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  • Pastor's Corner: Feeding the hungry right here

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church|Updated May 19, 2024

    Prior to the expanding spread of covid-19, the Shafter Community Task Force hosted a group from Kern County, "Waste Hunger, Not Food," in our church dining room. They gave an inspiring presentation of a food recovery program that had been started in Bakersfield in order to feed those who struggled with "food insecurity" issues. As it was discussed at our Task Force and plans were being prepared, unfortunately, covid-19 put a stop to all of it. However, those plans have been revisited over these past several months, and I'm...

  • Pastor's Corner: Sincere faith

    Updated May 14, 2024

    The Bible speaks of sincere faith in 2nd Timothy 1:5. Apostle Paul said to a young man named Timothy, "I see this faith in you and I first saw it in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice." Paul was telling Timothy to stir up the gift of God that was in him and to not forget what he had learned from his grandma and mother. Throughout the 36 years that I have been a pastor at our church, I have learned many things from moms and grandmas in the church. These moms and...

  • Pastor's Corner - May 2, 2024

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated May 7, 2024

    Proverbs 27:14 – “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him.” In this proverb, we are faced with a man who loves and likes and wants the best for his friend. There is one problem: The man loudly utters all that before his friend has gotten out of bed! And the horrifying reality is that this exuberant blessing turns into a curse because of that. The friend would rather have gotten some rest then received that loud blessing. There is a sober warning in this...

  • Pastor's Corner - April 25, 2024

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    One of the attributes of God is that He is powerful. The Bible says power belongs to God. We see the power of God every day as we look at His creation all around us. Hebrews 1:3 says, ”Upholding all things by the word of his power. This world is filled with fear, lies and deceit.” We can rest assured that God has everything under control. God is called “the Strength of Israel.” I go to sleep each night knowing that the Strength of Israel watches over my family. 1st Samuel 15:29 calls God the Strength of Israel. He is still th...

  • Pastor's Corner: Joy in salvation by faith

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Apr 22, 2024

    What do you have to do to be right with God? How can unrighteous guilty sinners be made right before a perfect and holy God? Every person knows they fall short of their own standards of right and wrong, and have some sense of the righteousness of God. Often people think about if they were to stand before God right now, what would happen, what kind of evaluation would they face? The biblical teaching on justification explains the only way to be made right in God’s eyes is by faith in Jesus Christ’s sin-bearing work on the cro...

  • Pastor's Corner: Keep on living in the power of the Resurrection

    Beverly Perello, Home Fellowship Church, Shafter|Updated Apr 19, 2024

    Easter is over for another year. The baskets are stored and the candy eaten. But let's not be so quick to move on from the benefits of the cross and the power of the resurrection that are available to us everyday. We can find some of these incredible benefits in Romans 8. It begins with an amazing declaration of one of the greatest benefits of Jesus' sacrificial death for us. [BEGIN ITAL] "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."[END ITAL] (Romans 8:1) The penalty for all sin for all time has...

  • Pastor's Corner: Growing disciples

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church|Updated Apr 9, 2024

    This time of year is one of my favorite seasons. The colder days of winter begin to pass, the dormant trees push out their blossoms and the days get longer for a variety of outside activities. I find it somewhat facinating how plants of various kinds produce new growth in their environment. This time of year also make me think about what contributes to "spiritual growth" in my life and the lives of others. Let me suggest several things the Bible would encourage us to do in order to provide a "rich environment" for growth:...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Gospel

    PASTOR JOHNNY MARTINEZ, Westside Family Fellowship Church, Wasco|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope, life and eternal life. There is no other message in the world that offers so many benefits and precious promises. ``Gospel’’ means good news in the Greek (Evangelion) in the Old Testament. In Psalm 103:1-5 King David blesses the Lord saying, ”Bless the Lord O my soul and forget none of His benefits who forgiveth all thine sins, who healeth all your diseases, who redeemeth your life from destruction, who crowneth you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who fills your mouth...

  • Pastor's Corner: Inheritance

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Mar 27, 2024

    Receiving an inheritance was a big deal in the Old Testament. People set their hearts on entering into their inheritance, and were serious about maintaining that inheritance and passing it on to their own children. They had a great reason for that. God had promised to give them an inheritance, which we often call “the Promised Land.” We call it that just because God had promised it to them. God enacted special legislation to preserve that land as an inheritance. For instance, in order to prevent land passing from one tri...

  • Pastor's Corner: Lifelong wisdom

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    “Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square… Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.”(Proverbs 1:20, 23). Wisdom in the Bible is available to all, but we must respond and receive it. Biblical wisdom is the practical application of biblical truth obeyed out of love and reverence for God that results in skillful, beneficial and productive righteous living in the world. Essentially, it is effectively living like Jesus Christ in the world. Wisdom in the Bible covers...

  • Pastor's Corner: Growing in God's Grace

    PASTOR JIM GLASCO, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God. We are to grow and mature in this grace. We need to get out of the sandbox and mature in the Lord. I remember when I was in kindergarten at Vineland School and getting mad at some other kids. Running out of the class to go home, the vice principal picked me up on the way. I remember at Richland School getting swats from a couple of principals. I like to think that over the years that I have grown in the Lord’s g...

  • Pastor's Corner: Go forward

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 19, 2024

    We Christians realize that the devil is a liar and a deceiver. He plays with our minds and tells us that there is no hope for what we are facing. It’s not always an easy road for us, but there is victory for us if we follow the Lord. In Exodus 14:15 as the children of Israel were at the Red Sea and the Egyptians were closing in on them, God told Moses to go forward. Get your eyes on the Lord. Exodus 14:10 shows that the Israelites lifted up their eyes and saw the Egyptians closing in, and fear gripped their lives. The Bible s...

  • Pastor's Corner: How language works

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    Do you remember the Amelia Bedelia books, by Peggy Parish? Amelia Bedelia works as a housekeeper, but is constantly causing disasters because she inevitably misunderstands what she is told. At one point she’s roped into a neighborhood baseball game. When she’s encouraged to steal the bases and run home, she picks up the object used to mark third base and sprints back to her house. Another time when she was told to give the chickens scraps, she took small pieces of cloth to the hencoop. Amelia Bedelia’s problem is that she a...

  • Pastor's Corner: Pride goes before destruction

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Pride, arrogance and self-conceit are at the root of every sin. Pride is the inflated view of oneself that derives pleasure from the self-perceived greatness of one’s own reputation, status, power, influence, abilities, possessions and achievements. Pride is the foolish puffing up of one’s own ego like a balloon, where every self-exalting action inflates it with more air; and yet everyone knows overinflated balloons must eventually pop (1 Corinthians 4:7-9, 18). Pride distorts one’s self-image and conceit creates a self-...

  • Dry January and beyond: Stop drinking for your health

    Dr. Archana Dubey, UnitedHealthcare of California|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Millions of people worldwide are participating in the health movement of Dry January, simply choosing not to drink alcohol for the month. Because many Americans reported increasing their alcohol intake during Covid, there is concern that consumption has remained high even after the pandemic ended. Health professionals report they are seeing increased drinking habits, especially among women. California ranks 34th in the nation in excessive drinking, with 19.1% of adults reporting that they drink in excess, according to United...

  • Pastor's Corner: A Blessed Year

    PASTOR JOHNNY MARTINEZ, Westside Family Fellowship Church, Wasco|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    Happy New Year – the old year of 2023 is gone with its failures and successes. It's time to press the reset button with new resolutions, new goals,and a new start. In the New Testament book of Philippians 3:13-14, Saint Paul says, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." So press toward the goal, reach for the prize God is calling you in Christ Jesus. God has something good, something better for you this new year of 2024. In the Old Testament book o...

  • EDITOR'S NOTE | Jamie Stewart

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    An article last week in The Press included pictures of a few residents’ gravesites being defaced in the name of religion. It happened out at the Shafter Cemetery. I love that cemetery and have family buried out there, so I would never try to say anything against the cemetery or the wonderful staff that works out there. I do want to make clear that what happened recently shouldn’t be ignored or swept under the rug, which, with indications that this was not the first time this h...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Master

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    In life, we see people who are experts in certain fields. Master plumber, master mechanic and master electrician are titles of people who are experts in those occupations. There are many people with a master’s degree, but Jesus Christ is the Master of all. I remember when I was a child, my pastor preached upon The Master. After hearing him preach, I came to the conclusion that Jesus can do anything. Jesus is the master of all things. No wonder Paul calls Jesus our All in All. In Luke 8:24 in the midst of a storm Jesus was asl...

  • YOUR VIEW: Mindful beginnings

    Rhonda L. Randall D.O., UnitedHealthcare|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    With the New Year here, many are considering what will be on their list of resolutions, and mental health should be top of mind. A recent study shows that in 2023, one of the highest reported New Year’s resolutions was to improve mental health (36%), reflecting a growing recognition of mental well-being as pivotal to our overall quality of life and highlighting a collective commitment to prioritize self-care and emotional resilience in the coming year. The state of mental h...

  • Pastor's Corner: Picking and choosing

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 7, 2024

    We all exercise a right to choose what we like most. When you go to a restaurant, you might order from the menu what sounds best at the time. Maybe when eating a salad or trail mix you pass over the parts you don’t like — the croutons or the cashews or whatever. When speaking about food and similar areas, that’s reasonable, and no problem at all. If we practice that habit in other areas, though, that can be quite bad. Imagine someone who practiced picking and choosing in math. If you refuse to use the number 4, a lot of ca...

  • Pastors' Corner: New Year's plans

    Pasotors Jose and Beverly Perello, Home Fellowship Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 1, 2024

    In the busyness and stress of daily life, we often fall into a rut, just battling to get through each day as it comes. We survive, but do we thrive? From time to time, we lift up our heads for a moment and wonder if things will ever improve, before the next task drags us back into our mindless routine. We dream about a life that is joyous and purpose-driven, but our reality remains the same. As 2023 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to not only dream of a better 2024, but to plan and prepare in practical ways. God is a pl...

  • The kids are home for the holidays.

    Dr. Archana Dubey, UnitedHealthcare of California.|Updated Dec 25, 2023

    As the holiday season approaches, students across the country are wrapping up their papers and exams for a long holiday break. For many, it is a time to rest, recharge and catch up with friends and family. It can also be an important opportunity for the adults in students' lives to check in about their mental health and wellness. In college, our kids' lives are full of new experiences; while exciting for many, navigating academic pressures and a growing independence can also...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Savior of the World

    Pastor Johnny Martinez, Westside Family Fellowship Church, Wasco|Updated Dec 25, 2023

    What is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it about Christmas trees, lights and presents? Or is it about good food and reunions? Yes. But it goes much further than that. It's about God sending us a gift that we can enjoy forever. In Isaiah 45:22, the Lord said, "Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth." The question is, saved from what? In Isaiah 59:1-2, the Lord says, "The hand of the Lord is not short that he cannot save you, neither is ear closed that he cannot hear you, but your sins have separated between...

  • Pastor's Corner: The first Christmas morning

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church|Updated Dec 17, 2023

    I'm sure you'd agree that it doesn't seem possible that another Christmas Day is drawing near! All of the preparations of shopping for gifts, purchasing and cooking meals, planning the day with family or friends, and that's not to mention attending Advent services leading up to Christmas Day. Have you ever wondered what you'd do if it wasn't true? What if Jesus was nothing more than an invented figure to rally the people of his day? For bestselling author and former investigative reporter Lee Strobel, those are the kinds of q...

  • Pastor's Corner: Our great God

    PASTOR JIM GLASCO, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    We would be in terrible trouble if our God was made by man out of wood or gold. Psalm 115:5-7 says, [BEGIN ITAL]”The false golds have mouths but cannot speak, they have eyes but they cannot see. They have ears and they hear not, they have noses and they cannot smell. They have hands but they handle not, they have feet but they cannot walk and they cannot speak.”[END ITAL] Our God is not made by man, but He has always existed. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. He reigns over all. Psalm 50:21 says, [BEGIN ITAL]”You thoug...

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