MVC Story BLOG

Writing to help you bump into Jesus. 

Recent posts

An Advent Series: LOVE

An Advent Series: Love By Pastor Ken Van Vliet Last month, Kelsey asked if I would consider writing a ‘love letter’ to the congregation as the final installment of our advent story blog.  I have to admit, her request made me a bit squeamish.  Not because I don’t love...

An Advent Series: JOY

Finding Joy during Christmas of 2020 By MVC Guest Author, Erin Nelson Advent 2020 feels like the first recorded Christmas. Darkness and uncertainty mixed with anticipation and wonder. Since our brains are wired to avoid pain, we naturally want to escape the dark...

An Advent Series: Shalom

The Sigh for Shalom By MVC Guest Author, Debbie Smallwood Don’t you long for it… that elusive land of completeness where days are winsome, whole, and simple where all our words are properly understood where our most heartfelt intentions are purely and gracefully...

An Advent Series: HOPE

An Advent Series: HOPE By MVC Guest Author, Lisa Cox Good things are going to happen.  This has been written on the chalkboard in my dining room since early summer. It was a daily reminder that things weren’t always going to be this way. In a time of grieving from...

Turtle Tea Time

Turtle Tea Time By Kelsey Henderson  Donatello. That was the name of my date for tea that day. He was an unusual fellow, stood about 3 feet tall, wore a purple mask, and was quite the snuggler. His giant turtle shell never seemed to bother me, though he was certainly...

The Security of Knowing Love

The Security of Knowing Love - By Pastor Dave Nieuwsma   One of the struggles our culture is walking through right now is living with an underlying fear, because of the uncertainty which daily is in front of us. And for each of us, that uncertainty may come from...

The Next Right Thing

The Next Right Thing - By MVC Guest Author, Lisa Cox   When Frozen 2 came out, I was not the first in line to see it. Heck, even when it was released on video I waited. I first heard the song, “The Next Right Thing” when I was listening to Disney songs on Pandora...

Maintaining Joy During Quarantine

Maintaining Joy During Quarantine - By MVC Guest Author, Jaime Smith    Over a year ago I told my sister that sometimes I feel like I am left alone in a dark corner of the world to die. That's how lonely I felt then in our little Hobbit hole on the Westside of...

The Power of “I Believe You”

The Power of "I Believe You" - By Kelsey Henderson   (This piece was inspired by a gift I was given to hear a Zimbabwean woman's experience of racism.)   Remember when Lucy wandered into the wardrobe and discovered Narnia? She roamed a new world, meeting Mr....

Seeking the Spark

Seeking the Spark - By MVC Guest Author, Erin Nelson   My husband Bryan spent his 50th birthday saying he feels like his life has been hijacked. I’m wondering if we all feel a bit that way. Have you ever felt this confused? Few of us know what’s really going on...

A Tribute to Daddys

A Tribute to Daddys - By Guest Author, Karen Barstow   In the early 2000s, I found myself searching for a new church home. The WHY behind that is a story for another day. Since I live in Ballico, I was searching for a Turlock location, and having grown up in a...

Experiences Shape our Lives

Experiences Shape our Lives - By Guest Author Karen Barstow   Experiences shape our lives.   In trying to make reason or understand the chaotic hatred, rioting, and vandalism throughout our nation this past week, I was reminded of one such life experience:...

Certainty in the Uncertain

Certainty in the Uncertain - By Pastor Dave Nieuwsma   To say that the world we live in, is filled with uncertainty would be an understatement. Every day we are still confronted, with not being sure, if we have the correct information to make good decisions. It...

Hope that Hurts

Hope that Hurts - By MVC Guest Author, Lisa Cox Hi! My name is Lisa and I’m the type of person who just mentally waved at you as I typed that! I’m a wife and a mom of 3 wonderful kids. Since I got married 18 years ago, I have been a housewife/ stay at home mom. That...

Remembering

Remembering A Reflection on Psalm 77 - By Guest Author, Michelle Van Vliet    I Remember when I first read Psalm 77 as a new believer. It came as a light piercing the dark season I was experiencing at the time. I honestly do not recall the cause of that season,...

“How Deep The Father’s Love for Us”

“How deep the Father’s love for us?” - By Pastor Kelsey Henderson    This song has been stuck in my head for weeks. It shows up in unexpected at random moments as time passes; walking down my stairs, walking up the stairs, sipping my morning coffee, sipping my...

Blessings in Sheltering

Blessings in Sheltering - By Pastor Nancy Rapp   Sheltering in place has been hard and oh so good for me all at the same time…..let me explain . At first, it was new and I was trying to figure out how to do what needed to be done. How to work, get food…  As I...

“Chosen”

"Chosen" - By MVC Guest Author, Audrey Silva   Have you ever looked at a gathered group of people and desired to fit into their group and to be chosen as one of them?  Not necessarily to be popular but more to be seen and known. Or are you desiring that deep...

Waterfall Boys

Waterfall Boys - By MVC Guest Author Bob Rasmussen   I paint in watercolors as a creative outlet, and lately I’ve been interested in the theme of rain in Africa. As a boy, I lived in Nigeria, and can never forget the thunder and lightning that would bolt heaven...

Your’re Blessed by a Zerburt

You're Blessed by a Zerburt - By MVC Guest Author, Casey Giffen Holding him upside down by his ankles, I tease and tickle my grandson. I do this because I can—although someday I’ll be too old, and he’ll be too big—and he giggles, incapable of doing anything about his...

The Riches of Christ

The Riches of Christ - by MVC Pastor Dave Nieuwsma   As I think about what is going on around us, in our time of both relational uncertainty and financial uncertainty, I am reminded of a time in my past. In the early 80’s Deb and I lived in Minnesota, I held a...

The Safe Spot

The Safe Spot - by MVC Guest Author, Cheri Williams   In the corner of my garage there’s a grey metal safe that belonged to my dad. I have memories of him kneeling on the floor, the black dial spinning under his cigar-stained fingers, the click of the handle,...

Blending Past and Present

Blending Past and Present - by Pastor Aimee Rasmussen   A Beginning Our family has been in a transforming process for two years. Bob and I met and married in 2018. He was married to Lyn for 39 years, and I had been a single mom for 17 years. Both Bob and I are...

Life Awry

Life Awry - By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow   My life story is proof that God, in His sovereignty, His Grace, His love always cares for his children.   LIFE AWRY When life turns suddenly awry-when what we know is gone, Where do we turn to find the way,...

What Goes in… Comes Out!

What goes in…comes out! - By Pastor Eric Johns   The Bible says that what goes into a person is the thing that comes out of them.  Solomon said it this way… “Above all else…guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23 Makes a lot of...