Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Does It Matter If You Don't Feel Saved? ? (AA #8)

I remember raising my hand to become a Christian when I was eight years old.
However, Satan convinced me that I wasn’t saved because I didn’t “feel” saved.  And because I didn’t feel saved, I concluded that Christianity didn’t work for me.   As a teen I decided that if I was going to Hell, I would live like hell.  And for ten years I did. 
One night when I came to the end of my hopeless search for happiness, I read Romans 10:9.  “...if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 
I can do THAT.  I did, I was, and I am.  I still didn’t have a feeling of being saved, but I didn’t need it. Instead, I decided to rest on God’s promise. 
How about you?  Has Satan been lying to you?  Do you want to know you are saved? Read Romans 10:9 and believe it.
To help you grow in your faith, can I suggest checking out our Christian Music Challenge?
For music suggestions and more information, check out  

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Thought I Was Going To Die! (AA #7)

Back in my college days, I tried to body surf The Wedge in Newport Beach when the waves were nearly 20 feet tall.  I figured that if I surfed 3 to 5 foot waves - which are still over my head – the Wedge had the same shape, so I could surf these waves, too. 

When I saw the first wave get bigger and bigger and bigger until it looked like a liquid two-story building that would squash me like a bug, I dived under it.  I struggled against the undertow for about 30 minutes before I managed to reach the shore.  Surfing the Wedge looked much easier when I was sitting on the beach.

This experience reminds me of James 4:8, which says, “Come near to God, and he will come near to you.”

In the same way I had to draw near to the waves in order to give them their proper respect, we are commanded to approach God so that we can give Him the proper respect.  Christian music can help. 

For music suggestions and more information, check out  

Friday, August 22, 2014

You Need to Watch This Movie with Your Family

When the Game Stands Tall

by Al Menconi, for

I just watched the most inspiring movie, When the Game Stands Tall, that I have seen in a long time.  It’s the true story of De La Salle, a Catholic high school in Northern California that won 151 games in a row.  But the story, rather than focusing on the winning streak, concentrates on the response of the team to its first loss in more than 12 years. 

After reading all the mediocre reviews from the major reviewers before I entered the theater this morning, I suspected that the film must be an incredible failure or contain a spiritual and/or inspirational message that secular reviewers could not tolerate.  It was clearly the latter.  The film supplies a wonderful inspirational message. 

The lessons from Scripture pepper this story in a way that isn’t contrived or corny.  Christianity and the Bible are treated with a respect that I haven’t seen in a secular film in years.  The lesson of the movie is clear: the streak itself is secondary.  Instead, the players are asked, How will you handle adversity after you graduate?  How will you be serving the community after football? 

My wife saw the movie trailer on TV and decided to join me this morning – a pleasant surprise.  I was eager to hear her response because I know how much she normally dislikes watching sports and especially sports movies.  As the movie was wrapping up, I saw her wiping her eyes and asked if she was crying.  Her response floored me: “I’ve been crying throughout the whole movie. I loved it.” I didn’t admit that I was in tears during the whole movie as well. 

We were sitting next to a group of about 30 teenage boys who play on the local school football team.   They were riveted to the story and understood the message. I’m certain that their coach was pleased that his boys learned, “It’s not about you; it’s about the team.” 

Bottom line – if my wife will sit through a sports movie and get caught up in the emotion of the message, it is indeed a special film.  It grabbed my attention from the opening scene. I couldn’t believe that the action on the field was rehearsed, for it appeared to be real game action.  The acting was first-rate, the story true and powerful, the message biblical: love your neighbor; think of others as more important than yourself. 

I strongly urge you and your whole family to see the movie this week – and don’t wait for the DVD. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How Can I Really Be Happy? (AA #9)

C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “Where self begins, sorrow begins.”

That’s a diagnosis that explains most of our unhappy moments.

Am I angry? It’s usually because I am not getting what I want.

Am I resentful?  It’s usually because someone didn’t treat me the way I think they should.

Do I have self-pity? It’s usually because people just don’t appreciate me for all I do.

Am I bitter? It’s usually because I can’t believe that she or he, of all people, failed me this way!

Am I Happy? Content? Peaceful? --- That only happens when I learn to die to myself, live for God, and serve others!

Remember, where self begins, sorrow begins. Where self dies, joy begins.  Much of the time our entertainment choices encourage us to reflect on our selfish desires. 

Listening to Christian music can help change our focus.

 For music suggestions and more information, check out    

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You Undermining Your Relationship With Christ? (CMC #7)

How is your faith in Jesus?  Do you ever believe that you’ve lost your salvation?  Do you feel that you are “going through the motions” of Christianity without being certain it is even true? 

A Living Bible paraphrase of Colossians 2:8 issues this command: “Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas instead of on what Christ has said.”

Where do we find men’s wrong and shallow thoughts and ideas? Most TV shows, movies, video games, and contemporary music resonate with such thoughts and ideas.
I have two questions for you.  How is your faith in Jesus? And what are your entertainment choices? 

Could the philosophies that fill your mind have hampered your relationship with Jesus?  Can I suggest that you take the Christian Music Challenge by eliminating all negative entertainment choices and listening to Christian music exclusively for 30 days? 

For music suggestions and more information, check out

This article is taken from my new book, 
10 Biblical Principles To Find Peace In A Chaotic World.