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I experienced the calling myself

Plumbing the mysteries of God at Chula Vista Presbyterian

Robert Davis: “Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life.”
Robert Davis: “Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life.”
Place

Chula Vista Presbyterian Church

40 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista

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 is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Robert Davis: The gracious love of God. It’s a mystery. It’s such an incredible, rich topic because it tells us who God is, the very character of God, and tells us a lot about ourselves and that we need that grace. We have not earned that righteousness, but it comes to us as a gift. Through that grace, God has reconciled us to Himself. What an amazing mystery and marvel that is!

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

RD: It was a calling. I was practicing law in Indianapolis and I was attending a church there. The people of this church saw this ministry before I did. They were grooming me although I wasn’t aware of it. Then I experienced the calling myself — so that instead of supporting a ministry, I found myself discerning a calling that now I was supposed to go to seminary.

SDR: Did you mind taking a pay cut?

RD: I did. Of course, it’s always nice to have the luxury of financial security, but the reality is that the adventure I’m on now I wouldn’t trade for all the money I gave up. It’s been an incredible blessing…. I’ve been able to go places and see things and be part of things that are incredibly life-giving. It’s like the credit card commercial says — “Priceless.”

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

RD: “To know Christ and make him known.” Throughout my eight years here, one of the ways we’ve really narrowed that and refined that mission is to be a blessing to families and children in the name of Jesus.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you’ve found God?

RD: I was serving as pastor up in Escondido [during the October 2003 Cedar] wildfires in which Ashleigh Roach was killed and her sister Alyson Roach was badly burned. I went with [their parents] John and Lori [Roach] down to the burn center…. Ashleigh was already dead and the doctors expected Alyson to die. They didn’t expect her to make it through the next 48 hours. Going into the room, I began to pray with John and Lori, putting hands on Alyson, and praying for a miracle…. I’m uttering the words, lifting up what our heart is, and in my head I’m thinking, God, don’t make these empty words. For me, that was a critical moment of faith. Not only did she survive, but she’s thrived. Not that every story turns out well, but that was a marvelous and poignant moment where God showed up.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

RD: At the resurrection we’re going to experience the wonder and mystery of communion face-to-face with the living God. That’s a great joy. I am certainly not the judge, but Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life, which means that there are some who are not chosen. That’s hard. We talk about hell — but I don’t spend a lot of time wrestling with hell. That’s what Scripture teaches, so I’m going to go with that. But I spend more time talking about the good news than dwelling on the danger of the bad news.

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Robert Davis: “Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life.”
Robert Davis: “Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life.”
Place

Chula Vista Presbyterian Church

40 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista

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 is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Robert Davis: The gracious love of God. It’s a mystery. It’s such an incredible, rich topic because it tells us who God is, the very character of God, and tells us a lot about ourselves and that we need that grace. We have not earned that righteousness, but it comes to us as a gift. Through that grace, God has reconciled us to Himself. What an amazing mystery and marvel that is!

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

RD: It was a calling. I was practicing law in Indianapolis and I was attending a church there. The people of this church saw this ministry before I did. They were grooming me although I wasn’t aware of it. Then I experienced the calling myself — so that instead of supporting a ministry, I found myself discerning a calling that now I was supposed to go to seminary.

SDR: Did you mind taking a pay cut?

RD: I did. Of course, it’s always nice to have the luxury of financial security, but the reality is that the adventure I’m on now I wouldn’t trade for all the money I gave up. It’s been an incredible blessing…. I’ve been able to go places and see things and be part of things that are incredibly life-giving. It’s like the credit card commercial says — “Priceless.”

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

RD: “To know Christ and make him known.” Throughout my eight years here, one of the ways we’ve really narrowed that and refined that mission is to be a blessing to families and children in the name of Jesus.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you’ve found God?

RD: I was serving as pastor up in Escondido [during the October 2003 Cedar] wildfires in which Ashleigh Roach was killed and her sister Alyson Roach was badly burned. I went with [their parents] John and Lori [Roach] down to the burn center…. Ashleigh was already dead and the doctors expected Alyson to die. They didn’t expect her to make it through the next 48 hours. Going into the room, I began to pray with John and Lori, putting hands on Alyson, and praying for a miracle…. I’m uttering the words, lifting up what our heart is, and in my head I’m thinking, God, don’t make these empty words. For me, that was a critical moment of faith. Not only did she survive, but she’s thrived. Not that every story turns out well, but that was a marvelous and poignant moment where God showed up.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

RD: At the resurrection we’re going to experience the wonder and mystery of communion face-to-face with the living God. That’s a great joy. I am certainly not the judge, but Scripture makes clear that God destines believers for a new life, which means that there are some who are not chosen. That’s hard. We talk about hell — but I don’t spend a lot of time wrestling with hell. That’s what Scripture teaches, so I’m going to go with that. But I spend more time talking about the good news than dwelling on the danger of the bad news.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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