September/October 2013, Update

Hope at the Beach

A Surfer’s Chapel

Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.                                                                             1 Corinthines 1:4-6 (The Message)

There are times when a good report is all that is needed and in this newsletter I will Baptism daypresent news of Hope at the Beach. To begin with, a few weeks ago a member of our congregation asked for prayer for a friend from work who was near death. She said to me in a very sad voice, “I guess God is done with her now.” I replied, “God is never done with those of us who love him. It is life that is done with us. In fact it is then, when God really gets going.” A few moments of silence and then, “Thanks Pastor Chuck, that really helps.”

This is only one instance that my early morning office hours (7-8:30 a.m. daily, except Saturday, in my car in the Seal Beach parking lot) seem to bring some balance to this crazy world that we live in. It may sound so little or insignificant a thing to say to someone in need of peace, but that is what God has given us. The little things that become larger than life. When she shared this thought with the husband of the dying woman, tears of healing poured from his eyes. He thanked her and told her this is just what he needed to hear. He said, “Then God is still my friend?” a big YES and a hug is the answer given.

One day a young man was praying and experiencing God in a newer and stronger way in his life when all of a sudden he caught himself praying that God would somehow show him his prayers are heard. He again caught himself telling God that it didn’t matter to him really, and it didn’t have to be a big sign. As he continued to drive, the Christian radio station had a contest and asked that if anyone had a son or a daughter with a certain name to call in and they would win a monetary gift for both the child and their church. He called his father who’s step son had the same name and the father called in and they won. This young man immediately thanked God and was satisfied with a prayer answered.

Last week we were blessed to baptize and rededicate an entire family. As we welcomed them into the fellowship of believers it occurred to me: “How wonderful! This family has just experienced the joy of Christian fellowship together.” Then we all took communion and we all together were loved and forgiven by our most gracious host, the Triune God.

You might just see your day as an ordinary day, nothing outrageous, just a day.  Yet God, through your obedience to his call to live your life given by Jesus to all the world, will live in you and you will experience these words that Paul wrote so long ago; “There’s no end to what has happened in you – it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge.” And if I may be so bold to add:  “beyond the need to understand.”

As always thank you for your prayer support and monetary gifts.  You are a blessing.

Chuck and Lin

Hope at the Beach, Seal Beach Pier, CA

7:15am – “Surfer’s Special”- Service of the Word

8:00am – Service of Worship and Praise

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Hope at the Beach

c/o Hope Community Church

1429 Clark Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90815