Special Breed

I love being around genuine guys, no pretense no whining, willing to take a risk, ready to let it rip and see what God can do in spite of us. The best part about tonight was the genuine excitement coming from a local planter and his first harvest program, it was GREAT to go over to cheer him on and find it was a full house and the best part was he did not need any cheering on from me !!

His people love being around him, his folks were great and so proud of their son. It was just a great experience all around.

So Anthony, hats off to you and everyone @ 180


Just amazing to me


I remember when I used to send orders to my vendors on at old Telex machine, wow what technology it was. I am sitting on a train listening to my old love Folk Alley and posting to a blog all at 80 MPH.



Celebration of Friendship

One of the joys of our Sunday gathering is also one of the most central aspects of of the Christian experience.The Lord’s Supper, it is a  symbolism of a meal that was shared between friends and and represents a time of togetherness So many of the get together’s I have with family and friends seem to revolve around a meal, it just makes us comfortable.

The Communion experience reminds me of these great times of celebration and our shared joy with Jesus, it also brings so many of us into a time of togetherness with that common bond of Christ between us. Every Sunday at JTNP I meet people from all over the world, it happened last year at Doheny State Park as well, different cultures, different traditions but the common bond of Christ.

Sometimes people looking in from the outside do not see the Communion table as a connection to what we see, a remembrance of Christ and his finished work on the cross. They seem to see it as a silly ritual or perfunctory exercise. But it is not, it is a celebration of Gods love towards us. I hope we never let the Communion celebration become just another ritual, it needs to remain a meaningful celebration.

I know many people today are struggling with what seems to be the weight of the world on their backs, I understand in the midst of that, it is difficult to share in a celebration but I hope this week when we approach the Communion table we can leave some of those burdens behind if only for a moment and focus on the reason for the remembrance, it is a celebration of friendship we have with Jesus.

See you Sunday


On the lighter side

I found this a very funny video, I know it is because of my Irish roots and many of you might think I am nuts but bear with me on this one 🙂


Going the distance, Little Victories


I will take them when I can, I had a minor but distracting mental conversation on the train ride home tonight, self pity reigned. I was pretty sure God had closed a door that I was sure should have been opened. I came home and opened the mail, not only had He kicked the door down but He extended the “miracle” FOUR times the limit we are allowed or expecting. I wish I could let you know what it was but I need to keep it to myself for now.

We will be in the park this weekend, me and my little Church in a box………….

As you step out in the night take a lesson from the trees
Watch the way they learn to bend with each breeze
Little victories
Every-time you make it through
It’s another little victory
Day by day minute by minute
Little victories ( Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet band )

See you Sunday


Pass the Game Plan


OK Lord, clue me in…………………

OK, I spend what seems like half of my life day dreaming on the train wondering what and why of life, what in the world did He call me to do and why in the world did He figure I was his guy. I have been dwelling on that ultimate question  what is it all about, some of it is self pity , some of it is lack of sleep, most of it is the joy I have reflecting on How Great Thou Art.

I was spinning my wheels playing Mahjong tonight, I put my Sunday sermon on the back page and got lost in my music and thoughts. In the depths of John Cowan in my ears I ended up lost in thought.What exactly is Gods plan for my life, deep I know but it is on my mind. Why did He lead me to this point in life, what will He do with me and how can I make sure I do not let my soul miss the boat.

I have spent 32 years in the same grind of a career, spent 31 years married to the same woman, laid down what seems like 12 million miles traveling , where do we go from here. Ok, one more distraction ( Ann Wilson A Hard Rain’s a ‘Gonna Fall) blaring in my ears…..

Ok, I know it is the truth of life, God does have a plan, but my life has detours that seem to be contrary to that plan. Why do I have such a desire to preach and teach yet the doors seem to be most all the time at the very least bolted, not locked ….. All I can come up with tonight is I am in his playbook, He is seeing if I am paying attention, LORD I am…. I reflect on ‘ All things work together……” they are and I understand. But this does not mean that it will make any more sense.

Let’s see, when road blocks come up, what or how do I react. Do I say, God is beating me up, testing me, pressing me. Or is he just trying to get my attention, He  HAS.

I think for me it is a control thing, I am a classic type ‘A” let me figure it out, let me fix it, but i know I can not. Surprise ( to me) God has it all in control ! Where would I be if God allowed everything to be in control, no stretching no testing no pressing the limit.

I know it will not be “my will be done’ but His. I can not lay out the perfect game plan , but he HAS, I just need to refocus on that.I need to take the risks, I need to stretch I need to RELY.

I am not the Co-Creator but I am co-responsible though, ( don’t email me the bad Theology 🙂 ) I need to take the doors that are open and bust on through them, I need to run head on into the closed doors in order to be like a weeble, I can be  “wobbled but I won’t fall down”

OK, I feel better now ( ROCKING to this one ) and writing this one out…. God has not made me a me a co-pilot on this, He is the PILOT and I am along on HIS journey. He has a plan, I will hang on, I will fear no evil……….

Rambling On


A Church that can not be called a Church

Well, it is interesting dealing with the federal government, We started the Worship service in the park last week, it went well but I found it frustrating that the park was full, not a camp site to be had yet we only had 10 people at the service. It turns out we are not allowed to post any kind of advertising at all, none so no one in the park knows a Sunday service is being held in the Amphitheater. Last summer we held services in a State park, we were allowed to post a permanent poster in the camp bulletin board, and keep flyers in the gift shop, with the national park it is different, no posting at all.

I am ok with having to deal with the rules, I absolutely do not want to cut off my nose to spite my face but I wish we could post. I did notice a few boards in the camp ground area that had park stuff on one side and on the back were postings from camper to let friends know they were in site such in such or they left to go to town, be back soon. When I saw those I figured what was good for campers was good for me but I guess it does not work that way.

I do feel bad for the Rangers I am dealing with, they are in a tough position of having to maintain the rules and bring me the bad news, I will say this, they are fair and professional

One of the things that has me in a real quandary is we were told we need to change the name of the “event” from Church At the Rock to something more neutral like   Worship at the Rock, again I do not want to cause a stink and would rather change a name than not be there but it kind of bums me out that we can not advertise in the park, and can not let people know it is a church service rather than a new age deal, I need to pray it through and do the right thing.

More to come


The First Service JTNP


We had the first service today at Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks Amphitheater and it was a great experience. We learned a few tricks that will make next week even better. I do so very much appreciate the staff of the National Park making this an easy event to put on, they do have a ton of rules I need to adhere to, which is no problem at all.

I used my Boy Scout training to make two sweeps of the theater, one before and one after the service to pick up trash. I know they would not think it was us church folks leaving cigarette butts behind 🙂 but we picked them up as well. I need to figure out how best to get the word out to the campers in the Jumbo Rock sites, we have a no posting of anything rule so it is a bit of a challenge, I did see a few bulletin boards around that had a bunch of notes from campers posted so my guess is, if they can post so can we ? I do not want to rock the boat but I do need to see what the rules are for that.

I wanted to say thanks to a few people, Dr. Richard Savich and his son Niko, thanks for your presence there this morning, it was nice to see you guys, Rick & Llori lead us in worship and as always, they were the bomb, I am not sure what that means but when I hear Rick say it , it sounds like it is a good thing, thanks for the apple fritter, it was appreciated. Jann and Conor, thanks for the support , prayers and tolerance of this church thing, I know it was cold and windy but you were there, thanks.

Jon & Deborah, great greeters, and thanks for filling in without any pre-warning to open communion in prayer. To my new friends from Torrance thanks for stopping in, I hope to see you again soon.

One of the better things that happened today was many hours after the service, I received a call from another church planter in town wanting to know how the service went. It is SO refreshing to have a guy that is more interested in the great commission than how my venture may have a negative impact on what he is trying to do. Another thing that struck me about him, other than his very nice wife 🙂 was, I am in real need of a guitar player, one of the things that popped into his head was, maybe he could run up to my service which starts between his two services and play for me, then race back to his church for his second service, you just do not find guys like this around, Blessings to his church 180 .

The other was just as much a surprise but it happened earlier this week. I had a call from the pastor of Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, now mind you this is the largest church in the area and this pastor has a million ministries and events to over see but he found time in his schedule to chat with me about Church At The Rock and even offered me any support that I might need, it was sincere, you know how you can tell if someone is just blowing smoke, he was not, he listened and even after hearing me blab on, still offerd to help. Wow, two great pastors in the same week.

Thanks to all of you, Ab, Cath,Mom, Dad, Brad & Lisa and many of my friends at Alta Loma Christian Church, you know who you are and my heart is still with you all.