Saturday, May 30, 2009

A GREAT TESTIMONY BY STEVE RICE


Dear saints,

The following is from my friend Steve Rice...a great brother in the Lord and a true servant who is well loved by many. It will show you just how truly amazing our Lord is and how intimate He is with those who love Him:



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Pastor Louie,

Thank you for asking me to share this.

When my brother Jerry first told me about the reading the names of thoseVeterans buried at Riverside National Cemetery, I knew it was something Iwanted to do. You see, our dad was buried there and it was the desire ofmy brother and I to give honor to him. In order to read the names of all148,000 service men and women, a minimum of 300 volunteers were required toperform this task. The Roll Call would start first thing in the morning onSaturday, May 16th and would continue throughout the day (24-hours/day) forthe next nine days, until Memorial Day, or until the name of each and everyservice person had been read aloud and honored. This was thefirst-of-it's-kind in the nation and over 500 people responded and chose totake part.

My brother and I were assigned the time of 9pm on Saturday, approximately 71/2 days into the Roll Call. We were told ahead of time, it would probablynot be possible to read the name of a specific loved one, since the nameswere computer-generated randomly, with over 1,500 pages of names requiredto be read. Even with this, we were still looking forward to our time ofbeing there.

At the cemetery just past the Visitor's Booth, on the left-hand side was agiant pond with flag poles next to it, and a flag flying at half-staff. Acemented patio area surrounded the flag poles with two sections covered bytarps: one for any visitors & guests, and the other to shade the elementsof those speakers who stood behind two podiums.

As I approached the venue, I could hear the names of those being read aloudover speakers. At the check-in table, Veterans were staffed to organizeand maintain decorum during the night-shift. These heroes wore their denimjackets, decorated with patches and badges that recognized their wareffort. Both men and women were there, some of which had ridden theirHarley's that were parked in an adjacent area. Their demeanor was humble,yet one could recognize their sense of purpose and commitment of beingthere.)

As I sat and waited my turn, I listened to the names of those being read.It began to overwhelm me as I realized each person I heard was someone nolonger alive, that had given the sacrifice of service to our country, andto you and me as well. It hit me as something very solemn and caused me tochoke inside.

When it was time, my brother and his son Josh took the first shift for 30minutes. I was assigned with another lady, the last-half of the hour. Iwas told afterwards, that every person's request to read would beaccommodated. Even if a person showed-up unexpectedly, all were stillallowed to take part, and none were turned away. This reminds me how theLord receives each one of us, turns none away, all who are heavy-laden,even when we have nothing to give.

When the time came close, we were escorted to seats just behind the podiumto await our turn. Before each reader was to begin, they are allowed toshare by introducing themselves and give honor and memory to their lovedone and their reason for being there. My brother, his family and I werethere to honor our dad, Jerome Rice, who served 18 months in the frontlines of Korea during 1952-1953, and was buried at Riverside NationalCemetery in February 2007.

Both speakers would then alternate reading names, with the last name, thenthe first. I was conscious of trying to speak loud and clearly, andpronouncing the names as best I could, not knowing if I was reading thename of a relative who was listening in the audience. As I read each name,I was determined to deliberately move the ruler slowly, which was used tokeep track of each line and name. As I turned each page, I was careful tomake sure that none were skipped. Not only were there names of men beingread, but names of many women as well. After my 30-minute allotment wasover (which seemed like a brief few moments to me), it did not seem that mytime had come to an end so soon. Just as in the time of our lives, ourlife goes by so quickly as a puff of smoke, that evaporates and then isgone, but God is conscious of our presence.

I would guess that during my shift, I had the privilege of reading roughly250 names, across 5 pages. Together with the other speakers, approximately1,000 names were being read aloud and honored each hour.

As we were being escorted back to our seats, it was asked of us what wethought of our just-completed time of service. It was 'awesome', I said.I was thankful and felt good to take part and be there with my brother andhis family, including his son who plans to join the Marine Corp soon afterhe graduates. My nephew was the one that my dad chose ahead-of-time toreceive the folded flag when it was presented with Military Honors. Iconsidered this an honor to be there myself , and a privilege and anopportunity the Lord gave me to take part in the ceremony.

When sharing this with my wife Pam, she reminded me in giving honor tothese servicemen, how similar it is to the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.Because of Him, we have the kind of life we do and the hope we canexperience. It is a life with a future so promising to each one of us. Hedid this for all, but sadly not all recognize this fact. If the truth beknown, there is not one person on this earth who would choose a life apartfrom Christ, if they realized the consequences of their decision.

On a final note, I would like to mention that on the Thursday leading upto my turn in the reading the Veteran's names, I wanted to just drive-bythe cemetery and see the layout of what to expect to prepare for the daysahead. It seemed like the timing was right to leave straight after workon Thursday, instead of waiting the next day on Friday, the day before a3-day holiday weekend. As I was driving however, I thought it strange atthe time, that on the 8-9 mile stretch of Van Buren leading up to thecemetery (with up to at least 30 stoplights), I did not have to stop morethan one time before reaching my destination.

After I arrived and was quietly sitting and listening to the names, Irealized one of the speakers was doing the Roll Call just prior to the lastnames starting with the letter 'R'. Could it be, I thought , the name ofmy dad would be mentioned? What were the chances of that happening? Withover 148,000 names and over 200 hours of names being called, how would Iever know when I should be there?

As I heard my dad's name being called, "Rice, Jerome", I could not believe what I heard.
It was overwhelming to be there in person when his name wasactually being called! I sat there a while, stunned for a few moments.When I walked up to the Administrator, a lady in charge of the afternoonshift, I mentioned to her what had just happened. She recognized theemotion in my voice and that this was such an extremely rare event tooccur. Then when the reader had completed, I knew I needed to thank himfor calling out my dad's name. After he sat down, I came up and sat nextto him. I realized I had tears in my eyes and was choked up when thankinghim not only for reading my dad's name, but for his service to our county.

For the longest time, we sat there and just listened to the next speakercalling out the names on their pages. He then patted me on the knee andasked my name. I found out his name was 'Vince Scarano' and told him Iappreciated what he did for me. He said it was not a coincidence, butprovidence that God wanted me there in person to hear my dad's name beingcalled. It was almost as if the Lord parted the 'highway and controlledthe stop-lights' in order for me to be there on time, at that moment, onthat day, to know that it was meant for me.

A few weeks earlier when my brother initially suggested we attend thisceremony, I had to turn down his request because I had previously committedto a church mission trip to Mexico. But when it was announced that thetrip had been postponed, I eagerly agreed to attend with my brother andtold him of my availability. For me, the Lord was divinely busy, closingone door and then opening another.

Later, as I stood above the grave where my dad and mom were laid to rest, Irealized it was one of those rare moments in life, when you know theCreator of the universe loves us so much yet He gets involved with thedetails of our lives. He oversees the big picture and yet so unmistakablycares about those little things that are be important to each of us. Heknew it would mean a lot to hear my dad's name, so he got me there. Atthat moment, I felt close to His presence and thankful He is in chargecompletely. God gives us those glimpses of Himself and a confirmation ofwhat we've known all along, of how much He loves and cares for us aboutevery aspect of our lives. Then I remembered the difficulties I was havingearlier in the week, it was as if He was reminding and showing that He isstill in control of all things, even when it may seem difficult oroverwhelming.

As I looked around, it was so quiet and peaceful, not long before thecommotion and activity of the upcoming holiday weekend. It was the perfecttime to be there and being there with Him, I didn't want to leave. Thatcloseness was a reminder of what He gives each of us, so 'that we know thatwe know that we know'. After we have those kinds of moments with Him, wethen 'come down from the mountain' and unless we remain diligent, itbecomes hard for us to recognize the presence of His Light. We still needto remember that while we are here on this earth, that darkness will besurrounding us again soon. However, He reminds us not to forget in thedarkness, what we learned in the closeness of being with Him in His light.

God bless you,

Steve



Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NAMES OF JESUS

SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

Hey, you want an idea for a great devotional time? How about studying the names/titles of Jesus in the Bible. Here's a list of 100 of them. Look up a handful, meditate on them, and be blessed!

Advocate (1 John 2:1); Almighty (Rev. 1:8; Mt. 28:18); Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8; 22:13); Amen (Rev. 3:14); Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1); Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2); Author of Life (Acts 3:15); Author and Finisher of our Faith (Heb. 12:2); Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10); Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13); Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15); Bread of God (John 6:33); Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48); Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15); Capstone (Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7); Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20); Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4); Christ (1 John 2:22); Creator (John 1:3); Deliverer (Rom. 11:26); Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20); Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11); Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5); Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14); First and Last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13); Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5); Firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15); Gate (John 10:9); God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5; 2 Pet. 1:1;1 John 5:20; etc.); Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20); Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14); Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23); Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2); High Priest (Heb. 2:17); Holy and True (Rev. 3:7); Holy One (Acts 3:14); Hope (1 Tim. 1:1); Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27); Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69); I Am (John 8:58); Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4); Immanuel (Mt. 1:23); Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42); King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17); King of Israel (John 1:49); King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11); King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16); King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3); Lamb (Rev. 13:8); Lamb of God (John 1:29); Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19); Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45); Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4); Light of the World (John 8:12); Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5); Living One (Rev. 1:18); Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4); Lord (2 Pet. 2:20); Lord of All (Acts 10:36); Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8); Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16); Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48); Master (Lk. 5:5; 8:24; 9:33); Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15); Mighty God (Isa. 9:6); Morning Star (Rev. 22:16); Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16); Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9); Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13); Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30); Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2); Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3); Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30); Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30); Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7); Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24); Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6); Prophet (Acts 3:22); Rabbi (Mt. 26:25); Resurrection and Life (John 11:25); Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5); Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1); Rock (1 Cor. 10:4); Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16); Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14); Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5); Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20); Son of David (Lk. 18:39); Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14); Son of Man (Mt. 8:20); Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32); Source of Eternal Salvation (Heb. 5:9); The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5); The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11); True Bread (John 6:32); True Light (John 1:9); True Vine (John 15:1); Truth (John 1:14; 14:6); Way (John 14:6); b(1 Cor. 1:24); Word (John 1:1); Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
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NEW SUPREME COURT JUSTICE


Conservatives are concerned that Sonia Sotomayor — President Barack Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court — will indulge her Left-wing policy preferences instead of neutrally interpreting the law.

"From what we know about her, Judge Sotomayor considers policy-making to be among a judge’s roles, no matter what the law says," said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst at Focus on the Family Action. "She disregards the notion of judicial impartiality."

Sotomayor admits that she applies her feelings and personal politics when deciding cases. In a 2001 speech at Berkeley, she said she believes it is appropriate for judges to consider their "experiences as women and people of color," which she believes should "affect our decisions." She went on to say in that same speech: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

At Duke Law School in 2005, she stated that the "Court of Appeals is where policy is made."

Hausknecht said: "The president's professed desire for judges with 'empathy' rather than impartiality might deny the country what the Founding Fathers intended and wrote into the Constitution — judges who dispense justice without regard for the status of any party that comes before them."

President George H.W. Bush appointed Sotomayor to the district court for the Southern District of New York in 1991. President Bill Clinton nominated her to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998. Source: http://www.citizenlink.org/

GO! MUSIC OUTREACH leads worship Sunday morning

The GO! Music Outreach team leads worship for CCNorco while Brian is in Thailand. They'll lead worship this Sunday (May 31) as well.

video

Psalms 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON PROP 8


California's Supreme Court upheld the state's gay-marriage ban today (TUES) but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that took place before the prohibition passed are still valid — a ruling decried by gay-rights activists as a hollow victory.

Praise the Lord! We prayed about this this morning at the Men's Prayer Meeting. God is so good!

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Keep praying for California and for the gay community to come to Jesus!

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

EYE OF GOD


A new spectacular image has been taken of the Helix nebula - one of the most beautiful objects in the night sky.

The photo was taken at the European La Silla Observatory in Chile using a special camera attached to a telescope.

The Helix is a sun-like star and is in its final explosion stage before it retires into a white dwarf.
Shells of gas are blown off the star's surface often in intricate patterns that are lit up by the ultra-violet radiation.

The nebula is often called the 'Eye of God' due to its strong resemblance to a giant eye peering out of space.

Helix nebula is about 700 light years away in the constellation of Aquarius.
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2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him...
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Friday, May 22, 2009

PLACE OF PRAYER


Does it really matter where you pray? Last night we learned that Jonah prayed from the belly of the whale! (Jon 2:1). Jesus said this: (Matthew 6:6) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Pray at church...in the car...before a test...it doesn't matter! God hears you everywhere!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ANOTHER MAN


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


ANOTHER MAN

(1 Samuel 10:6) Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.

Some people say you can't change. That once you develop certain traits and habits they are indelible in your character and are irreversible. In fact I heard a psychologist on the TV the other day unabashedly proclaim this conviction. Of course he wanted you to feel hopeless so you could order his materials to help you cope with your dilemma! I thought how sad to tell hopeless people there is no hope. That once you are the way you are that's it.

Sometimes we even tell ourselves this idea. I'm so stupid...I'll never be smart like my brother. I'm so poor...I'll never have the money that I need. I'm so forgetful...I don't even know why I came to the store. I'm not mechanical so I can't fix anything. I'll never be able to go back to school. I'm so weak to temptation so I'll always be an addict. And so we give up and buy the myth that we'll always be the way we are. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Oh well, I'll just learn to compensate for my flaws.

When Israel wanted a king the Lord led Samuel the prophet to anoint Saul. Outside his physical features he wasn't much to choose from. He had no experience and he was frightfully shy. He avoided any responsibility because he didn't believe in himself. But when Samuel anointed Saul he said that on the way home he would encounter the prophets and he would prophesy with them. Samuel predicted that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and he would be turned into another man. Sure enough that is exactly what happened. And the people who observed this were blown away. (1 Samuel 10:11) And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, “What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

When the Spirit of God comes into your life you are going to change! (Titus 3:5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Then as the Spirit continues to work in your life you will shed the old you and be turned into another you. (2 Corinthians 3:18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Are there things in your life you would like to change? They can be by the Lord's power! It's not too late. Fight against that tendency to be oldie and moldy! Need a spiritual makeover? Let the Lord so work in your life that people will see what the Lord can do. Think how they will be encouraged for that change in their own lives! Like Saul you can become another man!

Louie

CCNORCO BASEBALL TEAM

Here's a pic of last Sunday's softball game. They just finished praying an after-game prayer with the other team. Our team plays in a city coed league. We haven't won yet but the team has a great attitude, is being a witness for Christ, and is winning in other ways!
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

WHALE OF AN EVENING


Last night at midweek study we studied at length about if Jonah was swallowed by a whale or a shark. One commentator sums it up with:

The “great fish” was possibly a mammal, a sperm whale (Catodon Macrocephalus). Sperm whales are known to have swallowed unusually large objects including even a 15-foot shark (Frank T. Bullen, Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World after Sperm Whales. London: Smith, 1898). Others have written that whale sharks (the Rhineodon Typicus) have swallowed men who later were found alive in the sharks’ stomachs.

Well, whatever it was it was "prepared by God" to be there at the right place at the right time. He was hungry and he had a prophet for breakfast! Truly it was supernatural. "If the presence of the supernatural be once admitted, the form of a miracle is a mere matter of detail."

Jesus even validated the Old Testament story: Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Well, we ended by telling Jonah and the whale jokes. The best was:

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though they were a very large mammal their throat was very small.

The little girl stated Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

The teacher reiterated a whale could not
swallow a human; it was impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

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And you want to know what? When I got home there was a PBS program on about whales! It truly was a "whale of an evening!"

SOUND OF MANY WATERS

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The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters.
(Psalms 29:3)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I AM NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


I AM NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT

Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.

We as believers usually desire to do so much good that sometimes we revert to our own energy in doing it. Then we get angry and wonder why things didn't turn out so good! Instead of getting into the flow of the Holy Spirit we get into the go of our own human spirit. We get frustrated and burnt out because it is not by might or by power but by the Holy Spirit.

The returned exiles had a lot of work to do. After spending seventy years in Babylon they were released to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their city and Temple. Can you imagine the discouragement they faced when they arrived and saw all that rubble? The Lord knew they would need a good word to encourage them. The prophet spoke and said it would be by His power and not theirs that the Temple would be built from foundation to capstone. The Lord would complete this project and the leadership would have the Holy Spirit's power to lead the operations.

How important it is to do God's work, God's way! Have you ever used a tool in a way it was not intended? You didn’t want to make one more trip back to the toolbox so you used what you had and it broke! In the same way God has a work for us to do and He wants us to do it His way. Doing God’s work our way will bring failure in the task.

This idea of letting the Holy Spirit lead us also works with not only projects but people. Only the Spirit can change a person's heart. I have to keep this in mind as I work with people but they seem to be working me! Listen to what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin... My job is not to play the Holy Spirit in someone's life.

Only the Lord can bring someone to salvation. John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” And only the Lord can change someone: 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Better to go with the Spirit's inspiration than our own clever manipulation.

Are you tired of striving and conniving? Then step down from your role as Jr. Holy Spirit! The Lord doesn't need any of our help. We only retard His progress in the projects and people we are involved in. You can trust the Lord to work His way and in His timing. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Receive the gentle power you need today to serve with joy!

Louie

Thursday, May 7, 2009

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER - Norco City Hall

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Obama says NO To A WhiteHouse Event For NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER!!

If President Obama is not supporting the National Day of Prayer then it's up to us! Let's pray today wherever we are for our nation. If you're in Norco please join us at 12noon at the Norco City Hall flagpole for a half hour on your lunch break. Tonight at midweek study at 7pm we will also have a special time of prayer for our country.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

LOSS OF A LOVED ONE


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP

LOSS OF A LOVED ONE

(Isa 6:1) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord...

This Mother's Day is going to be tough. Only six weeks ago Cheryl's mom passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. We are so glad she knew the Lord and is now in heaven. But we miss her terribly. The permanence of separation is dawning upon us day by day. And with Mother's Day this week there are thoughts and feelings we've never had to face before. Mom's not here. No card to buy. No gift to purchase. A Mother's Day without a mother. Just loving memories behind and a looking forward to a grand reunion ahead. But in-between a gap that right now feels like a hole.

King Uzziah was a good king that brought Judah renewed prosperity and spiritual vitality. His long reign of fifty-two years was one of the greatest since the time of Solomon. He was a strong and able ruler whose fame spread far and wide. Here's a scripture that summarizes the basis for his success: (2 Chr 26:4-5) And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord...He sought God in the days of Zechariah...and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.

But then Uzziah died. Who would lead the nation now? Who could compare with this great king? How could the nation survive without his leadership? It wouldn't be the same. It looks like even Isaiah got caught up in all these questions and perplexities. After all, it's easier to be a prophet under a godly monarch than an apostate one.

But in the year that king Uzziah died Isaiah had a vision of the Lord. He was high and lifted up and the angels were crying "holy, holy, holy." There was a shaking in the room and the house was filled with smoke. Isaiah saw himself as a sinful man who needed cleansing. God purged his sinful lips so he could speak God's words to the people. He was now ready to be sent by the Lord (Isa 6:1-8).

Isaiah found out something we all have to find out after the loss of a loved one. When that loved one steps out...the Lord steps in! Jesus fills that gap left by the one you are missing. When Uzziah died that's when Isaiah saw the Lord. And when that loved one passes our eyes now land on that One who not only sits on the throne of heaven but also on the throne of one's heart. His presence fills that gaping hole. (Eph 1:23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Psa 73:25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. What a friend we have in Jesus!

Every year there are people in our church who have lost a loved one. And how often I have heard about how tough it is when these holidays pass by. But in that valley of the shadow of death the Lord is with us...His rod and His staff comfort us! Thanks for your prayers!!

Louie

Sunday, May 3, 2009

JONAH AND SUICIDE


At our Thursday night midweek study our topic was "suicide." Here's my notes and maybe God will use you to bring hope to a desperate heart soon!

Jonah 1:12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.”

Actual Suicides in the U.S. (2005)
· 1.3% of all deaths are from suicide.
· On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes.
· Suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death for all Americans.
· Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 year olds.(1st = accidents, 2nd = homicide)
· Suicide is the second leading waus of death for 25-34 year olds.
· Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
· More males die from suicide than females.(4 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide.)
· More people die from suicide than from homicide.(Suicide ranks as the 11th leading cause of death; Homicide ranks 13th.)
· There were over 800,000 suicide attempts in 2005

REASONS FOR SUICIDE: Why do people take their lives? They lose all hope. Stuff happens and then it keeps happening and they get depressed and see no way out. They experience torture in their soul beyond consolation and they want freedom from their inner chamber of horrors. They think no one cares so they figure why not? But is there a better way? The Bible says yes! As long as there is a God there is always hope!!

SUICIDE IN THREE CATEGORIES:

1) "SUCCESSFUL" SUICIDE: Suicide is not a new idea. The Bible records seven suicides:

· Abimelech (Judges 9:54) - Dying of a skull fracture during a siege ordered his armour-bearer to slay him.

· Samson (Judges 16:26-31) - Killed himself to avoid being 'made sport of' by the Philistines.

· Saul (1Samuel 31:3-6) - Wounded and defeated in the battle with the Philistines, asked his armour-bear to kill him. When he refused, Saul fell on his own sword. The armour-bearer did likewise.

· Ahithophel (2Samuel 17:1,23) - Plotted to overthrow David. When his plan failed, he hanged himself.

· Zimri (1 Kings 16:18) - Usurped the throne of {Israel;} when he failed, he burned down the palace around himself.

· Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:4-5) - Hung himself after betraying Jesus.

2) THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE:

Jonah. Elijah also wanted to die: (1 Kings 19:1 - 4) And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

3) ATTEMPTED SUICIDE: Here’s a story of hope from Acts 16. There was a man in this story that almost took his life. He was the Philippian jailer and he had lost all hope. You see, Paul and Silas were thrown into jail for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. At midnight they were singing songs of praise to the Lord. All the prisoners were hearing them and we assume they couldn’t believe the hope these two had in the Lord in the darkest hour of their life. Suddenly a huge earthquake rattled the prison foundations and all the chains broke off the prisoners. The jailer knew this was the worst thing that could happen in his life so he drew his sword and was about to kill himself when he heard Paul cry out, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” The story continues:

“Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.” (Acts 16:29‑34)

That desperate man didn’t throw his life away, he gave his life away . . . to the God of hope. Look at the joy that filled his heart when Jesus came into his life.

CONCLUSION: Are you depressed? Have you thought of taking your life? Jesus is the One who died so why do you have to? Give your life to the Lord today and let Him carry the weight and restore hope and peace back to your heart. Jesus loves you and can help you . . . and He’s just a prayer away!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

P.S. This last pic is to make you laugh after such a depressing (but necessary) topic!

SEE YOU IN HEAVEN DAWN!

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for us at Calvary Chapel Norco. We had a memorial service for Dawn and our tears were mixed with joy. We will miss our sister Dawn but will see her again in glory!

John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Friday, May 1, 2009

GO! MUSIC OUTREACH - COFFEE DEPOT

Wednesday night the GO! Music Outreach had the privilege of playing at Coffee Depot in Riverside. There was a good showing of friends from Calvary Chapel Norco and many others flowed in and out to hear the music with a message who came in for coffee or to study. The name of Jesus was lifted up and glorified! We are now looking for more open doors to take the good news of Jesus outside the church walls to the world!

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Review the pics below and remember to keep this outreach team in your prayers. If you know of an open door where they can play and share the Lord then please call the church at (951) 272-WORD. Thanks and God bless!