Last Saturday night Jolene and I put our granddaughters down to bed, and we had a great prayer time together. As often happens during this time, our granddaughters will ask questions. My oldest granddaughter asked if Russia was going to attack us. We assured her the war was a long way away and wasn’t coming […]
Last Saturday night Jolene and I put our granddaughters down to bed, and we had a great prayer time together. As often happens during this time, our granddaughters will ask questions. My oldest granddaughter asked if Russia was going to attack us. We assured her the war was a long way away and wasn’t coming here. Then our youngest granddaughter asked why we closed our eyes to pray. It was a precious time.
Then I got ready for bed. On Saturday nights before I preach, I try to go to bed a bit earlier as my Sunday morning starts at 5 am. My usual nightly routine includes a prayer time as I lay in bed. But I found my prayer going in a direction I hadn’t experienced in a long time. I started by begging God to stop the war in Ukraine. I prayed for my Ukrainian friends by name. But the longer I prayed, the more unsettled I got. I absolutely believe God is all-powerful. I also believe that he is good. So why doesn’t he stop this stupid useless war? He can. Why hasn’t he? The more intensely I prayed, the angrier I got.
Then the Holy Spirit reminded me that my anger, frustration, and confusion were not unique to me or this time. How many times during World War 2 did people beg God for the war to stop? How many times have parents of a child with a terminal disease cried out to God to heal their child? How many times have those who have been victims of evil pleaded with God for relief and help? There’s nothing new under the sun.
Then I remembered how David was also angry and prayed to ask God to severely punish those who are evil. Psalm 109 is one of those prayers. I’ve now read that Psalm over and over. As I read it, I substitute Putin and his cronies into David’s cry for punishment. If you’ve not read Psalm 109 lately, click here to read it. He prays that his enemy’s days would be few and that his children would become beggars without a father. He prays that all kinds of evil be done to one who did him evil. He calls on God to multiply curses on his adversary. That’s how I want to pray. I empathize with David’s anger and disgust.
In days past, when I was unaffected by evil, I would read Psalm 109 and think how strange that such a writing would be included in the Bible. About 30 statements of judgment, revenge, or curse are declared in this Psalm. These are in direct opposition to the teaching of Jesus – read Matthew 5. Frankly, this Psalm seems wrong and inappropriate. Why is it even in the Bible? Because that’s how godly people feel sometimes. It’s a reminder that we are broken human beings.
My two words for this year are kindness and gentleness. You don’t see any of that in Psalm 109. But the Psalms do not always proclaim an eternal truth for all to embrace, but rather express the real emotions of one who’s suffering. I’m suffering as my dear friends are suffering. I know that I’m not alone in this anguish. I hear from my friends in Ukraine their version of this angry prayer. I have prayed my version of this Psalm against Putin and his war on innocent people.
But you have to read the Psalm to the end (this is often the case in David’s psalms). Read Psalm 109:21-31. It describes me. It describes you. It’s an admission of our need for help. It is a confession of our weakness and brokenness. It’s an admission of our humanity with all its carnal reactions. It’s also a declaration that in spite of the evil, God has not abandoned us and is with us, and his love never stops.
This Psalm reflects life. We are human and react out of the flesh. We are also children of God who are led by the Spirit. Both are operating at the same time. Because the flesh and the Spirit are at war, Paul writes this in Galatians 5:16-17 – So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
It is a daily journey in faith to learn to walk by or be led by the Spirit and not let the flesh have its way. What a difficult journey it is. And thanks be to God that his grace is abundant as we struggle to follow the way of Jesus.
All languages have several ways to say “Bye!” “Goodbye” seems rather final. “So long” implies a lengthy separation. “God’s speed” is rarely used anymore, but it suggests danger and the real possibility that one won’t make it back. Then there is “See you later.” But that still implies a period of separation. So what word […]
I want to thank you all for the kind words and ways you honored Jolene and me on Sunday during Pantano’s 60th anniversary. We are so grateful to be a part of a church that has loved us so well. We are blessed! Sunday I announced that I’ll be ending my active time on our […]
In January of 1962, Pantano Christian Church had her first public meeting held in a home on 31st Street. There were 32 people present that Sunday for its beginning. Today, after 60 years, several building projects, and eight Lead Pastors, we have grown to average over 3100 people. We’ve started three thriving congregations in southern […]
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Wow, what a tough couple of years it has been for our teachers, school administrators, and staff. I can’t express how grateful I am for all who serve our kids in education. Thank you for loving your students and families in some of the most difficult circumstances. You […]
Located under a tent in front of the welcome center
Won't start until 15 minutes before each service to allow time for cleaning
Volunteers will ask you health screening questions
If your kid has noticeable symptoms or says yes to screening questions, we will ask you to join us online that day
Masks are recommended for kids age 5 and older.
Limited personal items will be allowed with your child in the classroom - we recommend a small diaper bag or Ziploc bag containing 1 diaper and 1 bottle
If your kid is over the age of 3, they will wash or sanitize their hands as they enter the room
Please remain outside of the classroom
If your kid is over the age of 3, they will wash or sanitize their hands as they exit the roomp
In The Classrooms
Volunteers and staff will wear masks
Snack time will be done as normal, with snacks being prepared only by volunteers wearing masks and food handling gloves
Cleaning between Services
All larger toys will be wiped and cleaned between services
All rooms will receive a deep cleaning between services
God made me & God loves me!
Our Sunday classes are designed to incite wonder, provoke discovery and help your child develop a passionate love for Jesus!
Our curriculum is built around simple, but powerful truths, simple crafts and age-appropriate activities that meet little ones
where they are at spiritually, cognitively and socially.
All Bible lessons focus around 3 basic truths:
God made me
God loves me
Jesus wants to be my friend forever
Worship music, crafts, prizes and games
Our Sunday classes are all about digging into the Bible! Kids will be challenged in their spiritual growth through
Bible lessons taught personally and through creative teaching techniques. We also incorporate upbeat worship music,
as well as crafts, prizes and games that help kids remember the lesson and keep them engaged and excited to come back to church!
We want the church to be a fun and safe place to grow, develop friendships and learn about our amazing God!
Safety Info for KidZone
Screened & Background Checked
All teachers and helpers must be regular attendees of Pantano Christian Church, (having attended regularly for at least 3-6 months or past church attendance is verified if new to the area), and must have a Confidential Application and Background Check on file.
Parents are encouraged to have their kid use the bathroom before class.
If a kid has to go to the bathroom, we always have one teacher/helper take up to 3 children, particularly for the preschoolers.
In the elementary department, children can be sent in pairs or groups.
Our policy is to never have one kid alone with one adult in the bathroom
For Benevolence info, please call the church office at 520.298.5395.
Financial Peace University
Take control of your money with Financial Peace University! This nine-lesson class uses Biblical wisdom and common sense to help you tackle budgeting, pay off debt, and make your money work for you!
FreedUp is a six-week program that’s focused on your financial habits and freedom from debt! You will need a cell phone (android or Iphone) or a tablet to participate in this new Biblically-based financial class.
Personal financial coaching in available upon request at no charge. A coach will work along side of you in preparing personalized financial statements,
establishing a budget, a debt-reduction plan, or whatever else in necessary to get your financial life in order. The goal is to assist you in becoming
more effective stewards of the resources God has provided.
We're excited to work with you on your upcoming wedding, and look forward to making your day special. Our goal is to
equip you for a lifetime marriage and to partner with you to have a marriage that reflects Jesus Christ. With that in mind,
we have designed a pre-marriage process for couples desiring to be married by one of our pastors.
Peer counseling is first and foremost a relationship between you and the counselor. It is a free short-term, solution-focused care in a safe and confidential
environment, designed to help you move forward on your personal or family journey.
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Zone 45
When our eyes are set on God, we act right, think right, and live right. God created us to love Him and love others well! This Spring,
our preteens will be studying practical lessons from the Bible in order to put God at the center of their lives and guard their hearts
and their minds in Christ Jesus. Through games, activities, and small group discussion we will check our heart condition and discover
ways to get our spiritual hearts in the best shape possible!
Kinder - 3rd Grades
Finding Jesus under the Sea
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Rooms KZ 11-13
The sea contains many wondrous sights created by God. When we go under the sea and take a closer look, we see that the sea
has much to teach us about God. Join us as we DIVE deeper into what the Bible says about who God is and how he made us!
God's Little Artist
Times: 6:30 - 8 PM Dates: January 15 - Apr 29 (No class on Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 8) Location: Rooms KZ 4, 5, 6
God created the Heaven and the Earth; and God created you!! He designed us to be creative and use our imagination! This
Spring, our preschoolers will have fun making Feathery Friends, Mini Maracas, Crazy Creatures and much more as we learn
some amazing stories from the Bible. Come join us as we color, paint, glue and draw our way through God’s amazing world!
Resources For Life’s Issues
We've complied a listing of resources from support groups to hotlines to websites to books for anyone in need of
assistance/help with a particular life issue.
Alcohol & Substance Abuse
Tucson Area Intergroup Inc.
Local Help Line – Available 24/7
800.622.2255 (National Council on Alcoholism)
God, Help Me Stop! A 12 Step Bible Workbook for Recovery from Compulsive Behavior (Claire W.)
12 Steps: A Spiritual Journey (RPI Publishing)
It Will Never Happen To Me by Claudia Black
Abuse & Relationship Issues
National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800.799.SAFE (7233)
Community Crisis Center, 847.697.2380
Child Abuse National Reporting Hotline, 800.25.ABUSE (22873)
National Child Abuse Reporting Hotline, 800.4.A.CHILD (224453)
The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It by Leslie Vernick
Who’s Pushing Your Buttons? Handling the Difficult People in Your Life by John Townsend
Boundaries (When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life) by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse book & workbook by Dan Allender
Into Abba’s Arms, Finding the Acceptance You’ve Always Wanted by Sandra Wilson
Mending The Soul by Steven R. Tracy
Pornography & Sexual Issues
Sex Addicts Anonymous
Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes
False Intimacy by Harry Schaumburg
Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus by Russell Willingham
Every Man’s Battle by Steve Arterburn
Suicide & Depression
National Crisis Help Line, 800.SUICIDE (800.784.2433)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800.273.TALK (800.273.8255)
Southern Arizona Mental Health Corp (SAMHC) (520.622.6000)
Happiness is a Choice: Symptoms, Causes and Cures of Depression by Frank Minirth and Paul Meier
Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Frank Minirth and Les Carter
Grieving A Suicide: A Loved One’s Search for Comfort, Answers and Hope by Albert Y. Hsu
A Symphony in the Dark: Hearing God’s Voice in Seasons of Grief by Barbara Rainey and Rebecca Rainey Mutz
When Life Changed Forever by Rick and Judy Taylor
If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn
When Bad Things Happen: Thoughtful Answers to Hard Questions (Mini-book) by William P. Smith
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What We Believe
Our vision is to be a catalytic force to bless Southern Arizona and the
world and all of our ministries are dedicated in accomplishing this vision. It is the passion and
calling of our staff to carry out our vision and core values each and every day.
We are part of a group of churches often referred to as the “Independent Christian Church.” We have no formal connection to a denomination – hence the word “independent.”
There are about 5,600 churches like us around the US, with more than 150 averaging over 1000 in attendance.
Mission: Loving people to Jesus, launching passionate people to make a difference.
Vision: is to be a catalytic force to bring God’s influence to Southern Arizona and strategic places in the world.
There is an ancient saying, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things love.” This reflects our heart and belief at Pantano Christian Church. We are a non-denominational
church that seeks unity in Christ, based on the essential truths of Scripture while allowing for diversity, differences, and even disagreements over non-essential doctrines. Below are six
statements that reflect our corporate essentials and upon which we base our unity in Christ. We all believe much more than these statements and we encourage those who are part of Pantano
Christian Church to vigorously search the scriptures and discuss “non-essential” although important doctrines, while not making those views a test of fellowship. Therefore, we believe in
and are committed with our whole being to…
The one eternal God who is love, revealed in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus, who is the “Christ, the son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), who died for our sins, rose again and will return one day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Titus 2:13).
God, who is always present in all believers through the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is active in transforming us into Christlikeness and empowering us to make our world different (John 14:16-17; 1 Peter 4:10).
The Bible as God’s primary message or word to us, a guide for living and our trustworthy and final authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
A loving God who wants to save every person from the power of sin so that we may be free to do what is good. Salvation is a gift from God through Christ which allows us to be in deep relationship with our Father, now and forever. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-8).
God, who is bringing about a spiritual revolution and wants to transform our lives and our world as his kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 4:17; 6:10).
The above statements do not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For the purpose of Pantano Christian Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, discipline, and policy our Elders are the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
The following are core beliefs that shape who we are as a church community and define how we do ministry.
We seek first the kingdom of God. Being kingdom first drives us beyond our own church community. We strive to join God wherever He is at work to advance the kingdom of God and his influence. We are an externally focused church that is not church-centric, but kingdom-centric. (Matthew 4:17; 6:10, 33; 28:18-20)
God created his church to be both unified and diverse (gender, race, generations, and socioeconomic status), which best reflects the heart of God and the way of Jesus. (John 17:20-23; Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11; Revelation 7:9-10)
God created sex to be practiced in the context of marriage. God ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and God himself. Therefore, we recognize biblical marriage to be between a biological man and a biological woman as given at birth. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-12; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5-8)
Women may minister, serve, lead and teach in any and all ministry positions, contexts, and roles except one, that of elder. Specifically, women may be ordained, serve as pastors and perform pastoral ministry, teach in groups of mixed genders of any size or location, and lead departments or programs of the church. (Genesis 1:27; Galatians 3:28; Romans 16:1-16)
Jesus called his followers to be all in and focus on making disciples of Jesus. It begins with ourselves. Being “All In” means that we are growing to be like Jesus, reaching lost people, helping others to be like Jesus, sharing life together, serving, and being generous with our time, talents, and treasures. Worship services at Pantano are designed to both reach lost people (Luke 15) and inspire believers to put the Word of God into action (James 1:22-25). True discipleship happens best in the context of a small group. (Matthew 4:19; 16:24; 28:18-20; Luke 6:38; Acts 2:42-47; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 3:15; 4:8-11)