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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BSF is studying the life of Moses. I sat in on a bit of the opening teaching this morning. Currently, the small groups are meeting to discuss the week's lesson, then the entire congregation of women will gather for an in-depth seminar.

I must leave for Staff Meeting but plan to write a bit of a new movie coming out on Friday. It is entitled 'Religulous'. I heard about it on Hank Hannegraf's program yesterday. After a latenight walk with Mary, I tuned into the Conan O'Brian Show. He interviewed Bill Maher (the man behind the 'Religulous').

Here's a link to a youtube video with Bill Maher speaking on Scarborough Country.

I heard Maher speak on the day George Carlin died. Mr. Carlin also used his platform to preach against the story of Jesus the Christ. It seems like Maher's film will pick up where his comedic mentor left off.

Here is a blurb at Christianity Today regarding Maher's film.

Between working the table at "Fireproof", I went in to watch the movie. It was a blessing to see the contemporary church in her attempt to use the tool of filmmaking to lift up a high standard for marriage.

Please support this film while it is yet in area theatres:

Monday, September 29, 2008

There were some defining moments in both services at our church yesterday.  Lord willing, I will post the morning sermon sometime this morning.

We had a town hall meeting last night as part of our regular evening worship service. Sixty people representing the span of ages were in attendance for a sweet time of worship, testimonies, and great discussion.

We chose to not discuss the financial concerns we are facing because there's a 'special-called' business mtg. next Sunday after church.

Cathy and I enjoyed watching the morning news before our LilyWalk (specifically about some people's responses to Sarah Palin.  ie. "She is clearly out of her league.")

It was also interesting to hear both sides talk about the process of a financial bailout on the national level. Here's a similar piece from this morning at CNN:

Bail-Out 101: What's in the Bill?

We'll see what happens in all of this. My annunity plan has drastically dropped in value since last year at this time (and regular contributions have been made on a monthly basis as well).

I sure am glad that I am saved. My Lord has come into my life to give me life--and that more abundantly. My trust must be in Him alone.

This Wednesday night, we are hosting a weekly DVD-driven class called "Financial Freedom" (produced by Crown Ministries) at 6:00pm. Call me for details:

(530) 366-2924

Saturday, September 27, 2008

 I was excited about whether or not last night's project had been posted at the Auburn Journal's website. It has been having problems uploading there, however the same video should be here:

Here's my biblical prompting for running down to my office upon awakening at 4am this morning to work on another 3 minute video. It took from 4:30-9:20am to edit, format, and upload to the Auburn Journal. Their website has a 3 minute, 20 MB limit on videos, so the quality of the wmv file was found wanting in the first upload, so I reloaded it on Saturday afternoon as an mp4.

Here is the same piece at Google Video:

Trust, Try, Prove Me

Sometimes one needs to step back and look at the Big Picture. Transcending time and space, I've learned much in life from an historical friend named Paul. He once wrote a letter to a group of kindred spirits in Colosse:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

We have learned from the Apostle Paul to hide the riches of God’s Word in our hearts through the mnemonic device known as melody. Consider what happened to these two stewards of unfavorable circumstances (Acts 16:25-34).

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Friday, September 26, 2008

After the Deacons' Prayer Meeting at 6:30 (Newcastle Exit vista point), I met with Ben Rosenau. We both felt to led to attend a certain Orangevale funeral this morning at 10:30.

Today, I must also prepare myself to officiate at a memorial service for George Hildebrand. That service will take place here at Bell Road (tomorrow). George was a barber in Auburn for many years.

I am also volunteering at a resource table outside the theatre in Roseville. Today is opening day for the movie, Fireproof--starring Kirk Cameron.

Click here for a Sneak Peek as Kirk Cameron's character discovers what it means to "study" his wife.

Alisha Rosenau (in Mexico) updated her webpage,
  click here and scroll down...way down for current stuff.

She asked me to spread the word that Rancho Sordo Mudo needs a 'man' to serve in the ministry as dorm-leader for the boys. One of the staff had to leave immediately for a family emergency. He may not be able to return for some time. Contact me or Alisha if anyone wants further information.

Joy Fellowship was video-recorded (so was Wednesday's Teen Guitar Circle). I hope to put up some footage soon.

In response to the recent email I received from my friend, Pastor Richard Wesley, I have deleted some archival materials from the Internet. Now, these archives are only available on a by-request basis.

click here
    for the quick response to my brother's dilemma

Dear Pastor Rob,

When I ask some Christian people to help me out in ministry (for example, the radio station and others), they would like to find out something about me by going to Google.

When they search my name or church in Google, they see me with you. Not that it's bad to be with you, but they think it will be a conflict of interest if they support me (as they see the pictures of the past). They think you are heavily involved in supporting me at this moment.

They say, "How can we support him when he has support already?" (by seeing what is on the web links).

This has been a set back for me in enhancing the work of the ministry. Although I tell them that you (Pastor Rob), have helped me greatly...built my church, clinic and others, and expect them to be open-minded as you are, it has not been a good answer for them.

So what do you suggest that we do in this case? Will it be a good idea to completely abolish this web links concerning me? Most people think it is a conflict of interest even if they do not say it out; they behave like it and turn away.

Pastor Rob, I want you to know that I uphold you in high esteem for your open-mindedness and love for God's work...willing to work along with others. This is not the case for many others.

This is not in anyway that I have not acknowledged your great work on my behalf but, if this will further hinder others supporting God's work seeing the web links, it will be good to find a solution around it.

What are your thoughts about this?

Permit me to use you as reference when the need arises as in other cases.

I love you pastor Rob my dear brother in Christ,

Pastor Wesley

click here
    for the quick response to my brother's dilemma

Well, then I went ahead and posted this adaptation:

Give and it shall be Given unto You
"I met Pastor Wesley (an indigenous Liberian pastor) through an unsolicited email … click here for more

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This morning Pastor Matt and I are the special guests at Joy Fellowship (11:00am). We will give an update on a significant collaboration: the BellRoad Pastors' Hymn Project. Anyone is welcome to join us. I hope you will try to attend this hour together at the church.

Last night I asked my son, Daniel, to join me in the tenor section for the Fall Choir Season. That was fun!
Literally 'dropped' to bed last night...but woke up at 4:00 ready to get on with a new day. So, I called my folks in Coldwater, Michigan (7am there).

Yes. Amen. The Lord worked out the relational business problem my Dad had been experiencing. That was a direct answer to prayer. He knows it and now knows the joy of giving testimony to the fact that God hears our prayers and that He is good.

More on stuff later...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't forget mid-week prayer meeting tonight from 6:00 to 7:00pm.

Choir starts at 7:15pm.
I made a commitment last night to a new choir member that I'll join for the season and sit with him in the men's section.

PLEASE consider coming for choir from 7:15 to 8:30pm.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BSF is now in session so the campus is lively at BellRoad. Last night's G.R.O.W. meeting was excellent. Gotta run and prepare for the Morning Staff Meeting.

Here's Jesse's testimony from Sunday Night's Service:

Cathy and I arose at 6:30 for a brisk LilyWalk to Arco for half-a-cup of Dark Roast (as per the new self-imposed limitation on caffeine-intake).

On our return walk through the park, we ran into Fred R. and his walking buddies. As we bantered, my cellphone rang. It was my Dad (79). I excused myself so that I could call Dad back.

What a wonderful conversation we shared! He shared with me a major trial he was enduring in a business relationship. After I briefly shared with him about challenges I've faced recently, I was blessed to lead my Dad in a lengthy prayer of intercession.

Yes, what a wonderful conversation we shared (in the sight of our Heavenly Father).

Earlier in our conversation, Dad recounted stories of his earliest acquisition and investment of what would become the foundation of his business. During World War II, my mother's brother and my Dad invested together.

     Circus (pre-war) and ...
Circus Front View

      ... Harvest Time (post-war)  awat...
Harvest Time Playfield

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sent to me from BellRoad member, Christy Sandhoff (regarding their 'daughter' Christina's story in PARADE):

 "If her story can bring relief and encouragement to
      others and their loved ones, it's gratifying for Christina.
      Please feel free to share the article with
      whomever you wish.

      Much love, Greg & Christina

Here's a pdf of the story: CLICK HERE

Having lost my mother at the age of 5, Christina's story touches my heart. We continue to pray for her in our midweek prayer meeting.

I was blessed to find an email from one of our seniors this morning. She was offering feedback from yesterday's message:

   "I believe it was one of the best sermons you have
    presented at Bell Road, and I think the congregation
    agreed, if the "amens" were any indication."
Unfortunately, I cannot share the message online. It seems as though 'the sovereign glitch' struck our digital recording mechanism. Our Sound Guy said that the waveform somehow 'morphed' from a normal signal into a low rumble.

The message was hot-out-of-the-oven so I don't recall the exact weave of form and content. However, here are some items and verses from my outline:

I asked the congregation to open to Matthew 25

I then read a bit of an email that had arrived from a member that morning:

    Dear Pastor Rob,

    I can't help but think His Rapture will be SOON,
    even this Rosh Hashanna Sept 29-30 of this year 2008
    (or perhaps next year). So we best be ready.

    It seems like the world is ripe for "The Day of the Lord"
    and "The Time of Jacob's trouble".

The sister had also cited many related Bible verses, so I read one of them aloud (from 2 Peter 3):

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised?

Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

Reference was made to the Lord's Economy; with the microphone, I motioned for the congregation to fill in the blank:

 "With the Lord a day is like a _________  _______,

    and a thousand years are like ___  _________."

I shared what has been my personal outlook on matters of rapture and the consummation of all things.

Then we took a closer look at the three parables that are found in Matthew 25. I asked the viewer to fast-forward to the close of each parable:

    The Ten Virgins  >> to 25:11 click here
    The Talents  >> to 25:28  click here
    The Sheep and the Goats  >> to 25:28  click here

After brief exposition of the common denominator, we learned of Cynthia Blandin who had died on the prior Sunday. We had just had a memorial service for her on Saturday.

Cynthia had been to the doctor and was told that she was in Stage 4 and probably had 30 to 90 days to live. In response to the doctor's words, surely she had started to get her house in order.

However, Cynthia died just 4 days later.

She had been in our Adult VBS for an entire week. Her children and grandchildren had been in our classes. She had recently attended a Sunday Morning Service.

   There was oil in Cynthia's lamp.
We went back to the Ten Virgins and read a portion of the story and then zoomed in on the dichotomy:
    Wise and Foolish

Foolish:  A lamp with no oil?

It is foolish to go to the Christian Bookstore, purchase a Bible, carry it to church with me, display it on the table, even sleep with it under my pillow,
  ...but not have the Word alive in my heart.

45 percent of American 'evangelicals' don't
                 really believe John 14:6  (click here)

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
        No one comes to the Father except through me."

To hear one Sunday School lesson after another without personally applying the truth into one's life.

"Be ye doers of the word,
                              and not hearers only,
                          deceiving your own selves.

illustration: The case of my upstairs neighbor, Phil, and the form of invitation I had given (a color, glossy, pamphlet). I had subsequently confessed a need to go back (with urgent breath) to share the real Gospel:

      "If you died today..." (click here)
*I will ask Pastor Matt try to help us get this
                    free, online tract on our church website.

The Amen's Letter to the church at Laodicea connected with the message of last Sunday's parable (regarding the wedding garment):

click here    for Revelation 3

An illustration: After having not watched TV for awhile, I was reminded of how truly distressed everybody is about the Economy.

"....but I'm an American Christian...
'I am rich; I have acquired wealth
                                I do not need a thing.'

The nation is shaking; our local church is shaking too. Am I
wretched? (pitiful, poor).

Do I have blindspots?
(Of course I do...But I'm not blind.)

"I once was blind but now I see."

Naked? "Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Have they been dipped into the blood of Jesus?

 Buy gold refined in the fire?
    Total Surrender of all that I am and all that I have.

In a past presidential race:

     "It's the Economy, ___________!"

If questioned about 'character', change the subject!

  A dramatic contrast of timing:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
    If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
    I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

    'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
     But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

The message ended with
Ephesians 5:15-17

Be very careful, then, how you livenot 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."

As I stepped down from the pulpit toward the time of invitation, I shared from the word hidden in my heart:
    Ephesians 6:10-18

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cathy and I are at the church building for an 11:00 funeral today. A sister passed away unexpectedly. The funeral will be a small family gathering.

As chaplains, Cathy and I were called last night to the local ER where a man had died unexpectedly. We approached the door with fear and trembling praying that God would somehow use us. He moved through us in small ways that made a difference for this grieving family.

This afternoon we will drive out to Foresthill to visit with a family who is considering whether to join our church.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I thank the Lord for a good night's sleep. At Wednesday's Prayer meeting, we considered James 1:2-4. God spoke to my deepest need in theses verses.

 James 1:2-12

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

click below for a song:

Blessed is the man
                                                   James 1:12
This was a 'survival verse' for me as a young Christian (recalling the days when I carried around a KJV). Before leaving Michigan for California, Greg Brayton agreed to sing along with me. Greg wrote the melody for the bridge! We were having fun (key-change and all...) so, the song is kinda long!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Seeking wisdom from the Word and in prayer today. Jesse, Elba, Cathy and I went out door to door and through the Park meeting people and recording names and numbers of the Sunday School age children.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This morning I met Kenny Clyde (guitar player for Rollin' Hazzard) at the Gym. His band plays only benefit gigs. I asked if he plays harmonica. He informed me that a new song is gonna require it. So, I told him about Richard and me working on the harp together.

BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) is in full swing this morning at Bell Road. The ladies are studying the life of Moses. Cathy has made a commitment to BSF this year (as have other members of our local church).

Staff meeting
in a few minutes. Then a Finance Committee meeting. Then lunch with Curt Harjo but I'm gonna see if he is willing to stop and pray for a bit with the area pastors at First Baptist Church in Auburn.

I have put five testimonies onto a CD and plan to distribute them to the five people to see if they agree to making them public.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cathy and I arrived at the office at 6:40am. She has agreed to organize personal articles to move to our new living quarters in the Greens.

This morning, I have a 10:00am appt. with our Director of Missions. Before Mike arrives, I would like to prepare to upload yesterday's message Come One, Come All to our sermonplayer.

Last night, Dan Clark and Madelyn McAlister each shared a testimony. These had been arranged by Jon Rosenau--last night's worship leader. We recorded them so hopefully we can get them transferred to mp3 and upload them as well. I counted thirty-three people at last night's service. I think that all would agree that our 16 year old worship leader provided a meaningful experience for all who accepted the invitation to come.

As part of the evening's offering, I shared a 9-minute message from Romans 8:1-17 (as part of the three-year series). I may combine it with a portion of last week's evening message to produce A-L-R no. 59 (aka Stewards of Circumstance: Lesson 6).

At 4:00pm, Cathy and I are meeting with a long-time member for his annual check-up. I am really looking forward to hear this man's testimony.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

After Spanish Service, Jesse, Elba, Jorge, Cathy, and I walked around our new neighborhood and through the Regional Park to meet people. As we met spanish-speaking people, we gave out a CD with music and teaching.

Building on a vision I saw during May's Renaissance Faire, we sat on the benches in front of the stone stage and discussed the future of a Latino Festival.

At 7:40, we finished locking up after our evening Worship Time and are heading out to the Rosenau's for a time of fellowship.

Come One, Come All  Here's the 2:55 video that was posted on the Auburn Journal. This was referenced in the morning message.

Lord willing, I will post the morning and evening messages tomorrow.

update: here's today's video HOT off the press.
                It is fifteen minutes in length.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Woke up at 3:30 for a few minutes so I decided to post a last-minute invitation to this morning's Bike Run to serve as a firstfruits for tomorrow's all-church invitation:


Motorcycle Run to Benefit Deaf Children
On Saturday, September 13th, Iron Horse Ministries (in cooperation with Bell Road … click here

We're at the church for the Bike Run festivities. I guess it was about a month ago that I posted the first announcement. Only the Lord knows who all has been impacted by having been invited (even if there are reasonable excuses for not accepting his invitation). I think that over 1,000 people clicked on this similar story:

  8th Annual Bike Run at Exit 123

I videotaped Matt Woodin's opening message at the 8am Biker's Service. I plan to upload it ASAP,
     so check back!

     9:00 am  Bike Run

     Lunch Ticket is only $5

Come one, Come all!

Here's a video fro
m Metro Calvary. Several of BellRoad's young people have been attending this Monday Night gathering of hungry souls. I hope you enjoy this video of Danny Donnelly, the worship team, the teacher, and the vibe: 

  Monday Night at Metro... 21 min -  

Here's a video from the Memorial Day Service at Bell Road. I watched it afresh a month ago. God spoke to me through each of the testimonies preserved at googlevideo.

   My Duty to God and My Country... 6 min -

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yesterday, Pastor Matt and I laid down some Bass Guitar tracks for the Hymns Project.  I was exhausted and experienced some foibles so I elected not to play on two of the songs. Still, I think there might be some sweet musical moments captured on the tracks.

Matt played piano for "Blessed Be the Tie" which we began and ended with the traditional IV-I musical amen.

Last night, Cathy and I went to what some have called 'the Greatest Show on Earth'.

It was fascinating to experience such a well-orchestrated combination of acrobatics, music, trained animals, singing, instruments, lighting, pyrotechnics, and humor.

Clyde and Faye accompanied us. We first stopped at the Madison St. Brookfield's Restaurant and were served by Tayler. With my tip, I gave Tayler a church 'business' card and asked her to check out our website sometime.

This morning Wolfgang and I prayed at the Newcastle Exit. After he left for work I walked the hilltop again to bask in the rising sun.

Later tonight I would like to bring forth some video that was shot at last Sunday's Evening Worship.

This Sunday evening the Worship will is being led by Jonathan Rosenau (16). I am looking forward to this. He will choose the music. He's asked me to play Bass. I wonder what all he will have us do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We shared a wonderful prayer meeting last night. "When We all get to Heaven was sung at a moderately contemplative tempo. Then, after singing "I'd Rather Have Jesus", a discussion followed about the leadership of the Spirit in our daily lives. We also shared a reading around the circle from Acts Chapter Two.

A question asked by a young man sparked a discussion about historical trends involving the holiness movement, sinless perfection, second blessing,  Azuza Street phenomena, the charismatic movement, Montanus, Tertullian, and the process of establishing the canon of Scripture.

Afterwards, I shared a parking-lot ethics discussion with a brother and sister about law-spirit issues, the defense of necessity, the sanctity of human life, and abortion.

Today, I plan to write a report on the luncheon we attended yesterday. This will be published on the website of the Auburn Journal. I will link to it after it has been posted.

I especially enjoyed the 'Inspirational Moment' recited by Hoberley Schuler (written May, 1995).

Lessons from the Garden

Many of the important lessons of life can be learned at the end of a hoe. The garden can show you just what to do to make your life a success.

  Like--It's okay to be a late bloomer;
  the fruits of your labor will be well received
  no matter how long they take to ripen.

  It's never too late to learn, to start over;
  next year will be better.

  When you cultivate acquaintances, like plants they  
  blossom and become valuable friends--a tribute to
  your care.

  Always try to be outstanding in your field.

  It's important to branch out.

  Sometimes it takes a little pinching back
  to strengthen character.

  Don't be afraid to try a new variety,
  change can be valuable.

  A little smile warms the soul like sunlight
  warms the soil--both are necessary for life to flourish.

  We've all got a row to hoe, but working alongside  
  someone you love makes the task lighter.

  You always reap what you sow--take care to plant
  what  you desire to harvest.

  Some problems are perennial--try to weed out 
  annoyances in your life.

  People with lawns have mow fun and
  people with  gardens can nourish both body and soul.

Don't forget to plant the flowers. The Garden is truly one of God's greatest gifts to brighten our stay on this earth but the beauty of a garden and a meaningful life can only be achieved through attention to the tasks at hand, a little hard work, and with God's help.

Hoberley Schuler

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bob Knapp met with me this morning. I am touched by the humility I see in this precious man. We shared a sweet time of prayer for souls. So important.

More about items relating to Sarah Palin and her faith. David Brickner (current head of Jews for Jesus) sent this out today:

"Last month I had the privilege of speaking at a large church in the small town of Wasilla, Alaska. At the time, few people outside of Alaska had heard of Wasilla; now almost everyone in America knows that it is the hometown of Sarah Palin, John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate....
...Once Mrs. Palin's candidacy as vice-president was announced, my message became a matter of sudden public interest. A blogger on quickly tore a small portion of the message out of context and twisted my words into something ugly and hurtful.
"  click here

Cathy and I will attend an Awards Luncheon today to witness Rena, Barry and Wanda receiving an award for the Gardens at Bell Road. More on that later.

May the Lord bless you and keep you today. May His Face shine upon you and bring peace to troubled waters through you in His Name.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

update: I'm thrilled! I returned the survey for placeropolis and won 4 tickets to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum&Bailey Circus at Arco Arena this Thursday evening.

   Lower level, Section 123 row Q seats 15-18

There is significance to this blessing. I referenced this very 3-ring circus troupe in my introduction to the 3 year sermon series (listen to "A New Chapter at BellRoad" April 15, 2007). More on that later this week.

Jimmie Bent verified for me that her class is also in sync with the other classes below. Click on this site to preview the lesson plans for Sunday Morning Bible Studies:

Life Ventures (Retired)
Teacher: David Browning
  I now will begin reading these materials as well.

Up at 5:00am this morning. Cathy heard the garbage truck and gave me the 'wake-up' nudge to run the pail out to the street.

Daniel is helping me move our couch, table, and chairs into our new living quarters in the Auburn Greens.

Sunday, September 7th's sermon (click above) was delivered with the intent of unifying the the message heard by those gather for the Worship Service. The message on the 14th will build upon the foundation laid last Sunday.

click here for the theological and theoretical overview of the Lifeway materials being used in some of our Sunday School classes. Having reformatted my Sunday morning sermon method, I will now be in better sync with those who will be enrolled in this curriculum.
   (see page 6 for 2008-09)

Life Truths (Young Marrieds)
Teachers: Tim and Robin Willette
   Our newly-married couple (Andre and Sarah) left Sunday morning with their personal copy of the quarterly. I don't know if every young adult (or couple) took one home, so please click above and scroll down to pp. 10-11
        for Day 1 and 2, etc.

Life Values (Empty Nesters)
Teacher: Mike Hodges
   In preparation for Sept. 7th's lesson, the students were asked to read Day 1-5 points found on page 6)

Life Matters (College)
Teacher: Dan Clark (with Wolfgang Rosenau)
   This material looks as though it is what Dan had discussed with me (aka 'Threads'). I am encouraging this class to also join us for this season of bible study and assimilation of shared truths.

We went to Roseville's Metro study last night. More on that later today...

Monday, September 8, 2008

8:00 am  
I woke up at 3:00am. Cathy and I agreed it was a bit too early to arise. I have work ahead of me that I'm motivated toward. I am glad that we agreed to go back to sleep. So, here it is at 8:00 am. We're at the office--well-rested and ready to get to work.

Friday and Saturday's activities didn't leave extra time to follow through on my hope of calling our members to invite them all to share the Lord's Supper on Sunday.

Our second session of Membership Class was enlightening. We have become more fully acquainted with one another. We have reflected together over important aspects of our church membership covenant and constitution.

I have yet to retrieve the morning message. Lord willing, I will edit and upload the sermon yet this morning.

Last night's service was eventful. I think the highlight for me was when Janeen requested "Down at the Cross". I was pleasantly surprised at how the spontaneous rendition sounded.

I was glad to hear Jimmie share the story of Peter (and how he had worked on a parsonage years ago). Much of the money derived from that era's labor helped to purchase this current property.

Mike shared a testimony that I had not yet heard. Thanks to everyone who helped in any way last night. I hope we will have a wonderful evening service in the months ahead of us.

Much thanks to Vicki or playing bass, and for testifying about her life in Christ through the singing of a special song. I'm still thinking about the fullness of the Holy Spirit that can be experienced when God's people gather together to serve one another and to worship Him.

A member of Vicki's church (Prism's Meleesa) sent me a link to a special video this morning. It is a testimony by Sara Palin (the Governor of Alaska). CLICK HERE

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Download: Heaven Came Down
...or click here:

That's Pastor Matt on the drums. This was a quick rough-draft of an old, favorite hymn from the BellRoad Pastors' Hymn Project. I hope to someday hear it with a variety of instruments and diverse voices.

Cathy and I had a long, full day on Saturday. We got home (well, Brandon and Heidi's home) by 9:00pm and started a DVD entitled "Gin" (produced by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore). The two also played the main characters in the screenplay for the Pulitzer Prize winner story.

This was the first time they have acted together since the early days of television. I think that it was made for PBS.
The storyline is set in an 'old folks' home.

I fell asleep during it so we went to bed at 10:30pm

I woke up at 4:30 and started the Lord's Day by putting on Joe Martin's black cowboy boots and going for a long walk. Stopped at Flyer's, met Shannon, got a cup of Java City French Roast, then walked all over the Bel-Air shopping plaza. I rehearsed God's Word for the morning message, conversed with the Spirit, looked at the cover of the Sacramento Bee, then met Christina and Rosalie in front of the Dollar Store.

Much to remember about the morning (Flyer's and Connie, the walk-through our new living quarters)  thus far...

    but have to go...

It is now 8:06 and I must prepare the room for our second session of Membership Class.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So, here I am at 7:16am waiting for another message to be uploaded for those who might benefit from hearing in the days ahead. The recording is from Sunday night, April 27, 2008.

During the Ordination of a man to the Gospel Ministry, it is customary in Baptist churches to preach a "Charge to the Church". In preparation of his ordination council and planning for the possibility of an ordination service, Bob Knapp had asked me to preach the charge to the church.

I will work up to the moment that Men's Breakfast begins at 8:00am.  David Burckhardt preached the traditional "Charge to the Pastor".

Click on the sermonplayer above and scroll down to April 27th in order to hear the opening prayer, the special duet sung by David and Diana, and the songs played during prayers of blessing and intercession.
Work continues to proceed with our new living quarters in the Auburn Greens subdivision. Earlier this morning, Cathy and I stopped by to view the downstairs tiling that was installed yesterday. Dave from Innovative Stone and Tile was already there preparing to grout between the tiles.

Last night, after pleasant tabletop conversation with two PRISM couples (representing two area church bodies), Cathy and I were graced with prayers of intercession. The eight of us went into the sanctuary at Bell Road Baptist Church and gathered around the piano for spontaneous songs of praise and worship. Then we prayed aloud.

The final AMEN was around 11:15pm. Thank you, Meleesa, Robbie, Patty, and Jeff for bringing such a sweet, sweet spirit to God's House on a Friday night.

Friday, September 5, 2008

In five minutes, Lord willing, I am heading west on I-80 to the Newcastle Exit Park-and-Ride Prayer Meeting (6:30-7:30am). Then, I'll be back to journal.

Once again, it looks like the good folks down at  Sermonplayer HQ are having hardware issues. None of our player boxes are loading this morning.

However, if a mini-player appears, go ahead and click on it. Early this morning, I was having some fun with a song Matt and I recorded yesterday.

back from prayer:

Yesterday, Cathy and I made a home visit and offered an interesting 'opening line' to a Best Buy clerk named Kathy. I'll share the thought later when I journal more fully.

In way of a personal reminder, I've gotta make sure to attend these events with prayerful attention...

Phone calls to membership re. Lord's Supper
Wedding rehearsal       6:00pm
Dinner with Cathy and 2 PRISM couples: 7:00pm

Men's Breakfast      8:00am
Deacons Meeting      9:15am
Home Visit               11:00am
Wedding with Andre and Sarah: 2:00pm.
Make-up Membership Class 1 with 3 adults: 4:00pm

Membership Class 2 (of 2)   9:00am.
Sermon: "Forgive Early and Often"    10:15
                    Matthew 18:23-27
                         *also sharing the Lord's Supper

Iglesia Bautista de Bell Road:  2:00am
Evening Worship Service:        6:00pm

Thursday, September 4, 2008

update: (9:22am) looking through the latest copy of CSBC News (p.8), I noticed that BellRoad's own Caitlin McConnehey has been quoted in a story entitled:

"Students explore 'Kingdom Secrets' at Centrifuge"

Up at 4:30 with 'yesterday's to-do' list still on the plate...
--and that's alright with me. I enjoy leftovers.

A two-hour meeting with two sisters preempted my attendance at the midweek prayer meeting. Cathy agreed to serve as facilitator to follow the prompts I had previously written on the white board in the place-of-prayer.

I acknowledged to my sisters that "I never...miss the prayer meeting"...but ours was a very important conversation that needed to be brought to its conclusion.

Immediately afterwards, Cathy and I shared an intimate, hand-holding walk around the outside of our building (10 times = 1 mile). Among other topics, we discussed the 58 messages from the Act-Luke-Romans sermon series. Then, I came into my office to help Mary finish a self-reflective paper regarding views on racial diversity.

   "She dictated; I simply typed and tweaked."
-- Mary's Dad
 (September, 2008)

After Mary left, I retreated to the Choir Room to begin watching a DVD set entitle "Don't Look Back" (a 1965 documentary--cinema verite'--of Bob Dylan's tour in England).

Yesterday, in our Tuesday Staff Meeting, I began to unpack the Peacemakers' Resource Kit and discuss Peter Celum's recommendations with Pastor Matt and Emma.

 After answering calls and emails, I muddled through hardware issues with the good folks down at Sermonplayer. It was important to me that I get Pete's two sessions online because I am convinced that there are other pastors in these foothills who would benefit greatly by listening to Peter online:

    Profile of a Peacemaker: click here

Basic Peacemaking Skills
: click here

     accompanying graphic: The Slippery Slope

At 11:15, Cathy and I inspected the work being down on our new living quarters in the Greens, then headed to Wings (the nearby airport cafe') for Brunch.

On the way through the dining area, we stopped to greet Grace (and her cardio-friends) sitting at the same table where we met them months ago (just prior to Rick Stanley's time with us). We shared a pleasant-but-quick interchange.

Later, 79 year old (Flo) and her 85 year old companion (Everett) saw us through the window and came out onto the patio to greet us. Everett had logged over 2,000 hours as a pilot of small planes through the years.

On June 6th, I delivered the message entitled
Refueling for the Week Ahead. At that time, Everett told me that he had flown the same type of plane featured in this graphic illustrations (click on the photo to enlarge).

from a reader (Kristi in Elk Grove):

   "Something that I’ve yet to read (in the bits I’ve read)
     of his [Sande's] works is that in his ‘steps’ (so to
     speak) on growing in Christ and becoming more
     Christ-like does it point out just how much more the
     ‘sweets’ of this world are going to look when you are
     confronted by conflict. Anyone who’s grown through
     conflict knows of the greatness that results from it, but
     most fall into the ‘peace-faking’ as a result of the
     increase in the seduction of this world’s ‘sweets’ which
     seem to increase in intensity the harder the conflict

      It’s one thing to speak and write about the things he
     has. It’s another to realize that most people nowadays
     do not have it within themselves to see (work, and
     grow) with what the conflict can bring – which leads to

     ....most people do not have people around
     them that they feel close enough to to reach out and
     say – ‘help me stay strong and on track through this.’
     Doing so shows vulnerability – and most people
     nowadays have learned that when you show
     vulnerability someone takes advantage of it. Or we’re
     taught that as an adult you should have grown up
     enough to not need anyone else’s help.

     Too often people speak (write) words of wisdom –
     but then walk away.
And the more those who are
     listening try – and then take flight – will soon stop
     listening – or turn to another’s ‘supposed’ words of
     wisdom (that seem, at the moment, to have an easier
     way out – an one that usually looks ‘right’ to them at the

It is now 5:50 and I must continue work that I started yesterday involving a critical review of the very first sermon which I preached at Bell Road on January 7, 2007. Just before I got out of bed, I thought that I should upload the ten segments which comprised our initial introduction to this new local ministry setting.

Download them one at a time below (or simply scroll back to January, 2007 on the sermonplayer above).

The sermonplayer features a fresh, written description of each segment by the author.

The unedited,
   yet-unretouched, (yeah, some post-production needed)
     subtitled segments include:

On My Knees  --Diana Knapp sings intro: (3:43)
Leading from our Knees 
Little Ones in the Solemn Assembly
The Spirit Came Upon Jahaziel
Marching Orders
Leading Out in Praise
His Love Endures Forever
(6:15) ...this could be fun!
"Boy, after you've been marching to that cadence,
      you're ready to face anybody, anything, anyhow...
      because God has been faithful.
            You rehearsed the old, old story
              and it has becomes a new, new song."

Plunder and Playstations
A Book from God
Harps, Lutes, and Trumpets

I'm experimenting with a separate player for this
sole message delivered on January 7, 2007. I'm still working on this at 8:42am (time-management...)

The alphabetical sequence
is out-of-order. My troubleshooting process has not yet solved the problem.
However, I have already submitted a 'help-desk' ticket to the good folks down at HQ.

* as of 7:00am, I finished uploading six segments. Cathy just left for work. My car needed to be towed to J and W Auto yesterday. The new alternator they installed recently was apparently a 'lemon'.
*as of 8:00am, I have now finished uploading all ten segments from my first sermon at BellRoad. In the process, I got in the groove of walking around the building reading aloud the preparation for Mike Hodge's Sunday School lesson (p. 6). This is an exercise in my personal preparation for the upcoming SundayMorning message (as part of the 'makeover').

So, I'm without a car and my cellphone recharger is missing. One might ask, Why, O Lord? Why?

A.  We're becoming 'stewards of circumstance', right?  
(Yea and Amen.)

I also would like to upload the message and music that I shared at the Ordination of Bob Knapp. This all may take awhile so please check back. I hope Cathy arises soon. She will make some coffee for us before she leaves to work as a substitute teacher at Skyridge Elementary.

This morning, Pastor Matt and I are scheduled to begin recording our new joint-effort: an album of hymns.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Up at 4:45 with plenty that I would like to get done today. First, however, I'll share a recent discovery from my hobby (that of delving into pop history--looking for Jesus in the world outside the church walls).

     I was curious about Purple Haze (Jesus Saves)
     when I looked at a guitar book last week.
           Click on Jesus Saves.

     .....and here is Mark Hall from
            Casting Crowns
with an anecdotal challenge
            regarding Jimi's Last Concert:
                 click here

Yesterday, I met with area pastors for our weekly prayer meeting. As a steward of the day's circumstances, I drew a facsimile of the diagram shared by Peter Celum in Sunday afternoon's seminar:
     The Slippery Slope

The 78-minute seminar, Basic Peacemaking Skills can be downloaded: click here, and will fit upon a CD. It would make a great, free gift for anyone who hopes to take the next step toward the restoration of godly, formative discipline in their homes or in their local church.

You can also simply click on the sermonplayer and find the button to download the mp3 for any message we have uploaded. If you don't know how to burn an mp3 onto an audio CD, call me and I'll talk you through the process:  (530)  366-2924

Click on the link above and take a look at the
'Six Peacemaking Responses'
to Relational Conflicts:

1)  Overlook the Offense
2)  Reconciliation
3)  Negotiation
4)  Mediation
5)  Arbitration
6)  Accountability

Peter Celum shared that any of these six responses will be helpful in avoiding the devastation that occurs when one withdraws into 'Peace-Faking' (Denial, Flight, Suicide) or at the other extreme, 'Peace-Breaking' (Assault, Litigation, Murder).


In the morning message, 'Profile of a Peacemaker',
Peter Celum
shared three opportunities to which I can avail myself whenever faced with a relational conflict in the church body. Those three points caught my attention--enough that I wrote them down.

1. Glorify God
2. Serve Others
3. Grow to Be like Christ

In this season of reviewing the personal lessons published in recent sermons (Stewards of Circumstance), I felt prompted by the Spirit to 'dig deeper' and find Peter's primary source.

In obedience to my call to shepherd God's flock, I will equip myself (and then, hopefully,  others) with a firm grasp of these glorious riches hidden in Christ's Will regarding a healthy response to frustration in His Body.

I discovered that Ken Sande's first book (The Peacemaker) shared the same three points Peter entrusted to us.

 Here is a free download of Chapter One in its entirety. On page 21, these following points are elaborated upon more fully. Here are abbreviated excerpts from the book:

Glorify God
Conflict always provides an opportunity to glorify God, that is, to bring him praise and honor by showing who he is, what he is like, and what he is doing. The best way to glorify God in the midst of conflict is to depend on and draw attention to his grace, that is, the undeserved love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, and wisdom he gives to us through Jesus Christ.

Serve Others
As Paul reminded the Corinthians, conflict also provides an opportunity to serve others. This sounds absurd from a worldly perspective, because the world says, “Look out for Number One.”

But Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27–28). Clearly, we are not released from the command to love our neighbor as ourselves, even when that neighbor is hating, cursing, and mistreating us.

Instead of reacting harshly or seeking revenge, God calls us to be merciful to those who offend us, just as he is merciful to us (Luke 6:36). We cannot serve others this way in our own strength. We must continually breathe in God’s grace (through the study of his Word, prayer, worship, and Christian fellowship) and then breathe out his love, mercy, forgiveness, and wisdom to others through our words and actions. You can do this
in several ways.

In some situations, God may use you to help an opponent understand his interests and find better solutions to his problems than he would have developed alone (Phil. 2:3–4).

Grow to Be like Christ
Most conflicts also provide an opportunity to grow to be more like Jesus.
As Paul urged in his letter to the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Paul elaborated on this opportunity when he wrote to the Christians in Rome: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:28–29, emphasis added; cf. 2 Cor. 3:18).

God’s highest purpose for you is not to make you comfortable, wealthy, or happy. If you have put your faith in him, he has something far more wonderful in mind—he plans to conform you to the likeness of his Son! He began to change you the day you put your trust in him, and he will continue this process throughout your life.

Conflict is one of the many tools that God will use to help you develop a more Christ-like character. To begin with, he may use conflict to remind you of your weaknesses and to encourage you to depend more on him (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

The more you rely on his grace, wisdom, and power, the more you will be imitating the Lord Jesus (Luke 22:41-44). God may also use conflict to expose sinful attitudes and habits in your life. Conflict is especially effective in breaking down appearances and revealing stubborn pride, a bitter and unforgiving heart, or a critical tongue.

When you are squeezed through controversy and these sinful characteristics are brought to the surface, you will have an opportunity to recognize their existence and ask for God’s help in overcoming them (Ps. 119:67).

Again, here is a free download of Chapter One in its entirety.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I think this is our last day of 'dog-sitting' for the Meadow Vista family. Our new home in the Greens is currently being painted and made habitable by a lady named Alona, her son, Travis, and his wife, Abby.

Last night, Kyla, Jonathan, Paulie, Ben, Dan, Cerissa, Mary, and Josh were ready to greet Cathy and me when we arrived at Metro Calvary in Roseville. It was a bit difficult to find. However, word-of-mouth for something people value has been delivering a full-house on Monday nights.

Monday nights at Metro: click here

I recognized the Worship Leader, Danny Donnelly. I think he led Worship at the CPC fundraiser we attended last year (with Bob and Diana Knapp). I will have to check my journal to see what, if any, interaction I had with Danny that night. It seems like he told me about his studio. I also remember a guest guitarist-singer from Australia who was visiting him--forget his name (awat).

The guys told me that the 'seasoned' bass player is the same guy who played bass at Crossroads last Wednesday.

Did I mention that this old guy loves playing bass too? I studied bass as an 'independent study' unit in high school music survery (with Gordon Sabin). Then, I was asked to play in the school's 'stage band' (ragtime). That was a fun experience.

Didn't catch the pastor's name last night. However, I thoroughly enjoyed his mellow teaching. Yeah, it was another step of spiritual observation that the Lord is implementing to help me adapt to this wonderful local church (body) into which He has transplanted me.

(btw, awat is another way of saying 'more on that later')

    awat... on the awat (and the ellipsis).

Monday, September 1, 2008

update: Profile of a Peacemaker can now be downloaded or heard on the player above. Hopefully, the afternoon session 'Basic Peacemaking Skills' will be up later tonight.

The Sizzler 49er was great! Cathy and I met Snow (from New Zealand) and spent quality time with Janees )of Hope, Help, and Healing). Tonight we are accepting an invitation to attend Metro (Roseville)--a youth-oriented Worship and Teaching Service. Several of BellRoad's young adults have been experiencing personal revival and attend there on Monday nights.

It is 6:45am on Labor Day Monday. Cathy, Mary, and I are about to head over to the Sizzler 49'er Canyon 10 Mile Run or 1.5 Mile Community Fun Walk. It starts at 8am.

I hope you'll click on the site and join us this morning! You don't have to run (or walk). There's a Christian Band playing at a spot where you can just hang out and meet people.

Yesterday, we featured Peter Celum in morning and afternoon 'peacemaking' sessions. More on that body of teaching after we prepare and post his messages. That may happen later today.

Here's the article that we had posted on placeropolis. Its had 900 hits so far:

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

Some visitors in church yesterday (Will, Steve). The young couple who are getting married this Saturday couldn't stay for Worship Service but made it for Sunday School.

g2g  more later....

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