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Are There Sharks Here?

Shark 1

In 1975, the Steven Spielberg – directed mega-hit movie Jaws terrorized theaters all over the world, and life at the beach would never be the same. For years to follow, people thought twice before setting foot in the water. Over the next decade, several sequels followed, with each Jaws being bigger, scarier, and more deadly than the one before. Since then, other filmmakers have followed suit with shark-related thrillers such as Deep Blue Sea, Open Water, and many more. In recent years, one of the biggest weeks annually for The Discovery Channel is the much-hyped Shark Week — a week of programming that focuses primarily on sharks and the study of these deadly beasts.

Recently, Paulette and I were spending a few days in Destin, FL, following a visit with her mother.

great_white_sharkWe were enjoying a day at the beach… umbrella, lounge chairs, perfect weather, and a good book. At one point, I decided to go in the unusually calm and beautifully clear waters for a swim. As I waded in the shallows, I soon noticed a little girl around 7-years-old standing not far away. She had on a sun hat and looked at me somewhat concerned. She called out…

“Are there sharks out here today?!?!”

I was a little taken aback by her question, but soon observed she was quite serious.

I called back, “No, I don’t think so.”

She said to me, “You know they bite children.”

“Yes,” I said, “but I do not see any here”.

She then gave me — the obvious pushover granddaddy type — an order.

“You watch for them while I play,” she said.

“Yes ma’am,” I dutifully replied..

As I splashed around, she never got more than about ten feet away. True to my word, I spent around 45 minutes watching for sharks. As I made my way out of the water, she followed, not wanting to be in the sea without her “shark watcher”.

“Bye!” she called out. “I’ll be back tomorrow!”

Later, as I contemplated the time spent with my new friend, this parallel came to my mind.

Who will watch our kids and grandkids? Who will keep them safe
from the “sharks” in this world we are leaving them?

Think about it… a corrupt culture in moral decline, predators, Islamic terror, drugs, gender confusion, demonic attacks, and unstable family situations. The very places children should feel safe, they often don’t. The very people they should trust to keep them safe, they sometimes can’t.

Who will be there for all their tomorrows?  Who will watch while they grow, play, and learn?

The family should be the first line of protection and nurturing for young minds and hearts. Schools and safe communities should be places where children should be able to go without fear of physical or mental abuse and injury, or immoral and Godless indoctrination.

Yet, may I say that we in the church must be there so that the next generation can discover the beauty of God’s ocean and world while some of us watch for the sharks. We need to help young parents “train up their children in the way they should go” — God’s way — “so that when they are old, they don’t depart from it.”

We need to be the Lifeguards at the pool of society.

We need to be the Shark Watchers on the shark-infested sea of life.

We need to be the Watchmen (and women) on the Wall of a culture filled with predators and pitfalls.


I said to my little friend (whose parents were telling her to leave that poor man alone)…

“Yes dear… if I see you tomorrow, I will watch for the sharks.”

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The Way of an Eagle

KS77759From references in Scripture to it’s place as our national symbol, it is obvious that the eagle is very highly regarded.

Why is that?

Consider a few facts about eagles:

  • When eagles mate, they mate for life.
  • Eagles are very protective of their families.
  • When eagles grow old, they return to the rock of their birth.
  • After an eagle’s 60th year, it appears young once again.

Do you think you’ve missed your call in life? Are you worn out, and think you’ve outlived your usefulness? Is “purpose” a word that you believe is a thing of the past?

Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to throw in the towel. Before you do, can I ask you to do two things for me?

#1: Consider this verse…

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

#2: Watch this video…

My prayer is that after watching this, you will find your strength renewed like the eagle, and understand that with God, faithfulness, perseverance, and persistence are qualities that far outweigh the superficial qualities (money, fame, looks, etc) that the world tells us gives an individual worth.

Keep on soaring!

Pastor Ron

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A Midnight Stranger

“Well… that was a close one!”

How many times have you heard that said? How many times have you said it yourself?

We may never know how many accidents, injuries, and “near misses” we have had in our lifetimes. We may never know how many times we have received angelic counsel from a quiet “impression”, a “still, small voice”, or a stranger who may have, in fact, been an angel. Hebrews 13:1-2 says:

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.

In my book Our Invisible Allies (Charisma House), I convey one such story…

It happened just past midnight on March 26, 1993, to Vincent Tan, and analytical chemist  who works in Chattanooga, TN.

Vincent was born Tan Ban Soon in Singapore, of Chinese Buddhist parents. A few years ago as a young boy in Singapore, he was in the library reading a book on nuclear physics and discovered an offer for a Bible course stuck between some pages. He ordered the course and later became a Christian. He came to the U.S. to attend a Christian college, then gave himself the Western name of Vincent. After four years, he graduated with a major in science. He has been very active in his church and in sharing his faith.

On the night of Thursday, March 25, 1993, Vincent was working late in his laboratory to complete tests due on Friday. During the evening he moved his car close to the front door of the building, since there had recently been criminal activity in the area. From time to time, he looked out the window into the almost empty parking lot to check on his car. At 1:30a.m., he finished working in his lab. As he was preparing to lock the door, he saw a person standing by the passenger side of his car. Vincent assumed the man was trying to steal his car. He noted that the stranger was of medium build with clean-cut, straight hair and had on a T-shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. Unsure what to do, he went back into the lab and prayed, “Lord, help me to do what I have to do. Do I have to use chi-sao?” (Chi-sao (pronounced “chee’-sow-o”) is a form of martial art in which Vincent is proficient.)

To be extra safe, he looked around the lab and picked up an 18-inch metal rod, held it behind him, and stuck his head out the door. He said, “Hi, can I help you?”

The stranger answered, “Hi, Vincent.”

Startled, Vincent asked, “Do I know you?”

The stranger replied, “Not really.”

“What is your name? Who are you?” Vincent probed.

The stranger said, “I have the name of your primary and secondary school.” He added, “I’m a friend. You don’t have to use chi-sao or the rod on me.”

His voice had unusual authority, and it seemed he knew the question before it was asked.  Now Vincent was really startled. No one, not even his best friend in this country, was familiar with chi-sao, nor did anyone even know that he knew it. Also, there was no way the stranger could have seen the rod behind his back.

Vincent later reflected that the stranger had used terminology (“primary and secondary school”) of Singapore and not the U.S., and that the name of his school back in Singapore was St. Gabriel. The stranger was saying his name was Gabriel!

“How do you know that?” Vincent asked.Angels

“I know,” the stranger replied. “By the way, Mum is fine.”

Vincent was startled again. Just the week before, his sister had called from Singapore saying that his mother had heart complications, and Vincent had been quite worried about her.

Gabriel continued, “You love the Lord very much, don’t you?”

“That’s right,” Vincent replied.

“He loves you very much too,” Gabriel said. Then he added, “He is coming very, very soon.” He seemed to emphasize the “very soon.”

Vincent answered, “That’s great!”

Gabriel then asked, “Can I have a cup of water?”

Vincent said, “Sure,” and turned momentarily to get him the water. Then he decided to invite the stranger inside to drink from the water fountain. He turned back to invite him inside — but Gabriel was not there. He had suddenly and inexplicably vanished! Vincent had not turned his head for more than three seconds.

There was no place for the stranger to have gone. Puzzled, and not wanting to go back into the lab, Vincent laid the metal rod down by the front door and headed to his home outside of Chattanooga. When he came back to work later that morning, he wondered if he had dreamed the whole experience. As a scientist, he wanted to prove whether it had really happened. When he got to the building, he found the metal rod lying by the door just where he had left it. He knew he had not been dreaming. Upon entering the lab, the first thing he did was to lock himself in the restroom and kneel in prayer. “Show me what to do Lord. I know what I remember, If I’m supposed to share it, I must believe it myself,” Vincent pleaded. He then sat down at his computer and recorded every word said, and everything that had happened.

That night, March 26, 1993, in a dream Vincent relived the whole experience, seeing himself and, word for word, hearing the whole conversation. He awoke at about 3:30a.m. and wrote down every word in the dream and the description of the stranger. What he wrote from the dream confirmed every detail he had written earlier. Also, a week after the experience, he learned that his mother had received needed surgery and was recuperating nicely — and that the medical decision about her improved condition came a week earlier at about the very same hour as he was talking with Gabriel!

On July 29, 1993, Vincent was asked what effect this experience has had on him. He said he believes more strongly now that we should be ready every day for the Lord’s coming, and not worry about which day He will come. He said the experience has intensified his dedication, causing him to spend more devotional time than before, wanting to know more about God and be closer to Him. For some time, even before that experience, Vincent said he had been asking God, “Am I ready, right now?”

Now more meaningfully than ever, this writer is asking that same question.

Would you like to find out more about angels… where they came from, how they operate, and how you can activate them in your life? Click here for more information about my book, Our Invisible Allies.