Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meeting with Pastor Chuck

I was in the third grade. I was standing backstage at the Knott's Berry Farm Good Time Theater. I was just a little kid in a children's play called, "Psalty the Singing Song Book". I only had two lines to memorize in the whole production, but I definitely liked to move my feet to the choreography. I have been told I "used" to be pretty animated.  We were so excited to be up on stage, but even more excited that we could go and ride the roller coasters after the shows were over. 
When the show had ended, the principal of my school, which was Maranatha Christian Academy came back stage. I was so surprised that standing alongside of him was my Pastor, Chuck Smith. There he stood as large as life, with a smile that was beaming from ear to ear.  Although I had been going to Calvary Costa Mesa since I was two years old, this was the first formal introduction I can remember. I remember getting a big hand shake and a hug.  I was so excited that he came back to talk to a little wired third grader. 
Little did I know how much of an impression my Pastor had made upon me. Oh there have been times since third grade that I have spoken with him. I find the longer I walk this path of a Shepherd of a flock I am increasingly thankful for his example. I learned to teach the Bible by listening to his Bible studies.  There are many church planting models surfacing that are great and have things to offer. But for me, I am thankful for my heritage. My Pastor has modeled and continues to model what it is to be a servant leader. He walks in humility and takes the lower place to serve. I only pray that I can follow His example and love the sheep, feed the sheep, serve the sheep and please my Savior the way he does. 

The above portrait was taken 4 years ago when Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano was dedicated to the Lord. I felt like a third grader all over again when Pastor Chuck and his wife Kay came to our church. When he had finished preaching, they stayed and ministered to the people. Anyone who has been part of the Calvary Chapel Movement is blessed to have a great example in our Pastor and his wife. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Obstacles Removed

And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away--for it was very large. Mark 16:3-4

The greatest concern of Jesus' followers on Resurrection Sunday, was who was going to move the stone. Without the removal of the stone they would not be able to finish the burial process. It was physically impossible for them to move the stone themselves. All hope seemed lost. They were so worried about what they would find when they arrived they could think of nothing else. However when they got to the tomb they discovered the obstacle had been removed. In fact, not only had the stone been rolled away, but Jesus was alive. You talk about a turn of events, this was amazing. 

In life there are obstacles that stand in our way like the boulder over the burial place of Christ. At times it is all we can think about. We see nothing else. Worry attaches itself to us like an anchor. But when we choose to walk by faith and trust God, we discover the Lord has already gone before us. He has removed what stood in the way. He has opened the doors that seemed to be closed. He has done what we couldn't do. You know when it all becomes clear? When we, like these followers, choose to look up. When we look up, we are reminded of the power of the Lord. When we look up, we realize impossible is not part of the equation. When we look up, we see that our Lord is resurrected. And if He could conquer the grave and secured my salvation, He can handle anything. Look up tonight!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wait, What?

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."

After dinner Jesus began to wash His disciples feet. Peter was a little taken back by this display of servitude from his master. Not understanding the lesson that Jesus was teaching, Peter initially refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus told Peter and the other disciples that what He was doing NOW they did not understand, but they would know LATER. 
There are seasons in our own lives where we don't always understand what the Lord is up to. We think we know, or we may have some inclination. We can easily become frustrated when we cannot fully comprehend what is taking place. No doubt there are things that God is allowing you to go through at this very moment that will make more sense later on. You are wondering,"Why is God taking me there? How come the Lord allowed that to happen? Why didn't that work out the way I had prayed it would?" Sometimes the answers to those questions come later on down the road. It could be a few months, or even a few years before the picture starts to come into focus. If you are in that season right now the best thing to do is to trust God and remain faithful. Don't check out just because things don't seem to be working out. The Lord knows what He is doing. Hang in there and wait to see what the Lord will do. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


GOOD FRIDAY: This years passion week was a tremendous blessing. The School of Worship led us in worship for our Good Friday Services. All who attended were caught up in worship and adoration of Jesus. Our time of communion was a wonderful reminder of our Lords Finished Work on the Cross. 

SUNRISE SERVICE: At 6am we gathered in the back parking lot of the church for our Sunrise Service. The Sunrise Service is one of my personal favorites. Leading worship is a little challenging as your fingers are like icebergs, but other than that it was amazing. We considered that first Resurrection Sunday when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. When she discovered that Jesus was alive, Mary's sorrow was turned to Joy. 

EASTER IN THE PARK: At 10am we gathered for our 4th Annual Easter in Park outreach. This years outreach was the best one so far. We had so many people helping to serve it made the outreach go so smoothly. The highlight of the day was seeing folks respond to the invitation to follow Jesus. The Lord poured out His Holy Spirit and the city of San Juan Capistrano heard the gospel. We give God all the praise and glory for the great things that He did this year through the Passion Week. 

A Special thanks to all who helped. From the Security team, Bad to the Bone BBQ, hospitality, clean up, set up, worship team, follow up counselors. Your guys were amazing.