Friday, March 27, 2009

Doing My Job While I Work

I had the wonderful blessing of sharing the faith while at work today. I have done this in the past but I distinctly felt like today's witnessing encounter was ordained by God. Granted, they are all ordained but this one was a bit different. Let me try and explain...

One or two days ago I was struck with the curious thought of why unbelievers in the past have often apologized for cussing around me. I sat and contemplated the possible reasons why that might happen. Is it merely a matter of respect? Are they just concerned that a Christian might be overly sensitive to vulgarities or is it something more? Maybe they feel convicted around us. Is it a visceral response to a person whom they perceive spiritually to be a representative of God? I thought it might be a little bit of both. While it had been some months since this last happened I thought I might considered how I should respond to an apology should it ever happen again.

Flip the calendar forward to today. This afternoon I stopped to speak with a coworker about some work related issues and during the course of the conversation he let a 4-letter word fly. Guess what he immediately did next? He apologized.

In a split second I determined that God was in this encounter. God had brought the very scenario that I was immediately involved in into my heart just days before. Realizing that the Holy Spirit had orchestrated this conversation gave me great boldness to witness.

So I immediately went into my line of questioning. It was a very short line as I only needed to ask one.

"Why did you just apologize?"

"Cause some religious people get offended by cussing."

"Funny it really doesn't offend me too much."

"None of it?"

"Well, yes actually. I do not like it when people blaspheme God?"

"What is blaspheming?"

"When you use God's name as a cuss-word. Have you ever done that? Said, 'Jesus Christ' or 'G. D.?'"

"Yeah but not too often. I sometimes say Jesus Christ when I hurt myself."

"Have you ever considered what you are doing when you do that?"

And that was the transitional point in the conversation.

We spoke for about 10 minutes from that point on about the Law and the Gospel. I could truly see the conviction of his sin and the fear of judgement upon him. He became fidgety and he tried to dodge the topic a few times but we were able to keep the conversation on point. It went very well and I am overjoyed that I was afforded the opportunity to share the Gospel with him while at work.

Witnessing on the job is almost as hard as witnessing to a family member.

Please pray for Scott.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Deborah 13: Servant of God

Late last year I posted a video on YouTube called "How to Make Your Child a False Convert". What you will see if you watch this video is an evangelistic invitation in which a pastor invites a room full of children to become Christians without explaining sin, Christ's atoning work on the cross, His death, or His resurrection. She simply has the children repeat an impotent prayer after which she popishly pronounces them saved.

For the most part the majority of the responses to the video were positive. I did however receive my fair share of negative commentary. Most of the negative comments revolved around a singular complaint; namely, that the speaker was addressing the audience at a level of their understanding. Therefore, my criticisms were unwarranted.

well considering she is talking to children and its really up to the parents to teach about God and salvation , I don't see any thing wrong in the video.pretty tame actually and sounded ok.

This is for kids remember. She just talks to them in a language they understand!!Give it a rest whith those stupid comments!!!


In response to the video I wrote an article which I entitled "How To Not Make Your Child a False Convert". In it I argued that children are much brighter and have a much greater capacity to understand than we give them credit. I contended that while we should use age appropriate language when proselytizing children we should not remove those essential elements that actually make the Gospel good news. The children can get it!

Consider Deborah Drapper. Deborah was saved at 6 years old and is now 13. Watch this short biography on Deborah and you decide if you think that this young girl has the mental capability to understand the doctrines of Salvation.

To view the full length video please hit the following link: Deborah13:Servant of God

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Marriage and Men

Jesus is the only perfect man to ever live. Because most men fail to look to Him as our example, there exists 2 extremes in men: chauvinism and cowardice. Pastor Mark Driscoll preaches to men about being real men who love God and serve their family well in this sermon from Trial.


1. Your father: Adam (Genesis 1–3)
Marriage is a covenant (Prov. 2:16; Mal. 2:14).
Men are the covenant head, responsible for their wife and family (Gen. 2:18; 5:2; 1 Cor. 11:2–16, 14:33–34; Eph. 5:21–33; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:3–5; 1 Pet. 3:1).
Adam and Eve both sinned, both are at fault, and both are cursed, but God held Adam responsible (Gen. 3:9).
Marriage is cursed (Gen. 3:16). Work is cursed (Gen. 3:17–19). Jesus is the only hope (Gen. 3:15).

2. Your Manhood
Like Adam, the sins of men fall into two general categories: sins of comission (doing what you’re not supposed to do) and sins of omission (not doing what you’re supposed to do). This leads chauvinistic or cowardly tendencies:


No Sissy Stuff Sam: whatever women do, do the opposite

Success and Status Stewart: masculinity = material success

Give’em Hell Hank: angry and abusive

I’m the Boss Bob: domineering and controlling; in authority, not under authority

Little Boy Larry: never grew up, disorganized, lives with his mother, etc.

Sturdy Oak Owen: absolutely dependable but emotionally absent

Hyper-Spiritual Henry: Hides behind religious behavior and “God talk.” Talks at you but not to you.

Good Time Gary: irresponsible life of the party

3. Your Savior: Jesus Christ (the Last Adam, 1 Cor. 15:45)
Ephesians 5:25 calls men to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Men are not ready to be good husbands until they are a part of the Church and understand how Christ loves the Church by taking responsibility for her and sacrificing himself for her.

The essence of true masculinity is taking responsibility.

4. Your Wife
Understand that a wife’s fears (1 Pet. 3:6) are legitimate; men dominate the lives of women and children, for good or for evil. Honor your wife:

Honor her maritally. Take a wife honorably. Establish right priorities, and be a one woman man–absolutely faithful to your wife.

Honor her physically. Be strong for your wife, not against her. Be protective of her and present with her.

Honor her emotionally. Be emotionally present and intimate. Take her on dates.

Honor her verbally. Speak honorably to her. Speak honorably of her, when she is present and absent.

Honor her financially. Provide for the financial needs of your family, organize your budget, and be generous towards your wife.

Honor her practically. Consider her needs and how you can serve her.

Honor her parentally. Be “Pastor Dad” by shepherding your children (praying with them, teaching them about Jesus, reading the Bible with them, etc.).

Honor her spiritually. You initiate and lead prayer, Bible, chats, church attendance, etc. Take responsibility for your church.
What happens when you fail to honor your wife? God ignores you (1 Pet. 3:7). Repent.

Further Study:

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, by Wayne Grudem and John Piper
God, Marriage, and the Family, by Andreas Kostenberger
New Men, Soft Patriarchs: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands, by W. Bradford Wilcox
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fallacy of Relevancy

So, what's wrong with this picture?


Josh Elsom captured this moment; and a picture is worth a thousand words.
The picture reminds me of the old Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the others. Which one is different? Do you know?"Four kids on bikes. Their bikes are similar. Their clothing is similar. Their hats and sunglasses are similar. And standing in the midst of those four kids, proclaiming the Law and the Gospel, is Mark Mackey--a 57-year-old bread truck driver and evangelist.

Mark doesn't look like the people to whom he is speaking. He isn't dressed like them. He's old enough to be their father. And he doesn't have a spiffy BMX bike so that he can relate to them.
What Mark has, however, is of far greater value and is far more powerful than relevancy. The reason Mark was able to engage these four young people in spiritual conversation is simple, really. Mark loves God and loves people.

Mark long ago realized that he didn't have to be "of" the world in order to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unlike so many so-called ministries these days that cater to the worldliness of the lost, Mark is modeling Christ-likeness in his evangelism efforts by speaking the truth in love.

Yes, it is true that those kids would have remembered Mark had he rode up to them on his own BMX bike, sporting the hair, clothing, and backward hat of a person 1/4 his age. They would have remembered how silly and unauthentic he looked.

Instead, what those kids will likely remember is that an older guy who they will never likely see again cared enough about them to speak honestly and lovingly to them about the things of God.
And it is the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not worldly relevance, that the Lord uses to draw unbelievers to repentance and faith.

Thanks for your godly example, Mark.

-Tony Miano
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Protecting Our Idols

What pops into your head when you hear the word "idol"? The first thing that may come to many of our minds might be a small figurine carved out of wood or ivory and placed on an altar. Or a statue adorned with jewelry or flowers with incense burning on either side. In many cultures and religions that would be an accurate definition of an idol. The Hindu religion for instance has hundreds of millions of these idols which are ascribed deity.

In the West our idols look much different. They look like office buildings, bank accounts, sports teams, televisions, or even family. You see an idol does not have to be carved out of wood it can be carved out of the heart. An idol is simply anything that you pay obeisance to. It is the thing you work for, the thing which you invest in, the thing you love, and that you sacrifice for. Idolatry happens when a gift of God is esteemed higher than God Himself, the giver of gifts.

Idols are the objects which we attempt to guard when they are endangered. When something or someone threatens our idol we sin to protect it. For instances people will lie on their 1040A to protect their bank account, they will spend 80 hours a week at work to further their career, and they will tear down a friend to protect their idol of pride.

People will do the most unbelievable things to protect their idols. Consider the following story published this morning in the AP.

More women needing cash go from jobless to topless

By KAREN HAWKINS, Associated Press Writer Karen Hawkins, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 23, 12:01 am ET

CHICAGO – As a bartender and trainer at a national restaurant chain, Rebecca Brown earned a couple thousand dollars in a really good week. Now, as a dancer at Chicago's Pink Monkey gentleman's club, she makes almost that much in one good night.

The tough job market is prompting a growing number of women across the country to dance in strip clubs, appear in adult movies or pose for magazines like Hustler.

Employers across the adult entertainment industry say they're seeing an influx of applications from women who, like Brown, are attracted by the promise of flexible schedules and fast cash. Many have college degrees and held white-collar jobs until the economy soured.

"You're seeing a lot more beautiful women who are eligible to do so many other things," said Gus Poulos, general manager of New York City's Sin City gentleman's club. He said he got 85 responses in just one day to a recent job posting on Craigslist.

The transition to the nightclub scene isn't always a smooth one — from learning to dance in five-inch heels to dealing with the jeers of some customers.

Some performers said they were initially so nervous that only alcohol could calm their nerves.
"It is like giving a speech, but instead of imagining everyone naked, you're the one who's naked," Brown, 29, said.

Eva Stone, a 25-year-old dancer at the Pink Monkey, said dealing with occasional verbal abuse from patrons requires "a thick skin."

Makers of adult films cautioned that women shouldn't rush into the decision to make adult movies without considering the effect on their lives.

"Once you decide to be an adult actress, it impacts your relationship with everyone," said Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of adult film giant Vivid Entertainment Group. "Once you make an adult film, it never goes away."

The women at the Pink Monkey say dancing at a strip club might not have been their first career choice, but they entered the business with their eyes wide open. The job gives them more control and flexibility than sitting in a cubicle, and "it's easy, it's fun and all of us girls ... look out for each other," Brown said.

In this economy, "desperate measures are becoming far more acceptable," said Jonathan Alpert, a New York City-based psychotherapist who's had clients who worked in adult entertainment.
For some, dancing is temporary, a way to pay for college loans or other bills. Others say they've found their niche.

Dancers at the upscale Rick's Caberet clubs in New York City and Miami can make $100,000 to $300,000 a year — in cash — even with the economic downturn, club spokesman Allan Priaulx said.

Priaulx said 20 to 30 women a week are applying for jobs at the New York club, double the number of a year ago.

Still, analysts say, the industry isn't immune to the economic recession. Business is down an estimated 30 percent across all segments, including adult films, gentleman's clubs, magazines and novelty shops, said Paul Fishbein, president of AVN Media Network, an adult entertainment company that has a widely distributed trade publication and an award show.

"In the past, people have said this industry is recession-proof," said Eric Wold, director of research for financial services firm Merriman Curhan Ford. "I definitely don't see that; maybe recession-resistant."

Strip club dancers and managers said they're drawing in the same number of customers, but fewer high rollers.

"They're not getting the big spenders," said Angelina Spencer, executive director of the Association of Club Executives, a trade group for adult nightclubs. "They're not getting the guys who come in and drop $3,000 to $4,000 a night anymore."
Still, the clubs' operating structure leaves them with low overhead and profit margins of up to 50 percent, Wold said.

Dancers are independent contractors, paying clubs a nightly flat fee depending on how long they work. At the Pink Monkey, for example, dancers who arrive at 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday pay a $40 "house fee," while women who don't arrive until midnight pay $90. And they keep their tips.

Wold and others say it's almost impossible to estimate the size of the adult entertainment industry because few companies are publicly traded. He does pay close attention to three that are: Lakewood, Colo.-based VCG Holding and Houston-based Rick's Caberet, which own clubs, and New Frontier Media, a Boulder, Colo.-based adult film producer and distributor.
All three are profitable.

Rick's Caberet had $60 million in revenue in its 2008 fiscal year, up from $32 million the year before, Wold said, and he estimates VCG will have $57 million for last year, compared with $40.5 million in FY2007. New Frontier Media generates more than $400 million in consumer buying a year.

Larry Flynt, whose half-billion dollar Hustler empire publishes magazines, produces and distributes films and operates a casino, said he's continued to do well. But he doesn't expect those who are solely in the film business to survive.

"A lot of the small studios are out of business now, there's no doubt about that," Flynt said.
Adult magazines also are struggling along with the larger publishing industry, and have to cut pages like everyone else.

But the economic realities aren't keeping jobseekers away.
Vivid Entertainment's Hirsch said the number of women in his business has doubled in the last couple years, with roughly 800 working as adult actresses. "It is more competitive than I've seen it in 25 years," he said.

That doesn't mean all the newcomers are planning on lengthy careers in the industry.
Stone, who has a bachelor's degree in graphic design, took up dancing four years ago to help pay her student loans. She plans to go to graduate school this year to pursue a master's in education.
Brown, meanwhile, has a ready answer for those critical of her career choice.

"I have job security," she said.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bobby Schott

1 Corinthians 1:21 tells us that," pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe." and in verse 27 of the same chapter that,"God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong..."

God is in the business of taking weak vessels and using them for His glory. He uses the shepherd boy to defeat the giant, the farmer with an army of 300 to defeat a nation, and rag tag group of 12 to change the world. Such is the case of Bobby Schott.

Please watch the following video and consider how God uses the most unlikely people to do the most amazing things for His Kingdom.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Christ's Only Prayer Request

Did you know that Jesus made only one request for prayer in the Scriptures?

Yep, and it is found in Matthew 9:37-38.

Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Sadly this is a prayer which is woefully neglected in the hearts of most professing followers of Jesus Christ. Why do we not pray with great sincerity to the Lord to send more laborers into the harvest? There can only be three reasons; ignorance, apathy, or self-preservation.

First, one may have no knowledge that this request has been made by our Lord. This state of ignorance would indeed be temporary, of course. For if one knows what he has been saved from and how he has been saved from it then his conscience would demand that something be done. Intuitively the regenerate man will pray for laborers to be dispatched into the world.

Second, the professing christian may be apathetic to this request. They simply do not care whether other people (neighbors, friends, or family) are saved from the wrath of God. They may claim with great passion that they care but in the deepest parts of the heart they do not. This is a very dangerous place to live by the way. Charles Spurgeon said,"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that."

The third reason that this prayer fails to be uttered is because of self-preservation. Understand, there is no way that this prayer can be honestly spoken without taking action. How can one genuinely pray for laborers to be sent while sitting on one's own hands? It can not be done, the faithful child of God knows who they are and knows to what they have been called. The carnal man may know as well but still refuse to execute faithfully that which is required of his commission. So because of the burdening of the conscience this third man will not pray the request of his Lord. He knows that praying this prayer for laborers would implicate him in his lack of zeal for the lost. He would therefore rather remain quite, exclude the prayer for laborers, and remain safely planted in his home. There is no suffering for the sake of Christ for this one. There is no mockery for the one who does not move, there are no stones thrown at those who do not speak, and there is no burning stake for those who do not love.

You know the only safe person of these three would be the one who is ignorant, but if you've read this far then you no longer have an excuse.

So pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He would send more laborers into the fields; that is, in addition to you.
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