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Stories by Joseph O'Brien

The only alternative for having eternal life

Pastor Bancroft’s urgent message

To say that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is not a politically correct thing to say, but it’s certainly what the Bible says.

We’ll all be judged for our actions in this life

Unfortunately, we’ll fail to meet God’s standard

Q&A with Pastor-elder Craig Marshall of Grace Bible Church in Kearny Mesa.

Whisknladle arranges a meeting between margarita and negroni

Tortugas all the way down

For Adam Lockridge, bar director at Whisknladle, it’s turtles all the way down — at least, that’s how his guests will feel when they get their first sip of the Tortuga… Original to Whisknladle, this ...

Yes, there will be Harleys in heaven

It all flows from knowing God

Interview with Pastor Al Hester of Evangelical Free Church of America

Off the Market is no one-and-done

Draft arranges a light conversation between sweetness and acidity in its beery cocktail

Draft in Belmont Park combines the best of beery cheer with a mix of high spirits (think: boilermaker in a cocktail dress) — such as the Off the Market. “We don’t incorporate beer into all ...

There’s a unique emphasis which Lutherans have on grace

Jesus will forgive some cruddy things

Pastor Richard Schmidt of Concordia Church in Chula Vista takes our questions.

The Draconids

Reader staffer shares rhyme and verse

For Norah And especially were we led to cultivate that discipline developed in respect to divine and heavenly things as being the only one concerned with the study of things which are always what they ...

Cannonball's Rum Manhattan breaks the surface with a balance of taste and texture

Not one, but two, variations on a classic

While the usual vodka- and gin-based poolside-fixtures are welcomed mixtures on the menu, Cannonball’s general manager Ray Means says Cannonball also serves up the brown liquors and offers seasonal variations on classic cocktails. “We could ...

It’s not about the religion; it’s about the relationship

The appropriate response to grace is a life of thankfulness

Pastor Glen Larsen of Community Church of Poway takes questions.

From eternal death to eternal life

We are in the last of the last days, says Pastor DuVal

We who live in America — our blessings get in the way.

Nestor United Methodist is a nurturing center

You won’t find God in Hell

Membership: 150 (attendance: 100) Pastor: Luis Garcia Age: 53 Born: Monterrey, Mexico Formation: State University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 14 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on ...

Caribbean drink, Hawaiian twist

Lazy Dog's Pineapple Mojito comes from two popular spheres of influence

Over at the Lazy Dog, it’s “Hasta la vista!” to the lime and “Aloha” to the pineapple, now that accidents of circumstance have brought two popular spheres of influence – the lime and the pineapple ...

The Brethren share the unconditional love of God

Sometimes our best is not so good

Membership: 53 Pastor: Sara Haldeman-Scarr Age: 59 Born: Bird-in-Hand, PA Formation: Millersville University, Millersville, PA; Bethany Theological Seminary, Oak Brook (now Richmond), Ill. Years Ordained: 28 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which ...

The world seems terminally ill

From a corner in La Jolla to the four corners of the Earth

Membership: 100 (Attendance: 190) Denomination: American Baptist Pastor: Adam Stadtmiller Age: 45 Born: San Diego Formation: Point Loma Nazarene College, Point Loma; Azusa Pacific University, Azusa Years Ordained: 20 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite ...

A drink that is not a pick-me-up so much as a wind-me-down

Perfect home for the Quick Fix

Like New Yorker Tony Bennett singing his heart out for San Francisco, Counterpoint bartender Ryan Andrews has made the East Coast cocktail known as the Quick Fix his own — and in the process a ...

A pimp stands between a prostitute and Jesus

Membership: 250 Pastor: Stephen Phelan Age: 40 Born: Montgomery, AL Formation: University of Virginia & University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, VA; Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL. Years Ordained: 10 SDR: Why did you become ...

Bleu Bohème's Basil Martini: So fresh, so green

Spring sprang a few months ago, but over at Kensington’s Bleu Bohème, things are still looking — and tasting — pretty fresh and green. “It’s a really fresh, delicious, and easy-drinking martini,” bartender Sarah Proctor ...

God is out to save everyone he can

He might destroy you, but God won’t torture you.

Membership: 600 Pastor: Eddie Dopp Age: 63 Born: Seattle, WA Formation: Loma Linda University, Loma Linda; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 25 SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy? PD: ...

Listen to the nudge of the Holy Spirit

Isolation is hell

Membership: 1800 Attendance: 1200–1300 Pastor: Bruce Humphrey Age: 63 Born: Moscow, ID Formation: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Boston Campus) Roxbury, MA; San Francisco Seminary, San Anselmo, CA; Trinity Theological School, Newburgh, ...

A church needs to be at least as friendly as a bar

Membership: 300 Pastor: John Ettore Age: 52 Born: Columbus, Ohio Formation: Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Assembly of God Faith Bible Institute, Chula Vista Years Ordained: 24 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject ...

Our number-one mission is to win other folks to Christ

Every man needs grace and salvation

Membership: 300 Pastor: Philip Clark Age: 61 Born: Covington, KY Formation: Great Plains Baptist College, Sioux Falls, SD Years Ordained: 39 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor Philip ...

Kind of like a health shake

The Duck Dive’s Jamaican Me Crazy Bloody Mary

With a bumper crop of booze, veggies and crustaceans behind it, the Duck Dive’s Jamaican Me Crazy Bloody Mary is exactly that — a genuine cocktail. According to its creator, Duck Dive general manager and ...

God just loves us. He can’t help himself

Membership: 35 Pastor: Mike Alcorn Age: 72 Born: Schenectady, NY Formation: San Diego Mesa College, San Diego; Frederick K.C. Price School of Ministry (Crenshaw Christian Center/Ever Increasing Faith Ministries), Los Angeles Years Ordained: 30 San ...

The call to preach is the call to prepare

All about Jesus Christ

Pastor: David Cajiuat (pronounced ka-hee-watt) Age: 48 Born: Baguio, Philippines Formation: Ambassador Baptist College, Shelby, NC Years Ordained: 12 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor David Cajiuat: Jesus. ...

Crafted Cocktails brings that taste home

"Why should San Diego’s bartenders have all the fun?” Felicia Vieira found the answer to this question and put it in a bottle. Since opening last year, Vieira’s San Diego–based Crafted Cocktails has been bringing ...

Earth, the purgatorial planet

Membership: 80 Pastor: Brian Grandon Age: 53 Born: Tacoma, WA Formation: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; Unity Institute and Seminary, Kansas City, MO Years Ordained: 1 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on ...

After we die, we’re going to be part of that dream

No longer assume that everyone goes to church, synagogue, mosque, or temple.

Story in a glass at Aero Club

You’ll thank the storyteller twice for the Be Good or Be Gone

Opened in 1947 as a flyboy-and-gal joint by aviatrix Maryann Prophet, the Aero Club has made its mark for serving whiskey flights like they mean it. “The thing about being a whiskey bartender is that ...

Jesus crashed into my darkness in a radical way

Membership: 2500 Pastor: Mike Reed Age: 49 Born: Fort Sill, OK Formation: Southern California College (now Vanguard University), Costa Mesa. Years Ordained: 28 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? ...

My spirit will live in the presence of God

Looking forward to no more sin, racism, sexism, murder, or deception.

Wine boom meets whiskey craze

Upgraded sangria appeals to both the establishment and the moment.

If there’s going to be a bar in town that serves a wine-and-whiskey cocktail — and make it work — why not Asian-fusion eatery Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar? It makes sense, coming from the ...

The cross is everything

"There is a place that sinners desire to be all alone."

After a week of being beaten up by the world, listen to Pastor Henderson.

Kiss-friendly tipple

For Valentine’s Day you can hardly do better than the Divine Aspect

It ain’t pink or red, doesn’t include anything remotely chocolate, and it doesn’t come with a rose garnish, but for Valentine’s Day you’d hardly do better than suggest a drink that brings out a bit ...

We have a Father-Mother God

Membership: 200 Pastor: Blair Tabor Age: 63 Born: Minneapolis, MN Formation: University of California-San Diego; Unity Village, Kansas City, MO Years Ordained: 34 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor ...

We are encouraged and enlightened

Know Jesus, no hell

Membership: 500 Pastor: Jim Henkell Age: 42 Born: Chicago Formation: Concordia University, Irvine; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO Years Ordained: 17 SDR: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor Jim Henkell: We tend ...

The Lord really spoke to us

Southport Christian center, a lighthouse in a dark corner

Membership: 200 Pastor: Carolyn Nichols Age: 81 Born: San Bernardino Formation: University of La Verne, La Verne; Claremont Graduate University, Claremont; the King’s Seminary, Van Nuys Years Ordained: 22 San Diego Reader: What is your ...

Humanity is not all written off

College footballer chooses the pulpit over the gridiron

Pastor Terry Brooks preached his first sermon at age eight.

The Bible is clear

A generation of young people is beginning to rise up.

Membership: 1500 Pastor: Al Valdez Age: 40 Born: Hollywood, CA Formation: Latin American Bible Institute, La Puente, CA; Facultad Teologia, Montebello, CA; Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA Years Ordained: 15 San Diego Reader: What is ...

Our vision is to glorify God

Far Easterners with folky beliefs, or brain-washed by Communists, find counsel at Chinese Bible Church.

Citrus savory showcase of balance

Bertrand at Mister A's Southern Dove may be the official drink of an Indian summer's last hurrah.

Yes, summer is over, but in San Diego, the season makes subtle adjustments to her wardrobe, calls herself “Indian,” and parties on…. To that end, Mister A’s Southern Dove could serve as official drink of ...

The most American drink on the menu

Making something from nothing with the Rum Runner.

"A disaster in a glass.” So says Kanai Williams, the Salty Dog’s front man behind the bar, about this Imperial Beach joint’s premiere chockablock chug-a-lug — the Rum Runner. “And that’s probably the only reason ...

Many people don’t understand the truth about God

God is close to the broken-hearted.

Membership: 1100 Pastor: Luis Mendez Age: 55 Born: Tijuana, Mexico Formation: San Diego State University; San Diego Church of Christ Missionary Years Ordained: 15 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to ...

Equal parts sun and shade

Liz Miela crafts Encore's Champagne Lemongrass Mojito

Mixers and historians of the dram are both debating: does the Mojito derive its name from the spiced Cuban citrus seasoning known in those parts as mojo, or from the Spanish word mojadito (“a little ...

He succumbed to the study of theology

Membership: 125 Pastor: Mark Menacher Age: 53 Born: Detroit Formation: Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI; Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH; University of Goettingen, (West) Germany; Theological Seminary, Leipzig, (East) Germany; (PhD) University of Manchester, ...

Not saying that secularism is evil, but...

The world misses something important when we turn away from our spiritual journeys.

I experienced the calling myself

Plumbing the mysteries of God at Chula Vista Presbyterian

Membership: 280 Pastor: Robert Davis Age: 50 Born: Dunellen, New Jersey Formation: Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA; Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University-Indianapolis; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 13 San Diego Reader: What ...

It’s all a matter of relationship

Love is what we, as humans, were made for.

Membership: 185 Pastor: J.D. McQueen Age: 31 Born: Peoria, Ill. Formation: Eureka College, Eureka, IL; Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Nashotah, WI Years Ordained: 6 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to ...

God among prostitutes, drug addicts, and gang lords

Membership: 160 Pastor: Tim Captain Age: 27 Born: Logansport, IN Formation: Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, OH Years Ordained: 5 years San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on which to preach? Pastor Tim Captain: ...

Serious Manhattan

Mia Francesca's take on the classic aims to be richer and more flavorful.

Every so often in life, paperback utility ought to give over to leather-bound editions; the joy of a Swisher Sweet to the experience of a Romeo y Julieta; the usual Manhattan cocktail to nothing less ...

How to get the church back into the world?

Catch a new vision for life or faith.

Membership: 120 Pastor: Brent Ross Age: 40 Born: Albuquerque, NM Formation: Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, TN; Garrett Evangelical Seminary, Evanston, IL Years Ordained: 5 San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach? ...

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