Sep 302015

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aToday, like every Wednesday, we will remember Saeed Abedini.

We do more than just remember, however…we stand with him by using our social media to advocate for his release.

We ask that you change your Facebook profile picture to his and that you “like”  the “Free Saeed” Facebook page and participate in some of the activities that promote his cause.

We ask…that you remember him and his family in prayer…and that you refuse to give up on efforts to secure his release.

You can follow Naghmeh Abedini for the latest news on her Facebook page…

Sep 292015

timthumb.phpWhy spiritual abuse is on the rise…

Adam, Israels first king?

How immigration has shaped the U.S…

Celebrities on Jesus…

When heroes fall…

Using Scripture in pastoral care…

Humble evangelism…

Trump waves his bible…

You are not what you eat…

A new battle for the Bible…

What words did the Pope use the most on his trip?

A liberal looks at how conservatives spoke of the Pope…

When the Pope met Ted…

Protestant views on Catholicism and the Pope…

Blogs are Satans hit list…

I don’t want your good vibes, I want prayer…

Christian schools in Israel reopen…

Good piece on Nichole Nordeman…

Every year you grow…

What is marriage for?

What if you’re wrong? On the Second Coming and theological mistakes…

On connectualism…

The con artists at Charisma double down on their shemita bulls…

Blah, blah, lie, lie…

The “perversion” of a narrow faith?

Wenatchee the Hatchet on what Driscolls learned and much more…

Trueman rips Wilson…bravo!

Thanks again to EricL for all the link help…support his businesses at the top right.

Sep 282015

hqdefaultIt’s only a sentence, but it’s significant.

At about the thirty minute mark of his session at the Northeast Senior Pastors Conference, Bill Gallatin calls out K.P Yohannan…and his CC affiliates.

The context of his statement is a litany of current events that he sees as “signs of the times”.

“and you got a man in India who says he’s a Calvary Chapel and he’s wearing robes like the pope and he’s even having his own people come up and kiss his hand…and no ones even blinking”.

Gallatin is old school Calvary Chapel to the core…if he is upset enough to mention this at an SPC…then a lot of others in that camp are upset as well.

Listen up here…

Sep 282015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. bigot: a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)

That’s the dictionary definition of a ‘bigot”.

The real world definition is if you are “intolerant ” of any idea or group that I am tolerant of, you’re a bigot.

For some reason,  those who label others bigots are not stained with bigotry themselves, as long as they are bigoted against the people that their group considers bigots.

It’s one of our new “weapon” words meant to inflict shame and stifle discussion.

It’s an accusation that you cannot defend yourself against with words because it requires looking at the totality of a persons life and relationships.

It’s character assassination that even the unskilled can inflict with ease.

“Bigot” used to be an important word, because it applied mainly to those who opposed segregation of the races and it was used to eliminate this wrong from the public discourse.

Today, I’m a bigot because I don’t believe I should use the womens restroom, don’t believe that gay marriage is wonderful, or that radical Islam is just a few Arabs with a bad attitude.

Those who have labeled me such have the same goal that we all had fifty years ago…to mark and eliminate people with such thoughts from the culture.

I’m not going anywhere…

2. Very few people get the Trump phenomenon. I’m here to explain it to you.

We live in a world were all things have become terribly complex and difficult to understand.

When I was a child our TV had a dial.

When you wanted to change the channel to one of the other two or three that were available, you walked up to the TV and turned the dial.

Today we have hundreds of channels that you access with a remote control that has dozens of buttons with scads of options.

Many folks have yet to figure out how they work and they are a source of constant frustration.

They wish it were simple.

Trump simplifies all the issues into black and white, good guys and bad, and he speaks what the simple, common person is thinking.

They don’t believe anyone else is.

You’re welcome.

3. When I’m reporting on some scandal in the church, I invariably get emails telling me that I should just let God handle it. My reply is that He is…God almost always works through means…even bloggers.

4. The blood moon over Medford was something to behold last night. It spoke to me of the renewal of the creation, not it’s destruction.

5. I have no desire to live in  world where there is no difference between the sexes.

6. God answered some big prayers this weekend…then presented situations where even bigger prayer will be needed. God always gives you more than you can handle so that you will seek the God who can handle it for you.

7. The only defense the Christian has is sacrificial love.

8. May the Lord keep me from being known for my political opinions more than the Gospel.

9. The Sermon on the Mount is the most radical, counter cultural, document ever written. It is the “constitution” of the kingdom of God. It should be consulted before any other document when we’re deciding what’s “constitutional”.

10. Phil has laryngitis, thus no podcast today. Pray for his recovery…he talks for a living.

Sep 262015

Christianity tourism destinationsHebrews 4:6-13

6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

  • We know one thing – Jesus is always out there offering the good news
  • Who are those who received but failed to enter?
  • Why did they fail to enter – Disobedience
  • Disobedience here = unbelief – walking away from what they had already received.

again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

  • Why does David say “Today”? Some 400 yrs after the people had already entered the Promised Land.
  • The 1st generation did not go in – but they died off in the wilderness.
  • Except Joshua and Caleb – All those who entered the rest were 2nd

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.

  • A bit of a strange passage
  • The name Joshua = Jesus
  • Good English translation to distinguish the difference
  • The Greek says Jesus in both places.
  • There is a Jesus who does not lead his people into rest and there is a Jesus who did / will.
  • Because of this we must remember that all theology is Christology.

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

  • Here he begins an explanation of God’s rest.
  • Not referring to “after death.

10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

  • God rested but he is still working – Sabbath commands are “cease from your work.”
  • We are no longer in a works relationship with God. Jesus has relieved us of all works.
  • The Hebrews were thinking about leaving Christianity to go back to that works relationship.
  • But Jesus (somewhere) said “I will give you rest.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

  • Interesting – why would he now tell us to strive in order to get to a place of rest? NIV “make every effort”

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

  • The Bible is not just the Word of God, but God’s words. – Is that settled?
  • When you read the Bible (especially the OT), do you look for Jesus and the redemption story being told?
  • Is there anything else to look for? If you ever listen to another pastor teach and the message is not about Jesus and his saving work, (not just mentioning Jesus) – then you are not listening to a Christian message.
  • Tune in to Christian radio and give it a test. Oh, they may be teaching from the Bible and they may be doing a biblical message – just not a Christian message.
  • Moses – born into slavery and bondage condemned to death and thrown into the water – only to be raised up out of the water, placed in the home of the king to become a son of the king. (a Jesus story)
  • Look at Jacob – his mother disguised him as the first born – even to putting skins on his arms – so that he would receive the blessing promised to the first born. And Esau, who had every right to the blessing ended up with the curses. (a Jesus story)
  • In a similar “unfair” way, Jesus gave us his blessings and he took our curses.
  • Not to sound too Catholic, but who is our mother who brings us into the presence of God? The Church.
  • Living and Active – There is a power in the Word. Isaiah said “My word will not return void.
  • This does not mean that it will convert everyone – it will either convert or condemn. No one walks away unaffected.
  • Swords – this is more like a dagger – small and up-close – today perhaps we would say “sharper than any 2 edged scalpel.
  • The writer now uses 3 comparisons
  • (1) Soul and Spirit
  • (2) Joints and Marrow
  • (3) Thoughts and Intentions of the heart.
  • How many parts are we? Body & Spirit or Body, Soul & Spirit?
  • Are we just material and immaterial?
  • What is spiritual deadness?
  • Can just anyone pick up the Bible and make sense of it … or does God need to give you a ‘jump start’?
  • How would you describe a sunset to a blind person? They have never seen colors or a horizon. Is spiritual blindness the same?
  • A Blind person still has eyes – but those faculties do not work – they aren’t hooked up right.
  • This is the same with the person who is spiritually blind – he has a spirit, but it is not just impaired, but it is dead – disconnected – unconnected.

13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

  • This now switches from speaking of God’s word – to speaking of God himself.
  • How do you take this verse – Good verse or bad verse?
  • Scary or comforting?


Sep 262015

thumbnail.aspxO God, early in the morning I cry to you.

Help me to pray

And to concentrate my thoughts on you:

I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,

But with you there is light;

I am lonely, but you do not leave me;

I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;

I am restless, but with you there is peace.

In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;

I do not understand your ways,

But you know the way for me…

Restore me to liberty,

And enable me to live now

That I may answer before you and before me.

Lord, whatever this day may bring,

Your name be praised.


Sep 252015

AccordingToTheScripturesDamianKyle5x7_300-200x280Former CCA Leadership Council member Damian Kyle has joined the board of Gospel For Asia according to Warren Throckmorton.

As some CC pastors are dropping support for GFA and dropping speaking engagements for fellow board member Gayle Erwin, Kyle has chosen to double down on GFA.

Kyle is well respected in the movement, especially among the old guard.

This will send a clear message to Calvary Chapel pastors that all is well with the beleaguered charity.

It will also send a message that should you keep asking questions that need to be answered that you are now in opposition to well respected members of the fraternity.

It is a stunning turn of events and one that will open Kyle up to the same criticisms his affiliate brothers are facing.

Will Kyle give answers to pastors and donors or will he continue the current mode of deflection in favor of PR statements and “reputation enhancement”?

More to come…


Sep 252015

Lab -article-testtubeI hadn’t noticed the sign before though it had been right in front of me every time we went to the hospital lab.

“Please Do Not Leave Specimens On The Counter”.

We have been to the lab a lot, lately.

Trey and I are now on a first name basis with those who draw blood and other substances for medical testing.


It’s a painful way to make new friends…

Now that I had seen it, I couldn’t stop laughing.

In a faux stern voice I held up the sign and instructed Trey to never, ever, ever, leave a cup of urine or any other bodily discharge on the counter, but wait to be helped.

When the worker came to check us in, I asked if that sign was really necessary.

Within seconds we had a whole staff telling us stories.

People leave all manner of specimens and then leave themselves…leaving behind anonymous specimens for the lab.

Sometimes they spill them.

Sometimes they throw them at the staff.

It was funny, but it wasn’t funny at all at the same time.

The consensus was that when you work in a job where you serve the public, you become less than human and the humans you’re serving believe they can abuse you at will.

You are their servant and servants can be used and abused.

(And everyone who has ever worked in retail said “amen”….)

There is a sickness in our souls that demands that we find people to feel superior to.

When we find them (and we all do) we reveal how sick we truly are.

It may come by just having a hint of an attitude, it may explode in outright abuse.

However it manifests, it is a denial of the faith and a lie about who we really are.

“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”

(Matthew 20:26 ESV)

Our place is to be a servants to each other and to a world waiting to be served in love.

We are servants of the One who took the form of a servant to serve us.

The path to greatness is paved through serving others who want to use the road.

I’m not even mediocre yet…but I don’t leave my specimens on the counter.

At least not at the lab…

Make your own application…

Sep 242015

Flag-world-indiaSteve Wright of CC Lake Elsinore posted this and I’m reposting for those who have a heart for India.

I will put my name (for what that’s worth) on the line and say that this is a worthy and trustworthy place to put your money.

“If you want to make a difference in the lives of the least of these in India for the sake of the Kingdom you can divert your funds from GFA to our fellowship if you so desire. I have a personal, 16+-year relationship there and if my reputation and integrity means anything around here then I place all of it on the line in saying your funds will be in good stewardship in India and that 100% of those funds, with zero overhead, will make it to the mission field there if you are so inclined.

I am available to answer any questions but the size alone of GFA, and their use of money for huge buildings and the like, even without any scandal brewings whatsoever would be enough for our church to not give them a dime. With all the smoke and deception added to the mix….well, nobody answers to me but it is a grief to me to know what great needs are in that nation and to see the misplaced priorities.”

pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore