Here’s a funny story.

 When I first came here as a missionary I wore a goatee.  (Since then, I was told a really funny joke about goatees, which made me shave it off immediately).  But when I was down here with my goatee, Stone Cold Steve Austin was famous and everyone thought I was him.   His trademark was John 3:16 for some reason.  Everyone asked me to give them an autograph, so my signature was John 3:16 and then I’d write it out in Spanish (the first verse I memorized in Spanish) ‘Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.’

John 3:16 is very near and dear to my heart. 🙂


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John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That’s the root message of everything I care to share, exemplify and walk out in my personal life and ministry. I only want to share what develops from this this verse one way or another.  

This one verse, that is placed as the mantelpiece of the Bible, contains a lifetime worth of preaching.   This basic message, a Bible within the Bible, has everything that someone needs to know to be saved.   Many times when I am teaching about God, I find that if I go more away from this ‘plumbline’ of truth, I am getting away from the reason that God has us in Nicaragua and drifting from the message that God wants me to share.  Because my messages are centered around this one truth, I have never had problems with the government or people that try to cause problems with what I teach.  Remember, I am a missionary in a communist country.  Americans are not appreciated here like they are in other countries.  Maybe that’s why I am chosen to be here.  Reminding people of God’s love for them is timeless and transcends any belief or hostility.

I kind of shy away from using the word ‘Christian’.  Many people who say they are Christians humiliate me with their anger, words and actions.  I call myself a true believer in Jesus Christ, that follows His Word as closely as possible.  (I blow it badly every day, but my goal is to not do so,  to become like my Lord and Saviour) There’s a lot of us like that here on the mission field, I always kind of laugh when someone (usually a tourist) says a pastor or a Christian is the ‘real deal’ (as if they are a judge or something).  There’s a lot of us out there.  We are the real deal, and yes, real deals blow it every day, all of us.  Real deals know they need a Saviour more than the regular guy.

Opinions, meanness, politics, hate and bigotry do not apply to any of the things I teach to these wonderful people down here, or people reading this missive. I have found that negativity doesn’t work, nor does it please God.   I had been in several online Bible studies ( Joe Spinosi. Menof Faith and John J Stanley)’s that have all recently touched on ‘fake’ righteous anger.   I’m right there with them.  Just by being a grouch does not make you filled with righteous anger.  Righteous anger only works toward God’s glory.  I have blocked many ‘Christians’  who hid behind the veil of righteous anger as an excuse to be a jerk.   I learn by trial and error, and am quickly becoming an expert!  Any and all negativity makes me stray from the messages found in John 3:16.  

Remember, the Bible is perfectly written.  The Bible itself is it’s own interpreter.   Every verse supports all the other verses.   If something seems contradictory, the problem lies with you, not the Bible.  God’s Word is perfect and infallible.

The bottom line theme that runs through the whole Bible is that God loves us.  Just like the scarlet thread that most Bibles to be used as a place marker, is there as a reminder of God’s love for you.  (Representing Jesus’s blood).

It’s never just ‘I’, no matter how bad the problem, It’s ‘we’, all because of love.   When I was a car sales-manager, I appraised a car and really missed it.  Sandy Fitzgerald, the dealer, won my heart when She said, ‘oh no! What are WE going to do??’  I wasn’t alone in my error, and it made me feel a lot better.

Just heard this today. When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, illness is replaced by wellness.

Here’s a video of Winnie Peters preaching this about God being real the AWANA kids today, so they know that they aren’t alone.

When I preach, or just witness, I usually just teach;

-1.  God.  God is love. God is the creator. God is good.  God isn’t mad at anyone, He’s mad about all of us.  He loves us!  It’s His faith that He puts in us, just like He sheds His great love abroad in our hearts. I teach them about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and how God can change their lives through love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and repentance.

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

-2.  World.  The world is us. God loves the inhabitants of the world ,,,  Jesus loves me! .  The world (inhabitants) in it’s nature is an enemy of God.  (Sons of Satan). When we get saved we are reconciled to Him (Sons of God).  The world hates God, because right now it’s in being controlled by Satan.  His tools are lies, religion, pride and lust.  We as new believers take a lot of heat from friends and family but it’s not a problem.  Stay the course.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

-3.  Gave.  Giving and gifts are all expressions of love.  Just because you say you love someone, do you?  How did God show me that He loved me?   Did He yell down from heaven to me and everyone else, ‘Hey Dean! I love you!’   Nope! He showed He loved me by giving me eternal life by sending down His Son to die for my sins and resurrect from the the tomb. If you say you love someone you give.   If you are praying for someone you love them and you give them stuff if they need.  You give either money or time or both.  A loving person is a giving person.  I can not understand someone who says they have God living inside of them, yet are stingy.  You can’t take it with you.  If you love extravagantly, you give imaginatively.

Genesis 37:3  “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.”

-4. Son.  The only begotten Son.  Before I had a son, I could never figure out why God the Father didn’t just give His own life for us. Instead He let His Son die for us.  Seemed kind of lazy and cowardly.   That was BEFORE I had a son of my own.  I would happily die to save my son’s life, or suffer to keep him from suffering.  At least my daughter would still be alive if something happened to him.   But God gave His only son!  I have been trying to console a neighbor man and wife who’s only child,  five years old, was killed in front of their house.  5 years later they are still not recovered.   I can not imagine.   I just sit with them.  We handled their court costs, funeral. etc. But what do you say to someone who’s only son dies?  I hope you wouldn’t say ‘I guess God needed another angel in the choir’.  How cruel!!  But God the Father gave us His Son, God the Son to save our souls, freely.  

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

-5. Whosoever.  Whoever.  Anyone. Everyone.  Be guided by God to evangelize, minister and help.  Give recklessly.  Share boldly.  With anyone that God puts in your path.   Be a ‘grace dispenser’ as my favorite Christian author, Philip Yancey says.  Not a bull dozer/wrecking ball/‘sin exterminator’ like I used to be. God wants us all to be saved, and so do I, because I long to be like Jesus.

2 Peter 3:8 NIV He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare

-6.  Believe.  Do you know that the fact you believe in God is a gift from God?  You can’t even be proud that you believe:  Belief is also God’s gift to you, like His  Son, and His faith.  There is nothing to do but be thankful to God for His Son, His faith and your belief in Him.  That’s what saves your soul.

Eph 2:8 Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

-7.  Life.  Eternal life. Eternal death.   Eternal life for sons of God (believers).  Eternal death for sons of Satan (non-believers).  It has nothing to do with sin.   Sin is an after thought.   Either you believe or you don’t believer.   Drinkers, addicts, cigarette smokers go to hell because they don’t believe, not because of their sins.   Plus if they really believed they would be less likely to do that stuff. Chuck Smith had a member of his church commit suicide because he couldn’t quit smoking (Why grace changes everything.. C.Smith). This poor kid either believed in Jesus’ death and resurrection to save him, or his ability to quit smoking to save him.  I kind of get his frustration.  Quitting smoking is hard!  I lost a great job once because I couldn’t quit.  I was up to 7 packs a day when I was a car sales manager.  I quit smoking and drinking when I got really saved. Only Jesus is the answer!

Rev 20:12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”

Dean and Winnie Peters
[email protected]

Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Nicaragua for the glory of God

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