Thursday, July 23, 2009


All of us like to mark our calendars in remembrance of events that really have impacted us, especially when those events were special. This Sunday is one of those events, as we as a church will recognize our 28th year of ministry. We began holding Sunday morning services on July 26, 1981. I was one month short of my 31st birthday, and Marie was 29 years old. We had three kids at that time: Carin, who had just turned 4, David, who was 2 years and 8 months old, and Joseph who was just short of 3 mos. of age. Three babies and a new ministry, what a memory.
Our first Sunday morning was held in a house on Palmetto, in Ontario. It was being rented by my sister in law, Patty and her a couple of her friends. Eventually, my mom and dad bought that home, and when my dad went home to be with Jesus, Patty and her husband Matt ended up buying it, and live there to this day. On our first Sunday, we had around 25 adults, and about 10-15 kids. Marie was the Sunday school teacher, and I believe one other young lady volunteered to help. I taught out of Isaiah, and we enjoyed our first Sunday morning service a great deal. We didn't receive an offering (a tradition we held for many years) and just let people give as the Lord led, which obviously we still do. God moved, and we all were blessed. I asked the people if they wanted to return next week, they wanted to, and off we went for the next 28 years. What a great memory.
So much has happened over the years, both joyful and sad. We have seen many come to our church, and many more leave. I believe that if every person who ever called this church "home" would show up for church at one time, we would need a stadium to hold them all. Thousands have come over the years, and many more have left. Some left with tears, some left with anger, some just left, and others went to heaven. Still, we have seen God do wonderful things and will be forever (literally) blessed for what He has chosen to do here.
What makes it even more special is that we will have a baptism as well as an anniversary celebration, taking place Sunday night. I wanted a single baptism service this year, and it is great that it falls on our 28th anniversary, as it is always special to have a baptism and having it coincide with our anniversary is wonderful. Talk about new beginnings! We will have a time of worship, a short video that we originally showed at our 25th anniversary, and the baptism (with cake after the service!) It will be fun and fulfilling, all at the same time.
It is interesting, but three of the most important dates of my life will be celebrated on a Sunday. Our church anniversary, which is 7/26, my birthday, which is Sunday 8/23, and my spiritual birthday 12/27 all fall on Sunday's this blesses me to be able to be with my church family on all of those special days.
On another note, we will continue our 1835 study this Monday, with Michael Callahan doing the teaching. We have special music with a group called LoveLite, and it should be a great evening. I do hope those of you who are in that age group will show up, and be blessed!
We are looking forward to the Israel trip with them, and I actually think it will be able to happen. We actually can't go if we don't have enough to fill a bus, so being aware of the economy and all, we have to be careful not to over commit, still we have had a good amount of interest, and it looks like it is going to happen. I sure hope it does, but then again, it all is in the hands of the Lord and the desire of the group!
Anyway, just a few rambling thoughts put down for whomever might read them!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

what is in our future

Well, tomorrow Marie and I will finish our time with the 1835 group, but I must say it has been fun and quite a blessing for us. We love that particular age group for several reasons: our own children are within that group, many decisions await people at that age, and the fact is, Marie and I won't be around that much longer so I want to do what I can to keep the fire going in these young hearts. We have a burden for people in general, but have a special love and concern for this age group in particular. Out of that age group (I would assume), the next Calvary Chapel Chino Valley senior pastor will come. Now, before any of you begin hoping it is soon, no, I don't think that it is that close to happening! Still, the reality is that we are getting on in age and it won't be that long until I hand over the church to someone with vision and energy (not to mention maturity, faith, love, etc) who will take the people further in to the things of God. With that in mind, I do what I do with the hope of reaching some who will be used mightily of the Lord.
We will continue a Monday night study, and I will be handing the teaching over to Michael Callahan, Mike Callahan's youngest son. Michael is a thoughtful young man, and it is my hope and prayer that he will be able to connect with the group. We will divide the age group in to 18-25 and will begin a 26-35 group in the near future. I am also looking to start a Spanish language Sunday morning study, but am looking for people who can lead worship in Spanish, not an easy thing to do!
Oh well, time to finish this post! Hope to see some of you tomorrow!