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October 4, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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7 Years in Texas

I RODE INTO TEXAS 7 YEARS AGO TODAY!

It has been noted that any great work of God takes 7 years of faithfulness.

Pastor John MacArthur said that it took him 7 years before his ministry got going at Grace Community Church. He’s been there now over 50 years.

It was 7 years before William Carey baptized his first convert in India.

It was 7 years before Adoniram Judson won his first disciple in Burma.

Robert Morrison toiled 7 years before the first Chinese person was brought to Christ.

Robert Moffat declared that he waited 7 years to see the first evident moving of the Holy Spirit upon the Bechuana people of Africa.

Henry Richards labored 7 years in the Congo before the first convert was gained at Banza Manteka.

When I got hired in June, 1998 as an Associate Pastor at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach, CA., my pastor Zac Nazarian told me that I’d find my ministry in about seven years. On July 31, 2005–seven years later—I heard Ray Comfort’s message, Hell’s Best Kept Secret and my life changed when I became an ardent evangelist.

So, I’ve been in the Lone Star State for 7 years…and I find myself in a wonderful, loving, gracious fellowship, Community Church of the Hills, which didn’t start growing numerically until—this 7th year—so much so, that we brought on staff our first Pastor of Women last Sunday!

I can’t wait to see what happens in year 8—the number of Jesus!!!

(Read how it all started by clicking here.

September 29, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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The Agony & the Ecstasy: My First 5 Years as Pastor of Community Church of the Hills

Sunday, August 30, marked the official 5-year anniversary of my being the pastor at Community Church of the Hills. When I first started, we had 81 people. Out of that original congregation, 16 still attend.

The first year was my honeymoon. It seemed everyone loved me. The second and third year, not so much. I learned that in a small church, in a small town, if you offend one person, the whole family and all their friends leave.I offended many during my first years’ learning curve.

Coming directly from a 1,500-member church in the beach cities of L.A. to a small country church in the middle of rural Texas didn’t translate well. I was not very gracious and was way too demanding. I over-emphasized evangelism and talked about Hell ad nauseum.

The first person to leave said it was because I didn’t teach out of the King James Bible. She had gone there 17 years. In that entire time, no one ever taught out of the King James Bible.

Another said that he wasn’t being fed. (Pastors, ever hear that one before?)

Still another complained that she “just wasn’t feeling it.”

Yet another left because someone put a hat on his wife’s chair.

One guy split because he didn’t like being told what to do and another bailed because I shook his hand the wrong way.

Oh! Did I mention that God prevented a church split in 2018? Or that a guy wrote a 4 page letter to the Elders trying to get me fired?

The bottom line? They didn’t like me!

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September 10, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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The End of Suicide

I TRIED TO KILL MYSELF IN 1989.

Things were tough, I was deeply in debt, drug addicted and thinking things were never going to change. I tried to take the selfish way out because I had no hope.

My Uncle Brent shot himself through the heart with a deer rifle when I was a little kid because he had no hope.

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain took their lives despite the fact that they were rich and famous because they also had no hope.

According to the Centers for Disease Control suicide rates have gone up 30% since 1999 “among both sexes, all racial/ethnic groups, and all urbanization levels.” More than half of these individuals had no mental health issues.

The World Health Organization reports that nearly 800,000 people take their own lives each year—one person every 40 seconds—and for every successful attempt, twenty more try. 45,000 people died in America by their own hands in 2016.

Some people believe in the false notion that once this life ends all their problems will be over because there is nothing after death: We just get buried in the ground. That is suicide’s appeal. That everything will be better.

When I tried to take my life over thirty years ago I didn’t think of the afterlife nor the people I would leave behind; I just wanted out. Life was overwhelming. I thought there was nothing to live for anymore.

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September 3, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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Back Issues of the Weekly Community Church of the Hills’ Newsletter!

Click each date for newsletter.

November 10, 2020: The Morning After the Election; The Political Divide of 1800; How Not to Be a Hypocrite: The Disciples’ Prayer, Memes

November 3, 2020: Post-Election Christianity; 10 Commandments of Civility for a Politically-Charged Age; Our Church’s Gospel-Themed Trunk or Treat; Memes

October 27, 2020: Election Home Stretch; Pray for America #2; How Not to Be a Hypocrite: When Praying; International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church; Memes

October 14, 2020: Abolish Abortion Conference; New Women’s Study; Pray for America; Memes

October 7, 2020: How to Leave Your Church; Is Eddie Van Halen in Heaven or Hell?; “The Church is Full of Hypocrites!”; More random memes

September 29, 2020: I’ve Been in Texas 7 Years!; Our New Women’s Pastor; Love Your Enemies, Pt. 1; Random Memes

September 22, 2020: A Prayer for America’s Repentance; The Return

September 16. 2020: Are You a God Grouch?; Love Your Enemies; Still More Covid Memes

September 10, 2020: When I Attempted Suicide; “An Eye for an Eye” Hilarious Covid Memes

September 3, 2020: “Agony & Ecstasy: My First 5 Years @ Community Church of the Hills”; BLM Analysed by Two Black Theologians; My Eldest Daughter’s Boyfriend; Biblical Cursing & Swearing; Current Event Memes

August 26, 2020: Rehearsing Marriage Vows; Who Influenced My Preaching; Revenge of the Statues.

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July 23, 2020
by Steve Sanchez
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Dead at 61

I TORE THE MINISCUS on my left knee in my sleep. Yeah, in my sleep. The ortho said that this was not uncommon for someone my age. Yeah, my age. I’m 61. People die at age 61.

Ernest Hemingway killed himself, as did Anthony Bourdain–at 61. Infamous mobster John Gotti died of throat cancer while Ma Barker died in a shoot-out. Benito Mussolini was also shot to death. At 61.

I turned 61 last March and I now wonder if the coronavirus might do me in. Or walking up the stairs. Or pizza. Now, it’s my stupid knee. I tried to tough it out, but it was way painful. I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Will I live to see 62?

According to the Bible I’m worthless. Let me re-phrase that: I’m worth less. In the Old Testament, the worth of a man or woman dedicated to God was based on how much work could be expected from them. At age 59 my worth was 50 shekels, a full month’s wages. Alas, I’m now only valued at 15 shekels–for the second year in a row! I can sense feebleness starting to set in with senility not far behind, then, of course, my heart attack.

Am I going to slow down? No! Am I ready to retire? No! Retirement is not Biblical. My hope is to work as unto the Lord until, well, I can’t anymore, 15-shekel man or not.

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