Wednesday, May 15, 2013


View from our house.
(Click photos to enlarge.)
Once again, thanks to Lenny Pappano, we enjoyed a satisfying conference in Seneca Falls, NY last weekend. Lenny first hosted this conference last Fall alongside the largest "Finger lake" of upstate New York, Lake Cayuga. The conference last Fall has become known as, "The First Bi-Annual Seneca Falls Conference," because it now looks like we'll be visiting this beautiful part of the country both times of the year when it should be warm but really isn't: Fall and Spring.

There I go complaining about temperature again. I was joking with Dan Sheridan over the weekend that I just want to straddle the Equator. "Do you think I will be warm then?" I said.

Woman straddling Equator at Ecuador. Does anyone
know her? I would like to marry her.
"You'll probably have to wear a sweater," Dan said.

We love this area, not only for the lakes, but for the wine. Our favorite wine is a Cabernet, Merlot blend  called, "Moonglorious." As far as we know, the only place it's sold is at the Eleven Lakes Winery in Seneca Falls.

In case you did not realize it, God gave wine to gladden the human heart (Psalm 104:15).

Clyde, Dan and me, sufficiently gladdened.
The place we meet is rustic and includes a fireplace, which must be continually stoked with large chunks of wood, also known as "logs." But this is fun, actually. There is something satisfyingly primitive about throwing logs on a fire, watching the sparks, and staring at the dancing flames. This is how people stayed warm in the old days--and also how they burned down their homes on a regular basis. We kept everything under control, however, and did not burn down a single thing. (I did drop a heavy window on my thumb on Saturday, but this was the only injury of the weekend. I am fine now; I had a thumb to spare, thank God.)

Fireplace at the meeting place.

The meeting place.
Informal, Friday night gathering.

I am doing something to make "Dr. Winbigler" (Win Allabough) and others laugh.
(Why isn't Dan Sheridan paying attention to me?)

James Flanders knows what he's talking about.

So does Douglas Witherspoon of Virginia.

My sister Kelly talks to Carole from Toronto.

James Flanders still knows what he's talking about.

I love these conferences because I get to hear other speakers glory in the glory of God. On this outing, it was Dan Sheridan, Clyde Pilkington, and James Flanders. I also got my licks in, of course.

I'm going at it in Seneca Falls, happy to be near the fire.
Back entrance/exit, whichever you want.

Kelly photographs her brother while balancing coffee.
Can't gripe about the scenery.
James Flanders, it turns out, is a wonderful speaker. Well, why wouldn't he be? He used to be a notable at a large church in Florida, but was persecuted out of town when he started seeing and teaching the salvation of all. James has suffered much at the hands of religious lunatics (sorry for the redundancy), but there is no training like suffering for delivering God's Word. When you have suffered, the truth oozes out your pores. This is the case with James, Dan, and with me. We speak truly because we have suffered truly. Nothing is theoretical; it is all too real. Come to one of our conferences and experience it sometime.

Once again, Lenny put us up in a nice house along Lake Cayuga. Some of the best times of fellowship, then, were spent in this house.

Our house at dusk.
Dining at Wolffy's, across the road.

Trees in bloom line our driveway.

Back porch fellowship and study.
My section of the table.
Dan Sheridan explains the meaning of life to James Flanders.
"You are probably wondering why I called you all here."
Hard at it.
Nathan relaxes.
Clyde, me, Nathan, on the way home.
On the way home wearing C3's shades.

Thank you, Lenny Pappano, for another memorable adventure in Seneca Falls.

Would you consider a Fall conference at the Equator?

Copyright 2013 by Martin Zender.


Rambling toward The Rambler with the Newmans.
(Click photos to enlarge.)
We enjoyed a wonderful visit last week from the family I visited in December in Las Vegas: Joe, Melinda, Hannah, and Matthew Newman. I told the Pilkingtons when I got back in December, "These people are awesome!" My family here had followed all my blogs from Vegas, and now it was time for them to find out in person how great the Newmans actually were. The four days they were here, I kept saying, "Well, didn't I tell you? Huh?Huh? Didn't I tell you how great the Newmans were?" I made a nuisance of myself, but they all kept saying, "Yeah, you told us! Be quiet already!"

They didn't actually tell me to be quiet. They never really ever tell me here to be quiet. I don't know why, exactly; it's just the wonderful way things are.  

The Newmans, being from the arid land of Nevada, were happy about the green of Pennsylvania. Well, yes,
Nice try, sucker.
we actually have had trees turning green around here. Some flowers blossomed as well, but they have since been disciplined and hammered back into the ground by cold spells. The trees are a little hardier and are able to "flip off" some of the more brutal Spring weather and survive.

On their first night here, we all walked down the hill into downtown Windber and went to an ice-cream place called "The Rambler." The Newmans thought this was a real treat, and I suppose it was.

Cindy and Melinda en route to The Rambler.
Nathan rambles.
Hannah thinks Windber is small compared to
Las Vegas (imagine), but she loves it.
C3 springs into worship. 
Is this 1953?
Clyde, Joe, Matthew.
Cindy guards the napkin dispenser.
Oh! Joe wanted some beer, so we told him to go to the beer drive-thru. He had never heard of such a thing. Apparently, in Las Vegas you can get beer anywhere: on a bus, in a bar, at a grocery store. That's not the case here. Joe had never heard of driving into a building to get beer. In fact, they have no such things as drive-thrus in Las Vegas. So that was a real treat for Joe. "You mean I just drive into the building?" he said.

Everyone drinks beer in Windber.
Oh, the wonders of Pennsylvania.

Clyde and company took the Newmans to the damn dam that broke in 1889 and flooded Johnstown. As I've told you before, this part of PA is known for epic disasters. So I think the Newmans also went to the Flight 93 memorial. (United Flight 93, of 9/11 infamy, crashed in this very county.)

The last day the Newmans were here, Aaron Locker led them to the abandoned Interstate tunnels near Breezewood. I have never been here, but apparently it is fun and a little bit spooky. Well, it was the highlight of the trip for them, I kid you not.

Watch that first step.
Don't forget to go back a couple blogs and read Hannah's poems. She is quite a talented little writer.

We enjoyed the Newman's visit, and made a deal with them. They will come here in the summer, and we will go to Las Vegas in the winter.

That's a safe bet for everyone, I'd say.

Copyright 2013 by Martin Zender.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Sparky, Cassie, and Stubby at the fry.
(Click photos to enlarge.)

We did go to the Mormon-sponsored fish fry, and I will admit: the Mormons can fry fish. Sparky is ever infiltrating various religious persuasions, bringing them truth incrementally. He met these Mormons while helping them with construction projects. Sparky calls himself “Special-Ops.” God drops him behind enemy lines, and he picks people off (and ticks them off) one at a time. 

Spark told this Mormon kid I was
"looking into the Mormon religion."
I could have pounded him.
Sparky and Cassie are a unique pair. She is twenty years his junior. Age makes no difference here, because here is a union of common souls. As Sparky says, “Brilliant calls unto brilliant.” It’s no exaggeration. Love also calls unto love; love is boundless and  insists on defining itself. Who would care to stop its momentum?

After the fry, we went to the beach just off a pretty town park, to dabble in a little salt water.

Leo’s is a fun place to eat in Ocean Springs. We got some wings and drinks in the dining area half in and half out of the warm spring air.  

Arriving home, I had to start thinking about the next morning’s talk in Baton Rouge. I studied and wrote a little in bed (“on the air mattress”) before turning in. I was feeling pretty darn good about everything.

Bridge off Ocean Springs.
This French guy first explored the region about
300 years ago. He doesn't move much now.
Looking out onto the Gulf.
Baby bird at Leo's in Ocean Springs.
Cassie peeks through the wooden napkin holder.
Zender looks off.
Sheldon looks in.
                                                     BATON ROUGE

In the morning, it was off to Baton Rouge. On the way, thank goodness, we picked up Cassie’s mother, Maureen. I say “Thank Goodness,” because I really liked Maureen. It was like when Ringo finally joined the Beatles. Now, our little evangelistic group was complete: Sparky, Cassie, me, Sheldon, Maureen. Oh, and Stubby. Nothing happens quite as it should without Stubby.

I wish I’d taken more photos at Abiding Hope Fellowship in Baton Rouge, but I was too much in the moment. It was the same deal here as elsewhere: Fellow members of the body of Christ understand one another upon contact. You shake hands, hug; everybody gets it. Still, you want to bring them a message making Christ even more alive.

Thomas Kissinger's wife Sarah.
I spoke to them about our freedom from sin, and how it thrives in the face of sin. This is one of my favorite things to tell people. It never fails to move people; folks don’t often think the way of freedom. Bondage dies hard, even among seasoned spiritual veterans. We all have leftover “stuff.” Even I, Martin Zender, had leftover stuff before meeting Clyde Pilkington. I have since felt bricks falling off a religious wall I didn’t know existed. I guess you would call it, “Leftover Catholicism.” For these folks, I suppose it would be  leftover Pentecostalism. After all, this is the land of Jimmy Swaggart.

I never feel to raise my arms for Jesus in public. I rarely do in private, but it happens. Mainly, for me, it’s an awareness of the abiding presence of God. Everything is always raised inside me for Him, aware, so thrusting out the arms seems redundant. This is why I’m rarely moved to do it. But if the movement comes, I will do it. I’ll do whatever I feel, because living in me is Christ. If I don’t feel, well—living in me is Christ.

Cassie and her mother, Maureen
David is the pastor (I’m sorry I don’t know his last name), and the assistant pastor is Thomas Kissinger, who writes books, including The Glory of God, and the Honor of Kings. I loved the spirit of these two men of God. Great and glorious, so simple, so true. After all, look at what they are doing: believing God in the middle of Satanic worship. Satan worship in Louisiana comes in three forms here: 1) Catholicism, 2) Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, 3) Voodoo.   

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the funky magic of bloody, scarred, headless-chicken-death-entities is to be preferred over the teaching that God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, will oversee the eternal torture of billions of Their creatures. I am sorry to have to say that. I wish it were different, but it’s not. I'm not saying Jimmy isn't a good man. He is. But he's teaching a false gospel that is so false, words can barely describe it.

The remedy to all this is the truth of the cross of Christ, the gospel of Paul, and the Word of God, correctly cut, correctly translated, and boldly articulated.

Martin Zender, Thomas Kissinger, Tom "Sparky" Purcell.
Thomas told me to speak between 30-40 minutes. That’s my usual, anyway. But the people were drawing from me. Everyone was awake and hyper-attentive. I could just tell. It was perfect. It rarely happens that so many people hop on your ship simultaneously and ride whatever wave you kick out from the podium. I cannot help gauging body language. Sometimes it is necessary to ignore it. This group, however, was alive and kicking the whole way through. So on I went for 55 minutes. It was not too long. I believe in my heart I could have gone another 55 minutes, such was the pull of those loving people.

Milling around after the meeting.
I sold several copies of, How To Be Free From Sin While Smoking a Cigarette, enjoying several spiritual conversations afterward. Safe to say lives were changed. If this didn’t happen, I’d quit. It shouldn’t be hard to change lives if only you have truth and un-install all your filters.

There is nothing like going to the French Quarter in New Orleans after a hard teaching spell in Baton Rouge. This has been one of my favorite sayings for years, although I never had the opportunity to live it out until now. So the gang-of-six detoured off Interstate 12 onto I-55 South, easing along Lake Ponctchatrain into The Big Easy.

                                                 NEW ORLEANS

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll spare you a lot of reading by simply sharing my photos from New Orleans and the French Quarter. I will give you one word: Spectacular.

Meeting Mary Cage on the way to New Orleans.
To hear this story, click on Show 102 from the
Martin Zender/Dan Sheridan Show.
The Superdome, as seen through Sparky's windshield wiper.
Vintage French Quarter.
Down the sidewalk.
Jeanne d'Arc
Stubby needs help.
The Jazz capital.
Street band.
House of Voodoo.
And its wares.
Here comes the rain; Bourbon Street.
On the sidewalk.
Self portrait.
Whose mama?
Sheldon at Tropical Isle; Bourbon Street.
New Orleans is famous for the Hand Grenade,
"the strongest drink on the French Quarter."
Don't worry; there's hardly any alcohol in it.
These people invented the Hand Grenade.
Unfortunately, they forgot the alcohol.
Amazon keeps watch over Tropical Isle. Fine by me.
This is where you sit.
Sheldon and me, inside Tropical Isle.
Saints outside the window.
Sin is rarely where people expect to find it. Jesus would have hung out in New Orleans and loved it. The people would have loved Him. When it was time to die, He would have headed over to Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and preached the success of His cross.

He would have found respite at Sparky’s house, I know that.

© 2013 by Martin Zender