September 6, 2019 | Friday
Revelation versus Education
For many of you who have come or listen to our services, you know that I like to use the phrase, “revelation versus education.” It was a word that the Lord impressed upon my heart in our study of Galatians not too long ago. “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [Galatians 1:12]
The context is Paul’s revelation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. It was revealed to him [by Jesus Himself] not taught him; he didn’t get it at rabbinic school or from Peter, John, or any of the other apostles. Revelation was given him, directly from Jesus, and not only the Gospel but I believe Scripture as a whole, which is why Paul has penned most of our New Testament. Paul’s letters explain doctrine, and how the Old Testament [and really all Scripture] is fulfilled in Christ. The whole of the book really speaks of Jesus. By revelation, Paul [a Hebrew of Hebrews who studied under the elite rabbis] was humbled so that Jesus would be revealed to Him. Revelation [not education] is the key. Education is the hammer that builds the house; revelation is the dwelling w/in the House. “I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than dwell amongst the wicked.”
Practicing What I Preach
Perhaps this is a word for me. I need to be better at practicing what I preach. I need to dwell in His house more so His work would heighten in me and through me. I’ve always wanted to be used by the Lord, even from way back when I was little, even though I may not have identified it that way. But, as I alluded to in an earlier Update, oftentimes I’ve used a shotgun approach rather than God’s. I tend to respond to need, but needs are endless. My heart wants to respond but at the end of each day I find myself falling short of getting to the needs.
I’m in the Word and in prayer and worship and ministering every day on the Calendar. I’m not kidding. The Lord fills me and then uses me. I love it; and really the Lord has called me to it. But I’ve neglected parts; important parts; things like family and friends that I’m called to. I’ve perhaps done the shotgun approach long enough; it’s time to be more focused.
I remember watching an interview with Michael Jordan years ago when Michael was retired and Kobe Bryant was approaching his prime. The interviewer asked Michael, “if you had one advice to give to Kobe what would it be?” It was interesting, it was really only a short pause and Michael said, “Let the game come to you.” Jordan learned it, I’m not sure Kobe did, maybe; Bird and Magic always had it.
So often we go off of raw emotion and energy; stuff that fuels youth, but the Lord harnesses that energy through obedience and waiting and then His Spirit leads.
This is the time I need to sit w/ the Lord and let His game come to me. I think there will be some changes in God’s work for me. I’m not quite sure of them all but changes are coming. But I think these changes will further His game in me. After all, His ways are higher than ours. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” [Proverbs 16:9]. This scripture has been the tune of my life; it has connected the dots for me. This last challenge w/ quadruple bypass surgery is yet another way His sovereign will for my life is coming to pass.
Doing More by Doing Less
This is the general blueprint the Lord has revealed to me since my surgery; doing more by doing less. It is responding to Him rather than responding to needs. It is allowing His game to come to me. And by doing this I will be able to accomplish more for His Kingdom.
I will spend more time with my family that I love dearly. It will be unfolded to me how. But firstly I’m going to spend more time w/ my mom. While mom lives w/ us and we spend lots of time together going shopping, taking her to doctor appointments, etc.; that’s just one facet of time. The greater is enjoying her presence. She’s 83 years now and is still in rather good health. The Lord has blessed me w/ her health so I can relate to her on a deeper spiritual level. Last night we played a game of Scrabble together. It was so much fun. This is the greater and deeper level of ministry.
I will spend more time w/ Marcy’s parents who really are my parents too. They are simply the salt of the earth and my examples. I want to live my life like her dad. He’s not a fancy wordy religious cliché kind of guy. He’s the real thing. I plan on spending more time in Santa Maria.
I would like to spend more time w/ my siblings; perhaps this will be difficult physically because of our locations; but it will be easy, Lord willing, w/ writing. I’d like to be more a part of their lives; I’d like to begin serving them as I’ve served my spiritual family these past many years.
I kind of think I’m supposed to reconnect w/ some of my old friends from Junior High through College that I know w/out a doubt the Lord put in my life. It’s no coincidence the Lord has me right back in Echo Park pastoring a church where I grew up. It’s no coincidence that I coached at Belmont High for almost 10 years. Driving students and congregants home for the past 15 years takes me in and around all the streets of my youth. I drive by most of my old friend’s homes weekly. It’s why I like to drive people home. It allows me to pray. The Lord has put me back in the Echo Park area to pray over my old friends. I hope that we can re-connect on a spiritual level soon. Time is short. Perhaps this is the season.
I’ve recently re-connected w/ my old music teacher from Rosemont ES. Lord willing, we will be writing hymns and spiritual songs together. This brings me to another redirection. I’ve always felt led to write to the Lord; it’s not w/ the motivation of publishing anything; but more responding to Him in devotion and song. I’d like to spend more time writing music and devotionals as I receive them from Him. “From the depths of my heart to Yours” is the title He gave me early this morning.
A Spiritual Battle w/ Physical Consequences
We know this is true, w/out a doubt, that our battle is spiritual [Eph 6:12]. If it wasn’t, the Bible would never mention prayer. Prayer is the battle; God’s word and promises are His weapons. I’m not going to sugar-coat this, probably because I don’t know how to say this any other way, but Darkness is real, and it wants our lives; it wanted mine, and I think still does. That’s why it is so very important we are a house of prayer and teaching and holding to God’s word, which is Truth. I’m not sure of all the reasons for this physical trial but its root is spiritual. But it is prayers and God’s promises that prevail [always]. That is why it’s so important for us to remain in a praying fellowship and a fellowship that knows and reads and assimilates God’s word. Stay in fellowship; if I have one advise through all of this is stay under the spiritual covering of fellowship; a fellowship that prays and digests God’s word.
Ok, so probably more than you bargained for w/ these Updates. These are simply things that the Lord has been speaking to my heart over the past few days. Quadruple bypass surgery gets your attention. I’m still not 100 percent sure why the Lord had me go through this, but perhaps writing these Updates has helped me understand a bit more. I’m sure there’s more to come, but this will be the last of the Updates on this chapter in my life.
I am doing quite well in my recovery. It’s only been 11 days since my surgery and I’m moving around very well. I do need to be careful w/ infections the doctors have told me. So please pray that I’m immune to infections and continue on the road to full health so I might devote my life to serving Jesus. I’ll be back in the pulpit soon.
Thank you all for your kind and loving emails, texts, cards, and visitations. I will be responding to all of them personally so if you haven’t heard from me yet, you will.
If I may, I’d like to sign off w/ a favorite Scripture.
A Psalm of David.
27 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat[a] up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the [b]beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
6 And now my head shall be [c]lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of [d]joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
September 3, 2019 | TUESDAY
I am writing this at 1 AM in the morning. Other than not being able to sleep, I am feeling quite well. It really is a supernatural work that happens through prayer and holding on to God’s Word. The prayer has come from all of you; God’s word, well it is directly from Him. The two are a powerful dynamic, and that is what I’m experiencing now. I kid you not, I feel like I can preach on Sun morning. I’m not, I will be obedient to my doctors and really the Lord because this is a time for me to hear from Him and allow you do the ministry.
I have been extremely blessed by Pastor Tim and Pastor Dennis’ messages the past two Sundays. God is faithful to speak prophetically in His Word [not ours] as we faithfully move through our Bibles verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book. Above and beyond the teacher, He teachers through him the right message at the right time as we faithfully move through His Word.
Well, I am really not kidding. I feel great. I was released from the Hospital on Sun afternoon around 2 PM and was home w/in the hour. Marcy’s dad drove me home while Marcy and her mom followed. When we got home I got out and walked through our garage entrance and gently loved my mom and then walked up the stairs and sat w/ family for about an hour and then walked upstairs to my bedroom.
Monday [the holiday] was my first full day at home and I was able to do most of the things I’m used to doing at home. Other than not being able to drive and lift heavy things, I’ve been able to do everything else fairly easy. I share this as a testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness, again, through prayer and His personal promises to me over the years in His word. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. God has once again shown me this truth in Spirit-filled living color.
I will be writing again soon on some things that I’d like to share through this experience. I know for certain that this was a spiritual battle with physical consequences. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” [Eph 6:12] That was why prayer was such a key during the surgery. I asked you for it and the prayer came in. I mean, when you’re in 6 hours of surgery you feel helpless; but you’re not w/ God’s personal words to you over the years and the prayers of the saints. The Bible is the weapon; prayer is the battle; and God gives the victory.
I will try to explain this more in the next update. It might take two; we’ll see. It’s one of those things where the Lord has spoken and revealed it to your heart but you don’t quite have the words to describe it yet. But He will help me do that. And then we’ll conclude these Updates.
But I wanted to send this out to bring you up-to-date and thank you for your prayers. We are deeply grateful to all of you.
Love, David & Marcy
August 29, 2019 | Thursday
The Lord is enabling strength and progress little by little each day along with much needed rest. Ribs are sore and the chest tubes draining the wound are uncomfortable but the healing process is well under way. We are thankful for each member of David’s medical care team and are especially grateful for your prayers and loving support.
Please keep praying for smooth recovery.
“that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”
August 27, 2019 | Tuesday
It’s hard to believe that 24 hours ago David was in the midst of a 6 hour procedure with the rest of us learning to patiently wait.
David had a good night, sat up in a chair this morning and many tubes removed already. Good progress - he even walked down the hall for a bit (with help). Today is a transition day as they prepare him for the next stage of care.
Please keep praying for smooth recovery.
The Lord has ordained a time of rest for our pastor. Your emails, texts and especially the Scriptures you share have been such a blessing and encouragement. Keep them coming! We are blessed beyond measure by your tender expressions of care and support.
As for God, His way is perfect; The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
August 26, 2019 | Monday Evening
God is merciful and heard your prayers. Quadruple bypass was successful and we are so very grateful.
Love, Marcy Higa
August 25, 2019 | Sunday Morning
The Anchoring of God’s Word
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. [Psalm 119:105]
I have grown to love God’s word more and more the older I get. In my younger days it quite possibly was just raw energy and emotion toward God; a good thing, actually very good; exciting, many to do things, and many things we did. But maybe it was a bit of a shot gun approach; try everything and hope you hit something. I’ve tried a lot of things. The one constant in it all is God’s word. Even worship has changed; the genre and style [not true worship] but God’s word doesn’t change. It is an anchor.
Many have shared Scripture with me this past week. It’s His word that’s just the best. Psalm 121 is one that resonates in my heart. It is short and powerful and will be my anchor during and after surgery.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your [b]keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall [c]preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve[d] your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
You will be in good hands while I’m gone, particularly because it is the hands of the Lord that hold you and this fellowship.
I’ve asked Pastor Tim Anderson and Pastor Dennis Mascardo to continue moving you through the New Testament on Sunday mornings. Both Tim and Dennis are anointed teachers and worship leaders. You will be blessed!
Pastor Troy and Blynn will be handling any pastoral needs you have during the week, and Arlene will be tending to all the administration needs as usual.
Marcy and I will be checking emails as we can so please feel free to email us. I’ll see you in a month or so.
AUGUST 15, 2019 | Thursday
Dear CCEP Family:
I wanted to bring you up-to-date on some recent health issues that I need to tend to fairly quickly that I just found out about last night. I'm scheduled for a quadruple bypass surgery on Mon, Aug 26, so most likely I will not be able to be in the pulpit for the next 1-2 months.
About six months ago I noticed some trouble breathing when I do my workouts. I've been doing somewhat hard workouts w/ light weights so I just thought it was that I needed to get in better shape. But a couple months ago I noticed some breathing trouble doing some pretty standard things like moving furniture and stuff like that [things that are usually no problem]. I went into my Kaiser MD for a physical and he said everything was fine. But the breathing problem still was there periodically w/ certain physical activity. So my friend told me to just tell my MD I'm having chest pains. So I did and they brought me in to do an ekg fairly quickly. They saw something abnormal so directed me to a cardiologist.
So after a few visits to the cardiologist they decided to do an angiogram [which I did on Mon]. I didn't think it was going to be too serious because the symptoms had gone away after my cardiologist prescribed some meds about a month ago; no shortness of breath and feeling quite good. But the angiogram showed major blockages to the heart so I'll need to do bypass surgery on Aug 26, which was the soonest date w/ the surgeon we wanted.
So with that decision, and schedule, I'm going to have to lean on all of you to help out w/ ministering to each other and especially ones that are new. I am particularly concerned w/ new ones but I know that all of you on this email will tend to their needs.
Marcy reminded me that when one member of the body of Christ suffers all the members suffer with it [ref. 1 Cor 12:26]. While suffering is never something we seek; it is the way of the Lord to mold and shape us [as His body] into His image. I'm so thankful for the body of Christ, and especially my spiritual family here at CCEP. Marcy and I will need to lean on you for a little bit but we know we are in good hands.
I've asked Arlene to email this out to everyone she has email addresses for in our fellowship. Feel free to email me if you like. I am actually feeling good physically. As you saw me in the pulpit last Sun that's how I feel, very good. There's just more going on inside which I didn't know about until this past Mon that I need to get fixed.
Blessings, Pastor David
Calvary Chapel Echo Park