Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday Night Service

Up to this point at Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano I had not been open to having a Saturday night service. I'm not sure why, I guess I was used to Sunday mornings. However I recently had a meeting with our leadership at the church. We were praying and discussing what to do about our ongoing problems with parking. (Side Note: Calvary Chapel SJC does not own one parking spot...amazing)
As were seeking the Lord on options that we have, we discussed changing our present service times. Altering the current service times might lead some to go to first service if we made it a little later. Then we began to talk about Saturday nights. For the first time I sensed that the Lord was directing us that way. I actually was excited about the possibility. We talked and prayed a little more and "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...."Acts 15:28 We decided to pray about having a Saturday night service from 6:00-7:30pm. Then we would alter the first service from 7:45am to 8:00am. Then second and third would stay the same times 9:30, 11:15am. 
The next morning I really felt that I needed some further confirmation from the Lord in His Word. I am not one to do something just to do something. Especially when it comes to ministry I want to be sure we are in step with what the Lord has for us. So I went to the scriptures. It is such a blessing to be reading through your Bible and trust that the Lord will speak to you as you daily read through His Word. That morning I was reading through the book of 1 Kings. In 1 Kings 12:15 I read "this turn of events was from the Lord that He might fulfill His word." Then I read 1 Kings 12:24 "For this thing is from Me". I had been asking the Lord, "is this of you or of us. Lord, do you want us to take a step of faith and start a Saturday night service?" As I read through the Word I received my answer. God is good!  Later that day I called one of my good friends, who is also a pastor. For many years he has been a close confidant, and a wealth of council for me. As I spoke with him about what we were praying about, he confirmed the direction we were taking. 
Beginning March 3 we will host our first Saturday night service. I don't necessarily know what it will be like. I am not planning an event, I simply want to lead people to Jesus. I know that I will be teaching what I will be teaching on Sunday mornings. I know we will have a time of worship. I am excited, because on a Saturday you can be a little more flexible. My prayer is, "Jesus whatever you want Saturday night to be." It presents another opportunity for us to minister. I also am aware of the fact that I cannot do this on my own. We need the Lord to assemble a group of people who share the vision and can help us minister to those who will come. We need children's ministry helpers, ushers, prayer teams, hospitality.. if the Lord is in it He will provide for it. 

Please keep us in prayer as we take another step in serving the Lord. Also if you would like to serve with us on Saturday nights you can contact the church office: 949-443-2572, ask for Pastor Jason, or Pastor Gary.  We will be having a team meeting in the next couple of weeks. 
Thanks guys.. love you.. PJ

Monday, January 16, 2012

2 Corinthians 10:2 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with thosewho commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

There is a subtle danger in the Christian life that needs to be guarded against, that is comparing yourself to others. The apostle  Paul knew the tendency in human nature to get our eyes off of Jesus and start looking at other people. He said that this was "unwise." 
Why is comparing yourself to others in the Christian life, or Christian ministry a danger? There are a few reasons. 

When you begin to compare yourself to others it won't be long before  you find someone who is not as far along as you are in your walk with the Lord. Perhaps they are still stumbling in sins that you have conquered. As you begin to compare yourself you become inflated with pride. Pride will always quench the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

Another result of drawing unwise comparisons is that of discouragement. There are those who are much farther along in their walk with the Lord than you are. They are being used by the Lord in ways that you wish you were being used. They appear to have it together, suddenly you become discouraged and the devil comes in with thoughts of quitting all together. He tells you that you will never make it, and that you are a failure in your faith. 

In addition to being filled with pride or being condemned and discouraged, when you compare yourself to others you can become envious and covetous of what someone else has. You can become critical and look for their shortcomings in order to expose them, which in turn somehow puffs you up and draws attention to yourself.

It is unwise to compare ourselves to others. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Grow deeper in love with Him. Learn to be content with whatever state that you are in. Rejoice in the work that God is doing in others. Pray for them. Encourage those who are struggling. Be who Jesus has called you to be. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Powerful Reminder

Yesterday served as another reminder of how short life is. I presided over a memorial service in Santa Ana for a man named Victor Vaca. A hardworking, loving father and grandfather. He was a veteran from World War 2. A hero to his 9 children and 24 grandchildren. At the funeral they shared their memories of the blessing that Victor was to all of them. Following the memorial service I quickly made my way to another memorial service for Pastor Bob Hoekstra held at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

Pastor Bobs memorial service made such a profound impact upon me and everyone in attendance. I have known Bob for many years, and I have always admired his ministry. However yesterday I got to see the full composite of the man, as testimony after testimony was given by friends and family. What a godly man. I miss him. The things that his friends and children said about him made me hope that I could be a fraction of the godly man that Bob was. To be able to leave such a powerful legacy of Jesus is more precious than anything else in this world. Pastor Bob suffered so much pain over the last 2 years. Yet even in his suffering he was teaching and demonstrating to us how to trust Jesus until the end. He revealed in his life how to glorify God in the midst of suffering. His children, who were at his bed side, mentioned how they heard their father say what Job said when he was suffering, " though he slay me yet I will trust him." They shared how that even up to his final moments he was still preaching the gospel to doctors and nurses. They said how he never complained even when bearing such agony and pain in his body. How that Bob was asking them how he could pray for them. He told his children to keep loving and serving Jesus. After being at Pastor Bobs memorial I was undone. Completely humbled and touched by a man that lived for Jesus with everything that was in him. I am forever indebted to Pastor Bob for his example. I shared with Bobs wife Dini of my love and admiration for her and Bob. While I spoke to her she was ministering to me. I was overwhelmed by her testimony. One of the verses that characterised  Bob's life was Colossians 1:27-29 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily."  

Following the service I made my way up the mountains of San Bernardino to Twin Peaks.

At the conference center in Twin Peaks were a multitude of young people there to seek the Lord at a college retreat. The theme of the retreat was "MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER" taken from the scripture in Isaiah. The retreat began last night and will end on Sunday morning.  I had the chance to share on the prayer of the Apostle Paul from Ephesians 3. A prayer of enablement. We then concluded with a powerfully annointed time of worship led by one of my best friends Scott Cunningham and his daughter Madison. It was somewhat surreal for Scott and I to be there at Twin Peaks. We were discussing how we had been going up to Twin Peaks together since we were in elementary school and in Jr. High. Also we reflected on how that Twin Peaks was where Scott met his wife Meagan at Bible College there. It was such a joy to talk about Jesus with those young people. I pray that the seeds that were planted would bear much fruit in the days and years to come.