Sunday, June 22, 2008

saying good bye to dear friends

Well, last night we had a "going away" dinner for Pat and Lora Henderson. They have been with us for almost 26 years, and are so very dear to us. They, along with their daughter Jenna and her husband Dave Natelborg, are moving to Cave Junction, Oregon to plant a daughter church. I can't say how dear these two have been to us over the years. They were our only Sunday night children's ministers when our church was still young, and they without complaint were there for this church, week after week for years, in a time when few people were coming to church and even less were serving. Their daughters are true gems, and are a great testimony to a godly dad and mom. It is going to be very difficult seeing them go, but they left in the right way, with tears, prayers, friends, and a lot of love. So many people just get up and leave their church, without a good-bye, thank you, I love you, or anything else, they just melt out the door and sadly, complain that nobody noticed they are gone. Sometimes they go to other churches, taking gripes and complaints with them, and then invite their friends to join them. New churches are always more exciting, especially churches that are just starting out, and many find them alluring. It's like a new relationship: it is exciting, charming, refreshing, and oh so new! So, people leave, but so very often, they draw others with them. Not so with Pat and Lora, as they left with love and a blessing and will be sorely missed. Perhaps some of you reading this blog have decided to leave your church, for the new church down the road and know it is time to go. Praise the Lord how He leads you, and it is great to be free to go where He leads. My encouragement to you would be to say good-bye to your pastor and your church leaders, and get plugged in at your new church as soon as you can. I would also encourage you to resist the temptation of inviting your friends to go with you. As the Lord led you, He can also lead your friends if He so desires. It is wrong to invite somebody to leave a church based on your dissatisfaction: if you have issues it is always best to resolve them, biblically. Then, you can leave in good conscience, and if you should run across former church members, or your former pastor or his wife, you can look them in the face and say hello without that awkward pause I have gone through so many times! Pat, Lora, Dave, and Jenna left in the right way, and we will miss them but will always have fond memories of them. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

random thoughts

I enjoyed our study last night. Sometimes I just blow my mind at what the Lord has done, and what He is doing right now. I am so blessed by the sense of worshipfulness this church has. It truly blesses me to hear the singing, and to just be part of such a wonderful group of people. The Lord truly has been good to His word with us, and I am just so blessed to be here with such loving people. Next month we will celebrate 27 years of meeting on Sunday mornings. We actually began our church in May of '81, but it was meeting on Wednesday nights at that time. We didn't begin the study with the intention of starting a church, but due to various circumstances we created and found ourselves in, that Wednesday night study became a Sunday morning church. I didn't start Sunday morning services with any aspirations for such a large work, but in reality started Sunday services because I didn't know which church my family and I should attend, in that I had resigned my position of assisting Pastor of another Calvary Chapel. My sister in law Patty asked me where I was planning on going to church, and I told her I hadn't decided yet. She said until I decide, would it be ok if I taught her on Sunday's, and so I said that would be fine until we find a church to go to: that was 27 years ago next month. Indeed, God's ways are not our ways and yes, His plans are so much more than we could ask or even think. To  God be the glory, He has been so good to us! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Well, after being asked several times about doing a blog, here it goes! I have been thinking about my desire for people to be open to the moving and filling of the Spirit of God in their lives. I really believe that there is just so much junk we are all dealing with that it is very difficult to hear the still small voice of God, over all of the noise of the world. Our confusion, guilt, sorrow, shame, greed, indolence, fear, lack of faith, and so many other things crowds out the Word of God and causes it to fail to bear fruit in our lives. I am asking the Lord daily to fill me with His Spirit, because I want to not only start well, run well, but I especially want to finish well. I recently read of two evangelists who both started their "ministries" when Billy Graham began his. All of the people at that time felt that, in comparison to the other two, Billy Graham was the least possible to succeed at his mission. To make a long story short, one of the evangelists renounced his faith, and the other died an alcoholic while in his mid-30's. They all started out well, but Billy is remembered for finishing well. I want to finish well, also, so with the power of the Spirit and a determination to bring glory to Jesus, I have asked Him to give me strength to finish well. I pray this is true for you, too!