It’s a God Thing!

Have you ever had those times in your life while you are in the moment…you really get it…you understand just how precious or extraordinary this time or this person with whom you are with is. There is something different, something very special about a person. Maybe they are extraordinarily kind or gracious or very honest and real in contrast to this all to often plastic world we live in. Or there is that something there, and you can tell that God has His hand upon this person…and is working in them and through them. And it’s quite remarkable…and you “get it” at the time…during it…not afterward in reflecting back…but in the moment. That makes it a very precious time indeed.

When I think about Chuck Obremski…and remember when I first heard him preach…and look back over the years that I’ve been able to participate in his Bible study…and what God has now grown into a lovely, wonderful church…it takes my breath away. You see, I remember quite clearly when I first walked in that door and heard Chuck preach.

It was January 1999…my second week attending Calvary Church Santa Ana. In addition to attending the regular service I had wanted to get fully involved, including a Bible study. So looking in the church bulletin…I found this one Bible study called Kindred. I knew which building was in…and it was easy to find.

So that second week…I walked in the doors. I can even remember about where I sat. The gentleman who sat next to me and the people who were around me were all very kind, considerate and caring. Even back then at Kindred…each week they ask whoever is visiting for the first time that week to stand up. Back then you would say you name and where you were from…and the congregation would applaud and those around you would welcome you. It was a very warm and inviting setting and group of people.

Of course there was a time of worship with songs of praise and thanksgiving…and some of those good old hymns. The gentlemen who lead the worship team had and continue to have real love for the Lord…and made worship fun. But they also helped you to focus in on who God is and why He is worthy of our praise and worship.

Hold on to your hats folks…because that was just the beginning. Then it was time for Chuck to preach. Even back then…Chuck was a very powerful preacher. Back before the cancer, before our church was founded…back when it was just a weekly Bible study…it was quite evident that God was using this man to preach His word in a very powerful and dynamic way.

I affectionately refer to Chuck as my “kick butt pastor”…and that he is. He is one that speaks the truth from God’s word quite boldly. He holds nothing back. Yet it is not done in a fashion to beats you over the head. But instead the Holy Spirit is working in that Word that’s going out…and convicting the hearts and minds of believers. Helping us to grow and develop into the person God would have us to be. Also reaching out to the non-believers…and giving the no nonsense message…”Hey…you are lost in your sin and perishing.” But there is good news…God has a plan to save you from your sins. Because He loves you…He provided His Son Jesus Christ to pay that penalty for your sin so that though Him you might be saved.

You couldn’t sit in in that Bible study and not hear the Word of God…and clearly hear the gospel message preached each week. Oh I have been most blessed in my life by hearing and sitting under some great preachers…but there was something very different about Chuck. Sure, some of it was style. I really love his no nonsense way of speaking, I loved Chuck’s way of being very open and real…sharing from his life and his heart. Not setting himself up as a paragon on virtue by any means…but knowing that God was in the process of transforming him. Using him for His purposes and growing him up. Chuck has always freely shared about what he was like before he became a Christian…and also stories about his Christian walk since then.

You see I need that “kick butt pastor”…the one who freely and plainly preaches God’s word. I need someone who doesn’t sugar coat it…but gives you that message in a straight forward manner. Knowing that God…through His Holy Spirit will work in you through the cleansing of His Word. And that pastor for me has been Chuck Obremski.

You could also see quite clearly that God’s hand upon this ministry. Sometimes it was confusing to see exactly what God was doing…or where He was going…but you knew God was at work. This was especially so as we transitioned from a Bible study into a Church. Some of the things didn’t make sense from a human perspective…but God had a bigger purpose and plan in mind. It was “A God Thing”. God was at work…and sometimes those growth periods and changes are quite confusing and painful.

I remember on that last week…as we prepared to say goodbye to Calvary Church and start out on our own, Chuck asked for everyone who was planning on making that move to raise their hand. Nearly everyone in the room raised their hand. You know when you hear God’s word given so clearly and undiluted…you begin to crave it and look forward to hearing it each week. Those weeks when we just had one service…so our our entire congregation could be together as one…we had no Bible study. Man oh man alive…it made me all the more eager for Bible study the next week. You see, I’m one who is a super mega bonehead…and I need God’s word to help me so I at least improve or grow each day and week.

But with our eyes fully on God…and trusting Him…with our beloved Pastor leading…we stepped forward in faith. With no official church building…we stepped out…and God provided. Each week for two years we met at the Elk’s club in Santa Ana. The first week we met in the auditorium which proved to be too small to accommodate our growing group. There after we meet in the largest room they had. That required the service of some willing servants in setting up and tearing down the chairs and platforms each week. And God provided…and continued to provide for each different area of ministry or service. God raised up some godly men among us willing to serve as Elders for our church. Each step…our God has provided.

About six months after we started our church, Chuck was diagnosed with cancer. And it turned out to be another time…where things were a bit confusing. Not exactly sure what God was doing…yet knowing and trusting that He was at work and had everything fully in hand. With Chuck and the leadership of church elders…we continued to move forward trusting God in faith. All the while seeking God’s wisdom, guidance and direction each step along the way.

Through it all Chuck’s preaching has became even more intense, dynamic, passionate and straight forward. Each day, each week has become more precious…since we don’t know how much more time God will allow us on this earth with our beloved Pastor. God is using Chuck’s preaching to reach out an touch people’s lives who other wise wouldn’t take the time to hear some “preacher boy”. But because of the circumstances they are in…they are more open to hearing from someone who is in quite desperate circumstances…but whose faith is unyielding. Who in the midst of great pain and suffering continues to trust his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One who doesn’t cry out and ask “Why God?”…but instead asks, “What God? What do you plan to do with this cancer and how are you going to use it for your purpose, plan, glory and kingdom?”

So you see…in the midst of this time…from when I first heard Chuck preach the Word of God…I got it. I knew just how special man is and that God was using him greatly to teach His word. How precious this time was and is and continues to be.

I remember a call on the Dennis Prager’s show…in which the caller was asking about seeing God…or seeing Him at work in our lives. Dennis responded to the caller that sometimes we recognize God after He has passed by. Kind of like Moses when he asked God if he might see Him. God was unable to let Moses see him directly. Instead he protected Moses in the clef of the rock and permitted Moses to see His afterglow that passed by. Probably in most situations in life…you can see God’s work or His presence after the fact.

Yet there are those rare occasions in which you can see God at work in the present. It is truly a sight to behold and one that is very precious.

So while I am very grateful to recognize the extraordinary person that Chuck is…and how God is at work in him and using him…I wonder. I wonder what it would be like if I sought to look deeper at each person God brings into my life and look for that thing that makes them special or unique. In each situation and circumstance…look for God’s hand and see what work He is seeking to accomplish.

I continue to praise God for what he is doing in and through my beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski…and look forward to seeing God’s plan in action. It was, is and will continue to be “A God Thing”.

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God’s Opening Doors

God continues to open doors and presenting opportunities for Chuck to speak out to many and tell his story. On the radio, in newspaper articles and now TV, Chuck is being a willing and obedient servant…and telling the message of salvation that God has offered to all. Obviously his testimony is all the more compelling in that he continues to loudly proclaim God’s love and faithfulness while facing a devastating cancer. It’s a great witness to God’ sustaining power.

Today Chuck was interviewed for Behind the Scenes…a show on TBN. The interview is currently scheduled to show on Friday, July 29 at 5:00 PM PDT. Once the show airs…you can watch it on line at the above link.

Also coming up is an interview that Chuck did for our local Fox 11 News. Currently the interview is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday…following the Angel’s game at 1:30 PM PDT. Either on Fox 11 or on Fox Sports West.

So please be sure to tune in and watch my beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski as he tells his story…of going from desperation to dependence on his great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Your continued prayers for Chuck are coveted and much appreciated.

Much Obliged Mr. Prager

Below I have a posting from Dennis Prager’s show. This past weekend I had transcribed a call from Brian in Los Angeles. His call really struck a cord with me.

While Brian’s words were very compelling…they are truly powerful when you hear them in his own voice. With that in mind…I sought permission from Dennis Prager to post this clip. I am thankful to Dennis for letting me share.

Please take a couple of minutes and listen to Brian’s call. If you are not already acquainted with Dennis Prager, his radio show and writings…please be sure to click on the above link.

To quote Dennis, “I prefer clarity over agreement.”

A Lesson in How to Die…Take Two

A Lesson in How to Die – 7/24/05
Notes from Chuck Obremski’s Sermon

Sin Meters…it’s often easy to overlook our own sin. Much easier to see other’s sin…but hard to see our own.

Chuck acknowledged that he had been “hung up”…on the 126 week record of preaching and took his eyes off the Lord. Looking at the record…not the Lord. But instead we need to walk by faith, not by sight. We don’t know what is going to happen each day.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – 5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Trusting in the Lord, applies to every area of our life. Walking by faith, not by sight. We may not always be sure what the Lord is doing…or which way he is leading.

While in the hospital God continued to bring people that didn’t know the Lord…and needed him. One person confessed to Chuck, “My life is falling apart.” They need to know Jesus and his death on the cross. Chuck went on to state that while he may be dying, this person knew that Chuck had the answer to a life that is falling apart…and that is Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

We need to look at our circumstances and see how we can use them for God’s glory and purpose.

The reality of our mortality. We will all die. In Genesis 3…Adam sinned. Because of Adam’s rebellion against God we will all die, and we all sin. Without God’s intervention we would all go to hell. In God’s mercy he prevented Adam from eating from the tree of life in his fallen state.

We all die…and only have a window of opportunity to get right with God. The only way to get right with God is to believe in Jesus Christ, his death on the cross on our behalf, his resurrection and his ascension.

As Christians, we’ve been adopted into the family of God. This earth is no longer our home. Our citizenship is in heaven. God uses our decaying bodies to reinforce that we will all face death. Are you right with God? Christ crucified…alone…period!

During his last illness, John Quincy Adams was asked by a friend passing by how he was doing. He answered that he was fine…but his body not so fine. “I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.” Likewise Chuck says, “I’m fine…but my house is falling apart.

In God’s hand, I know what lies ahead. I’m in Jesus’ hands and I’m going to heaven based on his work on the cross. Our citizenship is in heaven. When we are absent from the body we will be present with the Lord. We will be with him and judged by him…based on the work we did after coming to Christ.

What has this cancer done to motivate us (me, my family, and our church) to accomplish God’s purposes? If the answer is nothing…then it’s a waste.

Do you have a sense of urgency? First for yourself. Are you right with God? Have you repented of your sins, trusted in Christ? Do you have peace with God? Are you motivated to act upon it? Do you want to earn those spiritual rewards…or are you giving way to selfishness? Do you reach out to others with the gospel message…or do you get in the way? Do you care about nothing but pleasing the Lord? Are you praying regularly? Expecting miracles, but accepting His will? This is a great place to be.

Are you excellent at your job? At the end of the day, you will be remembered by what you do last. Remembered by how we went out. The last thing we will do, that will impart to those around us is how we die. We can look at the Bible and the example of Jesus and how he died. If we can grasp how Jesus died and how we can do the same, we will be okay. Life and death are our great platforms to reach others.

1) Jesus died with the right attitude.
As he came to his death, he realized that if God would not take this cup from him, he would do what God willed.

We need to get to that place where we say, “You are God and I’m not.” You may not always be certain on what exactly God is doing. But you know what you are doing and that’s okay. So why would you question God and what He is choosing to do? Not my will, but yours! Facing death but knowing God is in control…assured that you will see one another soon. Laughter, crying, happiness, joy and sadness…all in one.

One woman who came to see Chuck commented that she was “afraid to see how this cancer would affect him.” She had known a woman a church who knew God, loved him and served him. When struck with cancer she got angry and bitter towards God. Like Job’s wife…she cured God and died.

We as Christians need to die right. Be a person that shows the people around us that when we are facing the shadow of death, we will fear no evil. Instead we will trust God. We need to be like Stephen. You are the person whom people look to. We claim to know God and to have joy and peace. We know what happens when we die and that it will be okay. Are you that person? Be that person with every person, with everyone you come in contact with.

We need to build up and encourage. We are saved. When it comes to crunch time, we are walking hand in hand with the Lord.

2) Jesus died the right time.
We will not live a day longer or die a day sooner than what God has planned. We need to do our best…and we will see what God does. No matter what treatments, no matter what you do, you will die. It’s a lot of work trying to stay alive. God is absolutely in control! Are you trusting God?

Everything that Jesus did, he did according to God’s time table. As he does in our lives. We need to be careful as believers to watch what we say to others. We need to keep our words Biblically based.

Jesus didn’t die young or old, or live a short life. He died on time, in God’s time. Don’t fall into the world’s way of thinking. Jesus work was finished. He didn’t have to live a day longer to accomplish what God had for him to do. Nor do you.

Have that sense of urgency, that today God may call you home. Are you running out of time? Get busy doing what God has called you to do. Don’t forget, he may not have that much for you to do.

Jim Elliot once commented, “God’s people in heaven…why should he limit it to old people?”

3) Jesus died in the right way.
Jesus prophesied to Peter how he would die and in what specific way. Peter knew ahead of time. It’s probably best that we don’t know when we will die. Instead we should live one day at a time…and be walking with the Lord.

4) Jesus died for the right purpose.
Jesus came to die and be a ransom for the world.

We need to know what God has for us to accomplish. We have a purpose in being here…both living and dying too.

It breaks Chuck’s heart to see Christians who become bitter when dying or at the end of a disease or sickness. It shows an ignorance of God. We take God for granted…and the good health he has blessed us with.

We have an appointment. An appointment that we will not miss. Cancer, accident or other…death awaits as surely as concrete awaits a light bulb that drops to the floor.

The first person that died was not Adam, but Able. It goes to show what there is no one righteous, no not one.

You and I are eventually God’s for eternity or the devils. It depends on what you believe and your heart.

God has a purpose and a plan…and we are not afraid of the future in God’s hand.

More Than We Can Ask or Imagine

Today was another amazing day…to see God’s powerful, mighty handiwork and an answer to our prayers. My beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski was at church and preached a powerful, challenging and convicting sermon. To know how miraculous this is…you need to be acquainted with what Chuck has been through in his battle with cancer.

Following a powerful chemo the prior week and a lowered immune system…Chuck spent this last week in the hospital. During this time…he received 10 units of blood, platelets, neuprogen and antibiotics in an effort to build up his immune system. He was discharged at 6:00 PM last night…and was at church, in the pulpit this morning.

Through this all, Chuck’s desire was to preach on Sunday. Following our service today…Chuck was headed over to the ballpark for Baseball Chapel. Obviously…not something achievable in human strength or power.

We continue to pray for God’s hand to be upon Chuck…for healing, wholeness, strength, peace and wisdom. We thank God for his amazing and powerful answer to our prayers.
Who immeasurably answered our prayers, for more than what we could ask or imagine.

Amazing is Our God!

Amazing is Our God

We are witnesses
To our Amazing God

He sustains us
In our weakness

He strengthens us
For each battle

He equips us
Through His powerful and mighty Word

Mercy and Comfort
He pours out upon us

In answer to our prayers
His peace fills each heart, mind and soul

In sickness, pain and even death
Bringing glory to our God

Miraculous, Marvelous, Wonderful
Amazing is Our God

7/24/05 – Susan Bunts