Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New Year

Well, now that we are a few weeks in to the new year, I can see that we have our work cut out for us. We have a new president, and I am wanting to give him an opportunity to settle in to the position and begin his job. The whole media nation has certainly taken to him, with lots of love from the press (Bernie Goldberg refers to the media as his base) and we hear glowing things every time we open the paper or listen to the news. 
So, we shall see. 
With this kind of "free pass" having no one willing to criticize anything he does, I am sure he will work unopposed for some time. We now have a tax czar who didn't pay taxes, a secretary of state who never had diplomatic experience, and a whole host of old guard politicos in key positions....so much for change! 
On the anniversary week of Roe V. Wade, the rescinding of the prohibition of American tax payer dollars spent on overseas abortions was enacted, opening up federal money to be shipped overseas for abortion clinics while the March for Life (the largest pro-life rally in the US) was ignored. The announcement came on Friday afternoon, the time when this kind of news is best ignored.
Still, we wanted change and we got it, and happy days are here again! 
I am buying Sophia some dolls named after the Obama girls, a dress for Marie modeled after Michelle's, and some coins and commemorative plates with Obama and JFK side by side! This is exciting!  I might even start playing basketball....nah, sorry....no can do! 
With all of this, I am still hopeful because God has a way of waking us up, and I fully expect a wake up call. 
I was mentioning on Sunday that young people have a tendency of wanting young people to lead, and because of this those who are older are not necessarily respected. Job made it clear that with the aged comes wisdom, as time, experience, and the fear of God has a tendency of teaching life lessons that simply accrue over the passing of years. At my age, I do not rally behind younger, unproven leaders but I do have a heart to see them succeed and especially desire our President to succeed. Not because of the "historical significance" but because we love him and want his life to be touched by God, and also because we know that he carries a tremendous weight on his young  shoulders. At my age, I have seen many young men and women with great potential but never living up to it, so my prayer is that Obama will have people of integrity around him, and that if he truly is a Christian (though he said he hasn't been in church regularly for years, and apparently never listened to Rev. Wright) I pray that he will somehow be touched by God. 
During the time of Samuel, when Eli sinned God sent a man of God to clearly reveal his sin to him, so I pray that the Lord will have prophetic people speaking to Obama, and I pray that he will have the willingness to hear. We should all keep him, his wife, his babies, and this nation in prayer, because at the moment there is no one to oppose a complete transformation of the nation's core, as we know it. The Republican party does not have the votes to keep the Democrats in check, so unless the will of God and the will of the people is understood, many things will be done that bring harm to this great nation. 
Finally, when the terrible tsunami hit southeast Asia, a man was on the shore as the sea began to recede. Seeing all of the fish  exposed, he went out and began gathering them up, thinking he had been blessed with a great catch! A man was on the roof of a building, video taping what was going on and could see the wave in the distance. He began crying out loud to the fisherman to come back to land, to run for his life because the wave was coming, but the fisherman was so caught up with his prosperity that he did not listen to the warning. We saw the video of this event, and saw the wave as it hit him with the force of 1,000 Mac trucks, and he was killed instantly, still holding the fish in his arms. We Pastor's are supposed to cry out warnings when we see danger, but too many people are fishing, caught up with their own prosperity and they do not see the wave as it approaches. I see a wave, it is in the distance, but it is coming....we need to be prayed up because this nation does not see its need for God anymore. 
It just wants fish.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Wow, it is really a trip how we are suddenly in a new year, isn't it? I don't know, perhaps it is simply because I am growing older, but it sure seems like time is flying. My grandson Josiah is five, my granddaughter Sophia is now one, and my kids are no longer just kids but are all growing older themselves! Amazing! I am wondering what the Lord may want to do with this fellowship this year, and am waiting to see how He will lead us. Changes (slight) are in the air, and I am anxious to see how they will affect our fellowship here in Chino. One of our "techies" Tom Mulcahy resigned his position to take a job with the U.S. government, and we are so blessed for him, and he leaves with our blessing. We will miss him, as he was saved under my ministry and has served on staff for many years. We are re-working our men's worship team, and believe God is going to do a new thing through them. We are still waiting on the Lord, as He will give us a new worship leader to move our worship teams forward, and are looking to add a new feature to our web page, in which on a weekly basis I will record a five or ten minute message just sharing with our viewers some things the Lord has laid on my heart. We closed down the patio and outside overflows, and have it all under the chapel roof, and for me it was a no-brainer! When I began teaching, on the very first study I ever taught, I let the people know that we were gathering together, not to eat cookies and drink coffee, but to listen to God's word. God's word should be listened to reverently, simply because it is God's Word! Do you remember when Ezra read God's word to the returning exiles? Nehemiah 8: 2-8 reads: Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand stood (various leaders)....And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered Amen, Amen while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also (the leaders) and priests helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God and they gave the sense and helped them to understand the reading. It had come to my attention that the patio/overflow areas had become more of a place where people were drinking their coffee, bringing breakfasts, talking, etc. and I could not see how this fit in with what we as a church were founded on. I started '08 with a series on What is the Church? and had tried to say we are more than just a group gathering together, but are to really live out to the best of our abilities what we learn from God's word.... sooooo, I am praying that those who habitually sat outside will come into the sanctuary, and will grow in their maturity and desire for the Lord, His word, fellowship, prayer, and all that goes along with being a Christian. We shall see, but I am excited to think of what the Lord will do with us this year! I pray I might take God more seriously this year, and hope I can encourage our church to do the same! God is so good, and so worthy to be praised, as we shall see every time we gather and read from His word, and leave this place ready to practice what we are learning!