Category Archives: Pastors Corner

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

Where He Leads

By Pastor Dennis Morales

Be strong and of good courage…for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  – Joshua 1:9

The children of Israel were ready to cross the Jordan into the Promise Land, but there was one thing in their way, the Jordan.  It was Harvest and it was a torrent of rushing water and virtually impassible (Joshua 3:15).  God instructed Joshua that they were to cross regardless.  God added He will be with them and He would make the Jordan passable.  In a “step of faith,” the priests were instructed to go first and to take the Ark of the Covenant and start the process.  God said when the feet of the priests dip in the edge of the water that the waters would part.  So God lead them and parted the waters the moment the priests dipped their feet in the water just as He said He would.  God also told the priests to stand on the dry river bed until every last person had crossed.  Why?  The Ark of the Covenant stands as a reminder of God’s presence.  He wanted the people to know He was with them as they passed through the waters.  Where is God leading you?  Does it seem difficult or impossible?  Remember wherever God leads you, He will be with you.  Daniel was lead to the Lion’s den as a result of his faithfulness to God but God shut the mouths of the Lions.  Jesus told His disciples “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).  God reminds His people in Scripture “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).  God’s strength is realized in allowing God’s leading.

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 & 10:30 am, Wednesdays at 7pm at Clara Barton Elementary School (7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale).  Visit their website at www.calvaryeastvale.org.

 

Humor Me

By Rob Norris

 2 Corinthians 4:5 We do not preach about ourselves. We preach about Jesus Christ. We say that he is Lord. And we serve you because of him.

It’s always dangerous to make assumptions. I am reminded of the businesswoman who found herself with an extra hour of airport down time. She bought a magazine, a coffee and a small package of cookies, preparing to pass the time as best she could in the crowded waiting area.

Absorbed in her reading, she reached over and picked up a cookie to nibble on. To her great surprise, a stranger two seats over reached into the same packet and began eating the second cookie. Stunned, she tried to ignore it. Only after 20 more quiet minutes did she reach in to take the third cookie. The stranger took the fourth. Then he picked up the near-empty package and sarcastically asked, “Would you like the last one?” Infuriated, she marched off in a huff to the airline gate, reached into her bag for her boarding pass . . . and found her unopened package of cookies! Her anger had been based on a wrong assumption.

Some assumptions are much more dangerous than that.  For example some may never have actually taken the step of faith to surrender their life to Jesus Christ. You may have the wrong assumption that your good works will get you into heaven.

You can change that at this moment. Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, died on a cross to pay the divine penalty for your sins and was raised to life to defeat death forever, is as near as your next breath. He offers eternal life to you in His open hands.

If you are not sure you are a follower of Christ, if you’ve never received His gift of salvation, you can confess your sins to Him right now and, through faith in Him, receive His forgiveness and ask Him to become Lord of your life?

Live it
Share your experience of coming to faith in Christ. Who are some people you know who need the gift of salvation that Christ offers?

Pray
If you aren’t sure where you will spend eternity, pray in faith right now and receive Christ as your Savior and Lord.

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

Trusting and believing with you.

Pastor Rob

 

When We Are Drowning In Our Blessings

By Pastor Mark Lee

 

Last month, California’s prayers were answered.  After years of water shortages and dry weather, the sky opened up and rain began to fall.  And fall.  Within weeks, approximately 80% of the state’s historic drought had ended.  Californians, however, soon found themselves drowning in their blessings.  As the soil became saturated and the streets flooded, many people grew frustrated with the very thing they had asked God to send.

 

Being unappreciative of God’s gifts is not unusual.  Just take a look at our daily lives.  We yearn for children, but lament the active toddler or trying teenager.  We ask God for shelter, but despise the never-ending housework. We pray for a steady paycheck, but can’t stand our co-workers.  From the beloved spouse we argue with to the dinner we don’t want to cook, we often have a tendency to take life’s blessings for granted.

 

Much has been said about the need to have an “attitude of gratitude.”  And honestly, who doesn’t want to be grateful for everything they have?  Unfortunately, it is easy to lose sight of the positive when faced with the negative.  No matter how hard we try to fight them off, bad thoughts can creep in.  Because of this, we need to intentionally find something to be thankful for in each situation we face – no matter how bad it is.

 

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  The next time you are frustrated while cleaning the toilet or sitting in traffic, remember that many of these circumstances are the result of your answered prayers.

 

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m.

God Owns It All

By Sean Ortiz

Have you ever wondered who is responsible for your fiscal management?  Does the idea of a budget make you cringe?  Well we have been going through a lesson called Impact here at New Beginnings.  It is based on Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University training.  One of the foundations of the class is to understand that God own’s it all.  PSALM 24:1 saysThe earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein”.  In HAGGAI 2:8 it states, ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts”.  Also in GENESIS 1:1 it begins with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.  As soon as we understand the concept, that we do not own anything, but that we are God’s management team.  We can then realize we have a huge responsibility to manage our resources with the understanding we are accountable to the creator of Heaven and Earth.  What a responsibility we have.  The idea is the we would always think twice if we understood that we don’t own anything.  So, what would life be like debt free and living on 80% of your income?  What could you accomplish if you saved 10% and had 10% to give to charity.  Who could you help?  Who could be blessed by your abundance because you are managing your resources wisely.  We have 3 powerful resources, our TIME, TALENT AND TREASURE.  So, the question is, are you ready to live life and live it MORE abundantly? Let’s trust God with our resources so we can make an IMPACT in the world around us.  Remember to always LET GO AND LET GOD……

Pastor Sean Ortiz

New Beginnings Community Church Jurupa Valley

9010 Limonite Ave

Jurupa Valley, CA 92509

http://www.nbccjv.org

 

 

 

Life in the Fast-Food Lane

By Rob Norris

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:8

When Truett Cathy opened his Dwarf House restaurant in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, Georgia, in 1946, he made a decision never to deal with money on the Lord’s Day. The Dwarf House was always closed on Sundays.
The restaurant was the first franchise for Chick-fil-A®—and by the organization’s sixtieth anniversary; it had multiplied into over 1,200 restaurant locations. As Chick-fil-A continues to grow, it also continues to close its operations on Sunday, traditionally one of the biggest days for food service.
Being closed on Sunday is a reflection of Truett’s purpose statement for his company. It’s an investment in the spiritual lives of his employees and a witness to both the watching world and the restaurant industry. He still refers to his closed-on-Sunday policy as “the best business decision I ever made.” In fact, Chick-fil-A restaurants often generate more money in six days than other comparable restaurants do in seven.
Being closed on Sunday is also a reflection of one of my core values: Sabbath rest. I believe that when we yield control of our lives to the Father—when we reserve our Sundays to turn from our activity to rest and to abide more fully in Him—we receive strength for daily living throughout the coming week and live under the blessing of God.
The Sabbath is God’s invitation to draw near to Him, to rest in Him, and to linger by His still waters. It’s how He helps detoxify you from the pressures of life. It’s how He restores your soul.
Live IT:

How could you make God-honoring relaxation more of a deliberate effort?

Pray:

Ask the Lord to show you the value of keeping His Sabbath.

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

Join us on Easter for a Celebration Service and Egg Hunt

Trusting and believing with you,

Pastor Rob

 

Empty Is Good

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”  Luke 24:24

There was a city where a building wall collapsed because the foundation caved into an empty tomb-it was unknown and hidden when they built it. Now if the men intentionally built a building with a hole as a foundation they would be fools. When we look at God and His ability to “hang the earth upon nothing” we think differently. The church as we know it has a foundation that is in fact the empty tomb. If His tomb hadn’t been emptied there wouldn’t have been any hope. The empty tomb gives us assurance that Jesus is who He said He is. Jesus “was declared the Son of God (with power) by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). The empty tomb is proof of acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for all mankind (Rom 5:18).   The empty tomb means death is defeated. There is now no death for those who are in Christ Jesus! “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”(1 Cor. 15:51-57).  Because of the empty tomb, you and I, by faith in Him, have life today and life forever!  He is risen!  SPECIAL EASTER SERVICES:  Good Friday at 6pm and a combined service on Easter Sunday at 9:30am with a Family BBQ following.  Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets regularly Sundays, 8:30am & 10:30am, and Wednesdays, 7:00pm at Clara Barton Elementary School (7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale).  Visit their website at www.clavaryeastvale.org.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do We Stop Sinning?

By Sean Ortiz

How do we stop sinning?  This is a challenge we all think about in our walk as Christians.  So, what is the answer?  Well, sometimes we make it more difficult than we need too.  Here, let me give you something to think about.  There is a Scripture in 1 Peter 4:8 which says Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”  The passage is Peter quoting a truth that is not new.  It is found in Proverbs 10:12 which states, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins”.  What is Peter saying?  Well here is something to think about.  In Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. What if we as imitators of Christ were to love like Him? Meaning our love for people is so great that it covers or even prevents us from thinking or doing things like lying, committing adultery, gossiping or doing anything else the Lord considers a sin. When we love others truly like Christ loved the church, we could then understand, we would never want to hurt or do something unimaginable to the people we love that would damage or cause us to sin.  People would mean ALL people.  Also, if we love ourselves, we would never want to violate ourselves either.  You see love is a powerful thing.  It is easily powerful enough to prevent us from sinning.  So, let go and let God show you love so great, it can and will cover a multitude of sins.  Not others…………. but yours.

Pastor Sean Ortiz

Sundays at 10am

http://www.nbccjv.org

New Beginnings Community Church Jurupa Valley

9010 Limonite Ave

Jurupa Valley, CA 92509

951-734-9574

 

Be A Miracle

By Rohmon Merchant

If we are all being honest; extremely honest, it is easy to say that at some point, everyone needs a miracle. I know that I have (unspoken) and boy I pray so hard for one. Literally blood, sweat and tears praying, ugly crying, snot nose, can’t keep my breath, falling on my face, neighbors so worried they call the police type praying. In those times I feel God should take my urgency into consideration. I feel at that moment there is no more pressing matter than the one that I am bringing to the table. Not to down play it at any or level, but I am in dire straits at those moments. These are the times I feel like I can’t take anymore, that I am falling apart so completely that if He doesn’t show up, then I am completely finished. Have you ever been there? Have you ever found yourself at the mercy seat of God, uncharacteristically begging? After all that, we don’t want to seem like our faith is completely shattered so we try our best to look and think upon things that are pure and holy so that our faith doesn’t look totally annihilated. While at the same time staying hopeful and looking out for where our miracle is coming from. I have to even check my thoughts so as to not work myself to anger, and yes even to fits of rage because I felt as though God didn’t show in my time. I want to encourage you, but I also want to challenge you with this thought. If anyone reading this can honestly say they are at a place with the Lord where you feel; “I have walked with you for some time now, I know that you will never leave me nor forsake me”, “I am the righteousness of Christ!,”  “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or a seed begging for bread”, we know that God is, and will provide all things that we have asked for. (Some answer/resources we have prayed came in the form of seed but that is a different subject). There is no need for the high emotional level trying to manipulate the hand of God. What if we changed our perception of this? What if instead of looking for a miracle, we were looking to be a miracle.

A New Legacy

By Rob Norris

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Joshua 1:8

As a people, we are healthier but not happier. We are drenched in knowledge but parched for wisdom. Materially we are wealthy, but we suffer a profound poverty of the soul. The longer I live, the more I see that our nation needs a spiritual reformation in its inner spirit.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the state of the family. The biblical values that built our great nation–once passed on from each generation to the next as a national treasure–are being questioned and dismissed. As a result, never before have we seen such deterioration in our homes:

Never before have so many children grown up in broken homes.

Never before has the definition of marriage been altered to allow for two people of the same sex.

Never before has the marriage covenant been viewed with such contempt by a generation of young people.

Never before have parents been ridiculed for seeking to raise children with biblical values.

Never before have so many Christians laughed, shrugged their shoulders or did nothing about adultery, divorce and sin.

Never before has materialism been so flagrantly embraced over relationships.

Never before has the family been in such need of a new legacy.

The pivotal national issue today is not crime; neither is it welfare, health care, education, politics, the economy, the media or the environment. The pivotal issue today is the spiritual and moral condition of individual men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and families.

Live It:
Nations are never changed until people are changed. The true hope for genuine change in the heart lies only in the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Through Him, lives can be rebuilt. Through Him, families can be reformed.

Pray: That change in our country will begin with change in our lives and homes.

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

Trusting and believing with you,

Pastor Rob

 

The Faith of the Philadelphia Eagles

By Jeremy Mercer

Super Bowl LII was won in dramatic fashion by the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33, over the defending Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots. What you may not know is how central faith in Jesus Christ is to the heart of the Eagles. Carson Wentz the starting QB, is a strong follower of Christ. Nick Foles, who had to take the place of the injured Wentz, is also a Christian. The faith of the Philadelphia Eagles is now going viral.

Head Coach, Doug Pederson, Zack Ertz (TE), Torrey Smith (WR), Stefen Wisniewski (OG), Jordan Hicks (LB), and several other players were seen in videos giving their testimonies, being baptized in the team’s rehabilitation pool and holding weekly team Bible studies. Their faith is central in their lives and has bonded this team together in a unique and powerful way.

On my weekly internet radio show, “God, I Love Sports” on Hope Radio 24/7, I made myself clear on how following Christ shaped this year’s Super Bowl Champs. NO, I’m not saying that Jesus wanted the Eagles to win or that God hates the Patriots like everybody not from New England. God doesn’t control our every step, every word and every thought. As Joshua 24:15 says, “Choose today whom you will serve.” When someone chooses to serve Jesus and follow Him, then God can come alongside them, guide, strengthen, help, and bless them as they follow the instructions in God’s Word.

What the Eagle’s discovered goes beyond the “X’s & O’s” of the game. They have found a relationship with a real God and know as do I, how much difference God can make in our lives. If you will give your life to Christ, allow His Holy Spirit to help you understand the scriptures and begin to build your life around His Word and follow its teachings, you too, will discover the power of God in your life. You may not end up in a Super Bowl, but God loves you and is for you. He desires to bless you! Trust in Him, follow His Word, and you’ll become a champion in your own life.

Lead Pastor

Connection Church

Corona CA

Strong into the Night

Pastor Rob Norris

He who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. Proverbs 29:25

In September 1939, Great Britain allied with France and several other alarmed countries in declaring war on Hitler’s Germany, which had invaded Poland in its intended march toward global domination. By the end of the year, anxieties throughout England remained on high alert; everyone was fearful of bombing and invasion.

When King George VI sat down before two large microphones to make his Christmas Day speech to the nation, he was dressed in his official uniform as Admiral of the Fleet. With so many parts of the world facing an uncertain future, his goal was to reassure the people that their nation was prepared and able and their cause right and just.

“A new year is at hand,” the king said. “We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we shall all be. If it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted.”

Then, turning to some lines of poetry his wife had recently shared with him, he concluded his speech with these words, which are a fitting close to our year together. They offer a word of encouragement that–we hope–will settle your hearts amid the troubles of our own era in history. These lines are from “The Gate of the Year,” a poem written in 1908 by Minnie Louise Haskins:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!”

Live It

As you make the turn to a new year, what are you facing that needs you to sink your hand more deeply into God’s hand?

Pray

Pray for one another that as you embark upon a new year, God will grant you and your family His favor.

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

Trusting and believing with you.

Pastor Rob

 

In The Spirit

Pastor Jeremy Mercer

To say I grew up in a Christian home is an understatement. My parents are devout God-fearing people. That is anything but a negative statement. On the contrary, they are respected and loved by everybody and with good reason. My parents are wonderful and absolutely the “real deal.” They’re not perfect, but they genuinely strive to live as the Word of God instructs.

One of the phrases I heard most growing up was “be in the Spirit.” You have to be “in the Spirit,” “walk by the Spirit,” and “live by the Spirit.” “The Spirit” is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Now I know many people have differing views on how the Holy Spirit operates in the modern world and in the daily life of a Christian. Whatever those views are, growing up, I knew being “in the Spirit” was very important.

Revelation 1:10 tells us that the Apostle John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” The Lord’s Day, being Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead. It also gives us the important fact that John was “in the Spirit.” John was conscious of being surrounded by the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit! Wow! What a way to live!

We can live that same way every day; if we choose the continual awareness and pursuit of God. Christians often times make life-altering choices by our natural human understanding and thinking, not cognizant of the Holy’s Spirit’s presence and help. I’m ALL for using the brain that God gave us to think, reason, plan, and strategize as best we can. However, often times that isn’t enough. I am thankful that God gave us the Helper…His Holy Spirit. I want to live every day “in the Spirit” like the Apostle John did.

In 2018, not just on “The Lord’s Day” but every day, let’s be “in the Spirit.” Let’s worship God, pray, and listen to the Word “in the Spirit!” Let’s be conscious and receiving of the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit! We will begin to see things differently in our lives. Obstacles will become opportunities. Problems will lead to promotion. Pain will turn to peace. We’ll encounter God and be forever changed, empowered and filled with joy! Let’s be intentional about living every day, starting today, “in the Spirit!”

Jeremy Mercer Lead Pastor

Connection Church

1441 E. 6th Street, Corona, CA 92879

http://www.connectcorona.com/

A New Year and a New Beginning

By Pastor Sean Ortiz

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

2 Corinthians 5:17

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the NEW creation has come. The old has gone, the NEW is here!

Have you ever realized we make resolutions every year?  How many do you keep?  What if you kept all your resolutions every year, where would you be in life?

I want you to know that every NEW year is a NEW beginning. NEW means not existing before, made, introduced, discovered recently or for the first time.”  What is it in your life that will be discovered for the first time?  A new attitude, outlook a job, career or potential you never saw before.

It is interesting that in Corinthians Paul says if you are in Christ you are a NEW creation. That is saying, if you truly want to keep the NEW, we need to keep Jesus in our life.  If you keep failing at your resolutions or they never come to pass it might be because Christ is not in them. When we put Christ first, our plans change to HIS plans. That is where true NEW comes from. If you want the NEW it is time to ask the question. Am I IN CHRIST? Which means, do I believe or will I BE LIVING for Christ? Jesus promises, as Paul states that the OLD is GONE. This means we can change. We can have a NEW perspective, outlook and future only found in CHRIST. It is time to let Jesus in your life and do what I always encourage everyone to do.  LET GO and LET GOD>>>>> in every area of your life. Then you will see the NEW.  HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it be a truly lifechanging one for you and your loved ones.

New Beginnings Community Church Jurupa Valley

9010 Limonite Avenue
Jurupa Valley, CA 92509
951.681.5343

http://www.nbcc.com/

Service Time: 10 a.m.

Joy vs Happiness

By Rohmon Merchant

Joy isn’t like happiness which is based upon happenings or whether things are going well or not. No, joy remains even amidst the suffering. Joy is not happiness. Joy is an emotion that’s acquired by the anticipation, acquisition or even the expectations of something great or wonderful. It could be described as exhilaration, delight, sheer gladness, and can result from a remarkable success. You can even find joy in a unmet expectation, or a letdown, if you determine in your heart to not let situations get the best of you and keep your positive outlook and continence, graduation but the definition of joy that the world holds is not nearly as amazing as biblical joy, but joy is also a gift.

During my time in ministry, which coincidentally also holds some of the most devastating moments of my life I found that the only way God can get the best out of me is when I receive his joy for me and stay in that vein. I am quickly reminded through the times when God showed how real he is and how he carried me out of tough times and even had has hand on me during the incredible times. When I think of those times, and the beauty that only God can make from this life that I clearly messed up more than anyone can I feel this overwhelming peace that passes all understanding and this strong confidence that God is in total control and excitement about possibilities and unknown futures…that’s Joy. It’s contagious and it brings the scripture “the joy of the lord is my strength” to life. (Nehemiah 8:10)

So instead of looking for happiness this year I will live in the joy. Letting it grow in and through me and who knows? Let’s see what happens what God can do with someone with everlasting joy in their heart, or compromising happiness that is fleeting.

The Bridge

14189 Foothill Blvd ste 102

Fontana, Ca. 92336

Service starts at 9am

The Manger Was A Cave?

By Sean Ortiz

Every year we see the Manger as a wooden stable. If we look deeper at the Judean culture and what things could have been like in Bethlehem we can see that there were two ways people kept their livestock. The first type was that the animals were kept in a setting in their homes. Most people were not rich and did not own much livestock so the family would actually set up a place to keep livestock in their homes with a wooden trough, hay and a fence.  Ewww, that must have been a stinky situation, the Paschal Lamb used for the Passover meal was actually a pet that was raised inside the home.                                                                                            The other type of stable was generally a cave on the edge of town. This is possibly where those who came to see the baby Jesus on that first Christmas ended up. It is possible when Joseph and Mary went to see the innkeeper they ended up in a cave behind the inn or at the edge of town because it was so crowded in Bethlehem. There were probably goats, sheep, pigs and chickens, but the couple made due. Jesus possibly being born in a cave is a foreshadowing of what was to come 33 years later when he was put into a tomb (cave) after His crucifixion on the cross. It was there that He rose again on the third day to open Heaven to all people so that whosoever BELIEVES in Him (Jesus) would not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus came into the world born in cave, was laid to rest in a cave, to overcome darkness and the stench of sin, death, the grave and hell. Now we have complete access to a real relationship with God through His son Jesus. This is why we rejoice on Christmas day and all year long. The world around celebrates the birth of Jesus, because over 2000 years later HIS impact is still going strong. A humble beginning changed the world for eternity.

The angels proclaimed in LUKE 2:14 “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.” Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at New Beginnings Community Church Jurupa Valley. Join us this Christmas Eve Sunday December 24th at 10:00 am with our Live Illustrated Sermon, Live Music and a Living Nativity.

Pastor Sean Ortiz

Lead Pastor

New Beginnings Community Church Jurupa Valley

9010 Limonite Ave

Jurupa Valley, CA 92509

http://www.nbccjv.org

Thanksgiving Day after Day

Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

By Rob Norris

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.
Psalm 50:23

Has it ever seemed surprising to you that God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years just for grumbling and complaining? My kids may have spent 30 minutes in their rooms for griping, but 40 years? That’s some severe discipline!
One thing is crystal clear from this biblical account: God is obviously not pleased with grumbling, ungrateful hearts. And we should not tolerate grumbling either—in ourselves or in our children.
Being grateful is a choice that we readily and ritually express on Thanksgiving Day. But what do we do on other days of the year when the mood is less festive or the atmosphere is more ordinary?
I like the contented way the Pilgrims approached life. They did not allow their feelings or circumstances to determine whether or not they would exercise gratitude and thanksgiving. They believed that God was in control—”providence,” they called it. Following this belief to its logical conclusion, they responded to challenges with a perspective that said, “God has allowed this for our good.” They chose to believe—rightly so—that their dependence on a holy, faithful God was well placed and that even though much was against them, there was always much more for which to be grateful.
Developing a heart of gratitude is essential to growing a stronger faith. “If we do not believe that we are deeply dependent on God for all we have or hope to have, the very spring of gratitude and faith runs dry.”
Make the choice today to take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, gratefully acknowledging who God is and what He is doing. Deny yourself the right to complain, embracing instead the deep-seated joy of thanksgiving … in all things.
A grateful heart pleases God.

Live It:

How would a more thankful spirit alter your approach to the situations you’re facing as a family? Make a list together of some things you need to be grateful for right now.

Pray:

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).

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

Join us for a Christmas Eve Service at 10am Trusting and believing with you.

Pastor Rob

 

Dreaming Dreams

Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

Pastor Rob Norris, The Crossings

By Pastor Rob Norris

 

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.
Galatians 6:10

 

I think one of the greatest needs in the Christian community is for individual men and women to dream some dreams about how they can use their talents to impact people’s lives for Christ.

Let me tell you about a family that is making a difference. A small family ministry called Standing with Hope provides prosthetic limbs for below-the-knee amputees, not only in the United States, but also in Ghana, Africa.

The process of adding “skin” covering to make a prosthetic look real can cost thousands of dollars—far too costly for an outreach whose goal is to help as many people as possible be able to walk again. That’s where the family’s 15-year-old son, Grayson Rosenberger, comes in. While noodling over an entry idea for a nationwide science contest, Grayson came across one of his mom’s old, discarded prosthetic legs. He found that by wrapping it in a very common household item, he could give the mechanical limb a realistic shape.

His inexpensive solution? Bubble wrap.

Total cost for application? About one dollar.

No, it doesn’t look like skin. But with the right hose or stockings, the prosthetic leg can be made to look real. And for poverty-stricken adults and children in Africa who are often ostracized and teased for the primitive, bare-bones appearance of a fake leg, this is a confidence-creating alternative.

Bubble wrap. Who’d have thought?

Could it be that there’s a right-under-your-nose opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives—right where you are? Could it be that, if you slowed down and set your mind on seeking God for a way you could really serve Him, He might lay out an idea that’s so simple, you’ll be shocked you didn’t think of it earlier?

Just think. Bubble wrap.

 

Live IT

Every person and every couple has an assignment from God—a ministry. What’s yours? If you can’t articulate your ministry, plan a time when you can begin to pray and think together.

Pray

Express your availability to God, and ask Him to show you the best way to serve.

 

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

Trusting and believing with you.

Pastor Rob

 

Real Church

By Jeremy Mercer, Lead Pastor of Connection Church, Corona

CHURCH. What comes to mind when you hear that word? My guess is a few things. For some, hopefully, they are good thoughts. For others, I know it might be bad. I grew up in church, and now, at 41 years old, I pastor a local church and have done so for the past 5 years. I’ve seen a lot of things in the church and I’ve heard even more stories of what has happened in the church. Some of them are not so good but, having been part of the church for the whole of my life; I have seen and experienced so many more wonderful things.

Church attendance in America is on the decline, and has been for decades now. Why are Americans rejecting church more and more? Is it because church is such a terrible place? Is it because it became boring and monotonous? Perhaps it’s because of the hypocrisy some have seen, the famous scandals of the 1980’s come to mind. Is it the fulfillment of scripture in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 that says, “in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God…They will consider nothing sacred….and love pleasure rather than God.” I think the decline is a mixture of all the above and I lean heavily to the latter hypothesis.

The fact that Americans are attending church less and less grieves me, and no, not because I am a pastor and this is my job. I’ve read the scriptures and when it talks about the church and I see what church is supposed to be it is such a beautiful picture! In the church that I pastor, Connection Church in Corona if you’re wondering, I tell our people all the time that we’re striving to be the church that God intended for us to be…for every church to be; a place of love, healing, hope, joy, and encouragement. A place where people can be refreshed and know that they’re not alone, a place of community where we can help others and receive help when we need it…and we all need it at times.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (emphasis added). With so much turmoil in the world, people are asking questions and they should. Jesus Christ is returning, I believe soon, and you and I must make sure we’re ready. If you don’t believe me, I’d be happy to show you prophecy after prophecy after prophecy, written thousands of years ago, that prove the Bible is true. I heard about these prophecies growing up in the church. To be totally honest, at the time (the 80’s), I thought some of them sounded a little crazy, definitely far-fetched, and possibly even like science fiction. However, as technology has rapidly advanced in my lifetime, it has been shocking to me to see things that I heard about growing up in church and that are prophesied about in scripture that at the time they were written would have been literally impossible. These scriptures have not only become possible but you can see how modern technology can make these scriptures not only possible but probable in the future. I don’t have time in this article to lay some of those out, but if you would like to know more about them, email me or visit me at my church, and I’d be happy to share them with you. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and don’t even like sci-fi. In fact, by nature, I’m a bit of a skeptic. However, saying it would be foolish to ignore the facts that are right in front of us would be a massive understatement. There are just too many scriptures describing modern events to be ignored.

I encourage you to find a good church and become part of it. This means more than just attending a service. Church is so much more than a service. The church is an extension of Jesus Himself. Colossians 1:18 tells us that Jesus is the head of the church, and the church is His body. Some people don’t attend church because someone hurt them; a pastor, a leader, a friend or just a regular person attending. But we don’t follow people, we follow Christ! There is no perfect church but there are so many good churches out there! Trust me, this is my business, this is the “industry” I’m in. I know a lot of churches and work with a lot of pastors. There are some great ones in this area!

Think about this; all of us have been to a bad restaurant before or have received bad food or bad service. We may choose not to return to that establishment again but I bet none of us have given up on restaurants. We just find a good one! And once we find a good one, we go there again and again and tell others about it. Why do we treat church any differently? Okay, so you may have had a bad experience, but don’t give up. Pray, and ask God to lead you to a good one for you. Trust me, He will. I’d be happy to help you find one as well.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together. We need to find the love, healing, mercy, grace and strength that can only come through Jesus Christ. The church is the vehicle God chose to help us achieve these things. So let’s be the church, the real church, the church that God intended for us to be. None of us are perfect, we can’t be. But, we can let God work in our lives and be better and be more like Christ. As we do, people will be healed, broken lives will be restored, we’ll live with peace that surpasses understanding, have strength for the the “day-to-day,” and begin bridging the divide in our nation and communities. That’s who the real church is.

 

“His Way”

By Pastor Dennis Morales

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8

My sons are 5yrs and 7yrs old.  They are the best of friends.  But even the best of friends can have disagreements sometimes.  I was watching my boys play a board game then all of sudden they started quarreling.  What were they quarreling about?  They were accusing each other of not playing correctly.  They both made the same argument.  What was it? “You have to play it my way!”  I think sometimes we are guilty of the same attitude when it comes to our decisions.   Naaman is a classic example in the Bible (2 Kings 5).  He was an army commander for the king of Syria.  His wife’s servant girl was led captive from Israel.  She suggested that he seek healing by consulting Elisha, the prophet.  Naaman was ready to do anything, but he didn’t want to go to Elisha, he wanted Elisha to go to him.  Because of his position, Naaman expected to be served.  Elisha sent Naaman instruction to bathe seven times in the Jordan River.  Naaman felt disrespected and refused at first, then later he humbled himself and went to the Jordan.  That is when Naaman found healing.  Naaman finally humbled himself and did things God’s way.  That’s when Naaman found healing.  How many times have you told God “I want to do it this way!”  But later we always find that His way is the best way.     “Selfish” pride should never be what guides us.  Humility seeks God’s ways (Psalm 25:9).  Though you may not always see the result in view, God’s ways make “better sense.” (Isaiah 55:9).

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 & 10:30 am, Wednesdays at 7pm at Clara Barton Elementary School (7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale).  Visit their website at www.calvaryeastvale.org.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Finish”

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have 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 swan song. 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 a funeral service and my eye caught a headstone that read “a life still unfinished.” We would naturally say that about anyone that had passed from this world at a young age, but this was someone who passed at 78! I don’t want to come to the end and think of all the things I should have done or the ways I should have stepped out in faith. Paul calls life a “race.” My favorite races in the Olympics are the sprints. These races are literally over in seconds, but I am always impressed with the amazing speed of the athletes. The race referred to 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 Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2). God calls us to focus and invest in things that matter so that we might finish well.

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets Sundays 8:30 & 10:30 am, Wednesdays at 7pm at Clara Barton Elementary School (7437 Corona Valley Ave, Eastvale). Visit their website at http://www.calvaryeastvale.org.