October, 2006    Return to: pastorob's current journal

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Carl Hadley mov
ed from North Carolina to Florida. This retired man had begun to feel almost useless. . . then God gave him an assignment that changed his life.

In the year 2000, when our local church was sending our first team of international missionaries to Estonia, Carl was being invited to join God in Liberia. It isn't surprising to me that God is always at work around us. It is wonderfully surprising when he lets us meet our co-laborers in Christ.

Feeling almost useless?

Meet Carl:
Carl Hadley: Testimony
Video: 16 min 10 sec

Get plugged in: If you're within driving distance, we have a prayer meeting today at 10:00 a.m. We also hosting an outreach Harvest Festival tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Call me for more information: 209.323.0727

Monday, October 30, 2006

I was wiped out yesterday afternoon. Cathy was probably correct in her diagnosis. My adrenalin level had probably shot up too high.

Saturday was just such a good day. I had planned and fully expected to preach from an overflow of great expectation. My sermon was on the "Covenant of Church Membership" and involved discussion of formative discipline. I started with Paul's reference to Euodia and Syntiche (in Philippians 4:2). I then read a passage from Matthew 18 wherein Jesus tells us what to do when/if we feel that we have been sinned against by someone in the church. 

Years ago, a pastor named Terry Simpson shared with me that everyone has a choice of whether or not to take up an offense in the first place. That practical truth has permeated my being. So, I really try to let potential offenses be overlooked.

This issue is vital to church health. It is definitely important to meditate upon the Lord's teaching in Matthew 18 and to consider what great blessing there could be in store for Euodia and Syntiche...IF.....

...IF, they simply try to do it the Lord's Way. Love Him first and foremost; then, in the refuge of that overriding love come to an agreement in the Lord.

Matthew 18 goes on...we miss it with teachings out-of-context. Go ahead and read the entire chapter. Meditate upon what might happen if we truly reconcile our differences with one another in the bond of God's love.

That sermon is starting to work afresh inside me after a long heart-to-heart with Eva on google chat. We discussed history-in-the-making. (Note to self: In the future check your google chat log for this date, and praise God for what He has done.)

For all who yearn to walk closer in personal relationship with Jesus: Click and read Matthew 18 in its entirety. Don't divide this pericope. It is all related.

Read Paul's highly-personal admonition to Euodia, Syntiche and Syzygus (Philippians 4:1-9). Click back and forth a few time, read, meditate, pray, and then DO SOMETHING about your troubled relationships. That's my pastoral advice for today.

...of course, this preacher-practitioner desires to 'put it all into practice' even today . . .

I've been on myspace since November, 2004. In recent months I've had many people requesting ADDS. My blogs on that site are being visited about 100 times each day. Probably they are visited by people who are new to myspace trying to figure out how it all works. Most teens don't seem to blog . . .

Most new requests are from Christian Music Groups trying to broaden their base of interest. However, when an individual requests me, I sometimes wonder if we will ever really become 'friends'.

These two people, Chris and Bea, requested me to ADD them this morning.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Here are two photos which envision what is upon my heart in these days.

Tomorrow night is a very important evening at the Epicenter.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Here's a photo of our 19 year old son, Jerry. He is now working in the meat department at Save Mart.

I'm writing just past noon on Saturday. I've been at prayer meeting and sharing web-based photographic vision-casting with key individuals since 6:00 a.m.

Click on the photos below to enlarge them:


Within the hour, Cathy and I are supposed to be at Don and Annette's house so I'm making this entry short.

I sat down with two men this morning and read aloud a letter I wrote back in July, 2006. Like today, it was Saturday and I was working hard in preparation for the week ahead. The piece is called Re-Visioning Church History. If you haven't read it yet (or looked carefully into the two slideshows included), please do so.

 click here for Re-Visioning

Another very important message from earlier this week:

Still Processing  (view more

Here is what Visitation sometimes looks like in the 21st Century. A 12 year old on myspace writes to me on Friday Afternoon:


From: HÕ† §HÕ†

Date: Oct 27 2006 4:09 PM

hey pastor rob i'll be at church on sunday and how do you get the youtube stuff

From: pastorob
Date: Oct 27 2006 7:06 PM

go to YouTube.com and sign up

It is normally a clean site. Just promise me, kid, that you'll do your best to avoid bad stuff on the Internet.

There's so much bad stuff. I am trying to help clean it up as I am able.

God Bless You.

From: HÕ† §HÕ†
when does church start sunday?


An answer for everyone:

We have church services at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. with Bible Study for all ages in between at 9:45. However, don't forget to set your clocks back one hour tonight.

Just in:
  more comments about my John Lennon stuff
  on youtube: click here

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yes, I did go fishin' yesterday.
Fishin' through my notes, and fishin' through visions from months ago.

I heard from a Texan named Karen that there is a team of ten people who will be heading for Liberia on November 30th to assist Pastor Wesley in Monrovia, Liberia. How exciting!

On the local church scene, we will have a Business Meeting this Sunday evening. Last night, I worked on tweaking a portion of my hopes into this slideshow for Show & Tell. I hope you all will enjoy the view:

Re-Visioning Church History (click here)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gone Fishin'...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Electricity has been on and off here all morning. I had to redo this journal entry about the latest in Liberia. It reminds me of some important scriptural truth:

Processing the God-Sized Assignment to Which Some Have Been Called  (view more)

I'm heading down to Stockton for prayer with Pastor Hendon over his pastoral responsibilities and over mine. Bible Study tonight at 7:00

Call me for details: 209-323-0727

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm about to wake Joe up to go for a walk at 5:00 a.m. I've been online writing emails to church members and chatting since I woke up (4:25). My 'sister', Angela, saw me from her screen in Michigan. She typed, "Don't you ever sleep?" She was just leaving for work. Well, we chatted a bit about missing our brothers. Her brother, Gary, died when he was nineteen. My brother, Richard, died at age 32. We both were exceptionally close to our brothers. The primary reason that Angela and I are so close is because we were 'brothers and sisters' for about 1.5 years in our childhood.

Cathy and I visited our dear friend, Ray Dick, yesterday. I strummed my guitar and softly sang some of the songs from Sunday's Service while his 'girls' held his hands from both sides of his bed. He was peaceful and seemed to relish the full expression of our love. Ray is a shining example of unconditional love consistently modeled before us. May the process of his passing into eternity serve God's Purpose.

I have told Ray that I will come to visit everyday to sing a song. Even if his eyes are closed and he can't respond, he will know that we know he hears us. We will continue to talk to him as we normally do and tell him what's happening in his areas of interest.

Yesterday, we told him about Ronda Faull (how she and John have moved to Tennessee where she is a Worship Leader). I told the story of how their old house was purchased by 'strangers' and used as a pot house. It was all over the news on Friday night. I know that he was interested in that since he was a realtor...and since he liked Ronda so very much when she served here as a Worship Leader.

called me while we were there, so I held the phone up to his ear. I know that he enjoyed hearing her sweet voice.
I thank the Lord for this aspect of pastoral ministry. I grow as a Christian and watch others grow before my eyes.

Pastor Wesley called me yesterday. We discussed the delays at the Port of Monrovia but he told me that he thinks the Ultrasound Crate will be delivered on Friday or Saturday. 
Hey, if you are available to come and pray this morning at ten o'clock, click here for directions

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Hold o'er my being absolute sway."

That lyric from "Have Thine Own Way" is a powerful prayer for one who sings that thought with understanding. For that reason, halfway through the fourth verse, our band stopped and I asked the congregation,

    "What does that mean?"

"Hold o'er my being absolute sway."

After hearing a few responses, we sang the entire verse:

Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way.
Hold o'er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see,
Christ only, always, living in me.

I don't think either morning service was taped yesterday. Too bad because I would really enjoy listening to both sermons. My second message included the naming of Jacob's sons by Leah and Rachel.

I have much reflection ahead of me because of this sermon. Both messages involved asking the saints to call off the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren in their families. That was a highpoint.

The public acknowledgement of our annual Love in a Shoebox project addressed the possibility of having 'spiritual grandchildren'.

I also brought out the mysterious Liberian Stone (precious stone of e-bay notoriety).

It is truly a matter of faith and hope to know that every single step of obedience puts us in the right place at the right time. May this day bring you the gift of opened eyes, pierced ears, and softened hearts.

Today, if you will hear His Voice . . .

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Jimmie Hollingsworth
came by yesterday to work toward his ever-expanding ministry from this epicenter. We spoke at length about matters at hand. I am happy to know that God works in mysterious ways.
  More on that mystery in a year or two...

Tomorrow's sermon
is entitled

    "Still Wrestling for the Blessing"

During prep-time, I was prompted to put together this special slideshow as an encouragement to those who have contributed in any way to helping Pastor Wesley. Adding some text I was strengthened in my heart by stepping back and seeing the Big Picture. There are other photos which I would like to see interspersed but these suffice for today. Most important are the end slides of photos sent by Pastor Wesley along with the email he sent me yesterday.

We Do Not Lose Heart  (view slideshow)

Hello Pastor Rob,

Here are some photos of the children's home. The number of community children attending Greater Love Christian School is up to 100.

Thank God we could help the poor families in that community with their children school needs.

I hope to get the billing and make payments to bank early next week regarding the construction work. [reference to school foundation behind sanctuary]


Pastor Wesley

In a missionary-sending church, it is not unusual to hear someone ask,

 "Why don't we do something
    with children in our own backyard?!"

Good question:
Here's a video made in preparation for the next Backyard Bunch production at fbcgalt.
  Click on the frame.

King of the Jungle
   by the  Backyard Bunch
        Epicenter Productions   32 min 25 sec

  *for other backyard fun, click these pics

or click here:
The Arctic Edge VBS 2006  5:23

and finally...
Just in from Pakistan **

Dear Pastor,

Greetings to you in Almighty Lord.

Thanks for reply. I have now 40 Children in Bible Study. Brother I will send you all report before 1st of Nov with Pictures.

Pastor Shamas Pervaiz

Friday, October 20, 2006

The A Street Band met for a discussion of our purpose and for prayer last night. We reflected upon the Worship Experience in the services last Sunday and prayed over the flow of the service for this coming week. I told them about how I had given The Stone Pillow to a man who had come to the altar. I had asked him to take it home and place it somewhere as a memorial of the decision he had made to seek God's reparation of broken lives. While we were praying, I made a decision to bring in the song "Mansion over the Hilltop". lyrics? click here

I have definitely attached memories to that song. Dave Hendrix, Cathy, and I had attended a service at the Rescue Mission back in the mid-eighties. That was our introduction to inner-city work. We discovered that the gathering of down-and-outers loved that song. They called off the number as a favorite to sing before the preaching. It isn't in our hymnal for some reason. I wondered so I did a google search and learned that it was written by Ira F. Stanphill. It was published in 1949. I discovered that Mr. Stanphill (an Assemblies of God evangelist) had also written "Room at the Cross". 

I first heard "Room at the Cross" as altar music in the pre-scandal Jimmy Swaggart crusades of the mid-eighties. It is an enjoyable song to play in a cross-generational gathering.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yesterday afternoon, I invested some time in updating some of the people who have helped along the way with ministry in Liberia. I found this video on YouTube which helps me to remember how vital it was that we listened to
the Man fr
om Liberia when he first called. We responded in a timely manner and have consistently taken small steps to stay connected with God's calling upon our local church.

Liberia War Cannibalism    10:41    Views: 1259

I should warn you that the video above  describes the atrocities which took place even after we answered the Lord's Call. Pastor Wesley was building the sanctuary while mortar fire could be heard in the distance.

I woke up this morning and wrote a few emails to other local people who were on my heart. Then, I went for a
VisionWalk with my son, Joe , and our friend, Jebby. Both fellows are facing cool transitions in their lives. We discussed Joe's trip to Moscow on December 30th, followed by a semester at the Baptist Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Jebby is closing a chapter of ministry at First Baptist Church of Sacramento in order to become the full-time Minister of Music at Bear Creek Community Church in Lodi.

When I arrived home to check email, I noted that
Tim Stevenson had written asking for some feedback about our city-wide gathering of seven churches a couple weeks back. I had noticed that a significant number of our own members and attendees opted out of attending the event. I was writing my thoughts on the matter and had decided to draw material from the Book of Revelation. Taking another look at what He has to say may have value for us as we try to decide how best to interact in the immediate future:

"These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands . . ."
(click here)

Bob Wiley (65), from the North American Mission Board called and interrupted my letter-writing to the other pastors and leaders in our town. There's a shift in my thinking. Here's a guy from our own denomination calling to check on us. Our church name and phone number was in a database of churches that may have, at some time, expressed an interest in being an Acts 1:8 church. He asked me if we had ever  been involved in any church plants. I told him about a few of the regional efforts in which we have tried to exercise support. In some cases, there isn't a great praise report ready to roll off my tongue (even though God certainly worked with everyone involved in the process).

He reminded me that churches go through cycles in sync with the age of the people. Bob offered his listening ear and prayed with me about how I might get better plugged into our people's energy level. He said that sometimes it is as easy as 'just asking'. I told him that I didn't want to over-react to some of the normal cycles that people (and churches) may go through. Much better than a telemarketer, this particular Bob Wiley prayed for me.  

What about Bob?! 

Let's click and see: www.bobwiley.com

Gotta go. It's my day off but I've asked Joe if he'll go with me to watch "
One Night with the King
" with Virginia's Morning Bible Study Group. I have studied the materials on the movie's webpage. Having seen it for the first time last Saturday, I'm now ready to watch with a critical eye for other creative elements used to tell that old, old story in a new film. click here

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My laptop lost some sectors on its hard drive so I'm writing on a loaner. It doesn't have the software for this webpage so I have to send in this copy to our office and rely on Jennifer to publish it. 

On Saturday, a man named Marc stopped by with three baby strollers and a car seat--asking if we could put them to use. Today, I was walking past our church corner and met a woman with little children. She didn't speak English but I tried to describe that I would give her a baby stroller. I used the word 'gratis'. 

We only communicated with gestures. We didn't seem to  understand each other's words. Yet she left our property with possession of one of the strollers. On the way down the sidewalk, she turned around and said "...thank you." 

I continued on with my walk to Western Union. I sent a gift from Alabama Rena who is helping Pastor Wesley purchase the license to continue work on a school building in Liberia. 

As I walk the streets of my beat, people honk and wave. This is a blessing to me. As well, I saw a lady who has been working on Sundays. She agreed to go to Home Bible Study with us tonight. That, also, is a great blessing for me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pastor Hendon just sent me a photo of the school that was named for him in Liberia. He sure had a big smile on his face when he shared his testimony about going to Liberia. I'm happy for this gift that has been given by God to encourage him to stay involved with those precious people he met while he was there.

Ana, Ana-Sylvia, Maria,
and Cathy
joined me for prayer this morning. It was good to pray with the three from La Luz de Cristo. They came because they said they wanted to join their hearts with mine. We had a wonderful time of visionary prayer for the future of both churches. I really needed that extended time of corporate prayer! I am enjoying the afterglow still.

Last night I had walked home from the sanctuary. About two blocks west of our church was a group of boys and young men who seemed to be in a gang. I made eye contact with one who has a tattoo on the back of his neck. I said 'hello' and he nodded back to me as I passed by.

So, I prayed for that group of boys this morning.

I'm happy that Jenn Rodriguez (18) has agreed to be my Sunday School Teacher's Assistant. Last Sunday was her first day and she played the role with perfection.

 I hope that the Lord will bless our efforts to be a Sunday Morning Oasis for the students.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Yesterday's message was entitled "Wrestling for the Blessing". I praise God for waking me up with a strong desire to hold on and hold out for God's very best.

In both services, I asked a couple from the congregation to come forward and lead in "A Sinner's Prayer". Eli and I stayed after the second service (as did others) for an extended time of counsel and prayer with those who came forward. 

Even though we had cancelled the evening service to attend the Delta Valley Annual Meeting, I thought to ask Mike McCall to be at the church (with Word and Song in season) just in case someone showed up. Both Robin and Mike were excited that God had given them great joy in that very opportunity to serve Him. A small group did gather for a significantly encouraging, biblical message.
More wrestling: Tomorrow and every Tuesday morning, our sanctuary will be a place of prayer at 10:00 a.m. If you are in the area, please come as you are to pray.

This week, I will continue to move toward becoming more proactive with ministry to the Spanish speaking culture around us. At yesterday's baptism, I opened the Bible to Matthew 28:18 (the Great Commission) for a brief introduction. Ana Bencker interpreted my message.
I pointed to the Lord's Table and spoke of the proclamation of the Lord's Death. Christians at La Luz de Cristo partake of Communion every Sunday afternoon. From there, I shared about the proclamation of (and identification with) the Death and Resurrection of Jesus portrayed in Baptism.
I have been attending La Luz de Cristo every Sunday and, even though I don't speak Spanish, I know that God is using that connection with these people to encourage them in their new lives. Many of those attending have been baptized in recent months.

I would welcome anyone who is looking for a harvest to get involved with La Luz de Cristo. There are many baptisms but, of course, there will be great need to help facilitate the discipleship of these new Christians.

Likewise, for those who will make a commitment to serve at our Harvest Party, we will be able to impact our immediate neighborhood--regardless of language barriers.

Joe reported that there were 370 men in attendance at the New America Singers concert on Saturday night at Camp Pendleton. Of that group, about 80 raised their hands that they had prayed that night to receive Christ as Savior.

Thank you, Ted and Betty Campbell, for being an extra set of parents to our firstborn son.

For more information on the NAS with video clips,
   click here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I had a full Sunday School class between our first and second service. I led the discussion with young people between the ages of 12 and 20.

La Luz de Cristo has asked me to baptized new believers again today. I baptized five people for them today: Eliseo and Blanca, their two daughters, Jessica-Yadira (14) and Yesenia-Jasmine (13). The fifth person baptized was a girl named April who attended VBS here in July.

We had important altar activity after the second service so I just stayed through and am now about to leave for our Association's Annual Meeting at Berea Baptist Church in Stockton..

Joe went to Southern California over the weekend to do another concert with the New America Singers at Camp Pendleton. Today, I received this email from Joe:

Hey Papa,

I searched "fbcgalt" on google and found most of the
pictures on our website. The cool thing is that you see all of the pictures mixed, and don't have to sort through the words. Kinda fun.

click here to see what Joe's talking about

There are over twenty pages of photos and graphics.

Don't forget to see "A Night with the King"

       click here for more information

Saturday, October 14, 2006





click here for more information. Cathy and I are going to the Noon showing. Thanks to R. B. McCartney for the tip.

Friday, 13 October 2006

Has this House, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD. Jeremiah 7:11

Yesterday, I met with a believer at Cafe Latte. He wanted me to know why he and his wife don't join mainstream churches. We had a friendly discussion of man's sin, God's grace, and the power of the Cross.

I was able to apply the specific word I received from our recent study of John 2. Later, I wrote a reply to Ron Shindy's study notes sent to me. That interaction keeps Wednesday's discussion upon my heart:

To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"  His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." John 2:16-17

Those reflective disciples were remembering this passage from Psalm 69:8-9
I am a stranger to my brothers,
       an alien to my own mother's sons;
for zeal for your house consumes me,
       and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.

Wednesday night our home group discussed the image that comes to mind when one thinks of zeal. Passionate comments and observations were posed by this multi-generational group of 18 believers. The Spirit was speaking to our group as we shared our own experiences and thoughts with each other. There was a zeal for truth and understanding in His House that night.

"Feed my sheep."

This little slice of local church history serves as an appetizer for a particularly meaty subject. This morning I was called to delve deeper into God's Word and considered afresh this passage from Jeremiah 7:4

Do not trust in deceptive words and say,
  "This is the temple of the LORD,
      the temple of the LORD,
        the temple of the LORD!"

Does that prophetic word get your attention? I remember when I first encountered the warning from Jeremiah chapter 7. This passage is also important for the church in this generation.

A few weeks back, I decided that I needed to find a place of prayer among the women of the church. On Saturday mornings, I've shared prayer time with other men for several years. On Thursday nights, our worship team has prayed all along. Consider these four passages about our Father's House.

 I was happy to hear from both Ana and Beverly that the Women of Grace had decided to come back to our sanctuary on Tuesday mornings to pray along with me.

About interdependent relationships
    in our Father's House:

To treat a troubled, lonely, isolated brother with 'indifference' or to look upon the value of a sister's involvement for some personal gain....

THAT would be akin to selling doves at a profit, buying and selling with no regard for the sanctity of the moment. This is the connection given to me in the midst of the assembly. I write to remember.

1 Peter 2:4-5 As you come to Him, the Living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with Pastor Francisco Camarena about La Luz de Cristo. We have been blessed to have this man involved with the Spanish-speaking people in Galt. I have baptized a significant number of these people who have been saved and are being discipled through the work of La Luz de Cristo.

With email, I heard back from Rena in Alabama. She has made the decision to help Pastor Wesley pay the building permit fee so that he can continue with the school. You can see Pastor Wesley's vision for the school as the very last picture in Jennifer's slideshow:


Last night our full band met to play and to pray. We have some great songs planned for Sunday morning. This is truly an important aspect of discipleship. We are investing 'songs of deliverance' into the hearts and minds of God's people.

Last night, I also chatted with Pastor Wesley at length on gmail.

Beverly and I will head out on Visitation soon.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Last night (at our home study), Jesus was turning over the tables. In John 2:12-25, he was cleansing His Father's House at the beginning of His public ministry.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke we noted the same significant action taking place at the onset of the last week. I noticed that these synoptic accounts quotes Jesus as saying "My house..."

There was quite a discussion about how these verses have prompted 'rules' and 'views' about merchandizing and mixed motives. I'm thankful for finding the 'house of God' on a Wednesday night in Glenn and Renee's livingroom. May the Lord clean His House, overturn our tables, and drive out our impure motives. Together, may we truly become a House of Prayer.

In our Fellowship Hall was another group of seniors reading and discussing the Book of Acts.

My friend, Paul Kim, called me from Louisville, Kentucky last night. This morning Jebby and I took a long walk. We prayed over the ministry of sowing and watering.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Audrey (October 6) wrote to me last night. Although her connection is slow, she visited this page, read some of this column, and watched the Unconditional Love video. When I met Audrey, I told her that I like to try to keep track of people I meet who share certain events in common.

For instance, in remembering last Sunday's Gathering, I listed the verses I heard referenced as a reminder of what the Spirit may have been saying to the seven local churches represented there.

As members of each church looked around, we noted those faces we recognized from our own churches and those who belong to other local fellowships. Each person there had an opportunity to experience God. I came expectantly--hoping for something more than what 'man' can do with his plans.

Apparently, an 8 year old member of our church (Alexis) was somehow touched by the corporate prayer I was asked to voice for little Ian Brand. When the news came back that Ian didn't need surgery, she made sure to tell her Grandpa about it. I haven't spoken with Alexis about it yet but I when I do, I'll share what Pastor Larry told me--that they watched the prayers of the saints take effect in front of their eyes.

All signs of the boy's skull fracture vanished. What they thought had been a collapsed lung turned out to only be bruising. The final concern, a broken femur, was able to be set without an operation. So, there was no need for an operation--only a stay at UC Davis Children's Hospital. Pastor Larry told me that Ian is now home. We shared a brief prayer of thanksgiving together over the phone.

I hold onto this hope: If each day I try to be in the right place at the right time, then I'll be ready to move in the power of the Spirit as He directs. I don't always 'feel' like there's much 'movement' but I'm reminded by the Acts narrative that those who are 'the called' are 'called upon' at a moment's notice. I want to be found ready.

Thus, Joe and I began this day with a morning walk. He is now at school, working toward short-term assignments, while we discuss a major life-impacting decision (to go to school in the Philippines next semester).

Yesterday, Beverly came to the sanctuary to join me for prayer. She voiced a prayer for our nation's President, so when I noticed that he was live on television, I tuned in.

President Bush was answering questions in a Rose Garden news conference. He spoke about North Korea, Iraq, current events in Congress, and border issues. Regarding Iraq,  I noted his use of the word 'enemy' (fifteen times).

in this war if we were to leave early,
     before the job is done,
     then the enemy will follow us here.

For a transcript of Presidential Q & A: click here

Hearing the President mention 'the enemy' got me thinking about my primary use of the term. Sometimes, I feel a bit self-conscious when I mention 'the Enemy' (or the Devil) around other people. Luther's well-publicized battles with the devil seem goofy to outsiders. As a kid, I laughed at Flip Wilson's character (Geraldine) who blamed the devil for all her misdeeds. However, I don't want to shrink back from pointing to the truth that those who serve the Lord have an Enemy.

My first church experience (House of Prayer) was filled with testimonies of those who resisted the devil's work on a daily basis. Whether the flesh, the devil, or some attitude that opposes Faith and Life, I still want to be mindful of these important verses.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Not much to say this morning. Cathy is substituting for a third grade class at the school down the street. Cathy found a plan on Bible Gateway where she can listen to highlights from the entire Bible in 2 months. She is doing that on her laptop as part of her morning routine.

My step-mom, Sandy, called from Michigan this morning. Joe and I are going out now for an early morning walk. We will talk more about his plans to go on a short-term mission trip to Moscow and then attend college in the Philippines.

Locally, Jebby has some good news. I'll write more about that in the days ahead.

My Australian penpal, Daniel, is planning to go to Cambodia on November 1 and stay for a month. Daniel's videos of worship songs have been enjoyed by people all over the world.

For some reason, there have been 154 views of this VBS video we uploaded. Click on the photo here to watch some of it.


I just learned that Google has purchased YouTube:
click here to learn more

Monday, 9 October 2006

Before I start another work-week, it is important to note the Word that was sown in the city-wide Gathering yesterday morning.

I was asked by Tim Stevenson to take Larry Brand's place and lead in corporate prayer. Then, Jason McEachron informed us that Larry and Deanna Brand's five year old, Ian, was run over by a quad. The story was that he had a broken leg, a skull fracture, and a collapsed lung. My opening words were from James:

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.
  Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
    Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

This gathering of seven churches from Galt prayed about the concern we had toward a scheduled operation for Ian.

During the service, I thought about the community of believers who might remember Ian Brand for years to come (simply because we had bonded together in that one prayer).
Later, Mamahao led us to consider this passage from Jeremiah (click). This portion of God's Word has served as a life-survival verse for different people I know. In fact, Jebby shared it from his heart on the night that we recorded this version of Whatever.

After informing us that Lesotho is the 3rd poorest nation in the world, Mamahao quoted this passage from Isaiah 60.

I had prayed that morning that God's Word would not be overlooked amidst the concern of sharing Lesotho's plight with HIV-AIDS. Tim reminded us that is religion that is pure and undefiled (to look after widows and orphans in their distress).

Agatha, the Area Development Project manager for Malumeng spoke about the power of Visitation.
Not reading, but simply telling about this passage, Agatha caught my attention with the use of this word: movement.

Recently, I had spoken to a Sunday night group who met at our church. I told them that during the entire decade I have been in Galt, I have experienced a degree of ongoing ministry and have seen many examples of maintenance. Both areas are necessary but what we really need to know is that there is movement.

Agatha's mention of movement in Elizabeth's womb was due to the Spirit and to Visitation. That quickening gave both Elizabeth and Mary an evidence of John's hidden life (yet in the womb). May God bless anyone who reads these words in the days ahead. click

Pastor Hendon called me this morning to check on me. After the initial "How are you doing?", I shared briefly with him from an open heart. That led to a discussion of a variety of issues. I appreciate his Calling and how it led to his phone visitation with me this very morning. May God quicken all of us today.

Sunday, 8 October 2006

Most of our town's churches will be meeting together in the High School Gymnasium for a combined service this morning: 10 a.m.

We will hear from Mamahao and Agatha (two of the four sisters who have come from Lesotho).

Then, I will attend La Luz de Cristo at 1:30.

Don Curtis sent me to an encouraging website today. It could really be helpful for any of us at any given time, so I will try to find a place for it here on my page:

    click here

Saturday, 7 October 2006

For years I have lived with the idea that God should be free to direct our steps in any given day. Joe asked to go for a walk this morning so I told him that I 'need' to go to Royal Oaks.

Last Tuesday while we were there, I met an 85 year old named Gladys.  She wasn't going to attend our service but apparently changed her mind. After the testimonies shared, the old songs, the Bible reading (Simeon and Anna in the Temple), Gladys seemed pleased that she had made the decision to 'go to church'.

I learned that her mother had come from the Azores Islands and that made me think of Randy Stonehill's song, Sing in Portuguese. I told her that I wanted her to hear this song that my friend had written. So, Joe and I will walk there with a CD player, a mix CD that Eva had given me years ago. We will also try to visit Mary (of itsy-bitsy fame) and Alta.

Appointments kept are much better than . . .
  (dis-appointment or missed-appointment)

I just had a phone call from a church member. There's a need, so g2g   ( ... I'm needed. That feels good).

Friday, 6 October  2006

Yes, I spent the entire yester-day with Horizonites,
fbc-lodians, four Africans, and Ruth from World Vision. We attended an HIV-AIDS awareness conference at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

I sat between Kevin and Debbie in the backseat of the van. Then, I experienced 'Olivia's Story' (AIDS in an African Village). My other-connect was with Audrey from a bay area vineyard.

A captain from the Blue and Gold Fleet took us on an hour-long tour of the Bay. As we set out toward Alcatraz, the Blue Angels flew overhead and practiced for about 45 minutes. We continued under the Golden Gate Bridge and back to the Pier.

We walked down Fisherman's Wharf, past the Silver man, past the BushMan and then...ran into the Blue Angels (who were checking ito a hotel). Our four African visitors had their photo taken with these young Navy pilots. What a day in America!

Today, Beverly and I are going to Sacramento on an 'AIDS in our own backyard' exploratory mission. That is as seems good to the Spirit and to us to start our Friday Visitation.

I had to miss Rotary this morning. Can't be everywhere at once. Thank God that He is...

In other ponds, I'm fishing with this latest video.
Tim Stevenson <quoting someone> said,

"If you bait your hook with your heart,
     you'll always catch fish."

 Whose Working Class Hero
    Was He?   2:00 minutes
       click on pic for music video

Joe made a video of pics he had lifted from my laptop and website which might lead someone to consider the Big Picture for a little local church:

click here

Thursday,  5 October  2006

I don't have time to write. I'm leaving for SF with others who have gone to Lesotho. I picked up our city's visitors last night. We are attending an AIDS conference at a large church, then showing the Africans around San Francisco.

Wednesday: 4 October 2006

I'm content with the video we made for our recent recording. I hope you will enjoy it.

 Whose Working Class Hero
    Was He?   2:00 minutes
       click on pic for music video

Tuesday: 3 October 2006

We have a busy day today. If you are able please come to Royal Oaks at 10:00 a.m. and help us reach out to those who cannot come and go as they please.

Sunday afternoon I was asked to baptize a man named Javier and his 15 year old daughter, Daisy. With a translator, I shared the Great Commission directive in short phrases:

"As we are going, we are to 'make disciples'. After baptism, it is the church's responsibility to teach the whole Bible."

Yesterday, Jennifer began the process of compiling and editing materials for the upcoming Backyard Bunch production.

Remember Jebby's musical? "Brothers".  We're awaiting another special editor to complete her long process of tweaking our tapes of May's performances.

I had wanted to review both Sunday morning sermons but discovered that we didn't get them taped again. Too bad really...  I recall hearing some reuseable ideas. Here is a simple remembrance of the thematic thread with which I was sewing (sowing).

On a hill far away,
Stood an Old, Rugged Cross,
The Emblem of Suffering and
Shame . . .
(whose suffering?   whose shame?)

The Law: 
(finger pointing)

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself..."

We all ought to be ashamed of ourselves', says the preacher. Yet, with confession of our sins the power of the Cross is fully experienced by those who are being saved. When we judge ourselves and voluntarily submit to the Lord's discipline, we gain true wisdom.

I don't have time to write more but I'll share the points of the sermon with Joe (he was down south) and will try to write it out later. Here is the illustration:

click here for: Dateline
/to catch a predator

(again, there's potentially offensive material in these video clips and the page begins with a 30-second commercial from MSNBC).


I am sending you now some pictures of students of Bible Class. In few day I will send you more pictures.
God Bless you
Pastor Shamas

Pastor Shamas Pervaiz sent me these photos from the Bible Class he is leading in Pakistan. I told him several months ago that I would try to find a sponsor for him. An out-of-state visitor to our local church heard about the opportunity to help Pastor Shamas and provided a gift that has empowered these classes.

He is teaching the children about the love of God and the hope of everlasting life in Jesus. If anyone else would like to help (or visit) Pastor Shamas, please write to us. The one-time gift has greatly encouraged the man of God, but it will be completely spent in a few months time.

Most likely, the men in the photos above are pastors. Pastor Shamas is a bishop who is trying to be a servant to twenty-plus other pastors.

Monday: 2 October 2006

Joe's weekend trip to Camp Pendleton was a great blessing. He told me that the Saturday night chapel was full. Unfortunately, men had to be turned away because there was no more room. There were signs that a great number of the men had turned their lives and burdens over to the Lord during the concert. If you would like to learn more the New America Singers, click here for a recent story in our state newspaper. It documents their Summer trip to Asia.

As I preached on the "Foolishness of the Cross", I referred to the recent airing of men caught with shame  on their faces. The Thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. By sharing the collateral damage caused when men follow after the lusts of their flesh, I hope to save others from falling into similar traps.

All of us have sinned. We ought (all of us) to seek Jesus on the Day of Atonement. If you click on the video, be aware that NBC will run a commercial. Also, this material will most likely be offensive to some viewers. So, be forewarned.

Tomorrow, I will write concerning these taped entrapments. They have significance for every soul (churched and unchurched). Click on the photo for the videos at NBC Dateline.

Sunday: 1 October 2006

This morning's sermon is entitled "The Message of the Cross" from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

During Saturday morning's prayer, I was thinking more about Dateline's ongoing series (Friday night). My prayer is that somehow our church will be able to help bring the message of deliverance to those who are sin-sick: pornography addicts and Internet predators.

Late Saturday, I found a speech that Dr. Mohler shared with the men of Boyce College in 2004. I read the transcript and have included a link for all of you:

Read it, write me an email, and tell me what you think of his points: click here for pdf

There's also an audio link:

"The Seduction on Pornography
  and the Integrity of Christian Marriage"

I just started listening to the speech (although I think I reading a hardcopy was more interesting).


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