Monday, December 30, 2013

To God Be the Glory

43 YEARS: On December 27th, 2013 I celebrated my 43rd anniversary of coming to faith in Jesus. Everybody who knows of me or my ministry knows the details that I have openly shared over the years, but what I have been thinking of is how the Lord used a natural longing in my heart to actually draw me to Himself.
From the time I was a small boy, I longed to be in love, and to be loved. Like all who ...will read this post, this kind of longing is natural as it is God given. My problem, as an unregenerate man, was that I longed to be loved by a girl, and then later, by a woman. There was more than just loneliness in me, there was an aching void that just never seemed to be filled and I thought it could be filled by a woman’s love.
As I grew older, I came to realize that I could not find myself trusting others with any depth. Of course, there are many reasons why that was so, not the least being my mother's serious and frequent illnesses and abusive treatment of her children that left me extremely insecure. I just didn't think she would survive because of her illnesses, and I grew up with a deep fear that one day I would come home and find her dead. Not a good way to grow up, as this fear led me to on one hand, desire a long lasting loving relationship but on the other to be certain that such a thing could not really happen, as you never really know when the one you love will vanish from your life.
When I grew into a young teen, I had typical crushes, but not many of them. I actually was a guy who didn't really want to have a large dating circle, so I would pretty much like somebody but not really allow myself to care too deeply for her. After the age of 16, I really only had two girls I really cared about, and both of them cared for me but were hurt by my crazy life and selfishness and they eventually just couldn't put up with me and broke up with me. When the second break up occurred, I went in to a huge tailspin, and began living a very dangerously crazy life. I was never consciously suicidal, but I certainly began taking risks that if continued, would have ended up with my death. I just didn't care any more, and I began to drink more heavily and to mix drugs and alcohol. I was so lonely, and so brokenhearted that I just pretty much gave up on life, and lost any hope I had that it could get better.
It was during this time that my friend Bill began attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, at that time a church gaining national fame for being a Hippie church. In the late summer of 1970, I went to this church for the first time, and was impressed by the love the kids seemed to have in their lives. My first visit to the church was made while I was high on marijuana, but nobody seemed to notice, as their eyes were on something (Someone?) else. All I know is that there was something there that I didn't have, and I was impressed.
Shortly after visiting the church, I almost died because I mixed "downers" with wine (overdosed) and when I survived this near death experience, I began seeking an answer for the pain my heart was feeling.
It was about three months later that the pain and hurt I was feeling, not to mention the huge amount of guilt I carried was used by the Lord to bring me to Him. The date was December 27th, 1970 and I met Him at a youth concert in Hollywood. I wish I could say that the pain was instantly removed, but it wasn't. I kept longing for a woman’s love. One day, the Lord made it clear that my plans were not His, and I submitted to Him my hopes, dreams, wishes, and pains and asked Him to place me in the same place He had put Adam, asleep to my longings. It was at that time that I met the girl who would one day become my wife.
Marie married a man "under construction", but she married a man who had learned to love Jesus more than anyone else. I have never placed Marie before the Lord, and have never looked at her to be my "savior", the one who would fill all the empty spaces of my life. Only Jesus has ever been able to do that, and the blessing is that Marie married a man who did not need to be loved but who actually wanted to love. The beautiful thing is, the more I have learned to love Jesus the more I have learned to love her.
Over these many years, I have seen God bless in so many ways. Beautiful babies, precious grand babies, and friends and church members who are too numerous to count. At the time of this writing I have taught the bible for 40 years, and am now in my 32nd year of pastoring this amazing and loving church, and my eyes tear up when I think of how unbelievably precious my Father has been to me. Truly, He has been good to me and I deeply love Him. Forty-three amazing years, filled with lessons, hurts, disappointments, losses, and sorrows that have been healed by God's amazing goodness, love, grace, mercy, compassion, and care that have overflowed in my life. To God be the glory, great things He has done. I take off my hat to the past, but I have also put on my work clothes for the future! Father, I love You and bless You for all You have done for me. Truly, my cup runneth over!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A United Heart

Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore (Ps 86:11-12) We are to serve the Lord with a complete heart, so we too pray that God will unite our heart that we might glorify Him!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ministry of the Night: A.W. Tozer

This teaching by Tozer has had a tremendous impact on my life. It is a topic that few would share today, in a time when the idea of difficulties actually working for good is foreign to many Christians. Still, his words ring with truth, and I do hope some may receive instruction through them.

If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure.
And right here let me anticipate the objection someone is sure to raise, viz., That God has no"specials" among his children. The Holy Scriptures and Christian history agree to show that he has. Star differs from star in glory among the saints on earth as well as among the glorified in heaven. Without question the differences exist; but whether they are by the decree of God or by His foreknowledge of the degree of receptivity He will find among His children I am notprepared to say with certainty, though I would lean strongly to the latter view.
If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as he is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude,unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.
To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.
This is not to teach the sanctifying power of poverty. If to be poor made men holy every tramp on a park bench would be a saint. But God knows the secret of removing things from our heartswhile they still remain to us. What he does is to restrain us from enjoying them. He lets us have them but makes us psychologically unable to let our hearts go out to them. Thus they are useful without being harmful.
All this God will accomplish at the expense of the common pleasures that have up to that time supported your life and made it zestful. Now under the careful treatment of the Holy Spirit your life may become dry, tasteless and to some degree a burden to you. While in this state you will exist by a kind of blind will to live, you will find none of the inward sweetness you had enjoyed before. The smile of God for the time will be withdrawn, or at least hidden from your eyes.Then you will learn what faith is; you will find out the hard way, but the only way open to you, that true faith lies in the will, that the joy unspeakable of which the apostle speaks is not itself faith but a slow-ripening fruit of faith; and you will learn that present spiritual joys may come and go as they will without altering your spiritual status or in any way affecting your position as a true child of the Heavenly Father.
And you will also learn, probably to your astonishment, that it is possible to live in all good conscience before God and men and still feel nothing of the "peace and joy" you hear talked about so much by immature Christians. How long you continue in this night of the soul will depend upon a number of factors, some of which you may be able later to identify; while others will remain with God, completely hidden from you. The words "The day is thine, the night also is thine" will now be interpreted for you by the best of all teachers, the Holy Spirit; and you will know by personal experience what a blessed thing is the ministry of the night.
But there is a limit to man's ability to live without joy. Even Christ could endure the cross only because of the joy set before Him. The strongest steel breaks if kept too long under unrelieved tension. God knows exactly how much pressure each one of us can take. He knows how long we can endure the night, so he gives the soul relief, first by welcome glimpses of the morning star and then by the fuller light that harbingers the morning.
Slowly you will discover God's love in your suffering. Your heart will begin to approve the whole thing. You will learn from yourself what all the schools in the world could not teach you-the healing action of faith without supporting pleasure. You will feel and understand the ministry of the night, it's power to purify, to detach, to humble, to destroy the fear of death and, what is more important to you at the moment, the fear of life. And you will learn that sometimes pain can do what even joy cannot, such as exposing the vanity of earth's trifles and filling your heart with longing for the peace of heaven.
What I write here is in no way original. This has been discovered a new by each generation of Christian seekers and is almost a cliché of the deeper life. Yet it needs to be said to this generation of believers often and with emphasis, for the type of Christianity now in vogue does not include anything as serious and as difficult as this. The quest of the modern Christian is likely to be for peace of mind and spiritual joy, with a good degree of material prosperity thrown in as an external proof of the divine favor.
Some will understand this, however, even if the number is relatively small, and they will constitute the hard core of practicing saints so badly needed at this hour if serious New Testament Christianity is to survive to the next generation.

A. W. Tozer, from the book "That Incredible Christian" 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

His Keeping Grace

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25) Thank God for His continual work in our lives! I rejoice in both His saving and keeping grace!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Glory to God

I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows, Which my lips have uttered And my mouth has spoken when I was in trouble. (Ps 66:13-14) So many of us have made promises to God when we have been in need, only to forget what we vowed after we have been delivered! May we not take sinful advantage of His goodness!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

He is who sustains us

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Ps 55:22) In the midst of concerns and fears, we can take comfort in the sustaining power and presence of God. He has said "I will never leave you, nor forsake you!" May our trust be in Him today!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. (Hosea 6:3) Jesus is returning, what a joy that will be for us! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Ultimately Matters!!

Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them. And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (Ps 39:5-7) What we value reveals what we are. When we remember that we are just passing through, it helps us to pursue what really ultimately matters!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Hope Is In Him...

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. (Ps 33:20-22) Our Hope is solid because we trust in the One who cannot fail

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seeking to be like Him!!

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Ps 32:1-5) May we see sin clearly for what it is. Someone once said "It isn't Jesus I dislike, it's His followers!" Well, today I will seek to be like Him!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Righteous Living

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Ps 24:3-5) Blessed are the poor in spirit! We recognize our need for God, and He provides the power to live righteously before Him and man! May we seek Him today! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. (Ps12:6) God's Word is pure, of highest quality, uncorrupted, and we can trust it! Hold fast to His Word today! Get into it and let it settle into your hearts! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Solid Advice!!

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful (Ps 1:1) Be careful to select your counselors wisely. Are they stable, disciplined, loving, well-taught, discerning and fruitful? Above all things, do they love Jesus? If they are overly critical, always unhappy, never satisfied, and always moving from church to church love them but avoid their counsel like the plague! Their advice will not be solid!

Monday, September 16, 2013

But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food. (Job 23:10-12) Refined in the furnace of affliction, yet purified and strengthened. May we too come to a pure faith! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Times of difficulty....

If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God And make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place. (Job 8:4-6) This is still taught today. Bildad is saying Job sinned and needs to confess, but Job had not sinned. Sometimes difficult times are simply part of God's refining process

Thursday, August 22, 2013


You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves. Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women (Neh 13:25b-26) Missionary dating? Nehemiah said that intermarriage with unbelievers was strictly forbidden, one of the reasons being that their unbelief would be introduced into the nation, not to mention the obvious: unbelief spreads. May we seek to be married to people who share our faith in Jesus!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Does God Love Us?

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Ro 5:8) Does God love us? Yes, and He gave His Son to ransom us. He loves us so much He gave His Son. He is also a Just Judge, and required sin to be dealt with. His Justice put Jesus on the Cross, and His Love kept Him there till the penalty was paid. He was resurrected that He might be Just and the Justifier of all who believe in Him. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Taking A Stand for Righteousness!!

Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. And he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers. (2 Chron 34:31-33) Would to God that our national leaders were people willing to take a stand for the Lord and encourage righteousness in our land. Since they won't, then let the church rise up and do so!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles. And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. (2 Chron 32:7-8) We need to remember that God saves by many or by few. He is for us, so who can be against us?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

True worship....

Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. Then Hezekiah answered and said, "Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord." So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. (2 Chron 29:30-31) True worship is filled with praise and is followed by offerings and real and heart-felt commitment! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beware of things that harm...

Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen (2 Chron 24:17-19) Such a sad testimony against the nation. It was so easy to leave God and trust in lifeless things. Sadly, it is still true today. Some who profess Jesus leave Him when they become attracted to things that harm. May we love Him and cling to Him, today! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

And he (Reheboam) did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord (2 Chron 12:14) May we prepare our hearts to seek the Lord! I don't like the alternative!

Monday, June 17, 2013


Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. (1 Chron 29:10-12) Amen, blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men. (1 Chron 17:16-17) This humble and awestruck response is the proper way to respond to God's amazing promises! May we learn the beauty of humility!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant (2 Ki 23:3) Sadly, this stand only lasted until King Josiah died. Then they returned to their idolatry. May our commitment be one that endures.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him (1 Ki 16:33) We are to love and worship God and not put anything before Him. "Anything" pretty much sums it up! May we have undivided hearts today!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Godly instruction...

But he (Reheboam) rejected the advice which the elders had given him, and consulted the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. (1 Ki 12:8) Wisdom comes from various sources: age, experience, education, but especially from the Lord through His Spirit and the applying of His Word. The elders who have followed God have great wisdom the young can gain from if their instruction is received with humility.

Monday, April 29, 2013

If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom (Job 13:5) May we learn when to speak and when to refrain from speaking. Being quick to hear and slow to speak often gives God time to move.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’ (2 Sa 5:2) Though Saul was king, David was the real leader, and he did so as a shepherd would, with care and concern. Leadership is determined by influence, not simply title.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Quote: There's a difference between knowing God and knowing about God. When you truly know God, you have energy to serve him, boldness to share him, and contentment in him.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday is gone...

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. (1 Co 1:25) The foolishness of the cross and its message still staggers the unbelievers imagination. That God would descend that we might ascend is mind boggling to those who know Him not! Again, Easter Sunday is gone, but His truth triumphs daily!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gospel Worship

Great thought: We definitely need to sing songs about God’s holiness. But if that’s all we sang we would eventually become condemned and fearful to approach him. If we only sang songs about God’s goodness we would probably have little holy fear and little appreciation for what he did to remove our sin. The gospel brings these glorious attributes together front and center. Justice and mercy kiss at the cross.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quote: The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came. Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.

Monday, March 11, 2013

When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel (Judges 2:10) It is so important to pass our faith to the future generations. Many from the Jesus Movement have children who do not believe. God help us to be serious about raising our kids for Jesus, and God help our children to love Him! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quote: Meditate on what you read (Ps 199:15). The Hebrew word for "meditate" means to be intense in the mind. Meditation without reading is wrong and bound to err; reading without meditation is barren and fruitless.

Monday, February 25, 2013

I read something today that is a powerful thought, so I want to share it with you. "It is ironic that the very thing the world hates about the church is its worldliness. When churches and church leaders become entangled in the web of party politics, power, greed and sexual immorality, the world's stomach turns in disgust". Wow, isn't that so very true?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Josh 4:21-24) Parents teach their children how great God is. May we do so today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

He Is Your Life

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them (Dt 30:19-20) Choose life today! Hold fast to the Lord and do His Word, and be blessed!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Falling in Love With God....

Quote: We become like that which we behold. We will never be transformed into the likeness of God or be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus until we learn how to behold His beauty. To see Him is to be like Him. As David beheld the beauty of the Lord, as he meditated on the glorious perfections and passions of God's character, he became more like God. More than that, he fell ever more in love with God.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Outlook Determines Outcome

Quote: Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trust Him Today and Every Day

Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes (Dt 1:29-30) God still will fight for us when our cause is right in His eyes. May we trust Him today!

Monday, January 14, 2013

God is True to His Word!

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Nu 23:19) God is True to His Word, and we can trust Him! He corrects and He restores. May we honor Him today!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Victory in Him !!

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” (Num 13:30-31) Courage and faith are indispensable if we are to be victors. God gave them the land, but they were to possess it. Battles will happen, but in Him we are victorious. Don't give up the fight, in Christ we overcome! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ (Num 6:24-26) This would be my desire for your blessing this new year.