Saturday, June 28, 2008
New phone numbers:
Cathy's is similar: (530) 366-2923
Make sure to note this important change and give us a call. A couple days ago, our final fully-signed sales agreement arrived from the bank that owns the house we are buying in Auburn. Therefore, our loan process has formally begun.
It shouldn't be long before we are off the church floor and fully-vested in our neighborhood of choice: The Greens.
The final results of the Friendly Competition between the Boys and the Girls in VBS, 2008 were announced yesterday at Family Night: CLICK HERE
Cathy and I have a long day and night ahead of us with various options which we must talk over.
The Union Gospel Mission outreach takes place in Sacramento at 7:30pm.
There are still preparations which must take place to transition from a week of VBS to a Sunday Morning Service. Our plan to spend the night with Curt and Jean Harjo may have to be altered.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I stopped to get a coffee and the station attendant told me that there have been over 1,000 wild fires in California. He said that the whole state is covered in smoke--no matter which way the wind blows.
Wolfgang, David, and I met for morning prayer. Wolf says that this smoky situation is an atmosphere in which believers might want to witness about 'Last Days' issues.
Tonight is the last night of VBS. See the update above.
Thursday night was a high point as we came back for a time of serious decision-making. I had the privilege of hearing a 9 year old share his heart's desire to be baptized. An 8 year old girl came to me with her mother asking to be baptized as well.
Our theme song for the evening was 'The Word'. Justine did a great job at teaching this song. The kids are going to perform it tonight at Family Night.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today started for me at 4:45am. I woke up thinking about associating key role models in the various positions that are referenced in our Discipleship Model. I then got out of bed at 5:00am and worked on this journal entry and locating the accompanying hyperlinks.
At 9:00am, we're starting something new at headquarters. Thursdays will be the day that Pastor Matt comes alongside me all day long as we attempt to grow closer to each other, closer to God and G.R.O.W. the church locally and around the world.
G.R.O.W. is an acronym that we have agreed upon to help us remain focused.
G-Giving God our very best
R-Reaching In and Out
O-Overcoming all obstacles
W-Working together with God
I hope to see great things happen as a result of our hours together. Today, however, we will need to stay somewhat close to the campus because I am the guest speaker at JOY FELLOWSHIP today. My assigned topic is "How do Seniors fit in to our Vision for Growth?"
Perhaps I will ask for their input about how they see themselves as a 'people group' to help us accomplish our Mission Statement as it is aligned with our Membership Covenant and Constitution (all available here).
Yesterday, I woke up with the sense that it would be good to take a break from the confines of the church building. On Tuesday, the smoke from hundreds of small forest fires had accumulated and inhibited our habit of taking a long walk.
So, after writing my journal entry, answering emails, and sharing certain responsibilities with our reliable staff members, I took a Day Trip with my favorite friend, Cathy.
We concluded that we would drive east on I-80 to see if a higher altitude would reveal a clearer sky. The tank was nearly full and I had two CDs that I wanted us to hear again.
G.R.O.W. (Session Three)
Fall on Me (Pastor Matt's newest song)
Here is a link to an mp3 if you would like to listen to this program or burn it to CD (or iPod) for your own roadtrip.
During the drive which took us from 1,300 to 3,000 feet, we listened to the collective voice of our co-laborers as they shared their spontaneous thoughts on what is needful for our local church.
We turned off I-80 and headed south to Squaw Valley (site of the 1960 International Winter Olympics). Daniel had attended Wrestling Camp there a few years ago. I figured it would be a great place to take my lady for the day.
It was indeed a good hunch with positive results. Here is a link to their informative website. Make sure to watch the video.
We parked the car, walked around the valley with Lily (Mary's pup) then decided to go up to High Camp (an additional 5,000 ft). A long walk at 8,200 ft. altitude made for a perfect experience. The sky wasn't clear but the crisp mountain air was very enjoyable. The sun was bright, many patches of snow are still visible, and I started imagineering some possible tie-in with Vision-Casting back home.
By the way, Walt Disney was the host at the 1960 Olympic Winter Olympics. I think that it would be interesting and inspiring to hear (or watch) any recordings of him speaking to the gathering in those days. There was a 60's era Disney-esque film playing in the free Olympic Museum but we didn't have time to watch it. Time was limited and we had to come back down the mountain to the foothills experience at Exit 123 (in Auburn).
On the way back, we listened to my 15 minute opening address at June's G.R.O.W. Meeting. That particular CD includes a pastoral introduction to Pastor Matt's newest song (Fall on Me) which serves as a segue to the companion CD. Fall on Me will be sung corporately at this Sunday Morning's Worship Service.
G.R.O.W. happens at 6:30pm on the third Monday of each month. It is the training component of our Leadership Council and is open to all growing Christians.
As we rolled in just in time to go to "Outrigger Island". Read our story at the Auburn Journal:
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
VBS is a wonderful time
in the life of a local
church. For me it is like
watching a church choir
perform. There is a great
sense of being involved in
something much greater than
any one person's ministry.
Then, as the leaders and helpers begin to truly meditate upon the words of the silly songs, and the deeper meaning of each lesson, everyone grows in Christ.
The love for the brethren grows. Night Two sometimes exhausts some of those who have been working all day and then come to volunteer for another energy-expending shift. Last night, while doing a security check, I noticed two team teachers who looked worn out. The kids had been a handful to say the least!
However, Wednesday will bring a new burst of energy, I'm sure. Children's lives are being impacted with the good news of Jesus Christ. That understanding makes a huge difference when one considers the importance of this investment in their lives. That makes me want to do my very best.
CLICK HERE for VBS Updates
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Camping out in the Choir Room isn't bad at all. Mary has an air mattress, as does Daniel. Cathy and I share one. I asked Mary what time it was when she woke up to turn off the DVD.
That's how I know that I've been semi-awake since 2:30am (it is now 4:07am). I've been thinking about the projects yet undone that need to be addressed during the weeks ahead of us. So, I got out of bed and decided to come to my office to document some of that thought.
Last night's VBS RALLY was another 'first' for multi-media presentation in our Sanctuary. Our center projector was used for Jeff Slaughter's DVD tracks with Closed Captions while the left and right projectors displayed the pledges, motto, scripture and lyrics on powerpoints slides. Much gratitude to God for our own David Price who hit several home runs at A-V Central.
Cathy and I have been involved in facilitating Lifeway's VBS each year since Jeff started writing the songs and producing the accompanying choreography videos. Fantastic Good News Ocean Odessey marked the new technological advances made to usher FBC Galt into the 'powerpoint- video projection era.'
Likewise, last year's VBS here in Auburn saw the first projection on the right half of what now wields a panoramic 3-screen potential.
I made a special slide for our VBS Children's Offering. It features photos of Zack and Alisha (a brother and sister who both grew up at BellRoad). Both young people are currently serving as missionaries, so this year's 'Friendly Competition 'between the Boys and the Girls will go toward their support.
Last night's Offering:
Boys: $27.95 Girls: $118.90
May God bless this special offering to encourage both Zack and Alisha. May He also teach all of us afresh that giving to His Work should be done cheerfully.
It was fun to watch Justine Klein work with the various age groups in learning the choreography to "God is Real." That girl has what it takes to get the kids to leave their comfort zones and try something new.
As Rick Stanley might say,
"Now, that impresses me!"
In yesterday's Auburn Journal:
It is now 4:45am. I think that I'll go back to sleep for awhile. If you didn't get a chance to hear Sunday's Message, scroll up to the top and click on the 'play' arrow.
It should open immediately with Refueling (p. 2).
Monday, June 23, 2008
Up at 5:30 this morning. Joe and Sharon have rented a room at an Auburn motel for the month. That was a bit costly but a very healthy move for a couple in their second year of marriage.
Joe agreed to continue working at US Bank here in Auburn. They will probably move to Stockton within 30 days having put a deposit on a studio apartment across the street from the UOP campus. As a result of last Monday's G.R.O.W. session, Joe and Sharon worked as a team to teach the 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School yesterday.
I have much to do before my first appointment of the day. At 9:00am, I am meeting with a distinguished gentleman named John. He visited BellRoad yesterday morning and returned Sunday night for the Creation seminar. I was surprised to see him greeting people at the door--handing out presentation materials. Andrew Edwards saw him standing around and immediately put him to work!
By the way, Andrew did an excellent presentation last night in the 3rd of four installments. We hope to get the entire series with a pdf of the powerpoint slides online sometime soon.
Tim Willette asked me if he and his firstborn, Brandon, could co-teach a survey of 1, 2, and 3 John on Sunday nights at BellRoad. For years they have had doctrinal discussions around specific books in the Bible. Mrs. Willette remarked at how much she enjoyed overhearing their interchange. Thus, a new seminar is being birthed.
Last night, I announced that the new series will start on the first week in July from 6pm to 7pm and will run through August. This class will be somewhat of a Point-Counterpoint presentation with visuals on the monitor. The survey of 1, 2, 3 John will meet in the Youth Room. Our target audience is cross-generational.
Yesterday afternoon (before and after Iglesia Bautista), I worked at editing the Audio Message of the morning sermon (Refueling: part two of three). Lord willing, it will be online by 9am.
Then, I must get right to work on more VBS Rally considerations. Mary is babysitting Tila today at 7am. Hopefully I will be able to take my son, Daniel, out on another blitz in our neighborhood with invitations to VBS before it begins with a free supper at 5:00.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Yesterday, I had an informative chat with BellRoad Bob He is now the pastor of FBC in Dunsmuir, California).
Bob: hey bud you on?
Bob: what color is your hair going to be this year
me: I've cleared with Robin Willette that she will be the object of the challenge this year
maybe Heidi will be willing to also?
Bob: I will be going pink today
me: huh? have you already done VBS?
Bob: yes today is the last day
we raised money for summer missionaries this week
Bob: I will be at Bell this weekend
me: you will?
Bob: I have been up here all week so they are giving me the weekend off.
me: hmm So, have you cleared the hair with your people?
me: You realize that it really upset some of the folks here!
BUT...it was great for me out in public...
as long as Cathy was with me
Bob: everyone is excited about it
its really too bad that you have me for a role model
Bob: when Charlie the guy I stay with up here first came to the church he had multiple-color hair
me: hmmm... Well, then, a fellow weirdo
your troubles are just beginning
Bob: I look forward to them
so we'll be seeing you on Sunday, huh?
that'll be good
14 or so kids prayed to ask Jesus
into their hearts yesterday
Would you like me to do a VBS testimony or
anything on Sunday?
me: Let me give it some thought.
me: maybe I'll work it in to my sermon
me: share with me right now about what happened and
that'll help me do the thinking
Bob: It started with the Railroad Days
We had lots of kids excited about VBS
If you look at the blog you can see the parade picture
Tonight I am going to continue and give a
"Salt and Light" message with Baptism mixed
and next week we will have baptism sunday
It was on the front page of the local paper
So how is that?
me: That's good, buddy. I'll get back with you tomorrow to
firm up how we'll handle the testimony.
Hey, that's good news about Bob in Dunsmuir. If you get a chance to look at his blog, check out the video he posted on June 6th. Bob had took the initative to transport one of BellRoad's JumpHouses all the way there for an outreach event in the Park. He is working the field! I'm very pleased to see Pastor Bob Knapp moving forward with Outreach.
I have a wonderful, recent memory of watching his bride sit in the front row of the Atrium and enjoying the vocal group, HOPE, (from CBU). Then, one week later, watching Diana laugh and laugh as she again sat in a BellRoad Front Row seat listening to Stephen B speak about pregnant women!
This morning Jimmie and Chet are hosting a Seniors' Brunch for their Genesis Class. Cathy and I are planning to attend, visit with the Saints, and hear the guest speaker, Roy Harbour.
At 3:00pm, there is an Open House in Walt and Ruth's home in celebration of their anniversary. I believe that this is their 60th anniversary.
This reminds me that Walter's family has given me permission to share his video stories online:
Personal Memories of World War II
Tonight at 7:00, God's Country will perform with wonderful harmonies at Bell Road. Here is a related story posted at the Auburn Journal:
Friday, June 20, 2008
Overslept today and missed the 6:30 prayer meeting. It is 6:50 and it takes place at Newcastle Exit. I have decided to not rush down the road to try to get there for a few minutes of prayer. Instead of succumbing to the circumstance, and missing out completely, I will pray right now:
Lord, I seek Your very best for David and Rita, for Mike and Nancy, for Wolfgang and DeLynn, for Brandon and Heidi, for Matt and Justine, and for Cathy.
Lord, You know what our church needs this morning. I trust You will protect and provide for these ten people who are so important to the healthy functioning of the entire body. Lord, will You bless them abundantly in all areas of their lives and witness?
Lord, bless the people heading West on I-80; bless those passing by in the opposite direction at this very moment. Lord, bless us in our coming; bless us in our going; and bless us in our standing still.
Yesterday, Cathy and I spent a couple hours at Camp Alta. We walked and talked with the Director, Mike Bivins. Our Kids Camp will take place there in July and Special Ministries Camp in August. It was a joy to walk with this man and to hear aspects of the Vision God has granted him. He shared in such a way that we could see a fresh, clean pond and plush green meadow as clearly as we could see the mill that has been established. I enjoy being around visionaries like Mike.
Lord, bless Camp Alta and all the souls who will step foot on that land in the season ahead.
We also made a stop to a family in Meadow Vista to drop off two of the Rick Stanley books.This family is going through the slow process of their patriarch facing his death. Lord, I pray that You will bless them all with righteousness and perfect peace.
I have a meeting with Pastor Matt at 7:30 so I will head down the road now.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Faye asked me to publish news from last night lest some forget our mid-week opportunity to refuel:
18 people in
It is Well with My Soul (Jon)
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Wanda)
I Will Sing the Wondrous Story (DeLynn)
Set My Soul Afire (Elfrieida)
Disciple's Discussion: Hindrances to Prayer
Prayer was in a circle format with each person voicing a praise, petition, or request with thanksgiving.
6 people in our Spanish Bible Study (John 3) Jesse,
Joe, Sharon, Alisha, Elba, and Jesse were in attendance.
There also was much activity down the hall at the Break. Good music. Brandon brought the Youth Message with media.
Since TeamKID has ended for the summer. We missed the sounds and sights of the little ones running around. We will have VBS all five nights of next week.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
On Sunday night I learned of two men who are in a time of transition in the realm of gainful employment. Earlier that afternoon, Cathy and I spoke with a man who really desires to be married to a godly woman. Yesterday, I received an email prayer request from our church webpage. As I start a new day, I lift these burdens to the Lord and ask for His Blessing and divine guidance in each person's life.
Yesterday was a busy day. Cathy and I visited with Doc and Rita in the morning. I shared a portion of my testimony with them. They are a precious couple. I hope to see them actively fulfill the Lord's continuous calling upon their lives.
I hosted the pastors' prayer meeting at Bell Road and was greeted by an 85 yr. old retired pastor named Steve. Years ago, Steve earned a PhD in " Rhetoric and Public Address". Of course, this area of specialization is of interest to me so I asked some questions about his study.
Dr. Steve and I sat on a bench outside our front doors and began to pray for area churches and pastors. Later, we were joined by Pastor Mark (from FBC Auburn). We discussed the various Tuesday morning issues of the day:
1. the Sonrise-Bayside alliance
2. Vacation Bible School
3. Gay Marriage in California
Then we prayed some more. Meanwhile, Jesse England installed the center projector in our sanctuary. (I think I will watch a bit of "Christmas in Mayberry" in High-Definition.)
John, Larry, Jorge, and
some major weed-whacking on
our property adjacent to the
Karla, Cathy, Elba, Sharon, Joe, Jesse, and I went to the Greens and promoted next week's VBS among the houses where we noticed signs of children at home. Along the way, I noticed a flier that announced a weekly Backyard Bible Club at the Soccer Field starting this Monday.
Sonrise is the church who is doing that outreach. The flier was in English on one side and Spanish on the other. The Kingdom of God is at hand. I led our team in prayer for the probable few at Sonrise who have the same idea. We are agreed that it is good that we are all working the field because there are certainly opposing forces hitting the streets everyday.
One of yesterday's goals was to publish my first 'blog' at the Auburn Journal. So, late last night I finished that task. It was an adaptation a journal entry.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
You may notice that I am experimenting with embediment of audioplayers on this page. I wonder how this affects the display time for those poor souls who do not have high-speed (a proble
I slept in until about 6:00 this morning. The crew (Daniel, Mary, Cathy, and I) are staying in the Choir Room at the church) on blow up mattresses. Daniel has been working with Deacon Dave on a lengthy job.
Joe and Sharon are staying with Chet and Jimmie. Joe is working at U.S. Bank during the time before he and Sharon move to Stockton to attend University of the Pacific. I've asked Joe and Sharon to be ready to team-teach a Sunday School class for kids if needs be.
Sharon has a Masters Degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary in the Philippines. During their Asian Honeymoon, they worked together in a refugee camp for Burmese children living in Thailand.
This is the column that appeared in yesterday's Auburn Journal. My contract with the Journal ends in July so I think I will start to publish a blog on their website and lead with questions about 'change' and 'transitions' for my last few "Expert Advisories."
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'm up at 5:30 this
morning. Was quite tired out
after a long day yesterday:
Saturday night, Cathy and I stayed at Curt and Jean's house. I had worked on the sermon but arose at 4:30 on Sunday morning, ready to get online and find some images to illustrate the theme of the SundayMessage:
Retooling for the Year Ahead
(PDF Visuals available here)
I had thought about some of the retooling that took place at my 'other job' during my transition year from Day Program with Developmentally Disabled Adults (while volunteering full time as a Youth Director for the church) to Associate Pastor at Praise Baptist Church (and Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries).
The other job? Well, a young mother at our church (Ailene) had asked her husband (John) if he could get me in at Allied Paper Company (where he worked in the Personnel Department).
Although I had absolutely
no experience working in the
paper industry (or driving a
forklift), the Lord blessed
me to get that high-paying
job. My job as a Utility
Clerk involved training
alongside men prior to their scheduled vacations.
Then, I would fill in for
the man on his particular
job during the 2-3 weeks
he was gone.
That job served our family well. I was still a new father to two boys (and Daniel was born during that era). That chapter in my life is fully connected to seeking the Lord at the altar. I was a young father who desired to serve God with my whole heart, mind, and strength.
That call led to serving as a bi-vocational pastor for several years. (I'm thinking of my young friend, Pastor Bob Knapp as I write.)
So, Sunday morning, I was up before anyone else (like today) and googled Allied Paper Company. Here is what I found:
An Abandoned Paper Mill
Jeremy's Allied Paper Site
I am now aware that the Spirit will reveal something more than what I was looking for. There was no thought in my mind about corrosion or abandonment when I started my google search. I was simply looking for a good photo to use as a powerpoint background.
God's provisional job at Allied Paper came to the surface during yesterday's preaching event. Words were voiced to accompany my memory of the former worksite in the Father's Day Message, 2008.
Hours after the morning message, my son Daniel wanted to learn more about a place in the line they called 'the widow-maker'. I worked that job for weeks and kept all my fingers, hands, arms, etc.
I had also watched a narrated slideshow about a similar paper mill that was reopened by a couple men who simply wouldn't give up:
in the same way
that I do.
plight of the
Paper Mills is
what I was
stepping up to
Immediately prior to Sunday School and Worship Service, I was transporting people to our church. The visitors I had invited ALL came. I am blessed by that thought.
In the church, I am calling upon all men to become fathers to the fatherless in the Name of Jesus. Toward that end, I will upload yesterday's sermon sometime this morning.
Sometime today, I also hope to write about the great Tool Exchange, our Father's Day Giveaway, and Sunday's COMEDY NIGHT with Stephen B.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
What joy to sit at a round table with all three of my sons and their ladies. Joseph and wife Sharon; Jeremiah and girlfriend, Kristen; and Daniel and girlfriend, Cerissa. This was a great Father's Day gift for me. Mary was in Galt but she did call to check in. (I think everyone but Jerry will be here for tomorrow's Father's Day Message.)
We shared the meal prepared for Alisha Rosenau's missionary report. Thanks to David Price for handling all of the A/V needs for this important event.
This morning we're leaving for Galt ourselves:
Rodney Parker finished the race marked out for him. So, I've been asked to lead a special time of corporate, melodic reflection in his memory. Pastor Mac has requested 'Victory in Jesus' just prior to his gospel message.
It's no secret. I am event-oriented. Yesterday, I posted two 'stories' on the Auburn Journal's Website for special Father's Day events at our local church.
Could you look over these stories and think about who you can 'compel' to come to the House of the Lord tomorrow? Even if you attend or belong to another church, please consider "going OUT and bringing someone IN" for our evening with StephenB at 6pm.
I will make sure that he shares a testimony for Christ Jesus sometime in the midst of his wonderful comedy routines.
Tool Exchange and Father's Day Giveaway
Comedy Night with Stephen B
We have been regularly going door-to-door inviting people to church. As a result of this week's outreach, there will (hopefully) be some people at our local church for the first time tomorrow:
I am scheduled to pick up five people at 8:50am for Sunday School. Juanita (56), her daughter Christina (20-something); Ashton (14); neighbor, Nathan (11); and the little guy (3).
Cyndi (an RN) said she would try to come with her 2 yr. old, Joshua, and husband, John. I met Cyndi while visiting a man who lives in the Convalescent Center where she works. That man is Wayne (52). I'm scheduled to pick him up at 9:50 in time for Worship Service.
The days of bus ministry seem to be behind us. However, there are still people who would come if you offered to pick them up. Please do.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Today is Friday the 13th.
Yeah, but Sunday the 15th is coming!
I just got back from Deacons' Prayer Meeting. Wolfgang couldn't be with us--had to take a trip to Redding. It was an important time of conversation generously sprinkled with laughter and then serious intercession.
Today and Tomorrow, I will stay busy promoting Sunday morning's great Tool Exchange and Father's Day Giveaway. I'll give my own Dad a call later today since the Lord's Call on my life has kept me 2300 miles away from him since 1993. That fact somewhat saddens me because I love hanging out with my Dad. Still, God blesses me to know that my Dad's well-being is in His own Fatherly Hands.
My Dad will enjoy hearing what special events we have planned for Father's Day, 2008. He appreciates the work that goes into properly promoting special events. Dad understands that side of me; in fact, he is a major influence in that area!
I'm really hopeful that people will remember our fist-ever COMEDY NIGHT on Sunday Night. Here is the column that ran in last Monday's Auburn Journal:
Here is some preliminary
stimuli regarding Sunday's
Retooling for the YEAR Ahead
What will your job as a father entail in the Year Ahead?
What tools will you need to complete the job?
Has anyone done it successfully before?
What projects have you already completed?
Who is waiting to go for a ride along with Dad?
Hebrews 12: 1-13
:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
:4-6 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
:7-11 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
:12-13 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
:1-3 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.
4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
:10-12 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
:13-19 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.
May Your deeds be shown to Your servants,
Your splendor to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
Establish the work of our hands for us—
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Slept in until 6:30. Les and Maria went to Mendocino for a mini-vacation. They asked us to stay in their home so I'm watching their cable TV (a rare treat for us).
Early this morning I watched a movie called 'Hamburger Hill' (about the war in Vietnam). I remember seeing it advertised years ago. In our youth group of the mid-eighties (FrontLine), one of the Dads said he had lived this movie. So, I'm thinking of Bud Jones today.
Bud came to a class that Cathy and I taught at our church that year "Sing, Spell, Read, and Write". I remember the smile on his face as he was succeeding at becoming a better reader. I also remember that his years after Vietnam were filled with trials. I don't know how it turned out for Bud.
Other than 'Apocalypse Now' and 'The Killing Fields', I can't think of any other films I've seen that have covered this war era. Oh yeah, 'Forrest Gump'...but does that count?
Pastor Matt just dropped by my office. He kinda does that to me. He sometimes inspires the offbeat side of the office bio-rhythm. That's what I like most about him, in fact. I'm reminded of the bumper sticker that Matt pointed out to me in the middle of a deep conversation:
The background was a swirly 'TimeTunnel' or 'Vertigo' image. The text read:
"What if the Hokey-Pokey
really is what it's all about?"
That's some food for thought on this sunny Thursday.
June 11, 2008
Yesterday morning's staff meeting was wonderful. Pastor Matt, Emma, and I are building the bond of love through prayer. As Nursery Director, Cathy joined us for the first half of our meeting (before leaving to help send off the HOPE team from CBU).
I hope to see Alisha Rosenau in God's House tonight. She was supposed to arrive from Mexico last night.
Yesterday at 4pm, Elba, Cathy, Karla, Matt, Jesse, and I went out 2-by-2 into the neighborhood where we are buying a house. We were equipped with Spanish and English materials to invite people to our local church on Father's Day for the great Tool Exchange and Give-away.
I know that all the teams were excited about where God led them. Matt and I made 4 visits.
1) Three Mexican guys outside Hector's house on Galina. Saul spoke English alright; we had a really pleasant interaction. I didn't catch the other guy's name.
2) Across the street, through an open window, we invited four other Mexicans guys. Matt gave the teenager a free coffee card invitation to the Break.
3) We followed the Spirit's prompting down the alley, past a little girl, to a house where a boy named Nathan was standing in the courtyard. I called out and asked if his mama was home. He responded that this wasn't his house. However, then a Mom and a Grandma both came to check on us. Mom turned out to be Christina (the young lady who works at the gas station). She used to work on Sundays and I would share the sermon CDs with her from the prior week.
Christina's mom (Juanita) told us that she had dedicated Christina to the Lord as a child. Christina has two sons. One is a teen and the other a preschooler.
I am now scheduled to arrive at their house on Sunday morning at 8:50 to pick up five people who span the age groups (including Nathan, the neighbor kid). They all will attend Sunday School and stay after for church.
That, my friends, is what happens when you go out on an adventure with the Spirit. We love it! It inspires us in the work of the Lord.
Cathy and I then walked to Sutter Faith in response to a Chaplain's Call (we are both chaplains there). Earlier in the day we had met with a precious 52 year old man <name withheld> who is hospitalized there. We returned in response to his desire to seek out what happens after one dies. We shared from a tract that Doc Harris had purchased for outreach. This man had prayed with a churchman years ago but really needed to reaffirm his earlier decision to live for the Lord.
Cathy and I walked from the Greens back to the Church since Daniel was using our car. We were quite tired. We later checked and discovered that the walk was 2.8 miles. So, that was our exercise for the day.
Pastor Wesley wrote to me from Liberia today:
Hello Pastor Rob,
Just wanted to check with you regarding your visit. Praise God with us. We just completed our cafeteria on the church's compound. My regards to your family, friends and church members.
I wrote back to ask which month would be better (July or August). I think that they are in their rainy season now and through July (so it probably won't matter much). I would like to have Cathy and Mary go to Liberia with me.
Since coming to Auburn, I have concentrated on building the local church, therefore, I haven't invested much time in following through with the ongoing call to Liberia. However, last year at VBS, our mission offering was responsible for sending $1100 to Pastor Wesley for ministry to children. (The other $1100 went to Pastor Shamas Pervaiz in Pakistan for the education of children as well.)
Helping Pastor Wesley establish the church's radio station will be my primary goal for this anticipated visit. He already has the building and the government's license for a frequency. I suppose I should try to help him connect with the American Engineer who was helping him by building a transmitter.
I once made contact with a doctor in Modesto who had been instrumental in establishing three radio stations in Estonia. I should allocate some time to see if I can contact him again for some counsel on the Big Picture.
It is my great hope that a ministry team of BellRoad members will go to with me to Liberia sometime in the future. I have also desired to someday visit my friends in Pakistan.
Up at 6:00am this morning. Yesterday, Cathy and I gave the entire day to opening our home (God's House in Auburn) to six sojourners from southern California.
Daniel left early on to work for the day with David Browning.
I had an important informational meeting with my associate pastor and our church treasurer. Much good should come as a result as we zoom in on an area of concern: Casting Vision for Local Church Growth
Our meeting came to a conclusion in prayer when the Music Team (HOPE) showed up. Lou Robohm also arrived to set up the Atrium with all types of small plants provided by Barry Friesen. He then set up several green areas and candlelight displays. It was a beautiful arrangement (Lou's creativity filtered for tackiness by his wife Barbara).
The 11:00am Concert was wonderful. I was thoroughly impressed by Ben's leadership of the vocal sextet. Afterwards, Cathy and I took them to the Twin Dragons Chinese Restaurant (by Auburn's famous naked statues). Then, we went on a guided tour of Old Town Auburn, to the Courthouse Museum, for a walk on the Foresthill Bridge, a scenic drive on Old Foresthill Road to 49 back to Auburn, and a fruit Smoothie for everyone. We were back at the church by 4:00pm for a tour of Bell Road's Rose Garden.
The members of HOPE were thrilled that we could provide them with wireless access to high-speed Internet (for they each had their laptops with them). So, that is how they unwound before the evening concert at 7:00.
Ann Arthur has called me and suggested that I listen to an audio track from that day's radio show on www.crown.org
It was an
interview with a Christian
who had worked at Disney as
felt that the man's insights
were important as it related
to my last sermon. I found
the interview and listened a
I was good to see Ann, Nick, and Mary sitting in the front row of the Atrium for the Evening Concert. Diana, Hannah, Peter, and David sat on the other front row.
Altogether, we had 40 chairs set up in the Atrium. There was a good number of people in attendance. I believe that God spoke to us through these young people. My primary target audience was there: several college age youth, older high school students, and younger boys and girls.
After the concert, two of our teens auditioned with the Team Leader as potential Music Department students at CBU. Two other teens listened and watched. Before the singers went home with their host families, I accompanied a precious 11 year old to sing and play for Ben as well. He had some directed advise for her to prepare herself as a serious student of music.
As a pastor I have always made it a point to try to be supportive of all activities. Sometimes that makes for a heavy schedule. Yes, sometimes it is almost exhausting--especially as I thought about a full week of VBS ahead of us (June 23-27).
Still, I remember a particularly thankless Sunday morning at Praise Baptist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We had just set up all the chairs and the PA at the church (in the rented school gymnasium). I was grumbling about something...
Then God sent me an angel. Someone I recognized as such that very instant. The purest eyes on that tiny body looked up at me, into my eyes, and gave voice to these heavensent words:
"Pastor Rob, Can I ask you a question?"
I felt something special about this moment. After all, I had been grumbling under my breath about something...or someone. Probably someone who was supposed to be there to help hadn't shown up (or whatever else would tempt me to gripe and complain).
In the instant, I knelt down to the little girl and looked directly into her eyes,
I don't remember this little girl's name but I vividly remember the night that I first noticed her. It was a bitter cold, Michigan evening when her mother (a crack addict) showed up on the doorstep at Alpha and Omega with her three daughters. The girls really weren't dressed for the freezing cold weather outside. She timidly asked us if there was any food left after the evening meal Cathy had prepared. Cathy quickly ushered them in to the table and started to make them something to eat.
"Pastor Rob, Do you like being a pastor?"
Since that cold day on the porch, these girls had been coming to church (usually without their mama) on Sunday mornings.
I laid my hands square on her shoulders and continued to let her little eyes penetrate my soul. I opened my heart and voiced these words in response to the Lord's question:
"Yes... I like being a pastor."
Monday, June 9, 2008
It is 2:00am. I just woke up and arose from the double air mattress in my office. Thinking that it must be around 5:30, I thought I'd start to work on preparing yesterday's message for the Internet. First, however, I will journal a bit about Saturday night and Sunday Morning.
Yesterday was a great day! We worked a long, FULL day. It started at 6:00am in Cool, California. Waking up in Curt and Jean's guest bed was a joy. Cathy made me a cup of coffee and I got online to locate an image from aviation history to help illustrate my message.
I was able to also find some other images which I felt would go along well with the Message that the Spirit had been laying on my heart.
before, Cathy and I invested
a few hours of quality time
with Curt and Jean. I had
wanted to follow up on some
online Greek research for
the use of the word 'power'
in the Lukan and Acts
passages chosen for Sunday.
I was busy at work (at
when I received this email
from the son of one of our
members. It was 10:16pm.
I understand that my mother forwarded my response to her on to you unbeknownst to me. Please understand that it wasn't my original intent to critique a leader in the church. But I have to know the answer to the question, so I'll ask you directly.
Do you intend to avoid preaching from Genesis and/or Revelation (and/or any "controversial" part of scripture) from the pulpit?
Yes, I could have put it off until the next day or even the day after that but I felt it best to respond ASAP since I would not want this unfinished business to clutter my mind just before preaching the SundayMessage 12 hours later. Here was my reply:
Dear <Name Withheld>,
First of all, I don't recall that your mother sent me anything that you wrote to her. I assumed that this was only between her, <her husband>, and me.
However, I am not troubled by sincere questions asked by sincere individuals. I am not certain that my response below will be accepted by you...but I was actually working on tomorrow's message when your note came in. I have taken time away from that endeavor in order to quickly respond to you.
I am currently preaching through the Book of Acts (Mission), the Book of Luke (Gospel), and the Book of Romans (Paul's Doctrinal Statement in Full Development). There have thus far been 40-some messages from these three books.
That decision doesn't have anything to do with NOT preaching controversial topics. I've approached legalized abortion and growing acceptance of homosexualtiy as a result of preaching through my 3-year series. This is an example of some of the controversial topics in which preaching verse-by-verse from the Word has taken us. I have called both of those issues 'National Sins' which bring judgment upon nations who disobey God's Word.
I have also preached a major controversial (even scandalous) topic: the death and resurrection of Jesus.
umm...I've also preached His Healing Power, His Transforming Power, that He CREATED the Heavens and the Earth.
So, to answer your simple question: I pray, study, and preach as the Spirit leads me (to the best of my ability). I do not fear MAN in the process. I am accountable to God as I preach from 'the pulpit' (wherever that may be).
Due in part to my email interaction with your Mom, we have heavily promoted a four-part 70-minute session series with Andrew Edwards called 'Creation or Evolution?'
I also promoted the movie "Expelled" (about the academic suppression of teaching Intelligent Design). So, I do what I am able as I am led by the Spirit.
As a pastor, I have been jailed twice for 'Civil Disobedience' in order to shut down a Planned Parenthood for one day two years in a row. This was to draw attention to the travesty of a so-called HEALTH ORGANIZATION going into our public schools as professionals (while simultaneously providing third-trimester abortions).
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul has taught me that "Love always trusts, provides, and protects." I try to likewise LOVE my hearers as I do my best to shepherd them in my preaching and teaching. I'll let God judge the motives of my heart and hope that my answers suffice.
Cathy read the letter right after I had penned and sent it (at 10:54pm). Do you ever wonder about the process for sermon preparation?
Take a look at the slides prepared after a good night's sleep and see if you think this letter had anything to do with the continuing development of the SundayMessage entitled Refueling for the Week Ahead.
for the pdf of the Powerpoint portion of
Refueling for the Week Ahead
I'm not yet ready to go back to sleep (Mon. 2:32am) so I will now attend to the next ministry task at hand. I just finished preparing the audio portion of this message for uploading to the Internet (and subsequent distribution through time and space to the ends of the Earth).
Here is the Audio Track for
Refueling for the Week Ahead
June 7, 2008
The day started at 6:00am. Cathy went with Wanda to work some job. Daniel came by at 8:00 for our men's breakfast. I promoted our upcoming Father's Day Service to the gathering of men.
Due to software issues (and temporary homelessness), I wasn't able to upload a journal entry yesterday. However, I did fill in for the secretary and put all the finishing touches on the Bulletin.
Wanna take a look? It is action-packed! Any help you can give me at spreading the word about any of our special events will be much appreciated.
Here's side 1: click here
Here's side 2: click here
Note the name
of Tomorrow's Message:
Refueling for the Week Ahead
Father's Day Message:
Retooling for the Year Ahead
A dear man, Rodney Parker (72) went onward to be with the LORD this week. His son (Rodger) and grandson, (Glenn) are gonna play in a reunion band with me on the day of his memorial service (one week from today).
It will happen in Galt at 11:00am on Saturday, June 14th.
The band is gonna start around 10:40. Rodger called me today and told me about a special video that Jennifer (the FBC secretary is putting together for Rodney's Life Message. I will enjoy watching that.
R.B. McCartney will be officiating over the entire service.
Cathy and I are gonna go visit Curt and Jean Harjo today. We are staying overnight there as well.
Here is a shot of Daniel and Mindi Pugliese as they ran to raise money for Leukemia research. The day before the race, Daniel had thought seriously about running this marathon with a pace-setter at 3 hours 40 minutes. Instead, he decided to stick alongside his friend, Mindi, and her sister. The sister couldn't run anymore after a couple miles so they walked most of it. That decision made for a long and very tiring day.
Mindi and her siblings had suffered through the death of their Dad five years ago on May 30, 2003. I remember the night that Mindi had stopped by our church to share the tragic news with her boyfriend. I've been interested in watching over her from a distance ever since.
I called out her name at mile 14 to shoot her photo and shot some video at the 24 mile marker. We are all really proud of Daniel for being such a loyal friend!
Here is a blog that Mindi published on myspace about her Dad's death five years later (click here).
June 5, 2008
This morning I got up early and distributed the extra accumulated trash and lawn clippings to neighboring receptacles. The truck driver also let me do an extra load from our house.
After completing our second full day of cleaning, I penned a letter to the five young men (and a few friends) who had stayed in our house for any amount of time during the last nine months. It wasn't imprecatory in nature. I attempted to speak to the issue of respect for oneself and for the other guy.
Tonight at 6:30pm Cathy actually starts her new six-week session of PRISM. Tomorrow is Day One. Although we both have been following the diet, we haven't done well at the daily recording of calorie intake. All that changes today since Cathy is a leader. She must set the best example.
Last night, after picking up Sharon and Joe, we drove to Fisherman's Wharf and had a seafood dinner. It was a cold night and rather late so there wasn't as much flavor to the streetscene.
A duo (guitar and bass) doing Stones music and a jazz saxophonist were the only street performers. Cathy worked extra hard to keep me alert on the long trip back to Galt. The evening ended for me this way:
me: just got back from sfo
been up since 4:30
how was youth?
Matt: good C U Tomorrow
June 4, 2008
With internet connection issues and software glitches, it has taken me from 4:30 to 6:30am to simply assemble and upload the components of today's journal entry (an example of 'time-management' from pastorob's personal accountability system).
Here's a few 'mission items' to note for the future:
On Monday, June 9th, Les and Maria Scoggins will host two college girls in their home overnight. Wolfgang and DeLynn Rosenau will host two of the guys. Today, I plan to call Chet and Jimmie Bent to see if they will host the other two girls. These six young people (HOPE) from California Baptist University will be featured at two concerts in our Atrium (11:00am and 7:00pm).
It appears that our friends, James and Eva Moore, will probably roll off of I-80 at EXIT 123 on that day as well. They are traveling by car from Michigan on Saturday. James and Eva were members with us in Galt. I officiated at their wedding ceremony many years ago!
On Sunday, January 25th, one of our missionaries to an unnamed people group in an unnamed nation (formerly associated in my mind with the Cold War) will speak at Bell Road. I can't say anything more about her (oops) or she will start to get concerned. After all, thousands upon thousands of enemy forces could be reading this entry on any given day. Really, it only takes one set of loose lips to sink a ship.
My Dad once put it this way:
"Even the fish wouldn't have got caught
if he had kept his mouth shut!"
So for Mary (oops) and Dad: enough said about that!
This arrived last night from our BellRoad Correspondent, Marcie Mathews:
Have you seen this clip by Johnny Cash?
click here for video
Johnny Cash's "Goin' by the Book" is enough to make me weep,
but it points to what Jesus said: "Watch and Pray"
and He also said, "Man does not live by bread alone,
but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
We really enjoyed Sunday night.
It was amazingly good!
Andrew is great! [Creation or Evolution?]
Hope the Marathon went terrific.
Here are some verses that I am choosing to collide together in preparation for this upcoming Sunday's Message:
"Rejoice in that
day and leap for
joy, because great
is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
June 3, 2008
I worked on a journal entry and it was lost when the frontpage software froze. Rather than rewrite it here's a chat with Christy Sandhoff (used by permission):
Christy: I enjoyed the "Creation or Evolution?" seminar so much. I can tell this is gonna get in over my head though, I never was good at science, but I am excellent on Faith!
me: THANKS SO MUCH for helping me out!
me: Cathy and I are tearing into the CLEAN UP at the Galt house
Christy: bless your hearts! A chore I do not envy
me: We just gotta remember that this stage of our kids' lives will never have to be lived through again
me: It was a costly transitional phase
but I don't really see what we could have done much differently
Christy: well, when it comes to kids, there is always a cost....pay me now or pay me later, but you're gonna pay
me: We laid out 'house rules' that was almost unattainable for 'normal' red-blooded college boys
Christy: this is true
me: Of course, almost everything was the fault of those who are no longer here...
I am reminded of the 10 Commandments and the total need for God's Grace
Parenting kids is kinda like an object lesson for our own experience with God.
Christy: how is that runner doing?
me: he's fine!
he was FINISHED at the Finish line but recovered fast.
Christy: I can't wait to hear how it went - will he share?
me: Yeah, good idea. Maybe on Father's Day.
Christy: what an accomplishment!
he deserves to be very proud of himself
I wonder is anyone else in the church has ever done that?
me: Good kid. He has helped us the most with our house clean up thus far.
June 2, 2008
Even though we have had wireless at this San Diego Comfort Inn, I haven't been able to spare the time to write. Also, I've been sleeping hard (no 3:00am online chats or journal entries).
7:50am. Taking care of some
church business before we
finish our morning in San
One week from today, we are hosting a vocal combo from CBU called HOPE. They are on a tour promoting the Music Department of our State University. They will do a concert at 11:00am and another at 7:00pm in the Atrium at 707 Bell Road.
I'm gonna catch up with a retrospective of our family events from Sat. and Friday.
June 1, 2008 We had to wake
up at 4:30 in order to get
prepared for the Marathon.
We managed to get Daniel to
the downtown runner drop-off
on time (6:30am).
Cathy and I parked and rode a trolley to Mile 14 where we shot photos and handed off bagels to Daniel and Mindy (his running buddy). We then took the trolley to Old Town at Mile 24. I really wanted to find a church service to attend. The only sanctuary I could see was this historic Catholic church (click here). We were late but heard 20 minutes of the homily before the Mass.
I would like to write a thoughtful reflection about this experience but that may have to wait.
We shot video at Mile 24 when Daniel and Mindy arrived. They chose to walk much of the race so it was 6.5 hours before they arrived at that marker. Daniel was full of delerious vigor at that point.
At FINISH, he was finished. We took him to the hotel to rest. Cathy and I drove to Coronado and spent a few hours walking the beach and the boardwalk. We ate supper at the Marina restaurant and then walked through the Hotel del Coronado (location of certain old movies).
During supper, Mary called to report on the Rollerskating Awards party for TeamKID.
This beach was voted as one of America's most romantic sites for a twilight walk (so that's what I chose for our twilight hours on Sunday night).
On our way back to the hotel, Bob Knapp called in to report that he had dropped off the Jump House he had used on Saturday in Dunsmuir. He gave us some upbeat news about that outreach (see Bob's Journal) and, having talked to David Price, he told me about the 'turnout' at our own Andrew Edwards seminar.
Saturday: gonna fill in...
Friday night: After we finished our final clean-up at Miner's Station (3:30pm Friday), we headed to Galt.
However, we (Cerissa, Cathy, and I) stopped at the Penryn Exit Steak House to have Brunchupper first.
Once in Galt, Cerissa went home (awat).
Cathy and I went on a VisionWalk with our son, Jeremiah. Jerry has been working hard, 'saving money' and dreaming/planning for his future. He was in a talkative mood. This was a very enjoyable conversation for us as parents. We walked over to Charlotte's house to see her. He got a call that his new band was practicing at Lodi Ave. Baptist Church that night.
When Jerry left for band practice, Cathy and I drove to Lodi to visit our friends, Eli and Barbara Tavarez. Eli is also known as the LodiAppleMan (click here: 2006 photo essay). We hung out with them for an hour, then drove by the Lodi church to hear Jerry play with Nathan, Blake, and ? It was good to see the fruit of our kid hanging out in a church on a Friday night.
After midnight, Daniel, Cathy, and I headed down the road to San Deigo to pull an all-night roadtrip.