Honoring Randy Visconti

I want to honor Pastor Randy Visconti, whose Celebration of Life service occurred today in Mesa, Arizona. He was the first pastor to give me a job, as I was his children’s pastor at Paola Assembly of God (Paola, Kansas) in 1995 and 1996. Randy was a great pastor, and he was very good to me. He gave me opportunities to preach often to the adults, which launched my ministry career. Under his and Jason Edward’s leadership, it was the first time I was called “pastor.” He always made time for me.

Two regrets:

  • I haven’t talked to Randy in years, but I always knew that relationship would pick right back up at some point. His unexpected death came as a shock and way too soon. So, don’t wait around to keep in contact with someone important to you.
  • We didn’t take a lot of pictures in the 1990s like we do these days. Regretfully, I do not have a photo with Pastor Randy. So, don’t bristle when someone wants to take your picture (Beth has been telling me this for years!).

I want to express much love to his wife, Dawn, and adult children Ryan, Kyle, Kirstyn, and Aaron.

See you in heaven, Pastor Randy!

Well done, Ronnie Meek!

Sunday was a touching experience to be part of Pastor Ronnie Meek’s retirement service at Springhouse Worship and Art Center in Smyrna. Ronnie has been the congregation’s pastor for 33 years, and they honored him in a fitting but extraordinary way.

I had the honor to be one of several speakers who surprised Ronnie, and it was my pleasure to share with the Springhouse family my perspective on this great man. Ronnie has been such an example of authenticity, creativity, friendship, and love.

Well done, Pastor Ronnie! See you at our next lunch.

Spanish service started at CIL

This is my partner in ministry, Pastor Jesus Bermudez. Last Sunday he started a Spanish service that is hosted at CIL Church. Each week, the Spanish service will start at 12:30 PM in the sanctuary.

We are so excited about this development! Please spread the word to all your Spanish-speaking friends. Pastor Jesus is an outstanding worship leader and preacher!

USA needs CIL Church

This article was sent as an email to the CIL Church family, but I think the content will benefit many who read it.

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You have no idea how important you are!   You are building the Kingdom of God through your participation at CIL.  The United States of America is under a shaking right now.  Most people see this in politics and social issues.  I think that focus is a distraction from a more dangerous shaking in the spiritual realm.

The American church is in accelerated decline right now, and that dip includes the digital church. While the digital church is necessary and part of how we worship moving forward, fewer people are watching services than Spring 2020. The novelty of watching church online is out; sleeping late on Sundays is in. This reality is occurring all across the country. Children are not learning Scripture. Teenagers are not in a Christian community.  On a national level, how will this impact a generation if this continues?

While this is occurring, are we replacing spiritual fervor with political and social passion?   Where is our true passion?  Has affection for Jesus drifted to another source?

I do not mean to discourage you, but rather honor you.  Your church participation at any level is a tremendous help right now in preserving the Kingdom of God in America.  All activities – prayer, in-person attendance, online worship, financial contributions, teaching children, leading a teenage small group, taking a meal to someone, posting Scripture – keeps the flame of the gospel burning, even when people are looking away.

When the next national revival occurs, CIL Church will be ready to be part of history.  Until then, we do not back down from the challenge.  With God’s help, we will continue to thrive.  Don’t fall away from the church, now!

call God’s people to build His Kingdom through the local church.  Whatever you can contribute makes a difference.   Believe in the local church because Jesus chose the local church to represent Himself to the world.

What a privilege it is to live in these days!

Pro-life means anti-abortion

Each year on this Sanctity of Life Day in the United States, I take a public stand against abortion. Why? Forty-eight years after Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal in every state, I feel the passion for preserving the unborn waning in many Christians.

The term “pro-life” has rightfully expanded to include important issues after birth. This broader thinking has been useful in getting people help, but it should not distract from the on-going tragedy of legalized abortion. In conversation with people on this topic, I now clarify that I am “anti-abortion,” so there is no confusion on terminology.

As I wrote last year, Roe vs. Wade’s potential overturn does not solve abortion. We will only save the unborn lives through advocates who are convinced one mind and heart at a time. May more of us recognize the unborn as individuals who deserve “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

A Fellowship of Different Perspectives

* This article was sent as an email to the CIL Church family, but I think the content will benefit al who read it.
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These are tricky, complicated times. While I want you to think critically about the issues of our day, I also want you to remember the power of simplicity.  Jesus calls us to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).  When we do not apply this clear call from our Savior, we may disqualify our intellect and passion for current events. 

You are part of a church where people interpret the times differently.   Sometimes in our community, I feel like I am standing in between the strong opinions of people I respect and love. I bet you have felt that, too.  Often, I agree and disagree with their words in the same conversation!   We will never all have the same opinion, but we can walk in the same love.  

Let’s continue to be a safe place to experience the Scripture, the anointing, the bread and cup, and the love of God’s people.  CIL is a great place to focus on those eternal things.  This simple focus on Jesus is why our series in Galatians has been so timely.  We are directly in God’s Word, letting the passage form us.  This week I will be preaching on Galatians 3:10-14 in a message called “Beyond the Curse.” 

I love being the pastor of CIL!  I am so thankful for this opportunity.