Thursday, December 21, 2017

No one has ever become poor from giving...

New Venture is currently wrapping up our annual Ring & Run project.  We were provided lists from hundreds of  families requesting toys, clothing, electronics, diapers, etc., to give their children. We then wrapped the gifts and delivered them to the homes of these families, for their children.  

These were families who unable to afford to provide these toys and other items- some of which were the bare necessity items (diapers, pajamas, etc).  While I was at the store picking up some of the requested items, I instantly felt filled with joy and gratitude... it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The most rewarding feeling in life is to give to others- especially children, like these, that were simply asking for a toy to unwrap on Christmas.  

I'm sure you have all heard others say that they cannot afford to spend any more money than they already do on their day to day bills.  You have probably said that to yourself a time or two... and so have I!  But as Hebrews 6:10 says, "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you helped His people and continue to help them".  

So what I am saying is... It's worth it!  Not only does it feel amazing to give and make that sweet child's Christmas special, but the Lord says that he will also reward you for doing so!

I encourage each and every one of you to give back this Christmas.  Reach out to others and see how you can help them.  It may be something as simple as inviting them to your Christmas event, buying a toy for a child in a struggling family, or bringing someone to church.  You will be rewarded by the ultimate example... our Father.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fires of Evangelism

As most of you are probably aware, there are some serious fires burning through the state of California.  Though the major fires are in the Northern part of Los Angeles, they are making their way in San Diego County's direction.  Even the San Diego residents can smell the smoke and see the clear skies slowly starting to darken over.  What a tragedy! 

There are thousands of brave firefighters from over 100 California fire departments, treacherously fighting their way through the blazes at this time.  We are not panicking- but we are PRAYING for these heroes.

Let us all pray that the "Fires of Evangelism" will sweep throughout the country- praying for the residents who have lost their homes, their pets, their property. Pray for the people who are facing the terrible unknown, being evacuated from their homes and not knowing whether or not they will ever be able to return to an in-tact property.  Pray for the health and well-being of the first responders, who are selflessly putting their own lives and well-being on the line in an effort to assist those who cannot help themselves.  Pray that all can turn their hearts to the One, our Lord, and give it up to Him. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Attitude of Gratitude- Year Round

I have been reflecting on the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper that New Venture just presented on November 19, 2017.  There were hundreds of seniors, homeless, and military that were served a traditional Thanksgiving meal, given free haircuts, toys, and clothing. 

While contemplating just how grateful I am for all of the Blessings the Lord has shown me, I can't help but ponder what happens after Thanksgiving.

So often, we take for granted the simple things that we are given year round: food, shelter, hygiene, transportation, just to name a few.  And there are so many days during the year where it seems that life is rough... there are troubles in daily relationships, financial problems, the car broke down for the third time this month, etc.  But what real problems do we have?  If you really think about it, there are very few things in our day to day life that that are to be considered true hardship.  Are we hungry for more than a few hours?  Are we living in a third world country, with true hardship?  We are free to worship our Lord wherever we choose to.  We know that the sun will rise tomorrow! 

There are millions of people that have it much worse than we could ever possibly imagine.  There are families who don't know how they will get food to their children's bellies tonight... people are living through religious persecution who cannot even go to worship their God safely...orphans living in the streets, being trafficked internationally. 

With that said, Thanksgiving is more than just a day... it's an appreciation of where we are as a people, as a country.  Let us not go a day without thanking our Lord for our many blessings that we so often take for granted.

Take a look at the video (link below) from the Thanksgiving Sunday Supper- it will surely bring a smile to your face!

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?  


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.


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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Passion is a big deal to God. 

We’re called to love the Lord-with all our passion (Matt.22:37).  We’re also instructed to serve with Passion.  One big area of passion we have at NV is for the 1,000’s of young women caught in the world of Sex Trafficking.  Unfortunately, it’s far more prevalent than most would think. Research shows:

          * Every 30 seconds, another individual becomes a victim of human trafficking
          * The average age of children who are forced into the trafficking world are between 12-14 years old
          * There is a mortality rate that is 200 times greater than those of same demographics and age
4      * Children are recruited primarily through SIMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA TACTICS- like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Craigslist, Backpage, etc. 

NV is planning and preparing to open our first NV House of Hope in 2018 which will be our first live-in safe-house for these innocent women caught in San Diego’s #2 crime (drug trafficking being number one). 

Over 300,000 young people are caught into trafficking on an annual basis in our Country.  Each one of those dear people has a face, a name, and an eternal soul that Jesus came for.  We need to do our part and we’re here to do it with passion.  Be praying along with us, and get involved.  It’s going to happen.  2018-right around the corner.  

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.