Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3–4 NRSV
As I sat at my computer and looked at the week before us, I was reminded of why Lin and I are doing this ministry. Forty-five years ago, by God-given wisdom and love we decided to become one, with one purpose. This was not done by chance. We knew that each of us was devoted to the new life that Christ provided for us on the cross. Thanks be to God, because this calling has not wavered. Challenges have presented themselves, yet God’s call has been clear. No matter if we were called to move over the sea or across the land we went with the hope of God’s grace to share with any who would hear – that as Christ first loved us, he has called ALL to be saved and set free from sin and guilt. No matter what a person is, does, or claims to do, God loves them, and God’s promises are not weak but unbreakable.
That being said, a new challenge has raised up. We were told we had to move – the house we have been renting the past 6 years is being sold. We asked God, where to next? This time we were led to an apartment right down in the heart of Seal Beach, very close to our call, Hope at the Beach. We are very excited to be here, yet It is still a challenge. Our living expenses have been covered by the grace of God. because of your gifts and generous prayers. Your support has confirmed our purpose these past nine years and we desire to keep going as long as physically possible.
Something new to pray about, Lin has begun her new calling of being self-employed. She is using her creative talents to build and maintain websites, focusing on small business and churches with the name Cornerstone Web Solutions. This decision was made just before we received our moving notice, and a huge chunk of her time has been in this move. Now she is getting into the groove of a home office worksite and developing many new ideas. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow and earn for a stable future. I think “retirement” is the last thing on our minds.
One last thing, as many already know, Chuck was in the hospital a couple of months ago very short of breath. He was diagnosed with Congestive Heart failure. He’s had a setback with his medications messed up, and we think a bought of the flu, but is recovering now. He will always have CHF but the prognosis is good and it looks as though God is not done using this man yet. But as he always says, like Paul, in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.”
Please continue to pray for us and the wonderful ministry and people of Hope at the Beach.
Pastor Chuck and Lin
Remember the French article we shared in the last newsletter? Lin was able to have Google translate it – a rather LOOSE translation and quite humorous. We are placing the excerpt of Hope at the Beach below. Its interesting to see how others from a non-church, non-American view a ministry like this. What is our true witness?
Pastor Chuck Carlson of the Church
Hope at the Beach organizes
ceremonies from 6 am
A guitar tune floats on the beach at Seal Beach, at north of San Diego, on this Sunday morning. Some big
palms were planted in the sand and a fortnight people are already singing, each on his little chair camping. The pious circle surrounds a large cross in scrap metal, crafted by the pastor’s sister-in-law with treasures gleaned here and there. Everyone is armed with a smile and of his little stamped leaf of the arms of Hope at the Beach (“Hope on the beach”): Gothic letters as tattooed on a beautiful red board. “
In our church, we accept everyone: the old fords, Buddhists, bums, vegans, … even the billionaires! “It is with open arms that Pastor Chuck leads the dance with his wife Lin. Former Lutheran pastor, he enjoys his retirement to give his blessings feet in the sand.
“Take a coffee and a chair,” the mustachioed ton character, a wooden cross hanging on the neck. The faithful Jill is on percussion and calms the pace for Cody, 14 years, reads a passage from the Epistle to the Philippians of his febrile teenage voice. Everyone discusses the text, so just a stone’s throw away, students from the MM surf school brush up their boards with application. “Before Chuck arrived nine years ago, I waited years for a church to moved here permanently. says Michael Pless, the pious owner of the school. There is a mass at 6 o’clock morning, and another at 7 o’clock for later. Like that, we can take water in good conditions. ” On the beach that begins to populate, no one is not surprised to see this devout assembly. It’s America of all contrasts. No need to watch his slip when it comes time to move on to the third singing, Oceans, “You call me the ocean floor / The great unknown where my feet could get lost / And I discover you in mystery / In the depths…