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”.

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

Two Races

“There are only two races, the decent and the indecent.” — Viktor Frankl

Dennis Prager frequently mentions Viktor Frankl’s quote on racism. Dennis tells the story of Viktor Frankl, the Jewish psychiatrist who suffered the horrors of a Nazi death camp and whose family was gassed. After the Holocaust, he was asked, “Do you hate the Germans?”
“No, I don’t,” he replied, “because there are only two races, the decent and the indecent.”

I find the above quote appropriate in light of my two earlier postings.

Soft Racism…Leaves One Speechless

On Thursday’s Dennis Prager show on July 21, 2005, there was a call from a gentleman, Brian in Los Angeles. This call was truly unforgettable.

Brian so eloquently and passionately expressed his anger and frustration towards white liberals that patronize black youth through their own beliefs that amounts to nothing more than racism. I believe that George Bush uses the phrase , “the soft racism of low expectations”.

Brian…God bless you! You have put into words, better than any I’ve heard why this practice is wrong and ultimately hurts black people, whom the white liberals claim they what to help. Brian your words brought tears to my eyes…and your words will remain with me.

I transcribed Brian’s call because it was so compelling and his words so important…they must be heard and read by all. It’s not my intent to offend anyone with some of the language from Brian’s call…but to render accurately what he said.

Call to Dennis Prager’s show on July 21, 2005
2nd Hour – Caller Brian from Los Angeles

Brian, “Dennis I love you like a brother. But man you brought up a subject that has me so heated and pissed off right now, I’ll try to watch my language. I am black and I can’t stand white liberals because this foolishness is a form of holding us down.”

“I hire people Dennis. I hire people. I discriminate; I have to be discriminating about who I present before my customers. I work in the inner city and I do not hire black people that can’t talk. Did I say they have to speak the King’s English? No, but they have to be able to speak properly. Because my customers demand that. And these are other black customers. Now all this crap, all this talk from these while liberals, the talk about trying to accommodate us, it’s like they think we can’t do any better than that. Like we have to cater to them because they don’t have the mental capacity to talk any better. They are just a bunch of “jungle bunnies”. That’s what I see and I hate that crap and I want them to stop shoving it down our throats.”

Dennis, “I love you Brian. I love you. I do and I mean it sincerely. We are brothers in that sense. Absolutely! The notion that the white liberal is the black man’s friend is so untrue that I am speechless that it is so widely believed. Speechless!”

The second hour of the show discussed two absurd notions of educators. One in England is promoting the idea that there is no such thing as failure, but only deferred success. The second movement discussed was a new program in San Bernardino that proposes that black students should be communicated to in Ebonics.

Atta’s father praises London bombs

This article is posted on CNN’s website. It is yet another picture of the terrorist enemies and their supporters, which we are fighting. I do understand that there are people with good intentions that feel that we should talk to these terrorists and try to understand them. However, ideas like these are inherently naive and ultimately dangerous. A terrorist is not someone that you can reason with, they can not be negotiated with…nor can they be trusted. This is what decent and civilized people are fighting against.

Yet our battle and ability to win…will be ultimately successful only if and when decent people of the Muslim faith fight the terrorists that are within their midst.

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) — The father of one of the hijackers who commandeered the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, praised the recent terror attacks in London and said many more would follow.

Speaking to CNN producer Ayman Mohyeldin Tuesday in his apartment in the upper-middle-class Cairo suburb of Giza, Mohamed el-Amir said he would like to see more attacks like the July 7 bombings of three London subway trains and a bus that killed 52 people, plus the four bombers. Displayed prominently in the apartment were pictures of el-Amir’s son, Mohamed Atta, the man who is believed to have piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower of the World Trade Center as part of the attacks on the United States.

El-Amir said the attacks in the United States and the July 7 attacks in London were the beginning of what would be a 50-year religious war, in which there would be many more fighters like his son. He declared that terror cells around the world were a “nuclear bomb that has now been activated and is ticking.”

The man, who gave his age as “at least 70,” said he had no sorrow for what happened in London, and said there was a double standard in the way the world viewed the victims in London and victims in the Islamic world. Cursing in Arabic, el-Amir also denounced Arab leaders and Muslims who condemned the London attacks as being traitors and non-Muslims. He passionately vowed that he would do anything within his power to encourage more attacks.

When asked if he would allow a CNN crew to videotape another interview with him, el-Amir said he would give his permission — for a price of $5,000. That money, he said, would not be kept for himself, but would be donated to someone to carry out another terror attack. El-Amir said that $5,000 was about how much it would cost to finance another attack in London.

CNN’s crew refused to pay for the interview and left after el-Amir’s request. It is CNN policy not to pay people for interviews.

A lawyer by trade, el-Amir had a sign on his apartment door saying he was a consultant.The security guard for the apartment building said el-Amir had been under surveillance by Egyptian agents for several months after the September 11 attacks, but no one had been watching him recently.

Bring Your Pets to Work Day

C.J. & Shauna

I’m ready to start a campaign…”Bring Your Pets to Work Day”. We already have bring your son or daughter to work day, casual day and jeans day…but I think it’s high time to bring our pets. I only say this somewhat in jest.

The above picture is of C.J. (black lab) and Shauna (yellow lab)…pets of my co-worker Robert. And no…I’m not jealous…well okay may just a bit. But I am certain that all would benefit by having these wonderful creatures nearby.

Just think…you are on the phone with an unhappy customer whose giving you an earful…and your blood pressure just keeps on rising. You feel stressed and snap back at that customer…and the verbal exchange is escalated. Before you know it the boss is looking over the cube at you and wondering how he’s going to tell a volatile person…we’d like to thank and excuse you from employment.

Now Take Two…you are on the phone with an unhappy customer…whose giving you an earful…and your blood pressure is starting to rise. C.J.’s napping over in the corner on his dog bed…and hears your voice. He wanders over and gives your hand a nudge…and licks you. You look down into those warm and beautiful eyes…and realize it ain’t quit that bad after all. You relax…and really start to listen to that customer’s complaint. You realize that while…it may be a bit over the top and not exactly accurate…they do have a good point. So now you decide to do whatever it’s going to take to make that customer happy and keep them as a customer. You hang up the call and feel darn good…knowing that you made a differece for good today. Time to take C.J. our for a walk…and you get to stretch your legs and get some much needed exercise.

A couple of weeks later your boss gets a letter from a customer extolling your virtues…and telling what an asset you are to the company. Before you know it…you have that well deserved raise and corner office with a view. Ahhhh…life is good.

So what’s your vote? I’m vote for Take Two.

That’s Why We Praise Him…

El Shaddai…All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty
El Elyon…The Most High God
Adonai…Lord, Master
Yahweh or Jehovah…Lord, Jehovah
Jehovah Nissi…The Lord My Banner, The Lord my Miracle
Jehovah-Raah…The Lord My Shepherd
Jehovah-Rapha…The Lord that Heals
Jehovah Shammah…The Lord Is There
Jehovah Tsidkenu…The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah Mekoddishkem…The Lord who Sanctifies You, The Lord Who makes Holy
El Olam…
The Everlasting God, The God of Eternity, The God of the Universe, The God of Ancient Days
Elohim…God, Judge, Creator
Qanna…Jealous, Zealous
Jehovah Jireh…The Lord will Provide
Jehovah-Shalom…The Lord is Peace
Jehovah Sabaoth…The Lord of Hosts, The Lord of Powers

During those times in which you are overwhelmed…your boat is swamped…and threatening to go under…turn to God. When words of prayer fail you…think upon God…who he is…and why you can trust him. Trust him…especially during the storms of life.

A Prayer to Jehovah-Jireh

Today’s prayer update from Kindred Community Church brings news that my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski has been hospitalized once again. Of particular concern at this time is his blood count. In visiting David Fisher’s blog Pilgrim Scribblings tonight I found a prayer uttered on behalf of Chuck. I too would like to lift up my voice in prayer for Chuck, Linda and the Obremski family.

Dear Father…we come to You tonight…and lift up our dear Pastor Chuck to You. We pray for Your hand to be upon him…may You strengthen him and fill him with Your peace. May Your healing hand touch his body…may You restore his blood cell and platelet counts. We ask You to take away the pain…remove the discomfort and allow him to have a peaceful rest. May he continually be aware of Your presence and Your deep, abiding and unfailing love for him.

We ask for You to surround Chuck, Linda and the Obremski family…may they be keenly aware of Your love and care for them each step along the way. May their faith grow deeper and stronger as they turn to You…knowing that You are their Jehovah-Jireh. Assured that You have and will continue to provide for them. We ask You to give them great wisdom and strength…and enable them .

God, we praise You…for who You are…and what You are doing in our lives. We are comforted to know that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ through whom You have saved us. And it’s in His name that we come to You. Father these prayers are offered in humility to Your great awesome and mighty power…and we humbly submit to Your will. Amen

Desperately Dependent on God

Today was the first Sunday that my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski has not preached since we started our church 2 1/2 years ago. Think about that…how many regular, healthy pastors do you know that you can say have not missed one Sunday in 2 1/2 years? That in itself would be amazing…but with Chuck…it’s nothing short of a miracle from God.

We remain ever hopeful and prayerful that our great God and Savior Jesus Christ will see fit to heal Chuck. We continue to lift him up in prayer…and have stood back amazed to see God at work in his life. Sustaining him, strengthening him, filling him with His Holy Spirit, enabling him to powerfully preach His Word, week after week…in the face of a devastating illness. He has given him faith and trust when many would doubt and be filled with anger. He filled him with the desire to be obedient and continue to teach God’s Word…when most would go turn and go their own way.

In turn…God has been able to use this wretched disease for something beautiful. The powerful witness for the love of God…and his ability to help in your most desperate of circumstances. This message has reached out and touched so very many people. People who themselves are sick or in desperate circumstances…or family and friends who are effected by seeing their loved one in such a difficult place.

God has used this to grow us up and strengthen us as a congregation…and enable us to walk in love. Love for our God…love for each other and love for the lost.

Through this all God has provided. Today is no different. Dave Dunn, an Elder at Kindred, preached this mornings message. He is a godly man…who loves his Savior and God’s Word. I consider it a privilege to attend Dave’s Bible study during the week.

We continue to be desperate and dependent on our God…as he lovingly cares for his sheep. Praise God!

Alzheimer’s…the Winding Road

It was a bit different at Brighton Garden’s today. I arrived about 12:30…but the usual people dining at that time had already departed. Instead of Mary at my mom’s table there was a gentleman that had recently moved in.

The staff seemed a bit sparse or otherwise occupied. Gayle had not yet finished her lunch. In fact it looked like she had barely started to eat. But she was obviously not hungry. She had a mouth full of food which she did not swallow without some encouragement to chew and take a sip of juice. After a while I persuaded her to not worry about the sandwich she had been holding for 10 minutes and instead finish up her cake. She has a sweet tooth so that didn’t take too much persuasion.

Needed to set up a new remote control for her TV and DVD player. Weird things happen there…don’t ask me what. But I have three remotes from the past that mysteriously stopped working despite new batteries…and one that disappeared altogether.

Today Gayle wanted to see a serious movie…not a comedy…so we watched Apollo 13. What a great movie! It’s been a while since I’ve seen it…but now I remember why I like it so very much. Great casting, acting, and script…Ron Howard is one of our best movie makers. He does quality work…quality in every way. He manages to draw out authentic and intriguing performances from each of the actors. Apollo 13 is very compelling…kind of hard to go wrong with Tom Hanks in a movie.

Gayle was not very verbal today. That’s not to say she was quiet…but instead was mostly humming. Not as in singing…but as in humming in place of words. She was kind of feisty…and it strikes me that even now she tries to pretend that she is normal or okay. Probably not with the same intent as it was before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s…but I think it’s kind of a habit.

I saw or met a number of new employees at Brighton Garden’s today. All in all they seem to like Gayle…and appreciate the fact that she is usually cheerful. Not that she’s always easy going…but even when difficult…she is in a good mood about it.

I wonder what she thinks about all this. I mean the real Gayle…the Gayle that is slowly disappearing each day. One day in heaven I hope to find out what she would say.

Past Life, God’s Provisions, God’s Plan

Notes from Dave Dunn’s sermon 7/17/05
Ephesians 2:1-10 & 19-22

Ephesians was written during a time of great testing and adversity in Paul’s life. A time of trouble…Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

We have 20/20 hindsight where we can see God was in control. God has a purpose and a plan with Paul’s imprisonment. God used this time in Paul’s life for him to write what would become books in the New Testament. Can you imagine the New Testament without Paul’s writings?

Past Life – Dead, Disobedient, & Doomed

You were dead in your transgressions and sins. Looking back at Genesis 3…prior to the fall Adam and Eve had fellowship with God. When Adam and Eve sinned they ran and hide from God.

Two types of death. Spiritual death…separation from God. Physical death…occurred 900 years later tempered by God’s mercy. We were born dead…spiritually dead…separated from God and had no desire to seek or know Him.

When Adam sinned he lost his right and ability to rule the world. Satan slithered in and took control…until the time when God will put an end to him.

What rules in today’s world?

  • Humanism places man above God…above all and over all. This world system in which we live is of Satan, not God. From 1 John…we were children of the devil. Satan is the ruler of this world.
  • Materialism…everyone is trying to get the most they can get.
  • Spirit of Rebellion. Sexual perversion…illicit sex. Remember…water seeks its own level…as does sin.

Provision – Richness, Regeneration & Redemption

Eph 2:4 – BUT GOD! What is the driving force behind God’s love, mercy, grace and kindness? The driving force is God’s focus and attention on man. He chose to bless us with His grace.

We are made alive in Christ, by grace you have been saved, raised up and seated with Christ. 2 Cor 5:17…a new creation.

God in His great love…came down from heaven…seeking us out. Eph 2:6 – “Has” seated us with Christ…it’s already done. There is already a seat in heaven waiting for us.

Eph 2:8-9 – 8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.” God’s entire message and plan are incorporated in these verses. It’s simple…but we try to complicate it and figure out a way.


Even the faith to believe is a gift given to us by God. Salvation…redemption…is given to us by God. We don’t have to pay or try to pay for a gift.

The Church…God’s Plan, the Body & Ambassadors

God brings us together as a church…to be part of a family and ambassadors.

We are brought together to do God’s work that God prepared in advance for us to do. There is a mission and a purpose for each of us. Each of us is gifted to be part of the body of Christ. He intertwines each of us together. Need each other to be accountable as a congregation. How are we to be people of the Cross…and not just one who is cross?

God brings us together as a group of people through the cement of His love and His Son. We are to work on his plan…and for great good. God wants each one of us to be part of the body of Christ. We need to just stay out of the way…and not mess it up. Keep our focus on the big plan.

Being God’s people…we are all God’s ambassadors. Ambassadors of the cross. He has gifted us and called us to serve. God has chosen to do his work, reach the world, through His people.

We are a building of believers…joined together with Christ. Predetermined plan in our life. God has gifted each of us to serve in an area…one in which we are invaluable.

Paul battled all the way to the end of his life. He held back nothing; He took it to the end. Our lesson from heaven. Like a comet, streaking across the sky into the heavens.

Can this be said about you? Is Christ first place in your life?

We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. As we are built up individually, we are able to share with the world.

By Faith

Hebrews 11: 1 (NIV)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

There are many great tools available to Christians today…numerous resources on the internet. One of these websites is Bible Gateway. On this site you can look up Bible verses, do a word search, or do topical searches. There are many versions of the Bible to check and compare. If you are having difficulty in understanding a passage it can be helpful to compare the different versions and how the same passage is worded. The passage shown above is from the New International Version. Below that same passage is listed out of the Amplified Version.

Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified)
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

NIV gives a more succinct rendering…and Amplified a fully bodied expanded interpretation. Be sure to check out Bible Gateway to use for your Bible study.

Rhymes & Reasons…a Perfect Delight

One of the best things about blogging is discovering other bloggers, their websites and writings. I just stumbled across another writer. David Fisher on Pilgrim Scribblings posts some wonderful works. Not only his material…but also the work of others.

Today on my visit to Pilgrim Scribblings…I found an article/poem by writer, Greg Asimakoupoulos. His poems are published on the Partial Observer’s website. Poems is not a complete or accurate description of Greg’s work…because it’s a mixture of commentary on current news stories in the form of poems. Not only are they heartfelt…but a lot of thought goes into them. He’s got an ability to succinctly put into words thoughts, ideas, keen observations and precious feelings.

I encourage you to click on the link and check out Greg’s work. I’m marking it as a favorite…and plan to visit it regularly. Hope you will too.

Quote of the Week…Pure Evil

The “Quote of the Week” goes to Dutch-Moroccan national Mohammed Bouyeri. He is the man accused of killing Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and in court this week confessed to the brutal murder. His words reveal the picture of a heart that is pure evil.

  • “I can assure you that one day, should I be set free, I would do exactly the same, exactly the same.”
  • “I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion.”
  • “I have to admit I do not feel for you, I do not feel your pain, I cannot — I don’t know what it is like to lose a child.”
  • “I cannot feel for you … because I believe you are an infidel.”
  • “I acted out of conviction — not because I hated your son.”

This is what we are fighting in our battle on terror. This is why we must win…and loosing is not an option.

Best Part of My Day…Morning Walks

For over seven years now…I start out each morning with a walk. And I can truly say…it’s the best part of my day. Not that it goes downhill from there…but it’s a lovely time.

By time I leave…I’ve been up for a while and feel awake and refreshed from my morning shower. I think one of the things I like best is how quite it is. A peaceful time while the rest of the world is still sleeping…or just waking up.

I really enjoy the different weather. No matter if it’s sunshine…overcast…windy or even dark. Now rain on the other hand…is frowned up during my morning walk time. When we have those rainy spells here in So Cal…I easily slip into a stinky mood…if I miss my morning walk for more than a day or so.

In the winter and fall when I walk…it’s dark out. Sometimes it makes me a wee bit nervous…but now I have a cell phone…and forewarn the guys at work…that if I don’t come in and don’t call…to please worry and check it out. I figure the dirt bags and those who are criminally inclined are sleeping after a night out and doing what they ought not. Besides that…I’m a mean son of a gun…and have adopted Clint Eastwood’s line, “Go ahead, make my day”.

You kind of get to know the folks in the neighborhood. Both those you see regularly…and even those you don’t see. It almost feels like friends…and I enjoy chatting along with way or just saying, “hi”. I think my favorite thing though is seeing the different animals. The dogs that are being walked by their owners every morning…and the kitties resting up after a night on the prowl…love it when they come up and let me pet them. I love seeing the my favorite Blue Jay and Cranes from the nearby riverbed and even a Hawk on occasion.

It’s neat and even reassuring seeing changes to the houses during the different seasons…and over the years. Positively amazing to see how quickly the houses sell. I have my favorite yards…and you can really tell the folks that love gardening. Not only do you see them out there, working in their yards…but you also see the fruits of their labor…which is a gift for all passing by.

Each morning I listen to my IPod…usually consisting of the Dennis Prager show downloaded from the day before. (Been a subscriber for about a year and a half…and highly recommend it. No commercials…just the good stuff.) One day a week…it’s the radio show from Stand to Reason…also downloaded on my IPod.

So not only are my senses stimulated by the sights and feel of the weather…but my mind is challenged as well. If I haven’t already thought of it by time I leave for my walk…I will remember the event of September 11th…especially when I see a jet flying overhead. As painful as it is…I am grateful to remember…it changed me for the better.

I love my morning walks…they are a true gift from God. On the National Day of Prayer…I like to do a prayer walk. Instead of listening to my IPod…I will pray for our nation and it’s leaders among other things. My morning walk is a time to see God’s handy work in the world He’s created.

I am very thankful to God…for these walks. My good health that permits me to walk each day, the safe neighborhood, the beauty I get to experience each day…and the mental stimulation. It’s lovely time. Hope you can do something similar.