Written by Rev. Dr. Richard L. Shaw, Pastor
We have probably all heard more or less of the word “revival”, but do we really understand what the word means? The reality of revival refers, not to the unsaved, but to the Church, the Christian world. The unsaved are certainly affected, but revival is a condition of the Church, when the Holy Spirit comes in a powerful, almost overwhelming way. Christians confess sins and turn from them; Luke warmness is turned into a fiery zeal for the Lord. The church has an all-consuming desire to see folks turn in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ the Lord. Worship takes on a whole new dimension and meaning. In our seminar on the Holy Spirit, Rose Abel will give a dramatic review of the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in the U.S. that started in Kansas City and Azusa Street, Los Angeles. A famous evangelist of the 19th century, R. A. Torrey, said this about revival: I will give you a prescription that will bring revival to any church or community or any city on earth. First, let a few Christians…get thoroughly right with God themselves. This is the prime essential. If this is not done, the rest, I am sorry to say, will come to nothing. Second, let them bind themselves together to pray for revival until God opens the heavens and comes down. Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God to use all of them as he sees fit in winning others to Christ. That is all …I have given this prescription around the world. It has been taken by many churches and many communities and in no instance has it failed. It cannot fail. Can we at Calvary Chapel accept the challenge?
Joyce Young went Home to be with Jesus a few days ago. Pastor officiated at her service last Thursday. Joyce was with Emmanuel Baptist when Pastor, was there and came on occasion to Calvary, until she moved to Ohio. Calvary Chapel ordained her son, Frank, a few years ago. Pray for the family.
If you look on my windowsill, you are likely to see old-fashioned milk bottles, shining in the sunlight and throwing colors off the marbles that fill each bottle to its brim. Yes, I collect marbles. There is some truth to it when my family mentions that I have lost my marbles, but have no fear, I know where I can find them again. The thing is, though, that as much as I enjoy my pretty marbles, I don’t confuse their colors and crystals with strengths and auras. I don’t bathe with my marbles, or place them strategically on my body and meditate, or burn colored candles while I stare at my marbles. Sounds kind of New Age, doesn’t it? That’s when the hippies set us all free: free-flowing hair, free to be me, free love, and children named Autumn and Clover and Blue, who have been breaking out of common social forms into feminism, civil rights, and transgender alternatives. Another trend keeping time with the hippies’ grandchildren – the Millennials – is the metaphysical spiritualism born out of free love and activism and tolerance. The shops that peddle crystals and candles and communication with the dead have left behind their dark, mellow atmosphere; now the open, bright shop space serves as a metaphor for honesty and authenticity, leading the Spirit-hungry millennials down a wide path. But the Bible is clear: candles are for light, not for divining knowledge. “There shall not be found among you anyone…who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31). Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium that I may go to her and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at Endor…When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me!” (1 Samuel 28:7, 12). ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). ”But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14). So whatever the Age, spiritualism is not the same as the Holy Spirit of our triune God. Take care and stay in prayer!
Rev. Linda Lee (Shaw) Karanja-Sebastian
Summer has finally officially arrived, those “lazy, crazy, hazy days” as sung about many years ago by the legendary Nat King Cole. Everyone waits once winter has settled in, for the warmth of the sun to once again free us of our overcoats and heating bills. Being a Christian can be similar to the seasons also. We enjoy the warmth of fellowship and yet every so often we feel the desolate winter cold in our spirit. The Bible speaks of these times as mountaintops and valleys. The mountaintop, being those times when we feel God’s presence and the valleys, when we are not so pragmatically aware of His nearness. Yet we are told in 2nd Corinthians 5:7 that we live by faith and not by sight. The “feeling” that the mountaintop, or in the context of this writing, the summer may be preferred, but the winter does come sometimes. In this season, we need to remember, the promise found in Deuteronomy 31:6 and again in Hebrews 13:5 that God will never leave us or forsake us. Jesus, in John’s Gospel 6:37 said it this way, “… Whoever comes to me, I will never cast them away”. This past Sunday, in our study of 1 Samuel, we saw, in Chapter 23, David hiding in the wilderness and going down “to the rock.” We should follow his example and when we find ourselves in a “desert” place, go to our rock, the Lord Jesus, then soon, as in David’s case, we will find the oasis and be refreshed. Enjoy the summer and find warmth in it refreshing ourselves physically, but also find spiritual warmth in the Holy Spirit, and be refreshed in the area that is eternal. God’s word and prayer are capable of carrying us through any wintertime experience to bring us into a season of joy.
Rev Larry Sassmann
Written by: Dr. Richard L. Shaw Ph.D., Pastor
The people of God are called to dedication to the Lord. Paul, in Romans 12, admonishes all Christians to offer their bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice. The “sacrifice” is an example of a total, unprotesting surrender to the Lord. This includes every facet of our lives. Time- talents- money- thoughts- are all laid on the altar of sacrifice to our Lord. Time- every second of time is given us by our Lord, and can be taken at any moment. How much of it do we totally waste? Some people’s entire evenings are spent watching nonsense on TV. Granted we all need to relax, we all need some entertainment. But whole evenings of TV go beyond the need of relaxation and entertainment and are an indulgent waste of precious time. How much better to be at a Bible Study, a conversation with family or a friend, studying or at least reading the Bible or other good book, taking a good brisk walk, etc. Sunday worship time spent at family gatherings or on the shore, are not a total waste but weaken the witness of the church in its proclamation of the supreme importance of time with the body of Christ, letting the world see that worshiping our Lord and learning with the body of Christ is the number one priority. Money given to God through the church enriches the church’s ministry and enables it’s deeper, wider outreach. Talents and gifts used to enhance its ministry provide a means of initial attraction for many of the world’s citizens. Our thought life either weakens or strengthens our commitment and ability to effectively serve God. “Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid, your heart does the Spirit control? You will never be blessed, or find peace and sweet rest, till you yield him your body and soul.”
Written by: Dr. Richard L. Shaw Ph.D., Pastor
Today is Father’s Day; a day to give fathers a special place in our hearts, and perhaps at a local restaurant. However, you choose to show father (or husband) special honor, know that the church stands with you in your endeavor. The Bible honors fathers. God honors fathers. So the Church honors fathers. Indeed, the Bible itself commands us to honor fathers. Ephesians 6:2, “Honor your fathers…” Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father…” Honor him by really listening to his stories – even for the 50th time! Especially pray for your father, and the fathers of our congregation. There is no better way to honor fathers than with our fervent believing prayers. Fathers have a big job to do! We need all the prayer we can get. World leaders are telling us, screaming at us, that the world is in more danger than it has ever been! China and Russia, two great super powers, are increasing their military power many times over, and becoming more and more aggressive. Though a small nation, North Korea is rapidly developing nuclear missiles in spite of international warnings. ISIS has doubled in the last two or three years! People looking for adventure and triumph see ISIS’ many victories and clamor to join their ranks. They are mushrooming all over the world. New deadly diseases are developing. It’s a challenging world for fathers, and all others. We can be victorious over all these challenges. But we need to be aware of what they are- be determined to win over them- and have the necessary resources for victory. It starts with awareness and consistent, insistent prayer.
Written by, Dr. Richard L. Shaw Ph.D., Pastor
We-all of us human beings, but especially us Christians- have a very formidable foe in Satan. His tactics are many, and his strategy is to maneuver all things toward minimizing the kingdom of God. He will use one tactic in one culture and perhaps it’s very opposite in another. It requires infinite wisdom to defeat him in his various moves. He uses intolerance in many cultures, especially those under Islamic rule and sharia law. It’s more difficult in American culture to use overt intolerance, so Satan craftily uses tolerance, wrongly understood, to do his diabolical deeds. “We must be tolerant of everyone and everything”, the political correctness people tell us. Therefore we must (they say) marry homosexual (gay) couples; they have the same marital rights as straight couples. We must allow the less than 1 percent of the population who are transgender to use the bathroom of their choice. Somehow the fact of intolerance toward 99 percent of the population who have the right to gender privacy in the bathroom is overlooked. The Christian is without question called to genuinely love all persons. But this does not entail that all distinctions must be blurred for tolerance to take place. The greater, true tolerance is to honor distinct ions and maintain them, while still loving those among us who for whatever reasons have difficulties in the area of boundaries. Opening the bathroom door to anyone who claims he “feels” like a woman or she “feels” like a man can open the door to a plethora of problems and heartaches. Tolerance in its true meaning does not mean ignoring or blurring all boundaries.
Written by: Rev. Dr. Richard L. Shaw, Pastor
Here we are again – heading into another summer that we have never had before and once it is gone, it’s never comin’ back! And what will you be doing this summer? When it’s all over, what will you have to show for it? More days at the beach? More picnics? Pretty much a repetition of last summer? Or are you thinking and praying about how you can better serve God and His church this summer and bring more people to Jesus? Are the specific things of God – worship and learning with the Body of Christ, finding ways of interesting your neighbor in the realities of Jesus Christ and His Church, talking to the family next door about coming to church with you next Sunday, etc. Or do spiritual realities take second place behind cookouts and days at the beach? The ancient people of Israel had a similar challenge it seems, as we read the short prophecy of Amos. In 8:5 the Lord tells Amos what God’s people are saying, “when will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat? The people could hardly wait for the more spiritual realities of worship and fellowship with other believers, learning and studying his Word, singing the praises of God, could be over so they could get back to what they really want to be doing, viz., selling more of the produce so they could make more money to buy more luxuries. Corporate worship, with all that it entailed, was only a secondary, obligatory, ritualistic function. What really made the “juices” flow was the jingle of the money as it came in for the products. We will have a powerful church as we put our priorities in proper place.