This Dear House of God

This week, rather than search elsewhere for inspirational things to encourage us all, I'm finding so much of it right here at home! It's Tuesday morning; I'm back in the office after a nice day off and a great day of worship with you all. It's quiet this morning; rather uneventful, and I'm just reflecting on how greatly blessed I am to be a part of this dear House of God! I know you feel the same! 

Is it rare to feel that way about one's church? I sometimes get that impression from people who come after a long search. What I always remember are the lonely Sundays in San Yi where, every week, it was a struggle to gather for worship in our little place. Almost every Sunday, Sharilyn and I came home with a heaviness and a weariness from all the spiritual battle that took place. We saw wonderful victories and blessings through it all, but the warfare was intense and it always took its toll. 

I know that we are engaged in a great spiritual warfare here too. It's not at all hard to see that. But what a wonderful battalion God has set us in! I feel the same way every week. 

 

Take, for example, that awesome midweek prayer night: Fight Night! Now, I'm sorry if I came across as taking any glory upon ourselves, but when I heard about that Supreme Court decision last Monday, siding with the Christian baker, Jack Philips, in that landmark decision, I went right over to the Facebook page and posted "Fight Night 1, Devil 0". Of course, I know that it is all the Lord's victory alone and that our little group was only one of the myriads, but I just couldn't help it: we had prayed for those Supreme Court justices, all nine of them, one by one, by name, asking that God would even haunt their sleep over the magnitude of what they were deciding. So, yes...God's victory alone, but Fight Night sure was part of it! Thank you, Lord. 

This kind of unity and passion for Christ will always be victorious in the end. I believe that with all my heart. 

Our worship has been so good. I'm so thankful for that. Guy does such a wonderful job in the mornings—we're going to miss our choir this summer; they'll be back in the Fall. And on Sunday evenings, the praise team under Tim Shin is exciting. By the way, regardless of which service you get to attend each Sunday, did you know that you can view the other one at home? Yes, we have a live-stream recording on YouTube now (from YouTube search: Calvary Chapel Old Towne, or just click the link at the bottom of our digital Messenger

I'm sorry that, for two Sundays in a row, I got so distracted during announcements that I forgot to say something about the wonderful Rummage Sale our dear deaconesses put on. What a tremendous ministry that was and it was such a success! Melissa Stice put together such a great team for that and it was such a success. Thank you, everyone, for giving and helping with it. The Deaconesses use the proceeds to support their own fine ministries and to help so many people; among whom are a few kids who needed help getting to summer camp. Our kids are leaving for that camp this Sunday afternoon (Forest Home). 

Garrett Marin is doing such a great job leading them each week. I am so grateful for him. You know? Dave Johnson is a tough one to replace, but Garrett is doing fine and that's a blessing. We are sad to see Edwin Shores step away from his fabulous work with the Jr High; his work schedule now demands that. God bless you Edwin: you did such a good job. You're a good preacher too. Brian Brooks Jr. is stepping in to take his place and I know he will do fine. We have two Eagle Scouts now leading our youth! 

Did you enjoy the VBS video last Sunday? Charming. That cinematography comes compliments of Mrs. Garrett Marin, by the way. As we have in so many other fields (like the Music Ministry, with Kim); we get a bonus with our Youth Minister: that's Chelsea! She's great. 

None of our VBS materials are "store-bought"—did you know? Haven't been for a couple of years now. CCOT team members write and produce it all themselves and it's been fabulous. In fact, we just got a call from a church in Garden Grove that wants to send their VBS leaders to attend and help with ours, just to see how we do it. They may, in fact, inherit all our materials afterward. Isn't it exciting? That's a very important week by the way. VBS Sunday brings lots of new parents each time. Thank you all so much for all your help and contributions. 

Summer missions gearing up now. Dave Schorr and Bryce Bonner, heading out this Sunday for Ireland. God bless you all for your support of that! 

Father's Day this Sunday. Men, we've picked up on your jealousy about Mother's Day, so we will have long-stemmed "meat-roses" for you this Sunday. You will find them very fragrant.   

Cya there!                   RAS

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