Thursday, August 26, 2010


As I sit here writing some thoughts for this week's message on Daniel, chapter 3. I think of the three young men in the story. I think of how they faced their own admission they were not sure if God would deliver them.

And, I think of how could they stand up the most powerful man in the world, who was obviously easily enraged? A man who had uncontested power to take their lives by just a word from him. And, I think, what was their secret? How did they do that?

Think about it, obedience was more important than their life. Hmmm...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Have you ever heard of KIVA? Kiva is an organization whose mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Basically, Kiva empowers individuals to lend money to an entrepreneur across the globe. Starting at $25, you can lend someone money to start a business which will help them support themselves and their family. The most amazing thing is you can read the story of how your loan (and other) have had an impact. The individual pays you back a little at a time and when you get your money back, you lend it again. I decided to do this a while and it has been rewarding to see the impact a bit of money can have on someone across the world.

Chesk it out at

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friend of Sinners

David Kinnaman’s recenlyt wrote a book titled, “UnChristian,” in which he writes about how many non-Christians view Christian; that we are hypocritical, inauthentic, anti-homosexual, and incessantly judgmental.

When I think of Christianity I think of Jesus. Jesus touched the leper, was found alone with a Samaritan woman of ill-repute, allowed a prostitute to touch him, did not condemn an adulterer, partied with tax-collecting sinners, and dared to heal a man who had been sick for 38 years on the Sabbath day! Did Jesus like prostitution or adultery or leprosy? Of course not. But he so loved these people that he never gained our reputation. In fact, it was the opposite, he was called a friend of sinners.

To me, to be a follower of Christ is to love people no matter what labels they are tagged with. After all, isn’t that how Jesus treats us?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daniel 2

Today, I am continuing a sermon series on the Book of Daniel at the Santa Rosa Adventist church. Today, we will be looking at chapter two. Chapter two is a miniature, a microcosm, of the whole book. It contains both Hebrew and Aramaic. It has both narrative and prophecy. On the narrative side, it’s a study is about a man confronted with the reality that he’s not God, AND about a dream illustrates this. On the prophecy side, it is the foundation to the book of Daniel…AND of what is to come…the time of end. This is what makes this such a fascinating book!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do David and Solomon have anything to say to us today?

Over the years, I have come to understand that reading the Bible is a critical component of my daily walk with God. I have made it a practice for a long while now and here is what I have discovered: Bible books or chapters or verses that I read before and did not understand, make more and more sense the more I read them. I might not get it the first time or the second time, but at some point the light comes on. I know that many tend to give up when they don’t understand what they are reading, but I would encourage you that if this is you, keep reading.
Lately, I have been reading through some of the Old Testament again. The Old Testament tends to be difficult for many to read. Most people I talk to prefer the Gospels or other parts of the New Testament. I understand! But, the Old Testament has taught me much in the last few years., especially David and Solomon. I like how Oswald Chambers once put it regarding some of his favorite Old Testament books. He said, “The Psalms teach you how to pray; Job teaches you how to suffer; the Song of Solomon teaches you how to love; Proverbs teaches you how to live; and Ecclesiastes teaches you how to enjoy.”

So, I invite you to check them out. If you have not read them or have not read them for a while, read them with fresh eyes and see what God might say to you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hard to do

Book Review, "Jesus Manifesto" by Leonard Sweet and Frank Violaa

Book Review: Sweet, Leonard and Frank Viola, Jesus Manifesto, Thomas Nelson, Nashville T.N. 2010
Reviewed by Ron Aguilera

I can summarize this book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola in one phrase, “The Christian faith is all about Jesus. Jesus isn’t only at the center of the Christian faith, but along the “corners and on the edges” as well.”

Sweet and Viola believe we have created a “narcissistic” and a “best-seller” Christianity which is “self-centeredness wrapped up as ‘spirituality,’ which has become the latest fashion accessory for the person who has everything” (p. 100).

These days Christians are being separated by terns such as: the “defenders of orthodoxy,” the emerging church, the missional church, evangelicals, fundamentalists, the house church movement, etc…the danger being becoming preoccupied with some thing else other than Christ.

Sweet and Viola write about the importance of rediscovering of the “living Word,” or the Scriptures and its authority; focusing on Jesus and His supremacy; and being moved by the living Spirit and the Spirit’s gifts and power to manifest Christ in the context of that culture. (p. xvii)

We’re living in some tough times economically, politically, and socially. The world needs Jesus more than ever. Is this our mission? To bring Christ to a world that desperately needs him. And, what does the church look like when we are first seeking Christ and His Kingdom?

The authors call us to be “living epistles” or “Jesus Manifestos” in our world. What is Christianity? It is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Christianity is not an ideology or a philosophy. Neither is it a new type of morality, social ethic, or worldview. Christianity is the ‘good news’ of Jesus.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New sermon series

This Saturday, I am starting a brand new sermon series on the Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel is an apocalyptic book.. You’ve heard of the industrial age, the information age, and the age of technology? I believe we are now living in an apocalyptic age. To most people, apocalyptic means a catastrophic end of the world (lots of movies on that topic these days)…When we think of apocalyptic or catastrophic, we think of “The End,” …total or near total destruction caused by global warming, or the cooling of the sun until everything freezes, or a meteor hitting the earth.” The book of Daniel speaks directly to this. Throughout it, it repeatedly claims to have to do with the “time of the end”. It is a study of end things, last things…this is called eschatology. Eschatology, the study of last things is the study of hope for a hopeless world. It delves into the purpose and meaning of life, of our existence.

The Bible has often been referred to as “A tale of two cities,” Jerusalem and Babylon. We find these two cities mentioned all over the Bible. They are mentioned in Genesis and in Revelation and they represent a conflict between two different kingdoms, two different ideologies…The first verse of the book of Daniel mentions both cities as a clue to this conflict between true and false religion that will unfold in this book, the great controversy between Christ Jesus (the Messiah) and Satan (the devil). The theme? Worship. The last battle on earth will be over worship. Who will we serve? I hope you will come, or check it out online on our church web site (