Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell To FB in 2012

1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.


As I approach a new year I always tend to take stock of where I have been the previous year. I have much to be thankful for. The Lord has been so good to me and my family. Far more than I deserve. I am humbled by His grace, and thankful for His love. I also realize that there are areas in my life that I still want to grow in. I want to be a better man, husband, father, pastor, friend. 
Praying about this upcoming year I feel that in 2012 I want to limit distractions. A distraction can be that which divides the attention, or prevents concentration. Distractions do not always have to be bad things, but simply things that can divert your attention from the goal. 
I have made a decision in 2012 to go off of facebook. Although facebook has been a great tool of connecting with friends, and many ministry opportunities, its one of those things that can easily distract. Sometimes I would rather not know how far a person has drifted away from the Lord, by the pictures they post and the things they say. Honestly sometimes my heart breaks. I am not saying I want to be ignorant of needs, just not distracted in the race.
I DO NOT believe everyone should go off of facebook. And I DO NOT think it is a bad thing, nor sinful in anyway. As I said, it has been awesome to reconnect with so many friends and loved ones that I plan to stay connected with. For me, this year, I feel that I want to get a little more focused then I have been in 2011. Again I repeat, not a requirement for anyone else,  but me. 

I love you guys... I plan to still Twitter encouraging words and blog here on a daily walk.... if you ever need me here are my contacts. 

Staying Connected: 
twitter: @johnrandall7
email: adailywalk@gmail.com
instagram: @jrfoto
websites: www.ccsjc.com 
website: www.adailywalk.org 
office: 949-443-2572

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Man Who Finished Well: Pastor Bob Hoekstra

Pastor Bob
Yesterday my heart was broken as I received word that Pastor Bob Hoekstra had passed away. I was aware of the fact that Pastor Bob had been battling an illness for some time, yet i had know idea how close he was to heaven. The Lord has used Bob powerfully in my life over the years. He was truly a Pastor's pastor, and there are not many men you can say that about. 
I was only 23 years old when I went on staff at Calvary Chapel of Vista and one of the highlights of the week was our staff meetings. What made the staff meetings so incredible was that they were led by Pastor Bob Hoekstra. Bob constantly exuded the grace and love of Jesus. The way he taught, the smile he had, the sense of humor he possessed, all of it, was a blessing. His knowledge of Gods Word and the things that he shared helped me to understand what it was to be a pastor. His teachings on the  body of Christ, and what the church is supposed to be; helped me develop a clearer vision for church life. His teaching on the Grace of God made me see a side of the Lord I had never known. His emphasis on the sufficiency of scripture as the tool that God uses to provide council, has given such confidence in the power of Gods Word. 
Pastor Bob was extremely approachable. He was always so encouraging. There were times when I went to him with questions on theological matters that I needed clarity and he provided that for me. The last time I saw Bob was at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. My wife and I had just moved back to Southern California. At that time we were waiting on Gods direction for our next step. And Pastor Bob and his wife Dini ministered to Michelle and I there in the sanctuary. 
Pastor Bob was a faithful servant who ran his race well. He was a man who understood the Grace of God, the power of Gods Word and the Love of Jesus that can change lives. I will greatly miss him, but I know I will one day see him again. 

Pastor Bob Hoekstra is the founder and Director of Living in Christ Ministries. He has been in ministry since 1967, including fourteen years in Dallas, TX and eleven years as Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Irvine, CA. He and his wife, Dini, were married in 1966, and have three adult children and eleven grandchildren. Bob graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1973 with the Master of Theology degree.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

When it comes to being thankful, it is hard to know where to begin. There are so many things that I am grateful for in my life. I am thankful for my family. My wife of almost two decades, which by the way, is 20 yrs :0). I am thankful for my four kids who are growing way too fast. I am blessed to be a part of a loving church that has been so kind to me and family. To be able to pastor a church where people love Gods Word is a blessing. I am thankful for my heritage of godly parents who raised me in the Lord. I am thankful for health. Being able to get out of bed in the morning and walk, or surf. I am thankful for my dog..lol...yeah she is a blessing...All of these things and more...
However of all my blessings that I count on a daily basis, I am most thankful for my savior Jesus Christ. None of these things that I have already mentioned would be possible without Him. He has given me salvation. He has saved me from my sins and given me the hope of heaven. He has given me life and that more abundantly. He has given me His Word to instruct me how to live, and His Holy Spirit to empower me to live. This blog would go on for eternity if I could list all of the benefits of knowing the Lord. Anyway I wanted to take a few moments and let you know how thankful I am. 

One more thing, I am thankful for you. My friends who have been an ongoing encouragement in my life. The fact that you even take time, on occasion, to read these ramblings is an encouragement. I only pray that something you read on here from time to time would strengthen you in your journey. God bless you, and Happy Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's it to you?


"Its a narrow path I walk
 I need clear vision"


Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what [about] this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what [is that] to you? You follow Me." John 21:21-22

In John 21 Jesus was revealing to Peter what his future would entail. The words that Jesus shared with Peter were difficult to swallow. For the revelation had to do with his eventual death. Struggling with the will of God for his life, Peter immediately looked at John and said, "Lord what about this man?" In other words, "what about him? Will his life be different then mine? If so, that doesn't seem fair." The apostle was troubled, and so he looked around at others. 
In response, Jesus did answer Peter's question, He simply told him to "follow." Don't worry about them Peter. Quit looking at their situation. This is what I have for you,keep your eyes on me. 
How many times I have found the Lord saying those same words to me. "Keep your eyes on me John." Its easy to get sidetracked with trivial things. To get caught up in what they are doing over there. To find yourself troubled by what they are saying in that place. Yet the Lord whispers in our ear, "what is that to you, you follow me." It is my job to follow Jesus. I am to remain focused upon the Lord, and His calling on my life. I am to let the Lord work in that brothers life, or that sisters situation. He is far more capable then I am. 

When you are tempted to look at someone else, look at Jesus. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Time to Rebuild

The book of 2 Chronicles ends on somewhat a somber note. The nation of Israel is carried off into captivity to Babylon for the next 70 years. It was painful to read of God's people resisting the Word of the Lord. To observe the rebel time and time again only to suffer the consequences of their sin. 
 Yet God had made promises to the nation that they would be given a second chance to return to the land of Israel. And upon their return they would rebuild the temple that had been destroyed. 
the rebuilding of the temple and the restoring of worship would not be an easy task. Yet God raised up a man named Ezra to come along side of the people. The good hand of God was upon Ezra. He prepared his heart to serve God and walk in faith believing God. 

Often times when you teach through passages of scripture they parallell your present circumstances. There are many things concerning the church at large that need to be rebuilt. In some places there has been a departure from Gods Word. There are places where the church is dying. There are areas where the church has become mechanical and operates like a machine rather than a living, breathing body.
It is time to rebuild. To go back to a solid foundation. I believe that there is a need for a work of God's Holy Spirit within the church today.  I believe that work comes by way of God's Word. It is my sincere prayer to God that in our own fellowship we would see a greater work of the Lord as we study together the book of Ezra. That in our community, our churches, homes, and lives the rebuilding would begin.

You can watch our Wednesday Night Services live at 7pm  www.ccsjc.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

Worship is a Way of Life

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable which is your reasonable service.

Worship is more than raising ones hands and the lifting of ones voice, worship is a way of life. Paul encourages the believers to present themselves to the Lord as a living sacrifice.
 A living sacrifice begins with a full commitment to God in response to all that God has done for me. This act of offering myself to God is one of worship.  The Word present means to offer, to put at ones disposal, or to yield to. As a living sacrifice all that I am belongs to the Lord. The Greeks felt that the body was inherently evil. It was only the Spirit and soul that was good. So because the body was worthless, in their estimation, it did not matter what you did with your body. Thus every kind of immoral practice was accepted and practiced with the body. But Paul is writing these Christians in Rome who would be exposed to these false notions and ideologies and declared that they were to offer their bodies to God. 
  In Leviticus when a sacrifice was to be offered up it was to be laid on the altar and was to be put to death and to be burned and completely consumed. But we are to be living sacrifices offered up to the Lord. I am to offer to God all my hopes my plans; everything that is precious to me, all belongs to my Lord. Father everything that makes up John Randall’s life is yours. It is at your disposal. This is my total commitment to you. Consume me Lord. I am a living sacrifice offered up to. 
The difference is that in the Old Testament was when the sacrifice was offered up it died. When a Christian offers himself to the Lord the old person dies, but that is also when he begins to live.

 David Livingston missionary to Africa:“ People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. But can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of the great debt of owing to our God, which we can never repay?Away with such a word, such a view, and such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk of when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His fathers throne on high to give himself for us.”

A Female missionary wrote the following "Covenant of Dedication" 
Lord Jesus I belong to thee from head to foot, and will always be Thine, for thou hast redeemed me. Thou art King of my life and hast absolute and undivided rule over all my affections and will and desire. My chief aim in life shall be to please thee. So do thou change me cleanse me and use me as thou wilt. I ask thee to help me loyally to keep this covenant, for I am willing to lay down my life for thy sake, if thou shouldst ask me."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Faith That Works

FAITH THAT WORKS: 
On Sunday mornings we are going through the book of James.Todays Service was from James 2:14-26. James points out what real saving faith looks like. James exhorts his readers to a have a faith that is alive and active. He was calling believers out, to live out what they say they believe. One of the ways that our faith is demonstrated to this world is by the life that we live. We can share with people that we are Christians but if what we say is not backed by how we live then there is something wrong. One of the things that James shares in the remainder of the second chapter is that .....
“It is possible to SAY you have a saving faith and not truly be saved….” Just because a person SAYS they are CHRISTIAN, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY ARE A CHRISTIAN. I COULD SAY I AM A BLACK BELT IN Karate and show you a belt I picked up at thrift store, but that doesn’t mean I am a black belt in Karate. (by the way I am not a black belt.) A Person can be raised in complete orthodoxy, have a knowledge intellectually of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but  a mental assent to Christian doctrine doesn’t save you. Jesus made this clear in Matthew when he said, 
Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 

As a Christian I don't serve God to earn salvation, I have salvation and I therefore am happy to serve God. 

"We are saved by grace through faith alone, but a faith that saves is Never alone." 
Good works will naturally follow saving faith. It is a byproduct of abiding in Jesus. 


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Roots

Ephraim is stricken, Their root is dried up; They shall bear no fruit. 
(Hosea 9:16 NKJV)

When the roots are dried up there can be no fruit that will follow. The root supplies the tree with nutrients which in turn bears fruit. But if the root system is corrupt and dried up no fruit will be produced. This is true in a life of a Christian and in the life of a congregation. If we desire to bear fruit then we must continue to abide in Christ. 
(read Psalm 1,John 15)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stand Fast 2011

The men in our church are getting ready to head up to the Green Valley this weekend for our mens retreat. The theme of this years retreat is "Stand Fast", taken out the passage of scripture in Ephesians 6:13. The reason we chose this theme is because we believe that we are in a spiritual battle. Men are often on the front line of that battle. We are called to stand in the gap for our marriages and for our children. Many men have given up the fight all together. Some have become casualties in this war. As we prayed, we really felt strongly that we wanted to encourage the men in our fellowship to Stand Fast. We need to be equipped to know how to stand. We want to be aware of what we are up against, so that we can have the victory. Joining us this year will be our guest pastor and long time friend of mine, Pastor Richard Cimino. 
We are anticipating a wonderful time with the men from Calvary. Keep us in prayer. I will let you know how everything goes once we return. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Passion For God Conference 2011

Pastor Chuck Smith
This weekend we joined many other men in attending the one day mens conference at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. I have been attending these conferences since I was 19 yrs. old when they were held at the Anaheim Convention Center. I even attended them via the internet at our church, when I was pastoring in Florida. We would all gather in the sanctuary on East Coast time and watch the live feed. I always have enjoyed getting together with all the men and singing praises to God. There is something pretty awesome about thousands of men singing in unison to the Lord. 
This year was unique for me in that I had the chance to participate at the conference in sharing from Gods Word. It was extremely humbling experience. Each one of those men that got up and spoke at the conference are the men that I have listened to my whole life. My Pastor, Chuck Smith, still at 86yrs old getting up there and preaching the Word of God. He has been an amazing example and role model for so many men, including myself. Then Raul Ries, Brian Broderson, Jeff Johnson, David Rosales, Ray Bentley, Greg Laurie. These men have affected so many people with their ministries. It was an honor to be a small part of the conference. It is one I will never forget to praise God for. 
Scott Cunningham my friend since grade school
Funny story about the conference. First of all you don't know what any of the other guys are going to share about. They do not give you a passage. They encouraged us to share what our Passion for God was. One of the fears you have when you are speaking toward the end is that someone else may share your passage. Well the first person out on the platform was pastor Chuck and he shared my passage. I was like, "oh no!" :0)... then later on in the day Pastor David Rosales quoted the passage I was to share on...again.."oh, no!" Thankfully the Lord took both of those men in a little different direction then I was planning to go. It was cool to see how God placed a central theme upon our hearts individually by His Spirit. 
One other thing that was a little stressful. As the day went on the sun began to beat directly upon the pulpit. Which meant that my Ipad, that I normally teach from, would automatically shut down due to the heat. I began to scramble.. I was able to find someone on sight that had a printer. I emailed my notes to them, they printed them out, then a security guard put some holes in the paper, borrowed a musicians 3 ring binder and I was on my way out... whewww...! crazy.. Yet the Lord was faithful to come through as He always does. It was a great time and the men from our fellowship were blessed to be a part of it... 
It was also a blessing to have two of my close friends who were in my wedding leading the worship. Scott Cunningham and Tim Nienhues. Thankful that we are able to serve the Lord together. 


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Iron Man Dinner with Pastor Jack Abeelen

Pastor jack and I in New Jersey this summer
We had a great time Tuesday night with my friend Pastor Jack Abeelen from Morning Star Christian Fellowship in Whittier. Pastor Jack is heard weekly on KWVE at around 130pm mon-fri. Jack was our guest for our once a month Iron Man Dinners we have for our mens ministry. He shared such a wonderful message with us from Hebrews 12 about running the race. We all have a race to run in our life. It is important when we are running our race that we do four specific things to ensure our finishing well. 

1. Divest: ourselves of anything that would hold us back. The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to run the race with endurance. In order to do this we must lay aside every weight and the sin that can so easily beset us. The laying aside of the besetting sins in our lives is a given. The more subtle things to lay aside are the weights that may not necessarily be sinful but have the potential to slow us down or stop us all together. 

2. Run: That seems almost to obvious but this is what the text in Hebrews says. We are to now run and run in such a way that we may obtain the prize. We want to win. 

3. Focus: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. It is so easy to get distracted in this world. it is imperative that we keep our eyes fixed and focused upon Jesus. It is the equivalent of putting on the horse blinders and running with single vision.

4.Consider: When times get tough and the road seems long we should consider Jesus. Think of what Jesus went through. Consider what Jesus endured and we will be encouraged. We can make it because Jesus did. And He promises to run with us in this race. 

We were blessed, challenged, and encouraged. We look to forward to the next month Iron Man on October  25th with special guest Pastor Pancho Juarez. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Montanaaaaaaah!

Glacier 
Montanahhhhhhh! My son left only two weeks ago to attend a missionary training program in Whitefish Montana. The school is called Potters Field Missions Training School. You attend classes for three months then you go onto the mission field for three-six months. Young people from all different churches attend. Once they finish their training they head out to Africa, Costa Rica, El Salvador, or the Philippines.
My parents and my younger sister work at the school. I have been trying to get out there for sometime to see the work and teach. I finally got my opportunity, and it was amazing.
worship at chapel 
I had the chance to go near the Glacier forest and float down a river in a raft. The scenery was breathtaking. I believe Montana is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I have been in the mountains before, but nothing like this. Toward the end of our rafting trip we came to a place where you could jump off a 50ft cliff. I did not jump, but my son did which made me totally nervous. He survived!
I was able to attend some of the training in the classroom. The interns learn many things that will equip them for the mission field. I taught a few times in the classroom as well. I spoke at their chapel service. It was great to lead worship with my son again. I taught from Phil.3 on the subject of Pressing On. I also taught a morning class from the book of Acts 21, and we considered the subject of discovering the will of God for your life. On another evening we had a pastors perspective q&a with the interns, and I answered questions about life and ministry.
Teaching in the Classroom
One of the other reasons I went to Montana was to say goodbye to  my parents. At the end of the month they are leaving for Africa for 6 months. I will miss them terribly, but I am so proud of them for following the call of God on their lives. 

I want to encourage you, if you are interested in missions, or are looking for a vision for life and serving God, Potters Field Ranch and Missions Training School is a great place to consider and pray about being equipped. 




video
For More Info check out: http://www.pfranch.org/

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Be Real 2011

Be Real 2011
On Saturday my family and I made our way up to Ventura county. I was asked back in June if I would come and be a part of an outreach called Be Real 2011. Be real is an event where churches come together and put on a concert and preach the Gospel, and give people a chance to respond. I was asked to MC the event which would include introducing the artists and interacting with the audience and so forth. It was a lot of fun. My friend Brenton Brown was there with his band so it was great to hear them play again. We also made some new friends as well.That night the gospel was preached and over 100 people made decisions for Christ. What joy to see people come to Jesus.

CC Oxnard
The next morning I was excited to go to Calvary Chapel of Oxnard and share the Word at their services. Pastor Lance Rolston and his wife were a big inspiration for me and Michelle. They have been serving Jesus in Oxnard for almost 30years. It was an honor to speak in the church. The people were caring and receptive to us. You can tell a lot about a pastor by his congregation. Following the services we had a chance to go up to Santa Barbara. We had a great time as a family serving the Lord together and also fellowshipping with one another before everyone goes off to school.

As wonderful as it is to go and minister in other churches, it's always great to come back and be in our home church of San Juan. There is really no place I would rather be.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Past And Present Tense

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. (1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV)

The apostle Paul made a list in the previous verses of those who would not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Then he reminded the Corinthians that many of them fit into that category when he writes,"such were some of you." in other words he was saying that's where you used to be past tense. Covered in the black foul stain of sin,but they were washed. They were cleansed. They got saved. They were on there way to hell, and the Father sent His only Son to save them. Now they were washed and the stains were removed. Also they were justified, meaning they were positionally pronounced innocent although they were guilty.
I am thankful once again this morning for my salvation. To be free from the power of sin that once held my life in bondage. To have my blind eyes opened and be able to see the beauty of Gods grace and love for me. There is no greater freedom in all the world. There is no greater joy that this world can provide in comparison to knowing Jesus.

Take time today and thank Jesus for your salvation.....You are Loved.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Testimonies From A Daily Walk

videoI thought it might be a good idea to take a moment and share some of the praise reports we have recently received from our radio broadcast. We are so encouraged here at A Daily Walk to read of what the Lord is doing in the lives of people over the airwaves. I wanted to say thanks to all who write us here.

....Good morning, 
I found you guys through tunein radio recently while searching for a Christian truly bible based program. God led me to "A Daily Walk" , now I listen every morning and throughout my work day. I became a Christian 2 years ago here in Katy,TX at Second Baptist with Pastor Ed Young and I love it. A daily walk helps me with my relationship with Jesus Christ in allowing me another way to continue in my worship path. Thank you all for everything you do.
P.S. I recently found myself in sin and at one of the lowest points of my life. I am up now and you guys help me in my daily walk. God Bless!  Richard TX



....I was driving down a desolate stretch of road in Texas while moving from California to Dallas today.  I have encountered so many hardships on this journey to Dallas to pursue my dreams.  Following another of the several setbacks in my trip, I happened to flip to a radio station carrying Pastor John's message on Elijah in the wilderness begging God for death, and God sending an angel to him to feed him and comfort him.  I was so moved I had to pull over and weep for several minutes because I could relate to Elijah's difficulties  due to the difficulty in my own journey.   I pray that God will protect me and guide me in this endeavor.  I thank God for leading me to the station that carried your sermon. Thank you for your message.  It was exactly what my spirit needed to lift me up and give me the courage to continue through these battles.  Thank you, thank God, and may God bless your ministries....Stephen TX


... just listened to you on Hope Fm ...you are truly a messenger sent of God.  I enjoy you and have been meaning to e-mail you sooner, however this is a bad time of day for me.  I just had to get a thought off to you today though...God Bless you and your ministry continually....Amen. Mary, NY
...Let me introduce my self I am a listener of your presentation and teaching of God’s word (A Daily Walk) every morning on “The Bridge FM”. I am from the Mid Hudson Valley area of New York. I thank God for your abilities and gift of teaching that he has given you through his Holly Sprit.  In addition I would like to thank you for your energy and devotion to this calling.  Through your mission and God’s Holly Sprit, I get a further understanding of God’s word. Your studies present God’s word in a way that touches and inspires me along with energizing my sprit everyday.  I pray that God continues to strengthen you and guide you.  I have never written anyone like this before and felt moved to send you these few words of encouragement and thanks. There are several other bothers in Christ both at work and at church that also listen to your presentation of God’s message. Keep marching forward, finding Strength in the Lord our Savory Jesus Christ. Glory to God the Father, his risen Son Jesus Christ and the Holly Sprit!!Blessings and thanks, From a fellow Brother in Christ, ...Ken NY, NJ


Hi John,
I just want to thank you and God for the many blessings you bring to my life each morning. I ride a motorcycle every day to work and listen to your message between 4:30 and 5:00a.m. as i ride.  I am blessed and Praise God for servants like yourself that help to teach the Gospel.
In his service,
Ed, CA

 ....
                     


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Harvest Crusade 2011

The 22nd Annual Harvest Crusade was an amazing evangelistic outreach. With the united involvement of 215 churches, there were 115,000 in attendance over the weekend. In addition to those in attendance at the stadium there were 1,303,332 online viewers that hit the webcast. The greatest news of all was that there were 11,592 decisions made for Christ at the crusade. It was a weekend I will never forget. 

Bible Bus

On Friday night we decided to rent a bus and take as many people as we could to the crusade. We filled it up with 54 people. It was a lot of fun to go to the crusade together and some of those who came ended up going down on the field to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus Christ. We sat up top close to section 512.





In-n-Out
Saturday Night was the youth night. Musical guest included Lincoln Brewster, Phil Wickham, and the loud, rocking, band called Red. It was kind of a big night for me personally. I had the joy of getting to open the night in prayer. Many people have asked me how did that come about? i honestly don't know. Someone called the church and asked and I was as shocked as anyone who saw me there that night. It was a great honor to which I am still completely humbled by Gods grace. It was kind of funny after the Saturday night Harvest we decided to go to In-n-Out in SJC. As we were sitting there, we ran into my friend Phil Wickham coming through the drive through. He was gracious enough to get out of his car and take a picture with the boys. 


Sunday Night: We returned for the final evening of the Harvest Crusade. That night the stadium was completely packed to capacity. Each night that Pastor Greg shared was powerful. God has truly given him a gift to communicate the gospel so clearly. To see all those people make there way down on to the field inspired me to tell more people about Jesus. It made me want to reach my own community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you missed any of the crusade you can watch it archived online. Also there is one final night of the crusade at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. We are planning on attending and serving at that as well. Thanks to those of you who prayed for us.. I just wanted to share some of the great things the Lord did. He deserves all the glory and credit, for He alone is worthy. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shake off the Dust

But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. (Acts 13:51 NKJV)

The Lord had been working powerfully through Paul and Barnabass. As they preached the gospel many responded and were converted. The word of God was spreading through the entire region. Yet immediately following this work of God came opposition. There were religious and legalistic Jews that came in and began to cause division and undermine the work. Paul and Barnabass stood there ground, but eventually they moved on. The outward demonstration in there moving on was shaking off the dust from their garments. Jesus told His disciples on their short term missionary journey that if they were not received to shake off the dust from their garments.(Mark 6). As they shook off the dust they moved on and ministered where they were received.
Sometimes within ministry God can be working mightily. But this work will not always be received. It can even be opposed or criticized. The devil often likes to start little fires in different places all at one time. This creates diversions,distractions,and often discouragement. What are you supposed to do? Do you try and put out everyone? You can try.But will come to discover you cannot please everyone. Be more concerned with pleasing God. There are days however, when all you can do is simply "shake off the dust". The comments,the actions,whatever it might be that would want to cling to you and rob you of your joy in the Lord.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Behind the Veil Women's Conference 2011

I am excited to announce our one day women's conference entitled "Behind the Veil", on Saturday August 20th, from 8:30am-4pm.  The conference is free, and will be held at  Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano. The purpose of this conference is to encourage women of all ages to go "Behind the Veil" and discover the power, purity, and price that Jesus offers to all who are willing to go. We will also seek to unveil the lies that Satan uses to distort the self-image of women. Our heart is to show women how beautiful and precious they are in the eyes of the Lord, as well as how to detect the lies that the world feeds them on a daily basis.  We have some great speakers lined up such as Michelle Randall, Myshel Leal, Amber Vaca, Kelly Vegas, and Loli Romo. Leading the women in worship will be Gia Lucid. 

I believe that the Lord is going to use this conference in a powerful way to affect many women in Southern California. The conference is appropriate for ages 13 and up. At this point we have close to 200 women registered to attend. Also my wife has an interview on KWVE 107.9fm about the conference this week, please keep that in prayer. 

To attend the conference you can register online : www.behindtheveil2011.com

I want to encourage all my sisters in Christ to attend, I know that you will be blessed.
NOTE: If you live out of state or are not able to attend we will be streaming it live on the internet.

In Christ,

 PJ

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Life

Baptism is an outward sign and demonstration of an inward work. It is a public declaration to the world that I have decided to follow Jesus. A person does not get baptized for Salvation, rather they are baptized for identification. After Jesus was crucified, He was then buried in a tomb. Three days later He rose again in power. 
When a person is baptized they go down into the water, and it is a picture of their old person, who they used to be, being buried with Christ in the grave. When they come up out of the water, it is symbolic of them being raised with Christ. This is something that has already happened in their heart. They have asked to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, now they are outwardly declaring what has taken place. Baptism is a big step in the life of a Christian. It is a beautiful experience and completely life changing. 

Yesterday, down at Doheny State Beach, we had the privilege of baptizing at least 30 people. The ages of those who were baptized ranged from 7yrs of age up to 70yrs of age. We had more people show up to support those being baptized then ever before. Also our Spanish church came with us and they also baptized people from their fellowship. I cannot tell you what joy filled my heart to see so many going into the water. For some, tears of joy flowed from their eyes. They came to waters wanting to follow the Lord, and receive from Him, all that He had for them. There was a women on the beach observing our baptism take place. She came and asked if she could be baptized.  I asked her if she had received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She responded that she had, and so we baptized her. I baptized a women in her late 70's yesterday. She told me, "Pastor John the Lord has changed my life." One young lady said, "Can you make sure that all of me goes under the water?" We made sure... Another young man said, "Can you please baptize me in the name of Jesus?" As I prayed for Him I said, " We baptize you in the name, which is above every name, the name of Jesus." 
We give the Lord all the praise and glory for the Work that He is doing in the lives of His people.  If you haven't been baptized yet, I encourage you the next time your church has a baptism be baptized. Its a command from Jesus, and a blessing for the believer. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reuniting with Friends

This evening I had a chance to see some former classmates that I had not seen in a long time. Yes, it has been twenty years since I was in high school. Shocking! Where did the time go? At first it is awkward walking into a room that is full of people that you should probably remember, but can't. Then there is that moment where you make eye contact with someone, and you cannot remember their name. They don't recognize you, and you don't recognize them, but for a moment you play it off like you both know each other. Its funny, I am smiling right now as I write.  Then you begin to converse and it all starts coming back to you. Well, at least some of it comes back to you.  
It was a joy to be reunited for a few hours with people from the past. It reminds me of where I was, but also it reminds me of where I am. It is also amazing to me the things that we remember. The things that made the biggest impression upon us in that season of life. 
I was reminded this evening that in life, friendship is important. Being a friend, and having strong ties are essential. It seems that no matter how many years go by, a friend will remain a friend, and for this I am grateful. The bible says, "a friend loves at all times." I am truly thankful for the friends that God has given me. And for the blessings in my life that are only because of Him. I am even more grateful for the friend that sticks closer than a brother, My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 


Friday, July 1, 2011

A Loyal Heart

And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart.
(2 Chron. 25:2 NKJV)

What a sad and pathetic commentary on a life. King Amaziah, did what was right in the sight  of the Lord but not with a loyal heart. He was not fully committed to the Lord. He was loyal when it was convenient. He was loyal when he felt he needed to be. Yet when you came down to it, he was a man with a divided heart.
Even as he began to reign as king he did many things that were commendable. He established justice in areas that had previously been neglected. This was a good and noble task.
Yet he also had a tendency to lean upon the arm of the flesh. In battle he sought the help of man instead of the help of God. He looked to military numbers instead of Gods power to save. 
He was reproved for his bad decision by the Lords prophet,and thus he reluctantly sent the soldiers he had hired away. It appeared that perhaps he was now going to trust in the Lord. As Amaziah went into battle he was victorious. Then as he began to collect the spoils of his victory, he collected all the false idols of his defeated foes. He then set them up and began to worship them instead of the living God who had given him victory.
Here it was that his true colors were exposed. At times he appeared to walk in the ways of the Lord, yet down deep he was not loyal to God. Although God had provided for him,delivered him he chose not to truly follow the Lord.
In his pride King Amaziah hardened his heart and fought in another battle he presumed he would win. God sent prophets to warn him, but he would not listen. Even the enemy he had challenged to fight warned him, still his hardened heart was impenetrable. He was soundly defeated and lost his life on the battlefield. 
The lesson is this, serve the Lord with a loyal heart. Do not be divided, or you will be divided. Choose you this day who you will serve. We cannot be in two places at once. We cannot affectively serve God and at the same time live our old life within the world. Is your heart truly loyal to God? Are you serving Jesus with your whole heart or a divided heart? If you desire to serve God with a loyal heart perhaps pray something like this:

dear God forgive me for following you only when I find it convenient. I repent of being one way around these people, and another way around those people. Today I choose to follow after you with all that I am, because you gave all that you are for me. Amen!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New York Times

Although we only spent two days in New York there is so much that I could write about. As we were getting ready to leave New Jersey many of the locals had a look of concern when we told them we were going to New York. We were given so much advice. Things like watch your wallet, don't talk to strangers, be careful on the subway. With all of the council we received I was on heightened alert. I have traveled to many parts of the world, and actually many dangerous places, but I had never been to New York. 
We boarded the train in New Jersey and rode into New York. We arrived at Penn Station and then hailed a cabby. I have heard stories about New York Cab Drivers, its all true, and then some. There are 8 million people in New York. The streets are packed with cars. When we got into the cab and we were all silent. This guy drove like he was crazy. He was honking,and shouting at people. He told me how stupid people were, I didn't want to disagree. He would floor it through an intersection to beat the guy next to him. I am excited to meet my Savior, but I didn't want to go like this. He drove us to Time Square where our hotel was located. 
Time Square was unbelievable. I had seen it on TV at New Years when the ball drops, but that didn't do it justice. We checked in to our hotel and were on the 38th floor overlooking Time Square. I was like looking at a bunch of ants on the ground. We decided to go out and explore. We have a friend who lives in New York so she came and met us for dinner at Carmines. Just a side note, I met more people with the name Carmine or Dominique. The restaurant had amazing family style italian food. Then our friend Amber showed us around the city. It was great to cruise with someone who knows there way around. We had a great night of fellowship. 
The next day we purchased tickets to the double decker bus. That is truly the way to go. You get on the bus and you can get off anytime  you want. It takes you all over New York. The tour guide points out all the sights and the history of the city. It was so much fun. We decided to get off at "Ground Zero". We went to the 911 memorial site. Walking through that museum brought back so many memories, it was emotional. They are rebuilding the towers at the present time. It is going to be incredible.
We got back on the bus and went to the Staten Island Fairy. Its a 20 minute ride there and back to Staten Island. It was great to see the statue of Liberty. We then came back got on the bus and finished our tour through New York. Then something incredible happened that made our trip to New York even more amazing. 
I had found out that one of my all time favorite musicians was in New York playing a concert right around the corner from our hotel. His name is Jonny Lang and he is a blues musician. I had tried to see him in the past but it never worked out. Jonny became a Christian a number of years ago. I was able to get tickets. Me, my son Jake, my pastor and good friend Brian Broderson, who is also a big fan, and Mike Doyle who pastors a church in New York went to the concert. (side note I even heard Brian quote a Jonny Lang song in a Sunday morning Sermon..lol..) The doors opened at 6pm, we arrived around 545pm got in line. We got the most incredible seats. We got to sit less than ten feet from Jonny. All I can say is it was unbelievable. We came back to our hotel and I was so thankful for an amazing trip to New York. I loved it and can highly recommend it.

video

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bridgefest Praise Reports, New Jersey Update

I wanted to write and let you all the amazing things the Lord did while we were in New Jersey for the Bridgefest Outreach. Actually there were so many things that I cannot write them all down, but here goes with some highlights. 
BRIDGEFEST:  Is an outreach put on by the BridgeFM which is a radio station run by Calvary Chapel Old Bridge. The outreach is held in Ocean Grove New Jersey. Ocean Grove is a beautiful location on the Jersey shore, and is called Gods square mile. The Great Auditorium is located there. Ocean Grove was founded in 1869 by methodist clergymen. Over the years at least 10 presidents have spoken there. And man like Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham have preached there. Every year Calvary puts on an outreach to the community that is attended by many thousands. They invite Bible teachers who are listened to on the Bridge station, to come and speak. We have been on the Bridge for over a year at 630am monday through Friday. Brian Broderson, Jack Hibbs, Jack Abeelen, and myself were among the California pastors that attended. 
YOUTH RALLEY: Friday I had the privilege of addressing the young people in the youth temple. We have a great time of worship followed by a testimony from my friend Ryan Ries of the "Whosoevers". I spoke to the young people from Jeremiah 1. I talked about the call of God upon their lives. We had a great response and the Lord was faithful to move by His Holy Spirit. 
CONCERT: that evening there was concert held in the great auditorium. Musical guest included a groups Down Here, Francesca Bonestelli, and Brandon Heath. Brian Broderson shared his testimony, and Jack Hibbs preached the gospel, and many came forward to receive Christ. It was awesome. 
SURF CLINIC: Christian Surfers put on a surf clinic saturday morning with three classes. Before two of the classes I shared a devotional with the kids before their surf lessons. Then my son Jake and I as well as other instructors pushed kids into waves for three hours. 
PASTORS PERSPECTIVE: Throughout the day on Saturday they had a live pastors perspective show on the air. In the afternoon, Pastor Lloyd Pulley and myself, took questions live and gave Biblical answers. I was a little nervous because we didn't get the questions ahead of time. But the Lord was faithful. 
BEACH STAGE: on the beach they had a huge stage with musical groups playing and pastors preaching. I was asked to teach the final message of the day. I was asked to present the gospel and call people to make a decision for Christ. I do not consider myself to be and evangelist, thus I always get extra nervous. Yet again the Lord showed Himself strong in my weakness and people came forward to receive Christ. Following the preaching of the gospel, we immediately walked over for the baptism. Hundreds of people lined up to be baptized including the ones who had just got saved. It was amazing. 
CORNERSTONE CALVARY: Sunday morning I was invited to teach to the Word at the Cornerstone Calvary Chapel in Howell NJ, pastored by Chris McCarrick. The church body there was such a blessing. They were so receptive and appreciative of the Word. We felt right at home. Following the services we got on a train and went to New York. I will tell you all about New York in the next blog..
We had great response to our Radio Program. To God be all the glory that He uses the foolish things of the World. We praise Him alone for all HE has done. Thank you all for your prayers, we certainly couldn't have done it without them. PJ

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Exceeded Expectations

However I did not believe their words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me. You exceed the fame of which I heard. (2 Chron.9:6 NKJV)

When the queen of Sheba came and finally met Solomon she realized that what she had heard was less than what she had come to find. Solomon was more wonderful than she had imagined.

I have found this to be true concerning the greater than Solomon, Jesus Christ. He is more wonderful than I knew. He is more powerful, more gracious, than I imagined. His love for me goes beyond my ability to comprehend. Jesus exceeds all the expectations. I pray you have come to Him and found this to be true. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Great Need in the Church


I say that a Christian congregation can survive and often appear to prosper in the community by the exercise of human talent and without any touch from the Holy Spirit! 
It is possible to run a church and all of its activity without the Holy Spirit. You can organize it, get a board together, call a pastor, form a choir, launch a Sunday school. You get it all organized—and the organization part is not bad. I’m for it.  But I’m warning about getting organized, getting a pastor and turning the crank—some people think that’s all there is to it.
If you could increase the attendance of your church until there is no more room, if you could provide everything they have in churches that men want and love and value, and yet you didn’t have the Holy Spirit, you might as well have nothing at all. For it is Not by the eloquence of a man, not by good music, not by good preaching, but it is by the Spirit that God works His mighty works.-A.W. TOZER

Oh How we need a Fresh Outpouring of the Holy Spirit within our churches today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"A Passion For God"- Pastors Conference

Theme of the Conference
This week I had the joy of attending the Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference. It is an event that I look forward to every year. I get to see fellow pastors that I have known for many years. The fellowship with the other guys is extremely uplifting. It is also a time of amazing teaching from God's Word. This years conference theme was "A Passion For God". There were a number of topics that were considered: 
A Passion for.... the Word, the Lost, the rapture, for those who are suffering,  the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit.  
Each study ministered to me in different areas of my life. I could probably right an entire blog on each message, but let me share at least one highlight. 

A Time of Worship at the Conference
Baptism with the Spirit: Pastor Malcolm Wilde from Calvary Chapel Merritt Island Florida, shared on the baptism with the Holy Spirit. All I can say is, it was incredible. There is no substitute for the power of God at work in the lives of His people. His text was Zechariah 4. He emphasized that the task for ministry is beyond us, and therefore we need a greater power than we possess in ourselves. We need to be stirred by the Holy Spirit, and also be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The work of the ministry must not seek to be accomplished by carnal means. Also we must avoid the danger of taking concepts and principles or programs without the Holy Spirit's involvement.  Knowing that we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit reveals that we can all be used by the Lord, and that all the glory belongs to the Lord. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit that is a secondary work to that of conversion which empowers the believer for service. We simply pray for it and receive it. To try and minister without it, will only bring about eventual burnout. 

Anyway there was a lot more that ministered to me at the conference, perhaps I will write down some more later... Blessings.. PJ


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Open Doors

Revelation 3:7"He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens"

God opens doors for ministry and ministers today. I would like to bear witness that I have proved this Philadelphian promise of the open door through years of ministry and it has never failed. Promotion does not come from the south, east, or west, but from God; and if we commit our way unto Him and trust Him, He will bring it to pass . . . God's man is not dependent on religious talent scouts, nor is his ministry in the hand of ecclesiastical officials. His headquarters is heaven and his itinerary is made up by the Lord of the Open Door. -Vance Havner