Archive for December, 2005

Not that I Felt like Singing…

Contact with God’s help can start with the sound of a piano, guitar, even a CD. This mystical power to raise the soul to lift the hands to reach and even grasp is a divine grant.

A song sung by a man whose heart could sink no lower begins, “I have heard all about you, LORD, and I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us. And in your anger, remember your mercy.” (Habbakuk 3:2)

Think again of his phrase, “In this time of our deep need, begin again…” He was our help in times past, but help has been interrupted. Was it pride, negligence, failure to appreciate, disobedience…?

Even if it is all of this, I now turn my heart to One who remembers mercy. MERCY.

It moves us to hope, believe, to lift our hands and intercede.

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What Do I Do with This?

When the surface of the sea is unrippled, a glance across the deck at the anchor tells you that storms, they do come.

It might be a long-feared disappointment. Or it could be an unexpected blast that shocks you, leaving you to imagine that you will awaken and it will all have been a nightmare.

At first you can’t believe that your God would leave you with this. The biblical Jonah says it this way, “You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.” (Jonah 2:3)

But we struggle to let it go. That is the nature of our dilemma. There is no shame in this struggle– but there is no escaping it, either. And with God’s help, in due time, you will let go.

Overboard you toss what was once precious cargo. You wait for the storm to pass.

You endure. Who knows what grand things the next current will bring in?

What is certain is that you will be surer. When you have hope for an anchor you know you will outlast this assault.

Let us pray for one another.

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Developments that Bring Discouragement Can Provide Incentive.

An awful, awful shock. Workineh Yemesgen was killed in an auto wreck in Ethiopia two days ago. His sister Hiwot, here in California, seemed inconsolable as friends helped her plan the long, long flight.

A young husband and father of three gone without so much as a “goodbye.”

Jesus also died an awful death, bu He declined the protection of legions of angels. He suffered, He died and it was tragic, but not unexpected. There was a clear purpose.

Yet His followers could not make head or tails of it until after the resurrection.
We would not willingly reject the aid of angels. We want that security. If the shield of faith seems to have been penetrated and calamity finds us, we may want to ask, “Why pray for protection at all?

Or, “Why pray at all?”

But if you have ever been a pray-er, something is stirred. Despite the manifest senselessness of circumstances your are mysteriously drawn into the Holiest of All.

And so, we pray.

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A Constructive Way to End One Year and Begin Another: Four Consecutive Evenings

Saturday is not only the last day of 2005, but the also provides a chance for what promises to be the party of the year.

Make your way to the Oxnard Room of the Oxnard Community Center in the heart of Ventura County with people from all over the region to feast, sing, laugh, and dance the night away and the new year in.

Semiformal attire is requested but not mandatory, and you don’t need a date–we are all family, anyway!

Cost is a mere $10. Dinner will be served at 8PM.

Sunday night at 6:30PM we will begin 3 nights of revival with powerful worship and preaching. Monday and Tuesday gatherings begin at 7PM. ¬°Bienvenidos, todos!

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