I Can’t Wait!


A long, long, time ago, Alabama sang a song that ‘fit me to a tee’:


“I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.
Don’t know why I have to drive so fast
My car has nothing to prove,
It’s not new But it’ll do 0 to 60 in 5.2
Can’t be late, I leave plenty of time
Shaking hands with the clock,
I can’t stop I’m on a roll
and I’m ready to rock
I hear a voice That say’s I’m running behind
I better pick up my pace, It’s a race
And there ain’t no room For someone in second place.”


I remember my mother laughing at me when I was 5 years old and just starting kindergarten (a traumatic life style change for me). My question was very simple. “How long do I have to keep going to school?” After falling apart in laughter, she gently broke the news to me that it would be, at the very least, another 12 years.


In my mind, the starter’s gun shot out, & my “race with time” had just begun.

I couldn’t wait to finish kindergarten.

I couldn’t wait to finish grade school and then high school.

I couldn’t wait to finish college. I stumbled out of the starter’s gate & it took me 5 years, but I finally did finish.

By then, I was a follower of Jesus and had my call to full time ministry.

I couldn’t wait to get married and have our own children.

I couldn’t wait to finish Seminary & come back home to California.

I couldn’t wait to get my first church in Kernville.

I couldn’t wait to become an associate up in Yuba City. But after 3 years,

I couldn’t wait to leave.

I couldn’t wait to finish my doctoral studies, but no one seemed to notice.

I couldn’t wait to grow a large church in Orangevale, but it all fell apart right before my very eyes. I wasn’t completely broken, but I was badly bent.

I couldn’t wait to get well, to get my mind right. It is still a battle at times.

I couldn’t wait to get on the “mission field”. After several short term trips,   I couldn’t wait to get into the 10/40 window and reach those yet unreached.


I know what you must be thinking. “Now there is a “Type A” Driven man.”

And I have no defense for that accusation. As you can clearly see, I have been impatient for most of my life.

The good news is that God has a lot of patience.

2 Peter 3:8-9 NASB

8     But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.

9     The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.


For people like me, that is incredible. He could have squashed me like a bug, years ago. But His love for me, my soul, my eternity, is so very important. He was (& is) waiting for me to accomplish the task that was assigned to me when I became a follower of Jesus.


For me, I just keep prodding and kicking, like a rice farmer in Myanmar, trying to get that beast of burden to move a little faster. Some might say that I am too persistent. There is a big difference between being impatient and being persistent. Impatient people like me worry so much. We are fearful that we might run out of time & thereby miss out on the opportunity. I can see it all now. They are closing the door to the plane that I should have been on. As I race to the terminal gate, I am too late. I missed my connection. And so I worry. Always thinking about what might have been.

Matthew 6:25-34 NASB

25     “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink;

nor for your body, as to what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

33     “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,  and all these things will be added to you.

34     “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Life becomes so much sweeter when we allow God to do the leading and directing. He has His own timetable.


Tempus fugit – Pastor Mike


The Roman Road

July 1, 2015375561_133898063434049_411880487_n
Have you ever wondered how our founding fathers would have reacted if they could see where our nation is today? The overwhelming majority of them were men of Christian faith and that had a tremendous impact on their political beliefs and our founding documents. What would be their reaction to the way the Word of God has been expunged from our public schools and the public square? What would they think about our Supreme Court making political & moral decisions based on their feelings and political correctness that would bring great harm to this once great nation?

The towering figures that made the American system possible were in the early days: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and John Marshall. Hamilton and Jefferson were conduits of earlier traditions found in 17th century England.

“Hamilton was court, of the British mercantilist tradition that called for a strong, centralized government dedicated, at home, to fostering the wealth and growth of the nation through aggressive intervention in and collusion with banking, commerce, and industry, backed by high taxes and government debt, and led by a strong executive. Abroad, it was to be backed by a powerful standing army, the tradition called for aggressive confrontation in the name of honor and in the pursuit of commerce.” 1

“Jefferson was a country man, of the newer and more radical libertarian/individualist tradition that distrusted strong government and centralization that saw proper government only as the protector of individual rights and all government as the greatest potential threat to individual rights. Therefore, government must be severely and legally limited to its proper functions. Those did not include intervention in or collusion with banking, commerce, industry, or the internal affairs of other nations. Governmental power would be decentralized with multiple power centers balanced against each other, government’s size kept very small, its taxes very low, its budget solvent, and national defense from non-aggressive civilian militias formed under the principle that the only just war is a defensive war.” 1

Today we hardly hear much about Hamilton, but Jefferson on the other hand has become to a level of great fame in the history of our country.
How ironic is that? As politics moved along, both parties of the American government have chosen the Hamiltonian road. As Hamilton ideas prevailed our government has grown to gargantuan size inserting itself into every place conceivable in the life of Americans, to a degree that I don’t think Hamilton ever intended and certainly Jefferson warned us about.

We are rapidly becoming a socialist country.

Grover Cleveland (our 22nd & 24th President who won the popular vote in
3 consecutive elections 1884, 1888, 1892) was the last great small government, low-tax, free trade, gold standard, anti-imperialist, constitutionalists. He was a “strict constructionist” when it came to the Constitution. He believed is should be used in its original intent.  He was the last President to walk down the Jeffersonian Road.

Most modern scholars, politicians, judges, (especially the Supreme Court Judges) are loose constructionists when it comes to the Constitution of the United States. In other words they believe that it is a living document whose boundaries can be stretched and interpreted to give the government the power and authority to do what they feel or think is politically correct.
Hence we have a president who feels free to change the law without the consent of congress, without the consent of the majority of the governed, using his own pen. These are perilous times. He has crossed the Rubicon, and taken upon himself the power of a Caesar, and the highest court in our land is backing him up.

Social Progressives are loose constructionists when it comes to our Constitution. They start with the conclusion of where they want to be, and then work backwards, twisting our constitution around in order to make room for their personal feelings, wants and desires. They don’t begin with a rigorous analysis of our Constitution. They are led instead by their feelings, wants and their desires. Hence the tail begins to wag the dog.

They construct clever arguments to convince the populace that their goals are only fair, reasonable and right, to make sure that everyone is treated the same, has the same opportunities, the same money, the same medical treatment, etc. Of course you realize that the politicians and government officials themselves are exempt from all of this. They put it on our backs with our money, and exclude themselves. Their rhetoric is too often filled with lies as they run for office, and then like chameleons, change their tune when elected and have nothing to lose.

“Members of the (Social Progressives) use their superior intellectual skills to turn the document from what it was meant to be into what they want it to be. Members of the (Political right) use their superior intellectual skills to preserve the original meaning of the document, though in fact they have been beaten into near irrelevancy in our modern world.” 1

When we step back and look at our country today we see every moral liberal agenda being sanctified by the government and justified by a Supreme court, twisting the constitution to make it “acceptable”. We are not too far from them imposing their agenda upon the followers of Jesus. They say that it won’t, but since when have politicians stopped lying to us.

As the Borg told Captain Kirk in Star Trek, “to resist is futile”.
Many Christians have sadly given up and accepted their fate. We will soon be forced to either give up our centuries old beliefs, or have to pay the penalty of forced taxation upon the church, or even jail if we refuse.
(Does that sound a little bit like ISIS to you?)   If you want to see where this progressive socialism is leading us,
just take a look at Greece today. Take a look at Sweden. Where has their free and open sex left them? The warning signs are everywhere, even in our own streets.

It is called the Roman Road. You can read about it in your history books, if you are able to find a history book that has not been re-written to misinterpret the facts to fit the feelings and thoughts of modern leftist socialists.
Don’t give up or give in. Fight the good fight with love and compassion.  Find the good books, read and study our history. It is our country.  We must be wise as the serpents themselves, but for the sake of Jesus, harmless as doves.

Veritas vos Liberabit!    Pastor Mike Mike-e1342678172131-150x150


1 Ledbetter, Mark David (2010-04-12). America’s Forgotten History,

got Evil?

The World’s Last best Hope June 15, 2015
After last week’s blog and Sunday’s sermon (Posted on our Website) many people were asking me for a list of books that they could read to educate themselves. Here is a list of what I have been reading.

E. Benjamin Andrews – 6 Vol. History of America – the best I’ve read
Mark David Ledbetter -America’s Forgotten History – excellent volume
Charles Murray – American Exceptionalism – Why we have been great
David Horowitz – The Black Book of the American Left – If you want to understand the progressive left, this is the author you want to read. He was raised and communist and a crucial cog in the radical 60’s but after the war ended and he saw what communism did to millions, he had “second thoughts” – and began to turn to the right. Today he is one of the best authorities on the progressive left, their many names and their goals.
Ravi Zacharius – The Real Faith of Atheism – One of the best apologists (defender of the faith) of our day.
Rodney Stark – A great historian – multiple books covers a lot of history.
Dinesh D’Souza- America, Imagine a world without her. A contemporary immigrant who sees clearly the
Jim Demint & J. David Woodard Why We Whisper- restoring our right to say it’s Wrong. – Addresses why so many are frightened to tell the truth.
Oswald Chambers Christian Disciplines
David Marshall The Truth behind the New Atheism
William J Bennet America The Last Best Hope
Peter Kreeft and Ronald K Tacelli Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions Kindle Edition
Norman L. Geisler The Big Book of Christian Apologetics got_evil_postcard-r7f841dc7d2ff47a1a0096fe26aceecda_vgbaq_8byvr_324
Norman L. Geisler Christian Apologetics

I know the list seems overwhelming, but just get started with one. Pick one that seems of interest to you. With the multi-volume books you might just choose ones that are related to the 20th century forward. This progressive socialism was evident in President Wilson a WWI isolationist forced into war.

With all of this bad news about the trouble America is in, many are people are asking “why all this evil”? “Why does God allow this to happen to us”?
If we are the world’s last best hope, then why would God let us fall?
The reason is very simple. You have to get your mind out of this world.
The World’s best hope has always been and will always be God the Creator.
In these terrible last days, He is our Last Best Hope.

God is not the author of Evil. (1 Corinthians 10:13) In fact evil is not something objective that you can collect and put in a can or jar. Evil is the absence of good. God is good.
Jesus told us the only God was good. To the degree that God and His Light is absent, then evil & it’s darkness claims the void. Did you ever wonder why God seemed so close in church, and then a bit more, maybe quite a bit more, distant out in the world. In worship, where we are exalting God,
His heavenly creatures are with us, joining in that exaltation. There is little room for a void, unless you are suppressing God’s presence. To the degree that you do that, the less you will receive from God out of worship.

The question naturally arises “Why did God allow temptation to be there in the first place?” First of all, God tempts no one. (James 1:13,14) But He does allow us to undergo testing. That is why the one tree – the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil” was created in the garden. God wanted us to choose obedience & in that obedience we would have found the difference between good and evil. But in choosing dis-obedience, we discovered the difference from the side of darkness, defeat & death. So we hid from God. We’ve been running from Him ever since. But like the Good Shepherd that He is, He has been chasing us down ever since, to bring us back to Himself.

When God created us, He wanted us to be a much higher level, and so He gave us great intelligence and the ability to choose between right and wrong. In the Garden they chose poorly, and as a result sin came into the world and God would no longer be fully present. As a result of our actions, we created a void, as it were, and Satan took advantage of that filling the void with sin ad darkness. The more the world went into darkness, the worse life became. Immorality and crime increased. It is only a matter of time until God says, “Enough! I’ve had Enough!” And then destruction follows. Read history and you will see it is true.

Just as cold is the absence of heat and darkness is the absence of light, so evil is the absence of good. Knowing this, there are many believers who want to go into the heart of the darkness in order to shine the Light of God.
It might cost them everything, but they cannot ignore the call of God in their lives to let His Light shine in those terrible places, whether it is in an American Ghetto or a Mid-Eastern place torn apart by the forces of evil.

Eventually God’s Light will overcome all the darkness of this world, when He comes back to establish His Kingdom. The key to His return is to finish the great task He has given us. When the Gospel is preached over the entire world, and everyone hears about the love of God (whether they accept it or not) He will come back to us. Come quickly Lord (Maranatha) was the call of the early church. May it become our passion today.
Coram Deo, Pastor Mike

Time in a bottle


I have often wondered what makes photography so fascinating for me.

Beyond the obvious of capturing images that are beautiful and emote some kind of passion in my senses, there is the whole realm of time, and trying to capture it in an image.  In photography in some enigmatic way we can stop time and forever keep that moment.  At least that is what it feels like.  As a result I have spent most of my adult life photographing my family, capturing precious moments in time.  And now as I look at my grandchildren through the lens of a my Nikon (affectionately called “Wynona”) with a 64 gig memory card, realizing that I can take literally 1000’s of high quality photo’s at no cost, every moment seems the right time to capture their time.


At a season in life when the months and years seem to fly by there seems to be more urgency in my work.  And now I have 10’s of 1000s of images all stored and backed up in portable hard drives that hold terabits of memories, time in little bottles.  I do not have the time to edit them all, so I keep telling myself, that someday, maybe when I retire, I will devote myself to this task, leaving my family with a visual record of years gone by.


As I consider the idea of time passing by so swiftly, the clock continues to tick as if in a countdown mode until my departure into a world where there will be no moments in time to capture.  Time will not exist and our minds will be able to recall all of the beautiful moments in God’s Paradise without the aid of technology.   And in this fallen world, there will eventually come that day, when all of my earthly efforts will no longer be meaningful, and ultimately destroyed.


Ravi Zacharias says:

“[Time] never moves forward without engraving its mark upon the heart—sometimes a stab, sometimes a tender touch, sometimes a vice grip of spikes, sometimes a mortal wound but always an imprint.” The Lotus and the Cross


To be sure, the capturing of those special moments is a great treasure as we live in this world.  As the ravages of time erode everything but our souls,

we can look back and “remember when”.  That can bring warmth to the heart, or tears to the eye, but always with a sense that what was, will not be lost.  If it were not important God would not have given us the ability to recall those momentous events in life.


But all of this will fade away into meaninglessness as we enter into the presence of God and begin a new life, a perfect life, in a new world, pristine in all of its glory.  There will be no more sin, no more hurt, no more betray or anger, no more tears.


Will we remember those times back in an old fallen world?  No.  Not only will we not remember, but we won’t want to call up those events.  Why should we?  Even the brightest moments on earth will seem to be dark in comparison to the glories of God’s eternity.  C.S. Lewis writes about this brilliantly in his book, The Great Divorce.  The greatest loves of this world will be far surpassed by the greatest love that time has known, the Love of Jesus for His own.  What a wonderful Family that will be!


That is why Paul who had a little taste of heaven said,


2 Cor. 5:4   For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed

but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.

1 Cor. 15:54       But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.


Laus Deo – Pastor Mike


Go With The Flow?

There are a few shows on television that I find entertaining & a challenge to the mind. They usually feature detectives or their associates who have the uncanny ability to see the things hidden from most of us and thereby be able to solve the crime. Sometimes the extrapolations are a bit far-fetched, but after all, it is fiction meant to entertain, not science meant to prove. Literature is filled with such characters like Sherlock Holmes and Jessica Fletcher, and Hercules Poirot. The Patrick Jane in the Mentalist is a current day version of such fictional characters.

The ancient Greeks had a school of philosophers known as the Sophists, 5937020-the-thinker-statue-by-the-french-sculptor-rodinwho took pride in their ability to prove impossible things. Some sophists even hired themselves out at public events, where audiences could watch spellbound as they proceeded to prove propositions that were obviously false. They were quite the tricksters of mental gymnastics.

Down through history there have always been “intellectuals” who have used their positions of power and their uncanny ability to argue “nonsense” while ignoring the reality of history in order to promote their own radical agenda.
This was never more true than what we saw in the 60’s and early 70’s with the huge counter-culture movement designed not just to end the Vietnam war, but to reshape America into a Socialist state.

The “true believers” in this movement turned a blind eye to what social communism did as it swept into the vacancy left by our departure, torturing and killing millions upon millions of people. We didn’t hear a word from our own news media as the socialists set up their brutal dictatorships of oppression backed by fear of what would happen to you if you didn’t co-operated. They weren’t very tolerant leaders.

Some of the “movers and shakers” behind the American counter culture did see what happened. Their eyes were opened as they realized what these communist regimes had done in the 20th century. Literally countless numbers of people were brutally killed. Racism and intolerance skyrocketed. Many of the counter culture who were honest, had “second thoughts” about their political views as they saw firsthand the end result of their “dream ideals” in Marxism. David Horowitz is one of the leaders of this movement.

But many of these extremists stayed the course. They realized that the power rested with those who controlled the institutions of learning and culture. They put together a long range plan of taking over the institutions of education. Under their leadership, the schools of higher learning would come to be filled with sociologists, art critics, psychologists, philosophers, “sexologists,” political scientists, and a host of other “experts” intent on converting Marxism from a strictly economic theory into a cultural reality in America.

These were the roots of the secular progressive movement in America today.
“Tolerance” was the by-word that they used in order to get their foot in the door, and to eventually take over. What we have discovered today is that their “tolerance” was a virtual one way street. They wanted tolerance for their agenda’s, but there was to be no tolerating of any opposing positions.

Today they have pretty much shut down the opposition. If you are a conservative in your values and morals, if you believe in the traditional strong beliefs of Scripture and in Jesus Christ you will not get the opportunity for your voice to be heard. This seems a little strange coming out of liberal institutions where “tolerance” and “freedom of speech” were championed as the sacred stones upon which they could build their “empire”. Today they will go to any lengths to shut up conservative Christians and to put evangelicals down.

The true believers of secular progressivism have won the cultural war and they don’t intend to give an inch of ground back. And now it is up to the “true believers” in Jesus Christ to take their stand. We have enjoyed the comfort of easy Christianity since the founding of our country. But now the table has been turned. There is increasing hostility toward those of us who disagree with the ongoing normalization of homosexual conduct and so-called “gay marriage.” In recent months we’ve seen people as varied as football players, TV stars, restaurant owners, wedding photographers, and others face fines, suspensions, and even the loss of their livelihoods for failing to celebrate the new sexual orthodoxy.

As followers of the Way the Truth and the Life, we are going to have to adapt to this change. At a recent prayer breakfast in Washington, DC, Professor Robert George, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said: “The days of acceptable Christianity are over … It’s no longer easy to be a faithful Christian … They threaten us with consequences if we refuse to call what is good, evil, and what is evil, good. They demand us to conform our thinking to their orthodoxy, or else say nothing at all.”

And what happens if we don’t go along? According to Robert George : “To be a witness to the Gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. … One may in consequence of one’s public witness, be discriminated against, denied education opportunities and the prestigious credentials they offer, one may lose valuable opportunities of employment or professional advancement.”

The persecution that has afflicted Christianity in two thirds of the world for centuries is now coming to America, a country founded on religious freedom.  Leave it to Satan to pull off a coup like this! I would say that they must be rejoicing in Hell, but then I remember, there is nothing but terror, weeping, gnashing of teeth in that realm of eternal flame and darkness.

Thanks to the rulers of this American world, “normal” has changed. The basic definition of culture is what a group of people have accepted as normal. The normal has changed in our culture and there is no hope in it.  Good is now called evil and evil is called good. Is there any chance of repentance, (turning around) for our culture? There is a chance, but it is slim indeed. For it requires Christians to begin to stand up, and speak out, not in condemnation, but in offering the Hope and Change from the True Messiah, Jesus the Christ. And this must be done in an encouraging, forgiving, humble and winsome way.

People who are enslaved to various forms of immorality and suffer different types of brokenness need to be able to come to the church and find answers. We must wage war by offering love with our words, our lives, and our actions. The church is a hospital for the “sin sick”. If this is ever going to happen, then we need to start training the Body of Christ in how to make our case in a positive way. We have kept silent too long. We must begin to speak out. As Mordechai told Queen Esther in chapter 4 of the book of Esther:
13    “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape
any more than all the Jews (the people of God).
14    “For if you remain silent at this time,
relief & deliverance will arise for the Jews (God’s People)
from another place
and you and your father’s house (America) will perish.
And who knows whether you have not attained royalty
for such a time as this?”
You and I live in this culture. You were born, ordained by God, for such a time as this. We must pick up this Cross and          follow our Lord, regardless of the consequences.
Veritas pro Christo et ecclesia, Pastor Mike


Racism Alive and Well

As our country grows more racially diverse each day, we see that racism is still a very difficult problem. It is a signal to all of us aaa-racism-ruinshow deeply sin is imbedded in our hearts and lives. A part of becoming new in Christ  (2 Cor. 5:17) involves allowing the Holy Spirit to root out the very depths of our prejudices and bias against people groups.

Recently several cases of blatant racism have been reported by the news media. There is Bundy, a cattle rancher locked in a dispute with the US Bureau of Land Management over land rights. In an interview, he takes the opportunity to reveal that there is a deep evil lingering in the depths of his heart as he makes outrageous claims about blacks.

Then there is Donald Sterling, owner of a basketball franchise, who, apparently unknown to him, has a private conversation in his own home taped and released. It went viral. Again we see the darkness of racial evil dwelling in the soul.

Shaquille O’Neal, a retired basketball superstar, after castigating Sterling on his racist comments, recently took to Twitter to mock the appearance of Jahmel Binion, who suffers from a rare disorder called ectodermal dysplasia. Thousands called out his obvious hypocrisy in condemning Sterling’s racism while mocking a disability. De-humanization comes in all shapes, colors and

Then a publically elected official, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., described Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the only African-American judge on the Supreme Court, as an “Uncle Tom”. He implied that it was OK for him to say it because he is black himself.

All of this is just the very tip of the racist ice-burg. This should not be  shocking to us. Evil is alive and well all over the world. What is hard to believe is that after the last century where untold millions upon millions were slaughtered at the hands of atheistic socialism known as communism, there are still millions adherents to that system which promises utopia and true equality, but never comes close to delivering it. It is one of the most racist and biased forms of government ever imagined.   They are willing to tear down nations and destroy as many as necessary to achieve their satanic inspired visions. They are

blind to the lessons of history.

As true followers of Christ, we need to be at the forefront of these conversations that are happening in our work places, neighborhoods, friendships and families. The Good News of Jesus Christ demands that we confess our sins, dig out the very roots of evil & prejudice in our hearts, and then offer true reconciliation that only can come through the Spirit of God.


Coram Deo – Pastor Mike