Monday, August 27, 2012

FavorDay Church in Anaheim

There are some things that just can't be described with words or even pictures.  Yesterday's experience at the FavorDay Church in the Anaheim Convention Center is one of them.

Saturday I drove 6 hours to Anaheim to participate in the Sunday morning service with Dante Gebel, an Argentinean Assemblies of God minister who rents the Anaheim Convention Center every Sunday and calls it FavorDay Church.  Everything is in Spanish, but earphones are supplied with a translator for those who speak only English.

It was truly an awesome experience! The 40 voice choir and musicians in the band were noticably annointed of the Lord and thus very inspiring. 

The worship time was so powerful that several times I was literally driven to fall on my knees...

... while most of the congregation of about 4,500 were standing, many with hands lifted. 

Dante’s lovely wife, Liliana, introduced me, telling how her life was affected by our ministry with Felipe when she was a little child growing up in Argentina and how she dedicated her life to the Lord. 

They brought about 500 kids to stand up front near the platform. 

After church Liliana wanted a photo of her with Felipe and me.  She does not seek the spotlight, but without doubt is, much like my Frances, a pillar of strength supporting her husband's ministry. 

Perfume only showed up briefly just to peak their curiosity… but Felipe did his thing singing and telling a Bible story. The audience participation was great!

I asked the translator to change his voice to sound like Felipe, when translating him and change back to my voice when I was speaking. Of course only the English speaking ones with earphones could here it, but he later told me that he kept getting mixed up with his two voices. I would love to have heard that! Ha!

Plus I had an opportunity to speak to an issue that I believe is valid. Dante and I had discussed this before the service. I think that sometimes the children need to be beside their Christian parents witnessing their mother and father in sincere worship… and from an early age encouraged to participate in that sincere worship. In fact, I believe that at least in the case of preachers like Dante, who is easy to listen to, the children (except babies) might best sit by their parents and hear the anointed message from God. Dante is planning to make some changes that may keep the children alongside their parents more in the future.  
 Almost 100 years ago when I was a wiggly, busy little kid, I sat by my mother and quietly drew pictures during the sermon… and to this day, I can remember the content of some great sermons preached by my pastor William Booth-Clibborn.  Many times I found myself, still a little child, down in front kneeling at the altar sealing that message deep into my soul with tears. 

Pastor Dante Gebel honored me far more than I deserve and then honored the Lord Jesus by preaching a pastoral message on “How to make good decisions.”  He used the scripture to touch on many practical issues.  And of course, there is that most important decision of all... which will determine our eternal destiny. 


They have a team of over 30 volunteer children’s workers that teach Sunday School.  Dante asked me to minister to them in the early afternoon.  It was a privilege to encourage these men and women that are dedicating themselves to molding little lives and modeling the love of Christ.  They are bringing forth “fruit that will remain”…  affecting little lives for time and eternity. 



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Today's Mesa Hike

This afternoon Tim called me and invited me to accompany him with Evan on a hiking trip.  I was delighted.  We drove to Jamestown and then back several miles behind a large mountain of lava probably at least 500 feet high with steep sides and a flat mesa top.  Tim and Evan had scaled it before. 

We parked and hiked most of a mile before starting the ascent.  Evan, 15, couldn’t resist climbing trees and leaping up on high rocks.  I can remember when I was like that… ha. 

(You may click on pictures to enlarge.)

We passed two ancient gold mine shafts going deep into the ground under the lava flow.  Men do daring things for gold.

Parts of the trail were quite steep.  I think Tim and Evan went a little slower than their last time for the sake of a certain 80 year old grandpa. 

We stopped occasionally to enjoy the view and rest.  Parts of the trail consist of just climbing over boulders. 

In one place we stooped low to go through a tunnel of brush where the mosquitoes discovered us and followed us almost to the top. 

Once on the top we hiked to the east edge of the mesa looking 500 feet below at the Casino. 

From the west edge, the side we had climbed, the view of Tulloch Lake is awesome! 

And the rocky slope dropping hundreds of feet is truly impressive.

I suppose that I may not have the privilege of joining in this kind of fun many more moons. 

Every morning as I start out on my two mile walk through the neighborhood, I look up there at the beautiful cloud formations and thank God for His abundant life.

Yes. I am living life to the full.  Of course we know that very soon the years of wear may drain away our physical abundance, but our "spiritual abundant life" just gets better and better… until the day when we meet our loved ones and our Savior face to face.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making a Difference for Eternity

Last weekend I had the privilege again of ministering at the Monterey Assembly of God with Pastors Leonard and Gloria Trembley.

How do you get a congregation of 242 people squeezed into church on a Saturday morning?  For years the Trembleys have gone house to house reaching out to their area.  They have successfully planted "Jesus Loves Me Saturday morning Kid's Church."  Since the area has many Hispanics, they make the services bilingual.

There is scripture memorization with prizes and lots of fun things. 
But I am deeply impressed by the spiritual depth of these meetings.  At prayer time children come forward for special prayer. 

I lamented that I did not have my camera handy as Gloria got down on her knees to pray with a darling little girl.  I happened to hear just a few words of that prayer and I realized that this little girl was requesting the salvation of her parents. 

Later I went for my camera and captured this litle brother and sister as, with all seriousness, they placed their request to the Lord... perhaps also for their parents.

And it works!  

This beautiful family were separated and lost, but came to the Lord and were reunited because their boys wanted daddy to come with them to "Jesus Loves Me Kids Church." 

Pastor Leonard told me that practically all their Sunday adult congregation are fruit of the "Jesus Loves Me Kids Church!"

At the Saturday Kids Church I carried my "torch" as we sang,

"We will carry the torch. 
We will lift high the flame. 
We will march through the darkness
with the light of His name. 
Till the glory of God is seen by the world
We will carry the torch of the Lord.

And I preached on "Jesus the Light of the World"
John 8:12

Everyone's presence was recognized.  Every newcomer's name recorded.  Prizes are awarded to the one who brings the most new ones each month.  ("New ones" are those who have not attended there for 12 years). 

Yes, even these sweet baby twin girls count.  Jesus loves them, too.

Allow me to present to you what I consider one of the most effective teams for reaching children that I have ever met:  Senior Pastors Leonard and Gloria Trembley, shown here as they lead the Sunday morning worship.  There can be no doubt.  They are making a difference for eternity!

By the way their Saturday honorarium and Sunday morning special love offering covered my entire round trip fare back to Argentina!  Unbelievable but true!  Leaving date October 3, 2012


Thursday, August 9, 2012

On the Rocks

I spent the past few days at Yachats on the Oregon coast with son Tim and wife Cheryl and grandkids Michelle and Evan.  We enjoyed hiking the rock formations that reach out into the powerful ocean waves.  These are apparently volcanic formations with many shapes including tunnels below where the waves rush in causing explosive splashes. 

Tim, now 50 plus and his son Evan, 15 dashed about jumping from place to place… but I confess I don’t jump much anymore.  Actually jumping isn’t the problem.  I can still fly (I suppose).  It’s the “landing” that’s the problem… ha.  So from a high rock formation to a lower one I did not fly, although I admit I was tempted.  I lowered myself with great care and with one hand firmly on the rock and at least one foot on terra firma at all times… ha. 

We all enjoyed exploring the sea life in the tidal pools, plus running and relaxing on the sandy beach.

(Remember that you may always enlarge pictures by clicking on them.)

At low tide multicolored star fish, tiny hermit crabs and sea anemone were everywhere. 

Why did the Creator make some star fish yellow, some orange and others purple?  Why did he make certain sea creatures with such stunning artistic shapes and colors?  Maybe He did it just for fun… His and ours. 

Evan stood on a rock just above a small cave as each big wave was trapped and caused a small explosion.  Tim and I were taking pictures.  Then came the big one.  Tim caught it on video.  Evan totally disappeared behind the giant splash and came back laughing and drenched to the skin.

God is good... All the time!


Note: To see a 4 minute video of this event click on