“Living Beyond Fear”
(David Irvine and Amos Muñoz)

Psalm 27:1:  The LORD is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The LORD protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid.

What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of flying or spiders or clowns? The majority of people are reportedly most afraid of speaking in public. I’m afraid of balloons – not the actual balloon, but rather, that at any moment the inflated balloon might pop and scare the daylights out of me. OK, so I’m not afraid of balloons, but I am afraid of a popping balloon.

Sometimes our fears can be debilitating. Bill Hybels calls these destructive or crippling fears. I recently had a crippling fear that affected every arena in my life. Unlike my stroke in 2008, which came on suddenly and out of nowhere, this one came on slowly and gnawed at me.   About two years ago I started noticing that some of my faculties weren’t quite right. And the issues that I was noticing had a direct effect on my ability to do my job. My sinuses were constantly full despite trying everything and my hearing was spotty. Neither of these situations is ideal for someone who is deeply involved in music. I wasn’t singing well, I wasn’t hearing well and I was taking out my frustrations on those around me. Once I was diagnosed with a sinus tumor, that explained a lot, but now I had a new set of fears – was it cancerous?

We’re going to be looking at several scriptures on Sunday that talk about fear. These scriptures don’t promise to remove our fears, but they do offer a way to live beyond our fears. And if you don’t get to come to church on Sunday, here’s the answer – surrender. There’s that word again – surrender. Turn them over to God; allow God’s promise to take root in your life so that you trust him to get you through those fearful times, because fear will come around again. (God promises that too.)

This Sunday I’m going to be talking with Amos Muñoz. Amos is one of the guitar players in our band. I’m not going to give away his story ahead of time, but it is a story of living in fear for decades – a fear of being found out. He was hiding the fact that he might not be enough. Amos surrendered the control those fears had over him a few years ago and he wants to tell you his story.

Since both Amos and I are musicians there’s going to be a lot of musical illustrations. You’ll be hearing music from James Taylor, Tom Petty and even The Rolling Stones.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Note from Rich: I’ll be in Sighisoara, Romania, preaching at several churches. This is the kind of thing that feeds my soul. I’m not going there for their sake—I go for my sake. I need to be outside my normal box for God to touch me in new ways. David and Amos have prepared an amazing message God is going to use to touch those present next Sunday in ways I can’t. But too many of you are going to take Sunday off because “Rich isn’t there.” And that’s just wrong. It is a disservice to the entire community, including whoever the preacher is on any particular Sunday I’m away…and in order to stay sharp…I need time away.

My “church” is my Monday AA meeting. It is not optional for me; if I am in town I’ve made the commitment to be there, no matter who is leading the meeting or how I feel about going—I go. It’s my contribution to the community. It’s not about me—it’s the commitment that I don’t live as an isolated entity—but as an important member of a larger community of grace. What I’ve learned over the years, is 100% of the time, even when I’ve been the least enthusiastic about going—God always speaks a “word” into my life during the meeting. It is another example to me that to live biblically is to live as “we” not “me.” While I won’t see you Sunday, I hope everyone else does!

Here’s what I have on my desk…


This Sunday, November 6, we will FALL BACK as we end Daylight Saving’s time. Set your clocks back an hour on Saturday evening and enjoy that extra hour of sleep before joining us here at St. Andrew for the opening songs!

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH: NEW MEMBERS INFORMATIONAL CLASS —11:30 AM in the Conference Room. Join Pastor Rich for a light lunch and discussion on what it means to be a member of St. Andrew.

RSVP for your lunch and to request child care on your Communication Card this Sunday

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH: BLACK DOG LUNCH—11:30 am IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM. St. Andrew is hosting a lunch for those who suffer from any form of depression to join together for mutual support and encouragement. To view the Black Dog video created by the World Health Organization, go to the following website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc or Google “Black Dog Video”.

RSVP for your lunch and to request child care on your Communication Card this Sunday.

OUR SONOMA VALLEY FAITH COMMUNITY will be gathering at Shir Shalom, Burlingame Hall, 252 W. Spain Street, Thanksgiving morning at 10:00 AM for our joint worship service. This is a great way to make sure the real reason for the day is honored before we gather around our tables of plenty.


Each year families and friends of St. Andrew ring the Christmas Bells at Lucky Market to benefit F.I.S.H.

HAVE FUN AND SUPPORT THIS LOCAL MINISTRY by signing up for a 2-hour shift on weekends, beginning on Friday, December 2nd. We are looking for two or more people per shift. It is a great way for you, your children, spouse and friends to share the Christmas Spirit! Grab a partner and sign-up on the board!