Nov 202015

MYOA Book1 Cover-4jThe door was open and the frigid air was overtaking my electric blanket quickly.

That wasn’t what troubled me, not what awoke me…that’s been a normal thing every winter since Miss Kitty adopted me.

What troubled me was that Miss Kitty was not asleep at my side but had opened the door and left.

She had not done so in weeks.

She had spent all day and all night sleeping on the bed as she recovered from a fractured pelvis, often with the help of pain killers.

She could only walk a few feet without laying down, couldn’t jump at all, and was helpless to defend herself.

For her sake we had been inseparable.

She took all her meals in my bed.

When she needed to use the “restroom” I carried her outside and patiently waited for her to overcome the pain enough to do her business, then carried her back in.

Sometimes I would carry her out and just sit in the sun with her…she is an outdoor cat and needed that comfort.

At night she would get as close as possible and sleep without moving

She had gone mute through the ordeal…no purrs, or meows, or chirps from what had been the most “verbal cat” I’ve ever had.

Now she was outside somewhere in the dark and cold and unable to tell me where.

If it’s cold for you, it’s cold for them, and I was freezing.

Just as I was pulling on my sweats to go find her, she walked in, jumped on the bed, and let forth a hearty “MEOW!”

That was her way of announcing “I’m ok now”.

Since then, she goes in and out as usual, jumps on my lap and jumps on the bed….just a tad more gingerly than before.

She roams the neighborhood speaking with the other cats or simply sitting in one of her “hideouts” with the sun on her face.

I’m beyond happy and grateful that she’s recovering and feeling like her old, ornery independent, self.

Except…I miss having  her always around.

Because she needed me to be, we have been together constantly.

We learned to trust each other in ways that we never had before.

Now, I’m just part of a much broader feline life.

I’ve been praying that God would deliver me from the need to spend every moment counting on Him.

I’ve learned to trust Him…because I had no other choice.

He has been my constant companion.

It’s never dawned on me that this may be the only way I’ll spend any time with Him.

It still hasn’t dawned on me that He may actually enjoy my company.

I’m a “cat person” in more ways than one…

Make your own application…


Nov 192015

wmns_gfaOne of our readers sent an email to former Gospel For Asia board member Skip Heitzig exhorting him to warn the church about the issues with the charity.

The email is pointed, yet intelligent and respectful.

Dear Pastor Heitzig,

I hope and pray that this message makes it to you and is not filtered out before it would even reach your attention.

I am writing to you in regards to Gospel for Asia.  I have attended Calvary Chapel of (edited) for almost ten years now and several years ago my wife and I began sponsoring two children through GFA after hearing K.P. Yohannan speak during a service.  Over the past year, I became very disappointed and discouraged to learn of the widespread corruption present in GFA, most especially from top leadership and K.P.  We stopped our support of GFA several months ago after learning of the depths of lies, deception, and wrongdoing within the organization.

I also know that until very recently, you were a board member of GFA.  Although I have not seen any information anywhere as to your reasons for resigning from the board, I believe I can make a safe assumption that your resignation was closely related to the current ongoings of GFA.   Ongoings such as the termination of ECFA membership and the discovery of and continued revealing of wrongdoing and corruption within the organization.  If my assumption is incorrect, you are free to correct me.

Now, the reason I am writing is to ask you and to implore you to speak out about the wrongs of GFA.  Wrongs, that up to this point, GFA has been publicly unwilling to admit to, or at best, minimize.  GFA has caused much harm in their financial improprieties, abuse of staff, deceptive behaviors, and bullying tactics, amongst other wrongdoing.  As Christians, we have a moral imperative to look out for the welfare of others, most especially when we have the power to do so.  As having been on the board, you must know more of the corruption of GFA than most other people.  You also have multiple large platforms within the church and the evangelical world from which you can speak.  I implore you to speak out about GFA and warn the Christian body about this organization.  You are a shepherd.  Please try to protect the sheep from the wolf within their midst.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I hope and pray to hear news in the near future of your sounding the alarm about Gospel for Asia and K.P. Yohannan.

Sincerely in Christ,

Here is the response our reader received;

Thank you for contacting us here at Connection Communications and thanks for writing to Pastor Skip. We always love to hear from you.

One of the assistant pastors here at Calvary Albuquerque, has responded to your email.

Dear (edited),

My name is Nelson Walker and I am an assistant pastor on staff here at Calvary Albuquerque.  On behalf of Pastor Skip and Connection Communications, I’ll be answering your question.

As you are aware, Pastor Skip is no longer on the board of GFA.

Many allegations have been made against GFA and many defenses have been offered by GFA; the internet is abuzz with people with a variety of opinions.   But, to this point, everything seems to be in the “he said / she said” category.   Therefore, anything said pro or con would be premature.

The scenario necessary for resolution is for GFA to agree to some type of outside respected person or organization to do a fact finding investigation with results and action steps being developed based on findings.  Until such an outside entity has performed such a task, anything said would be answering something before the entirety of the matter has been examined.  This, as you know, would be unbiblical.

Your assumption, from your email, is that GFA is guilty of wrong.   

This assumption, to my knowledge, has not been investigated and substantiated by and independent entity.  Rather, this is an allegation assumed true.

 Therefore, before calling on other ministers to publically criticize another ministry, the onus is upon those who are launching the initial allegations to bring independent investigation for verification of all facts.  Such an independent report would in and of itself shed light to the entirety of the situation.

One way to stay in touch is through our website: Here you will find The Connection broadcast archives, Pastor Skip’s Teaching Library, our online Resource Store, plus a directory of the national and international broadcasts of The Connection.  You can also use this website to contact us with any questions, comments, or prayer requests that you may have.

It is our prayer that God will continue to reveal Himself to you through His Word as you seek to know Him.

In His Service,

Nelson Walker

Assistant Pastor

Calvary Albuquerque

Well, there you have it.

Skip Heitzig will not affirm that he left the board of GFA because he saw any wrongdoing.

All of the evidence presented by Warren Throckmorton and the GFA Diaspora is nothing more than “he said/she said”.

Evidently, the Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability is not “independent” enough to be considered legitimate by Heitzig.

The responsibility to expose any malfeasance rests solely on those bringing the charges, not on those who have already seen the operation from the inside.

Heitzig will remain silent except to diminish the concerns and intentions of those seeking answers.

Feel free, however, to visit Pastor Skips online store if you have further questions…

Make your own application…

Nov 192015

vancouver-protest.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxMy newsfeed is full of articles and memes debating the Syrian refugee crisis.

Most of these miss the real issues out of a fear of being tagged with some unholy descriptor of the authors character.

I’ve already been called everything in the book, so I will use that gift as a freedom to speak.

These people scare the hell out of us.

There, that wasn’t so tough.

If what we saw arriving on our shores were women, children, and the elderly, those fears would be somewhat abated.

However, what we are seeing arrive are lots of men in their twenties who look like they actually use their gym membership.

Where did the wife and kids go?

The fear is justified.

Some of these people think that they are serving God and storing up sexual favors in heaven by killing us.

That’s a tough benefit package to top.

Some have no intention of doing us harm…but we have no way to discern which are which.

All religious ideologies are not created equally.

It’s not Franciscan monks or radical Carmelite nuns that blew up and shot up hundreds of people in various locations last week.

Islamic ideology has been at war with the West for decades.

To ignore this fact isn’t compassionate, it’s hating all those who are affected by this evil.

There is no one among those who will cry “bigot” at me who would want to live for five minutes in an Islamic country.

Please do not think that mentioning Christian sanctioned violence is an intelligent retort.

Christians have historically done similar things…but the key here is the word “historically”.

No one anywhere is living in fear of being bombed by charismatics or having their throat cut by Lutherans.

We bear some responsibility as a nation to act because we helped create this mess.

That responsibility must be held in tension with the responsibility of the state to protect it’s citizens.

The priority is protection, but that does not negate of finding other avenues to be of assistance.

Some Christians will choose to act in sacrificial compassion.

That is a good and holy act…but none of us have the right to endanger our neighbors without their consent to welcome the stranger.

Jesus may have called you to martyrdom, but so far He hasn’t mentioned it to me.

We have our own mass migration to worry about.

The migration of the poor and those fleeing violence from Central America and Mexico to here over the last thirty years dwarfs what is happening in Europe now.

Our government and media have consistently lied about both the causes of this migration and it’s size.

The government always does what is politically expedient, not what will serve migrants, refugees, and the people of this country.

I’m simply not willing to risk the welfare of my family and my neighbors family for political expedience.

What would Jesus do?

First He would instruct them that they are worshipping a false god and their souls are in danger of hell.

Jesus wasn’t big on religious freedom… I know that’s a shock, but I’ve read the whole book.

He would move in mercy and compassion and offer Himself…just as His followers have done for two thousand years.

They will continue to do so…by their choice , without risking lives other than their own.

He calls us to compassion and mercy as well…but He does not call us to careless neglect of others freedom and safety.

Our government needs to give us ways to help the least of these without endangering ourselves or our neighbors.

Nov 182015

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aOn Wednesdays we encourage people to advocate for the release of Saeed Abedini.

We ask that you change your Facebook profile picture to his and that you “like”  the “Free Saeed” Facebook page and participate in some of the activities that promote his cause.

We ask…that you remember him and his family in prayer…and that you refuse to give up on efforts to secure his release.

We will continue to do so until he is released.

The allegations of spousal abuse by his wife do not change the fact that Abedini is being unjustly held in a foreign prison for his faith.

The reactions to those allegations have followed the same course as is usual when dealing with well known Christians.

One group will deny the allegations are true and insist that the wicked media has created them from whole cloth.

Their heroes must be sinless and pure, modern day saints who have yet to be beatified.

Because they have done the beatification in their minds already, they will allow no information or evidence to taint their beatific vision.

These people are rank idolaters.

They will continue to support a fallen Christian, not for his sake, but for theirs.

Another group will discard the fallen one immediately.

They too demand that their heroes be sinless and pure, but they will do so because they believe they are practically holy and their leaders must be too.

These people are the modern day Pharisees who have removed any sort of spiritual mirror from their lives.

Both sides deny the faith once delivered.

Between these extremes there will be those who know the Gospel…who know that we are all sinners saved by grace and we remain sinners kept by grace until we get home.

We do not diminish the allegations against Saeed, we recognize that should the whole truth be told of any of us that truth would speak of our own sins and failures.

We do not negate the need for accountability for sin, we simply will wait until Abedini is free to hold him accountable.

We will never diminish or negate the impact of domestic abuse on its victims.

We are committed to pray for this family and to intercede for the freedom of a man in chains for his faith.

Nov 172015

vancouver-protest.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxThe great writer (and oft times prophet) Charles Bowden had taken some folks on a “field trip” to the border to help them understand the dynamics of the Mexican migration.

Their eyes were opened in a fashion and they asked him “what are the solutions?”


“There are no solutions, only choices”, he answered.

Despite what you are fed from the media about what our “greatest global crisis” is, the answer is the mass migration of people fleeing poverty and violence in Second and Third World countries for First World freedoms and economies.

Bowden was saying this 25 years ago and we’re just catching up.

Bowden was also correct in saying that there are no solutions, just choices.

I have been a vocal advocate for immigration reform and for Mexican and Central American refugees fleeing poverty and violence and coming to America.

I took this stand based on both the Old Testament injunctions to welcome the stranger and the New Testament call to love your neighbor, as well as sundry political reasons.

However, not all refugees are created equally.

The main issue that my Christian comrades for immigration reform miss is that those Old Testament refugees were to assimilate to Israeli culture, not the other way around.

The Israelis were not forced to embrace anyone that would be a threat to them personally or to the culture that was decreed by God for them to live in.

When we are dealing with Mexican or Central American refugees we are dealing with variations of Western culture and of the Christian faith and principles.

Assimilation is never easy, but with this background it is possible.

Assimilating Islam creates a whole different set of complications.

The cultural values can be different to the point of opposition.

“Radical” Islam wants to destroy Western culture in general and the United States in particular.

Exercising caution in this situation is not bigotry, it is common sense.

To pretend in the name of Christian compassion that there are no people plotting evil among this group of refugees is abject stupidity.

The job of the state is to protect the state…without thorough vetting of each refugee the state is failing it’s job.

I will only briefly mention that we still have Mexicans seeking asylum from the cartels that are waiting in holding cells or in limbo as the asylum courts are backed up for at least three years for anyone but those the President brings in.

I find that… odd.

Once vetted I will heartily embrace what I believe are the biblical commands to welcome the stranger.

I will not ignore concerns over personal or national safety and hope that others will not ignore the biblical imperatives for compassion on this issue as well.

This issue isn’t going away…we need to communicate without partisanship if we are to make choices that can be sustained even if the problem can’t be solved.





Nov 172015

timthumb.phpThe horror of having someone disagree with you…

Islam, terrorism, and denial…

Another call for a Starbucks boycott…

Noah’s Ark theme park set to open…

Top 50 megachurches…

Furtick won’t reveal salary because that would offend Jesus…

Charisma says God is sending mantles…I’d rather have bookcases…

Why you should pray before meals…

World says a moral renewal is coming…

The danger of ressentiment…

Whose side is God on?

Where Calvinists, Lutherans, Arminians, and some Catholics, agree…

Reclaiming conversations from technology…

The complexity of immigration arguments…

The freedom to rage at God…

How a daughter of Westboro came to question it’s beliefs…

A pastoral response to the Syrian refugee crisis…

What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War 2…

The Christian response to Copernicus in the 16th century…

Sex offenders in the pews…

A non sectarian guide to our cultural crisis…

Two theories on immigration…very important to understanding where we are and the choices we have to make.

Facing up to death…

Thanks to EricL for the link help…support him at top right.


Nov 162015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. We were all thrown a curveball last week with Nagmeh Abedeni’s accusations of abuse against her husband Saeed who is still imprisoned in Iran. As often happens when curveballs are thrown, many of us swung and missed.

Strike one was being shocked when finding out that someone is is a sinner. Celebrity status has not shown any effect on the old nature, so at some point we all have to accept the fact that we are all sinners saved by grace, not good people getting better.

Strike two was the surprise that a blast email wasn’t held in confidence by media.

Strike three was the knee jerk reaction to withdraw support for freeing Saeed because we found out he was a sinner.

There are a whole lot of things in this mess that make no sense this morning…we don’t need to add to them by ceasing to advocate for his release.

The dirt can be dealt with when he gets home.

2. Gospel For Asia is now threatening Warren Throckmorton with legal action.  Warren is not not caving and we’re going to stand with him…even as those who could have informed the world stay mute as more people suffer. Tell me again about their great integrity and compassion…

3. Starting today, we have three books coming out over the next month…so please forgive me in advance for having to indulge in a lot of self promotion.

4. The simple acts of confession and repentance could save us from all the complex actions needed to cover up the need for both.

5. The terrible tragedy in Paris will have many lessons…if the first one isn’t the recognition that evil exists then you won’t learn the ones that follow.

6. The best thing I read all weekend concerning the tragedy was from the late Mr. Rogers… “look for the helpers”.

7. The Gospel we preach isn’t to tell others that they can be good like us…it’s the message that bad people like us can be reconciled to a good God.

8. It is true that Christianity has a bloody history…but Paris wasn’t terrorized by a group of angry nuns. It’s time to to agree with Jesus when He said that some “were of their father, the devil”.

9. If you’re not wrestling this morning with the biblical command to “love your enemies”, you don’t understand the text…

10. Fear not.

Nov 162015

MYOA Book1 Cover-4jReader Hill is proud to announce the debut of a new non-fiction book series from Michael Newnham, a dad, cat-lover, and small-town pastor. Michael is best known for his Phoenix Preacher blog, which is one of the top 200 Christian websites in the USA.

Make Your Own Application is a series of unique 40-day devotionals that will challenge you, encourage you, and cause you to think.

In Book 1- CATS, KIDS, and CHRIST– you will discover the spiritual lessons to be found in the most ordinary events in life, from parenting to caring for a sick cat, from sharing your faith to facing the loss of a job. Experience this very different devotional and, of course, make your own application…


Available in Print ($9.95) and E-book ($4.99) formats.

Buy it today from Amazon.

Also available from many independent bookstores nationwide.

Foreign Countries: Available from Amazon United Kingdom,  Amazon Germany, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon France, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico,Amazon Brazil, and Amazon Netherlands.


Series: Make Your Own Application, book 1

Author: Michael Newnham

Available from Amazon and other retailers.

Price: $4.99 e-book, $9.95 trade paperback

Book 2 of this series will release on November 30th, and can be pre-ordered in e-book format from Amazon.

Book 3 will release on December 15th, and can also be pre-ordered in e-book format from Amazon.

For those of you who purchased my original MAKE YOUR OWN APPLICATION book from 2012, this is a 2nd edition of that book, with a new look and about 25% new material.

Everyone please note, that all of the books in this series are based on the many TGIF posts that I’ve made over the years.

Nov 152015

Sprinking-Water-at-Cornerstone-Copy-681x1024Gospel For Asia attorneys have threatened legal action and demanded the removal of posts, pictures, and audio, posted on Patheos by Warren Throckmorton.

The picture to the left is one that they have demanded removed.

These are the audio files they have demanded removed.

Yohannan and the board

19 million loan

Staff meeting


We stand with Warren Throckmorton and against the attempts to intimidate those who seek the truth.



%d bloggers like this: