Pastor's Blog

White picket fence with yard in background

In light of the upcoming election, the “threat” of alien hordes at our borders and the continuing political, racial and religious divisiveness and violence in our country, it seems like a good time to revisit our mission statement.

Here’s the full version: “Central Congregational Church of La Mesa exists to be a diverse, inter-generational church that worships, fellowships and serves together in the name of Jesus for the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors near and far."

The short version is, “For the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors near and far.”

The shorter version is simply, “For the Glory of God and the Good of our Neighbors.”

Hands holding hands

In June of 2007, after many years of starts and stops, I finally completed the requirements for my master’s program and received my degree. My master’s thesis was a directed reading focusing on the works of Lesslie Newbigin, a highly influential missionary, pastor and world church leader in the middle to late 20th century.

Ocean Wave

As a young man growing up in Ventura, California, I spent my summers with my friends scouring the coastline between Ventura and north toward Santa Barbara looking for the perfect wave. Unlike my brother, Mark, I never became a very good surfer. But to this day, I still love the ocean, and on occasion I will paddle out in search of the perfect wave and a long ride. Unfortunately, especially these days, I spend most of my time under my board and under water.

Sunset at Pismo Beach

The other day, my daughter, Karisa, and I happened to be driving north on the five freeway through Camp Pendleton just as the sun was setting. Now I grew up near the beach in Ventura, California, I’ve lived in San Diego for 23 years, and I’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times - I’ve seen my fair share of gorgeous sunsets. That said, I have never seen a sunset as big and beautiful as the one Karisa and I saw that day. The sky was fairly clear, and due to the position of the earth to the sun, and the bit of haze in the air, the sun shone as a gigantic, shimmering ball of stunning orange and yellow descending into the Pacific Ocean like some kind of god out of Greek mythology. It’s no wonder people throughout the ages have been drawn to worship the Sun - it is beautiful, majestic and glorious.

Darth Vador and Luke Skywalker with lasers crossed

 ‘Tis the season...bright lights, nativities, carols, presents, Santa, family gatherings, and of course, its time to gather everyone around the television and put on your favorite Christmas movies. You know, the ones that you just have to watch every year even though you’ve seen them a hundred times. The holiday season would be woefully incomplete without a viewing of the likes of White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas Vacation, Elf - and two of my favorites, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.