Sunday, June 22, 2008

Church hopping in San Diego.

The young engineer had just started his new career at Boeing with his young wife. The Boeing managers had assured him that no one from Boeing was ever called up in the draft, because their products were so much needed for the Korean War. Then the notice arrived. It had first been sent to the engineer's home in Pennsylvania and after two weeks the mail had finally been forwarded to the young man in Seattle. He could appeal, but only within 10 days of the original sending out of the letter. A long train ride later, he arrived in San Diego. Officers and a military guard met him at the terminal and took him to his new home along Rosecrans Street: Boot camp at the Naval Training Center. Shortly afterwards, he received a letter from his wife letting him know that she was pregnant ...

Today, another young lady just finished 4 years of a Chemical Engineering degree at the University of California in San Diego. Her parents came along with her grand parents, who flew in from Pennsylvania. We like to worship as a family, so the grand daughter got to choose her church. Her choice was The Rock, which she attends regularly with her friends. Her father hadn't heard of this church before, so he looked it up on the net. Rosecrans Street. No problem. Everyone loaded into the minivan and we were on our way. Then the grandfather recognized the place. It was his former home from 55 years earlier and all the memories were coming back. Here is where he looked through the barbed wire longingly at the Christmas lights beyond. There is where they paraded on the square in their uniforms. On Sundays, the soldiers would all go to one of the services: Protestant, Catholic or Jewish. The gospel was preached forcefully by the evangelical chaplains and many were saved. Now, on the site of building 94 stood San Diego's megachurch, The Rock, and countless people were streaming towards the building from all directions.

Inside was an auditorium that looked like it could hold thousands for each of the five services. The style was a bit modern, but the pastor, Miles McPherson, made this an experience to be cherished by even my parents generation. Acknowledge sin, repent, seek salvation through Jesus, who is Lord of all. The Christian message was loud and clear. McPherson was preaching through 1 Samuel and just happened to be on the story of David and Goliath. Having heard this a thousand times, I would not have expected to be inspired, but pastor McPherson knew how to do it. He is certainly gifted and it made me wish I could hear some more. As much as I liked the experience, I must say that I have my doubts about connecting with a local community of believers in a church of perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 members. God makes different kinds of churches to help different people. Afterwards, we popped over to San Diego Old Town for some lunch and chat. It has been a good weekend and we are thankful to the Lord for all of our blessings.


Bradley Wilson said...

That is very cool to hear about the family connections with Building 94.

Here is some more information on symbolism that has been worked into the building's design:

There will be a Navy Legacy Wall dedication on October 25th of this year. It would be great if your family could come.

-Brad Wilson
Assistant to Miles McPherson
The Rock Church, San Diego

Looney said...

Hello Bradley,

Well aren't you a shock dropping by!

My family lives in Northern California, and my former navy father lives in Pennsylvania, so it will be difficult for him to make it back to San Diego.

I posted this before attending the UCSD reception. Pastor Miles was certainly the highlight among all of the speakers we heard on Sunday. In fact, had we not heard him, I think it would have been a very discouraging weekend for us all. It is good to see the Lord working. You will also be an inspiration by locating my post and responding so quickly!