Mike McClenahan Touchdown!

( Alternate title: *Support Your Local Pastor* )

Each of us has our own idea of what we like to hear in a speaker. To be fair, Mike McClenahan is one of my favorite traditional church preachers. I’m not just saying that because he’s my senior pastor. Once in a great while I will hear what I consider a bad sermon, but NEVER from Mike.

In fact, about two or three times a year I hear a sermon from him to which I consider the only appropriate response to be for us to leave the church in worshipful silence. (But…that’s not how the Presbyterian church does things.)

In my fantasy backyard I have a deluxe hammock and re-listen to Mike’s sermon while relaxing there. This week I’ll listen to yesterday’s sermon at home sans hammock.

If you’re a real stickler you may disagree with me. You might even say you have to go to baseball for a proper metaphor. IF we switch to baseball instead of football I would say this sermon is at least a triple, but I believe it would be more fair to call it a home run, maybe even a grand slam.

However, since I’m the one writing I believe we’ll just stick with touchdown. There definitely will be more touchdowns to come. One great thing about preachers is they almost all get better as the years go by. With football players they might get better for a while, but eventually they just get older as Charger (and Green Bay and all other) fans are well aware.

While we all get older, Mike McClenahan is getting better every year. You’re welcome to come see him preach at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church at 8:30 or 10:15 on Sundays. As for me, I’ve seen him preach for about a decade and a half and I hope get to hear Mike preach until he’s real old, like 105 or 110. That would be cool.

Who needs retirement anyway?

SBPC Sermon January 15, 2017

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Citizens Of Heaven

What a wonderful New Year’s Day (and New Year’s Eve) we had! I’ll share about that another time, except to say that my wife and I attended The Fire & Glory Outpouring both nights and two regular worship services Sunday morning. If we include Saturday morning and afternoon I went to five worship services and my honey went to six in two days!

Last January I would have thought you were crazy (Though I PROBABLY wouldn’t have said it out LOUD!) if you told me I would participate in real congregational worship this often. Yet here I am. I encourage you to worship God more often in Spirit and in Truth. I believe I’m experiencing real effects in my life and in my intimacy with Jesus. This has everything to do with God and I deserve no credit except possibly for CHOOSING to seek intimacy with Holy Spirit.

Quite a long time ago I heard a verse that promises if you truly seek God you will find him. Because of my experience in personal development I remember realizing that what many people are seeking is fulfillment and that’s not necessarily the same as seeking God. In fact, I probably starting thinking about personal development in this way because of a wonderful and highly intelligent woman who was our senior pastor for a while at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Roberta Hestenes. I asked people from time to time and don’t remember ever getting what I considered the right verse in response. (To be fair, I don’t think I ever asked Roberta Hestenes or our current senior pastor, Mike McClenahan.) I believe I found it with the help of Google and Bible Gateway.

Personally I have found The Message very helpful in understanding through modern language. Even if you normally read from a certain translation I highly recommend that you also read The Message for clarity. I’ve experience the Psalms and Epistles really coming alive for me recently when I’ve read The Message translation, which I believe is technically a paraphrase.

I’ve included two translations of the relevant verses. Also remember what I mentioned in the New Year’s Day post – Try New Things In This New Year!

Take hold of this promise!

***
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

But even there, if you seek God, your God, you’ll be able to find him if you’re serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won’t bring you to ruin, he won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 The Message (MSG)
***

My birthday is coming up on February 28th and if you could give me a present I guess I would first choose for you to actually attend The Fire & Glory Outpouring in San Marcos, California which I think is going through 2017. (Of course, Jerame & Miranda Nelson listen to Holy Spirit for direction so who can know the mind of God in advance?)

A very close second place gift would be for you to get The Message and read it often to help you receive God’s message in language that’s pretty easy to understand. I have The Message on my Kindle and computer, but I think today or tomorrow I’m going order or go and get a hard copy so I can read it when my internet connection is funky. Hopefully you are already watching The Fire & Glory Outpouring on Youtube. Don’t forget to watch old “episodes” (as I like to call them) in addition to watching LIVE on Youtube while worship is going on.

Today I’m leaving you with verses I read this morning during what many call quiet time. I have a friend who has said quite often that he’s a citizen of heaven and I believe that’s important to keep in mind. It’s helpful to remember where our authority comes from in relation to our identity as believers.

***
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG)
***

God loves you!

And Twice On Sunday!

My habits have been changing recently.

If you had told me in January that within months I would be attending our wonderfully welcoming Solana Beach Presbyterian Church (SBPC) in addition to worship services at another site on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have believed you.

If you told me that those other services were sometimes over 3 1/2 hours long I might have laughed and said, “Riiiight.”

If you had prophesied it, well, I would have thought you were a little crazy.

Counting the added bonus of the near-monthly Fresh Awakening, I’ve attended the Fire & Glory Outpouring 22(!) times by my count and most of that in August and September.

Last week I attended our 70th anniversary celebration at SBPC and sat in our mini-park under a tree planted in faith several decades ago. Our gifted and bilingual senior pastor, Mike McClenahan, preached and led us in many exclamations of “Praise the Lord!”

I truly wish we could have services like that on a semi-regular basis. (Semi-regular so people won’t become so used to worship outdoors that they see it as “old hat”.)

During fellowship I got to recount my recent faith journey with several people including our hispanic pastor, Juan Daniel Espitia. I believe people are noticing that something IS going on with me and that that something is due to Holy Spirit.

After some afternoon rest Marianne and I, along with some family members(!), worshiped at Summit Church with Miranda Nelson preaching and for me it was the most visibly powerful move of the Holy Spirit that I can recall.

Having family worship with us is an added bonus I’ll share about in a future post.

Watch the 70th(!) anniversary video or audio from SBPC in the first link below.

Watch Jerame Nelson introduce his wife, Miranda, and get some flavor of her preaching as well as the aforementioned move of the Holy Spirit by starting at 1:53:45. Watch until around 2:20:00 to see a whole segment. Or continue watching to the end of the service or start at the very beginning of worship and watch to 3:46:49. Your choice!

I urge you to watch worship services from SBPC, The Fire & Glory Outpouring, and Summit Church online and come participate in person!

God Bless You!

Sept. 4 Solana Beach Presbyterian Church 70th Anniversary

Sept. 4 Fire & Glory Outpouring Night #192 – Summit Church San Marcos

Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet

When I started this blog I mentioned faith songs that help me feel the presence of God. This morning my wife and I were together in worship for the first time in a while at our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.

This song by Amy Grant (below) came to mind as we studied Psalm 119 (the longest Psalm) in worship. Our congregation read the whole Psalm together, sometimes following along and other times reading in unison.

Then our senior pastor, Mike McClenahan, preached the rest of his sermon. He had urged us to find words that stood out for us as we read and then taught us three main points.

The word, which was the Torah (the way) originally, is:

*profoundly good*

*intentionally heard*

*relationally followed*

You can hear the whole sermon with Mike’s finer points soon by visiting SolanaPres/audio.

Be Filled With Wonder!

Charlie