Dear Calvary Chapel Family
Through the years the Lord has allowed us all to go through many trials. I hope that these times have taught us all the never-changing truth which simply is Jesus saying “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And through life, that truth is simply taught over and over and deeper and deeper. I pray that as a result, I have “learned in whatsoever state I am to be content.”. And as in the old Footprints in the Sand story, those are the times He carried me. And those are the times I treasure most as I go forward.
As we look at the world around us today dealing with the virus, we have a test of our faith and so also does our wonderful family. Many are fearful. Fearful of the health potential, fearful of the financial potential, fearful of jobs being lost, fearful of life savings and retirement plans suffering greatly and fearful of all manner of things.
One of the things I noticed about myself years ago was my tendency the tell the Lord how I loved Him and trusted Him when things were well and then I would struggle when things were not well. And one day the Lord showed me this and that the real issue was could I tell him that I loved and trusted Him just as much if not even more so when times were tough. Oh, what a wonderful lesson that was and still is.
I also remember very well when I had taken over a church in very deep trouble financially and spiritually and suffering great division (it was not a CC). I knew it was in terrible financial shape, and I made sure I had enough resources to last three months, thinking it would turn around by then. It was 3 years. During that time I sold my retirement and my Southern California home and we ate most of the time out of the church food bank. And what a truly wonderful time it was. During that time someone asked me how I was doing and I responded: “I am finding out that things I have been preaching for years are actually true.”
Whatever it is that the Lord has planned for the world, our country, our state, our city, our church, our family is now set in our laps to help lead the way.
Our prayer at CCA is that you all will be greatly encouraged and that you all will be knit together in strong ties of love and Jesus will show you incredible ways to lead your people through prayer, daily devotions at home, and using their cell phones, and podcasts, and email, and social media and so forth. The enemy has controlled much of the tech world, now perhaps we can use it against him.
Some of you are gathering your leaders together to look at how the high school leaders can touch their kids with Jesus daily in ways you never thought of. Couples can be encouraged by the couples leader, seniors can be checked on and served and delivered food and run errands for them and mothers can discover ways to lead their children daily at home more and daily prayer lists can be sent to the body and so forth. We encourage pastors to check up on each other throughout your region and come alongside each other.
Remember what Paul wrote from prison…..
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,
5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
May we all write the same thing to our people
May the Lord use this time to draw our people closer to Him and each other.
In the glorious name of Jesus,
The CCA Council