Sunday, September 29, 2013

AN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER

Quiet my heart, Lord,
        So that I may be filled with Thee.
Quiet my ears, Lord,
        So that I may hear Thee.
Quiet my mind, Lord,
        So that I may know Thee.
Quiet my voice, Lord,
        So that I may speak of Thee.
Quiet my Life, Lord,
        So that I may serve Thee.
Quiet me, Lord,
        So that all may be of Thee.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A PLACE I ONCE CALLED HOME!

SOME MEMORIES OF GGCC: "From Crystal to Christ: A Once and Future Cathedral"

As one who sat in the pews, was led to Christ through the youth ministry, who worked in the Tower of Hope, in the catacombs of the Hour of Power, and had the supreme honor and joy to serve in the youth ministry, youth choir, hand-bell choir... and to get married within the of the sanctuary that preceded the Crystal Cathedral (I even mowed the lawns at Dr. Bob's house) This article rings with truth.

For all the naysayers, good things were birthed, nurtured and given opportunities to grow and flourish. 

Yes, I remember my years at GGCC with fondness and love and laughter.

The church, was not the building anyway, nor was it the Hour of Power, it was the caring people who walked its corridors, taught the classes, served the community.

May the Lord continue to bless the of the Kingdom of God that takes place on the land that was once an orange grove and walnut orchard.

To God be the glory, great things HE has done!

Monday, September 23, 2013

SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS

SpongeBob SquarePants (character)
SpongeBob SquarePants (character) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS IS ALL WET, and well he should be. He’s a sponge (with hands and legs) that lives in the sea, and if you’re going to live in the sea, well you’re going to get wet. Truth is that dry sponges are dead sponges.  Even the fancy spongy-thing you purchased at the store to help wash your pots and pans, is of little use if it’s dry.

Reality check: sponges work best when they are wet.

The same could be said for those following Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  We work best when we’re wet. I didn’t say Christians are all wet. I said we work better when we are wet; that is, soaked by the Holy Spirit and saturated with the Word of God. Dry Christians are not much use, unless you’re seeking to scrape and scratch someone.

When we are saturated with the Word of God, soaked in the Spirit, we are better able to accomplish that for which we have been created. That purpose is to spread forth the good news (gospel) of the Kingdom of God. The good thing about being filled up with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, is that the harder we get squeezed the more of the Lord pours from us.

If we’re dry there’s not much we can do to help those in need. But stick us under the flow of the Spirit, or dunk us deep into the Word of God, then we will have what is needed to do the work which we have been commanded to do to bring the refreshing cleansing of the love of God to a world in much need of a washing.


So, fellow-sponges, let’s soak it up!
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

INEFFABLY SUBLIME!

NOW, THERE’S TWO WORDS we don’t use very often unless you’re singing the fifth verse of “Crown Him with Many Crowns,”

Crown Him the Lord of years:
The potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail
Throughout all eternity.

The words connote the inexpressible greatness of God, our Creator-Redeemer.  When we are moved to describe the One who alone is God, the reality should be that no words we could utter could adequately express who He is.

He is the One whose Name the Hebrews refuse to utter. His is the Name that is above every other name, and it is at His Name that every creature on heaven and earth will eventually bow. His Name is not one that can, or should be, easily bantered about. It is at the breathing of His Name that our lips may fall silent while seeking to lift forth His Name with hearts filled with praise.

This is our God!
Whose Name is as close as the breath upon our lips.
Whose love enfolds our very being.

Our God, ineffably sublime! 
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Sunday, September 01, 2013

PRESENCE -- Lessons from a Grandson #1

TODAY MARKS TWO WEEKS since Sterling Paggu Tankoano entered the world, more specifically, my family’s world. In reality he really has not done too much besides eat, sleep, poop, make a funny face, and repeat. Yet, he has made his mark in our hearts, and that comes from him just being present. His presence has forever changed our world and our relationships.

As Linda pointed out to me, we are now grandparents and there are new parents and aunts and an uncle. Yup, our lives are forever changed just because this little guy is present. There is power in presence, and it’s a lesson of which we should all take note.

Presence, the art of just being with another person, can be a powerful remedy in the healing of all kinds of pains. The pain may be physical, emotional or spiritual, but the simple presence of another person with us during that pain can make the battle much more bearable.

Our presence, much like Sterling’s, may not seem like much to us, but to the person we are with it may provide them the very courage or comfort they need to keep on keeping on.

As Christ-followers our presence is even of greater importance for we bring not only ourselves, but we are the very vessels of God the Holy Spirit. When we go and spend time with someone who is hurting, or lonely, who just needs a friend, we bring into that encounter the powerful work of God’s Spirit. All we need do is show up.

I am honored, as a pastor, to have so many in our church family who understand the power of presence. Those who go to visit the sick, the hurting, the shut-in, the lonely. Just this past week I know of Barbara Lockwood taking the time to visit some of our hurting church family, and her presence brought healing. You see you don’t have to be a pastor, in fact I believe that more is done by those not in pastoral garb. All you need to do is to show up, to be present. For in doing so, in Christ Name, you bear the very Presence of Him who is the healer of souls.


I am thrilled that Sterling showed-up. His very presence brings us joy, and should there be more grandchildren the joy will only increase. So, dear saint, be present for someone this week, maybe even today.  Just show up, your presence will be a welcomed cup of cool water for someone’s weary soul.
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