SRCFC CONNECT & CLIMB in Joshua Tree, Nov 30-Dec 2


Hi All

I just received the email below from my friend Kristin, she is having an event at Joshua Tree National Park next weekend and I thought I would pass the info along.She is an on the road missionary for my friends at Solid Rock Climbers for Christ

If you are in the park this weekend or are looking for a day out, I would check it out. They are a friendly group and I am sure they would love to see you.I will see you there Saturday afternoon


(copy of schedule) I blocked her contact info, if you need to reach her let me know and I will pass it along.

Grace and peace to you in the LORD Jesus Christ!!

I am excited to meet you all this weekend in Joshua Tree!   I will be  
heading into the park today, Monday, and so I will not be able to  
respond to any e-mails or phone calls until Thursday.

The plan for the weekend is basic:  make your own plans for camping &  
climbing, and then we'll come together for campfires/games/worship/ 
prayer in the mornings and evenings.  Schedule:

	Arrive and settle, check the info board to see what site(s) we have.
	8:00pm - Campfire
	7:30am   Devotional and prayer walk around Hidden Valley.
	8:30 - 4:30  Climb!   If you have a partner, feel free to do your  
        own thing.  If you need a partner, I'd love to climb with you,
				or hook you up with someone else.
	5:30pm - Potluck dinner.  Bring whatever you've got and we'll put it  
        all together to make something yummy!
	7:30pm - Campfire (worship? hang out?)
	8:00am - Worship service:  bring an instrument and/or a bible
	9:00 - Climb, etc.!

**All events are optional, and times are flexible.  Feel free to join  
us for some or all, and let me know accordingly.
**CAMPING: Please arrive early if you are bringing friends and need a  
campsite.  If there are just one or two of you, you are welcome to  
stay at the site with me.
**Please be aware that people are bringing friends who are  
nonbelievers, so don't assume that everyone you meet is a Christian.   
Let's show the JTree climbing community that we are Christians by our  

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday.  Feel free to e-mail or  
call w/ any questions/suggestions, and I'll get back to you on Thursday.

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Gracefully Passing the Baton


For those of you that like to read Barna’s stuff this is a must read for us boomers. One of the things I hope to accomplish in my ministry before I call it quits is to make sure I nurture the guys coming up behind me. I dream of putting in place a planting ministry that is not a profit center for my church, not an over priced revenue generating machine just to fill the till. I dream of a time when I can fully fund a training center for younger guys.

Some of the things I have learned over the years in the business world is we need to develop up and coming managers, we need not feel threatened by guys that are brighter than us, we need not seek all the glory, we need not think the “business” of church is something we should cherish. We need to reach out and develop the bench.

I have seen in business that the most successful leaders are the ones that really do develop a strong support team, one of the best I remember was when I worked at MBS Textbook Exchange, the President of the company was a driven man, a smart man and a absolute dynamic man, he asked questions that he full well already knew the answers to but he wanted to see how we reacted and answered, he would ask the same questions throughout the day but never the same way twice. He always asked about the revenue numbers from some of my accounts but he already knew the answer, sometimes I would want to jump out the window because he would never stop. I learned a major lesson from him though, he built leaders, I am a product of his molding my work ethic, I am thankful. Jim was my regional manager and he was just as tough on me , but I am a better man today because of him.

Some of the things I picked up from Dan and Jim I will use now in my ministry.

  • In the business world, most leaders do not develop their own replacements, they leave it to chance or the board to select whoever comes behind them, Dan developed a fantastic team of managers and salespeople, they in turn were groomed for the job of taking up some of the slack as the company grew and they in turn developed their replacements. Planters and pastors need to do the same, do not keep it to your self, let others lead.
  • Developing others is a process not an event, it will take time, your time.We need to find the time to train and lead others to go into the field and plant.This process starts long before the planters go into the field, they should be nurtured starting as soon as YOU notice their strengths, they might not even know about ministry or planting but you see something in them , it is your responsibility to develop the bench !
  • Lead pastors are the driving force in the development of other planters
  •  What can we do
    1. Find resources to provide training for those future leaders
    2. Match up guys doing ministry with guys that show an interest in doing ministry, do not let their improvement and development be impeded by your lack of self worth or esteem.
    3. Develop a long and short term objective and be willing to adjust your strategy to react to the community/culture you are working in, Led Zeppelin was great in the 70’s but may not be as great in the current time. Keep the centrality of the Cross but react to the culture in order to point to the Cross.

Much of the development can not be passed off to others, it needs to com from the lead Pastor, it is you that had a clear vision about your ministry, it is you that needs to instill that not only into your congregation but it needs to be really infused into those guys that you hope to send out.

I know it is not easy to balance all the responsibilities and manage all the needs in life, family , church, but it needs to be done, you will not be there forever.

Some key components of successful leading involve

  • Determining where your ministry should me in both the short and long term, this involves more than wishful thinking, it takes a strategic plan, a vision of where you want to be in 2-5-10 years, and who you want to take along with you.
  • Train yourself and those closest to you to identify those young men and women that surround you. Pour your resources into them, help them identify their gifts. Teach them to pray, teach them the behind the scenes stuff, they do not need to know all the interworkings but they do need to see the good, bad and the ugly, and how you address all of those issues.
  • Do not make it all a rose garden, let them know about the problems they will face.

Chuck Smiths ministry was built on relationships and from nurturing from within, they found a way to successfully train up men from within the Calvary Chapel movement. I am 100% sure the best people come from within your own congregation, they know your vision, they understand your style and with a long term commitment of the leaders in your church your skill set can be passed along.

That critical moment happens when one of your young men comes to you and sends out those signals that he might be interested in ministry, you need to be ever diligent to pick up on those signals, you can either crush a seeking spirit or start them on the road to service of Christ.That is the very moment that your leadership starts, don’t miss the opportunity .Pull the conversation out of them, let them pour out the vision they have, do not downplay it no matter how silly it sounds.You need to teach them how to turn their ideas into ministry opportunities.

Let these guys experience the mistakes they will make, you need to let them fall a few times but you need to make sure you are there to show them how to overcome them, the best thing you can teach them is to pray before, during and after the decisions are made.Let them develop a track record of successes and failures and a history of how Jesus will be with them throughout both.

Just some train ride random thoughts


Great youth program

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth
Boy Scout News Bulletin
Fourth Quarter 2007



Hi all

I have had some requests about the Religious Emblems program for Boy Scouts so I thought I would post the latest newsletter from them. The web site is set up in frames so you need to click on Publications and then on the boy scout newsletter link

I have put a bunch of young people through this program, it is a great outreach for the whole family.

Let me know if you have any questions


‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ banished by California



What the heck, I can not figure this one out. I know we are nuts in California but this one takes the cake. Jann and I put our two oldest kids through public school and made the decision last year to home school Conor, it was a tough decision, you know, we got all the negative comments about

1. He needs to be socialized by his peers

2. He needs to be around the public arena so he knows how they think and operate.

3. He needs to experience diversity

4.Bla, Bla, Bla

Not only am I 100% convinced we did the right thing, I think every parent in California that thinks this latest craziness coming from the legislature is wrong should consider doing the same.

The only way the state will listen is if we the people speak up.

I will follow up later, my train is pulling in to the station and I need to close.


Chinese government warns against papal meeting with Dalai Lama


Man the Dalai can’t seem to catch a break from the Chinese government, a few months ago he was told in no uncertain terms he was not allowed to reincarnate without permission from the Chinese high court, now the Pope is getting the cold shoulder as well. When will it stop 🙂

Anyway, in the article I read, there are so many problems that seem to jump out about this whole thing but the one that seems to bug me most is the fact that the Catholic church is seemingly speaking out of both sides of its mouth

“Relations between the Holy See and the Chinese government have been extremely delicate in recent months. Although the Vatican does not have formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, the two sides have had a series of unofficial exchanges, attempting to resolve a conflict over the appointment of bishops for the Chinese Catholic Church.”

Why in the world would the Pope want to acquiesce to the wishes of the communist regime in China, The Dalai Lama has been fighting them since 1959 holding to what he sees as uncompromising issues,The Chinese occupation of Tibet.

So, that brings me to my point,

“The Holy See insists on the right to name new Catholic bishops; Beijing is equally insistent that the leadership of the Chinese Church should not be subject to outside influence”

If the Catholic church insists on the right to name it’s own bishops, which it should. It should , if not in reality at least in theory thumb it’s nose at the government. Why would the church want a bishop appointed by the state ?

They need to try to have the same guts that Dalai has, stand up to them, but no it looks like behind the scenes the same old back room junk is still going on. Compromise of the Gospel yet again.Calling the meetings “informal” is nothing more than compromise and acquiescence .

“Informal negotiations this year seemed to have produced a tacit working agreement, under which the Vatican quietly approved a nominee chosen independently by Chinese Catholics to become the Bishop of Beijing.”

Chosen independently, PLEASE….This totalitarian regime is allowing an internal church nominee to be offered as a candidate to be Bishop of Beijing, I don’t think so.

“He continues: “The meeting with the Pope is on another level: the Dalai Lama respects all religious leaders, and all of the worlds religions, and Benedict XVI is one of the most important religious leaders in the world. Moreover the Catholic Church always speaks in favour of religious freedom and human rights”.

The Catholic church has a lot of influence in the world, their stand on human rights, their support of the poor and down trodden through Catholic charities, the unmatched support for the unborn, it is all on the line if they can not hold on to the credibility of selecting their own leadership without the influence of the Chinese government

Hold fast Ratzie


Hell Man

car show 003

I was thinking about Hell this weekend, odd I know but it was on my mind. I am not sure exactly what got me thinking about it but here I am. It might have been a funny incident that I recalled from a year or so ago, we had the worlds best song writer and guitar player played at our church, I know he does not see himself as I just described, he is a humble man but I do think he can make his guitar speak the Gospel better than most of us can convey in words. Anyway, he was running a bit late to the concert and he called one of our guys to help figure out how to get to the church, my friend asked him where he was and he said Hell Man……..

Well his wit is second only to his talent. He was on the corner of Hellman & San Bernardino rd 🙂 anyway, I was running through that story in my mind and that is how I got on the subject of hell. I knew I would figure it out…..

I guess I was thinking about how we discount sin and call it an alternate way of thinking, we minimize wrong doing and think we can duck the penalty for those short comings. We seem to avoid hell, and any real discussion about it. We avoid teaching or preaching about it, it is so much more loving to speak about the love of God and work that into a sermon, but without hell can there really be a reason or need for salvation.Salvation not only presents us as whole in Gods sight but on the flip side, it keeps us from a very real place we want to avoid, Hell Man.

Pascal wrote, People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.

I know people would rather believe there is no such place as hell and or would prefer to put the thought of such a place in the back of their minds. I am just as sure many pastors would like to dwell on loving passages like John 3:16, but there would be no need of John 3:16 if not for the reality of a place we need to be saved from.

Scripture is so filled with the clearly laid out thought of sin and the ramifications of a sin filled life, and the over powering joy of salvation through Christ. Why is it we seem to avoid the subject of sin and hell ?

From the opening of the scripture in the Genesis story all the way through the vision of John in Revelations, God’s plan is to make right the outcome of mans decision to sin, a plan of escape through the sacrifice if His Son.

That plan also includes a just loving way out, all we need to do is accept the free gift of His Son. It is through God’s unconditional love that the reality of hell is avoided, but as odd as it may sound, we are needed in that plan of salvation, Augustine put it well in his sermon 169 of Augustine. It was preached in the year 416

But God made you without you. You didn’t, after all, give any consent to God making you. How were you to consent, if you didn’t yet exist? So while he made you without you, he doesn’t justify you without you. So he made you without your knowing it, he justifies you with your willing consent to it. Yet it’s he that does the justifying (in case you should think it’s your justice, and go back to the dead losses, the wastage and the muck), for you to be found in him not having your own justice, which is from the law, but the justice through the faith of Christ, which is from God; justice from faith, to know him and the power of his resurrection, and a share in his sufferings (Phil 3:9-10). And that will be your power, your strength; a share in Christ’s sufferings will be your strength.
God can only be loved by virtue of God’s gift. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., WSA, Part 3, Vol. 5, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., Sermons, Sermon 169.13 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1992), p. 231.

God’s gift of salvation is offered to us as a gift, but He will never force us to accept it, He needs us in the plan to accept the offer, that’s it, just accept it.

We have so often in this day and hour put talking about sin away, but burying our heads in the sand will do us no good.

So I guess I am telling myself, stop the pretense of being better than thou, after all it was a gift, I did not deserve. I need to make sure I can retell the good news of the sure way to stay away from Hell Man


‘I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt.5:20).

Sweden cracks down on religious influences in schools


This story is shocking, I was going to just post a few of the highlights but the whole stinking thing is highlights. I am sure we in the USA will see the same thing down the road unless we wake up and stand up. I find myself a bit torn though, I think I am more an open access guy, I think an open forum in the schools and public arena should be allowed but I stop short of having state sponsored prayer or education in public schools. I do not want some whack job trying to teach my child about my religious faith, I can do that thank you , but I do expect we have a constitutional right to free and open access for all points of view, not just mine.

BUT please let it be student lead and student expressed. Do not try teach my kid your idea of what my faith is.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — The Swedish government on Monday presented a series of proposals banning public and independent schools from introducing religious elements into their classes except during religion lessons.

Religious elements “can take place … but only outside of coursework. Teaching should not be influenced” by religious beliefs, Swedish Education Minister Jan Bjoerklund told reporters.

He said religion could still be studied at school as a separate subject but other classes could in no way be influenced by religious convictions.

For example, the origin of human life would have to be explained from a scientific point of view and not a religious one, he said.

The Swedish government also plans to allocate additional funds to carry out controls on schools, sometimes unannounced.

The measures presented Monday would be included in new education legislation which is to be presented to parliament for a vote.

They would apply to public schools as well as independent schools, which also receive funding from the state. Private schools are exempt.

Sweden has some 800 independent schools, both primary and secondary. According to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, about 10 percent of these schools have a religious profile.

Bjoerklund said the initiative would help improve transparency about the financing of these schools.

He cited the case of an independent Muslim school that had received financial aid from a fundamentalist Islamic organisation in Saudi Arabia.

Just plain funny search words


It is funny the words that pop up in my searched for words that bring people to my blog, Here is just a few from today and yesterday, I need to find what the heck I posted to bring them here 🙂



sulfur death

biblical beasts

Scary Beasts


angel lucifer fire