Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Key West Gospel Chapel: New Gospel Tract for Key West Gospel Chapel

Check out the latest blog post at the Gospel Chapel site! We are excited to have yet another tool to help share the Gospel with the lost souls of Key West.

Key West Gospel Chapel: New Gospel Tract for Key West Gospel Chapel: "We have been working with a few friends from all over the country to get a Gospel tract (one that we have used for a while) redesigned for u..."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reaching homeless for Christ: KOTS threatened with closure in Key West

Reaching homeless for Christ: KOTS threatened with closure in Key West: "Citizen story on KOTS- this story in today's Key West Citizen newspaper is not available in its entirety without a subscription. Still, the ..."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reaching homeless for Christ: Pray for Will

Reaching homeless for Christ: Pray for Will: "I was out on the street with Caleb Caeton tonight. We met a man named Will. He expressed that he was struggling with alcoholism and nee..."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Key West Gospel Chapel: Laws regarding religious literature in Key West

Check out the blog post below concerning our public proclamation of the Gospel. The law told us to stop, and God intervened. The rest of the story...

Key West Gospel Chapel: Laws regarding religious literature in Key West: "Here at the Gospel Chapel, we want to tell the world about salvation from eternal death in Hell. We want to proclaim the name of Jesus Chris..."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A name change is needed

In recent days our family has been blessed to meet a few brothers and sisters in Christ. Their names would not be recognized to anyone outside Key West for the most part. Yet, some of the saints here have helped God change my perspective on many things. I just wanted to share about why I changed the name of our blog. Though our intention has always been to go wherever the Lord leads, we earnestly desire to reach the world for Christ. I was just struck this morning at the pride in naming my blog such a thing. You will note at the top of the page that our name has changed to something that I believe reflects who we really desire to be in the work of the Lord.

I have met men and women who serve God with all their hearts, their lives, and all their minds. These have even vocalized their desire to be anonymous in the Lord's work. I have preached from dozens of pulpits, and have found that my desire to do so diminishes with each passing day. I would rather speak to my neighbors, walk the streets, and give anonymously. The reason is that I am weak and need to be humble, following God's Word for His glory and not my own. Sadly, as I look back on the last two years of "public  ministry" I can recall a few times when I "tooted my own horn" and for that I have had to repent before the Lord for taking any glory that rightly belongs to Him alone.

A few days ago, our friend Joshua came along to visit, and we had to cut short our visit due to an appointment I had. Joshua brought a man named Earl with him, and they were headed to the library as it was cold and windy outside. You see, these brothers in Christ are both homeless. One by choice, the other by necessity. We shared the food we had with them and sent them out with more to eat later, and went on about our day. When other men came along the next day for a Bible study, I shared with these men my struggle. I long to get to know these homeless men, to help meet their needs, and to encourage them in the Lord. Others in their position have come demanding of us, in great pride and anger, and I truly believe that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. It was easy to send the angry man away after offering many ways to help and then hearing him refuse the help offered.

Yet, when Joshua and Earl came, their intent was to study God's Word together. Another man, Brian, has visited a few times and even came out to the services last Sunday. Brian accepts help humbly and speaks of spiritual things, and though we do not agree on some essential  doctrines, he is humble and glad to have any help we can offer. We continue to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ and hope that Brian will come to repentance and salvation very soon. There are many others in the "homeless population" that our family talks to every day, and our desire is to help them find the truth of God's Word and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Today was different though.

You see, today I have a migraine headache. I am sitting in a dark room listening to a sermon playing just loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to hurt my head. My wife and children went to the library, their typical Saturday morning routine. They made sure I had what I needed and then left me to try to sleep or at least get by the tremendous pain that accompanies a migraine so that I will be able to greet our guest speaker tonight when he arrives. I need to be rested for our time of worship tomorrow with the saints here. My wife had left just a few minutes earlier when I heard a knock on the door.

Upon hearing the knock, I thought  I should just stay in bed. After all, I would have to change from my pajamas and go out into the bright light. I didn't want to get out of bed...but I did. When I got to the door, Earl was writing a note for me, supposing I was not home (I suppose it was a few minutes getting to the door) explaining why he had stopped by. This man, in his 70's from my best estimation, felt that  he needed to come by and thank us for our help, for the food and such, and brought us  over some food to share. He also apologized for not accepting our offer of supper that day we first met. His reason I knew, though he did not share it with me.

I know that KOTS (Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter) opens at 6pm and if one wants a warm place to sleep, they need to be there early enough to get in line. Earl's age and slim frame keep him from staying warm on these recent breezy and cold nights. If Earl had come here for supper, he would have had to sleep out in the cold, and it just wasn't worth the risk to come to supper at our home. KOTS provides a bed and a shower, but not always food. At times, churches donate food or a caterer drops off leftovers from a night's work. Even the bed and showers are only available to a certain number, so one must be there early to get in.

So, as I lay here in the dark, I am thinking about Earl and Joshua, Brian, Warren, Darren, Jackie and David and a few others of our friends without homes. To my shame, I have forgotten some of their names. I think about how Earl would come here humbly to apologize for not taking a meal with us, and to drop off some food to share with us. His mouth pours forth quotes from God's Word which he has  hidden in his heart for many years. His quiet and gentle spirit speaks volumes about his character, and he reminds me that I need to be humbled once again. We carry on with the work of the Lord with much weakness and humbly ask God to bless our meager efforts with the power of the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we are useless, but with the Holy Spirit guiding our steps and giving us words to speak, we will accomplish our part of the Great Commission. We will reach the world, but not by ourselves. We have brothers and sisters laboring alongside us from every walk of life, every nation, every tongue, working together in one accord, and all for the glory of God our Father.

I hope you think about the name change of our blog, albeit inconsequential to most. Some probably never even remembered it at all. I pray that who we are fades into the darkness and the light of the Lord shines through. Thank you for reading, I pray your heart is encouraged, and that you walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ today and every day. When we are weak, God's strength is manifested, and in all things we give Him all the honor and glory, for He is worthy.

a  servant of the Lord of glory,

Friday, January 14, 2011

The right action with the wrong understanding

Samuel has learned to nod his head. Of course, he never does it on command or to answer a question affirmatively. Last week he learned the ASL sign for "more" though he has not yet used it in the proper context. In fact, he often signs "more" when he does NOT want any more to eat.

I was just thinking about this today. We teach our children just about everything from walking to talking, what is OK to touch and what will hurt you. I was reminded that we must go beyond just teaching certain actions, and teach them why we do the things we do.

I have been reading "Already Gone" by Ken Ham. This book deals with the issue of losing our childen in the faith and the impact of generational church loss. Ham deals with the statistics that were found by Brit Beemer when they surveyed 1,000 "twenty somethings" who grew up faithfully attending church meetings and have now left the church. Some still hold the truths in their hearts, others are turned off from religion entirely, and most doubt the facts of creation, miracles, and even Jesus' resurrection. The study did not ask those who are still in church why they stayed, but focused on why we are losing so many in high school and college years.

One  of the major factors is the disconnect that often exists in "telling Bible stories" and relating these to real life. I have often heard people read historical accounts from God's Word in such a way that the child files it in their brain right next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Not that the stories are not to be told, but that we have to share that these are more than stories, but actual accounts of God's power in action. To believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, and after his death came back to life can be portrayed as a fairy tale if portrayed the wrong way. There is real science and evidence to these facts, along with many other of the Biblical accounts.

Some great resources in regards to teaching children include many books and videos by Answers in Genesis and Creation Science Evangelism, Ray Comfort's book "Scientific facts in the Bible" and Warren Henderson's "Bible: Myth or Divine Truth?" along with other titles by the same author. I urge anyone who teaches children to be sure that we don't just tell the children what to do and expect their immature minds to make the connections, but to present the truth of God's Word for what it is, evident and factual history. The compromises that have been made due to ignorance of Biblical factual authority include gap theory, theistic evolution, and many more lies that have crept into the church. These deny the infallibility of the Bible and undermine everything we ever tell our children about God. They must know that our faith is not some ignorant emotional thing, but factual history that can and must be defended.
A father who cares,
Mark Cowperthwaite

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A day off.... sort of

Mark spent the morning down at the boat docks, passing out our new postcard gospel literature. Then we all went on a walk, found a few geocaches, and realized that it is a pretty warm day, mid- 70's and rather humid. Tuesday is sort of our day off, though with cruise ship evangelism and a visit to the local jail tonight, it isn't a whole day off, but a time to spend together.

We walked about 3 miles today together, plus Mark biked 2 miles. Though that isn't exactly long term exercise, with decreasing back pain it has been good to get some time in walking. We placed our first geocache today, and hope to meet some of the folks who stop in to find our little treasure. Thanks to the Jiminez and Slusser families for introducing us to this sport that encourages us to learn more about the history of our new hometown and get out in the sun for some good exercise.

All along the way, we have  chances to share the Gospel with folks, give some literature for them to ponder more after they go home. Last night's Open Casa brought in a couple of young men from up north. One from Michigan and another from North Dakota. We had a great talk about the Lord and I challenged them in their thinking about Jesus as truly God rather than just a man who spoke for God sometimes. Jesus Christ is much different than the prophets or apostles, who always gave credit to God for His Word. Hebrews 1 and Revelation 1 are just a few passages of the Bible that clearly define Jesus as wholly God and not just a representation, but the exact image of God manifested in human flesh.

The religions of the world have many various teachings and books they consider to be holy and inspired by God, but the Bible in its original language and documentation is the only one that answers the question of origins and purpose for the human race, and that entirely without error. I thank God for the authority of the Bible and that gives me great confidence that God will do as He promises. We can rest assured that those who are in Christ will not be condemned, but also that God's justice demands payment for sin. God never sweeps anything under the rug. Rather, God sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, as the full payment for all sin of those who will repent and trust in Him for salvation. What a wonderful and blessed truth, and one that  we only know because God chose to reveal it in His Word and by Jesus being made manifest. What a blessed hope!

As we walk through our lives on this earth  day by day, we can have confidence that the Creator God with infinite power is in  fact love. Not that God does love, but that He IS love! Accepting that love from God will make the difference between eternity in Heaven due to the payment of Jesus Christ on your behalf, or eternity in Hell paying for your own sins against God. Which will you choose? I hope you choose wisely and follow the only way, the only truth, and the only One who can grant eternal  life, my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who is, was, and always will be God.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Check out the chapel blog for Key West updates

I am trying to keep our family updates on this blog, and those directly related to the Key West Gospel Chapel on the blog for the chapel. You can see the blog for the chapel HERE

Subscribe, follow, or whatever you like, but don't miss out on the news from Key West Gospel Chapel. I thank the Lord for the work He is doing to draw people to Himself here in Key West. We have had many contacts in the Gospel effort here in Key West, and I will be posting more about that soon. I want to share what is going on, prayer requests, and much more, but we have to be careful of privacy issues.

Thank you for "following" this blog. Please add us to your Google Reader or such applications as Feedly. Using blogs and having folks "follow" us helps us not have to duplicate our work via FaceBook, emails, and Mail Chimp campaigns. We want people to have the information they want, but will be trying to keep our efforts streamlined and efficient. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf and for the souls in Key West.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Some lyrics for your personal reflection

Our friend, David Crossman, wrote this song many years back, but the other day I was reminded  of the common view of God. It is taught by some that faith is a private thing, that what you believe is whatever you make of it. God is basically what you make of Him. Davids' clever lyrics show the absurdity of this idea, and remind me that God is God. I am not, He is never wrong, never makes a mistake, and He is who He says He is. Just wanted to share this song with you all. 



Well, I've got a little god of my own design

I wrap him up in feathers, and he looks just fine
I take him off the shelf and dust him now and again
And his clothes are interchangeable with Barbie's and Ken's

And that's why I love my
Personal and private low pressure portable god

Well me and my god you know, we're just like that
He lets me wear his coat, I let him wear my hat
He's practical and punctual and