Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Debbie Reynolds, God & the ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’

As we begin 2017 with a fresh slate, what new hope and lessons learned can we take from how we closed out the past year? The top story ending 2016, was the shocking national news that Debbie Reynolds died exactly one day after her next door neighbor and deeply loved only daughter, Carrie Fisher - from Princess Leia, Star War’s Fame - passed away from a heart attack. Her mother, Debbie didn’t pass from a heart attack, but rather, a broken heart.
Debbie Reynolds son recalled that when the movie legend first heard that her daughter had passed away, she said: “I want to be with Carrie.” A few hours later, she, too, was gone.

As believers and followers of God’s Word, the Bible, we are instructed to be led by His Spirit & not any other outside influence, including our emotions (Ephesians 5:18). However, our lives are wrought with emotion-filled experiences that can deeply move us. None greater than the departure of those we love.

Is it possible for the emotions to literally cause one’s death? We’ve all heard of the touching stories of elderly couples who, after lifetimes of marriage, die literally days, weeks, or sometimes even hours apart. They are the most touching of stories. In fact, there is science that confirms this. Upon research, I discovered it’s called ‘Broken Heart Syndrome.’ The American Heart Association says that Broken Heart Syndrome is real. It can be caused by an extreme, emotionally stressful event’, causing a surge in hormones as a result that puts stress on the heart.

Reynolds, who died on December 28, 2016, commented while planning her daughter’s funeral with her son Todd that morning, that “she missed Carrie” and “wanted to be with her again.” She also remarked of having some trouble breathing. He stated by TV interview that, “In those exact words and within 15 minutes from that conversation she faded out, and within 30 minutes she was gone.” Her death appears to be due to stroke. But for many others, the reason for passing is far more obvious - it was a broken heart.

The Bible is clear – God doesn’t desire us taking life’s last journey alone. His heart aches for us to know Him here, now – and one day have the assurance of spending eternity with our heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus – and loved ones in Christ who have gone on before us.

We don’t know when our particular journey is; but I do know where I’m going… and who I’ll be with. How about you? If you don't know the answer, start the new year by asking the question. And if you do, let's start 2017 with gratitude and praise for the only thing that matters in the end -- this year or any year. 

God bless and Happy 2017. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

What If....

This week between Christmas and New Year’s is the most reflective week of the year for many, and for us at New Venture, even more so as we prepare to serve North County in 2017. Looking backwards on a year of incredible ministry and great blessings, we’re gearing up for a year of “New Ventures” beyond anything God has taken our church through in the last 27 years.

Before Christmas, the rush was on here on campus and outreaches throughout our community: Hundreds of toys collected and distributed to children REACHED by our church family, Voices of Praise REACHING crowds of shoppers and moviegoers at the Vista Village Christmas Outreach, the annual Trees for Troops project which REACHES military families in thanks for their service and sacrifice, and a Season of Celebration Services and Giving designed to REACH “each home in our region” for Christ.

This past weekend, as we celebrated with family and visitors from around the world, we asked the question, “What if Christmas Never Happened?” But beyond Christmas, it’s a question that applies to anything we do as a church – or as Christians. What if…each of our outreaches never happened? What if we didn’t invite that neighbor or friend to service, or the Open House last fall? What if we hadn’t Partnered in Kid’s World or the Guest Center and made a connection with that child or visiting family that made all difference?

In this week of reflection, what if the question wasn’t about what God has done for us – but about how much more we could be doing for HIM? “What if we DID happen…?” in greater and more impacting ways, as individuals, as a church, as Christians? What if we made the most of the opportunities God has given in our neighborhoods and cities? What if we broke out of our comfort zones and tried something new? What if…we started a whole New Venture?

As 2016 draws to a close and we prepare to scale new heights in the New Year, we’re ready as a church to ask ourselves what we’re not doing enough of…and how would San Diego County look different if we lived out our belief in bigger, bolder ways that “with God, all things are possible”?
We challenge you to ask this question with us this Christmas and New Year’s season as we ask God together what He’s calling all of us to be a part of in the New Year. What is your personal “what if”? What could He do through you at New Venture? What if the impossible happened for you andyou’re your church home this year?

At NVCF, we’re going for it in 2017 and invite you to be a part of what God has planned when we take leaps of faith in His name. “What if…” we did it all for Him?

 “Jesus did many other things as well. Even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” – John 21: 25

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bah Humbug...or Not.


This weekend we’re looking forward to sharing Christ’s love and
giving out over 800 toys to needy children and families in the area.

In addition, another 42 high-need families were ‘adopted’ to receive gifts and help by families @ New Venture.

Thanks, New Venture Family, for sharing God’s love and generosity in providing joy to many others this Christmas!


If you haven’t met Pastor Robert McFaden (2nd from the right) and his wonderful family, you’re in for a treat! They’re awesome people – and need I say… Star War geeks!

Pastor Robert is New Venture’s Pastor of Partnership and Ministry, and is a tremendous blessing to all of us around New Venture.

You can hear him preach this weekend – as he and I are ‘Team-teaching’ a message entitled: WHAT IF CHRISTMAS HAD NEVER HAPPENED?

Join us this weekend (Dec.17,18) for a great time @ all Celebration Services.
Below is several other happenings going on around the church. Be sure to check them out.
Until then, have a great end to your week… and we look forward to seeing you this weekend.

A Blessed & Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Good News Always Welcome

The Bad News: a bomb hidden in a soda can was smuggled onto a jet in Russia by ISIS and detonated, killing all 224 passengers aboard.

The Good News:
 This weekend New Venture will be feeding, giving haircuts, toys and God's love to near 2,000 homeless, seniors and military personnel @ our 26th annual Thanksgiving Sunday Supper.

What's so good?
 Rom. 5:8 - Wherever sin exists, God's grace is poured out in far greater, surpassing quantity. All of the news in our world today, isn't bad!
The Bad News: Last week, 129 innocent Parisians were killed in a planned massacre throughout France.

The Good News:
 Jesus told us that his house would be a place of encouragement, inspiration, joy and PRAYER as hundreds gathered during last weekend's Celebration Services to pray for God's care and blessings on the people of France (see below).

What's so good? Matt 18:19 If two of you agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by God the Father. Multiply that by hundreds praying for the peace & comfort of the many hurting in France this week – and that's some kind of powerful answered prayer!

In the midst of life's Bad News keep looking to the One who sent us His Son with Good News for all of humankind. Remembering – "What the Enemy meant for evil, God intends for good..." Gen 50:20

When You Kneel Before God - You Can Stand Up to Anything!

Much love in Christ to you today.

Pastor Shawn
Pastor Shawn
Shawn Mitchell
Pastor, New Venture Christian Fellowship

Friday, October 30, 2015

Voices of Faith

Who are the voices that America listens to today? There are all kinds of them. Unfortunately, as we discussed @ last weekend's New Venture Celebration Services, the problem is some of the voices we are hearing from today have an anti-Biblical and/or anti-God view.

The good news is millions of others embrace faith and are proudly living it out! Many are on-fire in their faith or have recently been impacted by a believer who either shared their faith or showed it by attitude and/or behavior. Do you know which ones in this list fit that category?

The words that matter don't come from Celebrities- but rather, from the Word of God- the Bible. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Those are words you can bank on and trust your life with!

Many Blessings on you today.

Pastor Shawn
Pastor Shawn

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Happy Marriage… and Life Guys!

Before I start this, let me wipe the tears off the page. (Just joking. Not!) I’m still smiling. Today, I married off my son. Shawn Joel Mitchell Jr. got married today (Sept 19, 2015).
There are very few moments in life, where - in the moment - you know you are experiencing one of your life’s most memorable & amazing personal experiences. That was today!
My son of 23 years – only child and namesake – absolutely blessed me and had me so proud. He married a nice, wonderful and Godly young woman named Eva, and Shawn’s mother Laurie and I couldn’t be happier. Whenever I am around Eva, I think to myself, “I’m looking at a miracle!” Laurie prayed for her son’s eventual wife since he was a little boy. And God sure delivered. We pray for long lives, happiness and God being the center of their lives (and, Lord wiling, their future children’s lives together).
Now… for us. What are Laurie and I going to do around the house?! No more noise, typhoon-blown bedroom, sudden depletion of refrigerator food. Sheesh… I’ve got to get used to this “Empty-nester” thing. But hey, I was told that Barnes & Noble has got some great books on getting through the empty-nest change. That’s good to know! Couldn’t be happier for them… but got to admit… a slight twinge of  melancholy… and a little sadness. You see, Shawn Jr. was more than a son – he was and is – my friend. And one of the finest and truly nicest human beings I’ve ever known. Thank you Lord, for allowing Laurie and I to have him on “borrow” for 20+ years.
The Bible says that a longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul. [Proverbs 13:9] A parent always envisions and prays for their child(ren)’s happiness. Today that vision was fulfilled. Whether it is for a loved one’s happiness, some prayed over answered prayer or a dream God has given you that you see coming to fruition, the sweetness that comes through fulfilled vision makes the journey worth it. Whatever may have brought you happiness today -- that’s come from Him -- let’s be sure to thank Him.

Well, pretty soon – I’ll go fire up the grill… and get Laurie to join me and start praying for grandkids. Wow – this “life” thing sure has its moments. Today… was one of the absolute BEST!! 
Happy marriage and life guys. We love you!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Football, Family & Faith: The Fall Season is Here

There’s something special about the Fall. For me it’s the best time of year.  I could say it’s the slight chill in the air, and the beginning of the changing of leaves- but that wouldn’t be accurate. Being a native-born San Diegan, I’ve hardly seen any seasonal color changes in leaves in my entire life. But what I can tell you makes the fall my unquestioned favorite season of the year is football, family (the holidays) and the Lord (not that He’s seasonal). It’s just easy to identify Him in breezes through trees, cumulous clouds and clear night skies!

I’m also thrilled about all of the plans New Venture Christian Fellowship has for the coming season.  Programs, activities & events geared for individuals and families. I am convinced God is going to use them to touch thousands in our church and surrounding community. I hear it everywhere- there’s a buzz around New Venture right now.  I just love being around our church family!

On September 26 & 27 we will have a special guest joining us at New Venture- national speaker and Faith & Fitness expert Kim Leto. I heard her testimony and knew that she would be a blessing to the New Venture Family.  (Click here  to see a brief interview).  She will speak to us on Spiritual Fitness and bless us with her passion for Faith Inspired Transformation. Don’t miss it.

Ecclesiastes 2:25 says, “For without him, who could eat and find enjoyment?” at New Venture we find our in enjoyment in Him, His blessings and gathering together. Today in prayer, spend some time thinking about the joy found in the Lord.

Yep, the fall season, there’s nothing like it-a time to harvest, a time to gather together and a time to reflect on the goodness of the Lord.

May God bless you and yours, 
Pastor Shawn
Pastor Shawn