Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I stayed up until midnight listening again to the music and Bob Knapp's Sunday Message (click here).
I have two appointments this morning. One with a visitor to our church and another with a guy who wants to get back on track using his gifts to serve the Lord.
This will be a very, very busy week. We must transform the campus into a festive environment for tomorrow evening's outreach. I wanna get out door-to-door in my neighborhood with fliers again.
We have yet to tie up loose ends with two ministries which are debuting this Sunday:
1) The BellRoad Express (Children's Church)
2) Iglesia Bautista Bell Road
Here is the column I just submitted for next week's Auburn Journal. We're gonna be living with this one all of our lives:
Monday, October 29, 2007
Yesterday's morning service is uploaded (click here). Bob Knapp preached a sermon illustrated by candlelight. I led the worship team and wanted to upload all of it for the day. So, this is the chance to hear the rough cut in its entirety.
The prelude singing starts with us warming up with Matt Klein's song 'Closer', then I transition to one of my favorite by Kalamazoo psalmist, Jeremy Morris (Harden Not Your Heart).
Should you choose to listen, you''ll hear us 'chew our way through' that old hymn I learned from Betty Eichenbaum while we were at Snyder Lane Baptist Church in Rohnert Park (Trust, Try, Prove Me) complete with a whistle-while you meditate verse.
Sunday was my first Sunday in the 4th quarter of my first year at BellRoad. During announcements, I brought up the 4 captains that, early on, I had called upon to choose and develop team members. I rehearsed a couple other important developmental issues that have taken place during the first three quarters.
We sing 'Holy, Holy, Holy' and 'There's Room at the Cross'. When I edit this, I will leave in the songs that are in the Public Domain (and the two written by friends of mine).
The entire service (with pre-service music) is 93 minutes. Bob's message resulted in a number of decisions. In fact, several people have decided to make ours their 'home church'. Of course, that blesses my heart!
Cathy had to
leave shortly after 6:00 a.m. so I have been
answering emails. It is now 7:00 and I must
head over to the church building. The ladies
from BSF will soon arrive for their
Ladies...if you are within driving distance, PLEASE, come try out BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). It is on Tuesdays from 9:10 until 11:00. It is well-organized bible-based program so I try to promote it as a vehicle for personal growth and spiritual development. Quality child care is provided!
It was good to be in the House of the Lord yesterday. The 'normal' uniform rows of chairs were replaced with tables in a festive gathering setting. Ann Arthur and volunteers procured through Women's Ministry (including some guys) set the entire room up for the special after-church event with John and Dee Price (and band).
I led the Worship Team for Sunday morning. I worked in the Sanctuary from 9:00 until midnight--readying the Audio-Visual (and chord sheets).
Rehearsal was from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. It would be good to journal this particular slice-of-life because certain 'leadership' principles surfaced while working with Brandon, Micah, Cathy, Ben, Jonathon, Vicki, Bonita, and Scott (on Sound)... and Joe (on Powerpoint).
A whole new chapter in our ministry-(ies) will begin when Matt and Justine come on board. Matt chatted online with me last night. He asked me how things went yesterday morning.
So, in preparation of them joining 'the Big Picture', I will journal the ministry event and address theological (and practical) implications of yesterday's leadership issues.
This will be a public report--naming names. I think it will be 'safe' to do so because everyone was 'behaving' well as team-players.
I'll try to write this today and publish it tomorrow.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Before dark last night we received a call that a sweet couple in our church had discovered that their son had died. On our way to be with them, we acknowledged before the Lord that the circumstances could be reversed. We knew that they would comfort us by simply being with us.
That was how we spent the evening. Sad. However, this grown son knew the Lord, Jesus Christ. We do not grieve as if we had no hope. We talked about and we prayed. This experience is the first crisis we have faced together. My morning prayers were for this precious family.
This morning, I hope to go door-to-door in my neighborhood to invite people to our church gathering on Sunday (and to the Harvest Festival...and/or to Iglesia Bautista Bell Road).
Yesterday, Mary worked on the first draft of a 500 word essay. She was struggling with the process of synthesizing and interpreting three events.
1) The story of watching the Ten Commandments with
her Dad (who has been a pastor her entire life).
2) Experiencing a walk-through tour of the Wilderness
Tabernacle that same afternoon.
3) Sharing the Tabernacle experience with a recently-
married, elderly couple.
For the paper, she was to link to three relevant websites visited as part of her research. She was also to turn in three potential titles for the essay.
What started as a major struggle for her has already become a 790 word rough draft. After she completes this essay (a few more drafts), we will publish the essay right here!
Yesterday, I received the blank patches that we will have embroidered as Sheriff-Deputy patches for the Mayberry Christmas project running in Lodi and Auburn. After much thought and trial, I also stopped at Home Depot to acquire materials for what will become the formed mantels around Andy's desk.
Here is an interesting piece on Mayberry Badges and Myers Lake from someone's visit to Southern California in 1996. (click here)
Union Gospel Mission
(in Sacramento Tonight)
If you would like to be involved, email me:
or call me (209) 323-0727
Friday, October 26, 2007
This morning Wolfgang and I met for prayer from 6:00 to 6:30. We prayed for each other's children, for the workplace, for the precious saints who gather at Bell Road, and for the lost. We also prayed for a missionary couple we know in common (Ed and Nancy Giddens).
Wolf prayed for the transition that Matt and Justine is making as they close down their household in Huntington Beach and travel North on Interstate 5 to I-80 East (until Exit 123).
...Truly as easy as 1, 2, 3
As he was praying about their move, I realized that God will cause others to come from the South, North, East, and West to help us walk step-by-step in obedience to the Vision (as it is unveiled to those who will watch and pray).
Here is a map (click here) to Bell Road Baptist Church
(home to BellRoad Radio, BellRoad University,
the Military Rose Garden, and, Lord willing, the future home
of Iglesia Bautista Bell Road, and the BellRoad Express).
This map is interactive and will get you here from anywhere in the United States. An internet friend, Andy Deck, is planning to come here from Oklahoma in December. He is participating in a major race that starts in Folsom (I think). I met Andy through his web-discovery of fbcgalt and our work with Pastor Wesley in Liberia.
That connection resulted in wonderful koinonia through emails. He encouraged my son, Joe, during his 80 day trial in Liberia. Then, a year later, his mission-sending church (Stonegate Fellowship of Midland Texas) sent ten people to help Pastor Wesley open the Medical Clinic.
Today, I have planned to do 'nothing' but read, reflect, and relax before the Lord. A month ago, Clyde McKinley suggested that I 'slow down'. I told him that I just couldn't. However, due to Wednesday's strong admonition from Chet and Jimmie, I slept longer yesterday...and plan to spend today focusing. There is a book I would like to read today. Faye McKinley loaned it to me when I started
40 Days of Pots, Pans, and Prayers.
The book is called 'Approaching God' by Steve Brown. So, that's the plan today.
Tomorrow morning, Elba, Jesse, and I are going door-to-door with fliers for Iglesia Bautista Bell Road (which is scheduled to begin on November 4th). Then, in the evening, I plan to drive to Sacramento to hear Bob Knapp deliver his long-awaited message from Philemon to those who will gather at the Union Gospel Mission. If you would like to be involved in that regional outreach, email me:
or call me (209) 323-0727
Yesterday, Mary and I went to the Auburn Regal Stadium 10 Theatre to see The Ten Commandments. Then, Jimmie, Chet, Mary, and I went to Grass Valley to go through the Tabernacle exhibit again. I read that the Southern Baptist Convention had bought and placed this model in the desert (click here to see that model).
I would like anyone (and everyone to have a chance) to see the Tabernacle that 7th Day Adventist church in Grass Valley is sponsoring. It would be helpful for those who would like to better understand what they are reading in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Hebrews, and other places where the Tabernacle or Temple worship is mentioned.
The full-size model of the Wilderness Tabernacle
is on Display at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
Today through Tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th
Admission is Free at GATE FOUR
1:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. Today and Tomorrow
Tours begin every 15 minutes and last 75 minutes
Thursday, October-something, 2007
I'm up at 3:48 to check the time but more importantly to 'catch my breath'. Last night, Jimmie, Chet, and Karla were in the Pots, Pans, & Prayer Class with me.
90 year-old Chet had been watching me interact with Lou, Bertha, Alexis, and Mary at the Supper beforehand. 'Something in the way I...' made them feel the need to compel me to 'slow down' and 'take care of myself'.
I chose not to argue the point. I was talking a mile a minute and probably breathing erratically. I asked, "Is my hair disheveled?" ...and all three nodded. So... I sat down and let Jimmie 'preach' the outline of her four-point sermon:
Be STILL and know that I am God.
Be still and KNOW that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Jimmie was very persuasive as she pounded the table to passionately punctuate her points. hehehe... Chet was smiling too. It is a beautiful memory of the church in action.
No wonder I looked as though I had been runnin' on fumes. I just wrote out some of what I had been doing below...yeah, it looks kinda like a busy time.
I had just finished a quick trip to Galt with Pastor Camarena's DVDs (and devotional CDs) in my hand. I spoke with Pastor Camarena yesterday.
Pastor Camarena is a mover-shaker. He told me that he will help any way he can to help me with the goal of reaching our Spanish-speaking neighbors with the Gospel.
Check out his church's website: click here
I had also quickly copied and printed a customized copy of Ana Bencker's outreach flier (used in Galt) to introduce this same 10-week series (on the Ten Commandments) here in Auburn at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road.
Los 10 Mandamientos
Descubra esto y mucho mas, con nuestro gran Predicador del sur de California Pastor Francisco Camarena (fundador de Iglesia). y con la Pastor Roberto Patterson
Iglesia Bautista Bell Road
707 Bell Road Auburn, Californa
Los Domingos a las 1:00 de la tarde
Para mas información
por favor llame al telefono
Jesse and Elba Medina (530) --- ----
Carla Hopkins (916) --- ----
While I had been whipping
off that flier, I was simultaneously
volleying ideas back and forth with
(the Engineer on The BellRoad Express).
Both of these new ministries will begin on the first Sunday in November (11-04-06).
We need to get everything ready-to-go before the Harvest Festival (also still being put together) on Wednesday, October 31st. Fliers for launch of both new ministries must be printed by then.
The Expert Advice column for Monday's Auburn Journal will also serve as a small announcement to the community that 'something new' is happening at BellRoad...
Hopefully, that ad will also serve to remind the Journal readers that Bell Road is hosting the Harvest Festival mentioned on the pages of their paper earlier this month.
CLICK HERE for my last Auburn Journal article
re-titled Halloween not so tricky
(originally titled 'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper')
When we were Galt yesterday, Glenn Greene saw us standing at the Taco Truck. He pulled over and told us about the new adventure he and Renee had been undertaking--that of visiting Purpose-Driven churches. I gave him a CD copy of my latest Sunday Message:
On the (Roman) Road to F.A.I.T.H.
Later, two young ladies stopped me (as I was digging through a curbside pick-up pile looking for Mayberry Props. Pastor Art Garza's eldest daughter (I remembered her name then...though it slips my mind now) and Nancy (the friend of Tommy Rackley.
An interesting end to a string-of-coincidence considering that I was just listening to this old track that very morning:
Fanning the flame, I asked both men to interpret short phrases from God's Word. This Click here for a 2-minute mp3 that demonstrates the joy we are experiencing as we hear each other 'declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.' (Acts 2:11) Together, the three of us preached through Philippians 4:4-7.
Later, in Liberia,
I used that very sermon outline as an
inspiration for this song:
Wednesday, October-something, 2007
Yesterday, Les, Bobbi, Cathy, and I went to see the Tabernacle (above). We were well-impressed...more on that later.
Cathy and I are driving to Galt this morning. Gonna do a few things there.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
So, if you wanna know the neighborhood where our new Associate Pastor (and family) will be planting himself for awhile, click here. Google says it will take him about nine minutes to drive to the studio at BellRoad Radio.
The sermon (or departure from the sermon outline) is now available online:
click here for
On the (Roman) Road to F.A.I.T.H.
The message features Polly, Joe, Cerissa, and Alexis coming to the platform for some unchartered experience.
Live, real-church singing of Matt's song "Closer" opens and closes the message.
If you're a lady...and
you're free to travel to BellRoad, we're hosting
Bible Study Fellowship every Tuesday morning at
Last night, Cathy, Darlene, Ann, and I met with Patti, Mary, and Mellisa at Applebee's to discuss a Scripture-based weight-loss program called PRISM.
Yeah...met at Applebee's to talk about losing weight! Well, Cathy and I split a meal.
Anyway, we talked for about two hours. Great stuff is gonna come from that particular conversation. To learn more about PRISM, CLICK HERE.
Here's a MUST-SEE in our region:
Currently "The Ten Commandments" (a new animated film) is showing at the Regal Auburn Stadium Theatre. The producer, Cindy Bond, graduated from Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA. She now lives in Sacramento.
The Ten Commandments
1hr 28min - Rated PG - Animation -
12:50 3:40 6:45 9:40
Read yesterday's story in the Sacramento Bee: click here
Matt Klein was called to serve as the Associate Pastor at Bell Road Baptist Church. Yea and Amen.
Celebrate with me. Listen to one of his songs (while you look at a one-page biography we put together.
Biographical Sketch: Matthew R. Klein (click here)
Here I Am.mp3
I Stand Amazed.mp3
Lets Talk About It.mp3
Listen to another song and take a good look at
Alisha Rosenau's webpage: CLICK HERE
It is 6:30 a.m. Cathy just left to work with a Home Instead client at a care home in Grass Valley.
Whew! It would be interesting to see an adrenalin level chart for me over the last few days. After all the weekend visitations, and unspeakable joy of Romans 3:24 in the Sunday morning message, and enjoying a 2 hour business meeting, I had to rush off to keep an appointment which was important to Daniel.
During the hour before going back to the church for BellRoad University, I told Cathy, "I just need to walk this off..." We walked and walked (just as we had on Saturday night).
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Debbie Wohler, our NAMB missionary at Lake Tahoe came to encourage us about our victories as we have cooperated together as like-minded believers.
Yesterday was a wonderful afternoon of introducing Matt and Justine to over 40 interested members of BellRoad. The Worship Team practiced afterwards. They sounded good to my ears.
I'm hoping for a good-sized gathering of the Saints to march forward into our quarterly business meeting. We will consider the daring proposal to call Matt Klein as our full-time Associate Pastor.
I believe that this is God's invitation to stay on track with Him. I also know that I am not 'the church'. I hope that enough eyes, ears, and vocal chords will be affirming the Yea and Amen about which my spirit has prayed and openly testified.
Hey, here is Alisha Rosenau's webpage: CLICK HERE
Friday, October 19, 2007
I suppose that the mailbags at 707 Bell Road will be piling up today because I didn't write an entry yesterday.
Sorry, folks, I was just plain too busy!
Among other needs, I helped
Emma with a
graphic for the church bulletin. She asked my
honest opinion about our advertisement for the
Harvest Dinner. I said, "Well, give me a couple
minutes and I'll come up with something." Here's
what I sent her:
While they aren't exactly 'look-alikes', John and Dee Price (members at Calvary Chapel of Auburn) will share their love of music by Johnny and Patsy as our after meal entertainment next Sunday. John and Dee will perform with their band for our Harvest Dinner (after morning services on October 28th). They have two tribute band acts:
Back in Black (Johnny Cash)
Rose of San Antone (Patsy Cline)
Johnny brought by a CD of recently-completed tracks for their upcoming release. I'll try to share something on Sunday morning as a taste of things to come.
Matt and Justine Klein have arrived and are here for the weekend. Read the entry below for a photo and an opportunity to hear four songs by them. On Sunday is an important vote among our church members which will decide whether or not they will come to serve alongside me.
Matt spontaneously created a Radio Show INTRO for me while we were chatting one night a few weeks back. His style here is much more mainstream than my own "Welcome to the Last Days...." cornball-sctick.
Give it a listen and tell me what you think:
CLICK HERE for Matt's Intro to Full Message-New Life
If you would like to get to know Matt and Justine better, please plan on coming by the church campus tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. There will be a Q and A for anything and everything for all-things-Klein.
I need to run over to the DMV today. I was there standing in line for the second time in recent days trying to help my son, Jeremiah, get his latest car registered. Faced with what seems to be ever-increasing rigmarole, I was not exactly abounding with the fruit of the Spirit in the area of Patience.
I wasn't raising my voice but I felt the need to share my frustration. Jeremiah was tapping me on the shoulder saying, "Come on, Dad, its not that big of a deal. Let's go..."
Well, anyway, I told Jerry later that I've been tapped on the shoulder by the Spirit. I need to go back and just acknowledge to the countergirl that I realize she really couldn't do anything about it.
The last thing I wanna be known as is a grouch!
October 17, 2007
Have you seen plans for the Digital World Library yet?
I was on the phone with Matt Klein a few times yesterday. I also had an important conversation with his precious wife, Justine. I love this young couple and look forward to having them come to visit us again this weekend. We will be sharing them with our church body on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and they will be leading us in Worship this Sunday morning.
Matt writes, sings, and plays piano in the style of one of my own missional mentors: Keith Green. He is pictured here holding his son, Jonah (6). That's the one who, quite seriously, informed me,
"My Dad plays piano better than you..." (I love that kid...)
and Justine is holding Evan (3).
Below, there is a link to Rodney Edward's LifeMessage. Whether or not he was ever influenced by Keith Green, Rodney's plan to 'give it away for free' certainly vibrates in sympathetic resonation.
Likewise, knowing that Matt and I shared an affinity to the prophetic, musical gifting of Keith Green was a significant factor in my very first phone conversation with him (July 27).
Read about Keith Green (click here).
Listen to Matt and Justine:
Here I Am.mp3 Written in 2005, this song came at a difficult point in Matt's life.
I Stand Amazed.mp3 Written seven years ago, while Matt was a worship leader in Huntington Beach, California. He was preparing music for the worship practice and was getting tired of doing the same songs. He asked the Lord for a new song and this came...
Lets Talk About It.mp3 Matt wrote this as a message to Christians in general. The song is about getting the word out that Jesus is Alive.
Justine and Matt recorded the vocals
at 3:00 a.m. This song is fresh out
of the oven during the last month.
I've used it for altar music a
couple times. I want Matt to play it
this Sunday too. Yeah, there's a
Keith Green vocal-moment in this.
son, Joe, was offered a position at a bank
yesterday. Knowing this young man's
strengths we are hoping that an entry-level
position at a local bank will serve his
goals well (as he pursues the completion of
his Bachelor's Degree).
Our own Deacon Wolfgang has been letting Joe work at Rosenau Motors while he has been job-hunting. Now, that has been a 'real ministry' to Joe. Getting up for work every day has been good for his soul as he faces so many other aspects of an unknown future.
I googled Wolfgang's business and found this hyperlink which contained a couple very positive 'reviews' of the good deacon's business. Check these out:
"Rosenau Motors is the most knowledgeable electric
motor specialist in town, period."
"This is the place to go to get your electric motor fixed."
Relative to the gift of gainful employment that has been extended to Joe by this godly businessman, is a letter that came in from Rodney Edwards of Service to Servants. Rodney is another one of us that God tapped on the shoulder and said (something to the effect of),
"Hey, I am about to do something new in the nation
of Liberia...and you're invited to join me".
Rodney, a businessman who has been working hard on
his goal to start small businesses in
Liberia, was thinking about exceeding the
expectations of customers. He questioned
'who is our customer?'. Below is a bit of
his published thought:
"God called us to this work, He provides for us
faithfully carry out the work that is given. We answer
solely to Him.
Our relationships with all the others that we are
privileged to be involved with - contributors, recipients,
partners, vendors and others, are the result of an
overflow of love and gratitude to our one Customer.
So perhaps (grant me a little levity here) we could
reinterpret Deuteronomy 6:4 to say,
"Hear, O Service To Servants:
The Lord our God, the Lord is our one Customer."
"God called us to this work, He provides for us
looking over their newsletter and a fresh
look at their website (click
here) , I wrote to Rodney and shared
Great to hear from you. I am learning that focus is extremely important. It’s hard to keep the work in Liberia from running away from us in too many directions, then add the daily workload here plus our local church and staying focused is mandatory.
I know that your work in growing your new church must be consuming you and Cathy. There’s no time when you couldn’t be doing “something”.
I spoke with Pastor Wesley last week and
we’re still looking for ways to partner with
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It is a rainy day in Auburn.
Our roof is experiencing some difficulties.
Deacon Mike asked me to be on hand when the
roofers arrive so I've been up there.
Cathy worked an overnight so I made supper for Joe and me. He chatted (with a headset) for a few hours with his wife. Sharon is in the Philippines--she was at an Internet Cafe' working on a paper for her MBA.
I watched a DVD of an old, old film version of David and Goliath (with Orson Welles playing the part of King Saul).
Quiet morning here at the office. The BSF ladies are running around but the rainy day seems to quiet them down as well.
Matt and Justine Klein are driving up here on Thursday and will be here for the weekend. They are being hosted for a Q and A reception on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. to which everyone in is invited. At our quarterly business meeting, the church will decide whether to call Matt as our Associate Pastor with primary responsibilities in Music, Media, and Youth. I hope that this is God's Will for our church and that the church accordingly. Alas, though, there is always 'mystery' involved in knowing and doing the will of God.
October 15, 2007
Click here for yesterday's sermon:
"On the (Roman) Road Again"
I edited the message "On the (Roman) Road Again" from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
At 8:00 a.m. and I went to the church to wait for the BSF Leadership Team to arrive at the BellRoad Campus. They always plan their Tuesday Bible Study the day before. I should try to get on the phone and encourage some stay-at-home BellRoaders to show up tomorrow and get involved with these ladies.
At 5:00 p.m., I'm gonna hang out with an unnamed guy with whom I haven't hung out much...then, there's a Leadership Council meeting at 6:30.
Vicki Novak called to check in today. She's still planning to be one of the Darling Boys at the Mayberry Christmas show on December 23rd. Her brothers who are good bluegrass pickers are also scheduled to join her. I'm excited about that.
Yesterday, after morning church, Cerissa, Daniel, Mary, Joe, and Cathy all boarded my car and we had lunch at the Sizzler. There were two clusters of BellRoad folks already assembled there.
After lunch, we drove out to the Biblical Gardens. This was a good way to add to Cerissa's understanding of the Biblical Narrative as we stopped and talked about various episodes in the Story of Christ. When we came upon the bridge by the waterfall, we noticed a man sitting on the bench with his Bible. Unfortunately we had interrupted his solitude (but we remained quiet). As we went further ahead on our path, we shared an important time of prayer. At the Garden of Gesthemane scene, our soft-spoken, corporate included the man we had seen seeking God.
Last night, after our doctrinal study (the Baptist Faith and Message), I invited Casey and Polly to take a walking tour of Downtown and Old Town Auburn. Joe, who had attended the Truth Project class, came along with us. We invested 2.5 hours altogether--becoming better friends. A pleasant stop along the way was at the Downtown Pizza Shop (where seven young people live upstairs).
Travis waited upon us. I first met Travis when the summer missionaries (Gregg and Emily) were here with us. I asked Travis to tell us about his experience jumping trains. Polly affirmed my girls' opinion that 'the pizza is quite greasy...' However, Casey and Joe affirmed my opinion that it is quite tasty as well.
Our long, enjoyable evening walk concluded with prayer for direction, wisdom, and protection.
October 13, 2007
Today, Mary and David are getting married. There's a rehearsal at 11:00 and the wedding's tonight.
Tomorrow, it looks like I'll be leading the music, so there's much to be done today.
Feeling 'under the weather' yesterday so I tried to get some rest and worked from home (mostly on the phone). Thank you, Bob Knapp, for helping me connect with a brother at the hospital.
Daniel came up last night. He has agreed to help with editing certain scenes from the Mayberry project so I'm asking Joe and Daniel to storyboard a couple scenes today.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Yesterday afternoon I went to Sutter Faith Hospital to see two of our seniors. Both men were doing well considering that they were stuck in hospital beds!
I also rehearsed with Roy and Joy Jones. Roy is playing the part of Andy in 'Christmas in Mayberry'; Joy will fulfill the role of Aunt Bee. We had a good time working through certain portions of the script. I got to read for Opie, Gomer, and...yes, even tried my Barnie Fife. This is gonna be a fun Christmas-time project!
At 6:00 p.m. last night, I met at the Downtown clock tower with seniors from Auburn Presbyterian and youth members from Colfax A/G. I was responding to the heartfelt invitation of Bill Michel to participate in a candlelight vigil to petition the Lord for peace in Burma.
Bill had previously read about my son, Joe, while he was in Thailand working with the Karen children in a refugee camp. The Karen people are an ethnic minority in Burma (Myanmar) that has been brutally terrorized during this generation's longest running civil war.
Bill's deceased wife, Esther, was a Karen. Last night's vigil was also held in her memory. I set apart some time to do some research to become better prepared to offer a closing prayer at the event. Bev Anderson from Auburn Presbyterian helped organize the event. Bev writes:
"The Karen people group in Burma are chiefly Christian. These people and other small people groups have been attacked by government troops for some years. Villages have been burned, people massacred. There are over a million people internally displaced in Burma. Many hide in the jungles running for their lives until they can get over the border to Thailand where there are thousands in refugee camps. What is happening in the cities that the news has been reporting is the tip of the volcano that is set to erupt at some point in this long running civil war. We have been in contact with groups in Thailand that are helping the people in Burma trying to keep alive in the jungles after their villages were destroyed. These are "equal opportunity massacres" of Christian, Buddhist, and other minority religion people."
I told Bill that I wasn't sure how to be involved in an 'inter-faith' assembly. A Buddhist monk (the Venerable Lob Sang Tsultrim) would be on the program as well as local artist, Stan Padilla. I try to remember Paul's appearance at the Aereopogas in order to prepare for moments like these. God gave me what to say...as I prayed.
Grace Michel (Bill and Esther's daughter) spoke with passionate eloquence about the tragedy faced by these displaced people. She is in sister in Christ who seems to be anointed for this service. God has opened a door for her to work with a group who will produce public service announcements with thirty celebrities.
Grace spoke to the youth from Colfax after the event and humbly shared that she doesn't really have any experience with video production (and all that). She is simply walking through doors opened before her. With a big smile, Grace told me that she used to attend the Youth Group at BellRoad when she was younger. Her pastor, Ken Winter, told me that she had attended the College and Career group as well.
I'm again reminded of the important roles teachers and youth facilitators fulfill for young people at critical stages in their developing lives. Grace is a Christian leader that I will be watching and for whom I will pray. I would guess that the psa videos will probably be like this one that Jim Carrey has released on YouTube about the situation in Burma. He is trying to inform people about the lengthy imprisonment of Nobel Prize recipient,
Aung San Suu Kyi.
(click here for Jim Carrey's video)
I was surprised to see Heidi Peterson at the ClockTower.
I have mentioned this young convert in a couple recent sermons. It was 'just a coincidence' that Heidi was at the clocktower as were gathering for the vigil. Another coincidence: Grace and Heidi recognized each other! They had worked together at In and Out Burgers.
Heidi asked to use my cellphone and called her newlywed husband, Paul, to tell him to come join us. So, this newly-baptized couple stood in the circle and heard Grace speak. In fact, Paul came to the microphone and testified toward the end.
Several months ago, one of our seniors told me about a lady in Phoenix who had read about the picketing of our church on Easter Sunday. Ann had been a member here years ago and was online looking for news from 'home'.
Yesterday another senior wrote to tell me that Ann had been online again reading about the stuff that is going on here. Perhaps she was even reading this column because she mentioned the Rose Garden article in the Sacramento Bee.
Remember this thought from the 23rd Psalm?
"Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life..."
I sometimes think about what happens in the lives of people after we leave them.
Another memory from the days of comic strips:
Lucy asks her little brother Linus,
"How come you only shined the front of your shoes?!"
"I want to make a good impression on people when I meet them; I don't care what they think after I leave."
This particular sister, Ann, has left behind a trail of goodness and mercy among the lives of BellRoad seniors.
I wrote Ann a long letter this morning--asking her to partner with us in prayer over all the work ahead of us.
I told Ann to feel free to connect with me.
My 'door' is open...
...my cell phone is on (209) 323-0727;
...and I check my INBOX frequently;
...so just KNOW that the 'new' pastor is here for you, OK?
The same goes for any of you out there...
A fact about God's economy: There is much gained by those who will simply trust that God's Ways are higher than our ways ( ...trust ...and obey).
"For there's no other way...
to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey".
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I bit the bullet and am now paying for wireless, high-speed from our Miner's Station apartment. Mary schooling with EducationPlus relies heavily on internet connectivity, Joe likes to 'chat' with his wife thousands of miles away in the Philippines, Cathy gets online jobs with Home Instead and I have really missed the privilege of publishing 3:00 a.m. bedside webpage entries.
This morning I met with John and Dee Price at our campus. They have two tribute band acts:
Back in Black (Johnny Cash)
Rose of San Antone (Patsy Cline)
They will be performing with their band for our Harvest Dinner (after morning services on October 28th).
John has a full, resonant timbre in his speaking voice. I can't wait to hear their demo tracks for the upcoming CD they are currently recording. They're supposed to bring me a copy tomorrow.
Here's a question that will be of interest to some of you:
Hi Pastor Rob,
I was curious if there is a group of people from Bell Road Baptist that are going to the Weekend to Remember marriage retreat? There is a fairly significant group discount. Do you know of any groups that are going that we could join?
Yes, there are others who want to go to the
Weekend to Remember Marriage Retreat.
Scott and April Cameron are organizing a group. I will ask her to contact you. Anybody else interested?
Feel free to write to April:
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I had a couple questions come to me recently. This first one was used as a submission for Expert Advice that will appear in next week's Auburn Journal.
Another question came in last night regarding the ongoing relationship we have had with Pastor Richard Wesley and one of the ministries he oversees in Liberia. I love the quick connection allowed by email:
My association with Pastor
Wesley began on December 12, 2002. I thank the
Lord that some little children were saved from
starvation, neglect, and abuse because a few
Christians allowed the Lord to direct their
Onward toward the Christmas in Mayberry: Cathy and I pieced together a phone for Andy's Desk and located a jug for Briscoe Darling, and got a blond wig for the Fun Girls from Mount Pilot. If anyone would like to get involved, please call me: 209. 323-0727
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I received an email from Alisha at Rancho Sordo Mudo in Mexico. She told me that, after an interruption in their internet service, she had been able to listen to "Going Deeper" from last week's church service.
I hope that she has a chance to also listen to
New Testament Problem-Solving (because there is some 'local stuff' that may help her feel reconnected with her church home).
Late yesterday afternoon, Cathy and I went prop-hunting for 'Christmas in Mayberry'. Paul at the Whistlestop (in Auburn) was a great help and offered to loan us anything he has that will help.
I told him that we would make up a prop sheet for items that we'll need. If anybody out there has any Mayberry stuff that we might be able to borrow, please contact me ASAP. (click here)
Joe and I visited one of our precious church members at Sutter Faith Hospital last night. An attendant was listening to our conversation and showed quite an interest in upcoming outreach activities.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I'm at the office. I came in before 9:00 a.m. and edited yesterday morning's message until 1:30 p.m. The ladies from BSF were here--organizing for tomorrow's Bible Study.
I spoke on the phone with Matt Klein (the fellow that I hope will become our Associate Pastor). He said he stayed up until 7:30 a.m. working on a computer program. He had a breakthrough at 7:00 a.m.
Yeah, he was sounding a bit sleepy when he answered his phone at 8:30. I told him about our Town Hall Meeting yesterday after church. I asserted the importance of revisiting and further addressing every issue brought forth. Otherwise, what is the point of asking people to share their ideas?
I also shared a bit about yesterday's sermon:
New Testament Problem-Solving
Two themes which are definitely shocking to my
own personal pattern 'business-as-usual' are:
1. Thank God for PROBLEMS
Thank God for COMPLAINTS
Definitely not my normal pattern of thanksgiving, this particular message has the power to change my life as a leader.
Here is the link to the
I included Matt and Justine's newest song (Closer) at the conclusion of the message.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Still no wireless at the apartment so I had to wait until coming into the office to get online. Last night, Joe, Cathy, and I went to a mentors' supper at Lorenzo's. Cathy and I sat within talking distance of Briscoe, Andy, Aunt Bee, Granny, and Gomer.
Today, Mary drove down to Galt to babysit for a family we love and Joe went 4-wheeling with Ben.
I'm working on my message for tomorrow:
'New Testament Problem-Solving'
Fresh on my mind and heart is a review of Melody Green's video on the life of Keith Green. Mary sat and watched some of it with me and was surprised to learn that Randy Stonehill had played such a big part in the story.
Since she has shown an interest in this story, I think that I will assign Melody's book as reading for EducationPlus.
Delynn and I spoke at great length today about the mission field and we prayed for our kids. We also discussed the upcoming mission trip to Mexico (day after Christmas).
Friday, October 5, 2007
Our three deacons and I met for 6:30 morning prayer at the Park & Ride. Then, I sat with Deacon Mike in our parking lot until 7:30 (more communication--so necessary as we bond together for the work of the Lord).
I just got online (8:00) to check email and to see if the Auburn Journal printed my story. Yeah, they did but they changed the title. I don't think it is as strong as the one I submitted but...
As for censorship (or editorial tweaking), I was also interested to see that one parenthetic bit had also been omitted. It was a reference to those who might leave comments at the Journal's website. They also chose to use their own on-file photo (instead of the ones I had attached to my story).
I did appreciate that key stylistic literary devices were left intact...so (all in all), it's OK with me.
CLICK HERE for today's Auburn Journal article
re-titled Halloween not so tricky
Hey, if you should decide to leave a comment, make sure to fill in the image verification box...and note that your comment will not appear immediately. They check and post comments periodically (usually during business hours).
If you would like to read the original submission,
'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper', then come to church on Sunday and pick up a hardcopy of our monthly newsletter (Emma used it for my column).
Elvis Presley's brother, Rick Stanley, is supposed to be getting back with me about when he is coming to Auburn. I suspect that he'll call today or tomorrow. Click here to learn more about Rick's story:
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I stayed at the church last night and wrote a 499 word essay on Halloween entitled 'True Confessions of a Party-Pooper' for tomorrow's Auburn Journal. Do you think that title might attract an unchurched person to read something on the Religion Page for the first time? We'll see.
I'll share a link to the paper tomorrow.
While searching through my files for a photo to submit, I came across a brief video that I never published. It reminds me of a power-packed time-encapsulated truth.
click here for the clip.
Jimmie (and Chet) called me this morning to ask if I had any specific prayer request for the day. I shared my heart for these intercessors and was told to 'Let Go and Let God'...that's is the line I was thinking along right before I received the phone call.
I had hung up from a fruitful conversation with a pastor in Las Vegas when Jebby called. We discussed the state of preparation for 'A Mayberry Christmas' which is being presented by our two churches (in both Lodi and Auburn). Jebby is playing the part of Andy. He and I have both produced audio-helps for CD. We will continue to share resources.
Much more to do today so... g2g.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I have worked at editing the first edition of last Sunday called Going Deeper. You can hear it on BellRoad Radio (click here). You might want to download it to burn to CD or for your iPod because it is 48 minutes long (including the new song by Matt and Justine Klein used for the altar).
Matt and Justine also sang along with a short clip from the sermon that I had sent them during post-production. I slipped it back in just before uploading the message in its entirety. (Listen for the Kleins singing backup at about 43:30).
A couple weeks ago, our church hosted the 7th Annual Bike Run to raise funds for Rancho Sordo Mudo (a deaf school in Mexico).
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I asked Glenn if I could use his camera to take a couple shots. One of these photos will be used to accompany the sign that was recently presented to us:
Bikers Always Welcome
Here is the column for next Monday's Auburn Journal.
This question caused me to rehearse some of the steps I had taken in my own study of Halloween. Click here for an interesting webpage which includes many aspects of its observance.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I suppose that all around the world people are wondering why hasn't pastorob published his journal entry yet. Hey, its Tuesday and that's a busy day for ol' pastor.
I'm the token male soundman for BSF. Also, its deadline day for Expert Advice. It has to be submitted before noon. Then, at noon, the foothill pastors are coming to the BellRoad Campus for our monthly prayer meeting.
Somehow, I've gotta find time to edit Sunday's Message: "Going Deeper.
Tomorrow is the deadline for the Auburn Journal's pastor's page (remember last time...I promoted a simple Easter Sunrise Service and Mr. Otterstad showed up).
I brought Joe's car (a '95 Saturn) to Auburn last night. He worked for Wolfgang yesterday and today. It is good for him to have his car again, I'm sure. His brother, Jeremiah had been using it while Joe was in Asia.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Today has arrived. Mary takes her final 'driving test' this morning in Lodi at 8:00 a.m.
So, that's where we are heading. Cathy will sub in Galt today to pay for the trip.
Yesterday's message will be uploaded tonight, Lord willing.
Great day yesterday.