The Capranica

Comments on theology and life

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Monday, November 28, 2005

Pay Close Attention to Yourself

For a good audio devotional message, I highly encourage those of you who are pastors and/or seminary students to listen to the message linked in the title. Don Whitney is one of my favorite authors on issues of Spiritual Disciplines and practical ecclesiology. I was encouraged and convicted by this message, entitled, " "The Almost Inevitable Ruin of Every Minister... and How to Avoid It" - delivered this semester at Southern Seminary.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pearl Harbor and the North Shore

I have long had an interest in World War II history. Today fed my history habit in a big way. This morning, my wife and I made our way to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. The National Park museum was fantastic. The audio tour was well worth the five dollars and the historical video everyone sees before taking the boat out to the Arizona was stellar, even if it was put together around 20 years ago. The actual footage of the explosion that sent the battleship Arizona to the shallow sea floor of Pearl Harbor was thunderously shocking. The short trip to and time on the memorial was a solemn occasion. Over 900 bodies of U.S. soldiers remain entombed in the Arizona. About 2 quarts of oil still leak from the hulking metal military grave and is clearly seen on the surface of the water. We genuinely enjoyed the time we spent reviewing the remains of the event that launched the U.S. into World War II. Kelly's brother, D.J. is a part-time life guard here in Honolulu. He was our tour guide for the second portion of our day. He took us out to the North Shore to see the largest waves I have ever seen. We watched as guys surfed the famous pipeline and hung out as the Triple Crown professional surfing event was going on. The power of these waves is absolutely incredible. While today's waves were a bit smaller than two days ago, they were still facing at around fifteen to twenty feet high. We have finished our day today with a dinner out with family friends and a Elvis look-alike show. While I'm not much of a fan of Elvis' music, the one impersonating him did an outstanding job. Tomorrow we will tour the USS Missouri, the battleship used for the signing of the Japanese surrender in World War II. We also will board our cruise ship early and spend some time relaxing before we embark on the multi-island trip.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

From Hawaii

From Hawaii The past two months have been monster months in terms of time constraints. The Capranica Villa is here and we now have the county o.k. to move in. We’ve spent countless hours finalizing, preparing and painting. The actual move is yet to come. We continue to have major ups and downs with selling our current home. This latter issue is a saga in and of itself that will one day, once it is all finalized (could be months), will need to comprise a long blog post of its own. I have finished a DMin seminar and am working on another due in January. I have continued to preach in the evening services. Revelation was completed in September and Malachi was completed at the end of October. I have begun a new series using texts required from the next DMin seminar. Our choir is in full swing in preparation for the largest Christmas concert in which our church has ever been engaged. Normal church responsibilities continue as well. With all of this there have also been countless dropped and missed opportunities for ministry. I deeply regret these. Blogging has been null and void. Though the times have been hectic, they have also been good. I thoroughly enjoy the ministry. The business always causes me to try and find some time away from the pace and rethink my priorities and time management. I am hoping that the next ten days will provide some good opportunity for me to stop, relax and prepare myself to jump back into the work, but with a renewed commitment to and strategy to achieve what is most important. How will I do this? Well, I had to leave the mainland. What? That’s right. I am sitting in a recliner in a bed and breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii. Just now am I starting to come down from the stress of the past few days. How and Why? Kelly and I are about to embark on a cruise of the Hawaiian islands with about twenty-two others from her side of the family. All of this has been a trip the family has wanted to take over the past few years, and we have actively been planning to do this for the past year and a half. It is finally here. The impetus for the trip came with Kelly and her siblings desired to have a memorial service for their late mother and dispose of her remains. They have all wanted to do this in Hawaii, but the opportunity was never right until now. So, I plan to take the next few days to catch up on some blogging, reading, relaxing, as well as future planning, thinking and reworking of my schedule and commitments. This along with time spent with treasured family members. If I have internet access, I hope to post some thoughts and pictures of the goings on.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

From Our Lord's Day Worship 11-6-05

A Hymn from our morning worship today: Jesus Shall Reign Jesus shall reign where'er the sun Doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more. To Him shall endless prayer be made, And endless praises crown His head; His name, like sweet perfume, shall rise With ev'ry morning sacrifice. People and realms of ev'ry tongue Dwell on His love with sweetest song; And infant voic es shall pro claim Their early blessings on His name. Blessings abound where'er He reigns: The pris'ner leaps to lose his chains; The weary find eternal rest, And all the sons of want are blest. Where He displays His healing power, Death and the curse are known no more; In Him the tribes of Adam boast More blessings than their father lost. Let ev'ry creature rise and bring Blessing and honor to our King; Angels descend with songs a gain, And earth repeat the loud Amen. Last week our church held our annual Trick-or-Treat alternative. We estimate that over 700 people were on our facilities. We shared the gospel with at least 420 people that night. Around 100 people volunteered from our church to help with the event. What was incredible was the involvement of both young and old - there was an opportunityfor anyone who wanted to serve. Our gospel presentation was simply an introduction. We don't press for immediate decisions. We invited all who heard the gospel to a special AWANA open house tonight. We are praying for more opportunities to share the grace of Christ with people in our community. Tonight I will preach a message on preaching. "What's the Point in Preaching: What is so Important About Preaching." The central aim of the message is to challenge our congregation and encourage them with the purpose of preaching and what they should be listening for while listening to a sermon. In preparation, I read a few chapters from Dan Kimball's book, The Emerging Church, to get an idea of where some in the EC movement are coming from in regard to preaching. While Rick Warren and Brian McLaren wrote forwards to the book and make small side note contributions throughout, I found much of Kimball's comments to contradict their (at least Warren's) philosophy of ministry. Much of Kimball's discussion was not about public preaching/teaching, but rather, about peronsal evangelistic encounters with unbelievers. Many of the texts he quoted had nothing to do with preaching. However, when he did speak about preaching, I was somewhat surprised and encouraged with his comments. I don't know how he goes about practically applying what he says about public preaching, but he certainly demonstrated a strong backlash against the seeker-sensitive movement. I should post more specifics later.