This Miracle: America

Since I only touched upon it briefly that Easter Sunday morning, I thought I might fill you all in on some details. I'm talking about the overwhelming "proof" of God's love for this nation. If you live in this country, you are surrounded by proof dear ones! Proof that there is a God above; proof that you're loved; proof that we have lived by His blessing for centuries. From the very beginning, America has been so miraculously blessed by God. True Americans have always acknowledged that. May you do so too! 

Here are just two of the many examples: 

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Dragons at the Door


One thing I will never forget, from our experiences on the mission field, is the annual task we always had of standing at the church door to keep the dragons away. 

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Remember Your Ransom


Editor's Note: Pastor Rod is on vacation this week. We include an article from a previous issue of the Messenger.  

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Peace with Sin?


Not all peace is good peace. I suppose you already know that, but would you like the very greatest example of it? September 30, 1938.

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Greater With the Wreckage


In one of my Christian publications, a pastor tells the very moving story of an alcoholic friend who cried out to him for help. His marriage was falling apart; the home was in chaos, his children were scared and anxious, and he was starting to falter at work. 

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Burying Toxic Things


I know it sounds like a very 'romantic' place, but the 'Love Canal' in Niagara Falls, New York...well...just isn't! In fact, 'romance' is the very last thing you'll ever find in the place; and 'love' is not part of the equation either.

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You Who Know the Way


One of my favorite stories from the Lewis and Clark Expedition took place when they tried to cross the Bitterroot Mountains on the return part of their journey. It was 1806 and it was late June but, incredibly enough, there were ten feet of snow covering everything in sight. The Bitterroot Range is a terrible barrier to be crossing at any time, but with ten feet of snow, it was next to impossible. 

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A 'Sceptre' From the King


There is a wonderful episode in the life of the great missionary explorer, David Livingstone. He started hiking all over Africa back in 1840, ministering to the sick and preaching the Gospel wherever he went. He did that for 33 years until he died in 1873. 

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Smarter than Einstein


I admit it sounds a little 'legendary', but I sure do hope it is true. Billy Graham once spoke of it. Does that help? I'm referring to that delightful story about Einstein riding the train back to his residence from Princeton. It was his very first day of classes at Princeton; he had just moved into a brand new residence, and it was his very first ride back to it. 

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Men...Wanted


Speaking of men and the whole masculine race (oh, we weren't? Well, it's time we did then), I love that episode in Garrison Keillor's book, We Are Still Marriedabout the Lake Wobegon Schroeders. 

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The Gang at Kosmophilos State Prison


The gang at Kosmophilos State Prison is a strange group of people. Their very presence in the place is the ultimate proof of that there's not a single one there that couldn't have gone free at one time, and yet, there they all sit, still doin' their time!

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Himalayan Center For Missions


Greetings from India! I am so excited to give you an update on the Himalayan Center For Missions here in India. The class started a week before we arrived and studied through the Gospel of Luke. Since we have arrived we have studied through the book of Daniel and are now studying Revelation! 

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Are Christians 'Narrow'?


Christians are often accused of being 'narrow' these days: "narrow-minded", "intolerant", "inflexible" and all that stuff. But during these last few decades, living and ministering in good ol' "open-minded" California, I've done a lot of thinking on that subject. And here's what I've come up with. Maybe it will strike a chord with you in your particular setting as well. 

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Only One Name Will Do

 

There's a story about something that happened at the Ford Motor Company, way back in the early years, when they had just made their first expansion and moved into the new Piquette Avenue plant. 

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His Plan...His Vision


Okay: here is my apology—though not very apologetic—to any who might be wishing that we would follow the "Corporate America" model of Christian Faith and Church, so popular these days: 

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Bless This Church


 

 The very first time I met this dear congregation, we were worshipping in an empty store-front sho in the little strip-mall on Taft and Tustin. BB&H Auto Parts was still doing business just a few doors down from us. There was a Scuba shop right next door. It was a Sunday morning in January 1995; we had come to worship for the very first time. Everyone who came brought a chair to make it happen. 

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Risk-Taker!


Epaphroditus. Now there's a Biblical character that doesn't get much attention. When was the last time you spent a few minutes meditating on the life and merits of Epaphroditus? 

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Spoiled Masterpieces


Down through the centuries—in fact, over five of them now—the human race has heaped up praises for what Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of that Sistine Chapel. "Magnificent" they call it; "colossal"; "unprecedented", "the only one of its kind", and...

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Missions Christmas List




“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Is 9:2 ESV) 

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Be An Out-of-Place Christian

Somewhere between Spring Street and HIll in the middle of L.A,'s "Chinatown", there used to be a bookstore that was completely funded and inventoried by the Beijing Press, Communist China's official government publishing agency. It was also, quite frankly, one of the propaganda arms of the Communist regime. Back in the late 1970's I was shocked to discover it of course. I don't know if the store is still there now, but what's shocking these days, anyway?—with Americans electing outright socialists and communists into Congress.  

Prior to our mission work in Taiwan, Sharilyn and I had started a little ministry up in Chinatown where we would visit the little Chinese bookstores and offer them Christian literature, to sell along with the rest of their inventory. The books were all in Chinese, very attractively published by the Chinese Christian Press, and they were free. We would buy them at bulk rate and just give them to the proprietors; we even included a nice rotating wire rack that many of the store owners couldn't resist. 

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