Friday, September 26, 2008

California Dreaming with Friends!

For the last few days, my wife and I have been traveling up the coast of California! We have driven Highway 1 in a mustang convertible! The top has been down, the sun shining and wind blowing in our hair! It's been fun!

As much as we have enjoyed the trip, the joy is always doubled because of our friends! Philip and Debbie White have been friends for 34 years! Each year we take a week long trip together! We laugh, eat and enjoy each others company! This friendship has been so wonderful! We have cried together, supported each other in life difficulties, challenged each other Spiritually and shared our dreams and disappointments. But it has not been just the couples but our children as well! Their lives are also intertwined even as they enter marriage! They share life with each other!

Friends are so important to have! They double your joy and half your sorrow. They add much value to your life! Listen to the words of the Wise One concerning friendship and the value they add:


Proverbs 29:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friends springs from his earnest counsel. (NIV).


Proverbs 29:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted...(Friends tells you when you have something on your face! It still embrasses you but they want you to look good!)


Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

I thank God for my friends! They are the best! Time has enriched our love for each other! I encourage each of you to take time for your friends! Work on your relationships! Find friends who share the same passion as you do and be faithful to them!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Desperately Seeking!

This mornings latte @ Stell's was great! It was a double with non-fat milk and 4 splenda! (Three mixed with the espresso and 1 sprinkled on top!) The latte seemed to grow in its spender as I reflected upon our weekend! Thoughts of appreciation and joy always improve the present experience!

Bro. Jacob Pereida from San Antonia, TX ministered in a powerful way to our Youth (Don't you Love the Picture)! Each service was tremendous for anyone who was craving a Spiritual move of God! Sunday night was the icing on the cake! Teens and adults lying throughout the building praying and crying out for God's glory to be displayed in their world! Not for five minutes but at least for an hour! They were desperately seeking God's signs and wonders to be displayed in our church!

Why do I want a display of God's Glory (miracles)? Because the miracles of the Lord were used to attract people to His message! The miracles were not salvation but were used to cause people to want to hear the message of salvation! The most important action that we ever take is our response to the voice of God! The message of His Word is supreme! I want people to know that God exists and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Any person who diligently seeks the Lord will be led by the Spirit to the true Message! The message is that the Kingdom of God is here and you need to enter into the Kingdom. How do I enter into the Kingdom? By a birth of Water (Jesus name baptism) and a birth of the Spirit (Infilling of the Holy Spirit that is evidenced by speaking in tongues)! (John 3:5).

Jesus had many followers who were influenced by His miracles but became offended by His message (John 6:60-69). In the making of disciples the most important thing is " and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you " (Matt. 28:20 NIV)! Disciples understand that obedience to His Word is the mark of discipleship (John 14:15). Disciples who become great in God's kingdom are used to see miracles happen and use the miracles as a platform to proclaim His message! God, give Hope Center Miracles, Signs and Wonders for we are shouting out your Message!

Thank you Bro. Eric and Sis. Rose for your leadership this past weekend! Give a shout out to the Worship Band, they were awesome (Michael, Ray, Stacey and Todd)! Praise singers, you were fabulous (Barb, Rachael, Roberta, Rose, and Selena). Andrew, Eric, Nathan, and Ray were super worship leaders! And a shout out to Christa and Valerie for ministering with the worship band in When I Speak you Name!

Now go conqueror the week! Let's all seek diligently God's presence through prayer and His Word! Listen for His voice and obey! Tell someone about the weekend! Blow their mind with your passion for God! Tell them about the miracles in your life and give the Glory to God! You'll be surprised at what you be able to do! You'll be able to tell them about Jesus and His message!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Men Becoming Men of God!

What a time @ Pali Mountain! The Men's retreat was awesome! Bro. John Shoemake of San Jose was powerfully used by God to challenge each man to climb to a higher level! God's Spirit filled the room each service and each heart responded! What powerful time for me as we prayed with each other! I was moved to tears as Jarad Hibbets wept before the Lord! As men's voices are lifted in song and praise, strength is experienced by all. The power of united men, interlocking their arms, and reaching for God is overwhelming! Being a Band of Brothers is wonderful!

Yes, I love to go to men's retreat! The time I am able to spend with each of my brothers is priceless! As we sit around the dinner table the stories begin to roll! The tales begin to grow taller and taller! Laughter begins to fill each mouth as we listen to competing stories! It's the best entertainment that could ever be! HA!

The Men's Ministry Team did an outstanding job. The team is led by Bro. Jason Carr, who is supported by Bro. John Smith and Bro. David Candelaria. The success of the retreat was because these men gave themselves to the Lord and us! Their hard work is appreciated by all!

This year we had our largest number of men ever to our retreat! Next year promises to be larger because the men of our church are giving themselves to the God in Worship and prayer! They are doing all they can to Connect to every man who comes or visits our church! They are Serving God and others through ministry. But they are not stopping there, they are Reaching out to draw in men to become Spiritual Brothers! Encourage the men in your life to become Men of God and see how unbelievable your family and home will BECOME!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When do I lose my Faith?

This morning I was reading Jesus words to Peter in Luke 22:31-32:

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

I begin to ask myself a number of questions:

Did Peter's faith fail? It sure seems like it for Peter ends up sinning! He denies the Lord and curses when confronted by the young girl and others while warming himself at the fire! (Matt. 26: 69-75)

If Peter's faith failed then did the prayer of Jesus also fail to protect Peter from the sifting of Satan?

As I pondered these questions another thought came: If the Lord's prayer failed, then there is no hope for mine to be successful! I'm so unrighteous and He is so righteous!

The answer seemed to come as I asked myself more questions. Is faith needed before I fail or after I fail? Or is faith tested while I am tested to obedience and if I fail to obey it is finally tested with receiving of forgiveness?

I began to realize that faith is needed to obey! Peter's lack of faith is seen in his denial as fear for his own life takes over his actions and produces denial. Fear an enemy of Faith!

But the greatest and final failure of an individuals faith is when faith in the mercy and forgiveness of God is not received! That is when sifting or separation from God happens! Not seeking forgiveness neither receiving forgiveness when it is extended to us by God will cause us to be separated from God! This will lead to separation for God for eternity!

The prayer of Jesus did not fail! Peter wept as he thought on his failure (Mark 14:72). He sought forgiveness and believed that he was forgiven! His faith in forgiveness gave him the ability stop the desire of Satan of destroying the relationship that Peter had with the Lord!

Don't let Satan tell you that your sin is final! You've lost your faith! No, the job of faith is not over! It will strengthen and support you to believe in the power of the blood and mercy of Jesus! Only when I lose faith in His forgiveness of my sins will I be separated from my hopes and dreams of being a great man of God!

What was Peter to do when he came back from failure? Strength his brothers! Strength them in their faith! I like this version of this event:

Luke 22:31-32 31“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. 32Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (The Message)

Give someone a fresh start and teach them about God forgiveness by living it out in front of them! You sinned? It's alright! Seek forgiveness and start again!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Next Generation?

I've made a mistake! I called last night service The Next Generation! But the more I pondered it, I realized that label gives the thought that we want the next generation to minister and lead but to wait for the future!

They cannot wait to minister and lead! We need them to lead and minister NOW! Why? Their generation is already here! And I might not be able to reach this generation because I'm of another generation!

David served his generation (Acts 13:36)! He served them when he fought Goliath. How did he serve them? By reminding them to remember who they were! They were in covenant with God and Goliath was was not. He was an Uncircumcised gentile (I Sam 17:26, 36)! There was no way Goliath could win the battle! He was not fighting David but David's covenant God!

Yes, last night was a great night @ Hope Center! This was a service where as many youth were ministering as possible! From the Leading of Worship and Prayer to Preaching! They were serving my generation and their own.

These three young men were used by God to minister to our church: Nathan White, Jason Coverdale and Ray Munoz! Their love for God and His Word was evident! Each was different in their message but all were anointed by God!
I watched the altar! It was full of youth! These young preachers got the youth there (with the help of the Lord). Then they waded into the altar and begin to pray with everyone. They were serving their generation!

Each of these young guys are involved already in ministering either in Saturday Outreach, Youth, Kids Church, Kids Discipleship or at our street ministry "After Shock" (I'll tell you about this in the near future). They are great young men! We're proud of them and believe in them! They are serving their generation and serving them well! Let's all join them and serve our own generation!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Success is Trying!

This week a great young lady of our church took a risk! Lauren Simpson is a incoming freshman @ the University of Redlands! She is brilliant and Godly! She decided to start a Bible Study Club at the school. There were certain steps that are needed to start the club. The most important is that there must be students who have an interest! She had 8 students sign up who were interested. The next step is they must attend the orientation for the club. If they do then the club may start!

Last night the orientation happened. No one came! I'm sure she felt defeated! A failure! But in my eyes she's a winner! Why? Because she tried! She risked failure! The greatest failure of life is not failing or falling but not risking or stretching! She did what God called her to do! Throw the Seed! She can't control the grounds or hearts she only controls the throwing of the Seed/Word (Matt. 13)!

What will she do now? Tuck her head? Give up? No! She'll make friends with other students and they will become the people she will work on to help her start the club!

Remember the way God describes a righteous man:

Proverbs 24:16
For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (NIV)

A righteous man is righteous not because he never falls but because he keeps rising and trying! The wicked man is defeated by failure!

She's a Champ in my book! I'm proud of her! I'm giving a Shout Out to young lady who is climbing out of her comfort zone and becoming an instrument of God! You make me proud! Lauren, I'm glad I'm YOUR pastor!

Now how about you? Are you getting our of your comfort zone and trying to make a difference?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stretching Me!

We'll I didn't make it! The first Monday has come and gone and I missed it! I was trying to blog once a week hopefully by Monday morning. I didn't even make it the first week! This is going to stretch me! But I need it! I want to always be a growing individual!

Wow! What a great weekend! Our Sunday Service was great! We had tremendous attendance for a holiday weekend! Three people get baptized in Jesus Name! Two young men from the "boys home" and one of our bus girls!

I've received reports of powerful blessings in the altar time and others having great interest in the preached message of that service on receiving the Holy Ghost and "Jesus Name" baptism.

The Sylvan Park fellowship attendance was one of the best ever! The playoff of volleyball and kickball was a zoo! Skunks, Badgers, Giraffes, Cockroaches, Donkeys, Monkeys and Cheetah's. The competing teams were animals and each team was very entertaining! The winner of the playoff was Sis. Becka's Team, the Giraffe's! I wonder how they'll be rewarded this Sunday?

We're moving into a very important time of the year! There are great events to happen in the next couple of months:

September: Men's Retreat & Youth Revival
October: Prayer Summit & Project Hope (Summons 2 Sacrifice)
November: Liberia Trip with Crusade & New Church Dedication
December: Special Christmas Services with Adults & Children

These are great but the foundation of everything must be Prayer. Make sure you are having a daily time of prayer! Weekly sign up for the 24 hour prayer chain! Come early each service for prayer! Be a participator in one of our special prayer groups, such as Concert of Prayer, Mothers Prayer, Woman's Prayer or Youth Prayer. Let's pray for a Spiritual harvest during this fall season.