Do you know for sure if you died today that you would go to heaven?

If the answer is no, click here for a Bible message on how to know for sure you are going to Heaven.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just A Pot Of Tea?

Some might think this is just a pot of tea, but it is so much more. This is the pot of tea that is specially prepared for me by Ling every time I go to the China Sea Buffet. This tea is made from tea leaves brought over by members of her family from China. This tea is not on the menu. It is reserved for family, and there is no charge.

Concerned for my health, Ling didn't like the idea of me drinking Diet Coke, and she offered to share her special tea. Of course I was honored, and I have quit drinking Diet Coke.
It is especially touching to me when she greets me with, "How are you, my teacher?" She is so happy to be learning English, and she has come to love her English teacher. This is a great blessing. God said, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. I am indeed receiving good measure, pressed down, and shaken together.
This tea is a sign of Ling's love for her teacher, and I long for the day that Ling comes to know and love my Teacher.
This is not just a pot of tea.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What If?

  1. What if I went on a business trip to Atlanta and dined in a restaurant with an international theme?
  2. What if I saw a waitress wearing a name tag saying she was from Addis Ababa?
  3. What if I had a missionary friend in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia?
  4. What if I asked the waitress if she had family still in Ethiopia?
  5. What if she does have family there, and the fact I knew where Addis Ababa was really got her attention?
  6. What if I told her about my missionary friend, and gave her a gospel tract as I left the restaurant?
  7. What if I returned the following day to see if I could get a few seconds of her time?
  8. What if she came over to the table and I asked for an address for her family so my missionary friend could visit them?
  9. What if she couldn't remember it all right then, but she gave me her own address and said my missionary friend should write to her and she will look up her family's address and give it to him?
  10. What if I passed this information on to my missionary friend, James Downs, in Addis Ababa?
  11. What if James has confirmed he will be writing to her very soon?
  12. What if he writes her?
  13. What if she is very impressed and moved by receiving a letter from Ethiopia as a result of this encounter?
  14. What if she follows through and gets her family's address to him?
  15. What if James Downs visits them and tells them someone met their daughter in Atlanta and it creates an open door for the gospel in their home?
  16. What if they get saved and become faithful members of the church there?
  17. What if they get called to preach and end up evangelizing their own country in a way that a foreigner might never be able to do?
  18. What if thousands come to Christ as a result of their ministry?
  19. What if there are untold thousands of Ethiopians in heaven with us one day as a result of this encounter at a restaurant? far we're only up to number 11, but I plan to ask big and think big because the Word of God says He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

What if?
What if I had said nothing to her?

Please whisper a prayer that Acham Lisanework of Stone Mountain Georgia, and her entire family, will come to Christ.

God is not willing that any should perish.

School Is Such A Blessing!

Well...Praise the Lord. It is shortly after midnight and I have just arrived home from teaching English at the China Sea Buffet. I made it there tonight at 9:35, just in time to enjoy a big bowl of Pig Leg soup with my Chinese friends. That's right...Pig Leg soup. This is not something you can get at the buffet. This is something they whipped up special for themselves to enjoy after closing, and they were eager to share it with me. That is such an honor.
Tonight, school started right after cleanup at 10:25, and sadly we had to stop at midnight. First, we practiced the "th" sound in the, this, that, then, there, etc. It is a very difficult sound for the Chinese to produce and yet so important to the English language. We spent a half hour on that subject. Then, we reviewed last week's material on the long sound of the letter "a" along with the vocabulary words, and then we moved on the short sound of "a", learning more vocabulary words as we went along.
As tonight's fun exercise, I presented each student with a small map of the United States showing each state's abbreviation, along with a printed list of the abbreviations and their accompanying state names. As I suspected, this proved to be very fascinating. We had a lot of fun looking up the states on the map and learning which states are surrounding Texas. After that, we reviewed flash cards of the state names and worked at pronouncing them. They are picking up on phonics, showing they can sound out the words.
Wow! I get to be here and see this firsthand. We reiterated several times how we are all "jao peng you" (very good friends). I am having so much fun I can hardly stand it. When God saves them all, I will be out of control for a while I'm sure.
To God Be The Glory.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Buffet of Blessing

This week, Ling, the waitress at the Chinese restaurant, asked me where she could purchase some of the flashcards that I have been using in the English class with her and the others. I was confused at first as to why she would be wanting to buy some, but then she was able to convey to me what was on her heart.
You see, Ling has two little boys who are still in China with their grandmother. They are 3 and 5 years old. She has her heart set on learning English well enough to teach her little ones when they are finally able to join her in the States in another a year. The sacrifices these precious little people are willing to make to enable them to better their lives in the US are astonishing. Ling and her husband Peter had to come over ahead of the children too see if they could get a foothold in the US. They work long, hard hours together to make it possible to get established in order to bring their children.
Ling's dream is to have her children over here and become a stay-at-home mom, but for now she is making a huge sacrifice to make that happen. She may be "suffering" right now, but she has her eye and her heart set on a future time when things will be much different. She is not living for the here-and-now. She is living for a brighter day. For now, she will endure the heartache, the loneliness, the long work hours, the tears of the little ones crying for their momma over the phone. She knows it will be worth it all one day soon.
It seems to me that we Christians could learn a lesson from Ling. It seems we too could strive and struggle and suffer hardship and heartache right now without shrinking from it, because we indeed have a brighter day ahead. We should live for that day instead of for the here-and-now. We should and could endure hardness if we have our eyes set on a new day. That is how Ling makes it from day to day. Her focus is on a brighter day.
It is my prayer and my heart's desire that by the time her little ones arrive, she will have something far more important than just English to teach them. It is my heart's desire that the blinders will come off and Ling will see her need for a Saviour and be gloriously saved. It is my heart's desire that she will long to tell her little ones of the One who died for them - the One who loves the Chinese as much as the American.
But, for today, my buffet of blessing is that I have the honor and privilege of Ling referring to me as her "jao peng you" (Chinese for "very good friend"), and I have the honor of being her English teacher. What a mighty God we serve!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blessing From The Buffet

One of the "walk-on" (surprise) students to the Chinese English class, Eric, came up to me today at the Buffet to make sure that class was on schedule for Monday night at 10:00. Wow! That blesses a teacher's heart! Students coming up to make sure class is on schedule?! You've got be kidding me! I remember hoping for snow days when I was in school. (In Texas, we mostly got disappointed on that.)
Seriously, that was a blessing. Eric is one who was very tentative about coming on day one, and now he's checking to make sure everything is on track. That really does bless me. God is in this in a big way.
Although all power went out in and around the restaurant exactly as we were about to begin class this past Thursday, and we had to wait 15 minutes for it to come back on, the class flowed beautifully. Participation was high and the material covered was apparently interesting and fun for everyone. PRAISE THE LORD!
I can't wait to see what God is going to do. I just know HE's up to something.
He is not willing that any should perish. Amen.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let's All Just Stand Up And Shout Hallelujah!

Well...tonight was the first night for English class at the China Sea Buffet and God showed up in great power and blessed the evening in a wonderful way. I went there with no confidence in myself, but confidence in the Lord because He was the one who put it all together. If anyone had told me six months ago that I would be doing this, I would not have believed it. Never mind six months ago, not even two months ago!

We started at 10:00 with the intent to go for only a half hour because the precious people have been working so hard all day. However, after the first thirty minutes, we were learning so much and having so much fun, they wanted to go another half hour! Let's All Just Stand Up And Shout Hallelujah!

I went in there concerned I would stutter and stammer around and find it difficult to get started, but it was far more difficult to get stopped. I found myself saying many things just like an actual English teacher might say. I actually stood in amazement a few times. Praise the Lord! What a mighty God we serve!

The joy and love in the room was precious, and the people were enjoying themselves and speaking up and responding in an incredible way. I was thrilled. I explained that this was a very special day for me and I wanted a photograph, which they were very pleased to pose for.

From left: Eric, Peter, Peter's wife Ling, Jack, and Ronny.

Then of course, they would not be pleased if I wasn't in the photo, so Ling stood to take a photo of all the "gentlemen".

When it was over, we clarified for everyone that we would be meeting again on Thursday at 10:00 PM. Then Ronny piped in, "We will all learn English and we will all go to church!" Let's All Just Stand Up And Shout Hallelujah!

I cannot fathom the thought of these dear people spending eternity in hell. Oh God! Save them all.

I know God is about to do a mighty work here, and I cannot believe that he is permitting me to stand close enough to see it happen.

In our goodbyes this evening Ling said, "Thank you, my English teacher".

1Ch 17:16b ... Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
I am not a wealthy man, but I am rich beyond all my expectations. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blessings Upon Blessings

I have just returned from a business trip in Atlanta Georgia, where I worked at a trade show most of this week. On the first night of the trade show, I had the privilege and honor to meet the precious man in the photo below. He goes by the name of HAWK, just HAWK.

As he was riding his electric scooter by my booth, the hat he was wearing caught my eye. It says "Silver Star". Having a very soft spot in my heart for every veteran who has ever stood in the face of tyranny to defend the values and freedoms represented by the flag of the United States of America, I was immediately moved to step over to him and place a hand on his shoulder and say, "THANK YOU, SIR". Tears welled in my eyes as I did so, and my voice quivered. Then, I read the brim of his hat where it said, "Gallantry In Action", and I saw his Purple Heart and Navy Cross. I thanked him again, and he said, "God Bless You" as he went his way.

We encountered one another a couple more times throughout the trade show, and the last time (shortly before this photo was taken) he told me that I had a very kind and unusual spirit. This gave me the wonderful opportunity to tell him, "The ONLY good thing in me is the Spirit of The Living God which dwells in my heart because of my faith in Jesus Christ."
Much to my delight, he said he understood and we rejoiced together about our mutual faith in the Risen Lord! (Right there in the trade show!) Well...somebody shout Amen.

Additionally, I explained to him that my heart's desire is to someday somehow be a missionary to the people of the nation of Croatia. (Yes, it just came right out.) We exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways.

As it turns out, my friend HAWK is not only a war hero, but also the inventor of an orthopedic device that others thought could not be done, and he and his wife have a small business in Frisco, Texas. I will be contacting some people on his behalf to obtain materials to help him get started in production.

I am not sure how else the Lord will use this meeting, but he has already touched my heart with it, and I have a brand new friend - My Christian Brother HAWK.

Blessings Upon Blessings.

Psalm 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Baptist Brethren Top 100
The Fundamental Top 500

The Baptist Top 1000
Bible Top 1000