Evicted From Eden

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more. — Romans 5:20

Adam and Eve’s home in the garden of Eden is the first identified stretch of property in recorded history. It was located in the Fertile Crescent, which was at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the northwest corner of the Persian Gulf. The climate was comfortable. The terrain was gentle, the air clear and clean.

But because Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s command, they were evicted from perfection. Expelled from Eden, the trespassers were forced to settle elsewhere.



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Joy toddled across the room and stood at the edge of my laptop-centered view. I was in task mode, typing away while sitting in the living-room recliner. With Shirley Temple curls bouncing around her face, my eighteen-month-old daughter looked up at me. I looked at her. Then she handed me a Plastic Donut from her kitchen play set.

I looked at the Donut and back at my daughter. She stood waiting for a response. So I put the Donut up to my mouth and said with great animation, “Yummm, yummm… Thank you, Autumn! This is soooo goood.

Then something beautiful happened. Her big brown eyes widened, and her lips pushed a giant smile against her puffy cheeks. She stood up on her toes, shrugged her shoulders up to her ears, and let out a highpitched squeal…

I didn’t see it coming, but at that moment it occurred to me: this is how our giving must feel from God’s perspective. Our gifts to Him are like Plastic Donuts. God does not need our gifts or our money. But like a child’s gift that moves her father, our gifts can really get God’s attention.

Excerpted from Plastic Donuts by Jeff Anderson


by Pastor Rick

For those who follow me on social media and read the daily minutiae of my life, you might recall my family having some…uhh….interesting adventures with our vehicles as of late. I won’t retell those here, but for the sake of everyone being on the same page, know that we had to send our van to the eternal destination of all vehicles once a youth worker has owned them for more than 15 minutes.

The price to fix it was going to


Soaking Prayer

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Is your mind always whirling with thoughts? Not sure how to be still and lean against His chest? Try soaking! First, set aside a chunk of time. Find a comfortable, peaceful environment, preferably where you can lie down. Pull on your boots and crunch around in the autumn leaves. Crawl under your covers and get cozy. Or perhaps take a literal soak in a bubble bath! Once you’re nice and comfy, hit up your iTunes worship playlist or create one on Pandora and simply let His words wash over you. You might feel something, you might feel nothing. You might smile, you might cry, you might even fall asleep!

Regardless of what happens on the outside, the Spirit will be at work on your heart. There’s no wrong way to soak. Just enjoy being with Him!

Excerpted from Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Parent’s Progress 06.06.13

It’s not always fun being the bearer of news. It’s great when sharing good and creative aspects of youth culture. But, unfortunately, sometimes the great wealth of technology at our fingertips is used for evil. I have seen a few articles about a particular new Facebook app that I believe parents should be aware of.

Read this article. Pray about it. Talk with your kids.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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“The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). What does God really mean by “all things”? Most likely He means all things—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I believe that in every dark circumstance of life, there is a nugget of gold or a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. However, for that to happen, we must look beyond the dirt, push it aside, and search beneath the surface.

Is it easy? No. Is it messy? Usually. Is it worth it? Always.”

Excerpted from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

40 Years

by Jennifer Nier

We’ve had a wonderful school year, and now it has come to an end!  During our last week of school we played in the bounce house, had lots of outdoor fun and welcomed Ronald McDonald to talk with us about safety.

Thanks to all in our church that donated cookies and drinks for graduation and also for the families that provided funds for children to attend school.  We appreciate you greatly!!

Please continue to pray with us as we serve families during the summer at Kiddie Kare and also for the 53 children that are already enrolled for the fall for preschool!

Jennifer Nier

Kiddie Kollege/Kare Administrator



Thanks to God for His Mercy

by Pastor Roland

Last month, I paused my story at another time of transition in our lives.  Our conference superintendent and Board of Ministerial Education & Guidance had communicated to me when I was hired for the Director of Youth Ministries position at Sacramento, that they wanted me to plan to attend seminary.  So, we went to Sacramento with an understanding with the church and the conference that we would serve there for three years and then move on to seminary.  The question arose,


Where is God?

Here is a short post from Pastor Henry, written while on his recent trip to the Middle East.


We went visiting again this morning. By the end of the first visit I was ready to go home. It is hard listening to people tell of the bombs that ripped their houses apart destroying their past, and maiming their children. Watching them wipe their eyes as they told of children still in Syria, unheard from and whose life is uncertain. Grandma, Grandpa and son were all in tears as they related their story. More family is coming to live with them. There will be 17 people in 3 rooms. The pictures of “home” and life as it used to be flash through their minds multiple times per day. I don’t want to hear anymore… but I need to. As we were ready to leave I went to shake hands with Grandpa (my age), who just recently had a heart attack. He grabbed me by the hand and pulled me down to my knees beside his bed on the floor and hugged me tightly, my cheeks rubbing the 3 or 4 day bristle of his beard as he kissed me multiple times on both cheeks. He didn’t want to let go. As he did, I remembered the words of our pastor at devotions before we left this morning. He said, “Whenever I go out I find the heart of God is already there!” There was a little more hope, a little more light, because we were there, but He was there already!

~Pastor Henry Church

Parent’s Progress 5.30.13

Here is a sampling of some thing that will be helpful. Even if you have had some of these conversations with your children, remember that a reminder is always a good thing.