Thursday, November 27, 2014

Real Men...Pray?

Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington believes that a good way to make sure you pray every morning is to place your shoes “way under the bed at night.” Doing that, he says, ensures that you “gotta get on your knees in the morning.”

In an inspirational speech to a group of young actors, Denzel encouraged the group of student actors to use their talent for good and never forget to pray.

I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you gotta get on your knees in the morning to find them. And while you’re down there thank God for grace, mercy and understanding. If you just start thinking of all the things you’ve got to say thank you for, that’s a day. That’s easily a full day!” he said.

Give thanks to Jesus, for He is good. Today in prayer, spend some extra time “looking for your shoes under the bed” and thank the Lord for all His many blessings.

Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!

Enjoy these amazing photos from last weekend’s incredible Thanksgiving Sunday Supper (click here) which turned out to be one of the largest, biggest and best that New Venture has sponsored. With hundreds upon hundreds of meals served to the homeless, seniors and military, with haircuts, free clothing, & a terrific time experienced by all. Thank you New Venture for making a lasting difference in the lives of so many!

May God Bless you and yours, with a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Pastor Shawn
Pastor Shawn

Friday, October 31, 2014

What's Your Spiritual Fitness Plan?

 I can't adequately express my excitement, as we dive into God's Word this weekend @NVCF and begin a brand new series, entitled "24 HOUR WITNESS". Sounds familiar, doesn't it? However, our focus will be about developing our faith and growing in spiritual fitness!!
Through the years, I have met many who have been burdened by having a desire to see family members and friends experience the love, hope and assurance found in a vital relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. If that is you, and you'd like to learn Biblical, practical and effective tools to share Christ both through "your walk and your talk"; you'll want to join us beginning this weekend, for a verse by verse study through the Old Testament book of Haggai. I'm convinced – you're gonna love it. It's the perfect book and series to dig into right before the holidays.

New Venture Welcomes Peter Kennedy

Pastor Peter Kennedy joins the New Venture team, specializing in 
Small Groups
It's thrilling to have so many hundreds of you involved in NV's Small Group Network. So many are involved, that the Lord has also provided a full-time Pastor to oversee this vital ministry. Peter Kennedy comes from an amazing background of ministry and secular employment. He has desired to be a part of the NV Team for years now and as he retires from over 20 years of Military and Civil Service, he joins us full-time, starting this weekend. We'll be briefly introducing him this weekend as well. No doubt, you're definitely going to find him a NV 'fit'.
I write this out of gratefulness for you and our church family.
Looking forward to gathering together on campus where there's always a place for you. 
Pastor Shawn
Pastor Shawn

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Happy Anniversary!!

It’s taken forever... yet it feels like it’s happened overnight! That’s how it feels watching and working with God, as He took a handful of people (7), on Oct. 1st, 1989 on a "new venture" in starting a church for Him - with no members, money, in a city new to all of us - Oceanside – with no place to call "Home" to "do" church.

From that day - to 10’s of 1000’s of lives, unimaginable blessings, surprises and miracles later.HAPPY ANNIVERSARY NEW VENTURE!! Today – October 1st, 2014, we’re 25 years old as a church and ministry.

25 Down... and 25 More To Go

I’m halfway there!! I told the Lord – if He allows my health to hold up – I’d love to give Him 25 more. Imagine what He has in store, and where He could take all of us in the next 25!!! I think about in 2039 I'll be ready to retire.. but not a day sooner!

People – not Buildings, is What Makes Church... "Home"

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY – and a special thanks to you and EVERYONE who has had anything to do with what the Lord has accomplished through the years. Whether you are attending now, or have been a part of the ministry at anytime in the past – without your prayers, giving, service and sacrifice... His Church wouldn’t be what it has become today. Without you... we wouldn’t be us. A special, heartfelt thanks to all of you, for all you have done, whenever you have done it... to make us - "US."

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY NEW VENTURE. It’s Day One again. We’re moving on. Day One...
let’s GO!!

A Prayer for Our Next 25

"Lord, right now I pray for your immeasurable blessings, protection, spirit, and a rushing wind across the land to the sea, that brings people Home. An awesome and amazing God you are! We love you... thank You!"

What’s Next @ NV

Be sure to read below of some of the many opportunities to help make this one of the finest Fall Seasons with God and others - that you’ve ever experienced.

This weekend it’s our Communion Sunday, with heartfelt, powerful Worship and an intriguing message on RELATIONSHIPS through the Book of Ephesians. Read Ephe. 5:22-33 on theDifferences between the Sexes, entitled: The Difference Between You and Me.

One requirement: Don’t come alone. Pray someone in and invite them out. They’ll come because you are.

Marching into the next 25 with Him... and you.

See you this weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rose of Sharon: Here today, Gone tomorrow...but it matters to God.

As summer draws to a close, I can’t help but be excited on many levels. Oxford Preparatory Academy is piling in with moving boxes ready for 300+ students descending on the campus next month. The staff’s in a buzz ready to welcome them – some of which are getting their own kids ready for the first day of school, so I can't decide who's most excited about this “new venture"... parents, kids or me, simply for what God has done to provide greater education to more families on this campus. Get ready for all that this season is about to bring...

What else does the summer wind-down mean? We’re getting back into Relationships Sept 7th. Just as you settle back into your regular post-summer routines at home, we get back to biz here looking at what Ephesians has for us next that we can carry into our homes, workplaces and neighborhoods.

But before we get into “what’s next” I want to take a second with “what was” because of the incredible summer of ministry and growth God blessed us with. We always say “church was never meant to be boring,” and the past few months at New Venture were anything but!

We've added new ministries that are strong and growing going into the fall. Venture Riders came back from their debut ride with pictures that confirm two things: 1). I won’t be joining them on the highways any time soon. 2). Hhow important and fulfilling it is to find and build healthy RELATIONSHIPS with shared interests, even if your interests runs at 75MPH on two wheels. Helping Hands’ Bread of Life and Sock It To Me ministries have been unstoppable these past few months with monthly outings locally, and sending Outreachers across the border to the Rosarito Mexico Orphanage to dig wells, make repairs, play games with the kids and #LoveLikeJesus.

Combine the excitement of all the above, and you have this summer’s All Church Beach Baptism where dozens took a dive for Jesus in perfect weather despite forecast of rain. Not a drop fell, but Christ’s love poured all day. There was incredible joy in the waves; a testimony in action for all those watching from boogie boards and jet skis; friendships formed over a smoking BBQ, volleyball, tugofwar... It was an incredible day, and it was family.

"The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved."
-- Jeremiah 8:20

Though summer may feel like it’s coming to an end, these things and more lay a foundation for an "All In, All the Time" Autumn: How are you doing with your journaling? With ITEL commitments? With 24/7 living through “Asah Shamah” (“by doing God’s Word, we grow in understanding” Exodus 24:7)? If you’re experiencing a whole new season of our Lord, that’s great. That’s the plan and it’s also His promise when we seek after more of Him. But even if, to quote Charles Barkley, you’re doing “turrible," it is NEVER too late to kick into 24/7, and it’s always the right time to take an extra step toward living the life He planned for you. Stop by the 24/7 page on the New Venture website for a refresher course on what ITEL is all about, plus, you can find your year-long Bible reading plan there. Whenever you’re reading this, TODAY would be a great day to start fresh.

A great example of this, is the tree you see in the photo above: It only has a few flowers left because it only blooms in summer...and each one lasts only ONE DAY. This Rose of Sharon is planted behind the church where I see it every weekend coming to service, reminding me that "God's going to do a new thing today." In the Bible, Christ is (vaguely) referred to as the “Rose of Sharon,” which you'll find in many hymns and song lyrics. The original Biblical reference was for a different flower, more of a crocus or "lowly field flower," and "Sharon" is the Mediterranean coastal plain between Joppa and Caesarea. But on this shrub, the one-day-only buds of summer have been so illustrative to me of the always new and perfect works that God is doing EVERY DAY in the hearts and lives of the people in our community -- perfect in its purpose for that day, but immediately ready for the next day’s plan…and the next, and the next…

While this tree is done at the end of summer, God is just getting warmed up in what He has for you and His church. He never rests. His love “never ceases” and His mercies “never come to an end.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Like the Rose of Sharon, they’re “new every morning,” which means it’s in our court to “decide today who you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

Together, let's make this an All-In Autumn.
Until the whole world knows,
Pastor Shawn

Saturday, June 28, 2014

And Grace Will Lead [You] Home: What We Can Learn from Leaders Like Tony Gwynn

This evening I watched the entire Tony Gwynn memorial as it was broadcast on network television here in San Diego. I’m not writing about it from a sports perspective, though as sports headlines go, this was arguably one of the most inspiring careers and post-career legacies to watch. I’m specifically writing tonight because of how God got the Glory once again.
                This memorial never made it 5 minutes without a testimony of some sort – whether outright praise, prayer or thanksgiving to God and to a Christian man for his example, or simply the “positive" influence of a guy who did his best to live his live for Christ with the gifts he’d been given.
                At New Venture, we’re going through a 2-year commitment of focusing even more on  living out what we believe “24/7,” and one of the four main areas is learning to more successfully #LoveLikeJesus. Even if you’re no sports fan and don’t know the difference between a decent fast pitch or these famous flops (, we can learn a lot about the #LoveLikeJesus principle from “Number 19.”
                Most know Gwynn as “Mr. Padre”or even “Mr. San Diego,” but those who knew him best might say it was more like “Mr. Jesus” because he made no secret of his faith. Instead, he made Christ known as the foundation for everything he did. Named one of the “top 100 Black Christian athletes of all time” Gwynn knew that no matter what his stats, in the end, “only what’s done for Christ will last” (Mttw 19-21 paraphrase).  Before the term “Jesus Freak” was turned around in the early 80s and “reclaimed” by Christians as a badge of honor, it was originally intended as an insult. A slur. Tony never saw being associated with the God of the Bible as something to hide or play down. He wore it more proudly than the Padres uniform he never traded in.  
                Now that final scores have all been tallied, we see what a legacy like this can leave behind. More than 23 thousand packed Petco Park to celebrate not just a Hall of Famer, but a personal inspiration. Not just “one of baseball’s most accomplished hitters” but a guy who hit it out of the park with nearly everyone he came into contact with. At the close of the service, every light in the park was turned out except for a glowing #19. The symbolism was intentional: here was a guy who had let his light “so shine” that you couldn’t miss it if you tried. And in the dark, with only voices, 23 thousand sang Amazing Grace and the story was complete. Career long over, impact ongoing serving the community every day, but most of all, it was the Amazing Grace at work in Tony Gwynn that made the only lasting difference. At the very end, saying a final goodbye, they repeated only one line: “And Grace will lead me home.” …It did indeed.
                May we all be a lasting light shining in the darkness, in whatever our own personal ballpark, and may God’s Amazing Grace lead you too, home to Him.

Monday, March 31, 2014

If You Walk Like A Duck

This week’s Life Tool from “Enhancing My Relationships,” is a simple test to check if you’re applying Biblical Wisdom in your situation or if maybe you’re nudging things a little bit based on personal or worldly motivations.

In our series “All In All the Time,” James just won’t let us rest in any area of our lives as God is using this book of the Bible to upturn every corner and gray area and give us the tools to actually walk the talk when we say “All In All the Time.”

The Bible says there is a difference between “wisdom” and “knowledge.” James 2:19 reminds and warns us, that even the demons BELIEVE. Knowledge by its self won’t get you farther than the demons. It’s what you do with that knowledge. It’s conviction, and a deep desire to drive in God’s direction.

One of the most effective tools is all packed in one single verse in James 3:17. It’s your litmus test for weighing the integrity of your wisdom and checking if the way you’re going is indeed God’s way. "Weigh the Way." My son watches The TV show Cops like it’s training tape, and they have this roadside test to confirm drug substances – just a simple swab that turns purple. Within this verse we can get a “purple” response on our spiritual swab when we’re testing the substance of our Biblical wisdom.

"...The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." -James 3:17

So let's break this down: First and foremost, is your action, direction or perspective pure – not compromised, fully in alignment with His character and ways and coming from pure motivations?

Then, does it pass all the tests in this Scripture:
  1. Does it lead to / create / ensure peace?
  2. Is it considerate, submissive, merciful?
  3. Will it lead to good spiritual fruit or spiritual growth for you and any relationships involved?
  4. Is it totally impartial and sincerely motivated -- not biased by self or “emotionally” fueled by others’ desires, but only by His desire as set forth in His Word?
If it has all of the above chances are, it's good, Godly Biblical Wisdom.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if it doesn’t pass every single one of those checkmarks then…. There is no “chances are.” If it's in conflict with ANYTHING in this Scripture, that is your guarantee that it is NOT Godly wisdom and you can be COMPLETELY SURE it’s going to move you in the wrong direction.

It’s simple, straightforward and true. You may want to say, “yes but there are gray areas…or extenuating circumstances…or God knows my situation…” but if we’re truly committed to doing God’s Word – living Asah Shamah 24/7 – we have to stick to the knowledge that Godly wisdom is made up of His character and if it resembles anything other than his image, it’s just not of Him.
You’ve heard the saying, “if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck.” Well, if your walk is like His image and your talk is like His Word...then you must be a duck who is paddling in the right direction. There is no lukewarm … there’s just in or out. And if you choose to be in with Him, then it’s just another inch to go “All In All The Time.”

I encourage you to seek daily the Wisdom that can only be His and if you think it’s hard to find, it’s not…simply check it against His Word.

Until the Whole World Knows,



Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday – Why We Do It

{Published in Refreshed Magazine}

This month America arrived at another Super Bowl. Despite threats of blackout, and controversy over the trademarked use of “Super Bowl,” (“that big game in New Jersey?”), and the Chargers’ close call that has so many still crying in their salsa, one thing is for sure: We were watching.

But what is it that draws so many, so faithfully, for so long? Many tune in as much for the commercial ads and halftime show, as for the game. Super Bowl Sunday in America is now considered the nation’s top unofficial holiday. Many tune in as much for the commercial ads and halftime show, as for the game. Super Bowl Sunday in America is now considered the nation’s top unofficial holiday.
It’s been said that “football is a game played by 22 men in desperate need of rest… and watched by 60,000 people in desperate need of exercise.” True? Probably. Especially the part that “football is… watched.
During any given NFL season, the top 10 watched shows of that year will be NFL games broadcast in homes and on smart phones, tablets and iPads of tens of millions of rabid fans, cheering on their favorite team, all of it leading up to the greatest of them all – the Super Bowl.
Chances are – you’ll be watching from somewhere… and you’ll most likely not be watching alone, as the Big Game is the #1 “at home event of the year” with 125 million viewers. No wonder 30-second commercial ads now cost $4 million. There is a lot at stake. Not only for the two teams on the field… but for the corporate advertisers who want to attract your attention…and your wallet.  
In fact, nationwide, the average “population” of a Super Bowl gathering will be 17. With an estimated consumption of 15,000 tons of chips, 4000 tons of popcorn and 12 million pounds of avocados (that’s a lot of guacamole!), it’s no wonder there will be a 20% increase in antacids sold the day after the game.
Why do we do it? Why the popularity? 3 reasons: Community, Activity and Escape.
Community: When God said that “It is not good for man to be alone…” (Gen. 2:18), He was not only referring to the institution of marriage, but also our day-today interaction with each other. We do better together!
I can surely attest to this. After working with professional athletes over the past 34 years, when the players eventually turn in their playbooks and call it a career, the top thing they say they miss most… is not the paydays (I wouldn’t mind one of those), or even the competing – but rather the camaraderie, togetherness and sense of team. Community. Athletes are wired for it. And so are you.
Activity: People gather, go out, celebrate and party – to get involved with something that they want to do…to help get them through all the things that they DON’T want to do! We get excited about having something to look forward to. Maybe this is why the Bible speaks so often about things to come. Over ¼ of the Bible deals with future events. For every verse that speaks about Jesus’ first coming, there are seven that speak about his second coming. The Super Bowl is an American attraction viewed by millions. However, the Bible speaks of a global occurrence that will simultaneously capture the fascination of the entire world: The second coming of Jesus Christ. “Look, He is coming… Every eye will see Him.” Rev. 1:7
Escape:  From time to time all of us look for things to get our minds off of everyday life. The devil desires for us to look for those things in the wrong places. However, God says, “I have given all things richly to enjoy.” 1 Tim. 6:17 The greatest escape I have found from the world’s stresses, trials and attacks is unequivocally found in Him. Whether it’s a ball game, child rearing or any fascination of life, He provides a fulfillment which assures, no matter what the outcome of your personal situation, we can always have a confidence that we win – in Him.
As the great Green Bay Packers’ Reggie White was fond of saying, “I don’t want to prepare for the Super Bowl…and miss heaven.” He had his priorities right. I pray you do too. Hope you enjoyed the game.