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Lance Ralston | Calvary Chapel Oxnard

What We Mean by God’s Sovereignty

People come and people go. It’s a fact of church life. They come and go for a plethora of reasons. Some of those reasons are good, right, healthy; others, not so much. As a pastor it’s difficult seeing anyone “go” because it means a change in relationship. It’s likely...

Sermon: What’s That Smell

What follows is the text of the sermon given Sunday, August 7, 2016 at Calvary Chapel Oxnard by Pastor Lance Ralston What’s That Smell? • Genesis 34 As We Begin We’re looking at what can only be called a rough passage today. It’s not your usual Sunday morning fare....

After the Attack in Nice, France

The following are thoughts composed on the day after the Nice, France terrorist attack on Bastille Day, July 14th, 2016. It behooves us to resist the axiom spoken by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” As I listened to...

“What: Again?” Sermon Follow Up

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, I gave a message based on Gen. 26:1-11 and Isaac’s lying about his wife Rebekah, claiming she was his sister during their time living among the Philistines of Gerar. It’s a virtual repeat of the behavior of his father Abraham....

A Leadership Challenge: Servant or Service

There’s a lot of talk in both the Evangelical church and increasingly in the secular business world about “servant leadership.” For many years at Calvary Chapel, Gayle Erwin has poignantly taught us the beauty of being servant-leaders. But I’m concerned not all have...

The Earliest vs the Early Church

A January, 2014 article in The American Conservative described why some Millennials are leaving Evangelical churches to join more liturgical denominations like Anglican, Orthodox and Roman Catholicism.[1] It isn’t just church members making the switch; some pastors...

Those Who Fail to Learn from the Past . . .

Are Doomed to Repeat It. On Facebook recently, I’ve made a few comments about the parallels I see in the campaign of a certain Presidential candidate and the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1930’s Germany. Some years ago I read a book titled The Nazi Conscience...

One Day

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. Deuteronomy 23:21 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what...

God Does Not Need

I listen to podcasts. It’s a great way to maximize my time while doing other things like driving, working out, and chores around the house. While on a run recently, I was listening to the TED Talks podcast titled Believers and Doubters. It was supposed to be an...

The Lifesaving Station

[This well-known and oft-told story well illustrates what can happen when a church loses its grip on the call to evangelism.] On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there...

A Secular Sacred?

You probably missed the news story a couple weeks ago in The Washington Times about the brouhaha that erupted between France and Iran. The two counties faced a diplomatic meltdown over a dispute regarding the menu at a proposed dinner between their presidents. Iranian...

The Cure to Fear

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 Ten times in the Bible individuals or God’s people collectively are told to “fear not.” That...