). Catholics and Protestants are equally likely (or unlikely) to list as sin having an abortion, spanking, and making a lot of money, while Catholics are more likely than Protestants to believe that failing to attend church is a sin (39% to 23%).
Evangelical Christians are far more likely than almost any other group to include numerous behaviors under the definition of sin, and the difference between evangelicals and other Americans is often quite large. For instance, 90% of evangelicals believe getting drunk is sinful behavior, compared to 35% of all other Americans, and 92% believe sex before marriage is sinful, versus 39% of all other Americans. Still, evangelicals do not consider all types of behavior sinful – only a minority believe it is a sin to work on the Sabbath, not attend church, drink alcohol, dance, play the lottery, watch an R-rated movie, or not tithe 10% of their income to church or charity.

The findings also show that Americans tend to define sinful behavior partially by degree. For instance, 81% feel adultery is sinful, but only 43% say the same thing about having sexual thoughts about someone to whom they are not married. Forty-one percent believe getting drunk is sinful, while only 14% believe drinking even a little alcohol is a sin. Thirty percent say gambling is sinful, but only 18% feel this way about playing the lottery. And while 65% feel drugs such as meth or cocaine are a sin, just 41% say this about marijuana.

There are also numerous demographic differences in what people define as sin. Women tend to have a longer list of what is sin than do men – women are more likely than men to include racism, gossip, use of hard drugs, marijuana, adultery, pornography, not reporting income on taxes, abortion, failing to say anything if given too much change, and swearing as sinful behavior.
African-Americans are also significantly more likely to list many of the different behaviors as sinful than are people of other racial or ethnic backgrounds.
There are also differences by age. People under age 35 are less likely than Americans in other age groups to believe adultery, getting drunk, not reporting income on taxes, homosexual activity, pornography, and gossip are sin. At the same time, younger people are more likely than others to say using tobacco and working on the Sabbath are sinful.

There are also strong differences of opinion according to political perspective. Conservatives are almost always the most likely to name each of the 30 behaviors as sinful, while liberals are almost always the least likely to do so, with moderates somewhere in the middle. The only activities liberals were about as likely as conservatives to categorize as sin are harming the environment, dancing, making a lot of money, and spanking a child.

Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, noted how many inconsistencies Americans show in their answers. “We can see numerous inconsistent patterns of thought and belief throughout the responses,” Sellers stated. “For instance, over a third of all Americans believe failing to take proper care of their bodies is sinful. Yet far fewer believe tobacco or obesity are sins – even though medical science consistently shows using tobacco and being overweight are two of the most harmful things they can do to their bodies.”

Other inconsistencies Sellers pointed out:

Over four out of ten evangelicals believe it is a sin not to tithe, while other studies consistently show relatively few evangelicals actually do so.

The Roman Catholic church consistently teaches that sex before marriage, abortion, pornography, and homosexual activity are sins, yet as many as half of all practicing Catholics do not personally define each of these as sinful.

Forty-three percent of Democrats believe homosexual activity is sinful, and half believe this about having an abortion, even though their political party consistently supports gay rights and access to abortion.

While most religions teach that lying is morally wrong, the vast majority of Americans – including a third of evangelicals, a majority of all Protestants, and three out of four Catholics – don’t feel telling a “little white lie” is a sin.

“But then inconsistency of thought is fairly common in this country, when studies consistently show a majority of Americans simultaneously want increased government services, decreased government debt, and lower taxes,” Sellers observed.

Sellers cautioned that the study only measured what people define as sin, not necessarily what they believe to be positive behavior, or what they feel is okay to practice in their own lives.

“Because only 23% believe tobacco use qualifies as sinful behavior doesn’t mean the vast majority feel it’s perfectly okay to smoke – it just means they do not believe smoking is actually sinful.”He also suggested that religious leaders take a hard look at how the findings of this study compare to their own teachings. “If your church is teaching that working on the Sabbath is sinful, or that drinking or abortion or gossip are sinful, it’s likely that many of your own people don’t agree with you. Leaders need to understand why this is, so they can figure out how to respond. Rather than just teaching, they need to discuss these issues with people – getting feedback on why so many of their own people differ with them may help them understand how to reach those people more effectively with their teaching.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pass them out!

I'm so excited! God has been speaking to me about several mission outreach ideas for the summer. The month of June seems like a long ways off, but I know time flies!

Anyway, here are some ideas for those who like creative ways to pass out tracts.

Hand a tract to the cashier

Leave tracts on the shelves in the stores

Place tracts in the dressing rooms

Place a tract in the pockets of the clothes

Hand tracts to the passengers on the elevators

Leave a tract next to the handrail on the escalator

Place a tract under the windshield wiper on the cars in the parking lot

Leave tracts on your coffee table for your guests

When paying bills enclose a tract with your payment - -just make sure that you send it on time!

Having a garage sale? Set up a "free tract" table

Hand them out to:
• Waitresses• Cashiers• Flight Attendants• Cab Drivers• Local Employees• Gas Station Workers• Truck Drivers• Fast Food Employees - the list is endless!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Be Still...

After a busy day of teaching, I sit here thinking of what a tiny impact my life has on so many and I'm humbled by the thought. I currently have 26 piano students, which is currently one of my mission fields. For the longest time I had asked God to allow me to go on several missions trips, but so far that is not what He wanted from me. I was disappointed several times and wondered, why Lord? As I always say, His plan is totally perfect.

I have been able to make international friends in several countries around the world whom I've grown to love and pray for daily (Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Germany, not to mention several missionaries in many other parts of the globe) without even leaving my home town and I thank God for those friends He allowed me to meet.Several years ago, I asked God to send me to the mission field. I was expecting Him to answer my prayer and to send me somewhere far away. Smile. I've really grown so much during these last few years and have learned to truly trust God totally with everything. It is so hard to be a living sacrifice that keeps jumping off the alter. I'm totally happy and content where He has currently placed me and love it!!! God has brought a mission field through my door. Why did I ever think I needed to go somewhere across the ocean to be a missionary?

I currently teach piano to the children of a Catholic/Luthern family from Germany. That is my mission field. I don't even need to leave my home. The way our God answers prayers is truly amazing! I stand in awe of His work.

The other missions outreach I'm currently involved is the medical office. After having 5 orthopedic surgeries in a little less than 3 years (I'm currently still on crutches from my January surgery) and thinking God: Why did you allow this pain in my life?!? I stopped asking questions and took action. I decided that if I have pain God has allowed it in my life for a purpose and since I'm to glorify Him with my life then that is what I'm going to do - full force. I've baked millions of homemade goodies & passed out dozens of tracts to patients, doctors, nurses, and other hospital and office staff. I pray for each of those daily by name. Just last year, I received a Christmas card from one my nurses who was from Guam. I pray for several orthopedic doctors from the East-West coast. It is so special to be able to reach out and share the love of God with these people and to be able to pray for them. I've enjoyed meeting several Christians that work in the different offices and pray that through their live and testimony that they will shine bright in this dark world.

Just the past few days songs have been running through my head and this one has been going through my mind all evening and I thought I'd share it.
Take a moment to read this hymn, take a deep breath, relax, and Be Still. Be renewed in the Lord. Listen to that still small voice speak- isn't it so refreshing!!

This hymn was re­port­ed­ly the fav­or­ite of Er­ic Lid­dell, the ath­lete who be­came fa­mous in the 1924 Olym­pics for re­fus­ing to run on the Sab­bath (see the mo­vie Char­i­ots of Fire). Lid­dell lat­er be­came a mis­sion­ary in Chi­na, and was im­pris­oned dur­ing World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the pri­son camp (where he event­u­al­ly died of a brain tu­mor).

Be Still, My Soul

1. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend Through thorny waysleads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertakeTo guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voiceWho ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart, And all is darkened in the vale of tears,Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears. Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay From His own fullness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

5. Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise On earth, believing, to thy Lord on high; Acknowledge Himin all thy works and ways,So shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Monday, March 17, 2008

William Carey

Here is a brief overview of William Carey. I'm currently reading a biography of his life and ministry. I just love mission biographies!!

William Carey, born in 1761 and known as, "The Father of Modern Missions" stirred the imagination of the Christian world. By Carey's own humble example of what should be done to bring the gospel to the lost world he has impacted the church in as much a way as Luther's reformation.
Carey lived in poverty as a shoemaker in his twenties and never thought God would have a plan for him. He was converted as a teenager and shortly afterwards became actively involved in Bible studies and ministry. In 1785 he accepted the call to become a pastor of a tiny church where he served until he was called to a larger congregation. During these years as a pastor William Carey became fascinated by the writings of Captain Cook's Voyages. Carey slowly developed a biblical perspective on the subject of missions, and he became convinced that foreign missions were the responsibility of the church. His ideas were revolutionary. Most of his peers believed that the great commission was given only to the apostles, and therefore preaching to the "heathen" was no concern of theirs. When Carey presented his ideas to a group of ministers, one of them retorted, "Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine." But Carey could not be silenced and he proceeded to publish his book on the obligations of the church in the preaching of the gospel to heathens. After publishing the book, Carey, spoke to another group of ministers where he challenged his audience from Isaiah 54:2-3 and uttered his now famous quote: "Expect the great things from God; attempt great things for God." The next day the ministers formed a Mission Society, even though most of them lived in poverty, but they believed God would open the doors and He did.
Carey raised support for his family and him to leave for India, but his wife was unwilling to follow. Even though she refused William continued and in the end she submitted and left with him. Nothing would detour Carey from the plan put in his heart even if it meant sacrificing his family.
The times in India were difficult and not one person accepted Christ in the first seven years of his work. He was disappointed, but he tarried on and the fruits of his ministry became abundant through his translations of the New Testament into local languages, as well as his evangelistic work.
Carey served in India for 39 years never resting to bring the gospel to the unreached. And even though his efforts of evangelism were not as great as other missionaries, he put into motion the charge of modern day missions. William Carey was a man of action for God and the change he so passionately preached for missions was a change still felt today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gospel Illusions


The Corn Stalk....
  • Supplies You'll need:
  • *Several sheets of paper (newspaper or green & yellow contruction paper works well).
    HINT: The more paper the taller the corn Step 3: Take your scroll and flatten (lightly press) half way down.
    *A little corn seed

  • Step 1: Roll your paper as if making a scroll
  • Step 2: Continue to roll scroll leaving approx.1-2 inches and adding another sheet of paper ( about 4 sheets of paper will make a nice size corn stalk).
  • Step 3:Take your scroll and flatten (lightly press) half way down - as shown above.

Step 4: Cut (or rip) your scroll straight down the middle until you reach the half way point.

Step 5: It should look like a "T" as shown. Step 6 : Flatten the "T"

Step 7: and cut again the "T" so that when finished it will have 4 sections... It should look like an "X" (or cross shape) as shown below:

Step 8: OK. Now take your finger, put intothe center of the scroll and grab the middle piece of paper. Gently pull in a slight twisting motion.

Continue to pull...

Until it looks like this:

Now you're finished and hopefully have a nice looking corn stalk. :-)
If you have any problems just leave a comment and I'll try to help.

I will hopefully be able to post some photos of several easy to do gospel illusions and how to do the trick info. later this afternoon or evening - so stay in tune!

"Gospel Magic (we prefer to use the word gospel illusions)" helps to "break the ice" so to speak, as people stand there saying: Wow! How did he do that?!

It then gives you an open opportunity to speak to a group of all ages about the Lord (as both children and adults are fascinated by the tricks).

You can also have someone else passing out gospel tracts to the listeners and those wandering by.

Here are the photos I took last night. I tried to add a slide show, but wasn't able to make it work.
This the corn stalk, which we use to show a person who receives the good news of salvation (a seed), then the seed which is planted grows by rain and sun (which we use to represent the Lord, going to church, reading their Bible, etc.) and when we walk with the Lord and follow Him we start to grow (at this point you pull the stalk) and grow and GROW! HINT: The more papers you use the taller your corn grows but the tougher it is to rip (scissors come in handy).

Filipino Fried Rice

Here is a recipe how to make Filipino garlic fried rice - our favorite way to eat fried rice is to put scrambled eggs with it (it makes a great breakfast, lunch, or supper!)
My aunt who is Filipino, taught us how to make some very yummy Filipino food!

Filipino Fried Rice

Things You’ll Need:
3 garlic cloves - we use minced garlic and it works just as well.
3 c. cooked white rice
You can also add a few drops of soy sauce to the rice mixture.


  • Step 1:Heat 3 tbsp. cooking oil in a wok or large pan on medium-high heat.

  • Step 2:Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

  • Step 3:Add the rice and toss frequently for 1 minute.

  • Step 4:Sprinkle with about 1 tsp. salt.

  • Step 5: Cook rice on low for about 5 to 10 minutes, and toss rice occasionally.

    **Serve with scrambled eggs cooked with diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Or serve with sausage, bacon, fried egg, or cooked, dried fish.

    For variation, add leftover sliced meat and vegetables to the rice while cooking.

    Now for a little info about the Philippines.

    Capital of Philippines: Manila

    Area of Philippines: 298,170 sq. km

    Languages used in Philippines:

    Filipino (official)
    English (offiical)
    8 major dialects (Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

    Religions in Philippines: Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Iglesia ni Kristo, Aglipayan, other Christian, Muslim

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who is a Missionary?

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

God has call every born again Christian to be a missionary. No, that doesn't mean that we all must leave our comfortable homes, our family, and our current job. Each of us is call into different areas of service. We are told to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We can do that in our work places, by our actions of how we live, and wherever we go. God does not always call people into the jungles of South America or Africa. God uses men (and women) who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him. Just be willing to listen and to follow His call for you. If He calls you to another country - GO! If He calls you stay at home and reach the unsaved in your neighborhood or work place - DO IT! If He calls you to die for His sake -BE FAITHFUL! You may reach more people by your death than by your life.

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Psalms 116:15

Many people ask, how can I be sure that this is really God's call for my life? Well, we know that from the verse in Mark that God has commanded us to GO. If you feel a burden for a certain area or unreached people group take a step of faith and go trusting God. If it is truly His will for you to leave your job, your family, your country He will open doors. If not, He will shut the door and it will leave us to wonder, what are you doing Lord, I'm trying to serve You and You have shut the door -why? I can answer from personal experience that God has everything in control and will take care of you if you submit to His will. Always pray not my will, but Thine be done. We were created for His glory and we need to live according to His will. He may have to teach us a few lessons before opening doors.

Before my dad was married he planned to work a refuge camp in a very poor country. Well, the time came for him to leave, but for some reason he had to wait for the next trip. He had already quit his job and his money was beginning to dwindle. He was thinking, Lord, here I am trying to serve You, so why are You closing this ministry door? Well, as he waited he was offered a job, but he had to commit to working for a certain length of time (which was I think at least a year). Because he had continued to wait for another opening to go on the trip and it hadn't come. He decided to go ahead and accept the job. Well, I believe that it was the very next day he received a phone call telling him that there was room for him to join the group, but he had to tell them that he was no longer able to come because he just accepted a new position.

Well, to make a long story short he was working at the same place my mom was student teaching. They met, were married and a year later I was born. I'm glad that God closed the door for my dad so that he could meet my mom - or else I probably would have never been born. One of the lessons I have learned from my dad while growing up is to ALWAYS be ready to serve and to joyfully serve the Lord wherever He places you. God's plans are perfect!

While browsing the web I found this PDF file.
Take a moment to click on and read about the call for missions.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Have you ever wondered what a missionary really is and what is it that they do every day? Have you ever wondered what you can do while you are still young and at home to prepare yourself for God's call to mission service? Have you ever bumped into someone in the store or in a doctor's office that you felt was discouraged, had no hope for their future, and you so wished that you were "bold" enough to speak to them? Have you ever wondered how daily house chores could help you prepare for life on a foreign field?
Those are just a few questions that many people wonder and are afraid to ask. We all have our own ideas of what missions and missionary life really is like. Is it really God calling or is it my own desire?
In the next few weeks we will take a look at what missions really is and how we can serve both here and abroad.