Monday, August 20, 2012

Celebration at the Park

This past week, I was privileged to be the featured speaker at the sixth anniversary celebration of our homeless feeding ministry at Fairmount.  On Thursday afternoon, our ministry team (headed by "Big Jim" Ward) took a hot meal of ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables and water to feed close to 70 people who come every week to get blessed with love and hope.

I preached on the topic of "Being Ready" for all that we face, both good and bad.  The bottom line is, "Are we ready to receive God's love, his forgiveness and his joy?"  There were three that stepped forward when I gave an invitation to commit to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Last Tuesday morning, Sondra began a Ladies Bible Study group in an apartment complex close to our church.  There were nine women who showed up for the very first meeting!  Sondra is starting the study with a look at the Gospel of John.  The ladies were very excited about a time of in-depth study as well as a wonderful time of fellowship and friendship.

Last Wednesday morning at 8am, I was the speaker for the morning devotional at Coronado Stone manufacturing plant.  One of the employees came up to me immediately after the devotion time and told me my message was exactly what he needed to hear that morning.  It is amazing how God uses us to meet the needs of others when we share the Word of God openly.

Last Friday evening, Sondra and I went to dinner with our friends Bob and Torie Anderson.  Torie was getting ready to leave for a five-month teaching assignment in China!  Her friendship with some Chinese educators has given her an open door to live for Christ among them and be a living witness for the sake of the Gospel.

On Saturday, Sondra and I attended a wedding in Ontario.  The young bride, Candace, was a member of the Memorial Baptist Church here in Rialto when I pastored there 1997-1999.  Candace's father, Rev. Samuel Dawkins, was a lay volunteer pastor who served with me at that church.  Samuel, originally from Jamaica,  is now a lead pastor at a church in Fontana these days.  Samuel's wife, Sonja, is the Women's Ministry Director for our Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association.

Yesterday, I preached on "Dealing with Hardship and Defeat."  I talked of King David's rise to leadership with all the troubles and hardships he faced on the road of life.  Life is a series of peaks and valleys, successes and failures, joy and trouble.  King David showed us seven keys to make it through the hard times:

(1) Stay the course.
(2) Build and maintain strong, supportive relationships.
(3) Be kind to those who cause you pain and trouble.
(4) Don't fight every battle.
(5) Be obedient to God's call and commission and tasks.
(6) Accept and go through the open doors that God gives you.
(7) Trust God completely and fully.

That's it!

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