Monday, February 19, 2018


Matthew 12:22-26

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to him. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. 23 All the crowds were astounded and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

24 When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

25 Knowing their thoughts, he told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Part of the response from the people was due to their skepticism. They had certain expectations of the Messiah, the Son of David, and Jesus did not meet any of them – and yet, they knew that the Messiah would do miracles such as this – and while many prophets of old had done some miracles like the ones Jesus did, nobody had done them as often, or healed people as sick and diseased as Jesus had.

And again, while we don’t know what it was – something about THIS man and / or THIS healing, caused them to respond.

This was the turning point miracle for many.

And now this miracle, and the response of the people demanded a response from the Pharisees.

They could not ignore what they had seen, and what they had seen in the ministry of Jesus.

They could not ignore what the people had seen.

They could not ignore what the people had said.

And so, they really responded in the only way they could.

24 When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

Now, it’s one thing to say that you don’t believe in Jesus.

But it’s a whole ‘nother thing to say that He is in partners with Lucifer.

But they had no choice if they weren’t going to accept Him, they could not ignore Him, and they could not deny the miracles, so they had to discredit Him.

This morning, if you are here, and you don’t know Jesus, I have a question for you – what are YOU going to do with Jesus?

What are you going to do about Jesus?

You can’t ignore Him, because not only are you faced with the reality that He existed every day – you see our time is divided into BC (Before Christ) /AD (Anno Domini = “in the year of our Lord” – or in other words, after the birth of Jesus) – so just the date puts Jesus in your face.

Even if you could ignore Him, you can’t do it forever, because one day you will stand before Him. Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10.

25 Knowing their thoughts, he told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Notice that it doesn’t say that Jesus heard what they say.

What it says is that he knew their thoughts.

This tells me that the Pharisees were not standing close to Jesus. They were on the outside looking in…they were at a distance.

Now they should have been front and center.

They should have been standing side by side with Jesus.

They should have been his biggest supporters.

They had read the Word – studied the Word – dissected the Word – memorized the Word – taught the Word.

But they did not know the Word.

They did not have faith.

All they had was sight.

Jesus did not look like the Messiah.

While He performed many miracles – they could not overlook everything else that their eyes saw.

He did not talk like the Messiah.

He did not look for loopholes in the law.

He did not dress like the Messiah.

He did not come from “Messiah” stock.

He did not hang around “Messiah” people.

They were sight walkers – sight livers.

They did not walk by faith – live by faith.

They had no faith.

They only had sight.

To follow Jesus, and believe in Jesus, we must live by faith - not sight - and to live by faith and not be sight, we must be close to Him - relation-ally - we must be near Him, not on the outside like the religious leaders were.

2 Corinthians 5:6-9

6 So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

· So – while we are here, in this body we are away from the Lord – in other words, physically we are not together. Our “home” is this body – and Jesus is not physically here with us.

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

· Paul says we walk by faith. It is definitive. We walk, or live in relationship with Jesus not because we can see Him but because we have faith in Him. Our relationship with Him is not sight driven – it is faith driven. That does not mean our faith is without sight at all – we can see the evidences of our relationship with Jesus – or at least we should be able to.

8 In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

· Now Paul says we are confident – in other words we know that we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord – but wait a minute – I thought we were at home with the body? Essentially, Paul is saying we are going to move from one home to another. We are going to move from our home of faith living with Jesus – to sight living with Jesus – and we know which one we would prefer.

9 Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him.

· What is the rule with the word “therefore”? So what is it there for? Paul is saying that regardless of where we are – at home in the body – or away from the body – or away from the body and at home with the Lord, we should live to be pleasing to Him.

· In other words – how we live in Heaven or on the New Earth, should be the model for how we are living now.

It reminds me of the song by Wayne Watson:

One day Jesus will call my name

As days go by, I hope I don't stay the same.
I wanna get so close to Him that it's no big change,
On that day that Jesus calls my name

I hope I can show you the point I’m trying to make in my mind in connecting this verse to the Pharisees.

You see – the Pharisees lived to please the Pharisees.

Because they did not have faith – they could not see Jesus, the Messiah.

They could only see Jesus the son Joseph, not Jesus the Son of God.

As I am now entering into the fifth week of revival with Jesus – I am discovering some things – things that I did not know.

The first is that revival does not so much mean that I am walking closer to the Lord (although it does mean that), as much as it means that I am finding out just how far away from the Lord I have been walking.

Just as last week I stated that we don’t believe in prayer – I did not mean that we don’t pray. Most of us pray. If nothing else, most of us pray to God for help – most of us pray to God to help us get through a crisis, or to get out of a jam – and while that is good – and thank the Lord that He hears us and helps us out of jams and walks through us through the many crisis that we have – I challenge you to read the book of Acts and see how many times prayer is mentioned in the singular compared to the corporate.

In other words, how many time do two or more believers gather for prayer, compared to individual recorded prayers?

Even the model prayer is in the plural.

So, while we believe in prayer as some sort of “pull this lever in case of emergency” we don’t really believe in “let us gather together like they did in the book of Acts and pray corporately and experience the manifest presence of God.”

I say all of that to say this – I am discovering in my fifth week of revival, that although I would say that I walk by faith and not by sight, in general I have been a sight walker, not a faith walker.

Why do I say that?

Because in the context we just read, to be faith walkers is to live to please Jesus now, just as we would in eternity!

Saints – please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not trying to down you here, or beat you up – but I’m trying to encourage you!

When I thought of this I realized how different my life would be if I were more of a faith walker than a sight walker.

Financially, I would give more! Do we really think that in eternity we would even have a debate over what to give Jesus?

Witnessing, I would be bolder! Do we really think that in eternity we will not overflowing with excitement to share our story of meeting Jesus? To share what He has done in our lives? Do you really think we will use any of the excuses we use now NOT to talk about Jesus there?

And speaking of sharing things…

Reading the Word would come alive! Do we really think that in eternity we would not want to read the Word, or make time to read the Word? Do we really think we would not want to share with one another what we have read?

Gathering to worship will be a priority! While I do believe that worship will be different in eternity – both personal and corporate worship – can you imagine on the New Earth Jesus saying that He wants to gather with all those living ____________________ (fill in the blank to represent your location) and we decide to stay away because we would rather do something else?

Do you see what I’m trying to say?

And again, don’t misunderstand me…I know we live in these feeble bodies that get sick, get older, hurt more, ache more and get tired – and that in eternity those things will be no more – but let’s be honest with ourselves and at least admit that there are times when we do things we want to do – no matter how we are feeling – in other words there are excuses we use to not give, not share Jesus, not read the Word and not gather for worship, that we do not use when we want to do other things.

I want to encourage you to live today as though you were already there!

Live to please Him here just as you would there!

That is what Paul has instructed us to by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

And that is what the Pharisees could not do because they did not know Him.

But we, we say we know Him – we say He is our Messiah, our Master, our Savior, our Lord – so let’s live like we know Him!

Let’s live like we believe it!

Let’s live by faith now, the same way we will live by sight then!

Oh, remember when you used to be passionate for Jesus! When you couldn’t wait to read His Word?

When you told everyone about Him?

When you not only lived with anticipation for the next time you gathered with the saints to worship – but when you got there, you didn’t want to go home?

Remember when you wept and cried over the lost?

Remember when you shouted and praised His name in a worship service – during singing, or preaching or praying?

Remember when you got out of the boat?

Matthew 14:24-29

24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.

27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”

29 He said, “Come.”

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.

We knock Peter because of what comes after verse 29 – but Peter should be celebrated more for what takes place in verse 29 than he should be for what takes place after verse 29.

Because the brother got out of the boat.

He was in the thick of a storm on the sea.

They were a long way from land – the boat was battered – the word means “tortured” and the wind was against them – it means it was antagonistic!

They were afraid – they were afraid of dying.

And yet, in the middle of the storm, where sight tells you to stay in the boat, Peter got out.

Not only that – He got out on faith, not sight – it doesn’t seem he could get a clear view of Jesus – sight says stay in the boat – only faith living can get you out of the boat to walk on water in the middle of a storm!

The brother got out of the boat.

The choice is ours – do we want to say we live by faith, and yet in reality we stay in the comfort and safety of the boat – or do we want to share in the radical experience of walking on the water with Jesus?

I want to share something with you that I read this week, it is from Pastor Ken Hutcherson: “If you’ve got enough faith to get you here – you’ve got enough faith to get you there!”

“Here is where you are right now, if by faith you have received God’s free gift of salvation by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you’re really here, then you have been snatched from the kingdom of darkness and places securely forever in the kingdom of light. Here means you have been released from the chains of Satan and his army of evil angels, youv'e been given eternal life, and you have been adopted as a beloved son or daughter into God’s intimate family circle.”

That’s here.

And here is amazing.

But if we want to walk closely with Jesus, we must go there. We cannot stay here. God is on the move – and He calls us to come and join Him.

I believe that Peter did not have any more faith than the other disciples.

What I do believe is that Peter walked in the faith that he had, while the others sat in the faith that they had.

What I do believe is that Peter wanted to be with Jesus, close to Jesus, no matter how scary it looked or how impossible it seemed.

Pastor Hutcherson again: “You don’t lose faith, you lose the will to walk in your faith.”

“If He was strong enough to bring you here, He’s got strength to spare to get you there!

Regardless of what we say – our life will show that we will either live out the reality that there is more safety, more thrills, more excitement being with Jesus in the storm, than there could ever be in the boat – or it will show that like the Pharisees, we know Him, we see Him, but we do not follow Him by faith.

I want to encourage you who are reading this, to live life from your close proximity to Jesus – not like the Pharisees who should have been close to Him, but instead were far enough away to see Him – to see what He could do – and yet still be living outside of Him.

I want to encourage you to step out of the boat, and get close to Jesus.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Matthew 12:22-23

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to him. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. 23 All the crowds were astounded and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

At this time the attacks on Jesus begin to ratchet up a notch. 

The religious leaders want His death. 

They despise Him. They despise His teachings. He has upended their religious apple cart. 

He has pulled back the curtain to reveal their hearts. 

He has exposed their hypocrisy. 

His very existence is a threat to their continued place of prestige, prominence, and power.

And so they throw one of the worst insults and accusations they can against Him.

They accuse Him of being partners with the devil.

They could not attack the miracles…the evidence was there.

The people saw. The people experienced. The people were starting to believe, to ask their own questions – “Could this be the Son of David?” 

Now this creates a dilemma for the religious leaders.

There’s no debating the miracle. There’s no arguing the miracle. There’s no explaining it away. It is there.

In fact – for some reason, even though Jesus has done many miracles up to this point – it is this miracle that is a tipping point for many people…it is this miracle that begins to get people to ask the question, “Could this be the Son of David?”

If you combine all of the gospel accounts, you will find that this is at least the 17th recorded miracle that Jesus has performed. And that is if you count the recordings of Him healing large numbers of people as one vent.

And yet – it was this miracle that caused the people to say, “Could this be the Son of David?”

It was this miracle that got people to think of Jesus as more than just the carpenters son, more than just a good teacher, more than just a prophet, more than just a miracle worker.

It was this miracle that got people to thinking…maybe this is the Messiah.

Church – do you know you are a miracle?

Think about the history of the church: On the surface – removing the supernatural from the equation for just a moment – this is what we have.

An organization, founded over 2,000 years ago by an itinerant Jewish rabbi, with a dozen men of no special background, but diverse – who without the uniting influence of said rabbi, many would not even have given one another the time of day, much less joined the same cause, one of which would eventually betray this Jewish rabbi, who died a criminal’s death on a cross.

This organization was severely persecuted over the years, thousands, hundreds of thousands were put to death, and yet it grew. 

In fact, it grew so much that the main persecutor of this origination threw up their hands in surrender and decided if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. 

And the state government that once persecuted this organization then embraced it as their official religion.

From there the “official” church would begin to drift into error, adding to it’s teaching things that were far from it’s original teaching and intention. 

What physical persecution was not able to do, acceptance from the outside of the organization and corruption from the inside, began to kill the organization.

And yet, there were always a remnant that remained. 

There were those from outside what had become the “official state sanctioned organization.” And they would not stay silent. 

They began to influence the “official state sanctioned organization.”

And soon, those from within the official organization began to see how far they had drifted and began to course correct the church.

This small group of 12 rag-tag ragamuffins that began in Jerusalem, soon grew to millions all over the world.

It includes people from every language, ever ethnicity, every country, every continent, every background. 

And just as in the early days of this organization, wherever it is persecuted, it experienced unprecedented growth.

This is unexplainable and unheard of for any other group of people.

This is unexplainable with the logic and reason of man.

This is unexplainable – unless you take into consideration that this is not an organization like any other.

This is a supernatural act of the ONE, TRUE and ONLY God.

This is the church.

United by the blood of Jesus.

It knows no restriction of race, social status, age, borders or bounderies.

It is a family whose blood runs thicker than the blood that flows through our veins.

While it believes a variety of different things on certain subjects, it is united by this thing: Jesus is Lord. Jesus is God. Jesus is King. 

There is salvation in no other name but Jesus, and this same Jesus, this same itinerant rabbi from Bethlehem, born into poverty, crucified between two thieves, died and was buried, but the grave couldn’t hold him, death couldn’t keep him, corruption never touched Him, this same Jesus is coming back again someday! 

Glory Hallelujuah!

This is a miracle that could only happen from the hand of God

And you church – you – each one of you – you may be the miracle – your life – the way you live – the way you respond – the way you are salt and light – you just may be the miracle that somebody is waiting to see…

You just may have the words – you just may be the one to take the gospel to the people around you – 

And you just may be the miracle that causes your friend, your neighbor, your postman, your baker, your mechanic, your gardener, your hairdresser, your accountant, your in-laws and your outlaws to rise up and say, “Could Jesus be what I need?” “Could Jesus be the answer I have been seeking?”

To you church, this morning, I say, “BE THE MIRACLE!”

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I remember reading an interview with mega-church pastor and author, Andy Stanley, where he asked his Dad, mega-church pastor and author, Dr. Charles Stanley, about the call to preach.  He said he asked his Dad if a preacher had to be called, or could he volunteer.  Andy said he never felt a call to preach, but that he wanted to volunteer.  I don't recall what the answer to his question was, and I am in no way questioning the ministry of Andy Stanley.  I have been encouraged a great deal by his work in the ministry, and have learned from his teaching.

For me, it has never been a question of whether or not I was called to preach the gospel.  The question has been instead, have I always answered the call to preach the gospel.

I first felt the calling of the Lord to preach when I was only fifteen years old.  Just a kid, in ever sense of the word.  I felt the stirring of the Holy Spirit at church camp that the Lord was calling me to deliver His Word.  I remember thinking how foolish that the Lord would call a teenager to preach...but the stirring of the Spirit would not let go, until I let go.

But the call to preach was not the only call that I heard during those years.  The world was calling too.  

For several years I tried to answer both calls.  I lived with one foot in the church, and one foot in the world.  I held onto the Lord with my right hand, and embraced the things of the world with my left.  

As you can imagine, this double-minded lifestyle is not one that can last very long.  Something had to give.  Sadly, what gave was my commitment to the Lord and the preaching of His Word.

Over the next several years, my life spiraled out of control.  Eventually, I found my way back in a church service, and there the Holy Spirit really got a hold of my life.  The Spirit had been working all the time, but I was resistant.  I was the prodigal son, living life in the pig-pen, but not realizing just where I was.  Until that fateful morning.

Soon, the calling returned, which should not have surprised me, because I was familiar with what the Word says about the gifts and calling of the Lord in Romans 11:29, "...God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable."  In other words, no matter what I had done - God was not removing the call.  Now, I may have done things that would make the results of the scall less effective - and that is a subject for another time, but God was still calling me.

This time, after some counseling from my pastor, I answered without reservation, and so began what is now a 31 year journey as a preacher of the Word of God.  I have preached up and down the state of California in many churches and towns.  I was a pastor of one church for five years, and am now in my eleventh year of my second pastorate.

But guess what...this past year, after all this time, I began to doubt the call of God upon my life.  I have been going through a rough time, spiritually, emotionally and physically.  I found myself questioning the Lord - and not in a legitimate sort of way - I found myself questioning His goodness, and I found myself angry at Him.  I felt betrayed by people I loved, and most of all, I felt betrayed by God Himself.

Now the key word there, especially when it comes to God, is "felt" - just because I felt it - didn't make it true.  In fact, just the opposite was true.  After a wrestling match with the Lord, I pleaded with Him to just show Himself to just show me, in the midst of this wreck that I called my life, I just wanted assurance that I really did hear the call - that I really was doing His will.  I didn't want to do this any longer, especially if He was not in it.  

What I love about what happened next, is that God didn't split the skies, or write on the wall, or send a prophet to my front door.  He did what He often does....through His Word, He spoke to me in that still small voice, that those who know Him recognize.

I read these verses the very morning that I had my shouting match with the Lord.  In 1 Timothy 4:7 I read the instruction that Paul gave Timothy, "...train yourself in godliness."  And then in verse 14, Paul says, "Do not neglect the gift that is in you..."

That morning, I wept.  I repented.  I worshiped.  I praised God.  I realized that I had been focused not on the One that had given me such a gift and calling, but that I had been focused on the pain that I was in due to what I was dealing with in my life.  Don't misunderstand me, the pain was real, the problems are real, the issues are real - and they are still here - but rather than trust in the Lord and continue to do what He had called me to do - my focus was on man.    

I had neglected my training - and I had neglected the gift that God placed in me.  The gift that He had given me.  

That morning, while preaching the sermon (yes folks, this all happened on a Sunday morning) - I felt so alive.  I knew that this is what God had called me to do.  I was firm in my calling and firm in my answer to the Lord.  Here am I Lord, use me, in whatever way You see fit.

I don't know what the future brings - I may not be a pastor next week, or next year.  But this I know - God has called me to preach the gospel, and so I will....wherever the Lord gives me opportunity, I must preach the gospel.  Like my brother Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:16, "...and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!"

My prayer is simply that the Lord might use me, in whatever way He sees fit - that He might pour my life out as an offering to Him.

In His service,
Pastor Dave

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Last week I wrestled with God.  I lost.  I guess that is not surprising.  
After all, if you could beat God at wrestling, He wouldn't be much of a God now would He?

We were wrestling about His calling on my life.  I had attended a great event on Sunday evening, that featured among other artists, the group 
Rend Collective Experiment.  It was a moving time of worship, conviction and praise.  I left primed and pumped.  But by Monday and Tuesday, something had happened.

I wanted to just quit.  I wanted to quit the church, quit life, just quit.  That was when the wrestling started. Over a couple of days the Lord and I wrestled over my one statement to Him:  I'm done.

I told Him that it was over.  I was done doing this Pastor gig thing.  It wasn't because of issues in the church, although there are issues - every church has issues, so that was nothing new.  It wasn't because I did not believe in Him.  It was not because I did not love Him.  

As I wrestled with Him, He spoke to, not in an audible voice (although I think that would be very way cool - and a bit frightening all at once) - no, He spoke to me in my heart.  Now, if that has never happened to you before, I don't know how to explain it, except it was as clear as if He had spoken to me in an audible voice.  What did He say?

He said, "Your'e done when I say you're done."  He went on over the course of a couple of days to tell me in a variety of ways, that my problem was me.  Not anything specific, just me.  He reminded me that he called me to pastor Loma Rica Baptist Church (and if you know the whole story behind that, you would know He is understating the fact).  He reminded me that this pastor gig is not about me, it is about Him.  He reminded me that the problem was that I was playing at being a pastor and I was guilty of doing things under my own power.  He told me to test Him.  To go all in for the All in All.  To go all out for Him.  To pour myself out for Him, and see what He would do.  

When I finally cried "uncle" - He then blessed me.  I fully understood then what Rich Mullins had once said about wrestling with God.  He said something like, "It does no good to fight against God, because He'll give you a bloody nose, and then He'll give you a ride home on His bike."  Like Jacob of old, I have wrestled with God and the Lord touched me, and I will never walk the same again.  Like Rich Mullins when he wrestled with God, I got a bloody nose, but then the Lord gave me a ride home on His bike...and what a ride it was!  It was a death-defying ride on the handlebars with my hands raised high and my voice crying out as aloud as I could, "I LOVE YOU JESUS!  I AM YOURS!  POUR ME OUT FOR YOUR GLORY!'

But it didn't end there...I then went to our local Christian book store and was told about a brand new book...wouldn't you know it, 
 it was called "All In" by Mark Batterson. 

The premise of the go all in for the All in All.  Of course, I bought it, and devoured it.  I would highly recommend it to you.  No, it is not theologically deep, but it is life changing long.

God changed my life this last week.  I ditched the sermon I had been preparing as God gave me a new sermon, and not just that, but a new series of sermons.  I entered the pulpit more excited about preaching than I had in a long, long time.  I worshiped with more abandon than I had in a long, long time.  

If your relationship with the Lord is not what you thought it would be, or not what it used to be, or not what you would like it to be, I have only one thing to say.  Wrestle with God about it.  You won't win...but in the end, I guess you will.

Praying that my Shepherd, Jesus, will be the Shepherd for everyone.

Pastor Dave

Monday, June 17, 2013


During my daily readings today in Psalm 63 I had several thoughts come to mind, and since it has been a long, long time since my last post, I thought that it would be a good time to fire up the old blog and begin to share what the Lord gives me during my daily readings.

This whole Psalm is simply beautiful, and I would encourage you to read the whole Psalm, but here are just a few portions, along with my thoughts.

Psalm 63:1 "O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust.  I seek You with every fiber of my being.  In this dry and weary land with no water in sight, my soul is dry and longs for You. My body aches for You, for Your presence."

On the one hand, my soul is often dry, and this land, this world is dry and weary, and nothing truly quenches my thirst.  I do long for refreshing waters from the Lord, and I have ached for His presence.  These are very real feelings that I have had.  

And yet...

Do I really seek the Lord with EVERY FIBER of my being?  What would that look like?  What would that feel like?  How would my life be lived out if this was a reality, rather than just a piece of poetry that sounds nice when I say it or would look good on a bumper sticker?  It has made me pray today, "Lord, help me to seek YOU with every fiber of my being.  Help me to be all about YOU.  Help me to live every moment for YOU.  Imagine if the church would be a place where people who sought the Lord with every fiber of their being came to worship together and share what the Lord is doing in their lives as they seek HIM with all they are.  Imagine what this church would do as they left the four walls of the building and lived a life among those who do not know the Lord.  

Psalm 63:2 "So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory."

Sadly, worship in the local church has become much more about us than it is about Him.  We should come ready to encounter God in a special way.  And we should be able to encounter this great, awesome, holy, and only true God no matter what else is going on around us...if we will simply focus on Him.  That means if there is a noisy baby around us, or if people are coming or going, or if the music is our thing, or the worship team is not exactly on key, or the music is too soft, or too loud, or too contemporary, or not contemporary enough.  Imagine what our services would be like if we would spend the time when we worship the Lord with music as a time when we were drinking in HIS strength and HIS glory!  Don't you think that people would be lined up for miles to try to get into a building where you could encounter God in this way?  I do.

Psalm 63:3 "My lips will glorify You, because Your faithful love is better than life."

Far too often, my ability to glorify the Lord has more to do with how my life is going at the current time than the fact that His faithful love is better than life.  I have found that if I can just focus on the Lord, that the things that bring me down, that distract me, that cause me to stumble, that make me angry, that cause me to want to just chuck it all in - well, those things fade into the background and eventually disappear when my mind, my heart and my life is focused on the faithful love of the Lord.  It truly is better than life, because this life, no matter how good it is, is not without its share of pain and hardness.  But a life lived in the faithful love of the Lord is better than what we have here, because it is a love that leads to action that is invested in eternity.

Psalm 63:8 "I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me."

In high school I had a best friend named Rick. We were so close that we called each others parents, "Mom & Dad." Often our other friends would mix our names us and call me Rick and him Dave. If we went somewhere without the other person, we were always asked, "Where's Rick?" or "Where's Dave?" This was because even though we did not spend every moment with each other, our friendship for a few years was so tight, that people did not think of one of us without thinking of the other one.

That's how it should be with the Lord. I want to be so close to Jesus that when people see me, they see Him. I want to be so close to Jesus that when people think of me, they think of Him. I want to be so close to Jesus that if someone wanted to know where Jesus was, or how to get to know Him, that they would come to me...because they know that Jesus and I are tight.

Ok, so there's that.
Pastor Dave

Thursday, January 17, 2013


During my daily readings this morning, I found myself reading this verse from the book of Job:

Job 1:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes.  How then could I look at a young woman?”

This got me to thinking…just what did Job mean when he said that he made a covenant (an agreement) with his eyes…and followed it up with the question, “How then could I look at a young woman?”

Did this mean Job never looked at young women?  What about his own daughters when they were young women?  What about young women in the marketplace?  How did he avoid them?  No, common sense told me that it meant more and yet, less than that.

It could not have meant that he did not ever see any young women.  So it meant less than what we see at face value, and yet, the truth is that it means so much more than what we can see at face value.  The Hebrew language means much more than just “look” - the word used means (among other things), “to separate mentally, distinguish, look well to, view, think - to get.”

This tells me that Job was saying that he had made an agreement that when he saw a young woman, he would not let what he saw, turn into desire, or let his thoughts dwell on a  young woman in a way to get her for himself.  In other words - he was avoiding lust and sexual sin - which begins not with an outward act, but with an inward desire.

From here, my mind went naturally to 2 Timothy 2:22 which says, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

The Amplified version expands on this by translating the verse in this way:  “Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.”

This flies directly in the face of our culture today, where sex is used to sell everything from hamburgers to cars.  Our televisions pump sexual situations and sexual immorality straight into our homes on a daily, and often an hourly basis.  

Sadly, if you sound the alarm about this in our culture you are labeled old fashioned, unrealistic, or a prude.  If you sound the alarm in the church you are told that you are legalistic, or that you are trying to avoid the “real world.”
Funny, Paul instructed Timothy to flee that which would be considered lust, or lustful.
Why do we no longer do this in the church today?  I get why the culture no longer does it, but why are you labeled as legalistic if you flee, or run away from nudity, sexual innuendo, scantily clad men & women in advertisements, or others visual forms of lust?  Is Paul being legalistic here?  Is Paul being unrealistic here?  If so, would that not make God a legalistic?  Would that not make God unrealistic?  After all, the Scriptures re not man-made, but God-breathed.

I think the truth is that too many of us as Christians just don’t want to work as hard as we would need to in order to “flee youthful lusts.”  Since our culture is saturated with it, we would have to be always on guard - and plan on taking measures to deal with it…and that takes work.

I would encourage every believer I know to purchase the book, “The Hole In Our Holiness” by Kevin DeYoung, for the chapter titled, “Saints and Sexual Immorality” - it is worth reading and the price of the book for this chapter alone.

Oh be careful little eyes what you see…

It is time for the saints to once again flee.

Making a covenant with my eyes,
Pastor Dave

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The last few weeks have been unlike any others in my life. I cannot fully describe it, only to say that I have felt revived in my relationship with the Lord in a way like never before.

I feel fired up, yet humbled down.

I see the grace of God more clearly, and yet am aware of the depth of my sin more deeply.

I see people in a different way. I see souls…souls in need of healing, in need of grace, in need of mercy…in need of Jesus.

I see time differently.

I turned 55 in September. My natural Father died at 49. My Mom went to be with Jesus at 62. How much time do I have left?

How much time to I have left to love my wife and kids? How much time do I have left to make an eternal impact in the lives of those around me? How much time do I have left to share with people that they need Jesus?

I feel the Lord calling me to a level of commitment that I have never felt in my 44 years of knowing Him.

I feel that He is calling me to totally abandon myself to Him. I hear Him telling me to pour myself out for Him.

And I want to do this…oh how I want to do this.


But I am afraid.

What will it cost?

I know the answer.


What changes will it require me to make?

I know the answer.


And so, I must decide.

Two roads lay before me.

Do I take the narrow one that He is calling me to travel?

Or do I continue to walk my own path…follow Jesus my own way?

I know the answer…even as I am afraid of the answer, I know what it will be.

I will choose the narrow road.

I am sure I will stumble down this road.

I am sure I may even veer off of it from time to time.

I have no doubt that I will fall on occasion.

But when I do, when I fall and skin my knees, I want to bleed Jesus.

I want my spiritual muscles to be stretched beyond my abilities, and to ache and cry out Jesus!

I want to every breath I have to be Jesus.

Pray for me, I think the ride is going to get a bit bumpy from here on out.
Pastor Dave