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 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.


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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Thoughts on Ministry

that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, Nehemiah 1:6

When Nehemiah heard about the condition of his people,his heart began to break. The city lay in ruins, the gates burned with fire, and the people were a reproach. He was so many miles from them that it didn't seem like there was much he could do. No doors were open for him to leave his post in Persia. With a burden upon his heart and tears in his eyes Nehemiah begins to pray. Any significant work of God begins with a burden, that drives us to our knees. Nehemiah pleaded with God that a door would open for him to rebuild the walls that had been broken down. The desire became so great that Nehemiah prayed both day and night. Before he closed his eyes to go to sleep he prayed about the situation. When he awoke in the morning, he was praying for it again. You know when the Lord has placed something upon your heart when you cannot shake the thought of it. Like Nehemiah, it can consume your thoughts. It can rob you of your sleep. The burden only increases with time. What are you and I to do? We must pray as Nehemiah did. Pray fervently, pray faithfully for the Lord to answer. Pray that the doors to swing open wide so that you know it's the Lord calling you. Pray for the gift of faith to believe and trust in the promises of God's Word. Beseech the Lord for His strength and endurance to wait for Him to move. Pray both day and night!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Iron Man in the School of Faith

 A little over a year ago we started a ministry for men called, Iron Man. It is taken from the scripture in Proverbs 27:17 [As] iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. We usually meet once a month here at the church. The Iron Man gathering includes dinner for the men,a time of worship, and a time in the Word, with a guest pastor from the area. When we started, we didn't have that many men attending. But over the last year more and more men have come out. What has been a tremendous encouragement, is men from other fellowships have been able to come and join us with there men. There is nothing like having a bunch of guys praying together, lifting their voices in song, and raising their hands, and worshipping the Lord. Its awesome! 
Last night, Pastor Raul Ries came and shared with us. All I can say is it was "Amazing." He shared from Genesis 22. He looked at the life of Abraham, and one of the greatest tests that he ever had to face with His Son Isaac. God told Abraham to take his son Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and offer him up as a sacrifice. The test that came to Abrahams life was in order to see where Abrahams heart was. Among other things, Pastor Raul pointed out that we are all in the "school of faith." He shared that every one of us will go through testings and trials. Often it is within those testings, that the devil comes with a temptation. Yet the trials that we face are making us into the men that God desires us to be. He mentioned that the first 40 years of a godly mans life is the "text", and the next 40 years is the "commentary". He also pointed out the incredible typology of Abraham being like the Father, and Isaac being like the Son. As Isaac was a beloved son submitting to the will Father, so Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and was sacrificed for us. 
Right before Abraham was going to follow through with Gods command, the Lord stopped Him. The Lord was only putting Abraham to the test, and Abraham passed. Then the Lord provided a sacrifice for them. 
As I look at the story of Abraham, I recall that there have been many times in my own Christian experience where God has called me to place things on the Altar, so to speak. Things that I would normally hold on to. Furthermore I have seen God provide miraculously in many ways.  Last night as we read that verse, "the Lord will provide" it burst off the page into my heart once again.