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I started answering the question “What did it look like back in the day at Calvary Chapel when Christians got together, for a bible study and other gatherings?” in my post on Sept 24. I started by explaining that the answer is found in who we were because that resulted in what it was like. This is part 2 of my answer.

In addition to everything that I wrote in this post here.

We abided in Christ.

We lived in Christ, we lived for Jesus, we lived “Hour-by-hour abiding in Jesus. We were obsessed with Jesus, we praised Him continually, talked about Him obsessively.

And just like with Jesus out of His personal union with the Father (John 10:30, John 5:19, Luke 22:42, John 14:9 ) came His words (John 12:49) and His works (fruit), which manifest the character of God and His mission on earth. Out of our union, our abiding in Christ, abiding in His word, came our works (fruit) and Character of Christ in us, resulting in us living on His mission (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20).

So imagine what it would be like for two or more people in a union (abiding) with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the word of God just as Jesus was in a union (abiding) with the Father coming together. Think of the results in the life of Jesus, the fruit He manifested, everything He did on His mission. Look at the life of the disciples and the fruit in their lives from abiding in Christ (Book of Acts). Now maybe you’re getting a glimpse of what it was like when we came together. What our daily lives looked like.

We proved daily that John 15:1-11 is true. “……he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, “. Our lives, what happened when we came together were the result of us abiding in Christ all day, the fruit from abiding.

Calvary Chapel May 5, 1973. Hundreds gather at Corona del Mar beach for baptism.

We were all part of the same church.

In the late 60’s through the 80’s Calvary Chapel held their baptisms at the beach, they had to because they were baptizing as many a 500 people in a single baptism. Those people were not coming to Christ because of some church event, or program. But because every one of us took Jesus to the streets, everywhere we went, we carried our Bibles with us and shared Jesus with everyone we met, each one of us was an evangelist. We did not invite people to come and attend a church, we were the church everywhere we went inviting people to come to the wedding feast, to Christ (Matthew 22:9).

This is who we were, the Christian culture we were reborn into, what Christians did, we opened our Bibles read what it said, believed it and lived it, we acted, we just did what it said. Thereby we made Isaiah 55:11 a reality in our lives. We were living on mission, talking about Jesus to everyone. It was that way for the first church, it was like that for us back then and it should be the same for us today.

We were all part of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. What was Calvary Chapel like, try to imagine thousands of followers of Christ who are passionately in love with Jesus. Coming together to worship Jesus, study the word, and have Koinonia with each other, who are expectantly waiting for the return of Jesus (Matthew 24:44, 1 Thess 5:6) and wanted to tell everyone about that Jesus. This was not a church of Sunday Christians, church attendees, a give me ten minutes of worship, a quick twenty-minute sermon and let me get out of here kind of people. This was Jesus people, Jesus freaks (as we were called), followers of Jesus coming together. People who actually loved to be with other followers of Jesus and talk about Jesus. To us it was not just a one hour Sunday morning event, in addition to the Sunday morning service, we had Sunday, Monday and Thursday night bible study services that lasted 2, to 2 1/2 hours each. Plus we went out for dinner afterward with bibles open talking about the study for another couple of hours. We were not just attendees of a church, Sunday Christians, but people in love with Jesus, and the body of Christ, the word of God and so we came together to be in the word, love on each other and love on Jesus.

I believe the essential part, the key to being part of Calvary Chapel was that it was a teaching church, an equipping church, and a sending church. We were taught the word of God (1 Timothy 4:6, 2 Timothy 2:15), equipped to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12-16) and sent out to preach the gospel and make disciples (2 Timothy 4:2, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8) and that is what we did. It was not about starting programs, it was about making missionaries of all of us.

Somebody once asked me where I went to church, I said Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, They responded: “Wow, going there is like going to seminary, you really learn the Bible”. And they were right, we not only were taught the Bible verse by verse, cover to cover, but we were also taught how to study the Bible ourselves, we were equipped. Thereby we were able to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:15 “Earnestly study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.“.

So image a group of people who along with everything I said in part one of this post, they believe in the same Jesus (Biblical Jesus), are madly in love with, abide in Jesus, who talk about Him with everyone they meet. Who are anxiously awaiting His return (Matthew 24:44, 1 Thess 5:6), and with urgency told everyone Jesus was returning. Who love the word of God so much that they study it every day, meditate on it all day, and talk about it with everyone. Are in unity in what the bible says (theology). Who love the body of Christ, and live to one another the body. Who exercise their Spirit-given gifts when they come together. A people that live on the same mission, to go make disciples. That believe in the same gospel and preach it to themselves and everyone they meet every day. We were filled with, empowered by the Holy Spirit, who is enabling, gifting and leading them. Are Charismatic (Not into Charismania).

We were a people that are of one accord, one Jesus, one gospel, one bible, one mission, a people who read the bible then do, act on what it says in the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s is who we were, a group of people who met the one who died for their sins and rose again and live as if they did.

It was Just Normal Christianity

In other words, it is normal Christianity according to everything I read in the NT as to how Christians live, the normative for a follower of Jesus Christ and how we live and do church.

So what was the result of a group of people like that to coming together? Whether it was 2, 20, 200 or 2,000, I think the only way I can convey what it was like is just to say: It was a Jesus explosion, a Jesus celebration. It looked like Acts 2, like Ephesians 5:16, and 1 Corinthians 14:26. It looked like a group of co-laborers in the mission (Matthew 28:19-20), who were stirring up one another to love and good works, spurring on one another in the good fight of the faith. It was like what normal Christianity is supposed to be like.

Honestly, you have to have lived it and experienced it to truly know and understand what it was like, what happened when we came together. If you were not part of the Jesus / Oneway Movement in the 60’s – 80’s, especially in California and particularly at Calvary Chapel (where it began), you truly cannot understand what I’m talking about.

I can also say for sure that you cannot make what happened back then happen today with a “how to book”, a “checklist of things to do”, or “church programs”. No man-made list or program can duplicate it. Nor can it happen with a church or group that’s full of Sunday Christians. People that think a church is something you just attend.

Just as Calvary Chapel did not make it happen with programs or manuals. It was God, the work of the Spirit and a people passionately in love with, abiding in Jesus and in love with each other. Chuck’s part was that he lifted Jesus up, taught the word of God and equipped the people for the work and sent them out. He let God and the Holy Spirit do the rest. God filled us with His Holy Spirit, and Chuck filled us with God’s word, and the word and the Spirit together did the rest.

I think the last part of Acts 17:6 best describes the gatherings back then “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” because they really did.

Read part one here.


In my Friday morning men’s group, I was asked what it looked like back in the day at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa when Christians got together, for a bible study or other gathering.

And I have been thinking about that since he asked that, and I’ve had a hundred memories running through my head while trying to think of how to answer that question.

And I think the answer is found in who we were, how we lived daily. Because without that any examples don’t make sense and are truly unduplicatable. Because that is the foundation, was the catalyst for what occurred when we met together.

Like the trinity we had a three-fold purpose and that ultimately was one purpose, Jesus, the Word, and the mission. And it dominated every aspect of our daily life, our thoughts, our actions, our purpose for living. Sub purpose along with those was Koinonia, (fellowship) and Maranatha, (the second coming of our Lord Jesus).

Because Jesus, the word of God and His mission were our lives, the most important things in our lives, the priority of our lives, what happen when we got together happened because of that. Jesus, the word of God, and the mission dominated our thoughts, our conversations, they affected everything we did every day.  So, when we came to gather it looked like the book of Act’s chapter 2, like Ephesians 5: 19-21, and 1 Cor 14:26.

When we gathered together all we talked about was Jesus and His word, because for us “to live is Christ” was how we lived. We did not have to switch to “church mode” or start acting like Christians when we came together, we were living it out daily. We talked about Jesus all day with everyone.

I must start with the elements, the foundation that created what happened when we came together?

The Mission: We all joined God in what He was doing every day, and so we had daily stories about fresh encounters with God, with what He was doing, stories of us joining Him in what He was doing. Stories of preaching the gospel, the sick being healed, the blind seeing, people being saved, people repenting, people being delivered. That is we had testimonies of Mark 16:15-20 “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Even stories of receiving persecution for preaching the gospel, and testimonies of prayers being answered.

First-hand stories, so that no matter who we talked with, set down next to when a conversation started we had a steady stream of God stories about what He had done. We prayed daily for God to use us, lead us where He was working, let us join Him in the mission. And when we prayed it, we meant it, we put everything else on the back burner. So then we brought those stories, testimonies with us when we come together, our part in the mission, in what God was doing on earth (Matthew 28:19-20, 10:7-8, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 9:2).

The Word: We had daily fresh encounters with His word and what it said to share, not just a list of isolated Bible verses committed to memory from some list memorized we just repeated. But a daily fresh encounter with the word and the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the word it for that day. We started our day with our Bibles open digging into the word, we finished our day in it, and every minute in-between that we could. We carried our bibles with us everywhere, we were reading it and sharing it every opportunity we had. We were set on fire for and by His word, encounters with God in His word. And if we did not share what we had received, we would have exploded I think. And we wanted to share it with everyone. We had burning bush encounters with God in His word. You cannot keep that kind of encounters with the Lord under a basket, you must shout it from a rooftop, and so we did, to each other, to everyone we encountered.

We all carried our Bibles with us if we were going to a restaurant to eat alone or with somebody, it was with us and open. When going to somebody’s house, because whenever we gathered together we always open our bibles and shared the Word. Even work because we never wanted to be far from it or miss any opportunity we had for sharing the word with others.

Jesus: And we abided in Christ and He in us, our thoughts were consumed with Jesus. We preached the gospel to ourselves all day, keeping the cross and resurrection fresh in our thoughts, to us it was if Jesus died for us and rose from the dead that day and we praised Him for it and had to tell others about it. We walked and talked with Him as if He was standing right next to us all day long because He was, we were consumed with Him. God became a man, suffered for our sins, paid our debt, died for us, and rose from the dead. And when we die He is going to raise us from the dead, give us His ring, robe and sandals. And we will eat with Him at His banquet table. What is there to talk about that was more important than that! Therefore, we talked with everyone about Him, I mean everyone. Our greatest joy was to talk about Jesus, we would rather talk about Him than anything else with each other and with others.

And we were also about Koinonia, the word means; 1contribution, 2fellowship, 3participation, 4sharing. We used the word a lot back then to describe our gatherings because It denotes the active participation or sharing of what one has in common with others. Koinonia is a very special kind of sharing—entering into what the apostles experienced with Christ. And that is what we did when we came together, “active participation or sharing in what one has in common with others” and that was Jesus, the word, and the mission. We entered “into what the apostles experienced with Christ.” That is why we wanted to be with the body of Christ in the first place.

Maranatha, the word means; “Our Lord comes” or “Our Lord is coming.” Jesus told us “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matt 24:44) So we reminded each other to be ready, we did not want to be found asleep in the light. Paul said “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thess 5:6-11 NKJV) And so when we came together we “comfort each other and edify one another” and we keep each other awake. And alerted others that Jesus was coming again.

And the Holy Spirit, I cannot leave out that we were all filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, baptized in/with the Spirit, however, you want to label it. It was not us doing these things in the power of our flesh, our strength, something we learned from a “How to” church manual. Not man made plans, schemes or programs, but by the Spirit of the Lord. We lived surrendered to, lead by the Spirit. It was not as much as us doing as it was us just Going and letting God do something through us, letting the Holy Spirit work through us. We let the Spirit equip us, work in us and through us when we were Going, and when we came together.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31-33, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6), “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”  John 14:26, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7,  and 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and on and on, we lived out, or maybe I should say the Spirit lived out through us.

Those things defined who we were and thus cased what it looked like when we came together, it looked like the book of Act’s chapter 2, like Ephesians 5: 19-21, and 1 Cor 14:26 I really think it looked like what it must have been like when the disciples came together after a day of joining God in what He was doing, a day of living on mission. A day of Going into the world and preaching the gospel, teaching what Jesus said even onto persecution.  Each one with their stories to share of going. A bunch of people who were crazy about, passionately in love with Jesus, the word. A people obsessed about people getting saved, even unto death, coming together as co-laborers for the Kingdom of God, encouraging one another in Christ, in the word, in the mission, filled with, equipped and empowered by the Spirit.

That’s the starting place, the foundation of what caused what occurred when we gathered together, part 1 of the story.

Read part 2 here.



When asked the question, I generally answer that I am neither Calvinist or Arminian, but that I am a Follower of Christ, and a Biblicist of you will. While this may sound like a cop-out, I suggest it isn’t. If we engage only the biblical written text without extending beyond what is written, then we will not conclude in favor of either system (Calvinist or Arminian).

People in “churches” love to associate, identify themselves with everything under the sun, a person, doctrine, movement, creed, a church, their pastor, anything other than Jesus Christ and the word of God.

Rather than study and know the word of God, they fill themselves with, spend their time reading the latest most popular “Christian” books, writings by mere men such as Calvin, Luther, and host of “Church” pastors and theologians, even radio talk show host that they follow and use to critique, interpreter, judge the Bible by. Instead of learning the bible and critique, judging the writing of mere men according to it. They have elevated these people and things to be greater than the word of God. They spend more time talking about Calvin, Luther, and others more than Jesus, follow the writings of, teachings of them more than the bible.

Rather than abide in Christ and He in them, rather than proclaim Christ and His words,  “Whatever I tell you in the dark, that speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, that preach on the housetops.” They proclaim the words of mere men instead of the words of Jesus.

Rather than be filled with, walk in, listen to the Holy Spirit, they would rather be filled with the knowledge of and listen to Calvin and others of the reformation.

“Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”  (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)

A modern paraphrase of that verse would be:

Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Calvin,” or “I am of Arminius,” or “I am of the Reformation,” or “I am of Arminianism.” Is Christ divided? Was Calvin crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of the Reformation?

And later Paul writes:

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. Because I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”                                       (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

This is where I live at, “I’m of Christ and Christ alone”, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That’s me. A follower of Christ.

God wants us on our face before Him……searching the scriptures…… not Calvin. If you have to avoid, create excuses as to why a verse or even whole book is not true, write it off as being symbolic, or figurative, or whatever in order to make what you believe true. Then there is something wrong with your theology, doctrine, your beliefs. Too many people take a black marker (symbolic) [a little humor] and mark out bible passages, rewrite and entire book so that their doctrine is true. Like the more than two dozen passages that make Calvin wrong on so many things.

For me the bible is the plumb line by which I test all things, it is the truth that all things must be in agreement with to be true. So if someone says, teaches something, or any doctrine that does not line up with the word of God, I toss it out and stand on the word of God. It’s the only truth, doctrine, creed I need to firmly hold on to, to believe and proclaim.
Test all things; hold firmly to that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

If 2 Timothy 3:16 is true: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” and Romans 15:4 “Because, whatever things were written beforehand were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” And 2 Peter 1:20-21 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. because, the prophecy in old times did not come by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

If you claim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, God who come in the flesh, creator of all that is, and died for your sins, rose from the dead. Why would you go to someone else, elevate them above Jesus, above the word of God? Think that you need another set of writings to know the truth about Jesus. I do not understand why anyone who is saved, a follower of Christ would turn to anyone other than the author and finisher of our faith. Would proclaim, brag, quote anyone other than Jesus, than the very living Word of God.

In Matthew 4:4 it says: But He replied and said, “It is written, ‘Man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Note it does not say from the mouth of Calvin, the reformers, or anyone else.

And in John 16:13 tells us: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; because, He will not speak on from Himself, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will show you things to come.” And John 14:26: “But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”

Note it does not say when Calvin comes, or the reformers comes, it says the Holy Spirit will come He will guide you in all truth.

As for me, I’m going to keep studying and believing the word of God and follow Jesus only, proclaim, shout from the rooftop “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.


Hey everyone! I’ve been on hiatus, on a break, whatever you prefer to call it for nearly a year — debating with myself if I even want to continue blogging, and I’ve decided to start blogging again and see how it goes, sort of a trail run period.  Stay tuned…


Only one time in the Gospels are we told that Jesus actually ‘marveled’ at the faith demonstrated by another person. That in itself is reason to pause, and ponder, what made the faith of the centurion so amazing? What was it about his faith, what did he know, what did he believe or how did he express it that Jesus stood still and paused for moment is utter amazement?

Was this person that Jesus marveled at a learned Pharisees that had memorized the five books of Moses, a Sadducees who could recite theology in his sleep? Nope it was a heathen, a Roman Centurion.

Luke 7:2-10 Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Jesus did not marvel at first

We see that Jesus has responded to the basic demonstration of faith, the centurion has expressed that he believes Jesus can, in some way, help his servant and so Jesus 
starts heading to the house. At this point Jesus is not marveling, he is just going. Most people that believe in God have little trouble believing that Jesus can heal the sick,
 but that kind of faith does not make Jesus marvel, something more is needed. Something more needs to be demonstrated that is beyond the norm, beyond 
‘simple belief’. As Jesus nears the house the Centurion sends another envoy to meet him and it’s this moment that really catches the imagination and wonder of Jesus.

I too am a man under authority

The entire reason that Jesus declared that this Roman centurion had the most impressive faith he had ever seen was because this centurion understood that the power 
that Jesus had flowed directly as a result of his submission to authority. He tells Jesus, I know you don’t have to be here, just say the word! I know how authority works 
so I know how your power and your words will work in this situation!

Notice he says I too… not I am, and therefore I understand, but I too. Not only did he understand authority because he was under it himself, under the authority of
 Rome, but he also recognized that Jesus also was under authority, the authority of the Father. So what is it about the understanding of authority that made this
 centurions faith so impressive?

I say ‘go’ and he goes, ‘come’ and he comes

The centurion went on to explain his understanding, experientially, of how authority works (and therefore how the authority of Jesus works). He explained that he 
tells servants and soldiers who are under him, to go and they go, to come and they come. This is profound! When someone is submitted to your authority, they obey 
your commands! If a man is your master you obey what he says. If a man is your commanding officer you obey what he says! But this whole point hinges on the fact 
that the centurion’s authority over his soldiers only exists because he himself is under authority.

You must be under authority to have authority

The soldiers obey the centurion because they know that ultimately, to disobey him is to disobey Rome. When he gives an order, it’s as though all of Rome is standing
 behind him in agreement. When Jesus gives an order to sickness or foul spirits, all of heaven stands behind him as power flows from the Father. When he says Go! 
Sickness goes! Sickness and evil spirits cannot resist the power and authority that Jesus unleashes when he speaks and it’s the understanding of this power, this 
authority, this structure and flow, that the centurion has that makes his faith something to marvel at indeed! He knows his own authority and he knows how to
 exercise it, he knows then that Jesus does not need to come to his house for he knows that Jesus authority is over all things! Now that's some faith!

The application

Jesus was impressed by two key statements;

(1) I tell this one go and he goes, and
(2) I tell another one come and he comes.

What amazes me is that these are the same two commands that Jesus gives those who would follow him and call him their Lord and obedience to them is the
 greatest expression of faith… trusting in his decisions and responding to his authority.


The first thing Jesus says to his disciples is ‘come’. Every Christian has responded to this call, this command, to come to Jesus to be saved. This first command is the
 command of a Savior offering salvation. You cannot rely on you good deeds or your knowledge to be your savior, only Jesus can save you, only Jesus has the authority
 needed to redeem your life and rescue you, and me, from sin and death.


The last thing Jesus says is ‘go and make disciples’. This is not just the command of Jesus your savior but of Jesus your Lord and it’s here that many stumble, it’s here
 that many struggle to accept the authority of Christ in and over their life. Everyone wants a savior, but not everyone wants a lord. Jesus wants to be both or none.
 This is why the flow of power is often hindered in a believers life because the flow of power is dependent on the flow of faith, which as we have seen, hinges on an
 acceptance and understanding of the authority of Jesus. The centurion understood and submitted himself to the authority structure that Jesus was operating under.
 We too, if we are to call Jesus Lord, must submit to and live under the authority structure that God has placed over us, namely, Christ. The truth is, everyone has a lord,
 something we submit to, something we honor above other things, something we trust in and disobedience to Jesus as Lord means we must be obeying something or
 someone else, often, ourselves. We want Jesus as a functional savior, we want the perks and benefits of salvation, but not the yoke of Christ’ lordship.

⇒The flow of power is dependent on the flow of faith

To disobey the command to Go is to disobey and disregard the authority of not only Jesus your Savior and Lord but of the one he is under, God the Father. Jesus said in
 John 14, if you love me, you will obey my commands. And Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith, for the most part, is practical
 obedience to the commands of Jesus. Come: Love God, Go: Love your neighbor & make disciples.

Coming to Jesus is just as important to Going for Jesus; both are acts of obedience and faith, both are acts of worship and submission. Once you have come, you must
 go, make disciples.

I am loved by God and a lover of God, I am Lovesick for God, therefore my worship is passionate.

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,…” Luke 10:27

Let them praise his name with dancing, let them sing praises to him with drums and guitar! Psalm 149:3

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Zephaniah 3:14

Those three verses are inseparable to me.


Which of the two groups of people above would you say are passionately worshiping God, passionately in love with God? If a non-believer walked in these two services which one would they say, WOW, they really love God? WOW, They are passionate about Jesus? Which one do you think they would say, I want to know about the God they are worshiping? Which one would you say God is in an intimate relationship with them? Acts like their God is extravagant in His affections for them? Looks like their God is a consuming fire of passionate love for them? Jealous for the love and devotion of His people?

As for me, the answers to those questions are at the heart of why I had no interest in every church I walked into until I was 25, why had I a distorted understanding of God and church.

When it comes to love I am passionate, expressive and emotional and in scripture, we see God is too.

The Lord your God is in your midst, one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will rest in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:0

Is the way on the Left how you respond to a God that is rejoicing over you with LOUD signing? Not me. To God in your midst? Not me.

This is my story, my personal life experience.

I have walked into many churches like on the Left in my lifetime, that’s why I never liked going to church in my youth, my teens, up to my mid-twenties. I found the “worship” boring, and dead, and I did not understand a word of the songs in the hymnal’s, like “Would He devote that sacred Head” and “For their feete runne to euil”, I would think who talks like that to anyone, especially to God? And what the heck does that even mean? I would not talk to a girl like that, that I was in love with, was passionate about. So neither would I talk to God like that being in love with Him.

Add in the legalistic, harsh loveless sermons they preached, their God scared me, their God did not beckon me into a love relationship with Him. He was not someone who wanted a love relationship with me or loved me. They way they worshiped showed He was not someone you ought to have a love relationship with. I would look around and everyone looked like that were mad, or depressed, or bored with God and well, constipated, and this was their worship of the God they say they loved, and who loves them!

One thing for sure I never linked the “joy of the Lord”, “God is love” to their worship. Their worship was not an expression of love for God, passion for God, or even God is love. I could not stand the worship time, or the sermons so I was never part of a church growing up. I really believed God was harsh, unemotional, unloving, very distant from man. He was just not someone you had a love relationship with, based on how the people were worshiping Him. They might have said the words “God is love”, “God loves you”, but their lack of a deep intimate personal love relationship with God being displayed in their worship, said otherwise, their worship did not match their words.

“At Calvary Chapel: I knew they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God.”

Then God lead me to Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, the first time I was there and I was blown away by the worship, in awe, for the first time in my life I witnessed worship of God, people in love with God. Because I had been to football games, I had seen what people are like when they are passionate about someone or something, I had crushes on girls, I know how you act when you’re crazy about someone. And Jesus even tells us we are to love God even more than our loved ones. That first time I was at Calvary, I saw people who were passionately in love with God, crazy in love with Jesus, for the first time I saw people worship God with all their being and I was in awe. They not only looked happy but were ecstatic, full of uncontainable joy, I knew these people had an intimate personal relationship with God. I knew they loved God and God loved them, they were in a love relationship with God. I wanted to know their God, the one they were in love with. The songs were alive and personal from their heart to God, and in simple modern English that I could understand, words that connected to my heart. I was overwhelmed, and I want to know God as they did. to love God as they did. Know His love as they did. I wanted to know the God that they were so in love with, that stirred such passion in them. And so for the first time in my life, I became part of a church.

“I wanted to know the God those people were so in love with, so passionate about.”

Before Calvary Chapel, I knew Jesus died for my sins, that He was my savor, but until Calvary Chapel, I never knew, saw or experienced God was a God of love, and He wanted a love relationship with me, that I could have a passionate love relationship with Him.

It’s been many years since that day I walked into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and I have grown in breadth and length and height and depth, in my relationship, and love of God, of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so thus has my worship.

I am by nature a passionate person, affectionate and romantic when I am passionate about something or someone, it shows, so I worship with great passion, how can one not when worshiping the God of Creation, the God who came in the flesh to suffer and die for me. How can I not be excited, want to raise my hands to the one who was raised from the dead for me, jump with joy, dance with gladness, shout, cry, scream with arms wide open, proclaim my love to Him, be filled with joy and smile ear to ear. I must, everything in me cries out to Him, my love must be expressed with all my mind, strength, and body, and so I do. That’s me, how I roll, I cannot just sit in a pew unemotional, singing songs that are not from my heart.

Which group looks like God is inhabiting their praises like the Bible says He will? For me, it’s the ones on the Right, because that is how I express love.



Psalm 16:11 says “in your presence, there is fullness of joy” which group looks like there is in the presence of God, looks like there is fullness of joy? As for me the ones on the Right to me.

Who looks like they are gazing on the face of the One who sits on the throne? To me, in my experience as one who does, the people on the Right.

Who looks like they are worshiping, in love with the God who became a man, suffered and died to have a love relationship with them? The Right as to how I worship the One who died for me.

My choices are based on my life experience, and how I am wired for love and passion, and my personal encounters with God in worship. How God made me, wired me, how I express and perceive love.

The service on the Left screams Rituals vs. Relationship, what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for. Making Judaism all about a set of rituals and laws to follow, things to do rather than have a love relationship with God. King David understood what it was all about, about passionately pursuing the heart of God, but the Pharisees did not.

“if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me screams to do and say, why even be there?”

As for me, if I cannot have the freedom to passionately worship and love God at the level my heart desires to, I don’t want to go there. I would rather just stay home, if I am not going to get to worship God at the level everything in me scream to do and say, pour out my heart to God, why even be there? So that is why I would not go to a church like the ones in the Left photos, it’s just not me.

“like the rocks I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name”

To just sit there week after week unemotional, un-passionately, sing songs that say nothing of the love I feel for God, I would explode, like the rocks, I would have to cry out praises to God, shout out the Name above every name. Dance with joy before my Lord like King David (OK, not naked like he did). Not falling on my face before Him crying out Holy, Holy is the Lamb on the throne. Worship with total abandonment, be all in with all that I am, heart (Emotions & Affections), soul (Life), strength (Body, Actions) and mind (Thoughts) is unacceptable, I must worship God.

I’m just saying that is me, where I am in my relationship with God, the level of love I have and level of worship I desire to give God. I’m not attacking or condemn others who choose to worship like at that church, who choose be part of a church like that. I just want others to not try to talk me out of loving God as I do, talk me out of worshiping God with passion like I do. Or to attack and condemn me because I do, or the places I worship at like in the photos on the Right.

I will not go to a church like the ones in the photos on the Left side, like the ones that kept me from God’s love, that is not a place for me, others can go where they want and I will go where I go. And I choose to go where I am free to worship God, love God with total abandonment, passion, to my heart’s content. Come before the throne of God and gaze upon His beauty and dance with joy before Him, and sing loud from my heart to Him who sits on the throne.


I am like the guy on the Right when I worship, at the top of the page, I am all in, totally abandoned in my love and worship of God, and I will not give Him anything less.

The words to the song “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards says it for me.

For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy, demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

I don’t want to talk about You
Like You’re not in the room
I want to look right at You
I want to sing right to You

I seek to be in a group that looks like that is true for them. Who looks like God is in the room with them, who looks like they are looking God in the face and singing to Him.

I’ve tasted and seen, of the sweetness of the presence of Jesus, the moving of the Holy Spirit, and I want to stay there. Churches on the Left are why I never wanted to be part of a church, had a distant relationship with God, knew not of His love and was a periodical son tell I was 25. Churches on the Right are why I have a passionate love relationship with God, with His word, and so there I will stay.

If you like, want a church like the one on the Left, then be part of a church like that, just don’t expect me to, because I will not. And I do not care what others think, I worship for an audience of one, He who sits on the throne.

This is not open for debate, I will not love God less or less passionately than I do now and how I express it. I am unapologetic about this because I’ll never be sorry or apologetic for loving God and passionately worshiping Him.


Also, read this post Early For Church, Never Just in Time


Having YWAM Together 2016 here in KC the last week was such a blessing, God amazingly continued a conversion we have been having the last month, so many things on my heart and my prayers, speakers addressed.

It was so great to be back among YWAMers, got to see my old base leader John Dawson, and hear Loren Cunningham. Hear what God is doing through YWAM today in the earth like Ending Bible Poverty, being reminded of the goal that the Bible will be translated into every known language by 2020.

God moved powerfully in the worship and faith-stirring messages.

I believe God was talking to me about what I have been crying out to Him for the past two weeks, to walk with Him as Enoch did, as Elijah did. God seemed to be speaking to me through the example of the lifestyle of and message that Todd White gave. What it is like to be a man who walks with God, someone who imitates Paul as he imitated Jesus.

I have been praying that I need my prayer list answered, so I can move on to going and doing, be so busy going and doing that I have a new prayer list and that is what Todd does, lives a life busy doing, joining God in doing.

The day after the event ended, most of the YWAM leadership and attendees still in town came to Forerunner Christian Fellowship, George Otis spoke at the first service. He also was speaking to something I had been praying about the last month. That we need to have stories about fresh encounters with God, with what He is doing to tell others about. He articulated very well what I have been trying to tell God I need. I need stories like I had when I was in  YWAM, stories of what my God is doing, the sick healed, the blind see, the dead raised. Testimony of my prayers being answered. Stories of God moving, salvation, people being delivered. First-hand stories weekly, daily, so that no matter who I walk with, set down next to when the conversation starts I have a steady stream of first hand stories that is what my God has done, is doing.

Action take away, I need to find where God is, what He is doing, where He is moving, no matter where in the world that is, and get involved with Him in what He is doing, get busy going and doing. So that I have stories, so I can begin to talk about once again the things I see and I encounter God doing. Not hearsay, but first-hand stories, not what I hear about, what someone else is doing, but like when I was in YWAM, hands-on participation in what God is doing.

Fell in love with an incredible worshiper of God, Lindy Conant, she was on the YWAM worship team that lead most of the worship. Her worship was so passionate, she is so passionate for Jesus, I could have worship all day and night with her. Talk about someone to worship and pray with, do ministry with, she’s my heart’s desire. People with that kind of passion for God, obsession with Jesus and the message, that’s the kind I want to do life with, live life with.


lindy-conantAbove photo, Lindy Conant is on Right

Loved hearing all the YWAM stories, and being in a room with over 80 nations represented.


And that I miss YWAM, the mission, the people, being part of God doing amazing things, I was also saddened by thinking about all I have missed out on, the things I could have joined God in what He was doing. How I could have had a life spent for Him on the mission field. That I would go back into YWAM in a heartbeat if it were possible. It is so true what they say once a YWAMer, always a YWAMer.


More takeaway from the YWAM Together gathering here in Kansas City on Monday.

The most impactive thing for me was Todd White, he ruined me, I want, I need to live like him. The lifestyle he has been living the last 12 years since he was saved, is how I want to live my life. The stories he shared, the way to live, lifestyle Christianity as he calls it, is my heart’s desire. He shares Jesus, the gospel, the love of God with every person he meets, his coworkers at his jobs in the past, people he meets everywhere he goes every day.

I don’t know how true all his stories are, don’t even care if they are embellished or not, to make for a good show on stage. Don’t know about all of his teachings, don’t care if his teachings1 is not 100% Orthodox in everything like the non essentials. What I do know is his lifestyle2 is real, dozens of people get healed 2   get saved2 while he goes about his everyday life, verified by others. What I do know is he wakes up every morning with the intent to live for God on the mission, he sees every place he plants his feet as his mission field. To share Jesus with every person he meets, everywhere he goes, at work, school, grocery stores, malls, gas stations, everywhere,  and the results are real. He boldly tells everyone about Jesus. And that’s what I am talking about, what I want to imitate. (That is why they had him at the event, to inspire everyone there to live boldly for Jesus, not teach.)

( 1 Mark 6:38-40 says “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39  “Do not stop him; for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us.” , 2Matthew 7: 20 “So then, by their fruit you will recognize them”)

I want to live like that, old school Christianity I call it, the way we lived back in the 70’s and 80’s, everyone carried their bible everywhere they went and talked about Jesus with everyone, everywhere. That is how I want to live.

I just had started praying three days before telling God that I want to be busy living life with Him, doing, joining Him in what He is doing every day, Going and doing.

I want to be busy Going and Doing with Him.

It all really started last week with me praying every day now that I want to “Walk with God” like Enoch did. To be living life with God, abiding, waking moment by moment with God like Elijah did.

In my men’s group last week we covered 2 Peter chapter 1, and in 2 Peter 1:5-6 “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge” the Hebrew, the Jewish mindset, “knowledge” means participatorily adherence, actively involved, join in action, to Jews the Hebrew word for knowledge actually implies unity with. So to have knowledge of God means to have unity with Him, to participate with Him, join Him by doing what He says, keeping His commandments, joining Him in what He is doing.

So I have been seeking the answer to how do I walk with God as Enoch did, how do I join God, come in unity with God, join in what He is doing. And well it seems that God is answering me, live like Todd White, live like he described he does, how he was encouraging us to live.

Add in I have been praying for months now that I want my life to look like, feel like I live in the New Testament, live in the book of Acts, like I just stepped into the bible. Living like Todd would defiantly put me on the road to my life looking and feeling like I do. Conditional on God being involved with me like He is with Todd, that is I have the same results Todd has had, which would match what we read in the book of Acts.

It’s about being in love with Jesus in the public, when your in love with Jesus, you actual get to display Him everywhere you go.



I attended the YWAM Together (YWAM is Youth With A Mission for you none YWAMers) here in Kansas City on Monday, its a week-long conference that YWAM  holds every two years Monday was open to the public and it was awesome in so many ways. First gathering with YWAMers from all over the world, being a YWAMer, being with YWAM three years back in the late 80’s, it was like going home. There is a saying in YWAM, once a YWAMer always a YWAMer, I can testify it is true.


It was so great to hear YWAM stories, people sharing what God is doing all over the world, getting to share my stories with other, priceless.
Seeing and hearing the leaders speak, like Loren Cunningham, John Dawson, who was the leader of the base I was at when I was in YWAM, and many others.


To hear all the new technology that is being implemented to spread the gospel around the world.


To hear that by 2020 that the Bible will be translated into every known language in the world, and YWAM will have a base in every country in the world, fulling the bible verse Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.”


When I was in YWAM I got to go on the Anastasis Hospital ship the largest of 3 ships they had at that time, today they have 8 ships, praise God.


Bottom line I miss YWAM.






 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”  2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

I think the ratio of No’s to Yes’ in our lives is like 100 to 1. And No, has no energy, not doing something is an emptiness and carries no weight. It creates a vacuum that waits to be filled by something. Something in us is searching for fulfillment and to give it a No, does not fill the need, the void. And like the bored child that is relentless saying are we there yet, can I have…., can I do…. until they get Yes, something to fill the void in them. And we find ourselves saying if I told you once I told you a hundred times, No.

The leader of my Wednesday men’s group shared something that caused me to be aware that in my own life, I spend a lot of time saying No to things. There are things I don’t want think about, so I have to say No to them…things I don’t want to feel…things I don’t want to say or do, see or hear…all requiring a No. A day spent in such wrestling is exhausting in the stream of one No after another. It is also frequently a path to failure, the same issues come back, again and again, requiring No again and again. No has no energy and it places the will in a position of weakness. The will was created to will something, not nothing.

The Apostle Paul’s observation that the promises of God are Yes, just might be the key to the daily struggle. The absence of sin isn’t the same thing as righteousness. Righteousness is a fullness and a presence of God-likeness. Sin itself is an emptiness, lacking God-likeness, the character of non-being. The spiritual life is fulfilled in righteousness – true rightness of being – living in the image of God.

A simple way of living this reality is to say Yes. If I do not want to do one thing, then what I do is say Yes to something good? If I do not want to think about certain things, then I say Yes to the thoughts I do want instead. I don’t fight the bad, the unwanted, I embrace, accept the good ones, the godly ones.

For example, if I do not what lustful thoughts, I don’t say No them, I say Yes to……

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

“I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”  Psalm 77:12

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15

So instead with struggling to say No a hundred times a day to lust, leaving a void in me hungry to be filled, I’ll be to busy with Yes to God, being filled with God’s righteousness, and have no room for lust.

Anything I do not want to do, example, Instead of No to gossiping, I say Yes to……

‘Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)

‘Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)

‘Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)

‘Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)

‘Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)

‘Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

‘Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)

‘Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8

‘Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)

So instead with struggling to say No to gossiping,  I’ll be to busy with, filled with loving others, building them up not tearing them down.

Instead of No to hearing, seeing, and so forth,  I say Yes to God, to the word of God, the things of God.

And there is another step beyond. It is possible to say Yes repeatedly throughout the day. The simple phrase, “I say Yes to God,” carries a great deal of power. I want to make it a frequent confession in my day. That I say Yes to God. I say Yes to His word.

Then my life will be filled with life giving Yes’ and not empty, lifeless No’s.

My goal is to keep myself so busy saying Yes to God, the things of God, then there will be less and less room in my life for things that require a No. At the very least I figure I will reverse the ratio of No’s to Yes’, I’ll be saying a hundred Yes’ to every No. My day will be filled with positive God-likeness and not the emptiness and void of the No’s.

Ultimately it comes down to Saying Yes to….

“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And that requires a lot of Yes’.