Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Good Bye Chuck, Thank You and See You Soon

Dear Father in Heaven

I know that You said that no man is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10) but one of us wretched souls has gone to meet You at Your home and compared to a pathetic sinner like me, Chuck Smith comes much closer to righteous than I ever will. You blessed us with the gift of Chuck Smith so long ago to me, but to You it’s just the blink of Your eye, in Ventura CA, June 25 1927. It was a Saturday to us. You guided Chuck with Your hand through LIFE Bible College and smiled as he was ordained a pastor in Your word a the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. The angels must have rejoiced as You helped Chuck plant a non-denominational church in Corona CA and they must have gone wild with joy as You whispered in his ear move to a small church in Costa Mesa CA in December 1965. The small church’s name was Calvary Chapel. 
In Your graciousness You sent to Chuck a hippy named Lonnie Frisbee who brought dozens of his hippie friends to Chuck’s bible studies and they suddenly learned Your word. Chuck taught back then as he taught the bible to the very end: cover to cover, verse by verse.  Yes, your servant Lonnie had issues but Chuck passed Your test and graciously realized that we are all sinners and continued to treat Lonnie as the friend he was, Chuck even made him an assistant in charge of outreach to the hippie community.  When Lonnie died from AIDS Chuck gave a loving, moving eulogy for Lonnie’s funeral.

Chuck's outreach to the countercultures of the 60's and 70's; the hippies and the yippies and the drop outs and the druggies and the surfer dudes and the common every day man and woman off the streets. You insured that Your word  reached millions and millions of ears through your servant Chuck Smith. Chuck baptized thousands in Your name (and Jesus and your Holy Spirit too) in the surf below the cliffs of Corona del Mar. . Chuck was the original 'seeker sensitive' church leader letting guitars and worship music of the younger generation take place in Your church, but once the music ends and the teaching begins it's all God's word: cover to cover, verse by verse. Chuck talked about things seeker sensitive pastors that You haven't touched will dare mention; like sin, and repentance, and the wretched state of mankind that only Your grace can forgive. How many thousands were saved by this mingling of modern culture and rock solid old school theology only You know, and in the middle of the maelstrom of culture and theology was Chuck.

Yes, at one time Chuck predicted the end of the world by 1981, and when the end didn't occur many people left Calvary Chapel but maybe that was Your way of winnowing out those that were following only because it was fashionable. Through Chuck You even saved lives, like Raul Ries who found himself torn up by Vietnam and alcohol and self loathing found himself planning to kill his wife and children. Then he heard Your word through Chuck Smith and stopped, and prayed, and now is a pastor himself.

On October 3, just a few days ago, you called Chuck home. I didn't get to meet Your servant Chuck while he was here among us, but my bride did and she attended his church. I eventually met him in spirit through her, and though she'll probably never get me to agree on the music (Chuck had actual hymns playing during his last service - go Chuck!) the spirit of cover to cover, verse by verse is my rule of thumb.

Thank You Father for the gift of your servant Chuck, thank You for the love and scripture he spread, thank You for Your Son Jesus whom I hope to worship in person soon, and when I get there maybe You can introduce me to Chuck.

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