Surprise, surprise. Two other stories of political interest appear in the local paper today. If you have time, click on them and leave a comment.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 12
This page is no longer my 'daily' journal, I just happen to have cause to write this morning. I finished the article for the hardcopy of the Auburn Journal. It came out at exactly 500 words and is entitled: "Signs of Tough Love". They sometimes have changed my titles, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to know for certain.
Last year at this time I wrote a piece about the Harvest Festival we were sponsoring. It was originally entitled "True Confessions of a Party-Pooper" but was retitled by the editor there (click here for an archival web version).
Below are a couple videos that are posted side-by-side in an email sent out by GodTube (asking for opinions from Christians).
I awoke knowing that today I will need to personally address the issue of Halloween yet again. Not easy being 'the pastor' sometimes. I truly thank God for the gift of prayer. He knows what we need better than we ourselves.
Here's the GodTube videos:
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 11
Joseph: hey papa
me: hey kid
Joseph: what's up?
me: busy busy; writing a 500 word article for Friday's
Auburn Journal. It's due by noon today.
In their letter to the President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed that "Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor..."
As a religious minority in Connecticut the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might "reproach their chief Magistrate... because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ," thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities.
Thomas Jefferson's response, dated January 1, 1802 concurs with the Danbury Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the accompanying separation of civil government from concerns of religious doctrine and practice. Jefferson writes: "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." 
night, I received a letter
from a sister who is
Chapter 2 in this
chapter of human history:
Click here for Hosea 2
Let us devote ourselves to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, and to teaching.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 10
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at
them and said,
"With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible."
"We have left everything to follow you!
What then will there be for us?"
Jesus said to
"I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things,
when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne,
you who have followed me will also sit on twelve
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers
or sisters or father or mother or children or fields
for my sake will receive a hundred times as much
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last,
and many who are last will be first."
May the Lord add His Blessing
to your reading of His Word. <selah>
Just in from Joe:
Hey Dad and Mom,
Sharon wanted me to send you a copy of my paper.
I just got it back from the professor complete with his written remarks and grade.
For this paper I did some very good things:
1) I used a topic that the prof had suggested would be good from reading my last paper.
2) Sharon found the articles.
3) I used the interrogative form to organize my thoughts.
4) Sharon proofread my paper (it was very late in the night though).
Good paper, good grade. It might even be an interesting read. I tried to write it with lots of game examples and even a picture.
Love You Guys,
click here for Joe's paper: Housing-Economy
Monday, October 27, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 9
from last night's corporate reflection upon God's Word:
And prevailed not;
neither was their
found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon
was cast out, that
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud
voice saying in
Now is come salvation, and strength,
and the kingdom of our God,
and the power of his Christ:
for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,
which accused them
before our God day and night.
And they overcame
by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 7
I had to miss morning and evening sessions of corporate prayer (but did share in a blessed hour of koinonia with our deacons in the early hours). Evening prayer was attended by five men and one woman. A report came that this passage of Scripture was prayed aloud:
people, don't you
know that friendship
with the world is
hatred toward God?
chooses to be a
friend of the world
becomes an enemy of
God. Or do you think
without reason that
the spirit he caused
to live in us envies
But he gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."
yourselves, then, to
God. Resist the
devil, and he will
flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
James 4:1-10 (for more)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
40 Days of Corporate Prayer: Day 4
"If you're a lonely soul when you're are all alone,
you can still be a joyful soul if you're in Christ Jesus."
Yesterday's prayer meeting (Day 3) was focused on 'brokenness'. I confessed before the Lord (and my sisters gathered there) that I only 'feel' as though I'm 'broken' when someone I dearly love is facing death (or when someone I know and love is being called to suffer among us).
Over the years of my life only a few contemporaries have bothered to dig down deep enough to discern the forces which quicken my soul's creative spark. I woke up early today (on Day 4) with a decision to privatize the processing of such thoughts and promptings.
Therefore, the transparent promptings known as my 'Daily Journal' will come to an end. It has been just over 4 years since '40 Days of Focus' allowed me the opportunity to acquaint myself with internet publication of ideas. Perhaps the journal has served its purpose in my life and calling.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
40 Days of Prayer: Day 3
All are invited to corporate prayer this morning from 11:30am to 12:30pm in the Genesis Room (after BSF). Lord willing, I will share in the local church prayer meeting and then drive to Applegate to pray with area pastors at Sierra Reach.
Last night's Leadership Council meeting ended in circle prayer at 8:10pm. I asked our visitor (Mike Sanchez) to lead us in prayer. Having served as the moderator (and clerk), I have much to do today in the way of preparing the minutes for publication.
In addition to the agenda and proposed minutes of the last meeting, we provided each leader with a copy of our Church membership Covenant, our approved list of 13 Finance Initiatives, and the schedule for 40 Days of Prayer
Earlier in the day, Cathy and I attended a memorial service for the parents of a precious church member. It was good to speak with the family members and to count the people I knew personally. There were also a good number of church friends who traveled a distance on I-80.
Pastor Tim Lane (Union Gospel Mission) officiated at the service. His words were informative, comforting, and assuredly prophetic. I've been blessed to know Pastor Tim through monthly services at the Mission (he is the Director). He shared with Cathy and me after the service about the importance of the upcoming election. This man does not compromise his convictions. Praise the Lord for courageous, outspoken preachers of the Word.
We shared with Pastor Tim that we prayed publicly about two appointments that will be kept at the UGM during our 40 Days of Prayer (THIS Saturday, Oct. 25th and next month, Saturday, November 22nd.) Hopefully, I expect to see 'new' faces among us during those two nights of outreach in Sacramento.
Today, Mary Patterson (our 17 yr. old) is scheduled to deliver a long-awaited speech at Sierra College.
She has diligently prepared herself through research and gathering materials for several weeks. Her topic is 'Post-War Children in Liberia'. Yesterday, she finalized her powerpoint slides, formal transcript, written outline, and presentation notecards. She practiced her speech on the platform in our sanctuary before Mom and Dad. Later, she timed and refined her message with the help of one of our newest member, Curtis Bonnville.
Here is a pdf of her slides (click here). This is an example of what she plans to say with slide one:
Not all of these children
are orphans. Yes, perhaps
some of them DID see their parents tortured and
killed right before their eyes. Some were told by their
parents, “Run! Run! Don’t let them catch you!” (as
the rebel troops came running into their villages
shooting AK 47s and burning houses).
Others may have been living with a brother, sister,
or grandparents, but still could not find enough food for
one meal a day.
These are the post-war children of Liberia.
Mary also has to turn in a take-home test today for her class: Culture and Diversity. This particular document describes the subculture in which she was raised (an evangelical, baptistic, small-church community).
" ...[this] has resulted in Sunday morning and
Wednesday night church attendance my entire
life. Pro-Life activism and social ministries for
third world citizens and homeless Americans
has been a regular part of our family’s lifestyle."
Recently, Mary turned in a response paper to a journal article entitled "Social Inequality on the College Campus: A Consideration of Homosexuality."
Based on her interaction with the issues involved, she informed me that she had spoken up in her class about Proposition 8 and the related story of a family struggling with 'Diversity Training' in a Massachusetts Public School Kindergarten. Mary had watched this video that Ann R. sent to me: click here).
Is it obvious that I am pleased with my daughter's academic activism? Yes, this papa is well-pleased.
Monday, October 20, 2008
40 Days of Prayer: Day 2
My good friend, Pastor Mac (from Galt) sent me a link to Dr. Dobson's important interview (click here). Once you get to this webpage, you can click on the audioplayer or download the audio to your computer.
Gianna Jessen is a public speaker who travels
around the world. She primarily speaks against
abortion by sharing her personal story as an
abortion survivor. Gianna has cerebral palsy as
a result of the saline solution used during the
abortion procedure, and after she was born,
doctors predicted she would never crawl or walk.
Today, she runs marathons.
Jill Stanek was a registered nurse at Christ Hospital
in Oak Lawn, Ill., in 1999 when she discovered
babies were being aborted alive and shelved to
die in the soiled utility room. She testified in Illinois
and before a U.S. House committee for the
Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Jill is a columnist
for WorldNetDaily.com and a public speaker on the
Morning started at 6am for me. After returning from breakfast at Wings with Lou, we stopped to pray over the eight signs that he re-posted out front in support of Proposition 8.
Yesterday, when we arrived for church, we noticed that someone had come under the cover of night and torn down the signs he had posted earlier in the week.
There is a Leadership Council Meeting scheduled for 6:30 this evening. I hope to find time to prepare those materials which will be most effective in leading our leaders toward the next step in line with God's perfect, pleasing Will.
As outlined by DeLynn (40 Days of Prayer), Mondays are set apart to pray with family members at home (and over the phone with other members).
pdf file of schedule for your refrigerator (click here)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
This morning DeLynn Rosenau announced the 40 Days of Corporate Prayer. On Monday, I will try to upload her words to our congregation.
The Celebration Choir performed admirably under the direction on Justine Klein. I have remarked to several that I thoroughly enjoy Justine's directorial persona. I think that we will see her grow in this role as Curt Harjo's understudy.
Pastor Matt's sermon was also well-received.
At the conclusion of our 2pm Spanish-speaking service, we prayed together over the events listed for the week in our Sunday Bulletin.
From 4-4:30, I attended "The Truth Project" with David Price. He knew beforehand that Cathy and I would have to leave at 5pm in order to attend "Peacemaking" with Wolfgang Rosenau.
At 6pm, I tried to jerryrig a recording of the Evening Service. Those who publicly witnessed for Christ were Clyde and Faye McKinley. I will try to upload their testimonies and my teaching from Acts-Luke-Romans later this week.
Friday, October 17,
Cathy and I
started our morning at
4:00am. We will stop at the
Newcastle Exit at 6:30 for
the Deacons' Prayer. From
there, we will head to Galt
to run another yard sale as
we prepare for tenants to
move into our house there.
Yesterday, after Cathy finished 'drama practice', Bill and Doris came in for their annual check-up. They blessed us with lunch at the Twin Dragons (by the naked statues).
Afterwards, we went on a VisitationWalk and met Fred and Lucy's Oklahoma visitors, Bruce and Edith. These cousins (who happen to be attorneys) told us about some baptist pastors in Oklahoma who were preaching their convictions (regardless of the threat to their tax-exempt status). I told them that I would look on the Internet for their story. Perhaps this is it: click here
My thoughts on the issue of political involvement?
First, I'm a baptistic, born-again Christian who reports some of my church contributions to the IRS.
Second, I see bumper stickers for both parties in our church parking lot.
Thirdly, I respect the right of every person to vote in line with their conscience.
Finally, to the Christian, I testify that one would do well to pray for the Spirit's guidance (rather than to align oneself based on family tradition, union affiliation, and the like).
From the Red Letter of Scripture, I have been directed to
"Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar..."
That certainly doesn't mean that I'm Romophobic...
I am pleased that our interim Men's Ministry leader (Dan Clark) has availed himself to register people to vote all day this Sunday.
An 80 year old veteran has been busy posting signs on our front lawn in support of Proposition 8.
As a single-issue voter, I personally affirm Proposition 4.
All of the above is perfectly legal without threatening our members' right to claim their tithes and offering as tax deductions.
Thursday, October 16,
Up at 4am today because I'm meeting with one of our deacons at 5am. Due to the economy (and the newness of oikonomoi), some of us are being called to work overtime--both in the church and 'at work'...
The great thing about 'overtime' is that one gets paid double! (..um except in the case of the self-employed).
Now, come on...someone who knows the Bible, bring on the Word about working hard in one's field.
Here's some good news from our own Alisha in Mexico:
Dear Pastor Rob,
Today was exciting. . . to go to our Director's
house and watch the final debate. It makes me feel
like an American and an educated voter!
Also, today I enjoyed teaching English to Vania and
scrapbooking in the afternoon. Sometimes I forget to
relax. Well, I need to go hang out the towels.
In Christ's Love, Alisha
If you don't know Alisha, you can learn about her through her webpage: click here
Dan Clark came in to discuss Men's Ministry yesterday. He, Pastor Matt, and I invested two hours in a meeting where we co-taught the Church membership Covenant and the Church Mission Statement to one another.
It was a fascinating experience.
Thanks so much for your prompt action on this.
Kind Regards, Sue
Sue wrote to me yesterday asking for me to help her connect with Pastor Wesley in Liberia. She has helped a refugee and his daughter move back from Ghana and he needs a room to rent from a Christian family.
We'll see what happens when Pastor Wesley gets involved. Yes, it is nice to have contacts around the world.
more later...check back. Gotta run to my 5am appt.
Wednesday, October 15,
6:00am Cathy has come into the Office with me because she's meeting Wanda for a trip to Rocklin today. The two serve together as proctors at a PSAT Testing Site.
Yesterday, KC and Daniel went to Galt with me from 10-3pm; they made a junk-run to the landfill, then helped me load a truck with our possessions. We were back in town by 4pm, quickly unloaded and prepared for our Tuesday Night Table Fellowship.
Last night, I noticed a young man (Kevin,18) beside my house. I asked him for a hand moving in a dresser. We invited him to eat with us. We served tacos and had a very interesting conversation with him. He is a senior in High School.
Cathy and I finished our hard day by running to the Gym (just before it closed). In the Sauna I met a guy named Jose (45) who lives in my neighborhood (on Galena St). He has two sons and two daughters. One of his sons later in the locker room. His name escapes me but it is a Spanish name that I've heard before.
After the Gym, we stopped by the Office to check email. I read two letters that revealed what some separated brethren have been doing behind-the-scenes. Suffice to say there's been some growing pains at Bell Road.
Perhaps the greatest problem for some has to do with my public presentation of the Good News during the Sunday Message (less than one hour a week).
Regardless of what others have called 'shenanigans', I still stand behind every sermon that I have preached at BellRoad. They are packed with the Word of God. If someone wants to sincerely discuss any aspect of any message, bring it.
This note came to me from a young adult who grew up in our local church:
"I really don't understand all that is happening
right now and how christian people can be so mean,
but I suppose through it all God is making us depend
on him even more!
Today I was telling my friend how I was
sitting at lunch yesterday wondering what was
the meaning of life, and she answered,
"To live for Christ"...
Unfortunately, this innocent one is being hurt by churchyard bullies. There are 'outside forces' at work to bring dissension and strife inside the church.
Christians everywhere would do well to remember these verses about battle between good and evil:
With this upcoming election,
there are two propositions
upon which the church should
be focused. Both of these
should be of foremost
concern for those who are
called to be lights in this
world and to be the salt of
One of the Enemy's tactics is set fires as diversions and distractions. Long ago, I was told that if a Christian leader is running to and fro--trying to put out the devil's fires--then he is actually only 'following the devil'... (think about it).
Hey, Californians, study the Word of God, pray, make sure that you're registered and vote YES on these propositions:
Waiting Period and Parental Notification
before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy
of Same-Sex Couples to Marry
Lord willing, no one will be hurt in local-church 'crossfire'. The fiery darts should only come from one direction. I will try to model for others a hunger for righteousness.
May the Spirit to be our Guide
and Christ alone our Defense.
Having our hearts judged and our names slandered shouldn't surprise us. True stories from the Bible will set the reader free from deceptive spirits. Read between the lines in the verses below. The apostle Paul and the churches he planted were similarly maligned:
Paul's words to Timothy: click here
If you have recently been suffering for righteousness' sake, listen to this song. I recorded it way back in the early nineties. I actually wrote the chorus shortly after becoming a Christian in the early eighties. The verses were 'earned' during subsequent years in church leadership positions.
Tender Mercies (lyrics)
If you're worried about your finances (or those facing your local church), please listen to this song. It was recorded in 2004. I sung it on the Sunday that Bell Road called me to be their Senior Pastor:
Turn Your Worries into Prayer (lyrics)
It is now 7:33 am.
Lord willing, I will now walk around our church building
seven times while reading and praying over
our church membership covenant
and then I'll "clock in" and get to work.
There's a harvest that needs to be brought in!
Pastor Matt and I are scheduled to spend the day together today. I think that we will do some visitation together. If anyone wants a visit from us, please call me at (530) 366-2924 and we'll see if we can make that happen.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
5:00am I came to the Office in preparation for our morning Staff Meeting but have decided to record an update on our Spanish Ministry (read below). I finished this entry at 6am. So, now I'll get to work.
Immediately after the Staff Meeting, I'm driving a truck down to Galt in hope of transporting all of our worldly possessions to Auburn (into a storage unit).
"Time will be of the essence" (whatever that means). The truck needs to be returned by 4pm. We have an appointment at 11:30 with two sisters who have shown an interest in renting our house in Galt. We met them during our garage sale last week.
Interestingly, the two sisters are relatives of various Galtonians among whom we have ministered in years past. Between them, they have three children. Our house would be perfect for them. We have offered them a super deal. I hope that they are truly part of God's Answer to our immediate financial needs.
Invitation: Please consider coming to our home today at 5:30 and 'sup with us'. We will then be previewing and discussing 'Experiencing God' at 7:00pm. Last week, we took our extra crockpot dinner to the neighbors across the yard. This was a return gesture because a week earlier the mama had brought us a plateful of a Spanish dinner.
Hah! Last night, Cathy was still in Galt cleaning and packing. Mary and I were planning for our supper when the neighbor returned with another plateful. I was a happy man at that point in the evening!
Tonight, we'll make tacos!
On Sunday, after lunch in a member's home, Mary and I and drove back to the church in time to put a note up at the door to inform any potential visitor that our Spanish Ministry is currently meeting in the Greens.
A truck was sitting in front of the doors. A sign for Obama-Biden was taped on the passenger door. The driver was at our sign posted by the doors--looking at the schedule of events. Then, he got back into the truck as we pulled up behind it.
I got out and approached the vehicle. Four Latino men were in the truck. In cautious English, the driver asked me about the Spanish Service. He told me that a man named 'John' had told him to come here.
I motioned for them to follow me to our quarters at the Auburn Greens. Shortly after we arrived, Elba and Jesse showed up (they speak Spanish fluently). All six spoke at length in front of our house. At 2:15, Jorge drove up.
I was inside my house moving chairs and setting up the Spanish Worship DVD at a volume that caused some passersby to look in my doorway and observe me preparing for a gathering.
I left the DVD Worship Team to further invest their talents and joined the group in front of my house. I asked Jesse to invite them in. He informed me that they were going to Sacramento and would visit us next Sunday.
Again, I asked Jesse to invite them in long enough to hear one song by the Worship Team. I couldn't discern what Jesse said in Spanish but made out this much:
The guys came into our livingroom and looked around. They seemed to enjoy the music by Luis Enrique and the Worship Team from Crossroads Iglesia in 2007. After Jesse, Elba, Jorge and I modeled singing along during one song, I fast-forwarded to watch the preacher for about one minute. On that particular day, the pastor had been wearing a suit (usually he is seen as being dressed more business-casual).
In Spanish, Tony asked Jesse if the preacher on the DVD was paid. He then asked if our church pays me as the pastor. His point was that Jesus wasn't paid.
Jesse and Elba shared their convictions from the Word. Then, I asked Jesse to interpret for me. I shared a number of my pastoral situations where I was bi-vocational and have paid my own way--always giving money to the church.
I mentioned the tough times being faced in this current economy and that I might need to take another job part-time. Again, I will continue to give money to the church. I affirmed that in this neighborhood are many people who work very hard but are poor. This is why we moved there to bring the work of the church to them. Tony seemed to accept my testimony because he was nodding his head.
I mentioned a possible distant future in Africa where we provide for the ministry with money we have saved up.
Finally, Jorge began to testify in Spanish about why he tithes. All four men were fixed on his story of personal gratitude to the Lord. God had given him a job; He has allowed him to stay in school as he tries to earn an Electrician's Certification. Jorge tithes out of gratitude!
We continued to converse in Spanish (well, they did; I listened to the tongues without interpretation). However, I later gathered this information about the visitors:
1. William (40? a landscaper)
2. Augustine (20-something; a landscaper)
3. Phillip (30?; currently unemployed)
4. Tony (20-something; landscaper)
Augustine and Phillip showed us business cards from two separate Spanish ministries that are hosted by the Grace Community Church at 3126 Olympic Way in Auburn. They have also invested themselves in those ministries along the way. Augustine also showed an interest in coming back to our house on Tuesday night for supper and for 'Experiencing God'. I reminded him that 'Experiencing God' will be in English. It will be interesting to see if he shows up!
Here's the write-up:
Monday, October 13, 2008
9:17am update: Lou and I came back to the church grounds and walked back to the brush pile. Since I've come, Lou has been my resident 'veteran' who helps with patriotic holiday decorations. He and I discussed the Proposition 8 signs; several of the BSF ladies will be taking the yard signs to their pastors (and to their neighborhoods). I will try to get more for distribution to those who will choose to speak up for biblical, revealed truth about marriage.
My online friend in Pakistan sent me a link to this flash presentation: You are a Miracle
6:58am Stopped in the Office to check my email. I have a breakfast appt. with Lou R. at Wing's...so pop in if you wanna say 'Hello'.
I'll be back in the office around 8:00am and will prepare the morning message (and evening testimonies) for publication.
Unfortunately, the sermonplayer company has been experiencing 'growing pains'. They went to a new server and have been in the process of transferring 100,000 sermons. If you have been frustrated in your attempt to find an old message, that's the reason. Hopefully, it will be all fixed soon.
Check back later today for more journal entry.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I just finished a funeral service for Mildred Martin. The Lord blessed so the Gospel was preached without hindrance. Cathy, Mary, Daniel, and Cerissa are all in Galt holding the second day of a moving sale. Last night I rented a steam-cleaner. Jerry and I both applied the elbow-grease to get 'er done. All three upstairs bedrooms, the hallway, the staircase and landing.
Cathy just called me to say our old, upright piano just sold. I'm also selling our three piece, black leather couch (for $200). We have decided to live within our means (even within the space that the Auburn Greens has provided).
I am about to prepare the classroom for Session 1 (of 2) for our monthly new members class tomorrow.
Production of the Powerpoint slides has already begun for tomorrow's sermon: "Radical Reconciliation".
I may upload the sermon notes later today. The message is already fairly well developed in my mind. I shared some of its form-and-content with our Head Trustee yesterday morning. CLICK HERE for a rough draft of an online donation page.
The primary concept of prepaid principal goes beyond mere monthly payments against our mortgage. This will be a significant faith-building journey to learn the following truths of 'Experiencing God' (through giving).
Here is the responsive reading for tomorrow:
No. 715 Stewardship
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof;
the world, and they that dwell therein.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,
saith the Lord of hosts.
Every beast of the forest is mine,
and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
And all the tithe of the land,
whether of the seed of the land,
or of the fruit of the tree,
is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.
Honor the Lord with thy substance,
and with the first fruits of all thine increase.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,
that there may be meat in mine house,
and prove me now herewith,
saith the Lord of hosts,
If I will not open you the windows of heaven,
and pour you out a blessing,
that there shall not be
room enough to receive it.
But this I say,
He which soweth sparingly
shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully
shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,
so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:
for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make
all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having
in all things,
may abound to every good work.
Psalm 24:1; Haggai 2:8; Psalm 50:10; Leviticus 27:30;
Proverbs 3:9, Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 KJV
I'm also looking forward to tomorrow evening's opening of three new BellRoad University classes (class start time varies 4:30 and 5:00pm. The start times will be confirmed publicly with each of the teachers in Morning Service.
The Truth Project
Seeking God's Wisdom
Toward becoming a Peacemaking Church
Our classes will be followed by a special time corporate worship, testimony, and teaching at 6:00pm.
Thursday, October 9,
6:00am --early office hours today. Much that still needs to be done to implement action plans as a result of our Annual Town Hall Meeting and the Sunday's Special Called Business meeting.
The calling to pastor (poime) involves the equipping of the saints for works of service. This I must keep foremost in my thoughts as I consider the days ahead. The workshops provided during last Saturday's Men's 'equipping' Conference were indicative of the challenges unique to these times.
On a more traditional path, I plan to observe some of the Seniors' Drama practice today. I will also sit in with the Senior Choir rehearsal. They have two engagements already booked for their production of Bound for Glory:
Thursday, Nov. 6 2pm Oaks of Auburn
Sunday, Nov. 9 6pm Bell Road Baptist Church
Last night our mid-week prayer meeting focused on the economy--especially that of the individual under the Lordship of Christ. We began a study from Crown Ministries called "Personal Journey to Financial Freedom."
We will continue to pray for our entire church family to overcome all obstacles of fear and work together by faith in God's Word. We are looking toward the day that our church will be full of debt-free, tithing members who have extra to share with those who do not yet know Jesus.
As part of our group discussion, we collectively shared examples of Bible passages that speak to matters of earning, spending, saving, investing, and giving. It was interesting to hear the stored-up Word of God poured out from the hearts of those who gather for prayer.
As has been our custom, we closed by singing Blest be the Tie that Binds. One of the sisters still couldn't form the words from memory so we sang the first verse a second time.
After prayer, I attended the Choir rehearsal. It is good to see what God is doing afresh with that aspect of our church ministry. Last Sunday, one of our first-time singers had invited a first-time visitor to hear her sing in the choir. He was back again last night and had enrolled his daughter in TeamKID. Yes, folks...that's the way it's supposed to work...
After the Choir meeting, Cathy and I met with a couple who had just lost his mother. She was 84. I will learn even more about her this morning as he has asked me to officiate at her funeral this Saturday morning. It will be the first funeral I have performed at Chapel of the Hills.
unto Caesar what belongs to
In a democratic republic, 'we' are Caesar. That duty goes beyond paying taxes. We also need to be informed, voting citizens in the upcoming election:
If you have high-speed, please click on this link and watch a brief video about the great need to pass Proposition 8.
The video Ann sent to me: click here
Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts. The parents of a Massachusetts kindergarten student exercised a form of civil disobedience in order to draw attention to the loss of their parental rights.
from Ann's letter: "Two courts have sided with the school, against the Parkers. The case appears to be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I came to the Office at 6am. Pastor Matt is taking three days of vacation. Since he usually sets up the recording for BSF, I've just cleaned up the platform from Sunday night and set up the microphone for Peggy. I'm pleased with the response to BSF in the foothills.
Today is Open
come at 9am
2) At noon, the foothills pastors will assemble at
BellRoad for the weekly prayer meeting. Area
pastors and leaders are welcome to join us!
3) Tonight, we're serving a crockpot supper in my home
(from 5:30-7:00) with 'Experiencing God' afterwards.
At Staff Meeting this morning I will go over the list of proactive ideas that our church has decided to consider. I hope to hear from (and to listen carefully to) those who sparked any portion of the collective brainstorm.
Yesterday, I took an action step to help implement the specific motion that I brought forth. There is a greater sense of confidence when one is moving forward with church's authority 'to bind' and 'to loose.'
Blest be the tie that binds...
This morning, I have as a goal to take the next action step for another motion (made by Jimmie) approved by the church.
afternoon, Cathy and I took
a daytrip to get alone
together. We went to Colfax.
Renee told us
about a place where you can
walk alongside the river. We
just had to find Iowa Hill
Road and follow it down. We
first had lunch at
Mom's Kitchen. We
found the old bridge and
walked through a campground
and then along the river.
Another Auburn resident (Barry) was sitting on the rocks having just swam in the river. He goes there once a week.
He told us about Bear River Campground on the other side of Colfax. So we went there next, took out the guitar and walked along the river singing old songs together.
We then invested some time walking in 'historic' Colfax. David L. spotted us. We had a nice conversation. He said to expect to see him in church. I told him about the 'new members class' this Sunday at 9am.
Earlier (at the Gym), I had seen Tim N. and David S. Both those guys like our church so I want to tell them about the new members class too.
Clyde has high-speed now. So, here are some short videos I want him to preview. Actually, any of you are welcome to view them. Please choose your favorite three and write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
One tenth: click here
The plate: click here
It all belongs to God: click here
In God we trust: click here
Deep thoughts from a shallow Christian #1 click here
Deep thoughts from a shallow Christian #2 click here
Monday, October 6, 2008
Whew! There was a 5 hour business meeting yesterday. It was an interesting opportunity to watch the church be the church. I stayed after to lock up and got home around 7:30pm. Cathy and I went for a long walk to talk and to pray.
Cathy and I are planning to go to the Gym this morning. BSF ladies are here planning for tomorrow's program. I will try to upload the morning message later today...it might be much later.
Thus far, this morning I've just been answering emails. Someone wrote to me in response to this story posted last Friday:
Here is an excerpt from the letter. I'm very pleased to have this type of feedback. Perhaps someone will write something negative about me. That's OK. Last night I met three teens in the alley. We had a very pleasant interchange.
Dear Pastor Rob,
I was pleasantly surprised to read about what you've begun with your recent purchase of a unit in the Auburn Greens neighborhood. I have been concerned about the many young children who live there, and more specifically, the Mexican kids who are very vulnerable to many threats.
As a member of the Placer County Juvenile Justice/Delinquency Prevention Commission, I have heard from Placer County Probation Dept. about gang activity in the Greens. It's disturbing to me that these kids are so vulnerable due to language challenges, latch-key issues (due to both parents needing to work), and pressure from older kids to become involved with gangs.
I'd like to meet with you to discuss what you are doing in the Greens and see if I can be a help to your ministry.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Our monthly men's breakfast has been preempted in order for all of us to attend 'Standing Together' (a northern California Men's Conference).
Here are directions to Bear Creek Community Church. They are providing the space for this cross-denominational gathering of men. This happens to be the church where my buddy, Jebby, serves as Worship Pastor.
Last I knew he wasn't very aware of the event (its a rather big church). I'll call him and see if he can bring his sons and meet up with us.
The program runs from 9:00 until 3:30. We will be leaving our church parking lot at 7:30am.
11171 N Lower Sacramento Rd
Lodi, CA 95242
Friday, October 3, 2008
Barry, Wanda, and
Rena for making
the hardcopy edition of
yesterday's Auburn Journal.
I heard about it, I went
right to the paper and
bought my own copy.
Fortunately, the Journal
also uploaded the photo to
its website so that you can
enjoy it as well.
Memorial Garden Honorees
Yesterday, after recording some of the Seniors' Drama Rehearsal, I concentrated on home visitations. Afterwards, I asked Cathy to drop me off before she went to PRISM. I thought the vice-presidential debate started at 6:30, so I missed nearly 30 minutes of it. The final hour, however, was very enjoyable to witness.
After a long walk in our neighborhood park, Cathy and I went to bed early; then I woke up at 1:37am.
It has been a long time since I awoke in the middle of the night and 'went to work'. I'm heading out early Saturday morning for a full-day Men's Conference, so I figured I would come down to the Office early and knock out some work that I feel ought to get done on a Friday.
I'll work until the Deacons' prayer meeting at 6:30am (its 2:17 as I begin).
now 4:37am, so it took
2 hours and 20
minutes to write and
post three stories at the
Auburn Journal. I would
appreciate it if you would
take time to read these
stories and pray for each
individual who might chance
upon an invitation to take
the next step home toward
As I work, I've been listening to the Messages preached by Rick Stanley and Bill Loveless during our revival in May. These important messages, brought by the Spirit of God, can be accessed on the sermonplayer above by scrolling down to 5/18/08. They can also be downloaded to burn to CD, mp3, or iPod.
With a pivotal, special-called Business Meeting at our church this Sunday, it is important that I prepare my heart and my mind to listen carefully to each of the motions that are being brought to the floor.
The following isn't in the form of a motion. It may not be received as the solution to financial fears experienced by some in our church body. It is simply from my heart. I've published it in this Sunday's Bulletin:
Churchwide Faith Challenge: The balance of our church building loan is $423,139.59. With continued regular payments, it is scheduled to be paid off in just over five years.
Last Sunday, one of our deacons pledged to give $2,000 a month beyond his tithe toward the monthly mortgage payment. He asked us to pray about joining him in giving beyond the tithe.
Cathy and I have prayed and have decided to exercise our faith by offering to match gifts for anyone who is willing to share the deacon's desire to see God work this problem out His Way. Pledge any amount and put it in the offering plate this morning.
Lord willing, we will match your pledges up to $2,000 per month. Let's get ahead of the devil, pray, give, and pay this building off early!
--Pastor Rob and Cathy (530) 366-2924
Sunday morning, we will share the Lord's Supper before the sermon which is entitled Lost in Sin.
After the morning announcements, our church body will be encouraged to read aloud the following scripture passages together in unison. I offer this preview of the responsive reading as an exercise in readying ourselves to enter into worship:
Reading No. 711
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.
On the contrary, by
setting forth the
truth plainly we
commend ourselves to
conscience in the
sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves,
but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves
as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard-pressed on every side,
but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair,
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry
around in our body
the death of Jesus,
so that the life of
Jesus may also be
revealed in our
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Last night I witnessed a four year old running into the building saying,
"I'm in TeamKID now...
I'm in TeamKid now...
Guess what?! I'm in TeamKID now!"
Unfortunately, it was one of those moments that the camera was in 'pause' when I thought it was in 'record.' I hate it when that happens...hah.
first night of TeamKID was a
Kristy Ronk is
our Director for 2008-09.
She seems to be full of
energy and has a can-do
attitude. As the first
week's volunteer cook for
Wednesday night meals, she
set a very good example of
Giving God our very best
Reaching in and reaching out
Overcoming all obstacles
Working together with God
Kristi had prepared the spaghetti supper beforehand. I shot footage of her daughter, Amanda, serving up the pastor's plate. It was delicious, by the way.
I was pleased to see that Cerissa and Beverly joined the choir last night. As a Dad, I was especially pleased to see Renee Clark exercise here influence and bring my daughter, Mary, into her first adult choir experience.
After showing up to a Roseville courtroom (to support loved ones from our church family), I took Cathy to see Fireproof. Again, I highly recommend this film as an investment toward the high ideal marriage.
The fall semester of BellRoad University is beginning next week. Go to www.bellroad.org to see what classes are being offered. You should be able to sign up online.
Today, after staff meeting, Pastor Matt and I will attend drama practice with our Seniors. We will then go out on visitation together.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Cathy and I headed out for our morning walk at 6am. Its 7:13 and we're spending a few minutes at the Office before heading to the Gym. I've printed an article that was written by a friend called 'What do you see?'. I plan to read and meditate upon this article as part of my workout at the Gym. If you would like to read it online, click here.
After yesterday's staff meeting, I sat in on a meeting with Patrice, Curt, and Pastor Matt to hear an update on plans for the Christmas drama-musical. Patrice is authoring the event. I pray the Holy Spirit will send her individuals who will resource her with all that is needed to build upon the foundation she has already laid.
I plan to watch the vice-presidential debate tomorrow night at 6pm. Why vote with informed intent? click here
A couple weeks back I told Polly about a song I wrote based on Paul's letter to the Philippians. The background scripture passage is all-important to me as I continue to work amidst the pressures of this chapter in ministry.
TurnYour Worries into Prayer
I had an important walking-call with my buddy, Jebby, last week. He told me that he still prays alongside Jabez on a daily basis. A recent Finance Committee meeting was opened with that very passage (1Chronicles 4:9-10).
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
His mother had named him Jabez, saying,
"I gave birth to him in pain."
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,
"Oh, that you would bless me
and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me, and keep me
from harm so that I will be free from pain."
And God granted his request."
I'm reminded of this entire chapter first shared with me in an upper room back in Kalamazoo (Isaiah 54).