Zoe's ezcemaLast month, Zoe Joy was really fussy and was frequently getting a very bad rash all over her face and neck. She was waking up screaming every 2 hours. Thank God the doctor determined that she has a cow’s milk allergy, which is not uncommon with Tara’s nieces and nephews. Zoe is being breast-fed, so Tara has cut out all dairy. As soon she did that, Zoe began sleeping through most of the night! A few days later, her rash was pretty much gone. The doctor said as bad as it looked on the outside, it was far worse in her esophagus. We’ll check her again when she’s 6 months old, since many times one grows out of it. So please pray that she will out grow this soon. If you haven’t checked labels lately, milk is in all sorts of things.
After taking October off for our Meetups given Zoe’s arrival, it was really good to get back together again in November. Our Thanksgiving Meetup featured a former Mormon bishop and his wife! You can watch their testimony here and see the pictures of our gathering here.
High School Ministry
Angry guyHere are my reports from the various schools I witnessed at:
Jesus says I'm blessed, since I was persecuted for the sake of righteousness today (Mat. 5:10)! At about 3 PM, this guy parked his truck in the middle of the street in front of the seminary, and started yelling at me out his window to beat it and stop forcing my views on the LDS students. He said he hated Mormons as well, but I still shouldn't be doing what I was doing.
I was talking with 2 LDS missionaries (Pittman and Nonne) with my big "MormonInfo.org/JosephLied.com" sign, and passing out Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVDs. I told angry guy that I wasn’t sticking a gun to anyone’s head, that this is America and we get our views out on public venues, and if he didn't like it, he could beat it. Angry guy gets out of the truck, walks across the street, and is acting like he’s going to take a swing at me. Instead, he spits on my face and then shoots both middle fingers at me as he walked back to the truck. To get him to back off, I told him I was going to call the cops. However, I first wanted to get pictures of him before things potentially got any worse--just so I could document him and his truck. I told him he needed Jesus or he was going to hell. He said I wasn’t going to like it when he’d come back there and saw me. He also said he didn’t care about me taking pictures with him and his truck, since he was just borrowing this truck (like we couldn’t ask the guy whose truck it is who he loaned it to).
The situation was so intense, one of the LDS students (female) was in tears sitting out in front of the seminary. The missionaries apologized to me for the incident even though they had nothing to do with it, but one of them still asked me a couple times to leave and stop confusing the students. I must have witnessed to these missionaries for a good 45 minutes.
This is why when I ask you to pray for my protection, I really mean it!
I'm blessed again! Some kid threw a Gatorade bottle at me from a moving car while I was witnessing. Thank God it missed, hitting the curb. A bus driver opened her door, and told me while I stood on the corner, "I don't think it's particularly safe for the children for you to be where you're at!" I told her, "I disagree," and pointing to the crossing guards, I said, "That's what they're there for!" There were a lot of fingers and dirty looks today. However, here’s the good news: I got out all of my 30 to 40 DVDs though!
Someone called the cops on me. A cop came by and told me he got a call on a "suspicious male" out front. Cop was cool, and talked to the assistant principal about me. Got about 30 Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVDs out!
Great time advertising and getting out DVDs in the shadow of the West Jordan temple! I stood in front of the only entrance and exit to a huge parking lot, so most of the huge school saw me with my sign. Only got out 12 DVDs, though, to passersby. Lots of angry looks and fingers today, but a number of thumbs up and pictures taken of me--one gal said it's going on Facebook! Another kid came by and asked if I thought it was appropriate to advertise in front of a high school. After I told him, "Of course," he said, "Well, I don't... SCUMBAG!" One gal and another guy came by to ask me what this was all about. I told them that I wanted people to know the difference between Mormonism and Christianity, and wanted people to go to heaven with me. I talked with them for a few minutes, but it seemed like they couldn't wrap their heads around the reasons why Mormonism had a false Christ and false God.
There was another cop situation. He parked on the other side of the road and just watched me for about 5 minutes, and then, praise the Lord, took off without hassling me!
I briefly talked to 2 LDS missionaries, who were visiting a neighbor across the street from our home. As they were getting in their car to leave, I asked them how they knew Mormonism was true. They said because of how they feel. When asked if their feelings ever deceived them, they said, "No." I asked them how they knew what they believing in was of the Spirit of God, and of course they said, "We already told you, because of how we feel." They said they had to go, because I was making them *feel* uncomfortable. As they were quickly getting in their car, I told them, "You guys are no better than the drug addict who's got to get his feeling fix, and that's why you're on your way to hell!"
I have continued with the radio ministry on Sunday mornings at 8:15 AM. We have currently been going through a list of all the bad fruit of Mormonism. If you’re in Utah, please tune in to 820 AM and support the show. If you’re outside of Utah, I’m posting the shows here. Please let me know if these shows are blessing you!
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We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial assistance as well. Keep in mind that your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). But we also have secure electronic funds transfer programs available if you are interested in the simplicity of monthly withdrawals without the stamp. This also helps us with our monthly budgeting. For more information, please see our “Invest” page. Please also keep in mind that, particularly in this economy, we have no financial guarantees each month. Ministry partners come and go as jobs do. If you’re not a partner, please consider joining our team and let us know soon. We’d love to be your missionaries here in Utah. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and in your financial giving!
No, that's not Rob with the beard!Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus just isn't the reason for the season; He's the reason for literally everything!
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84084
****ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS****
1. Health & protection for our whole family
2. Tara’s and Maddi’s families to be saved
3. Wisdom in all our dealings
[Concerning the ACLU and the Brigham City lawsuit (see here), Eric Johnson, of Mormonism Research Ministry, told me]: Rob, the ACLU got what it wanted...the city dropped the law soon after the hubbub. It's off the books now, which was the intention all along. Now they are left with the final matters of who owes what for court costs and attorney fees. That's what John Mejia [legal director of the ACLU of Utah] told me several weeks ago.
[Then Pastor Jim Catlin of the Main Street Church in Brigham City wrote:] Eric's got pretty much all of it.
I talked to ACLU lawyer John Mejia two days ago and he said that they had finally arrived at a settlement with Brigham City regarding the payment of attorney's fees to the ACLU. After the check is received at the ACLU they will issue a press release to officially close the matter. After that point also, I will be more free to talk about the case. By the way, the city seriously balked at paying damages to our church even though it only amounted to $48 ($1 times 4 officials named times 12 counts, Federal, State, local levels combined). It just stuck in their craw. We waived the $48 as a small token of grace. Odd because their pride over it might have led them into court with lawyer fees pushing $100K!
The Brigham City counsel had a special session about 3 weeks ago for the sole purpose of repealing the "Free Speech Zone" ordinance. The vote was unanimous since the alternative would be a court date in Federal District Court in SLC in the near future. That would be silly and costly since the law had achieved its end, the protection of temple guests from anti-Mormon harassment. The mayor weighed in that the law was superfluous anyway since there were already laws on the books that allowed police to intercede in unsafe situations. The "unsafe situation" of which the mayor speaks is handing out printed materials to passengers disembarking from the shuttle buses. Ironically, during the last few nights of the open house, Rob Sivulka and I witnessed LDS missionaries doing JUST THAT! They stood at the door of the bus, on both sides, thrusting temple brochures into peoples' hands. Rob and I stood on our newly won sidewalk territory just incredulous. We took a picture just in case we went to court and then I walked up to them and informed them that their behavior was unsafe. "Says who?", one missionary snapped back. "Says the Mayor...to me...in his office...last week", I shot back. They rolled their eyes figuring I was blowing smoke when one of the orange-vested adult workers said dismissively, "Yeah, well I know Mayor Fife personally." "Then go ask him yourself", I said. I continued, "What you are doing right now is expressly why we had been banned from this area for 3 1/2 weeks." About a half hour later they stopped doing it. I think he called Mayor Fife.
So watch for a press release in the next week or so. If you don't see it, I'll pass it around when I approve it.
By the way, there has been renewed animosity towards our church in city hall because of all this. No surprise here. But a Christian who works within city hall overheard angry retribution talk of taking our building through Eminent Domain law. For over ten years, the city has voiced interest in relocating us from downtown. They already have purchased and demolished the run down properties on each side of our building, thus giving us even greater exposure to those downtown. We gained a parking lot on one side of us...which they maintain and we gained a beautiful lawn on the other side of us which, you guessed it, they also maintain. And we are unavoidable to the eye in the downtown as a result. It's kinda like that "city on a hill" thing. Anyway, I bring this up because the national press coverage of this Free Speech Zone thing may have been God's way of giving us immunity from Eminent Domain. Can you imagine the headlines? "City Loses First Amendment Battle with Small Church: Takes Church Building as Payback"
So we rejoice that people walk into our storefront frequently searching for Jesus and we are delighted to introduce Him to them through His Word and through His incarnation in this little Body of His.
Listened to about 5 of your shows last night... been really enjoying it. Awesome 10x.
I am familiar with some of your Youtube videos. Thank you for what you do. The truth must be heard!
Thanks for these links. I have watched at least 6 testimonies. They are incredible! What a great ministry. I look forward to meeting you, and many others!
God bless you!
When it comes down to who is better President Obama, or Romney? Romeny's religion is in a cult who practices witchcraft. Obama in some cases I don't believe in abotions or gay rights, but which is a greater sin!! Someone who thinks they will be a GOD or someone you know they can be saved from there sins.
As for abortions I don't believe, but I believe if you were a true believer you would not have an abortion. The world is of his own, and I believe if they want an abortion I don't care because babies become adults and I believe 99% of them were little devils anyways!
Our church prayed for out country and God spoke to us Obama would win. If all these christians out there and prayed for there country, where is your God. Something is not right here. God speaks more about the poor, down trodded than a rich man going to heaven. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and people in sin has more of a chance being saved then someone in church error. Mormon's are in error! they believe in Jesus but not our saviour. The Devil believes and know about Jesus but will not accept HIM as our saviour.
Thats my output of Obama or Romney
[I replied:] Thanks for your thoughts. Mormonism doesn't practice witchcraft, even though it's damnable heresy. Obama's religious beliefs of eclecticism and liberation theology are also damnable heresy.
The greater sin for political office is not to protect innocent life. That is the first responsibility of elected office, which any pagan can fulfill. Obama has failed in this regard.
I do care if people want abortions. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God belongs to little children (Mk. 10:13-16), and that it would be better if a millstone is tied around one's neck and thrown into the sea than to offend one of these little ones (Mk. 9:42). The Bible teaches us to "[s]peak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" (Prov. 31:8-9).
So my view is fairly common-sensical: protecting life ought to be the first priority, since if there is no life, then nothing else is going to happen. We as a society and, unfortunately, as a Church, have misplaced priorities in not valuing things the way God values things. As a result, we will all be judged because of it. Jesus taught that there are weightier matters of the law (Mat. 23:23), and obviously life trumps all other matters of civil law.
God answers prayer according to His will and in His timing, and He ordains all authorities, since nothing happens except for Him (Rom. 13:1-5). So we are called to submit to what God has ordained, but my own view is that we as a nation are reaping what we have sown.
Thanks for writing!
Dear Rob Sivulka,
My name is… I am currently taking a world religions class at …community college in …, and for my class I have to create a question and ask five different religious members the same question. I was wondering if you would be willing to take some time and answer my question. "What makes your religion the "true" religion when there are many other religions that claims theirs is the "true" religion?" If you can email me back as soon as possible and let me know if you can do this I would greatly appreciate it.
[I responded:] Hi…,
Good, fair question.
1st, they can't all be true, since they all contradict each other.
2nd, they can all be false.
3rd, Christianity is true, because Jesus is worth believing in, and He taught that all others were false (Jn. 10:8). He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him (Jn. 14:6). He taught He was God in the flesh (Jn. 5:18-23, 8:24ff., 10:30ff., and 20:28-29).
4th, the Bible is trustworthy in giving us what Jesus taught (the Old and New Testaments are faithfully preserved just as Jesus taught). It is a consistent witness of over 40 different authors of thousands of years. It fits with what we know from history, science, and archaeology.
5th, Jesus fulfilled prophecy written about Him hundreds and thousands of years before He came on the scene (e.g., Isaiah 53).
6th, the best case of history demonstrates that Jesus rose from the dead. Among other things, the New Testament is too early for myth to develop. Christianity could have been easily shut down in the 1st century by producing the body of Jesus. His followers who originated the resurrection story put their lives on the line for it. Their lives were radically transformed from mostly fishermen to bold martyrs for what they took to be true.
7th, Christianity best fits with what we know to be true about God from both science (a Big Bang requires a Big Banger, a winding down of the universe requires a Winder of it, and the specified complexity of the universe requires an Intelligent Designer) and philosophy (cosmological, design, moral, ontological arguments, etc.). That leaves only 3 choices: Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. The above arguments support Christianity.
[He replied:] thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. This is very helpful and it is exaclty what i needed. Thanks again for your time and responding back to me.
Awesome to see you've been regularly hitting up the high schoolers… so awesome.
A brotherly reminder to be especially above reproach: parents are hyper-hyper-sensitive. You are the "wolf" in their eyes.
Keep on keeping on… love you brother. I can only imagine that that kind of outreach to the youth will some SERIOUS fruit in years to come.
Hello, my name is… I am doing research for a paper for my communications class. I have chosen to do it on Mormonism due to the fact that my uncle converted to Mormon to marry. So I have chosen to focus on conversion. I have a few questions to ask if you have the time to answer them.
What exactly does converting mean to be a Mormon?
Why do you have to convert to marry a Mormon?
What steps do you have to do during this process?
How long does it take to convert?
What are the ceremonies like?
And if you have any additional information that would help me that would be greatly appreciated.
[Tara replied:] In order to convert to Mormonism someone must be baptized into the Mormon church. Usually this requires meeting with an LDS bishop (leader) and answering a bunch of questions like: Do you believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet? Do you believe the Mormon church is the only true church? etc. After that one can get baptized at a local ward, by an LDS priesthood holder, and then they become Mormon (or LDS). One does not need to convert to get married to a Mormon, unless they want to get married in the temple. Temple weddings require that both people are Mormon and "worthy" to go through the temple. They usually make someone wait a year after conversion to get married in the temple, but that is not always the case.
Hope that helps.