Friday, November 10, 2017

Events- Nov. 2017

UPCOMING  EVENTS
Nov.  7 TUE 11:00 AM Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck.  The ladies will be
                        meeting, this month, at the home of Barbara Hunter.
                       As always, it’s a wonderful time of fun, food and lots of
                      conversation with a generous sprinkling of God’s word.
Nov.  9 THU   7:00 PM Deacons’ and Deaconesses’ Meeting.  As we continue the
spiritual work of our congregation, we look to God, the
true head of our church, for wisdom to do His will in
every area of worship, fellowship, prayer and outreach.
Pray that God will impart to us a clear vision of His plan
and purpose for Hilltop Chapel.
Nov. 12 SUN   2:00 PM Winter Jam—Save Mart Center, Fresno.  Teens will leave
from Hilltop Chapel parking lot.  All tickets are purchased
in advanced, so no need to stand in line for hours!
Nov. 18 SAT   8:00 AM Men’s Breakfast & Fellowship.  We’re going to continue
with our new format of breakfast, followed by a short
video presentation by Isidro Bruno and Soulcon.  Come on
out; you won’t want to miss it!
10:00 AM Ladies’ Craft Day.  Lots of good crafting being done and
the good times are rolling along.  Come on out and see what
clever things are being done by your neighbors, right under
your nose!
Nov. 19 SUN       11:00 AM Thanksgiving Worship Service.  Our annual Thanksgiving
service will be filled with wonderful music, praise and prayer
for a blessed day as we remember everything that God has
done for us as He fulfills his plan for the ages.  Give thanks!
12:15 PM Thanksgiving Dinner.  Invite family and friends to join us
as we celebrate this very special time of year, with a full on
Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings.  And the best
part is—it’s free to all!
Nov. 21 TUE   7:00 PM Community Thanksgiving Service and Pie Social.  All the
Bible believing churches in our area will join together to
give thanks, sing praise, fellowship and eat pie!  You can’t
beat that as a way to draw close to Christian brothers &
sisters and thank God for His wonderful provision for all
of us!  Hilltop Chapel is hosting this year’s service.
Nov. 23 THU ALL DAY Thanksgiving Day.   Our prayer is that you will enjoy the
most blessed and safe Thanksgiving Day! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Did You Know?... Sept. 2017 

Did You Know?...

Sept. 2017 

With each sunrise, we start anew … On August 2, Helping Hands ladies met “in the cool pines” at Penny Burgin’s Wilsonia cabin for our monthly potluck and meeting with Bible Study.  We all enjoyed the fellowship, delicious food, and cooler temperatures … Dr. Jim Cecy, Senior Pastor at the Campus Bible Church in Fresno, was our guest speaker on the 6th.  He provided us with simpler ways we can successfully share our faith more easily with others.  “God loves to use ordinary people in extraordinary ways in the most unusual of circumstances!” …  As Pastor Rod and Lesley were out of town attending a wedding, Isidro Bruno was our guest speaker on the 13th.  In answer to the question – Are you where you are supposed to be? -- Bruno provided us with a Spiritual Christian Checklist.   1.  Christ – what’s our relationship with Jesus Christ?  2.  Connection – Our go-to network people.   3.  Community – “Me too” group, Men’s/Women’s groups.  4.  Counsel – Preventative maintenance, who counsels you?  4.  Coaching – Who supports you to win the race and become a champion for Christ.  …  We lost one of God’s very best and faithful servants in August.  Mel Schellenberg was loved and cherished by so many people and his Celebration of Life was well attended at the Mennonite Brethren Church in Kingsburg.  His wife, Adeline Schellenberg, would like to send everyone a heartfelt thank you for your love, caring and prayers on their behalf.  Thank you also for the delicious food and the gracious help you provided.  Melvin’s life was inspiring, he touched so many and embodied a life well spent for God.  Bless you all … The Teen Mountain Ministry youth participated in a Fresno Food Distribution in August, and were inspired and anxious to do it again next year … At our monthly Supper and a Movie, the film “Decision” was shown, highly recommended and much enjoyed …  Hilltop Chapel’s first Baptism Class was held on the 30th and it looks like we could have at least 6 candidates for Baptism, so bring a picnic lunch and plan to attend our Annual Baptism at Hume Lake on September 10th at 2 PM.  …  Please pray for the people in the gulf states tragically impacted by the extreme storm and catastrophic flooding, with a lengthy recovery process ahead of them … As we close out the month of August, our Central California area is experiencing extreme heat warnings and advisories with many days of triple digits, as well as poor air quality with thick smoke from multiple expanding wildfires in every direction.  Many thanks to the brave firefighters willing to battle these blazes during this heatwave, and our prayers go out to all those families evacuated from their homes due to the fires … When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on … Mark your calendars plan to attend the Evangel Home and Christians in Action Banquets in September.  Be saving your special items and plan to attend our Harvest Dinner and Auction on October 15th … Remember that a good example is the best sermon … As you are shopping, be thinking about small items to include in our Operation Christmas Child gift boxes.  Pack an Operation Christmas Child shoebox and give local churches around the world an effective tool for evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication.  Our church kickoff will be on Sunday, October 1st and collection of all our gift boxes for distribution will be by Sunday November 19th.  Good News – Great Joy!  Learn more at samaritanspurse.org/occ  … Enjoy the little things – there are so many of them!

Sept, Upcoming Events

UPCOMING  EVENTS
Sept.   5        TUE    11:00 AM  Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck (Postponed due to kitchen                                                               repair).
Sept.  7         THU     7:00 PM  Deacons’ & Deaconesses’ Meeting.  Our meeting this month will be held                                         at the home of Kathy & Pascal Williamson.  Please pray for our board
                                                   members as there are many things to be dealt with this month.
Sept. 10        SUN      2:00 PM  Baptism at Hume Lake.  Our annual Hilltop Chapel baptismal                                                               service
                                                   will be held at Sandy Cove on Hume Lake.  If you’ve never attended
                                                   one of our baptismal services, it’s really worth the effort.  We have 7
                                                   candidates for baptism this year and every one has committed to                                                             living a life that is pleasing to God in every way.  What a blessing to                                                       all of us!
Sept.  11       MON   6:00  PM  Evangel Home Banquet.  For 62 years Evangel Home has been                                                              meeting the needs of homeless women and children of Fresno with                                                      God’s love, grace and mercy.  And, they take no federal money,                                                            depending only on donations
                                                   from churches and private donations from people like you 7 me.  
Sept.  12       TUE    11:00 AM  Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck.  The ladies will be meeting, this
                                                   month at Hilltop Chapel.  The meeting, scheduled for Sept. 5, had                                                        to be postponed due to kitchen repair, which should be completed in                                                    time for this meeting.  Come join us!
Sept.  15-17              FRI-SUN   Women’s Retreat at Hartland Christian Camp.  The ladies all tell us
                                                   that this is a date they circle on the calendar every year, it’s that                                                            good!
                                                   There’s still time to sign up so make your plans today.
Sept.  16       SAT       8:00 AM  Combined Men’s Breakfast & Seminar.  Isidro Bruno will be coordinating
                                                   the event which will include men from 5 churches in our local area.  The
                                                   guys will be meeting at Hilltop Chapel Fellowship Hall for a hearty                                                                  breakfast, then, by video, our guest speaker.  You won’t want to miss this                                                        exciting opportunity.
Sept. 19       TUE    4:30 PM    AWANA Club Kickoff Meeting.  It’s back into action again for our                                                                  AWANA
                                                   Clubbers and we’re looking for another great year (#11).  We’ve got some
                              great teachers and leaders and know your child will be blessed by the
                              experience.  And, bring some kids from your neighborhood.
Sept. 21       THU   6:00 PM    Christians in Action Banquet at Tornino’s.  This fine missionary outreach
                                                   is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year!  Let’s join with them as they
                                                   mark this amazing, God anointed milestone.
Sept.  24       SUN    5:30 PM    Supper & A Movie.  This month’s movie is titled “God’s Country”.  With
                                                   faith and love, it’s never to late to find where real riches can be found!

REMINDER:           Two upcoming events for October—the 1st happens on October 1st.  Samaritan’s
                                 Purse kicks off its Operation Christmas Child outreach, with a video and gift box
                                 hand out.  Millions of these packed gift (shoe) boxes have been given to needy
                                 children around the world over the past 20 years.  Join us as we give this Christmas!
                                 October 15th is our annual Harvest Dinner & Auction, the proceeds of which go to

                                 selected missionaries from our 4 mission outreaches.  It’s great fun, so come join us.

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2017 “PROGRAMS vs. PASSION”

HILLTOP  CHAPEL  NEWSLETTER

SEPTEMBER  2017


    “PROGRAMS vs. PASSION”

          Every day, or as often as I pick up the mail, there are 2 or 3 pieces of literature concerning
seminars, small group video lessons or Christian magazines.  Most are designed specifically to help Hilltop Chapel achieve greater growth, higher Sunday school attendance or less people sleeping
through the Sunday sermon (actually, I haven’t seen that one yet, but I know it’s just a matter of
time).  It is truly amazing how much time and effort is spent, by literally hundreds of organizations,
to keep us from sliding down the slippery slope into “evangelistic mediocrity”.
            If the Sunday school curriculum is not of a certain type, then the poor little tykes who attend will not be spiritually nourished.  If the hymnals or DVD programs do not have the correct balance of hymns, praise choruses and responsive readings, you are most likely overloading the congregation with too much of one or the other.  This would not be healthy!  If the pastor is not using anything but the NIV, KJV, NKJV or some other preferred version of the Bible, he is obviously misinformed and quite possibly a heretic.
            One thing has become painfully evident during my tenure in the ministry.  For every well-intentioned, biblically sound resource center there are a dozen that are driven by a desire to make a very tidy profit.  Their packages are very glitzy and even present Bible stories and situations correctly.  However, when you see the price tag attached to the product, you wonder how much prayer and soul-searching went into the decision concerning cost and profit.
            Resource and curriculum material is not the only area of Christian endeavor where the profit motive has to be brought into question.  Take a good look at what our young people and adults are spending for gospel music CD’s, MP3’s, DVD’s and concerts these days.  It’s truly amazing!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that each person has the right to earn whatever he or she can for the work they do.  I do believe, however, that there is a “God imposed” limit on what is reasonable and what isn’t for Christian entertainers, publishers, lecturers, evangelists and church leaders.
            I know what you’re thinking: “Well, Pastor Rod, don’t you think you’re being a little narrow
minded and even picky on this subject?”  No, I really don’t think that Christians, no matter what their area of endeavor, should be motivated by profit.  I don’t care whether you’re writing a book, singing a song or preaching a sermon, if your primary motivation is anything aside from pleasing the Lord, you need to reexamine everything you’re doing.
            Somewhere along the line, Christian media, evangelists, churches and yes, even pastors, have gotten off track.  We’ve lost the passion and substituted programs and gimmicks.  Passion for God and doing His will keeps us fresh and alive as we relate to people and their spiritual needs.  Too many evangelical leaders are so preoccupied with numbers, budgets and building programs that they’ve forgotten the primary obligation for all Christians.  Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”  (Mark 16:15) 
            Should we utilize every means possible to accomplish the task at hand?  Absolutely!  We should not, however, lose sight of the fact that God the Holy Spirit is alive and well and working diligently among us right at this very moment.  Are we leaning on God or our own understanding?
            In many cases today, it seems as if we’ve said, “Lord, I know you are right here with me so, since I’ve already worked out all the details, You just go ahead and bless this project.”  How foolish we are to believe that, somehow, we don’t need to consult the Lord until after we’ve put a product together and set a price on it.
            I like the way the little publication, Our Daily Bread does it.  They send out the number of copies you’ve requested every three months and depend solely on contributions for their support.  Our Daily Bread has been published continuously since 1956 and never seems to lack the funds to keep going.  Trusting the Lord for “our daily bread” is still the best policy.  Is it a risk for the publishers to do business this way?  Sure, it is.  It is my belief, that they place every issue in God’s hands first and seek His blessing before one article is written or one page printed.
            Many other Christian organizations practice the same God honoring methods.  The Gideons place hundreds of thousands of Bibles and New Testaments on school and collage campuses, in the hands of service men and women and in thousands of hotel and motel rooms every year.  All of their administrative costs are paid for by the Gideons’ membership and every dollar that comes into the organization through donations goes directly into the printing and distribution of Bibles and New
Testaments.  So, what’s the point of all this?
            If we are truly trusting the Lord, He is going to provide for our needs and make it possible for us to reach as many people as He has called to Himself.  If we have a passion for His will and are seeking His purpose for our lives, we will not need to worry about curriculum, hymnals, DVD’s, MP3’s or CD’s.  He will provide everything we need to be successful in our outreach.
            Do some of these resources have a place within the context of evangelism today?  I believe they do.  I also believe that we must examine our motivation in whatever we’re doing.  We need to see how it measures up to God’s will & purpose.  If you can meet His standard, go for it.  If you can’t, don’t!  
 Pastor Rod

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DID YOU KNOW… ? June 2017

DID YOU KNOW…  ?  



The Christian Education Dept. is gearing up for our Vacation Bible School in July, with volunteers preparing curriculum, projects and decorations.  This year’s theme is “Barnyard Roundup” and many youngsters will be joining us for a week of adventure and ‘fun down on the farm’.  They will enjoy games, sports, science experiments and snacks.  Hearts and lives can and will be changed and we know that the more we pray the greater the harvest will be.  Mark your calendars for July 17th through the 21st and bring your family, friends and neighbors to Hilltop Chapel VBS …  Volunteers are needed to help with VBS preparations on Tuesday evenings in the Hilltop Chapel Fellowship Hall.  Come and join us – you’ll be glad you did … We congratulate all the graduates of the Class of 2017.  We salute you and our prayers go with you as you begin a new chapter in your life.  Remember to live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God ...  With Pastor Rod and Lesley out of town, Isidro Bruno delivered the message, entitled “Start the Day Out Naked”, during Sunday Morning Worship Service on June 4.  He spoke about the armor of God that everyone carries to stand against evil -- the armor of life, helmet, and breast plate of righteousness.  The sword of the spirit is the word of God and Jesus Christ is the living word … As Pastor Rod and Lesley were still out of town, Russell Crose volunteered to provide the message, entitled “Let’s Go Fishing”, for our Worship Service on June 11.  Russell admitted to being out of his Christian box, but overcame his nervousness and helped us take a walk with Peter, as fishers of men, following in his footsteps.  Our God is the only God who comes looking for us and serves us …  Our Helping Hands Meeting and Potluck was held on June 6th, which also happened to be the day PG&E had scheduled a planned power outage in our area to repair some of their equipment.  But the hostess was prepared.  The Alianos had hooked up a whole house generator and they were ready for any emergency, so the meeting went on as planned.  By the way, if you are contemplating remodeling your home while still living in it, contact the Alianos.  They might be able to give you some good advice.  They do LOVE their new kitchen and are so thankful it’s DONE … If you saw the recent movie “Facing Darkness” about the Ebola crisis in Liberia, you may have wondered what Dr. Kent Brantley is doing today.  He’s back on the front lines of medical missions – serving with Samaritan’s Purse at the Emergency Field Hospital in northern Iraq.  “I didn’t have to overcome a lot of fear to choose to come here, because I knew it was the right thing to do,” Dr. Brantly said.  His brush with death from Ebola gave him a powerful testimony to share with his patients in Iraq.  “God saved my life and has allowed me to be here taking care of you,” he tells them.  “He doesn’t promise us that we will always get better, but He promises He will always be with us.”   We thank God for keeping the many doctors and their staff safe and working through them to care for more than 1,300 patients, including several who have given their life to Christ ...  Many family, friends and loved ones gathered on June 17th to honor the life and legacy of Lee Duncan who passed away to the loving arms of the Lord on June 10th  ...  Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal  ...  Love the people God gave you because He will need them back some day ...  Have a safe and sane Independence Day – God Bless the USA!

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER JULY 2017

HILLTOP  CHAPEL  NEWSLETTER

JULY  2017


“LIBERTY ANDDID YOU KNOW…  ?  


The Christian Education Dept. is gearing up for our Vacation Bible School in July, with volunteers preparing curriculum, projects and decorations.  This year’s theme is “Barnyard Roundup” and many youngsters will be joining us for a week of adventure and ‘fun down on the farm’.  They will enjoy games, sports, science experiments and snacks.  Hearts and lives can and will be changed and we know that the more we pray the greater the harvest will be.  Mark your calendars for July 17th through the 21st and bring your family, friends and neighbors to Hilltop Chapel VBS …  Volunteers are needed to help with VBS preparations on Tuesday evenings in the Hilltop Chapel Fellowship Hall.  Come and join us – you’ll be glad you did … We congratulate all the graduates of the Class of 2017.  We salute you and our prayers go with you as you begin a new chapter in your life.  Remember to live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God ...  With Pastor Rod and Lesley out of town, Isidro Bruno delivered the message, entitled “Start the Day Out Naked”, during Sunday Morning Worship Service on June 4.  He spoke about the armor of God that everyone carries to stand against evil -- the armor of life, helmet, and breast plate of righteousness.  The sword of the spirit is the word of God and Jesus Christ is the living word … As Pastor Rod and Lesley were still out of town, Russell Crose volunteered to provide the message, entitled “Let’s Go Fishing”, for our Worship Service on June 11.  Russell admitted to being out of his Christian box, but overcame his nervousness and helped us take a walk with Peter, as fishers of men, following in his footsteps.  Our God is the only God who comes looking for us and serves us …  Our Helping Hands Meeting and Potluck was held on June 6th, which also happened to be the day PG&E had scheduled a planned power outage in our area to repair some of their equipment.  But the hostess was prepared.  The Alianos had hooked up a whole house generator and they were ready for any emergency, so the meeting went on as planned.  By the way, if you are contemplating remodeling your home while still living in it, contact the Alianos.  They might be able to give you some good advice.  They do LOVE their new kitchen and are so thankful it’s DONE … If you saw the recent movie “Facing Darkness” about the Ebola crisis in Liberia, you may have wondered what Dr. Kent Brantley is doing today.  He’s back on the front lines of medical missions – serving with Samaritan’s Purse at the Emergency Field Hospital in northern Iraq.  “I didn’t have to overcome a lot of fear to choose to come here, because I knew it was the right thing to do,” Dr. Brantly said.  His brush with death from Ebola gave him a powerful testimony to share with his patients in Iraq.  “God saved my life and has allowed me to be here taking care of you,” he tells them.  “He doesn’t promise us that we will always get better, but He promises He will always be with us.”   We thank God for keeping the many doctors and their staff safe and working through them to care for more than 1,300 patients, including several who have given their life to Christ ...  Many family, friends and loved ones gathered on June 17th to honor the life and legacy of Lee Duncan who passed away to the loving arms of the Lord on June 10th  ...  Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal  ...  Love the people God gave you because He will need them back some day ...  Have a safe and sane Independence Day – God Bless the USA! JUSTICE FOR ALL”

July 2017 UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING  EVENTS

7/4/17 TUE ALL DAY Independence Day.  We all know the tremendous importance of                             this particular day in the history of our country.  Please, let’s not let the
celebration of the “4th of July” overshadow the real reason this day is
revered as no other national holiday.  Let freedom ring!!
7/6/17 THU   7:00 PM Deacons’ & Deaconesses’ Meeting.  As usual, we will be meeting                         at the home of Pascal & Kathy Williamson.  As the needs of our congregation
grow with each passing day, please pray for the “board” that God will
provide wisdom and courage to make the right decisions for our church.
7/11/17 TUE 11:00 AM Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck.  Our gathering, this month,                               will be held at the home of Donna Stieber.  It’s always a pleasure to venture out
and experience the hospitality of our ladies in their own environment.
We always feel welcome and comfortable when Donna invites us in.
Hope you’ll join us!
7/15/17 SAT 8:00 AM Men’s Breakfast & Fellowship.  Since we’re gearing up for VBS, men’s
breakfast will be a co-ed get together this month.  The ladies of the
church are invited to join us and have the morning off from making
breakfast.  We’d like to say it is a magnanimous gesture from the men,
but that would not be completely true…
9:15 AM The Rest of the Story.  After breakfast, we’ll be doing our annual VBS
Workday.  An extra pair of hands help to make the work go faster and
more enjoyably.  So, we hope you’ll join us for breakfast and a little
cleanup to make everything special for our VBS kids.  Thank you, in
advance, for your help.
7/17/17 MON 8:30 AM VBS Registration.  Bring the kids early and get them signed up and
ready to go for a week of fun and adventure at Hilltop Chapel VBS,
“Barnyard Roundup”.
7/17-21 9AM-Noon Hilltop Chapel VBS “Barnyard Roundup”.  The theme for our latest
adventure in the Bible is: “Jesus Gathers Us Together”.  We really do
need to be together in Jesus, like never before in history, so come join
in the experience.
7/21/17 FRI 11:30 PM Closing Ceremony & Family Day.  All family members and friends are
invited to join us and spend the last day of VBS seeing what the kids have
been doing all week.
        12:00 Noon      Hot Dog Barbeque.  We close every VBS week with a great BBQ, sure                         to make your mouth water.  The fellowship is close and the food is really good.
Hope you’ll join us.
7/30/17 SUN  5:30 PM Supper & A Movie.  Our movie this month is the story of a young                         surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who loses her left arm to a shark attack.  It’s heart
breaking and hopeful to watch how this teenager gets back in the water and
back into life by turning everything over to God and letting Him lead her.

Monday, June 5, 2017

UPCOMING EVENTS JUNE 2017

UPCOMING  EVENTS

June 4 SUN 11:00 AM  Guest Speaker—Isidro Bruno, our Youth Leader, Children’s                                                                    Church Coordinator/Teacher and Deacon, will be bringing the                                                                 message from God’s word this morning.  “Bruno” always has                                                                 fresh insights and speaks from the heart!

June 6 TUE 11:00 AM Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck—This month’s meeting will be held at                                             the home of Paula & Craig Aliano.  It’s always a treat to spend time                                                       together, fellowship and eat with ladies who love the Lord and are eager to                                           learn more about Him.  There’s no better place to do that than
                                     Helping Hands.  See you there!

June 11 SUN 11:00 AM Guest Speaker—We welcome a new messenger of God’s word, this
                                      morning.  Russell Crose is well known to many of you and a little less
                                   known to others.  He has a heart for Jesus, a hunger for the Word and
                                   a desire to share it with others.  Please, give him a warm welcome and
                                       encourage him with your kind attention.

June 17 SAT 8:00 AM  Men’s Breakfast & Fellowship—The men of the church will be sharing
                                   a hearty breakfast, telling tall tales, singing (always a treat) and taking a
                                       few minutes to read and discuss something from God’s word.  It’s good
                                   for men to join together in Christian fellowship.  Come join us!

      10:00 AM Ladies’ Craft Day—Our group is growing larger and lots of good crafting
                                        is getting done, so come on out and join the fun (that actually rhymes)!

June 22 THU 7:00 PM Deacons’ & Deaconesses’ Meeting—The Deacons & Deaconesses have
                                   really been busy with myriad issues facing different members of our
                                   congregation.  Some challenges are complex, some simple, but the good
                                   of each individual involved is always the primary concern.  Prayer is our
                                   main avenue of choice in all situations and your prayers on our behalf
                                   are greatly appreciated.

Supper & A Movie        June & July will be months off for our monthly movie presentations.
                                  We’re gearing up for some excellent Christian films starting in
                                  August, so put Aug. 27th on your calendars and we’ll look forward to
                                   seeing you at 5:30 PM, (Miramonte Mountain Time).

MISSIONS MOMENT It’s amazing to think of the literally thousands of missions groups that
                                    support missionaries around the world.  Our mission outreaches have
                                        been consistently amazed by the faithfulness in giving by our “little”
                                    congregation over the years.  Your generosity enables these groups to
                                     continue implement programs that reach countless lives, all over the
                                    globe, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Pray earnestly that many lives
                                     will be brought into the “family of God” in 2017.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER JUNE 2017

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER
JUNE 2017
“JUST THE FACTS”


I’ve been giving a lot of thought, lately, to the Bible passage concerning how things will be when we finally reach the “end of days”.  I’m not going to give you any remembrances of the past this month, just a truthful examination of what we can expect in the near future.  The intent of this article is not to scare or intimidate any of you into submission to God, but to inform you about what the Word of God has to say concerning what we’re experiencing in our day and time.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the apostle, Paul says: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!”  Does this
passage of scripture, in essence, capture the way in which many people conduct themselves in our day and age?  You bet it does!  What does Paul say about what our reaction should be to these people? That’s right, we’re to turn away.

It’s easy to overlook what the world is doing; we can look away and say, “It’s really none of my
business what my neighbor says or does.’  ‘As long as he or she is not hurting anyone, it’s none of my affair.”  However, the reality is that we must stand for Jesus and God’s Word, making sure that we give an account of our faith.  Paul goes on to say, in verses 10-12:  “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured.  And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  We’ve already seen and heard about Christians, all over the world, suffering verbal abuse, prosecution, persecution at the hands of neighbors and former friends, loss of jobs, homes and, ultimately their lives, just because of their strong faith in Jesus Christ.

We Christians are clearly being singled out for not participating in the world’s headlong plunge into darkness.  We’ve been called a lot of nasty things from many quarters lately, all with the intent
that we understand that society has passed us by and we’re irrelevant in the modern world.  In one respect it’s kind of refreshing to know exactly where we stand, without having to wonder whether we’re accepted or just being tolerated.  Unless you’ve been asleep, like Rip Van Winkle, for the past 20 years, there’s no denying that, in the United States of America, “one nation, under God” is no longer in vogue.  We are now living in a “post Christian” country.

Does that mean we roll up our tent and go home?  Not yet!  While we still have the opportunity, we must seize the moment and preach the Gospel.  In 2 Timothy 3:13-4:2, Paul tells us what is expected of us:  “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.’  ‘But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to  make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.”

There is no greater burden on my heart right now than to see family, friends, neighbors and
people I haven’t even met yet, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Without Him, there is no hope for eternity.  Jesus told His disciples (and us), in Matthew 24:4-6 & 13-14, “…Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’ ‘And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet…But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

This article is primarily God’s word, as it should be.  Since God said it, I believe it and that settles it.  This world may scare you, but Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me
you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world.  It may not be an easy journey, but our heavenly home is in sight and Jesus is waiting with open arms to welcome us.  What a day of rejoicing that will be!

DID YOU KNOW… ? MAY 2017

DID YOU KNOW…  ?  



The month of May began with our Evangel Home BLT (bite of lunch & private tour) which was enjoyed by eight ladies from Hilltop Chapel and Pastor Rod.  Those attending were able to experience first-hand what a powerful and worthwhile cause this outreach ministry really is.  Gerre Brenneman and her staff of former graduates provide shelter and Christian guidance for homeless and abused women and children, and help them turn their lives around.  They are truly worthy of our prayers and support … This year’s National Day of Prayer Service was held on May 4 at the Bear Mountain Activity Center.  What a blessed day to see the many faithful followers of the gospel come out to provide prayer for our nation … Local families gathered early at the Pinehurst Chamber of Commerce building to treat their mothers to a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast prepared and served by talented ‘chefs’ … Our Mothers’ Day worship service was attended by ladies adorned with their orchid corsages, provided by Mike Gage, in support of ‘Right To Life of Central California’, a way to say “Thanks, Mom, for Life.”  Three lucky ladies won special gift cards provided by Helping Hands in a special drawing.   Congratulations to Elaine Obosky, Darlene Kenaston and Wendy Ahumada …  The AWANA club members gathered for their final Celebration Night for this school year, with many thanks to the volunteer helpers for months of tireless efforts bringing the gospel to the local children … During our Memorial Day Sunday Worship Service, we honored our fallen heroes from all branches of the military.  Those in the pews who had served were given a special honor … The Memorial Day Commemoration Service held at the Squaw Valley Cemetery was well attended by those who came to pay their respects and honor the fallen heroes who fought and died for our freedoms.   Thanks to the American Legion Post 621 for all their hard work and efforts.  Remember to please take the time to pray for all of our soldiers who are being sent away, putting their lives on the line fighting for usIt has been a memorable month for Pastor Rod and Lesley Davison.  They celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday the 21st, and then began planning a 2-week trip back east for graduations and visiting with family.  We wish them well and look forward to their safe return … Our local residents may have noticed the return of our Hilltop Chapel Church Sign out front near Dunlap Road.  It had been missing for some time, but the guys at Miramonte Conservation Camp worked long and hard to repaint the sign and make it better than new.  They deserve our praise.  Even the frame for the sign is new and much sturdier.  Many thanks to Jack German and our trustees, especially Jon Lovewell …  If you were in our Fellowship Hall recently, you may have noticed a great picture of our Teen Mountain Ministry group from their participation in Color Me Rad.  If you haven’t noticed it, check it out … A very special congratulations to Vincent Bruno for attaining his Bachelor’s Degree from Fresno State University, and he will pursue his Master’s Degree at Fresno Pacific University.  We are all so proud of him … Favorite Hymns for clock watchers:  “Moment by Moment”   Favorite hymns for hikers:  “Go Tell it on the Mountain” … All of your days have already been written in God’s book.  When you go through a disappointment, don’t stop on that page.  Stay the course.  Keep believing.  You may be tired, discouraged and frustrated, but don’t give up on your future.  Our God is faithful.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

DID YOU KNOW…? April

DID YOU KNOW…?  


April is one of the most beautiful months here in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and much anticipated for colorful spring flowers (and otherwise dreaded for the growth of weeds which are just flowers and plants in places we don’t particularly want them to be).  We could still use some more rain, but may be getting some soon … April was also a month for special guests at Hilltop Chapel.  Jon Haahr was our Special Guest Speaker early in the month and gave a presentation on The Jesus Film Project with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ).   Jon and his wife have been serving CRU for 15 years and have traveled around the globe to encourage people about what God is doing for us and who God is.  They have helped fill the minds and hearts of those he reaches with the gospel and has presented The Jesus Film, which was first shown in 1979, and is now translated into 1500 languages.  He invited others to partner with them to reach people for Christ ... That same Sunday, Tony Heredia was here to update us on his “Ziplock Bag Ministry” in Mexico and the truck he had purchased to replace his old worn-out one.  Glad to see him doing so well … Our Good Friday Service was especially poignant in that Pastor Rod had organized a very special sermon of Jesus’ long journey to the Cross through the Garden of Gethsemane and the house of Caiaphas.  But rather than asking us all to imagine what it might have looked like – he included his own slide show of 14 different places that Jesus traveled and viewed – still much like they might have been over 2000 years ago.  Thanks to last month’s travel to Israel, Pastor Rod and Lesley were able to share a visual enactment of “Good Friday” as we have never seen it before.  Such a blessing to all who experienced it – from the sign at Gethsemane, to the rock Jesus prayed at, to the dungeon where Jesus was flogged, to Golgotha, and finally the Tomb, among others.  Special memories … Easter morning in the foothills dawned sunny and bright, with a good turnout for the early Sunrise Service, a delicious Easter breakfast, an eagerly anticipated and fun Easter egg hunt for the children, and an early Easter Sunday Service at 9 AM with so many new faces, and some we hadn’t seen in a while.  So very nice to share worship service with the community … Word has it that the Teen Mountain Ministry participated in a 5K Run (or walk) to support a worthy cause -- the Ronald McDonald House, and happily everyone survived, tired, but feeling rewarded for a job well done … We were delighted to have a special guest violinist, Clayton Haslop, accompanied on the piano by his daughter, Clara, present us with a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria.  A well prepared and enjoyable reception followed in the Fellowship Hall where we were again serenaded by Clayton.  Many thanks to Jeannine Hayes for inviting them to perform for us  ...  Later in the month, special piano and keyboard gospel music was provided by Danny Mendoza, accompanied in song and dance by Joy, Amber, and Sapphire, and Pete on the drums.  Danny is Pastor Rod’s guitar teacher, and we may hear more about that at a later time … Supper and a Movie previewed the showing of “WWJD?” and inspired everyone who attended to always think, when in doubt, what would Jesus do …  A favorite Hymn for gossips:  “I Love to Tell the Story.”   A favorite Hymn for formally attired men:  “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.”…  NOTICE:  If you, or someone you know, was baptized at Hume Lake in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 or 2013 – please call or contact the church at 559/336-2454 or Donna Symons at 559/336-2456.  Thank you.

UPCOMING EVENTS May

UPCOMING EVENTS
5/2       TUE    11:00 AM       Helping Hands BLT at Evangel Home.  Our ladies, for the first time                                                      in several years, are returning to Evangel Home for a BLT (Bite of                                                       Lunch and Tour).  We’ll spend some time meeting with Gerre                                                               Brenneman and the staff, learning about the different programs                                                           offered by Evangel Home, for the homeless women of the Fresno area                                                   and their children.  We’ll tour the kitchen, classrooms, apartments,                                                     Garden (alternative sentencing house),  and day care center.  Then, we                                                 will enjoy lunch with the staff and current residents.  It’s a real eye-                                                       opener, so come on out and join us!
5/4       THU     6:00 PM        National Day of Prayer Service at Bear Mountain Library.  All the                                                               Churches represented by the Mountain Ministerial Association will be                                                          participating in this event.  If you cherish our country’s stated values and                                                    Christian heritage,
                                                it’s time to pray, asking God to intervene and draw us back to Him.
                          7:30 PM        Deacons’ & Deaconesses’ Meeting.  We’re meeting, this month, at the                                                         home of Pascal & Kathy Williamson.  The deacons & deaconesses are                                                         those who have been chosen to lead us in spiritual and scriptural matters.                                                      Theirs’ is an awesome responsibility, so please keep them in prayer.
5/14     SUN      8:00 AM        Mother’s Day Breakfast at Central Sierra Chamber of Commerce.  It’s                                                         always great to start Mother’s Day with a good breakfast “under your belt”!                                                 The folks at the “chamber” are happy to welcome one and all to enjoy a                                                       delicious breakfast and time of fellowship at the chamber building on Hwy.                                                 245, just south of Pinehurst. 
                        11:00 AM        Mother’s Day Worship Service.  It’s always a great day when our mothers
                                                once again enjoy the spotlight at Hilltop Chapel.  Bring your moms, wives,
                                                grandmas and great grandmas for worship and special attention focused on
                                                them and all they’ve done for us over the years.  And, don’t forget your
                                                corsages!
5/16     TUE      5:00 PM        Final AWANA Club Meeting for 2017.  Tonight is “Parents’ Night” and is
                                                our last meeting for this school year.  The “clubbers” have had a great year
                                                and progressed in their study of the Bible and memorizing of key verses. 
                                                Once again, Lesley Davison and her staff (teachers, assistants and helpers),
                                                have done an excellent job of giving the children a well rounded program
                                                that challenges them spiritually, mentally, and physically (games are always
                                                a high point of each meeting).  We hope all parents and family members
                                                will join us for supper and our closing ceremonies.
5/18     THU     7:00 PM        Official Board Meeting.  The official board will meet in the Fellowship
                                                Hall to discuss the ongoing work of Hilltop Chapel and projects that are
                                                necessary to the smooth operation of our services and upkeep of our
                                                facilities.
5/20     SAT       8:00 AM        Men’s Breakfast & Fellowship.  Hope all the guys will join us!
                        10:00 AM        Ladies’ Craft Day.  Bring your projects and have fun!
5/28     SUN    11:00 AM        Memorial Day Worship Service.  Join us as we honor our fallen, wounded,
                                                MIA’s and POW’s from all branches of the military.  Without their                                                             sacrifice and that of all their comrades in arms we would not be living free                                                   today!