Letters From Our Pastor

March 10, 2020 

 

We still believe.

 

A lot has changed in the past year, but the most important things remain. We have changed how we conduct our lives and our church services, yet we still cherish our families, and continue to worship our loving Heavenly Father. We have adjusted how we “do church,” but we continue to worship our Lord Jesus. We have adapted to mandates, guidelines, and inconveniences, but we continue to worship in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We still worship because we still believe. While everything else may seem to be changing around us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8 

 

As we approach the celebration of the most important moment in the history of the world—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ—it is vital that we believe. Followers of Jesus have been called “believers” since the First Century, when the first believers saw the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes. Those who mourned His death on the cross, had many firsthand encounters with our Living Savior between His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into heaven. We believe their testimonies. 

 

Two thousand years later, believers in Jesus continue to sacrifice time, talent, and resources because of the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross. Around the world, believers in Jesus continue to be martyred for their faith, rather than deny the truth of God. In this nation, believers wrestle to maintain a strong Christian testimony while shining the light of Jesus in dark and conflicted times. In our community, believers are committed to focusing on the Good News of Jesus, instead of surrendering to defeat in the wake of the bad news that surrounds us daily. 

 

The Easter season is all about Good News. While the details of the crucifixion are painful to recount, the outcome of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has transformed our lives, and continues to invite broken people to receive the eternal life that only Jesus provides. 

 

In the coming weeks, we approach Resurrection Sunday by looking at the examples of some of the people whose belief in Jesus was rooted in their personal experience with Him before, during, and after the most important moment in the history of the world. And, we are reminded that our belief is tied to our personal experience with Jesus that far outweighs our present circumstances.

 

Please set aside time to pray for those you know and love who are in need of the Savior. Please invite the Holy Spirit to give you the opportunity and courage to share the Good News with someone during the weeks ahead. And, please continue “to love one another as He commanded us” because we still believe.

 

23“And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. 24The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.” –1 John 3:23-24

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

February 24, 2020 

 

The hearts of racing fans leap at the sound of those three words because those words signify that something great is about to begin. To extend the racing analogy a bit, many of us would agree that the last year has really felt like the pits, but it is in the pits that races are won and lost. The unsung heroes of every racing team are the crewmembers who ensure the performance of the vehicle and safety of the driver. This doesn’t tarnish the name of the driver behind the wheel, but reminds us that it takes a team effort to finish the race strong—and we are on the Lord’s team together.

 

The past year has provided the opportunity to tune up our prayer lives, improve our personal devotions, and clarify our focus on the finish line. While many races actually begin at or near the finish line, it can take many laps with careful attention to pacing and position to complete a race victoriously. But, starting prematurely or haphazardly can result in disqualification or a disabling accident. 

 

Make no mistake, our finish line is heaven. And, we can cross the line with all of our friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers who choose to follow Jesus. Our mission is to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. (You’ve probably heard me say that before…) I like to repeat our mission as often as possible because it is a reminder that we are in this together. Though we may be moving at different paces, and exercising different gifts, we’re on the same track together! 

 

I am frequently asked what comes next and when we will do certain things. So, here’s a glimpse of some things you can expect:

1) We will continue to worship indoors and online each Sunday, and our students continue via Zoom,

2) Several “Family Rooms” are available with High Definition live video throughout the facility.

3) Vital ministries like JOY Fellowship, RLC Food Pantry, and Zoom Prayer Gatherings are continuing to meet needs in our community and within our church family.

4) We are improving parts of our facility that are specifically for kids and teens, and we anticipate a “walk-through” tour of those areas sometime in the spring, on a date that will be announced.

5) After the space is ready, we will recruit and equip volunteers to succeed in ministering to the emerging generation.

6) Once the team is in place, we’ll relaunch RLC Kids & Student Ministries on campus. (Middle school and high school students may be able to begin meeting on campus a bit sooner than the kids.)

7) Those interested in church membership may contact April Bettencourt at AprilB@rlclodi.com. 

 

25“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” –1 Corinthians 9:25-27

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

February 10, 2020 

 

Are we there yet?

 

We have returned to indoor worship. We’ve become accustomed to wearing masks and maintaining distances. We are being given the opportunity to receive long-awaited vaccinations. And, we’re adapting to the ongoing presence of a virus that has impacted each of us in some manner. So, are we there yet?

 

That’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? We have lived with the Coronavirus pandemic for almost a full year, yet the virus hasn’t gone away. We are adapting our routines, but few would describe our day-to-day patterns as normal…

 

Have you noticed that the first two paragraphs list several observations about our situation, but there is not a single mention of what it actually means to arrive? If you picked up on that significant omission, you’re probably attuned to the fact that the answer to this question is rooted in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to describe his life-or-death dilemma by writing in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” When Jesus is the center of our lives, this moment, this place, this opportunity all have great eternal value. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and perseverance in sharing His grace. I believe we are right where God wants us to be at this time, with the gifts He has given to us for His glory.

 

Through all of the crazy twists of the past year, our Lord Jesus has never left us, He has never abandoned us, He has never let us down. While we have been tested and faced inconvenience, the presence of the Holy Spirit has consistently guided us through the darkness and into His glorious light. So, perhaps a better question is, where do we go from here?

 

In the coming months we will continue to gather within the facility that the Lord has provided in a manner that respects the public health guidelines. And, we will continue to provide online services that can be attended anytime and anywhere. We are exploring avenues for making an even greater impact in our community and beyond. Jesus not only gives us hope, but He is the hope of the world..

 

As springs of living water bring revival that awakens our spirits, we must worship authentically, speak graciously, give compassionately, receive gratefully, and pray expectantly. Our friends and families are observing how we live with Out of Control Faith—may they see Christ in us.

 

27“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you….” –Philippians 1:27-28a

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

January 26, 2020 

 

We’re getting ready for revival.

 

Revival literally means returning to life. Revival is also defined as restoring strength, validity, interest, attention, or effect. We have experienced spiritual revival before. Many have even participated in services that are called “Revivals.” 

 

Psalm 85 can rightly be described as a prayer for revival that reminds us of God’s love, which redeems us from despair, reclaims us from defeat, and renews us through His saving grace. The psalmists call out to God with a heartfelt plea, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation.” (Psalm 85:6-7) The earlier verses in this passage allude to the sin and suffering of the people of God, which makes revival necessary. 

 

Authentic revival is more than a stirring message from an anointed preacher, or series of events focused on evangelism. True revival is sparked by the presence of the Almighty, who breathes new life into that which seems to be dead or dying. Revival may seem to ignite spontaneously, but the Bible suggests that revival requires preparation. 

 

Over the last year, we have experienced death and dying both literally and figuratively. We have withdrawn into our homes, while businesses and houses of worship have been shuttered. I believe this is part of God’s preparation process as He poises His church for revival. 

 

Regardless of how the global pandemic and associated economic crisis began, what if God is working through this situation to bring revival? I believe He is. Personally, I have received a renewed passion for the Word of God, a rekindled desire to worship Him, and a refined vision to relaunch the ministries of Radiant Life Church as we look forward to reconnecting in new ways.

 

Each February, the membership of Radiant Life Church of Lodi gathers to celebrate the past year, affirm God’s call on those who serve on our Church Board, and catch a glimpse of what God has instore. At the 2020 Annual Business Meeting, I shared about the importance of being Spirit-led. My report stated, “I pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our church because we need the miracle working power of Jesus to reach this desperate generation.” And, I still pray this for each person in our church family.

 

As we approach this year’s Annual Business Meeting on Sunday, February 14, I want to encourage you to get ready for revival. The closing verse of Psalm 85 tells us, “Righteousness goes before Him and prepares the way for His steps.” (Psalm 85:13) Embracing the righteousness of God, we invite revival into our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our families, our church, our community and our world.

2“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” –1 John 3:2-3

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

January 12, 2020 

 

Something good is in store.

 

Over the past few weeks, we celebrated Christmas, rang in the New Year, and I had another birthday. Yet, the first two weeks of 2021 seem to carry familiar overtones that most of us really want to put behind us. Prominent questions still linger—How long is this going to last? And, what’s next? 

 

Those questions have been posed over-and-over, and the answers seem to be as elusive today as they were ten months ago. But, we have pushed through the uncertainty of the past year, survived conditions that most of us had never experienced before, and kept our faith through all of it. But more importantly, God has remained faithful to us, and His promises endure.

Notwithstanding, the social, political, medical, and emotional traumas that have become constant reminders of our need for the Savior, our situation is not bleak. We are not defeated. We are not alone. We have power in the name of Jesus, and we still have hope!

 

Our kids are watching how we respond to the headlines and guidelines, and they take note of whether we are pressing forward or sitting on the sidelines. Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time in rooms that have been dedicated to the spiritual growth of our children and teens. We are looking forward to relaunching ministries that will more effectively reach the next generation with the gospel of Jesus, while seeking to empower them through the Holy Spirit. In Proverbs 22:6, we read, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

 

While there is an abundance of wonderful new music in the church, I often fall back to the songs of my childhood in times of prayer and contemplation. I want to encourage you with the lyrics of two songs that helped shaped my faith. 

 

First, let’s not forget that God has already promised us victory, as we are reminded with the lyrics: “We’ve got the power in the name of Jesus; We’ve got the power in the name of the LORD; Though Satan rages, we cannot be defeated; For we’ve got the power in the name of the LORD.”

 

Secondly, let’s keep looking forward to every opportunity to worship together, whether we are in our homes, outside, or in the worship center that God has provided: “We’re together again—just praising the LORD; We’re together again in one accord; Something good is going to happen; Some good is in store; We’re together again—just praising the LORD.”

 

We still have power in the name of Jesus. We are still together in Spirit and in truth. And, through faith in Jesus Christ we are certain that something good is going to happen—something good is in store. So, let’s make sure to take time each day to praise the LORD!

 

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:6

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

December 28, 2020 

 

Let’s pray together.

 

We simply cannot downplay the experiences of 2020—nor should we. With all the questions that don’t quite seem to be answered after months of adapting, adjusting, and anticipating, we need to pray. After all, prayer is the most powerful and effective tool available to shine light into the darkness of this world. 

 

It’s time to pray for the lost to become saved. It’s time to pray for the hatred to give way to hope. It’s time to pray for sickness to turn to health. It’s time to pray for brokenness to lead to restoration. It’s time to pray that apathy will yield to action. It’s time to pray for those who are spiritually empty to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And, it’s time to pray that we will cast off our doubts as we step forward in faith. 

 

I want to urge you to make prayer a higher priority each day. To begin, we’ll start the first full week of the new year by joining with millions of our Christian brothers and sisters across the US for the 79th annual Assemblies of God Week of Prayer (January 3-9). We’ll reinforce the daily prayer points on the church Facebook page as well. 

 

During the Week of Prayer, I’d also like to invite you to practice the spiritual discipline of voluntary fasting. From Biblical times to modern days, God’s people have chosen to abstain from basic needs and luxuries in order to become more focused in prayer and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Fasting isn’t easy, and it isn’t a method of manipulating God to bend to our will. Fasting stretches us to let go of things we want and need while we press closer to God in prayer. 

 

Here are some basic tips on fasting:

-You can choose to fast part or all of the week. (i.e. A meal each day, or all food for one or more days.)

-Do not fast prescribed medication, or nourishment without first consulting a medical professional.

-Fast something that is a normal part of your day, such as food, coffee, or social media

-Fast something that you actually like/need, not something that you would normally avoid anyway.

-Whenever you crave what you’re fasting, thank God for meeting your needs & pray for others.

-Invite God to replace your hunger/desire for whatever you are fasting with a sensitivity to His voice.

-Avoid asking for sympathy while you are fasting. Try to keep your fast between you and God.

-Please drink plenty of water while you fast, as we are not trying to harm ourselves.)

 

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” –James 5:13-16

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

December 15, 2020 

 

Christmas is almost here!

 

Even in a year when we have been hit with unimaginable challenges, the Glory of Christmas serves as a constant reminder that God is able to accomplish the impossible in our lives. Our Heavenly Father created the universe from nothing, breathed life into the first man, and sent His one and only Son to be our Savior. He has already met our greatest needs, and we can be sure that the best is yet to come. 

 

So, what do you want for Christmas this year? You don’t have to share your Christmas list with me, but I want to encourage you to share your heart’s desires with the Lord. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus reminds us that even with all of our flaws, we are able to give good gifts to our children, and “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” It’s funny to me that we may go to 7-Eleven to grab a snack or Slurpee, but Matthew 7:11 reminds us that we can go to our Heavenly Father with even the biggest requests… 

 

While we’re making our requests of God this Christmas, let’s remember to share the needs of others. After all, the very next verse in chapter seven of Mathew’s Gospel is commonly called the Golden Rule, which tells us, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” So, let’s be sure to approach the Giver of good gifts on behalf of one another. 

 

This Christmas, I’m asking the Lord to bless you beyond measure. I pray that you will experience joy in His favor, comfort in His presence, contentment in His provision, and fulfillment in His calling. May our Heavenly Father give you the desires of your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the Name of Jesus—Amen! 

 

This week, I want to be sure to extend a few special invitations to you. First, please plan to participate in a brief outdoor Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Thursday, December 24 at 7:00pm—and feel free to bring your entire family! Secondly, please mark your calendar for our next “Drive-In” outdoor communion service on Sunday, January 3, 2021. And most importantly, please consider joining me for a week of fasting and prayer during the Assemblies of God National Week of Prayer, which will be January 3-9, 2021. (We’ll post more information about the National Week of Prayer on the church Facebook page.)

 

 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” –Psalm 20:4-5

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

December 1, 2020

Let’s have a Christmas gift exchange!

 

Do you remember the first thing the angel told the shepherds on the night that Jesus was born? In Luke 2:10, the angel of the Lord began his message with the statement, Do not be afraid.” The Christmas season is an annual reminder that Jesus brings us peace, love, joy, and hope. Fear is always absent from the list of gifts that God has for us at Christmas time!

 

This year, many of us have already reached our capacity for fear, anxiety, fatigue, and frustration—we simply don’t need those things for Christmas. We need exactly what the angel promised next, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” But, the emotional baggage we amassed this year may make it difficult to receive the good news and experience the great joy… So, we have to make room for the Gift of God.

 

The Glory of Christmas is found in Luke 2:11, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” God invites us to a Christmas gift exchange—we get give Him our fear, our anxiety, our fatigue, and our frustration, which gives us the capacity to receive His peace, His love, His joy, and His hope. And, we don’t even have to worry about burdening the Almighty during this exchange—He can handle it. After all, that’s why He came to be our Savior.

 

Despite all of the restrictions, guidelines, and limitations of this year, we still have one important choice. We still get to choose how we will participate in God’s gift exchange. We could choose to hold onto all of the unhealthy fears, anxiety, fatigue, and frustration… OR, we can choose to receive the Good News with great joy and shine the light of Jesus in a world that desperately needs the Savior as much as ever!

 

I am excited to see our church family together for a special outdoor service on Sunday, December 6. We’ll keep things simple and we anticipate that many will choose to enjoy the service from the comfort of their cars, like an old drive-in theater. But, this isn’t theater, and we’re not going to put on a show. We’re having “Drive-In Church” without video screens. We will simply worship the Lord in song, be nourished by a message from His Word, and share in communion together.

 

There will be some space for personal folding chairs between the platform and the cars for those who prefer to sit outside, and we’ll only conduct health screening for those who exit their vehicles. Communion elements are individually packaged, and those in their own vehicles are free to worship without a mask. I pray that our cooperation with health guidelines will help spread Christmas cheer through our community. And, we continue to pray that conditions will improve so that we can resume weekly indoor services as soon as the guidelines are changed.

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 

 

November 17, 2020

 

We have decided to follow Jesus—no turning back!

 

Life is filled with change, but Jesus remains constant. What once caught us off-guard, and brought a sense of uncertainty, has now become familiar. Though we are shifting gears once again, we continue to move forward in our online worship services and in a modified approach to outdoor gatherings in cold weather. Beginning on Sunday, November 22, Radiant Life Church will suspend indoor gatherings in cooperation with public health guidelines, as we continue to worship together online at radiantlifelodi.com.

 

While we are praying that these restrictions will be lifted soon, we also recognize that it is possible that we will not be meeting indoors for much of the winter. Beginning on Sunday, December 6, we will be holding modified outdoor services on the first Sunday of each month, rain or shine. These services will be kept brief, and will include communion. It is important that we have opportunities to gather in a safe manner to pray, worship, and shine the Light of Jesus in our community.

 

We are also planning to proceed with the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7:00pm on Thursday, December 24. At this point, we will be holding this special service outdoors, and I believe it will be a great testimony to our community as we publicly celebrate the birth of our Savior.

 

Additionally, we are preparing to conduct a virtual assembly for Erma B Reese Elementary School to announce this year’s A.C.T. Project Essay Contest. We have been in dialog with the new principal at Reese Elementary, who is excited that we will be equipping students to show kindness and compassion during this season of need.

 

Like many, I am looking forward to seeing this year come to an end, and I am praying that better days are ahead in 2021. But, God often does His most vital work during seasons like this. There is no doubt that the Lord is preparing us to be more effective in sharing the Good News of Jesus in Lodi, and around the world. The Holy Spirit is also softening the hearts of those who have been hardened by pride, comfort, and self-indulgence. The world needs Jesus, and He has called us to be His witnesses today.

 

I pray that you will be refreshed through your personal time of worship and renewed by spending time in the Word of God each day. I hope that you will continue finding joy right where you are, no matter what twists and turns still lie ahead. I know that God will provide for your every need. And, I trust that you will never forget that you are not alone. As always, you are welcome to leave a voicemail at (209) 333-8491, drop a note in the mail, or e-mail prayer@rlclodi.com.

 

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, this is a great time to express our gratitude to the Lord and to those He has brought into our lives. I am truly grateful to be your pastor, and I pray that your heart will be encouraged by one of my favorite Psalms: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.” –Psalm 13:5-6

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

November 4, 2020

The winner has already been announced! 

 

Jesus didn’t campaign. Jesus wasn’t elected. And, Jesus never resorted to mudslinging—unless you count the time Jesus healed a blind man by rubbing mud in his eyes. 

 

Jesus is the undefeatable King of Kings & Lord of Lords. Yes, Jesus has already claimed victory over sin and death, and the Book of Revelation declares that He will defeat the powers of the enemy once and for all. “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 

 

As I write this letter, the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election is still unclear, but we don’t have to worry because Jesus is still on the throne. This entire year has been filled with exercises in patience and adjusting our perspective. We can all take comfort in knowing that God is neither limited by the outcome of this election, nor will He be surprised by it. When the results become clear, we must choose to pray for those who lead, as well as those who are disappointed with the results. 

 

We’ve seen close contests in sports and politics before, and nail-biters seem to be most exciting when our team clinches the victory. In every contest, the winners celebrate, while the losers are left to sort out their thoughts, feelings, and priorities. But, what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if we lived every day with the confident assurance that we’re already on the winning team? 

 

In 1834, Pastor Edwin Mote penned the lyrics to the now famous hymn “Solid Rock.” The song opens with a beautiful reminder of our victorious faith, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.” In fact, the original title of the song was, “The Immutable Basis for a Sinner’s Hope.” Yes, our hope cannot be squashed or silenced—it is thru this immutable hope that we are finding joy right where we are! 

 

Today is a good day to pray for peace across this nation. Today is a good day to draw strength from the promises of God by spending a little extra time in the Word of God. Today is a good day to enter into worship, and invite the Holy Spirit to renew our hearts and minds. Today—rather than allowing the uncertainty of this season to chip away at our joy—I want to invite you to join me in repeating the chorus of the beloved hymn, “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” 

 

May we never find ourselves giving way to the sinking sand of this season, but may we stand on the promises of Jesus Christ—our solid rock.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” –John 15:7-8

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

October 20, 2020

 

We’re committed to finding joy in the journey!

 

Anticipation and excitement can easily carry us from aggravation to celebration depending on our attitude toward God. When we remain focused on the will of the Lord—earnestly expecting Him to lead us to victory—His light shines in our lives. Knowing that Jesus is the source of our joy, and choosing to remain as close to Him as possible, we find joy right where we are. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” –Psalm 16:11. 

 

In the last few months we’ve continued to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We’ve never stopped worshipping God in our homes, in our church parking lot, and back inside the worship center of our church. But, most importantly, we continue to worship Him in our hearts because we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God. And, that’s why we are committed to finding joy at every turn. 

 

Finding joy in the journey requires us to wait for the Lord with unwavering anticipation. Throughout this season, it’s evident that God is preparing us for something great. Like the tantalizing aroma of our favorite treats baking in the oven, our spiritual senses are stimulated by the presence of Jesus in our lives—long before we feel that we’ve arrived. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:13-14 

 

This year, we’ve prayed with many who’ve grieved the passing of a loved one, sat with some as they prepared to enter eternity, and wept with a few struggling to regain hope after receiving unwelcomed news. But, through it all, the joy of the Lord remains the source of our strength.

God has a plan for our world. God has a plan for our nation. God has a plan for our state. God has a plan for our community. God has a plan for our church. God has a plan for our families. And, you can be certain that God has a plan for your life. 

 

God’s plans unfold like the creases in an ancient treasure map. God’s plans are outlined in the pages of the Bible. God’s plans are accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit as we share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And, we’re finding joy in the journey!

 

If finding joy is a struggle for you, please remember that you are not alone. The Lord is with you, and so is your church family. Whether you are attending Radiant Life Church Online, or on campus, you don’t have to wait for the weekend to be supported in prayer. You can e-mail prayer requests to prayer@rlclodi.com, drop a note in the mail, or call the church office to leave a voicemail.

 

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” –2 Peter 3:8-9 

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

October 4, 2020

 

A little bit of grace goes a long, long way.

 

This week, we resumed indoor services at Radiant Life Church. While it felt good to be back inside the worship center that God has provided for us, it’s impossible to ignore the reality that this season has brought changes to the way we worship God and interact with each other. We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our church family—by limiting exposure to the virus, and by being understanding of the restrictions that have become commonplace in 2020. 

 

To be honest, I find myself asking God when this will end much less often in recent days. But, I’m increasingly praying for grace as we face new challenges. I pray that we will move forward in a manner that honors the Name of Jesus, while protecting the unity of His church. And, I believe we are learning to accept the fact that we have as great a need for God’s grace as ever before. 

 

Perhaps this is similar to Paul’s repeated prayer that the Lord would remove the “thorn” in his flesh that tormented him until God answered His prayer in a manner he didn’t expect. Paul writes, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” –2 Corinthians 12:9

 

As a recipient of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to extend His grace to others. As the world seems to swirl further out of control, many give way to the temptation of pointing fingers and verbally attacking the very people whom Jesus came to seek and save. In our weakness, we may even be tempted to criticize our brothers and sisters in Christ. But, grace brings us back to the foot of the cross and compels us to exercise restraint. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” –James 3:9-10 

 

As your pastor, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the prayer and support that have been extended throughout this year. This church stands firm on the foundation of faith that will not be shaken by shifts in culture. This church is filled with mature men and women of faith, who shine the light of Jesus in this community and beyond. This church is strengthened by children and teens who hunger and thirst for more of God. This church is actively engaged in meeting real needs in our community and around the world. This church is resilient. This church is loving. This church is committed. This church is alive. This is His church. And, you are a vital part of this church. 

 

Let’s continue to move forward in alignment with the Holy Spirit as we support one another in prayer, while offering the grace of Jesus to those who desperately need Him. 

 

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” –Ephesians 4:29

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

September 22, 2020

 

Do you know what time it is?

 

It’s time to put our faith in action! We’ve been praying fervently—seeking the will of God—expecting the Lord to guide us. Today, we must follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads us. This is not only a time to pray for divine intervention, but a time to pray for clarity, wisdom, faith, and courage. After all, God has not called us to be spectators, but to actively participate in reaching the world with the Good News of Jesus.

 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” This three-thousand-year-old poem from the Bible provided the lyrics for a chart topping song in 1965 that helped define a generation during a season of great change. (I wish I were as eloquent as King Solomon, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to begin the third chapter of Ecclesiastes with these timeless words.)

 

Throughout this missions emphasis month, I’ve asked our church family to pray specifically about making a Missions Faith Promise above normal tithes and offerings. This is not a calculated estimate of what is feasable, nor is it an arm twisting exercise to see how much we can possibly give. Missions Faith Promises are made in partnership with the Holy Spirit, who will work through us to continue to support missions & outreach efforts in Lodi, throughout Calfornia, across the US, and around the world.

 

Pastor Anayansi & I have found that God always seems to stretch us in this area, and since He is the one tugging on our hearts to give, He always makes a way. I like to say that “missions giving is selfless giving” because Radiant Life Church uses Missions Faith Promises to support ministries that benefit others. Not only do we apply 100% of missions funds to support outside ministry, but we consistently add to it!

 

I pray that you will find joy in knowing that you are making an eternal impact in the lives of children, teens, college students, young adults, parents, and seniors all over the world. Missions Faith Promises are not obligations to dread, but opportunities to celebrate as our support helps transform lives and expand the family of God.

 

Please ask God to impress on your heart how you can make a greater impact by supporting the missions & outreach endeavors of Radiant Life Church. I’d like to ask you to pray that God will give you the faith to trust Him to make a faith promise in the amount that He puts on your heart. Radiant Life Church will not send you a bill, nor will we remind you of the amount of your faith promise.

 

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” –Matthew 24:14

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

September 8, 2020

 

We’re compelled to reach the world!

The entire world continues to be rattled from months of adapting and adjusting to the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Everything changed. Everything has been turned on end. Everything seems unpredictable. Everything requires adjustment. Everyone wants answers. Everyone wants relief. Everyone wants to move forward with life. But one thing remains constant—everyone needs Jesus!

This month we are renewing our focus on impacting the world through our commitment to local, national, and global missions. Over the past year and a half, Radiant Life Church has supported two dozen missionaries and missions organizations. We support two missions agencies located in Lodi, nine more that are focused on reaching the US, and another thirteen ministering outside the US.

 

We think of our missionaries as part of our extended church family. Some of our missionaries serve in multiple countries, and some work in both foreign and domestic fields. Some are ministering in nations where it is neither safe nor legal to share the good news of Jesus. Some provide educational and humanitarian services in addition to sharing the gospel.

 

To be honest, I don’t like asking people to give financially, but I love getting to encourage our church family to support missions. We support missionaries with our prayer, financial gifts, and hands-on participation in missions trips. Radiant Life Church is committed to selflessly giving more than a tithe (10%) of our total income to support missions. This is selfless giving, because none of these funds are retained to support the operations or overhead of our local church. In 2019, 18.13% of our total expenses went to support outreach and missions—that’s $73,480! And, much of that support came through the fulfillment of missions faith promises.

 

Those who receive mailings from Radiant Life Church are being mailed a faith promise card for you to use as a reminder to pray. Please do not mail this card back before you have set aside time to fast and pray for God to impress on your heart how you should support missions above your tithe to Radiant Life Church. In fact, please put this card in a prominent place where you will be reminded to pray every day for the rest of the month. We’ll send you a second card in about two weeks as a reminder that it’s time to follow through with the faith promise that God has put on your heart.

 

Furthermore, I want to invite you to join me as I set aside 21 days to fast and pray for God to give us clarity on our commitment to missions & outreach. Our whole family takes our missions faith promise seriously because the Lord has consistently challenged us to stretch in our giving as we trust Jesus to make a way. And, Jesus always makes a way!

 

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” –2 Corinthians 9:7-8

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

August 25, 2020

 

Jesus is coming soon!

 

We have never been closer to the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we are today—that’s a fact. For two thousand years Christ’s followers have been looking to the sky with anticipation of His imminent return. While we do not know the day, nor the hour when He will return, we are confident of the fact that He will return. Every time we receive communion together, we affirm our faith in His glorious return: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” –1 Corinthians 11:26

 

In describing His second coming, Jesus reminds His followers of the days of Noah, when a great flood swept away those who were not protected in the ark. Jesus further describes people going about their daily lives side-by-side, when His followers are drawn to Him in the Rapture. While many are quick to point to current events as possible fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, in Matthew 24:42, we are reminded, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

 

Predicting the date and time of Jesus’ return is an unbiblical error that no Christian should make. There will be wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines and natural disasters—all providing stark opportunities to evaluate eternity, repent of sin, and turn to Jesus. The opportune question is not, “When will Jesus return?” But, perhaps we should be asking, “Will we be found ready when Jesus returns?” The difference is one of substance, not symantics.

 

We prepare for the Lord’s return by worshipping Him in spirit and in truth—whether it’s inside, outside, or online. As we worship Jesus, we find ourselves immersed in His loving presence, and compelled to extend His goodness to others. Admittedly, it can be difficult to share the grace of God while maintaining social distance, and it can be strenuous to enter into worship without time to adapt to the constantly changing setting.

 

Above all, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus. No matter what challenges we face, or changes we experience—Jesus is coming soon. Regardless of the decisions we make, or the ones that are made for us—Jesus is coming soon. When the world seems to be coming apart or crumbling around us—Jesus is coming soon. We have consistency in times of change, peace in moments of adversity, hope in days of despair, and joy in the midst of sorrow—because Jesus is coming soon!

 

1“…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:1b-2

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

August 10, 2020

 

 God is with us!

Pastor Anayansi and I celebrated our fifth anniversary at Radiant Life Church with our first outdoor service on Sunday, August 2. And, I am personally grateful for the opportunities that the Lord has provided for our church family to shine the light of Jesus during these tumultuous times. I thank God that He has prepared us for this moment through the adversity of the past, and our Lord is using our example to show the evidence of His love to those who have not yet received Him as Savior.

22“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” –1 Corinthians 9:22-23

 

This season has stretched us to improve our online presence, streamline our services, and focus on solutions rather than getting bogged down with problems. But more importantly, I pray that the changes and challenges of this crisis have drawn us closer to the Lord. May our focus be centered on thriving with the power of Jesus, rather than just surviving until things level out.

 

At this point, we are praying and seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to prepare for the weeks ahead with eager anticipation for a move of God. I’ve become aware of neighbors who are sitting on their porches listening to our outdoor services—neighbors who have never attended a service on our campus before! Many in our community do not have a church home. Many have never discovered the grace of God. Many have not yet experienced the freedom that only comes through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a great time for revival!

11“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” –Philippians 4:11b-13

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

July 27, 2020

 

We’re better together!

 

Radiant Life Church is holding our first outdoor service on our church campus on Sunday, August 2nd at 10:00am. Whether we attend Radiant Life Church Online, participate in weekly Zoom Prayer Gatherings, or jump through the hoops to gather together on our campus, nothing is preventing us from worshipping in Spirit and in Truth!

 

This has been a challenging season that has tested our faith, strained our resolve, and upended our sense of comfort. While it’s easy to allow frustration to lead us into the trap of arguing over the things that could separate us, the Word of God reminds us that “whoever loves a quarrel loves sin,” but “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:19a & 17)

 

In adversity, God gives us the opportunity to show His transforming power to the world that desperately needs the Savior. This hasn’t been an easy season, and it sometimes seems to be getting more difficult to navigate the guidelines, mandates, rules, and ranting. It’s often been said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but we know that true strength comes from the Lord—who gives us life. Our Lord Jesus gives us the strength to persevere and promises a reward that far outweighs the inconveniences of this season. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” –James 1:12

 

I always look forward to worshipping with you. There is nowhere I’d rather be than in the presence of the Lord with my family. And, that’s who we are—the family of God. Families are not perfect, but God is. Families don’t always have everything figured out, but God does. Family ties are sometimes strained, but God is steadfast. Families occasionally feel distant, but God is always with us. And, God’s family is forever!

 

Some in our church family are not ready to gather together at this point. So, we are committed to continuing to provide weekly offerings of worship and the Word through Radiant Life Church Online. For those who are eager to participate in our outdoor service, we’re asking everyone to either bring your own folding chair, or consider worshipping from the comfort of your car. We’re making every effort to keep the service shorter, safer, smoother, and Spirit led.

 

7“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” –2 Corinthians 4:7-9

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

July 14, 2020

 

Here we go again…

 

Just four Sundays after resuming services on our campus, we’re back to attending church in our homes via online services. As inconvenient as it has been to wear masks in our worship center, I’m grateful that we were able to assemble together in the house of the Lord, and I’m also grateful that many have faithfully participated in Radiant Life Church online—becauseEveryONE Counts!

 

Despite the difficulties of the past four months, the Lord remains faithful, and we remain united in Jesus Christ. Jesus has not abandoned us, and He never will. Jesus has not forsaken us, and He never will. Jesus has not forgotten us, and He never will. Jesus has not failed us, and He never will. Jesus has heard our prayers, and He always will. Jesus has brought us comfort in our distress, and He always will. Jesus has provided for us, and He always will. Jesus has remained with us, and He always will. After all, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8

 

We are still part of His church while we are in our homes, engaging in service on YouTube, praying together via Zoom, or anywhere else. We are not limited to a facility or any location because Jesus is right where we are. We must make it our priority to pray in the Spirit and worship God wholeheartedly throughout this season. Here are seven ways we can stay connected:

1) Zoom Prayer GatheringSet aside thirty minutes each Wednesday at 6:00pm for worship & prayer. Info on how to connect by phone, or smart device is in the insert included with each letter we send.

2) Online Service & RLC Kids OnlineVisit our online services by following the link on our website at radiantlifelodi.com. We also post links on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

3) US MailYou are always welcome to use the enclosed envelope to communicate with the church office. I have received many prayer requests, testimonies, and words of encouragement through the pre-stamped envelopes. (It’s not just for tithes and offerings…)

4) E-MailE-mail prayer requests to prayer@rlclodi.com.

5) Social MediaComment on the posts on the church Facebook page or Twitter feed. And please forward service links to your friends and family regularly.

6) CallCall each other and encourage one another regularly. Also, if you want to schedule an appointment, please call the church office at (209) 333-8491, and Jennifer will help us connect.

7) TextSend a quick text of encouragement, or text a prayer request.

 

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” –Matthew 18:19-20  

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

June 30, 2020

 

We are free indeed!

 

While Independence Day celebrations look and feel very different this year, we can celebrate every day of every year because we are blessed with a freedom that cannot be masked, muted, or minimized. Through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, we are free from sin, free from death, and free to live our lives to the fullest without fear.

 

Our freedom in Christ is neither limited by the restrictions on our gatherings, nor on the ever changing opinions of how to best address the threats we face. We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our church family, we choose to see each new opportunity through our faith in Jesus Christ, and we remain focused on the Good News that transforms hearts and lives. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” –John 8:36

 

This summer we are exploring some of the amazing miracles of Jesus in a series of messages dubbed: Really Believe It! And, many in our church family need to experience the miraculous power of Jesus to restore broken relationships, provide for financial needs, crush the destructive cycle of sin, shine light into the darkness for a loved one, and bring healing physically, emotionally, & spiritually. This week, I have prayed specifically that we would see a miracle in our church during this season—and we have!

 

As I was preparing to write this letter, I was brought to tears by the testimony of a founding member of Radiant Life Church, Phillip Barriga. For the past seven years, Phillip has been disabled with a life-threatening heart condition. His cardiologist has repeatedly told him that he will never work again, and that his heart condition will not improve. But, I’m ready to shout from the rooftops that Phillip’s prognosis has miraculously changed.

 

Phillip has not given up faith in the healing power of Jesus Christ, and Jesus hasn’t given up on Phillip either. He was supposed to be scheduling a surgery to replace the defibrillator that keeps his heartbeat steady, but the battery isn’t draining as fast as it should because his heartbeat is getting stronger. In fact, his cardiologist now says his heart is strong enough for him to begin to work again. Praise the Lord!!!

 

The back of this letter addresses how the gatherings on our campus look and feel differently since we have resumed on-site services on June 21. We recognize that there has been a significant increase in reported COVID-19 cases in Lodi over the past few weeks, and we are prepared to continue to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus amongst our church family. We will adapt how we utilize our facility and conduct our services based on the best information from public health officials. We will also cooperate with governing authorities in reducing the spread of illness that has brought a great deal of pain and loss to many families. And, we will continue to provide online services through our website and social media—without compromising the gospel message.

 

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” –Galatians 5:13

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

June 15, 2020

 

Are you ready to participate in a miracle? God hasn’t called us to try to get stuck in a rut, nor to accept defeat— “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37

 

As the world seems to be coming apart at the seams, this is the perfect time for the people of God to come together in His name. I pray that the Lord will not only knit our hearts together as we worship in the house of the Lord, but I also pray that we will experience the amazing miracles of Jesus in our families. It’s time for strongholds to be broken. It’s time for healings to occur. It’s time for peace, unity, and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our only hope.

 

We’re preparing to resume services on campus at 10:00am on Sunday, June 21. Here are a few things you can expect:

One Point-Of-Entry: Everyone will enter the building by passing under a canopy near the office entrance at the bottom of the ramp.

Arrive On Time: The door will be opened fifteen minutes before service, please do not arrive earlier. Also, we are limited to a maximum 100 people in the building for service at this point.

Temperature Checks: Before entering the building everyone will be screened for fever using a touchless thermometer, and asked basic questions about possible symptoms and/or exposure to COVID-19. (Those with a fever of 100.4 degrees or more will not be able to enter.)

Face Coverings: To reduce the potential of spreading the coronavirus when we gather, we will all be wearing face masks. These masks do not protect the wearer, but they are said to protect everyone else from droplets that are carried in our breath.

Limited Physical Interaction: Bulletins, communion trays, and offering bags will not be passed, and we will not be shaking hands or hugging as we are accustomed to doing.

Social Distancing: We will be roping off every other pew and asking that everyone maintains a distance of at least six feet from those who do not live in the same home.

Families Worshipping Together: Children will worship with their parents in the worship center, or in one of five rooms with closed circuit TV. If your family would prefer to worship in a “family room” please notify a team member as you enter the building. (Rooms are limited, and only those who live in the same house my share a “family room.”)

Shorter Services: Services will be less than an hour long, and we will dismiss by row to reduce clustering in the building.

 

We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our church family, we choose to see each new opportunity through our faith in Jesus Christ. We remain focused on the positive things that God is doing. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” –Philippians 4:8

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

 May 30, 2020

 

The time to gather together is very near!

 

In the days leading up to Pentecost Sunday, our Church Board has been praying in the Spirit, and we’ve reviewed the newly established guidelines for resuming gatherings. Our entire leadership team is eager to worship together with our church family, and we are committed to doing our part to provide a healthy and safe worship environment that complies with the latest guidelines. The Holy Spirit has spoken to our hearts to set aside our personal agendas and patiently trust in Him.

 

We’re planning to resume services on campus at 10:00am on Sunday, June 21. And, we are making every effort to ensure that we are in compliance with the latest public health guidelines as we follow the recommendations of the Assemblies of God. While we all want to get back to meeting together as soon as possible, the Lord has made it clear to us that we must take precautions to ensure that the most vulnerable in our church family are not put at greater risk in our worship environment. For this reason, church will look and feel a bit different when we come back to the worship center at Radiant Life Church. Here are a few things you can expect:

Social Distancing: We will be roping off every other pew and asking that everyone maintains a distance of at least six feet from those who do not live in the same home.

Face Coverings: To reduce the potential of spreading the coronavirus when we gather, we will all be wearing face masks. These masks do not protect the wearer, but they are said to protect everyone else from droplets that are carried in our breath.

Temperature Checks: Before entering the building everyone will be screened for fever using a touchless thermometer. (Those with a fever of 100.4 degrees or more will not be able to enter.)

Limited Physical Interaction: Bulletins, communion trays, and offering bags will not be passed, and we will not be shaking hands or hugging as we are accustomed to doing.

Families Worshipping Together: Children will worship with their parents in the worship center, or in one of several rooms with closed circuit TV.

Shorter Services: Services will be less than an hour long. (Somehow, I don’t think we’ll get any complaints about this one…)

 

For some, being able to gather together is worth the personal sacrifices, while others may choose to continue to worship at home with Radiant Life Church online. To be very honest, neither I, nor anyone on the church board are thrilled about implementing all of the necessary guidelines, but we are committed to the health and wellbeing of our church family. And, we are continuing to grow through this process. The Bible reminds us of the great benefits that come through personal discomfort, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” –Hebrews 12:11

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

May 19, 2020

 

The road seems long, but the journey is good!

 

None of us saw this coming—but God has not been surprised by any of the twists and turns we’ve faced in recent months. At the beginning of 2020, I remember having a sense of optimism about all of the great things that God had instore, and I never would have believed that we would not be meeting together for more than two months. But, God’s presence in our online services, Zoom prayer meetings, and old fashioned mailings serve as reminders that patience is among the Fruit of the Spirit.

 

By now, you’ve probably wondered when things would return to normal. I know I’ve asked the Lord that question many times… However, the Lord has consistently impressed on my heart that He never promised that we would return—He has called us to advance. I am convinced this season is absolutely vital to God’s plan to advance His kingdom. Patience is vital to progress. After Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus instructed his excited followers to be patient. Jesus said, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” –Luke 24:49

 

So, how will we know when it is time to meet together again? First, governing authorities will offer new guidelines for gatherings over 50 people. But, more importantly, the Holy Spirit will make it clear to the leadership of our church. God’s Word has already provided some direction, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

 

Let’s continue to love one another, pray for one another, respect one another, and encourage one another. Let’s continue to pray for our President, Governor, Mayor, those who are working toward a vaccination, and those who serve on the frontlines in our society and our church. Let’s continue to stay connected through our Wednesday Zoom Prayer Gatherings, Food Pantry ministry, online services, social media, phone calls and text messages.

 

No matter how others choose to react, we are led by the Holy Spirit. Once we have received the “green light” to begin to meet again, we will announce details about our first gathering on our website, Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, and we will send notifications by mail, text, and phone calls. We continue to offer online services, and we’re committed to providing a safe environment to worship the Lord together when that time comes. We are not going backward because the best is yet to come!

 

22“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

May 7, 2020

 

This is a good time for healing!

 

Being admitted into a hospital is very much like entering the church—we tend to arrive with pain, problems, and preconditions, and we’ll either get better and be released, or we will not get better and our loved ones will mourn for us… In Mark 2:17, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 

It is worth noting that while Jesus healed many who were sick, the Bible never states that He healed everyone. Likewise, while the Good News of Jesus is available to everyone, not everyone chooses to receive the free gift of salvation that He purchased on the cross. Jesus did the hard part, and invited us to make an important choice. We get to choose life, and we get to choose to offer life to others.

 

On this side of eternity, we will never know how many people have received physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing through the ministries of Radiant Life Church. But, as we approach our 35th Anniversary, we see evidence of the fact that the Holy Spirit is working to bring healing and transform lives through the ministries of our church.

 

This season has brought many of us to our knees in prayer and in desperation. I believe desperate prayers reach the throne room of heaven with a force that shakes the foundation of the earth. I believe that the gates of hell tremble when we pray in a manner that depends on an answer that can only come from Almighty God. And the Word of God declares that He hears our prayers and transforms our lives.

 

No matter how long this present emergency lasts—or how prolific the coronavirus may be—we are not defeated. We have been transformed by the wonderworking power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world. You know, another word for transformation is change. Though change can be uncomfortable, change is also inevitable. Our church is changing, each of us is changing, and the changes we are experiencing today have eternal consequences! 

 

As I sign this letter, I pray for you. I pray that God will bless you exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that you can ask or imagine. And I pray that you will experience exactly the change that God intends for you during this time of healing!

 

51“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” –1 Corinthians 15:51-52

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

April 20, 2020

 

This is an exciting season!

 

Maybe you wouldn’t have picked the word “exciting” to describe this season when many are uncertain, isolated, afraid, unemployed and suffering. But, that’s not what makes this season exciting. What makes this season exciting is the fact that great moves of God always occur in times of adversity. Just look at a few of the most prominent examples in the Bible:

-God saved Noah & his family on the ark while the entire world was submerged by a flood.

-God gave Abraham & Sarah a son after they had grown old and given up hope.

-God freed his people by parting the Red Sea after ten plagues and four centuries in slavery.

-God blessed King David’s throne after King Saul had made numerous attempts to kill him.

 –Jesus rose from the grave after being scorned, tortured & suffering crucifixion.

This is an exciting season—not because of the public health emergency—but because God is BIGGER than the sum total of our uncertainty, isolation, fear, poverty and sickness. Our Lord Jesus Christ is certain to succeed. He is with us always. His love casts out fear. He is our provider. And, He is our healer. The miracle power of the Holy Spirit is actively working in our lives and through our church family. So, let me reiterate: This is an exciting season!

 

As you may have heard, we are approaching the 35th Anniversary of Radiant Life Church, which first held services on Sunday, May 26, 1985. We have benefited from the enduring Legacy of faith that we’ve received from past generations of followers of Jesus Christ, who pressed forward through heartbreak and pain to invest their time, talent, and resources in work of the Lord. And, we share in passing this Legacy to our children, grandchildren, and the emerging generation by sharing life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

More than anything else, I personally want to offer my thanks. Thank God for ordaining Radiant Life Church to share the Good News of Jesus in this community and around the world. And, thank you for your faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer. Thank you for your generosity and faithfulness in giving tithes & offerings to the work of the Lord through Radiant Life Church. Thank you for not losing hope. Thank you for being part of this church family.

 

“For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” –Psalm 100:5

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

April 7, 2020

 

We are filled with peace and hope during this time of crisis because Jesus is alive!

 

God is not surprised by the current epidemic. The Almighty is not shaken by any threat that spreads uncertainty and sparks fear. After all, this week is all about celebrating the fact that Jesus conquered the grave when He rose from death to life on Resurrection Sunday.

 

Our mission as a church is to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And, every day I receive reports of our church family sharing the love of Jesus in a variety of ways. As a result, many have renewed their commitment to Jesus, while others have accepted Him as Lord & Savior for the very first time. Each Sunday, I’ve sent text messages with a link to our online worship service. On Palm Sunday, we received an overwhelming response to the message of Jesus’ upside down gift of communion.

 

Today, Radiant Life Church is reaching more people online than ever before. Each of the last three Sunday morning worship services has connected with an online audience of more than double our average Sunday morning attendance. We are reaching many in our community and across the nation. Additionally, our food pantry continues to operate on Wednesdays from 9am to noon for “curbside” ministry.

 

GOOD FRIDAY & RESURRECTION SUNDAY: Both will be marked with special online services featuring a time of communion together. We have just received a shipment of individually packaged communion cups and wafers. I ask that each person in our church family either prepare your own grape juice and bread for communion this weekend, or pick-up communion elements outside the entrance near the flagpole at the church this Thursday (4/9) between 6:00pm & 8:00pm or Friday (4/10) between 9:00am & 11:00am. (Please pull up in front of the steps near the flagpole and remain in your vehicle. A pastor or church staff member will bring the communion elements to your car.)

 

If you have an urgent need you can call me directly at (916) 333-8491 x101, or e-mail me at pastor@rlclodi.com, or e-mail prayer requests to prayer@rlclodi.com.

 

9“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” –1 John 4:9-11

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

We are in this together! Our mission as a church is to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. But, how do we do that when we have been advised not to gather together due to a public health emergency?

We live in a time when technology provides opportunities to connect in ways that were not available at any previous point in human history. God has uniquely positioned us to share this journey like never before.

We’ve already began to adapt our Sunday morning worship services to better suit online environments, and we experienced more views on Sunday than any video that we’ve posted in the past five years—seven times as many views in one day as the average of all videos posted in 2019. And, we can connect more often!

This Wednesday, March 25, we will be conducting a thirty minute prayer gathering on a digital conferencing platform called Zoom. Up to 100 people will be able to join using a computer (with or without video), or by phone. A chat feature allows us to comment and add prayer requests during the gathering. Here’s how to participate:

Radiant Life Church Wednesday Prayer Gathering

Wednesday, March, 25, 2020, beginning at 6:00pm

Join by computer or smartphone visit https://zoom.us/j/436473617
Join by phone dial (669) 900-6833
The meeting ID is 436 473 617

Additionally, as an intergenerational church, we are adopting the weekly video bible studies for all ages that are made available by the Assemblies of God. Let’s start today by clicking the appropriate link(s) below.

For Adults: https://covid19.ag.org/Devotionals/Adults-Devotional/Week-1-Devotionals/Day-1—Jesus-is-the-Word

For Teens: https://covid19.ag.org/Devotionals/Youth-Devotional/Week-1/Day-1—Jesus-Is-the-Word

For Kids: https://covid19.ag.org/Devotionals/Kids-Devotional/Week-1/Day-1—Jesus-Is-the-Word

Finally, our entire Church Board and staff are committed to praying for the needs of our church family every day! Please e-mail your prayer requests to prayer@rlclodi.com

Indoor Gatherings Resume Sunday, February 7
Or Attend Via YouTube or Facebook