INTRODUCTION – One of the books I’m reading right now is the 2nd book written by Rosario Butterfield, entitled “Openness Unhindered.” Rosario became a Lesbian in her early college days, and then as she went on for her PhD and then into a very influential tenured teaching post at Syracuse University – she became a widely known and very vocal lesbian activist and apologist. Her first book is entitled “The Secret Thoughts of an unlikely convert”, and a highly unlikely convert she was. So unlikely that most believers who knew her or knew of her didn’t even try to help her come to know Jesus Christ. Most, if they dealt with her at all, sent her condemning letters of the judgment that awaited her – especially after she dared trash the Promise keepers movement in one of her columns in the late 90’s. Continue reading Freeing Up the Fragrance – – I Corinthians 9
July 16, 2017
INTRODUCTION – As we have been walking together through the pages of the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, we have noted several times that the social context into which this church was planted was one of extreme sexual immorality, and thus significant relational damage. Sexual immorality always results in emotional and relational damage to all involved – whether in first century Corinth or in 21st Century Central Coast of CA communities.
Josh dealt with this when he preached on chapter 5. Elizabeth dealt with it last week in chapter six. And we are going to deal with it again today in chapter 7.
The good news of the kingdom of God – this wonderful supernatural realm that the risen Christ rules and that we all have begun to operate in and experience – is that there is a far superior way of living life and handling our sexual passions and needs, and walking out the marriage covenant with our spouse than that which the world system offers. Continue reading Marriage, Oneness & Sex – – I Cor. 7:1- 5
June 18, 2017
My mother’s phone call – my files – Dave Barry on Fatherhood
Prayer for Holy Spirit power and revelation
INTRODUCTION – One of the disciplines the Holy Spirit led me to practice many years ago is daily praying through a portion of our church directory . So for instance this morning I prayed for all of our individuals or families whose last name starts with T-Z.
And one of the many things I pray for each of you every week is that you will grow in the joy of being a co laborer for the harvest with Jesus. One of the things Jesus promises to do in and through the life of every person who is born again by the Spirit of God is to make them what He calls a “fisher of men (or women)”. Continue reading Faith in The Power of God – I Cor. 2:1-5
May 14, 2017
INTRODUCTION – Lucille Ball – one of the great female comediennes of my early years on this planet, and of all time really – said of wisdom, “In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.”
One of the primary reasons true wisdom is so hard to come by is because Satan – the father of lies and the god of this world – has created a world system of belief and thought patterns and attitudes that operates on a false or corrupted sense of wisdom – a socially acceptable wisdom if you will. And he (that is Satan) has succeeded in getting most of our cultural influencers to embrace this worldly wisdom. The apostle James, who was never one to mince words, refers to this wisdom or way of seeing and doing life as earthy, natural and demonic in chapter 3 of his epistle as contrasted with divine or heavenly wisdom. (We will look at that passage later on) Continue reading The wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of man – I Cor. 1:10-25
INTRODUCTION – Around the end of April of 2015 – our son Joshua called Anne and I and asked if he could come over and sit down with us. That conversation started the ball rolling that eventually (after many hours of meetings with our elders) led us to install Joshua as lead pastor as of June 1st of 2015, and then send Anne and I off on a three month sabbatical for those summer months to get rested up and re – envisioned for the years ahead.
When I jumped back in the saddle in early September of that year – our elders began to process together over many hours the changes that the Holy Spirit — primarily through Joshua was wanting to bring about.
One of the questions we wrestled with in some of those meetings (and I believe Steve Sharp joined us in some of those discussions) was what tag line or motto would best characterize who we are becoming, and what we are most pursuing as a people. Our eventual choice was: “People encountering Jesus.” We knew there were safer more acceptable words to use rather than “encounter” – but we all eventually concluded this was the word that best summed up what God wanted us to pursue, and what God wanted us to expect of Him. Continue reading Encountering God – Only One Thing is Necessary
March 24, 2013
INTRODUCTION – What the book of Acts is about, and why we are going through it.
The reality and expectation that as we continue to follow Jesus we will increasingly be His instrument for His ongoing healing ministry and other miracles.
And as this happens we will receive opportunities to explain what is behind the miracles.
Last week we looked at the miracle healing of the lame man in Acts chapter 3: vs. 1-10. Today we are going to look at the message that Peter got to preach or proclaim as a result of that miracle of healing. Let’s read it together starting with vs. 11 Continue reading Miracle Messaging – Acts 3:11-26
An address I gave last night (9/25/16) at the Opening Rally for 40 Days for Life in San Luis Obispo.
INTRODUCTION – One of the most fruit producing, justice establishing, church purifying, darkness piercing and life preserving ministries or movements on the planet today in my opinion is the “40 days for Life” campaign – – – especially when the said campaign is carried out by united, loving, humble, God dependent, Christ centered, Spirit led and Spirit empowered – women, men, young people and children.
My objective tonight is to share a few foundational truths that will enable you and I to be that kind of people as we begin together on Wednesday – the 40 days for life campaign in San Luis Obispo in front of Planned Parenthood on Pismo Street. Continue reading Preparing to Remove Mountains
March 17, 2013
INTRODUCTION – We have been recently exposed to the raised standard of financial health and prosperity via the Dave Ramsey Course – specifically:
1. Absolutely no debt;
2. Savings acc;t of at least 3 mos. Of one’s salary;
3. Diverse investments for retirement;
4. A lifestyle of liberal giving.
The feeling for some of us older folk is that we are so far off the standard/mark – – because of starting too late – – why try?! Every time we start making some traction, a car blows up or someone lands in the hospital with huge medical bills, or …….
Many times we believers feel the same when we read accounts of powerful ways God has worked through his people in days of old – like the one we are going to read today. Continue reading Raising the Standard for Healing the Sick – Acts 3:1-10
INTRODUCTION – Rom 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
My readings in Proverbs
Prov. 8:33 “Heed instruction and be wise and do not neglect it.”
Take a look at some of the first fathers on the planet. Far from perfect – all of them. But they all had strengths. They all did something right somewhere along the way.
Six lessons from six men whose example God wants us to learn from. Continue reading Learning from the Successes or Strengths of Fathers in the Old Testament
Read Col. 3:21
I. The Negative Command: – Do not exasperate your children
A. Definition – “to excite or inflame the anger of; to cause irritation or annoyance to; syn = irritate” Lightfoot translates it “show no bitterness, behave not harshly.”
B. Ways that we exasperate:
1. neglect through work and/or play (golf, fishing, watching sports on t.v., watching movies) Continue reading Fathers – Encouragers, Not Exasperaters!
February 24, 2013
INTRODUCTION – In Acts ch. 2 vs. 1 and following – we find that the united fervent persistent prayers of God’s people led to God pouring out His Spirit with signs and wonders, which led to a bewildered and curious crowd…. with some critics and naysayers among them, which led to a wonderful opportunity for Peter to explain what was behind those signs and wonders.
Today – – we probably won’t experience an outpouring quite like this because of all the unique elements of Jewish society and culture that colored that outpouring. But as we interact with the lost, and as we get better at looking for signs of God’s working, I believe we will find that the people we are reaching out to have had dreams or visions, have expereinced unusual protection from disaster (neighbor’s bike ride), healings, unusual provisions, or even may be expressing their desperate need for a miracle etc., and thus we will find an open door for our witness. Continue reading Making the Most of Opportunities Acts 2:14-36
INTRODUCTION – Importance of faith and expectation – –
Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
The risen, but not yet ascended Lord of Lords and King of kings – Jesus Christ had promised His disciples that if they would gather in Jerusalem and seek Him and wait upon Him in prayer together – they would receive power from on high. Listen to Luke’s account of this from Acts 1:4,5, “Gathering them together, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Later in vs. 8 Jesus further defines for them what they can expect when the Holy Spirit falls on them, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….”
It was not an experience, but the power of God that was promised, and thus it is the power of God that should be sought. But when the power of God via the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples in the early church, there was always a visible manifestation of that; there were always some visible experiences of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. Continue reading Is There More?? Further Reflections on Acts 2:1-13
January 27, 2013
INTRODUCTION – The kingdom of God invading the kingdom of darkness as chronicled in the gospels
On becoming a visible demonstration of the good news of the kingdom of God – – what it looks like or how it manifests in a people
40 days with disciples after resurrection
40 years with His church in America – – starting to get it – – George Ladd’s books on the kingdom; Dennis Peacocke began his itinerant ministry in earnest around the kingdom of God;
3 areas the Holy Spirit wants to help us grow in this year so we can see His kingdom come and His will be done. Continue reading Sharpening our Focus for 2013 Acts 1:9-26
January 13, 2013
INTRODUCTION – – Last time we looked at this passage – we looked at it from Jesus – the Head’s perspective – – that is – – we focused on His ability to pull off His purposes through His church as its Captain of the Army/Head of the Church/Commander in Chief. Specifically we focused on five truths about His work in the present: 1. Jesus is still revealing Himself – still giving orders to His disciples, and still calling the shots for His church (vs. 1-3); 2. Jesus is still gathering His people (vs. 4). 3. Jesus is still revealing and clarifying and expanding and spotlighting His kingdom to His church and to society at large (vs. 3, 6,7). 4. Jesus is still clarifying and strengthening our calling as His witnesses to the ends of the earth (vs. 6-8). 5. The Holy Spirit is greater than all of our weaknesses, distractions, obstacles, excuses and enemies (vs. 8).
This morning I want to address our response to who He is and what He is doing. Specifically I want to address three responses we must have to all that He is doing if we are going to be participants and not spectators to His glorious work on the earth before He returns. He IS going to fulfill His purposes. The question is: Are we going to be in the thick of what He is doing? Or are we going to be on the sidelines. None of us need to be on the sidelines. To make sure we are not,
I want to share 3 very practical ways you and I can be in the thick with Jesus in 2013. Continue reading The Way for Witnesses Acts 1:1-8
INTRO – Lots of tragedy this last week – whether we’re talking about the death of young Jerry Brown – a Dallas Cowboy football player who made the mistake of driving home from a bar with his drunk best friend very early last Sunday morning; an alleged murder due to a suicide pact of one of our own long time residents in Los Osos on Monday night; a senseless shooting in a crowded mall in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday where 3 people were killed including the shooter; and what can we say about the 2nd worst mass shooting in U.S. history that happened Friday morning?
Did you know by the way that there are an average of 6,744 deaths per day in the U.S. ?? Many of those are tragedies as well, but most of us will never know or hear about them.
Combine these tragedies to the ongoing inability of our Government leaders in Washington D.C. to lead us out of this debt crisis; Unpredictable North Korea heightening the dangers of a nuclear war breaking out; Syria and Egypt’s chaos; and all of this happening when our days are getting darker or hours of light decreasing; and our weather in general getting colder and gloomier – – well I would say we are ripe for widespread depression and hopelessness. Continue reading Acts 1:1-8 Jesus – Still in Charge! December 16, 2012
I. The Author – Who is “I” in (vs. 1)? “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,”
A. Six Reasons why we believe it is Dr. Luke
1. The “we” and “us” passages – “When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16
2. Paul’s references to Luke in: Col. 4:14 “Luke, the beloved physician, send you his greetings, and also Demas.”; II Tim. 4:11 “Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.”; Philemon 23, 24 “…greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.” Continue reading Introduction to the Book of Acts II – – December 2, 2012
I don’t really remember how I found out about the “40 Days for Life” campaign, but I looked back through my pro-life file on my laptop this last week, and discovered that I signed up to receive the emails from Shawn Carney last fall – a year ago – on Sept. 24th. I remember reading them with great interest and I also checked my sent file for that 40 day period a year ago, and it looks like I forwarded them all to our congregation each day – asking them at the beginning of the 40 days to join in this prayer and fasting effort with me.
I never participated in the on site praying at Planned Parenthood and thus didn’t really encourage our congregation to do so either. This “40 days for life” thing was all new to us, but it grew on me with each passing day. Then I got a hold of the book, read it, was thrilled by it. And ordered some copies for our elders and wives and our church library. Continue reading Closing 40 Days for Life Rally Address – 2014 or 2015?
INTRODUCTION – In a nation full of bad news, surely one of the few fronts on which we consistently hear good news these days is that of advances in the pro-life movement. Recent polling shows the majority of Americans (58 %) view abortion as morally wrong. The majority of young people (ages 18-29) self identify as pro-life; 83 % of Americans endorse significant restrictions on abortion.
One of the reasons I believe why the tide is turning is because more and more people are learning how God feels about life in the womb. And that is where I want to begin our discussion this morning. Six principles – four about how God sees and feels and is involved with life in the womb; the last two about how He wants to use us to help protect and fight for the life He has created in the womb. Continue reading Foundational Principles for Life January 19, 2014
(This was my 40 Days for Life kick off address)
INTRODUCTION – One of the most powerful, fruit producing, justice establishing, church purifying, and darkness piercing ministries or movements on the planet today in my opinion is the “40 days for Life” campaign – – especially when the said campaign is carried out by united, God dependent, Christ centered, Spirit led and Spirit empowered men, women, young people and even children.
So my objective tonight is to share some thoughts and steps that will enable you and I to be that kind of people as we begin together tomorrow – the 40 days for life in San Luis Obispo in front of the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Pismo Street.
What I am going to share with you tonight is based on several presuppositions or convictions that I would like to lay down first, and they all come from the life and ministry of Jesus Christ – the Son of God. Continue reading Fasting, Prayer, & the 40 Days for Life Campaign – 2/17/15
INTRODUCTION – Angels in bookstores and gift shops this time of year;
The portrait we saw in Sierra Madre – – my frustrating search for a portrait
Kids’ quotes about angels
The truth is – Angels are an integral part of the Christmas story and an integral part of our lives and ministry until the Lord returns.
This is evidenced by:
I. Christmas carols and angels:
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels we have heard on high
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Silent Night (“Heavenly hosts sing alleluia”)
O Holy Night
What Child is This
O Come All Ye Faithful
The First Noel
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Continue reading Angels, Demons & the Supremacy of Christ; their Preoccupation with Christ
INTRODUCTION – I don’t know if any of you, who have known the Lord for a while can identify with this; but when I reflect about my first feeble attempts at ministering to others in the name of the Lord – – well it’s a little embarrassing. Certainly nothing to write home about.
In great contrast to my beginnings,… when Jesus Christ started His ministry, huge crowds were drawn, every person He ministered to who needing healing or deliverance from demons – received it – – and according to Matthew 4:23-25, His ministry was an immediate and complete success. Had He wanted to, He could have just continued healing the sick and casting out demons and proclaiming the kingdom of God – – and we would all have marveled at how great a minister, teacher, healer, and deliverer He was. Continue reading The Call to Ask, Seek & Knock Matt. 7:7-12 – – Sept. 06, 09
INTRODUCTION – As we prepare our hearts to come to the Lord’s table or to observe communion this morning I want to talk to you about a theological concept called IMPUTATION and NON IMPUTATION.
This is not to be confused with amputation – wherein a person’s appendage is cut off – usually due to disease or injury. While amputation may correct a condition or stop the spread of disease in a certain locale of one’s body, it leaves one handicapped in that locale, and it does not necessarily protect the said person from the reoccurrence of disease in another part of their body later on. It doesn’t deal with the root issue in other words.
Imputation or non imputation on the other hand brings great blessing to one’s whole person, and never leaves us handicapped in any way, and does deal with the root issue.
The reality is – when you and I finally have our eyes opened and realize that the living God of the universe is a holy God – as the apostle John speaks of in Rev. 4:8 where he writes of the four living creatures in heaven constantly saying, “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord God, the almighty, who was and who is and who is to come”, or when we realize that He is absolutely pure – as the prophet Habukuk spoke of when he said of God, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness” (1:13); or when we realize that everything He thinks, says and does is out of His perfect righteousness and justice as the Psalmist speaks of in Psalm 89:14, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne.” and that He is thus a God who demands purity and holiness and perfection and righteousness from any human who would desire to find favor with Him and have relationship with Him – – when we realize all of this – – we are faced with a very unsettling dilemma aren’t we? Continue reading The Blessing of Imputation March 23, 2014
INTRODUCTION – The apostle Paul, who spent a good portion of his life as a zealous Pharisee – trying to earn his way to heaven, and trying to convince others of his self made righteousness through the law; and trying to destroy anyone who didn’t see spirituality the way he did – – once his eyes were opened to the true way to heaven and the only source of righteousness – said this of Jesus Christ, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…” Phil. 3:7-9a
The most consuming passion of Paul’s life became knowing Jesus Christ. That more than anything else is what drove him and centered him. And that more than anything else enabled and motivated Paul to die to any right or entitlement or past accomplishment or potential achievement or financial attainment that might keep him from knowing Christ in all His fullness and glory and majesty. Continue reading Jesus – the Giver of Gifts – – Eph. 4:7 – December 7, 2014
One of the most wrestled with questions in the church in America in the last 30 years or so is whether we leaders of the church should provide an environment in our Sunday morning services for the charismatic gifts to be expressed or employed.
It seems the primary reason for those who believe these gifts are still given, but who do not believe they should be exercised in our Sunday morning worship services is because it might offend or confuse unbelievers or new believers or non charismatic believers. Many leaders of the church in America, who love the Lord believe this.
I beg to differ and here are my reasons why: Continue reading The Gifts of the Spirit & Sunday Morning Services & the Unity of the Church
INTRODUCTION – Many people in America today have been attracted to and have nibbled at the fruit or blessings that result from people around them operating in the kingdom of God – – whether that be seeing citizens of the kingdom of God feeding and ministering to the poor; or seeing them care for unwed mothers; or seeing them care for their own families and clans with unusual sacrifice and selflessness; or seeing them do their job at work with excellence and integrity; or seeing them heal the sick; or seeing them love the unlovely or fathering the fatherless.
Most people have seen or at least heard of the fruits and blessings – – the good things that result from people operating in the kingdom of God or living under the rule and reign of the risen Christ – – but very few of these people have seen the kingdom itself, much less entered it. Some of these people attend churches all across America from time to time. They love the good feelings that come from being among a group of loving people. They love the presence of God though they may not know that is what they are feeling and experiencing when they gather with the saints. But few of them have seen and entered the kingdom of God; and all of them are living on borrowed time – as we have seen so grievously in the last two months – with the untimely deaths of a handful of our Los Osos residents. Continue reading The Joy & the Necessity of Being Born Again – – November 16, 2014