Calvary Chapel Canyon Hills Easter Services

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Do you have a place to go for this weekend’s Easter celebration?

Join us in Canyon Hills as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Good Friday service at 7 on April 18th.
Easter services at 9 and 11 on the morning of April 20th.
With child care provided at both Sunday services!

Please use the below graphic to share about our services on Facebook too!

Calvary Canyon Hills Easter services 2014 designed by Sam Allen Creates

And here are a few more images of the newspaper I helped design for our local newspaper.

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Hope to see you there!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

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We arrived at the hospital at 8 p.m. By 10:30, we were able to give little Parker a kiss on the cheek and praise God for his little life.

Granted his mama had been there since 6 a.m. 🙂

Either way, litte Parker’s arrival got me thinking about life. And how intricate God has made each and every one of us.

And how “the big bang theory” doesn’t fly with me when you see a half hour old baby, see him cooing right up against his mommy. Knowing that man and wife created this life by God’s grace.

That doesn’t just “happen.” That doesn’t just evolve. Because really, our bodies fall apart over time. They don’t evolve throughout our lifespan and get better, they slowly decay. So no, I do not believe that life came from a spark or whatever the latest evidence and research has proven.

I believe whole-heartedly that there is a God who created me, created you, and created this world for our temporary enjoyment.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

I whole-heartedly believe that life starts at conception, and that God knows that life even before conception.

Looking at baby Parker, my heart grew with love for him and I just can’t help but praise God for this wonder and miracle of life that He allows us to experience each and everyday.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139

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Set Your Hearts on Things Above, Colossians 3

Warning: this post may get a little heavy and personal. Don’t say you were never warned.

When our Bible study read through the Bible last year from cover to cover, the activity interrupted my own reading through the Bible cover to cover. Except I wasn’t attempting to do it in 90 days. Instead I was reading in depth and at most a chapter a day with a commentary in hand—which I started in the summer of 2008 and am still going right along. But the 90 Day read couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.

My walk with God had grown stagnant. I was just in a funk the year before—the many woes that come with this world were just getting to me. There were just a lot of tragedies and sadness in the lives of my friends and family and I was allowing it to get me down. My daily reading of even a chapter a day of the Bible dwindled down to not reading at all.

So getting back into reading every single day, about 12 pages every day, really got me back into the habit of digging into the scriptures.

In April of last year, when the challenge was complete, I picked up where I had left off with my own reading: the Gospels. And since then I have wanted to start another little series of posts like I did with the 90 Day challenge. Posting each week on what I read really helped me tune into the reading. It wasn’t just something to check off the list once I read that day’s portion, but I really had to listen and to apply the Word to my life.

And again recently, I’ve just been so sad. There’s really no other way to say it. And I feel the need to “jumpstart” my time with God again since I can definitely say I have been avoiding Him. Just reading isn’t going to be enough though, growing in knowledge of our awesome God isn’t the same is having a relationship with Him. All that to say, I decided to combine my recent love of the handwritten lettering and my reading by starting weekly scripture postings again! So I will start posting each week (or so?) a favorite verse from whatever book I am into. Along with a thought or two.

Now, a year later, I am hoping to get back to posting some spiritual food here on my blog. Not only to share with all of you, but to keep myself accountable to really listening in to what God has left us in His Word.

STARTING OFF, I just finished the book of Philippians last week—which I really loved and would recommend to anyone looking to find the JOY in life—and am now deep into Colossians.

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Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

I am really taking this verse to heart as I am still struggling with the things of this world, the sin of this world, the death of this world. We each have an eternal purpose while we are shortly here on this earth.

Instead of thinking of today’s worries, and taking to heart yesterday’s sorrows—or even using the everyday joys to temporarily pacify—I must think about the things above for Jesus conquered this world and all that is in it. For the things above—i.e. Jesus’ loving sacrifice for you—will never change nor ever fade.

He conquered death for me, for you. He conquered the devil and rose again to be in His rightful place with God.

He rose so that we may rise with Him and take our place in heaven with Him for all eternity. And none of this world’s worries will follow us there.

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:17

Monday Musings

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others… Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. – Galatians 6:4-5

Bible Commentary Recommendation: Jon Courson Application Commentary

Who is your favorite teacher? You know that teacher who can explain the most complex concept into a simple idea. I first found Jon Courson’s studies through K-WAVE a few years ago. He would always be on during my commute to work. After looking more into him, I found his Bible Commentaries. The series is divided into three books with the OT testament split in half. He goes verse by verse through Scripture, explaining the simple truths of God’s word. What I have always loved most about Courson is his ability to make each portion applicable to life. He does this in a few ways but one of my favorites is when he ties it back to Scripture, almost always in each message he compares the New Testament verses into a story from the Old Testament. I really love that as it ties the whole Bible together and gives more life to the Old Testament.

In addition to the verse by verse study, sprinkled throughout the commentary are Courson’s topical teachings that focus a few a pages on just one topic or just two-three verses.

Not only does he have the commentaries, but you can now listen to each of his messages online FOR FREE! For a long time now, they weren’t set up to listen to on the iPhone but you could listen on the computer. I was overjoyed when I saw that I can listen to them all on my phone, he goes into so much more detail than the books, much more application. Tip: I like the 6000 and 7000 series as those are the most recent ones just from the last couple years.

I had been saving and saving to purchase Jon Courson’s Through the Bible study but now all his messages can be listened to anytime via iPhone and that is just awesome. I seriously love technology!

Please let me know if you find this helpful when choosing a bible commentary and comment below with suggestions to others!

Recap of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

What a feeling it was to have finished the book of Revelations knowing that a mere 3 months ago I had started the book of Genesis. Reading the bible, cover to cover, in such a short amount of time, was like taking a plane ride from California to New York. I got to see all the sights but without the depth of stopping at each one—giving me a chance to take note at what I may want to visit again later. What I love about studying the bible, is the study. The inspection of the details, learning about each verse, each word. But sometimes studying verse by verse I lose sight of the context. Reading each book as a whole helped me with seeing each book, each prophecy, each letter in context, as a whole—and seeing Jesus, as a woven thread throughout from Genesis to Isaiah through Revelations.

I would highly recommend reading through the bible, maybe given 4 months rather than 3, it may have been easier to stop along the way and dig a little deeper, I just felt so rushed that there wasn’t time to do that. In the summer of 2008, I started reading through the bible, going book by book with a commentary, usually only getting through one chapter a day. But then a year and a half ago, I slowed down, then totally stopped. Having gotten back in the habit of reading each day, I have started back to where I left off, with the book of Mark. I am so excited to be studying again. I plan to post about the commentary I am using too, because I really love it!

Anyway, all this to say, I encourage you to read through the bible. Maybe not in 90 days, but at your own pace—whatever suits your fancy—but it’s totally worth it!! It was fun to be sitting in church and hear our pastor mention verses I had just read the week before, and talk about people who I had just read about. Please let me know if you start up, I started writing these posts each week to keep myself accountable—to not only be reading but to process the readings. I’d love to help in anyway I can! Good luck!

To get the 90 Day Bible and learn more about the series, go here.

And here’s a list of the blogs I have been posting, for easy reference:

The above photo is from Creation Swap,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 13 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

This last week of the Bible in 90 Days was really just a few days covering Hebrews through Revelations. While I may have said 1 John was my favorite previously, I really liked reading Peter’s epistles. After an in depth study of the gospel of John with our bible study, I have looked at who Peter was in a different way. I never thought before about how much Peter is like me, like many of us. Fumbling through his walk, shining in one moment to be in total darkness in the next. Isn’t that how life is? How life with Christ is? Struggling to be the best person you can be, the most like Christ you can, just to realize that you can never come close. But if you truly want to be like Christ, we have to suffer as He did.

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4)

Then, earlier in his epistle, Peter wrote in chapter 1:

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I love how Peter wrote “for a little while” knowing that this life in light of eternity is but a moment. Even now looking back on a trial for a few years ago, it seems as though it wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed during the heat of the moment. But the best encouragement, is knowing that after this trial has passed, we have been refined by the fire making us of greater worth than gold! Making us more like Christ as we suffer!

The above photo is from Stock.xchng,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 12 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

Having never just sat and read through the whole book of Romans before in one sitting, I finally realized why it is so many people’s favorite book of the Bible. I loved not only reading all these amazing verses in context, but I found myself again and again being cut straight to the heart by Paul’s words. Right off in chapter 2 I felt convicted by Paul’s description of those who pass judgement on others. Without meaning to, I do this all the time! I may think badly of someone’s actions and am in fact doing the exact same thing!

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

We all need saving by Jesus, no matter if we have realized it yet or not!

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

The best part of all, is that our God, Jesus Christ, did not come to help those who could help themselves. He came for those of us who are struggling, who are sinners, who are powerless.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is not a new concept for me, but it is one that I may not take to heart as much as I should. There’s nothing I can do that will make God love me more. Looking down on others who haven’t found Jesus yet is such a silly idea. Because we’ve all been there. Thankfully, God doesn’t care about our past or even our present, but He does care about our future. Romans 8:

 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

The above photo is from Flickr,
text added by me from Lost Type.

Week 11 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge

I really wanted to stick to an Old Testament topic last week, but this week I want to talk about Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on water even though the week only covered the gospels of Mark, Luke and John. The reason I am using Matthew’s version is because of these words by Jesus:

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In context, Jesus had just fed the 5,000 with only only five loaves and two fish. He sent the disciples out in their boat while he stayed on shore to prayer. A great storm came and the disciples became very afraid. During the night, Jesus walked out to them and Peter asked Him if he could walk out and join Him on the water. When Peter started walking he became scared and started to sink and called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” Jesus of course stretched out his arm and said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

While reading this, I have always thought Peter was so silly for wanting first wanting to join Jesus on the sea during a storm but then to immediately lose confidence in this and start to drown himself. But really, don’t I do this on a day to day basis? I ask Jesus for help in the day to day, for food on the table and safety in getting to work. He has always provided in the small things but then when the big things come up—when we step out of our comfort zone—all of a sudden we become weary and start to question ourselves, and God. And vice versa, God has provided the big things too: jobs, a home, healthy lives; but then I doubt Him in the small things like how we will make our car insurance payment. Time and time again, God provides in ways I never would have expected and I hear Him ask me, why did you doubt?

The above photo is from Flickr, text added by me from Lost Type.