MVC Story BLOG

Writing to help you bump into Jesus. 

Recent posts

How Do I Disciple?

How Do I, Disciple? By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow How do I DISCIPLE Lord within my current circumstances? I ask this question often and listen for direction. Surely First: I DISCIPLE within myself: in daily time spent with God, with the Holy Spirit, in walking...

Why I’m Excited!

Why I’m Excited! - by MVC Guest Author, Bob Rasmussen Monte Vista Chapel has occasionally gone through periods when God has thrust us into new directions. These are reminiscent of the times when the early church was visited by...

The River of Life

The River of Life God, the great artist, has painted my life like a river, from its origin high in the mountains where He pulled us out of the crevices, crashing down rocky walls, winding and meandering through valleys, quiet meadows, over raging waterfalls, across...

The Holy Place Of Love

The Holy Place of Love. By Guest Author, MaryKate Morse We have a mini-woodland in our backyard, and one morning my husband, Randy, and I could hardly contain ourselves because of the creative antics of one little gray squirrel. He was doing everything in his...

Vulnerability with God and Others

Vulnerability with God and Others II A Small Group Snapshot The Journey is a year-long spiritual formation and discipleship cohort where participants learn to follow and become more like Jesus in deeper ways. Part of the experience includes connecting with others in a...

An Inspirational Flower

An Inspirational Flower - By Guest Author Phil Payne On Valentine's day, each resident (or couple) at Covenant Living received a lovely bouquet of roses and poppies.   As I looked down at one of the poppies I saw a thin ring of gold at the center.  So - thanks to the...

Ash Wednesday || An Invitation Into The Season of Lent

Ash Wednesday || An Invitation Into The Season of Lent - Pastor Chris Giambelluca    Today is Ash Wednesday. Marking the beginning of the Lenten season of the church calendar, Ash Wednesday has been observed by Christians over centuries and is embraced by many...

You Can Jump In

You Can Jump In -By Pastor Eric Johns “I Am” lyrics by Judah Akers from his Album “7” Confession: the choice to trust that Jesus actually knows better than I do has been more difficult than I have preferred as of late. In my household, we are coming up on a year of...

Reflections

REFLECTIONS - By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow I look out the window at the last few leaves on the almond trees.  As an old almond farmer, I appreciate the seasonal changes for these trees, knowing that each stage is critical in the yearly life of that tree....

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...