Sunday, November 5, 2017

Heartbroken! When Tragedy Hits.

HEARTBROKEN!  Went from an amazing Sunday of multiple services filled with faith, laughter, celebration, inspiration & many decisions -
to just moments before dismissal from New Venture Christian Fellowship, I’m handed a phone with the horrific details of the Texas church massacre of Nov 5,2017.

Shared & prayed with our church family, for an anguished &  grieving church family 1,312 miles away.

Heartbroken by the  tragedy, the enormity of loss to the families of the victims, & the fact that this dear church family in Sutherland Springs, Texas lost half its congregation today, with  27 souls (ages 5 to 72 yrs) that went to church this morning fully expecting  to worship God, and now, celebrate eternity with Him, in His Presence. Though comforted by this – I, like you, am deeply saddened by  the circumstances surrounding it.

In times of Tragedy,  like today’s –real  strength and comfort can be found in these Bible verses:
 Ps 23:4,6;  2 Cor. 5: 6-8;  1 Thess. 4:16-18;  Rev 21:4

God’s Heart was broken today. It always is when life needlessly is taken (Ez. 18:32). And yes, He has told us in advance – “Bad things sometimes happen to Good People… and Bad things sometimes happen to God’s People.” That was today.


Please join us, and  millions of others in prayer for  comfort, for the good… yet hurting people of The First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Texas.

Friday, November 3, 2017

New Venture's 29th Annual Thanksgiving Sunday Supper 2017... in 19 days!

This past Sunday, New Venture held our Autumn Open House.  It was a huge success for everyone: Immediately following our 10:30 am Celebration Service, the flood gates of fun opened!  There was a petting zoo, all kinds of different foods, a Trunk or Treat, carnival style games, bounce houses, a classic car show, a cupcake walk, and an incredibly talented juggler!  Everyone there had a smile on their face- especially the kids!  I really got a kick out of the kids costume contest, especially.  We had young people at New Venture for the first time who approached our youth pastors, giving their hearts to the Lord, and asking for further direction.  That's exactly what life is all about!

With that being said, I want to take the time to talk about the Holidays- in particular, the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper that New Venture Hosts.  This year will be the 29th year that New Venture feeds 2,000 people: homeless, seniors, and military families.  We serve a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, have live music, and provide hygiene items, haircuts, and toys for the children. 
It will be a great time, indeed.  There is nothing more rewarding than feeding others who are less fortunate which in turn, feeds our souls.

I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to us if you feel that the Lord is calling you to help us out with this event. 

May you have a Blessed weekend and the Holidays ahead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Day… by day… by day… by day!

There are very few things in life as both awesome… and tender as sensing God’s overwhelming love in our lives.  Seeing it in the smile of a husband in the love of one’s wife; or a mother and fathers glowing love of their children - so too is the acute awareness of God’s love for us. The more that we draw near to Him (1 Jn. 4:8) – it becomes a tangible thing.

Back in the day (Baby Boomers will know what I’m talking about), there was a classic Broadway play and motion picture in the late ‘70’s called “GODSPELL”. The lyrics of one of its iconic songs were “Day by Day,,, to SEE thee more CLEARLY….to LOVE thee more DEARLY… to FOLLOW thee more NEARLY… Day… by day… by day… by day”!


You wouldn’t want to hear me sing it (I’d really mess it up!), but guaranteed… once you’ve heard it – you’ll never forget it. It’s not the melody… it’s the message!  I think that I’m going to enjoy Him a little bit more today. How about you?     Day by day… by day… by day…


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Fruit of the Spirit!

Let's get right down to business.  What ARE the fruits of the Spirit that we are to live by?  

LOVE
JOY
PEACE
PATIENCE
KINDNESS
GOODNESS
FAITHFULNESS
GENTLENESS
SELF-CONTROL

I would love to just take the time to encourage everyone to think about these 9 acts that we should be living by.  

Often times this topic is discussed with Sunday School classes and children.  There are catchy songs, bright colors, and seemingly child-like activities centered around this verse.

 But why can we not apply these awesome Fruits to our own lives?!  We absolutely can!  

Ask yourself this: How can I bring more joy into this world? In what ways can I have peace within and bring it to the outside?  Can I be more patient with others? What acts of kindness can I do for others?  Am I behaving in a way that provides goodness to others?  You get the idea.  These 9 Fruits are so simple on paper, but can be very complicated to execute on a day to day basis.  

I ask you to write down those 9 Fruits, stick it in your wallet, and look at them often. 
 Sometimes it just takes a simple reminder!  




Friday, September 8, 2017

September 11, 2001: Sixteen years after

September 11, 2001: It was early morning when every television channel was taken over by horrific news... a commercial jet had struck the twin towers in New York City, then a second plane.  Then there was a third plane that hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.  Most of us remember every detail from that scary morning: what we were doing at the time we heard the news, how scared and confused we felt, and what our plan of action was going to be.  


Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and it was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters: 343 were killed.

Sixteen years later, our country is still at war with Islamic extremist groups and countries.  The aftermath of 9/11 bleeds into the present state and future of America.  

Genesis 9:11 (the irony!) says, "...And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."  


With everything going on in this world today- Floods, nuclear arms race, deadly fires, terrorist acts, division of country- we can find peace in knowing that our God knows all things, loves all of His people, and will protect them.  Let us take some time to contemplate today, and over the weekend, to think of all the different ways that our Lord lifts us up during our trials and tribulations.  Let us thank Him, trust him, and use his love and wisdom to help others who may not know Him. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,". (Psalms 147:3)

God Bless, and see you at Celebration Services this weekend!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Can ‘Church’ really be the Highlight of the Week? ABSOLUTELY!!

At New Venture - we call them Celebration Services… for a reason. Can’t get off the phone or Facebook today, on an otherwise quiet Monday morning with Partners (that’s what we call ‘volunteers’ @ New Venture. Without our Ministry Partners… we don’t have healthy, prevailing ministry!) calling in expressing their excitement love & appreciation for their church, our Lord and all that He is doing through New Venture & its ministries.

Just a few… we get them weekly:

·      *  New Venture City Church had record numbers this week (5th week in a row)!!! SO blessed to be a part of this family. God is AMAZING!!
·     * I LOVE my church!!
·       * We get fed so good here (Pastors are always encouraged by that one).
·     *   I’ve never been at a church so warm & loving… etc.

Conducted Town Hall after-service meeting all weekend. Loved the fact that it gave me a chance to listen to thoughts and feelings of our Church Family members  I loved it because I’m usually one doing all the preaching & talking. I finally got the chance to hear and listen. ).
Their excitement and love for the church was so over-the-top!
Every weekend should be a Super bowl or an Easter Sunday. Weekend’s at New Venture.. we PRAY, PLAN & PRESENT to make it the HIGHLIGHT of each person’s week. Each one deserves that.


CHURCH WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE BORING!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

See You at the Movies!

Imagine a church a block and a half from God’s vast ocean, where you are greeted by smiling faces and warm greetings, every Sunday you arrive. 

You pick up a complimentary beverage and pastry before heading to your theater seat to experience God- with a live, kickin’ band, laser lights, shining and synchronized with the beat of the music, and a half hour message from God’s Word-the Bible, presented to inform & inspire.  Presented on a huge Regal Cinema screen, in an upbeat and encouraging fashion.  The same screen where hundreds of movies are shown regularly, without the life- changing message and values found within the pages of scripture.

The hour-long service in a downtown Oceanside theater-plex moves along quickly.
   
Afterwards, there is laughter, hugs, and well wishes as the growing church’s members leave for walks on the beach or to return to their place of lodging.  Inspired and amazed that they had just 'done' church in the most enjoyable of environments, and left encouraged and ready to take on their world, along with their God, until they gather again - the next weekend. 

Now this is doing CHURCH! You can find God and great people in movie theaters these days. Come check it out!



See you at the Movies.