Friday, December 23, 2011

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Mt 6:31-34) May we believe this! Christmas brings out the best and worst in us.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We forget so easily that in the spiritual life there must be the darkness of the night before there can be the radiance of the dawn. Before the life of resurrection can be known, there must be the death that ends the dominion of self. It is a serious but a blessed decision, this willingness to say, "I will follow Him no matter what the cost. I will take the cross no matter how it comes!" (I Talk Back to the Devil...A. W. Tozer)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grace To Serve

We all struggle with selfish ambition, but we read in the Bible where the apostle Paul tells us, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." (Phil 2:3,4)

Our human nature is such that we desire to be served, rather than to serve. Even among the apostles-those unbelievable eleven men who remained faithful to the Lord, we see an attitude of selfish ambition, of constant arguing amongst themselves about who was special…who was the greatest! Jesus had said, " …but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be the slave of all." (Mark 10:43,44)

Jesus is our great example to follow, and as we look to Him we begin to understand that we can show our love for Him and others, by serving one another. My encouragement to you is to follow that example and begin practicing this godly discipline of service today! You see, it is easy to find ways to is simply the love of Christ, put into action! Please pray and ask the Lord to show you areas where you can be His hands of service-to your family, your neighbors, your community, and your church. God has been good to us, He has shown us grace... and in light of that, we should always desire to show His grace as we serve others!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Great Devotional Thought from Tozer

Just what attracts us to the church we attend? What a question to ask, especially from a pastor. Still, after nearly 41 years of walking with the Lord, and after 38 years of ministry, the things Tozer says are things I and many of my fellow pastor friends see quite regularly. Is the church you attend helping you to really know Jesus and His word? Tozer says it well, and what he says should be heard clearly. Here you go, may the Lord minister to us all!

Failure and Success: The Great Goddess Numbers

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. --1 Corinthians 3:12-13

The emphasis today in Christian circles appears to be on quantity, with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality. Numbers, size and amount seem to be very nearly all that matters even among evangelicals. The size of the crowd, the number of converts, the size of the budget, the amount of the weekly collections: if these look good the church is prospering and the pastor is thought to be a success. The church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches.

This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess Numbers is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as arbiters of all questions, the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in every Christian endeavor.

A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another than scriptural judgment. It is to admit the validity of externalism and to deny the value our Lord places upon the soul as over against the body. It is to mistake the old creation for the new and to confuse things eternal with things temporal. Yet it is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone notices the deep and dangerous error.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Follow Me"

We are eagerly making preparations for our upcoming Inland Empire Women's Conference which is being held on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The conference runs from 9:00am to 3:00pm here on our church campus. We're so blessed to welcome our friends, Sandy MacIntosh and June Hesterly as our guest speakers as well as Sarah MacIntosh who will be sharing her music and testimony. Our theme is taken from Luke 9:23, "Follow Me." Spanish translation is available. For more information or driving directions to our campus, please visit our website at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions (Jer 18:11) He could say this to our nation! Today, may we will live for Him!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Sure Foundation

Is there anything you need to do to improve on God's grace? Unfortunately, there are many people today who think that in order to lead a completely Christian life you need to follow a pattern of rules, regulations, and laws. But the reality is that it is by faith that you were saved and the Holy Spirit took up residence in you and empowered you. It wasn't because you followed certain rituals or commands.

Abraham was justified not by his works of obedience, but by his faith, which produced the works of obedience. God had promised to make Abraham a blessing through his descendants (Genesis 12:1-3), Abraham trusted in that promise and by faith he obeyed God's commands.

It is not the obedience of a command that saves anyone, salvation has always been granted on the basis of personal faith. I would urge you to be very careful when someone tries to put their conditions on your salvation, saying things like, "Faith is fine, but it’s really not enough - you must follow our way." Or, "You must be baptized in our church." It is the grace of God that brought salvation to us...why would it now be left solely up to us to continue in our walk with Him? Jesus has promised us that He will change us from the inside...through the power of the Holy Spirit! (Luke 24:49) You see, no rule or regulation can do more for you than what Jesus did on the cross...His sacrifice for us was a one time - for all time event, never needing to be repeated!

The Lord, in Isaiah 28:16 said, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation..." What an encouragement for us...that we don't have to put our trust in our own abilities, or the rules and regulations of others...our trust is in the solid, sure foundation of Christ!

Monday, August 8, 2011

God Pursues Us When We Fail

After Peter denied Christ some would have thought that his ability to follow and serve God was over, but Jesus, upon His resurrection, pursued the wayward apostle, desiring to restore him to a place of communion with God and service for the Master. John 21:15-17 records Jesus' conversation with Peter, "Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.' He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Tend My sheep.' He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.'"
Our Lord is in the restoration business and that's just what He did for the Apostle Peter, He brought him back to a place where he could be used by God. Jesus seeks out that which is lost and He draws back the wandering Christian after they have failed. Jesus repairs us when we are broken. He takes care of us, He strengthens us, and He refreshes us when we are at our lowest. If there are sins that separate us from the Lord, God will deal with these things; He will settle the unfinished business so that we can walk closely with Him. God is not surprised when we fail. But it is through our brokenness that God brings healing!
Have you wandered away from the Lord? Have you failed? Are there things in your life that need to be dealt with? Do you know that God is pursuing you? He desires to restore you - to repair that which is broken in your life. Jesus is YOUR Good Shepherd; will you once again turn back to Him?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Praise The Lord !!

LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. (Is 25:1) All of God's plans are brought to pass! On the eve of CCCV's 30th anniversary, we as a church have experienced His incredible grace and rejoice!
We have a very special evening of celebration planned on Sunday, July 24th beginning at 5pm as we thank the Lord for His faithfulness through the years and look with anticipation to what He has purposed for us now and in the future! Please join us on campus this Sunday evening, or if you are out of the area you can log on to and join us via our live webcast!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Songs in the Night: Learning to Dance in the Dark

Job 35:10 But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night

HELD: By Natalie Grant

Two months is too little

They let him go

They had no sudden healing

To think that providence would

Take a child from his mother while she prays

Is appalling

Who told us we’d be rescued?

What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?

We’re asking why this happens To us who have died to live?

It’s unfair

This is what it means to be held

How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life

And you survive

This is what it is to be loved

And to know that the promise was

When everything fell we’d be held

This hand is bitterness

We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow

The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held

How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life

And you survive

This is what it is to be loved And to know that the promise was

When everything fell we’d be held

If hope is born of suffering

If this is only the beginning

Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held

How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life

And you survive This is what it is to be loved And to know that the promise was

When everything fell we’d be held

Some songs seem to speak deeply to your heart in a special way. Like “deep calling to deep”, the lyrics simply sink into your soul and are met with an understanding that rises from your core. Though heard for the first time, there is an unmistakable recognition, like an old friend entering in to the room bringing shared memories with them.

I felt that kind of response the first time I heard Natalie Grant’s song “Held”. Something inside me simply reverberated with understanding, especially when I heard her broken heart as she sang, “when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive”. I thought, what an incredibly insightful way to put it. The sacred is torn away, but somehow you survive!

There are so many things that we hold dear, that over the span of our lifetime actually become sacred to us. Dreams, hopes, ambitions; childish wishes that we pray one day will come true, that we hold onto tightly, praying and working to see that they may one day come into being only to watch them one by one torn from our lives. We stand helpless as someone who could care less about our broken dreams and shattered hopes rips our innocence from us. One by one, we lose what once was sacred and begin to live as hollow people, surviving as we attempt to somehow live down the embarrassment and rebuild what is left of our lives.

Some dreams die hard, and when they finally do die they leave scars and inner pain that can haunt us over a lifetime. And yet, we survive. What at one time were sacred dreams sometimes morph into the nightmares we daily find ourselves wrestling with. We begin to shelter hurtful memories, treating them like old friends even though they produce thoughts that bring sorrow and emotional pain that cannot be expressed. Eventually, this becomes the fabric of our lives, while we slowly are convinced that this is all there is and all there ever will be.

“Who told us we’d be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?” is more than a line in a song; it is the question we grapple with on a daily basis. Eventually “We’re asking why this happens to us who have died to live?” and we finally simply whimper to God: It’s unfair. The ironic thing is, it really does seem to be unfair to those who have died to live. For those who have honestly forsaken all to follow Him, it can sometimes seem incredibly unfair. We who have died to live started living a life with the purpose of honoring Jesus, and the result was sorrow upon sorrow.

We see children growing up in a home that has no time or love for the Lord excelling, prospering, healthy, and successful and we wonder about that. On the other hand, our children may die at an early age, and our hearts are crushed. They may injure us through unwise decisions, breaking our hearts and bringing pain to us while those who should have been our closest friends and strongest support became our greatest critics, leaving our side when we needed them most.

We may begin to suffer with an incurable disease, and find ourselves in constant pain. We lose our husband or wife to a freak accident, tragic event or unexpected illness and our hearts break with sorrow and are filled with questions about the goodness of God. We stand next to a dying father, watching as his life slowly ebbs from him, fighting back tears, trying to make sense of it and needing to remain calm as we watch the most important man in our lives slipping away from us. Finally, we find ourselves crying and thinking, “He is not going to make it. He is leaving my mother alone for the first time in 53 years. He will not be at the wedding of my sons and daughters. He will never hold my grandchildren. I will never make him laugh again, see his smile, or ask for his counsel. My Jesus, we are not ready to see him go. Lord, it’s unfair!”

I became a Christian on December 27, 1970 and over the years I have walked with the Lord, I have had many “sacred” things painfully torn from my life and I have ministered to countless Christians who have experienced similar pain. Over time I have discovered that these experiences have shaped me in to the man that I am today, and am beginning to learn to “kiss the thorns” that have pierced my heart.

My life is really no different than the average person, and everybody has a story when it comes to disappointment and hurts. This is a journey I have been made familiar with and what I really want to do is to remind all of us of the words of the sweet psalmist of Israel, David who said “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me”. We walk through the valley, every one of us. But when we have a saving knowledge of Jesus we do not walk alone, for He is with us, and He comforts us.

The one thing I am learning and that I want you to know is this: God is our Maker, He gives us songs in the night and in Him, we can learn the fine art of dancing in the dark.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That They May Have Life

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

"Pastor David, may I speak to you for a moment?"

I was in the city of Chicago, meeting with a group of Christians who listened to a daily radio program I had been broadcasting in their beautiful city. As I turned to face the young lady who had asked to speak to me, she began to share about her husband, and how he had just given his life to the Lord.

"I'm sorry, but I get too emotional when I share this" she said to me, "May I have him share his story himself?" I said that would be great, and a shy young man approached me. As he spoke to me, he shared how he was about to commit suicide one night, and was preparing to end his life. As he planned out his own death, for some unexplained reason he decided to bathe, and began to fill the bathtub.

He told me that, as he was about to take his final bath, he remembered that his brother had given to him a tape of a Christian program he had recorded and had asked him to listen to the message. Not wanting to enter into eternity without doing this one last thing for his brother, he brought out a portable cassette player, plugged it in, and began listening to the message as he bathed.

"I was intending to kill myself as soon as the tape finished," he told me.

It so happened that the tape he was listening to was a message I had given out of the book of Revelation. As he listened to the message, the Lord convicted him of his need for salvation, and right there in the bathtub he gave his heart to Jesus.

"Pastor, I am literally alive today because of the gospel of Jesus Christ," he told me.

It is so true.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. But Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full.

Undoubtedly, Satan has done terrible things to you in your life.

You may be ready to give up.

But even as this young man came to Jesus, today you can give yourself more fully to Him and experience a deeper peace than you have ever had.

Don't give up, Jesus is there with you right now, and He will give you life, and that to the full.

Just ask.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Buried Alive

Romans 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

My father and I were standing on the platform at the front of the funeral chapel, together gazing into the casket at the body of my dad's beloved mother.

Sadly, my Grandmother died on her 90th birthday and was buried on my father's birthday.

As we stood together by her casket, my father quietly said to me, "Do you see her hands?" I looked down, and could see her hands gently folded. They were gnarled, wounded by an arthritic condition she had suffered with for many years. As I looked at her hands, my father said, "Those hands made a lot of tortillas! She used them on me a few times, too"!

I smiled with my father as he, lost in his quiet memories of his mother, silently gazed at her for few more moments and then turned and moved away.

A few minutes later my father and I were standing at her graveside as the Minister spoke a few closing words and my grandmother's shell was finally planted in the earth. As the casket was lowered into the ground my dad remained quiet, but when the dirt was poured over the casket, he let out a muffled sob and quickly turned and walked away.

With the pouring of the dirt on the casket, my father realized with finality that his mother truly was dead.

It took the burial of his mother, the pouring of dirt into her grave, to awaken him to the reality of her death.

There is just something about the pouring of dirt into a grave and covering the casket that cries out, "It is done, it is all over. They are dead".

The one thing that comforted my father at the death of his mother was his belief that she had come to know Jesus as her savior before she died. Yet even with this knowledge, when the dirt covered her coffin, he knew he would not see her again this side of heaven, and that knowledge struck something deep in his soul.

She had died.

Christian baptism speaks of this in a powerful way.

We are dead in sins and trespasses, and yet are made alive when we trust Jesus. As a dramatic picture, with incredible spiritual ramifications, we journey to the watery grave and are silently and forever buried in the water. When the believer slips under the water, it is a beautiful picture of being dead and buried in Christ. The old life is forever gone; we are finally and forever dead to the old man.

When we break the surface and come out of the water, we are identified as being resurrected in Him and are declared to be more fully alive then we have ever been.

We are raised in Him.

The water is the picture of our grave.

When we go down, and are covered by the water, it is a picture of the finality of death, like the dirt poured on my grandmother's coffin. Yet, it also becomes the symbol of our life, our new life in Jesus.

When we break the surface and come out of the water, we are now shown to be alive. More alive than we have ever been.

We are alive in Jesus, and now possess a brand new life, a life of faith in Him.

Today, may I encourage you to live a new life, granted to you gracefully through the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are, in Him, truly alive!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Pr 9:8-9) Correction is good when it is received. It can hurt sometimes, but it results in wisdom!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Put On The New Man

Col 3:10 And have put on the new man…

When the Apostle Paul commanded believers to put on the new man, he was using an image that communicated the thought of removing soiled clothes and replacing them with fresh, clean clothes. He had told them to remove the filthy clothes of their old lives, and was now encouraging them to put on the clean clothes of righteousness that is based on the new life God had given to them in Jesus.

This reminds me of something that happened to a fellow Pastor several years ago.

He was ministering in the Philippine Islands, and was about to take a picture of some of the people he had been teaching and ministering to. As he held his camera to his eye, he saw that he was too close to them to get a photograph that would include all of them. In order to get them all in the picture, he took a step back. The problem was, he had not noticed that he was standing on the edge of an open sewage pit and as you may guess, he fell right in, up to his armpits!

Do you think he wanted to keep those clothes on? Did he argue with the ones who encouraged him to remove those soiled clothes?

I don't think so.

It was in his best interest as well as the interests of others for him to get them off immediately!

He wanted the old ones off and wanted to put the new ones on!

Though this picture most certainly is disturbing, I still cannot help but believe that many Christians have simply gotten used to wearing the old stuff (you might want to read Colossians 3:1-17 to get a more full picture) and are more than satisfied to keep them on!

Today, if the Lord is speaking to you about fine tuning your life, you just might want to remember the old phrase "Off with the old, on with the new!"

Especially when it comes to your walk with Jesus!

Monday, May 2, 2011

1 Co 12:17-18 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.

There he was, standing with his baseball glove in his mouth, staring down the batter at home plate. My third baseman, my hero, the terror of Pee Wee Little League baseball players everywhere, Joseph Andrew Rosales.

Joseph was never much interested in sports. For him, involvement in athletics seemed to be something you would do once in awhile, but not necessarily something that one should get too involved in.

Being home, kicking off his shoes, and just relaxing with the family seemed to be all he was interested in. Baseball certainly wasn't something he had ever been too caught up in, but he did play for a couple of seasons, and I can't help but believe part of the reason he did this at all was because he thought I would like watching him play, and he was right.

But there he was, all eight years old of him. Standing next to the bag, chewing on his glove, waiting for the pitcher to somehow discover where the baseball had hidden in his glove so he could wind up and throw his marshmallow towards the backstop. Only this time, the pitcher actually threw the ball across the plate, and the batter somehow connected, and the ball screamed towards Joseph standing quietly at third base.

Joseph made a beautiful stop with his chest.

Dazed as he was, he somehow got control of himself, picked up the ball, threw it over the first baseman's head, and then ran off the field, directly into the arms of his Daddy who was standing on the sidelines.

As I cradled his little head in my hands, and as I consoled him and kissed his little face, I could not help but to think of how many times I have run into the arms of my heavenly Father.

Times that I have been caught off guard, hurt, and embarrassed.

Times when I needed to be held by Him, consoled by Him, encouraged by Him, loved by Him.

Touched by Him.

I also learned something else that has impacted my life tremendously.

I came to realize that I too was part of Joseph's team.

Though I wasn't on the field, still, my presence was necessary. My presence was an encouragement to Joseph, and to the rest of the team.

Then I thought about the Church, which in a way is God's team.

This led me to realize that every person on God's team is necessary; not only the ones who are on the field playing, but also the ones who are there, encouraging others.

In church, sometimes we may get the mistaken idea that only certain people are on the actual team. We may think that the pastor, elders, deacons, musicians, or Sunday school teachers are the real players, and we are only spectators, cheering them on as they fight valiantly for Jesus. We may even become sorrowful, because we think we will never be on the first team.

To make this application more personal: you may not be able to do the things you once did. Perhaps your body does not respond to commands anymore. Perhaps you lack transportation, or are unable to perform the kind of ministry you once performed, and you feel useless and unnecessary.

You need to remember one thing: you are still on the team.

Today, you just may be used by Jesus to love and encourage someone who needs a gentle word and a loving touch. You may be used today to bring comfort and security to someone desperately needing to hear from the Lord, or you may hear of something that needs immediate prayer.

Be ready, because you never know when you will be called on.

Wait and be ready, because you are on His team.