August 2017


Why? Mike Woolley

The challenge of the Christian life is not learning how to avoid problems. Trouble finds us in spite of our efforts to avoid it. In a church family, there are always hard things happening. I remember reading a reminder that everyone you meet is going through a battle. I think that’s pretty true. One of the questions that is spoken (or sometimes unspoken) in times of deep grief or disappointment is the question “Why?” I absolutely understand that cry of the human heart.

Problems also have a tendency of isolating us from others. We believe we are in a unique situation so there is no one we can tell and no one who will understand. Though we can be surrounded by people we can feel so very much alone. But there is something really comforting about being with someone who understands what it feels like to be in my skin.

The concept of the incarnation is unique to Christianity. No other religion teaches that God became a human being. There aren’t enough books in the whole world to cover all it means that Jesus Christ was both God and a human being. But I will tell you that it means He knows what it feels like to be in my skin. And He knows what it feels like to be in yours.

There are times when you might feel like no one understands what you are going through. In times like that it’s easy to feel very alone. This is the truth: Jesus came to this earth and was fully human, so He knows what it feels like to be you and that means you are not alone. He doesn’t understand you just because He’s God and He’s the one who put you together in your mother’s womb. He ate and slept and laughed and cried. He knows what it feels like to be in your skin and that means even when you feel lonely, you are not alone. He smiles a knowing smile and that’s a really good thing.

There are two sides of the “why” question. One is an accusation that assumes I deserve or should have whatever I am suddenly lacking. The other is a way of giving thanks for blessings I had nothing to do with and have received as a gift from someone greater than I who is responsible for every good thing I have ever heard or seen or felt.

I’ve decided I want to live on both sides of why. The challenge is to move through our problems and stay focused on God. You are not alone in this.

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

Upcoming Events
  • Aug 2nd – Family Beach Day
  • Aug 6th – VBS Day 3
  • Aug 9th – Family Beach Day
  • Aug 13th – VBS Day 4 LAST DAY
  • Aug 13th – Youth Group Begins!
  • Aug 16th – College Group Begins!
  • Aug 16th – Family Beach Day
  • Aug 26th – Men’s Breakfast 


A Message of Hope Taylor Roche
This past month has really been a great month. Although it included a week of camping and fishing with my family, the real highlight for me was the week the high schoolers and I spent in Bakersfield serving at the Mission at Kern County. As many of you know we’ve gone up to summer camp in Running Springs the last three or four summers and had lots of great memories and experienced Jesus in many new ways. But as this summer approached I couldn’t shake the feeling that Jesus was calling us to do something more. To step out of our comfort zones and dare to put his words into action. So we came up with the idea to go and serve the homeless in Bakersfield. While we were there we got to paint a large dormitory that houses sixteen previously homeless men, participate in one of their chapel services, serve a meal to upwards of seventy-five men and women living on the street, and join some of the people from the Mission on a prayer walk. I was truly blessed to see our youth so willing to dive in and serve to the best of their abilities.

During our time there we, of course, got a tour of the Mission itself and got to hear about all the many things that they have going on, on a daily basis. There was one part of the tour that stuck out to me more than the rest though. It happened when our tour guide showed us the very first building the Mission ever owned. (They now own almost two blocks in down town Bakersfield.) The original building had been purchased in the heart of the poorest part of Bakersfield, right across from a giant over pass. Choosing this particular spot was not an accident. It turns out that for years the homeless in Bakersfield had been seeking shelter under this particular over pass. It offered a significant amount of available sidewalk, with ample space for sleeping out of the wind and heat of the Central Valley. Before long the number of homeless sleeping under this over pass was so great that the City of Bakersfield decided something must be done. So they built a fence, cutting off any access to the concrete that was under the over pass. They literally built a fence to protect concrete. So in response to this, two Christian men purchased the building right across the street, using it to serve meals and provide temporary housing. As I stood there on this street corner and listened to the story I could not help but feel like this was such a perfect example of what the Church should be. Of what Christian men and women should strive to model. Here not fifteen feet from the place where the powers of this world sought to deprive the poorest among us of concrete to sleep on, the love of Jesus sparked a different sort of message. A message of hope.

That’s what this world needs more desperately than anything else. It needs the hope that only Jesus can provide. Sure and steady faith that how things are now is not how they will always be. That one day all things will be set right. And that somehow, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we get to participate in making that change happen. 

Star of the Month!

What is your favorite thing to do?  Go outside and play with Luke.

What are you really good at?  Catching footballs.

What would be your favorite way to spend your weekend?  Going swimming and going to the beach.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A Zookeeper!

What do you look forward to be doing in the next 10 years?  Getting married and getting a new car.

What do you hope never changes?  My family.

What makes life good?  Getting married, being with my family and getting a new car.

What is your favorite Bible story?  The story of Noah’s Ark.

What is something you thank Jesus for?  Dying on the cross for our sins.

What was the best day of your life?  Every day is the best day…except when I get grounded!

Thank you Matthew! We feel like we know you better and hope you get that new car someday!



Matthew is 7 years old and attends Rio Vista Elementary school where he is in the 2nd grade.  His parents are Hope and Viktor, and he has two sisters, Abigail and Alice.  He lives in Fillmore.


Perspective Brenda Woolley

A week ago I went on a road trip to take my 86 year old father to visit his sister in Reno, Nevada.  My sister, Kathy and her husband, Guy and my dad’s dog, Brandy went along…needless to say it was quite the adventure.  We took a 20 year old motorhome up and over the 395 through Bishop and Mammoth on into Nevada.  Did I mention that it was 105 plus degrees?! When the air conditioner broke during the trip I learned a lot about myself and my family…some good and some not so good.

My father is a second generation Italian immigrant.  He comes from a long line of “macho” men who rule with an iron fist.  In his world what he says goes, and you better do it or else.  We were raised in a strict household where my dad had complete authority in all things.  Well, what happens when that father turns 86 years old and you have not lived with him for almost 40 years and you spend a week crammed into a motorhome?  We laughed our heads off at times and also it got mighty rough at times.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” “Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6 and Exodus 20)

These verses were constantly rambling through my head every single day of my trip.  I have a deep respect for the elderly.  They have been through times I know nothing about.  They have learned things about life that I have not yet.  They know great truths about God that I have yet to learn and experience.  I KNOW they have so much to share.  I KNOW God has a plan and uses both!  I am learning from both generations on a weekly basis.  I am grateful for both. 

However, the week with my father taught me to respect even when I am in definite disagreement…like the time he wanted to head across the desert in 105 degree weather and we were


with him to go back and over the 395 where it was cooler…good times…my dad was so stubborn and was convinced he was right.  Pride often raises its ugly head during these older years and we are apt to blame all the sins of the present on the younger generation, which is exactly what my dad tried to do, God bless him.

We had some great conversations during the week about each “generation”.  My sister and brother in law and myself came to the conclusion that we can learn a lot from my dad, and to “Honor” him means we don’t have to “do” all he tells us to, but to respect his experiences, his life lessons, his perspectives. My dad and other “senior saints” have the advantage of perspective and can make good use of it.  It is like standing on a mountain of years and looking over the valley of time, so that you can see relationships, connections, failures, successes, dangers, lessons that those who live in the valley of youth do not see.  What a great way to serve the Lord!  So, as I age, and I am in between youth and being a senior, I pray that I am glorifying God in all.

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