• The Goodness of God
    anemptytextlline

    Mark Shoquist // Psalm 34:8

    Do you want to know what one of the strongest antidotes to fear and despair is? Mediating upon God’s goodness.

    As a child of God, He longs for you to know that He is working his perfect plan into your life—whatever the circumstance, and whether you see Him working or not. God continually invites you to explore His goodness.

    The writer of Psalm 34 uses an interesting verb to explore God’s goodness: taste. It’s one thing to challenge someone to hear about God’s goodness, or see God’s goodness. But it’s a completely different thing to actually taste. Tasting is close and intimate. Tasting involves a full commitment and an element of trust. God wants much more than for you to just experience His goodness from afar!

    Meditating on God’s goodness when things are going well is fairly easy. However, God also wants you to experience more than just the “low hanging fruit” of his goodness during good times—those times when His goodness is obvious. Here’s the key: When fear or despair begin to creep in, you must choose to continually focus on His goodness. It’s there where you are forced to climb higher into the tree to discover more fruit, sweeter fruit that he has specifically prepared for you to enjoy.

    To help you begin mediating on God’s goodness, spend several minutes reflecting on, or writing in a journal, these questions:

    • What attributes of God am I most thankful for that demonstrate His goodness to me?
    • As the perfect, loving Father, how has God demonstrated His goodness to me in my life?
    • What am I thankful for?

    Enjoy His goodness!

  • Enjoying life
    anemptytextlline

    Rev. Samuel Parsons // Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

    Apart from fly-fishing my favorite hobby is landscaping.  My wife and I several years back, bought a home on one acre of property.  I wanted more but at the time it was all we could afford.  This acre had no landscaping except for one hillside that had a few plants and some roses by the front door.  The thing that drew me to this home was that it provided an empty canvas for me to paint my own vision into this acre of property.  Since than I have planted an orchard, a vineyard, a garden, lawn, created a patio space, play structure, sand box etc.  One of my favorite joys in this world is sitting in my rocking chair and enjoying what God has allowed me to create.  This is what I love about barbecuing as well. There is nothing better than preparing a pork shoulder, filet of salmon, setting it on the smoker for eight hours and sitting down with friends, family and enjoying a good meal in a beautifully landscaped yard. 

    Sometimes life can be moving at such a fast pace that we can miss the enjoyment of it.   Solomon towards the end of his life shares some wisdom warning us of that truth as he writes,

    “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work, this too, I see is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment.” – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

    What I love about this wisdom from Solomon is that it causes us to slow down and find satisfaction and enjoyment in the little things.  In addition, he...

  • Ep 7. // Empower To The People
    anemptytextlline

    We all need change in our lives. All of us have accrued hurts, habits and hangups throughout our lives that work themselves out in various unhealthy ways. Don’t think so? Ask a close friend, they’ll tell you. So how do we deal with these toxic habits? Simply put Christ empowers us beyond our will and ability to conform our lives more and more to his likeness daily. Not perfection, but direction. Mark and Bryce discuss their reaction to Pastor Brian’s Sermon “The Spirit of Christmas Present.”

    Let us know your thoughts by e-mailing us or by using the #foothillsconvos on twitter.

    http://www.foothillscp.org/wp-content/uploads/conversations/ep7_empowerment.mp3
  • Forgiven and Set Free
    anemptytextlline

    Pregnancy Counseling Services

    516 Main Street, Placerville

    Abortion Recovery Group

    Every Monday
    January 14 – April 8
    9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

    Are you ready to work through your sorrow and move beyond your pain? An abortion recovery group offers support and a safe place to begin healing.

    Who Is PCS?

    Pregnancy Counseling Services of El Dorado County (PCS) is a pregnancy resource center located in Placerville, California. We are a non-profit organization with volunteers trained to review your concerns, process your situation, and answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to offer support so you can make an informed choice when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. We provide a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment.

    PCS operates solely on grants and the generosity of financial partners who donate one time gifts or make monthly commitments. If you would like to partner with us financially please contact us at 530-626-6720 or send an email to info@pregnancycounselingservices.org.

    E-mail TaNelle Forgy to sign up or for more information:
    Tanelle09@gmail.com209-740-3458

    More Information on Pregnancy Counseling Services

  • Ep 6. // Redefining Your Identity
    anemptytextlline

    Often we are controlled by our past. We allow our past mistakes, victories and everything in between define us. Though these are important, in Christ we are a new creation. This week Bryce and Mark react to Phil’s sermon “The Spirit of Christmas Past” speaking on the significance of Christmas and the joy that comes from our new identity in Christ as saints.

    We’d love to hear how phil’s sermon connected with you. Please connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or instagram @foothillscp or by commenting below. You can also send questions to us using the #foothillsconvos and we’ll try to incorporate them into our conversations.

  • Advent Reading Options
    anemptytextlline

    This one has a bit of history or explanation on Advent…then some suggested readings:
    https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/what-are-advent-readings.html

    Here’s another from Focus on the Family
    https://www.focusonthefamily.com/magazine/advent-calendar

    Here is a link to a number of Advent Reading Plans from YouVersion Bible
    https://www.bible.com/search/plans?q=advent

  • Ep 5. // Anxiety and the Church
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    It seems pretty clear that anxiety and depression are on a rise in culture due to a wide range of factors. Foothills Church as well as The Church can act as the beacon of light directing people towards the life that Jesus has for them. But how do we do that? How do we confront such a difficult problem in our culture. We sit down with Pastor and counselor Steve Sewell to get some ideas. If you have any other input or if you suffer from anxiety and depression please reach out to us @foothillscp on social media or by commenting below. We’d love to be a resource for you.

  • How the Church Can Get Along (Part 2)
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    Dr. Roy Price // Philippians 2:1-4

    What Getting Along with Each Other Looks Like (2)

    • I need to bring my personal viewpoint into submission to the community—“being of the same mind”

    “Of the same mind” literally means to think the same. Paul is not asking that everyone have the same opinion.  That would create a drab gray fellowship.  Instead, the church is rich with color and contrast. God is a magnificent artist who is using the full spectrum of color to produce a painting of unsurpassed beauty.

    • I need to have greater concern for others than for myself

    “Same love” describes a shared love, something both parties have in common. It is the love of Christ. It simply means I care more about my relationship with you than I do about my getting you agree with me.

    • I need to connect with other believers

    “With one soul” states we are soul-mates. God is not glorified when believers are at each other’s throats, getting into fights over secondary issues, bad-mouthing one another, gossiping, eating the pastor for lunch, or attacking character.

    • I need to submit to God’s stated purpose for His church

    Paul told the Corinthians to do everything for the glory of God. God’s purpose is God-glorifying lives. This overriding purpose should be the constant focal point of our activities and attitudes.

    How Getting Along can be Achieved (3-4)

    There is one thing I am not to do and one I am to do.

    • I must not be self-centered

    The middle letter of pride is “I” and the middle letter of sin is “I”. An egotistical drive to glorify oneself destroys relationships.  It divides the church....

  • Alternative Gift Giving
    anemptytextlline

    Kiva

    https://www.kiva.org/gifts/kiva-cards
    Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

    Heifer International

    https://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html
    The core of our model is Passing on the Gift. This means families share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.

    The goal of every Heifer project is to help families achieve self-reliance. We do this by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves, and it’s thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

    You have the power to give a hungry family the training it takes to feed themselves and their children; to give a young girl a chance at an education; to empower a woman to have a voice in her community. Together, we can change the world, one family, one community, at a time. And it all starts with a gift.

    Samaritan’s Purse

    https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/gift-catalog/

    Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.

    World Vision

    https://donate.worldvision.org/giftcatalog
    World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

    C&MA

    https://secure.cmalliance.org/give/
    Your donation to the GCF creates gospel access among the least-reached peoples in the United States and more than 60...

  • Camp Fire Relief
    anemptytextlline

    Greetings Foothills Church Family…

    I wanted to reach out to you with an update on actions our church has taken to support both our sister churches impacted by the Camp Fire tragedy: The Paradise Alliance Church and the Chico Neighborhood Church (serving as an evacuation shelter).

    We have sent a 10k dollar donation to each church from our Benevolent Fund, which many of you support regularly. We are also designating a Foothills Response Team to help our church mobilize further assistance that will be needed in the early weeks following this tragedy.

    HERE ARE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN HELP:

    1. To learn of the latest needs please visit the Fire Disaster Relief table at on our patio this Sunday.

    2. Over the next month, I would ask you to be mindful of furniture/household items that you might be able to part ways with in order to help families outfit their new rentals or temporary housing they secure.

    3. Give to our Benevolent Fund at Foothills Church to help replenish what we have given to our sister churches in Paradise and Chico.

    4. If you would like to give additional support directly to the Paradise Alliance Church donate through the push-pay account: Click Here. When you click this link it will take you to the Paradise donation page. Please note: You must select the drop down menu labeled “Giving Type” and then choose “Camp Fire Relief Fund.” These direct donations will be distributed by the Paradise Alliance Leadership Board as they see fit for their church families and families they minister to in the community.

    5. You can Click Here to view the volunteer schedule at the Chico Neighborhood Church and add your name. The Google Doc is also posted on the Neighborhood Church of Chico Facebook Page. Go to the “Posts” tab to...

  • Ep. 4 // What Is Love?
    anemptytextlline

    Our culture holds many definitions of love. The Bible boldly proclaims that God is Love. What does that mean? What does God’s look like in our day-to-day life. In this first installment of a conversation on the broad topic of love Dillon, Kaley and Bryce attempt to attack this question. Please give us your insight @foothillscp on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or leave a comment below.

  • How the Church Can Get Along (Part 1)
    anemptytextlline

    Dr. Roy Price // Philippians 2:1-4

    The “if” carries the meaning of affirmation, not of doubt. It is “because” we are in Christ that we are encouraged, “because” we have been loved we should learn to think alike, and so forth.

    These four verses are among the strongest statements in the New Testament on the community of the church. To grow in our knowledge of God is “not” to become a theological fathead or a brain-on-a-stick.  It is to discern what God says and then do it.  It’s not complicated.

    In this two day devotional we will reflect on 3 things:  1) Why the church must work at getting along?  2) What getting along with each other looks like?  3) How getting along can be achieved?

    Why the Church Must Work at Getting Along (1)

    • Because we have been encouraged

    “Encouragement” is speaking a word to strengthen based on the Word of God and given in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    • Because we have been loved

    This comfort of love is the result of someone caring enough to come alongside and speak in a friendly way.

    • Because we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit

    “‘The Spirit has brought you into fellowship with one another’” (Life Application Bible, QuickVerse).

    • Because we have experienced affection and compassion

    “Affection,” actually speaks of the intestines, where it was thought the affections originated.  It is a gut feeling.

  • Ep. 3 // You Got To Have Faith
    anemptytextlline

    What does it mean to have faith? How does that faith play out in scripture and in our day to day lives? When we suffer pain, tragedy and loss how can our faith carry us through? Mark and Bryce start the discussion on faith and trust in God as soon in the book of Job, Jeremiah and our their own lives. Please join in the conversation as this is only one small facet of the faith and belief discussion. What have you learned as you’ve approached this subject from the biblical perspective?

  • Obedience
    anemptytextlline

    Luke 10:41-42

    Be still. Listening Prayer. Journaling. Solitude. Obedience. These are things I’ve had to continually work at because my flesh pulls me to move fast and get things done. GO GO GO!

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

    When I think about obedience I am always brought back to the story of Mary and Martha, the Spirit always convicts me. How often am I Martha? GO GO GO! Get this done, go do that, prepare this meal, be the perfect hostess, and love others through doing. Well, while all of these things might be good and at time necessary, what is my motivation for doing them? To seek praise from my peers, to feel in control, to be a “servant” leader?

    How often do we sit at the feet of Jesus and ask, Lord, what is it you want to say to me? How often do we make time for his Spirit to lead us?

    We cannot serve on empty.
    We cannot go without direction.
    We cannot listen when we are distracted.
    We cannot obey God without God.

    “Working for Christ has today been accepted as the ultimate test of godliness…Christ has become a project to be promoted or a cause to be served instead of a Lord to be obeyed.” – A.W. Tozer

  • Ep. 2 // Moneytalks
    anemptytextlline

    Money is a surprisingly sensitive topic for people. Our wealth is typically an emotionally tied conversation and therefore a revealing conversation for where our priorities lie. This makes the discussion even more important to have. Bryce and Mark sit down in the Foothills Studio to talk with Matt Hillicker about money and its influence on our lives.

  • God’s Goodness
    anemptytextlline

    Mark Monroe // Psalm 73:21-28

    When you watch the world, listen to the news, experience the unapologetic brokenness of humanity, it is easy to become closed off or detached from your surroundings. Even more, despair can take root when you look inside yourself and identify all the brokenness within. Where do you go from there?  Often, we choose bitterness, bitterness towards others, our circumstances, or even ourselves. Surely there is a better option?  Yes, there is.

    Draw close to God with your whole being. The more we do so, the more we will experience the life that God offers.  You will see the world through God’s eyes, hear the news through God’s ears, have compassion on the broken and remain engaged in your life.  Your bitterness will look like foolishness when you know God and His great never-ending goodness.  So, do not get lost in the trees of brokenness, despair, bitterness and division but pull back to view the forest of God’s intricately made creation which testifies to His goodness and plan for you & humanity (Romans 1:20).

    With this perspective it becomes easy to draw near to the Father and recognize and experience His goodness that has been at the heart of everything all along. Then, be encouraged because His goodness has no end!  So, when your heart and flesh fail and begins to lean towards bitterness, remember God will be your strength in all things.

  • When God is Silent
    anemptytextlline

    Doug Mcnett // 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 // We do not get to know what it was that Paul was struggling with. Some feel as if it was some sort of physical ailment, such as poor eyesight or a skin condition. Regardless of exactly what Paul’s thorn was, we do know that Paul was struggling and that he desired God to remove it.  Paul pleaded with God to free him from the torment that He was experiencing and God’s response was “no”.

    The reality that we learn from Paul here is that sometimes God is silent. Sometimes, God says “no,” as he did with Paul.  However, God also states:

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

    Paul turns his attention to God’s power, not just to remove the thorn, but he relies on that power to work through the pain of the thorn. Paul says, “he delights in his weakness, in persecution, in hardships and difficulties, he says, it’s because when he, Paul is weak, then, he is truly strong by the power of God.”

    God will not grant our every request. He will not take away every pain. But He will always be there to gently wrap us in His arms of love, wiping our tears and giving us the strength and motivation to press on.

  • Ep. 1 // The Art of Civility
    anemptytextlline

    In such a divided culture it seems like simple conversations have become more and more difficult to have. Bryce & Mark talk about the need for civil conversation, even in times of disagreement and the Christians calling to put our faith mission before all else.

  • Photo Credit eberhard grossgasteiger
    Be still and know
    anemptytextlline

    Ryan Connelly // Psalm 46:10 // “Be still, and know that I am God…” – Psalm 46:10

    At the end of the day, Is God everything you need? Is He enough? Our natural response to any sort of trouble in life is to ask “why?” Why did the results come back positive? Why is my marriage failing? Why does evil exist?

    Earlier this year, I lost a dear friend. He was on his way to London to record an album, but later fell into cardiac arrest while on the plane and passed away shortly after landing in London. I will never forget the moment I received that text message. I was fuming on the inside. I knew my friend was face-to-face with Jesus, but it just wasn’t right. It was in that moment I made a decision that I was not going to allow these other voices in my head to take over my emotions, heart and mind. This was the moment my faith got real.

    I drove to our worship space, turned on worship music, grabbed my Bible and began to declare who God was in the midst of the storm waging in my heart. I told God that I wasn’t leaving until his peace fell upon me. I ended up on my knees listening for His still voice.

    The first verse in Psalm 46 says that God is not only our refuge and strength, but that He is our PRESENT help in times of trouble. Did you catch that? He is PRESENT in your circumstances. Even now as you sit reading this let God be your refuge and strength. Don’t fear the storms just because you hear it roar.

    God met me in that moment when I was...

  • photo credit fireskystudios.com
    Reclaimed
    anemptytextlline

    Dillon Barber  // Ephesians 2:10 // As a hobby woodworker, I have thoroughly enjoyed the recent trend of using reclaimed wood for furniture and home decorating.  Barn wood, fence boards, even pallets can be reclaimed and repurposed in thousands of creative ways.  As much as I like the rustic reclaimed look, I am even more attracted to the metaphor it offers. 

    Just as a carpenter or craftsman salvages an old piece of lumber, God is in the process of reclaiming human beings.  Each of one of us was created to live in a loving, intimate relationship with God.  We were created with purpose and intent.  Yet sin has broken that relationship and disrupted God’s purpose.  We bear the scars of that sin in our lives and stories.  Just like rusty nail holes, dry rot, and deep cracks, we have broken hearts, broken relationships, hurts and hang-ups that have become a part of who we are. 

    The good news is that God is reclaiming us.  By the blood of Jesus on the cross and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are being made new again.  God is removing the dry rot, sanding down the rough edges and reshaping us into something different, new and beautiful.   We are being reclaimed and made into something useful for God’s kingdom work.  We may carry some of our scars through the rest of our lives, but instead of ugly wounds, God uses them to demonstrate his power of redemption in our lives.  By God’s grace, our wounds become part of the character that makes us beautiful and usable by Him. 

    “For we are Gods’ workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God...

  • Suffering & God’s Promises
    anemptytextlline

    Jordan Randall // 1 Peter 5:10 // Some years ago while I was in college, I experienced what you might call a crisis. I lost my job, my apartment and my car. With the thought of homelessness looming over my head, I dove into God’s word searching for answers.

    For months after that, night after night, I read through scripture page after page. Then one night, I opened my bible right to this verse:

    “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”- 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)

    In that instant, I knew I had my answer. As I read it over and over, I came to realize that God has just promised me that I am going to walk through difficult circumstances. However, He followed it up with another promise. That God himself is going to be the one that brings me out of the turmoil.

    I’ve held onto that as a life verse ever since.

    What about you? Have you walked through suffering? More importantly, have you discovered any one of God’s promises, like 1 Peter 5:10 that will sustain you through rough patches in life? If not, I would encourage you to adopt 1 Peter 5:10 as yours.

    Live in the reality that while we will have to suffer, you can be encouraged that the God of all grace will be there to walk through it with you. It’s a promise.

  • Photo by Jeffrey Wing @jrwing
    Welcoming the Stranger
    anemptytextlline

    Leviticus 19:33-34 //  Immigrant: a person who comes to live long term in a foreign country. This is the definition of the word but in our culture it has become much more. National security. Political positioning. Cultural Identity. Walls.  Fear. Immigration is now a buzzword in our society. But what does God’s Word say about it?

    “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34

    We may have never seen the word immigrant in Scripture, but many times we see the terms sojourner, alien, stranger in Scripture. All of these come from the Hebrew word ger. The meaning of this word in Hebrew is “a foreign-born inhabitant of Israel, a newcomer lacking inherited rights.” This word occurs 92 times in the Scriptures, and the command to welcome the stranger is one of the most repeated in the Old Testament.

    As we look at the command to welcome the stranger in Scripture, may we look for practical ways to love our neighbors, protect the vulnerable, and welcome the stranger.

    The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

    Psalm 146:9

  • Soul Rest
    anemptytextlline

    Rev. Phil Christiansen  // Matthew 11:28-30 // Balance is a myth. Who do you know personally, that’s living a balanced life? Who isn’t frantically running from one thing to the next, ceaselessly pushing to achieve, accomplish or acquire more? Who isn’t longing for some sense of stability and assurance that the hurry-scurry is worth it?

    Whether you’re a student racing from class to class, extracurricular, work, homework, interspersed with heaps of social media…or you’re a parent raising munchkins, shopping, changing, picking-up, playing, hauling to the doctor, school, practice, game, or dance and still find time for you spouse…or you’re an empty-nester working harder than ever, trying to figure out how to lovingly guide young-adult children, care for aging, ailing parents, and nurture your marriage (now that you have all this “time”)…balance is elusive. There’s always a stretch in a new direction and balancing it all is fleeting, at best.

    What if it’s not really about balance, but about rest? Not lazy-day, sunny afternoon, vacation kind of rest (though that’s great!)—but SOUL REST. Only Jesus makes that possible. When He says, “Take my yoke upon you…” it’s an invitation to intimate relationship and the deepest rest possible. Even while the world swirls around you, Jesus promises that if you will stay very near to Him—like oxen yoked together, teamwork style—that you’ll find rest: SOUL REST.

    Stop chasing the myth. Instead, stay close to Jesus and find the rest you long for as you partner with Him each day.

  • Prayer During
    anemptytextlline

    Josiah O’laughlin  // Ephesians 3:16 // Nobody likes conflict. There isn’t a time in my life where I thought; “You know what… I think I am going to make my social life harder.”  I believe we all strive to have deep worthwhile relationships, but one thing that keeps us from that goal is the “drama.”  If we had just the good parts of the friendship it would be so much easier right?

    As a friend, I believe we experience greater bonds when we choose to engage in conflict with Godly help. I cannot control the other persons response or feelings, but I can add value to the conflict in real time as it’s happening. How? I find that if I am praying for the Holy Spirit to guide us, something supernatural tends to happen.  If my heart in conflict can align with God’s heart the outcome will be far greater than either person could’ve made happen. The verse that comes to mind:

    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”- Ephesians 3:16

    You hear that?  Call on His spirit and we will be strengthened even in the moments of conflict. It works… Try it.  Pray for peace.  Pray for each of you to not see it as a win or lose.  Pray to let the spirit work in you both, and to communicate as God would have you. Pray your relationship would be fortified. Watch what God does.  God wants it and so do you.

  • Spirit Filled Living
    anemptytextlline

    Mark Shoquist  // Ephesians 5:18 // Have you wondered why some professing Christians don’t look any different from unbelievers? It’s likely because they aren’t living a Spirit-filled life.

    The moment we come to faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit immediately comes to dwell within us. Being indwelt with the Spirit is a one-time, wonderful event that lasts for eternity.

    However, the Bible also tells us to continually be filled with the Spirit, which means to allow the Spirit full access to empower and direct us. It’s different from being indwelt with the Spirit.

    Since I’m a chocolate lover, I’ll use the analogy of chocolate milk to explain the difference. Think of your life as a glass of milk and the Spirit as chocolate syrup. Being indwelt is like generously pouring chocolate into a glass of milk. All the ingredients are fully present to make a delicious glass of chocolate milk. However, unless you stir the chocolate, enabling it to have full influence over the milk, the milk will only continue to taste…well, like milk. Stirring the chocolate is like being filled with the Spirit.

    To take the analogy further, notice the milk doesn’t “muster up” the taste of chocolate on its own. Instead, the chocolate does the work. The milk merely needs to make itself fully accessible to the chocolate.  Same goes for the Spirit in our lives.

    Just how chocolate can quickly resettle at the bottom of a glass moments later, we need to continually be filled with the Spirit, moment-by-moment, asking Him to empower and direct our lives.

    Ask the Lord to fill you and empower you right now, as you go about your day today.

  • Finding Security in God
    anemptytextlline

    Patty Herrera  // Psalm 46:1-2 // “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

    One of our most loved and used toys in Sunday school is an old durable set of cardboard bricks. The kids love fencing themselves in forts and walls.  It becomes both a place of security and adventure.  The best part is exploding out of walls when the teacher is not looking!

    But kids aren’t the only ones looking for security. As adults we also are drawn to build walls of security and refuge. Sometimes we seek refuge through relationships that offer love and acceptance. Other times we rely on our own capabilities and strength. For some it is building a strong bank account. But in the end, these sources of security are as sturdy and reliable as cardboard bricks.

    The only sure refuge in life is found in God.  Throughout scripture God has called us to explode out of our flimsy walls of self-made security and to embrace a true and lasting refuge in a relationship with his Son Jesus. The great thing is that he has done all the work for us through Christ’s death on our behalf. Trading our crumbling facades for his strong, life-giving embrace offers us freedom from fear for the future and a peace in the storms of today. Let Him be your refuge and strength.

  • Are You Becoming a Better You?
    anemptytextlline

    Dr. Brian Long  // 2 Corinthians 3:18 // My wife Cindy and I are avid Fixer Upper fans. We actually went to visit the Silos, Magnolia Market, Clint’s wood shop, we even ran into Jimmy Don the metal guy.

    Truth be told, we nerd out on a number of different “home improvement” type shows on HGTV and DIY. I’m not sure of the roots of our addiction, but there is just something about seeing the beauty that can be created out of neglected, outdated, overlooked homes.

    What’s more thrilling however, is experiencing the beauty that God can create out of bruised, banged up, broken lives. The God of the Bible is a life renovator! When you surrender your life to his capable craftsmanship as forgiver and leader, he brings beauty from ashes, strength from shame, and a fruitful life from those who feel lost.

    The Bible says, As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18-The Living Bible). In other words, God is remodeling your life to look like Jesus.

    I love the “big reveal” at the end of the show. What’s more profound is God’s big reveal of redemption in our lives. Philippians 1:6 promises, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (The Living Bible).

    Are you ready to see your fixer upper?

  • True Present Connection
    anemptytextlline

    VIDEO // We live in a culture that is distracted. Bombarded by countless to-do’s, caught up in work or pursuing our dreams, our phones stealing our attention everyday, we are consumed. Pastor Sam comes into the studio to talk about the plague of endless business and what we can do to stop, breathe, and become more present in life.

  • The Christian Response To Evil
    anemptytextlline

    VIDEO // Our society is divided. Hate is prevalent. In recent weeks past we’ve seen police officers attacked and violence erupt between white supremacists and those who oppose them. Is this a government issue? Is this a free-speech issue? What is the response of the Christ follower? What is the Biblical view of racism and hate? In the CoTF Studio Pastor Mark and Pastor Doug discuss the underlying cause of the hate in our nation and three important ways the Christian can make positive contribution in the fight against hate.