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God Doesn’t Want You Bringing Dead Cats to His Door

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV

Ever been haunted by your past? Sometimes I will have a flashback of some off-the-cuff smart remark I made to an elder when I was kid, and I will still cringe and want to go hide under a rock 40 years later! I believe Paul’s history of persecuting Christians may have haunted him too. Except for the fact that Paul never persecuted the Christians. That was Saul. Paul was a new creature,

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles. -Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 233

God wants to give us all a fresh, new start.

The story goes of a man who was driving down an old highway out in the country when he accidentally ran over a cat. He pulled over and inspected the cat, which sure enough was dead. He looked and saw a house in the distance at the top of a hill. He took the dead cat to the door and knocked. An old lady answered the door, and he said, “I am sorry Ma’m is this your cat?”

“Well it was she responded.” The man told her how sorry he was that he had just hit and killed her cat. She forgave him and they both took the cat to the backyard and buried it. A few weeks later the man found himself driving past the house again. The terrible memories came back again, and he drove up to the house, went in the backyard, dug up the dead cat and took it to the front door again. When the lady answered, he started telling her all over how sorry he was! She reminded him she already forgave him and she helped the man bury the cat again. A few more weeks went by and the man found himself driving by the house again and once again was overcome with grief, and went and dug the cat back up and took it to the house. By this time the woman was fed up and ordered him to stop bringing the dead cat to her door!

God does not want us bringing dead cats to His door either. Don’t go digging up what His grace has buried. He wants us to leave our dead cats behind us and press for the goal. God wants to make you a new creature, just like He made Saul a new creature and turned him into Paul.

You may study this week’s SS lesson here.

The Theme of my Ministry

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

One Sabbath afternoon at a luncheon, I met a former Bible Worker, who asked me what the theme of my ministry was. I told him the cross of Christ. He sneered and told me my theme was rather cliche. He very proudly went on to tell me that his theme was the health message.

I wonder how many people have thought Paul’s ministry was cliche?

For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 NLT

When I first became a literature evangelist many years ago, I was sitting in the conference president’s office along with a few other L.E.s talking about which book we should promote. A few of them said The Great Controversy. It tells us all about the Sabbath and the mark of the beast. I then suggested The Desire of Ages.  I explained why. Unless people are in love with Jesus, it won’t do any good to warn them about last day events. The Desire of Ages helps us fall in love with Jesus. Granted there is plenty of Jesus in the Great Controversy as well. It is also a Christ-centered book. However, warning about the end time events will not do any good unless people’s hearts are broken and they have fallen in love with Jesus.

If telling people that Jesus loved them enough to say goodbye to life forever in order to save them, does not make then want to see Jesus then warning them about last-day events will not do any good.

A while back a man joined our church who just wanted to talk about last-day conspiracy theories. One time when he was having such a discussion, I tried to get him to talk about his experience with Jesus and how his relationship with Jesus has changed his life. He could not do it. He could talk about Sunday laws and theories of how the mark of the beast would be distributed, but he could not talk about how Jesus had changed his life.

All are tested in different ways. On September 11, 2001, when several terrorists were willing to die if they could just kill others too, God magnified himself in the many rescue workers who were also willing to die if they could just save someone else!

Different people are tested in different ways. The rescue workers on 9-11 were not given the Sabbath test. But some followed Jesus by denying themselves and dying just like He did. Some of us will be tested with the Sabbath test one day. Whatever test we meet, we will be able to pass with flying colors if we fall in love with Jesus and make Him and Him crucified the theme of our lives.

You may study this week’s SS Lesson here.

The In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides App

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Have you ever been talking to a friend at school, work or play, and been asked a Bible question, but did not have the Bible answer at your fingertips? Well now you can have a prepared Bible study at your fingertips or at least as close as your cell phone or tablet.

Now anyone can share a Bible study with anyone, anytime anywhere with the In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides AppWhile many Bible study apps link you to websites, this app actually has the Bible studies downloaded to the app. Instead of just a few reference verses for each topic, you get a verse by verse presentation on several Bible topics, and can choose between the KJV or NLT, as the Bible verses are provided after each question, Bible Readings for the Home style.  And yes, you can also link to the web for additional studies and devotionals.

Pastor Glenn Aguirre was sharing behind his pulpit a few Sabbaths ago at the New Port Richey Seventh-day Adventist Church, that these are his favorite Bible study guides to use in his presentations. Now they are available to everyone to use in group Bible studies or personal Bible studies, anywhere you carry your phone.

While many people chain reference their Bibles some do not like to mark in their Bibles for whatever reason. Now they don’t have to. Now they have a chain referenced Bible study on their In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guide App. 

Many churches are on a budget today and do not have a lot of money to buy Bible study guides, as they can be quite expensive. This app is free, and I have held several Bible studies where we studied the lessons from our phones or tablets so as to save costs and paper. Also, while some forget to bring their Bibles or lessons to class, hardly anyone ever forgets their phone or tablet.

I prayerfully hope this is a blessing to you and those you meet. Be sure and share this with your friends who want to give studies or just learn more about God’s love and the Bible themselves.

“That’s Why I’m Here!”

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

The late evangelist Ron Halverson tells a story where he was knocking on a door one night in Harlem New York. A young woman answered the door who grew up a pastor’s daughter, but had become a prostitute. The woman looked at the Bible in Halverson’s hand and said, “I’m not interested!” Quick witted Halverson responded as she tried to slam the door, “I know you’re not interested! That’s why I’m here!”

Granted, such an approach would not normally work, but this time it woke the young lady up to a need she had been neglecting. Sometimes we look at our mission field and think the grass is greener in other mission fields. Fact is, the green mission fields don’t need us as much as the parched fields do. The young lady, who answered the door to Pastor Halverson, may not have looked promising, but she actually needed his message more than anyone else in Harlem that night.

Once I was working in a church that seemed just as worldly as the….well, world! The youth teachers openly confessed to me, that they entertained the kids instead of teaching them, because they themselves did not know anything about the Bible. When I held evangelistic meetings the greeters were never around to hand out lesson outlines, because they went home when the meetings started! The musicians would come in and play before my presentation, and everyone would watch as they walked out and went home as soon as they were through playing. An elder in the church told me his neighbor wanted to come to the meetings and would I please give him a ride. I asked the elder why he could not just bring his neighbor to the meetings himself, since after all, they lived right next door. The elder told me he would not be coming to the meetings since he already heard it all before. It was very discouraging! I asked God why he sent me to such a spiritually parched church. God told me, because the church was my mission field just as much as the community. This changed my attitude, and instead of getting upset because the youth leaders did not know their Bibles, I took advantage of the opportunity to teach them about the Bible and Jesus. The leaders in the church became my mission field. Before long God sent other missionaries more skilled than myself, to help turn the church around. When I left, the church was not at all like I first found it. Thanks to God, and the other missionaries He sent, the youth leaders grew (and sadly some left) and there was a totally different spiritual climate among the entire church family.

I would rather have been in a church where the youth teachers knew their Bibles and the members were are on fire to do evangelism, but you know what? A church like that would not have needed me as much as this one did. While it may be easier and a lot more fun to work with people who are spiritually mature and on fire for the Lord, Pastor Halverson realized he was needed where people did not seem interested. I learned the same lesson.

When I was 11, I started piano lessons but quit after just a few weeks. A couple years ago, at the age of 48 I started taking lessons again. So I don’t like to say I actually quit when I was 11. I just took a 37 year sabbatical. When I started back up, my teacher just happened to be a college musician who I actually met a few years ago when she was only 11. She is more than young enough to be my daughter. Fact is, if I had stayed with my piano lessons when I was 11, I may have been able to teach her instead of her teaching me. Instead, at the age of 48 I began taking piano lessons from a 19 year old. She’s never said anything like, “You are almost 50 you should know all this by now.” She never said, “Look at how old you are. You should be teaching me but instead I am teaching you.” Instead she enthusiastically seized the opportunity to teach me in the here and now.

Sometimes we get discouraged when we see people in the church who we think should know more by now. Maybe they should, but instead of getting discouraged let’s seize the opportunity to teach. I need a good teacher like my piano teacher, because I don’t have it all together. I struggle with my timing among other things, so I need a good teacher. If I was a polished musician I would not need her. If everyone in the church already knew their Bibles and had it all together they would not need me. There may be more gifted musicians in the world that are easier to teach than I am, but it is because I am not a gifted musician that I need my piano teacher so much.

So if your mission field looks parched and pitiful, and you are tempted to think the grass would be greener in another mission field, remember, a greener mission filed would not need you, like the parched pitiful mission field does. If you look around your mission field and don’t see much potential or interest just remember what Pastor Halverson remembered, that’s why you’re here!

You may study this week’s SS lesson on missions here. 

Elaiza’s Baptism Pictures and Stories


Last year Elaiza faithfully attended my after school Bible studies at Tampa Adventist Academy. This year she attends a different school, so her mother, Janice, invited me to have studies in her home. Elaiza did an excellent job completing her baptism workbook, and shared thoughtful ideas and questions from each lesson. Elaiza would mention how important Bible study and prayer time are, and in my after school Bible studies, would always be praying for her friends and family.

This morning Elaiza was baptized in the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church! 

Elaiza shared her testimony with everyone that she had written out a few days before. When she shared it this morning she got a lot of “amens” and I believed it touched several hearts, and will lead to even more people giving their lives to Jesus.

Elaiza writes: “The reason why I am here today is because I want to give myself to God and go to heaven. It’s just not to just frolic on the streets of gold. It’s because I love him and want to have a relationship with him. It says in Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So, I want to encourage all you kids to be baptized not because your parents tell you to but, because you love Him and want to give yourself to God. Accept God in your life and He will come into your life.”



For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 1 peter 1:18-20 NLT


Don’t let the sun go down on you before you take Elaiza’s advice and accept God in your life so you can go to heaven to be with Jesus too! I would be very happy to help you take this step. You may contact me at or 813-933-7505.

Proverbs in Light of the Cross; A Very Wise Lesson From a Very Humble Deacon

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,  corruption and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:12-13 NLT

It is impossible for a truly wise person to be proud and arrogant. Wisdom is talking in the quoted passage, saying she hates pride and arrogance. in dealing with so many people in various situations, I have noticed how beautifully wisdom and humility go together. Arrogance and stupidity, not so much! yet the latter always seem to team up together just like the former.

This reminds me of Daniel. Daniel 1:20 says Daniel and his friends were ten  times wiser than their colleagues. Yet look what Daniel says later, when he interprets the king’s dream in Daniel 2:30.

 And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.

Smart people don’t talk about how smart they are.

When I was in my early twenties I was playing a Bible trivia game with a deacon in the church, and a married couple, just learning about Jesus. Whenever my deacon friend was asked a question, even though I knew he knew the answer right away, he would pause and think, and even ask the new couple what they thought before answering. At first I was puzzled why my deacon friend was acting like he did not already know it all. Soon, even the dimwit that I am, caught on that my deacon friend was not wanting to show them up. He wanted for them all to come up with the answer together instead of him looking like he knew it all.

I learned a valuable lesson from my deacon friend that day, that I have carried into my ministry. When I am with a new seeker, and I ask them to turn to John 3:16, I don’t race to John 3:16 and then look at them like I am patiently waiting. I take my time. I learned a lesson from my wise deacon friend. Don’t show people up.

People who think they are wise are more hopeless than a fool, because at least a fool knows he is a fool, but those who think they are wise are clueless they are clueless.

There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise. Proverbs 26:12 NLT

Truly wise people don’t find glory in knowing it all. They find glory in knowing God.

…Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, …But those who wish to boast  should boast in this alone: that they truly know me… Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT

I Am Not Afraid

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

13 years later, I still can not believe some people took some airplanes and did what they did. They day after 9-11 I wrote this poem and emailed it to some friends. Somehow a Christian radio station in Dallas Texas got a hold of it and read it on the air. In memory of 9-11 I am sharing it again here.

On 9-11-01 Satan manifested himself in the terrorists who were glad to die if they could destroy someone else. On that same day God was manifested in the rescue workers, who were glad to die if they could just save someone else.

               I Am Not Afraid

I am not afraid of bigotry and hate in the terrorists’ hearts.

I am afraid of the bigotry and hate in MY heart.

I am not afraid to die as a Christian in a terrorist attack.

I am afraid to live without Jesus even in times of peace.

I am not afraid to die at the hand of a terrorist tomorrow, having shared God’s love with someone today.

I am afraid to live to be a hundred and ten, never having shared God’s love.

I am not afraid to walk through the valley of death with my Jesus.

I am afraid to walk over the highest mountain without Jesus.

I am not afraid of my loved ones dying in an explosion tomorrow.

I am afraid of my loved ones living without Jesus.

I am not afraid of a terrorist taking my life away from me.

I am afraid of me taking my life away from Jesus.

I am not afraid of terrorists exhibiting hatred.

I am afraid of Christians not exhibiting love.

1 John 4:4   Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:18 -21 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

John 16:33   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Psalms 91:5 tells us if we love God we do not need to fear terror. There were some that day who died, knowing they were saved and would see Jesus. For these precious souls the would be terrorists totally failed to terrorize.