Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Review

This year our house church family began to draw nearer to one another in many ways. We're still learning what it means to love one another. But, at least we're being more honest about our fears, and what holds us back from being loved and showing love.

Our house church family has learned to embrace those among us who are going through difficult financial times. We've taken time to listen, to pray for, and best of all, to dig down deep and provide financial blessings for families in our Body who are struggling.

We're learning how to set aside our own personal preferences in order to honor those among us who have needs that are different from our own. Sometimes that means waiting patiently for others to wrestle with things we may have already endured.

We're also learning to honor our children again. Welcoming, and encouraging them, to share more and speak up, and participate as fully functional members of the Body of Christ.

I am still learning when to be silent and when to speak up. I'm being challenged to prepare teaching more often, but also still careful to at least try to listen more than I speak. It's not easy.

For me, this year was pivotal. This was the year when I ceased being the pastor of the Mission and became one of the members of the Body. Now I am one of the brothers here, not the leader. Our leader is Jesus. And more and more we are learning how to allow Him to actually lead us, and speak to us, and be the head over us.

Our themes this year were love, the priesthood of the believer, the headship of Christ, compassion to one another, and corporate prayer.

I've been very blessed to begin every Sunday gathering with 30 minutes of prayer time. As we gather together to seek the Lord's leadership and guidance for the day, I've seen the Lord working more in our midst and teaching us more about His will for us.

For the last 4 years the word for this church has been "love". I believe we are still mainly called to explore this core command of Jesus together. What does it mean to love one another? How can we become experts at loving our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our co-workers? How can we learn to love one another more? What does that involve?

One thing I do know is that love is messy. Just like church. There are no easy answers. Things can be more challenging and difficult than we imagine. Love is not easy. It does not come naturally to us. Love means letting go. It means laying ourselves aside for the sake of others. It means dying to ourselves. Love means putting others first. It means enduring seasons of discomfort in order to comfort those in pain.

So, I may not know what is ahead for us in 2010, as a church family. But I do know that, as we allow Jesus to have more of us, He will lead His Church. He will speak to us. He will reveal His heart and He will make His will known to us.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Hey Missionaries,

Quick info to share:

*CAROLING - At 6:45pm, Thursday night at Fountain Care. Afterwards we'll return to our house for snacks, coffee/hot chocolate/fellowship.

*MOTEL SERVICE - This Saturday at the California Studio Inn from 2pm to 3:30pm. We'll pray for our friends living in the motel, pass out free groceries, and host a bounce house for the kids. If you want to join us please RSVP.

*DEADLINE FOR MOTEL GIFTS - This Sunday is when we need everyone to bring their toys/gifts and their tags for the motel children. These will be passed out to the kids on Monday, Dec.21st.

*ROBERT HIGGINS: I'm going today to sign papers with him where he's allowing me to be the one to make decisions for his care when the time comes that he can't do it for himself.

Basically, this insures that I will be with him until his last day. I'm very honored and blessed that he wants me to be the person who does this for him - but really it should be his son, or his daughters, not me.

I hope one day everyone can meet him. He's a great guy.

Thanks for keeping him in your prayers as he struggles with his bone cancer and wrestles with trusting God with his life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


(From Peggy Helander)

Just wanted to let you know that Ella is doing well. She had an x-ray of her shoulder yesterday. I got to see the before and after x-rays and even my eye can see a big improvement in her bone structure in her shoulder.

I'm not sure why the bone had been thicker and is now back to the thickness of the surrounding bones, but that is what has happened. The blood tests have no sign of infection. So her health is much improved.

She is still tiny, only 8lbs 4 oz, but is now steadily gaining weight (though slower than the doctors like)

She is a sweet little girl. I've had the pleasure of spending time with the family and holding her… (she likes to be held most the time - go figure!!) But, I like that. She is so cute when she stretches while she's sleeping.

Thank you for your prayers… the family feels the Lord's arms around them.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pray for Baby Ella

Baby Ella had an MRI today and they found that the infection has spread to the bone. So she's on her way back to CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County) for more intravenous antibiotic treatment.

Please pray for healing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

THE MISSION: A Family of God

Thanks to our own Kelly Tague for these awesome photos of some of our recent Mission gatherings.

See a whole lot more over

Friday, June 19, 2009


The New Testament is full of letters written to instruct, not men of authority (pastors) but an entire Body of Believers who are called to submit to one another out of love as everyone submits to Christ Himself.

Here are a few of the "one another" passages from the New Testament:

John 13:14
Wash one another's feet.

John 13:34 -
Love one another.

Romans 12:10 -
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 12:16 -
Live in harmony with one another.

Romans 13:8 -
Love one another

Romans 14:13 -
Stop passing judgment on one another.

Romans 15:7 -
Accept one another.

Romans 16:16 -
Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1Cor 1:10 -
Agree with one another

2Cor 13:12 -
Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Galatians 5:13 -
Serve one another in love.

Eph 4:2 -
Be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Eph 4:32 -
Be kind and compassionate to one another
Forgive each other

Eph 5:19 -
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

Eph 5:21 -
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Col 3:13 -
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Col 3:16 -
Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,

1Thes 5:11 -
Encourage one another and build each other up

Heb 3:13 -
Encourage one another daily

Heb 10:24 -
Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

James 4:11 -
Brothers, do not slander one another.

1Peter 1:22 -
Love one another deeply, from the heart.

1Peter 3:8 -
Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

1Peter 4:9 -
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1Peter 5:5 -
Be submissive to those who are older.
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another

1Peter 5:14 -
Greet one another with a kiss of love.

1John 1:7 -
Have fellowship with one another

1John 3:11 -
Love one another.

1John 3:23 -
Love one another as he commanded us.

1John 4:7 -
Love one another

1John 4:11 -
Love one another.

1John 4:12 -
Love one another

2John 1:5 -
Love one another.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Author and theologian Jon Zens will be coming to Orange County to speak to the local Orange County house churches on Saturday, July 11th from 9am to 12pm.

Event is Free. Must RSVP to attend. Please send an email to register or to get more info to:

About Jon Zens
Dr. Zens has a wide-ranging theological background. He holds a B.A. in Biblical studies from Covenant College, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and a D.Min. from the California Graduate School of Theology.

Zens' groundbreaking articles in the late 1970s, "Is There a 'Covenant of Grace'?" and "Crucial Thoughts on 'Law' in the New Covenant," were highly instrumental in developing what came to be called "New Covenant Theology."

For the last thirty years, Jon has been the editor of a magazine entitled Searching Together. He's not only a NT scholar, but he's an expert on church history. Jon also served as a pastor for a number of years, but moved on after concluding that full reformation within the existing institutional church system was unworkable.

Also, for the past thirty years he and his wife, Dotty, have been ministering in small fellowships concerning living under grace and learning to extend grace to others.

If you'd like to read more about Jon Zens I've included a link to an excellent debate between Jon and Ben Worthington on hierarchy in the New Testament church

More details on this as we get closer to the date.


Thursday, June 04, 2009


In late May of 2009 county official overturned the warning issued to the Joneses.

In a statement a county CAO Walt Ekard responded saying:

"I have received dozens of e-mails and calls from people concerned about reports that the County is attempting to muzzle religious expression by shutting down a neighborhood Bible study.

"As the Chief Administrative Officer for San Diego County, I want to say in the most direct terms: the County has never tried to stifle religious expression and never will."


Relax everyone. The issue is resolved. Our religious freedoms remain intact. This is still America.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


A local pastor and his wife claim a San Diego County official threatened escalating fines if they continued to hold Bible Studies in their home.


So, what would I do if it suddenly became illegal to continue hosting house church gatherings in my home?

What if it became illegal to continue passing out free groceries to the poor or the homeless?

Would I continue to obey Jesus and risk being arrested, or thrown into prison, or fined thousands of dollars by the county?

Maybe I'll find out sooner rather than later...?


For the last several weeks I have been doing my best to spend time with Robert Higgins. He's a 77 year old man who lives alone in the motel where we serve each month.

The manager of the motel, Pete, is the one who helped Robert get off the street and into a room there just over a year ago. Pete and I confer together and do our best to make sure that Robert has food, is doing well, and is cared for as much as we possibly can.

Just about a year ago Robert fell and broke his arm very badly. They put a plate in his arm to help it heal but now, after 11 months of agony and endless back and forth visits to UCI for CAT Scans and MRI's, he is still in pain and unsure of what to do next.

Today I took him lunch (he loves Taco Bell burritos) and we sat and talked about his situation. I prayed for him and he finally agreed to go and see an M.D. about his other symptoms - emphysema, vertigo, chronic fatigue.

I've also been trying to help him get back in touch with his son (Robert Anderson Higgins) and his daughter (Cynthia Anne Higgins). So far I've had no luck getting in touch with either.

As I stood up to leave his room this afternoon, Robert hung his head and said, "Thank you so much for keeping up with me, Keith" and I saw him pause and his face contorted and his eyes squeezed shut and I knew he was trying hard not to cry.

I touched his shoulder. "I'm happy to do it, Robert," I said. "God bless you."

Whether or not Robert ever gets in touch with his children again, and whether or not he ever gets his medical situation worked out, I think his greatest need is simply human contact. He needs to know he is loved. He needs to be reminded that God sees him and loves him and has not forgotten this little, fragile, old man.

Pray for Robert today if you would. Pray that God would reveal more of Himself to Robert and bring healing to his heart, and to his soul.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Holy Week

We started off by celebrating Palm Sunday in the back yard of Mary Ann's brother, Gordon. Together with many of Mary Ann's friends and family, we gathered to remember her life and celebrate her influence on our lives.

While the children held crosses made from palm leaves, the adults stood up, one at a time and shared their memories of Mary Ann and how she had touched their lives. A circle of red-tailed hawks flew in a thermal over our heads as we lifted up our voices and sang "The Old Rugged Cross" together.

I stood and reminded those who had gathered to remember to honor the living while they are with us, and to practice letting go. Letting go of toys to embrace responsibility. Letting go of fantasy to accept reality. Letting go of anger and hard feelings to embrace forgiveness and receive love. Letting go of life in this world to embrace eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Last night we gathered again, this time in the home of Betsy Kollberg, to celebrate the Passover Seder. It always amazes me that God instructed the Israelites to observe Passover on a specific date every year, and on that date to blow the shofar at 3pm when the passover lamb was slain, so that roughly 6,000 years later when His Son was hanging on the cross, ON THE SAME EXACT DAY, and they blew the shofar at 3pm, Jesus would say, "It is finished."

On Friday we will celebrate Good Friday together in my home. We will enter quietly and move silently from station to station as families to tear cloth, drive nails, taste vineagar, touch a crown of thorns, tumble dice, and leave our red handprints on the same paper curtain.

Afterwards, we will sit around a low table and light our candles, sing worship songs, share communion, and one by one voice thanksgiving for what Jesus has done for us, blowing out our candles as we go. When the room is dark we will leave as silently as we have come, or perhaps revisit one of the stations to reflect more on the love of Christ for us.

On Sunday morning, we will meet in the morning, on a grassy hill, under a tree and surrounded by passing cars and sunlight we will raise our voices to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, read scriptures of the events and experiences of that first Easter, and share our thoughts and open our hearts to one another on resurrection and what it means for us.

Aftewards, we'll return to our home and help the children create resurrection rolls and continue to share and worship and love one another as Christ loved us.

I love Holy Week.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mary Ann is at home with Jesus

Last night our dear sister in Christ, Mary Ann, went home to be with Jesus. She had been battling brain cancer for several months and at last she is in her Savior's arms.

Mary Ann was a light and a blessing to all of us at The Mission over the last year and her smile, her compassion and her great faith will remain with all of us forever.

Today at House Church everyone took a stone and, one by one, each person stepped forward and laid their stone on this altar and shared how Mary Ann had blessed them. Then we sang her favorite hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross" together and also "My Redemmer Lives".

We were all very blessed to have known Mary Ann. She made our family complete and we look forward to the day when we can embrace her once again in the Kingdom of God.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Our house church has been blessed to serve the wonderful kids at the Purple Palace orphanage in Tijuana.

Here are some photos from recent visits to bless these awesome children.