Archive for January, 2008

Comments regarding that church in Kansas

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

I run a satirical blog and had considered a counter offensive against the crazies at that anti-gay Kansas church by satiring them. My wife advised against it, saying that an extreme, hateful church like that isn’t worthy of the attention from satire. With that, any future comments I have about Pastor Freddy’s church will be posted here.

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Update on My Two Shekels column

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

In the near future, My Two Shekels will resume at one of its former homes, I had temporarily discontinued it due to my family’s financial situation and a feeling that I should severely curtail the writing I do for free. But after praying about it and discussing it with my wife, I contacted my editor at Saworship and expressed a willingness to continue. She’s willing, so soon new MTS columns will be seen there. This blog, of course, will continue and consist of takes on Christian issues that are too short for columns, as well as additional comments I may have on columns.

For those of you who enjoy MTS and are glad it’s going to resume, be sure to send a word of thank you to my friend Andy Knight at his Website Faith on Fire. While talking to him and his ministry in Connecticut and hearing of his burdens, it became clear to me that when it comes to ministerial writing, it is far more important to minister through the written word than it is to have a check to take to the bank. In the near future, I hope to write a profile on Andy.

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Paying taxes: What Would Jesus Do?

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

So, actor Wesley Snipes is on trial for alleged tax fraud. The federal government says that Snipes owes millions of dollars in taxes that he improperly claimed as refunds. Snipes’ attorneys deny the accusations and apparently are so confident of their client’s innocence that they didn’t even offer up a defense. One report says Snipes has argued that he was the victim of bad tax advice while another says that his attorneys are arguing that the federal government has no legal authority to collect taxes. As I get ready to file my own taxes this year (I already have my freelance writing records in order), I am reminded of what Jesus said about paying taxes in Matthew 22:21: Render unto Caesar (in our case, the federal government) what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God.

In other words, save yourself a lot of money and legal headaches and just pay your taxes.

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Idiot, ignorant Kansas "church" sounds off on Heath Ledger

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

So, the folks at that crazy Kansas “Baptist” church* believe that God hates homosexuals…and they plan on protesting at the funeral of the late actor Heath Ledger, whom they have a special hatred for because of his role as a closeted homosexual cowboy in the film Brokeback Mountain. One of the members of the church has even proclaimed that Heath Ledger is in hell because of his views on and promotion of the gay lifestyle. And if that’s not enough, they’ve even written an open letter to the Ledger family. (The family has been keeping the details of the actor’s funeral a secret so as not to let the church and other crazies out there go and protest).

Silly me, I thought people went to eternal punishment for rejecting Jesus Christ as their personal savior. I imagine there are far more heterosexuals in hell than there are those who are gay (especially when you consider that those who are gay make up about one to three percent of the population).

In the past, I’ve perused over this church’s doctrinal statements. If anything, it’s a horrible caricature of Christianity—a works salvation taken to extremes. As a Christian, I disagree with the homosexuality lifestyle. However, I don’t hate gays and I’ve even worked with gay people (generally, they are among the nicest people I’ve ever known). We really need to step up our efforts to evangelize the gay community and show them who Jesus really is.

If this “church” is a Christian church, then I’m Brad Pitt.

*I have purposely not disclosed the name of the church or its Website. It’s easy enough to find, but I prefer not to give them the pleasure of being named.

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My friend, Andy Knight, and his ministry

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Andy Knight is a friend of mine from college who has quite an inspirational story (we’ll be talking about him more on this blog in the future). Andy’s a pastor in Connecticut, in an area of the United States (New England) that is consiered especially hard to reach with the Gospel.

Also, besides being a diabetic, Andy survived a horrific fire a number of years ago. Following the mantra of the late basketball coach Jim Valvano, Andy doesn’t give up.

And he’s not a bad barber, either! Andy was my barber at college and once, when money was tight, accepted a payment of three packages of Ramen noodles.

Here’s a link to his Website, Faith on Fire. His is a ministry I pray for frequently.

God bless you, Andy.

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Money Matters

January 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Sometimes, when driving home from work, I’ll listen to Crown Financial Ministries’ program Money Matters. Very informational and always a blessing to hear. It’s really amazing how God indeed can use money to teach us more about the relationship we are to have with Him. If you get a chance, visit Crown Financial by clicking on this link.

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Answers in heaven

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

There are many questions I have for God…

…why did my Uncle Calvin, my maternal grandparents’ firstborn, die in infancy? He could’ve really helped out the family as an extra pair of hands during the Great Depression.

…why did Kimberly, one of my older sisters, die in infancy?

…why was my cousin get killed by a drunk driver (an illegal immigrant with no license or insurance, who left a party where no concerted effort was made to stop him from driving)?

…why do young children die tragically while some of the most hedonistic athletes and musicians live to a ripe old age?

The answer to these questions can be found in a song we sang at church years ago. The song, Farther Along, was written and composed by J.R. Baxter and W.B. Stevens.

First stanza:

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long,
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.

Second stanza:
When death has come and taken our loved ones,
It leaves our home so lonely and drear,
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year.

Third stanza:
Faithful ’til death, said our loving Master
A few more days to labor and wait,
Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
As we sweet through the beautiful gate.

Fourth stanza:
When we see Jesus, coming in glory,
When He comes from His home in the sky,
Then we shall meet Him in that bright mansion,
We’ll understand it all by and by.


Farther along we’ll know all about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.

As we can see from the song, though the answers may have to wait until heaven, it’ll be well worth it. Everything is in God’s control.

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Life is a race

January 24, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the things I hated most while in the Army was the Army Physical Fitness Test. This test, done about once every two to three months, was the Army’s way of tracking your physical fitness. We were given two minutes to perform as many push-ups as possible and then two minutes for as many sit-ups as possible. After that, there was a two-mile run to be completed in as little time as possible.

Of all these, I hated the two-mile run. As I got closer to my discharge in 2000 and exercised less, this became tougher to do. Even when I was in shape, by the third lap I could feel my lungs burn as I encouraged myself by reaching the halfway point. Once I completed the sixth lap, I’d tell myself I had only two left, and once the seventh lap was done, I’d start to jog faster as I completed the final lap. In the last 100 yards I’d sprint. When the run was over, I was very glad.

Our Christian walk is like a race. We get spiritually winded and fatigued as we run, wanting desperately to either slow to walk or even quit altogether. Those who’ve completed the race and are in heaven now cheer us on from the stands of heaven, encouraging us to fight the good fight, finish our course and keep the faith.

Paul writes in Galatians 6:9 that we are not to be weary in this life, and that we’ll reap spiritual benefits if we don’t quit.

If you feel discouraged with your walk or frustrated with how tough life can be, take encouragement in knowing that once this life is over, we’ll have all eternity to relax.

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Seek the Great Physician if depressed

January 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Depressed? Feel alone? Consider this: both Elijah and Jonah, prophets mightily used by God, were depressed to the point where they wanted God to end their lives. King Solomon had his fill of money, fame, women and materialism and couldn’t have been more unhappy. Peter was so upset with himself over his denial of Jesus that he returned, defeated, to his life as a Galilean fisherman. Even John the Baptist got discouraged. Remember that if these men of God could get discouraged, there’s nothing wrong with you feeling discouraged and depressed. Remember, Hebrews 13:5 says: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for [God] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

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Having a proper relationship with God

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Things have been bumpy the past year or so in my life in several areas: husband, father, writer, financial provider. There have been many times where I’ve almost been in tears asking God questions like “Why?” Why doesn’t my career seem to be progressing faster? Why don’t I ever have time to get things done? Why can’t I find a job that pays the bills and allows me to write in my free time?

I have learned something about asking God “Why?” If you’re not spending time with Him daily in prayer, Bible reading and meditation, then you can’t really ask these types of questions. To pray, read the Bible and ponder on God is to draw closer to Him. And to draw closer to Him is to better understand His will for your life.

It reminds me a lot of the child who ventures off on their own, has no contact with their parents for two years, gets into some type of financial problem and calls their parents and asks for $1,000 to keep their car from being repossessed. God’s not a genie. He loves us and wants a relationship with us. Don’t wait until a crisis to spend time with God, and don’t ever get to the point where before reading your Bible you first have to dust off the cover.

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Welcome to My Two Shekels!

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

My name is Richard Zowie, and for several years I’ve written a Christian issues column titled My Two Shekels. It has appeared in publications in Texas and in Michigan. This blog’s purpose is to provide encouragement to Christians out there through each posting. Eventually, this may turn into a place where I give an opinion on an issue and leave it up to readers to comment. If you wish, you can post a comment or drop me a line at

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