Category Archives: Pastors Corner

Inspirational faith based articles from local Pastors in the Eastvale area.

Pastor’s Corner: The “Otel”

Pastor Mark Hopper of eFree Church in Diamond Bar

By Mark Hopper

In golf they have a term called a “Mulligan” which allows a player to hit another shot. It is like a “do over” after you hit a really bad one. Can you remember a time in your life where you wish you could rewind the clock or calendar and do something over? A few years ago, my wife and I were invited to attend a wedding north of Santa Barbara. She had recently finished chemotherapy so we decided to drive half way to the wedding, spend the night at a hotel and drive the rest of the way the next day.

I looked online and found a few hotels near Ventura. One looked nice and had a view of the harbor. There was also an Embassy Suite in the area on the beach where I had attended a pastor’s conference, but it was twice the price. I reserved the harbor one.

When we arrived a few days later, we were very disappointed. The paint was pealing, the TV in the room looked like it was from the 1950’s and the view of the harbor wasn’t like the website!

After we unpacked, I suggested we drive over to show my wife the conference site at the Embassy Suite. It was gorgeous with flowing waterfalls, an impressive lobby and an ocean view. The contrast was devastating. I felt terrible. I checked to see if they still had any rooms but they were double what we saw online. Why didn’t I book the Embassy Suite when I had the chance?  Why did I trust the website and select the hotel by the harbor? I wished I could have a Mulligan. As we drove back to our hotel we noticed the sign on the building was missing the letter “H” – it read “otel”.  It was clear I had made the wrong choice.

I’m sure that all of us have done something or said something that we wish we could “do over”. Thankfully, the Bible says God is willing to forgive us for our sins and mistakes. He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and kindness (Psalm 103:8 / Jonah 4:2).  He is the God of the second chance. He gives us “do overs” we don’t deserve! Thankfully my wife was gracious and forgiving, too. I hope I don’t make this mistake again and hope you don’t either.  When in doubt, go with the Embassy Suite and not the “otel”. You will be glad you did!

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org

Pastor’s Corner: Stand in Faith

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong…”

1 Corinthians 16:13
Pastor Dennis Morales
Pastor Dennis Morales

By Pastor Dennis Morales

This is the final encouragement to a church from the Apostle Paul.  Paul planted the Corinthian church, but the church had issues that needed addressing.  The final comments to them is a calling to “stand fast.”  This is actually a military term meaning to “hold your position” or “to refuse to be defeated.”  There is to be no retreat. Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to remain strong in the faith because opposition will come.  Trials will ensue.  Are you going through a time of drought?  Are you going through a time of discouragement?   Paul says, “stand firm and be brave.”  I believe we need to share this encouragement all the more today.   I am reminded how “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore, he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”   This Scripture says God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs (Daniel 1:8-9).  Under Babylonian rule, Daniel turned his back on the luxuries of the king’s court because eating defiled food would have been a compromise of his faith.  God honored Daniel’s stand and he earned the respect of the chief of the eunuchs, because Daniel’s courage impressed him.   Daniel stood for God and was strong.  He didn’t seek man’s approval, but God’s will.   If we allow ourselves to be dissuaded from doing anything unless we have complete approval, it almost assured we will never accomplish anything of value. Instead of being discouraged by opposition, we should take comfort in (God’s faithfulness) and keep on doing what is right. Whatever you find yourself up against today, remember that “one,” with God, is the majority.   “If God is for “you” who can stand against you (Romans 8:31).  He sees what you don’t see.  Faith is trusting and believing God.  God does the impossible (Matthew 19:26).

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 and 10:30am / Wednesdays 7pm @ Clara Barton Elementary (calvaryeastvale.org)

Worry Not

Pastor Dennis Morales,
Calvary Chapel Eastvale

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

Philippians 4:6-7

A recently licensed pilot was flying his private plane in a cloudy day. He was not very experienced in instrument landing. When the control tower was to bring him in, he began to get panicky. Then a stern voice came over the radio, “You just obey instructions, we’ll take care of the obstructions.”  The devil likes to keep our eyes on the obstructions.  These obstructions lead to a stress filled life. 

It’s no secret.  We are a stressed-out society today.  The American Institute of Stress (yes this is real), states that 77% of people in the US regularly express physical symptoms due to stress.  We’re constantly moving, going from one thing to another, from one worry to another. Stress has a tendency to grip or paralyze a life and steal us of joy.  We rush, we stress, we get frustrated, we feel unaccomplished, we feel depressed.  All are signs of worry.  Worry can be overcome.  Jesus encouraged us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).  The first step to defeating worry is to put God first among other options.   What’s the next step?  Communicate with God.  Prayer recently has been scientifically proven to have an effect on brain activity.  Dr. Andrew Newberg of Thomas Jefferson Hospital has been studying the effect of prayer on the human brain for more than 20 years, injecting radioactive dye into subjects and watching what changes inside their heads when they pray.  These changes, says Newberg, are signs of the power of prayer to heal. Said Newberg, “We see not only changes in the activity levels, but in different neurotransmitters, the chemicals in our brain.”  Funny how God already knew this.  Scripture says that prayer will also bring God’s peace, which is the most fulfilling peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 and 10:30am/Wednesdays 7pm @ Clara Barton Elementary 7437 Corona Valley Ave. Eastvale.  (calvaryeastvale.org). 

Roaring or Running?

Pastor Tim Eaton,
Edgewater Lutheran Church

By Pastor Tim Eaton

There is an old adage about the instinct to fight or flight.  It suggests that when something challenging comes into our life we will react in one of two predetermined ways.  I believe that you are not necessarily a runner or a fighter, but different stimulus will create a different response.  Maybe your child is being bullied or not given a fair shake at school.  Would your blood boil?  Maybe you feel someone is trying to cheat you on a home or car repair.  Will the angry lion come out?

But how does Mr. Powerful Lion respond to things that overwhelm him?  Perhaps you have some debts that are looming over you.  Or is there a hard conversation you need to have with someone you care about?  What does running look like for you?  Is it retail therapy? Long hours working on anything but the elephant in front of you?

Proverbs 28:1 instructs us: “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”  So, we don’t want to run from challenges.  But roaring like a child’s tantrum isn’t much better.  What option is left?  The bold, young David said this: “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine,” (1 Samuel 17:37), With trust in Jesus, we can grow in the face of challenges and rise to meet them.

This summer, help your kids grow to meet the challenges of life.  Edgewater’s “ROAR” Vacation Bible School is a great place to start!  With free dinner every night, it might be a week without roaring or running for you!  It all happens June 10 – 14 from 5 – 7:30 p.m. at Harada Elementary School.  Save your spot now at EdgewaterEastvale.org.

Pastor Tim Eaton, Edgewater Lutheran Church, Sundays at 10am, Harada Elementary,12884 Oakdale Street, Eastvale, CA  92880, http://www.EdgewaterLutheran.org

The Proof

Pastor Dennis Morales

By Pastor Dennis Morales

But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.…”

Luke 24:2

A man and his five-year old son were driving past a cemetery and noticed a large pile of dirt next to a freshly dug grave when the little boy said, “Look, Dad, one got out!”  Every Easter, we come to celebrate the central aspect of Christianity.  The foundation of the Christians faith is the empty tomb.  The truth is that the grave could not hold Him.  The stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out, but to let all those in the garden tomb in to be witness that Jesus had risen.   In 1901 Abraham Lincoln’s casket was opened because it was feared that his body was not there. Christ’s tomb was opened to prove He is not there.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die (physically), he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?” (John 11) Because Christ died and rose, we can have the hope of heaven.  Our bodies will cease to function one day, but there is life beyond the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55).  Christ’s resurrection guarantees that all of His followers will be resurrected as well.  Because Jesus rose, we too will rise. He promised, “Because I live, you also will live”  (John 14:19).  If you have put your faith in the risen Lord, then you will live again. You no longer need to fear death. Because He came back in a resurrected body, He has given us the assurance that God will give each of us a glorified body one day.  Next time you drive past a cemetery, think of the One Whom the grave could not hold.

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am, Wednesdays at 7:30pm at Clara Barton Elementary 7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale. http://www.CalvaryEastvale.org.

Easter H.O.P.E.

Pastor Tim Eaton

By Pastor Tim Eaton

Hopeless.  What does that mean to you?  Does it resonate with you? Is it where you are at?  Hopeless means that we believe we are at the end of the road.  It means we believe that there is no more opportunity for positive change.  We are expecting things to get worse.  It’s a feeling that comes when we can’t see a way out or a way up.  It’s a feeling that comes with dire consequences.  When we are hopeless, we often become action-less as well.  Or worse, we act foolishly and make our situation worse!

But what if we believe the things we keep telling ourselves are wrong? What if there was hope?  What if there was no such thing as a hopeless situation?  Did you know that the joy and the events of Easter come at a seemingly hopeless time?  Jesus, the promised Savior, had died on a cross.  His story seemed over – hopeless.  But three days later, He was alive again! By overcoming death, he pronounced every situation HOPE-FILLED!

When you feel hopeless, remember this promise from Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 

You just never know what God is going to do in your story.  Find hope for your story, this Easter at Edgewater. Join us for Easter Sunday services at 6:30 and 10:00 a.m.; as well as a special Good Friday service on April 19 at 7 p.m., and our Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 20 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. – all at Harada Elementary.

Pastor Tim Eaton, Edgewater Lutheran Church, Sundays at 10am, Harada Elementary,12884 Oakdale Street, Eastvale, CA  92880, http://www.EdgewaterLutheran.org

A Skunk in the Church

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Pastor Mark Hopper

Diamond Bar- California was a cattle ranch for many years.  It has an interesting history dating back to Mexican land grants and a variety of owners.  Our church is built on the site where the original ranch house stood.  In the 1960’s, Transamerica Corporation bought the ranch and developed it into a beautiful master planned community.

Although Diamond Bar does not look like a cattle ranch today, there are some other residents who still call it home. In the past we have seen deer on the hillside east of our house. We have seen coyotes trotting down our street.  And, we have seen skunks and raccoons.

Our church property used to have some undeveloped land behind the first building.  Hawks built nests in the tall pine trees and skunks were seen from time to time.

One day before a Sunday church service a child approached me with an urgent message. He said there was a skunk in the church!  At first I thought he was kidding, but when several of us investigated we found a skunk lying in the return air duct that ran under the floor. We could clearly see him but we weren’t sure if he was dead or asleep.

What should we do?  Should we evacuate the building or just wait and deal with the skunk after the service?  We decided to wait and not say anything so we wouldn’t cause a panic and risk waking him up. The service ended without incident.  After people left, a friend helped me investigate. We realized the skunk was dead. We removed him and buried him in the land behind the church.

Apparently, he had found his way into the furnace room which had a fresh air grill to the outside. He must have climbed into the return air duct, slid down under the floor and was unable to get back out.  We don’t know how long he was there. We actually saw two other skunks on the property that morning. They were probably looking for their lost friend who had disappeared in the church furnace room.

As a pastor, I like to think that everyone is welcome at our church. We encourage friends and guests to attend our services.  But, we may need to post a new sign, “No Skunks Allowed”!

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org

Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

Are You Worthy of Imitating?

His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:2
Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings
Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

By Pastor Rob Norris

As parents, we need to think about the priorities we are teaching our children by our words and our actions. Ask yourself, If I could pass on my relationship with God to my kids, would they be satisfied with what they receive? If my children could never experience anything more than what I have today, would they be given enough to navigate themselves successfully through life? Would they experience God? One thing I have learned is that your children will listen to what you say, and they will do what you tell them, but they will become who you are. If your daily experience with Christ is less than you want your children to possess, they probably won’t ever have it either.
Your model should be the man in Psalm 1–the one whose “delight” is in spending time with God and His Word (verse 2). The one who “meditates” on the things of God through the ins and outs of the day. The one who keeps him- or herself “firmly planted” by those “streams of water” (verse 3).
Live It:
Share honestly those things that are distracting you right now from your relationship with Christ. How are you showing your children the reality of truly walking with Jesus Christ?
Meeting @ 10:00 at River Heights Intermediate School 7227 Scholar Way, Eastvale CA. Trusting and believing with you.
Pastor Rob

Pastor’s Corner: The Cross

“Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still…”


Luke 7:14 
Photo Courtesy: Pexels

By Pastor Dennis Morales

There is no arguing that one of the most painful occurrences in life is losing a loved one.  Jesus came upon a widow who had just lost her only son.  .  According to old Jewish custom, the women would precede a funeral procession because women were believed to have brought death into the world in the line of Eve.  This widow would be the first person He would see and He looked at her with compassion (Luke 7:13).  It was custom for family members and friends to come and touch the coffin, which would halt the procession, and say a few words of comfort to the survived. Then the procession would continue.  According to custom, Jesus stood at the procession and touched the coffin.  Jesus tells the woman “do not weep.”  He then tells the young man in the coffin to “get up.”  “So that he who was dead sat up and began to speak” (Luke 7:15).  What Jesus did was unprecedented.   Under normal circumstances the funeral procession would have continued.  But when Jesus stopped the funeral procession, and it never continued!  Jesus essentially stopped death in its tracks.  This is what Jesus has done for all mankind through the Cross.  He has halted the effect of sin and eternal death upon all those who believe in Him (Jn 3:16).  Jesus’ death on the Cross defeated sin and He further punctuates this by His Rising from the dead.  In this is the Easter message.  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 55-57)   Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 and 10:30am/Wednesdays 7pm @ Clara Barton Elementary (calvaryeastvale.org).  EASTER SERVICES:  Good Friday @ 7pm and Easter @ 9:30am

Pastor Dennis Morales

A Unique Love

Pastor Dennis Morales
Pastor Dennis Morales

By Pastor Dennis Morales

Throughout his administration, Abraham Lincoln was a president under fire, especially during the scarring years of the Civil War. And though he knew he would make errors of office, he resolved never to compromise his integrity. So strong was this resolve that he once said, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.”  Proverbs says that a “friend loves at all times” (proverbs 17:17).    True friendship has a tremendous effect in life.  Research says that having strong and stable friendships can help us to manage stress, which can have a dramatically impact on our physical health. If you know that you’ll have people by your side in times of worry, it can make a huge difference when trying to manage the situation.  Jesus spoke highly of both love and friendship.  Jesus said loving one another is a mark of knowing Him.  “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35).  As you read the famous 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter, we see words in our language that qualify as descriptors or adjectives.  In the original Greek language, these words are action words.  John 15:13 says “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  God, with love in action, sent His Son.  His Son actively loved by sacrificing His life for all mankind (John 3:16), so that we can have the hope of Heaven. 

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am, Wednesdays at 7:30pm at Clara Barton Elementary 7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale. www.CalvaryEastvale.org.

The Lost Book

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Pastor Mark Hopper

Recently, my wife flew home from Arizona on Southwest Airlines. She had been in Phoenix for a few days visiting her family. Things went smoothly and her flight was on time. I picked her up and we headed home in heavy afternoon traffic. Suddenly she realized that she had left her book on the airplane that was going on to Oakland. She had changed seats shortly after she boarded the plane and had left the book in the seat pocket in front of her.

This was no ordinary book. The book she had been reading was the one that was just published with my name on it!  The book is titled, “Let Me Encourage You” by Pastor Mark Hopper. It is a collection of 365 articles and stories that I have written over the past ten years for this local paper. Over a decade ago, the publishers invited me to write a weekly article for their local advertising publication.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to write many different stories and articles.

A friend encouraged me to put these articles into a book.  It took a lot of time to read through hundreds of stories and decide which ones to include in the book. Many of the articles are about my own family. Other stories are about current events in our community or country.  It was fun reading these stories and articles again.

After my wife realized she had left my book on the plane, she called the airline. They gave her the local number for the Southwest baggage office at the airport. She explained she had left her book on the plane and wondered if it had been found. She emphasized that this was no ordinary book. It was a book authored by her husband!

We were pleasantly surprised to hear that they had found the book on the plane and it was safely in the lost luggage office.  We could come by and pick it up any time. What a relief. The lost book was found!  Maybe the helpful employee will read a little before we pick it up. If you would like to purchase a copy for yourself or for a friend, you can contact me at my email address (markh@efreedb.org). But you have to promise to not leave it on an airplane!  Pastor Mark Hopper  Efree Church of Diamond Bar 

This article was written by Pastor Mark Hopper of Efree Church of Diamond Bar. Sunday Services are held at 9:00 am & 10:45 am at 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd. You can contact the church at 909.594.7604 or visit them online at Efreedb.org

Tax Time

Pastor Dennis Morales of Calvary Chapel Eastvale

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…” Luke 2:1-5

I ran across a quote that read “IRS auditor to taxpayer, as nurse prepares a syringe: “She is going to numb the area around your wallet.”  In most cases, when we hear the word tax, our minds do go to our wallets.   It was no accident that Dr. Luke mentioned the name of Caesar Augustus. This man signed a tax bill that the whole world (of that day) be taxed. He needed money to raise an army to control his vast empire and to live in luxury himself. 

It was prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem of the house and lineage of King David (Micah 5:2) 700 years before.  Mary and Joseph resided in Nazareth.  At the very time for Mary to give birth, all were summoned to the house of their ancestry for the census (Luke 2:1-5).  All who were of the lineage of David were to visit Bethlehem.  Both Mary and Joseph are of the lineage of David, so both had to go to Bethlehem.

Precisely according to Bible prophecy, and God’s sovereignty, Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 1:21-23, Isaiah 7:14 prophesied 800 years before). Such an event rooted deeply in prophesy and is proven that man could not orchestrate something of this magnitude. 

Joy came to the world in miraculous fashion.  This was a taxation time in history where we look back at the and its forever linked to our hearts, not our wallet.  God orchestrated when the Messiah, Jesus, was to be born into this world to save mankind from sin and instill hope forever into all who believe.  He did this for you.   

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Clara Barton Elementary in Eastvale.  Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30am.  Wednesdays at 7pm.   Celebrate Christmas with us on December 23.

Joy Stealers

Tim Eaton

By Pastor Tim Eaton

Joy.  Its as much a part of Christmas as trees, gifts, mangers, and mall Santas.  We see signs that say it, and hear songs that sing about it.  But do we have it? The tragedy of Christmas is that we often find a million reasons not to have joy at this “The most wonderful time of the year.” Spending too much on gifts, the pressure to have the house, the clothes, or the family just right; juggling family time with other commitments; or extended family drama can drain the joy right out of Christmas.  For still others the joy of Christmas has been stolen more naturally by the onset of physical ailments or the loss of loved ones.

For a season of joy there sure seems to be a lack of it!  But that’s exactly why God sent his son into the world.  He sent him to be a gift to overshadow and overpower even the worst of joy stealers.  His gift of Jesus was announced with these words: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)  Indeed, he is greater than whatever troubles you have! This Christmas clear away the stress and the clutter and remember the one who is the reason for the season is greater than the stressors of the season.  When your Christmas isn’t perfect remember that HE IS the perfect gift for you.

Some people love wrapping gifts – other can’t stand it!  To restore your holiday JOY, Edgewater will be offering totally free (no donation) gift wrapping in front of Kohl’s in Eastvale on Sunday, December 16th from 2 to 5 pm.  We are gathering a team that love wrapping just in case you don’t.

Put the JOY back in your Christmas: Christmas Music Celebration 12/23 5pm Christmas Eve 12/24 5pm. Pastor Tim Eaton, Edgewater Lutheran Church Sundays at 10am, Harada Elementary, 12884 Oakdale Street, Eastvale, CA  92880, http://www.EdgewaterLutheran.org

Pastor Dennis Morales

Pastor’s Corner: Things That Matter

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, Ihave kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Paul the Apostle is nearing the end of his life.  He is contemplating the things God had called him to accomplish.  This is his swansong.  I am immediately impressed with the confidence with which he is able to say “I finished.”  It’s been said that “a wasted life is really nothing more than a collection of wasted days. As God gives us life, each one of us starts the new year with the same number of opportunities—365—that we can choose to either use and invest in eternal things or allow to drift by without taking advantage of the gift we have been given.”  I was walking through a cemetery after afuneral service and my eye caught a headstone that read “a life stillunfinished.”  We would naturally say thatabout anyone that had passed from this world at a young age, but this wassomeone who passed at 78!  I don’t wantto come to the end and think of all the things I should have done or the ways Ishould have stepped out in faith.  Paulcalls life a “race.”  My favorite racesin the Olympics are the sprints.  Theseraces are literally over in seconds, but I am always impressed with the amazingspeed of the athletes.  The race referredto by Paul is likened to a “long distance” run. A long distance run takes faith, endurance, and focus.  Jesus “for the joy that was set before Himendured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2).  God calls us to focus and invest in thingsthat matter so that we might finish well. 


Calvary Chapel Eastvale Meets Wednesdays at 7pm and Sundays at 8:30 and10:30 am  at Clara Barton Elementary 7437Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale. 

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

By Jeremy Mercer

Our country is more divided than it’s been since the Civil War. With politics creeping into every facet of our lives, from sports to movies to even the church, America is a divided nation. I’m a problem-solver. I always seek to understand so I can find solutions. My thoughts go to an important verse in the Bible. First Corinthians 1:10 powerfully says, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”

 

For human beings, this is often very challenging. However, the Word of God gives us this instruction because (1) it’s what God wants for us, (2) we need to hear it, and (3) by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, IT IS POSSIBLE! God would never ask us to do something that we could not accomplish. But God DID instruct us to live this way so it IS something we can do.

 

We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6), to forgive each other, and to bring us into true unity, as God wants for His church to be. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Imagine if we lived that!

 

I believe the church is to be the answer, or rather, to be an example of the answer to the world. Jesus did tell us, after all, to be “salt and light.” (Matthew 5:13-16). We must each choose this. I am choosing this. Will you choose this with me?

Jeremy Mercer is the lead Pastor at Connection Church in Corona California

Location: 1441 E. 6th Street, Corona, CA 92879

Phone (951) 737-2822

Email office@connectcorona.com

Service Time: 10:30 am Sunday

The Overwhelming, Never Ending, TOUGH Love Of God

By Rohmon Merchant

“Nobody feels sorry for you!”, that is an actual statement I say to myself almost as a daily declaration. It is a way to motivate myself to live life on a grander scale, and when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated to realize, “Hey, man of faith! Yes you, the one who made a conscience decision to spend the rest of your days walking by faith and not by sight! Are you really going to sit here and feel sorry for yourself” Trust me, it’s much easier said than done, especially when you find more and more people have found a way to experience both the spoils of their selfish ambitions and sanctity of their Christians beliefs. I will venture to say when difficult times comes to those people (and it comes to everyone) their true understanding of God truly shows and it becomes a testimony or lack of. One of Jesus’ greatest traits is his compassion for people, and what we are starting to see more of, is that people seem to confuse compassion for pity. When I hear people speak to me on what they are believing God for, or how they believe God see’s their situation; it shows that there is a level of thought that God would change their situation “just cause” or “God wouldn’t let that happen to me” attitude. Could it be that God feels sorry for us? Your walk with God should be that, a walk, a continual progression through life. If we are always focused on our self, then when problems come we could look to God like a superhero that would change everything without anything from us. Not saying he needs us to help in any way, but God does want us to walk through our freedom and healing, because he doesn’t feel sorry for us but because he has compassion for us.

For example, Jesus went to a blind man from birth, took mud in his hands spit in it and rubbed it in the man’s eyes, then told him to find a certain body of water and wash his own face off. If God had pity for him there wouldn’t be an encouraging course of action that is connected to his faith. Christ didn’t make it simple for him, he can’t see, getting around his town would be tasking. How then is he to get up, find Bethesda, and wash his face, with mud and spit dripping from his eyes. Its sounds insensitive but Gods healing is always manifested more through the strong and not the ones who see themselves as the victim. That’s not just one time, we hear it after a lot of Jesus’ miracles, “Take up your bed and walk!”, “Remove those death Clothes!”, “Go home to your daughter, and do not fear!” We hear it frequently, through the scriptures and we can see that the Lord not only asks us to do tough things, but through those moments is where we find the power behind Christs love. His overwhelming, never ending, tough love of God. (see what I did there?) Instead of merely feeling sorry for us, Jesus moves us into action. He uses these moments to get our minds off of our self and our problems, and he motivates us to do something about it. I know it sounds like I’m being tough, but they are a lot of people who waste so much time staying in their woes waiting for God to finally feel sorry for them, when in reality “tough love” is what Jesus often used to set people free.

 

Keep Going

By Rob Norris

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:27

We don’t talk a lot about cross carrying. That’s more the fine print of being a follower of Christ–the part we don’t generally go around advertising to those we’re hoping to draw into Christian faith. But as I understand Jesus’ words in Luke 14:27, you and I cannot truly follow Him unless we are carrying a cross.

The cross is not just a popular piece of jewelry but also a unique Christian symbol that represents suffering and sacrifice. So it is with the cross He has asked you to carry. Your cross will undoubtedly extract pain and a price.

Cross carrying is not a one-time decision. No, we must choose daily to pick up our cross, again, and follow Him. We are to continue carrying it over the long haul.

Do you know what your cross is? Think with me for a moment. When the Savior asks you, “Pick up your cross and follow Me,” what exactly is it that He is asking you to carry?

Is your cross:

A chronic health issue–physical or emotional?

Giving up fame, prestige and popularity?

Giving up material wealth, financial security and living a lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to?

The loss of a dream–infertility, a past divorce, infidelity or the betrayal of a friend?

Cross carrying demands focus on Christ (see Hebrews 12:1-3), coming after Christ with faith (see Hebrews 11:6), and perseverance.

Keep carrying your cross–through the balance of the work week, through the long months of a family crisis, through the hard-fought seasons of moral struggle.

Keep carrying your cross.

Live it:
What does carrying your cross mean to you right now? What cross has God called you to carry right now as you follow Him?

Pray:
That you won’t rebel against what God is asking of you but that you’ll submit willingly to His claim on your life and pick up your cross and follow Christ.

 

Meeting @ 10:00 at River Heights Intermediate School 7227 Scholar Way, Eastvale CA.

Join us all September for Family Month

Trusting and believing with you,

Pastor Rob

 

Growing Gardens

By Rob Norris

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

I like the way a garden looks when it’s clean and neat, when all the soil is evened out and the weeds are pulled up. But I know too well that the hard work of a Saturday morning will be repeated again and again, all season long. It never takes more than a week or two of neglect before weeds are sprouting all over the place.

Parenting is a lot like that. Just when you think you’ve finally mastered one area, you wake up the next day and a whole new issue is facing you. It’s so easy to forget that parenting is a process. A long, long process.

You go to bed at night sometimes relishing those little victories, thinking all is secure and right with the world. But it’s not very long before something else crops up.
Remember that building character is the most important goal in parenting. Imprinting a child’s heart with the image of God takes time and repeated effort, often reworking the same ground repeatedly to keep bad behaviors from becoming habits.

So I encourage you today not to give up. Don’t lose heart. The Bible promises great rewards to those who faithfully persevere through the long days, the long battles that often don’t even stop for bedtime. I assure you, all that weeding will pay off.

Meeting @ 10:00 at River Heights Intermediate School 7227 Scholar Way, Eastvale CA.

Trusting and believing with you,

 

 

Growing

By Dennis Morales

1 Corinthians 3:1 “I couldn’t talk to you as…spiritual people…”

 

My two boys have just moved up another grade in school.  It’s really hard to assimilate sometimes in my parental cortex, but they are growing.  I couldn’t be happier that they are growing and healthy.  Paul spoke to an audience dealing with stunted growth, not in a physical sense, but a spiritual sense.  People had told us prior to our sons being born; don’t talk baby talk, because it will affect their maturity and speech.  When Paul spoke to the Corinthian church, he said that he couldn’t speak in spiritual terms because they were still spiritual babies.  They should have grown or progressed, but they were immature.  They should have passed up the milk and gone on toward food that requires you to sink your teeth into it.  Paul says that immaturity was evident because of the things that were happening among them like strife, divisiveness, immorality, and envy (1Corinthians 3:3).  Their behavior didn’t change, and they weren’t maturing.   Unfortunately, many people have never grown up spiritually. They made an initial commitment to follow Christ but have never really understood what it means to be committed in following Jesus.  Saying a prayer of commitment to Jesus is not all a Christian life is.  Jesus becomes Lord and you begin to understand what it means for Him to lead your life.  Spiritual growth should not just be Christian radio listening to sermons or music but cutting into your own food.  We need to learn how to feed ourselves the spiritual food.  Your foundation starts with your Bible.  The Bible is likened to bread (Matthew 4:4), meat (Hebrews 5:11-14), and even Honey (Ps 119:103).  As we take steps closer to God, we experience His goodness, grace and glory in our lives in new ways.  Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Clara Barton Elementary in Eastvale.  Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30am. Wednesdays at 7pm. 

 

The Uniqueness of Christianity

By Pastor Ed Moreno

Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This claim rankles people like no other. Christians have been called arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted for saying Jesus is the only way to God. But the thing is, Jesus is the one who says that. Christians are just relating what Jesus said.

Part of the reason why this claim is so controversial is because it strikes at the core of three great myths about religion. I’ll briefly address the first one. The first myth says: “When you get down to it, all religions are basically the same.” The truth is that there are major differences between the religions of the world. And Christianity is like no other.  Christianity’s uniqueness is rooted in the uniqueness of Jesus himself.

Someone once noted that other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to find truth.”  But Jesus says, “I am the truth.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the way to salvation.”  But Jesus says,  “I am the way to eternal life in heaven.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you how to become enlightened.”  But Jesus says, “I am the light.”

Other religious leaders say, “Follow me and I’ll show you the door that leads to God.”   But Jesus says, “I am the door.”

Then Jesus adds, “So follow Me.”

What the different religions of the world teach contradict each other, so let’s not pretend they are all true. That’s irrational. They can’t all be true. What one needs to look for is who authenticated their claims.  Jesus claimed to be divinity and the only way to God, so how does he back up his claims? Jesus backs up his claims with unique credentials that make him uniquely credible.

For example, Jesus fulfilled dozens of centuries-old prophecies against all mathematical odds of probability. And unlike other religious leaders, Jesus performed great miracles that further authenticated his claim of being God’s one and only Son. And in the most spectacular demonstration of his deity, Jesus fulfilled his own prediction by rising from the grave after three days exactly as he said he would. And this was witnessed by more than 500 people.  No other religious leader ever did the powerful things Jesus did.  So, it’s not narrow-minded to say Jesus is the only way to God if the overwhelming evidence supports that claim.