January 24th was my birthday
....and with that you get a glimpse of my life. On that day 55 years ago my mother gave birth to me and unfortunately I did not come home from the hospital for about 3 months due to a number of illnesses.
I was told a lot of prayers were said for me as a child and God answered those petitions.
I was the youngest of 5 children, raised in a small house without a silver spoon in my mouth.
My mother was a stay home mom and during high school she decided to go back to school and she became a nurse. Which inspired my sisters into that profession.
My father owned a barber shop, a watering hole for men to sit around and talk politics, sports, religion and current affairs. I don’t remember seeing any women there.
We were raised on a limited budget and as children my father would take us boys to work at the shop on Saturdays. Our job was to sweep floors, clean mirrors and shine shoes, which inspired us to having a good work ethic.
My older brother spent over 20 years serving in the 82nd air borne and during his service saw a number of combats.
My second oldest brother, served in the Army as a chaplain assistant and later retired working for the government.
I of course served the army too. But God’s Army. I thank my father for teaching me how to be a man and stand up for what I believe.
Today, I own a painting business for well over 25 years and with that I support my ministry, travel and living, plus the freedom to take off work and preach a holy God to unholy people.
The photo below was taken after my first birthday, and it was a 1962 calendar from ‘Foremost Milk’
So I do give much credit to my parents for wiring us and teaching us how to save money and spend money and work together as per Proverbs 22:6:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
The picture below was taken after my second birthday, again a 1963 calendar from ‘Foremost Milk’
What a dynamic duo we had and I am fruit of their faith. Church and prayer in our family was as normal as breathing in my upbringing.
When my brothers were serving our country, we prayed often for them and our government as a family. Growing up we were not allowed to read ‘Mad Magazine’ because that was considered anti God and anti-country.
We were raised after Church on Sunday to go see our grandmother and there my parents visited inside as us kids changed our clothes and did yard work outside.
My parents always seem to have family pictures and old 8mm films and we still get together and view them. I am thankful to my parents for my life 55 years later and grateful to God for my eternal life.
I hope my story moves you young parents to be a good example and invest in your children. That one day when they are older they rise up and call you ‘blessed’ and ‘praise you’ as I do even after my parents have both died.
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus"
2 Timothy 3:15
I long to see them again and do pray the Father put us in a cul-de-sac in heaven, so they could be my neighbors in heaven.
In 1980 I started street preaching and never thought I would live to see the age of 55 and what a journey it has been. I am thankful to give God my youth and do pray he keeps me for His glory when older.
And of course the picture below is me, 55 years later.
Hope you’ve enjoyed a peek of my life and know that I was not assembled with body parts of dead heretics by old monks in a dark cave inside a secret laboratory and brought to life by lightning bolt during a storm after being raised by wolfs in the desert.
Need some street preacher tools?
Q&A time with Uncle Ruben.
You just never know what questions we will be asked on a street corner or via email/internet. So I would like to post a couple of questions, because there may be some among you who believes we need to touch snakes as confirmation of our faith.
“Mr.Israel Jesus said he would confirm our word with signs following and one of those signs are taking up serpents. Do you?”
You have me mistaken with someone else, I live in Los Angeles not the hills of Kentucky where that is considered evidence of Christianity.
Has it ever dawned on you that the word ‘snake’ may not be a literal word for an elongated reptile? Jesus called religious people ‘snakes’ often in Matthew 23 “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
Humans were called snakes and vipers and He was not alone, as we find John the Baptist saying the same thing when addressing people;
“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
I not only believe this but have lived it.
I have preached too many religious people, groups, meetings, cults, gurus, conventions, new agers, false prophets and teachers. They may show me white-fag and rattle their tail, many have even bit me with their poison but all for not In Acts 28:3 we read where Paul was bitten by a snake;
“And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand”
But IF context means anything, he was not dancing around and placing his hand inside a box of snakes to prove his belief in God. He was gathering wood to make a fire and was bitten.
I say anyone that places their hand in a box of snakes, grabs a snake, then dances around a Church holding the snake in air is tempting God and not the power of God.
What’s next prove our faith in God we should all purposely drink drano?
Jesus did say
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”
However before that statement, he said “GO PREACH” not go into all the world and cast out devils, or go into all the world and heal the sick.
Yet people make that the emphasis of their Christianity. Jesus did not say to go into all the world touch snakes, that should not be the prominence of Mark 16.
My 2 cent and keep the change.
“Brother Ruben what do you consider fruit for calling a distinct group a cult?”
I have been called a cult myself for decades. It has been said if you want a cult move to California, where you will have thousands of followers, all the sex you handle, become a millionaire, live in a mansion and own at least one jet.
Well, I’m from California, never moved here and don’t have those 1000’s of followers and I am nowhere near being a millionaire. I live in an average house in Los Angeles, all my vehicles are old and I fly the cheapest way when I travel, even if it makes a stop or two to arrive in the city needed. Regarding sex, I do preach and live holy living.
After 36 years of Christianity, the only thing ‘heresy hunters and fault finders’ can accuse me of, is maybe a 10 minute youtube clip or a banner I hold.
I can live with that.
Rather than giving a generic answer like ‘a cult will go beyond the Bible’ or ‘just pray about it’ I will give you some meat to chew. Even more than getting into an endless theology discussion, allow me to just point out the character and disposition of a cult.
I have seen a number of little groups that I would consider cultish, and those warning signs are:
Keeping members from seeing or talking to family
Fellowship with others is discouraged
Thinking they are the real deal and everyone else is wrong
If you leave the group you are forever dammed
You must join them, maybe moving near them is required
Continued slander with those who have departed the assembly
Nonstop believe like us or you are dammed
Being legalistic on certain topics, yet very liberal on others
Most members are loners, so they fit right in
Often they are anti-government and think every law passed pertains to them
Everyone is a Pharisee but their group of course
No true Church today
Only they hear the voice of God
Usually they have a nice smile but think you are a heretic and hell bound
Keep certain doctrines hidden
Only certain books may be read
Stepping stone theology, the longer you abide, the more you will get to know
Money given is way beyond 10%
Anti-gun or over weapons
Their leader will micromanage your life
Never honest about what they believe
They question everyone’s motive
Usually one leader and leadership are their lapdogs
Often a particular clothing is needed for members
Doing a certain act or belief of a distinct teaching the body of Christ does not recognize
Thinking they need to know Hebrew or speak Hebrew
Church meeting are always the same topic or theology, to keep them thinking they are right
Any or all the above, you should get beeping warning lights and hear loud whistles.
My 2 cent and keep the change