Saturday, August 30, 2008

Last Sunday, Moishe Rosen (Founder of Jews for Jesus) spoke from our pulpit. Late last night I prepared the message for the Internet. I was somewhat of a 'runner' for others that day, so it will be good to hear it again.

Click on the player above to hear "The Great Divorce".

For those who choose to listen to Mr. Rosen's message, you may want to first look at this press release that he references near the beginning:

To Moishe Rosen: "Was Jesus Really Jewish?"
Who is Moishe Rosen and why has he invested 45 years of his life answering that question? TODAY, Sunday, August 24th, from his wheelchair, Moishe Rosen, 76, will bravely face skeptics, … more
Posted by pastorob | 8/23/08 05:45 AM | 890 views

This week I began reading two books. One is a history text written by my friend, Rex R. Ruth. Rex is beginning the New Members Class at Bell Road this coming Sunday.

The other book is a biography of Bob Dylan (written in 1986) by Robert Sherman. It is entitled "No Direction Home". Both books are of great interest to me.

I posted this 'Peacemakers' story in the Journal yesterday. It had over 300 hits during the first 12 hours it was up. I hope that someone will decide to come to church for the first time as a result.

 Give Peace a Chance
 Are you struggling with someone in a contentious 
 relationship? Is one of your loved ones suffering
 in the aftermath of a fractured home? click here

I shared at our last Leadership Council meeting that I plan to move our 3-year, expository sermon series to a place in the Sunday Evening schedule. I am working toward that end with the conviction that the idea was prompted as a direct result of continuing in step with the Holy Spirit.

The new format will be an original sermon based upon the readings and points of the Lifeway Sunday School Quarterlies which are being used in two of our adult classes. The primary skeletal work has been skillfully prepared by those who design for the masses.

I truly think that this Sunday Morning Makeover will strike a good balance.

September 7-28  Short Stories, Tall Orders
   First Sunday:         "Forgive Early and Often"
   Second Sunday:   "Come One, Come All"
   Third Sunday:        "Be Ready"
   Fourth Sunday:      "Use it or Lose it"

My guess is the change in morning format will be more palatable to the cultural sensitivities of a broader base of hearers. Furthermore, I have not compromised the gifts and calling that God has entrusted to me as a steward. I fully expect the 'yea and amen' in myriad forms from our pan-generational, cross-cultural congregation.

Still, please check out the sermons from Luke-Acts-Romans. I think they will stand the test of time. I would like to be able to share stories of 'connection' with these messages. Some will become songs; others tracts; and others might show up in books--should God grant Cathy the desire of her heart.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8:00am Just in from the Newcastle Exit sunrise prayer meeting. Cathy and I are dog-sitting in Meadow Vista through Tuesday. We have signed all the papers and are just waiting on the Lender's disbursement of funds to formally record the deed today.

There is some work to do on the interior before we move in. We hope to be swift about it.

I served as cameraman for the Senior Drama Team rehearsal yesterday. Patrice Rosenau was in her element as Drama Coach. It should be great fun to put together a video announcement for the vital, outreach-oriented ministry.

Pastor Matt served as cameraman for the testimony shared by Christy Sandhoff yesterday. What a powerful story of personal salvation and bittersweet redemption.

Richard and I did the harmonica-thing yesterday. Joy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long entry this morning: (from 3:30-4:30am)
Now, I'm heading back to bed for a couple hours.

Today, at 10am, I have scheduled to hang out with Patrice and the actors-actresses from our Senior Drama Group. They are working on a performance of "Bound for Glory". At 11am, JOY FELLOWSHIP will feature a testimony by Christy Sandhoff. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Yesterday, Cathy and I visited a precious sister named Dixie. She lives directly across Bell Road in plain view of our three crosses. Last night, we shared afresh her heart's desire at our midweek prayer meeting.

Dixie's son, Richard, is on the waiting list for a double transplant (pancreas and kidney). The possibility of a donor for these organs will involve tragedy in another family's life. Dixie's prayer request is for all-surpassing peace in the family of one whose life on earth will have just ended.

Dixie's daily routine is one of being on 'stand-by'. If she receives the call, she and husband, Jim need to get Richard to SF Medical Center within four hours. Please join us in prayer that she will receive that God's perfect and pleasing Will will be done in the days ahead.

As a result of hanging out with Dixie, I remembered some unfinished business that I think God was prompted me toward during the pink hair days of '07. Just before my 50th birthday, I had to renew my license at the DMV (with a photograph). On that day, I learned more about the Organ and Tissue Donor agreement. *As a pastor (and police chaplain), I recall being involved in at least two tragic family situations in which organ-tissue donation brought redemptive solace to grieving souls..

The DMV placed a pink dot on my license signifying that I am on record as a donor. My organs and tissues will become available for someone like Richard. I have been negligent in not encouraging others to consider doing the same.

I missed an opportunity to mention the pink dot in this article from my hometown paper.Rewinding the LifeStory allows for prayerful reflection upon the meaning of one's life and ministry to others. For that reason, I encourage Christians to journal as they work out their salvation in the day-to-day.

 Thanks to the Coldwater Daily Reporter for the license.

I scheduled to go hang out with Richard at 1pm today. I got  a couple harmonicas that I wanna try out with him!

Last night, 12 members gathered for midweek prayer. Afterwards, some of our young people were planning to drive to Grass Valley to attend the evening service at Crossroads Community Church. Cathy, Curtis, and I decided to join them. We sat against the back wall with Jonathan, Kyla, Ben, Cerissa, Paulie, and Daniel. Although our prayer meeting ended at 7pm, we still got there in time for a Bible Study from 1 Peter and a relaxed service of songs afterwards. On the way home, we showed Curtis our new quarters and then walked around the pond at the Regional Park.

After bidding Curtis farewell, Cathy and I began to watch an Otto Preminger film from 1960 entitled Exodus. It features Paul Newman as Ari Ben Canaan. The cover says that this "chronicle of the rebirth of a people and the establishment of a nation is the ultimate experience in human drama".

In order to save money on DVD rentals and movie outings, we borrowed this film from the Auburn Library. I would like to work my way through all films of interest in their collection. It is FREE and one has 3 weeks to return items.

Monday is a 'holiday'. Although we will hopefully have begun work on our new living space in the Greens, I have decided that it is also important for my family to support Nick Vogt's vision for young athletes in the foothills (and in the Philippines). The event is called the Sizzler 49'er Canyon 10 Mile Run or 1.5 Mile Community Fun Walk.

Early Monday morning, we will help Nick set up the Start and Finish Line for the Sizzler 49er Canyon Run & Community Fun Walk. There will be a designated area for race registration, finish line, Smoothie King, and staging for the Aurelia Christian Band.

Nick Vogt is one of several pastors and leaders with whom I have prayed since coming to Auburn in early 2007. He is the Executive Director of Christian Team Ministries.

About the Sizzler 49er, Nick says, 'There's something to do for every age--from Junior High students to Senior Citizens.'

    Would you like to walk, or run, or perhaps even
    assist us by handing out Race T-shirts or water
    bottles, monitor traffic, register runners, distribute
    tracts, or join in worship with Aurelia?

    Registration begins at 7:00 am, and Races
    (both the Walk & the Run) begin at 8:00. Walkers
    will be returning at 8:15; Runners will begin to finish
    at 9:05. Most people will have finished by 11:00.

    Why not join us for a short, fun walk with some
    friends - or share the love of Jesus as a volunteer?
    You're also welcome to simply cool off with an iced
    smoothie while enjoying live Christian music
    presented by the band, Aurelia?

So, friends, that's what we (Oikos la Patterson) will be doing on Monday morning. If you would like to learn more, call Nick at (530) 878-0697 or click here to register. Proceeds will be distributed between: Christian Team Ministries & Acres of Hope.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

6:45am Up and ready for a new day. A week ago, when we hosted the Foothills Pastors' prayer meeting, a man from shared with us an opportunity to work with others to win what he called "The Gettysburg" of this cultural war.

I invite you to look at the list of endorsements (here) and at 10 Declarations at Skyline Church (6-20-08). Today, in our morning staff meeting (9:30-10:30), I explained the need for us to be prepared to face this issue in the days leading up to November's election.

Gettysburg? Let us think about it (more importantly, let us pray, study, think, pray, hear the Word and let us be doers of the Word).

We will share this matter at our midweek prayer meeting tonight. Please attend if you are able: 6:00pm.

After today's staff meeting, I hope to do some visitation, then upload some audio testimonies from one of our outreach ministries: Union Gospel Mission (Sacramento).

Cathy and I are heading for the Gym (7:50).

The air escaped from our mattress so Cathy and I were up for a period of time 3:15-4:47am. during which time I wrote the following:

Decided to check email and watched a church video that Linda Molliter (Michigan) sent to us.

White gloves, black light, and...
   from the tail-end of it, I guessed it was an yet another
   example of Asian-Christian initiative: click here

...then with further research, it looks like it was a performance at a UPC General Conference...

Cathy asks, "What's that? What's UPC?"

Husband answers: "United Pentecostal Church...
                                   They don't believe in the Trinity..."

The 'Casting Crowns' song is being used by a non-Trinitarian group...and other stuff (like 'one must speak in tongues in order to be saved)

     ...just so you know, Linda (and everyone).

Let the viewer beware. I suppose it is akin to a Baptist catching a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Looks like we might be closing on our house this week.

We visited Chet and Jimmie last night. Met OK sister, Ruth (and husband, Joe). Sweet table fellowship and Jimmie's fried chicken was great...

Just pulled out a different air mattress and are now heading back to bed at 3:47am.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bell Road Staff Meeting (9:30-11:40) was wonderful today. Emma was with us for most of the time. We laid a solid foundation for the end of August and all of September.

Pastor Matt and I also made plans for a new album of Hymns.

More on all of this later...

Matt: hey I was thinking... since we're going to start a music project... we should have a separate "studio" blog about it... connected to our site

me: I was online with KC and shared an idea that could
        go churchwide and in the bulletin...

       what's your favorite hymn?
           or special hymns...
                 even obscure ones...

Matt: hold on one sec... phone

me:  and WHY? then we can just start recording cuz,
         it would be a big feel-good, methinks
         to have people's input
         and they can kinda 'own' the vision this way

         we could also feature little solos or cameo bits with
         people who suggested certain hymns...
         like a scripture recitation during a bridge, etc.

         stuff like that

I have an example on my version of Blessed Assurance
the spoken voice was a guy named Tom who was teaching a Sunday School unit on the Book of John. Then, he preached a message (like Lou recently did...).

The audio clip is from his sermon that day.

* one online compilation of my catalog: click here

Saturday, August 23, 2008

  To Moishe Rosen:  
      "Was Jesus Really Jewish?"

Who is Moishe Rosen and why has he invested
45 years of his life answering that question? click here  

I awoke at 5:30 with the desire for one last opportunity to reach out to the online Placer County residents in Auburn, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Loomis, Rocklin, Roseville, Lincoln, and Colfax.

Click on the story above and learn more about the man that God is bringing to deliver His Word in our church tomorrow morning.

*for the record: whenever somebody makes an assertion of which I question its validity, I hear the voice of my old college buddy, Brian Akers:

   "Cite your source."

I was just now listening to Lou Robohm's recent message (Aug. 24) and heard my remarks at the head. I made an assertion that I now question (that the Purpose Driven Life is the all-time Best Selling book in history--after the Bible).

My source? Rick Warren's mouth: November, 2006.
   At least, I think that is what he told us...

   Jonathan Rosenau once reminded me:
           "I could be wrong..."

A quick initial attempt at online research hadn't clarified the matter for me. These sources seemed to contradict each other.

Then, this morning I decided to try again. I found a recent blogger who wrote that The DaVinci Code has sold more...

     and he did "cite his source"... awat I don't think it really matters but that's my source.

Last night, twenty men from our local church (in what can rightly be called a grassroots, bi-partisan coalition of sinning saints and sanctified sinners) gathered to pray.

Why pray? After a particularly eventful Monday evening meeting of our Leadership Council, Dan Clark walked among those who lingered long after adjournment.

Small clusters of men and women were talking. Some were hugging and praying. Others were listening and reflecting about what had just transpired.

In response to their heartfelt, yet unspoken, cry:
     "Lord, we don't know what to do...
                     but our eyes are upon You",

Dan Clark
(a self-proclaimed nobody) voiced what he felt the Spirit had just impressed upon his heart.

"The men of this church need to pray together."

Just as Jahaziel spoke up to the solemn assembly called by King Jehoshaphat, Dan picked up the phone and started making calls. Four days later, those countless calls resulted in 20 men gathered to pray at 7:00pm.

Each man had carried his own personal burden to the prayer meeting. Nobody knew what would happen next.
After a few humble suggestions, one quiet soul led the way to the altar, others followed. I was one of them.

My personal, solitary prayer was interrupted by a brother who approached me with his intercession on behalf of our church. Then he prayed for me as our primary leader under the headship of Christ.

After that another brother motioned for me to join him at the altar. He was concerned for our church's Saturday night outreach mission in Sacramento. We prayed together for the men and women who will gather at the Union Gospel Mission later tonight.

My final conversation before the Lord was with a brother who, earlier in the evening, had said,

     "Forgiveness is here for the asking."

      I asked.
         He forgave.
              We talked...until 10:00pm
              We talked....
         God forgave.
      We are still asking....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cathy and I shared about 6 hours of sleep together last night. Then, I drove to the Newcastle Exit for the Deacons' Prayer from 6:30-7:30. I enjoyed the time alone with the Lord at the Vista Point next to the 'For Sale' sign on the hill. We had a pleasant morning together.

Before our meeting came to a close, I walked around the canyon view by Denny's front door. As I was turning to return to my car, I saw three men coming out of the restaurant--each holding the same book.

"You guys look like you belong to a cult, " I posited.
   "Yeah, we're in a cult...haha", one may have replied.
"Hmm...what book?", I asked as I looked at the title.

A couple minutes later, I spoke with Trent Staton, a Regional Sales Manager:
Trent gave me a business card so I could send him a link to this page:
       click here

Yesterday, Moishe Rosen called me. He is the founder of Jews for Jesus. Moishe is coming to Bell Road to deliver a timely message from God's Word entitled:

    "The Great Divorce"
Romans 8:29-9:3


Thursday, August 21, 2008

A great day ahead is planned. For two hours, our Senior Drama and Choir group will meet to work on their upcoming production. I want to be with them to share the fun!

Twenty people turned up for prayer last night.   At 5:55pm, three senior couples made their way into the Library in our local church building. Before we began the normal routine, powerful personal ministry had to take took place.

A man in his 40's was found weeping over devastating circumstance in his life. An 80 year old sister immediately embraced him and shared in his suffering. As a faithful steward of their shared circumstance, she allowed the very breath of her spirit push forth these words:

   "Hugs help!"

Songs were sung. An 84 year old woman suggested that those gathered should begin with the song "Amazing Grace". Then the worship leader (51) asked the church to turn in their hymnals to "Blessed Be the Tie that Binds."

After the first verse, the excruciating pain of loss being experienced by the 84 year old was shared across the generations. Even the  youngest of the gathered church body could relate to the trembling tone of her voice.

Her big brother, Dewitt (89) had died just two hours before. She shared that she would be making immediate plans to gather with her brother's widow and children.

At the conclusion of all three verses, the key shifted from F to G as the entire group repeated all three verses again. The corporate sound of covenantal melody lifted the spirits of those who had hungered for right-standing with God and man.

After the song, "It is well with my Soul", the pastor shared that at the last Leadership Council Meeting, his quarterly report began with these words from the Church Membership Covenant. The 4 Affirmations and 12 Actions
were once again read aloud (without personal comment) by the pastor. However, the congregation read the Scripture aloud.

1.  I will protect the unity of my church acting in love toward other members refusing to gossip following the leaders
      Romans 14:19    1 Peter 1:22    Ephesians 4:29

2.  I will share the responsibility of my church praying for its growth inviting the unchurched to attend warmly welcoming those who visit
      1 Thessalonians 1:1-2    Luke 14:23    Romans 15:7

3.  I will share the ministry of my church discovering my gifts and talents being equipped to serve by my pastors developing a servant's heart
     1 Peter 4:10   Ephesians 4:11-12   Philippians 2:3-7
4.  I will support the testimony of my church attending faithfully living a godly life giving regularly
     Hebrews 10:25  Philippians 1:27   1 Corinthians 16:2

Together, they then read the Mission Statement of Bell Road Baptist Church with a shared understanding of the great importance to step ahead under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

We will bring people to Jesus and membership into His family, develop them maturity in Christ, and equip them for their ministry in the church body as well as their life mission in God's world, so that we can all magnify God's Name.

One-by-one from start-to-finish, the circle of prayer lifted praise, confession, requests, and petitions to Almighty God in the Name of Jesus.

* for a PDF copy "Our Membership Covenant" as prepared and published for SundayMessage 44 & 45, simply click above. 

Audio 44)  Easier Said than Done

 Audio 45)  Growing as a Giving Christian

Antidote:  'He said-She said' Virus: Ephesians 6:12

Come back tomorrow for a personal, pastoral reflection upon point one: "I will protect the unity of my church."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I drifted into a peaceful sleep around midnight and awoke at 5:30 this morning. Much ahead of me today.

Last night was rewarding. Mary and I went 'back-to-school shopping', then shared an intimate father-daughter dinner, stopped at the Family Bookstore where she reviewed and selected 4 CDs. She bought two from her own earnings; Dad bought the others as my gift to her.

We then stopped at Oikos la Rosenau where she unpacked her school-tools. I hung out with my peers until the Head of the House headed up the stairs.

Yes, next week, our youngest child, Mary (17) will begin her Senior Year at EducationPlus. Although she is taking classes at Sierra College as part of her studies, she will also be required to engage in senior-level research, composition, and publication on the homefront.

Below is an excerpt from the Director's upcoming homeschool pamphlet Valedictoria for Dummies:

Pastor Matt Klein recently published a worthy lesson in his journal. He posed a question that, if taken seriously, could be of great benefit to the hearer.

"Have you ever wanted something so bad
          that you would lie or cheat to get it?"

For 100 points on the mid-term:

1) Read Pastor Matt's entry and leave a comment.
     Make sure to log in for full points.
     *note: you may not use the name ANONYMOUS

 "A picture is worth a thousand words."

What does this picture say

For 100 points on the
        Lesson 2 Review:

         1) Write a humorous caption for this photo
         2) Do your research, write a 1,000 word essay
             with this photo as your only accompanying visual.
             Make sure to cite your source.

What does this picture say to you?

For 100 points on the Lesson 4 Review:

        1) On your googlepages website, link photo 2008
             to a chapter from God's Word that you think
             could instruct, encourage, or correct believers
             across the generations.
        2) On your googlepages website, link photo 2008
             to a chapter from God's Word that you think
             could mislead, discourage, or stumble believers
             of a generational group.

For 1000 points on the midterm:

Send a link to your website to three friends from different age groups and ask them to reflect upon photo 2008 and your selected passages from God's Word. Then, invite and arrange for these three individuals to meet-and-eat at your expense. During the meal display a hardcopy of photo 2008, distribute a large-print hardcopy of both Scripture passages to each person, then initiate a tabletop discussion about personal application of both scriptures.

Be prepared to learn! Take notes for this matter will surely be revisited on your Final Exam for this semester.

Before the end of your discussion, set a date on your calendar during the month of April, 2009 and invite each of these friends to attend your Final Oral Review for graduation from EducationPlus.

*note: each new lesson in life builds upon lessons already learned. One should step back, look at the requirements of one's LifeLessons®, and carefully consider what might lie ahead. For this cause, it is important that one chooses one's friends very carefully.

For 1000 points on the Final Exam:

1) Search the scriptures for the origins of these words:

    "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look
       for such things, be diligent that ye may be
       found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

2) Copy and paste the following scripture as the prologue
     to a 500 word essay about a contemporary application
     of this passage in your own particular Sitz im Leben.

    "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord
      is salvation; even as our beloved brother _______
      also according to the wisdom
      given unto him hath written unto you;

      As also in all his epistles, speaking in them
      of these things; in which are some things
      hard to be understood,
          which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest,
          as they do also the other scriptures,
          unto their own destruction.

      Ye therefore, beloved,
            seeing ye know these things before,
               beware lest ye also,
               being led away with the error of the wicked,
                                    fall from your own stedfastness.

      But grow in grace,
            and in the knowledge
                   of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

3) Open a blog account at

     and publish your essay as an entry within 48 hours.
            (Make sure to send me a link.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not much sleep to be had by yours truly during the last two days. After our Leadership Council last night, Cathy and I walked around the building and enjoyed the cool air. We finally went to bed at midnight.

I woke up thinking it must be 6 or 7am. Knowing that Emma and Pastor Matt would be in soon, I got up from the air cushion on the Choir Room floor and made my way to my office.

Hah. It is only 2:45am. Guess I'd better get back to sleep.
At noon today, area pastors are scheduled to gather at Bell Road.

In 'Experiencing God', our group asked if our church ever participates with other churches outside our denomination. I informed my covenant partners of the weekly prayer meeting where certain area ministers seek the Lord for his very best. Here's the most-recent schedule sent to me yesterday:

Aug 19    Bell Road Baptist Church, Auburn, CA
Aug 26    Christian Team Ministries, Meadow Vista,
                 * Sept 1 (Labor Day Monday)
                    Sizzler 49er Canyon
                      Community Walk & Run
                      8:00 am in Auburn, CA
                      Proceeds benefit Acres of Hope & CTM
                      PDF Bulletin Insert for this Event

Sep 2     Grace Christian Fellowship, Auburn, CA
Sep 9     Celebration Community Fellowship
Sep 16   First Baptist Church, Auburn, CA
Sep 23   Hope, Help, & Healing, Auburn, CA
Sep 30   Sierra Reach Ministries, Applegate, CA

Here are some stories from TIME:

McCain and Obama on Abortion

McCain, Obama Meet at Saddleback

Interviewed by Rick Warren at his Civil Forum, both candidates excel — McCain is compassionate, Obama confident...

Obama and McCain’s Test of Faith

It is a sign of how seriously Americans take religion...

Well, I'm heading back to bed at 3:15am

Monday, August 18, 2008

Click above for "Extreme Makeover" by Lou Robohm. His message asks of us:

"What is the greatest sin in the church?"

Before I introduced Lou, I took the time to reference Saturday night's Saddleback Civic Forum and its historical relevance for Northern California Southern Baptist churches who have invested in the Cooperative Program.

Hey, Auburn's own Fresh Air Media provided the high-definition coverage of the national broadcast. Small world, huh? (Yeah, and thanks to Jim Jupin of Fresh Air Media, we have our entire three projector, three-screen set-up..)

It is a God-thing. From the Auburn Journal:

"Obama, McCain discussion with megachurch minister Warren has Auburn producer-director"

When I find a good link to the broadcast of Saturday's interviews, I will post it. If you find one, please send it to me.

Clyde sent me a link to an audio message for the members of Saddleback that was preparatory for their ministry to the nation on Saturday night.

Click here if you want to download it.

If you cannot download this mp3 file, then perhaps you'll enjoy reading part of the email:

from Rick Warren:

"I've been walking closely with Jesus for almost 50 years, and each step he leads me is always a stretch and often uncomfortable. I've known all the highs and the lows of ministering to others. So in those seasons when the public spotlight is bright, I increase my time alone with God in prayer, (which usually means less sleep!) Below are some of the verses and thoughts from my private quiet times the past couple of weeks.


'To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!'
         Ephesians 3:21

Only the Church will last. Long after all politics and business and academics and entertainment have vanished from the earth, God's family will still exist in eternity. God gets glory through his church and Jesus.

'With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think or imagine'            
          Ephesians. 3:20

God sometimes gives me an idea that seems quite small, simple, ordinary and unspectacular. In obedience, I launch the idea in faith and then it mushrooms into something huge and enormous that I never could have imagined! This idea of the Civil Forum is the most recent example. I had no clue that one of the forums would end up being a national event, but God knew long before he put the idea in my mind. Never stop being amazed by God's greatness!

'Know where you are headed, and you will stay on solid ground. Don't make a mistake by leaning to the Right or leaning to the Left.' Proverbs 4:26-27
It's difficult to be balanced. Too many leaders get sidetracked or co-opted by one side or the other.

Right now, many people want me to promote their agenda, but I just want to be a servant of Jesus."

--end quote

Rick is just a few years older than me...but he has been a born-again Christian TWICE as long. I admire this big brother of mine from afar.

Here's a shot of me and my 'big brother', Rick, at the Conversation About Tomorrow when he personally invited 250 pastors to spend a couple days with him at Saddleback (November, 2006). He then offered to let us stick around and hear Senators Brownback and Obama.

That was the first time I ever heard either man speak. Of course, I did not know that Barrack Obama would be the Democratic Candidate for President two years later.

I thank God that Rick tries to do his homework in staying attuned to the pulse of our nation (and most definitely to godly stewardship of his own  peculiar circumstances).

I also thank God that Rick has consistently shared his opportunities to be involved in something greater than ourselves.

May God grant true wisdom to those voters who will take the time in the months ahead to view Rick's interviews with McCain and Obama.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I am not preaching tomorrow. An octogenarian will attempt to walk the talk in my stead. Lou Robohm is a long-time member at BellRoad. Months ago I asked him to seek the Lord for a message to share with the Body. The Lord has entrusted this preaching-point to my care and I am hoping for the Spirit to grant the Yea and Amen among His listening people.

Lou's Title: Extreme Makeover
Lou's Text: James 1:22

Cathy and I spent the night at the church. Now we are about to head to the Gym to exercise and shower. I received news that the required work on our house in the Greens has finally been approved by the Seller and is being scheduled. awat

This morning Cathy will attend the Womens Ministry Brunch in Jimmie's home. Then we are scheduled to attend a Mentors' Group fellowship at Curt and Jean's home with a group that has been meeting for a few years.

Someone recently asked me about my hobbies. One is literature and film adaptations of historical novels. This hobby has had residual consequences as I continue to reflect upon what I have read or seen for years.

Of course, the characters and storyline in the Bible are rich in present-day life application but I also like to discover God's truths and discuss current events within the framework of the popular culture.

If this extra-biblical hobby of mine troubles the reader, perhaps you should click here and skip the rest of this entry.

In conversation with my loved ones and trusted friends, I may relate a character-trait that I observe in a scene from a book (or film) to help dissect and interpret current events in my life. (a personal family-aside: Most of life's issues have also been treated in that show about 'nothing', right kids?)

A new film opened yesterday at the Old State Theater, so I took Cathy on a date to see the most recent adaptation of Brideshead Revisited.

I read something during the sixties about the controlling mother-figure at Brideshead. However, I hadn't done any research about this film beforehand. I was surprised to find one of the key characters so heavily-steeped in homosexuality and strong drink. My curiosity about the primary source, the film adaptation, and autorial intent led to some post-viewing research:

First published in 1945, the author (Mr. Evelyn Waugh) wrote that his
novel "deals with what is theologically termed 'the operation of Grace', that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself".

This memorandum (1947)
from the author to producers in Hollywood gives further insights to Waugh's story.

Afterwards, I told Cathy that I wanted to drop off a DVD to Patrice (Vanity Fair). Patrice enjoys literature and period-piece films so I told her a bit about this story at Camp. I had purchased it over a month ago on a gas station rack. We watched it at that time but recently watched it again along with the Director's Commentary (and the closed-caption script).

I had never read anything by William Makepeace Thackery (contemporary with Dickens). Late last night I read this article at wikipedia which helped me better understand the real story of these characters.

   "The human weaknesses Thackeray illustrates are  
     mostly to do with greed, idleness, and snobbery, and
     the scheming, deceit and hypocrisy which mask them."

Here is another portal to what may become known by some at BellRoad as a pivotal sermon:
Stewards of Circumstance:
     Lesson 5: Easily Beset?

Apparently I share a purposive interest in pop-culture awareness with the apostle Paul (Acts 17). As you interact with the various philosophies of this current generation, feel free to share with me quoteable quotes from their poets and personalities.

Toward the heavenward goal, however, we all would do well to remember Paul's connective admonition:

"In the past God overlooked such ignorance,
  but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jeremy and Kami Johnson (Fort Collins, CO) have been given a burden to help with the big vision that God entrusted to Pastor Wesley in Liberia. They sponsored a fundraising dinner August 9th that raised $9,000. I pray that someone reading this will also help them reach the worthy goal of building another Children's Home/School (in cooperation with Greater Love Children's Home).

As of this morning, they were
  only $6,999 short
of their $55,000 goal.

  click here for an update

It is 2:15pm. Cathy and I just returned from Special Ministries Camp. The Lord has been gracious to speak to me during these days with God's special people.

Last night, our daughter (Mary) sat with me during the final evening Worship Service at Special Ministries Camp. Later that night we went on a long walk, then sat on a bench and talked about our life in saving relationship with Christ Jesus.

This morning I got up at 5:30 so I could drive Mary down the hill for her job watching a newborn baby.I then went to Friday Prayer Meeting with Deacon Rosenau.

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is
           when brethren dwell together in unity."

Mary and I listened to my most recent sermon on the way to the prayer meeting. Mary affirmed the validity of that message before leaving my presence.

I then gave the CD to Wolfgang. I know that he enjoys the opportunity to dig deeper into the mysteries of God's Word and His Ways.

We share a strong commitment to listening for the Spirit's Voice (whether from the pulpit or from wherever God chooses to reveal His Heart). Upon yet another hearing of this particular message, I am convinced that 'thar's gold in them there hills'.

In the final scriptural reference (Genesis 4), the preacher vocalizes the Spirit's question: "Why are you angry?"

Stewards of Circumstance:
     Lesson 5: Easily Beset?

"Why are you angry?" (see for yourself: click here)

Had Cain sincerely answered that question (in a written essay or in an oral examination), he could have found salvific acceptance that had previously been withheld. (That's not in the sermon...only in this director's personal commentary.)

Conjecture? Speculation? Whatever it is, it's worth doing in right standing with the Author and Finisher of this Story.

On the way back to camp, I listened to the CD of another recent message:

Stewards of Circumstance:
      Lesson 4: Digging Deep

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last night, Cathy and I led the Worship Service at Camp Alta. After a couple heartfelt songs, I paraphrased this verse:

1 Corinthian 14:26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

I suggested that I came with some special songs and Bible verses that I felt would encourage everyone. I then welcomed anyone who wanted to share a word of encouragement or a testimony. A great number of hands were raised so I worked in the testimonies of everybody who had the desire. Nobody was turned down!

Our final word was from Eleanor Bailey who has led this Special Ministries Camp for 23 years. She is now 80 years old and told us that her commitment to the Lord is that she is available for as long as she is physically able.

What a witness for Christ she is.

After fulfilling today's skit in our ongoing roles as Coco (Cathy) and Nut (me), we came down to Auburn to keep some appointments.

After the Senior Choir practice, we were invited to the Genesis Class picnic at the Regional Park. That was a sweet time of fellowship with a great group of people.

I had a meeting with the Trustees and am now scheduled to go out on Visitation with Jimmie and Chet. Tonight, we will head back to Camp Alta for our last night of Special Ministries Camp.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This week Cathy and I will be spending our days and nights at Special Ministries Camp.

I posted yesterday's sermon entitled "Lesson 5: Easily Beset?" This was an unusual occurrence in that there is a recapitulation of material from the previous message.

The week before I had taken an early-morning walk with the Bible and had 'felt led' to extrapolate from Romans 7 to Hebrews 11-12, and to the works of the flesh list in Galatians 5. However, with the Lord's Supper planned for that day, I didn't think it wise to try to cover all that scriptural terrain.

So, the introduction to yesterday's message will always be best understand as a reprise. As well, there was a young couple (David and Trish) who hadn't been there the week before.

told me,
 "I leave here thinking, 'I got it. I understand this...' "

The prior week's message (Sunday, August 3rd), our local church celebrated the remembrance of the night Jesus was betrayed. The Lord's Supper, (the Bread and the Cup) is an important time for the members of the church to examine themselves.

The 'message' before the Lord's Supper included a brief exposition of Romans 7 followed by the walk-in testimony of Macdonald Wreh.

On Friday, I added the audio of the prayers and songs which took place during the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

Prayer over the Bread:  Wolfgang Rosenau
Prayer over the Cup:      Brandon Willette

The audio tracks were a bit challenging so I boosted some volume, filtered some noise. I hope you enjoy it.


Friday, August 8, 2008

 National Award Winners, Sons of Light,
 a southern gospel quartet will perform at …
   click here for more

On Saturday, September 13th, Iron Horse Ministries (in cooperation with Bell Road …
                      click here for more |

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I sat in family court yesterday with one of my new friends.
Of course, I will not share any details but, as always, 'going to court' as pastoral support for one person gives me the opportunity to see the real drama that occurs in the lives of others.

It is sad to watch the results of decisions made when people are not living their lives according to the Lord's commands. This humbles me. It hurts; the alternative is to harden my heart which my calling doesn't allow for.

Last night we read these verses aloud (click here) and asked for members of the prayer circle to share with us what they have done in their lives in order to respond to these commands:

Eph. 5:10   "...and find out what pleases the Lord."

Eph 5:15-20  "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.

Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

One sister shared that she sings many times during any given day. When faced with something really negative she may break into this chorus:

  "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Sweetest Name I know.
       Fills my every longing, Keeps me singing as I go.

We acknowledged that the melody lifts the singer. Her husband said that he reflects upon the saints who have gone before. He thinks about characters in the Bible and what they endured to serve the Lord.

Another brother shared that he has daily chats with the Lord of all creation.

An elderly couple read the Bible privately each morning and read the Word together each night. They have done this for years.

Their grown son said that he tries to make the most of every opportunity by listening to people as finding the right moment to discuss eternal plans (if any) that the person has made.

I found all this (and more) to be helpful as building materials for my own sanctification. It helps to rehearse the tender mercies unveiled in the midweek prayer meeting.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back in Auburn. Lots to do. Not much time to write but much thought, Word, dialogue, and prayer going on between Cathy and me. Will probably share some later tonight.

Yesterday, I spoke with Steve Diaz from Iron Horse Ministries. He is assured me that he and his bride pray for us from afar.

I also called and spoke with Zack R. about his post-service connections in the Body last Sunday.

I thought to clarify that in Macdonald's Journal (
click here),
Day 28 was actually recorded Day 1 of his first time in America. It was Day 28 of a 40 Day Journey for our church. It was Day 28 of my personal focus on the church's website. I served as Macdonald's editor during those days.

Monday-Tuesday, August 4-5, 2008

Cathy and I will be in Galt these 2 days. I don't have software for this webpage with me there. However, I'm sure that there is plenty of unread musings for those who happen by.

We shared testimonies regarding Iron Horse Ministries, Zack's Mission Video , and the  Lord's Supper on Sunday so the sermon "Easily Beset?" didn't get the full treatment. The Spirit brought a first-time visitor to BellRoad during Zack's Video...and so the message moved along differently than I had anticipated during my morning walk.

Here's a 17-minute firstfruits for the message that was intended to become 'Easily Beset?'      
               click here

Director's Commentary: Some important pastoral points were vocalized during earlier portions of the Morning Service. The Sound Department didn't begin recording until immediately after Zack's Mission Video.

1. I mistakenly said that I had carried a portable generator to Liberia. Oops. Actually, I had carried the cash that purchased the generator at half-price. I edited the audio to better reflect the reality.

2. At one point I said,
   "God told Adam, 'Sin is crouching at your door...'"

   Reality: God told Cain, 'Sin is crouching at your door..."

I edited out these words: "God told Adam".
    The statement is made toward the Everyman.

If you'll read the tail end of Hebrews 11 and then the first part of Hebrews 12...all of Romans 7 and all of Galatians 5, you will be ready for how 'Easily Beset?' fits into Stewards of Circumstance: Lesson 5.

I would enjoy the benefit of your feedback after you have listened to this message at least three times. Write to me with your insight (what I nailed...or what I missed completely). Thanks in advance!

for those interested in the early Macdonald Wreh journal entries: click here

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Today, exactly 16 months after their Marriage Covenant was first entered into, Joe and Sharon are asking all friends and family in America to witness the renewal of their lifelong vows to one another.

21st Century Marriage

Anyone and Everyone is welcome to join us!

Where: Bell Road Baptist Church
              707 Bell Road   Auburn Exit 123
When:  Saturday, August 2nd  3:00 p.m.

I'm awaiting the Prelude Video to upload at the Auburn Journal. Please click on it and test it for me!

We just finished the Men's Breakfast. There were over twenty men in attendance. The prayer was heartfelt.

Matt Woodin
(of Iron Horse Ministries) was our special speaker. He inspired us all to promote the upcoming Motorcycle Run on Saturday, September 8th.