Thursday, July 30, 2009

UNKNOWN


SHEPHERD TO SHEEP



UNKNOWN

(2 Cor 6:9) as unknown, and yet well known...

Nobody likes to be a nobody. We all want to feel significant...important. We don't necessarily need to be popular but someone at least acknowledge us and our existence! After that any meaningful dialog is a plus. Add on the use of a personal name and the temperature is rising. Insert a compliment and we're in heaven!
The popular, talented and good looking people don't really have to work hard at getting attention. What a ministry we can have in simply acknowledging people!

You can feel awfully lonely in this universe. The world is so big and there are so many people. You can feel really small, really quick. It seems there are a few movers and shakers but the rest of us are just cut from regular cloth. We have ordinary lives and sometimes we wonder...would it make any difference if we were gone...deleted from human history?

David was looking at the heavens one night and it just blew him away about how big it all was. The following is a part of his musings: (Psa 8:3-4) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? In another Psalm David said: How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. (Psa 139:17-18). See how he went from feeling insignificant to feeling noteworthy in God's eyes?

I might be unknown but I am well known by God. He even knows my name! (John 10:3) ... the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. He even died for me. For me! That makes me feel part of the equation in the purpose of the cosmic arrangement. If I'm part of the plan then maybe God has a plan for my life. How exciting to think about! "Give me anything to do Lord because I would love to feel useful and purposeful in the corporate body of terrestrial dwellers." (Mat 3:11) ... He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry...

Every heard of Jehosheba in the Bible? I didn't think so. She was a nobody. She played a cameo role in the Bible and you'll never really hear from her again. But what she did was vastly important. When Athaliah the queen mother was destroying the royal heirs, Jehosheba took young Joash and hid him for six years until he was made the legitimate king. (2 Kings 11) This was the last of the Davidic lineage and she spared him so he could rule. Was this act very important you might ask? Oh, just a little...the Messiah would come from this line to rule and reign as our Savior!

Have you been struggling with feelings of worthlessness? There's no rhyme or reason for your life? Sense that emptiness inside? Rise up each day and lift your heart up to the Someone who makes you a somebody! Then go out and find someone and tell them they are loved by the Lord and that He has a purpose a plan for their lives. Watch the chain reaction grow.

I am an unknown that is known who is reaching out into the unknown to find an unknown to tell them about the Known who can take an unknown and know them and make them well known. Know what I mean? I know you do!

Louie

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WE ALL GET UPSET


President Barack Obama concedes his words — that a white police officer "acted stupidly" when he arrested a black university scholar in his own home — were ill-chosen. But, while he invited both men to visit him at the White House, Obama stopped short of publicly apologizing for his remark.
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Proverbs 25:28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FRIENDLY FIRE



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP



FRIENDLY FIRE

(Gal 5:15) But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Every now and then you hear reports of U.S. troops mistakenly killing other U.S. troops in what is termed "friendly fire." They thought it was the enemy but then they realized it was one of their own! Once they realized the error it was too late. The Bible says that Christians can get caught up in a war with each other and unfortunately annihilate one another. Paul likens it to wild animals biting and devouring one another in a pack fight. That's probably worse than friendly fire because you know who you are killing.

Why do Christians fight when we serve the Prince of peace? I guess it's just that sinful nature that is still in us. When we first came to Christ we were thrilled to be identified with other believers. We heard about loving one another and it wasn't hard at all. But then on down the road the glow wore off and we started seeing faults in each other. Then someone hurt us and we engaged in a war with them. Friendly fire took its toll and there was carnage everywhere.

They say the primary cause of friendly fire is commonly known as the "fog of war" which attributes friendly fire incidents to the confusion inherent in warfare. The position of the troops shifted and it wasn't told to the others so they were shot at as the enemy. Maybe there is poor terrain and visibility. It could be bad weather or combat stress or a combination of factors. Regrettably things happen that you are sorry about later.

But what are the causes of Christian friendly fire? Someone hurt my feelings? Someone didn't apologize? They took credit for what I did? They gossiped behind my back? They never paid me back? They bailed when I needed them? They were insensitive to my needs? And then things went "bang, bang!" Someone hit the floor dead. Others had to duck and take cover. The mop-up was nasty. And things have never been the same since.

Jesus prayed to the Father for our unity: (John 17:21) that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. What a witness to the world Christian unity is. When we are one the world is won. And what a sweetness is fostered when Christians stand united: (Psa 133:1-3) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— life forevermore.

Is there someone you are at war with in the Christian body? Do you find it hard to forgive them and easy to shoot at them? Do you know you are really aiming at Christ? Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) at his conversion? (Acts 9:4-5) Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting... Because there is an permanent union between Christ and His body, Saul's persecution was a direct attack on Christ Himself!

We are at war against the devil and his dark domain. We need every soldier in the battle! Let's turn our energy against Satan's strongholds and release the holds we have on one another. Let's give it our best shot!

Louie



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MAN ON THE MOON

The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. It was the fifth human spaceflight of Project Apollo and the third human voyage to the Moon or Moon orbit. Launched on July 16, 1969, it carried Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon, while Collins orbited above.

The mission fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a speech given before a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." (wikipedia)

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Genesis 1:16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.
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Psalms 8:3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
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Psalms 148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
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Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
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Revelation 21:23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

NEW HARRY POTTER MOVIE


The sixth installment of the wildly successful Harry Potter series conjured up an estimated $79.5 million for its opening weekend at the box office, putting its first five days at an impressive $159.7 million--a franchise best.

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Deuteronomy 18:10-13 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

WHAT'S NEWS?

Walter Cronkite, who earned the respected title “the most trusted man in America” for his bold and earnest style as the anchorman of the “CBS Evening News” for nearly two decades, died Friday. He was 92. He died after a long illness with his family by his side.Cronkite was recruited from the United Press wire service and joined CBS News in 1950. He served as “Evening News” anchor and managing editor of CBS News from April 16, 1962, to March 6, 1981. His career started in 1937 and spanned more than six decades in radio, print and TV.

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How many times did America hear the news from Walter Cronkite? He was almost like a family member whos image came through the living room TV set. And who could mistake that reporter's voice?

We're always asking, "What's news?" We want to know what's going on. And in a greater sense we want to know what's going on in the future and how today's events are gearing towards that.

The disciples were curious and asked Jesus about news from the future:

Matthew 24:3-4 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them..."

He went on and shared with the disciples about world events that would happen and how He would then appear. He said to look for the "signs of the times."

Read the rest of Matthew 24 and see how the news of today fits in to not only now but also the prophetical future. Then when people ask you, "What's news?" you can tell them before it happens!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

OVATION OR REPUTATION

Manny Ramirez earned an enthusiastic ovation Thursday in his first game back at Dodger Stadium since serving his 50-game suspension for positive drug testing.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DREAD




SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


DREAD

(Isa 8:13) The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.

Dread. The sense that something bad is going to happen. A dark storm is on the horizon of your life. Your inward barometer says it's going to be a big one. It's that feeling of impending doom and catastrophe. The result is extreme apprehension and reluctance to face the future. So you put things off. You try to bunker down in the bomb shelter because you know the sky is going to fall at any moment. Your mental is on high alert because the floor is going to bottom out without notice. Expect the worst. Prepare for the hearse.

Why do we sometimes dread the future? It could be because things have been so hard in life. Perhaps there was a series of setbacks. When you go through some real rough times a person can get a little gun-shy. Not just from shooting but from being shot at. Your emotional and mental state gets a little unhinged. You start forecasting gloom. All the negative verses in the Bible pertain to you. God becomes the antagonist. He is against you in the witness stand. We start thinking, "Since God is behind all things then He allowed all this adversity to begin with!"...and..."If He loved me He could stop all these problems couldn't He?"

Being under the sinister cloud of dread and doom fosters an ill attitude and state of mind that can also affect a person's health and well-being. (Num 22:3) And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. Have you ever made yourself sick over dreading something? And there are plenty of people affected by this malady, too. Perhaps we should call them "Dreadheads!" They could tour from city to city as they follow the heavy metal music from that thunderous storm cloud. They could wear their tie-dye shirts because they know they're going to die anytime!

Here's what was going on in Isaiah's day: (Isa 8:11-14) For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary... God's people had fallen into that nasty web of thinking there was a conspiracy against them. But God reminded them that if they were going to dread then they might as well fear and dread the Lord! He would protect them in life and be a sanctuary and a refuge for them.

Sometimes it's good to ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" And when you think about it it wouldn't be so bad anyway. God has an answer for every dilemma and disaster. What if you lost your job? What if you got sick? What if something happened to that loved one? Wouldn't the Lord be there in every misfortune and calamity? Wouldn't He give you everything you need for all you would be called to in life? And now work your way backwards. Maybe He wouldn't allow all or even one of these things to happen. He knows how much you can take. He knows how frail and fragile you are. But in reality you're probably a lot stronger than you think. (Phil 4:13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God wants to reverse that sense of dreading what's out there in the world to the world and it's environment dreading you and your relationship with God. (Gen 9:2) And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth... Start looking forward to the future. Expect great things from the Lord. Live aggressively and confidently under the grace and love of Christ. Then watch what God will do!

Louie

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MIKE GAUDE SHARES AT CCNORCO


video

Mike Gaude shared tonight at our midweek study. He's a GO! missionary in Nicaragua in the States for a brief time. He leaves behind his wife and baby boy so he's itching to go back this Tuesday. Listen to his good word about all you can do with so little when you place it in the Lord's hands.

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John 6:8-11 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

YES!

SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


YES!

(Mat 9:28) And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

I love the word yes. It's such a positive word and it means "all right, okay, sure, why not?, no problem, of course, agreed." It has all that is in it that we should say to the Lord when He presents His will to us. When the Lord says to do something we can just say YES knowing that He is so wise and His ways are the best.

Sometimes we fuss with the Lord don't we? Is that because we have "trust" issues? Maybe there was an authority in our life at one time that we trusted and then misled us. Ever since we have said NO!, especially to those over us. Or maybe it's just that we're plain scared. We like our comfort zone. We've never liked that leap in the dark stuff. It has to be cautious and explain itself. Anything outside that is just a flat denial. And sometimes it's just plain rebellion. God says GO! and we say NO! and that's why sometimes we don't GROW!

Some people say NO as a habit. They want to keep their options open. They don't want to commit. So saying NO protects them from any kind of involvement. But once they find out a situation will be positive for them then they jump in at the last minute with a YES. I think that's playing life too safe. I believe that's also being too protective and a bit self-centered . What's wrong with commitment? It takes you off the sidelines and gets you involved. Christianity is not a spectator sport! The people I admire the most are the ones who have learned to say YES! They are serving the Lord. They have come in from the fringe. They used to dust a pew but now they're in the "do!"

At a certain point I caught myself saying NO to my kids all the time. They were always asking me questions and wanting something so I figured it was just safe to say NO and then backpedal out of the NO once I knew all the facts and what resources I had. Kids love a NO don't they?! Then I grew into the MAYBE mode. Now I was getting nicer as a dad. Kids love to be left hanging don't they?! Finally I caught myself and said why not be open to saying YES more often? I began to see situations as possibilities rather than difficulties. I believe it was the mind of the Lord that He was sharing with me. To be more on the offensive in life and less on the defensive. God can do anything! At least I can pray about it, right?

Now a person has to be discerning and discriminatory in all matters of life. You can't just say YES to everything all the time. Sometimes a NO is the best answer because you don't sense the Lord in it. You'll want to wait for the Lord and His timing. But when the Lord says YES! then so should we!! (2 Cor 1:20) For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

Doesn't it all come down to trust and faith? When those blind men came to Jesus for healing He asked them if they believed He was able to do this. They had the right answer...YES Lord! That's always the best answer when the Lord begins to prompt you about something. The Lord healed those blind men. And when we say YES to the Lord He will do great things in our lives. Sometimes we are blind with unbelief. But you know what the Bible says about that. (Heb 3:19) So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

There's a promised land awaiting you and me. The Lord didn't say it would be easy but He did promise the abundant life in Christ for us. A new dimension of life awaits you. It will open up wonderful and exiting doors. All you have to do is say YES!

Louie

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MISSION TRAINING SCHOOL

Yesterday (MON) began our six-week Mission Training School. Here's a pic of the great group of students the Lord has brought to GO! Ministries this summer. A few from our church, one from a church in Corona, and the rest are out of state. Host families from our church are putting up the out of towners. There is teaching all day with various speakers and topics that relate to missions. On the fifth week (Aug 1-8) there will be a mission trip to Puerto Vallarta where two of our GO! Missionaries are (Cesar Rodriguez and Paul Cathey family). Please keep these students in prayer for their training and their future in serving the Lord. (Luke 24:47) "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

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We spend time in worship every morning. (Psa 59:16) But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

JULY 4th CHURCH PICNIC

Here's some images from our Church Picnic we had today on July 4th:
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(Jer 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
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Just hanging out and fellowshipping in the Lord. What a great thing to do outside the church services. Getting to know one another.
(Acts 2:42) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

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(John 13:23) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
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Some had it made in the shade (or shades).
(Psa 121:5) The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
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Happy couple and close friends. There's no greater human relationsships on earth than the ones we have in the body of Christ.
(1 Cor 12:27) Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
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God bless America...America bless God




VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Vacation Bible School was such a blessing this year. I had a chance to visit on Wednesday morning and worship with the children. It was a lot of fun. The children really know how to praise the Lord. Watch the video and see!
video
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Brian leading worship with his "spy" outfit on as part of the theme of VBS.

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Even the Youth got involved!

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A skit.

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In the skit Susie shares the love of Jesus with Billy (Justin) the school bus bully. I heard he got saved friday morning and apologized to everybody!

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Kids listening to the Word of God.
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Children responding and asking questions.
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***Brian said this morning at Men's Breakfast (SAT) that about 6 or 7 children prayed to ask Jesus into their hearts and lives. This is what we were praying for! Don't you wish you were saved that young? Now these children will have it in their testimony that they accepted the Lord at Vacation Bible School at CCNorco!

(Eccl 12:1) Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth...

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Thanks pastor Brian and all the VBS staff that worked so hard. You reaped a harvest!

(John 4:35-36) "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! {36} "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

MAD AT GOD



SHEPHERD TO SHEEP


MAD AT GOD

(Rev 15:3) ... Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!

Every now and then I hear someone say they are mad at God. I have heard this at various times from a variety of believers and I have to say it has never digested well with me. So now I am taking the time to think this through once and for all. Not only to answer someone who says they are mad at God but also for myself in case I am tempted to "go there."

Whatever God does is just and true. This is what those in heaven sing as they are in the presence of the Lord. They realize that God is righteous, fair, just, holy, and perfect. He is never arbitrary over his universe nor it's subjects. He is a righteous judge and what He decides is the right and best thing. But not only is God just and true He is also good and kind and loving. (Psa 85:10) Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed. So you can trust God when He allows certain things to happen. You might not understand why they are happening but you can trust the good hand of the Lord behind them working out eventually for good (Ezra 7:9; Rom 8:28).

I think Job had it right. When things went crazy in his life this is how he reacted and what he said:

(Job 1:20-22) Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

(Job 2:9-10) Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Personally, I think when a person is mad at God they feel entitled to their life always going smoothly. And when it doesn't it's always someone else's fault. And if they can't pinpoint someone to blame then they project their sense of unfairness on the Ultimate Cause...that being God. I get the sense that these type of people have been spoiled. They always had it great growing up and now when things don't go their way they have a fit. They think the world exists to serve them and make them feel comfortable. They get easily upset and demand that things be corrected and then get and stay mad when they don't.

Since we live in a fallen world we should be surprised when things go right! Remember, we're still on this side of heaven. We should be thankful for each blessing that comes our way and resigned to the will of God when adversity strikes. Being mad at God is telling God that He's not just and true and that He's not doing a good job providing for you. This kind of person will have to be humbled in life and broken in spirit until they realize that the Lord is good! Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

It's okay to be sad but don't get mad! Job got confused and depressed but this is what he said...Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him... (Job 13:15) God brought him through and he was blessed double in the end. He went from sad to glad but he didn't get mad. Tell the Lord today that you'll trust Him no matter what!

Louie

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