Standing in the Gap

Dakota Dietz

standing-in-the-gap2However the election has affected our communities and hearts, something we may all agree on is that it has brought into focus the vast cultural divide in our nation. This is not a political commentary, but a personal reflection and confession on how I have engaged with the different cultures that have clashed so bitterly in this season.

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5 Reminders for Election Day

By Brent Kompelien6261650491_0cd6c701bb_b

This election is probably making you anxious about the future, frustrated with the political process, or disillusioned with our nation’s leaders. How should we respond? I want to remind us of a few important truths that should set us apart as gospel-believing Christians. I pray that these reminders help us “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). Solano is a politically diverse congregation, but the following things unite us as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Of Parsnips & Pouring Into

Laura Humphrey

The Humble Parsnip

The Humble Parsnip

My mother-in-law wasn’t wild about the idea when Peter, my now husband, and I started dating. She had fair reasons, one of which that I was not a believer. As her and her husband work in ministry, they had seen this story before, and often the outcome had been the believer in the relationship falling away from faith rather than the unbeliever stepping into it.

This woman did not fit my perfectly put-together, touchy-feely, overly-smiley Pastor’s Wife Pigeonhole. She’s a cuticle chewing, no-nonsense engineer whom no one would dare describe as touchy-feely, even by English standards.

Needless to say, when I met her as Peter’s Unsuitable Girlfriend I found myself intimidated.

Intimidated and sweaty.
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Consider the Redwoods: A Biological Parable

By Dakota Dietz

sequoias-01-with-mouse

Redwood ForesBy Dakota Dietz 

I love the study of biology because the natural world is rich with metaphors. The interactions between creatures, the coordination of limbs, organs, fluids, and tissues, the structure and functioning of the tiniest of cellular lifeforms, and the effect of mankind on the earth all have embedded within them stories of God. The Author of all that is has made creatures to be living parables. He has artfully written himself into the trees, the critters, and the environment that sustains them. From the very beginning of the verbal revelation of himself to the very end, from the tree of life and the tree of knowledge to the tree of life for the healing of the nations, God has been providing biological revelation of himself. Continue reading

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When God Derails Our Plans for the Better

As Solano looks forward to Vision Sunday on  September 25th, Aria Lee writes about learning to be a disciple who makes disciples.

By Aria Lee

This is Aria!

Aria Lee!

This summer was not what I had planned, but that wasn’t surprising considering the fact that God has derailed my plans multiple times, and always for the better. After returning home from college, I expected to spend my summer working at kids’ camp. I had a month before I was to start, so I decided I would take that time to relax, but when I relaxed, I dropped everything – including my daily fellowship with God. It wasn’t till about two weeks before I was supposed to start my summer job that God gave me a wakeup call, literally in the form of a phone call. The camp director called and told me that my job fell through, so in the course of five minutes, what I had envisioned for my summer completely changed.

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Pastor Jun Lee on Disciplemaking

Pastor Jun Lee joined our Home Group Leader retreat in August 2016 to teach on disciplemaking. Pastor Jun was instrumental in starting the One Heart Christian club at Albany High and now works with Cru at Santa Cruz. He is battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) currently and gives remarkable testimony to how God is using him despite (or even through) his weakness.

For the sake of context, this recording starts immediately after an impromptu and extended time of prayer with Pastor Jun and the Solano Home Group Leaders. It was a prayer time many of us will never forget and part of the emotion at the beginning of this talk is in response to it.

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The Internet Mind

By Cathy Luchetti

So I’m reading the New York Review of Books and gazing out over the trees of Claremont Canyon that rise up through the mist. The view, gentle as moss, seems just right for catching up on reading.  I’ve canceled the Economist because I just couldn’t keep up every week.  The Economist is like the gym, a place to go and work out just to stay in shape.

So now, curled-up, comfy, and scanning page after page of book reviews, my mind seems satisfied by a short essay about the book, in the same way that it used to get from reading the book. The results of a shrunken attention span! And it’s not just me. I hear it from my friends: Continue reading

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On Saying Goodbye

By Jackie Knapp

I hate goodbyes.

Pooh, Piglet and Paul have wisdom on goodbyes.

Pooh, Piglet and Paul offer good wisdom on goodbyes.

Almost as much as Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber. Maybe more.

When my best friend moved away in kindergarten, I cried myself to sleep for weeks.

I was the girl who wept at the end of summer camp in jr. high. Not a full summer, mind you. One week. Seven days.

So many feelings.

You would think that as an adult, I would have hunkered down in a singular place and never moved. But instead I’ve chosen a life full of goodbyes.

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Fathers’ Day & Father’s Day

By Laura Humphrey

Homemade Fathers' Day card

A Homemade Fathers’ Day card

Last Sunday was Fathers’ Day. In my family this holiday was considered “another card-company-money-spinner,” although Mothers’ Day did not suffer the same derision. Something to do with Fathers’ Day being a too-recent addition to the calendar to be trustworthy, whereas Mothers’ Day has the weight of years behind it. But that’s the English for you.  Continue reading

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Salvation Mountain

Cathy Luchetti

Salvation Mountain | Photo by Heather Quinn

Salvation Mountain | Photo by Heather Quinn

The wiry New Englander who pulled his truck up to a barren stretch of the Imperial Valley near Niland, California, felt called to the desert. The land, stretching out in vast pale ripples, bumps up close to Baja and lurks east of the Salton Sea — a lonely stretch that ignites the imagination and pulls at the soul, and causes people to stop there and live, sometimes forever. Continue reading

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