December, 2006 Return to pastorob's current journal
Sunday, December 31, 2006
In from Moscow:
Dear Rob and Cathy,
Just a quick note to let you know that Joe got here safe and sound and is safely tucked away at my friends the Gilberts. Tomorrow we are going to see some of the must sees of Moscow. Thanks for sending him. It is a great blessing to have him here.
This was in Mary's Prayer Requests for this week:
This coming week Joe and I, along with the other Americans who help with my English club will be getting together with those who attend my English club and hopefully others to have fun together. My prayer is that as we have informal times together that we will have opportunities to get to know our Russian friends better and to share the reason that we are here in Russia. I am including a schedule of our events so that you can be praying for us during the week.
Tuesday, Jan. 2nd baking American foods at my house
Wednesday, Jan. 3rd bowling
Thursday, Jan. 4th movie in English at my house
Friday, Jan. 5th tour of Kolomenskaya Park
Sunday, Jan. 7th English club-Joe will lead
Monday, Jan. 8th look at holiday lights in center of city
Tuesday, Jan. 9th Jewish tour of Moscow
Ross Farrow, from the Lodi News
Sentinel called me while I was at Tsunami. He
wanted to know my prayer for the coming year.
After we talked, he told me that he would
probably write a story about me leaving the
pastorate in Galt.
Here is the prayer article: click here
Here is the other story about my departure: click here
Friday, December 29, 2006
I'm up at 5:00 a.m. and the Lobby computer is free so I'm sending this entry to Jennifer to post. My laptop won't log-in to the hotel wireless for some reason.
We met up with Tara Zeller and her Youth Group yesterday. They have a group of 20 and are staying in the same hotel as us.
We did, indeed, make our way to Saddleback Community Church yesterday morning. We met a new staff member who recently came out from Ohio with his wife and three daughters. Tony gave us a wonderful tour of the place. I've been sharing VISION with our group of 21. No better place that Saddleback to share the power of Vision (and faith in a God-Sized Assignment). I believe that our group from Galt has truly caught a vision from the Lord.
Last night's Opening Session with Francis Chan has now taken us the very next step. I can already sense that God has a fully-endowed Message for us all. I'm gonna wake the crew up at 6:00 and tell them that the early bird gets the worm. We've gotta get rollin'...
So, my friend in, Gina Wardlaw, commented on the most recent myspace blog I posted. Click on her photo to see her myspace. You can ( click here) to see my posting and her comment. I know that I speak for everyone at fbcgalt who know her: "We love Gina..."
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Our entourage of 21 people
traveled to southern
California yesterday to attend our State
Youth Conference. Barbara Payne, David Sayre,
Tom and Christene Santillan, Cathy are the other
old people who will hang with 4,000 young people
Long Beach Convention Center today.
Before the Conference begins, we're planning to visit the campus of Saddleback Community Church. My Sunday School class has been reading "The Purpose Driven Church" which tells the story of how Saddleback began.
This is the myspace for a guitarist named Jeremy Holdersfield. He plays for a band called Seventh Day Slumber and works with a new company called American Dream Entertainment . He is the man who has helped me arrange for our son, Jerry, to have an audition with Eowyn.
Jerry remembers seeing Seventh Day Slumber at Tsunami a few years ago. He said that Michael Parker had really enjoyed them. Since he is planning to ask for time off in order to travel to Nashville next week, Jerry felt that he had to miss Tsunami this year. So, if any locals stop by Save-Mart, make sure to say 'Hi' to Jerry in the Meat Department.
Can you tell that I'm particularly proud of that young man?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
We're leaving for Tsunami (click here for more information)
FBC Galt: Our Deacons have Rocked for Ages
Get a closer look. click the pic
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The day is starting early (4 a.m.). Yesterday, Joe and I spent several hours in the props and music rooms (my office) behind the platform. I'm headed back over to the mines now. I must stay on task . . .
I have previously confessed that I have had a lifelong struggle with 'cleaning up' and 'organizing'. There is simply not enough time to play with all the old toys that are found in the process.
Jeremy Morris sent me a special Christmas greeting. I have spoken of this guy many times through the years. He's the long-haired guitarist that shows up in a certain testimony of mine. Jeremy was the church musician who led worship the night I prayed a Sinner's Prayer with his pastor (June 5, 1982). He is the prolific composer who wrote "Harden Not Your Heart." I first heard that special song on this album: King of Kings. I have played that particular song all over the world. It is especially well-known by those who have attended FBC Galt during the last decade. That particular album has so many good songs that my favorite isn't even one of the samples in the link above.
Jeremy shared news of a new Worship CD he just released called Faithful and True. To order your copy: click here
Monday, December 25, 2006
We have donned the gay apparel and we have a candle burning for you on this sunny, California Christmas.
We had an intimate time of sharing the Lord's Supper and a wonderful time at our Candlelight Service last night. The rooms were filled with people and with expectation.
Afterwards, our family went to Mike and Robin McCall's home for soup. Then we all went to Jebby's new church. The Sayres and the Santillans were also there. I am happy that Jebby has been given this new assignment from the Lord.
Today, I am making all four of our children watch
A River Runs Through It
Redford's film which introduced Brad Pitt to the popular culture will serve as my tool to offer another rite of passage as Joe prepares for Moscow/Philippines and Jerry prepares for Nashville.
Hopefully, the point I wish to make will be driven home to Joseph, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Mary during the final days of the year 2006.
Here is my journal entry for this morning: (click here)
----------------- Original Message -----------------
Date: Dec 23 2006 11:47 PM
Subject: Crazy Idea
You know I'm gonna be unemployed as of December 31st, however I don't think that the Lord is gonna leave me without a major assignment to right to work on.
I'm wondering if you would be willing to give up the next semester to come hang out with us in California.
We (Cathy and me) bring you over as our guest; you could stay with us, play with us...
I'm being presented to this new church on January 7th. They have many older people but I get to help pick the new music minister.
In the meantime, you could certainly help me IF I go to that church. If we don't go there, you could still be part of whatever we're gonna do next.
Is it possible or are you definitely 'locked in'?
I'm thinking of having you come for a 'short trip' initially--six weeks to six months.....ASAP.
Write back and tell me what you think.
My myspace INBOX had incoming mail this morning. Click on this photo to see Daniel's myspace page:
Thanks for the message. I can't really write a detailed response at the moment as I'm at my uncle's place for Christmas.
I'll have a good think and pray about what you said and I'll get back to ya!
Talk to you soon, God bless!
I received a phone call from Macdonald Wreh this morning. He will come to be with us for both services tomorrow morning. (For some archives about Macdonald: click here)
I also received this email Christmas Card from Estonia:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with joy, surprises and blessings!
Karina and Moonika from Estonia
Click on the photo to see the Mission House where Aimee and Cathy stayed during our second short-term mission to Estonia (November, 2003).
Friday, December 22, 2006
Sort of a tough deal, the Doctor told me yesterday that they saw something that concerns them in my latest x-ray. Unfortunately that means another biopsy for me. It'll happen this coming Wednesday and I see the doc again on January 15.
Gosh I've been writing a bunch and just got my new CD out. Things seemed to be going pretty darned well. I asked the Doctor, well what if the results are negative again, and he just said, "Well I don't know, I don't think that likely because of the changes we've seen".
I have to tell you he just didn't give me a large dose of optimism, but I feel pretty good most of the time, and I still think God has plans for me here. I'll keep on praying for guidance and strength, and if He brings me to mind in your time of prayer and meditation, I'd ask that you say something on my behalf too.
The last time I went through this stuff, your prayers were such a source of comfort, and even joy at times that I just had to write and ask you again. I pray that God will bless you during this New Year, and that you have a wonderful Christmas too! Soon as I know anything more, I'll pass it along.
Thanks so much for being a friend I can count on.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Hmmm...Cathy rear-ended a car last night so we were late to Bible Study. However, the place was packed and we all had a real good time.
Joe has been finalizing his plans for his trip to Moscow and the Philippines. I've been trying to put everything in order to begin the next chapter of my family history.
Thus, I've been trying to help Jerry with making the most of an opportunity presented to us by Aimee in Kentucky.
An artist named Eowyn has just been signed by a recording label and they are holding auditions in Nashville for her touring band. So, I've been using my day off to compile audio and video clips which help to present our son's abilities:
Audio-Video Resume for Jerry Patterson (view more)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
So, I don't forget...Dolores Silva told me that she would come to church on Christmas Eve. I met her grandson Matthew, 21, and invited him to come as well.
Eli Tavarez called and wanted me to take a look at Oswald Chambers' devotional for that day: click here
The graveside funeral for Cecil Ursery was touching. His children and grandchildren spoke so kindly of this blind musician. Apparently, he was well-known for kind words, laughter, and sharing the joy of musicianship among his family members. I invited those who would be in town to come to church on Christmas Eve.
I conducted an audio system seminar for Christene and Daniel Santillan as the last meeting of the day.
Bible Studies today and tonight.
Call me for more information: (209) 323-0727
By the way: Here's Oswald Chambers for today.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Immediate Plans . . .
How's it goin mate? There's no real purpose for this email rather than to see how you're going and to keep in touch J.
What's been happening? I bet you're busy with Christmas-related church things!
I've been doing well. I just got back from my hometown where my parents live. It was great to get down there and visit them. I'm still recovering from my journey back to Australia.
God did some awesome things in Thailand and Cambodia! I'll have to tell you all about it sometime. Now I'm in the process of translating the things I learnt over there, into being as culturally relevant here as possible.
I found out as soon as I returned home that I need to move out of the house I live in by the end of January. The landlord, a good friend of mine is moving in here with his wife and they're selling the house they're currently living in.
I feel God leading me into a new season although I am still concerned about finding somewhere else to live! If you could pray for me that would be much appreciated!
God bless you richly and I'm sure I'll hear from you soon!
Thanks for using YouTube!
Monday, December 18, 2006
During these Sundays of Advent, it has been helpful to me to reconsider the mystery of the Everlasting Gospel. The verses below are rich with promise. These passages help me to celebrate the Author's Name:
Ruth 4:17 "There is a son born to Naomi." They called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
1Sa 16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.
Rom 15:12 Isaiah says, "There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust."
After our two morning services and a special time spent with La Luz de Cristo, I wrote and submitted a letter of resignation to the members of my local church in Galt, California.
On January 7, 2007, I will be presented as a candidate for Senior Pastor for another church about an hour away from here. Before that date, I felt it was important to resign with at least two weeks notice. Below are some excerpts from my letter:
Steps of faithful obedience make possible great blessings in our lives. Since giving my life to Christ in June, 1982, I have made only a few decisions which have dramatically altered the course of my life.
This decision is certainly as important as any of those other life-changing milestones. Through a pattern of continual prayer and personal accountability to others in the Body of Christ, I have arrived at this altar of decision. Life-changing decisions usually affect the lives of many other people, so it is with the utmost concern for everyone involved that I offer this resignation today.
I have poured my life and passion into the great multitude of individuals who have attended this church since July, 1996. Many of the believers have been called by God to new areas of service; many others have passed on into eternity.
to me as
I love you all and trust that, in His time, God will bring forth the next Senior Pastor who will lead this local body of believers to function as a New Testament church. May our years together be viewed with respect and honor as history is written about what has happened among us.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I hope you will make plans to come visit our church tomorrow morning. Call me for more information:
Friday, December 15, 2006
Friday, December 12-14, 2006
Did I read
(in the most
I'm leaving my pastorate in Galt with my last message here scheduled for Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
I don't how God will provide for the school, the clinic, and the Children's Home, and the Pastor's family...
I apologize for not keeping in touch….please share more about the change….
getting my feet
under me with
the new Youth
just have had to
let other things
doesn’t mean I’m
The Stonegate Team arrived back home to Texas on Sunday night. In this video clip, one of their members, Tim, summarized his feelings about their mission work with Pastor Wesley.
click on the frame to see the video
Before my last laptop crashed, Joe found a variety of photographs in various sectors. If Dateline or 20/20 scanned through your hard drive, what would they find?
Hmm... WWJF? What Will Jesus Find?
Sunday's messages were delivered in both morning services along the path listed below:
from Ephesians 6:10 and beyond
in the Lord and in
His Mighty Power. . .
PUT ON the Full Armor of God . . .
TAKE UP the Shield of Faith . . .
TAKE the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit
PRAY in the Spirit.
I illustrated these points with David's mission trip to the frontline. He was carrying a message and provision from his father when he spotted Goliath.
I'm gonna listen to the tapes as I go about organizing the church toward my departure.
I also have a copy of Ronny Shindy's message from last night. He preached on Jonah and shared how his own personal experience coincides.
Sunday, December 10,
Family Photos: Our son (Jerry) and daughter (Mary) have been enjoying each other's company. When we were shooting family photos recently, Mary asked if she could have a shot with Jerry.
SInce Mary doesn't have a boyfriend, she asked Jerry and his friend, Greg, to take them to the Winter Ball at Galt High School. So, Mary had a couple friends stop by to help with make-up. Click on either frame to see the assortment of photographs. If you click on Slideshow, they will enlarge and advance automatically.
Below is a link to
the updates from the
team who is
back to Texas from
Tim's Summary (Stonegate's Mission to Liberia)
Sunday's Sermon Starter:
. . . to enlarge our understanding.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the Increase of His Government and Peace,
there will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to order it and establish it with Judgment and Justice,
from that time forward, even forever.
The Zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
"He brought you out with A Mighty Hand."
"With a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm...".
BE STRONG in the Lord and in His Mighty Power...
PUT ON the Full Armor of God . . .
TAKE UP the Shield of Faith . . .
TAKE the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit
PRAY in the Spirit.
Research: Deuteronomy 6:4
"Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your Strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses
and on your gates.
Deut. 6: 10-12 (my paraphrase):
When all the GOOD STUFF happens to you
because God has blessed some steps of obedience,
BE CAREFUL that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
I'm heading to the
airport at 5:15 this
morning. I'll have
but Joe and I will
drop by the
Fellowship Hall when
we get to town.
Maybe, there will
still be people
around. I had a
chance to talk and
pray with Jim
I told him all about the Stonegate successes in Liberia. Jim and Doris have consistently invested in Pastor Wesley, Deacon George, and the Children's Home since the very beginning of our affiliation with them.
Here's that sermon he preached back in May, 2004.
This morning we will meet with Pastor Craig Thompson. He is the Senior Pastor of Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church in Brevard, North Carolina. The purpose of this second meeting is to plan the Memorial Service for Cathy's Dad. After one last day with Cathy's Uncle Jack and siblings, we'll fly home to California on Saturday morning.
I'm working from the laptop and the cellphone, so if anyone wants to discuss any matter, feel free to contact me 24/7.
On Tuesday, our entire family will fly back here for the Memorial Service. This unusual event will allow our children to see all of their cousins for the first time in ten years. They all met each other only once before at the same mountaintop home of their Grandfather. We then will return the next day.
The Stonegate Team has posted another journal entry with yet another video which covers Thursday's work at the Medical Clinic and carrying water to the Children's Home.
These videos bring great joy to my heart.
Mike Elkins (Midland, Texas) is the videographer.
I have included links to the separate videos below.
(To leave a comment for Stonegate, click here)
Liberia well water
<< Now Playing
Greater Love Home
relative number of
times each posted
video has been
viewed as of today.
That number will not
change on this page
these links into
However, it has been only four days and the greeting from Sunday has already been viewed nearly 200 times. I am so thankful that Mike Elkins has done this for Pastor Wesley. These videos have great potential for 24/7 transmission of a Big Vision.
Click here and scroll down to the comment posted by Liberian Ministries and Service to Servants. If you click on their name from their posting you'll go the DVD that Jennifer and I uploaded on their behalf. All this, my friends, is the Body of Christ--working efficiently and effectively.
Oh...and for some
reason, Mike Elkins
is posting to two
so one should to go
to both of sites in
order to see the
Stonegate: Liberia Blog 1
Stonegate: Liberia Blog 2
December 7, 2006
I didn't catch the worm...yet. At the time of posting this entry there is 136,840,714 subscribers on my space. I've been there since November 2004, when there were only 11 million.
The Way Forward: The Iraq Study Group Report was handed to President Bush at the White House just now. I'm watching him LIVE on C-SPAN. I don't usually have this access to paid television services. We use a small rabbit ear antenna at home. Last night from the mountaintop satellite dish, I saw that Senator Obama was also sharing his thoughts about the war.
I haven't spent much time with governmental politics since the year I served on the Right-to-Life's Political Action Committee in the mid-eighties. However, by being invited by Rick Warren to stay over and hear Senators Obama and Brownback, I have become drawn into pan-partisan prayer for God's people to humble ourselves and seek God's face during the months ahead.
On the local level, I have tried to pass along a particular story which impacts the governmental political landscape around the epicenter. However, the story about the close race in which my friend, Andrew Meredith, was involved has been deleted from the Galt Herald website. More on this story after the local newspaper updates their web-presence).
I awoke at 6:22
time) and figure
that this is a good
time to post an
entry to this
We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express next door to Uncle Jack. We all said our goodbyes to Cathy's Dad and came here for some sleep.
Apparently Jerry did not die yet because we have asked to be called if his blood pressure starts to rise. Cathy feels that her Dad has already lost 'his look' although we knew that he could still hear us.
Dad lived as a recluse in Mount Pisgah forest. Cathy had phone calls, letters and emails through the years but personal touch and the sharing of emotions was minimized. For us, it is much different than 'church-family life ' to which we are accustomed.
On the mountain, I
have been taking
walks as Cathy stays
at her father's
bedside. All the
siblings seem to be
so my walks are
I have been conducting church business and sharing pastoral visitation via email
Respectable Pastor Rob
Greetings to you in Almighty Lord.
Today in Our Morning My Father again Faint.
and now Admit in Hospital again.
My Father is much series now. Please Pray.
God Bless You
I should share that
had to say his final
goodbye to his wife
two days ago. A
will take place at
our church property
on Saturday at 10:00
am. I will still be
in North Carolina
waiting for my
Here again are excerpts from an important sermon preached by Jim in May, 2004.
Jim Fugate 1 Jim Fugate 2
Jim Fugate 3 Jim Fugate 4
Jim Fugate 5 Jim Fugate 6
Finally, there is an update at the blogspot for our Texas friends who are in Liberia today:
Tuesday, December 5,
update: We've been at my father-in-law's home. I'm finally getting to bed around 2:30 (California time). I discovered that Stonegate has two different Mission Blogs: Here is the site that they seem to be updating: Stonegate in Liberia
It is actually
Monday night as I
write from the
and I flew here on
two planes all day
today. One of her
was here to greet us
with the news that
would arrive soon.
Apparently, Cathy's Dad is in bad shape...thus the Anna's unexpected arrival.
On the up-side, click below to see the Stonegate Team at the Greater Love Children's Home in Liberia. This is so exciting for me to behold.
Children's Home Video: (click here)
Monday, December 4, 2006
1st, a team from
Africa. This team of
working with Pastor
Wesley and the
Greater Love Bible
Baptist Church to
open the medical
clinic next door
to the church.
The Stonegate Team will also help with the church's school and Children's Home. Hopeful to facilitate the adoption of precious boys and girls, this faith-based group is spurring on other Christians in America by sending home videos.
Click on the frame above to see (and hear) a Sunday Morning Greeting to all "Friends of Stonegate." Any friend of Pastor Wesley is a friend of mine. Thank you, STONEGATE Fellowship!
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Today is the
First Sunday of
We are celebrating
Last night, I received an important note about Deacon Jim from my friend, Al Warren:
"What a change a few hours can make. Doris was making great improvements this morning with her blood count and her kidney functions. About 1pm her breathing machine started making funny sounds and the nurse told Jim that the respiratory doctor was on the way.
The respiratory doctor told Jim that the organs were shutting down due to infection and it did not look good. If they could get the infection under control perhaps the organs would come back. It is a question that only God can answer at this time.
It is such a change from the information that was received just this morning, it is hard to understand and such a disappointment."
Jim Fugate 1 Jim Fugate 2
Jim Fugate 3 Jim Fugate 4
Jim Fugate 5 Jim Fugate 6
When I saw Jim last, I handed him a copy of the CD which contains 'the healing sermon' preached in May, 2004. I trust that his message fully interprets the bittersweet pain his precious family is experiencing today.
I have prayerfully listened (and will continue to listen) to this message. There are other mysteries veiled in the message which he had fasted through in 2004. Had it not been for the prayer-life of Deacon Jim, I would never have come back to Galt after my first visit in 1996.
Yesterday, Cathy and I went to see the film, The Nativity. We enjoyed it as a visual Bible Study. Christene and Katey met us at the church and we prepared the altar area for candles throughout this month.
The Stonegate Team has arrived in Monrovia, Liberia to help Pastor Richard Wesley. They haven't yet uploaded any new videos to their mission blog, but click below to check for yourself.
Trip to Liberia
I'm writing at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday and figure that by now these short-term missionaries have finished the morning church service in Sinkor.
Current time in Liberia (click here)
Yesterday, I was
contacted by a
Liberian who is
living in America.
website has a page
that tells what the
weather is like
today in his
Current weather in Liberia (click here)
Thanks for the wonderful work you church is doing in Liberia. I don't know Pastor Wesley but I know the area the church is. Liberia needs a lot of help. Things are getting better but there is still a lot of needs.
I started a community Mass Choir in 1998 before I came to the US. The choir presently have over 50 members and is growing every day. I'm trying to find sponsors for them. They need instruments. Most of our members are college students so we pay two students school fees for one year.
Learn more about the choir www.paynesvillemass.com. Please pray that the Lord will provide. Let's keep in touch. If you have question about Liberia and need information, I will be happy to help. May God Richly Bless you and your family!!!
...and from my Pakistani friend, Pastor Shamas Pervaiz:
I had to leave the Global Summit right after the senators spoke. Cathy called mid-morning to remind me that it was the first Friday of the month which means "Parents' Night Out".
That meant that I had to miss the afternoon line-up of speakers. I won't feel that I've finished my assignment unless I get the CDs of the Summit and listen to them all.
I've mentioned before that I don't mind drive-time if I have a way to listen to songs or sermons. For my trip to Orange County, I brought a battery operated cassette player and some tapes of sermons I've preached in the past. Listening to old sermon tapes is helpful in the process of integrating God's Word with my memories of personal relationships.
I also studied two CDs repeatedly in the car player:
1) Rubber Soul (the Parlaphone version) and
2) A Theology of Suffering and Healing (CD 1).
Rubber Soul is an album which, in my life, is a brand seared upon my long-term memory.
It was during the years of running the streets of my hometown as a motherless child.
"There are places I remember..."
and sung to the melody of 'Girl' . . .
"Is there anybody going to leave a comment
for me, on the blog I posted yesterday..."
The unique stereo
mix of this
particular album is
wonderful to hear
(one channel at a
time). The British
Release has songs
which were not on
the Capital Record
Album that I bought
Wards. Wikipedia has
an informative page
about this album (click
The Healing CD was produced locally by our church. CD 1 covers the first two nights of healing services in May, 2004. The opening sermon by Jim Fugate still ministers (especially in these days as he lives at the hospital taking care of his bride).
Jim Fugate 1 Jim Fugate 2
Jim Fugate 3 Jim Fugate 4
Jim Fugate 5 Jim Fugate 6
There are seven tracks on the CD. I still have a few copies of the CD in the prop room. If anyone would like to own a copy, you know where to find me tomorrow!
As Rick Warren reminds us:
"Today, you can be almost anywhere in the world in 24 hours--just ask a travel agent."
Well, I hope to see some of you travel across the planet to visit on for any of the four Advent Sundays in Galt, California (click here).
It was a seven hour drive to get back home. After stopping at a Stockton hospital to meet Jim Fugate at the elevator, I made it to the Epicenter to experience a bit of
Parents' Night Out:
Friday, December 1,
Today is the 25th Annual World AIDS Day. This morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and started writing in preparation. 39.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the virus.
1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV-AIDS. Half of these are African-Americans even though they only comprise 13% of our population. Of course, thousands of people are unaware that they are HIV-positive because of the stigma involved with being tested.
In Africa, there are 25 million women, children, and men who are suffering much more than the average American who lives with the virus. In the U.S., the symptoms of the virus can be managed. In most of Africa, it is still a certain death sentence.
On my motel television, I've already seen several stories about the controversial appearance of Senator Barack Obama at Saddleback's Global AIDS Summit. There are certain Christian groups that are planning to picket the very conference I'm attending. Here is what Rick Warren has to say about why he invited the Senator (click here).
Yesterday, Bono (from U2) spoke at the Summit (via video). Well, actually he 'preached.' There were several world leaders who spoke yesterday but, I tend to most enjoy hearing what the preachers have to say: Bishop Charles Blake and
author, Pastor John Ortberg were both engaging speakers.
In addition to being exposed to Senator Obama, Senator Brownback (Kansas) and other governmental leaders, I'm most looking forward to hearing from these gospel activists:
Franklin Graham (Samaritan's Purse),
Sammy Mah (World Relief),
Wess Stafford (Compassion International), and Richard Stearns (World Vision).
Since I was in the area, I drove to Corona to meet with Pastor Francisco Camarena. We spent a couple hours talking over coffee before he gave me a tour of the Crossroads Church campus. Along the way he introduced me to most of the staff members. I had forgotten that they are also the site of the Londen Institute (featured here in Vision). Most enjoyable was lunch at Denny's where we each shared our testimonies of personal conversion to laborers for the Gospel.
Most of you know that I'm firm in my conviction that a good song can preach more effectively than a sermon without a melody. Here are some people who have recently reminded me of that resolve:
My Australian friend, Daniel, is on a mission trip:
I just thought I'd drop you a line.
I'm still over in Thailand.. But coming back to Aussieland in less than a week. God is doing great things over here! God bless you richly and I'll talk to you soon.
and . . .
on myspace, I was
reminded of two
friends who sing
To: Randy Stonehill
You're killing me!! I just listened to Shut de Door. What a great version! Brought back lots of great memories. I first heard you in 1977 or so when you warmed up (along with Dannie Bell Hall) for Andrea Crouch at the Concord Pavillion.
I still remember you wearing some sort of University of Hawaii tee-shirt. I have loved your music all these years. You're still rockin', buddy.
I hope to hear you next time you come to Galt First Baptist Church. We played there two weeks before your last performance there (Fall 2005). It's been really nice to think about and be inspired by you again. Keep up the good work.
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