Monday, February 15, 2010

Thoughts Behind Reading

Former Miltonvale friend, Cara, asked these questions on her Facebook. I thought I would share my answers here. Nothing major, just a simple little exercise on books and reading.

What is your relationship with books?

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t sit down and read from one of the two or three books that I am going through. At the moment, that includes the Bible which I keep in my car with one other primary book to read.

Do you read books (why or why not)?

Personal growth and enjoyment, reading is cheap and keeps my mind sharp. When I am reading challenging books on a daily basis, I find myself more creative. The emphasis is on challenging though.

How do you choose the books you read?

I subscribe to WORLD Magazine and they are always reviewing books. If I see something that catches my eye, I go to or and put it on my wish list for the next round of ordering. I also pay attention to what two or three close friends are reading.

What books are transformative for you?

Of course the Bible, then history books and other theological works are always demanding my attention. Toss in a good techno-thriller or spy novel and I am a happy reader.

Would you read more books if you knew about recommended titles?

That doesn’t really apply to me. I read what I like and am always working on a book.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Area Girl Hurt in Accident

February 14, 2010

Dear Friends,

I am trying to figure out what logic to use when I am sharing prayer requests. Which ones need to go out to 500+ people and which ones to keep closer to home?

Via Facebook about 45 minutes ago, I learned that Kelsey Brown, a student at Pike Valley High School, was ejected from her pickup in accident. She has at least one broken vertebrae and some other injuries. At this moment (11:00 PM CST), she is on her way via ambulance from Belleville, KS, to Lincoln, NE, to Bryan-West Medical Center with her family following. Her mother told me that they are planning for surgery as soon as Kelsey arrives at the hospital. The good news is that she was talking with her family and wiggling her toes before the sedated her for the trip to Lincoln.

I have prayed with her mother, Dawn, and spoke with her brother, Alex. They both requested that I send out this prayer request. If you use Facebook, the link for a prayer group for Kelsey is at the end of this email. I have also included her brother’s email address, so you can let the family know that you are praying for them if you are not a Facebook user.

Updates on previous requests:

Jacqui Grim, YWAM-Ethiopia: I just spoke with her father Kirk. She is still running a fever and is in some pain. At the moment, she is not hospitalized but is waiting to see the doctor again. Please keep praying for her. One nice note is that I have two friends (hometown – Minneapolis, KS) in Addis Ababa who have been in touch with Jacqui’s parents via email. (How about that for a small world?)

Jim Douglass: I don’t have an update about Jim today. I did see him on the 13th. An x-ray earlier in that day indicated pneumonia in both lungs. When I saw him, he was watching the K-State basketball game with his sons and resting well.

Pray for me as I have a busy week of ministry. I will be in Topeka on Tuesday to minister at KJCC. On Wednesday, I will be speaking to a youth group in Belleville on false religions. Saturday is the TFC Rally with Eternity Focus. Throw in some hospital visits, research, reading, correspondence and other items and you can say that I will be rather occupied.

Thank you for your time. Please notify your church’s prayer chain about Kelsey Brown. Remember to click on the links below.

Thank you for lifting these requests up to the Lord! Take care and God Bless You.

Yours For Youth!


Kelsey Brown’s Facebook Prayer Group:!/group.php?gid=308322529924

Alex Brown’s email address:

Eternity Focus Facebook Event Page:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prayer Requests for Two Families

February 13, 2010

Dear Friend,

Earlier this evening, I received a phone call from my dear friend Michelle Grim. Michelle has been out here twice to speak at the Teens For Christ Rallies about the cult of Mormonism.

She called with two prayer requests. The main one concerns her daughter, Jackie (I know that is not the proper spelling,) who is in Ethiopia with Youth With A Mission. Jackie is serious ill with some sort of stomach parasite and was airlifted to the capital city, Addis Ababa, for medical treatment.

Jackie has lost nearly 20 pounds since being hospitalized and is not improving. Michelle’s husband, Kirk, is making plans to travel to Ethiopia to bring their daughter back to the United States.

Please pray for Jackie’s healing, safety and for the arrangements to get her back to the States. You can let Kirk and Michelle know that you are praying for them by emailing them at: You can even claim that you know me.

Due to the sensitive nature of Michelle’s work in counter cult ministry, I cannot share all of the details of the second request. It is a project that she has asked me to assist on concerning a ministry need in Alaska. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as she helps a community and the Christian congregations learn the truth about Mormonism.

You can also pray for one of our supporters, Jim Douglass, who is at Salina Regional Health Center with a very bad case of pneumonia. Jim and his wife Marilyn have been prayer partners and supporters of Teens For Christ for over 25 years. You can let them know that you are praying for them by emailing Jim and Marilyn at:

Thanks for lifting up these special needs and for all the times you pray for Lisa and me. Take care and God Bless You!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Will You Die Without Jesus?

This is my article that will appear in today's edition of the Concordia Blade-Empire.

Will You Die Without Jesus?

For the past couple of months, I have noticed an ad in the paper stating how many people die due to the lack of health insurance. I am not inclined to enter a debate on either side of this issue, especially since I don’t know the reasoning behind the daily advertisement. The advertisement does remind me of something else, though – everyone dies. With or without insurance, everyone will die. It doesn’t matter if you exercise daily or if you eat lard three times a day, you will die. The big question I haven’t seen many ads asking is this: Will you die without Jesus?

"And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." – Hebrews 9:27-28 (NASB)

In these two verses, we read that we have an appointment with death. For some of us, death will come after many years of life or a serious battle with a dreaded illness. Everyone will stand around the casket and say, “Well, it was his time.” For other people, death will come when no one is planning on it. Those are services filled with many tears and people saying, “This isn’t fair”.

For me, death will occur as one of “. . . those who eagerly await Him.” As a freshman in high school up at Belleville, one night at a church revival meeting, I responded to an invitation to trust Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour. Death is still in my future, but eternal judgment has been removed from the picture.

What about you? Are you ready for your appointment with death? If not, you need the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers to those who make the decision to trust Him to be their Lord and Saviour. Swallow your pride. Admit you are a sinner. Turn your back on your sins. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and invite Him into your heart. The premium has been paid. It is a free gift.

Kent Otott is the Executive Director of North Central Kansas Teens For Christ and has been a part of this ministry in Concordia since 1984.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Post

Several years ago, I set up a blogger account and nothing ever was added to it. Today, I was reading Mark Batterson's "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" as I was having tea at Subway here in Concordia. A challenge that Batterson laid down was to journal or blog. What will I do from here? I don't really know.

It appears that 2010 will be my year for reading. That isn't really new for me, reading is always a major part of my life and ministry. This year, though, reading will be amped up to a new level.

One new item on my reading agenda is going through the Bible. At the moment, I have a copy of the Holman Christian Standard Bible and I am reading it through for what I call "funzies". At the moment, I am in Numbers. I have had this translation laying around the house for the past six months and decided to put it to use even though I am a New American Standard guy with the King James near by. When I am done with the HCS, I will read through the English Standard Version.

I know that this is not an exciting first post. At least it is a post. More later.