Letters From Our Pastor

April 24, 2024


Don’t be afraid to fail.


The fear of failure can be paralyzing. No one looks forward to falling flat on our faces, bearing the brunt of a joke, experiencing social humiliation, or being rejected, right? But, failure is inevitable in life.


Suggesting that failure is inevitable doesn’t seem very encouraging, does it? If you’ve ever seen the movie Apollo 13, or taken a tour of any of NASA’s facilities, you’re probably familiar with the motto, “Failure is not an option.” I have repeated that phrase more times than I can count. It seems pretty good to apply this idea to the work of the Lord, raising kids, and marriages. But, the fear of failure also puts a lot of pressure on imperfect people facing difficult decisions, embarking on new opportunities, or contemplating how to Step Up and reach new heights with Jesus.


This week, I attended an annual gathering of pastors, ministers, and missionaries from the Northern California & Nevada District of the Assemblies of God. As I sat in a worship service on Monday night, I prayed for our church and our community. Specifically, I prayed about how we can use the gifts that God has given us to make a greater impact. We are surrounded by people who need Jesus, people who need to grow in their faith, and people who need to be encouraged. And, I believe God put these words on my heart as I prayed: Don’t be afraid to fail.


Let’s try viewing failure through a different lens. What if we could actually make progress by accepting that failure is inevitable? One of today’s top leadership experts is a pastor and best-selling author named John C. Maxwell. He wrote, “The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.” Maxwell refers to this as failing forward. He wrote, “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” Don’t be afraid to fail.


Experiencing failure is not the same as being a failure. Even though we fail at some things, we are not failures in God’s eyes. Despite the failures we experience in life, the Lord doesn’t see us as a lost cause according to Romans 8:37, which declares, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” No matter how many times we stumble along the way, Jesus has already claimed victory over sin, shame, and even death for us. I would be glad to fail a dozen times if it leads to one more person receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. So, why are we afraid of a little failure?


We need to Step Up and reach new heights with Jesus as we invest our time, talent, and treasure in areas that have eternal consequences. We’ve got to trust the Lord without fearing failure!


“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” –Philippians 1:12


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


April 11, 2024


Need an energy boost?  


Spring is finally in full swing! I love the fact that this season is called spring because it implies energy and stamina. It’s felt as though winter weather has held us with a pretty firm grip, giving only occasional hints of warmer weather to come. I’ve marveled at how the temperatures can swing thirty degrees in either direction in a matter of a day or two. But, we’ve reached 80 degrees three times in the last week, and I’m ready to ride through springtime on my motorcycle!


I make no apology about being a fair-weather rider, so my bike has spent a lot of time in the garage over the past few months. I’ve ridden in rain and through a bit of snow, but I prefer dry asphalt and moderate temperatures. During a lunch break this week, I rushed home and slipped into my helmet. Thinking that I may not have time for a proper ride, I intended to take a longer route back to the church. But, after pulling my bike onto our sloped driveway, I turned the key and found that the battery was drained. There wasn’t enough power to start the 1700cc engine. I needed an energy boost—and so did my motorcycle!


My family gave me a portable jump-starter for Father’s Day a couple of years ago. It’s pretty easy to use, and much more convenient than getting a jump from another vehicle. However, motorcycles need to be driven for about 20 to 30 minutes after a jump-start to allow the battery to recharge and be able to start the engine again later. This was a problem because I didn’t have that kind of time during my lunch break. The solution was simple, I just needed to jump-start the battery when I came home at the end of the day. Then I’d have to take a longer ride. Perfect!!!


If you’re not fond of motorcycles, you may not be enjoying this letter very much, but I’m glad you’re still reading! You see, we all need an energy boost from time to time. We all have things in our lives that drain our energy, create inconveniences, and slow us down. But, we get to choose how we respond to our circumstances. We can either sink in sorrow, or Step Up and use the resources God has provided to us.


My battery wouldn’t have been drained if I had spent more time riding. Likewise, our relationships stay stronger if we spend time together, our bodies grow healthier if we spend time exercising, and our spirits soar when we spend time with the Lord in prayer, worship, and Bible study. If you feel drained, depleted, or disengaged, you just need an energy boost. It’s time to Step Up and reach new heights with Jesus.


I pray that you will find joy in the presence of the Lord this spring. When it seems difficult to Step Up, we can always trust the Lord to give us the boost we need.


30“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” –Isaiah 40:30-31


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


March 27, 2024


He is risen indeed!  


Holidays and traditions go hand-in-hand. But, sometimes we lose track of why we do certain things in celebration, and our traditions can become more like superstitions. So, let’s refocus as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!


The Road To Easter leads to the empty tomb, so it’s essential that we focus on Jesus. Easter isn’t about bunnies, baskets, baked goods, or boiled eggs. Easter is about life—Jesus is alive. Christians have been known to get into heated debates about how we interpret the Bible, conduct our lives, and even how we celebrate Easter. Many of our debates stem from the fact that we live in a fallen and broken world. On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus prayed to the Father that His followers wouldn’t be corrupted by worldly influences. Jesus prayed, 15“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” –John 17:15-18


We are sanctified by the blood of Jesus, which makes us clean and purifies us from sin and shame. The Lord can sanctify anyone and anything He chooses. In Acts 10, the Lord gave Peter a vision about eating food that had previously been deemed unclean or impure according to the Old Testament. When Peter protested, the Lord answered, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Peter quickly realized that this applied to more than food—Jesus extends the gift of eternal life to everyone.


As I’ve studied the history of the word Easter, I’ve discovered that Easter not only refers to Resurrection Sunday, but earlier forms of the word have also been attributed to a false goddess of fertility. However, further study takes Easter to its root meaning of springtime, which is a season of life. After all, life is exactly what we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday. Jesus rose from death to life—He is risen indeed!


Some believe that the first Easter eggs changed color miraculously as Mary Magdalene stood at the empty tomb. There is also a tradition that Mary Magdalene greeted the Roman Emperor Tiberias with the statement that “Christ is risen,” to which Tiberias suggested that there was no greater chance of Jesus rising from the dead as an egg turning red, then a white egg in her hand miraculously turned red. This has been associated with the common Easter greeting, “He is risen,” and the response, “He is risen indeed.”


I don’t know if either of the stories about Mary Magdalene and Easter eggs are accurate, but it is interesting to learn more about some of the traditions surrounding Easter. This much is for sure, we have reason to celebrate as we share the Good News of Jesus this Easter. He is risen indeed!


31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” –Luke 15:31-32


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


March 14, 2024


We are family.  


There are many notable events along the Road To Easter, and there are seemingly unrelated holidays as well—like Pi Day. In case you haven’t heard about it, Pi Day was first celebrated in 1988 by a physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium, then the US Congress officially declared March 14 as National Pi Day in 2009. Also written as “π,” pi is the irrational number that comes from dividing any circle’s circumference by its diameter. Regardless of the size of a circle, pi is always the same number with an unending string of non-repeating digits after the decimal point. Pi is often rounded to 3.14, which is why March 14 is recognized as Pi Day. Our family celebrates Pi Day by purchasing a discounted pizza for only $3.14.


For many, holiday celebrations connect us with family. It’s funny how family can mean many things to different people. It should come as no surprise that Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary offers eight definitions for family as a noun. But, one of my favorite descriptions of the meaning of family comes from the Hawaiian word for family that is described in Disney’s 2002 animated movie Lilo & Stitch: “Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” We are family.


No matter what we choose to think about the meaning of family, God’s definition of family is most important because God created the family. There are families of common ancestry and families formed through adoption, and we can each be part of more than one family. We are all part of physical families, and followers of Jesus are adopted into God’s spiritual family, which is why we call Him our Heavenly Father. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” –1 John 3:1


Regardless of our feelings about our physical families, we are all loved by our Heavenly Father. Jesus offered a powerful description of the family of God when He gave the Parable of the Prodigal Son (or Lost Son). It’s really the story of two lost sons: 1) A younger son who lost touch when he took his inheritance early, abandoned his family, and lost everything, only to return with the hopes of being a servant in his father’s household; and 2) An older son who lost sight of love and forgiveness, and become jealous of how his younger brother was received and celebrated when he came home. The father didn’t give a lecture or ask questions, he just received his son back into the family and celebrated.


I pray that the Road To Easter will bring us to a time of homecoming and celebration as the family of God. May those who have been faithful be glad to celebrate with those who return to the Lord. Who will you bring home to Jesus this Easter? After all, we are family.


31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” –Luke 15:31-32


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 29, 2024


These are the days! 


That last one is a question I hear all the time. My wife asks it. Our kids ask it. I ask it. And, I’m pretty sure you’ve asked it. But, Jesus doesn’t seem to ask that question. Instead, Jesus tells us to be ready. In Matthew 24:44, Jesus said, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”


As followers of Jesus, we have the blessed hope that Jesus is coming soon. And, the fact that Jesus is coming soon has stirred the hearts of God’s people since the first century. Whether we are alive at that moment, or have already entered into eternity before He comes, we will be united with Him in the air. And, nobody knows when that moment will be, so we must be ready. These are the days!


When we live like every moment could be our last, we strive to maximize the potential of every moment. If God gives us tomorrow, then we’ll make the most of tomorrow too. But, in the meantime, let’s make the most of today!


If you happened to come to our annual business meeting this year, you had the opportunity to see a video that featured 330 images portraying how God has worked in and through our church family over the past calendar year. There were pictures of worship services, times of prayer, people caring for our campus, special events, missions trips, community outreaches, JOY Fellowship, RLC Kids, Fuse Student Ministries, water baptisms, and more. The video was set to seven songs that included Heaven Changes Everything by Big Daddy Weave, I Thank God by Housefires, This Is Our God by Phil Wickham, Counting My Blessings by Seph Schlueter, My Story Your Glory by Matthew West, Praise You Anywhere by Brandon Lake, and These Are The Days by Lauren Daigle. If you aren’t familiar with any of these songs, I highly recommend that you check them out. While we may prefer a variety of musical styles, the lyrics are encouraging for everyone. (If these songs don’t stir your spirit, please let me know, and I’ll keep you in prayer.)


Regardless of what kind of music you like, or what you think of the songs above, we should be am grateful that we get to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s time to Start Fresh and embrace new possibilities with Jesus because these are the days—are you ready?


3“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:3-6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 15, 2024


Jesus is our hope for healing.  


The game is over. Super Bowl LVIII is behind us. I am not an avid football fan, but I have come to enjoy catching a game from time-to-time, and I have a favorite team that has had a few rough seasons. As Fuse Student Ministries prepared to the watch the big matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, I took time to learn about some of the players on both teams. And, I was encouraged by the way both starting quarterbacks talked about their faith in Jesus Christ.


As the very last person selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, 24-year-old Brock Purdy was dubbed Mr. Irrelevant. But, Brock Purdy didn’t let a dismissive moniker define him. In his second season as an NFL quarterback, Purdy led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Throughout the game, Purdy and his team held their own against the defending champions, the 49ers led throughout much of the game, and the score was tied at the end of the fourth quarter. In overtime, the Chiefs would claim a 25-22 victory over the 49ers.


Leading up to the Super Bowl, Brock Purdy said, “Jesus Christ is my Rock. He’s my Lord and Savior. That’s who I live for, and that bleeds into how I love my teammates well, how I can have a good mindset when things are going well, when things aren’t going well—in football, in life. That’s my identity.” He continued, “The verdict is in. Jesus Christ already died for my sins and I’m saved through Him. And, now I can go and live my life through that. So, that’s my identity.”


On the other side of the field, 28-year-old Patrick Mahomes has been the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2017. Mahomes has now played in four Super Bowls, led team to three championships, and many consider him to be one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Mahomes has become known for praying at the goalposts before every football game he’s played since high school.


Last year, Patrick Mahomes said, “My Christian faith plays a role in everything that I do.” He continued, “I always ask God to lead me in the right direction and let me be who I am for His Name. So, it has a role in everything that I do. Obviously, we’ll be on that huge stage in the Super Bowl that He’s given me, and I want to make sure I’m glorifying Him while I do it.”


During a parade that celebrated the Chiefs’ win in Kansas City, a terrible tragedy occurred. Twenty-one people were injured and one perished when gunfire rang out. About half of the wounded were children. As we pray for those who are wounded physically and emotionally, we recognize that we live in a fallen and broken world in desperate need of the Savior. This is not a game. Jesus is our hope for healing.


14“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. 15They keep saying to me, ‘Where is the Word of the Lord? Let it now be fulfilled!’.” –Jeremiah 17:14-15


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 18, 2024


February 1, 2024


The Lord is undeniable.


There are two kinds of denial. Dictionaries offer numerous definitions of denial, and experts in various fields can give lengthy explanations about the nuances of denial. But, it seems as though denial either involves a refusal to admit that something is true or real, or denial is the refusal to satisfy a request or need. In both cases, the Lord is undeniable. 


The Bible is true and the Lord is real. The Lord is alive and active, so it should come as no surprise that the Word of God is also alive and active. There is overwhelming evidence in favor of the power and presence of God in nature, the Bible, and the person of Jesus Christ—God with us. For thousands of years, skeptics, scoffers, and cynics have unsuccessfully attempted to disprove the existence of the Almighty, discredit the authority of the Bible, and dismiss the role of Jesus in our lives. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” The Lord is undeniable.


Jesus knows what’s best for us, and serving Him is always a good idea. It’s amazing how many people attend church, but struggle to find a place to serve the Lord through the ministries of the church. Serving can seem inconvenient, and may cause us to step out of our comfort zone. But, it is often when we accept opportunities to serve that we exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and grow. God has a plan and purpose for everyone, and Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us, 8“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The Lord is undeniable.


Our mission as a church is to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. When we an authentic relationship with the Lord, it is unthinkable that we would deny Him the opportunity to work through us. Denial is often tied to fear, and sometimes denial results from selfishness. Jesus said, 25“Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” –John 12:25-26


It’s time to Start Fresh and embrace new possibilities with Jesus. There are opportunities for every one of us to serve Jesus because EveryOne Counts. The Lord is undeniable.


“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” –Luke 12:8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 18, 2024


Good intentions demand action.


There is an old phrase about a road paved with good intentions—and it doesn’t lead to heaven! Many are surprised to learn that this particular proverb is not actually found in the Bible. It’s attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux, who lived from AD 1091 to AD 1153. If Bernard actually made the statement about good intentions, then it’s been repeated for just about a thousand years. 


Intention and desire are not the same. Based on Merriam-Webster’s definitions, desire can describe an impulse or longing toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment, while intention is to have in mind a purpose or goal that one intends to accomplish.


Jesus encounters three men with good intentions in a short passage in chapter nine of the book of Luke. The first man claims that he will follow Jesus wherever He goes, and Jesus responds by telling him that they are not going to be staying in five-star hotels. We never hear about the first man again. The second man was actually called by Jesus, but he needed to settle his late father’s estate, and it seems that he never got back to Jesus. The third man was probably excited about following Jesus, but had a hard time leaving his home and relatives. They all seemed to have good intentions, but none of the three accomplished their purpose or goal of following Jesus. They desired to follow Jesus down easy street, but they weren’t willing to go with Him to minister on skid row. They lost sight of the fact that good intentions demand action.


On the other hand, sometimes people don’t have good intentions, right? And, sometimes someone else’s bad intentions can have an adverse effect on others. That was certainly the case with an Old Testament man named Joseph. The Lord showed Joseph a glimpse of his future as a great leader, but his brothers became jealous and plotted to kill him. After some debate, they almost settled for abandoning him before they ultimately sold him into slavery. Then, they falsely reported him as dead. Despite their bad intentions, Joseph remained faithful to the Lord, and the Lord remained faithful to Joseph.


God ultimately positioned Joseph to become a great leader who saved countless lives, including his brothers. Even when others intend to harm us, God intends to bring about something good, and He will work thorough our faithfulness to accomplish greater things than we may desire.


As we Start Fresh and embrace new possibilities with Jesus, we must put our faith in action—even when challenges arise. Good intentions demand action, and the Lord will fulfill all that He has promised us!


“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” –Genesis 50:20


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 3, 2024


It’s not too late.


High pressure sales pitches drive me crazy! I don’t like to hear that I need to act fast because a deal like this won’t last long. And, I don’t appreciate feeling rushed to make decisions that have significant financial implications or require major time commitments. But, who wants to miss out on a great opportunity? 


It’s not too late to start fresh today. As long as we have breath in our lungs, we need to embrace new possibilities with Jesus. It’s not too late.


On May 27, 2018, eighteen people were baptized as public professions of their faith in Jesus Christ and an act of obedience to Him. There were boys, girls, women, and men. The youngest was about ten years old, and the oldest was Norm Hubner, who was eighty-two!


Norm Hubner was one of the most thoughtful people I’ve ever known. Norm loved the Lord for decades. Norm was faithful to his wife Launa for over sixty years.  Norm was generous to his friends and family—always eager to share a good deal, offer a tip, and give gifts to the people in his life. Norm loved life. Every conversation with Norm was encouraging.


Norm explained that He didn’t like to be the center of attention, and he struggled with the thought of speaking in front of people.  So, Norm had never been baptized. Norm told me that he wrestled with the desire to be obedient to Jesus, and the pressure of “going public.” It had been so long since he chose to follow Jesus, and it took courage to decide that it’s not too late to take another step of faith—even if that step would force Norm out of his comfort zone. So, Norm decided to start fresh and be baptized.


Standing in the water, I asked Norm what Jesus meant to him and why he wanted to be baptized. His answers were brief and to the point. He said that Jesus meant everything to him, and that he wanted to “be closer to Him.” Norm chose to embrace new possibilities with Jesus, and set an example that has inspired many. After Norm went home to the Lord on December 13, 2023, Launa told me that Norm never felt like he was worthy of being baptized. It’s a good thing that we don’t have to be worthy—sometimes we just need to acknowledge that it’s not too late!


During their last days together, Norm asked Launa to remember how much he loved gospel music. In memory of Norm Hubner, his family is hosting a concert at Radiant Life Church on Sunday, January 21, at 5:00pm. The concert will feature one of Norm’s favorites, The Herb Henry Family. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the music Norm loved, and invite those you love as well—it’s not too late.


“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…” –2  Corinthians 7:10a


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 20, 2023


God is so good.


Christmas tends to be synonymous with giving and receiving gifts, which seems appropriate because Jesus is literally God’s greatest gift to humanity. Jesus is the perfect gift for everyone. He is God with us—Emmanuel. Jesus is proof that God is so good.


Have you ever noticed that Jesus is called by many names? Not only are there many translations of the name Jesus in various languages, but there are many titles given to Him that help us identify how good He is. Jesus is Lamb of God, who gives us freedom as the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Jesus is Alpha & Omega, indicating that He is eternal. Jesus is Son of God, who is co-equal with the Father and Spirit. Jesus is Son of Man, who became fully human, but never sinned. Jesus is Son of David, descended from royalty and rightly sits on King David’s throne forever. Jesus is Wonderful Counselor, who cares for our most personal needs. Jesus is Mighty God, who fights our battles for us. Jesus is Prince of Peace, who is the only hope for a world in constant conflict. Jesus is Living Stone, rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him. Jesus is King of kings & Lord of lords, who is above all rulers and authorities. Jesus is Bread of Life, who satisfies us. Jesus is Light of The World, who guides us. Jesus is Messiah & Christ, the fulfillment of God’s promise to deliver His people. Jesus is I Am—the name that God calls Himself. And, Jesus has more names, He even has a name that no one knows but He Himself.


Jesus is Emmanuel—God with us. Or, is it Emanuel? Or, Immanuel? Yes—all three are correct. The different spellings are due to being translated from both Greek and Hebrew into various other languages. This name first appeared as a promise to those who refused to trust the Lord. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.” –Isaiah 7:14


Sometime around the year 1200, followers of Jesus began to sing the Latin version of the song we know as O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The earliest English translation by John Mason Neale was printed in 1851, and was modified a few times in the years that followed. Here are the lyrics of two of my favorite verses:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.


O come, Thou Bright and Morning Star,

And bring us comfort from afar!

Dispel the shadows of the night

And turn our darkness into light.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.


Though it may sound cliché, Jesus is the reason for the season. As we celebrate His birth, share gifts, and wish one another a merry Christmas, I pray that we will remain focused on the fact that God is so good.


“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” –Matthew 1:23 KJV


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 7, 2023


Do you hear what I hear?


I’m trying to be a better listener. Listening doesn’t come easy for many of us. In fact, sometimes we are so busy talking that we don’t take time to really listen closely enough to hear what other people are saying.


Yesterday, I sat with a group of pastors, and one of them was talking about something that got me excited. So, I was pretty quick to chime-in with my thoughts. I actually started talking before another pastor in the room had finished speaking. When I began to talk, he stopped. And, I realized that I had carelessly cut him off. After leaving, I reached out to him to apologize, and he graciously forgave me. But, I clearly heard the gentle voice of the Lord speaking to my heart, reminding me that I need to be a better listener.


Ironically, I awoke this morning with the song stuck in my head: Do You Hear What I Hear? As I looked at the lyrics, it struck me that the word “hear” comprises 80% of the word “heart.” People say that we have two ears to hear and only one mouth to speak, so we should listen twice as much as we speak. That’s good advice, but if we increase that to 80%, we’ll invite God and others into our hearts!


In 1963, Bing Crosby released his version of the song that was written just one year earlier, which had already sold over a quarter of a million copies. While it has the feel of some of the centuries old church classics, Do You Hear What I Hear? was written by Noël Regney with music by Gloria Shayne as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Regney and Shayne were married when they wrote the song, and neither of them seemed to profess faith in Jesus Christ. But, the truth of the birth of Jesus pierced their hearts by offering real hope for a world in crisis. Everyone needs the hope that only Jesus offers. The Lord can speak through anyone because His message is for everyone:

Listen to what I say!

Pray for peace, people, everywhere

Listen to what I say!

The Child, the Child sleeping in the night

He will bring us goodness and light


Perhaps you are excited about all of the people you will see this Christmas. Perhaps you will shed a tear for the people you will not see this Christmas. Or, perhaps you will feel tension because of a strained relationship. In any case, let’s remember that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ—the Prince of Peace. There is no doubt that Jesus brings goodness and light into all of our lives. This Christmas, I am grateful that we get to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you hear what I hear?


19“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” –James 1:19-20


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 21, 2023


Who is better than what.


Words like who and what often indicate that a question is being asked, but this letter began with a statement about who and what, not a question. In fact, let’s take it a step further: who is always better than what.


When you read this letter, Thanksgiving will likely be a memory, and your attention may have already shifted toward Christmas. Here come the questions: What needs to be done? What needs to be purchased? What needs to be prepared? What needs to be fixed? What decorations will be prominent? What are we going to eat? What are we missing? What, what, what? These are all good questions, but who is better than what.


Please, don’t add who to every question about what. It’s not enough to ask: Who’s going to get things done? Who needs to make purchases? Who needs to be fixed? (Let that one settle in a bit…) Who’s going to decorate? Who’s going to cook? Who forgot something? Those can be good questions, but those questions actually make the who less important than the what. Remember, who is better than what.


In the Christmas story, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most prominent characters. But, let’s take a quick look at another Mary, who was very close to the heart of Jesus as well. Mary of Bethany was the sister of Lazarus and Martha, and her family had a very special relationship with Jesus—they were close friends. This Mary appears in three significant stories in the New Testament. Here’s one of them:

38“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’

41“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, 42but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” –Luke 10:38-42


Martha is not the villain in this story, she just seemed to focus on what at the expense of who. Mary is not the hero (or heroine) of this story—Jesus is the hero. Jesus responded in a way that raises what-questions that all point back to who. What is the point of a celebration that causes people to resent each other? What is the point of getting together if we don’t take time to connect? What is the point of celebrating the birth of our Lord if we don’t spend time with the Lord? Who is always better than what.


“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:35


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 9, 2023


Could this be the time?


I am becoming increasingly convinced that this is the time when God will fulfill many promises. For those who are in Christ Jesus, this is good news!


God speaks to us constantly, but we don’t always listen. Discerning or understanding what the Almighty is saying to us can sometimes feel overwhelming, but the Lord will get His point across to those who are willing to listen to Him. He speaks exactly what we need—not too little, and not too much.


Throughout the Bible, God warned of calamity and promised blessings. He still does that today. I don’t generally spend a lot of time studying the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, but I have read it many times. (At least once every year to be more precise.) I’ve preached from Ezekiel a few times, but I don’t reference Ezekiel as frequently as other passages. However, this week, one verse in the Book of Ezekiel has really taken hold of me. SPOILER ALERT: That verse appears at the bottom of this letter.


To set the stage, our church staff meets in my office for about an hour almost every Monday. Our staff meeting always begins after our daily prayer gathering in the office lobby, and commences with a brief devotional. Pastor Cindy, Jennifer, and I take turns sharing a passage of scripture and a bit of perspective. As Jennifer entered my office for the meeting, she remined me that it was my turn to offer the devotional this week. “No worries,” I thought, “this will be fun.”


I silently prayed that the Lord would direct me to the perfect verse for our church. Sitting in my chair, I closed my eyes and dramatically opened the bible, placing my right index finger near the middle of the right-hand page about an inch from the binding. (I do not generally recommend this method of Bible study, but I was in a playful mood.) Deciding in advance that I would read and discuss whichever verse from the entire Word of God that happened to be under my finger, I began to read. If I’m being honest, I half expected the verse to be somewhat obscure and challenging to discuss. But, it was amazing—it would have taken me hours to land on this verse if I had been studying in preparation.


After reading the verse, I began to pray that this would truly be God’s Word for us today. I prayed this way for three days. Then, this morning I prayed that God would confirm that this is a promise that we can apply. Not knowing what passages were in my predetermined Bible reading for today, I listened to the four chapters of the audio version of my Bible plan. Despite the fact that Ezekiel has neither been in my daily Bible reading lately, nor appears in my reading plan in the near future, the last verse in today’s reading was the exact verse where my finger fell on Monday—Ezekiel 12:28. Could this be the time?


“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.” –Ezekiel 12:28


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 26, 2023


Look at the bright side.


Do you ever feel like we’re surrounded by naysayers, cynics, skeptics, pessimists, doubters, and defeatists? I can be quick to recognize these traits because I’ve found myself fitting into those roles from time-to-time. There is too much negativity. That’s not who we want to be. That’s not who God created us to be. That’s not who we are!


In 3 John 1:11, we’re told to imitate what is good. Deuteronomy 7:6 calls us the people of God. Genesis 1:27 says that we were created in the image of God. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said that we are the light of the world. And, Jesus went on to say, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:16


We are yeasayers, visionaries, encouragers, optimists, believers, and champions because “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” –Romans 8:37


In 1977, moviegoers couldn’t seem to get enough of gritty westerns. So, most people in Hollywood weren’t interested in the idea of making another cheesy sci-fi movie with shiny sets, corny dialog, and hokey props. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) barely existed, and stories set in space didn’t give the sense of depth and realism that audiences craved. But, George Lucas had a vision that wasn’t limited by the scripts other people were writing, the sets other people were building, the characters other people were developing, or the movies other people were making. Lucas refused to allow himself to go to the “dark side,” and decided to look at the bright side. Lucas had the opportunity to rethink, develop, explore, invent, and create.


With a vision bigger than a single film, Lucas introduced the world to the imaginary Star Wars galaxy with Episode IV: A New Hope. Star Wars introduced us to characters, creatures, and technology we’d never seen before by pushing the limits of the technology and team available to him. Lucas pioneered techniques that hadn’t been used before. Star Wars has become a multi-billion-dollar enterprise with numerous films, merchandise, and theme park attractions. But, most experts initially expected it to fail.


When our family moved to Lodi in 2015, God gave me a vision of how Radiant Life Church will make a greater impact in our community and our world. We have seen highs and lows together. We’ve experienced the power and presence of the Lord, and wrestled with challenges. We have prayed, worshiped, baptized, and built. I still believe that the best is yet to come—so, let’s look at the bright side!


5“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” –2 Corinthians 4:5-6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 12, 2023


It’s time to make a shift.


Are you a morning person? Or, are you more of a night owl? Not everyone fits into these two categories, but most people do. Many of us either rise early, or come alive at night. So, how about you?


As I shut down the computer at the StudentReach base in Mexico a little after midnight each night, turned off the lights in the dining hall, said goodnight to the wandering cats, and made my way toward our family’s room, most of our team was sound asleep—or trying to sleep. When I sipped a cup of coffee at five o’clock each morning and began to see familiar hands reaching for mugs of their own, I heard the words, “So, you’re a morning person?”


I have made a conscious effort to get up early most mornings, including today. While we can’t always control how early we awake, starting the day early is a choice. Working late into the night is also a choice. Over time, we can add more and more items to our schedules in an effort to be more productive, more disciplined, more responsible, and more effective. But, the Word of the Lord reminds us that it’s time to make a shift—again.


As I type this letter, my family is getting out of bed in a hotel room in Orange County. I’m sitting on the corner of a couch listening to the sounds of a hair dryer, running water, and the occasional rustling of the person who is last in line for the shower. I tried to be quiet while I was getting ready around four o’clock this morning. Today’s a big day. Today, our family is going to Disneyland. Yesterday, we spent the day at Disney’s California Adventure. And, earlier this week we visited two colleges that Abigail is considering. We were home from Mexico for about eighteen hours before hitting the road to make this trip. We ran a few loads of laundry, repacked our bags, and we all served at church on Sunday morning while we were home. It’s time to make a shift.


Missions trips are important. School is important. Sunday services are important. Exercise is important. Work is important. Paying bills is important. Family time is important. And, I’ve heard a rumor that rest is also important. We can get so consumed squeezing more and more things into our schedules that our lives become overloaded. But, this isn’t sustainable. It’s all just too much. It’s time to make a shift.


As we approach the holidays, let’s take time to make a shift. The holidays do not have to be the most stressful season of the year, but we can experience joy by overcoming overload with Jesus.


17“Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. 18You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you… 23If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” –Exodus 18:17-19a, 23


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 28, 2023


Understanding follows interest.


Eli is one of the coolest people I know. Eli is full of energy. Eli loves Jesus, loves superheroes, loves to watch lightning, loves his family, and absolutely loves life. Eli is four years old, and he is my friend.


I know that I am Eli’s friend because he always greets me with a smile, gives me hugs, and asks me to play with him. Furthermore, I know that Eli is my friend because I look forward to seeing him, I pray for him often, and I’m genuinely interested in what he has to say. But, I have to admit that I don’t always understand him. Eli talks really fast—and my brain has a hard time keeping up.


I’ve asked Eli to repeat himself more times than I can count, but I’ve come to accept that I don’t have to understand everything that he says to me. The more I listen to Eli, the more I begin to comprehend what he’s communicating. And as I listen to him, I find myself drawn into his world. I am learning a lot from Eli, because he reminds me what it’s like to listen to God.


Jesus is the coolest person I know. Jesus is full of power. Jesus loves everyone. Jesus is a real superhero. Jesus makes the lightning, invites us into His family, and gives us life. Jesus is the Son of God, and He is our best friend. Sound familiar?


Jesus says, 14“You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.” –John 15:14-17


We don’t always understand the things that God communicates to us, but the fact that Jesus loves us tends to increase our interest in pursuing His will. Sometimes, understanding follows interest. We pursue the people and things that interest us. We study, listen, ponder, and learn about our interests. And, sometimes we do things we don’t understand in order to learn and grow—that’s called experimenting.

We may not always understand why God does certain things. We may not always understand how God does certain things. We may not always understand how some things fit into His plan. But, if we are interested in pursuing His will, we will have to trust Him. After all, isn’t that what friends do? Don’t friends trust each other? Don’t friends listen to each other even when we don’t understand?

I am grateful that we get to learn together as we trust the Lord together. The best is yet to come!


15“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” –Ephesians 5:15-17


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 14, 2023


Take time to breathe.


I pause to acknowledge a vibration on my wrist while I’m bustling through an endless stream of tasks. And, a message on the face of my watch reminds me to take time to breathe. Seems kind of silly, right?


Breathing is involuntary. We don’t have to learn to breathe. We don’t have to choose to breathe. We don’t have to think about breathing. Breathing is controlled by our autonomic nervous system, which also regulates our heart rate. Even if we hold our breath, our bodies will force us to breathe.


When my watch reminds me to take time to breathe, I usually smirk and keep doing whatever I was doing before the little quiver on my wrist grabbed my attention. But, sometimes I actually stop what I’m doing just to take time to breathe because being intentional about taking deep breaths has proven health benefits, which include lowering stress and improving concentration. Maybe, we should all choose to become better breathers.


We are faced with choices all day, every day. For instance, when I leave our house and head to my office, I must choose whether to be boxed up in a four-door Nissan Murano, or liberated on a 1700cc Kawasaki Vulcan—tough choice, right? The car provides a lot more room for carrying tools, clothes, books, and other things that I may need. Plus, my car has cup holders which make it easy to transport coffee beans in their liquid form. On the other hand, a motorcycle requires a bit more initial effort involving safety gear, and also requires me to seal my coffee in a Hydro Flask until I get to the office. But, the saddle of a motorcycle offers a sense of freedom while taking in the sights, sounds, and scents along the route.


There is too much to do today, which means we need to depend on the Lord, and slow down a bit in order to be more effective. That may sound counterintuitive, but God always seems to accomplish more through us when we rely on Him. Today, I chose to ride the motorcycle to the office, and I’m also choosing to take time to breathe. After all, the Lord gives us the breath of life.


Michael W Smith, The Hollies, Taylor Swift, Hillsong, Faith Hill, and many others have recorded hit songs that encourage us to take time to breathe. I want to share the lyrics of one of my favorites by Johnny Diaz with you, it’s called Just Breathe. “Take it in, fill your lungs / The peace of God that overcomes / Just breathe / Let your weary spirit rest / Lay down what’s good and find what’s best / Just breathe.”


I pray that you may be empowered by the breath of God today, and every day. I pray that the One who gives you breath will meet all of your needs in the Name of Jesus. Please, take time to breathe.


24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything. Rather, He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” –Acts 17:24-25


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 31, 2023


Let’s review.


Every moment is unique and cannot be repeated, so I strive to make every moment count. I frequently pray that God will improve our perspective, and help us see more clearly. This often takes us to familiar passages in the Bible, where we are constantly challenged to apply God’s truth to our present circumstances.


In Matthew 6:33 & 34, Jesus said, 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


We can easily breeze past familiar words like these with a “been there—done that” attitude. But, what if the things we tend to brush off, overlook, or avoid are actually the things that God wants us to see today? Isn’t it interesting how a simple review can sometimes reveal what we need right now? So, let’s review what Jesus said.


What does it mean to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness? It seems obvious that the Lord is telling us to put His priorities above our own. That doesn’t mean that we have to ignore our needs, but it acknowledges that God is already aware of our needs—He’s already working on answering our prayer list—so we are more productive when we review His to-do list.


What are all these things that Jesus says will be given to you as well? The previous verses reveals that Jesus is addressing our tendency to worry about necessities like food and clothes. Yes, food and clothes are necessities, but Jesus says not to worry about having our needs met, because God has us covered—literally!


And then, what’s the deal with all that stuff about not worrying about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own? This verse seems like it could have been penned this morning! If you’ve ever felt like your life resembles a long line of dominoes that might all come tumbling down with one little push, you are not alone. YouTube is full of videos that feature intricate designs comprised of thousands of dominoes falling, many people actually describe these videos as satisfying. Reviewing the Word of God reminds us that satisfaction comes when we surrender our worries to the Lord and view our needs as opportunities for His provision. Chris Pine said, “The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.”


One of the best ways to improve our perspective is to review God’s Word. After all, He meets our needs!


“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” –1 Corinthians 13:12


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 17, 2023


Be relentless.


Have you ever met someone who was absolutely relentless? If so, what did you think of that person? Maybe you were taken back by their attitude, ambition, or actions. Being relentless is defined as showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace. People can be relentless in negative ways, and cause a lot of harm. But, we can also be relentless in our pursuit of the Lord, relentless in showing love, relentless in accomplishing the will of God, relentless in providing for those in need, relentless in crushing the grip of sin, and relentless in sharing the good news of Jesus that transforms lives.


When God opens a door of opportunity, we want to walk through them, right? But, what if a door is closed? Should we just stare it, walk away, or turn the handle to see if it is unlocked? If we’re expecting everything to come easily, we will likely miss a lot of great opportunities. In Luke 18, Jesus told a parable that commended the persistence of a widow who would not back down from seeking justice over-and-over again. She wouldn’t accept defeat. And, Jesus pointed to her relentlessness as an example for us.


We can mistakenly think that success comes easily for champions. But, that is seldom the case. For instance, Stephen Curry is a four-time NBA champion, who was voted most valuable player in the NBA two times, but success wasn’t just handed to him. He’s a relentless basketball player. He said, “I try to make it look easy, but the behind-the-scenes stuff is the challenge.”


Success doesn’t always come easily. Curry joined the Golden State Warriors in 2009. The previous year, the Warriors won twenty-nine games and lost fifty-three. You might think that having Curry join the team brought immediate success, but during his rookie year, the warriors finished the season worse than the previous year—winning only twenty-six games and losing fifty-six. His team hadn’t won an NBA championship in four decades, and it took five years for Curry to lead his team to victory, but he’s led them to three more championships since then. Curry says, “Success for anyone is all about drive, dedication, and desire, but for me, it’s also been about confidence and faith.”


Stephen Curry seems to be relentless—on and off of the court. Stripping away all of the excuses, Curry attributes success to faith, passion, and a relentless drive. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have, what you lack, or what you have too much of. But all you need to have is faith in God, an undying passion for what you do and what you choose to do in this life, and a relentless drive and the will to do whatever it takes to be successful in whatever you put your mind to,” he said.


Basketball is a game, but relentlessly pursuing the will of God isn’t a game. So, let’s pray, worship, witness, and show compassion in the Name of Jesus with faith, passion, and a relentless drive.


“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my Word and have not denied my Name.” –Revelation 3:8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 2, 2023

Enthusiasm is evidence of spiritual growth.


This week marks our family’s eighth anniversary at Radiant Life Church, which we celebrate on the first Sunday of August each year. It’s easy for us to remember as I officially became the pastor of Radiant Life Church on my wife’s birthday. We’ve often commented that she received a church for her birthday in 2015. And, I believe that we are more enthusiastic about seeing God move in our community than we have ever been, which is a good thing because enthusiasm is evidence of spiritual growth.


As I write this letter, I am in Columbus, Ohio, for the sixtieth General Council of the Assemblies of God. Pastors, missionaries, and members of our movement from across the US connect for worship, fellowship, and dialog every two years. Since our founding in 1914, we have been enthusiastic about worship, discipleship, evangelism, and compassion ministries.


I’ve been blessed to worship the Lord with thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and I have been encouraged by powerful messages of hope delivered by dynamic preachers from across the US and around the world. Pastor Glyn Barrett, who is the leader of the Assemblies of God Great Britain, preached about how the English word “enthusiasm” comes from a Greek word that literally means “in God.” So, enthusiasm is evidence of spiritual growth.


The moment we receive new life through Jesus Christ we become enthusiastic. We have been born again! God lives in us and we are alive in God. 13“This is how we know that we live in Him and he in us: He has given us of His Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” –1 John 4:13-16


Pastor Barrett explained that enthusiasm is not just a personality trait, it’s confidence that God can do anything. This impacts the way we pray, worship, study the Word of God, share the Good News of Jesus, exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and serve the Lord enthusiastically. In fact, Jesus gives us the ultimate example of enthusiasm. 5“But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: 6Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” –1 John 2:5-6


I’m looking forward to returning home to worship and celebrate with our church family this weekend as we share the Good News, rejoicing with every salvation, and celebrate with those who will be baptized as a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ. After all, enthusiasm is evidence of spiritual growth.


21“Through [Jesus] you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.” –1 Peter 1:21-23


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


July 20, 2023


Be careful what you ask.


I was recently invited to join the board of a non-profit that provides resources and support services to the victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, and stalking. What do I know about these things? What could I possibly bring to the table? Don’t I already have enough on my plate? Should I really be taking on one more responsibility? These are all good questions, right?


The questions I’ve just posed are all focused inward, which seems a bit selfish. However, sometimes we need to be introspective in order to discover what God is doing in our hearts. 5“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right…” –1 Corinthians 13:5-7a


People ask questions for many different reasons, and there is often a question lurking behind the questions we ask. We may want to learn, bring clarity, resolve conflict, solve a problem, spark creativity, or get someone’s attention when we ask a question. We usually ask questions and make requests because we care about someone or something.


Wouldn’t it be great if there were easy answers to all of our questions? In the movie Evan Almighty, Morgan Freeman’s character posed some very interesting questions about some of the things we ask God. He said, “If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does He give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does He give them opportunities to love each other?”


We’ve often asked God how we could make a greater impact in our community. We’ve asked God to work through us to shine the light of Jesus into the lives of those who are lost. We’ve asked God to stir our hearts about the things that matter to Him. We’ve asked God to bring change in our families, our church, our community, and our society. And, God’s Word is clear that God hears our prayers, 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” But wait—there’s more! “And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” –1 John 5:15


Please, be careful what you ask. God may have an answer that will rock your world!


7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” –Matthew 7:7-8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


July 5, 2023


What if we were truly determined to go deeper?


I was delighted when a new car wash opened in the southeast corner of Lodi in 2017. Then that same carwash was rebranded and re-opened this summer. I almost convince myself that my eighteen-year-old car is brand new every time I run it through the carwash, which isn’t very often. The glisten of a clean hood brings a smile to my face despite the fact that my car has its fair share of scratches and chips in the paint. Under the hood it bears the markers of a vehicle that’s been driven for nearly 200,000 miles. Meanwhile, my wife’s car is a couple of years newer, and has over 200,000 miles on it. If we want to maintain our vehicles, we have to be committed to more than just filling the tank and running them through car washes. We have to be determined to go deeper. The same is true with our spiritual lives.


It should come as no shock that I believe that every Christian should be part of the local church, which serves as a great “carwash” for our souls. In church we start to shine as we greet one another with smiling faces, we rev up our engines as we sing songs of praise to the Lord, and we fill our tanks with truth from the Word of God. This is a great place to start, but what if we were truly determined to go deeper?


As I recently prayed with some of our teens at the Fearless Summer Camp, I was inspired by their desire for a deeper relationship with God. They went deeper in prayer, deeper in Bible study, deeper in discussion, and deeper in pursuing the Holy Spirit. They don’t just want to look like Christians, they want to experience all that God has for them. I believe that our students are truly determined to go deeper.


Shockingly, Jesus called out the most religious people in the first century as having the shallowest faith. The Pharisees and teachers of the law knew how to dress, how to behave, and how to impress others. But, they lacked spiritual depth. They were unwelcoming, insincere, unloving, impure, unkind, selfish, and disinterested in growing closer to the Lord. Calling them hypocrites and snakes, Jesus said, “…You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”–Matthew 23:27b-28


I pray that none of us will ever become like the Pharisees. There’s nothing wrong with being sparkly and clean on the outside, but it’s what’s inside that counts. This summer, I am setting aside time to fast and pray more, I am spending more time in worship alone, and I am taking more time in the Word of God. I have been given some really challenging questions, passages of scripture, and themes for our summer message series—You Asked For It—and I am excited to discuss some deeper issues with you. I also want to encourage you to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord as well.


7“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.” –Psalm 42:7-8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


June 19, 2023


We’ve got to lighten up.


One of the best parts of summer is the fact that it stays lighter longer. Though it comes every year, I often lose track of the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—which always falls near Father’s Day. This year’s longest day is June 21. So, this is a great time to make the most of every moment with friends and family. Please lighten up.


It isn’t news to anyone that I love riding my Vulcan through the vineyards near Lodi. It’s refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating for me. So, of course, I want to share this experience with those closest to me. This year for Father’s Day, I asked my wife and daughter to take a ride with me after dinner, which they agreed to do. Zachary, my son, loves to ride and accompanies me often, but for Pastor Anayansi and Abigail to agree to ride is a very big deal—and it’s a very big deal for me too. That’s because I want to share the things I love most with the people I love most.


My favorite times to ride are at sunrise and sunset because that’s when the sky is most beautiful. Seeing Mt. Diablo set against shades of orange and red above the vineyards is a sight that never grows old for me. Our heavenly father created the mountains, valleys, skies and seas—and He draws our attention back to the majesty of His creation as He paints the horizon in different hues. This reminds me of the words of the Prophet Isaiah, 2“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” –Isaiah 9:2-3


God has placed us in this community at this point in time to not only appreciate His light, but also to shine His light. We have extended daylight hours, so we’ve got to make the most of these long days. We have good news to share, so we’ve got to lighten up the tone of our conversations. We have hope because of Jesus, so we’ve got to lighten up the way we see the world around us. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit, so we’ve got to lighten up the lives of others. We know the Lord is coming soon, so we’ve got to lighten up. “As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” –John 9:4


We cannot make light of the hurt, shame, and sin of this world, but we’ve got to lighten up the lives of those who need the light of Jesus. May we always shine the light of Jesus with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—that’s the Next Level.


44“Then Jesus cried out, ‘Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me. 45The One who looks at me is seeing the One who sent me. 46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” –John 12:44-47


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


June 8, 2023


Let’s get a grip.


There are times in life when we must take hold of opportunities before they pass away from us. This requires that we accept God’s will, recognize when He is bringing something (or someone) across our path, be willing to take action, and simply get a grip.


Have you ever struggled to unscrew the lid off of a jar and felt your hand burning without seeing any movement? This presents a simple choice between letting go of the jar, or trying harder! But, what if there is another option? What if we simply need to adjust our strategy and get a grip more effectively?


A few years ago, my friend Oscar Denton helped Pastor Anayansi and me to get a grip. Oscar made a simple tool out of wood and metal that he installed under the counter in our kitchen. The tool is a V-shaped piece of wood with a couple of fine-toothed saw blades that easily grip onto the lid of any jar that lifted into the slot beneath our kitchen cupboards. It makes light work of opening tight seals, but I’ve occasionally forgotten that the tool was there, and found myself struggling like I did before Oscar came to our rescue. God has given us many tools to see His will accomplished, but if we don’t use the tools that are available to us, we may not recognize and seize the opportunities that are within our reach.


In ancient Greece, there were statues that depicted opportunity. The subject was a fastmoving man with long hair above his forehead and no hair on the back of his head. The message was simple, we’ve got to get a grip on opportunity as it approaches because we can’t take hold of it once it passes by.


Many of our greatest opportunities approach in the form of people in need at seemingly in opportune times. Jesus addressed these opportunities when He healed a man with a shriveled hand on the Sabbath. This was an amazing miracle—a totally awesome thing that only God could do—but some suggested that Jesus should have let the opportunity pass because the Sabbath was a day of rest, and performing a healing was considered work. 11“He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” –Matthew 12:11-12


We are surrounded by people who desperately need Jesus. Every one of them presents an opportunity to share the love, grace, and mercy that we have received from the Lord. We cannot let these opportunities pass by—there’s too much at stake. Let’s get a grip and share the good news of Jesus!


12“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:12-14


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


May 25, 2023


We’re gaining momentum!


Approaching Pentecost Sunday, our faith is about more than feelings, programs, rituals, and events. Ours is a shared journey in which we devote ourselves to becoming more like Jesus as we walk in relationship with Him. We are committed to rising to the Next Level by cultivating the Fruit of The Spirit that Jesus models and prescribes, and it’s evident that we’re gaining momentum.


According to the Collins Online Dictionary, “If a process or movement gains momentum, it keeps developing or happening more quickly and keeps becoming less likely to stop.” This can be true with any process or movement. As the seasons change, we are bearing the kind of fruit that is evidence of spiritual growth. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control reveal that we are alive in Christ and the Holy Spirit is alive and working in us. We’re gaining momentum.


Pentecost comes fifty days after Resurrection Sunday. Initially, the people of God celebrated Pentecost fifty days after the Passover, to enjoy the first fruits of the wheat harvest. Pentecost also took on a focus of celebrating the Old Testament Law that was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. Traditionally, many consider Pentecost to be the birthday of King David, and also the day on which King David died. But, as followers of Jesus, Pentecost is so much more. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit wasn’t just a one-time event marking the birth of the church, Pentecost sparked a movement of God that continues to grow today.


After all, about one hundred and twenty people were united in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:1-2, we read, 1“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Not only did a sound like the blowing of a violent wind come from heaven to fill the whole house where they were sitting, but something that looked like tongues of fire rested on their heads (without burning their hair). And, those in the first church began to speak in other tongues—languages that they had never studied—which we call glossolalia. But that’s not all, people on the street outside began to recognize their native languages being spoken. Some said that the followers of Jesus must be drunk, but three thousand others accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior that day, and they were baptized as an act of obedience and public profession of their faith in Jesus.  This did not come through well planned programs or religious rituals, but by a move of the Holy Spirit.


Let’s keep rising to the Next Level with the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s pursue all that God has for us, and share all that He offers to the world that needs our Savior. We’re gaining momentum.


3“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” –Ephesians 4:3-6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


May 10, 2023


Prepare for impact.


If we were flying on a plane the words “prepare for impact” would be a bit alarming. When we hear those words, we tend to think that something bad is about to happen, but I believe that preparing for impact is the kind of Next Level attitude that glorifies God and inspires others.


Impact is “the force of impression of one thing on another—a significant or major effect,” according to Merriam-Webster. Hopefully, we are quick to testify that Jesus has impacted our lives in a significant or major way. And, we can be sure that our Next Level lives are making an impression on those around us. Our commitment to becoming more like Jesus by developing the nine qualities known as the Fruit of The Spirit cannot go unnoticed in a world that is starving for love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


Every man, woman, teen, and child is hungry for the Fruit of The Spirit, which is cultivated through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Everyone needs Jesus—whether they realize it or not—everyone is better off with Jesus than without Him. Every person who receives Jesus is eternally impacted by His presence.


I am convinced that this generation can and must be reached with the good news of Jesus. Every day, we encounter people who are lost, hurting, hungry, and desperate. Whether we read the news, watch the news, or just pick up bits of news from our friends and families, there is no denying that our culture seems to be moving further from the truth of God. While some are quick to criticize and complain, Jesus brings hope. Where some see a problem, Jesus offers us an opportunity for impact. Jesus says, 35“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” –John 4:35b-36


Resent research from Barna reveals that teens and young adults “have a positive view of who Jesus is. Most often, U.S. teens believe He offers hope to people, cares about people and is trustworthy. Even so, holding these perceptions doesn’t always correlate with identifying as a Christian.” The data also indicates that most consider their family and the Bible to be more reliable than social media, the internet, or their friends. In other words, parents, grandparents and family members who have a strong grasp on the Word of God are poised to make a significant impact in the lives of those we love.


We need to take our Bible study and prayer to the Next Level. And, we must be intentional about sharing the Good News of Jesus—prepare for impact!


5“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” –Deuteronomy 6:5-7


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


April 27, 2023


Are you ready to rise to the Next Level?


Rising to the Next Level requires changing habits. Throughout the course of our lives we develop habits that help us become extremely proficient in certain areas. In fact, habits can become so deeply ingrained that we find ourselves acting instinctively, and our habits may be used to describe us.


Some habits are detrimental to our growth, while others are extremely beneficial. Reaching the Next Level requires shedding harmful habits, while developing those that help us become more like Jesus. This is true as we aspire to reach the Next Level mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.


New followers of Jesus tend to welcome change as Jesus transforms them from the inside out. And, it is important for new believers to get connected with mature Christians so they can help each other develop God-honoring habits. Greg Laurie explains, “New believers need older believers in their life to stabilize them, but older believers need younger believers in their life to energize them.”


Complacency and isolation keep us from rising to the Next Level in education, careers, relationships, and faith. Developing new habits that take us to the Next Level can create an internal conflict as old habits threaten to keep us from becoming more like Jesus. Some feel torn between their old life of sin and the new path that Jesus puts before us. Jesus warned against trying to hold onto our old habits while striving to become more like Him. In Mark 2:21, Jesus said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.”


In the first century, “new wine” that had aged for about a year was often more flavorful and stronger than “old wine.” On the Day of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was compared to drinking new wine, but some seemed to prefer the old—missing out on God’s power. Jesus used this analogy to describe the way people fall into their old patterns and habits, 37“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” –Luke 5:37-39


As we aspire to rise to the Next Level by becoming more like Jesus, we must be committed to developing the fruit of the Spirit. We need to grow in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jesus modeled and taught all of these qualities. The fruit of the Sprit is evidence that we are filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit that brings revival in our lives and sparks an awakening in our society. Are you ready to rise to the Next Level?


22“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” –Ephesians 4:22-24


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


April 13, 2023


Greater things are ahead of us!


The beautiful empty tomb of Jesus is not the end of the story—it’s an invitation for a new beginning. The resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event in human history, but even greater things are yet to come!


As followers of Jesus, we must do more than celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead. We are compelled to share the good news that Jesus is alive. Jesus gives us life to the fullest, now and forevermore. And, the new life we receive through Jesus Christ is available to everyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior. Again, this is truly good news!


My last letter was focused on revival, which is a term that is very specific to those in the church. Sure, we’re not dead yet, however, the freshness of our faith tends to wane over time. We can become so lethargic in our zeal for the Lord that Jesus’ words to the first century church in Sardis may apply to us as well, 1“…I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.” –Revelation 3:1b-2


Those are strong words, but they are also loving words. Revival is not a punishment from God, revival is a gift from God. The Lord revives us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Before promising that the Father would send us the Holy Spirit in John 14, Jesus said, 12“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my Name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14You may ask me for anything in my Name, and I will do it.” –John 14:12-14


The Lord makes this radical promise because He wants to do radical things in our lives, our families, our church, our community, our society, and our world. Has the need for revival in the church ever been greater than it is today?


And, when the church is revived by the power of the Holy Spirit, we see even greater things happen all around us, an awakening of those who have never known the Lord, never experienced His love, never been set free by His sacrifice, and never received life through Jesus Christ. There have been four Great Awakenings in the North America since 1740, resulting in millions of people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. The last Great Awakening took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it had roots right here in California. Likewise, the modern Pentecostal movement traces its origins to Azusa Street in SoCal.


I believe we need a Great Awakening right now. Jesus is coming soon. Greater things are ahead of us!


11“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” –Romans 13:11-12


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


March 30, 2023


We have resurrection power today.


The resurrection of Jesus is the single greatest event in human history. But, the resurrection of Jesus was neither the first nor the last time that the dead came back to life in the Bible. In fact, so many people were raised from the dead in both the Old and New Testament that we do not have an exact count!


There are nine specific instances when someone came back to life, and when Jesus died on the cross, Matthew 27:51-53 says, 51“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”


As followers of Jesus, we are all promised that both the dead and living will be raised when Jesus returns in the last days. But, there is also a type of resurrection power that is available to us today!


Six hundred years before Jesus rose from the grave, an Old Testament prophet named Ezekiel was given a Word from the Lord that should inspire us right now. This resurrection power is called “revival.” The word revival comes from the Hebrew word that sounds very much like the shout of a person performing a martial arts strike—khaw-yaw. Revival is what occurs when something that is dead receives life again. Revival can be both physical and spiritual.


Ezekiel was led by the Spirit of the Lord into a valley filled with dry bones. As the Holy Spirit led him to walk back and forth among the bones, Ezekiel was asked if the bones could live again. In Ezekiel 37:4-6, the Holy Spirit instructed Ezekiel to speak to the bones. Next, Ezekiel explained, 7“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’’ 10So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.” –Ezekiel 37:7-10


Okay, that is awesome! We don’t actually know if Ezekiel 37 describes a literal event, or if it occurred in a vision, but God used this amazing example of a massive physical revival to set the stage for a magnificent spiritual revival. I am praying for spiritual revival in my own heart and in our church. May the Lord breathe new life into us every day through the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to share the love of Jesus.


It’s always the right time to introduce people to Jesus, and Easter is a natural time to extend an invitation to church. So, let’s make the most of this opportunity because we have resurrection power today!


“I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.” –Ezekiel 37:14


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


March 15, 2023


Have a nice spring!


A few years ago, I began to ask elementary school students in our community to explain why they think kindness matters. One young student made a simple statement that has become part of our family’s daily vernacular. “Being nice is nice,” he said.


Social media pushes relationship boundaries in all directions. Many people find joy in keeping up with those who’ve been part of their personal lives through social media. We get to see vacation pictures, read about job updates, and even become aware of prayer needs through social media posts. But, there is another side of social media that can be impersonal and mean-spirited.


Radiant Life Church is blessed to have positive presence in Lodi, California, and we also extended encouragement through several social media platforms. Our church recognizes that online platforms provide opportunities to encourage many people that may never step foot on our campus. Thousands of people in our community and around the world view clips from our online services every week on various social media platforms. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” –1 Corinthians 12:27


All of our social media posts and comments are supervised by a member of our pastoral leadership team. Pastor Cindy Sampson selects content and responds to comments. Each week, hundreds give positive feedback—only a few choose to offer condescending or demeaning remarks. From time-to-time, Pastor Cindy shares encouraging notes, suggestions, questions, and prayer requests from those who engaged with our online ministry. She also addresses concerns raised by feedback that is critical or argumentative with guidance from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”


Admittedly, some of the negative comments come from people who have clearly rejected the love of Jesus, as Romans 8:8 explains, Those who are in the rhelm of the flesh cannot please God. But there are also many Christians who engage in inflammatory statements that seem to be driven more by the desires of our own flesh than by the Holy Spirit. –Romans 8:5-5“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” –Romans 8:5-6


Everything we say, everything we do, and everything we post online reveals something about us. It is seldom our personal responsibility to correct those we don’t know well. And, it is not our place to condemn those who have been redeemed. But, when we encourage others, we reveal the transforming love of Jesus. We don’t get to choose what others will say or do. But, if we want to have a nice spring, we can choose to be nice to everyone. After all, EveryONE Counts!


27“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” –Luke 6:27-28


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


March 2, 2023


Inspiration is better than expiration.


Only God can actually produce something from nothing—He spoke everything into existence—but we need inspiration. In fact, my only goal in writing a letter like this is to somehow inspire you as we share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ.


This is the 75th letter of this type that I have written since March 24, 2020. The first was published on radiantlifelodi.com and social media when we temporarily suspended in-person gatherings on our campus. That first letter offered ways we could connect through online services, weekly prayer gatherings via Zoom, and daily devotionals from the Assemblies of God. Two weeks later, we began mailing letters to everyone in the church database as we do today. (The letters are also archived on our church website.)


Like many people, I am a creature of habit. There is a certain amount of comfort in systems and routines that help us to be productive and efficient. For three years, I have set aside time every-other-week to write a letter like this one, and I almost never start with a blank slate. Every time I sit down to write a letter to those who are connected with Radiant Life Church, I begin by opening an online Bible. After all, the Word of God is always a good source of inspiration!


After finding dozens of inspiring passages of scripture about inspiration this morning, I found an article on inc.com that promised “22 Awesome Sources of Inspiration.” The first eleven included music, movies, theater, museums, books, sports icons, TED Talks, veterans, the elderly, kids, and learning communities. The link that was supposed to lead to the second half of the list of inspirational sources redirected me to a page that stated the information I was seeking was unavailable. The link was restored a little while later, and the second half of the list continued to suggest almost everything—but prayer and reading the Bible.


Inspiration literally means to breath into. This is what occurred when God uttered His first recorded statement in the Bible. In Genesis 1:3, we read, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’” God inspired light to penetrate the darkness. Then, God continued to create the world and all living creatures through inspiration. And, Genesis 2:7 tells us, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”


Inspiration is life, and the opposite of inspiration is expiration, which is also a synonym for death. So, since inspiration is better than expiration, I want to encourage you to seek inspiration from the Lord every day. When we spend time praying and reading the Bible, we invite the Lord to inspire us. We don’t have to be very creative in order to receive inspiration and experience a TurnAround, we just have to be alive!


16“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” –2 Timothy 3:16-17


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 14, 2023


Evaluated experience improves perspective.


Sitting with a group of a dozen pastors from Lodi, the report of a milestone in ministry prompted me to open the calendar on my phone as recounted the years I’ve spent in full-time ministry myself. Two weeks had passed since my own twenty-fifth anniversary of serving the Lord in full-time ministry.


In January of 1998, I began to serve as a children’s pastor in Rocklin, California. Five years later, Pastor Anayansi and took a step of faith, and I assumed the role of Bibleman for seven and a half years. Hanging up my cape and moving to Colorado, I spent two years as a lead pastor before becoming a regional manager with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for three years. And, in the summer of 2015, our family came to Lodi when I started serving as the lead pastor of Radiant Life Church. Twenty-five years!


Over the last quarter of a century, I have experienced, endured, lost, survived, thrived, and learned. Many claim that experience is a great teacher, but without a healthy and thoughtful evaluation, experience alone teaches us very little. We often repeat past sins, mistakes, and failures because we don’t invite the Holy Spirit to help us view our experiences through the eyes of God. As followers of Jesus, we must do more than drift from one experience to another because evaluated experience improves perspective.


The Lord has always remained reliable, steadfast, trustworthy, and true. More than ministry opportunities, I’ve been redeemed, God has blessed me with an amazing wife, a remarkable daughter, and a fantastic son. God has also allowed me to make many friends and see tens of thousands of people come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is all pretty remarkable in light of the fact that I am not special.


Since evaluated experience improves perspective, I realize that while I’m not special, I do have something very special to offer. I get to share the love of our Heavenly Father through relationship with the Son of God who empowers us by the Holy Spirit. Yes, I am blessed to be part of something special as well—the family of God. As I briefly reflect on the past twenty-five years, I am reminded that the Lord has had His way in my ordinary life just as He did in the ordinary lives of the men and women that we now consider the heroes of our faith. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” –Acts 4:13


Perhaps I missed this milestone as it approached because I didn’t take time to look back. The current season of TurnAround requires us to maintain a forward focus while we share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s how evaluated experience improves perspective.


1“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:1-2


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 2, 2023


We need a pacemaker.


Do you ever feel like life is either moving too fast or too slow for you? Lately, I’ve been concerned about being able to maintain a healthy pace in addressing a growing number of needs in my family and ministry. And, it’s gotten me thinking about our physical and spiritual health.


Keeping pace is important in music, sports, technology, work, and life. Moving too quickly can cause us to burn out prematurely, while going too slowly can result in falling so far behind that we may never catch up. So, we need a pacemaker.


I’m using the term pacemaker pretty loosely. But, so does the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines a pacemaker as “one that sets the pace for another,” or “one that takes the lead or sets an example.” Metronomes are pacemakers that click beats to help musicians keep time. The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) uses pace cars as a sort of pacemaker to regulate speeds at the start of races and during caution periods. In 1960, the Veterans Administration researchers implanted the first successful cardiac pacemaker, which paved the way for doctors to implant about 600,000 pacemakers each year, which help human hearts all over the world to maintain a steady rhythm.


Jamaican runner Usain Bolt is considered one of the fastest men in history. Setting world records and racking up eight gold medals from three consecutive Olympic Games, Bold tweeted, “I want to thank God for everything He has done for me cause without Him none of this [would] be possible.” Similarly, we need more than speed and discipline to keep pace in today’s world. We need a pacemaker.


Without a doubt, the greatest pacemaker available is Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus showed His concern for the pace that we keep when He pointed out that His followers were in danger of burning out. So, Jesus invited them to let Him adjust their pace. In Mark 6:31, Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” And, in Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”


Before we take the words of Jesus out of context and assume that He wants us to throw in the proverbial towel, both of the previous invitations are followed by a call to action. The point of Jesus giving us rest is to help us develop and maintain a steady pace with Him as our pacemaker. Jesus gives us life and sets a pace that equips us to do more than survive—He makes it possible for us to really thrive. Jesus doesn’t invite us to quit. Jesus wants us to make it to the end and win. That’s why we need a pacemaker.


7“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” –1 Timothy 4:7-8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 19, 2023


What if these are the glory days?


Have you ever wondered if this is as good as things are going to get? Or, maybe we keep finding ourselves in the trap of thinking that things will never be as good as they once were. Do you miss the glory days, or are you waiting for the glory days to arrive?


When I was a child, Bruce Springsteen released an album called Born In The U.S.A., which is considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. With seven hit singles playing everywhere in the ’80s, it’s pretty hard to find anyone from my generation who isn’t familiar with the song Glory Days. Despite my lifelong love for Christian music, I’ve sometimes found myself singing the chorus of Glory Days without ever realizing that the song was actually about old friends connecting in a bar to wallow in their disappointment over the direction their lives had taken. Regardless of the upbeat tempo, the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days are actually kind of depressing: “…Just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory…leaves you with nothing mister, but boring stories of Glory Days. Yeah, they’ll pass you by—Glory Days…”


Songs like Glory Days resonate with so many people because some have the wrong idea about glory. So, let’s take a quick look at the Greek word (doxa) that is translated as “glory” 90% of the time in the New Testament. This glory references splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace, and majesty. But, the same word can also be used to describe a viewpoint, judgment, estimate, or opinion. Sometimes, glory is actually a matter of opinion. This is important because the glory of God is tied to His majesty, but our idea of the glory days is often rooted in our own opinions about ourselves in the past, present, and future. What if we changed our viewpoint about glory to match God’s view?


The Word of God helps us see from God’s viewpoint. In John 8:54, Jesus said that the Heavenly Father has glorified Him. In Colossians 1:27, we’re told that Jesus is alive in us, which gives us the hope of glory. And, Hebrews 3:8 reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” So, every day is a glory day for those who follow Jesus!


Rather than singing about glory days in the past, David Crowder sings to the Lord with a biblical view of glory in the song titled Everything Glorious. The song says, “The day is brighter here with You. The night is lighter than its hue… Which leads me to believe, You make everything glorious… And I am Yours. What does that make me?” If you haven’t heard Everything Glorious, you may want to check it out, and please feel free to sing along as you enjoy these glory days!


17“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” –2 Corinthians 3:17-18


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 5, 2023


God is with us in stormy weather.


What a way to start the New Year! We ended 2022 with a bang—literally. Middle school and high school students began arriving for the Fuse New Year’s Eve Party around eight o’clock in the evening. Our family took a couple of days to decorate and set-up lights, activities, food, and special videos. Everyone seemed to be buzzing with joy despite the wind and rain outside. Around 8:20pm, we heard a loud noise, which was followed by the darkness of a power outage. With a little more than three and a half hours until midnight, we decided to make the most of things with battery operated disco lights, a battery powered speaker, and cell phone flashlights.


To be honest, I wasn’t sure how long we could keep the party going without light, heat, and video. But, we made it out of 2022 and into 2023 together, and had a lot of fun adapting to the unexpected opportunity to improvise that the storm provided. Our devotional was brief, and we had to scrap some of the games and activities that were planned. But, we were together through the storm, and I was reminded of the fact that God is with us in stormy weather.


We all face storms in life—literally and figuratively. As I moved sandbags and fans to mitigate the overflowing water that spilled into our Worship Center from the courtyard, and coordinated with Pastor Cindy and the worship team to conduct our Sunday morning service without electricity, the Lord reminded me that His presence is essential in all that we do. We wouldn’t cancel gathering on the church campus on New Year’s Day because we needed to start the New Year in the presence of the Lord together. And, we need to continue to do so especially in stormy weather—onsite and online. “In the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” –Psalm 27:5


I don’t know if we’re getting the worst weather out of the way at the beginning of the year, or if this is an indication of what’s to come, but I know that God is with us in stormy weather. And, I’m glad that we are sharing life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ, our solid rock. Jesus said, 47“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” –Luke 6:47-48


Let’s dig deep and make sure our foundation is firmly anchored in the solid rock of Jesus, whether we are facing a storm or enjoying blue skies. Turn to Jesus and expect great things—it’s time for a TurnAround!


29“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. 31Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” –Psalm 107:29-31


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 20, 2022


Get ready to turn the page!


Each year at our Christmas Eve Candlelight service, I sit in a rocking chair and read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible. The birth of Jesus was prophesied over seven hundred years before the starry night when He entered the world as a baby in a humble stable in Bethlehem.


The nativity is the one of the greatest page-turners in the history of the world. When we turn the page from the Old Testament book of Malachi to the New Testament book of Matthew, we let go of the pain of the past and embrace the promise of eternity. The Old Testament chronicles the creation of the world, rebellion, establishment of the rule of law, rebellion, slavery, rebellion, deliverance, rebellion, judges, rebellion, kings, rebellion, captivity, rebellion, prophets, and rebellion. In case you missed it, rebellion against God was a major theme of the Old Testament! And, no one in the world was good enough, pure enough, holy enough, or wise enough to break the pattern of rebellion until the page is turned from the Old Testament to the New Testament.


The New Testament is where the only effective and enduring solution to the rebellious cycle of humanity is found in the One and only Son of God—Jesus. John’s Gospel refers to Jesus as the “Word” because Jesus communicates or reveals the very nature of God through His presence in the world. The birth of Jesus introduced God’s New Covenant, which turned the page from the old way of doing things—shining light wherever there is darkness. 1“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” –John 1:1-5


Christmas and New Year come at the darkest time of the year, when the nights are longest. To truly enjoy The Wonder of Christmas and make the most of the New Year, we get to put the old year behind us. Like many, I sometimes struggle with letting go of the familiar—even if it wasn’t really that great. While most of us like the idea of new things, new experiences, and new opportunities, it can be extremely difficult to release our dependence on the past.


One of my all-time favorite nuggets of wisdom came from author and director Steve Gilreath, who directed the Bibleman Powersource series of videos. He said that sometimes in life we simply have to imagine ourselves swinging through the jungle like Tarzan. Steve said, “You may have to let go of one vine and fly through the air a bit before you can take hold of the next.” Jesus let go of heaven to come to earth, but hasn’t changed who He aways was. Are you ready to turn the page and see the wonderful new plans that God has for our future?


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” –2 Corinthians 5:17


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 8, 2022


Go ahead and regift this year!


The church I attended during my freshman year in college developed an Adopt-A-Student ministry to help out of state students feel more connected with families in the church. I was somehow “adopted” by two families, and appreciated Sunday afternoon lunches in their homes and holiday meals around their tables. Both families were generous with their time, talents, and treasures—teaching me invaluable lessons about extending God’s blessings. I also learned about regifting.


According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, regifting means “to give someone a gift that was previously received from someone else.” And, regifting can be a bit awkward when the recipient becomes aware that the gift was not originally purchased for them.


I’ll never forget sitting in the basement with one of my adopted families as they passed me a beautifully wrapped package. Inside was a sweater that looked warm and cozy. The tags indicated that it was my size and a small handwritten card taped to the sweater revealed that a member of the household had apparently received it as a gift from an extended family member sometime earlier. We all saw the evidence of regifting at the same time and my “adopted mom” gasped in embarrassment. I immediately pulled the sweater over the shirt I was wearing and declared that it was perfect for me. Two weeks later, I was given another wrapped package with an apology for the previous faux pas, when I opened the second gift I discovered a small travel bag with useful toiletries inside. This time I was the only one to notice the little tag revealing that it too was a regift that had been left inside the bag. I was truly thrilled to receive two very nice gifts that I enjoyed for several years!


As Christmas approaches, please remember that everything we have, everything we receive, and everything we claim to earn are actually gifts from God. As the younger brother of Jesus, it’s likely that James received many hand-me-downs from the Lord, including insight into regifting. 17“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.” –James 1:17-18


What will we regift this Christmas? Since we can only give from the time, talent, and treasures that God has given to us—everything must be regifted. Sharing the Good News of Jesus is certainly the greatest regifting anyone could ever receive. So, go ahead and regift this year!


23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” –1 Corinthians 11:23-25


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 21, 2022


Let’s stand in the gap.


As we pivot from Thanksgiving to Christmas and into the New Year, I believe God is calling us to stand in the gap.


I’m not referring to a clothing store, though some may spend quite a bit of time shopping in the weeks ahead. And, I’m not suggesting that the Lord wants us to get stuck in a rut, but some may already be in that predicament. There is a significant difference between a gap and a rut. A gap is the space between two things, like the break in the defensive wall around Jerusalem, or the time between two events. On the other hand, a rut is a metaphor that is often used to describe being stuck doing the same things without being able to change for the better. God does not want us stuck in a rut right now—He is looking for those who will stand in the gap.


In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke through a prophet named Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 22:30, the Lord said, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” I pray that God would never say that about us.


These are challenging times, and it seems like there are significant gaps in ideology, values, culture, and faith. Forces in our society are constantly bombarding us with criticism, temptation, panic and strife. Our children and grandchildren are exposed to the deceitful tactics of the enemy every day. But, there is hope in the Name of Jesus. There is healing in the Name of Jesus. There is deliverance in the Name of Jesus. There is freedom in the Name of Jesus. There is power in the Name of Jesus. There is peace in the Name of Jesus. Jesus Christ is enough.


The day is coming when all pain, sorrow, sickness, disease, famine, and war will cease. No one knows exactly when that day will be, but we know that we are closer to the return of Jesus than ever before in the history of the world. And, Philippians 2:9-11 tells us, 9“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, 10that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


We are living at a pivotal point in the history of the world. We know what God has done in the past, and what He has promised to do in the future. Whether we are worshiping in the House of the Lord, supporting missionary efforts, or empowering students to engage in acts of kindness, let’s stand in the gap.


“‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.” –Isaiah 54:17


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 9, 2022


Trust is sacred.


It’s been a while since I’ve written on the topic of trust, so here we go again! Trust is central to who we are as followers of Jesus, and our trust seems to be tested daily. Trust isn’t just a guiding principle. As followers of Jesus, we enter into a sacred trust relationship with Almighty God that is supposed to cover every area of our lives. So, what does it mean to say that trust is sacred?


Many would agree that our society considers very few things to be sacred. After a quick review of all the letters I’ve penned over the past two and a half years, I discovered that I haven’t used the word sacred in any of my recent writing. Sacred is such a churchy word that many of us seldom use it anymore, except to ask, “Is nothing sacred?” For an item or activity to be considered sacred, it must be dedicated to the Lord. In this way, we tend to separate things that are sacred from things that are secular—things that are Godly from things that are worldly.


Perhaps trust reveals the difference between the sacred and the secular in our lives. It’s no surprise that I consider my responsibilities to Radiant Life Church to be a sacred trust. We trust God to speak to us through His Word. We trust God to engage with us as we worship. We trust God to reveal Himself as we share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And, we trust God to equip us to meet real needs within our church and through our church as we share His love beyond our campus.


Additionally, my family time is sacred to me—that means that I believe that I honor God by prioritizing time with my wife and kids. By extension, we trust God with the safety and welfare of our family. We trust God to keep us healthy. We trust God to provide for our financial needs. We trust God to guide us according to His will.


As we trust God with more areas of our lives, we begin to see more things move from the secular list to the sacred list—and that is a very good thing. As followers of Jesus, we need to grow to a place where we actually trust God in every area of our lives: faith, family, finances, friends, foes, fears, food—and even things that don’t start with the letter F. We can trust God with our jobs, dreams, desires, cars, clothes, choices—EVERYTHING. If there are things in our lives that cannot be moved onto the sacred list, then perhaps we don’t really need those things in our lives.


Jesus will always give us what we need to thrive in every area of our lives that we entrust to Him. After all, Jesus Christ is enough!


7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.  8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” –Jeremiah 17:7-8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 27, 2022


What is so amazing about grace?


I always enjoy the look on people’s faces when I tell them that October 31 is one of my favorite holidays. Christmas, and Resurrection Sunday (Easter), Good Friday, and Pentecost top the list without raising an eyebrow. But, October 31 usually seems like a peculiar choice for a pastor, right?


Anyone who’s spent much time with me should know that I don’t mind candy or costumes, but that’s not why my heart leaps for joy as we approach the last day of October each year. October 31 is one of the most significant days in the history of the church!


A little over five hundred years ago, a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ dared to challenge the establishment and call Christians to cling to the truth of the divinely inspired and infallible Word of God. That minister’s name was Martin Luther, and he famously nailed the 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The date was October 31, 1517, and the event sparked what become known as the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in the formation of a wide variety of Christian churches that continue to expand and thrive to this day.


One of the most significant impacts of Reformation Day is the emphasis on God’s grace. The 62nd thesis states: “The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.” Church buildings are dandy, and events certainly have their place, but there is no substitute for the glory and grace of God. As Ephesians 2:8 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”


So, what’s so amazing about grace? Well, we cannot earn grace. We cannot buy grace. We cannot manufacture grace. And, grace doesn’t grow on trees! The grace of God is the evidence of His love that purifies us from sin and guarantees eternal life through Jesus Christ. And, grace is a gift that is available to every man, woman, and child who receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Grace is all treat, and no trick. That’s amazing grace, and we celebrate God’s grace on October 31—and every other day of the year.


Celebrating Reformation Day should not only remind us of the free gift of salvation, but we are also reminded that sometimes God can impact the world through the faithfulness of one person. Maybe that person is you.


God probably isn’t calling you to nail 95 Theses to a church door. However, He may be calling you to knock on a neighbor’s door to extend His grace through a word of encouragement, a gesture of kindness, or an invitation to church. What if we each share God’s grace on October 31? Wouldn’t that be amazing?


“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” –Hebrews 5:16


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 12, 2022


What more can God do?


There is a big difference between difficult and impossible. At the beginning of October, the missions team from Radiant Life Church partnered with missionaries from StudentReach to build a house on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico at almost twice the normal pace. It was a difficult task, but not impossible.


Reflecting on the amazing unity of the combined team from Radiant Life Church and Student Reach, there are several factors that contributed to seeing God work through our efforts. Among these components include faith, vision, and determination.


We often find it natural to seek comfort in our lives—even to the point of longing to maintain our present condition or leaning on the successes of the past. But, God hasn’t called us to maintain, He has called us to multiply. Faith acknowledges what God has done, and requires us to believe that there is no limit to what God can and will do. “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” –Jeremiah 32:17


Shortly before our team headed to Mexico, an opportunity arose to reach hundreds of high school students in the community where we build houses. The opportunity didn’t materialize out of thin air—it came as the result of decades of building trust and pursuing God’s call to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness and despair of extreme poverty. Vision helps us see beyond the way things have been, and into the way things can and should be. “He said, ‘Listen to my words: When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams.’” –Numbers 12:6

Serving the Lord often requires us to step out of our comfort zones and extend ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. God loves to stretch us as we rely on Him to overcome obstacles in areas of our strength, health, creativity, and finance. Determination to see God’s will accomplished requires us to draw strength from the Lord as we cooperate with one another. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9


So, what more can God do? God is stretching our faith to reach our community more effectively than ever before. God has given us a vision to model the love of Jesus Christ through the A.C.T. Project in local schools. We must press forward with determination as opportunities arise. What more can God do? 


15“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.” –John 15:15-17


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 29, 2022


We live by faith, not by sight.


My faith was challenged this morning. At about 5:50am, I stood outside the door to the Greater Lodi Leadership Prayer Breakfast and I felt like I’d been clobbered in the side of the head with a spiritual 2×4.


Our church sponsors a couple of tables for church leaders, business owners, and a few administrators from the Lodi Unified School District at the annual prayer breakfast. To be honest, some of the people who accepted our invitation may not have put their faith in Jesus Christ yet. But, they accepted our invitation to the prayer breakfast, which is certainly encouraging!


As I stood outside chatting with the principal of a local middle school, I shared about how we conduct assemblies and essay contests at Reese Elementary, and I am really praying about the possibility of expanding to a second elementary school. She responded that it would be great for Radiant Life Church to do the same thing in her middle school. I was stunned. I don’t want to bore you with all of the logistical hurdles that such an invitation poses. But, my mind immediately began to calculate the physical, and financial costs, and I couldn’t see a way to take that step. Then I felt as though the Holy Spirit reminded me of 2 Corinthians 5:7, which says, For we live by faith, not by sight.”


Admittedly, this may be one of the most ridiculous ideas we’ve ever entertained. So, it seems like this would be a good point in the letter to tell you that I declined the offer. However, this is exactly the kind of opportunity I have been asking the Lord to provide. Every day, kids, adolescents, teens and adults are bombarded with messages that conflict with the Good News of Jesus. Rather than waiting for them to come to our campus, we must shine light into their world, even if it means serving on their campuses when we are invited to do so. Maybe I’m still recovering from a spiritual concussion, but I am convinced that God is making a way for Radiant Life Church to positively impact multiple campuses without compromising our faith. In fact, this absolutely requires stretching our faith by putting our faith in action!


Next week, eighteen students and adults from Radiant Life Church will be building a house for a family in need in Mexico. We have also been asked to help conduct a conference for their local high school. What if we can do this in Mexico, and in Lodi? What if this is an opportunity to live by faith, not by sight? What if we could speak into the lives of hundreds more families that have never been to church? I’m praying about this opportunity with the expectation that God will work out the details. Will you pray with me?


22“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. 23‘Truly f I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’” –Mark 11:22-24


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 14, 2022


We can live like royalty today.


There is a sense of renewed interest in royal institutions and practices with the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the ascension of her heir to the throne as the new king of the United Kingdom and fourteen other realms. As I read through the Bible each year, I usually spend at least couple of months studying the kings of Israel and Judah. And, I believe the Bible invites us to live like royalty today!


The world has seen many kings, queens, princes, princesses, and others who carry royal titles. Throughout the Bible, there are both positive and negative examples of royalty, so we have to be honest about the fact that crowns don’t make people live better lives—but the Lord gives a crown to those who love Him. As Christians, living like royalty doesn’t mean indulging ourselves in the things that please us, but it means being responsible for living in a manner that pleases God, especially in face of challenges. The Holy Spirit inspired James to write, “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


Jesus is the King of kings, so we could easily say that James is a royal prince because he is a son of Mary and Joseph, and the half-brother of Jesus Christ. But, we are also brothers and sisters of Jesus—children of God! 14“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” –Romans 8:14-17


It’s worth noting that there is a distinction between being royalty, and being an heir. Everyone who is part of a royal family gets to enjoy the benefits of royalty, but the heirs hold promise of inheriting territory and leadership, so heirs are held to a higher standard. In the Old Testament, every king seems to be measured against the standard of King David, a man after God’s own heart. In the New Testament, we are all measured by the example of Jesus, the King of kings.


While we may sometimes equate royalty with opulence and self-indulgence, the traits of good kings are faith, compassion, generosity, service, and self-sacrifice—that’s how we live like royalty today. I pray that we will each accept the honor and responsibility of living like royalty through our faithfulness in how we invest our time, talent, and treasure to expand the Kingdom of God by extending the Good News of Jesus in our community, throughout our state, across the nation, and around the world. He is worthy!


“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” –1 Peter 2:9


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 1, 2022


How big is your God?


I’m just asking because this is a question that I ask myself constantly. I ask this question when I’m tired and mentally drained. I ask this question when I feel inadequate and under-prepared. I ask this question when I feel overextended and overwhelmed. I ask this question when I don’t have the answers and can’t seem to find solutions. I ask this question when I’m not thinking creatively. I frequently find myself looking in the mirror, or staring into the Bible, and asking, “How big is your God?”


Like many, our household expenses seem to be rising rapidly, but our income isn’t. The church’s expenses have increased substantially, but our income hasn’t. I have been receiving letters and e-mails from missionaries and ministries that we support, each expressing that their expenses keep going up, but their income doesn’t. I’ve heard several people in our church share the same kind of sentiments. In fact, we’ve noticed that our Food Pantry is now providing for twice as many people as we were at the beginning of this year, but our source for reduced-priced food has shut its doors indefinitely. Add to that the conflict, turmoil, and pressure that seems to be constantly swirling around us, and we can quickly begin to feel squeezed. So, it’s a good thing we don’t have to solve all of these challenges ourselves—we have someone bigger than ourselves, with bigger resources, and a really big heart.


When we try to solve every problem and meet every need according to our own abilities, we tend to see stress cracks forming. But, when we rely on the Lord Jesus, we are reminded that His hands are big enough to hold us together. “We 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 4:8-9


So, how big is your God? My God is big enough to speak into existence the entire universe with hundreds of billions of galaxies that may each contain hundreds of billions of stars. My God is big enough to create a solar system that is perfectly balanced to facilitate life on this planet. My God is big enough to design ecosystems that support plants, animals, and are rich in useful minerals. My God is big enough to breathe life into every living thing, and sustain us with an intricate network of cells that are woven together with precision unmatched by any machine. My God is big enough to provide for our every need: physical, financial, emotional, relational, and spiritual. How big is your God?


As we enter our annual missions emphasis, I want to encourage you to pray about that question daily because when we begin to grasp how big God is, we start to realize what God can do. Supporting missions is one of the most selfless ways we share with the world that our God is big enough—HE IS WORTHY!


6“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—He remains faithful forever. 7He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.” –Psalm 146:6-7


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 18, 2022


Let’s consider the truth about failure.


I recently awoke early in the morning with the question of whether I failed to take care of a detail that would have significant consequences in the lives of people close to me. I sprang to my feet, did a bit of research, and quickly ascertained that I had dropped the ball—I failed. This wasn’t the first time that I’ve failed, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. In Psalm 73:26, we read, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” So, let’s look at the truth about failure.


Most leaders recognize that others look to them for guidance, direction, affirmation, and support. For me, this sometimes means that my family and co-laborers in Christ rely on me to fulfill certain responsibilities in order to empower them to proceed successfully. Good leaders often work ahead to make sure that they don’t create a proverbial log-jam for those around them. Though some may disagree with my assessment, I believe that everyone fails sometimes (with the notable exception of Jesus). Kings, presidents, prophets, pastors, parents, teachers, supervisors, and pretty much everyone else has failed at some point—that’s the truth about failure.


If you’ve ever felt like a failure, please remember that the Bible is filled with people who failed miserably. Adam and Eve were created perfect, but they failed to obey God and introduced sin into the world. King David is called a man after God’s own heart, but he failed by having an affair with Bathsheba and went on to have her husband killed to hide his sin. After saving humanity and all kinds of living creatures on the ark, Noah failed when he passed out drunk. The prophet Elijah called down fire from heaven, then failed to stand against a threat from Jezebel and hid in a cave out of fear. Mark was a gospel writer, but he failed by abandoning Paul and Barnabas on a ministry trip. Of course, Peter was very close to Jesus, but he failed to even acknowledge that he knew Jesus on the night of the Last Supper—three times! Each of these people failed, and each of these would get back up to be used by God in mighty ways—that’s the truth about failure.


When we fail, we need to remember that God doesn’t expect perfection from us, but He provided perfection for us to cover all of our sin by the blood of Jesus, and He gives us power to press forward in victory through the Holy Spirit. A few have pointed to the cross as evidence that even Jesus somehow failed—but they would be wrong about that. Jesus never fails—that’s the truth about failure.


4“For to be sure, [Jesus] was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him in our dealing with you. 5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” –2 Corinthians 13:4-6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 4, 2022


Let’s take time to freshen up.


We’ve been digging in some pretty hard dirt this week. Fortunately, I haven’t been digging alone. On Saturday, Loren Hollingsworth dug with me. On Sunday, Ron VanVarden dug with me. On Monday, Pastor Tony dug while I worked in the office. On Wednesday, Brad Nathan and Philip Barriga contributed to the digging. All of this digging to expose old leaky water pipes behind the church building isn’t glamourous, and it isn’t how I would normally choose to spend hot summer days. But, sometimes it’s necessary to deal with issues that have been lurking beneath the surface.


The purpose of all of this digging is to make sure that fresh water continues to flow. When we’re covered in dirt, mud, and sweat, fresh water is a valuable commodity. A drink of fresh water provides relief and energy. Washing our hands and faces with fresh water removes the grime and cools our tired bodies. And, we should have confidence that there will be fresh water every time we turn on a faucet in the house of the Lord. After all, sometimes we just need to freshen up a bit.


King David understood that the greatest refreshment of all comes from the Lord. Though King David lived in a palace, he also fought many battles, settled disputes, and struggled with temptation. He understood the need to spend time in the presence of the Lord, and invite the Holy Spirit to help him freshen up regularly. In Psalm 63:1, the Holy Spirit inspired King David to write, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”


The term “freshen up” implies a lifting of our spirits, and I sincerely believe that we all need to have our spirits lifted regularly. So, let’s take time to freshen up!


When we spend time in prayer, worship, and diving into the Word of God, we invite the Holy Spirit to help us freshen up. Of course, Sunday morning worship and the online service provide weekly refreshment. RLC Kids helps our pre-school and elementary children to be refreshed every Sunday morning. Fuse Student Ministries focuses on refreshing seventh through twelfth graders on Sunday afternoons. And, Prayer First boosts our spirits on the first day of every month.


In the coming weeks, we’re also providing some additional opportunities to freshen up. Pastor Anayansi is launching a study for ladies from the book of Gideon on Tuesday nights, beginning on August 16, at 6:30pm. Couples come together for Love & Respect on Saturday, August 20, from 9:00am to noon. And, Pastor Tony and I will be launching a five-week Saturday morning study for men called “Fight,” which begins on September 3, at 8:00am. So, let’s take time to freshen up!

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” –Proverbs 11:25


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


July 21, 2022


When life takes an unexpected turn, we turn to Jesus.


For some, the notion of turning to Jesus implies either having turned away from Jesus, or being far from Jesus. In both of these cases, there should be an obvious need to turn to Jesus as soon as possible. However, for those who are walking closely with Jesus, we may not find ourselves making a gesture much grander than turning our eyes to the One who is already by our side.


Sometimes our lives take unexpected turns—and we find ourselves facing unforeseeable obstacles. These unexpected turns can feel overwhelming and insurmountable, which is precisely why we turn to Jesus!


Imagine having your life turned upside down, and having all of your friends treating you like an enemy. This was the case for Paul as he sat in a prison cell for spreading the Good News of Jesus. Paul had become one of the despised people that he once persecuted vigorously, and some early Christians actually joined the campaign to have him executed for encouraging people to turn to Jesus.


It would be easy for many not to have sympathy for Paul because of all of the harm he had done before his dramatic turn to Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9. On the other hand, others may pity Paul’s plight as a prisoner for Christ—even to the point of seeing his captivity as a way of limiting his effectiveness in sharing the message that Jesus saves. But, both of these sentiments seem to miss the point, which Paul explains, 19For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” –Philippians 1:19-20


Few people face the kind of unexpected turns that Paul encountered in his life. Many would struggle to see past the persecution, imprisonment, and torture. But when we turn to Jesus, He helps us see the bigger picture through His eternal perspective. While in prison, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen many of the dynamic books of the New Testament. While in prison, Paul led other prisoners, jailers, and even royal officials into saving relationships with Jesus Christ. While in prison, Paul’s dynamic ministry took an unexpected turn that continues to impact the world for the better.


We all face unexpected turns in our lives, and we must continue turn to Jesus. Whether you experience an unexpected turn in your health, an unexpected turn in a relationship, an unexpected turn in your work, an unexpected turn in your finances, or any other area of life, God is able to do something unexpectedly good. It’s at unexpected turns that amazing miracles of Jesus often occur—Really Believe It!

“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


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


July 7, 2022


We’ve got our work cut out for us!


Wouldn’t it be great if we could just breeze through life without any conflict, without any challenges, and without any pain? That sounds wonderful, but that doesn’t facilitate growth, victory, or strength in so many areas of life. Though we may strive to live peaceful lives, God often works through adversity to reveal Himself to us in deeper ways.


Admittedly, much of the difficulty we face in life seems too big for us to resolve, and some of it is. But, nothing is too difficult for God. The amazing miracles of Jesus that are recorded in the New Testament serve as constant reminders of God’s awesome power revealed through His great love.


It’s one thing to know that Jesus has performed miracles, and accept that Jesus may still work miracles today, but it takes serious faith to really believe that our prayers will actually result in real miracles in the lives of real people. We’ve spent the past several weeks talking about living Full Throttle: Fueled By The Holy Spirit, and I have no doubt that Spirit-filled believers in Jesus Christ should expect miracles in our lives, in the lives of those we love, and in this world that desperately needs the Savior.


Our world is filled with conflict, challenges, and pain, and many of us find ourselves wrestling with conflict, challenges, and pain regularly. These difficulties can create anxiety, harm our health, and strain relationships. We can’t just pretend that everything is fine all the time, nor can we hide from reality. This is a good time to roll up our sleeves, dive deeper into the Word of God, and pray with the expectation that miracles are on the way. Yes, we’ve got our work cut out for us.


Acknowledging that we’ve got our work cut out for us implies that we have a role to play in seeing positive change take place. But, we can also recognize that God is already at work. Perhaps the Lord who has been working behind the scenes to prepare a miracle—helping to cut out the doubt from our lives to make room for us to use our Spiritual gifts more effectively.


I like to say that a miracle is a totally awesome thing that only God can do. While God works miracles that would be otherwise impossible for us, the amazing miracles of Jesus generally involve a call to action. “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” –James 2:17-18


Whether we seek healing, restoration, provision, wisdom, direction, or any other miracle, we must remember that every miracle is an extension of God’s love. And, love itself is pretty miraculous!

34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:34-35


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


June 22, 2022


Are you all in?


Hyperbole has become so common place that we often tend to exaggerate without even thinking about it. In sports, suggesting that an adequate play is somehow amazing or exceptional seems to diminish efforts that are truly rare. Too often people overstate their own efforts by claiming to have given 110%. But, even 110% percent doesn’t seem to be enough anymore, so some claim to be giving one thousand percent. How is that even possible?


To be honest, I can generally do a pretty good job in most areas by giving 35-50%. But, I tend to wear myself out when I give 75-80%. I’m pretty sure that giving 100% would mean giving my life and entering eternity. (I think basic heart, lungs and other organs have to account for at least 15-20% of our energy at any given moment.) So, I generally translate claims of giving 110% as justification for only giving an effort of 15-20% of one’s total potential. But, maybe I’m 1,000% wrong about that…


Instead of trying to quantify our efforts with some sort of fictitious statistics, we should be a bit more honest. When Jesus spoke of commitment, He spoke in terms of our treasure. We tend to treasure our time, talent, and resources. With that in mind, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Matthew 6:21


Pastor Anayansi and I treasure time with our kids, we treasure traveling, and we treasure the Lord above all. That’s why we will be traveling to Mexico this fall for our fifth missions trip to build a house for a family in need. April Bettencourt and Liam Dorsa are also gearing up for their fifth missions trip with Radiant Life Church and StudentReach. In fact, of the nineteen people planning to participate in this year’s trip seventeen have been on at least one of these trips before. And, I can attest that our missions team is “all in” when it comes to selflessly sharing the love of Jesus with families in need. This is a living testimony of a principle found in the book of Ephesians, 7“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do…” –Ephesians 6:7-8a


This weekend our entire church is going “all in” to reach our community through Summer Fest. We’re hoping that it will be a lot of fun for a lot of families in our community. Most of our church family has already been involved in spreading the word, pulling resources together, and preparing our campus. And, over half our church family will be serving during Summer Fest. All of the free drawings, games, activities, and food provide a testimony of our commitment to the Lord and our love for our community. Yes, we are definitely going all in!

37“Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’’” –Matthew 22:37-40


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


June 8, 2022


Let’s resolve to keep cool this summer.


Summer officially begins on June 22, but with temperatures already reaching triple-digits, it sure feels like summer already! We are blessed to live in an era where we can adjust the thermostat, which triggers air conditioning and rapidly cools our homes on very hot days. Modern air conditioning was invented in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier of Brooklyn, New York. However, it wasn’t until 1973, that 50% of US households were equipped with air conditioning units. So, most of human history hasn’t had the luxury of the air conditioning that we have come to take for granted for the past fifty years.


Of course, we are blessed to be able to keep cool in buildings and vehicles on some of the hottest days of the year, but we also need to learn to keep cool in the face of conflict and criticism all year long. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we had a spiritual air conditioner that helped us from heating up when tensions flare? Perhaps we already do!


I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit can actually help us keep cool in every circumstance. Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and James (the half-brother of Jesus) describes how this Spiritual gift not only acts like an air conditioner, but it also produces food for our souls. 17“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” –James 3:17-18

For years, Pastor Anayansi has wanted to have a whole house fan installed in our home, and a good friend helped make that a reality last fall. As temperatures have risen this spring, we enjoy being able to draw cool air into our home in the early morning hours, and pull hot air out of our house in the evenings. And, I sincerely believe the Holy Spirit can work through the church to serve as a sort of whole house fan in our society—drawing out the heat as the wind of God blows through our loving presence.


Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, and He encourages us to follow His example. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” As things constantly seem to be heating up around us, the family of God must keep cool in the Spirit.


Our commitment to live Full Throttle: Fueled By The Holy Spirit doesn’t make us to overlook injustice, or ignore evil. Instead, the Holy Spirit drives us to present the love of Jesus in every situation—especially when the heat rises and we feel hurt, insulted, or offended. This isn’t easy, which is why we need the power of the Holy Spirit, who makes all things possible!

17“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” –Romans 12:17-19


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


May 25, 2022


Let’s fight the good fight together.


It seems like we are often surrounded with terrible fights, but the Bible commends us to fight the good fight. So, what does that mean anyway?


Before we focus on fighting, let’s look deeper into what it means to be good. Three of the Gospels describe a man approaching Jesus with a question about goodness.* In two of the accounts the man refers to Jesus as “Good Teacher.” And, in one account the man poses the question, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” In all three accounts, Jesus explains that only God embodies the essence of what it means to be truly good. In this way, we understand that goodness is rooted in the very nature of God, and there must be a resemblance of God in anyone or anything that is good.


As the Son of God, Jesus provides the greatest human example of goodness. Though Jesus is the Prince of Peace, He is also a fighter! Jesus fought injustice, disease, sin, and death—and He conquered them all! The Book of Revelation prophetically describes Jesus returning to lead the armies of heaven to victory over the enemy in the last days. And, Jesus empowers us to fight the good fight through the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.


The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to encourage us to fight the good fight in two separate passages in the New Testament, both appear in letters to a young leader in the early church, who was named Timothy. In 1 Timothy 6:11 & 12, we are instructed in how to reflect the goodness of God and what we’re fighting for—the Good News. 11“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” In 2 Timothy 4:6-8, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to describe his own good fight that was rooted in sacrifice for the sake of Good News of Jesus.


So, we might say that the Good News that Jesus saves is central to being able to fight the good fight. The good fight is about more than legislation and ideology, it’s even bigger than religion and theology. The good fight is all about extending the love of God in an unloving world that often rejects the will of God. We fight the good fight when we humble ourselves and love others as God loves us.


13“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” –Romans 12:13-16


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


May 12, 2022


It’s time to take a stand.


As followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot sit silently while the innocent and defenseless are threatened. We must care for those who are in the throes of crisis, and we must take action to protect those who cannot protect themselves.


To be clear, making an action legal does not make it good. In 1 Corinthians 10:23 & 24, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, 23“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. 24No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”


Our nation has now endured five decades of division over what has become one of the greatest tragedies in history, and we must not ignore our responsibility to take a stand at this time. As a follower of Jesus Christ, and the pastor of a church that is committed to the Full Gospel message, I am deeply concerned that we renew our commitment to shining the light of Jesus with love, grace, and mercy.


Abortion is not just a legal or political issue—this is a spiritual issue that should compel every follower of Jesus Christ to take a stand. As followers of Jesus, we must support the preservation of human life at all stages of development. The issue of abortion is a very sensitive and deeply spiritual matter, which requires an abundance of care in addressing.

Jesus described His own mission in Luke 19:10, saying, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” There is no doubt that Jesus loves every unborn child, Jesus loves every person who struggles with an unplanned pregnancy, and Jesus loves every person who would participate in terminating the life of any unborn human being. Again, Jesus came to seek and save the lost.


In the face of divisive rhetoric, let’s take a stand that shows love for the unborn, love for those who are conflicted, love for those who have been victimized, love for those who are disappointed, and love for those who engage in any behavior that is inconsistent with the Word of God. Surely, the love of God is greater than the vitriol in our society.


Let’s renew our commitment to praying for those who govern. God knows what is best for every person, and our leaders need to acknowledge His authority and pursue His will—seeking the wisdom and council of the Lord in every decision. Additionally, I want to urge you to extended the love of Jesus through the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in your life.

9“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” –Romans 12:9-12


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


April 27, 2022


We need the Holy Spirit!


Anyone who’s managed a budget knows that there is a significant difference between things that we want, and things that we need. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting things. In fact, King David—who is known as a man after God’s own heart—was inspired by the Holy Spirit to pray that God would grant all of our requests: 4“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5May 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


God delights in giving us even more than we want, but the Word of God also promises to provide us with everything that we need. In Philippians 4:19, we’re told, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”


In 2 Peter 1:3, the Bible promises, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”  This divine power that gives us everything we need is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. This divine power was already given to us on the day of Pentecost, and this divine power is still available to us today through baptism in the Holy Spirit.


When we feel drained, we need the Holy Spirit to fill us. When we feel tired, we need the Holy Spirit to refresh us. When we feel dry, we need the Holy Spirit to baptize us. And, with the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes a full cornucopia of spiritual gifts that equip the church to shine the light of Jesus by meeting real needs in the lives of real people. While the Bible doesn’t provide a single comprehensive list of spiritual gifts, it gives us a pretty broad understanding of how the gifts of the Holy Spirit cover a wide spectrum of needs. In Romans 12:6-8, we find the motivational gifts of prophesy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, we have the spiritual gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. In 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 and Ephesians 4:11-13 we learn of the ministry gifts of apostle, helps, administration, evangelism, and pastor. And, 1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Corinthians 13:3, and 1 Peter 4:9 offer four additional gifts of celibacy, voluntary poverty, martyrdom, and hospitality.

It’s possible that there are spiritual gifts not listed in the Word of God, but we can be sure that every gift of the Holy Spirit is intended to accomplish the will of God, which is why we need the Holy Spirit.

4“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” –1 Corinthians 12:4-7


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


April 12, 2022


All about Jesus…


Are we ready to see God accomplish His will in our lives, our families, our church, our community, and our world? Rather than focusing on accomplishing our goals, desires, or dreams, let’s renew our commitment that everything we say and do is all about Jesus.


For the past seven weeks, I have been blessed beyond measure through the experience of a pastoral Sabbatical. I am grateful that leaders of the Northern California & Nevada District of the Assemblies of God have joined with Pastor Tony to share messages of truth and life in our worship center and online services. I thank God for the commitment of our Church Board and our church staff. My heart swells with delight to know that those who participate in our food pantry, worship team, JOY Fellowship, RLC Kids, Fuse Student Ministries, facilities team, ushers, greeters, and tech ministry have been faithful in serving the Lord each week. And, I rejoice in the Lord to know that our church family has been refreshed and renewed over the past seven weeks. It’s all about Jesus.


Now, we approach our biggest celebration as followers of Jesus Christ—Resurrection Sunday. English speaking Christians have used the word “Easter” for centuries because of its origins in reference to the sun rising in the East, and its ancient associations with new life in springtime. Spanish speaking Christians celebrate “Pascua de Resurrección,” which employs language that connects the resurrection with the Passover, and is literally translated “Holiday of Resurrection.” Regardless of the language we use, our focus is all about Jesus.


As points of reference, there are many days that hold unparalleled significance. For instance, the first day of creation was an important catalyst in history, and God created humanity on the sixth day. Of course, the birth of Jesus is a day that rightly deserves annual emphasis. In addition to all of the historical commemorations we honor in society and our families, we do well to remember the Passover, Good Friday, Pentecost Sunday, and Reformation Day. But, I sincerely believe that Resurrection Sunday is the single most important day in the history of the world. Resurrection Sunday, not only provides the irrefutable evidence that our Savior conquered death and the grave, but Resurrection Sunday is also the day Jesus proved that we will have eternal life with Him! It’s all about Jesus.

When we come together with friends and family, let’s remember that the good news is all about Jesus!.


9“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” –2 Timothy 1:9-10


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 21, 2022


It’s time to recharge.


No one in the history of the world has had more important responsibilities than Jesus. Yet, Jesus prioritized taking time to recharge before and after particularly draining encounters. That’s right, Jesus set aside time alone with our Heavenly Father before major ministry encounters, and He withdrew after performing miracles and ministering to the masses.


In fact, Jesus was also concerned for His disciples when the strains of ministry weighed heavily on them. His concern prompted Him to take decisive action to help them recharge physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 30“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ 32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” –Mark 6:30


Though Jesus was known to withdraw for weeks for prayer and recharging, those in leadership can likely relate to the way the encounter in Mark 6 unfolded. After the disciples boarded the boat, the crowd figured out where they were headed, and the masses greeted them on the other shore. But, this isn’t the end of the story. Jesus didn’t send them away emptyhanded. Jesus had compassion on the crowd, and began teaching them. When the now thoroughly exhausted disciples tried to get Jesus to agree to dismissing the crowd, He performed one of His most dynamic miracles—multiplying five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men!


There are many conclusions that can be drawn from this Biblical example, but rather than drawing a conclusion, perhaps we should see it as an introduction. Jesus essentially told His disciples, “It’s time to recharge.” But recharging is not the end of a process, recharging is an opportunity for a new beginning!

When a battery is drained, it is useless—even dangerous. But, when a battery is fully charged, it is ready to be used for its intended purpose. When we are drained, we need to invite the Holy Spirit to recharge us. As I embark on a seven-week Sabbatical, I am praying for miracles to occur. I want to see miracles in my own life, and my family, but I also expect that you will have a miraculous encounter with God as well. I pray that you will take time to pray, read the Bible, and benefit from the ministry of Pastor Tony Marler and the wonderful ministry leaders who will be delivering messages during our Sunday worship services and RLC Online. Yes, it’s time to recharge because the best is yet to come!


28“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. 29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” –Isaiah 40:28-29


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


February 7, 2022


Are we still missing something?


Isn’t it amazing how we can discover something we’ve never noticed in a place we visit frequently, learn something brand new about someone we see every day, or connect a familiar passage in the Bible to our circumstances in this exact moment?


I’d like to share a brief glimpse of what I’m Hearing From God in a familiar passage about Joseph in the Old Testament. Here are few of the basic facts of Joseph’s story from Genesis, chapters 37 thru 47:

-Joseph was a dreamer, who sometimes shared too much with his older brothers.

-Joseph was his father’s favorite, and his older brothers resented him and sold him into slavery.

-Joseph was faithful as a slave, but got falsely accused and landed in an Egyptian prison.

-Joseph had a gift from God that allowed him to accurately interpret prophetic dreams.

-Joseph was plucked out of prison and made second to Pharoah in Egypt.

-Joseph’s spiritual gifts equipped him to keep countless people from dying of starvation during a famine.


Let’s look at Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams described by Pharoah’s cupbearer and baker, while they were in jail together, as described in Genesis 40. In the cupbearer’s dream, a cup of wine represents freedom, life and restoration—much like the communion cup represents the New Covenant that brings life through the blood of Jesus. In the baker’s dream, the bread represents the body which will be broken in death—similar to the communion bread representing the body of Jesus, which was broken for us when He paid the price for our sin on the cross. And, the reference to three days in both dreams is the same period of time that elapsed between the crucifixion and resurrection. So, these connections have me asking, “Are we still missing something?


What about the fact that Joseph was in prison by no fault of his own? Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him and mention him to Pharoah, but the cupbearer forgot about Joseph. So, Joseph remained in prison for two more years. But, God didn’t forget Joseph. Perhaps it was the Lord who stirred the cupbearer’s memory at exactly the right moment to interpret a dream for Pharoah. Joseph waited two years for his next big step—much like many have felt as though we’ve been waiting in a “prison” of sorts for the past couple of years. Whether we feel eager, excited, frustrated, forgotten, lonely, or worn-out, I am convinced that God is preparing us for something greater. So, are we still missing something?


Wherever we find ourselves today, let’s not miss the fact that Jesus remembers us, and He is doing something bigger than we can possibly understand. There’s so much more to Joseph’s story, and there is more to our story as well!

“But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” –Genesis 45:7


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 25, 2022


Let’s continue to put prayer first!


We started 2022 with prayer gatherings at 7am and 7pm each day during the first full week of the year. Dozens of people in our church family put prayer first as we focused on the Name of Jesus in times of quiet reflection, spiritual expression, and heart-felt intercession. And, we’re committed to continuing to gather and put prayer first at the beginning of each month throughout this year.


Admittedly, some worry that prayer gatherings may be a bit uncomfortable at first. We may find our minds wandering a bit, or we may not know where to begin when we pray, but since prayer is a conversation with God, we grow closer to Him as we put prayer first. Max Lucado writes, “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”


On the night Jesus was betrayed, He took His closest disciples to the Mount of Olives, which is located just outside the walls of Jerusalem. They made their way to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus encouraged His disciples to sit nearby as He prayed for about an hour. Finding that they had dozed-off while He was praying, Jesus famously asked, “…Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” –Mark 14:27b-38


As we spend time in prayer, we find that we not only become more expressive with the Lord, but we learn to appreciate the quiet moments as the Lord gently speaks to our hearts. Lysa TerKeurst writes, “The reality is, my prayers don’t change God. But, I am convinced prayer changes me.  Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.”

We’ll gather for prayer on the campus of Radiant Life Church in Lodi at 7pm on the first of every month, beginning in February. I believe this will prove to be the most important hour of each month as we set aside time to connect with God in prayer. We’ve dubbed this monthly gathering “Prayer First!


I want to echo Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus as I pray for you today:

14“For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” –Ephesians 3:14-22


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


January 10, 2022


God gives us a better perspective.


I am writing to you on my forty-seventh birthday, and I don’t feel a day over 70… Or, at least I’m hopeful that I’ll feel this good when I am seventy! Throughout my childhood, I remember that my maternal grandfather, Rev. Benjamin Francis Cocherell, never referred to his age by using the word “old.” Instead, my grandpa always said things like, “I am 80-years-young.”


In my early adult life, I was somewhat coy about my age because I worked in children’s television and served in children’s ministries. To many kids, a person in their mid-twenties seems really old, and yet I didn’t want to come across as being too young to be taken seriously by my more mature colleagues. So, I’d often answer questions about my age by turning the question around and asking, “How old do you think I am?” Then, I’d smile and respond that I appreciated the compliment before abruptly changing the subject—hoping that I wouldn’t have to answer their original question. And, it usually worked!


Isn’t it interesting how different people can have such completely different perspectives about things like age, food, clothing, music, beauty, leisure, politics, faith, and just about everything? There are almost as many different perspectives on any given topic as there are people. While this may be frustrating for some, it can be invigorating for those who have a healthy attitude and a firm foundation in Jesus Christ because God gives us a better perspective. Our opinions are not necessarily better than the opinions of others, but our perspective is always better when we stand on the Solid Rock. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8


In fact, God gives us a better perspective of the value of diverse ideas and personalities. God’s love isn’t contingent on our age, race, gender, talents, vocation, or financial status. God sees each of us according to our relationship with Jesus. When we are with Jesus, we belong to God. And, because we belong to Him, God gives us a better perspective. We are blessed by the insights, perspectives, and encouragement of all of the wonderful people that God has brought into our lives. We see the value of those who love Him, those who need Him, and those who are far from Him. God gives us a better perspective of ourselves and others.

One way to invite God to give us a better perspective is by reading the Bible and sharing what we’re Hearing From God. If you want to join me in reading the whole Bible in less than a year, please e-mail office@rlclodi.com and type “Bible Reading Plan” in the subject line.


26“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –Galatians 3:26-28


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 29, 2021


We need to hear from God.


As we step into 2022, it is vitally important that we cut through the clamor and focus on listening to the voice that matters most. Hearing from God should never be taken for granted, nor should we simply rely on others to hear from God for us. We need to hear from God for ourselves.


I am frequently amazed at how some people seem to be sensitive at discerning the voice of God, while others are embarrassed to admit that they aren’t sure that God has ever spoken to them. Does God still speak today? Who gets to hear from God? What does God’s voice sound like? And, how can we be sure that God is speaking to us, and not someone else?


These are all good questions that even mature Christians ask sometimes. God can handle our questions. God can handle our confusion. God can handle our doubts. And, God can handle our problems. That’s why we need to hear from God.


Over the next few weeks, we will focus on Hearing From God—Listening To The Voice That Matters Most. This requires a basic understanding of the voice of God, how God speaks to us, and what kinds of things God tends to say.

As we share this journey together, we join with churches across the United States in the 80th annual Assemblies of God Week of Prayer. Each day during the first full week of 2022 (January 2-8), our pastoral team will host a focused time of prayer on our campus at 7am and 7pm. You are welcome to join us in person, or partner with us in prayer wherever you happen to be. There are daily prayer points listed on the back of this letter to help us focus our prayer. We’ll reinforce the daily prayer points on the church Facebook page as well.


Our daily prayer themes are drawn from a book called Awesome! by Dick Eastman, who encourages us to take four practical steps as we focus our prayers on the nature and names of Jesus:

1. EXPLORE. To explore means “to look into closely; examine or search carefully; investigate.” In your daily quiet times, meditate on that specific day’s primary theme describing Jesus.

2. EXPERIENCE. To experience involves any “activity that includes training and knowledge, skill, or practice resulting from such activity.” Pray specifically for a personal revelation of how each day’s quality of Christ relates to your life, family or others in your sphere of influence.

3. EXPRESS. To express is “to put into words; to picture; to give expression to one’s feelings or imagination.” During your daily quiet times, consider investing five to ten minutes to journal your thoughts as they relate to that day’s theme.

4. EXALT. To exalt means “to praise; glorify; extol—to raise on high; elevate, lift up.” Devote a portion of your daily prayer encounter to verbally glorify the Lord. You can pray, praise, meditate or even sing.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” –John 14:26


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 15, 2021


We have so much to celebrate.


Christmas comes at the close of each year, and provides us the opportunity to reflect, connect, and celebrate all that God has done for us. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, and the life that He brings. We shine His light, and Witness His Majesty in all things!


It’s easy to miss out on the true reason we celebrate Christmas, but the Lord has also made it easy to return to the joy and wonder of His presence at Christmas—and all year long. Sometimes, we over-complicate things by getting bogged down with pressures that are neither essential nor healthy. So, I want to invite you to join me in hitting the “reset button” as we simplify Christmas by simply celebrating Christ. Sounds easy, right?


We know that there are gifts, parties, cards, decorations, food, and so many other things that complicate Christmas. But, Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and enjoying the life that we have through Immanuel—God With Us. The Holy Spirit inspired Jesus’ little brother, Jude, to remind us that the Lord not only keeps us from stumbling with all the packages in our hands, but He also reminds us to Witness His Majesty. 24“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” –Jude 1:24-25


Because He is able to keep us from stumbling in sin, we have so much to celebrate. Because He fills us with joy that is greater than the worry of this world, we have so much to celebrate. Because He is our God and Savior, we have so much to celebrate. Because he has majesty, power and authority, we have so much to celebrate. Because He lives with us now and forevermore, we have so much to celebrate.

As this year draws to an end, and we prepare for a new year to begin, I want to extend three special invitations to you: 1) I want to invite you and your family to celebrate Jesus together with a special time of caroling and a brief candlelight service at 7pm on Christmas Eve; 2) I want to invite you to participate in the Assemblies of God National Week of Prayer, which is January 2-8; and 3) I want to invite you to join Pastor Anayansi and me in giving a special year-end gift to the work of the Lord through Radiant Life Church. We are committed to sharing life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And, together we have so much to celebrate!


23“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’” –Hebrews 10:23-25


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


December 1, 2021


Prepare the way for the Lord!


This morning, I sat with a dozen pastors of churches in Lodi. We meet together for prayer on Wednesday mornings during the school year, and often spend time discussing how certain passages of scripture speak to each of us on a deeply personal level. Among the group are pastors of churches that are Southern Baptist, Open Bible, Nazarene, Non-denominational, North American Baptist, Episcopal, Four Square, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, and others. In many ways, we are very different from each other, but we are all part of the family of God, we all believe that Jesus is returning soon, we all desire to see every person receive eternal life through Jesus Christ, and we are all in Lodi to prepare the way for the Lord.


As Christmas approaches, we are often reminded of the importance of family, and we do well to remember that Jesus refers to all of His followers as brothers and sisters. We know that Jesus had half-brothers and sisters from Mary & Joseph. We know that Joseph was the adoptive father who raised Jesus. And, we also know that Jesus is the Son of God, who has made it possible for us to be adopted into the family of God through the Holy Spirit. 14“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” –Romans 8:14-15


Six months before the birth of Jesus, another miraculous birth occurred. The mother of Jesus and the mother of John the Baptist were relatives, whose pregnancies were both announced by angels, and both involved divine intervention. Both of the mothers understood that God had a plan for their sons’ lives even before they were born. Jesus is the Son of God—the promised Messiah—who would bring forgiveness from sin. And, though John the Baptist gained tremendous notoriety in the First Century, his role was to prepare the world for the arrival of Jesus’ public ministry. “This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’’” –Matthew 3:3


As our world seems to be in constant turmoil and tension, we should recognize that the Bible never describes God maintaining status quo. In fact, as Savior of the world, Jesus changes everything! And, don’t we need some significant changes to take place this Christmas?

I pray that we will embrace every opportunity to make Jesus known in our families, and our community.


4“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. 5Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6And all people will see God’s salvation.’” –Luke 3:4-6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 17, 2021


It’s harvest time!


Sure, the Grape Festival was held in September, and most of the vineyards have been pretty much picked clean by now, but the greatest harvest is at hand. I believe we’re living in a time much like Jesus described to His disciples near Jacob’s well in Samaria. Jesus said, “…I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” –John 4:35b


This is our family’s seventh year in Lodi, but I hadn’t taken the time to see most of the vineyards that surround us—until now. Over the past few months, I have dramatically altered my daily routine. During the summer, I began to ride through the vineyards surrounding Lodi almost every morning and evening.


Lodi was actually known as the “Watermelon Capital of the Country” in the 1880’s, as local farmers began planting grapes. Watermelons began declining in local importance while vineyards began to flourish. They’ve been here for a long time, but until recently I didn’t make time for them in my daily schedule.


The days are growing shorter, and my rides through the vineyards include some pretty spectacular sunsets that reveal rows of vines & branches that are nearly stripped of grapes. The leaves are turning yellow, orange, red, and brown. These changes all testify to the end of what farmers have called a pretty sparce harvest season. Not only did Zinfandels and Pinot Grigios yield very light crops this year, but there have been supply chain problems and labor shortages as well. None of this sounds very optimistic—unless we’re talking about the kind of harvest that Jesus promises.

I’ve always appreciated the Biblical significance of vineyards. Jesus was raised in a community much like Lodi, called Nazareth. First century Nazareth was in a grape producing region of Galilee. When Pastor Anayansi and I visited Nazareth, we walked through a vineyard, and saw a wine press hewn out of the bedrock that may have been used during Jesus’ childhood. It is possible that Jesus thought of His early days on that very hillside when He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5


Today, I rode through the vineyards looking at clear signs of the end of harvest season in Lodi, but there are still some clusters of grapes on many vines. I don’t know if the remaining grapes are any good because they are not mine to glean, but there are grapes that haven’t yet been harvested. I am convinced that there are also significant indicators of a spiritual harvest that God has promised. As COVID-19 drags on and on, many are searching for hope. Many crave a meaningful purpose for their lives that only Jesus provides. This Thanksgiving, the Holy Spirit is reminding us that God meets every need for those who call on the name of the Lord—It’s harvest time!

“He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” –Luke 10:2


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


November 1, 2021


I believe I owe you something.


With Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to celebrate the goodness of God. We’ve all heard the question, “What do we give someone who has everything?” But, I find myself asking a slightly different question today, “What do we give someone who has given everything?”


In chapter thirteen of the Book of Romans, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to encourage Christians to submit to governing authorities and pay taxes. These principles were no less controversial in the first century than they are today. But, submission to authority and paying taxes were not the end of the matter—those things are easy to measure. Beyond following rules and paying bills, we’re admonished to give respect and honor. In Romans 13:7 we read, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”


Respect and honor are very similar in meaning, and both are pretty difficult to measure. Respect addresses our attitude or emotions toward someone, which can include elements of admiration, concern or fear. Honor is evident in our actions. We honor people by the way we speak to them and the way we talk about them to others. We also honor people by the things we do for them—giving of our time, talent, and resources.


Undoubtedly, we owe the Lord our respect and honor above all others. Revelation 4:11 declares, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” And, there are numerous scriptures that tell us that we honor God by honoring our parents, spouses, employers, employees, governing authorities, one another, and all people. And, since it is impossible to honor someone without respecting them, it is evident that Christians should set a stellar example for the world in how we respect and honor everyone we possibly can. When we do this, we begin to give God what we owe Him—everything.

So, as the holidays approach, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I believe I owe you something. You are a child of God, a gift from our Heavenly father, and your presence in my life is a blessing. I respect you because you are created in the likeness of God. And, I want to do a better job of honoring you for the sacrifices you have made, the gifts that you have given, and the joy that you share. Perhaps this is the best way to celebrate the goodness of God during the holidays and every day. May God bless you.

9“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” –Deuteronomy 31:6


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 21, 2021


God lets us choose.


The seasons are changing, and signs of autumn are all around us. The heat of the summer has given way to cloudy days, cooler temperatures and intermittent rain. Weather patterns don’t take votes or ask our opinion, but we have choices in regards to how we respond to the changing seasons. From our choice of clothing to how we’ll spend time with friends and family, God lets us choose.


Like many children, I grew up in a home that celebrated Halloween each year. Though we attended church and had each accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we decorated our house with witches, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, black cats, and spider webs. It was weird, creepy, strange, and made very little sense to me, but we did it every year because that’s how Halloween was celebrated. Despite my appreciation for costumes and candy, I convinced my parents to stop celebrating Halloween as my older siblings graduated high school and moved out of the house. Instead, we attended gatherings with friends from church, which proved to be more joyful and less spooky. God lets us choose.


While I am aware of the Celtic, Roman Catholic, and secular ties to October 31, I personally choose not to surrender a single day of the year to the devil. Instead, we do well to remember that October 31 is also a day that the Lord has already redeemed!


In fact, October 31 is one of the most important dates in the history of the church. It was on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther called for reformation. The Roman Catholic church had become so bogged down with bureaucracy, rituals, and doctrinal errors that change was needed. The result was the formation of countless churches and denominations striving to return to the Biblical roots of our Christian faith. This reformation has sparked 500 years of renewed focus on embracing a personal relationship with God the Father through a direct connection to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God lets us choose.

We can choose to see every day as a day of freedom in Christ. We can choose to see every obstacle as an opportunity to adjust the way we shine the light into the darkness of this world. We can choose to be supportive, encouraging, and compassionate. We can choose to redeem every day for the glory of God. So, let’s choose not to surrender to the temptation of the enemy who brings division and despair, but instead, let’s choose to celebrate the love, grace, and goodness of Jesus. God lets us choose.


When we choose to celebrate Jesus, the Bible encourages us to exercise the spiritual gift of wisdom. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom, so that we will not become reckless with the freedom we’ve received through the sacrifice of Christ. And, the spiritual gift of wisdom helps us to be careful to live in a manner that reflects Jesus to those who need the Savior—encouraging others to choose Him too.

15“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” –Ephesians 5:15-16


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


October 7, 2021


It’s really very simple.


Greetings from Mexico! As the missions team from Radiant Life Church awakes for the final day of construction on a home for a family in need, I find myself sitting on a rooftop in the community of Vicente Guerrero, which is located about five hours South of Tijuana on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Each day, I ascend to the rooftop before dawn to spend time alone with the Lord. And each day, as I look over the arid terrain speckled with shacks, trailers and cinderblock structures, I am reminded that life isn’t as complicated as we tend to make it. In Matthew 10:42, Jesus promised an eternal reward to those who offer a cup of cold water in His Name. It’s really very simple.


We are blessed to live and work in environments that are defined by luxury and excess, but much of the world has a simpler existence. A pretty plain taco tastes delicious after a hard day of labor. Conversation around the table is filled with laughter and joy after we’ve worked side-by-side for several days in a row. And, our worship is somehow sweeter as a group of our students lead us in lifting melodies to our God, who called us on this selfless adventure. It’s really very simple.


There are fifteen people on our team in Mexico. Fourteen are connected to Radiant Life Church, one is from Emmanuel Lutheran. Nine of our team members are male, six are female. Eight of our team members were teenagers when we began the trip, one celebrated his twentieth birthday while we were here, and the remainder are in our forties, fifties, and sixties. Three of our pastors are on participating, and everyone is here because Jesus called us. It’s really very simple.


Despite aches, pains, and a few setbacks, we will complete construction and hand a key to a family of eight, who have been living in a ramshackle combination of tarps, ropes and planks. It is very different from the houses where we live, but this house will be their new home. It’s really very simple.

Hammering the last nail is not the end of this building project for the Lord—it is a new beginning. Radiant Life Church supports missionaries and ministries all over the world through prayer, financial giving, and hands-on experiences. But, we’re doing more than building houses and church facilities, we’re building the family of God. We are not providing charity to “those people.,” we are investing in our spiritual family. Let’s continue to pray, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as He leads us to make even greater investments in the family of God. It’s really very simple.

19“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” –Ephesians 2:19-22


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 22, 2021


We are overcomers!


We’ve been through a lot, and I am grateful that we have stuck together in unity through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s felt as though we had more questions than answers, sometimes we found ourselves wrestling with doubts or disbelief, and sometimes we’ve even struggled to navigate through disputes. But, we are in this together and we are overcomers.


I don’t recall a time in my life when I’ve been asked to make so many difficult decisions with such conflicting information in such a divisive climate. And, despite feeling tossed around like a tugboat in a tsunami, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has remained faithful and true. He has promised to give wisdom to those who ask, and protect those who trust in Him. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” –James 1:5-6


God didn’t promise smooth sailing, but He “gives generously to all without finding fault.” This means that no matter what we’re facing, what mistakes we’ve made in the past, and no matter how inadequate we may feel—God has promised that those who trust in Him will enjoy victory in Jesus. We are overcomers.


God has already overcome our biggest problem through the blood of Jesus. We are not defeated, and we won’t be defeated because we are the children of God. People seem to be searching everywhere for solutions or sympathy, only to find themselves falling short again-and-again. The greatest minds on earth are doing their very best to address new problems and propose new possibilities, but scientists, celebrities, and politicians still seem to struggle to solve the problems that persistently plague our world.


As deficits continue to pile up, animosity continues to grow, and inflation continues to spiral, we have peace in knowing that God is able to provide for our every need, and He can heal any disease. So, we are overcomers by simply putting our faith in Him: 4“…For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:4-5


I am grateful to be alive in this exciting season that demands a miracle—or many miracles. I am convinced that God is working through our testimonies as we obey Jesus command in Luke 6:27-28: 27“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Perhaps this is the cure so many seek—proof that we are overcomers!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


September 8, 2021


When God speaks, everything changes.


The Lord God Almighty literally spoke everything into existence—let that truth penetrate your heart and soul for a moment. Before the beginning, there was God. Before the creation of the world, there was only God. And when God spoke, everything changed. Matter was formed from nothing at His command. Galaxies, universes, solar systems, planets, atmosphere, environments, oceans, land, vegetation, animals, and humanity were all constructed when God simply spoke. When God speaks, everything changes.


On Sunday, September 5, Pastor Tony Marler was introduced as the family life pastor at Radiant Life Church. After seventeen years of serving as the lead pastor of Journey Church in Oologah, Oklahoma, God spoke to Pastor Tony, and things changed for his family and ministry. Pastor Tony, Denetta, and their teenage daughter, Sophi, know that God spoke to them. And, they’re embarking on a cross-country move to answer God’s call for the next season of their lives—right here in Lodi. A video of Pastor Tony’s introduction to Radiant Life Church has been posted at: www.youtube.com/c/radiantlifelodi


When I was fifteen years old, God spoke to me with a clear and audible voice, calling me into ministry, and things changed in my life that evening. Throughout the course of our lives, Pastor Anayansi and I have heard God speak in a variety of ways, often challenging us to step out of our comfort zones, set aside our agenda, and join Him on another great adventure that we wouldn’t have undertaken had we not been certain that He had spoken. When God speaks, everything changes.


In Acts 2:17, we read, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” I guess my greying hair is giving away the fact that I am becoming an older man, and the Lord has been speaking to me in dreams. On Tuesday morning, I rose from bed at 4:00am, and jotted down the words that the Lord spoke to me: “What you have received from me, also pass on to others.”


Immediately, I recognized these words from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In the dream, I was standing with a group of pastors and church leaders. We all heard God speak. We all heard Him say, “What you have received from me, also pass on to others.” And then, we began to play the childhood game of Telephone, from one end to the other, each one repeating a message that was somehow different from what the Lord said. Some paraphrased, some elaborated, some offered opinions, and some spoke entirely different words—whatever seemed right to them. But, I could only repeat the words that the Lord spoke. No matter what anyone else says and regardless of what anyone else thinks, we must cling to the Word of the Lord because when God speaks, everything changes.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” –Philippians 4:9


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 24, 2021


God still answers prayer.


We don’t have to understand, we may not fully appreciate, and we may even find ourselves struggling, but God sees us, God loves us, and God still answers prayer. Throughout scripture, there are numerous affirmations that God hears and answers our prayers, but what about today?


Yes, God still answers prayer. Over the past few weeks alone, we have received reports of healings and medical turnarounds involving infants and adults. God has provided housing, jobs, and mended relationships. So, we continue to pray and seek the Lord’s divine intervention for a wide variety of needs. And, we must also pause to acknowledge when He has answered prayer, and make a point of expressing gratitude for what He is doing.


The Holy Spirit has impressed on my heart that we are nearing a major move of God in our community and beyond.  I am specifically praying about God’s will for our church as we press into the fall and approach 2022. We are beginning to see new faces in our worship services on Sunday mornings, have consistent online attendance, and we are preparing to make a greater impact in reaching the unchurched in Lodi.


Over the last eighteen months, the Lord has repeatedly reminded us that we must get ready and be patient. Readiness and patience may seem to be at odds with each other, but this principle is found throughout the Bible: Noah spent over one hundred and twenty years building the ark, but had no control over when the flood would come; Abraham left his homeland, not knowing where he would settle; Moses and the people of God watched nine plagues ravage Egypt and prepared the first Passover feast before the final plague brought about their Exodus; The remnant of God’s people were in captivity for 70 years before rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem; Jesus spent the first 30 years living in relative obscurity before performing countless miracles over just three years before His crucifixion; The disciples mourned for the loss of Jesus until they discovered the empty tomb; And two thousand years ago, Jesus said, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” –Matthew 24:44


Recognizing that God still answers prayer, I want to invite you to join me in fasting and prayer through Saturday, September 4. It is evident that our society is becoming increasingly divided over both major and minor issues. Matters of politics, race, health, and mistrust consume the airwaves and not-so-casual conversations. And, the church must be united by the Holy Spirit if we are to get ready and be patient. You may choose to fast a meal-a-day, specific types of food, or perhaps electronic media. As we fast, let’s devote time to specifically call on the Lord, and invite Him to guide us forward. God still answers prayer.

2“This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: 3‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” –Jeremiah 33:2-3


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


August 10, 2021


We trust in the Lord.


I want to confess to you that I have trust issues—and that’s not a bad thing. Hopefully, we all have some trust issues. Trust is often misunderstood and frequently misplaced because trust has many definitions and enormous implications.


Among the definitions found in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, trust is described as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Trust is also defined as “dependence on something future or contingent.” Keeping these definitions in mind, followers of Jesus must be cautious as to where we place our trust, and in whom we trust.


Trust always involves an element of risk. Farmers have to trust soil conditions, weather forecasts, and economic factors when they plant seed. Investors choose to trust business plans and market analyses that promise a high return on investment. Soldiers pledge to trust their commanding officers and those in the trenches beside them. Doctors tend to trust their education, abilities, colleagues, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and equipment. Children need to trust their parents, grandparents, and teachers. And, the list goes on, and on…


We cannot navigate life’s journey without trusting someone or something along the way. And, we are all faced with the glorious opportunity to experience the outcome of choices and actions that stem from extending our trust. Sometimes, this results in greater rewards than we could have ever experienced had we not trusted. Occasionally, we find ourselves at a loss that may give us pause in trusting again.


Many demand that we place our trust in those who sometimes falter, but we trust in the Lord, who never fails. Psalm 20:7 poetically states, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” I want to reiterate that we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we have “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, and truth” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the fact that we trust the Lord declares our dependence on Him and our confidence in His promises—both now and forevermore.


I believe that the Holy Spirit is steering us toward Psalm 37, which seems to speak directly to us in this moment. May we always follow His instructions and delight in His promises as we trust in the Lord!

3Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. 7Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.” –Psalm 37:3-8


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp


July 26, 2021

It’s a pleasure to serve with you!

If you’ve ever ordered a meal from Chick-fil-A, you probably noticed that the servers don’t respond to expressions of thanks with the standard “you’re welcome.” The culture of going above and beyond compels the servers to give an elevated response: “My pleasure.”

The beginning of August marks our family’s sixth anniversary at Radiant Life Church, and it has truly been my pleasure to be your pastor since August 2, 2015. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord with you, grateful for the many expressions of Christian love that have been extended to our family, and grateful that we get to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

It’s my pleasure to get to share life’s great milestones with those in our church family. It is my pleasure to celebrate births, anniversaries, graduations and birthdays. I’ve cherished moments of prayer at the altar, over the phone, in parking lots, bedsides, and gravesides. We have walked together through life’s valleys and ascended to some pretty amazing summits. Every step of the way has been my pleasure.

And, it’s my pleasure to look forward to all that God has in store for us as we rediscover what it means to be the church that God has always intended for this moment in His-story. The Word of God has given us glimpses into eternity, and the Lord invites us to participate in the miracle working power that the world desperately needs today. Jesus gave the following instructions to His disciples, 7“…Proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” –Matthew 10:7-8

The kingdom of heaven is near! The Lord still gives us power to see the sick healed, offer the hope of resurrection, provide deliverance from the enemy, and share the many blessings that He freely gives to us. All of this can still occur through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in His church today.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is helping us to rediscover church—and in the process He is equipping us to refocus on the people who are so important to Jesus that He gave His life as a ransom for their sin (and ours). I pray that many who have strayed will not only rediscover church, but that they will return to the Savior enthusiastically. I pray we will all embrace new opportunities to see new believers as we rebuild His church, with an attitude that testifies—it’s our pleasure!

1“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” –Philippians 2:1-4

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


July 12, 2021

We’re in good hands!


I am so grateful that the Lord has called us to be an intergenerational church, where children, teens, young adults, parents, and grandparents worship and serve the Lord together. Last week, Pastor Anayansi and I got to lead the Fuse Student Ministries Camp at Fallen Leaf Lake near Tahoe. And, it was encouraging to see founding members of our church (Brad & Mary Nathan) investing in the lives of our middle school and high school students along with a recent graduate (Hunter VanVarden), and an expecting mother (Rosario Smith). Talk about a microcosm of our healthy church!

Each evening we had a casual time of worship as we dove into the Word of God together. We looked at three “Lessons From The Lake,” which centered around miracles of Jesus on the Lake of Galilee. Not only did our students take detailed notes during services and devotions, but they were actively engaged in praying for the needs of others.


Recognizing that the God of miracles still calls us to be fishers of men by leading others to Christ, students invited Jesus to calm the storms in their lives, and affirmed that they look forward to stepping out of the boat and getting involved in ministry opportunities through Radiant Life Church. It was truly encouraging to witness every student express enthusiasm about serving the Lord alongside the grandmas and grandpas in our church. In the coming months, we will be presenting opportunities for ministry that will span every generation in our church. The principle of 1 Timothy 5:1-2 is taking shape in Radiant Life Church: 1“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

But, none of this should surprise us. After all, a group that was once defined as “seniors” has already re-branded themselves as Just Older Youth (JOY Fellowship), providing intergenerational ministry on an ongoing basis.

There are many in our church family who have walked with the Lord for decades, and have a wealth of Christian life-experience to share. There are also some who have felt sidelined and began to think that their best days were behind them. On the other hand, there are many who are ready to see how the Holy Spirit will work through them, but need mature Christians to walk beside them as they assume new leadership roles. All of this causes my heart to leap for joy because it sounds just like the mission of Radiant Life Church: to share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. So, let’s trust the Lord to accomplish His will as we serve together and see the Hand of God extend through our community.

28“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” Joel 2:28-29

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


June 30, 2021

Let freedom sing!

Freedom is a Biblical theme that long predates the formation of the United States of America. However, it was on the basis of Biblical freedom that our forefathers declared independence from tyranny and liberty to live life to the fullest.

Though many would re-write history by removing references to the Lord God Almighty from this nation’s heritage, there is no doubt that men and women of faith have been instrumental in establishing the freedom that we hold dear. Furthermore, many who have laid down their lives to ensure our freedom would attest that apart from the presence of God, we can never truly be free. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” –2 Corinthians 3:17


Like many Americans, I have been inspired and encouraged by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. –an unapologetic minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose doctorate was in the field of theology. Rev. Dr. King has inspired generations with the words, “I have a dream.” In the famous 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, he quoted from the song My Country ‘Tis of Thee (also known as America), repeating the phrase: “Let freedom ring.”

The song, which begins with the words “My country ‘tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty,” was penned by Rev. Samuel Francis Smith and was first sung in public on July 4, 1831 at a children’s service at the Park Street Church in Boston, MA. In studying the lyrics, it seems that the song is addressed to God about living in a free nation. This is evident in the first line and the last verse, which is often omitted:

Our fathers’ God to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright,

With freedom’s holy light,

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God our King.

As we celebrate with fireworks, grill our favorite foods, and enjoy the company of those closest to us, let’s remember to thank God for the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. And, let’s pray for revival in our community, our nation, and throughout the world, so that everyone may enjoy freedom from sin and the gift of eternal life that Jesus purchased with His precious blood on the cross—EveryONE Counts!

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” –Luke 4:18-19 (from Isaiah 61:1-2a)

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


June 15, 2021

Let’s celebrate all summer long!

Summer officially kicks off on the longest day of the year, which is Sunday, June 20. This also happens to be Father’s Day, and the first Sunday after a significant shift in California’s public health guidelines. While these milestones certainly brighten the day for many, we have something much bigger to celebrate—the greatness of our God!

Every day should be celebrated as our Heavenly Father’s Day. And, longer days give us more daylight hours to appreciate the One who created us, loves us, redeems us, provides for us, and calls us His own. We have every reason to celebrate the greatness of God. As Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

There is no excuse for denying our Heavenly Father’s presence, no excuse for denying His ability, and no excuse for denying ourselves from celebrating His greatness. It’s easy to let circumstances give way to excuses and delays, but our Heavenly Father doesn’t make excuses—He makes a way! When we resolve to remember the greatness of God, we are empowered to forget the petty things that have brought frustration and stifled our sense of celebration. I believe it’s time to open our spiritual eyes to the wonders of the Lord once again and recognize that God is doing a new thing, as He said in Isaiah 43:18-19: 18“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”


Do you want God to do something new this summer? I am praying that God will do something new in my life, in my family, our church, our community, our nation, and this world. And, standing on the promises of God gives us endurance to keep praying, keep believing, keep trusting, and keep celebrating the greatness of our Heavenly Father.

So, how do we sustain a spiritual celebration throughout an entire season—and beyond? We need to adopt the attitude of Jesus. Jesus isn’t discouraged, He sees opportunities for miracles. Jesus isn’t condemning, He offers freedom and life. Jesus isn’t defeated, He gives us victory over the enemy. Jesus is the life of the party!

Let’s make the most of every moment as we celebrate the greatness of our God together.

5“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” –Romans 15:5-6

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


June 1, 2021


Are we tough enough to love like Jesus?


When someone brings up the topic of tough love, we tend to think they are going to reference a passage like Ephesians 4:15, which commends us to speak the truth in love. All too often, the truth that is spoken “in love” comes across harshly. But, truly tough love is the kind of sacrificial love Jesus showed for us on the cross. Tough love is selfless—that’s what makes it so tough!


In times of ongoing conflict and turmoil, pointing fingers and placing blame is easy, but loving like Jesus is tough. When we have been inconvenienced or treated unfairly, resentment is easy, but loving like Jesus is tough. When people seem to be critical of our good intentions or dismissive of our views, pushing back is easy, but loving like Jesus is tough. When our rights are violated, rage is easy, but loving like Jesus is tough. While we are actively engaged in behavior that the Bible defines as sin, judgment and condemnation are easy, but loving like Jesus is tough. After all Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Who can love like that?! 


I recently viewed a very compelling interview with a prominent minister, who seemed to have some pretty legitimate concerns about certain governing authorities. However, I was heartbroken when the pastor was asked about loving his enemies, and refused to express love for a political rival, someone in need of the Savior. Surely Jesus also loves politicians—even ones with whom we disagree—doesn’t He? 


Jesus was willing to die for me while I was actively engaged in the kind of sin that can only be defined as defiance toward the Lord. Jesus also died for people who disagree with me—didn’t He? And, since Jesus loves someone enough to die for them, why is it so difficult for us to love those whose sin is no worse than our own? 


These are tough questions, but Jesus asked tougher questions—and gave even more challenging answers. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” –Luke 6:32-36


Perhaps it’s harder to love than it is to condemn—that’s why God’s love gives us an irrefutable testimony of transformed lives. May everything we say and everything we do be motivated by the love of God that has been expressed to us through Jesus Christ our Lord!

“We love because He first loved us.” –1 John 4:19

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


May 18, 2021


On your mark, get set, wait!


That doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Most of us seem to be always on the go. And, after more than a year of waiting and anticipating, aren’t we ready for whatever comes next?


Certainly, the disciples of Jesus felt much the same after three years of sitting under His teaching, witnessing His miraculous power, and spending time with Him after His resurrection. But, Jesus final instruction before ascending to heaven was: “…Wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” –Acts 1:4b-5 


As we commemorate Pentecost Sunday, we find ourselves waiting, watching, wishing, worshipping, and working. But, we’re not wasting a minute! We are making the most of this season, as we ardently expect an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to bring revival. We’ve all made sacrifices in one form or another, and none of us could have predicted the events that have brought us to this moment. Yet, we find certain similarities between our circumstances and the prophetic passages of Scripture that speak of the return of Jesus. 


Jesus is coming soon. We’ve heard that message our entire lives, but we’ve never been closer to His return than we are today. Jesus is coming soon. And, we want to be ready when the final trumpet sounds and we will meet Him in the air. Jesus is coming soon. But, there are so many who have yet to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus is coming soon. I don’t know the day or hour He will return—no one does. But, Jesus is coming soon, of that we can be certain. So, we need the Holy Spirit to empower us to be the kind of church that He has called us to be—for such a time as this. 


And, what kind of church did Jesus call us to be? That’s a good question…and it’s a good thing that we have the Bible to answer that question for us! Jesus called us to love Him and love others. In John 13:35, Jesus said that our best witnessing tool is our love for one another—that’s how people know that we are His disciples. And in John 13:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.”


As many stumble in the darkness to find hope, we hold firmly to the truth of Jesus, and maintain a steady course charted by Biblical truth. I pray that we have rediscovered that we can not only worship anywhere and anytime, but we get to worship everywhere and all the time. So, let’s continue to worship Him in the Spirit and in truth as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled!


18“…On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” –Matthew 16:18b-19

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


May 5, 2021


Love is in the details!


It’s official—Pastor Anayansi and I are now the parents of two teenagers. This week, our son turned thirteen-years-old, and our daughter took her first AP exam to receive college credit during her freshman year of high school. We are blessed that both of our children love the Lord, and both are growing in their personal relationships with Jesus. They both ask good questions about God, humanity, church and eternity—and they both find the answers in the Word of God.


Our lives are comprised of countless moments that shape our character, and refine our ability to make God honoring decisions. Some of these moments are tests, many are quizzes, and most are lessons that can help us develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Sharing life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ involves a lot of high and low points. But, Jesus is with us at every turn—He never leaves us, and He will never abandon us. Jesus cares about every detail of our lives because He loves us enough to pay attention to the details. 


As I see my children growing into adults, and our church adapting to changing times without compromising the mission that God has given us, I am reminded of the importance of the little details that contribute to making an enormous impact for the Lord. I’ve often told our church leaders, “If we are not faithful with the little things, we’ll never have to worry about God trusting us with bigger things.” Jesus repeatedly communicated this truth in the form of parables. 


In Luke 19, Jesus described a man of noble birth who went to a distant land to have himself appointed king. The man was not universally appreciated in his own land, but he pursued his destiny and became king despite his detractors. Before he embarked on his quest, he entrusted each of ten servants with the equivalent of about three months wages. When he returned, the workers each gave an accounting for how they invested their master’s resources. Those who invested wisely were rewarded, and those who failed suffered the consequences. One outstanding servant multiplied the master’s money to ten times its original value! To that servant the newly crowned king offered a substantial promotion. “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’” –Luke 19:17 


This principle applies to every follower of Jesus Christ. If we are not faithful with the little things, we’ll never have to worry about God trusting us with bigger things. But, if we are faithful with the little things—the decisions and challenges we face today—then the Lord with entrust us with far more in the days ahead. Love is in the details.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –Philippians 4:6

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


April 21, 2021


The joy of the LORD is our strength!


What brings you joy? Perhaps, it’s spending time with friends and family, visiting a familiar place, watching a favorite show, or listening to your favorite tunes. On the other hand, maybe you get excited about trying something new and adventurous, tackling a challenge, or connecting with someone you’ve never met before. Isn’t it interesting how the things that bring some people anxiety actually bring joy to others?


Personally, the thought of you brings me joy—really! That’s right, I love my church family, and as I type a new letter every couple of weeks, I think of the faces of those whom God has brought into my life through His church. I imagine seeing you smiling—without a face mask (of course). Just the thought of you brings a smile to my face, even as I sit in my recliner and my kids tackle homework at the table nearby. You bring me joy. 


I thank God for you. I thank God for reminding me of your smile today. And, I thank God for the joy that He has brought me by simply reminding me of you, which reminds me of what the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write to the Philippian church as he thought about them: “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:7-8 


I am blessed to be connected to every person who receives this letter, in one way or another. Some live in Lodi, some live near Lodi in San Joaquin County, others live across California, and a few are elsewhere in the US. But, we all share life’s journey through growing relationship with Jesus Christ. 


I pray that you are filled with the joy of the LORD today. No matter what your circumstances may be, I pray that the presence of the Lord will wash over you, and refresh you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will bring you comfort and peace in any storm or challenge that you may face. I pray the Almighty will go before you and defend you against any threat you may face. And, I pray that you will feel the presence of Christ Jesus, whether you find yourself in life’s valleys or on the mountaintops. And above all, I pray that you will draw near to God because I know that He is near to you. Amen.


As we take time to explore the Fundamentals—what we believe about God, humanity, church and eternity—we are reminded of the people of God assembling for the reading of the Law of God in chapter eight of the Book of Nehemiah. Ezra the priest praised the Lord and read from the Book of the Law of Moses. The people understood the Word of the Lord, and many were moved to tears as they worshipped the One True God. Then, the people were encouraged to celebrate, and we should do likewise!


“…Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” –Nehemiah 8:10


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


April 7, 2021


This is a good time to focus on the fundamentals.


Almost three hours before our Resurrection Sunday service began, we received an e-mail from someone who made a decision to follow Jesus while attending Radiant Life Church Online that morning. What’s more, he lives in Covington, Georgia!


There is no limit to God’s ability to transform lives in Lodi, across the nation, and around the world. We are on the brink of a major move of God, and it is imperative that we are prepared. As the first century church was experiencing massive growth and seeing miraculous transformations, Paul encouraged Timothy with a sobering assessment that seems all too common today: 3“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” –1 Timothy 4:3-4 


Just over a century ago, about three hundred men and women of faith gathered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, from across the US. They represented independent churches and networks of churches, that became connected through a statement of faith that is commonly called the Fundamental Truths. Today, we are blessed to be the spiritual descendants of these Full Gospel pioneers, who founded the Assemblies of God as a fellowship focused on evangelism, worship, discipleship, and compassion. 


No athlete can hope to become a champion without mastering the fundamentals of his or her sport, and it is even more valuable for our spiritual development to be anchored in the Bible-based tenets of our faith. Over the coming weeks, we will turn our attention to the sixteen Fundamental Truths that describe what we believe about God, humanity, church, and eternity. Many of the topics will serve as reminders of areas we have already accepted by faith. However, there may be some areas that stretch us a bit. But, stretching makes us more nimble, effective, and helps keep us from getting injured—this is also true with our spiritual life. 


Pastor Anayansi and I recently watched our fifteen-year-old daughter compete in an exhibition tennis match. We are excited to see her growth in a sport that is entirely new for her, and she is working hard to master the fundamentals. Likewise, I believe God wants us to grow in new ways, and He has already given us the playbook—the Bible. I hope that this series of messages will deepen our faith, provide answers to vital questions, unite us on a deeper level, and offer a platform for future review and discussion.


15“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your heart.” –1 Timothy 4:15-16


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp 


March 23, 2021


Jesus is alive!


As we approach Resurrection Sunday, I want to share a Word from the Lord with you. This is a prophetic message that came as our Church Board was praying in the Spirit at the beginning of our monthly meeting on Monday, March 22, 2021. As followers of Jesus, our leadership team has resolved to do more than just put prayer on the agenda—through prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to establish and direct our agenda.


Biblical prophecy tends to fit into one of two categories—foretelling and forth-telling (or speaking-forth). Foretelling is when the Holy Spirit of God provides a prophetic message or vision that depicts things that are yet to come. Foretelling is very exciting, and builds a sense of anticipation. Foretelling can come as an announcement of something positive, or a warning against something negative. On the other hand, forth-telling is a prophetic message or vision that brings clarity to things that are already taking place, or the truth about the way things are currently. Forth-telling brings clarity and insight that can help us accept and navigate within our present circumstances. Forth-telling can also be exciting when we recognize that Almighty God has a good reason for speaking to us prophetically. Forth-telling can also dramatically impact the future based on how we respond to the present in light of God’s truth. 


I sincerely believe that the Lord has “spoken forth” to us at this pivotal moment. This is His prophetic message as we contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus in light of our present circumstances:

The resurrection is not the “main thing,” it is the ONLY thing. We need to set aside the pressure and burdens we carry and focus completely on our Risen Savior, leaving our burdens at the cross. This requires us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we keep moving forward. We are continuing to grow, knowing that He is always with us and He will always be here for us. We need to put the heaviness and hinderances aside and remain focused on the Lord.* 


So, what does it mean that the resurrection is the “only” thing? Simply put, the resurrection is the one thing that gives living hope in a broken and dying world. Our sin is forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but eternal life is assured through His resurrection. And, since He has already risen from the dead, He is able to raise us from both death and despair. Everyone needs the living hope that Jesus provides. As our Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday services approach, let’s share the Good News with everyone we can—because EveryONE Counts!


3“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” –1 Peter 1:3-5

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Robert T Schlipp

*The prophetic message above is my paraphrase based on notes that were taken during the prophetic message. Caps and quotes mine.


March 10, 2021


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, 2021 


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, 2021 


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, 2021 


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, 2021 


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

Sunday Worship Services @ 10am
& Online Via YouTube