AWANA Teaching 2-27-2019

Last night, I had the privilege of teaching a lesson at AWANA to 17 clubbers ranging from 3rd to 6th grade.  Here was the content of my lesson:

Our memory verse is Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Then I showed this short video (2 min 37 sec) to give them the context of this verse:


I started off by asking a question:

How many of you believe in the God of the Bible? Everyone (who was paying attention 🙂 ) raised their hands in agreement as I expected, so then I asked a follow-up question:

Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?

This question is based on a question that Del Tackett asked during “The Truth Project”:


To clarify, I reminded them some of what they believe: that the God who created the universe and everything in it:

  1. Knows every detail about you, loves you and is watching over you?
  2. That the Bible is His inspired word; that He knows what your attitude is about His word and whether you live according to it?
  3. That Jesus was not just a good man and good teacher, but that He God the Son – the One Who created and sustains the universe – that He really lived, walked the earth, lived a perfect life, did miracles and predicted that He would die and rise from the dead and then did it? That His death and resurrection really did pay the penalty that you deserved for your sins?
  4. That when you pray to God, He actually hears you?
  5. That one day, when you die, you will actually go to heaven to live with Him forever? But that others will be cast into hell?

If you really believed all of that was real, it would affect the way you live your life.  What are some of the ways that would affect the way you lived? You would sincerely attempt to live your life according to the Bible, which would involve:

  1. Reading your Bible every day, meditating on it and memorizing it
  2. Praying to God every day
  3. Going to church on a regular basis
  4. Striving to live holy lives (rather than wonder how close you can get to sinning without sinning)
  5. When you do sin, you would be quick to sincerely repent and be reconciled to God (not just be sorry that you got caught)
  6. Not be a hypocrite – you would live and act the same whether you’re at church, school, home, a friend’s house or by yourself
  7. When making decisions, you would always have first in mind what God wants you to do
  8. Since we know that those who don’t believe in Jesus will not go heaven, you would make sure to tell them about Jesus, even if they think you’re strange and weird and make fun of you.
  9. You would expect to be persecuted for your faith and not be surprised when that happens

And finally, you would not be worried or afraid, but you would be courageous, knowing that God is with you, which is what our memory verse Joshua 1:9 tonight talks about.

I want you to see how “what you believe” is connected to “how you live your life”.  A person who claims to be a believer in the God of the Bible, but who does the following, is not living according to what they profess to believe:

  1. Lives a life of constant, unrepentant sin
  2. Doesn’t read their Bible, pray or go to church
  3. Acts/speaks differently depending on who they are with
  4. Makes decisions without reference to God’s word
  5. Is constantly worried, discouraged or afraid

Belief will manifest itself in the way you live!



mid-week apologetics booster (2-28-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 750) from Nuggets:

Commitment is the defining characteristic of a person’s life. – James MacDonald

To view more of these quotes, visit:

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Want to Share the Gospel? Start with This Question | Stand to Reason:
  2. Harvard’s Rules and Precepts, adopted in 1646, stated, …Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3)…:
  3. Is Committing Intellectual Suicide a Requirement for Becoming a Christian?:
  4. Why the Resurrection of Jesus Matters THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM:
  5. Medicine and Miracles – Anything we do to help our bodies recover from or function under the effects of the Curse is a medical intervention. If we wear glasses to help us cope with near-sightedness, take an aspirin for a headache, or put a band-aid on a cut, we are effectively using natural means instead of relying on a miracle. And that isn’t wrong!:
  6. 12 Senators Pushed a Religious Test for Public Office and Spread Anti-Religious Bigotry. They Include Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris:
  7. Why the Resurrection is the Best Argument for Christianity:
  8. Ambassador at Work – Faith, Vocation, and Apologetics | Mikel Del Rosario:
  9. Can the Problem of Evil Be Answered by Christianity? Christian Defenders:
  10. Report: 47% of Christian Millennials Believe Evangelism Is Wrong RELEVANT Magazine:
  11. Gorge looks thousands of years old, but created in months –
  12. Handling an Objection: Jesus is Just One of Several Messianic Figures in the First Century THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM:
  13. Answering Smug Atheist Mocking Points | The Stream:
  14. Mr. Spock’s Lessons in Logical Fallacies 2: The Wrath of Logic Cyber Penance:
  15. Liberal Christian, there are answers to be had | Coyle Neal:
  16. The Story of God with Morgan Freeman | Apologetics:
  17. Quick Challenge Answer: All Religions are the Same –:
  18. The Gospel Is Offensive. Is That Okay? The Majesty’s Men:
  20. The Beautiful Mind of Jesus – Growing Deeper Roots:
  21. Reincarnation and the Bible: Past Lives and Scripture – Theolocast:
  22. The Reliability of the Bible – 4 Quick Thoughts |

I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 1 John 2:21

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (2-21-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 750) from Nuggets:

In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to thee with all my heart, to be thine for ever. In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands, to be entirely at thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Camelback Classic (March 21-23, 2019) – this is a Christian Homeschool speech and debate tournament hosted by Mars Hill Speech & Debate. You can be a community judge and I promise you that you will be blessed to see the next generation clearly articulating and defending the Christian faith!:
  2. 3 Practical Steps to Help Build Your Kids’ Immunity to Anti-Christian Ideas – Alisa Childers:
  3. Millennials and Evangelism – Break Point:
  4. Why is Christianity Right? Ravi Zacharias:
  5. Why should one religion have the right to declare what is right and what is wrong?:
  6. The Dire Need for Christian Apologetics | Reasoned Cases for Christ:
  7. The Truth Behind New York’s New Abortion Law Straight Talk with Claudia K:
  8. 3 Ways to Misunderstand the Trinity:
  9. John Lennox: Seven Days that Divide the World:
  10. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity:
  11. 10 Questions You’ve Always Had About New Age – Mama Bear Apologetics:
  12. Reasonable Answers for honest skeptical: I Don’t Believe in the Bible:
  13. Atheist Michael Ruse tells John Lennox, you can’t prove Christianity is true!:
  14. Randy Alcorn’s session on Heaven at The Gospel Coalition Conference :
  15. How to Recognize and Dismantle Self Defeating Statements Rob Lundberg’s Online Ministry Website:
  16. Countering emotional attacks on creation –
  17. 150 Pastors Arrested at Year-End Gathering in China:
  18. Latest Insights into Obesity Fatten the Case for Human Design:

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, Ephesians 2:17-19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (2-14-2019)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 750) from Nuggets:

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven–on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call he answers, and while we are yet speaking he hears us. – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. If This Is God’s Will, Then Why Am I Struggling? – Defend the Faith Ministry:
  2. REPORT OF THE CREATION STUDY COMMITTEE (The Presbyterian Church in America) on the history of views in the church of Genesis 1-3:
  3. 3 Disturbing Cultural Trends Youth Pastors Need to Address:
  4. Leftist fact-checking site denies New York’s new law allows unrestricted abortion until birth | LifeSite:
  5. Is the male reproductive system poorly designed?:
  6. Dig In: Tips On Communicating Christ in a Post-Christian Culture:
  7. 4 Reasons Why Christianity is True – Discover the Compelling Evidence:
  8. 5 People to Look Out For at Bible Study: A Response THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM:
  9. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus Misleads Readers from its Inception Christian Apologist:
  10. Humanity’s Greatest Problem. Are people on a TRUTH quest or a HAPPINESS quest? The answer to this question may be the key to unlocking HUMANITY’s GREATEST PROBLEM. – YouTube:
  11. Do Atheists Have Faith? The faith of an atheist is hard to shake. Did you know that atheists live by faith? Not faith in God, obviously, but they do live by faith. Whether its their belief that consciousness and existence cease after death, or their belief that nothing somehow magically created everything, make no mistake: atheists live by faith. Many atheists cling to their faith in science; they claim that science is the only truth, and that everything must be tested in a scientific manner. But the problem is that science is not always reliable. Did you know that scientists once believed that the world was flat and that bleeding was the best way to rid the body of disease? Sometimes science is wrong. The word science simply means knowledge, and guess what? Man’s knowledge isn’t always correct.:
  12. The Delusions of Atheists –
  13. Who created God – If a creator God needs to have been made by a creator, that creator would also need a creator who needs a creator like an infinite chain of toppling dominoes, which is an impossibility.:
  14. Atheism and the supernatural – Conservapedia:
  15. Answering Skeptics Questions – Existence of the Jewish People Today is Objective Evidence That the Bible is True. Why? If anyone wishes to know whether or not the God of the Bible exists, one of the strongest reasons he can examine is the Jewish people. An honest inquiry into this question will provide more than an adequate answer to the truthfulness of the Christian faith.:
  16. Apathy, Atheism, and the Absurdity of Life Without God:
  17. How to Share the Gospel With An Agnostic – Dare 2 Share:
  18. The First Step of Atheism Apologetics in an Age of Postmodernism – Truth is Free:
  19. How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus – The Veritas Forum – The Veritas Forum:
  20. 4 Essentials to Communicating Christ to a Post-Christian Culture:
  21. 5 Questions to Ask a Non-Believer Adherent Apologetics:
  22. How Should Christians Respond to the Recent Decisions Expanding Abortion Rights? Bernard J. Mauser, Ph.D. EPEC Articles:
  23. How Is God Fair For Punishing Us For Adams Sin? – YouTube:
  24. Chris Pratt Claps Back at Accusations That His Church Hates Gay People: :
  25. Privileged Species – Dr. Michael Denton:
  26. The Programming of Life on Earth:
  27. The Facts | Programming of Life:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Blessings to you all

Conversation while serving the homeless

Yesterday was our church’s once a month time of serving the homeless. There were 2 groups serving there yesterday – our church group of 5 people and a group of volunteers from a large company who has an office in our city. After our set-up time cutting vegetables, the leaders gave us our assignments. I was assigned to trash duty along with another young gentleman – let’s call his name Eric. Eric was the boyfriend of a woman who was from the company we were serving with.

Eric and I hit it off right from the beginning. He is in IT and is also a software developer like myself. Most of our conversation centered around technical topics, such as agile development, Angular, the MEAN stack, etc. It was really fun.

Eric has only been out of college about a year. He went to our local university and received a degree in Computer Science. While Eric and I were working garbage, one of the women (not Eric’s girlfriend) who was the volunteer coordinator for the company serving with us came over and talked to us at the trash station. Let’s call her Joan. We were talking about serving the homeless and I mentioned that the Bible says:

… “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.” -Luke 3:11

Joan replied “Amen!” At that point, I guessed she was a Christian, so I asked her if she was. She said yes. I asked her what church she goes to and she told me that she attends a church in our area (a large mega-church that I’m familiar with). Joan went on to recount her testimony of her life “pre-Christ” and how her life is totally changed after she found Christ. I also recounted some details about my conversion to Christ and the dramatic changes that ensued. It really was a blessing to meet another Christian there… This whole time, Eric was present in the conversation and listening, but not really saying anything. So, I asked him, “So, Eric, are you a Christian?” He replied, “No…”. I asked, “Why not?” He said, “It’s just not really my thing.” I asked, “Have you ever been to church or had any history with Christianity?” He said that he’d gone to church some times as a child, but not for many years. So I left it at that and Joan left us and went throughout the dining room visiting with other volunteers.

Eric and I continued to handle the garbage, talking while we worked about our jobs, our hobbies, our plans for the weekend, interesting new consumer electronics devices and anything else that came up. I really enjoyed my time with Eric. As we were getting toward the end of our time serving together, I wanted to get back to that conversation about God. So, I asked him, “Eric, I know you said you’re not a Christian, but do you think that there is an afterlife at all?” He replied, “No…” So, I probed further, “What do you think happens when you die?” He said, “Nothing… It’s just lights out – that’s the end of you.” I said “Really?” He said, “Yeah, I know it sucks, but that’s just the way it is…” Then I asked him, “How did you come to the conclusion – that there is no life after death? What makes you think that is true?” He really didn’t have an answer here. I think he said “I don’t know – that’s just what I believe…” So, I said, “Well, I used to think the same things too. I was very skeptical at one point (reading plenty of Neitche, Freud and science writers), until I was challenged to look into these things. When I did, I realized that I had not developed my views with an open mind – that I was only looking at one side of the argument. I’ve come to find out that there is good evidence for the existence of God. For example, the existence of the universe.” I asked him, “What do you think caused the universe?” He replied, “Uh… I guess, the Big Bang?” I clarified, “Well, that describes what happened at the beginning of the universe, but it is not saying anything about what or Who caused the Big Bang. Whatever begins to exist must have a cause, and science tells us that the universe began to exist.” He didn’t have anything to reply to this, and our conversation was kind of coming to a standstill. So, I just encouraged him to have an open mind and to follow the evidence to see if God exists. I said that I, probably like him, being in I.T., am a logically minded person and a naturally skeptical kind of guy -I don’t believe things without evidence. I would not believe God exists and Christianity is true if there were no evidence for it. That being said, I’m not saying the evidence is absolutely conclusive, but that you need to look at all the evidence and try to determine what is the most likely cause for the universe and the existence of life. I encouraged him to read one of 2 books which give pretty good evidence for the truth of Christianity:

  1. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – I whipped out my phone kindle app and showed him what the cover of the book looks like. I also told him that it comes on Audible too
  2. Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists – I told him that this book had helped answer the questions of another person his age.

He took note as I showed him the book and described the 4 main topics I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist talks about:

  1. Does Truth Exist?
  2. Does God Exist?
  3. Are Miracles Possible?
  4. Is the New Testament historically accurate?

He seemed interested in the content of the I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist book and said that he has always made decisions in his life on the basis of evidence, so he would be willing to explore the evidence as I encouraged him to do. This was the end of our conversation about this topic.

At the end our time there, I met his girlfriend and I told Eric that I really enjoyed our time here and we both hoped we’d see each other in the future. Since we’re both in the same line of work, I asked him if we could link up on LinkedIn and we did.

I pray that somehow the words I said to Eric would “put a stone in his shoe”, annoying him in a good way. That he would consider someone like me, who, in the past, was very much like he is now, and yet, believes Christianity is true, beyond any reasonable doubt. That he may come to believe, as the Apostle John stated in his Gospel:

… that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. – John 20:31

mid-week apologetics booster (2-7-2019)

Good morning friends,

For anyone that, like me, keeps 1 or more Todo lists and is challenged in keeping track of the various things you need to get done in your lives, I just finished developing a web-based tool for myself that you all can take advantage of too (for free, of course).  It is a web-based Todo list.  Here is the link:

You can enter a user id and password (and click “Remember me”) to create your own Todo list.  Each Todo item has a category (whatever categories you want), a title and a description.  You can search Todos or filter them by category and delete them when they are completed.  You can also view/search previously deleted Todo’s.  The reason I created this is so that I can have secured access to my Todo list whether I’m at home, at work or just on my smart phone.  So far, I think it has had a noticeable impact on my productivity.  I hope you all will take advantage of this tool as well.  Please feel free to send me feedback or ideas you have as you use it.

Here is a random quote (of over 750) from Nuggets:

Training is essential in law enforcement because officers deploy on a regular basis. If we could handle every call over the phone without leaving the station, none of us would need to exercise or train tactically. You don’t have to train if you have no intention of deploying. The same is true for us as Christians. Think about that for a minute. Most of us see our church buildings as places to gather on Sunday; seldom do we think of them as places to train in preparation for deployment. – J. Warner Wallace

To view more of these quotes, visit:

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies for the Trinity – this is important – let’s not commit these errors and spread misunderstanding when talking about the Trinity – YouTube:
  2. 5 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have If Your Kids Walk Away from Faith:
  3. During the open forum at the University of Pennsylvania Ravi Zacharias and Nabeel Qureshi were asked: Why are you so afraid of subjective moral reasoning? Do you think we all are just going to start raping and pillaging just because we don’t have a book telling us what to do? Are you afraid of that? I’m not because that’s not what we are going to do. Yes, Nazis were bad but there were Christian Nazis and atheist Nazis. So I don’t see… What are you so afraid of? To this Ravi quickly replied, “Do you lock your doors at night?” Watch his full response in the video – YouTube:
  4. How to Turn the Tables on Four Pro-Choice Arguments |
  5. The Issue at the Heart of the Abortion Debate – Christian Apologetics Alliance:
  6. Pro-Life Crash Course – Here’s a summary of how to argue for the pro-life position that I created for a friend whose secular philosophy class was scheduled to discuss abortion. It’s a great little cheat sheet you can keep on hand for your own discussions on this subject. | Stand to Reason:
  7. The Lost Art of Thoughtfulness: Dismissing Ideas Because We Fear Them:
  8. 9 historical facts about James the brother of Jesus that provide a strong basis for the truth of Christianity Is Jesus Alive?:
  9. More evidence for the Historical Truth of David and Goliath:
  10. Earth’s Thick Ice Sheets Are Young | The Institute for Creation Research:
  11. 5 Objections Atheists Have Against Christianity Christian Defenders:
  12. Frank Turek: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist: The Ohio State University THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM:
  13. Is Belief In God A Mental Crutch? – The Daily Apologist:
  14. World-Famous Scientist: God Created the Universe | Intellectual Takeout:
  15. Search for the real Jesus | George’s Journal:
  16. Is God Real? Common, Objective Moral Standards Are an Evidence of God’s Existence | Cold Case Christianity:
  17. The Ultimate List of Apologetics Terms for Beginners (with Explanations) – Capturing Christianity:
  18. What is Free Masonry and what do Free Masons believe?:
  19. Freemasonry – Who are the Freemasons and what is Freemasonry? What do they believe and what do they practice? Is it right for Christians to be members? Dr. Walter Martin, author of “Kingdom of the Cults” teaches us. Dr. Walter Martin – YouTube:
  20. How do we know Jesus was really who he said he was? What evidence is there that Jesus existed? How are we supposed to reconcile conflicting reports? Abdu Murray responds at an open forum at Yale University. – YouTube:
  21. Jesus in Islam – The Top 6 Questions Muslims Ask about Jesus:
  22. Biblical Faith VS. Blind Faith |

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

Blessings to you all

Bad Analogies for the Trinity

As leaders in youth ministry, there are times when we all probably have to address the Trinity with the kids.  It may come up while we’re teaching the lesson, or a child may ask a question about it.  This video is a great little funny cartoon put out by “Lutheran Satire” and features 2 Irish characters Donall and Conall talking with St. Patrick about the Trinity.  Even though it is a cute and funny little video, it teaches a great message, and as leaders, encourages us not to use these bad (heretical) analogies for the Trinity.  I think the video is appropriate for showing to kids – especially in the 3rd to 6th grade age range (it has some big words).  Here are the bad analogies featured in the cartoon:

Analogy for the Trinity Heresy of this Analogy
Like Water (3 forms: Liquid, Ice, Vapor) Modalism
Like the Sun (the star, the light and the heat) Arianism
Like 3 leaf clover (shamrock) Partialism
Like 1 man who is husband, father, employer at the same time Modalism
Like 3 layers of an apple (or hard-boiled egg) Partialism

Have you used any of these analogies?  I know I have, but I won’t anymore!

Here is the video (3 min 49 seconds):


So, the recommendation is that we should just stick to the definition of the Trinity – 1 God, revealed in 3 Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  If it was “1 God in 3 Gods” or “1 Person in 3 Persons”, that would be a contradiction.  But the Trinity (1 God in 3 Persons) is a mystery, not a contradiction.

Blessings to you all