Calvary Chapel
of the Canyons

The Prepared L.I.F.E. Church (Rev. 3:7-13)

"The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:5

Pastor Larry Desimone

 How I began a relationship with Christ

My life was characterized by a deep sense of meaninglessness. Nothing in life made sense. Everything I pursued ended up making me feel empty, lonely, and sometimes guilty. Life for me was just a series of pointless events not worth living for because in the end we’re just going to die, then what? Life was senseless and sometimes absurd.

In the summer of 1978, a friend invited me to an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) youth camp. This is when the direction of my life took a profound change. I heard the message of the Bible for the first time. God was real, He loved me, and Jesus Christ came to reveal God to me. He died on the cross and rose again so that I could be forgiven and have a relationship with God. Jesus wanted to be my leader in life. They presented an artistic and dramatic audio-visual presentation of Christ's death and resurrection. I never realized that our Lord was alive, let alone that He died for my personal sins. The love He demonstrated to me through the cross was made profoundly real to my heart. I prayed asking Him to come into my life, to forgive me, and to be my leader forever.

            Since that time I have experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as my leader, Lord, and friend. Joy and a reality that I never thought could ever be possible has become real. As a result of the Lord’s presence in my life I have a supreme sense of meaning, purpose, and destiny. Now, as I travel through life, I have the Lord Himself to lean on and give me the direction, wisdom, and strength for all of life’s hardships and victories. I would rather follow Jesus Christ and fail, than fail to follow Him.

            “The hinges of human history have turned by the strength of the insignificant man who has linked his life with the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” Pastor S.M. Lockridge

            I have a love of learning. Leaders are learners. Leaders are readers. And I believe we never graduate from school until heaven. I’m a strong believer in using and sharpening our minds. Our Lord said, “Love God with all your heart, strength, and mind,” (Mark 12:30). Loving God with your mind was a part of the greatest commandment. The best school is called, "life" - especially when you have the greatest teacher in the world to listen to. Yet, this proverb stands, "time spent sharpening the edge is never time wasted." 

          “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C.S. Lewis

How Calvary Chapel of the Canyons began

            After I surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus I began serving the Lord very quickly at the age of 18 in evangelism and missions under the ministry of Pastor Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel. While living abroad I served in Bible teaching, youth ministry, homeless shelters, outreaches, leading home fellowships, leading discipleship courses, and prayer gatherings.

In 1995, the Lord moved upon my heart to establish a Calvary Chapel church plant under Pastor Chuck Smith's guidance. An associate informed me that there was a small group of believers in east Orange County tucked away in the Santa Ana mountain range who needed a pastor. From the first meeting, I had a sense of direction and a vision for what would become Calvary Chapel of the Canyons.  With Pastor Chuck Smith's blessing we officially began as Calvary Chapel of the Canyons in December 1995.

Thanks for reading a little about what God has and is doing in my life by His grace. May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and become the Prepared L.I.F.E. Christian that He desires you to be.

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts. Zech. 4:6

“See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My Word, and have not denied My name."  Rev. 3:8