Men's Bible Study
Men’s Bible Study
Starting September 22nd
6:00am – 7:00am
Thursdays at The Beachler’s Shop
3780 Ladd rd
Wednesday January 18th
Three Separate Studies:
Three week devotional study of the book of Haggai- – The God That Comes Near
Seven week video series by Priscilla Shirer – – Gideon, Your Weakness, God’s Strength
Three week devotional study of the book of Malachi– Waiting For Hope
Sign ups in the foyer.
Questions contact Melanie Fuller 209-484-0418
Night Owls Unite
Night Owls Unite
7:30 @ Cyndi Garbers
Come for Cozy Conversations + Coffee
My Encounters with Jesus
Encounter with Jesus
Gary and I sold our home where we had lived for the past 20 years and where our kids grew
up. There was a lot of emotions, and at times, uncertainty if this was the right move. Every
time we questioned, God continued to show us that we were on the right path. Gary had
different emotions and concerns than I did. God was very specific with each of us to provide
what we needed. Gary needed to know the realtor was the right choice. I had a negative
experience with the people who would buy our house. This is what Gary needed to realize the
benefit of the realtor. I had several freak-out emotional moments which God met through
friends text, provision of a friend bringing a meal, to our son making sure he was available to
help move, our daughter coming up to help me downsize stuff, our realtor checking in or
through the truth of His word. I have a bad back and was amazed at how God ordered my
days by strategically placing an appolntments in my days so I would take a break.
Very vulnerable. At beginning of this process, I did not feel like enough of our friends were
helping. From my perspective, we have poured a lot into others and it did not feel like we
were getting the same response back. I usually don’t ask for help. I was vulnerable and threw
out a wide net for help. YET after a couple of times in the early days of this process, God was
very strategic with who was there. For example, a friend who was walking through divorce
was there when no one else was. This provided her the privacy to share life without others
present. Fast forward to moving day… we had to turn away help!!!!
It was a very tangible experience to trust God in the moment for what is needed. Looking back
God provided ALL the help that was needed… pressed down and overflowing. I began to see
that each person was there at the right time and in the right amount.
Encounter with Jesus
I have a second encounter that I would like to share. This was in 2019. It has two
parts. This time in my life God had allowed me to lose everything and I was so lost
and desperate for Jesus to be near. I would sleep with my bible to feel him near.
Due to stress in my life I would wake up very early in the morning with out an alarm
and that became a sweet time for me
to read his word and be with him. One morning I had a court date for things that
were going on in my life.
I opened my bible to the next chapter that I was supposed to read. (I was reading
the bible cover to cover) I was reading Isaiah 8 and in verse 12-13. which in my
translation say “Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors
will be the end of you. Do not fear anything
except the Lords Almighty.” To say the least I felt seen and that the Lord was
communicating that he was to be feared and nothing else. At a different time in
this season I was feeling so overwhelmed with fear. Panic was just overcoming me.
I had to go for a drive to clear my head.
I was crying saying to the Lord, “I know you love me but I just don’t understand
that matters now with how I am feeling.” I had K Love on and as soon as I finished
my thought they played the verse of the day and it was 1 John 4:18 “Such love has
no fear because prefect love expels all fear.”
I had peace that washed over me. Jesus’s love was there to cast out my fear. No
matter what happened. He was in control and I was not to fear because he loved me.
Encounter with Jesus
I have a few but I’ll start with the most recent one. A week ago I woke up in the middle of the
night to a horrible sound. I thought it was an earthquake or car crash. But by the time I
reached the hallway all was quiet. I assessed the hallway where we have tons of lego
creations set up and I realized they were all still together and on the shelf. At this point I was
super mad thinking Satan gave me a dream to freak me out. I was now awake at 1 AM so I went
to sit in my spot by the window and tried to look out it. I could see nothing it was pitch black.
As I looked closer I could see leaves? I began to realize that I had not had a dream and the
sound I heard was real. I went to my front yard and a branch had fallen and was up against
the house. The branch was the high of my house. The next morning when the city clean up
crew was cutting it up and moving it to the street I mentioned to the head guy that I was a
believer in Jesus and that I believed that he had let it rest against the house. Like he gently
set it here. The window wasn’t broken and no damage to the house. Praise God! Then my
appointment for the day was canceled. I just took it as a gift from the Lord. I had a day off to
rest after a very restless night. God truly is so kind if we look for his kindness in the hard
Encounter with Jesus
A couple of weekends ago I decided to go fishing by myself on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. I
very much enjoy fly fishing for trout in Sierra streams. I hadn’t gone in quite a while, so I was happy to be
going just to get away for a bit. I didn’t have high expectations about catching fish, but I thought it would
be fun just to be out in nature and if I caught a fish it would be all the better.
I arrived at a secret fishing spot about daybreak geared up and headed for the water. I had mapped out a
couple mile stretch of this River to fish, and so I went to my beginning point and started to fish. Very
quickly I hooked a 16-in rainbow trout and landed it. I was pretty excited, but didn’t have any great
expectations because of it for the rest of the day. I moved upstream and selected a nice little run to fish. I
cast my fly into the back side of the run,- nothing. I cast it a little further and again nothing, I was about to
give up and I thought I’ll throw one more time right at the very beginning of this little riffle. I presented my
fly, and as soon as it hit the water a monster trout hammered it and took it down, I set the hook, and the
fight was on. While the fish was thrashing about underwater trying to knock the hook out of its mouth I
caught a glimpse of it, it was quite possibly the biggest trout I’ve ever hooked into. I found myself thinking
that with my luck, he was going to break my line and get away. I kind of felt like I didn’t deserve that nice of
a fish. And hooking it and having it break off would be about par for the course for how my life has gone the
last couple years. It seems like for about 3 years I’ve had so many hard things to deal with; to be sure I’ve
had some very high moments as well, like my daughter getting married, but a lot of extremely difficult
things to deal with at work, difficult family Dynamics to deal with, I even had somebody that wanted to
fight me for no reason. All the while feeling like I was trying to be obedient to God and these hard things
kept happening to me. I know he uses them to make us grow, but I felt like it was at the point where it was
like, “come on how much more already?” And I figured breaking off the fish would just be one more thing on
my list. But I stayed with it, just as I had in all the other circumstances. The fish got tangled up in some
roots at one point and I went to untangle the line and thought he was off, but he was still on. After fighting
the fish for 3 hours, or at least it seemed that long, it was probably about 10 minutes, I was able to land the
fish in my net. Frankly, I couldn’t believe it. I suddenly realized what a beautiful place I was in and what a
beautiful fish the Lord had blessed me with. I paused and audibly thanked God for blessing me, and being
with me all along. I’m certain he was telling me that through all of the hard times he never loved me less.
And he never gave me more than I could handle. He also reminded me that he could bless me anytime He
wanted, and in any way he wanted. And to see all the blessings that I possessed during all the hard things I
had to endure. I’m so grateful for the experience because of the renewed perspective it has given me.
Mostly it’s a reminder that I’m a child of the king. He will never leave me, and he loves me with the perfect
love. It’s as though on that day I quickly passed by a mirror and for a brief moment saw my reflection that
showed the crown upon my head and the purple robes that I was wearing, as the child of a king.
I know the intention was a recent encounter, but I feel led to share how the Lord was near to
me in 2021.
Throughout our infertility and adoption journey, I had several encounters with the Lord. One
of the most powerful was following our failed adoption. We were chosen by an expectant
mom who was due to have a baby boy. For the first time in our 5 year journey, we were
hopeful that there was light at the end of the tunnel. For several months we met with her,
prayed for her and supported her.
a month before his due date, she told us she decided to parent. The same day I was unable to
work, because salons were closed again for Covid. I had never felt as empty and lost as I did
then. I spent my days listening to worship music, unable to even find the words to pray. The
Lord was near to me, I felt His love and peace surround me. I didn’t know how to move
forward. One day, I heard Him say ” stop striving. You have done enough” My husband was
very concerned for me, I told him I can’t explain it, but I have peace that God is working. A
month after the failed adoption, we got a call that a baby girl had been born. The adoption
agency director had chosen us to parent her, we didn’t even have to go through the typical
selection process. But there were some Covid policy complications, so we didn’t know if it
would all work out at the time. Again another opportunity to trust in the Lord, and say yes
without knowing the ending. After a few weeks it was final that she would be our daughter. All
along, she was the one He had for us. Through all the struggle and surrender, He was
preparing us for what was to come. Although we would never have chosen to walk through
the valley, He was near to us every step of the way. Though the baby boy wasn’t meant to be
ours, I believe God used us to show His love to the expectant mom in need. We live in a
broken world, full of pain. Yet God is in control of all things. He works them together for the
good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. Praise the Lord.
I’ve never really spoken to homeless people before, but tonight, after
working in childcare for celebrate recovery, one of my coworkers and I went
out for ice cream and to talk. We left McDonald’s and as we were talking and
walking out to the car a woman, starts shouting to us from across the parking
lot. She comes up asking where we were from because she noticed our shirts
from church. She said she is homeless, pregnant, and trying to get off of
drugs and was wanting to know where she could go. We were trying to think
of where she could go and meanwhile she just talked and talked our ears off.
We both spoke and encouraged her, and we got some information to give her
to try. Before parting ways I invited her to church and prayed with her. I had
felt a prompting to pray out loud with her which was unusual because I tend
to be self-conscious about praying out loud. God seemed to have prompted
me and gave me the courage to do so. My coworker afterwards was telling
me how amazed she was about how calm I stayed through the whole thing
and how uplifting my prayer was. She thought for sure that I had experience
speaking to homeless people when in fact I had none. I kept telling her how
crazy it was that we’ve been talking about encounters with Jesus and then
this happened. While I certainly hope that this can be a pivotal step for
Kimberly (the woman), even if she doesn’t change her ways, I know that it
was an amazing experience for my coworker and me in showing how we can
be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I went to the dentist recently for the first time in more
than 11 years. I’ve never had a fear of the dentist or the
drill etc., even though I have had a LOT of cavities in my
life. I guess that was where my fear came in.. “how many
cavities am I going to have this time?” So, driving to the
dentist for the first time in more than 11 years, I was
expecting the worst and just giving it to God over and
over. To my astounding surprise, only one cavity!! Filled it
that day and walked around with a half numb face for the
next 4 hours lol. Thank you Jesus!
Encounter with Jesus
I have been a Christian for 52 years, and it seemed my walk with Christ was becoming heavy and joyless, except for some moments of joy here and there. There seemed to be a fog between God and me, and I felt that it was impenetrable.
loften listened to scripture and worship music on my phone in an attempt to break through the fog. But He still seemed distant.
Then, recently, I thought, well, maybe I really need to learn more about Him by reading books such as AW Tozer’s “The Attributes of God.” I immersed myself in theology, and while I did learn more about Him, it seemed that He was even farther away, because He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, so why would He even take notice of me? I knew what scripture says about that, but my heart couldn’t receive it.
One night, when I couldn’t sleep, and I felt alone, I cried out to Him and said, “Lord, I can’t stand it! I need You! I want to draw close to you. What is wrong with me? Search my heart and show me – please!” In that moment, I heard Him say within my heart, “Daughter, you have moved away from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
The room was dark, but it seemed as if a light had been turned on. In wonder, said, “Lord, that’s it! I have been making my relationship with You complicated.” I knew I needed to return to a childlike faith and trust in Him.
My Encounter with Jesus
A year ago, Nahrin, a high school friend of my son came into my sphere of influence. (JE.1) She now refers to me as her, “momtor”, a cross between a mom and mentor. A bright, self-sufficient young woman with an Assyrian Orthodox foundation, religion has left an awful taste in her mouth; she is leery of God and His Son, seeking and struggling with the word “faith” and where to put hers. Currently, that faith is focused on earthly things, including
” am in charge of my destiny” and on nature, creation.
Recently she asked if she could attend church with me. I have to admit, my heart’s first reaction, was like that of Jonah. “What? You want nothing to do with God or Jesus. In fact, when I point you in that direction, you casually sluff Him off and then replace Him with some “universe” mumbo-jumbo. Why would I invite you into the House of Prayer?”
I immediately felt the familiar slap of Jesus’ sandal on the side of my head (JE.2). “Daughter, are you kidding Me?
Who are vou to say who will enter MY house and who will not? And isn’t this the essence of what vou have been praying for?”
We made a date for October 29th.
A couple of days later as I was praying for her, I heard the words “Nicodemus, she is like Nicodemus.” That same day I had an appointment at the church for some tech training. As I entered the building, Dallas greeted me. have shared with him my tenuous relationship with Nahrin. In our conversation, I asked him what the focus of the Jesus Encounter series would be for the next two weeks. His response? Zaccheus and then, wait for it…..Nicodemus. (JE.3)
On the heals of our conversation, the devotional I am going through directed me to Deuteronomy 4:9 that instructs, “Keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and grandchildren.”
Further down the passage is the admonition not to make and/or worship anything other than God. Verse 19 specifically warns about worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. This lead me to Romans 1: 19-22, then to Psalm 14:1, then back to Romans 3:23, then to Romans 6:23, then on to John 3…the account of Nicodemus.
Through the tears, I smile, I sing:
? Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above… Our God is an awesome God.?
God is alive and well. If we perk up our ears and open our eyes we will see His perpetual encounters, despite our interference.
“Today salvation has come to this house. for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”My
My encounter with Jesus
I was in Walmart buying groceries, and I turned down the paper goods aisle. A woman was there looking at something. I commented on how expensive toilet paper had become. She said that everything had gone up so much, including her rent and she asked how they expected anyone to survive. We agreed that the world was spiraling out of control. She mentioned that her son, who had been murdered a year ago at least didn’t have to go through all that was taking place in the world. I offered my condolences. Then she was starting to leave the aisle, and I blurted out, “There is hope, though. Do you know what that hope is? It’s Jesus.” She looked startled but then said,”Yes He is.” I said that if she trusted in Him as Saviour, He would be there with her through everything.” I asked her if she had a Bible, and she pulled out her phone, which had a Bible app. I suggested that she start reading the book of John and she turned to it. She said she had been to church but she stopped going after her son had been murdered. I invited her to come to Renew, but she hasn’t yet. I am continuing to pray for her that she would at least read her Bible and Jesus would give her an encounter with Him.
I rarely witness to people because of fear, I guess, but this encounter was all Him. He was the one who orchestrated it all. I had a burst of joy and felt His pleasure. I went away rejoicing.
Following Jesus together
in His great work of renewing lives
Our vision is of a living church:
vibrant and growing in its love for Jesus,
sharing life together in rich relationship
practically serving and reaching our community
with the love, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ.