Encouraging words from our Pastor, Michael Babcock!

In these times, we need to remember the important things, which are the eternal things.  Pastor Babcock encouraged the flock at Calvin Orthodox Presbyterian Church recently with a devotional that we thought was just too good not to share!  Here it is:


Dear Congregation, 
2020 has been a bizarre year.  Before we could heal from the turbulence created by the impeachment of the President, COVID-19 became a new catchphrase in our vocabulary.  Soon businesses were shut down, people were quarantined, projections of millions of deaths, hospitals being overwhelmed with corona patients, so schools and even churches closed their doors.  Some churches still have not opened. Then came the controversies about shutting down society versus herd immunity.  The flip-flop narratives of the viability of wearing masks wore us down in uncertainty.  After reeling from that commotion, the nation began to suffer economic upheavals due to shutdowns and people losing jobs.  Reports revealed pandemic numbers of people falling into deep depression with rising numbers of suicides due to isolation and the loss of hope.  Those needing medical care couldn’t always get it due to COVID restrictions.  For months our television and computer screens have been occupied by images of streets crowded with violent mobs supposedly protesting against “systemic racism.”  That quickly dissolved into just angry mobsters who took opportunities to loot and destroy.  
This year also chronicled record heat waves in the western United States with record droughts.  We’ve felt it here in Phoenix.  Fires raged in Oregon and California while hurricanes and tornados devastated the Gulf Coast.  Then we were dismayed when we watched a perfectly good and qualified judge get raked over the goals as she was confirmed for SCOTUS.  Just when the tunnel showed a little light, this election turned out to be a fiasco.  How many are shocked and angered by Arizona turning blue?  The legitimacy of many ballots in various states looms over us as lawsuits have been filed and recounts are being demanded.  This is not going to end anytime soon. 

We are seeing a cultural shift away from democracy and capitalism towards Marxism and “democratic socialism.”  That is not a conspiracy theory, it is the vocalized political agenda of the BLM, Bernie Sanders, AOC, Kamala Harris, and others in the Democratic Party. This has been building up for decades and we shouldn’t be surprised by it; neither should we be dismayed.  Alarmed, perhaps, but not discouraged.  2020 was bad.  2021 may be worse.  That doesn’t sound very encouraging, does it?  Well, it’s the honest reality, but it’s not the only reality.  Hebrews 12:27-29 reminds us that God is “removing those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  God is the great Sovereign who is overseeing all these events, shaking creation, so that His kingdom of peace and joy might be displayed amidst the collapsing society and failing technology of man.  We need not worry because “God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.” 
When you come to church tomorrow, and you walk through those doors, you are coming into the halls of eternity.  You are coming into the presence of the great King.  We will be raised up to understand that all this trouble and strife of the current affairs will be long forgotten.  Who will care who won the 2020 Presidential election 100 or 1000 years from now when we are living before the throne?  Who will care about the controversies of masks versus no masks when we are worshiping God in perfect unity and harmony?  Tomorrow, we will be given a foretaste of eternal joy and have our hope revived.  Granted, that doesn’t minimize all the tribulations and upsets of the present day, after all, we are also citizens of this nation, too.  But it does put it into perspective.  God is on His eternal throne and He is directing everything that is happening today for His glory.  That isn’t just a good cliché to hold on to, it is the absolute truth.  
I don’t understand what’s going on and how it will all work out for our good, but they say hindsight has 20/20 vision.  When the Vandals sacked Rome, people all over the Empire were filled with fear of doom and gloom.  When Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Southern people trembled in dread over the collapse of Southern democracy and culture.  Well, changes occurred, but God used these things to demonstrate the gospel’s power to give peace and security to all who trusted in its message.  Likewise, we’ll know all about today’s trials in the sweet by and by and until then, we have God’s oath that we are citizens of a kingdom that cannot be shaken though the heavens and the earth itself reel and stagger as a drunken man and its people come to their wits’ end.  Who knows what God will work in your hearts tomorrow in worship?  But you can know He will certainly work eternity’s value into your heart because the God of peace, the God who cannot lie, said He “will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” (Romans 16:20).  
Pastor Michael




New Collection of Songs 

New Music! 
It's been a long time coming.  I've been writing this new collection, "Zion's Chapel" ,over the past few years.  The focus of it has been the church, and more specifically the church I know, which is the church in America.  My fervent prayer is that God will use this for His glory in the church Jesus died for.  We so badly need to humble ourselves before Him, to renew our commitment to Him, to walk and love and obedience to Him, to daily take up our cross and follow Him.  And trust me, I know because it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit who has pointed out my sin and thereby inspired these songs.  Anything convicting in these songs has convicted me first! 

The songs are available to listen to or download.  There's a field called "Your Price".  Feel free to enter 0.00 there if you want to download it free.  If you'd like to support what we're doing and help cover costs of the website, recording, making and mailing the free CD, feel free to do so there as well.  Either way we hope God will work in these songs to advance His kingdom in the hearts of all who hear.  


Just Do Something! 

I ordered a book for a gift for someone this past Christmas and never gave it.  The title grabbed me and I couldn't put it down.  It is Just Do Something, by Kevin DeMoss.  

The subtitle: 
OR how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc."

Basically the premise is that there are many "doing" decisions on which there is no guidance in Scripture.  For example, should I move to Seattle or Miami?  Should I buy this house or the other one? Dr. DeMoss argues that God's main business is conforming us to Christ, and uses the circumstances of life to do that.  There is a lot of peace in just believing that God will get us where we need to be in order for Him to work in us and through us.

We can believe in His absolute sovereignty in the "doing" part, but we don't need a "word" from Him in every situation.  We can use our God-given common sense combined, of course, with lots of Scripture and lots of prayer.  And obedience to what we do know in Scripture.

Of course, we must use His principles to make decisions,  We need to fast and pray as a habit of life.  We don't need to make as a condition that in making a decision, that God will keep us from all unpleasantness.  We don't need to stress out about messing up God's "perfect will" if we choose one acceptable thing over another acceptable thing.

I appreciated Demoss's example of Esther. Mordecai asked her to take a huge risk, death in fact, for her people.

"So what would you do at this point?" DeMoss asks. "Pray for some sign from heaven?  Wait for God's will to be revealed?"

Instead, Esther instructed all the Jews to fast.  She had a good idea of what was right based on principles.  She had no guarantee of the outcome.  

De Moss continues, "Esther didn't wait for weeks or months trying to discern God's will for her life before she acted.  She simply did what was right and forged ahead without any special word from God.  If the king extended to her the golden scepter, praise the Lord.  If he did not, she died."

I would also add to that last sentence, "Praise the Lord."

I pray that I can do likewise.  Just live a life of trust, with fasting, prayer, principles, courage, love, and joyfully submitting to God's conforming me to His dear Son.  

(I don't know about you) But I'm Feeling 62! (Pt 2: TECHNOLOGY and HUMILITY) 

It always startles me when I search YouTube for some help with something tech related, when a voice is coming out of my speakers that sounds about 10 years old!  Yikes!!!  These little kids know more than I ever will about this stuff.  But I am grateful for every one of them, especially when I'm wrestling my recording software (ProTools) and one of them (or their 20 something counterpart) has the answer to my problem.  Humility is a good thing when you're 62.

Just this morning, I was transferring some large files to a young guy who is working on a gospel project I am doing.  I shut my eyes and imagined the music flying through the air, wireless, up to some server in the sky and then flying back down into his studio over a thousand miles away.  Totally awesome!!!

I know I am waaaaaaay slower than most but I am determined because giving up is not an option. I hear the ticking of the clock (yes we have a wind-up one that chimes, very low tech!).  It is saying, "make-the-most-of-ev-ery-mi-nute."  Here is what helps me:
  • Be patient.  It's a cinch by the inch but hard by the yard.  Keep plugging away.  Sleep on a problem and try again the next morning.
  • Seek.  Look for help under every rock.  Google your question--that is the best search method I have found
  • Have faith.  I pray, usually after I have pulled some hair out.  It would be better to pray first!
  • Remember why.  Why are you doing this?  Technology is a means to an end, not the end itself
  • Find a community.  I've found some online friends who are doing much the same thing I am.  Big help!  And while I'm on that subject, please leave any tidbits that help you with technology in the comments!
Bottom line: we either approach technology with the humility of children or we fight it and deprive ourselves of the amazing things we can do because of it.


(I don't know about you) But I'm Feeling 62! (Part 1)  

Good morning friends!

I got some good advice at a music seminar in Nashville two weekends ago.  Age is not something to run from, but to embrace.  Of course Nashville (or LA or New York) totally does NOT do this!   But I can implement the advice anyway.  

Truth is, the young feel they own the music, but they don't.  They own the popular music, but for me there's freedom having that door shut.  There is no lure in wondering what a label might want, and no being anxious about being prettier than the multitudes of gorgeous young  women trying to do the same thing I'm doing.

In my heart, my songwriting can belong to God as never before.  I know that I would not write or sing the songs I am working on if I were, like in the Taylor Swift song, 22! My husband Jack and I have raised children and buried our parents.  The responsibilities are now less and the urgency is greater.  With age comes the knowing you won't be here that long, and it adds an additional drive to get the songs that are in my heart written, recorded, and out there!  

It's pretty cool.  I'm thinking, going forward, I am going to write a series of blogs about being "62" and doing music.  Stay tuned if this is of interest!

The song I chose to accompany this blog is "When I Call to You".  It is a love song to my husband Jack.  It's about a mature love. I would not have written it at 22. 

Thanks for reading!

Love you all in Christ,

Soli Deo Gloria--For the glory of God alone!


Do you have a Red Paper Box? 

Do you have a box of trinkets that make sense to you but probably wouldn't make sense to others? Sometimes my trinkets don't even make sense to me!  In fact, sometimes life feels like one of those follow-the-dots pictures.  The dots don't seem to connect into anything that looks like anything.  Isn't it wonderful that we can trust God to make sense of it?  Awhile ago I wrote a song, using the souvenirs of a life and put them in a figurative red paper box to illustrate this.  

I also made a lyric video so you can clearly see the words.  

Hope you like it!  If you like, in the comments below, tell me about your trinket box and maybe something about the meaning of your souvenirs!

God bless you with more of Him!

Charlotte Ryerson

Valentines Day Love Song for Grandparents! 

There is a special beauty in sunsets when they are the sign that the day is coming to a close and it's been a good day.  The sunrise is beautiful too, rich with promise.  They resemble each other, yet they are separated by time.  Imagine if sunset met sunrise, and that's the feeling of being a grandparent!  

I wrote this song after holding our grandson Jackson for the first time, and I've felt it ever since:  with Robert, Sadie and Jonathan. (See Jackson holding baby Jonathan, above). If you are a grandparent it is my prayer that it will bless you with the overwhelming goodness of God in allowing you to see your children's children!

You can hear it on the music page, here


Why The OPC?

Thematic Bible Study Plan!

Developed by Craig DesJardins

I've just begun this and it is already opening up the Bible by making connections between different books and passages.  You begin to see themes, overarching ideas, and most of all how God has planned redemption from before the foundation of the world.  Click here for the plan!