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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Unusual And Amazing 2016

For many Americans, the biggest thing about 2016 was our election and many people were surprised and disappointed.

As my wife and I have been involved with charismatic and prophetic worship since April I have met many who were expecting Donald Trump to win. I don’t mean to suggest that everyone in this “movement” or slice of Christianity voted for Trump. I didn’t. Until recently I mostly had political discussions with other Democrats as too many Republicans had seemed angry and unreasonable to me.

About six weeks out from the election I shared my belief that it would take God’s intervention for Donald Trump to win. Of course, that’s what many people believe happened. I even prayed for what are called “faithless electors” to abandon Trump and make John Kasich president through the electoral college.

My intention is not to start any sort of debate. I’m just being real. I was saddened and disappointed for America on election night and at times afterwards.

Because my wife and I have been so heavily (for us) involved in worship during this time I believe it has been easier because we are learning to trust God more.
God has been healing me as I have been learning how to have deeper intimacy with Holy Spirit. I realized that I hadn’t trusted God as much since my mom died of cancer in 1987 and Holy Spirit helped me give up that lack of trust this year. That era of my life is over. This year was a new beginning for me.

My sense is that frequent worship is part of what many refer to as “Pressing In” with God – that is, achieving more intimacy and understanding of his will for you.

By practicing listening to and communicating with Holy Spirit each of us can get better at it. A friend who is much more experienced tells me that Holy Spirit tells him that I am becoming more discerning as I am practicing pretty much daily.
It might almost seem too simple that we can practice “Pressing In” just as we would practice playing soccer, playing an instrument, learning Spanish or a whole host of other skills.

Just yesterday as we were leaving morning worship (Yes, on a Friday! Right now is Fresh Awakening and there will be another in late January.) I felt what I call a “nudge” from Holy Spirit about two women who were sitting a few rows back from us.

Soon I felt another “nudge” as we were walking out. By speaking with my wife as we were leaving the building I knew that she wanted to leave, so I asked her if I might go back in while she went to the car. She agreed so I went back in and introduced myself to the two women who were still sitting on the end of their row. When I asked if they needed prayer for anything they said they did because a friend of theirs had died of cancer very recently. So I asked if they were open to me praying for them and the woman’s family and they were ready for me to pray and that’s what I did.

Before April I wouldn’t have been sensitive enough to “hear” God nudging me. I’m practicing other ways of “Pressing In” as well. I even asked God to help me with this blog post. Who’d have thunk it!?

I am wondering what’s going to happen with our world and our country with a new and unusual president. I’m thanking God for Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Joe & Jill Biden and even Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom here in California.

I’m trusting God to get us through in 2017 and beyond.

Tonight we’re going to worship to hear Charlie Robinson from Canada at The Fire & Glory Outpouring – December Fresh Awakening. I highly recommend it. We still attend our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian, and I recommend that you attend or find yours. Revival is extra, but it’s probably some of the extra we need right now.

I have always wondered what it would be like to worship God with a group of believers to ring in the new year. Tonight I’m going to find out!

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Now What? Worship God!

Today is the day after Christmas, 2016.

Are you ready to move ahead or will you wait until January 2, 2017? (There’s all that football and maybe family and MAYBE recovering from the night before on New Year’s Day.)

Will you move ahead while keeping that Christmas Spirit all year long?

We have access to the TRUE Spirit of Christmas if we want it.

Of course, I’m talking about Holy Spirit.

Do you want more of the Holy Spirit in your life, that is, more INTIMACY with Holy Spirit? You CAN have that greater intimacy.

I have a strong suggestion.

Worship God more. In Spirit and in Truth.

This year has been quite a year with Almighty God for me and my family. Things REALLY picked up in April. After Power & Love in Pasadena I shared songs that encouraged my faith.

What I’ve found throughout the year is that I’m learning to love NEW songs that I hear in worship and on the radio (Thanks, Air1!).

Through worshiping God at the Fire & Glory Outpouring AND my home church (Solana Pres) and even watching worship on Youtube I have been stretched by God in my capacity for worship. I asked God to stretch me when I first entered this revival back when it took place in Rancho Bernardo.

Since I asked God to stretch me in worship what I’m about to say may not come as a big surprise, but maybe you’ve never thought of it before. I know I have.

I have wondered over the years what it would be like to bring in the new year worshiping with other believers. That’s what my wife and I will do this year.

Join us and Jerame & Miranda Nelson and a special guest or two at Fresh Awakening at Summit Church (that’s where Fire & Glory Outpouring moved months ago after Rancho Bernardo).

Of course, if you can’t make it to Summit Church in San Marcos you can watch on Youtube!

Again, I urge you to worship God in Spirit and Truth more often.

One way is through music and singing. (Yes, I do listen to more than just Crowder.)

Here’s a gifted helper, Lauren Daigle, to assist you in worshiping God.

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