• Greetings & Welcome

    Greetings & Welcome

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. Benjamin Franklin

If you get down and quarrel everyday, you’re saying prayers to the devil, I say. Bob Marley

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. Thomas a Kempis Continue reading Helpful Quotes re: Anger

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August 24, 2016
“I’m outraged!”

Actually I’m not, but I used to receive emails and snail mails that began that way about the latest evil or unjust or unconstitutional thing one or more of our government officials just did. And the implication and hope was that I would also be outraged, and take their recommended action.

Now I’m not making light of some of the awful things some of our government officials have done. But the last thing in the world I need is someone encouraging me or giving me license to be outraged. Continue reading Owning up to and Overcoming Anger

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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

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2/17/13
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

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Psalm 119:12b, 26 “Teach me Your statutes.”

Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.”

Psalm 119:25b “Revive me according to Your word.”

Psalm 119: 27 “Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders.”

Psalm 119:28b “Strengthen me according to Your word.”

Psalm 119:29 “Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Your law.”

Psalm 119:33 “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes.”

Psalm 119:38 “Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.”

Psalm 119:73b “Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.”

John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (Jesus praying for His disciples)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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INTRODUCTION

I. God Opens and Closes Wombs – He Alone Decides Whether a Woman Can get Pregnant
– Gen. 29:31 “…and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.”
– Gen. 30:2 place of God, who has withheld from the fruit of the womb?”
– I Sam. 1:5,6 “for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb.
– Psalm 127:3 “Behold children are a gift of the Lord,
Thus the ability to get pregnant is an intentional gift or grace from God. Continue reading Foundational Principles for Life January 19, 2014

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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

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(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

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Several Thursday afternoons ago I joined with some other folk from around the Central Coast to pray for an hour in front of Planned Parenthood in San Luis Obispo for an end to the tragic practice of abortion, and all of the wrong thinking and attitudes that lead to an abortion, and especially the evil, heartless greed of the abortion industry. I hadn’t been there five minutes, and an employee of P.P. walked out rather hurriedly and uttered these words at us as he kept walking across the street, “Why don’t you people get a life. C’mon this is America! Quit hassling people.”

The utter irony of such a comment from an employee of Planned Parenthood – our nation’s greatest abortion mill by far – didn’t go undetected. “Life” of course is why Catholic and Protestant men, women, young people and children have been signing up in droves to participate in the “40 Days for Life” campaign – held in 306 different places around the world this fall in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of neighborhoods – enduring sometimes far worse persecution and hostility than this. Continue reading “Getting a life” in America Today – Oct. 14, 2013

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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

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“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.” George Bernard Shaw

One of the big differences in California and TN or TX is most people own at least one Bible in TN & TX, but typically don’t read them. Here many people don’t even own one. Of course, like in TN & TX, folk here often think they’ve read it, and have strong opinions on what they think it says.
So sometimes when in conversation with folks here on the Central Coast of California, I will ask them what they think the greatest sin is.

Now to be fair, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say what the greatest sin is. My personal opinion is it is breaking the greatest commandment. But most people – in fact everyone so far – has leaned more towards symptomatic sins or the variety of sins (like adultery) that result from committing the greatest sin (in my opinion). So I usually have to quote for them what the greatest commandment is to then hopefully be able to explain why breaking it is the greatest sin. Continue reading The Greatest Sin & The Greatest Commandment – January 2014

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I use this little tool especially with young pre-marital couples – encouraging them to seek counsel as a lifestyle for the rest of their lives from anyone who has a solid marriage.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Prov. 12:15

“Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.” Prov. 13:10

“Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.” Prov. 15:22

“He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise.” Prov. 15:31

“He who neglects discipline despises himself, But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.” Prov. 15:32

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.” Prov. 19:20

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While hundreds of thousands (many of whom are adult educated women) march in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other cities today to mourn the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision infamously known as Roe vs. Wade, I thought I would post some quotes on the subject by women…starting with a former abortionist

“I got to where I couldn’t stand to look at the little bodies anymore”. -Dr. Beverly McMillan, former abortionist

Sorrow, quite apart from the sense of shame, is exhibited in some way by virtually every woman for whom I performed an abortion, and that’s 20,000 as of 1995. The sorrow is revealed by the fact that most women cry at some point during the experience… The grieving process may last from several days to several years… Grief is sometimes delayed… The grief may lie sublimated and dormant for years. -Dr. Susan Poppema, abortionist Continue reading Women Who See Life in the Womb Differently – 1/19/14

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I am ever more thankful that our God is a living relational God, who speaks to His children (and even to those who aren’t His children yet) in the now. But it is the written word of God – the Scriptures – that give us guardrails for hearing the voice of God and that reveal so much of His person, His will and His ways. He longs to speak to us and reveal Himself to us as we meditate in His wonderfully preserved written Word. So this resource is provided as a stimulus to motivate us all to carve out more time to commune with God in and through His written word. (some of this was inspired by the good ole Navigators)

I. Its Authority
A. Inspired by God – II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21
B. Endures Forever – I Peter 1:24,25; Matt. 24:35
C. Standard of Truth – Psalm 119:43, 142, 151, 160; John 17:17b; Acts 17:11
D. Verified by Jesus – Matt. 5:17,18; Luke 24:44; John 5:46,47 Continue reading The Scriptures – Our Foundation for Life and Ministry

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The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.– A. W. Tozer

The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s Word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written word powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book. –A. W. Tozer

To preach the Bible as ‘the handbook for life,’ or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture, as we can see clearly from the questions they asked Jesus. For the Pharisees, the Scriptures were a source of trivia for life’s dilemmas. –Michael Horton Continue reading Pertinent Quotes about the Bible

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Dear Fellow Shepherds and Leaders of Christ’s Church,

I hope this finds you standing in the grace of God, and believing God for great things for our Coastal community in the days ahead. I have put a lot of time and prayer into the material you are about to read. It came out of a six week series I did in our church on Biblical unity. Actually it has come out of years of seeking God on this subject. I know you are busy especially at this time of year. But I urge you to give some prayerful consideration to the thoughts below. In all humility I strongly believe our response to these scriptures and principles will have great bearing on the health, maturity and impact of Christ’s church in the days to come in our region.

Having grown up in a sports driven family, I learned early on what it was to engage in bitter rivalries. We literally grew to hate the athletes and in general the schools that were in our league in East Tennessee – especially the high school closest to us. Rivalry starts with siblings as early as one’s first year of life, and especially in the world of sports can continue to be a big part of our consciousness throughout adulthood. Continue reading An Open Letter to Church Leaders re: Unity – 11/12/2006

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For a whole variety of reasons, our society in the West is becoming increasingly fragmentized, individualized and relationally dysfunctional. More people are spending more time behind either a computer screen, phone screen or the T.V. screen, and thus less time building relationships with God and with people. The skills and attitudes and convictions that are necessary for building healthy family relationships and for working effectively alongside others in the marketplace and in our communities are becoming more and more rare. Even believers are getting sucked into this lifestyle – justifying their lack of connectedness with claims like: “I can worship God alone on the beach with my Ipod. I don’t need to belong to a church to do that.”

None of this catches our God by surprise. He knew when He created humanity in His image (which among other things means He has built in us the capacity for harmonious relationship and community that the godhead has walked in for all of eternity) (see Gen. 1:26,27) – God knew that sin and Satan and the world system that Satan controls would come after this capacity and need for relationship with a vengeance. God’s solution was to create a people (see Gen. 12:1-3) among whom He would dwell – a people that would demonstrate the vibrancy of life that comes from being in intimate relationship with Him and with one another. Continue reading Why We Believe in the Local Church

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Fall 2004
INTRODUCTION –
Definition of Baptize: Baptizo – dip, immerse, wash (in non Chr. Lit. also plunge, sink, drench, overwhelm); fig. soak; from Walter Bauer’s Greek English Lexicon p. 131

I. John’s Prophecies/Proclamations of: Matt. 3:11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Cf. Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16; John 1:26, 33;

II. Jesus’s Prophecies/Proclamation of: Acts 1:5 “for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Questions: Were not the disciples already saved before this happened? (cf. Luke 10:20; John 15:3) Had Jesus not already given them the Holy Spirit? (see John 14:16,17; John 20:22) What was the intended purpose? To make them a part of the body of Christ, or to fill them with power and enablement for their task? (note Acts 1:8 that follows Acts 1:5 & Luke 24:47-49) Continue reading A Study of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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While we disciples of Jesus should all long to hear His voice better, it is imperative that we grow in confidence that He delights in our asking in prayer. Indeed we can only grow as His disciples when we learn to ask freely, continuously and confidently. This list was compiled to deepen that confidence.

Matt. 7:7,8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matt. 18:19 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Matt. 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Continue reading Jesus’s Commands to Ask

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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

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