Yes Mr. Trump. There Are Evangelicals In Cuba


Donald Trump needs to update his data if he’s going to understand the world of 2016. At least as far as the Christian world goes.

Before the Iowa caucuses he asserted that there aren’t many evangelical Christians from Cuba. At one time that may have been true.

Now, one of the most powerful revivals in the world is shaking the island.

The economic crisis of the 1990’s after the fall of the Iron Curtain helped kick off the move of God. Evangelicals have exploded in number from around 70,000 to, according to some estimates, nearly a million in 2016.

That’s tending towards ten percent of the population of the country.

One denomination’s experience can shed light on what’s happening. US Assemblies of God Superintendent, George Wood, reports what Cuban leaders told him on a recent trip.

In the late 1980’s God began to demonstrate his power in an unusual way in Cuba by signs and wonders. Wood says he personally met a pastor’s wife who was raised from the dead. Continue reading

Do You Misunderstand While Speaking the Same Language?


Have you ever noticed that people who speak the same language are often speaking a different language?

For example, there is preacher language. For normal people, “just five more minutes, please,” means five more minutes, 300 seconds. For your pastor, five more minutes means … well it could mean a lot of things, but be sure of one thing. It’s never less than five minutes.

When preachers speak we love to say, “In conclusion,” or “I’ve got to hurry.” Roughly interpreted that means, “If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.” People wake up when I say, “In conclusion.” It makes them so happy that I conclude a lot when I’m preaching. I like to make people happy.

I’ve also found that you can honestly say, “For my last point,” and keep going a long time. You don’t have to tell them that there are fifteen sub points under that last point. And after that there are some more conclusions. Continue reading

Five Strategies for Sleeping In Church Without Getting Caught

I’ve noted this before but I’ve often wondered why is it that when I preach, an hour seems like ten minutes and when someone else preaches, ten minutes seem like an hour.

Whatever the reason, it leads me to some gymnastics, especially when I’m tired. I sit quietly in my place, pushing up my eyelids as if they were 50-pound weights, trying to stay awake.

(Actually, the pastor is the only one who doesn’t appreciate you sleeping. Everyone else thinks it’s funny—with the possible exception of your wife.)

Do you have enough muscles in your eyelids to shove them open for 40 minutes? If not, here are some strategies for sleeping in church without getting caught. Continue reading

Are You Holding a Million-Dollar Vase (or a Blue-light Special?)

So, guys, imagine that one day you follow your wife into this porcelain store. You’re doing your good husband thing because you were in a marriage seminar in your church last week.

They told you that there is a world outside of football on television.They suggested you share an experience with the love of your life–something that she likes to do.

That’s why you’re here. While she seriously peruses the merchandise you look around, a bit lost. “I saw this one at Walmart for $2.95,” you say to yourself as you pick up a blue vase.

vase“Kind of pretty,” you say to yourself, when suddenly you hear a shrill voice cry out, “Sir, don’t handle the merchandise!”, followed by the voice of your lady who is more succinct, “Put that down! That’s a Chinese Han Dynasty vase from 200 B.C. It costs $200,000!”

You stagger as you hear this and the vase falls from your hands. Hearts leap into throats all around the shop but your old baseball instincts leap into action and you bend swiftly and catch it before it hits the floor.  (Flickr, creative commons, Xuan Che china ceramics – dragon and phoenix pot Palace Museum, Beijing.) Continue reading

My Meeting With Two Grumpy Old Men

I may have met a couple of famous people, sitting on a park bench in Provins, France last week.

You know those two old guys on the Muppet Show? The ones who sit in the balcony and make smart-aleck comments to each other about whatever the others are doing?

Them. Or maybe it wasn’t them but these fellows sure made me think of them ( Only watch this after you finish the Coffee Stain!)

We were in the midst of an outreach talking to people about the Lord. I approached these two old fellows, both pushing 80 I think, sitting on a bench during one of our rare sunny afternoons.

One of them turned a bit nasty when I mentioned God. I remained polite but I wanted to know what had happened to him to make him so bitter against God.

He just made the face of a fellow sucking on a lemon and ordered me to leave before he ordered me to leave.

I know he meant to offend me. Some people are scary when they’re like that, but he struck me as funny because he reminded me of the Muppet Show geezers. Continue reading