Yesterday, I had a great time filling the God-given role as a 'pastor' in
our local Baptist church.
A new couple came in for their
Check-Up with the pastor at
BellRoad (me). We established early
on that they will enroll in our
membership class and join us for the
new adventure ahead.
They gave me a packet of "Ten
Commandment" bookmarks. I passed
them out at prayer meeting and we
prayed the Word. Our midweek prayer
meeting was very enriching last
night. There were eleven of us in
Of course, there's a 'Power of a
Praying Woman' goin' on down the
hall...and kids in TeamKID, and
youth in their torn-up remodel, and
babies in the nursery, Curt
preparing for Choir, and Clean up in
the Kitchen after the weekly
(yeah, its good to see the House of
God open on a Wednesday night)
Now, us old-timers in the circle of
prayer chose to pray through the Ten
Commandments and it was powerful for
By the way, we kinda feel especially
involved in anything good that
happens or is gonna happen at
BellRoad. Why? We are praying. We
are acknowledging God and asking Him
to direct our steps. We are
confessing our sins and asking Him
for correction and direction. It's
Oh, I also spent the evening hours
watching Rick Warren's Sunday
morning message at the National
Cathedral and at the Sunday Forum
John, had sent me some
links to negative criticism (and
sarcasm) from a couple of 'church
watchdogs' (or 'blogdogs' ...I guess
they're called). He asked what my
current opinion of brother Rick
I was rather blunt with him in a few
notes about my opinions of these
people. I'm not a disciple of Rick
Warren...but um...yeah, I think
we're serving the same Jesus.
Here was the forum (click
here). This is basically the
same material that Rick delivered to
the gathering of 200 pastors when I
went to Saddleback last December.
Rick's jokes don't get many chuckles
from this crowd.
And...here was his morning sermon at
the National Cathedral (click
here). Rick Warren in a suit and
a tie, see it for yourself...
I'm not going to link the critics
because I don't respect them very
much at this point. If you wanna
find them, you can google it for
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The mother of 3 siblings adopted
from Liberia wrote to me at 1:00
a.m. this morning. I had mentioned
this family in yesterday's blog but
hadn't thought that any of the email
addresses I could find for them were
current. Here is an excerpt from
You are not
going to believe this, but I am
pretty sure that my father-in-law
was a member of Bell Road for about
4 years until he recently retired
(he was in the blue grass group
there)! What a small world we live
Anyways, we are pretty close - we
are just up north on I-5. I
would love to go into more details
and we would be happy to talk with
you and would LOVE to come and share
about Liberia, Greater Love
Children's Home, Pastor Wesley, and
adoption sometime (and I'm sure Dad
would like to come along too!).
I was thrilled that the rest
of the letter was so warm and
trusting. How pleased I am that God
has given us the gift of 'close
I also heard back from Pakistan this
morning. The meetings did happen so
I'll have more to say on that
someday soon. I don't have freedom
to write whatever I'd like because
it jeopardizes ministry potential in
Cathy and I are off and running now.
It is 6:20 a.m. Hey, listen to
Sunday's Message if you missed it.
This isn't a 'feel good' message
(not that sermons are supposed to
May I share with you what the Lord has been
doing during 2007?
As you can see from the attached photos, we have
2 medical clinics, an FM Radio Station
still being constructed located between church
and clinic, a guest house still under
construction near our house where visitors will
stay on short missions' trip, latest family
photo of the Wesleys and 5 couples who got
married on December 16, 2007 at our church.
Praise God for His excellent greatness!
The Lord hid some direction for me in last
Sunday's text until 4:00 a.m. that very morning.
I was prompted to make mention of issues facing
us again at election time. My primary issue
(abortion) seems to be connected with another
(definition of marriage). Through the local Body
of Christ, I see that the prompting was due to
in-depth inquiry into the histories of my
co-laborers at Bell Road.
That's the sermon. Not much of a 'feel good'
message but it is what God delivered through me
(in spite of my congestion and tongue-tied
moments which have been mostly edited out).
Amazing: Sunday's Message also made
mention of this word (amazing). Although it was
just spontaneous, illustrative material, it is
not a throwaway thought. Today I've chosen to
meditate upon the mystery of the words we put
together. We sing songs (old and new) that
utilizes this modern-sounding word as adjectival
preface to both of these BibleStudy words:
Grace is used as a noun but, like the word
'Love', I sometimes consider it to be action
verb. The Spirit 'graces' me by going
beyond my thoughts and imagination in response
to the earnest prayers I've heard voiced in
On Sunday night, in our
Experiencing God small group, I
referenced one God-sized assignment (Liberia)
given to listening Christians over the several
In December of 2002, our initial contact with
Pastor Wesley could not at first be
substantiated through web searches. Today, there
are a number of adoptive families who have
brought some of the Greater Love children to
America to grow up among us. Although I haven't
met them, I know we have a mutual interest in
Pastor Richard and Laura Wesley (and all the
kids who have been fed, housed, or educated
through the ministries of Greater Love).
I discovered a homeschooler's blog (click
here) about one humble ministry family who
had adopted three siblings from Pastor Wesley's
home. Cathy and I remember this very children. I
read in the blog that this family had moved to
California. I wonder if they are anywhere near
Another blog graces me with a sweet story about
these same three kids (click
In 2004, Cathy and I worked with photos and
prayed for your little guys we see pictured.
Then, in 2005, my dear friends, Mike and Robin
McCall spent a month there--living right at the
Children's Home. In 2006, our son Joe lived with
the Wesley family for 80 days.
It is a great blessing for me to read of
families who have decided to publicly share what
some might have chosen to keep completely
Before coming to America, Macdonald Wreh visited
Pastor Wesley to take the photos of the children
on our behalf. At that time, Pastor Wesley told
him that some of the children would not have
survived had they not gotten to the Children's
Home when they did.
God has brought several other people into the
Big Picture since we started. For that, I give
Him thanks for loving me and gracing me in such
Monday, January 28, 2008
Yesterday, after church,
handed me a clean, digital recording of the
SundayMessage. Cathy worked in the Nursery so
she and I listened to the recording during an
Cathy and I are up early and heading to the Gym
together before starting going to our respective
job sites. I also have an email from one of our
recently-baptized members awaiting further
thought and action. This correspondence extends
a request made at the altar.
Over the next 2 days, I will be watching for
emails from Pakistan. I have contacts there who
are supposed to meet up with each other. I hope
all goes well.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
May His House be a House of Prayer.
Something like 'centripetal force'
seems to be happening in the prayer
clusters I've recently experienced:
Monday Night at the
Iglesia de Bell Road,
pastors' prayer group,
Friday mornings with
Karla and I had the
privilege of welcoming
to pray alongside us. We had
a sweet hour of prayer. Larry had a
special testimony for us. A man who
Larry knew through work had been
'visited' by a knock on the door
recently. He apparently spoke of a
young lady from Bell Road Baptist
Church because, from his descrption,
Larry figured it must have been
thought about it with wonder and
"What country was he from?"
"El Salvador, I think,"
nodded and said she
remembered that they had shown great
interest (Karla is from Honduras).
said, "He said he was
going to go there when it gets
Well, it has started. Jesse
and Elba should be returning from
Southern California soon. They were
planning to visit my friend,
Francisco Camerana, while
they were there.
The first quarter of the
Annual Check-Up (free,
Spirit-led consultations) will be an
ongoing process through March, 2008.
Cathy came up with this idea and we
are having a really fun time with
it. I think the Lord will use this
idea to establish 'His Health
Program' among us.
Alas, the old wineskin is bursting. Upon my
request, Pastor Matt composed an initial theme
to be used as our bridge from Proclamation to
Movement. Symptomatic of the burst is that you
will not hear his commissioned theme on our
recording. Attempting to mix in the music
during post-production would an interesting idea
except that I broke into a brief melody
that coincided with the theme.
Does our Minister of Media have enough George
Martin in him to make it work? Yeah, he could do
it but I will not commission for that. As you'll
see below, my own area-of-focus must be
different in this season. I can hardly wait to
see what Matt's been sittin' on!
Contentment about the soon-realization of the
vision for our own 'local media' allows me to
rewind and pause during the following
Yesterday our pastors' prayer meeting went on
awhile...(2.25 hours--mostly listening). Of
course, we don't share the topics discussed
among ourselves and before the Lord. I write
about it so I won't forget the timbre of that
(from the intimate circle), the question asked
of each other has given me a milestone to be
remembered for the Big Picture. This particular
prayer group is one of the reasons God brought
me to Auburn.
Likewise, Monday night's Leadership Council
(which is 'not' confidential) was an important
gathering. Most precious was the encircled,
hand-in-hand intercession with which we closed
our time together. That gathering had also
allowed the Big Hand®
to transcend the allotted time (6:30 to
8:20--before our little hands grasped each
Before leaving for Mexico I purposed to adjust
my lens (to the 30-60-100-fold setting). The
final half of my 50th year should be more
reflective than proactive. Plenty of seed from
our sack of beans has already been sown during
the pre-matt months. Now, we will watch and see
how that first season of preparation brings
forth the first year's harvest.
Recently someone asked me if I thought we would
get picketed again this Easter. Nope...well, not
by Luke anyway. I never mentioned that Luke and
I had a 'chance' meeting at Sierra College a
couple weeks back.
For over three
years I've written here nearly every single day
so to see that I haven't posted since Thursday
is a surprise! I'm about to start editing
yesterday's sermon so that will be available in
a couple hours.
Someday, maybe I'll write a bit about these
topics. Pastor Matt teaches that there are eight
bits in a byte. I'll probably write more than
A GPS walk around our backyard pond.
Saturday Drive with Joe.
Saturday Night Drive with Mary.
Spanish Service Ripples.
Today, Cathy will work from 10:00-6:00.
I'm asking Anna Gabbert for prayer support.
At 1:00 I will meet with Kurt about finances.
I told Madeline that I will visit this
Tonight is our Leadership Council Meeting.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The reason I haven't been writing much is due to
software and hardware issues. Due to Mayberry
video storage needs, I had moved my website
software onto an external harddrive must be
connected to AC. That means any bedside writing
(which seems to work well for me) is difficult
to do since I also desire adequate lighting (a
third outlet). Nothing that an extension cord
I just had a long talk on the phone with our
Associate Pastor Matt Klein. Again, I am so
happy that God has called him to serve alongside
me (among us). We are planning for a powerful
ministry yielded to the leadership of the Holy
Today, I spoke with
Rev. Tim Lane from the Union Gospel
Mission (Sacramento). He has asked me to speak
at Spirit Week (a time of encouragement for all
those who are enrolled in their
6 month Drug and Alcohol program). I am
honored to have been asked.
Harris (Auburn's Police Chief) and
Ray Johnson are among others who have
also been invited to bring an encouraging
message during Spirit Week. Thank you Tim and
Union Gospel Mission for the open door you have
extended to us throughout the years.
Today, it is still thawing and I'm preheating
the oven. Gonna butter up this turkey, pat her
down with some real butter, and get ready.
It's THURSDAY...but SUNDAY'S COMIN'....
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I had a terrible sinus headache that started at
5:00 a.m. It has really been bothersome
throughout the whole day. Jack and I went out on
a visitation and the med I had taken for the
headache was making me embarrassingly tired.
An old friend
from Michigan called tonight. We prayed together
and I hope to stay mindful of my brother's need
for God's Direction. I suggested that he may
wanna listen to one of these recent sermons.
When the Word is preached, the message goes out
for 'somebody.' Maybe the Lord would speak to
him through it.
On Monday night, I called
Alexander Plair (son of Pastor
Ezell Plair). We had a good conversation. He
told me that his Dad (my preaching-style mentor)
is now 80 years old. The last time I spoke with
Pastor Plair he told me that he isn't preaching
Monday, January 14, 2008
I began this morning at 6:15 a.m. My reply to
one of our members was sent at 1:58 and I
dropped off to sleep within minutes I'm sure.
So, today I'll run on a bit less-than-normal
sleep but as our Latino friends have said that
is what siesta is for. Si, we'll see if there's
a siesta along the way.
Somehow (with holiday-shifting of church
furniture), our senior-friendly, church clock has
been hidden from my view. That fact, along with
zeal for the preaching hour (and perhaps the
lack of the request for a tinkling music cue)
has resulted in two full-length messages (H.O.M.E.
and One More for Jesus). Last night, I
discovered the close to the H.O.M.E. message on
side 2 of Micah's tape. I also digitized the
analog of yesterday's tape, so I gave it an
initial review and will upload these 'preachable
moments' later today.
In the H.O.M.E. message, I mentioned going to
Bear Creek's website and seeing something that
stirred me up over significant uses of new
Here is a copy of what it was I saw there.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first ever vocal radio broadcast on
December 24, 1906 consisted of a reading
from Luke chapter two?
During yesterday's message I alluded to a bit of
Baptist History but paraphrased the 'famous'
quote and didn't cite the proper names involved.
So, I thought I'd share this:
In 1785, William Carey
was appointed the schoolmaster for the village
of Moulton. He was also invited to pastor the
local Baptist church. During this time he read
Account of the Life of the Late
and the journals of the explorer James Cook,
and became deeply concerned with propagating the
Christian Gospel throughout the world.
His friend Andrew Fuller had previously
written an influential pamphlet in 1781 titled
The Gospel Worthy of
All Acceptation, answering the
hyper-Calvinist belief then prevalent in the
Baptist churches, that all men were not
responsible to believe the Gospel.
At a ministers' meeting in 1786, Carey raised
the question of whether it was the duty of all
Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the
J. R. Ryland, the father of John
Ryland, is said to have retorted:
(and here's the attributed quote...)
"Young man, sit down;
when God pleases to convert the heathen,
he will do it without your aid and mine."
paraphrase usually goes like this:
"Young man, sit down;
if God wants to save the heathen,
he'll do it without your help!"
Upon citing this quote in my early morning
letter I read this disclaimer:
"Ryland's son, John Ryland Jr., disputes that
his father made this statement." (wikipedia)
Yesterday, a church Grandma wrote to me from
sunny Arizona and says she reads this blog to
keep up on stuff (at least from my perspective).
After yesterday morning's message and our time
at the altar, we waited until noon for our own
local church's Quarterly Business Meeting.
Although only 40-some corporate members were in
attendance, we had the quorum and we 'did our
(that sounds funny, huh Grandma?)
Toward the very end of our our Quarterly BM
(again, that sounds funny) the issue of
separation of church and state arose. Again I
let a loose recollection of 'facts' roll off my
tongue. Here is something I found in a quick
google to substantiate my recollection.
The Danbury Baptist
Association of Danbury, Connecticut sent a
letter, dated October 7, 1801,
to the newly elected President Thomas Jefferson,
expressing concern over the lack in their state
constitution of explicit protection of religious
liberty, and against a government establishment
In their letter to the
President, the Danbury Baptists affirmed
that "Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side
of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all
times and places a matter between God and
individuals — That no man ought to suffer in
name, person, or effects on account of his
religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power
of civil government extends no further than to
punish the man who works ill to his neighbor..."
As a religious minority in Connecticut, the
Danbury Baptists were concerned that a
religious majority might "reproach their chief
Magistrate... because he will not, dare not
assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws
to govern the Kingdom of Christ," thus
establishing a state religion at the cost of the
liberties of religious minorities.
Thomas Jefferson's response, dated
January 1, 1802, concurs with the Danbury
Baptists' views on religious liberty, and the
accompanying separation of civil government from
concerns of religious doctrine and practice.
Jefferson writes: "...I contemplate with
sovereign reverence that act of the whole
American people which declared that their
legislature should 'make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of
separation between Church & State."
Sunday, January 13, 2008
After watching an interesting set of interviews
with Composer Earle Hagen, I decided to withdraw
the public view of the video clips from our
Mayberry project until I have had the chance to
speak personally with Earle (Lord willing).
I will leave certain scenes on my video page but
feel it is best to see if I can get Earle's
permission to use his whistling theme song on
our tribute video.
I found a phone number for him in Palm Springs,
California but it answers with a fax tone.
So....I'm gonna try to send him a fax. The video
interview with Earle spans 10 clips over four
hours. I watched a few of them today. I think it
will be helpful to listen to the entire
I did listen to Going
Deeper and am still praying about tomorrow's message.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
and I met for early
morning prayer. Then, Mike and I sat
and talked and prayed over a few
important issues facing our precious
church family. I shared with Mike
how pleased I am to have Pastor Matt
on-board. We should be able to move
ahead with effective ministry in
Before I forget, I wanna acknowledge
that Alisha sent me a card from
Mexico. She thanked me for coming
there with her family and for being
her pastor. Her note came as a great
blessing to me so here I am saying,
'Thanks for the note, Alisha.' By
the way, Alisha's brother, Zack, has
gone back to his mission field
(though we are not as free to
discuss what it is he does).
Mary went back to Galt to
stay the night with Victoria, and to
babysit today for one of her little
and Cerissa came to
Auburn. We showed them the property
over which we are praying.
drove to Rocklin, then to Galt
(and back) dealing with paperwork
for college and for Sharon's
One More for Jesus
(In today's preparation toward Message # 35,
I plan to listen to Going
Deeper again since this is where we will pick up in Luke
Before I give it a listen, I will share some
of today's ideas connected with these same
Jesus had stepped into Peter's circumstances
and offered practical direction.
Luke 5:5Simon answered,
"Master, we've worked hard all night and
haven't caught anything. But because you say
so, I will let down the nets."
Livin' the Lyrics
of our favorite songs:
Trust and Obey
led to a major change in the circumstance.
Even so, one who draws near to holiness will
taste of a 6th sense (the Sense of
Condemnation: Isaiah 6)
"Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"
Then, the Spirit convicts us of His
"Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch
So they pulled their boats up on shore,
left everything and followed him:
looks ...as easy as 1, 2, 3
1 + partners
astonished companions) everything and
This run-through has served as a refresher,
so now I'll click on Going
Deeperwhile moving ahead toward the simple outline from
which I should preach tomorrow's message:Luke
Friday, January 11, 2008
On Thursday night, Mary
and I finished her orientation at Sierra
College. Now all four of our children are
simultaneously college students! That fact makes
this papa feel really good.
Mary is beginning her formal study of Early
Childhood Education with a course called
Human Development 1. She also is taking a
class in Word Processing. On the first day of classes,
she will seek Professor Quinlan's approval to enroll
in Child, Family, and Community.
Before going to the Sierra Campus, we visited a
mother and newborn child in the hospital.
just completed a course in the local R.O.P.
class. Her fellow student,
Kim, was also visiting Karen.
Mary with information about how to enroll there.
This way she could work at our nearby hospital
or in another local placement to enrich her
resume before she finishes her private schooling
Here's a note from an old California girl who
moved to Michigan a couple years ago.
I am stilling reading your blogs and I notice
something. You haven't mentioned Joe and his
wife for a very long time. Are things going ok
with them still, or are there some problems? I
am sure being separated by an ocean is very
hard. I hope Joe is handling all of it well.
Yeah, I'd say that Joe is doing quite well. He
works at U.S. Bank part-time and at Rosenau
Motors on the other days. He lives with Cathy,
Mary, and me and chats for hours online with his
wife, Sharon, nearly every night.
I did just mention Joe in yesterday's blog as
helping me with the music video:
Sharon's father died last year. She has adopted
me as her Daddy and we chat every couple days.
Joe has filed papers with the good folks down at
U.S. Immigration, so we all are awaiting the day
for them to be reunited.
Here's a recent email that Sharon sent to me:
Thanks for sharing to me the Christmas in
I really enjoyed watching it. I like the scene
that sung the song and it showed the lyrics and
the effects were nice too. I really like the
song as a whole, the music and the message.
"Jesus gave the meaning to tomorrow"
Oh, I like the picture sketch drawings and the
slow motion of the camera on that scene.
Also, I was touched about the message of the
unconditional love that the boy mentioned to his
Overall production is GREAT!!! The effects,
songs, people and message. Thanks Daddy!
Joe has purchased airline tickets to go visit
Sharon in February. He has been granted the
time-off his jobs. Speaking of Sharon, I saw her
online on Thursday night (Friday for her...)
me: hey sharon how you doing?
Daddy I'm doin good
me: I've already written my blog for
me: So, I'll post it when I wake up
thanks for the song "new meaning to tomorrow"
me: but anyway, I mention you in it
have read your blog... I'm now playing the song
me: a friend had written asking how it
was going for Joe and You
oh Joe and I are doing good
me: how's the day?
good! I'm keeping on track with my
devotional and writing notes for Joe in a small
papers. I enjoyed the article from Focus on the
"Bridging the Distance" I
learned from it.
Oh... I sent him present last Christmas. I just
took a picture of it and sent to him
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Last night's prayer meeting was wonderful.
Chet Bent is
bringing a 'father's teaching' on short, Old
Testament stories every Wednesday during the
weeks ahead. Chet is ninety years old. He said
he figures he can be a father to all of us!
visiting from Honduras and daughter
interpreted portions of my introduction to
We all agreed that God is gonna have to take us
step-by-step in order to realize the hope of
developing intentionally evangelistic outreach
teams who go out consistently on a weekly basis.
So....we begin with intentional prayer.
The day started at 6:30. I have converted the
Otis music video (new material) from the
Mayberry project into a wmv format.
This music video is only 3:10 so most of you
ought to be able to download it regardless of
your connection speed.
Jebby wrote the song
and they used it as a reflective scene in the
Lodi LIVE version. As you may recall, Cathy and
I saw the first two shows by the Bear Creek
church. During the first show, I clearly recall
the desire to make a music video (but I knew how
much editing still needed to be done for the
second and third reels).
So, I didn't get to create the Otis music video
until after I returned from Mexico. I assembled
the useable extant Otis clips and asked Joe to
begin juxtaposing the visuals with Jebby's song.
Joe worked on it for a couple hours then, at the
point of weariness, I tag-teamed with him and
finished it. I also edited Jebby's song by
cutting to the end early so please contact:
if you would like to hear
'New Meaning to Tomorrow' in its
While googling to see if the Lodi church had
uploaded any of their production of A Mayberry
Christmas, I came across a guy named
Job who had reprinted an article by
Ingrid had chosen to publicly critique Jebby's creative
work based solely on reading the Lodi News
article (with no further research of primary
In fact, her own article reveals that Ingrid
didn't spend adequate time with her secondary
source before she started writing. Barney
Her personal website (Slice of Laodicea)
apparently serves as a 'watchdog' for the church
of Jesus Christ.
You can read Ingrid's article for yourself (click
here) and here's the site of her radio
linked her article about Jebby's offering with
other articles under the headings of
circus church. Personally, I think this is
somewhat insensitive (maybe rude, even).
Ingrid Schlueter probably doesn't realize how much her
article would hurt the feelings of my beloved
friend and brother-in-Christ. She wonders aloud
shows up anywhere in the Script. Maybe she'll
come across this entry and rethink her own style
of public 'witness'.
I don't have much 'extra' time to keep watch
over these and other self-proclaimed church-watchdogs
that I know.
Fortunately, the Risen Lord
Jesus isn't wringing his hands bemoaning the
fact that His children are sometimes insensitive
to each other. He knows that fact and has
revealed it in His Word. Therefore, we are
called to pray for each other (especially for
those who open their mouths to boldly testify).
this wmv to bring some balance to our
penchant for negativity in the Body of Christ.
For those who seek after redemptive scenes in
life, the struggle between Clara and Aunt Bee
over religious opinion might be of some help
December 24th) in the Mayberry script).
As performed by the Auburn
cast, this video clip
is 11:19 minutes long and features the
voice of Roy Jones
(as Sheriff Taylor narrating the Nativity). I
opted for the feel of a LIVE, local church
Christmas Pageant, so the ambient sounds of
babies rustling and elders coughing remain
This clip also features
Francie Wirth as Sally Rogers,
KC Jones as Otis Campbell (in the
Jean Harjo as
and Grace Earl
as Miss Jane Hathaway.
Pastor Matt Klein
for the audio recording of the narration and
provided original piano accompaniment for the
track. That's Matt's wife,
Justine, playing the role of the
Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus (played by our
own newborn, Aaron
I have added closed captioning to make certain
LIVE scenes more accessible to the viewer who
may have missed important dialogue in the LIVE
portion of our program. I also experimented with
some special FX for the angel(s) sequence
(featuring Jaci Kirk
as Clara Edwards and the BellRoad Children's
Remember, the depth of resolution goes down
after converting an avi file into a
wmv format (however, it is much quicker to
download). For those who are taking the Intro to
Computers class at BellRoad University, all of
this will start to make more sense. In fact it
may even help you better understand
SundayMessage and the various formats involved.
For the next few sermons, I would like to
give the left-brainers some easily-accessible
sermons. Therefore, I am starting with this
One More for Jesus (Luke
5:8-27) May the Holy Spirit give me grace to
convert the adventurous right-brain stuff of my
last two BellRoad messages
into a format more easily downloaded by those
who march to the beat of a ...um
... a 'whiter' drum. We'll see... (or rather,
For several months I have been corresponding
with a spiritual descendant of Lottie Moon who
is currently in Pakistan. For purposes of
security, I'll call him Mr. Bill.
He sent out a letter today to those in America
who have sent him there.
As you may have already
heard on the news, there
was a bomb blast that reported to kill (as of this minute)
20 people. Yesterday at this same time I was at the
location of the blast! Not just once but twice I passed the
exact location where the bomb went off.
I went to the Bible
Society and their office is located
in a 150 year old building that's less than a quarter of a
mile from the blast site.
Not only do we not have
electric most of our day,
but now our gas and water is off part of the day
along with this many of our gasoline stations are closed
for they don't have fuel.
We've learned to live
with little or no electric. How to
cook around the gas and water problems. Yes, life here
is difficult. We can't deny that.
May God bless
Mr. and Mrs. Bill as they
serve the Lord in Pakistan. I was encouraged to
hear that our gifts in remembrance of Lottie
Moon have already surpassed our Christmas goal.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
snowed most of the time we were in Grass Valley
getting Mary's assessment to enter
College as academic enrichment (through
Today, Cathy and I spent the morning working
through personal finance issues in preparation
for acquiring property
On the international front, we've received
long-awaited news from Liberia. Click on this
photo to see for yourself.
Tonight, the Wednesday evening meal, TeamKid,
and BRU classes continue on our campus.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I slept in until 6:00 this morning. My sleep
wasn't restful because an old friend sent me
this comment about
CHRISTMAS IN MAYBERRY
26 min) last night:
I hope I'm the only one who did not enjoy the
production. I felt the dialog was amateurish and
having a couple of questionable women follow
up after presenting the 23rd Psalm was in poor
My quick response to John went something
No need to be sorry. I disagree... love ya, rob
Before I went to bed, I read John's comment to
Joe and to Cathy on the phone (she was working
an overnight last night). Upon my re-reading of
his note, I realized that I had not correctly
interpreted John's first sentence.
I thought he had written,
"I hope I'm not
the only one who did not enjoy the
Either way, John'sfeedback causes me to reflect.He lives several hundred miles away
from Auburn so he wasn't able to attend the LIVE
presentation (Dec. 23rd) of
script (nor could he have seen the primary
source produced LIVE by members of
Had John been there for the public presentation
on the 23rd, he could have had the benefit of me
stating that I, myself, had concluded that the
'fun girls' scene was steamier than I had
Editing with less-than-sufficient footage for
that scene caused me to make some editorial
decision which looked quite a bit different on a
4 inch preview monitor at 2:00 a.m. I had to use
the same clip several times. For more details on
the initial introduction of
please watch the Director's Commentary (if one
should surface in the month's ahead).
In fact, I had told Jebby about the difficulty I
had trying to rightly represent
(especially in a 'church' setting). That reminds
me. I think that Jebby's live play was
'funnier' than our filmed version. Another
online friend, David
'Well, there's a learning curve involved here...'
For a taste of
the difference, check out this bootleg video of
the Lodi Cast during their opening song.
John's use of the word 'amateurish' would be
better aimed at everything BUT the script.
The dialogue (as written in Jebby's script) is
actually carefully aligned with the characters
as presented by professional writers (albeit
60's writers) during the eight seasons of the
Andy Griffith Show.
If a closed-caption version is ever rendered,
then we will reveal Jebby's full script. I think
the Auburn Cast did well at getting most of the
However, the amateur
cameraman was sometimes pushing 'standby' when
he thought he was pushing 'record'... (yeah, I
hate it when that happens!). Again, the
Director's Commentary would probably address the
scene where Andy asks FloydWHY he is
staying at the jail or 'whatever-it-is' that
Helen says instead of this line:
"Why did Gomer want us
to go to the Courthouse?"
I simply did not have the actual words for
either scene anywhere on tape.
Now, this brings me to a quick remark after
seeing a questionable drama in a church years
ago. While visiting a sister church, I clearly
remember leaning over to Cathy and whispering,
"mmm, this would be hard, having a drama team
every single week."
I was thinking as a 'pastor' of real church
people (and not-a-one-of-them a working
professional actor or writer).
And while we are on the topic of amateurish poor
taste and inferior production, here are links to
my last two sermons. The latest one was poorly
recorded on a cassette (tech problems....again).
Still, God's Word is there if you don't mind
using a fork and knife:
I also delivered a message in between these two.
On Sunday night, December 30th, I addressed the
staff (and staff-family & friends) at
Rancho Sordo Mudo.
That message was entitled
From the First Day until Now.
It dealt with passages from Paul to the church
at Philippi. I'll probably wanna write down
remembrances from that message before too long.
Now, if you are really hungry, you may wanna
check out Pastor Matt
Klein as he delivers his first sermon
to the good folks up the hill on Bell Road:
Any of these messages can be downloaded as an
mp3 or for your iPod from the sermonplayer.
video of related interest. I found it while
googling Christmas in Mayberry:
Mayberry at the River (people we
haven't met with a totally-different script)
here to watch a 'real' Mayberry
Christmas from the first season of the Andy
Monday, January 6, 2008
The morning started at 5:00 a.m. I will be
leaving soon for the office. I will try to edit
and upload my last two sermons sometime today.
Pastor Matt and Justine are on the road, Lord
willing, to Utah to visit his sister. I sure
enjoy Matt's leadership in our new music
ministry. Yesterday's service was helpful to me
as I grow in the faith. Below is a link to the
latest version of our 2007 Christmas Drama.
Certain scenes have had the editing tightened
and music added.
Especially enjoyable is Jebby's song for Otis
(following his discovery of the Mayor's Bottle
As a busy
it was a challenge to also serve as cameraman
'drama coach). Then, serving as Production
Assistant, I needed
to carefully preserve the myriad video clips
gathered during seven scheduled taping sessions.
CHRISTMAS IN MAYBERRY
The days (and nights) before our public
presentation were sometimes dominated by
assembling, tweaking, editing, reviewing,
re-editing, and rendering the extant source
Knowing from the beginning the inherent risk
involved, we planned for the need to remain
flexible with the idea of adding last-minute
changes to the mix of taped and LIVE
performance. Therefore, our actors were asked to
attend 'in-character' (and in-costume).
Friday, January 4, 2008
me: hi friend. how's the day going?
a friend: Hi Pastor Rob. God is good
me: AMEN and all the time He is
a friend: Angels sure are breathing
me: haha. good way to think about it
a friend: How have you been??
me: I had a slump while in Mexico...
but that's 'normal' for me
a friend: Its been a year since we spoke;
thought you no longer loved
me: at least, I kept the LORD in the
midst of it...
but, after a whole year of whirlwind
I had to leave the family the day after
a friend: Slump??
me: and go on that mission trip.
My 'heart' just wasn't in it but I knew
it was an
important thing to do so I stuck with
Faithful God comes through as usual.
Lots of GOOD STUFF is coming to the
and I expect much more in the next
Yep, a new year!
a friend: In the midst of strife stands
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
We're leaving Mexico in about an hour. I worked
through some of the post-production editing of
the Mayberry Project (for our Director and for
her missionary sister).
It is good to have finished up some of that
leftover to-do work. Cathy and I have chatted
online nearly everyday while I've been in Mexico
(even though the connection was lost several
times in each conversation).
The highlights of this trip, for me, have been
to observe Luke Everett (the founder's son and
current director) of Rancho Sordo Mudo. He is a
gracious man of God. It is inspiring to be
around him as he tells his father's story and
hopes that it motivates others to seek God for
their mission in life.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
DeLynn, Jonathan, and Ben gave me a walking tour
of Rancho Sordo Mudo this morning. Then, we went
on a long hike up into the hills. It is windy
and cold here in Baja Mexico today.
Internet is a bit hard to get to here so I
probably won't write much until I get back to
Pastor Matt is preaching the year-end message.
Sorry I won't be there to hear it. I'm bringing
a message at the staff church service on Sunday.
I was asked to speak from the Book of
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sittin' at the airport waiting for a flight to
San Diego, then off to Mexico with the Rosenaus.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It is Christmas Morning at 6:00 a.m. I've been
up for about an hour. I had moved my software
for this webpage to an external drive (so I
could try to finish editing Mayberry).
Therefore, I haven't had ready access to update
Here's the plan: Cathy, Joe, and Mary will come
get me around 8:00 a.m. Then, we're driving to
Galt to meet with Jerry and Daniel. We will
light some candles and have a Christmas Morning
Family Service and will give gifts to each
Then, we will have a meal together. Right now, I
hope to burn a DVD of the Mayberry project to
show Jerry because he missed it.
Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be leaving with
the Rosenau family to visit Alisha at Rancho
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Last night Cathy and I attended the opening of
'A Mayberry Christmas' at
Bear Creek Community Church (in
Lodi, CA). We stayed over in Galt and will go to the Saturday
Matinee today at 2:00 p.m.
It would bless me immensely if people from
BellRoad would make the trip today. Last night's
audience was a full house. I am guessing that
500 people were there. It is a new building and
my first time in that space.
Click here to read the article in the
The set was wonderful and the acting was 'loud'
and 'clear'. It should take 1 hour and 19
minutes to get from our church:
Afterwards, we will continue to edit for our own
version of the original script but I'd like to
get to the Union Gospel Mission tonight, if
possible. It may be an all-nighter editing
session. I had software issues yesterdays so
didn't very far on Reel Two.
Our show is Sunday Night at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Last night Cathy and I attended the opening of
'A Mayberry Christmas' at
Bear Creek Community Church (in
Lodi, CA). We stayed over in Galt and will go to the Saturday
Matinee today at 2:00 p.m.
It would bless me immensely if people from
BellRoad would make the trip today. Last night's
audience was a full house. I am guessing that
500 people were there. It is a new building and
my first time in that space.
Click here to read the article in the
The set was wonderful and the acting was 'loud'
and 'clear'. It should take 1 hour and 19
minutes to get from our church:
Afterwards, we will continue to edit for our own
version of the original script but I'd like to
get to the Union Gospel Mission tonight, if
possible. It may be an all-nighter editing
session. I had software issues yesterdays so
didn't very far on Reel Two.
Too busy to write on Wednesday
Cathy and I are going to Lodi on Friday to catch
Jebby's opening of 'A Mayberry Christmas'...
and I'll continue to edit video for our version
of his script (Christmas in Mayberry).
update: I stayed up until 4:50 a.m.
editing scenes for the Auburn presentation of
Jebby's original (unreleased and yet-unlicensed)
script. I had my work cut out for me because two
of the scenes involved human error on the part
of the cameraman (me)...
I woke up at 7:30 and am ready to start again.
It has been a long time since I've worked on a
project with this much zeal (not since the
all-nighters of school days).
Yesterday, Jebby affirmed that we are placing a
note in a bottle, and launching it into the sea,
in hopes that Mr. Griffith will somehow receive
it. We hope that he will be blessed by the
impact that his own creativity had us.
We both still remember a memorable
in which we discussed how
Dick Van Dyke
sought out and found
Stan Laurel. Likewise,
eventually met Carl
Perkins (even Keaggy jammed with
McCartney after a wedding). There's nothing new
under the sun. It's fitting to pay tribute to
the most-important influences in one's life.
About the IP Attorney who started the public
comment about acquiring proper licensing, she's
right. We have no problem with rendering unto
Caesar what belongs to Caesar (and, as I said,
'paying tribute' where 'tribute is due').
I'm gonna invite Ms. IP
Atty to help me facilitate our own
small-townspeople(s) to empower Jebby with the
means to formally 'publish' his unique tribute
to The Andy Griffith Show.
Click here to read the article in the
Yesterday, my ol' friend, Ross
Farrow, ace reporter from the Lodi
News-Sentinel tipped me off about a storm a-brewin'
on the Internet over Jebby's Script
There is a 100 word limit to the comment section
of Mr. Farrow's story. I submitted an abridged
comment as a 2-parter.
Through the years, I've thought long and hard
about the popular culture which 'raised' this
motherless child. A myriad of legal opinions
about subjective laws and the registration of
ideas certainly abound.
If anyone wants to discuss their ideas with me,
I would like to invite you to travel to Liberia
with Cathy and me in February, 2008. The long
and arduous trip will give us plenty of time to
discuss the nature of creativity. In the
meantime, I'm still editing visuals as I
reconcile my own upbringing by CBS and NBC
during the sixties. Our old Sylvania only picked
up two channels! So, my 'depression-era'
consisted of walking to school in the snow and
not being able to engage in conversations about
Star Trek or the Addams Family.
It is 3:06 a.m. as I start this day. I just
turned on the light (1/2 light); Cathy is asleep
still. The wireless laptop put us to sleep
listening to the Message from yesterday morning
). As soon as I finish this entry, I must get
started on the final creative stretch of the
Here's the plan as I see it:
1) Scene by scene, Lord willing, I shall edit
the remaining video footage we shot during the
last month. Hopefully, there will be no
unforeseen emergencies to draw my attention away
from this most-important task.
2) On Tuesday, Cathy
is scheduled to teach in Galt. She wonders
whether I'll go down for the day with her. I
don't think so, I'm sure that my nose will still
be in the screen working on assembling scenes. I
would like to be 'done' with editing the video
by Wednesday afternoon so that we'll be able to
make final decisions about the 'flow' of events
on Sunday night before our Dress Rehearsal.
3) Dress Rehearsal of the LIVE portion for the
production takes place on Wednesday night.
There's an audio sequence that needs to be
dubbed with Auburn Andy's voice. Roy Jones
doesn't yet know that our Director,
has made this request. I told her that I'd do my
best. Patrice, Zack, and Robin are gonna work
out the staging on Tuesday.
Lodi's Dress Rehearsal of the entire production
will also take place Wednesday night.
4) We had
a screening of the Psalm 23 scene in church
yesterday morning. Even using the wmv file on
the sanctuary wall, the picture quality seemed
adequate for our performance.
Scene one (7 minutes)
I had really wanted to have our
big-screen installed by this time but its not
the first time I've had to say,
"Well, we tried..."
5) Thursday and Friday we will try to figure out
how best to assemble the complete black and
white video in three acts. I will need
professional counsel for this as I don't have
much experience (other than VBS family night
video shows) with church-budget video/computer
equipment(nearly non-existent in my own
6) On Friday night, Cathy and I plan to get a
room in Lodi or Stockton and attend the opening
of 'A Mayberry Christmas' at Bear Creek
Community Church (Lodi, CA). We also want to
attend the Saturday Matinee. Then, we wil meet
up with our folks at the Union Gospel Mission is
Sacramento on Saturday night before returning to
7) My sermon on this 4th Sunday of Advent will
be on Stephen's testimony where he speaks about
Moses. Today, I will also try to decide upon my
key passages from Luke and Romans to accompany
the Acts 7 passage. This way, I can marinate the
meat of next Sunday's Message while I work on
Well, we've put it 'in the budget' for 2008.
We'll vote on that budget Sunday after morning
Master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock stated that
all the fun ended after the final storyboard had
been assembled. With actual shooting his
projects then became 'work'. For me (on this
project), the fun begins now.
It was definitely 'work' trying to set up camera
angles (almost all single camera shoots),
adequate lighting, and help well-intentioned,
non-seasoned performers have the confidence to
give us 'character' for the camera. Yeah, that
was stressful. However, I think we shot more
than enough footage to have some fun editing.
Unfortunately, this laptop is the best I have to
work from. Even though we now have a
Music-Media & Youth Guy
he informed me that he is gonna stay
in his pajamas the entire day today!
Well, months ago, I warned
Pastor Matt that he'd have a hard
time keeping up with me. Like Sarah, he laughed.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
It is now 6:30 a.m. and I am nearly ready to
head out for the morning. Today is our 23rd
anniversary. Cathy and I are gonna celebrate by
getting a cup of Java City coffee at the Valero
Station. We will see if we can set some Mayberry
tickets at the counter.
During my tubtime scripture reading and
meditation, I made some plans for Cathy and me.
She has told me several times that she will go
wherever I feel we should go.
Just weeks before the Search Team from Auburn
discovered us (in Galt), I had asked Cathy to
seriously consider flying to Liberia to stay for
six months as a teacher at the Greater Love
Children's School (part of Pastor Wesley's
outreach plans). At that time, there were 100
children in attendance with just five or six
Shortly after Cathy said, 'yes and amen' to my
idea, her father was hospitalized and we learned
that his death was imminent. Then, Auburn
happened. Still, I want Cathy to have the
opportunity to see what our initial investment
in Liberia has blossomed into. Therefore, Lord
willing, that's what we will do in the early
part of 2008.
Below is a 'report page' of videos that I have
posted on google. One of the videos is entitled
"Timeline in Liberia".
Its got some digital noise...but it may be OK as
or I'll go re-edit it
but there is an essence to it
Last night the choir performed tremendously. If
you missed it, please come to watch their final
performance this Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.
Up pops David Burkhardt, the grandfather likened
to Abraham in last Sunday's Message.
David: How did program go last evening?
me: great! I really missed Diana...
but she would have been so proud of her
David: Well you know, babies just don't
cooperate the way we would like sometimes. We're
going up this afternoon and taking dinner.
me: Hannah was FRONT ROW
smiles and movement, great confidence...
compared to last year
David: ...thanks to New America Singers
me: She has made some good connections
with some of the new faces this way.
David: Any news on Sharon? Thanks for the
video link...I've already looked at one of them.
How long will the film be?
me: Joe wants to go to the philippines
but his new job just told him 'no'
the filmed portions should be one hour total
with live pageantry in the mix
I'll have more than enough footage
but can't cut too much without interfering with
so, it is all a bit iffy still...
but...I'm sure glad we plowed ahead and
David: I didn't realize that there would be
the live element. I'm going to try to bring my
Creative Arts Director up for the event.
me: yeah, the Nativity will be pantomimed
in costume to the Andy voice narratin' the Story
in his country style
I saw it staged by the cast in Lodi
it works quite well
and should make it feel better watching our
as you see costumed people around in preparation
for the big scene ahead
it is all being done LIVE in Lodi
we're gonna go see their Saturday matinee
they have a show friday night, a saturday
matinee, and a saturday night
then Jebby is planning to come to our on Sunday
May I use this chat for my blog?
David: Yes, no problem.
me: g2g to ready myself for a funeral in
Friday, December 14, 2007
Our Choir is doing a good job in rehearsal all
week for tonight's show at 7:00 p.m. Both
Cathy and Joe
are in the Choir this year.
primary role has been watching the little ones
in the Nursery.
Mary and I brought the little ones (Evan,
Isaiah, David, Peter, and Joshua)
into the sanctuary to practice sitting and
watching a Choir presentation. Yes, we were
outnumbered by these energetic children but felt
the call of God to give these guys some
This is the first time I haven't joined a Choir
for Christmas. However, it has been a good move.
With everything else going on, I am happy to not
have had to add all the rehearsal and
and I had lunch together yesterday at the
A Towne Sandwich Shoppe. We further discussed
plans for presenting a musical passion play for
I'm about to leave for Friday morning prayer
meeting with the deacons. Tonight,
coming to Auburn. He is an experienced Video
Editor so he plans to help me knock out a
majority of the scenes we've captured for
Christmas in Mayberry.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
mmm...mmm.....mmmm, the aroma of this
is startin' to really stir up the townspeople.
CLICK HERE to see what I mean. (this link may take a moment to buffer
so may it be a kairos-moment).
One might ask, "what's
to do with StoneSoup®?"
Tom Ronk has
now familiarized himself with Jebby's entire
script and is acknowledging the giftedness of my
You may remember Tom
Ronk. He had made this impression (click
here) upon my imagination during an early
Sunday morning at
(our new Music-Media & Youth Guy) has likened
his initiatory weeks among us as hoppin' a
That's right, Matt. Look around--you're on none
other than the
BellRoadExpress (and it is very
likely that we're goin' somewhere real special
by the end of 2008).
That's on-the-inside for a certain local
gathering of less than 500.
It was just Jimmie,
(and Jesus) for
prayer meeting last night but we said "yes",
by the Spirit, we said it (yes
to the glory of God (click
here) but seriously don't forget to CLICK
to see what I meant earlier. (remember, this link may take a moment to buffer
so may it be yet another kairos-moment).
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
December 24th (scene 12) in Mayberry...(click
Today, I am meditating upon next Sunday's Message:
Well, that's a chunk of meat to chew on as I
ready myself to put a Sunday meal in the oven.
So, anyone who wants to read along, feel free to
drop me an email with your insights.
I dropped Joe
off at the Park & Ride at 6:30 a.m. and passed
on the money to pay
for my plane ticket to San Diego right after
Christmas. Lord willing, I will join the
Rosenaus for a mission trip to
Rancho Sordo Mudo
for the last few days in December.
Then, I wrote Pastor
Shamas (Pakistan) a note. He has been
good about writing me regularly and sending
many, many photographs of the people among whom
he ministers. I have made another contact in
Pakistan and have tried to help connect these
two brothers as a form of mutual accountability.
and I stopped by the hospital to visit
our newest baby: Aaron
Jeffrey Knapp. He is beautiful. I
remarked that Mother didn't show any sign of
being battle-weary; she was as glowing as ever.
I told both parents that the Knapp Blessing(s)
was/were-is/are-will be mentioned in the Message
Mary also finished the biography of Keith Green
last night. She read some of it aloud for me in
the afternoon. Today, she is gonna spend the day
helping Hannah care for her little brothers in
preparation of the baby coming home.
My last conversation from yesterday
Matt: Good evening
me: hey bud
Is your lady still awake?
me: I am uploading one of her scenes
It's at about 22 percent
Matt: oh... very cool... that will be fun
me: As soon as this is uploaded, I'll
send you the link
We're gonna watch an episode of
me: the video is at 32%
so a few minutes more...
we shot two important scenes over
it will help...
Matt: how did that go
11:44 PM me: but, yeah, it will be lots of
but it should be OK 41 %
Matt: oh... I'll be up... trust me
me: tell her its the overlapping voices
11:47 PM me: Mary's says "Justine is sooo cute in
me: there's a spot where her eyes shoot
up (searching for her next line)...but it is a
keeper because Barney's eyes are moving around
so, its visually interesting
11:48 PM ....and there wasn't an overall take
that was any better...
me: kinda hard working on the equipment I
Matt: first of the year I wanna push to
get you something better
me: I'd like to set up some place with
adequate equipment to do this sort of thing.
so, in your prayers, please remember this.
11:49 PM Matt: will do... i'm with you on that
me: God could always choose to 'bless' us
in some big way in this arena
The esprit de corp that has been
through this project is gonna be a
investment as well.
Although there weren't 'parts' for lots of
actors, the ones who have been used come from a
wide variety of 'groups' within the church...
so as far as a 'whole-church' feel-good, this
will be one!
me: I just don't wanna be embarrassed at
in the outside public to see it.
Auburn has a thriving artistic-theatrical
It'd be cool if some of them would get
me: oops...that wasn't uploading..only
now I've gotta upload it
Matt: really... haha
me: it shouldn't be very long...not that
big of a file
(the Pattersons were watching
'The Rehabilitation of Otis' during this
me: Gotta think on the scene in context
me: just needed to get this much done for
Matt: got it... very good
me: mayberry never had a scene quite like
me: it is a psycho-drama piece...
Matt: very contemporary
me: so it might serve its purpose better
maybe some music though
and a fade-in, fade-out music theme
I'll have to wait to see what is on either side
well I'm goin' to bed now
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Cathy woke me up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. We
have been having a
It is now 6:07; Cathy just brought me a coffee
and we're gonna read her PRISM material.
One word from her study leapt off the page, in
light of the logos-rhema from yesterday's
the sermon (Jacob's
Altar) this word is
applied (chosen over another word...'wild') in
reference to all the little guys in our church
family. I see how 'energy' is a good word in
reference to these precious boys. On the adult
level, new energy (daily manna) and excitement
(hope) applied to the process of transformation
is a gift from God.
Recently I watched Dennis-the-Menace with Mary
and Daniel. Apparently they had really liked it
as kids. Funny, today...for the first time, I
find myself identifying with good, ol' Mr.
Last night I experimented with this promo:click
So happy to hear the news that
Aaron Jeffrey Knapp
has provided his parents with an awesome
moment just before 5:00 p.m. on Monday night.
21 inches long and weighing in at 9lb.
6oz., this special baby (as
well as his brothers and grandfather) is(are)
referenced in Sunday's Message:
We had been at 'the church' from 8:00 until
4:30. After our morning service, of course, I
went to Iglesia Bautista de Bell Road. After our
worship time and songs by a visiting la Rancho
band, we heard a bit of Pastor Francisco's
message, then we were encircled in a
prayer toward the launch of this
important ministry. The individuals who have
been meeting each week seem to be called by God
for this work. I told them from the depth of my
heart, that there is no place I'd rather be at
that time each week. God will bring the
Cathy and Joe were in Choir Rehearsal from 1:00
to 4:00 and Mary helped Jeane Harjo watch over
all the little ones from 11:30 through 4:00...so
all of us Pattersons needed a break. Cathy and I
went for a long, long walk while Joe and Mary
Afterwards Joe, Mary, Cathy, and I had dinner in
downtown Auburn (something we rarely do). I
struck up a conversation with the family seated
next to us and shared one of the new
invitational tickets to 'Christmas in Mayberry'.
We then went to the Old State Theatre to see a
movie the girls wanted to see: August Rush.
This morning, Lord willing, I will edit the
sermon from yesterday and upload it before noon.
Here's a note from my dear friend, Greg Brayton
(that blind guy who is responsible for all the
guitars and production in my online songs). He
has been in the classroom of suffering:
I go tomorrow for
to see how the new medicine is working.
I should find out on Friday. The last
couple weeks haven’t been the nicest for me. I
haven’t felt real good physically and that’s
dragged me down a little, but I know with your
prayers, I’ll get through the hard times.
I hope we get some good news on Friday
I’m justasking you to pray the same
if you have the time during the next week.
I’ll write more after Friday I’m sure.
Especially if the news is as good as I hope. I
pray that The Lord will bless you were ever you
have need. I hope to be back in touch, real
It is now 5:15 a.m. After restfully meditating
upon the Lord's goodness to me (and praying a
heartfelt prayer for my sleeping companion...
you know, her name's Cathy...), I decided to get
up and put together a sermon outline for the
Sunday Bulletin. So, I'll get to that...but
first, I just gotta record some of last night's
We shot video footage of the Mayberry Project
from 10:00 until 2:30 yesterday (see yesterday's
entry). Then, we went home to back-up the video
files onto an external harddrive. Mary was at an
all-day CPR Certification seminar and we knew,
upon her arrival home, she would be putting on a
sleek dress with high-heels, make-up, and
planning to go back to Galt for the Winter Ball.
She had already arranged for Cerissa to fix her
hair before she would leave.
During the time awaiting for the grand arrival
of our high-maintenance teenager, I began to
develop a bit of a headache...and my body was
still aching from a slip-and-crash I endured two
days before. Still, I decided that it was up to
me to make the 60 minute drive to Galt in order
for Mary to attend the Black-and-White High
This would mean that I would have about 5 hours
to 'work on my sermon' before the midnight hour
when I would pick up my girl and head back to
"Go south down the
On the way down, I turned on the
overhead light and had
Mary read aloud for me. She started
in Genesis 12 and, during the next hour,
worked her way through Genesis 18 (with a
few interruptions so that Daddy could
Once in Galt, we turned the corner of A Street
and Palin Avenue (toward the boyfriend's house)
and noticed a full parking lot at First Baptist
Church of Galt. It was a few minutes before
7:00...it looked like it was the annual
Christmas pageant. So, after dropping off the
top student at
EducationPlus, I walked into the local
church where I had served from 1996 to 2006 and
sat down next to Mike
It was a wonderful program! I really enjoyed
seeing and hearing the story of Baby Jesus
Afterwards, I ran by our house to touch base
with my son, Jeremiah, and then drove out to the
home of Eli and
Elias Jr. (from Michigan) was
visiting so I was really blessed to sit at the
table, eat authentic Mexican food, and do more
oral research for this upcoming sermon:
We talked over the situation we have shared in
the nation of Pakistan
(and rehearsed church history from the
seventies....before my time).
I stayed there until about 11:00, got a cup of
coffee and waited in the car, reading the Word,
until Mary's formal evening came to an end. I
picked her up at 11:53 and she read aloud for me
from Genesis 27:1-32:32
We arrived in Auburn around 1:10 a.m. Once
safely tucked into the Nest, I read through the
night Jacob wrestled with God and then met his
estranged brother face-to-face. 20 years of
alienation came to a close as Esau through his
arms around Jacob's neck.
My Dad called me yesterday. I had him speak with
his granddaughter, Mary, as we were driving to
Galt. In Galt, Cathy worked a partial day at an
elementary school and I took our three younger
kids out to breakfast.
I needed to meet with Kristy (a friend who shot
video for us on Sunday night). That project is
starting to weigh heavier on me. That's OK
though. The Lord is with me continually
reminding me to get 'filled up.' That is what I
intend to do through this month by God's grace.
We were privileged to have Mary (a visitor from
out-state) at our Prayer Meeting last night.
Although there were only five of us in the
circle of intercession, we shared a powerful
time together before the Lord.
Mary told me that I looked 'tired'. I told the
folks that I've been trying not to ignore people
when they make mention of 'rest'...
I'm going to work from home on my message for
Acts 7:8-9 (Genesis 28:10-22)
So far we have Paul (15) and Punk Rock Lisa (?)
scheduled to be baptized on Christmas Eve
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Several us of went out to Jaci's house last
night to tape scenes from
A Mayberry Christmas. We received
a call from the media asking for details so I
sent this background information and figured you
all might enjoy reading it:
Members at Bell Road Baptist Church have been
busy preparing to bring our community a special
Christmas event: Christmas in Mayberry . A
multi-media production, Christmas in Mayberry,
will be presented on Sunday, December 23rd, at
6:00 p.m. in our church sanctuary.
Why would a church produce a Christmas play
based on a television show from the early
sixties? My good friend,
Jebby Moates, an accomplished
composer and recording artist, wrote this play
and is simultaneously producing it at Bear Creek
Community Church in Lodi, California (where he
serves as the Pastor of Worship). Click here for
the performance information for the Lodi Show.
In a recent church newsletter, the playwright
discusses his current project:
Griffith show has been playing non-stop since it
first aired in the early sixties and is
popular world-wide. I believe that people like
me love the show because we identify with many
of the characters and deep-down long for a
simple life surrounded by friends and family.
Mayberry is a fictitious town in North Carolina,
based on Andy Griffith's home town, Mount Airy.
Mayberry is such a small town that there's only need for two
law-enforcement officers, one barber, one
grocery store, one gas station, one department
store, one movie theater, one telephone
operator, one diner, one pharmacy, one doctor
and one church. Every citizen in Mayberry knows
each other, accepts and loves each other, quirks
and all. Hmmmmm, sounds like the very thing
we're striving for in the Church.
I like to tell people that Andy
Griffith's character, Sheriff Andy Taylor is one
of my role models. Sheriff Taylor seems to
bring out the best in the people around him. I
love how he protects his bumbling deputy, Barney
Fife from ridicule, and creatively finds ways to
encourage Barney's critics to appreciate Barney
as a person.
There's also a good lesson in how Andy Taylor
shows love and respect to all his eccentric and
high-maintenance friends like, Floyd, Gomer,
Otis, Goober, Howard and Clara. Most of all,
it's great to watch a television show that
depicts a caring father raising his son to be a
moral, polite, responsible young man.
Andy Taylor is not perfect; he often must
apologize to people he has offended. For me,
the most moving episodes, are the ones where
Andy has heart to heart talks with his son, Opie.
It's interesting to note that Andy Griffith
originally had plans to be a minister before
becoming an actor. Each episode of the Andy
Griffith Show has a moral, and good always
triumphs over evil. The Andy Griffith show is
the only sitcom, I can think of, where hymns are
sung by the characters. Sinners Lose Their
Guilty Stains, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
and Away in the Manger have been featured on the
show. There is even an Andy Griffith Show Bible
study available; a friend of mine used it at his
In the play, A Mayberry Christmas, the citizens
prepare for the town Christmas Pageant, a live
Nativity Scene. As the story unfolds, different
characters lose sight of the reason for the
season; tempers flair and things get out of
hand. However, when the message of Christ is
presented during the pageant, the characters are
reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and
their hearts are moved by the Gospel Story.
I suppose A Mayberry Christmas is also a tribute
to a special television show. I have always
admired the lovable characters, fine
storytelling and exceptional humor of the Andy
I'm excited about working with our wonderful
cast and doing this Christmas play that has some
very funny moments. But it's so much more than
that; it's an opportunity to direct
everyone's attention to the most important
story, the story of how Jesus Christ came to
earth to save us all!"
There will be some variance in the amplitude of
the signal because apparently when I set out to
shoutin' somebody figured they needed to turn it
I'll have to tell our audio people that I don't
mind distortion when the preacher is yelling. I
want the normal voice to be the prime level and
allow distortion at the high moments.
Kinda like leaving the feedback at the intro to
"I Feel Fine", I learned this technique in the
country church of my early days.
It is 2:39 a.m. and I'm up because Cathy arose
for some reason. I was thoroughly thirsty...so I
asked 'mama' for a glass of water.
Sitting up, sipping that which truly quenches, I
have been thinking over last night's prayer
meeting with our deacons. I won't go into detail
but will share that 'the elders' had been called
upon to pray over an individual for an important
Since I had picked up Joe from work, he had to
wait for me in my office during my meeting with
the deacons and our prayer for healing. From
6:40 until 8:15, Joe did some intern work for
Radio by editing out empty space in Sunday's
Message: The Friend(s)
of God. In addition to
this empty space happens whenever the preacher
asks the people to 'turn to' any passage of the
Bible. Edited out by radio ministries, it
results in a shorter 'message' and is almost a
necessity for an audio-only transmission.
Well, poor ol' Joe
lost all of his work when the operating system
unexpectedly needed to 'shut down'. I knew that
simply meant that my message would be in the
same shape as it was when I left to pick him up
3 hours earlier.
For some reason this reminds me of 'Experiencing
God'. Blackaby (my loose
paraphrase) said, "If you ever lose your
way, go back to that place where you last heard
from God. Ask yourself (or Him) if you ever left
anything undone about the direction given at
I should try to go back to sleep (yet I am wide
awake)... for I have many expectations to meet
on Tuesday. I guess I went to bed before 11:00
as evidenced below:
pastor matt: You there?
pastor matt: Is it "A Mayberry Christmas"
or "A Christmas in Mayberry?"
me: Christmas in Mayberry
pastor matt: got it
me: that's MY title
Lodi's title is "A Mayberry
Shouldn't you be offline and lovin'
on your wife?
Ordering avon...or somethin'?
pastor matt: I would but my boss asked me
to update the webpage...
me: a simple 'under new, anointed
announcement page would suffice
pastor matt: I'm a workin on it boss ;)
me: alrightee. I'll send you a couple
of Auburn Barney and Andy
pastor matt: k
me: in a minute
pastor matt: I don't have my flyer on
what are the dates again
I should know this by now...
me: Christmas in Mayberry
pastor matt: yes sir
me: Sunday, December 23rd
pastor matt: at 6 or 7?
pastor matt: thank you sir
me: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
starts at 7:00
but it will be shorter
pastor matt: are you there?
(No, I wasn't there. I had fallen asleep trying
to watch a commentary by Jerry Seinfeld about
the rapid pace that their creative team had to
keep in order to go from 'episode idea' to final
I need to be alert for this full day with starts
with BSF and ends with a one-man shooting of
important scenes for 'Christmas in Mayberry).
It is now 3:15 a.m. Back to layin' down
for some sleep.
It is now 3:15 a.m. Back to layin' down
for some sleep.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Cathy and I
got home from 'church' around midnight. We
hadn't had supper yet so we drove to the
Newcastle Denny's (not knowing any other
midnight spots around town).
I'm not even saying, 'Whew!'...
I had just experienced a very full weekend but
was refreshed--having gotten through the
evening's taping of several important Mayberry
Church went well during the morning. On Saturday
night we had put up our new glossy placards for
the BellRoad Express
(and our large Mayberry posters). Then, of
course, with the Christmas-decorative makeover
in our sanctuary space, the children were
The music was good. The preachin' .... well,
we'll hear later today whenever I get a chance
to edit and upload the sermon. (I dropped
Joe off at
6:30 a.m., am currently at the office waiting to
open up for BSF
Leadership, and then am meeting
Aunt Bee and
Clara for some location shots in
Our Spanish Service workers joyfully received
some first-time visitors:
Clyde, Faye, and Alisha.
or maybe these days,
more realistically, I oughtta say,
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I think I went to bed at 11:00 but I woke up at
2:00 a.m. so I answered a couple emails and
started working again on my sermon outline.
I am settled on this outline for
Friend(s) of God:
It is now 4:50 a.m. the sermon is still in the
I figure I'll go back to sleep until 6:00 a.m.
Yesterday was a pletha of relational cooperation
including (but not limited to) the men's
breakfast, decorating the sanctuary, creating
BellRoad signage, entertaining angels from
Oklahoma by hosting atop the
sharing the Downtown-OldTown walking tour, and
experiencing the Festival of the Lights in
Downtown Auburn with Kurt and Christy.
Here's a chat from last night for more
background on a chapter (sermon prep) in my yet
un-published *yet un-written trans-doctoral
A Theology of Integrity
me: Tomorrow is gonna be WONDERFUL
Everyone's gonna be buzzing with excitement
pastor matt: Indeed.... I'm looking forward
me: whats on monday?
pastor matt: The "Screen" Dream! Monday
me: yeah that'll be GOOD, I hope!
It will. Check your e-mail...
I'll send you a few skies...
Tell me which one you like the best
me: please keep me in prayer ALL thru
until the sermon
cuz, although, I have made some decisions about
what to do. I have no real clear-cut directive
from the Lord YET
...and then, there's the risk of preaching too
So, some definitive limitation of a MAIN point
would be helpful I've just been attending to
lots of other important stuff. Its all good.
I trust that by being fully yielded tonight and
we could have the very BEST God wants for us...
See, one of my points from the Day of Pentecost
(vital to a series which includes ACTS)
pastor matt: I'm back...
let me catch up and read what you typed :)
me: is that Peter didn't 'prepare' a
sermon that day
He stood, opened his mouth, and God made him wax
"This is that...."
Modern Christians don't like to trust the Holy
Ghost to do that for us....
pastor matt: this is true
me: we seem to want 'Charles Stanley'
and that's good too....
So, I just wanna strike a cool balance of
pastor matt: Maybe we should have
Church for today's busy christian
me: that will make a funny video skit for
NEW-SCREEN days ahead...
We can set up a drive through around
where the driver orders sermon CDs from recent
pastor matt: "Yes I would like some Paul
with a small side of Jesus to go please"
me: and a donut and a coffee
it could be some tongue-in-cheek
BellRoad Radio... CDs and DVDs
me: Well, I'd better stop this kinda talk
and get to my
4:50 a.m. I'm goin' back to bed...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Up at 5:30 with a congestion-headache. Sweet
Cathy already brought me some medicine, so
hopefully it will go away. Today, I will work on
the message entitled The Friend(s) of God.
So far, I have selected too much material to
cover Tomorrow we will also feature Lottie Moon,
Candles of Advent, and a two special song
interpretations, so there will be need to be
some deep thought and a morning-bath meditation
to get started today.
There is a men's breakfast today at 8:00; Daniel
is going to come with me, I think. I took Joe to
Sacramento last night so he could meet up with
the New America Singers who are serving a
musical message at Camp Pendleton (in San Diego)
tonight. He will travel back here tomorrow.
Cathy and I look forward to meeting
Andy and Becky Deck
who have traveled here from Oklahoma to run the
Friday, November 31, 2007
Up at 3:00 this morning. I am wide awake. No
email in my box but much work-to-do yet-undone.
Whenever I have been overseas on a mission trip,
I have also been awake at 3:00 a.m. It is a
fact-of-life for me when I am on a short-term
mission trip. It is definitely not worry, fear,
or anxiety which awakens me and escorts my body
from the bed to the desk, or onto the path under
Samarang, Indonesia (April, 1995)
San Vincente, Mexico (1997)
La Mision, Mexico (1999)
Tallin, Estonia (April, 2000) Estonia tour (July, 2003)
Tartu, Estonia (November, 2003)
Monrovia, Liberia (February, 2004) Lesotho with World Vision (March,
It looks as though my next short-term mission
trip will be to
Rancho Sordo Mudo (Mexico) with a team
of ten members from Bell Road. This is a
home-grown mission emphasis from our local
church. It is important to show my overall
support for 'what God has been doing here'
before I showed up. So, I made a commitment
months ago to visit this mission site.
I long to visit Pastor
Wesley and the Children's Home in Liberia. I
still have unresolved ministry-needs
in Pakistan. Fortunately (through
internet-connectivity), the Lord has provided
additional shoulders to share my burden for both
of these nations. Below is a letter from
(from Oklahoma). Andy
found me on the web when he was the mission trip
point-man for a church in Midland, Texas.
Stonegate Fellowship (the SBC church in
Midland) were simply trying to follow God's lead
in Africa. I was so excited about the
possibility of them taking a team to Liberia to
assist Pastor Wesley in accomplishing his
LifeMission. That trip did come to pass in July,
2006. Andy was one who wrote to encourage Joe
during his 80-day adventure there earlier that
year. Here is the first 'talkie' that
Elkins posted while they were there (click
here). Mike previously had been a
videographer with YWAM, so I was thrilled to
learn that he would be documenting the team's
trip to Liberia.
CLICK HERE for an entire page of Mike's
video posts in Liberia and other nations.
Ironically, Andy Deck
wasn't even able to go on that trip because he
and his family moved back to his home state of
Oklahoma (in part to care for aging parents).
However, (wonderful-wonderful) Andy will be with
us tomorrow in Auburn. He is due in the area for
a marathon and expressed an interest in meeting
It’s OK if we stay with you at your house for
three weeks, right?? (just kidding…I seem to
remember a Pastor Wesley story along
OK here’s the information… we are coming in for
the California International Marathon on Sunday,
Dec. 2nd. There will be three of us – my wife,
Becky, my younger son, Caleb (14), and myself.
The marathon starts early on Sunday morning in
Folsom and proceeds to a finish in the middle of
Sacramento somewhere. for details:
On Friday, we will just head straight to the
hotel. On Sunday, there will be no time for
anything except run the marathon, take a shower,
late checkout from the hotel, and head back to
Oakland. However, our Saturday (12/1) is
I will have to go by the race expo to pick up my
race packet and other information. That could be
almost anytime in the middle of the day. If you
and your family have any free time on Saturday,
we would love to meet for lunch or just to say
“hi” in person.
Well, folks, it is now 4:03 a.m. and
I think I'll catch a couple hours of sleep
before the alarm goes off at 6:00. Its
FRIDAY...and the deacons pray together at 6:30
just off I-80 and Lincoln (the Denny's Exit).
Now, that Pastor Matt
is here, we're not only working
smarter...we are definitely working HARDER. I
warned him way back in July, 2007. (click
Ya'll come back now, y'hear?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Woke up at 5:45. Something was missing when I woke
up. No joyful song, no jump-outta-bed-ready to
Felt empty needing a fill-up. So, I'm gonna
drive Joe to the Park & Ride where he will meet
hope to commune with God in that car
Then, it will be an I-and-Thou discussion
on the way home...
Whew! What a day yesterday.
was bein' Bob...a
bit pushy, yes....BUT,
a 15 year old named Paul gave his life to
Jesus after Youth Group. Hallelujah!
got back from the drop-off at 6:53. We did pray
together and rehearsed a bit of advent-season
history. It was 12-12-02 when I received my
first letter from
Pastor Richard Wesley in Liberia.
Joe and I had
just shared an hour of devotional (reading
book called Abraham:
the Friend of God).
Joe is praying about the process of 'reclaiming'
his 'stolen property' and allowing other(s) to
come alongside him as he learns an object lesson
in 'redemption' and the after-effect.
As we were praying I thanked the Lord for his
boundary lines. As men, it is important to show
other guys that one can decide to 'nip it' (nip
it in the bud) in regards to one's besetting
sin(s). That decision of the will is definitely
helpful to sinful man who realizes that except
for the grace of God, bondage is a fact. Yet for
those who will know the Truth, Jesus gives
freedom to walk into the day of rest.
As we were praying I recalled the end of my
night's dreams. It was a public altar call (not
unlike the two nights we shared with brothers
Greg, Phil, Jason,
and Lazarus at Placer High Stadium
In this dream, I wasn't 'working' at the altar,
I was 'watching-and-praying' from the bleachers.
I saw the movement of sinners and saints at the
altar. As the music played softly (I assume
there was music), people I recognized
individuals who were moving forward to serve and
to be served.
A little boy and his sister were standing alone
facing the bleachers. Then, I spotted Joe
heading to them. He squeezed the girl as if to
say, "Hey, its great to see that you've come
I wondered if he had just been culturally
inappropriate. Yet, Joe was bent down on his
knee at their eye level and continued to be
available to the Spirit's leadership.
He was Joe
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
About multi-tasking: I'm getting too old fer it!
Whew! Yesterday about wore me out. The young
whipper-snapper (pastor matt...tho' not all that
young himself anymore) looked at me at 1:47 p.m.
"Pastor, are you
Well, it had been one long, long string of phone
calls, live folks, important to-do ministry
fulfillment, sermon-editing, office-talk, seed
planted, growth watered, and very-important
visions further launched forth.
"Pastor, are you
Yeah, lol...I was just wondering
where my keys were because I was heading out the
door with seventeen minutes to get to the
cemetery, in my suit, tie straightened, hair
combed, Bible in hand, mind stilled, and
thematic, chosen hymn more-fully embraced:
The keys were...in my hand (like I
Ironically, the hymn chosen by the deceased for
this very day was:
The service around our sister's burial site was
intimate and Word-based (Philippians chapters
one and three). Every member of the family and
the caregiver-in-attendance are confessing
members of the Body of Christ, so we took our
time in the Word (in the pleasant context of
sun-warmth, birds-song, and lightbreeze). We
hallowed that ground for generations to come and
to reflect upon the meaning of a long and
Afterwards, Cathy and I met to visit in the home
with this family. Much to our joy, we continued
to 'connect' on several levels with the children
of the deceased.
They will be accompanying their father this week
for the First Sunday of Advent.
Returning home after dropping off newly-copied
CDs (sermon and Gomer stuff) to
and then (The
Face of an Angel) to
Conductor Jane, the day's ministry
schedule was nearly over.
Then I saw this pop up on my kitchen table
9:17 PM pastor matt:
you're still up?
me: yup you?
pastor matt: of course
me: well, my
day's responsibilities are finally done...
I'm amped about the thought of
having a charter school*
thinking about the potential *a
phone call that had come during our business
me: I'm home
pastor matt: Can I call you on
an unrelated matter?
9:23 PM pastor matt:
very cool... may I give you a call for 5 minutes
of your time?
So...he called. Then, last night and this
morning I wrote two letters to our own
Alisha Rosenau. She is coming back to
Auburn this Sunday for a week's visit. A
group of us are planning a short-term mission
trip to her ministry-setting (Rancho Sordo Mudo)
It is now 4:55 a.m. I think I'll sing along with
this hymn before I get out of bed:
My Faith has Found a Resting Place (click
(in memory of Thressie)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
A busy day today. Joe and I got up around 5:00;
he enrolled online for next semester at Sierra
College while I continued to edit Sunday's
BSF is here; I'm their soundman.
Pastor Matt and I are planning to map out the
music selections for December. Then, I have to
turn in the Expert Advice column...and the
weekly pastors' prayer mtg. is in Colfax today.
At 2:00, I will join an intimate circle of
family at the cemetery this afternoon for a
graveside burial. I must prepare myself for that
important opportunity to serve our Lord. Its
raining in Auburn today. I hope it lets up for
Patrice has informed me that shooting begins for
the Mayberry Project this week.
Monday, November 25, 2007
Yesterday was another blessing for me and Cathy. Christy Sandhoff
stayed busy at the Photo Directory table in our
sang his latest song, "It's Not Too Late".
His piano-playing and voicings were refreshingly
KeithGreen-ish. I love it!
and the Mrs.
were away on Anniversary Leave. Many others were
gone for the holiday as well. Still, God brought
in visitors and we had a good time in the Lord.
I met John Walker's daughter, Lynn, from Chico.
This weekend, Andy and
Becky Deck are flying from Oklahoma
to Sacramento. They are here for a running race
They're gonna drive down I-80 to
EXIT 123 and
visit the campus of
Unfortunately, they will not be here for Sunday
Service, but we will have our receptionists (cathy
and mary?) give them a Visitor's
Pack...and yours truly will give them a
full-scale tour (including our
Memorial Rose Garden
and the Rooftop Vista).
Lord willing, I will edit and upload the sermon
before noon for those who missed it...and for
those who don't get it all the first time (like
I was happy to see
Josefina in attendance. I quickly
introduced her to the others who are praying and
planting seed towards a harvest through
Iglesia Bautista Bell
I've written two important letters regarding my
ongoing attempts to resource
Pastor Shamas Pervaiz
with the kind of love described in 1
Corinthians 13. May God grant a great blessing
to him as we continue to write back and forth.
and I drove to Galt, then to Lodi yesterday. I
met the Lodi cast of "A Mayberry Christmas" and
video-taped several of the scenes. It was fun to
watch a completely different cast work the
The next thing I hope to do after uploading my
sermon is to make a DVD for our Director,
so she can she how Lodi is staging the scenes.
Another example of how we are rollin' in
'Working smarter...and working
Sunday, November 24, 2007
I woke up a
little before 4:00 a.m. and felt refreshed to
tweak my sermon outline. This message is still
in the oven because we hope to serve it pipin'
hot for those who come to the Table.
Stephen will prepare the way to learn from
four Old Testament characters during the Four
Sundays of Advent:
The fifth candle will be lit on Christmas Eve to
celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord
I was happy to see that
Lynette and her
made it to the Union
Gospel Mission last night. I invited
them to also come to our gathering this morning
I fully expect to see
Josefina at church this morning as
well. I met her at BSF on Tuesday and told her
about Iglesia Bautista
Bell Road. She had prayed that God
would open a door for Spanish-speaking ministry.
"mm....mm.....mmmmm (with andy-like
expression) the proof is in the
Saturday, November 23, 2007
I went to bed at 11:20 last night. Woke up at
5:15 and am looking ahead (tomorrow) to work out
details for taking a group to Lodi. We will meet
the Lodi cast at their 1:30 rehearsal of "A
Mayberry Christmas". We will leave right after
our morning service. That means I'll have to
find someone to fill in for me as 'techie' at
Iglesia Bautista Bell
Road (in room 900 at 1:00).
must share a desire to be a part of something
greater than oneself while operating a DVD
machine and video projector.
Tomorrow's message is entitled
The Face of an Angel. Our three year series
is approaching the first intersection with the 'christian'
calendar. In this Advent Season (2007), we will
consider Salvation History as told by Stephen
before he is martyred. I preached it this way in
2002, I believe. Each week, we read a portion of
Stephen's testimony and focused on one of four
Old Testament characters whose life he cited as
Tomorrow's sermon will serve as our introduction
to the primary witness (Stephen) before the
First Sunday of Advent (December 2nd).
A long-standing tradition is to first meet up
with the Wolf Gang (The Rosenaus') at
5:30 for a
home-cooked meal, then leave for Sacramento
promptly at 6:30. the services are timed to be
over at exactly 8:30. I have made a commitment
to being there as much as possible.
The Director, Tim Lane, called me last
month and asked if I would be part of a 'Staff
Renewal Emphasis' that is scheduled for January,
2008. I told him that it would be my honor to
feed the lambs who are serving in such a vital
If anyone wants to join us, please call me
on my cellphone:
(209) 323-0727 ...or here's
By the way, Tim Lane
was previously a member at Bell Road. See what
God has done by taking him at his 'yes', and
moving Tim along a path chosen for him. Tim now
directs the UGM and pastors a church in our
denomination. Here is a piece he wrote about one
of our historic missionaries.
the Faith: Lottie Moon
Yesterday, Cathy and I drove to Downtown Grass
Valley for an afternoon date. We had a wonderful
lunch at a little cafe, walked all the streets,
visited several antique and specialty shops,
stopped for a cup of coffee and walked some
more. This was a very special time of discussing
and praying over our family concerns. Someone
had told me that the downtown district was run
by hippie capitalists. So, that thought was on
my mind as I visited with shopkeepers. Yeah, it
felt like home. It was a perfect day on planet
earth (walking hand-in-hand with my bride).
On the way there and back, we listened to the
Practice CD of the Auburn Cast for
Christmas in Mayberry.
The playwright, Jebby, called us to share
that he had just heard it online and wanted me
to bring a master with me Sunday, so he can make
copies for his cast and crew.
Cathy worked an overnight for Home Instead. It
is now 6:10; I think I'll sleep a bit more
before she gets home and the day continues...
Friday, November 22, 2007
I'm up at 4:40 a.m. Usually we have a Deacon's
Prayer Meeting at 6:30 on Fridays but I think
that isn't happening today due to the men's
I was up kinda late working on tightening up a
practice CD of Jebby's
script for Christmas in
Mayberry. Rather than taking the time
to write an entry, I'll give an example of a
'normal' chat between me and our new guy,
me: I'm very close to finishing the whole
I've added some sound effects to sweeten it a
phone rings door open
matt: electrical shock...haha
me: Gomer gets shocked
matt: ah... nice
11:55 PM matt: I thought you would like that
So just to make sure, you don't care that it
does not copy DVD?
me: yeah..not necessary right away
matt: sounds good so whats
the next step
me: audio cd is in great demand asap.
we'll look at the budget get the area to pull it
from and order it tomorrow
matt: We have money in the music
me: then you need to get that label done
matt: will do
lets make this happen
me: yeah and January will start new
me: we should order 1000 blanks with your
matt: I'll have something for you to look
at tomorrow evening
me: then the thermal printer can add the
extra stuff when important to look fully
Like in the Visitor Pack
me: but for in-house we can just use
sharpees to add the 'sermon title' or date or
matt: now pastor... if we're going to do
we should always do it right :)
your sermons deserve the very best
me: I need to figure out an easy way to
split the tracks (scenes)
matt: That's easy
I have software for
12:15 AM if we could do that tomorrow, I'd like
to have the CDs available for the main actors on
It will take me less than a half hour
Is there a way to condense it under 80 minutes?
If not we won't be able to put it on one CD
me: yeah it is gonna be under 68 minutes
when I finish this
me: so we can do one CD which will be
matt: no prob
me: The actors all have potential
the CD will help a lot
matt: I agree
me: I've given lots of 'helps' like DVD
and other CD
practices from Lodi
matt: very cool
me: but BUSY people haven't practiced
as much as I would've liked...but
matt: have all the parts been filled?
me: however, I think we could also do
this next christmas and make it excellent
matt: what's left?
me: there's the part of the Mayor
I was thinking of pitching it to the Mayor of
matt: good luck
me: actually his Dad told me that he'd do
haha well, I think I'll
go to bed
matt: ok sir
matt: talk with you tomorrow
me: see you tomorrow
Well, that's that. Onward. It's now 5:25...
Lots of work yet to do this morning to
facilitate our cast by providing this Practice
Track to help them with their lines.
...you'll hear me filling in for Gomer and the Mayor.
Patrice is filling in for
the cameos of
Miss Jane, Sally Rogers,
Robin read for
Daphne (the Fun
Thanksgiving Edition, November
Yesterday, Mary and I
stopped at Jim Anderson's Antique Shop in
Newcastle. I offered him
$200 for his Locomotive Bell. It
had been in his store since he opened. He
graciously accepted my offer, so the Bell will
be ringing up at 707 Bell Road as we near
I found another Bronze Bell (sold online:
click here) and see that it sold for
Jim Anderson for being part of something
bigger than bucks. Jim is gonna close this store
in a couple months. The state of our economy has
drastically cut into his sales.
Before going to Jim's store, I stopped to see
Paul the Barber (www.welcomevillage.com).
Paul Huston has a retro barbershop in
Newcastle and also has a computer on the
internet for his customers.
Here are two Auburn businesses that Cathy and I
visited a couple days ago:
I mentioned "Christmas in Mayberry" to both shop
Today is the LAST day to see Across the
Universe in Auburn. It is playing at the
Old State Theatre at 8:30 p.m.
I'm counting this day aright:
1) I'm blessed with a marriage of 22 years
M'lady's name is Catherine (pure heart). I woke her up
kissing her face and whispering the affective.
2) Our children are a blessing to me. Though
each one is
still a work-(of-faith)in-progress, I can smell the
our Saviour as each one speaks, touches, serves, gives,
and comes alongside me along the path I am choosing
3) My family-of-origin is still a sweet blessing
Almighty as I move toward the end of this year. I have
saved three voicemail messages from my Dad since the
one where he called to tell me that our story made the
hometown paper last summer. I haven't had much contact
with all of those who are still living but the love abides
I pray that God's perfect and pleasing will shall be made
manifest among them and their households.
4) I thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving the souls
of all these
precious people through the years who are members of
Your Body. Your Church
(my fellow branches, the other
members, the living stones, the little lights, my brothers
and my sisters) has been a profound blessing to me
since the first day.
Even if you don't have much time today, at least
give-a-listen to the first three minutes of this
message. If BellRoad
Bob hadn't announced Mt. Sinai as the
final destination, I'd guess the kids were
headed for The Shady
Rest outside Hooterville.
..where the ol' preacher speaks to
Romans 4, the Faith-Works debate, the 20-80 principle, the
widow's mite, the 'friend of God' (and the yet-unpreached joy-sucking
misery of Luke 15's older brother).
I was stressin' out around 4:00 p.m. yesterday.
Much had already been accomplished but ...
1) I learned that a valuable slip of paper was
2) Joe was
gonna need to be picked up from the Bank...
3) Working Daniel's
mini-vidicam without instructions... .
4) A glitch--much like old-school
vertical-horizontal hold... ..
5) My cell phone battery was nearly gone...
6) Beeping loud, beeping at an increased
Usually an ellipsis is a good thing for me. Not
yesterday. The lack of resolution was getting to
me . . .
7) The Leadership Council was starting at 6:30 .
. . ..
8) The Mayberry Rehearsal was starting at 7:00 .
. . ...
9) We really needed to record the Rehearsal for
. . . oh man, I was supposed to stop over
at and move the sea-foam green
ottoman) 'on-the-way home' . . .
So, in comes Pastor
Matt and asks,
"uh...what's wrong Pastor?"
It all resolved. Matt
solved #9, Wanda
tackled #1, Joe handled #2,
with #6, Les and
over #7 . . .
Practice was over by 9:00. I dropped off a CD to
and headed home to watch Breach (a
suspense tale based on an FBI true story). We
don't watch much stuff like that because Cathy
isn't wired for suspense.
We had some questions so after the movie, we
watched the extra features (a documentary, and
20 minutes of the Director's Commentary). I
then, loaded up the recording of the Mayberry
Rehearsal and after 15 minutes of editing failed
to 'save' in the correct manner.
So, I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. (not even
frustrated). I started out the day around 6:30
(so I'd probably do well to take a nap sometime
I'm scheduled to open and run sound for
BSF at 8:30,
then a pastors' prayer meeting at BellRoad at noon,
then Sheriff Taylor and I
are gonna meet Opie
and shoot the opening shot
(walkin' beside Myers Lake with fishin' rods),
and call Gary
about those seafoam green chairs...
I really wanna get started on editing our
Rehearsal CD --so g2g.
Thank you, KC,
for installing the Video Projector on the
ceiling of the BellRoad Express.
(...and thank you everyone
else for helping me
get through the ellipses which are ahead .
I'm up at 5:40 this morning excited about
editing yesterday's sermon and getting it
was down in L.A., Cathy
and Mary were both in the
Nursery, and the good folks at
The BellRoad Express
need to hear their CDs ASAP. So...gotta get to
The Truth Project's admonition rings true 'work
ought also be fun--fun enough to make one leap
out of bed ready to get back to work!'
btw, this is Wolf's
playing the piano during the Offertory
yesterday. This goes out to Mexico for her big
Subject: pastor your 'Yes and Amen' video
posted on YouTube blessed me tremendously
Langston Jones wrote:
I just wanted to tell you that one of your video
post on YouTube had a great impact on me this
morning. I was asking God to assure me that his
promises are as he says they are.
Your video was the very thing I needed by which
God answered my prayer. Thank you so much.
Thank you as well for taking the time to
write and tell me.That little bit of
testimony was uploaded simply to 'store' it
somewhere for individuals who were (then)
currently along with me for the ride. I didn't
particularly think that anyone else might ever
take a look.
Now you have assured me of the 'now-ness'
of tomorrow's potential. A YouTube video
apparently was testifying for me while I slept.
(no matter how many promises God has
Yes, in Christ,
I think that Langston was referring to this
Yes and Amen which is stored at google-video.
As of yesterday, it had only ever been viewed 34
times. My own views probably account for about 4
of the 34.
"Today has not yet been counted."
(not even Langston's 2:30 a.m.)
I'm reminded of Moses as he closes the 90th
"Lord, teach me to count my days aright."
Yes, I think I'll take another look at
Yes and Amen before I get to work.
Friday, November 16, 2007
On Friday night, I played around a bit more with
looking for The BellRoad Express AudioCue:
The California Highway Patrol called just now.
Joe's car was found in a ditch in Grass Valley.
It is being towed to a shop and we will get a
call tomorrow about what to do next.
On Thursday morning Joe
went out to the parking lot only to discover
that his car was missing. I had him take my car
to work and I called in the 'stolen car' report.
The CHP came onsite to fill out the paperwork.
He is maintaining a good attitude through the
At 6:30, I met with two of the deacons to pray.
It was a very good time of yielding our finite
understanding of circumstances to our
All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Ever-Present Lord and
Savior. His Name is
Jesus. One prayer voiced the truth
that the person who stole Joe's car has
something missing in his life. We prayed for his
greatest need. That's a testimony of 'leaning
not upon our own understanding' and
acknowledging God's higher ways.
Troubling circumstances are best addressed in
prayer. I thank the Lord for the Wednesday night
prayer group and this Friday morning prayer
May God grant you peace that passes all
understanding in this day's circumstances.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Yesterday, I opened a letter from a
man incarcerated at the prison in Tracy. Someone
had left an Auburn Journal on his bed and from
that he got my address. This fellow tells that
he grew up in
Auburn. We prayed for him in our prayer meeting.
During lunch, I went to TrendCuts to get my hair
cut. The ladies there remembered me as the
pastor with pink hair. One asked me for
specifics on "Christmas in Mayberry". That
really encouraged me.
After lunch, I enjoyed hearing
Ken Hemphill (onadd to the stewardship message that the
Spirit has been delivering to me today:
1) It meets the needs of the Saints.
produces Thanksgiving to God
3) It leads others
to glorify God
4) It creates mutual prayer and
Why cooperate with other churches?
It provides strength and stability.
It promotes unity and diversity.
It enables strategic thinking.
It provides a biblical mode for other churches.
It enables Kingdom Advance.
It ensures that God receives the Glory.
With these words, Ken Hemphill closed his time
with church leaders here:
"May God bless California Southern Baptists as
you get serious about connecting for Kingdom
I had a couple letters waiting for me last night
about Veteran's Day. We had neglected to observe
it in our Sunday Service last week. We will
acknowledge our Veterans this Sunday and make
mention of the history of this day:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Today I plan on reading and working out my
sermon schedule through the end of the year.
Meanwhile, I will be listening to the events at
a gathering of brothers and sisters in West
LIVE feed of our State Convention in
will lead a music celebration at 8:30, 1:30, and
2:20 p.m. I spoke with him the other day. I
really recognize the guy from sometime when we
shared some event together but I couldn't
recall. He told me that he happened to be in the
congregation on the day that I preached in view
of a call at BellRoad (1-7-07). It seems that he
said he was going out as an assignment for his
doctoral studies. As a doctoral student, I'm
sure that he was profoundly challenged by the
message that day (lol
in the most reverent of tone)!
Brian is the
guy who told the '400-pound Avon Lady' joke last
Sunday night, btw... (I had a 'talk' with the
guy the next day. I informed him that my wife
sells Avon and that he was promptly hissed at by
others in the alto section).
At 1:35, Ken Hemphill
is speaking to the Convention. It was at a
tri-state conference back in the late eighties
when I last heard him share a message. I hope
that God will direct my steps through this day
of spiritual preparation. I pray for the Yes and
Amen to come from a great number of individuals
who are charged to lead God's precious people.
May we break free of our own unseen chains and
humbly love our enemies. May we then be
empowered to 'kick down' unseen prison walls in
pursuit of others who need to be set free.
LIVE feed of our State Convention in
She countered the thought by sharing that it
had already inspired her to stay attached to he
Vine and bear fruit branch in a Jesus-Lovin',
Soul-Winnin', Disciple-Making, Ministry
Equipping, Missionary-Sending Church.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I enjoyed watching the
LIVE feed of our convention on
Tuesday night. Joe and I saw that
was sitting right behind the pulpit.
next to him. We also saw
Mary, Patrice, DeLynn, Nancy, Ben and
Wolfgang. That was fun!
is preaching a message as I write. This man
always put evangelism with unchurched
Californians at the focal point.
"Pray the Lord of the Harvest...and He will send
The Annual Meeting of our California Southern
Baptist Convention is meeting today, tonight,
and tomorrow in Sacramento at the Russian
Baptist Church. They are streaming the entire
services LIVE through this FEED:
Don't let the Russian text scare you...just
press PLAY on the Media Window. I was able to
listen to my friend,
Pastor Mike Abdoullazadah, who
preached in the afternoon session. Ken Hemphill
is preaching tonight, I think. I had thought
about going but will probably tune in to the
feed at 6:45 and see how its going. Some of our choir members are joining in for a MASS
CHOIR tonight on that feed.
note: copyright restrictions limit our
liberty to share more than just an excerpt of
two songs in this message: ('How Great Is Our
God' and 'I Can Only Imagine').
and I spent from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the
Music Conference and Awards Dinner. We were
blessed to sit under the teaching of
Don Fugate and
In the evening, the assembly honored the
liftetime achievements of
Ted Campbell and later
Three young people from BellRoad sang with the
New America Singers to honor
Ted and Betty
Campbell with a surprise concert. Our
Marissa, Joe, and Hannah.
shared his great and witty talent at the piano.
I have been pleased how the Lord has provided
wonderful opportunities to share some of the
best of our California Southern Baptist
fellowship with the new kid on our block,
Pastor Matt Klein.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Today's Veteran's Day so Joe's bank isn't open.
Fortunately, Wolfgang offered him the
opportunity to work in his shop today. Cathy is
doing two shifts for Home Instead so Mary and I
will be on our own.
Soon I will head into the office and, Lord
Willing, will retrieve yesterday's message from
the Soundroom Computer, spend a couple hours
editing it for CD, and start making copies for
the adults who ministered in
and on the BellRoad
I would have to say that yesterday's morning
service was nearly complete. It was a bit tough
getting there but having
Pastor Matt and Justine in
the mix made it much better for all of us,
and I are having fun watching God use the
members of our Body to bless the effort of the
other members under the real Lordship of Christ
Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi, BellRoad Bob,
the Chancellor, the Bells, Whistles, Movers, and
Shakers, the Deacons, the Women's Ministry, the
Men's Ministry, the Welcome Teams, the Teachers,
and the drummer saw the bones
and sinews start to 'come together' yesterday.
Early this morning, I wrote an email to a
field-worker in Pakistan. I extend these same
thoughts to all the precious souls who have been
faithful to minister life in their own peculiar
May God bless you
with a harvest yet unseen
for you have been faithful
to plant, to water,
...and even to pull
May He rain upon your effort, shine upon your desires,
and bring forth a bountiful harvest.
was our host at the the Music Conference last
night. He is a very funny guy. I tried to let
our new people each know how he is related to
one of our own (protecting internet privacy here
by not linking mother's maiden name with the
After the Conference, Cathy wanted to get some
of her herbal home remedy to take over to Pastor
Matt. Apparently he hasn't been sleeping much
for the last few months. Well, Cathy's solution
is to swallow a few of the very stinky herbal
tablets called Valerian Root. They knock her out
for a deep sleep. I have taken them a couple
times through the years...but of course, I don't
mind not sleeping (most of the time). How else
does one account for such voluminous journal
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Those of us who have been listening to recent
messages, are anticipating a closer look at
My friend, Pastor Chris Zeller called me last
night. I shared that none of my google searches
had given me the description I needed to see in
consideration of Bobby Welch's evangelistic
Chris (one who works the FAITH method) was
gracious to send me this rundown:
FAITH Gospel Presentation (during the
presentation the scriptures indicated are
recited from memory without citing chapter and
verse, almost conversationally):
- No one can go to heaven of have eternal life
unless they have received God's forgiveness.
-Man is sinful Romans 3:23
-God provides forgiveness through Jesus Christ
A- is for
- God's for forgiveness is Available
-To all (the whole world) John 3:16
-But God's forgiveness is not automatic Matthew
I- Is for
- It is impossible for anyone to work their way
- Forgiveness of sin and eternal life are the
gift of God
T- is for Turn
-To receive God's Forgiveness a person must turn
repent) from sin and self and trust in Christ alone
-Jesus Christ is the only way to God John 14:6
-We must believe and confess him to receive
God's forgiveness Romans 10:9
H- is for
-heaven is a little bit here and hereafter
-here-Jesus came to give us abundant life
John 10:10 "I have come that you may have life
and have it more abundantly."
-Here after -John 14:3
Tomorrow we will be planting these seeds in soil
that we have prayed might be good for a
Friday, November 9, 2007
One of our faithful readers,
tip-toes out of the boat and walks by faith
today. May God bless you, dear Sister.
I've been 'under the weather' with some kind of
congested ears-and-throat since Wednesday night.
I still had to push ahead with important
appointments yesterday (the first being at 7:30
readily diagnosed and cured a server issue that
Emma was facing. Then we went out on visit to
the Oaks of Auburn and met with
Activities Director, about next Thursday's
The synergistic verve that comes from having
Matt alongside me is beyond my desciption. I am
Our Seniors' Choir
then had their first official rehearsal.
Curt Harjo has volunteered to direct
this choir which will be combined with other
outreach ministries in development for our
dropped by to volunteer some time so we worked
together on an A-V issue in Room 900 and then
drove to Parkside
Nazarene to gather information on one
of their ministries.
and I also had a fruitful discussion with our
Extended Session Nursery Coordinator in his
newly-arranged office. After getting to know
each other better, we set an important goal for
our Nursery Program and shared a good time of
Last night, I droveMary down to
Galt to stay with the best friend from her
middle-school years. On the entire trip down,
she read aloud from
Melody Green's classic,
thoroughly enjoying this particular assignment
She has enjoyed Melody's flair for writing and
regularly pauses to reflect aloud upon aspects
of Keith's life. As a Dad, I am pleased to hear
joy in my girl's voice. Since
has been a 'friend of the family' ever since
Mary was a little girl, this will become all the
more exciting as she see how God used Randy in
Keith and Melody's life.
In Galt, I stopped by the Thrift Store and
spotted an antique Royal typewriter.
Michelle's parents (kids with whom I
worked at FBC Galt) own that store. They have
always been great supporters of creative arts so
I had no problem asking to 'borrow' typewriter
for Andy's Desk.
I picked up another practice CD from
house, hung out with my old friend,
and stopped to see
Scott and Ana Bencker. There I
gathered more resources for our newly forming
outreach (Iglesia Bautista Bell Road).
OOPS....I forgot that our associational
Executive Board for the Foothills Association
met at our church site last night. I didn't get
back into Auburn until about 9:00 p.m.
Here's the new website for our association of
Southern Baptist churches (click
Well, I've spent an hour documenting some of
yesterday's events, so I think I'll get a bit of
shut-eye before I have to leave in one hour for
our early morning prayer meeting with the
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Abraham Lincoln said,
"A friend is one who has the
same enemies as you have."
Since I have chosen to publicly back gathering
signatures for a referendum to overturn SB
777, there is the possibility that someone
will associate me with others who gain the same
pool of 'enemies' or find myself on someone's
list of 'friends'.
There were activist groups on both sides who
knew all about this before it was signed into
law by Governor Schwarzenegger. If you would
like to see a list of supporters and opponents
of SB 777 to decide upon which side of
the fence you will soon find yourself:
Even if you don't put your own name (or group
name) some other list-maker may choose to do it
Perhaps you have happened upon this column today
and you haven't even heard of SB 777 yet.
Well, here is an example of a site that the
supporters of SB 777 are watching
I obviously don't read their publication or I
would have learned about this new law much
Since this will be in the news, it wouldn't
surprise me to see my name associated with the
very fellow who picketed our church last Easter.
That likelihood was one of the reasons I took
the opportunity for a definitive stand-off
(face-to-face) rather than simply ignore the
man, his son, and their followers (see last
April's journal for background).
I have been involved in referendums a couple
other times during my 25 years as a Christian.
There is a teaching from Jesus that has
motivated my actions upon those occasions.
"Render unto Caesar
what belongs to Caesar."
For me, this imperative goes well beyond simply
'paying one's taxes'. We are to put God's Law
first in our lives and pray accordingly for our
governmental leadership. However, in America,
'the people' are supposed to be 'Caesar'. I
believe that a Christian should be open to
serving in a political career. Likewise, our
young people should register to vote and learn
about the political process.
Enough gathered signatures before the deadline
will lead to a referendum which will, at least,
result in the option to allow all registered
California voters to decide if they want to
continue with SB 777 as the Law of the
Land in our public (and charter) schools.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
When I heard about SB 777 (see
yesterday's entry) on the radio,
some commentator from another state
was lamenting that 'not one
California pastor' had spoken out
"Huh?!", I thought to myself,
Attributing 'fear to speak out'
toward pastors in California was a
flawed presupposition. We just
hadn't heard anything about it. Emma
printed off some of the information
for me to take to our weekly
pastors' prayer meeting. None of the
guys there were yet aware of this
I am not one to jump on political
bandwagons but sense that this is
quite important--not just for
California Christians but for those
who will continue to pay taxes into
the public school system, who will
teach in them (including yours
truly), and/or will send their
children to be taught there.
Here are a couple links:
for background, legal stuff, and
Here is a
one-page Fact Sheet on SB 777
Here's an audio link to Dr. Albert Mohler's
Call-In Show with a plea for
Californians to (re)act by gathering
signatures for a referendum to
overturn this legislation (click
click on this frame to view the first entries in
local art exhibit
'Pastor Without A
On display now at the BellRoad Center
in the Popular Culture
(aka) Bell Road Baptist Church
from the INBOX:
We noticed while watching Andy Griffith on TV,
that there is a wooden box (tray) for mail etc.
on the desk. Just so happens we also have one
exactly like the one pictured on TV.
Would you want to use it, or do you already have
enough "stuff" on the desk?
I've already closed the deal. We've got our
wooden tray now! This letter from Madelyn aptly
demonstrates the Stone Soup principle that I so
desire to bring to our local church.
I hunger and thirst for some good ol' fashioned
Yesterday Jebby(our Mayberry
Playwright) was at our old
stop (Cafe Latte) when he noticed
Mark S. Allen
(from Good Day Sacramento) on-location in Galt.
Here is a clip from their morning show:
Mary's friend, Brianna, who came to
stay with us a couple weekends ago,
was featured on the same day in part 4
We serve a supper at
5:00 at our church on Wednesday nights. If you
wanna come as a first-time guest, someone will
pick up the tab.
starts 'officially' today after he returns from
dropping a friend off at the airport.
Tuesday, November 6,
Last night we unloaded a very long U-Haul truck
into the house where
Matt an Justine Klein
will host a
thriving 24/7 BellRoad University Class called
Although there has been no official proclamation
until this very moment (and they don't even know
themselves), their Auburn Mission is definitely
part of coming around the bases a second time.
Sliding into third ('Discovering and Working
one's ministry in the local church') brings the
roar of the crowds in the stands. The bases are
I'll let the locals finish the scenario. I
suppose the question is
'Who's up to bat next?'
To see the area
in which our new Associate Pastor has moved,
click here. To hear some of Matt's music
Matthew R. Klein (click
Other Important News: Out
here in California, the church
cannot lay claim to number the
Christian optimists might hope that
a bit of legislation called SB
777 could possibly bring the Ten
Commandments back into the public
classroom, or post the Golden Rule
in our Courthouses. Not so,
I was listening to a Christian radio
station when I first heard about
777 (signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger). I still
haven't had adequate time to research
the alarming projections of the
radio commentator. However, Mike
Sanchez (our associational Director
of Missions) just sent a link which discusses concerns
SB 777 should pose for those who share a biblical worldview (click
I also received an audio link to Dr. Albert Mohler's
Call-In Show with a plea for
Californians to act with quick
Having begun my ninth month as
Pastor, I have focused on very
localized ministries. So much of
what I have written in this column
has been purposefully limited.
However, my interests in Liberia
and Pakistan have
continually tugged at my heart.
This nation's issue's are definitely
in the news these days. Last week's
cover of Newsweek (click
here) and yesterday's
headlines about emergency rule in
My internet friends, Rodney and
Gayla Edwards (from Tennessee)
are currently in Liberia on a 14-Day
mission to further establish the
work of a parachurch ministry they
started called Service to Servants.
For a link to the last full day's
journal they have published (on
Finally, here is a letter from my
one of my life's greatest heroes,
Greg Brayton, the blind guy in
my hometown. He has co-produced and
played on almost all of the 40-plus
songs I've published through the
years. Greg has been dealing with
cancer. Here's a 'dear all' letter I
received this morning:
involved in an experimental study
through the University of Michigan.
I’m taking a drug called, Erbatux,
instead of the normal chemotherapy.
My last x-rays showed, that a couple
tumors got smaller, and that a new
one did appear. Guess this is like
good and bad news. The side effects
of this treatment are not nearly as
hard to take as regular chemo though
so I like that.
I’ve written some sort of music
everyday since early July. I
don’t ever remember anything quite
like this creativity wise. I’m darn
near overwhelmed, but God keeps me
strong through it all.
Next week, Sally and I together,
will bring out, three new
CDs! I’ve never done
anything like that before. A new one
that comes under the heading,
Christian contemporary, an
instrumental, that is somewhat
modern, yet easy to listen too, and
one, that I’ll call a weird one,
that uses just about every sonic
trick I have in this rather large
book we call a studio. Heck the
weird one might be my fave. It
certainly will be fun.
Still even after releasing this
new stuff, I’m still ready to go
down their today and make more
music. I’m entering a contest
modernbeats.com and I came up
with something last night that I’m
very keen to work on.
I have had others recording here as
well, God has kept the business
going too. The praise band at church
just gets better every week, the
vocals are really starting to come
together, and it’s just beautiful. I
couldn’t ask for anything more
God is so good!
We go to Ann Arbor every Friday
and in another month or so, we’ll
take more x-rays, and hopefully
it’ll show me getting better. It
would appear that God wants me to
keep doing music so I feel confident
that your prayers are helping. Thank
you so much. I’m sorry it’s taken me
so long to write here, but as you
can tell, I’ve been doing the sort
of thing I love doing for God.
Sally also loves what she does.
Working back here in Coldwater at
the prison, and teaching more life
lessons to the inmates who can
really benefit from the things they
are learning from her. We have just
been so blessed here in the last
Well I really need to get this
written and back down to the studio
for more music. Praise the Lord.
God is good, all the time.
All the time God is good!
I woke up at 4:15 but, after checking my email,
I decided that I should sleep some more. So,
here it is at 7:15 and I'm much more
rested--ready to do the Monday stuff.
1. I will listen to, edit, publish
This message was a continuation of 'the Romans Road'
theme that I've been sharing the last few weeks. Over the
weekend, I had received two different email forwards
that stirred up some passion to balance what I think was
an unfair attack on a brother's ministry (click
In the message
I make mention of attacks on the
Life Missions of both Bill
I still think that it is ironic (even funny) that ol' pastorob
(and fbc galt) is forever sandwiched between
these two innovative brothers (and their local churches) in
the Leadership Journal:
The recording of yesterday's message will share a quote
by D. L. Moody
on 'critics' in the church. Although it was
chosen for the message three weeks ago, I think that, as
the preacher, I was not yet ready to share it from my own
2. I will open
the doors for the BSF
I'll say this again: Ladies, come to Bible Study
Fellowship tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. I am fully impressed
at the high quality of this weekly gathering to learn
God's Word. ALSO, they provide free childcare.
Lord willing, Matt,
Justine, Jonah, and Evan are
driving across the state of California today. I
am so thankful that God is adding this family to
our local church.
Oh yeah, He as been adding others to our church
family day-by-day. I PRAISE the Lord for His
remembrance of our cry for help.
Another PRAISE report:
Dan Clark has finished the railing
around Andy Taylor's Desk in our Courthouse
scene. I just can't fully express how happy this
act-of-service has made me. Another
'love-language' gift was given to me yesterday.
Ben and Caitlyn
gave me a card with two highly-personal,
handwritten messages (they were
'words-of-affirmation'). They handed this to me
during the Sunday School hour. Those loving
words were 'right-on-time'....and I told 'em so.
THEN, I opened a beautifully wrapped present to
discover a board game called 'Mayberry-opoly'.
They wouldn't know that my TV-watching has been
almost exclusively episodes of The Andy Griffith
Show (from the complete 8 season set I purchased
to study for "A
This stuff will be fun to share with old buddy,
wrote the script. We hardly see each other
anymore but still love one another deeply. This
project helps us keep our hearts knit together.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Home at 3:30 in the afternoon. A full day thus
far. Morning Service was well-sprinkled with
'new' people. We honored Curt for working with
music so faithfully. We also acknowledged
Brandon and Heidi for their dedication to
working with youth. All three received a long,
warm handclap and a standing ovation. None will
'retire', we will simply work smarter and work
The BellRoad Express
took its first run for Children's Church today.
We are focusing on the Ten Commandments to
begin. Thanks to
BellRoad Bob, Conductor Jane, SnackShop Heidi,
and RailRoad Renee for helping
with this all-important first day!
The first formal gathering in preparation for
Iglesia Bautista Bell Road was attended by
Karla, Sharon, Christy,
Cathy, Jesse, Elba, Nancy. I am very
pleased with the hopeful expectation that this
will blossom into a viable ministry in the
Thursday, November 1, 2007
night, we hosted an outreach event at our
church campus. I think anyone who was there
would say that our Festival was a great
success. Thanks to
BellRoad Bob, Kristy, Wanda, Debbie, Dan,
Renee, Scott, April, Kurt, Christy, Bob,
Jesse, David, Mary, Steve, Marcie, Vicki,
Jean, Nancy (and all the other
ministers that I didn't get a chance to see
in action). Click on this photo of
to get a look at our Harvest
Festival. Unfortunately, some
really cute shots of certain children cannot be shown on the Internet.
My camera quit working, so this isn't a
complete presentation. I hope to gather some
photos from other cameras. If
anyone has any photos to send me, please do!
A young pastor with an internet ministry
from Australia has been sending me emails
for quite awhile. His name is Josh Mitchell.
I don't know remember how he got my address.
It may have been that he (or someone in his
organization) was web-surfing, came across
this page and just added me to their mailing
Sometimes I designate 'form letters' like
that as spam and never see them again.
However, I have chosen to allow Josh's
letters to keep coming.
sent a note to his mailing list warning
ministers about a deceptive plot to ruin
their lives. He had been contacted by a what
sounded like a real person truly interested
in asking questions about faith:
"The young lady, emailed, and I immediately
was an opportunity for the gospel. So having her email
address I wrote to her from my church email address. I
outlined that I had a wife and children, and was very
and that I hoped she found excellent friends of good
character. I left her with the final line of 'here
is a great
website I found interesting:
She responded, and with light
chat asked more about us.
She left a link with information about her. I made the
stupid mistake of looking, curious about who I was
talking to. It was a pornographic profile."
went on to share how troubled he was that
his eyes fell upon sights he hadn't chosen
to look toward. I haven't written about this
issue very much, however I have taken the
opportunity to speak with individuals (and
couples) about the problem facing men.
By looking at Josh's site (Hallelujah
Baptist Mission), I found this link to a
message Ray Comfort. My 'old' friend, John
Rickard, once sent me some great material by
Ray Comfort (and Kirk Cameron).
I have been taking the time to listen to
this hour-long message (in fact, I'm still
listening to it right now). Early this
morning I was feeling oppressed as I was
waking up. There were over ten unsettled
stressors weighing upon mind. I began to
acknowledge each situation (mostly
relational) before the Lord (activating my
faith in Proverbs 3:5-6).
Cathy laid her hand on my forehead and pray
for me. This helped. However, listening to
Ray Comfort's message (click on the frame
above) has been the Lord's immediate
response to the overwhelming issues facing
me on this day. I am almost ready to get out
of bed now.
The Lord has been guiding my steps on what
to do to lead our church to become known by
Him as a soul-winning, missionary-sending
church. I think I had better map out recent
events and see the demonstration of His
guidance more clearly (the Ten Commandments
in our Narthex and at the movie theatre, Los
10 Mandamientos de Iglesia Bautista Bell
Road, the Wilderness Tabernacle, the
Baptistry sermonette, door-to-door
visitation, D.L. Moody stories, unmet
expectations, and the detour(s) upon The
(Roman) Road outline.
Here is an article that google chose for me
to read. It is an interesting stoy about a
South Korean mission strategy (click
May God give you a special time of prayer in
the midst of your circumstances. May He also
bring to your awareness a definite sense of
your calling. May your day's activities be
led by the Spirit--integrated and true to
the character God is forming in you.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Cathy and I went door-to-door in our
neighborhood with fliers yesterday (for the
Children's Festival (festival de los niños)
and an announcement for the kick-off of
lessons on the 10 Commandments (in Spanish)
at Iglesia Bautista Bell Road this Sunday at
Cathy went to one apartment and discovered
lives there. Christina works nearby and it
turns out that I have given her two CDs over
the weeks as I've made my way to church.
Today is the day some in history have called
"all-halloweds Eve." We are leading in an
outreach this evening at the church
property. It is called "Harvest Festival"
for the english-speaking folks (Festival de
los niños for our
I received a nice letter early this morning
from some friends who will be choosing to
stay home and pray tonight. I wrote back and
thanked them for 'directed prayer' and asked
that they pray specifically for me as I try
to meet every person who will come.
Here is an article I wrote for the newspaper
earlier this month.
CLICK HERE for today's Auburn Journal
article (originally entitled 'True Confessions
of a Party-Pooper') re-titled by the Editor
Halloween not so tricky
Our God is a great, big God...
21:10-12 records that Agabus met
the apostle Paul at Caesarea Maritima and
warned him about going to Jerusalem. He
bound his own hands and feet with Paul's
belt to demonstrate what the Jews would do
there. Paul would not be persuaded. It may
seem like the Spirit is giving two different
messages (or that Paul wasn't listening). I
came to the conclusion (years ago) that God
was developing Paul's conviction about what
he MUST do to walk in step with the Spirit.
Hopefully, Agabus and the others prayed
Some of what we face in a local church will
seem divergent, however if we will seek to
'esteem others better than ourselves', we'll
come through as a unified body under the
Headship of Christ.
Yesterday, I had the great privilege of
leading a 23 year old woman in a Sinner's
had visited our church for the 4th time this
If you cannot come to the Harvest Festival
tonight, will you take a moment to pray for
those of us who are there trying to build
relationships with new acquaintances? There
is a great need to keep 'watching' and
'praying' as we reach out towards the
unchurched and unsaved.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I stayed up until midnight listening again
to the music and Bob Knapp's Sunday Message (click
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,
(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
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
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
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
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
So, in preparation of them joining 'the Big
Picture', I will journal the ministry
event and address theological (and
practical) implications of yesterday's
This will be a public report--naming names.
I think it will be 'safe' to do so because
everyone was 'behaving' well as
I'll try to write this today and publish it
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
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
1) The story of watching the Ten
her Dad (who has been a pastor her entire life).
2) Experiencing a walk-through tour of the
Tabernacle that same afternoon.
3) Sharing the Tabernacle experience with a
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
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
Here is an interesting piece on Mayberry
Badges and Myers Lake from someone's visit
to Southern California in 1996. (click
Friday, October 25, 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
that 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
up to road to Auburn, California.
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 for those who will watch and pray).
Here is a map (click
here) to Bell
Road Baptist Church
(home to BellRoad Radio,
the Military Rose Garden, and, Lord willing,
the future home
of Iglesia Bautista Bell Road, and the
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,
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,
The book is called 'Approaching
God' by Steve Brown. So, that's the plan
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:
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.
model of the
Wilderness Tabernacle is on Display at the
Nevada County Fairgrounds Today
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
Be still and KNOW
that I am God.
Be still and
know that I
Be still and know that I am
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
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
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.
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
Los 10 Mandamientos Descubra esto y mucho mas, con
nuestro gran Predicador del sur de
Francisco Camarena (fundador de
Iglesia). y con la
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
When we were Galt yesterday,
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:
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
An interesting end to a
string-of-coincidenceconsidering that I was just listening
to this old track that very morning:
On the last
Sunday before I left for Liberia, I
(Templo La Hermosa) and
(Living Hope Bible Church) to share
the pulpit for a special 3-pastor sermon.
flame, I asked both men to interpret
short phrases from God's Word. This
for a 2-minute
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:
That's enough for today's journal
entry. It is now 4:46 and I need to
get back to sleep. I think I'll take
Mary to a matinee of
"The Ten Commandments"at
the first showing today. I will use
this as a field trip for
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.
1) Gather some more materials for the
Bell Road Iglesia Bautista (on November 4, 2007).
2) Arrange for the mantels around Andy's
desk as an
all-imporant Mayberry Prop
3) Look through my stuff and bring more of
it to Auburn
4) hmmm...oh yeah, pick up our 16 year old
daughter who went home with her brother
I wrote Matt a note today:
"Here's what I want you to do. Download and burn this
chunk of songs to a CD or iPod ..whatever
and see if you can pick some you like...or brainstorm
ideas for using them in a live setting... or video...whatever
Love you...SO HAPPY you and Justine are
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:
The message features Polly, Joe, Cerissa, and
Alexis coming to the platform for some
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
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,
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,
graduated from Del
Oro High School in Loomis, CA. She now lives in
Listen to another song and take a
good look at
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).
October 21, 2007
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
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
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
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
(after morning services on October 28th). They have two tribute band acts:
Back in Black (Johnny Cash)
and Rose of San Antone
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
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
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
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
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
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).
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).
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
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
motor specialist in town, period."
"This is the
place to go to get your electric motor
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
"Hey, I am about to do something new in the nation
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
So how are we doing in serving our Customer?
looking over their newsletter and a fresh
look at their website (click
here) , I wrote to Rodney and shared
Wow! God is <blessing, blessing, blessing>
your effort. I'm sorry that I haven't
written much I've been so busy trying to
plant seeds here at Bell Road Baptist
Your garden's growth gives me hope about the
one I'm trying to work here in Auburn,
I will definitely
'tune in' your webpage for the journal
during your 2 week trip to Liberia (November
3-17). I will feature a link everyday in my
Then, he wrote back to me within minutes:
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
I spoke with Pastor Wesley last week and
we’re still looking for ways to partner with
In looking over
Rodney's website I lifted this quote
from one of the pages. This thought will
serve well all who are in the 'business' of
"Use your ministry to build people,
not people to
build your ministry."
--Jacquelyn K. Heasley
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.
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
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
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Today, Mary and David are getting married.
There's a rehearsal at 11:00 and the wedding's
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
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.
"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 turned, 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.
(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 attended the Youth Group at BellRoad when she was younger. Her father told
me that she 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.
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.
to use my cellphone and called her newlywed
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
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:
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
"For there's no other way...
to be happy in Jesus than to trust and
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I bit the bullet and am now paying for wireless,
high-speed from our Miner's Station apartment.
EducationPlus relies heavily on internet
likes to 'chat' with his wife thousands of miles
away in the Philippines,
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)
and Rose of San Antone
They will be performing with their band for our
(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
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
Scott and April Cameron are
organizing a group. I will ask her to contact
you. Anybody else interested?
Feel free to write to April:
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
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:
husband and I were wondering how
have been adopted from Greater Love Children's
Thank you very much!
Kamina & Jeremy
I am not certain about the number of
children adopted through Greater Love
Children's Home but I'm sure Pastor
Wesley will get back with you during the
next couple days.
I may not be correct but I think
that Greater Love has only adopted
through Addy's Hope. I have cc'd Holly
Ann, the Director of Addy's Hope.
To answer that
question, we have had 12 children actually
come home to the US. We have 4 children who
are waiting for families (two of them, 6
year old twins, are on our website), 29
children and 17 families in process right
now. We are busy! :)
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
'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
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
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
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
used it for my column).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
I'm at the church to check email at 6:45. Cathy
and I are finalizing training requirements at
Sutter Faith Hospice to serve as rotating
chaplains there. It is primarily to be on-call
for the hospital to minister among families
facing the immediate death of a loved one.
After that is Joy Fellowship, our Seniors'
Ministry, at the church for lunch and a one-man
At 2:00, Bob Knapp and TeamKID Outreach will
start setting up a jumphouse and cotton candy
machine at the regional Park near our apartment
Busy. I'm praying through this season of busy-ness
that we will reap a harvest of souls by planning
good seed in good soil.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Still doing without Internet at our apartment so
my entries may be later than normal.
I just met with Patrice to talk over production
needs for 'Christmas in Mayberry'. Her brother,
Ben, listened in so I think he will become a
valuable asset to the entire project.
Prayer with like-minded believers is vital to my
ability to stay in step with the Spirit. On
Monday night, the BellRoad Deaconate met with me
for two hours. We agreed that Friday mornings we
will meet for prayer together.
Yesterday, I met again with a number of area
pastors as part of a Tuesday morning prayer
meeting. These are some great guys and I am
happy to share mutual burdens with them.
Tonight, at 6:00 p.m. I have the privilege of
sharing prayer-time with those who have enlisted
in 40 Days of Pots, Pans, and Prayer. Please
pray for me--that I'll stay on track with the
Lord's Best for those among whom I have
It is a pleasure for me to have our oldest son,
Joe, here in Auburn. Yesterday, he and I had a
twilight special dinner at the Ridge Golf
Course. It is a beautiful development down the
street from our church. Although neither of us
have ever played golf, we enjoyed walking the
grounds, talking and praying.
Later in the evening, he played tennis with Ben,
Clyde. Joe has agreed to
serve as an intern at BellRoad
Radio until he finds gainful employment
in the banking industry. This will be a
big help to me as I try to expand the influence
of our church program. (click on photo to
Mary is taking a C-Best pre-exam as part of her
EducationPlus. Since Joe is an
experienced Tutor so he will also be able to
help Mary in any area that needs strengthening.
The C-Best test is required by California Public
Schools in order to be a substitute teacher.
Cathy and I both passed that test and with our
Bachelors Degrees, we are credentialed as
substitute teachers (K-12) in California. Mary
has already passed her Exit Exam for California
public schools but I want to make the most of
these final years with her in our household.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I'm up in the Soundbooth at 10:58 taping the
teaching for Bible Study Fellowship. They will
play this tape for those who work in the
I also just submitted this Expert Advice column
for next Monday's Auburn Journal. Thanks Madelyn
for submitting a 'real' question. Click below
for Sunday's sermon. It shares more about 'real
questions' that 'expert advice' has generated.
We were at the BellRoad Campus until 8:00 p.m.
hanging with a couple who travel all the way
from Elk Grove to attend our class on the
Baptist Faith and Message.
Sadly, the 'free' (unsecured) wireless
connection I've been enjoying at Miner's Station
has come to an end. I'm still paying for
high-speed for the boys in Galt...and don't
think I can really afford it in both places.
So, I'll head down to the Campus and upload this
Our first read-through of Christmas in Mayberry
was eye-opening. I must commend playwright,
for his attention to detail. His script operates
on several levels and the ending neatly ties
together several sub-plots. I look forward to
working with Patrice Rosenau and a top-notch
team of co-laborers to pull off this God-sized
To make it easy for those who show up here
looking for the 'helps' I've assembled, here
Mayberry Slideshow (click
here) to help us all brainstorm
about this community outreach. The famous
"Preamble Scene" is embedded on the same
Seventeen online episodes
of The Andy Griffith
Show. I embedded these links
onto one page to make it easier for the cast(s) and crew(s) in Lodi and in Auburn
I was working on this entry yesterday
afternoon. This sermon has been preached
and, Lord willing, should be online tomorrow
Here was my rough outline:
"Looking for Ties . . .that Bind"
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the
home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was
suffering from a high fever, and
they asked Jesus to help her. So he
bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it
left her. She got up at once and began to
wait on them.
Bind us Together
1) PRAYER:"and they
asked Jesus to help her."
2) WATCHING GOD AT WORK:
"He bent over her
and rebuked the fever"
"She got up at once
and began to wait on them."
ATIE TO LOOSEN:
THE 'BUSINESS-AS-USUAL' TIE:
"When the sun was setting, the people
brought to Jesus all who had various
kinds of sickness, and laying his hands
on each one, he healed them. Moreover,
demons came out of many people,
shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But
he rebuked them and would not allow them
to speak, because they knew he was the
"At daybreak Jesus went out to a
ATIE TO LOOSEN:
ANOTHER 'BUSINESS-AS-USUAL' TIE:
tried to keep him from leaving them." (:42b)
The people were looking for him and when
they came to where he was, they tried to
keep him from leaving them.
OUR MISSION: "I must preach
the good news of the kingdom of God to
the other towns also, because that is
why I was sent." (4:43-44)
But he said, "I must preach the good
news of the kingdom of God to the other
towns also, because that is why I was
sent." And he kept on preaching in the
synagogues of Judea.
We left off last time with a speech
given by Gamaliel to the Sanhedrin:
"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let
them go! For if their purpose or
activity is of human origin, it will
fail. But if it is from God, you will
not be able to stop these men; you will
only find yourselves fighting against
Gamaliel's speech persuaded them.
They called the apostles in and had them
flogged. Then they ordered them not to
speak in the name of Jesus, and let them
41-42 The apostles left the
Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had
been counted worthy of suffering
disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in
the temple courts and from house to
house, they never stopped teaching and
proclaiming the good news that Jesus is
Romans 2:28-29 A man is not a Jew
if he is only one outwardly, nor is
circumcision merely outward and
physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is
one inwardly; and circumcision is
circumcision of the heart, by the
Spirit, not by the written code. Such a
man's praise is not from men, but from
Day 18: 40 Days of Pots, Pans, and
Prayer 'Ministering to
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Yesterday, I helped
Joe tweak his resume' and he
took copies to nearly every bank branch in
Auburn. He has also applied online to most
of them. Cathy
left early yesterday morning to work a 24
hour shift for Home Instead. She is then
going to do three hours at another site
before coming home.
is wrestling in a Sacramento Tournament all
day today. We are going to try to get there
to see him wrestle at least one of his
Last night, Joe and I let several late
episodes of the Andy Griffith Show play
while I worked on drawing prop plans for
Christmas in Mayberry and Joe applied for
Bank positions online.
Early this morning, I made a new
here) to help us all brainstorm
about this community outreach. The famous
"Preamble Scene" is embedded on the same
Vicki Novak is gonna be one of
the Darling Boys (with an upright Bass, Lord
Willing) and get her real, live brothers
here for the December 23rd performance.
For those of you who haven't seen an episode
of the Andy Griffith Show in awhile, I found
a website called liketelevision that has 17
shows online. I embedded their links in this
page to make it easier to navigate for the
cast(s) and crew(s) in Lodi and in Auburn (click
here for Mayberry Episodes).
...and now its time for me to get back to my
sermon-prep for tomorrow's message:
CLICK ABOVE for a closer look,
Click Again to release
Years ago, I experienced a season of praying
this prayer daily. I was taught that I could
personalize each phrase and make direct
application to the situations that we were
facing that very day.
who have commented, so don't go
there if that bothers you too much.
click for music video
(a fair use)
Love, Love, Love . .
There's nothing we can
the Prince of
Peace a Chance
(All we are
is . . .)
Everyone needs God, We all
Love, Love, Love . . .
the Way, the Truth, the Life but Jesus
Jerry Patterson, and Cathy for investing
the talents entrusted to them.