Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The most recent controversy involving an American reality TV show and its Christian “reality stars” seem to be the most serious of all. It surrounds Josh Duggar, the large and hugely popular (in Christian and pro-family) circles – Duggar Family of Arkansas. As we all know, there are 19 Duggar children and like most TV reality shows, this one involves the daily ups and downs of its participants, on full display for the cameras and world to see. What the dysfunctional Kardashians are to the secular celebrity culture, the Duggars are to our Christian families everywhere. That is, until the recent scandal broke about Josh Duggar.

This post is not about the details of this situation, but whether authentic Bible-believing Christians ought to be on mainstream secular television at all. We ponder whether young minds should be pridefully sharing their personal lives with a world that desires to bury anything to do with God and the Bible,  and in some religions, literally cut the heads of the still-growing Body of Christ. There are so many things in Scripture that argue against all of this and maybe, now is the time for true believers to re-evaluate the wisdom and propriety of getting involved in these types of shows. 

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Before the current Duggar Family 'scandal', there were two prominent Christian-based Reality shows on secular TV which went through their own trials and tribulations. The Benham Brothers on HGTV lost their construction-based reality show there, when it was discovered that one of them had taken a public Biblical stand on same-sex marriage in North Carolina years before. They were already successful in their private small business and have since gained for standing up for strong Biblical beliefs across the nation. 

The large Robertson Clan of West Monroe, Louisiana are a different kettle of fish. Not only were they a "from-the-ground up" successful family business, but they actually already had a popular cable TV show on The Outdoor Channel (Buck Commander etc...) before A & E made a reality show out of them. Led by the always outspoken and bible-carrying Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty Robertson family’s foundation was their Church of Christ home Church, the business and each other. The loss of any airtime on a channel which nobody watched before the Duckmen came on, would mean nothing to them, as their now lucrative Duck empire has spread into speaking engagements, Bibles, devotional books, apparel and more. Technology has created so many other opportunities to reach millions of people at low cost, that should they also lose their A and E program for praying in “Jesus’ Name”, or preaching hard verses from Scripture or defending the Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4 definition of marriage, they will prosper even more.

But even with this group – the Duck Dynasty folks, there are things during the
show which should not be coming out of the mouths of mature Christians. This brings us to how a Christian should really conduct oneself, where the private life lines up with the public persona.  Now, none of us know of any authentic Christians who did not have a past: whether sordid or not. Every person whom Christ calls into His Kingdom was bought at a Price paid in full on Calvary, and had sins forgiven through Repentance and Faith.   Because nobody is perfect, and we were saved by the One Who is, we, most of all, are specifically instructed to be humble and full of grace.

Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they will see your works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). When the Lord said that, He was not speaking of camera lights, but the Light which emanates from the sold-out believer whose talk and walk line up with what the Savior expects. What He expects is written in His Word, via His own personally chosen emissary, the Apostle Paul. Scripture is full of statutes, commands and precepts to trust and obey, but these stand out for now as they are short, plain and easily understood. 1 Thessalonians 5 says in part (from the King James Version):
- Let us who are of the day, be sober (vs. 8)
- Comfort yourselves together and edify one another (vs. 11)
- Be at peace among yourselves (vs. 13)
- Warn them that are unruly (vs. 15)
- Comfort the feeble-minded (vs. 15)
- Support the weak (vs. 15)
- Rejoice evermore (vs. 16)
- Pray without ceasing (vs. 17)
- Quench not the Spirit (vs.19)

All of this represent just a few of the guidelines which the maturing Christian should adhere to. They are not just suggestions. Neither is the following verse from 1 Corinthians 8:9 “but take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a STUMBLING BLOCK to the weak”! In another place, the Word of God tells us that all things may be legal for the Christian to participate in but NOT ALL THINGS ARE UPLIFTING…or “edifying” as 1 Thess. 5:11 exhorts! There is absolutely nothing uplifting about Willie Robertson using the word “cr*p” five times per show. Or female members of the Duggars speaking about female issues or whatever. What value is there in Uncle Si(las) Robertson using a GoPro Camera to record himself going to the bathroom after drinking his umpteenth gallon of sweet tea? We love and admire these guys and do not want them to go away, but come on, man, we’re making the Savior cringe at some of this stuff.

American Christianity has already been dumbed down enough by celebrity preachers who basically chased the last two generations of young people out of the church with their fluff and unbiblical movements.  When Hybels and others admitted that their “Seeker-sensitive” movement failed miserably to make Disciples of Christ (and thus fulfill the Great Commission), they admitted something horribly scary! When they asked rich folk in expanding US suburbs what they want from a church, and then marketed it that way…when they took the Crosses off their church walls to make the “seekers” think they’re sensitive to their “needs”….when they stopped talking and singing about the Precious Blood of Jesus shed on that Cross they just took off their mega-church walls….when they did 30-40-50 or days of purposeful nothing and thus nothing of Eternal Consequence resulted, they set the stage for a generation who think they can go on TV and be the cleaner versions of the Kardashians or the Bachelorette or whatever other sleaze is out there on network TV.

Given all the admonitions from the Word of God about conducting oneself in a manner which will not bring reproach to the Holy Name of God and the Savior Jesus Christ, it would seem that it is now high time that people who call themselves by His Name, pull back.  Most of the supporting evidence, from the Word of God, to make such recommendations were not even examined here. But future participants of American reality shows, whose “schtick” is that they’re Christians, would be better serve to blow the pound of dust off their bibles and start reading them instead. It is imperative, that before embarking on another worthless adventure, in terms of eternity, that God's people come to Him first, for counsel.

Ps….this blog stayed away from the even more controversial reality show “Preachers of LA” on purpose. That show speaks for itself, and is not even worth discussing in the same sentence as Authentic Christianity.

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"Duck Dynasty Promo" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Duck_Dynasty_Promo.jpg#/media/File:Duck_Dynasty_Promo.jpg

Sunday, May 24, 2015


"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9
Every Sunday morning as I drive by the lake on the way to church, even in the winter, there are always guys out on their boats fishing for fish they can't eat (because of mercury in the water), and most often, so small they have to throw it back into the water anyway. If there ever was a pointless exercise, this is it.

From Spring to Fall, the brand new sports complex, with its six baseball/soccer fields, are packed with children and their minivan-driving parents playing the town version of little league baseball, or some community soccer thing. Sunday mornings are their favorite time to be overflowing with humanity. Afterwards, they may go through the Steak and Shake drive-thru for burgers and shakes and head home to relax for the next week's activities. 

Golf courses are full on Sunday mornings. The over-priced Starbucks and others like it are packed with brunch-eaters and their electronics. The upscale set visit their favorite brunch or lunch place at the Crowne Plaza or the local Eatery or Bistro. Some just sleep in from the Saturday night hangover, or the late night movie watching so they can watch sports all day, cuss at the TV and eat nachos.

This is Western "Civilization". There is the alternate universe- people who are saying for all the world to hear, that their islam is NOT "the religion of peace", are systematically wiping out God's Elect - Christians - across the Middle East and Africa, Asia and Southeast Asia. This is happening in full brutal color while the turban-clad sad excuses for humans persecute the "people of the Cross", thinking they are getting back at the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The two parallels do not sync in the human consciousness. Most westerners, including presidents, prime ministers and kings, pretend the one thing (anti-Christian bigotry) does not exist and therefore, the residents of the west do not care either, about the barbarism from a violent 1400 year old religion. That includes the majority of celebrity American and other western church leaders, from Jakes to Osteen to Warren to Stanley to Brian Houston in Australia...none are even asking for prayer for the persecuted! They WILL be held accountable (by God) for that more than any secular politician, who calls themselves a Christian because "Christian" is a respectable title.

But for the people of the Book in persecuted Third World, Arabic and other nations and increasingly here in the west where the United States Supreme Court may soon legalize the persecution of Christ's church, God has the final word. He also has the same word He had because He never changes. The Words of God are written forever in the Heavens. They are written down in 66 Books of the Bible. They are real. They are powerful. They are real powerful and they are the Truth.

When Yahweh (I Am Who I Am, the real name of Jesus Christ) brought His people (Israel) out of slavery and captivity and into the Promised Land after a long time in the wilderness, He gave them this encouragement from Joshua Chapter 1 (see the two verses at the top of this post). This, as is emphasized by Paul, is NOT just for Joshua, but for all peoples of all times who are released from the bondage of sin, despair, death and hell by repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Messiah, Lord and ruler of our lives. This promise above stands firm, true and in effect for the following:
- The saints who are being murdered for being Christians since 2003 in Iraq and across the entire Middle East.
- The saints, from little kids in Christian schools in Nigeria and Kenya to entire villages in India and Pakistan, who are being tortured and burned alive by "men" of the "religion of peace".
- The saints who are slandered and worse in Ireland, England, Canada and increasingly in the United States, which was actually founded on Christian principles. 
- The saints of the coming Tribulation. These are those who will be left behind when the "harpazo" or "taking up" or the "rapture" (from the Latin word for "taking up") happens before Revelation Chapter 6. There will be several million saved during the Tribulation but they will not survive after their conversion as the anti-Christ will be in charge of the world, when Christ takes His Elect home.
These words can be relied upon. The takeaways from His Promises in Joshua 1:8-9
**This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth - If you are truly born-again and know it and Christ lives in you, through the Holy Spirit, you instinctively know that this is true, that the Bible is true and His Promises are REAL!
** You shall meditate on it day and night - Because all His Words/Promises are true, embed it in every fiber of your being and it cannot help but shine through you as you live, walk, talk and operate as He would. There is NO other way to do this than through Prayer, Pleading, Pondering on and Proclaiming His Word.

** Be careful to do according to all that is written in it - This is not a passive, mindless  religion with fictional benefits if you do "x, y or z". This is REAL....and really interactive. Be careful means - be obedient. The man or woman or child of God, through Christ, will automatically want to do what He said....and even when we fall short (sin), our consciences bring us back to the Cross in repentance and liberating joy! Only Jesus can do that!
** Be strong and courageous - this is a difficult one for real Christians in the west, when we see what is coming to our own countries. We see what it has cost people in China, North Korea and all the islamic and Hindu countries. But the most subtle persecution will be coming from those who call themselves Christians in the west, but are actually working against God. The only way to stand in this and be strong and full of courage is Radical Faith in the Son of God. Surrender to Christ equals standing in the face of danger and modern evil.
** Do not tremble or be dismayed - it is natural to tremble and shake in the face of rampant evil in the world today. But we are in the realm of the Supernatural. The Spirit Who raised Christ from the Dead on Resurrection morning, lives in every truly born-again believer. This is a cause for calm, contentment, certainty and courage in the face of what is happening now and the worse, which is yet to come.

God gives the bottom line to all of this in the final phrase of Joshua 1:9 and it is the reason for our Hope, Our Faith and our Standing. Yahweh says (in light of all of what He said previously in Verses 8 and 9), "for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go'.

I believe Him. 

As for the Sunday morning do-nothing crowds in restaurants, ball-games and lakes, they have a relatively short time to wake up and see what is ahead of them, if they refuse to recognize Jesus, in this life, is their Lord and Messiah. Eternity is a long time to be separated from Him.

Friday, May 22, 2015


If  you’ve been following my “The Write Stuff” blog for the past few years, you may have noticed reviews I’ve posted on a number of books by filmmaker and author Susan Rohrer. Recently, I asked her to respond to a few questions on your behalf. I hope you’ll enjoy a chance to get to know this author a bit, via this personal interview. Thank you and may the Lord of Hosts bless you as you read, 
Bernie Lutchman
BL: When did you experience the call to your life’s work, and how did that call come to fruition? 
Susan Rohrer, a woman of many hats

SR: One of the things I love about God is that life with Him is always full of surprises. His call on my work came in such a delightfully arresting way, back when I was in my early 20s. You know how the Bible talks about God speaking to His sheep? Well, quite out of the blue, I heard His voice--so clearly that I looked over my right shoulder to see if anyone were there. All I’d heard was one sentence: “You’re going to make movies for Me.” My reaction? Like Sarah, overhearing the promise of a child to come, I laughed. 

One of Producer/Director
Susan Rohrer's many
 film works (TV & Movies)
You have to understand. In the natural, I had no aspirations or qualifications. I had nothing to offer in or of myself. Still, step-by-step, God paved the way and did what seemed impossible, giving me the skills and opportunities I needed to fulfill that call through television series and movies. I started at the bottom and, in time, became a director. Then, in order to have redemptive stories to tell, I wrote many screenplays—a number of which I was blessed to produce and direct.

BL: After a career spent in the entertainment industry, how did you branch into writing Christian nonfiction and inspirational novels? 

SR: In twenty-some years of work on redemptive television series and films, I never dreamed I’d one day become an author. That was, until I sensed a leading to write my first book, about the modern-day work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of everyday believers. It examines things I’d never heard taught in my traditional church upbringing, about spiritual gifts and how to hear God’s voice today. Soon, one of my readers posed a frequently asked question. She wanted to know how she could know if God was saying a certain man in her life was The One. My second book, Is God Saying He’s The One?  was birthed to answer that question. 

Before long, I began considering what to do with my remaining unproduced screenplays. I had this stack of favorite stories yet to be told, with characters I’d grown to love and plots all in place. Though they were written for the mainstream market, they’re all redemptive stories with underpinnings of my faith and values. It can take many years to get a movie made, and I began to realize that as I wait, these stories could have lives of their own as novels. And the novels raise awareness about the screenplays. To date, I’ve novelized six of my screenplays, and I’m currently in the process of adapting a seventh, as a part of my Redeeming Romance anthology series. 

BL: What are Redeeming Romances? Who is your audience, why and do you think this genre is effective, as you see it?

SR: It’s been said that two things most every man, woman, and child wants in life are faith and love. The common thread in all my books, whether nonfiction or fiction, is the greatest romance of all: what it’s like to be a human being, discovering the loving relationship we can have with God and one another. That mingling of divine and human love is how Jesus summed up the entire Law and the Prophets, and it’s become the overarching theme of my work. Jesus knew the power of a parable, and I’m doing my best to follow His lead as I explore these stories of imperfect people on the journey of faith, hope, and love that any relationship can be. Some are more subtle or overt spiritually than others, but all my novels serve that underlying redemptive purpose: to explore the heavenly romance that is possible in this life. 

Though my novels are in the inspirational romance genre that’s so popular with women, I think the reason there are men among my readers is that these stories are about more than longing for earthly love. They’re also about very relevant aspects of the human condition. Each story follows its characters as they respond to the very present help God offers in the midst of life’s often baffling challenges. It’s my hope that these novels will be both a mirror as well as an impetus, to provoke sacrificial love and uncommon goodness in the real lives and relationships of each reader. 

Merry’s Christmas sets a winsome waitress in the family she’d never had. In
Virtually Mine, a modern-day Cyrano fears telling the girl of his dreams how he really feels. Bright Christmas explores how a young Amish woman reconciles her faith with mutually exclusive human relationships. Bridle My Heart encourages that though humans may disappoint, God remains faithful. What Laurel Sees wrestles with the ramifications of having a spiritual gift in a jaded, disbelieving world. Gifted follows a young doctor’s struggle to come to terms with her calling and the faith she’s abandoned. Each novel follows fictional human relationships, but overall, they’re infused with the real-life challenges of mending what’s broken and redeeming relationships in the light of grace.  

BL: You have some very powerful Bible-based books and your series of Illuminated Bible Study Guides. How important are these types of works? 

SR: Fiction or nonfiction, as many books as I write, I think my first nonfiction
book, The Holy Spirit, will always stand out as that book I was meant to write. It’s all about the Divine Romance that’s possible when we open our hearts to our Creator and live in dynamic, creative relationship with Him. That book is a practical outworking of the way He partners with me day-to-day, no matter what else I’m doing or writing. I’m just a flawed, everyday person with a very small footprint in the natural. But it’s amazing to me how God can take these expressions of faith and use them to reach and encourage people all over the world. I pray for my readers and I thank God every time I hear that one of my books has touched or helped them in some way.

BL: Do you have any more books like these planned?

SR: Life with God continues to surprise me. I never know when I’m going to wake up with the inspiration to write another book. The leading to write Secrets of the Dry Bones came in the middle of writing my western. I just paused again, half-way through the current novel I’m writing to publish Splash!, a book of inspirational quotations. Also, I look forward to writing another topical Illuminated Bible Study Guide soon. That’s one of the wonderful things about life in the Spirit. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always something captivating to do. Be sure to stay tuned with Bernie Lutchman’s blog and he’ll keep you posted on what’s coming.

BL:  Thanks for the plug, Su! :)...Hello, “The Write Stuff” readers: in case you’re interested, all of Susan Rohrer’s books are available through the following link where you can follow her to receive updates on new books:  http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Rohrer/e/B005F0CHLU. Most of these above-mentioned books have been reviewed here on this blog in previous years.

Readers can also read, follow and message Susan Rohrer on Pinterest and Twitter and more here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


“SPLASH!”, the latest offering from the prolific “pen” of Susan Rohrer is a dynamic, quick read full of nuggets which will both inspire and cause the reader to think. These “bit/byte”-sized spiritually delectable morsels carry awesome Bible-based truths that anyone can apply to the specific human condition of the soul, at any time.  The quotes are brief enough for the reader to latch onto, in order to have a more orderly, cleared-up vision of what this brief life on earth is really all about. 

With many quotes taken from her Holy Spirit book*, her Redeeming Romance novels, and her excellent Bible study on the Book of Ezekiel, “SPLASH!” continues a theme that I glean, represents the true ministry to which God called Ms. Rohrer. This would be to share and proclaim the power that comes from such a vibrant relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, that the outflow would be like rivers of living water! 

As I read through the quotes and words of “SPLASH!”,  the lyrics of the great
Susan Rohrer, Author
hymn of the Faith came to mind: “When peace like a river attendeth my way...”  This book is recommended not just as a good read for some delightful inspirational quotes, but could be used in a counseling session for a teenage girl going through the hard years in high school, or the single mom who is struggling to raise toddlers while working two jobs, or even the hard-nosed OTR (over the road) truck driver, who has endless hours of empty road cross country to ponder the deep things of life. As Susan says in “SPLASH!”, such fellow travelers should take note that “God is not finished with you. There is no winding down with age. Check Proverbs 15:24 and see: the wise wind up!” One thing sums up “SPLASH!” and it is this quote for those who think God could never love, help, or accept someone like them (because of whatever). Susan says “Remember Lot’s wife. It’s impossible to walk straight ahead while looking back. Forget the old and move forward in newness of life.”

*THE HOLY SPIRIT - Spiritual Gifts: Amazing Power for Everyday People (Illuminated Bible Study Guides Series) [Kindle Edition, Susan Rohrer, Author).

Friday, May 15, 2015


One of the most warm, inspiring and real movies of early 2015 was the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett (The Bible, AD The Series) with Eduardo Verastegui movie “Little Boy”. Verastequi, who played the youthful Father Crispin in his own movie, is best known for his popular (in evangelical circles) movie “Bella” (2006) and "The Butterfly Circus" (2009).  All his movies have faith and family messages, themes and sub-themes. “Little Boy” had a tremendous amount of humor as well! Set in 1940’s World War II Southern California, Little Boy is the younger of two boys of the all-American male with the white picket fence, beautifully kept middle-class home and lovely wife, who works very hard with his hands  at his own auto mechanic shop. He is drafted and called off to War, during the time in California, when President Franklin Roosevelt had put over 110,000 Japanese-Americans into internment camps. This fact will be significant as the storyline of “Little Boy” progresses.

The amazing and stunning fishing village where this story unfolds is actually in Baja California, an area untouched by all the crazy stuff now associated with mainland California. Someone I know, who was associated with this movie, communicated some of the excitement of the making of this film at the time, as well as afterwards, which I remarked at what a beautiful place it would be to live now! It is that, for sure!. The idyllic setting of this  ocean-front “American” hometown, belies the intense interplay between this lively 8 year old Pepper Flynt Busbee, who is apparently doomed to be vertically challenged and just about a third of the adults and kids in the town. Pepper and his dad James Busbee (Michael Rapaport) spend a huge amount of father/son quality time together, a purposeful statement of times when men were men; family was community and life was much less complicated.
That simple existence actually covered up some of the dark nature of the soul of men: hatred; racism; bullying; greed; adultery and more. The latter came in the form of the town medic – Dr. Fox who was played by Mall Cop himself, Kevin James. Dr. Fox used the occasion of James Busbee being sent off to war to commence intentional flirtation with Mrs. Busbee in order to seek her feminine favor.  Pepper was bullied by the grossly overweight only son of Dr. Fox for just about everything, but especially for being short. Hatred was the soft underbelly of those who hated others who did not look like themselves.  When Pepper and his mother reached out to the hard-crusted, even unlovable Japanese-American Hashimoto (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), the hatred against this man for the simple crime of being of Japanese descent at the time of Pearl Harbor and Internment Camps, turned to violent racism which ended with the older Busbee boy in jail.

This movie, its beauty, settings, the period clothing and well financed production quality (a $20 million dollar budget),  showed the perfect dichotomy between God’s Creation and perfect condition and man’s sinful nature. Here is where Verastegui shines in all his movies – he introduces Faith. Not just any Faith, but faith in the only God of Heaven – the God of the Christian.  Faith is the only bridge between man’s depraved human nature and the immaculate perfection of God, and as we know, that was fulfilled at the Cross, where Jesus Christ gave His life.  

While “Little Boy” is not a movie for anyone looking for major theology, what the film’s authors did was present the directives of Christ in the form of a list of items which Pepper had to accomplish, in order to show his faith. These good works did not nor do they save anyone, but they do showcase the faith which under-girds the execution of these works to the Glory of God. If there is one major shortcoming it is this - I do not recall the Name of Jesus mentioned once in the entire movie. For me, an evangelical sold-out Disciple of Jesus Christ, that is huge and prevents this movie from a five star rating, in my view. Faith without Christ is no faith at all. The list which Father Oliver gave Pepper IS based on Christ's Sermon on the Mount, which a knowledgeable viewer can figure out, however, as it came from the leader of the local parish.

Some of the best lines though were spoken by Hashimoto who sought to encourage the under-developed Pepper Flynn to not measure how short he was from the (top of his head) to the floor, but from (the top of his head) to the sky! But the biggest encouragement which a persecuted man, could give to a tormented soul was when Hashimoto told the Little Boy that "nothing's more powerful than the will to face one's fear and to act....in the face of the enemy". This is courage. When the viewer of this film combines with this type of courage with the Faith which grows, even from the small mustard seed, there is no stopping such a person in the daily conduct of life! In my opinion, this is a huge sub-theme of the movie as it rises to a wonderful conclusion.

There are some surprising turns in this gorgeous movie. One of them is the surprise reason for Pepper’s dad survival of the brutal Japanese prison camp in the South Pacific. The other was the coming of the town to a realization that “a little child” shall lead them, when it comes to “mountain-moving” faith. Being that it is set in Southern California, the home of so many old Spanish Catholic missions (San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo etc.) the classic feel which the producers sought literally came through.  The other actors/actresses in “Little Boy” were just as outstanding. From Kelly Grayson (Tyra) to Ali Landry (Ava) and author Cheri Majors along with a man who started Pepper off on his (at first) misguided journey of faith with unbiblical magic arts – Ben Eagle (Ben Chapin), each contributed mightily to the color and feel of the film.  Even the name of the main production company- Metanoia Films - for “Little Boy” has meaning.  The word “Metanoia” is the biblical Greek word for Repentance! This sort of repentance is the same which leads to a transforming change of heart and mind which, then leads to salvation of the soul!

In sad and seamy horrid times, this cinematic delight of a film  will lift your spirits after the 106 minutes of watching it. It will warm your heart and if your faith needs strengthening, it may even do that as well!

“Little Boy” was co-written and directed by Smithsonian Institute Award winning director Alejandro Monteverde.                                                                                                                 

Thursday, May 14, 2015


A Memoir of Rape and Redemption...

"He may have killed my innocence that day, but he awoke something more powerful - a woman of Faith...." PERFECTLY BROKEN (Amber Maudlin, Westbow 2014)
This book is an inspiring honest account of a brave young woman's journey from a brutalized 16 year old almost two decades ago to the point where she can now share her personal restoration, with the lost and hurting. Amber Harville (Maudlin) was violently attacked, physically and otherwise by a criminal, after being kidnapped on the way to a Subway sandwich shop in Virginia. What follows in this extremely well written book (Westbow Press, December 2014, 214 pages), is a page-turner which is so horrifying and intensely sad that reading it will, at first, tremendously infuriate the reader!

Amber, for a first time author, did an amazingly gripping and mature job in describing her memories of that time almost two decades ago when this awful assault occurred. She expertly wove her personal physical and spiritual trauma as both a high school student (after the assault) with her relationship with her mother, brother and step-father so well, that the reader ends up on the same roller-coaster of emotion. As horrifying  as the foundation of the story is,  Perfectly Broken is full of good innocent humor and life as the abused teen, a Christian young lady at the time, sought to work through this personal crisis with the Great God of Heaven. You can almost see her trying to live the semblance of a "normal" teenager outwardly, all the while, doubting and debating on the inside.

For me, this is the most powerful part of this book. Like most folks who have gone through unfair and ungodly attacks, the most asked question is "Where is (was) God?"...and all the different variations of this question. Like most under duress, it seems as though God has gone silent. Remember, even the Lord Jesus Himself, God in Heaven from eternity past with the Father, cried out in agony on the Cross "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"  This is a difficult thing for any Christian, whether in crisis or not. It has happened to anyone who has walked close to God throughout life and even the best of us. The rape and violent attacks on this teenage girl would be enough, in post-Christian, spiritually weak America, to turn anyone else away from our Heavenly Father.

To her credit, Amber never gave in to those thoughts but kept asking God and the Savior Jesus Christ for help in comprehending the matter.  She eventually was led to her youth minister Jason, who did something which not even senior pastors in America could do- get a teenager to read and digest all 42 Chapters of the Book of Job! Not just that, Amber read the entire book of Job in the King James Version! That alone is impressive. In my opinion, this is both the turning point in Amber's ability to successfully process her personal tragedy while finding the true peace and comfort of our Loving God, which she had sought and fought so hard for.

Here is where "Perfectly Broken" is now becoming, and IS, a true resource for ANYONE who has been a victim of any type of crime or otherwise. It was the Scriptures, inspired by God, and the Holy Spirit Who abides in this truly born-again young woman, which brought about Restoration! The restoration was so powerful, once Amber got the true message of the Book of Job that she wrote in her book "He (the attacker) may have killed my innocence that day, but he awoke something more powerful - a woman of Faith. No matter what the verdict is, I've already won. I see that now?" She said those words close to the trial where she was the key witness against the serial rapist, who was later put away for life.

How did this happen, that one goes from questioning God to speaking like she did in the above quote? The answer lies in the entire long narrative of the Book of Job - the actual first book of the Bible.  Apart from the impressive fact that a sixteen year old would read in one sitting, the long tedious (and mostly false) speeches of Job's friends and Job and still get the key point of Job, is in itself, a good reason to read "Perfectly Broken". When the dark night of the soul finally broke, after reading this classic book of the Bible, which serves as an example for all peoples of all times, God reveals the reason why trouble came to Amber and how He wanted her to deal with it. It came in her own words, where she offered up the answer that this life is not really about her, but her experiences, with Christ on her side, to help someone else. Just reading how God revealed Himself and His call, purpose and design for a persecuted Christian, is worth obtaining and purchasing this first time offering by Amber Maudlin.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015





"and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,  corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth". (Romans 2:18-20)

Reading this passage of Scripture in context (above), leads one to the obvious self-examination type of question: "are we, as the Body of Christ", all those things. Do we, in order of what is written here from Romans 2:
-  Know His Will
-  Approve things that are essential
- Remain confident in our solid knowledge of God's statutes
- Consider ourselves a guide
- Consider ourselves a light to those who are in darkness
- Consider ourselves a "corrector of the foolish"
- Consider ourselves a "teacher of the immature"
- Understand the Law fully (AND The fulfillment of that Law- Jesus Christ) in order to proclaim Truth?

Continuing on from Part 1, we see ample evidence that the modern church thinks that "Discipleship" has more to do with the naval travel and not what the Risen Christ gave as the main command in the Great Commission. Just released(this week) surveys from the Pew Research Center reveal stunning truths. While the population of the United States is inching past 320 million in 2015, the percentage of Christians in the United States has plummeted from 78.4%  in 2007 to 70.6% in 2015! To make it even worse, Americans who have NO FAITH and thus, believe in nothing has skyrocketed to 22.8% of the population!

So how in the world could this be, in the Land of "Freedom of Religion" which gave us the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th Century? How could the land which produced Jonathan Edwards; D.L. Moody; Mordecai Ham; Billy Sunday; Billy Graham; Franklin Graham and Francis Schaefer fail so horribly? 
We have the best seminaries, four bibles in every home and a Bible app on every phone. We have the richest mega-churches with the highest paid celebrity preachers. 
We have prosperity proponents with dozens of books in the Christian books store with their faces on every cover of every book. 
We have best light shows on Sunday morning with rock star "worship singers" and screaming vatos jamming $4000 Gibsons and Taylors at their rock concerts. 
We have pastors streaming himself live to 5 or 6 other "campuses" with the "message" on the jumbo TV screen while streaming in High Def around the world.

The smaller churches should not be left out either. We have the average church in America actually in the 65-85 person range, despite the more publicized mega-churches. Still these smaller churches are producing a sifted generation, most of whom are twice as much as future citizen of hell, as they are. While the larger churches stand out for obvious reason, many smaller and medium sized houses of worship major in hiding the Light of Christ under bushels, in violation of this verse. The words of Christ also exhorts us to "let your (our) light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify". Well something happened to this little light of yours and mine! 

Instead of being a Lighthouse to warn of the Judgment which is to come, the flickering little lights with little or no oil (the Holy Spirit), stay inside four walls on Sunday and live like the pagan brights of the culture the next 6 1/2 days.
Instead of "considering ourselves the corrector of the unwise and foolish" by teaching others about the Master and His Word, we, ourselves, have become the foolish.
Instead of being "the teacher of the immature", we play games with the Gospel and act irreverently in the House of the Lord. How can we teach immature Christians when we ourselves have no knowledge of the Attributes and Statutes of God, but can recite the batting average of the Chicago Cubs first baseman or how many passes Tom Brady threw in the Super Bowl?
Instead of attempting to understand the Laws of God and WHY He gave them (as a road map to keep us out of danger and trouble), we violate them to see how much we can get away with.

Is it any wonder then, as we violate almost everything which was written in these verses above - Romans 2: 18-20,  that less and less people want to be like us? The thing is, the goal is not to attempt to get people ACT, look, think, feel like us as fellow human beings. The goals for the lost and the world to see the Transformation which God has done in our lives through Christ, and want to emulate HIM, not us.  From the just revealed concrete evidence and statistics, we have failed our Father, Who art in Heaven.

Monday, May 11, 2015


American Heritage Girls (Berlin Christian Church) recite Lord's Prayer!

State Sen Sam McCann
 reads 2015 Proclamation
Rabbi & Bernie
with Shofar
Call to Prayer
The 10th Anniversary of  Business Men In Christ stewardship of the Annual Illinois State Capitol observance of the National Day of Prayer was not just a phenomenal success but an hour of God honoring praise, prayer and worship which exuded the Spirit of God all over the State Capitol Complex.

 No longer held on out in the elements on the steps of the Capitol but in the 500 seat Auditorium of the Illinois Secretary of State, in the same Capitol Complex, this event was covered in prayer for weeks which intensified in the days leading up to Thursday May 7.
Pastors Johnson, Yielding, Randall, Haworth  & Rabbi Z.
Ryan, Dawn & Hannah Mobley
 led our worship music
Pastor Will Haworth
Sherman 1st Nazarene
Pastor Nate Randall
Faith AME Church
A special thank you goes out to all who not only prayed for and supported us, but who called in, showed up and even worked at the old spot to send folks over to new location. We got special favor from Moody Bible Radio affiliate WLUJ 89.7 FM of Springfield, Illinois and the service was delayed broadcast during prime time at 8 pm. WLUJ Christian radio for Central Illinois have been with us from Day 1, back in 2006.  WCIC Christian radio of
Pastor Michael Henderson
Springfield First Baptist
Peoria/Bloomington/Springfield has included us in their priority list of Christian organizations, worthy of that temporary title. Thank you Jessie and Lisa up there in Peoria. Thank you to all the great prayer warriors and real friends like Cheryl Clinton Weaver, Earl Doc Powell, Brian Williams, Carla Raye Stafford and so many others too numerous to mention. 
Pastor Mark Johnson
Calvary Temple

Rabbi Michael Zeitler,
Celebrate Messiah Minisries
Thank you to Ryan and Dawn Mobley for being such a wonderful Godly family and for leading our worship music again this year. Thank you to the Special Event staff at the Illinois Secretary of State who manage the grounds of the state capitol. Thank you to all who prayed with us this year. Their photographs are included here with their names and churches. Most of all thank You God, for allowing this all to happen against all odds and for the family You gave me, for their love, support and blessings...it is all about Jesus, the Soon-coming King, Messiah, Ruler, Commander of Heaven's Armies and Lord of all, amen.
Alabama Preacher/Author Daniel Yielding now @
Atterberry Baptist in Petersburg asks
"Do we still trust IN GOD?" 
(Photos by Kathy Smith and Cheryl Weaver)


Sunday, May 10, 2015


"and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,  corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth". (Romans 2:18-20)
Reading this passage of Scripture in context (above), leads one to the obvious self-examination type of question: "are we, as the Body of Christ", all those things. 
Do we, in order of what is written here from Romans 2:
-  Know His Will
-  Approve things that are essential
- Remain confident in our solid knowledge of God's statutes
-  Consider ourselves a guide
- Consider ourselves a light to those who are in darkness
- Consider ourselves a "corrector of the foolish"
- Consider ourselves a "teacher of the immature"
- Understand the Law fully (AND The fulfillment of that Law- Jesus Christ) in order to proclaim Truth?

If we have failed in any, most or all of this, as Christians, then we, as a church have literally failed in our mission. The evidence is all around us that this is so. Regardless of our failure, in the west in all of those listed above, millions are still coming to saving Faith in Jesus in the persecuted church of China, Asia and those under the boots of islam. Failure by men, has never stopped those destined to the Domain of the Divine. 

Why has this happened? Why have we failed to, for instance "Know His Will"? His Will is clear and evident from Romans 12: 2 here "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect".

The Will of God is this - we do NOT become like the world. When you look at the church today and the impact on culture, community, education and political leadership, can you tell the difference between us and those who are not of Christ? No, the church has compromised itself completely out of influence.

We do not teach essential sound doctrine anymore, because we have bought the brainwashing of the world that we cannot "judge not less ye be judged", when Christ said more than this. He said to "take the log out of our own eye first" before making a "right judgment". This is called discernment. Weak church leadership and America's rich in earthly goods mega-pastors have gone silent on Truth and major in a false definition of "Love". Their teaching of "Love" includes things God never intended. Their buying of the lie and bait of Satan of this "Love" and tolerate anything has devastated the eternity of countless many. Love without Truth is deception. Truth is the unadulterated pure commands of Jesus Christ to Holiness, separation from this corrupt world.

There may be a reason why all of this mish-mash of their definition of life is not flying. These over-educated in seminary guys are actually not well verse in the true meaning, understanding and expounding of Scripture. Because of this lack of knowledge and lack of vision, God's people are perishing without Christ.
- Many church leaders and people of God do not consider themselves to be a guide when they already are. They are just not doing His Will nor His Work. A parent is supposed to raise up child and walk in the Deuteronomy 6 anointing. A man or woman of God is supposed to come alongside a brother or sisters and mentor or guide and direct them to the Cross and the Word.  The Great Commission from Matthew 28 tells us to "Go and Make Disciples", not make more buildings, fancy programs and useless stuff.

In this respect, we are not being proper guides to the Gospel of the Kingdom and more like the "blind guides" Jesus called the pharisees! 

"What is God's Will for My Life?
Check out this video: