March 7, 2024: Discussion w/ Pastor Steve Santos – Jesus Loves Lahaina Maui Part 2

:bible2: Jesus Loves Lahaina Maui - Part 2

:hawaiianshirt_4: Pastor JD hosts special guest, Pastor Steve Santos of Calvary Chapel Westside in Lahaina, Maui to “talk story” in a follow-up about what God is doing on Maui, after what happened to the people of Maui.

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1 Peter 1:6

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I see God’s hand creating resilience and this scripture applicable to all kinds of fire.

These charred scenes of devastation remind me of the fire in The Smokies some years back. We could see the glow from our deck as we were just a few miles outside the national park. The wind made the fire an inescapable place of death for people as well as wildlife. It’s taken years to replenish the loss, some of which can never be replaced.

1 Peter 1:6,7 has a poignant parallel to present and future trials.

To cling to the eternal and not to this present place is sometimes a hard stretch beyond our will or rather our insecurities. But Lahaina unveils a perspective too difficult to ignore.


We would all do well to realize that our anxiety does not come from merely thinking about the future in general, but from wanting to control it. And the LORD never promised us that kind of control. We are to walk by faith in Him, in His Word.


When JD said to his congregation that it could have been their island that had the fire, I remembered that back in the day when I first started watching his BPUs on YouTube, they were actually having services in a Seventh Day Adventist church building. They didn’t have their own church. I believe that’s why his midweek service is on Thursdays and not Wednesdays due to the fact that the SDAs had Wednesdays. Anyway, I’m sure the Lahaina fire and the loss of Steve’s church hearkened him back to how thankful they should still be for their church in Kaneohe.

And what a blessing and support JDs church must be to the church that burned. There was a time when JD and congregation were building up funds to construct their own that I thought; why is he wanting to build when The Lord is to take us all any day now? Lo and behold, God’s omnipotence and omnipresence over my silly questions. As today, God is using JD’s church to help Steve’s church to rise and serve again as well as take care of the families that suffered loss. …Our lives are full of But God moments. This is truly one of them.


This is so true that I’m seeing myself as the control freak that I am in these words. Now if only to imbed it and attach it to my thought process. Let go and let God and trust! Now there’s a word to remember as well. TRUST. Why can I trust God? Because He loves us. He loves me. How do I know this? Only through gratitude and humility can I know this.

When March 2020 ushered the plandemic into our lives, it jolted my faith and my perception of all the prophecy updates that I had been listening to at the time. In my mind, the Ezekiel 38 war and the destruction of Damascus was next in the timeline that we all try to assemble. But, out of the blue, came this plague-like deception that took the world into a level of bondage. Nothing like that had ever simultaneously happened on the planet. It was Twilight Zone. I couldn’t see God in it at all in the beginning. I had just, very suddenly, lost my mother a few months prior so I was still reeling and in despair. So to keep myself from becoming unglued I made a list of truth oriented instructions and attached them to the fridge:

March 2020…
Do not worry
Do not be afraid
Don’t grumble!
Wait upon The Lord
Be thankful
Trust in The Lord

It’s still on the fridge four years later in 2024. But it wasn’t until recently that I was able to make the connection with the last two on the list; be thankful….trust in The Lord. In order to trust Him I had to revisit my own personal salvation story to remember that He loved me, despite the appearance of satanic control of the world. It certainly doesn’t have control over me and I have the sacrifice of Jesus to thank for that. If you want to feel God’s love, you have to be able to see Him through the eyes of a grateful heart.


This is so beautiful Tony. Thanks for sharing brother. In a similar way, about thankfulness, it kind of felt fake in how I was seeing it. Be thankful because we are supposed to like a Hallmark Greeting Card moment. Be thankful because we know God deserves that even if we can’t see it. Well that was the best I could do for a while.

But what I am discovering too on that front brother is something almost frightful in light of how dark I tend to think a lot of the time. This thought to me felt so over the top. In a way, like unfair. Like the brain of an ant trying to have thoughts like a man. Being thankfull seems to related to the reality of His character.

Its hard to be thankful when bad things happen. But the truth is He transcends events. Sure it put spiritual hair on our chest to be thankful in the midst of a trial. But from what I have seen over many years is that as we are thankful we resonate more with what is real. Because He is sovereign over all elements of reality. Being thankful indeed seems to become a new pair of glasses to see more clearly through.

The most amazing part of this is likened to the garden. He wanted good for Adam and Eve. Satan helped them question that. The fall is due to our not realizing how good He is. Faith is believing that He is not only good, but way beyond our comprehension good. Would God send His only Son to be judged for me? Is He that good? And instead of doubting Him like in the garden, we get to recognize who He is.

So it would seem that to the degree we seek to understand His goodness is to the degree being thankful may well open our eyes to opportunities (works He has created for us in eternity past to walk in). So if we are looking at situations etc instead of Him we might miss where that way of escape is best found. It is best found in realizing He provides one because being thankful assumes Him to. Like…



What great peace. We’re definitely on the same channel. Thanks for openly sharing your heart and strengthening your testimony and blessing me (us) at the same time. I believe this is like building the spiritual Church together and as we know, that’s what matters to God’s heart.

You know how much I appreciate your fellowship. Have a very blessed day.


God is always the original :grin: