Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GOOD AND PERFECT GIFTS

SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


GOOD AND PERFECT GIFTS

(James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above...

I want you to read a maxim that I hope you will always remember. "Good is the enemy of the best." So often we accept what is good in life instead of pressing in for God's best. We usually do this for a few reasons. First, we don't feel worthy so we just take whatever comes along our way. Second, we might get antsy and so take what is in front of us because we are tired of waiting. But is that how we should live life? Do we take the good or do we wait for God's best?

Listen to what Jesus taught: (Mat 7:7 - 11) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Now doesn't that sound like God wants to give you His best? Do you realize you are under God's grace and favor through Jesus Christ? He saved you by grace and He now blesses you by His grace. It is not of works. You can't earn God's favor. He loves you and just wants to bless you.

Perhaps while growing up life was hard. You never had what you really wanted. And maybe ever since acquisition has been a struggle for you. You've always told yourself you couldn't afford it so you wouldn't buy it. Or you didn't deserve it so you walked away from it. You told yourself others were struggling in the world so why should you have anything decent and nice?

Our Father in heaven gives good gifts! After God made the world this was His view of things:
(Gen 1:31) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good... God created a beautiful world. And wouldn't it follow that He would desire to create something beautiful in your life? Yes, there might be times of struggling. But don't think for a moment God doesn't love you. You'll come out with His blessing on your life. Refuse to settle for what is only good and passable. "Any port in the storm" is not God's way of providing for His own!

Every closed door you experience is God getting you ready to accept His best. (So be careful about trying to force a closed door open!) God's delays are not His denials. Wait for that door to open and you will find a special gift from the Lord.

(Psa 72:18) ...God...only does wondrous things! Before you accept something put it through this grid: "Is this God's very best?" Because good is the enemy of the best!

Louie

Friday, April 24, 2009

OBAMA: NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN NATION




1 Timothy 2:1-2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

THE FEAR OF THE LORD


Last night at midweek Bible study we talked about the fear of the Lord from the book of Jonah.

Jonah 1:9 (NKJV) 9So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

What is the fear of the Lord? It means to be in awe and reverence of the Lord...to have a healthy respect of Him. We went further to say the fear of the Lord is two-sided:

1) I don't want the Lord to hurt me. Remember when you were a kid and had a healthy respect for your dad? You didn't do some things you wanted to do because you knew it would make your dad mad and you would suffer the consequences.

2) I don't want to hurt the Lord. We fear God because we love Him and don't want to displease Him. He's done so much for us and we want to be grateful children, serving and loving Him till the day we die.

Here are some other scriptures we went over that include the benefits of having the fear of the Lord in your life:
  • Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:...


  • Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.


  • Pro 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence...

The following verses talk about the practicality of our faith. It's not just in belief but in practice:

  • (James 2:19) You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe; and tremble!
  • Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

Hopefully this clarity of the term "fear the Lord" is helpful so we can all enjoy a healthy and thriving relationship with our God!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FULLY HUMAN


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

FULLY HUMAN

(Colossians 2:10) and you are complete in Him...

I have a theory that I'd like to test out on you. I would like to say that a person isn't fully human unless they are born again. Now right away you know that I know that being human is being a person born into this world and who obviously is of a physical makeup and alive biologically. No one can be half human. (We have medieval pictures of centaurs and the like but that has never been seen or proven.) But I am saying that not only can someone not be half human...they are not fully human unless they are regenerated by the Spirit of God.


People talk a lot these days about maximizing human potential. You know, better yourself and the like. It's big in the self-help categories. There are a lot of good principles of organization and discipline and goal-setting but that speaks to just the physical and the psyche. But in this day and age of modern psychology and secular humanism we have neglected the spiritual dimension of the human being. You can better your physical health by exercise and diet. You can better your mind by reading books and thinking more positively. But is man only a dichotomy of mass and mind?


The Bible says we have a spirit. That's the part of you that relates to God. It is dead due to sin but comes alive when one is born again in Christ. Ahhh, now you see where I'm going. Good! Any proof for man being a trichotomy? There are many scriptures that speak to the spirit as separate from the soul but my favorite is...(1 Thessalonians 5:23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I respect people who practice self-improvement. We all could use more refinement by challenging ourselves to personal growth. But if you take the smartest guy with the healthiest body he still in my estimation isn't fully human. He has neglected his spirit. He's losing out on the most important aspect of his being. He was born to be born again. That part of him that is inactive (but in a Bible sense spiritually dead) needs to be awakened and come to life. A whole new dimension of existence awaits him. A new experience beckons him in relation to God through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

And think about this. The body will go into the ground and the soul will go cease to be as in relation to this earth. But the spirit lives forever. If that is so then why do most people neglect their spirit? Well, the Bible speaks of spiritual blindness because Satan wants that spirit in hell!

Be all that you can be. Become fully human. Be entirely alive. Be born again! Then you will become complete in Him (Jesus!).

Louie

Friday, April 17, 2009

JAN PANE SHARES ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA MINISTRY

Last night we had the privilege of having Jan Pane (one of our GO! missionaries) share about her ministry to AIDS orphans in Johannesburg, South Africa. It challenged us all to reach out right where we are at. The time is short and God has a ministry for us all.

(James 1:27) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Let's keep Jan in our prayers for a refreshing time in the U.S. and then for new strength in the Lord to return to Africa and fulfill the ministry God has put on her heart.

(2 Tim 4:5) But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

IMPULSES




SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


IMPULSES

(Jer 7:24) "Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

Some people say to follow your heart. But that can be dangerous! The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? If you follow your heart you might deceive yourself into something you really want but is not of the Lord. (Prov 14:12) There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Jeremiah described the children of Israel as following the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts. And what direction did it take them? Backward and not forward.


Do you remember the old ‘70’s song with the line, “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right”? That might have been a number one hit but the message of that line was really a bomb. There are many things that might feel right but are so wrong. The Bible speaks of the “passing pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25). Sin has pleasure but only for a short measure. I’m sure Eve really enjoyed that apple (or pomegranate or whatever it was!). It was so good she gave it to Adam for an afternoon snack. But that good taste didn’t last long. God showed up and they were hiding in the bushes with sour stomachs.

I like the story of Saul on this. Samuel told Saul to wait for him for seven days. But Saul grew impatient because of the threat of the Philistines. He couldn’t wait for Samuel who was taking his time. Samuel finally showed up and asked Saul why he didn’t comply with his wishes. …And Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, {12} "then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering." (1 Sam 13:11-12) You see, he felt “compelled.” It was a false impulse. And it cost him his kingship.


I had a woman tell me she was divorcing her husband after 17 years of marriage. Originally she felt the Lord tell her she was to marry this man who was not a Christian. Now she knew what the Bible said about being unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14-18). But she felt she was to marry him and that he would come to the Lord. He never did come to the Lord and remained very antagonistic to the faith. After their child’s high school graduation they were divorced.

The Bible says “…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God…(1 John 4:1) When we get an impulse we are to pray about that suggestion and see if it is from the Lord or from our own desires. Satan can be crafty and use our desires as his bait (2 Cor 11:3; James 1:13-16). Be prodded by the Lord and be careful of being pushed by your impulses. (John 16:13) "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…

Louie


Monday, April 13, 2009

DAWN SAMOA-GRISE IS NOW WITH JESUS

Dawn Samoa-Grise passed away today (MON). We will miss her sweet presence at Calvary Chapel Norco. She loved the Lord and she was always at Bible study. She had long-term health problems and we are glad she is not suffering anymore. Please pray for her children Megan and Matthew.

MEMORIAL SERVICE IS SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2:00pm at Calvary Chapel Norco.

See you in heaven sister Dawn!

(2 Cor 5:8) We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

EASTER SONRISE SERVICE

Gary, Frank, and Nick blessed after the EASTER SONRISE SERVICE.

This year the Calvary Chapel Norco EASTER SONRISE SERVICE was held in our church parking lot. We had a great turnout and we were all rejoicing in our risen Lord! It was fun being outside and singing praises to the Lord and being reminded about the hope we have in the resurrection. Such good news amidst all the world bad news!

(John 14:19) ...Because I live, you will live also.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

MICHAEL AND ASHLEY CAMPBELL WEDDING

Today Michael and Ashley (Bezansky) Campbell were married in Rancho Cucamonga.
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It was great meeting the wedding party, family, and many of the guests.
We could sense the presence of the Lord there at the altar. (Mat 18:20) "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
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God bless you Michael and Ashley as you grow in your love for Jesus and one another!
(John 13:34) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.


Friday, April 10, 2009

GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE

Today the rain held off for our noon Good Friday service. We were to have it out on the grass in the open but the clouds looked threatening. We had the service under the picnic pavillion. The fellowships of Calvary Chapel Living Water (Corona) and Calvary Chapel Norco gathered together to thank the Lord for what Jesus did on the cross for us.

We had worship and then talked about God's bailout plan (Matthew 18:21-35). Pastor Jerry Simmons shared at the communion table this great scripture:

(Luke 23:44-45) Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. {45} Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.

The pastors then served communion as we worshipped again thanking the Lord for the cross and forgiveness for sins...the bailout plan of God sending Jesus!!

See you Easter Sunday!

Sonrise service: 6am

Regular services: 8am, 9:30am, and 11am

Sunday evening service: 6:30pm

He is risen!










Thursday, April 9, 2009

THE AFTERLIFE

SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

THE AFTERLIFE

(Heb 9:27) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

We live in an increasingly secular society. People don’t think Biblically as they used to when our nation was more closely tied to the beliefs of our forefathers. So now Christians must not assume that people think like they do. When you ask people about the afterlife the most common response is “I don’t know.” But then they usually share what they kind of believe in. Let’s take a look at the more common beliefs of the afterlife:

REINCARNATION: This is the belief that people are born in another body after they die. They live again for the better or worse according to how they lived in the past life (karma). This comes from Eastern religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism but New Age philosophy has also adopted it. It has become more popular in the West as people have explored these belief systems. Hollywood has also make this fashionable through it’s movies as well as modern song writers (Lennon, Harrison, etc.). It also fits well with the theory of evolution with its progressive nature. It is comparative to Christianity only by the similar terms it has in common such as “born again” and “paying for past deeds.”

ANNIHILATION: After death the spirit (if there is one) ceases to exist. Nothing survives. Death ends it all. Seldom held before the eighteenth century, materialism (as it is also called) is now a strong minority view in industrialized nations. It is the natural offspring of atheism. The natural and obvious result is pessimism as well as hedonism. Live for the now because there is no life beyond this one. (1 Cor 15:32) … "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"


RESURRECTION: At death, the soul separates from the body and goes to be with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8) … to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. At the future resurrection the body will come out of the grave and be united with the spirit in a new resurrected form. (1 Cor 15:52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Since the Bible is the inspired Word of God then we take the biblical view of the resurrection as true and accurate. If we don’t look into the Bible then we are subject to our own theories and will end up with non-truth. And as we know not having the right facts can lead to devastating results! There will be a judgment in the afterlife but here’s the good news: (John 5:28-29) "… the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice {29} "and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. So how can a person be ready for the afterlife?: (John 3:3) Jesus answered…"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." God judged your sins at the cross of His Son. Give your life to Jesus today!

Louie

VISITED CAMP ALANDALE

Yesterday (WED) we visited Camp Alandale where Jeremy and Sarah Britton are now serving as missionaries to foster care Youth. Kelsey was on Spring Break so we took the day to visit. Some of the students of the Calvary Chapel Bible College were there (not pictured) devoting their week to serve the Lord and to get the camp ready for summer outreach.


L to R: Roy, Bob, Michael, Jeremy, Sarah, Kelsey, Cheryl
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Roy, Jeremy, Michael, Louie
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In the town of Julian. Thought the name of this bank sounded like "Rob-a-bank!"

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video

VIDEO: Squirrel on the Loose!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

THE GREAT ESCAPE!


Lesson from today's Sunday message:

Are you worn and tired? Wanting to get away from it all? Weary of all the drama around you? You don’t have to go anywhere to get that peace and rest you need. Run to the Lord and let Him be your strong tower. Truly the Lord is THE GREAT ESCAPE!

(1 Cor 10:13) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

GO SEE THE MOVIE "THE CROSS"


Cheryl and I just saw the movie "The Cross" on the life of Arthur Blessitt who has carried a 12 foot wooden cross around the world. It will inspire you to carry your cross for Jesus every day!


(Luke 9:23) Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PALM SUNDAY

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SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


PALM SUNDAY

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, {13} took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!" (John 12:12-13)

Did you know there is only one reference in the Gospels about the palm tree branches that people took to meet Jesus when He came into Jerusalem in what we call the Triumphal Entry? Only John shares that detail and Christians historically have referenced this day as Palm Sunday.


Waving palms was a mark of triumphant homage to a victor or a king (Rev 7:9). Palm trees grew on the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:8) on the road from Bethany to Jerusalem so the trees were naturally accessible for this wonderful moment when Jesus was openly presenting Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel!

Palm Sunday begins what has been called Passion Week in the Christian church. This was the last week of our Lord’s life which included His final teaching, the Last Supper with His disciples, His agony, betrayal, and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, His unjust trials and beatings before the Jewish and Gentile authorities, His crucifixion on what we call Good Friday, and then His glorious resurrection on Easter morning. What a special season to worship the Lord and to think about all He’s done for us!

But to tell you the truth, I’ve been thinking about that word palm. Just a few days after Palm Sunday was the painful passion and brutal beatings of our Lord. And during this time there is another reference to the word palm but it’s not the palm of a palm tree but the palm of a cruel hand: (Mat 26:67) Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands.


Then I think of our Lord’s crucifixion where they drove nails into His palms: (John 20:25) …he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails,…I will not believe."

Will the Lord always keep His scars for us to behold? Perhaps He will to remind us of His great love for us on the cross. The scars were there in His resurrection body and it says in Revelation 13:8 that Jesus is spoken of as "…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Palm Sunday…nail-scarred hands. Beautiful hands. The hands of my Savior who died for me! Now I look at my palms and what will I do? (Psa 63:4) Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. Thank-you Jesus! I’ll praise you and love you forever!!

Louie

HAPPY NATIONAL ATHEIST'S DAY!

(Psa 14:1) The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.