Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Time For Everything

 "We are called to know God, not his plans."    Isaiah 55:8,9

Hi Everyone,
I know that it has been too long since I have blogged!  You can attribute it to stress,  "writer's block",   traveling, too many changes, or any of the above.
Most of you know what is transpiring at the Crystal Cathedral and that has certainly contributed to my somewhat solemn mood.  By tomorrow the fate of that  landmark ministry will be determined by the bankruptcy court.   I think that's the real reason I haven't felt like blogging.  The situation is just one more  reminder of all we have gone through over the past three and a half years.  One bad decision after another has led to the decision that will take place tomorrow.
  I feel for those of you who are feeling grief and pain at the loss of what once was.    We still get regular messages via phone calls,  letters, and emails asking us "when is Robert A. going to return and help restore the church?"  First of all you must remember that my husband did not leave without trying to save the church.   There was not a great choice given after he was removed from The Hour Of Power;  and you might not know that he kept preaching to the local church until he was told that he could no longer preach in the CC on Sunday mornings.  For over three years the answer to the question people still pose is the same as it has always been:  "if there is proper governance installed and if The Penners and The Colemans step down, then,  and only then would Robert even consider a formal call to return as the pastor."   And, after tomorrow, who knows what will be left of the church, which is already down to a local congregation of a little more than a couple of hundred (from what we hear).
Robert and I both experienced the same feelings that a lot of you are just now experiencing after we realized that our gifts and calling were no longer appreciated, wanted, or needed at the ministry and which led to our ultimate departure.  It has been enough time now that the real heart-piercing feelings of betrayal and abandonment that accompanied that departure brought to us have begun to heal.   We have tried our best to move-on but with all the media hype and all the reminders of what we considered our life's calling, it has been a very difficult thing to do.  This being said, we are with you all in prayer as the decision is made tomorrow.
  Remember that no matter what happens,  there is comfort in knowing that God is in the plans even though we don't understand.  Like the scripture above says, knowing God is something we are called to do.  Keep loving him and getting to know him better day by day.    Knowing his plans however is not something that we are supposed to guess at.   Prayerfully facing each day and trusting God with the outcome is what continues the cycle of hope and healing in our lives.   Always remember that there is a time for everything and a purpose for all of it.

 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones together,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
.....He has made everything beautiful in it's time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of man yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."    
  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11 

May you find peace and comfort in what God has planned for the future.
God is blessing you.    Donna


  1. Oh Donna, the story is sooo... sad! To let the devil in and quit the love to Jesus is a hard thing/decision. Pls. Donna and Robert, go ahead in your new life into a new prosperous future. CC didn't ask for you "one day" no longer,that's sad life! Robert and you Donna have been my CC life with all your inspiring sermons. For me it's now much easier to move on. I decided to find another church home and found two. I'm happy with them. Good CC times are not forgotten for me, but are past and I begin to accept it! - God is blessing you, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Swiss Rose

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  3. Yes, this last 3+ years have been sad. I feel bad that I have lost my two favorite pastors and the church service that I loved to watch each week, is now gone. I hope and pray, at some point, those who are responsible for the downfall will be humbled, and realize what they have destroyed, and that they will at the very least go to their father's, both here on Earth and in Heaven and say they are sorry. I guess the words of Jesus applies to them also, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they have done"!! Donna, God Bless you, Robert, and your family always.

  4. In Jesus Name, we move on, we all are not forgotten, he has us all in the palm of his hands, he does not forsake us, never!!! I have had more or less a rough past, but since I walk with Jesus Love (2006). I know God leaded me ab. Summer 2008 to other churches broadcasted on TV. I have had a feeling in my body, Rose don't be fixed only to CC. I fallowed his command and I found my church homes. I say, thank you haven, thank you!I know what I can get from this churches. Spiritual wellness and peace combined with happiness and worshiping. I even go to friends Churches who are not going reguly to "my" church. Are just vistiers once in a while. HALELUJAH !!! - Be blessed, Swiss Rose

  5. Oh people, here it's early in the morning. It's better I get my morning coffee, so I have not so many tymping errers. He, he...!!! I say it just because I have people who condamn me for that. Really it gives people who think my English knowledge is bad, when I'm outsdpoken.--- By until next time, Swiss Rose

  6. Donna & Robert,

    Through all this turmoil and strife you both have consistently taken the high road, refusing to let the situation get the better of you. Thank you both for that. The irony is what the Colemans and Penners wanted - a successful church - was in their family all along with Robert, your husband. Robert has energy, passion and clearly sees himself on a mission to serve the Lord. I can't watch the Hour of Power anymore because it seems like a shell of itself. Mr. Penner, while an accomplished administrator, does not have the gift of preaching. Robert does. Robert could have saved the church if the family had banded together. The Lord knows the truth and I pray you and Robert have peace about this and thank you for always taking the high road.

  7. Dear Donna,
    Since you and Robert left, I haven't watched the Hour of Power either. I felt that Robert's sermons
    were uplifting and truly based on scripture. It's sad that the CC is in trouble. I'm sad that you and Robert endured such difficult times. God continues to have great plans for you and Robert. God bless both of you.

  8. It is indeed a sad day. It's sad for all of us to recognize what can happen when people don't put God first and treat a church like a personal business instead of a ministry for the Gospel. I haven't been back to CC since you and Robert left and understand how painful this has been for you. Please know that many people are praying for you and hoping that the day will come soon for Robert A. to start his own church. Any place will do...a movie theater, a's the people and the Holy Spirit that make a church, not the building or the choir or television. God bless you both.

  9. We are indeed VERY SAD that the CC has come to its demise. However, we cannot understand why MONEY has become such a BIG issue for the entire family.

  10. This last question is a good one. Also, I can only assume that your comment is a response to what the media has reported. I sure can't answer that for any of my husband's family as we have had very little contact with any of them for 3 1/2 years with the exception of his parents who we see on occasionally. Has money become an issue or was it an issue all along? Let's see if anyone out there has some insight.
    God is blessing you. Donna

  11. Donna, I think the money issue is coming from the new CC-format. RHS wanted to have preachers he influenced in the past (for myself I found out he thinks he is the greatest, pls. tell me if I’m rong) and step by step he coudn’t accept his children generation no more. To make everything more up-to-date was a red rag to him. He can be lucky that Sheila is thinking like him. Sorry, when I say I do not like her, because of her face expression and how she is closed behind the pulpit. That is past 60 or evt. 70tie. An open mind must be clothed more modern, even it counts more what a person has in their heart. RHS quited many pastors and staff members and sad enough his son, your beloved Robert. In comparison to what it was many, many people are not satisfied anymore, they quited their donnations like I did and do not watch HoP no more. The people who remain, my pers. opinion, are conservative and what ever it’s going to happen they say yes, even the devil is involved. Have a 80 year sold college here! – The nice lady’s eyes are closed!!! Saddly, what a pity!!! I’m very critical, with me nobody can do it. Should I say it or not??? I moved on to Lakewood Church, Houston/TX. Have been their personally 2010 and my experiences (critical) have been excellent! Met the main pastor (Joel Osteen) personally and a member of the worship team. I could go on and on...! My conclusion is, would have RAS remained, the church never would stand infront of a bunkrupcy. Conservative people and lively people, like I am would have huged the church and donating etc. – Donna, and dear readers I close now with my thoughts I easely could extend. – Keep warm in some countries winter is approaching. – Be aware God is blessing you, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Swiss Rose

  12. Eliane, I saw that you follow Angie's blog. Post once in a while, pls! I post. Not only my opinion counts!!! - Blessings, Swiss Rose

  13. I see that the Crystal Cathedral is being sold to the Catholic Church. Maybe it is all for the best. My late father years ago would watch the Hour of Power and sent in some donations and received some of the thank you gifts. He was a member of a Presbyterian Church when he died, two years ago, but when my brother and I were growing up we went to a Methodist church. My wife is a lifelong Catholic and our wedding was held in the Catholic Church, and I go to services with her every week although I have never formally converted.

    Did you see the letter from Rev. Rich Lang, the Methodist minister who was pepper sprayed by police in the Occupy Seattle demonstration? He says, "the emerging police state ... protects the property interests of the Marie Antoinette’s who have seized control of our government, commerce, media, military and increasingly the Church itself." The full text of his "Pastoral Lament for My Country" is at

    Rev. Lang says that "The Occupy Movement is the prophetic voice of God calling out to the nation to 'repent' and turn from its ways of corruption." I hope that he is right, and furthermore, I hope that our nation will heed that voice.

    May God bless you and your family, and stand beside you and guide you through the Night with the Light from Above.

  14. mistah charley, ph.d. Where online can I read about the Crystal Cathedral is being sold to the Catholic Church? - Blessings, Swiss Rose

  15. Rose, Donna has now posted the story and her further explanation of what happened. I always wondered why things had fallen apart, and now I see Robert A. and his sisters as a modern day version of Joseph and his brothers (the early part of the story, before Egypt). May the Lord be with us all.

  16. Donna, you ask, "Has money become an issue or was it an issue all along?" The information I've reviewed indicates the latter, in a couple of ways. For example, church expenses had been paid from the Endowment Fund for a decade. In another issue, the employment of many relatives in paid positions - brought up by the bankruptcy administrator. And in general, the Crystal Cathedral would be the example par excellence of an "edifice complex".

    But the edifice is now there, and will be cared for by the Diocese of Orange. I hope that the cemetery will continue to be available to members of the former congregation when the Catholics take it over - many gave generously in the hope of receiving this boon. Even though a memorial garden on earth is as nothing compared to "treasures in heaven", people sometimes need time to come to a broader perspective in which things can be seen in their true relative importance.

    May the Creative Forces of the Universe stand beside us, and guide us, through the Night with the Light from Above.

  17. housesearch, are you or have you been a member of CC and went to Church on Sundays? - Blessings, Swiss Rose

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  19. It's been really great going through your blog post, very well informed and described. Great to read and know more about such kind of stuff.


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D