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**Jesus and His Amazing Grace***

     It seems as it were just yesterday.  When a stranger knocked at our door.  It was around 6pm.  I remember that it was dark outside and my parents had just left for a party.  I was only 11 years old and was left at home alone to babysit my brother and baby sister.  For some reason I felt it was not a good idea to open the door.

     I remember the stranger at the door would not leave and immediately a fear began to grip my heart.  Why? I am not really sure but I knew something was not right.  I told my 5 year old brother to go out the back door and to take our one year old sister with him.  My brother was so brave instead he said "I will not leave you sister I can protect you," as he stood there holding a wooden stick as a sword.  He some how sensed that I was afraid.  I was afraid.  The man at our door had caused me fear and anxiety and I became frozen.  I quietly insisted that my siblings run out through the back to our neighbors house.  I stayed behind to make sure my siblings made it out safely and to be sure the stranger would leave.  

     As the stranger knocked and knocked on the door my fear grew and grew.  I was some how paralyzed and could not leave.  Some how the neighbor felt that they should come and see what was going on and...suddenly the stranger left.  After the experience of that night, it left a fear in me and I didn't want to be left alone.  I would cry whenever my parents would leave because I was afraid.  My parents thought that it was foolish since nothing had really happened.  Some how that incident as strange as it was, left me vulnerable and fearful .

     One day the neighbors who happened to be Christians invited me to their prayer meeting.  I agreed to go.  When I walked into their house I found them on their knees praying and some even weeping.  I wanted what they had and at the time I felt so alone, empty and afraid.  They then asked me if they could pray for me and I said yes.  Then they asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus and I also said yes.  Then something amazing happened, I knelt with them and a sweet and powerful feeling came all over me.

     As I prayed, tears began to flow and I felt a warm sensation come over my body.  I didn't understand it.  I didn't know that Jesus had touched my heart.  I just knew I had felt something.  I asked if I could come over again and they told me "Of course you can."  So I did.  Every time that I had a chance I would attend their studies.  As the weeks went by I felt something was not the same, I felt an inner peace and joy.  All of a sudden the sky looked bluer and the trees greener and every thing looked so amazing.  That terrible fear I had in me was gone.  I had experienced the grace of God and had been saved and didn't even know it.

     I experienced Jesus and my life would never be the same.  He gave His amazing love to a child who needed him.  He knew that one day I would understand His amazing love.  After all these years, He has continued to sustained me and to show me His amazing grace.  What a savior!!!!!!!!

Ephesians 2:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Psalm 139:13-18 New International Version (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand when I awake, I am still with you.


God Bless,

-Lucy Roybal


New Beginnings Eastlake





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     At a very early age in my life we had taken my dad in for a routine surgery that was supposed to have been in and out.  I remember before I left the hospital, I was talking to my dad and joking with him as we always did.  I remembered him telling me before I left that he loved me with all his heart.  The last thing I did was kiss his forehead saying "I love you too pop!"

     That night, I came home and there was a gathering of family members in the living room.  They all had a look of despair on their faces.  My uncle was the first to approach me with a solemn look on his face that made my heart drop.  He pulled me aside and all he could say was "Your dad...."  I immediately knew what he meant and rushed out of my house, to my car and sped to the hospital literally doing 110 mph.  I was the first out of my family to arrive at the hospital.  When I finally got to the room I saw my dad lying there lifeless in his bed.  He had passed away from complications from his surgery.  In that very second I went into shock, I felt alone and devastated that my life had been destroyed.  I lost my best friend, my hero, the person who was teaching me how to become a man.

     Prior to his passing I considered myself to be outgoing, ambitious and full of life.  That night however, I became broken and my spirit was shattered.  I became angry. Angry at the doctors, angry at the nurses, angry at the hospital, even angry with God... my life from that point on began to spiral out of control.

     The night of my dad's funeral I had my first encounter with alcohol.  I had gotten extremely drunk with some friends and family.  At the time I thought it was the only way to numb my pain.  Unfortunately, I began to self medicate with alcohol and this pattern of drinking became heavier and heavier throughout the years.  When I found that I couldn't fill my void with alcohol I added smoking marijuana and partying to the mix.  For such a long period in my life, I went from party to party and from hangover to hangover.  I thought these things could fill my reality with a little bit of comfort, instead I grew more and more empty.

     My life became such a broken record.  I caught myself doing the same thing, hanging around the same people week after week and still drowning my sorrow in booze and marijuana.  I came to a point where I could no longer mask away the pain and hurt that I carried for so many years in my heart.  A change finally occurred when someone special came into my life and literally fought to pull me away from my recklessness.  They reminded me about the person I once was and reintroduced me to someone who could change my life and make me whole again...God.

     The day I surrendered my life back to God I fell to my knees begging for forgiveness. I said "LORD! Forgive me for my foolish ways, for turning my back on you! For blaming you Father in Heaven! Lord you have given me life! Now I am crying to you Lord to heal me and take me back into your arms!"

     From that moment, I felt a relieving weight lifted from my spirit.  God immediately began working on me.   He started to heal my heart and completely delivered me from alcoholism and substance abuse.  Jesus came back into my life and tears ran down my face faster than the 110 mph I was doing to get to the hospital years before!

Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

     My spirit was crushed, my heart was shattered into a million pieces and one by one, Jesus put those pieces back together and added so much more.  He added the gift of joy... the only real joy that comes from Him, Jesus Christ.  Nothing and nobody else could have done it, only Him.   My spirit has been restored and it brought me here, sharing with you the miracles only God can give and has now given me.  I confess with my mouth that I was once  a lost, but now I'm found.  I am saved!  I could only be saved by accepting the fact that Jesus is Lord, that he has died for my sins, rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the father, God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Thank you Lord for touching my spirit and saving my life!

     There are many stories in this world similar to mine, just know that no matter what, The Lord is near, and He and He alone will heal our spirits and make it whole again.  Amen.




New Beginnings Eastlake







That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 1 Samuel 3:4

Three years ago I retired from my secular job after forty-two years of working full time.  I realized that it was way over do for me to start working for God full time.  So shortly after retiring I went to the San Diego Rescue Mission looking to volunteer, but to do what I didn’t know.  As usual, God did. After a brief meeting with the Lead Chaplin he asked if I would like to teach a bible class.  Of course I said yes and when I asked if he would set the curriculum or me he said that I would.  Up until that point they did not have a bible class during the weekday, conducted by volunteers. 

The class would meet every Tuesday from 1:00 until 2:00. When I arrived for the first class he told me that only three men had signed up, but I said that’s fine and that the numbers didn’t matter.  In fact three did not show up, but thirty-eight did.  The next week there were sixty, until at some point it was mandatory that if they were in the building they had to attend.  Is God good?                                                                                  

The theme really is always the same…"you can either do it your way or God’s way" how has your way worked out so far. We take a book at a time and go through it verse by verse and make it as interactive as possible.  As you might imagine the questions and conversations vary every week, but the only way you can determine where they are spiritually is by them asking questions. Yes, sometimes we get off track, but it’s only a brief detour.

Teaching the class has been a real blessing to me and I made a commitment to God that if He opens the door of opportunity I’ll do my best to go through it.  Almost a year ago I was asked if I would be interested in being on the rotation to give the Sunday night message, every third Sunday.  And of course I said yes.  Sunday night services are conducted by various Pastors and Associate Pastors in San Diego.  I view it as a high privilege.

Every opportunity God gives me allows me another opportunity to point everything I say and everything I do and everything I have, to Jesus.  It’s all about Him.

I don’t think God is done with me, just as I know He is not done with you.  God has allowed me to take advantage of technology in a way I never dreamed of.  On Thursday mornings I conduct a bible class via skype.  I have people in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Olathe, Ks.and right here in San Diego California.  These people happen to be my family. Is God good? 

So, I said is that it God?  I guess not because He put in my mind to put things I have written on Facebook and use it as a ministry. I now have over four hundred people accessing it.  I don’t mention these things to call attention to myself, but rather to call attention to Him.

I just want to be like Samuel and say "Here am I; Speak Lord for thy servant heareth."


-Pastor Jim Tripoli


New Beginnings Eastlake