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Posts from April 2009

Come Away With Me, My Fair One!

Like A Rose...

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

My lover said to me,
      “Rise up, my darling!
      Come away with me, my fair one!
Look, the winter is past,
      and the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up,
      the season of singing birds
 has come,
      and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
The fig trees are forming young fruit,
      and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
      Come away with me, my fair one!”

The Neglected Vineyard

Remember The Time

"They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept" Song of Solomon 1:6

This past Sunday I spoke on 'Neglect' at Harvest. One of the texts that I referred to in my message was Song Of Solomon 1:6 which reads "they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!". What an amazing statement! I'm afraid that many times we are so busy taking care of other people we neglect to take care of our self. We need to be careful not to neglect our relationship with God, our mates, children, personal finances, and our churches among other things.


Beth and Kyle-6 This weekend has been about couples for us. Kathy and I have been busy planning a wedding for our oldest daughter Elizabeth and her fiance Kyle. Everything is new to them. I can almost hear Karen Carpenter singing 'We've Only Just Begun" in the background.

Saturday morning, and then again this evening, we visited a couple from Harvest at Kaiser Hospital in Vallejo. Brother Lessley had a massive stroke this past week and he's in pretty bad shape. There we witnessed a couple living out their vows, "In Sickness And In Health".

And of course there we were in the middle. I remember the "We've Only Just Begun" phase of our journey like it was yesterday. Twenty-four years later, life is still an adventure. The future is never frightening when you face it with the one you love. Our vows will see us through whatever tomorrow brings.

"As For You"

As for you...

Do you ever find yourself discouraged by what other people are doing or not doing? It's easy to get frustrated, discouraged, and depressed if you measure everything in life by what other people are doing. Three simple words popped off the page of my Bible like never before this past week, "AS FOR YOU".

Paul describes the sinfulness of man in the last days in 2 Timothy 3:1-13, closing out the description with the phrase "evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse". Sounds promising right? Something to look forward too? We are undoubtedly living in those days. Paul then quickly changes the focus from what the world is doing to what the man of God should be doing. He begins 2 Timothy 3:14 by saying "AS FOR YOU...". 

Again, 2 Timothy 4:3 paints a pretty accurate picture of the generation we are striving to reach. I can't tell you how many times I've been discouraged over people who don't want to hear the truth and leave to find another church or pastor who will tell them what they want to hear or not tell them what they don't want to hear. Paul quickly changes the focus again in 2 Timothy 4:5 by starting with the statement "AS FOR YOU". 

It might do us all some good to quit focusing so much on what others are doing and focus on "AS FOR YOU...".

Take Time To Be With God

Time Well Spent

In a recent survey of 1000 pastors by the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development, only 26% of pastors said they regularly had personal devotions and felt they were adequately fed spirituality, 72% stated that they only studied the Bible when they were preparing for sermons or lessons, leaving only 28% who read the Bible for devotions and personal study. 90% of the pastors stated they are frequently fatigued, and worn out on a weekly and even daily basis (did not say burned out). 71% of the pastors stated they were burned out, and they battle depression beyond fatigue on a weekly and even a daily basis. 77% of the pastors surveyed felt they did not have a good marriage! 38% of the pastors said they were divorced or currently in a divorce process. 30% said they had either been in an ongoing affair or a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner. Pastors need to take time to be alone with God and work on their own personal relationship with Him. My personal practice is to get alone with my Bible and a journal. I start by praying and writing down my thoughts and feelings. I open the Bible and look for God's words regarding where I happen to be that day. I always leave the meeting feeling pretty good. I would encourage you to establish a consistent devotional plan, whether you are a pastor or not. It is crucial to your joy and happiness.

The Greatest Gift A Father Can Give His Son

Sacramento Tax Day TEA Party

I was very pleased to see Michael Reagan in Sacramento at the Tax Day TEA Party last week. His Father, President Ronald Reagan, has always been a hero of mine. I took this photograph as I overheard an elderly lady telling Michael how glad she was that he took the time to come to this particular event. Michael Reagan responded, "My Dad would be upset if I didn't come". 

I'll never forget President Reagan's funeral. The horse with the boots turned backwards in the stirrups is an image forever burned in my mind. Michael's words, likewise will always warm my heart. Here's a portion of what Michael had to say about his father.

At the early onset of Alzheimer's disease, my father and I would tell each other we loved each other and we would give each other a hug. As the years went by and he could no longer verbalize my name, he recognized me as the man who hugged him. So when I would walk into the house, he would be there in his chair opening up his arms for that hug, hello, and the hug goodbye. It was a blessing truly brought on by God.

We had wonderful blessings of that nature. Wonderful, wonderful blessings that my father gave to me each and every day of my life.

I was so proud to have the Reagan name and to be Ronald Reagan's son. What a great honor. He gave me a lot of gifts as a child. Gave me a horse. Gave me a car. Gave me a lot of things. But there's a gift he gave me that I think is wonderful for every father to give every son.

Last Saturday, when my father opened his eyes for the last time, and visualized Nancy and gave her such a wonderful, wonderful gift.

When he closed his eyes, that's when I realized the gift that he gave to me, the gift that he was going to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He had, back in 1988 on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Point Mugu, told me about his love of God, his love of Christ as his Savior. I didn't know then what it all meant. But I certainly, certainly know now.

I can't think of a better gift for a father to give a son. And I hope to honor my father by giving my son Cameron and my daughter Ashley that very same gift he gave to me.

Knowing where he is this very moment, this very day, that he is in Heaven, and I can only promise my father this. Dad, when I go, I will go to Heaven, too. And you and I and my sister, Maureen, that went before us, we will dance with the heavenly host of angels before the presence of God. We will do it melanoma and Alzheimer's free. Thank you for letting me share my father, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Free Speech

Sacramento Tax Day TEA Party, originally uploaded by CalPastor.

I had a blast with my friend and fellow pastor, Joe Govreau, this past Wednesday. We went to one of the Tax Day Tea Parties and had a great time. Kathy instructed me not to become the next 'Joe The Plumber' and Debbie told Joe not to get arrested. We were both successful in honoring our wives' wishes. More than anything, it was just nice to spend a day with a good friend.

Good Friday / Great Sunday

The Much Anticipated Return

Sunday was absolutely awesome at Harvest! At least 140 gathered with us to worship the Risen Lord this Easter Sunday. It looks like at least 7 others found our webcast and watched online. We had visitors and returning friends join us. There were several at the altars today making new and fresh commitments. There was so much to be excited about today!

Our chapel was beautiful today! New carpet, paint, lights, pulpit, windows, and more. We have been in a redecorating project for the last few months and it is really looking great. We'll be finishing up the chapel and beginning work on our front lawn soon. We're putting together an outdoor stage that will be invaluable throughout the summer and fall.

The icing on the cake was walking up to my office to see this beautiful Iris had bloomed on Easter Sunday. I look forward to these purple guests every year and have been watching them closely for the past week. Today, the first bloom joined in our celebration of the savior's resurrection. God is so good!