Monday, June 25, 2007

Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Our Provider

Good evening saint, yes you. Isn’t that amazing… Saint Rob, Saint Julie, Saint Scott. Sounds funny but it is true!

I need to share something important with you.

Something we all need to be aware of so we can all pray.

Each year about this time we experience a real drop in tithes. Attribute it to summer, or vacations or whatever; it is something that happens every year.

This year the drop has come earlier and is more severe than in years past and is something that we need to take to the Lord to seek wisdom about how to proceed.

The shortage is not as a result of bad stewardship or overspending or mismanagement of the resources we have been entrusted with, (I guess you have to take our word on that), it is due to the more than 40% drop in giving from April to May which has stayed at that level now into June.

What do we do Lord when the ends don’t meet? Maybe you have had that come up in your home at some point. Well in our case it is pretty difficult to “float” the bills much and we would never “put it on the card” so we are left with seeking the Lord (what a novel idea, eh?)

Your leadership and I, and what a truly great bunch of men you have serving you by the way; are praying about what these things mean, and more importantly, what the Lord would have us do.

It may be that the Lord says,

STOP - “(1) Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”, or, “(2) Be still, and know that I am God”, for us to act when the Lord is directing “wait” would be to get ahead of God. And we do know, “(3) those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Waiting can get very uncomfortable at times! The Lord's timing is perfect and is perfectly planned to bring about His desired result. In human terms, my "logic" will begin to scream for a solution when it seems nonsensical to do nothing. But waiting is far from "nothing" it is a work! If the Lord directs wait, we had better wait.

GO – If the Lord is saying go and we are still standing still, that is not a good thing either, “(4) Son, go work to day in my vineyard.” We are not simply willing to do as the Lord leads, nor even desirous to do as the Lord tells us; we are desperate to be squarely in the center of His will. When we say this is His church, we mean that with all our heart.

God said to Moses, “(5) My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said in reply, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here..." If we are going we can only doso with the Lord.

So may the Lord give us “(6) ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the church."

CHANGE DIRECTIONS – God may be bringing about a change of some sort. If so we need to be responsive to his still-small-voice.

He said in Isaiah, “(9) thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” I pray like Samuel He would tune our hearing(7), that like Solomon He would give us a hearing heart(8)

He always leads us to victory

What I do know is that, “(10) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ” The Lord is always bringing about the very best for His children. He is not leading us to defeat, He is leading us to triumph, to victory!

One more passage I want to draw your attention to is in II Chronicle's 20

Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.

Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power
and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? “They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.

Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel… and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.

Did you catch that at the end of the second paragraph… “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

This is where we are at folks. We cant make it happen, we cant maneuver things to cover the shortfall, we are not seeking a man-made solution to the situation… we can’t, we have no strength, no power; we lack the ability.

So we look to God

So we seek the Lord and wait for His answer. Please keep our finances in your prayers. Perhaps the Lord would direct you to fast over it, which would be great.

But there is no question, this is not optional, we must see the hand of the Lord move in this area of our ministry.

1. Exodus 14.13
2. Psalm 46.10
3. Isaiah 40.31
4. Matthew 21.28
5. Exodus 33.14-15
6. Rev 3.13
7. I Samuel 3.1-10
8. I Kings 3.10
9. Isaiah 30.21
10. II Corinthians 2.14

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


A final installment on the subject of love.

Take a look at this text; a prayer from Paul the Apostle. It is most intriguing and thought provoking.

…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3.14-19

Let me walk through it with you…

He prays that we would be
· Strengthened
· With power
· From the Holy Spirit
· In the inner man

· So that Christ would dwell in our hearts, and
· That we being rooted (strengthened or stabilized by roots)
· and grounded (a solid foundation, to establish)
· On what?
· On AGAPE, on God’s love

And from that place of being stabilized and established on Gods AGAPE love
· That we would be able to comprehend the AGAPE of God
· Its breadth
· It’s length
· It’s height and
· It’s depth
· To know the AGAPE of Christ

Which, according to Vs 19, surpasses knowledge, it is unknowable

So what is Paul saying?
He is saying that through the power of the Holy Spirit
And while being rooted deeply and standing firm on the foundation of God’s love, I must take time, take advantage of the invitation to explore the vastness of God’s love, in every dimension, in every direction.

But as our present day astronomers are finding out, the more they discover, the more they discover there is to discover. The universe, like the Energizer bunny, just keeps going and going... God’s love is unknowable ultimately, it’s just to big.

But by the Holy Spirit we have been given the opportunity to grow in our understanding of it. And as I do, as you do, as we do we are being filled with (lit. being constantly crammed with) the fullness of God.

God is love.
So as we discover this unbridled, unfathomable, unconditional love of God, we are in fact coming to know the nature of God and our own souls are being filled with His fullness, with His nature. For God is love.

Paul ends I Corinthians 13 by saying,
“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three;
but the greatest of these is love.”
These three great graces abide into eternity, but the greatest of them all is love. In the end, whether in ministry, in family, in friendships, in trials, in victory; it is love that endures.

Oh precious saint-
May the Lord fill us with the knowledge of His great love.
May we encounter that love, experience that love, express that love.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with you all.

Monday, June 18, 2007


(I Love hearing from you, thanks for your comments)


That I love the Lord is no surprise, nothing amazing, no great feat… how can I but love him in light of who He is and what He has done.

The amazing, mind blowing, difficult to fully grasp part is that He loves me. In spite of my sin and my fickleness and my faithlessness and failing He truly loves me. Now that is a great mystery.

Pause for a minute and think about that today. What is there about me that a perfect God would find lovable. I bring nothing into the relationship with God… least-wise not anything good. It’s all Him.


His love is unique, it is divine, it is the unconditional AGAPE love of God. It is unlike anything we can imagine or originate in our human-ness. It is neither the love you have for your spouse, nor the love you have for your children (or grandchildren) as intense as that love may be. God’s love is wholly, and holy, different.

It is God’s love.


Yet by His Spirit we have been given the capacity to love like God does:

  • ...but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh and patience; patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5.3-5

The Love of God is the fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5.22.

Here again is something to ponder; fruit is naturally produced by a healthy plant. It is not something to strive for or worked for it comes naturally in a well rooted, well watered, well weeded, regularly pruned plant. The idea of a strawberry plant straining to make a strawberry… working really hard at it, makes for a ridiculous mental picture. So does our trying to manufacture AGAPE love.

The love we are talking about is not the emotional, Hallmark card, smaltzy affection we so often think of. This love is sacrificial, active, and involved; and it is described in I Corinthians 13.

  • Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

But even this passage has been “Hallmark-ed” and when we do so we rob the passage of it’s power.


"The Power of Love" is not just an old Huey Lewis song... it's true!

Just prior to the definition given in Vss 4-8 Paul tells us something that is radical check it out:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Without love, the most eloquent words are transformed into annoying clatter. Love is the power of speech, of teaching.

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

One might have the greatest gifts in the world but they evaporate, become nothing without love.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

All service, all ministry, all giving; if done without love profits me nothing, it is with the wrong motive. I might as well stay home.

I will leave you with these things to ponder along with me.

Such power! Love is a force.

Oh Lord, fill us with THAT today!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Hey Folks,

Sorry I haven’t made a post for a while. There aren’t as many Internet cafĂ©’s as you might expect in the middle of nowhere.

After leaving the conference in So Cal. I headed east through Arizona and New Mexico as I made my way to Cheyenne to see Chloe Elizabeth, our new grand-daughter. She is beautiful, such a huge blessing, Beckie is in 7th heaven.

But the Lord used that solitary time on the road to reveal some thing’s to me regarding my own heart. The open road and the wide open spaces, for me, serve to kind of blow out the cobwebs. That may sound a little hokie, but if you are at all a “road warrior” you may be able to relate.


One thing I did want to share with you was a passage from
II Samuel 12.24-25:
Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake

His parents named him Solomon which means peace. This proved prophetic as Solomon’s reign was one of peace from end to end. In fact, it is a picture of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ himself; when the lion will lay down with the lamb.

But as wonderful as that name was, God instructed Nathan the prophet to give him another name, a God-given name… Jedidiah, which means LOVED OF THE LORD. And Vs 24 says, “Now the Lord loved him…”

It was that phrase that really struck me. I was kind of jealous of the special place Solomon had in the Lord’s heart. In the context of the stories of I-II Samuel, I-II Kings, etc., that statement really IS unique. It is not even said of King David himself!

How blessed would be the life of one loved by God, what advantage he/she would have over others who did not have that special grace bestowed upon them; what a wonder that the Lord would possess that kind of heart toward any sinful man let alone express it.

And here is the part that is hard really to grasp completely… He loves you and me as well. We are Jedidiah’s as well! We are in that special place of unique blessing because we are the children of the “greater than David”.

Let me end this post by directing you to the first fourteen verses of Ephesians 1. There you will find that God chose you and adopted you and greatly favored you and “lavished” on you his great grace! You have to check it out once again…

We are loved by God! What advantage that gives me in life.

Well more to come on this topic of love in the next couple days.

I miss you all, look forward to seeing you more than you can imagine; but my journey is only about 1/3 done and I am very excited to see what else the Lord has in store.

Pray for me as I am certainly praying for you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

CC Pastors Conference

The annual meeting, the national "convention", the one time a year for the pastor's and leaders of Calvary Chapel to get together... pretty important!

At such a gathering one might expect to have committee meetings and annual reports; state of the movement speeches, financial reports, elections, passing of by-laws or maybe policy statements...

One might expect that, but not at Calvary Chapel.

The first session started with a little information about the hours of the coffee shop and the discount at the bookstore...

Then we worshipped the Lord and got into the Word. The next session was the same but without the coffeshop announcement, the third was the same. 700-800 pastors getting together from all over the country/world and what do we do? The same thing we always do...
  • Worship the Lord
  • Pray
  • Study the Bible
  • Fellowship with one another
It's Acts 2:42

Not in principal only but in practice. Not only at the local level... but IT IS what we do.

I am very proud of the simplicity and the Jesus focus and the determination to remain, in every context, true to the Biblical model of ministry, true to the commitment to keep Jesus first and central and exalted; true to the calling to love one another; true to the understanding that we are completely dependant upon the Holy Spirit.

It is little wonder that the Lord has blessed the ministry of Calvary Chapel over the years.

May we as God's children and as His church remain in the center of His perfect will and resist at all costs the temptation to be drawn away into anything that distracts us from Him.