Thank you, Church Family, for understanding our need to be gone this last Sunday. 

We flew to Phoenix for a Missions Convention in Sun City West with Mikey Cheshier. We both participated in that on Saturday night, then Gevena stayed behind, while I flew on to San Jose, CA for Milpitas Calvary Assembly’s 60th Church Anniversary.

I was up at 3:40 AM, caught a limo to PHX airport, flew to San Jose, had breakfast with some former church members, then went to the church for a whirlwind of church activities for their reunion and 60th Anniversary Celebration. It was a grand day! They had a District official preach, and then a reception/fellowship time afterwards so we five former pastors could greet the people. It was a very nice time. I then hopped a plane and flew back to Phoenix, had a very late fellowship time with the Board of our God’s Power and Light Ministries, then collapsed into bed at midnight. What a day!

What do I take away from all of this? Churches go through huge obstacles in building for His Kingdom. They struggle and struggle for years. They just keep walking and walking on in faith. People come and go, but the church hangs steady and keeps striving on. Those faithful ones who stick through the years are so blessed. They grieve over every one who has left, and rejoice over everyone who comes and is gloriously transformed by God’s power. Then some of them leave, and there is sorrow again.  Some who leave come back years later.

Here is what I feel the Holy Spirit says: Our churches are much the same.  People come and go. We can get hurt and insulted, bear a grudge, be unforgiving in spirit and lose out with Christ, if we hold too closely to our hurts and grudges. However, those who stay steady and refuse to allow the hurts and the harsh times to destroy their walk with Christ are the blessed ones! I am convinced that God looks down from Heaven and has a special blessing for those who stay the course.  In reality, our churches, whether large or small, are not so different after all! We all love Jesus in varying degrees. We all experience similar trials. Somehow we survive.

The joy is in the walk with God. The joy is those who come to Christ.  Success is not how big the crowds, but how many have been changed by Christ’s redemption. Only Heaven will reveal how the Church of Jesus Christ has done so many awesome things to advance God’s Kingdom.

Pastor Stan