Thursday, February 24, 2011

Camps and Retreats

 Next weekend we have two retreats taking place. One of the retreats is a youth retreat held at Green Valley Lake for High School age students. The other is our women's retreat in Murrietta. A time of retreat is a true blessing for the believer. You may recall the time in scripture when Jesus and His disciples were busy in ministry. The multitudes were gathering and there was no time to relax. Jesus then informed His disciples that it was time to get away and rest for a while.   "And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 
A retreat provides a time to rest and be refreshed in the Lord. A chance to get out of your normal element and routine and seek the face of Jesus. I have been on many a retreat in my life, only to have the Lord speak His promises to me. It's as if someone breathed fresh life into me and I returned to ministry with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Its my prayer for all those attending that they would be encouraged and built up in their faith, to return with joy and refilled to serve the Lord.
If you haven't been on a retreat in awhile I encourage you to go. One person put it this way, " there are times when we need to come apart, lest we fall apart."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Past deliverance begets faith

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.
1 Samuel 17:37

This is not a promise if we consider only the words, but it is truly so as to its sense; for David spoke a word which the LORD endorsed by making it true. He argued from past deliverance's that he should receive help in a new danger. In Jesus all the promises are "Yea" and "Amen" to the glory of God by us, and so the LORD's former dealings with His believing people will be repeated.

Come, then, let us recall the LORD's former lovingkindness. We could not have hoped to be delivered aforetime by our own strength; yet the LORD delivered us. Will He not again save us? We are sure He will. As David ran to meet his foe, so will we. The LORD has been with us, He is with us, and He has said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Why do we tremble? Was the past a dream? Think of the dead bear and lion. Who is this Philistine? True, he is not quite the same, and is neither bear nor lion; but then God is the same, and His honor is as much concerned in the one case as in the other. He did not save us from the beasts of the forest to let a giant kill us. Let us be of good courage.

from the Faith's Checkbook Devotional, by Charles Spurgeon.

Sent from my iPad 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updates on the Fam, the Church, and Surfing

FAMILY: One of our boys turned 14yrs. old last month, and our baby girl turned 7yrs old. Time is flying by way to fast. My oldest is in his second semester of School of Worship and preparing to head to montana to be further prepared for ministry at a Bible College there. My 11 yr. old is reading through the Bible. I asked him what he was reading he said " I am reading through  Romans now dad!" Im like " Oh Yeah". He is going to take over the church when he is fifteen...:0)
My bride and I had a great valentines day this week. I got to take her shopping. It is so funny as a man to go shopping. My favorite quote of the day was when my wife was buying some "accessories" and the lady at the counter says and I quote, " don't accessories just completely change your outfit?" I thought to my self I am not sure, but I will take your word for it.... 20yr class reunion is coming soon,, I cannot believe it i do not feel that old...surprise...
Cali the dog is always.. she is a love.. 

CHURCH: We are still going through the book of Revelation at church. This weekend heading into chapter 14. Its been a radical time for our fellowship and the Lord is working in the lives of His people. To God be the glory. On Wednesdays I am teaching through 2 Kings. Michelle and I are ministering at the college group on Fridays it is a highlight for us. We love hanging with these guys and gals and sharing our lives and Jesus with them. We are also preparing to leave for israel at the end of March so stoked. We are traveling with Pastor Raul Ries, should be a great time. Iron Man Mens Ministry will be hosting my pastor, Pastor Brian Broderson, at our church on March 1st its gonna be sick. In April Easter in the Park ramps back up, pretty excited about taking church outside to the neighborhood. Umm, oh yeah... in June taking a team to New Jersey and New York to preach at the Bridgefest event. Super stoked about that. Praying for our church to someday have a parking lot, preferably with a building on it..:0)parking is an issue, praise Jesus. 

SURFING: I love it.. my one consistent form of exercise that brings me much joy. So stoked that two of my boys are totally into also. We have a lot of fun. Been longboarding a little more these days, but I still love the shortboard too. I wore a squid lid for the first time this morning. Its basically a wetsuit cap that keep your head warm,, by the way it worked... well thats all for now.. lov you guys... keep loving JESUS...

PS; Instagram is a cool app that you can have on your phone and share pictures with friends I am totally stoked on it.. check it out ,my name on there is jrfotos. we can swap pics...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Not of this World

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

I read as well as teach from the New King James Version of the scriptures. At the same time I enjoy reading other translations to broaden my perspective. This morning the New Living Translation opened up a familiar passage. As you consider Romans 12 you can see there is an important aspect in discovering the will of God for ones life.

1. Don't copy the customs or behaviour of the world: you see, as believers we are in this world but not of it. The world and it's system is passing away. Those that pursue the things of the world are not walking according to the will of God. Thus if you seek to pattern your life after the world, you won't be able to discern the will of God. Many believers are patterning their lives after the world and wonder why Gods will seems so mysterious.

2.Let God transform you into new person, by changing the way you think: it's important when discovering the will of God to yield to the Lord instead of the world. The world does not possess the mind of Christ. The worldly mindset is a consistent pursuit of the flesh. This is also a direct obstacle to understanding the will of God.

The blessing of this verse is that if I do yield to the Lord, He begins to change my earthly perspective to a heavenly perspective. He transforms my thinking. Now I can begin to understand His will for me. I am no longer bound to the form of this World, but I am living for something more.

Perhaps a Question to ask ourselves this morning would be "am I following the pattern of This World?" Is my life any different now that I am a Christian?"

To follow the pattern of this world, is to miss the perfect will of God for ones life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Forgotten but not Forsaken

Genesis 40:23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. 

 As a young man, God placed dreams within his heart. He did not know what those dreams meant. When he shared them with his family it caused division. His brothers even conspired against him and sold him into slavery, in order that those dreams would never come to pass. As Joseph was sent as a slave to Egypt all hope seemed lost. Yet the Bible says time and time again, "that the Lord was with Joseph." 
He was placed in a home of a powerful man, and promoted as the head servant. Yet a second time Joseph was conspired against and placed into prison. Yet the Bible says, "The Lord was with Joseph." While in prison the Lord continued bless Joseph. Then there came a day when there  seemed to be a divine appointment within the cell.  The Pharaohs  baker and butler were placed under his care. Each of them had startling dreams to which Joseph was able to interpret. Joseph begged to be remembered in the sight of Pharaoh so that he may be released from prison.  But the butler "forgot about Joseph." I can only imagine how painful and disillusioning for Joseph that must have been. To have a glimmer of hope in the dungeon, only to be forgotten again.  Joseph would spend two more years in prison, until one day when every thing changed. While Joseph waited two more years he had  no idea what God's plan was for him. Questions filled his mind, "How would anyone find him there?" He probably thought himself a fool for having dreams of great things as a child. How immature, and presumptuous all those dreams must have seemed at this point. Ah but behind the scenes unbeknownst to Joseph, God was working. Those dreams would come to pass.

You see although Joseph was forgotten by man, he was not forsaken by God, and neither are you friend.