November, 2007    Return to: pastorob's current journal

 

BellRoad Opie and Pa CLICK HERE   (51 sec.)


Thursday, November 30, 2007

Woke up at 5:45. Something was missing when I woke up. No joyful song, no jump-outta-bed-ready to go....

Felt empty needing a fill-up. So, I'm gonna drive Joe to the Park & Ride where he will meet Wolfgang.

I hope to commune with God in that car

   Spirit-father-son (YHWH-rob-joe).

Then, it will be an  I-and-Thou   discussion on the way home...

Whew! What a day yesterday.

Bob Knapp was bein' Bob...a bit pushy, yes....BUT,
a 15 year old named Paul gave his life to Jesus after Youth Group.  Hallelujah!

update: just got back from the drop-off at 6:53. We did pray together and rehearsed a bit of advent-season history. It was 12-12-02 when I received my first letter from Pastor Richard Wesley in Liberia. Joe and I had just shared an hour of devotional (reading through Blackaby's book called Abraham: the Friend of God).

Joe is praying about the process of 'reclaiming' his 'stolen property' and allowing other(s) to come alongside him as he learns an object lesson in 'redemption' and the after-effect.

As we were praying I thanked the Lord for his boundary lines. As men, it is important to show other guys that one can decide to 'nip it' (nip it in the bud) in regards to one's besetting sin(s). That decision of the will is definitely helpful to sinful man who realizes that except for the grace of God, bondage is a fact. Yet for those who will know the Truth, Jesus gives freedom to walk into the day of rest.

As we were praying I recalled the end of my night's dreams. It was a public altar call (not unlike the two nights we shared with brothers Greg, Phil, Jason, and Lazarus at Placer High Stadium in July).

In this dream, I wasn't 'working' at the altar, I was 'watching-and-praying' from the bleachers. I saw the movement of sinners and saints at the altar. As the music played softly (I assume there was music), I recognized some of the individuals who were moving forward to serve and to be served.

A little boy and his sister were standing alone facing the bleachers. Then, I spotted Joe heading to them. He squeezed the girl as if to say, "Hey, its great to see that you've come forward..."

I wondered if he had just been culturally inappropriate. Yet, Joe was bent down on his knee at their eye level and continued to be available to the Spirit's leadership.

He was Joe bein' Joe...at the altar.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

4:14 a.m.

About multi-tasking: I'm getting too old fer it!

Whew! Yesterday about wore me out. The young whipper-snapper (pastor matt...tho' not all that young himself anymore) looked at me at 1:47 p.m. and asked,

"Pastor, are you alright?"

Well, it had been one long, long string of phone calls, live folks, important to-do ministry fulfillment, sermon-editing, office-talk, seed planted, growth watered, and very-important visions further launched forth.

"Pastor, are you alright?"

Yeah, lol...I was just wondering where my keys were because I was heading out the door with seventeen minutes to get to the cemetery, in my suit, tie straightened, hair combed, Bible in hand, mind stilled, and thematic, chosen hymn more-fully embraced:

The keys were...in my hand (like I said...'whew'...)

Ironically, the hymn chosen by the deceased for this very day was:

My Faith has Found a Resting Place (click here)

The service around our sister's burial site was intimate and Word-based (Philippians chapters one and three). Every member of the family and the caregiver-in-attendance are confessing members of the Body of Christ, so we took our time in the Word (in the pleasant context of sun-warmth, birds-song, and lightbreeze). We hallowed that ground for generations to come and to reflect upon the meaning of a long and fruitful marriage-ministry.

Afterwards, Cathy and I met to visit in the home with this family. Much to our joy, we continued to 'connect' on several levels with the children of the deceased.
They will be accompanying their father this week for the First Sunday of Advent.

Returning home after dropping off newly-copied CDs (sermon and Gomer stuff) to the Ronks, and then (The Face of an Angel) to Conductor Jane, the day's ministry schedule was nearly over.

Then I saw this pop up on my kitchen table laptop:

9:17 PM
pastor matt: you're still up?

me:
yup     you?

pastor matt:
of course

me: well, my day's responsibilities are finally done...

pastor matt:  I'm amped about the thought of having a charter school* thinking about the potential
    *a phone call that had come during our business lunch

me: I'm home now

pastor matt:
 Can I call you on an unrelated matter?

me: (withheld stuff)

9:23 PM
pastor matt: very cool... may I give you a call for 5 minutes of your time?

So...he called. Then, last night and this morning I wrote two letters to our own home-grown missionary,
Alisha Rosenau
. She is coming back to Auburn this Sunday for a week's visit. A group of us are planning a short-term mission trip to her ministry-setting (Rancho Sordo Mudo) after Christmas.

Here is a link to Alisha's website:  click here

It is now 4:55 a.m. I think I'll sing along with this hymn before I get out of bed:

My Faith has Found a Resting Place (click here)
    (in memory of Thressie)


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A busy day today. Joe and I got up around 5:00; he enrolled online for next semester at Sierra College while I continued to edit Sunday's Message (click here).

BSF
is here; I'm their soundman.

Pastor Matt and I are planning to map out the music selections for December. Then, I have to turn in the Expert Advice column...and the weekly pastors' prayer mtg. is in Colfax today.

At 2:00, I will join an intimate circle of family at the cemetery this afternoon for a graveside burial. I must prepare myself for that important opportunity to serve our Lord. Its raining in Auburn today. I hope it lets up for the burial.

Patrice has informed me that shooting begins for The Mayberry Project this week.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Yesterday's Sermon:

The Face of an Angel
(click here) It begins with an excerpt from Pastor Matt's new song: 'Its Not Too Late' recorded as an offertory.

Here is that new song in its entirety:

  It's Not Too Late
  © 2007 Matt Klein All rights reserved (we mean that...we really do)

Yesterday was another blessing for me and Cathy. Christy Sandhoff stayed busy at the Photo Directory table in our reception area.

Pastor Matt sang his latest song, "It's Not Too Late".
His piano-playing and voicings were refreshingly KeithGreen-ish. I love it!

BellRoad Bob and the Mrs. were away on Anniversary Leave. Many others were gone for the holiday as well. Still, God brought in visitors and we had a good time in the Lord. I especially enjoyed meeting John Walker's daughter, Lynn. She told me that she's been praying for me ever since I started here. Lynn lives in Chico. I sure wish she were here! Well, maybe someday.

This weekend, Andy and Becky Deck are flying from Oklahoma to Sacramento. They are here for a running race (in Folsom).

They're gonna drive down I-80 to EXIT 123 and visit the campus of BellRoad International. Unfortunately, they will not be here for Sunday Service, but we will have our receptionists (cathy and mary?) give them a Visitor's Pack...and yours truly will give them a full-scale tour (including our Memorial Rose Garden and the Rooftop Vista).

Lord willing, I will edit and upload the sermon before noon for those who missed it...and for those who don't get it all the first time (like me!).

I was happy to see Josefina in attendance. I quickly introduced her to the others who are praying and planting seed towards a harvest through Iglesia Bautista Bell Road.

I've written two important letters regarding my ongoing attempts to resource Pastor Shamas Pervaiz with the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. May God grant a great blessing to him as we continue to write back and forth.

Cathy, Mary, and I drove to Galt, then to Lodi yesterday. I met the Lodi cast of "A Mayberry Christmas" and video-taped several of the scenes. It was fun to watch a completely different cast work the dialogue.

The next thing I hope to do after uploading my sermon is to make a DVD for our Director, Patrice Rosenau, so she can she how Lodi is staging the scenes.

Another example of how we are rollin' in Auburn:

     'Working smarter...and  working harder'
 


Sunday, November 25, 2007

I woke up a little before 4:00 a.m. and felt refreshed to tweak my sermon outline. This message is still in the oven because we hope to serve it pipin' hot for those who come to the Table.

   (wanna take a look? click here)

Stephen
will prepare the way to learn from four Old Testament characters during the Four Sundays of Advent:

    1) Abraham 
    2)
Jacob  
    3)
Joseph 
    4)
Moses

The fifth candle will be lit on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was happy to see that Lynette and her son Paul made it to the Union Gospel Mission last night. I invited them to also come to our gathering this morning at 10:15.

I fully expect to see Josefina at church this morning as well. I met her at BSF on Tuesday and told her about Iglesia Bautista Bell Road. She had prayed that God would open a door for Spanish-speaking ministry.

   "mm....mm.....mmmmm (with andy-like expression)
                        the proof is in the eatin' "
 


Saturday, November 24, 2007

I went to bed at 11:20 last night. Woke up at 5:15 and am looking ahead (tomorrow) to work out details for taking a group to Lodi. We will meet the Lodi cast at their 1:30 rehearsal of "A Mayberry Christmas". We will leave right after our morning service. That means I'll have to find someone to fill in for me as 'techie' at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road (in room 900 at 1:00).

Qualifier: must share a desire to be a part of something greater than oneself while operating a DVD machine and video projector. 

Tomorrow's message is entitled The Face of an Angel. Our three year series is approaching the first intersection with the 'christian' calendar. In this Advent Season (2007), we will consider Salvation History as told by Stephen before he is martyred. I preached it this way in 2002, I believe. Each week, we read a portion of Stephen's testimony and focused on one of four Old Testament characters whose life he cited as character witnesses.

Tomorrow's sermon will serve as our introduction to the primary witness (Stephen) before the
First Sunday of Advent (December 2nd).



Tonight (7:30) is our outreach at the

Union Gospel Mission
  (Sacramento at Richard & I-5)

A long-standing tradition is to first meet up with the Wolf Gang (The Rosenaus') at 5:30 for a home-cooked meal, then leave for Sacramento promptly at 6:30. the services are timed to be over at exactly 8:30. I have made a commitment to being there as much as possible.

The Director, Tim Lane, called me last month and asked if I would be part of a 'Staff Renewal Emphasis' that is scheduled for January, 2008. I told him that it would be my honor to feed the lambs who are serving in such a vital ministry.

If anyone wants to join us, please call me on my cellphone:    
    (209) 323-0727  ...or here's the map
.

By the way, Tim Lane was previously a member at Bell Road. See what God has done by taking him at his 'yes', and moving Tim along a path chosen for him. Tim now directs the UGM and pastors a church in our denomination. Here is a piece he wrote about one of our historic missionaries. Heroes of the Faith: Lottie Moon

Yesterday, Cathy and I drove to Downtown Grass Valley for an afternoon date. We had a wonderful lunch at a little cafe, walked all the streets, visited several antique and specialty shops, stopped for a cup of coffee and walked some more. This was a very special time of discussing and praying over our family concerns. Someone had told me that the downtown district was run by hippie capitalists. So, that thought was on my mind as I visited with shopkeepers. Yeah, it felt like home. It was a perfect day on planet earth (walking hand-in-hand with my bride).

On the way there and back, we listened to the Practice CD of the Auburn Cast for Christmas in Mayberry. The playwright, Jebby, called us to share that he had just heard it online and wanted me to bring a master with me Sunday, so he can make copies for his cast and crew.

Cathy worked an overnight for Home Instead. It is now 6:10; I think I'll sleep a bit more before she gets home and the day continues...
 


Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm up at 4:40 a.m. Usually we have a Deacon's Prayer Meeting at 6:30 on Fridays but I think that isn't happening today due to the men's thanksgiving-break schedule.

I was up kinda late working on tightening up a practice CD of Jebby's script for Christmas in Mayberry. Rather than taking the time to write an entry, I'll give an example of a 'normal' chat between me and our new guy, Pastor Matt:

me: I'm very close to finishing the whole practice CD
I've added some sound effects to sweeten it a bit
   phone rings    door open     electrical shock

matt: electrical shock...haha

me: Gomer gets shocked

matt: ah... nice

8 minutes

11:55 PM
matt: I thought you would like that
So just to make sure, you don't care that it does not copy DVD?

me: yeah..not necessary right away

matt: sounds good   so whats the next step

me: audio cd is in great demand asap. we'll look at the budget get the area to pull it from and order it tomorrow

matt: We have money in the music budget...

me: then you need to get that label done for us
OK

matt: will do
lets make this happen

me: yeah and January will start new budget anyway
great

matt: sweet

11:58 PM
me:
we should order 1000 blanks with your label

matt: I'll have something for you to look at tomorrow evening

me: then the thermal printer can add the extra stuff when important to look fully polished
Like in the Visitor Pack

matt: excellent

me: but for in-house we can just use fine-tip
11:59 PM
sharpees to add the 'sermon title' or date or whatever

matt: now pastor... if we're going to do it right...
we should always do it right :)
your sermons deserve the very best
:)

me: haha

matt: very good sir... I'll be up if you need me

me: ok
12:00 AM I'm gonna upload these scripts

matt: ok

me: so I'll let you know when part one is online

matt: sounds good

13 minutes

12:13 AM

me:
Matt

matt: yes sir

me: here is the online link for ACT ONE
click here

12:14 AM
matt:
listening now

me: I need to figure out an easy way to split the tracks (scenes)

matt: That's easy
           I have software for that

me: great
12:15 AM if we could do that tomorrow, I'd like to have the CDs available for the main actors on Sunday

matt: ok
It will take me less than a half hour
Is there a way to condense it under 80 minutes?
If not we won't be able to put it on one CD

12:17 AM

me:
yeah it is gonna be under 68 minutes when I finish this

matt:
perfect

me: so we can do one CD which will be much better

matt:
no prob

me:
The actors all have potential
        the CD will help a lot

matt:
I agree

me:
I've given lots of 'helps' like DVD and other CD
        practices from Lodi

matt:
very cool
12:19 AM

me:
but BUSY people haven't practiced
        as much as I would've liked...but anyway.. 

matt:
have all the parts been filled?
           not totally
           mostly

me: however, I think we could also do this next Christmas and make it excellent

matt: what's left?

me: there's the part of the Mayor

I was thinking of pitching it to the Mayor of Auburn

matt: good luck

12:21 AM

me:
actually his Dad told me that he'd do it!
        haha   well, I think I'll go to bed

matt: ok sir

me: night

matt: talk with you tomorrow

me: see you tomorrow
         ok
         bye


Well, that's that. Onward. It's now 5:25...
Lots of work yet to do this morning to facilitate our cast by providing this Practice Track to help them with their lines.

Should you listen to some Act One (click here)
 
     or...to Acts Two or Three (click here)

...you'll hear me filling in for Gomer and the Mayor.

Patrice
is filling in for Skippy, and the cameos of Miss Jane, Sally Rogers, and Granny Clampett).

Robin
read for Daphne (the Fun Girls).
 


Thanksgiving Edition, November 22, 2007

Yesterday, Mary and I stopped at Jim Anderson's Antique Shop in Newcastle. I offered him $200 for his Locomotive Bell. It had been in his store since he opened. He graciously accepted my offer, so the Bell will be ringing up at 707 Bell Road as we near Crossings.

I found another Bronze Bell (sold online: click here) and see that it sold for $600. Thank Jim Anderson for being part of something bigger than bucks. Jim is gonna close this store in a couple months. The state of our economy has drastically cut into his sales.

Before going to Jim's store, I stopped to see Paul the Barber (www.welcomevillage.com). Paul Huston has a retro barbershop in Newcastle and also has a computer on the internet for his customers.

Here are two Auburn businesses that Cathy and I visited a couple days ago:

www.n2pottery.com  (Patty Bailey)

www.auburnreptilecompany.com
(Shawn Thomas and Robert Bissell)

I mentioned "Christmas in Mayberry" to both shop owners.

Today is the LAST day to see Across the Universe in Auburn. It is playing at the Old State Theatre at 8:30 p.m.

I'm counting this day aright:

1)  I'm blessed with a marriage of 22 years duration.
     M'lady's name is Catherine (pure heart). I woke her up
     kissing her face and whispering the affective.

2) Our children are a blessing to me. Though each one is
     still a work-(of-faith)in-progress, I can smell the savor of
     our Saviour as each one speaks, touches, serves, gives,
     and comes alongside me along the path I am choosing
     to walk.

3) My family-of-origin is still a sweet blessing from God
    Almighty as I move toward the end of this year. I have
    saved three voicemail messages from my Dad since the
    one where he called to tell me that our story made the
    hometown paper last summer. I haven't had much contact
    with all of those who are still living but the love abides and
    I pray that God's perfect and pleasing will shall be made
    manifest among them and their households.

4) I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving the souls of all these
    precious people through the years who are members of
    Your Body. Your Church (my fellow branches, the other
    members, the living stones, the little lights, my brothers
    and my sisters) has been a profound blessing to me
    since the first day.

5) Friendship. Prayer-partners. Laughter. Melody. Laughter.
     Mutual Understanding. Shared grief. Laughter. Harmony.
     Laughter. Frame-of-Reference. Tears. Fusion.
     Counterpoint.

It is now 6:12 on this Thursday morning.
I have been tweaking an epitaph for the back cover of
Adventures in Auburn: Year One.

I can't recall how it all turns out but now that God has added Pastor Matt to the mix, I am beginning to breathe deeply again.

"Integrity is more
   than just being good little boys and girls;
                       it is being (who you
1 truly are)."

                       --pastorob, December '07

My Thanksgiving Blessing for you
2

As you hunt and gather along your path of preference, may God grant visionary decisions. May those seeds of faithful seeds be rightly planted toward bearing fruit that lasts.

      1 you is plural in the oldest and most-reliable texts
      2 ya'll
 


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

very cool Mayberry update:

    I figure that the 'theme song' is copyrighted,
     so we're planning to compose our
       own tribute-to-Mayberry-whistlin'-ditty...

but in the meantime, check out this short video
   shot yesterday at Myers Lake
    with Auburn Opie and his Pa  CLICK HERE

It is now 6:14 and I have to drive Joe to his pick-up point to meet the Wolfman for work. Please check back for more updates to today's journal.

An email came in from a sister in Holland this morning.
Here is an excerpt and my reply:

On Nov 21, 2007 4:47 AM,

 janette wrote:

Blessings to you my dear brother in Christ Jesus,

<time/space-sensitive text withheld>

I am still awaiting replies to my earlier mails to you,
but do understand that you are a very busy man.

God Bless you my dear friend.
Please give my best wishes to your family.

Kindest regards

Janette
 

Dear Janette,

I continue to PRAY with others who have helped me
'day-by-day' attempt to meet <name withheld>
(deepest) needs....

Please don't think that I have neglected you.
The time is not yet right for me to share much more
than I have already.

However, the day will come (Lord willing),
when I have adequate time to give you a lengthy letter
that celebrates ACCOUNTABILITY and
my yet-unfinished trans-doctoral thesis entitled

 A Theology of Integrity.

Here's a quoteable quote from the back cover:

"Integrity is more
   than just being good little boys and girls;
                        it is being who you truly are!"

                      --pastorob, December 31, 2007

Love,

that same guy 
   
*the same on Thursday at 6:11 a.m.
       as on Sunday at 11:27

Soli Deo Gloria
 


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Even if you don't have much time today, at least give-a-listen to the first three minutes of this message. If BellRoad Bob hadn't announced Mt. Sinai as the final destination, I'd guess the kids were headed for The Shady Rest outside Hooterville.

The FAITH of Abraham: click here

..where the ol' preacher speaks to Romans 4, the Faith-Works debate, the 20-80 principle, the widow's mite, the 'friend of God' (and the yet-unpreached joy-sucking misery of Luke 15's older brother).

I was stressin' out around 4:00 p.m. yesterday. Much had already been accomplished but ...

1) I learned that a valuable slip of paper was missing..
2) Joe was gonna need to be picked up from the Bank...
3) Working Daniel's mini-vidicam without instructions... .
4) A glitch--much like old-school vertical-horizontal hold... ..
5) My cell phone battery was nearly gone... ...beeping....
6) Beeping loud, beeping at an increased rate.... ..

Usually an ellipsis is a good thing for me. Not yesterday. The lack of resolution was getting to me . . .

7) The Leadership Council was starting at 6:30 . . .  ..
8) The Mayberry Rehearsal was starting at 7:00 . . . ...
9) We really needed to record the Rehearsal for a CD..
     . . . oh man, I was supposed to stop over
           at Gary's, look at and move the sea-foam green
           chairs (with ottoman) 'on-the-way home' . . .

So, in comes Pastor Matt and asks,
 
       "uh...what's wrong Pastor?"

It all resolved. Matt solved #9, Wanda tackled #1,
  Joe handled #2, Cathy helped with #6,
      Les and Ann took over #7 . . .

Practice was over by 9:00. I dropped off a CD to Conductor Jane and headed home to watch Breach (a suspense tale based on an FBI true story). We don't watch much stuff like that because Cathy isn't wired for suspense.

We had some questions so after the movie, we watched the extra features (a documentary, and 20 minutes of the Director's Commentary). I then, loaded up the recording of the Mayberry Rehearsal and after 15 minutes of editing failed to 'save' in the correct manner.

So, I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. (not even frustrated). I started out the day around 6:30 (so I'd probably do well to take a nap sometime today).

I'm scheduled to open and run sound for BSF at 8:30,
   then a pastors' prayer meeting at BellRoad at noon,
    then Sheriff Taylor and I are gonna meet Opie
    and shoot the opening shot
    (walkin' beside Myers Lake with fishin' rods),
  
      and call Gary about those seafoam green chairs...

I really wanna get started on editing our
            Mayberry Rehearsal CD   --so g2g.

Thank you, KC, for installing the Video Projector on the ceiling of the BellRoad Express.

  (...and thank you everyone else for helping me
       get through the ellipses which are ahead . . .)

         November 20th - December 31st , Lord willing ...
 
         Soli Deo Gloria
 


Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm up at 5:40 this morning excited about editing yesterday's sermon and getting it uploaded. Cerissa was down in L.A., Cathy and Mary were both in the Nursery, and the good folks at The BellRoad Express need to hear their CDs ASAP. So...gotta get to work!

The Truth Project's admonition rings true 'work ought also be fun--fun enough to make one leap out of bed ready to get back to work!'

btw, this is Wolf's girl, Patrice, playing the piano during the Offertory yesterday. This goes out to Mexico for her big sister, Alisha:

Click here for Offertory--Patrice Rosenau

Check back a bit later to listen to

This email was awaiting me when I awoke:

Nov 19, 2007 2:43 AM,

Subject: pastor your 'Yes and Amen' video posted on YouTube blessed me tremendously

Langston Jones wrote:

Pastor Rob,

I just wanted to tell you that one of your video post on YouTube had a great impact on me this morning. I was asking God to assure me that his promises are as he says they are.

Your video was the very thing I needed by which God answered my prayer. Thank you so much.

In Christ,

Langston


Dear Langston,

Thank you as well for taking the time to write and tell me. That little bit of testimony was uploaded simply to 'store' it somewhere for individuals who were (then) currently along with me for the ride. I didn't particularly think that anyone else might ever take a look.

Now you have assured me of the 'now-ness' of tomorrow's potential. A YouTube video apparently was testifying for me while I slept.

Yes,
(no matter how many promises God has made....they are)
Yes, in Christ,


pastorob


I think that Langston was referring to this video

    Yes and Amen which is stored at google-video. As of yesterday, it had only ever been viewed 34 times. My own views probably account for about 4 of the 34.

"Today has not yet been counted."
  (not even Langston's 2:30 a.m.)

I'm reminded of Moses as he closes the 90th Psalm:
    "Lord, teach me to count my days aright."

Yes, I think I'll take another look at Yes and Amen before I get to work.


Friday, November 16, 2007

update:
On Friday night, I played around a bit more with audio tracks
looking for The BellRoad Express AudioCue: click here

5:30 p.m.
The California Highway Patrol called just now. Joe's car was found in a ditch in Grass Valley. It is being towed to a shop and we will get a call tomorrow about what to do next.


On Thursday morning Joe went out to the parking lot only to discover that his car was missing. I had him take my car to work and I called in the 'stolen car' report. The CHP came onsite to fill out the paperwork. He is maintaining a good attitude through the circumstance.

At 6:30, I met with two of the deacons to pray. It was a very good time of yielding our finite understanding of circumstances to our All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Ever-Present Lord and Savior. His Name is Jesus. One prayer voiced the truth that the person who stole Joe's car has something missing in his life. We prayed for his greatest need. That's a testimony of 'leaning not upon our own understanding' and acknowledging God's higher ways.

Troubling circumstances are best addressed in prayer. I thank the Lord for the Wednesday night prayer group and this Friday morning prayer time.

May God grant you peace that passes all understanding in this day's circumstances.
 


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yesterday, I opened a letter from a man incarcerated at the prison in Tracy. Someone had left an Auburn Journal on his bed and from that he got my address. This fellow tells that he grew up in Auburn. We prayed for him in our prayer meeting.

During lunch, I went to TrendCuts to get my hair cut. The ladies there remembered me as the pastor with pink hair. One asked me for specifics on "Christmas in Mayberry". That really encouraged me.

After lunch, I enjoyed hearing Ken Hemphill (onadd to the stewardship message that the Spirit has been delivering to me today:

1) It meets the needs of the Saints.
2) It produces Thanksgiving to God
3) It leads others to glorify God
4) It creates mutual prayer and yearning.

Why cooperate with other churches?

It's biblical.
It provides strength and stability.
It promotes unity and diversity.
It enables strategic thinking.
It provides a biblical mode for other churches.
It enables Kingdom Advance.
It ensures that God receives the Glory.

With these words, Ken Hemphill closed his time with church leaders here:

"May God bless California Southern Baptists as you get serious about connecting for Kingdom Advance."

I had a couple letters waiting for me last night about Veteran's Day. We had neglected to observe it in our Sunday Service last week. We will acknowledge our Veterans this Sunday and make mention of the history of this day: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Today I plan on reading and working out my sermon schedule through the end of the year. Meanwhile, I will be listening to the events at a gathering of brothers and sisters in West Sacramento.

LIVE feed of our State Convention in West Sacramento

Brian Kaiser will lead a music celebration at 8:30, 1:30, and 2:20 p.m. I spoke with him the other day. I really recognize the guy from sometime when we shared some event  together but I couldn't recall. He told me that he happened to be in the congregation on the day that I preached in view of a call at BellRoad (1-7-07). It seems that he said he was going out as an assignment for his doctoral studies. As a doctoral student, I'm sure that he was profoundly challenged by the message that day (lol in the most reverent of tone)!

Brian is the guy who told the '400-pound Avon Lady' joke last Sunday night, btw... (I had a 'talk' with the guy the next day. I informed him that my wife sells Avon and that he was promptly hissed at by others in the alto section).

At 1:35, Ken Hemphill is speaking to the Convention. It was at a tri-state conference back in the late eighties when I last heard him share a message. I hope that God will direct my steps through this day of spiritual preparation. I pray for the Yes and Amen to come from a great number of individuals who are charged to lead God's precious people.

May we break free of our own unseen chains and humbly love our enemies. May we then be empowered to 'kick down' unseen prison walls in pursuit of others who need to be set free.

LIVE feed of our State Convention in West Sacramento

click here for the morning schedule

click here for the afternoon schedule

Hey, Cathy just called me and said that she was listening to Sunday's Message: A Closer Look at F.A.I.T.H.

I told her that I was wondering if it was boring.

She countered the thought by sharing that it had already inspired her to stay attached to he Vine and bear fruit branch in a Jesus-Lovin', Soul-Winnin', Disciple-Making, Ministry Equipping, Missionary-Sending Church.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I enjoyed watching the LIVE feed of our convention on Tuesday night. Joe and I saw that Curt Harjo was sitting right behind the pulpit. Jonathan was next to him. We also saw Mary, Patrice, DeLynn, Nancy, Ben and Wolfgang. That was fun!

Fermin Whitaker is preaching a message as I write. This man always put evangelism with unchurched Californians at the focal point.

"Pray the Lord of the Harvest...and He will send workers."

The Annual Meeting of our California Southern Baptist Convention is meeting today, tonight, and tomorrow in Sacramento at the Russian Baptist Church. They are streaming the entire services LIVE through this FEED:

Click here for the LIVE feed

Don't let the Russian text scare you...just press PLAY on the Media Window. I was able to listen to my friend, Pastor Mike Abdoullazadah, who preached in the afternoon session. Ken Hemphill is preaching tonight, I think. I had thought about going but will probably tune in to the feed at 6:45 and see how its going. Some of our choir members are joining in for a MASS CHOIR tonight on that feed.

The 2007 California Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting is scheduled November 13-14 at the Russian Baptist Church, 1000 Sacramento Ave., West Sacramento, CA 95605.  Click here to obtain directions to the church.

It may take a minute or so for the streaming video to buffer.  Please wait.
 
The schedule is:
 
Tuesday, November 13
1:30 p.m.
6:45 p.m.
 
Wednesday, November 14
8:30 a.m.
1:00 p.m.

To learn more information about the annual meeting,
 click here

I just uploaded a draft of Sunday's Message (complete with BellRoad Bob's Call to chugga-chugga on out with
The BellRoad Express
).

Click here to give a listen to "A Closer Look at F.A.I.T.H."

note: copyright restrictions limit our liberty to share more than just an excerpt of two songs in this message: ('How Great Is Our God' and 'I Can Only Imagine').

Yesterday, Matt and I spent from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Music Conference and Awards Dinner. We were blessed to sit under the teaching of Don Fugate and Roger Byrd.

In the evening, the assembly honored the liftetime achievements of Ted Campbell and later Max Lyall. Three young people from BellRoad sang with the New America Singers to honor Ted and Betty Campbell with a surprise concert. Our representatives were Marissa, Joe, and Hannah.

Max Lyall shared his great and witty talent at the piano. I have been pleased how the Lord has provided wonderful opportunities to share some of the best of our California Southern Baptist fellowship with the new kid on our block, Pastor Matt Klein.
 



Monday, November 12, 2007

Today's Veteran's Day so Joe's bank isn't open. Fortunately, Wolfgang offered him the opportunity to work in his shop today. Cathy is doing two shifts for Home Instead so Mary and I will be on our own.

Soon I will head into the office and, Lord Willing, will retrieve yesterday's message from the Soundroom Computer, spend a couple hours editing it for CD, and start making copies for the adults who ministered in the Nursery and on the BellRoad Express.

I would have to say that yesterday's morning service was nearly complete. It was a bit tough getting there but having Pastor Matt and Justine in the mix made it much better for all of us, methinks.

Bob Knapp and I are having fun watching God use the members of our Body to bless the effort of the other members under the real Lordship of Christ Jesus.

Railroad Renee, Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi, BellRoad Bob, the Chancellor, the Bells, Whistles, Movers, and Shakers, the Deacons, the Women's Ministry, the Men's Ministry, the Welcome Teams, the Teachers, and the drummer saw the bones and sinews start to 'come together' yesterday.

Early this morning, I wrote an email to a field-worker in Pakistan. I extend these same thoughts to all the precious souls who have been faithful to minister life in their own peculiar situation:

May God bless you with a harvest yet unseen
     for you have been faithful
           to plant, to water,
           ...and even to pull some weeds.

May He rain upon your effort,
     shine upon your desires,
      and bring forth a bountiful harvest.    AMEN.

    hmmm.... I feel a song comin' on:

   
God Will See Us Through

David Burkhardt was our host at the the Music Conference last night. He is a very funny guy. I tried to let our new people each know how he is related to one of our own (protecting internet privacy here by not linking mother's maiden name with the aforementioned).

After the Conference, Cathy wanted to get some of her herbal home remedy to take over to Pastor Matt. Apparently he hasn't been sleeping much for the last few months. Well, Cathy's solution is to swallow a few of the very stinky herbal tablets called Valerian Root. They knock her out for a deep sleep. I have taken them a couple times through the years...but of course, I don't mind not sleeping (most of the time). How else does one account for such voluminous journal entries?

 


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Those of us who have been listening to recent messages, are anticipating a closer look at F.A.I.T.H.

My friend, Pastor Chris Zeller called me last night. I shared that none of my google searches had given me the description I needed to see in consideration of Bobby Welch's evangelistic method.

Chris (one who works the FAITH method) was gracious to send me this rundown:

FAITH Gospel Presentation (during the presentation the scriptures indicated are recited from memory without citing chapter and verse, almost conversationally):

F- is for Forgiveness

- No one can go to heaven of have eternal life
unless they have received God's forgiveness.

-Man is sinful Romans 3:23

-God provides forgiveness through Jesus Christ
  Ephesians 1:7


A- is for Available

 - God's for forgiveness is Available


-To all (the whole world) John 3:16

-But God's forgiveness is not automatic Matthew 7:21


I- Is for impossible

- It is impossible for anyone to work their way into heaven

- Forgiveness of sin and eternal life are the gift of God
  Ephesians 2:8-9


T- is for Turn

-To receive God's Forgiveness a person must turn (or
  repent) from sin and self and trust in Christ alone
  Luke 13:5

-Jesus Christ is the only way to God John 14:6

-We must believe and confess him to receive God's forgiveness Romans 10:9

H- is for heaven

-heaven is a little bit here and hereafter

-here-Jesus came to give us abundant life

  John 10:10 "I have come that you may have life
                       and have it more abundantly."

-Here after -John 14:3

Tomorrow we will be planting these seeds in soil that we have prayed might be good for a hundred-fold harvest.
 


Friday, November 9, 2007

One of our faithful readers, AnnR, tip-toes out of the boat and walks by faith today. May God bless you, dear Sister.

I've been 'under the weather' with some kind of congested ears-and-throat condition since Wednesday night. I still had to push ahead with important appointments yesterday (the first being at 7:30 a.m.)

First off, Pastor Matt readily diagnosed and cured a server issue that Emma was facing. Then we went out on visit to the Oaks of Auburn and met with Tammy, the Activities Director, about next Thursday's BellRoad Revue. The synergistic verve that comes from having Matt alongside me is beyond my description. I am simply blessed.

Our Seniors' Choir then had their first official rehearsal. Curt Harjo has volunteered to direct this choir which will be combined with other outreach ministries in development for our community's seniors.

Member-in-waiting, KC, dropped by to volunteer some time so we worked together on an A-V issue in Room 900 and then drove to Parkside Nazarene to gather information on one of their ministries.

Pastor Matt and I also had a fruitful discussion with our Extended Session Nursery Coordinator in his newly-arranged office. After getting to know each other better, we set an important goal for our Nursery Program and shared a good time of prayer.

Last night, I droveNo Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green Mary down to Galt to stay with the best friend from her middle-school years. On the entire trip down, she read aloud from Melody Green's classic,
'No Compromise'.

Mary is thoroughly enjoying this particular assignment at EducationPlus. She has enjoyed Melody's flair for writing and regularly pauses to reflect aloud upon aspects of Keith's life. As a Dad, I am pleased to hear joy in my girl's voice. Since Randy Stonehill has been a 'friend of the family' ever since Mary was a little girl, this will become all the more exciting as she see how God used Randy in Keith and Melody's life.

In Galt, I stopped by the Thrift Store and spotted an antique Royal typewriter. Jessy and Michelle's parents (kids with whom I worked at FBC Galt) own that store. They have always been great supporters of creative arts so I had no problem asking to 'borrow' the typewriter for Andy's Desk.

I picked up another practice CD from Jebby's house, hung out with my old friend, Deacon Jim, and stopped to see Scott and Ana Bencker. There I gathered more resources for our newly forming outreach (Iglesia Bautista Bell Road).

OOPS....I forgot that our associational Executive Board for the Foothills Association met at our church site last night. I didn't get back into Auburn until about 9:00 p.m.
Here's the new website for our association of Southern Baptist churches (click here).

Well, I've spent an hour documenting some of yesterday's events, so I think I'll get a bit of shut-eye before I have to leave in one hour for our early morning prayer meeting with the Deacons.
 


Thursday, November 8, 2007



Abraham Lincoln
said,

"A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have."

Since I have chosen to publicly back gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn SB 777, there is the possibility that someone will associate me with others who gain the same pool of 'enemies' or find myself on someone's list of 'friends'.

There were activist groups on both sides who knew all about this before it was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. If you would like to see a list of supporters and opponents of SB 777 to decide upon which side of the fence you will soon find yourself:

    CLICK HERE for 'THE LIST'

Even if you don't put your own name (or group name) some other list-maker may choose to do it for you.

Perhaps you have happened upon this column today and you haven't even heard of SB 777 yet. Well, here is an example of a site that the supporters of SB 777 are watching closely: <worldnetdaily>. I obviously don't read their publication or I would have learned about this new law much earlier.

Since this will be in the news, it wouldn't surprise me to see my name associated with the very fellow who picketed our church last Easter. That likelihood was one of the reasons I took the opportunity for a definitive stand-off (face-to-face) rather than simply ignore the man, his son, and their followers (see last April's journal for background).

I have been involved in referendums a couple other times during my 25 years as a Christian. There is a teaching from Jesus that has motivated my actions upon those occasions.

"Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar."

For me, this imperative goes well beyond simply 'paying one's taxes'. We are to put God's Law first in our lives and pray accordingly for our governmental leadership. However, in America, 'the people' are supposed to be 'Caesar'. I believe that a Christian should be open to serving in a political career. Likewise, our young people should register to vote and learn about the political process.

Enough gathered signatures before the deadline will lead to a referendum which will, at least, result in the option to allow all registered California voters to decide if they want to continue with SB 777 as the Law of the Land in our public (and charter) schools.
 


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

When I heard about SB 777 (see yesterday's entry) on the radio, some commentator from another state was lamenting that 'not one California pastor' had spoken out against it.

"Huh?!", I thought to myself, "what's that?"

Attributing 'fear to speak out' toward pastors in California was a flawed presupposition.  We just hadn't heard anything about it. Emma printed off some of the information for me to take to our weekly pastors' prayer meeting. None of the guys there were yet aware of this legislation.

I am not one to jump on political bandwagons but sense that this is quite important--not just for California Christians but for those who will continue to pay taxes into the public school system, who will teach in them (including yours truly), and/or will send their children to be taught there.

Here are a couple links:

for background, legal stuff, and petitions (
click here).

Here is a one-page Fact Sheet on SB 777 (click here).

Here's an audio link to
Dr. Albert Mohler's Call-In Show with a plea for Californians to (re)act by gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn this legislation  (click here).


click on this frame to view the first entries in local art exhibit

    'Pastor Without A Gun'

  On display now at the
  BellRoad Center for Christ
       in the Popular Culture

 (aka) Bell Road Baptist Church

from the INBOX:     

   
Pastorob,

    We noticed while watching Andy Griffith on TV,
    that there is a wooden box (tray) for mail etc.
    on the desk. Just so happens we also have one
    exactly like the one pictured on TV.

    Would you want to use it, or do you already have
    enough "stuff" on the desk?

    Madelyn



I've already closed the deal. We've got our wooden tray now! This letter from Madelyn aptly demonstrates the Stone Soup principle that I so desire to bring to our local church.

CLICK HERE for the Stone Soup Legend

I hunger and thirst for some good ol' fashioned Stone Soup!

Yesterday
Jebby (our Mayberry Playwright) was at our old VisionWalk stop (Cafe Latte) when he noticed
Mark S. Allen
(from Good Day Sacramento) on-location in Galt. Here is a clip from their morning show:

click here and then, in the the search bar paste    

      small town superstar part 3

      Mary's friend, Brianna, who came to
      stay with us a couple weekends ago,
      was featured on the same day in part 4

We serve a supper at 5:00 at our church on Wednesday nights. If you wanna come as a first-time guest, someone will pick up the tab.

Matt Klein starts 'officially' today after he returns from dropping a friend off at the airport.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007


IF you missed it on Sunday, here's
 
Still on the Roman Road to F.A.I.T.H

Last night we unloaded a very long U-Haul truck into the house where
Matt and Justine Klein will host a thriving 24/7 BellRoad University class called Ministry 701.

Although there has been no official proclamation until this very moment (and they don't even know themselves), their Auburn Mission is definitely part of coming around the bases a second time. Sliding into third ('Discovering and Working one's ministry in the local church') brings the roar of the crowds in the stands. The bases are loaded.

I'll let the locals finish the scenario. I suppose the question is
'Who's up to bat next?'

To see the area in which our new Associate Pastor has moved, click here. To hear some of Matt's music today:

Here I Am.mp3

I Stand Amazed.mp3  

Lets Talk About It.mp3  

Closer.mp3

Trust in Me   (written last week for Les and Bobbi)

   
Biographical Sketch: Matthew R. Klein (click here)

Other Important News: Out here in California, the church cannot lay claim to number the number
7. Christian optimists might hope that a bit of legislation called SB 777 could possibly bring the Ten Commandments back into the public classroom, or post the Golden Rule in our Courthouses. Not so, Sherlock.

I was listening to a Christian radio station when I first heard about SB 777 (signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger). I still haven't had adequate time to research the alarming projections of the radio commentator. However, Mike Sanchez (our associational Director of Missions) just sent a link which discusses concerns SB 777 should pose for those who share a biblical worldview (
click here).

 I also received an audio link to
Dr. Albert Mohler's Call-In Show with a plea for Californians to act with quick decisiveness:  (click here)

Having begun my ninth month as Pastor, I have focused on very localized ministries. So much of what I have written in this column has been purposefully limited. However, my interests in Liberia and Pakistan have continually tugged at my heart.

Pakistan: This nation's issue's are definitely in the news these days. Last week's cover of Newsweek (click here) and yesterday's headlines about emergency rule in Pakistan (click here).

Liberia: My internet friends, Rodney and Gayla Edwards (from Tennessee) are currently in Liberia on a 14-Day mission to further establish the work of a parachurch ministry they started called Service to Servants. For a link to the last full day's journal they have published (on Sunday),

click here for the current Liberia Journal

Finally, here is a letter from my one of my life's greatest heroes, Greg Brayton, the blind guy in my hometown. He has co-produced and played on almost all of the 40-plus songs I've published through the years. Greg has been dealing with cancer. Here's a 'dear all' letter I received this morning:

Iím involved in an experimental study through the University of Michigan. Iím taking a drug called, Erbatux, instead of the normal chemotherapy. My last x-rays showed, that a couple tumors got smaller, and that a new one did appear. Guess this is like good and bad news. The side effects of this treatment are not nearly as hard to take as regular chemo though so I like that.

Iíve written some sort of music everyday since early July. I donít ever remember anything quite like this creativity wise. Iím darn near overwhelmed, but God keeps me strong through it all.

Next week, Sally and I together, will bring out, three new
CDs!   Iíve never done anything like that before. A new one that comes under the heading, Christian contemporary, an instrumental, that is somewhat modern, yet easy to listen too, and one, that Iíll call a weird one, that uses just about every sonic trick I have in this rather large book we call a studio. Heck the weird one might be my fave. It certainly will be fun.

Still even after releasing this new stuff, Iím still ready to go down their today and make more music. Iím entering a contest held by modernbeats.com and I came up with something last night that Iím very keen to work on.
 
I have had others recording here as well, God has kept the business going too. The praise band at church just gets better every week, the vocals are really starting to come together, and itís just beautiful. I couldnít ask for anything more musically!

God is so good!

We go to Ann Arbor every Friday and in another month or so, weíll take more x-rays, and hopefully itíll show me getting better. It would appear that God wants me to keep doing music so I feel confident that your prayers are helping. Thank you so much. Iím sorry itís taken me so long to write here, but as you can tell, Iíve been doing the sort of thing I love doing for God.

Sally also loves what she does. Working back here in Coldwater at the prison, and teaching more life lessons to the inmates who can really benefit from the things they are learning from her. We have just been so blessed here in the last couple months.

Well I really need to get this written and back down to the studio for more music. Praise the Lord.

God is good, all the time.
All the time God is good!

Yes and oh yes,
Amen and amen.

http://www.gbrayton.com


Monday, November 5, 2007      

I woke up at 4:15 but, after checking my email, I decided that I should sleep some more. So, here it is at  7:15 and I'm much more rested--ready to do the Monday stuff.

1.  I will listen to, edit, publish Sunday's sermon.
    This message was a continuation of 'the Romans Road'
    theme that I've been sharing the last few weeks. Over the
    weekend, I had received two different email forwards
    that stirred up some passion to balance what I think was
    an unfair attack on a brother's ministry (
click here).

     Here it is--click below for
     Still on the Roman Road to F.A.I.T.H

    In the message I make mention of attacks on the
    Life Missions of both
Bill Hybels and Rick Warren.
    I still think that it is ironic (even funny) that ol' pastorob
    (and fbc galt) is forever sandwiched between
    these two innovative brothers (and their local churches)
    in the Leadership Journal:


  


   
  CLICK HERE for 'Giants in the Land' (pdf)

    The recording of yesterday's message will share a quote
    by
D. L. Moody on 'critics' in the church. Although it was
    chosen for the message three weeks ago, I think that, as
    the preacher, I was not yet ready to share it from my own
    heart.

2.  I will open the doors for the BSF Leadership Team.
     I'll say this again: Ladies, come to Bible Study
     Fellowship tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. I am fully impressed
     at the high quality of this weekly gathering to learn
     God's Word. ALSO, they provide free childcare.

Lord willing, Matt, Justine, Jonah, and Evan are driving across the state of California today. I am so thankful that God is adding this family to our local church.

Oh yeah, He as been adding others to our church family day-by-day. I PRAISE the Lord for His remembrance of our cry for help.

Another PRAISE report: Dan Clark has finished the railing around Andy Taylor's Desk in our Courthouse scene. I just can't fully express how happy this act-of-service has made me. Another 'love-language' gift was given to me yesterday.

Ben and Caitlyn gave me a card with two highly-personal, handwritten messages (they were 'words-of-affirmation'). They handed this to me during the Sunday School hour. Those loving words were 'right-on-time'....and I told 'em so.

THEN, I opened a beautifully wrapped present to discover a board game called 'Mayberry-opoly'. They wouldn't know that my TV-watching has been almost exclusively episodes of The Andy Griffith Show (from the complete 8 season set I purchased to study for "A Mayberry Christmas").

This stuff will be fun to share with old buddy, Jebby, who wrote the script. We hardly see each other anymore but still love one another deeply. This Mayberry Christmas project helps us keep our hearts knit together.
 

Sunday, November 4, 2007      

Home at 3:30 in the afternoon. A full day thus far. Morning Service was well-sprinkled with 'new' people. We honored Curt for working with music so faithfully. We also acknowledged Brandon and Heidi for their dedication to working with youth. All three received a long, warm handclap and a standing ovation. None will 'retire', we will simply work smarter and work harder.

The BellRoad Express took its first run for Children's Church today. We are focusing on the Ten Commandments to begin. Thanks to BellRoad Bob, Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi, and RailRoad Renee for helping with this all-important first day!

The first formal gathering in preparation for Iglesia Bautista Bell Road was attended by Karla, Sharon, Christy, Cathy, Jesse, Elba, Nancy. I am very pleased with the hopeful expectation that this will blossom into a viable ministry in the Auburn area.

More later.


Friday, November 2, 2007      

This afternoon Matt unpacked some gear and recorded a simple version of the song that he and Justine wrote for Les and Bobbi. He sent it to me because he knew that I was working on a slideshow for Jeffrey's funeral tomorrow.

Click here for this special song: Trust in Me   

This morning after the I-80 prayer meeting with the deacon, I'm scheduled to meet Dan Clark for a VisionDriveô to Grass Valley. He is gonna help us complete the vision for Andy's Desk. This will establish the Courtroom scene in our sanctuary. Mayberry Slideshow (click here) Shooting will begin soon!

After my time with Dan, I have a visitation scheduled at 10:00 a.m. with a couple folks who are recuperating from recent operations.

I had a good time visiting in the homes of two couples from our Genesis Class yesterday. Then, some brainstorming with a young couple about needs in our nursery ministry.

This Sunday, we are launching both the Spanish ministry and the Children's Church. We must also prepare for the BellRoad Revue at the Oaks of Auburn on the 15th.

Some have observed that I'm spread kinda thin. Yes, I'd say so. However, before getting out of bed this morning, I have asked the Lord Jesus to fill me with His Spirit.

I have been praying with people about needs in their lives. A Spirit-filled, Spirit-led congregations gonna make all the difference for every soul God wants involved with us in the days immediately ahead of us.

Matt and Justine are coming to LIVE in Auburn on Monday!

YES and AMEN.


Thursday, November 1, 2007


Last night, we hosted an outreach event at our church campus. I think anyone who was there would say that our Festival was a great success. Thanks to BellRoad Bob, Kristy, Wanda, Debbie, Dan, Renee, Scott, April, Kurt, Christy, Bob, Jesse, David, Mary, Steve, Marcie, Vicki, Jean, Nancy (and all the other ministers that I didn't get a chance to see in action). Click on this photo of Kristy to get a look at our Harvest Festival. Unfortunately, some really cute shots of certain children cannot be shown on the Internet. My camera quit working, so this isn't a complete presentation. I hope to gather some photos from other cameras. If anyone has any photos to send me, please do!

A young pastor with an internet ministry from Australia has been sending me emails for quite awhile. His name is Josh Mitchell. I don't know remember how he got my address. It may have been that he (or someone in his organization) was web-surfing, came across this page and just added me to their mailing list.

Sometimes I designate 'form letters' like that as spam and never see them again. However, I have chosen to allow Josh's letters to keep coming.

Today, Josh sent a note to his mailing list warning ministers about a deceptive plot to ruin their lives. He had been contacted by what sounded like a real person truly interested in asking questions about faith:

   "The young lady, emailed, and I immediately thought it
     was an opportunity for the gospel. So having her email
     address I wrote to her from my church email address. I
     outlined that I had a wife and children, and was very busy,
     and that I hoped she found excellent friends of good
     character. I left her with the final line of 'here is a great
     website I found interesting:
www.needgod.com'

     She responded, and with light chat asked more about us.
     She left a link with information about her. I made the
     stupid mistake of looking, curious about who I was
     talking to. It was a pornographic profile."

Josh went on to share how troubled he was that his eyes fell upon sights he hadn't chosen to look toward. I haven't written about this issue very much, however I have taken the opportunity to speak with individuals (and couples) about the problem facing men.
By looking at Josh's site (Hallelujah Baptist Mission), I found this link to a message by Ray Comfort. My 'old' friend, John Rickard, once sent me some great material by Ray Comfort (and Kirk Cameron).

I have been taking the time to listen to this hour-long message (in fact, I'm still listening to it right now). Early this morning I was feeling oppressed as I was waking up. There were over ten unsettled stressors weighing upon mind. I began to acknowledge each situation (mostly relational) before the Lord (activating my faith in Proverbs 3:5-6).

Cathy laid her hand on my forehead and pray for me. This helped. However, listening to Ray Comfort's message (click on the frame above) has been the Lord's immediate response to the overwhelming issues facing me on this day. I am almost ready to get out of bed now.

The Lord has been guiding my steps on what to do to lead our church to become known by Him as a soul-winning, missionary-sending church. I think I had better map out recent events and see the demonstration of His guidance more clearly. Some of these include the Business Meeting motion about Ten Commandments in our Narthex, Cindy Bond's recent movie, Los 10 Mandamientos de Iglesia Bautista Bell Road, the Wilderness Tabernacle, the Baptistry sermonette, door-to-door visitation, D.L. Moody stories, unmet expectations, and the detour(s) upon The (Roman) Road outline.

Here is an article that google chose for me to read. It is an interesting story about a South Korean mission strategy (click here).

May God give you a special time of prayer in the midst of your circumstances. May He also bring to your awareness a definite sense of your calling. May your day's activities be led by the Spirit--integrated and true to the character God is forming in you.
 



November, 2007    Return to: pastorob's current journal