A Growing Fruitfulness

In John 5:5 Jesus says, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The fruit of our labor is to be used for the Father’s glory and for his mission, but only if we remain connected to the vine. Jesus also speaks of love and joy when he urges us to “remain” in him. As a parent of two little ones, I strongly desire for my daughters to experience this love and joy as they grow precious budding branches in the vine rooted in the firm foundation … Read More

3 Peas in a Pod

Soon after getting involved, we each felt a call to assist in different ministries. John quickly felt a connection with PazNaz’s High School Ministries with Pastors Mackenzie Smith and Heather Handley, Elizabeth connected with Pastor Faith Romasco in Early Childhood, and I was drawn to Elementary Ministries after seeing the connection Pastor Doug Ravasdy had with the students. I get so much joy from my time with the children down in The Cave while helping in the 3rd grade Sunday School class.   In addition to volunteering, we are blessed to be members of the Disciples Sunday School class. We enjoy … Read More

Hockey Pucks and Answered Prayers

Every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening I could count on having a house full of teens playing video games and emptying out my refrigerator before and after Temple City Nazarene youth group. I wouldn’t have had it any other way (even though my carpet and furniture paid the price). Unfortunately, the community changed and my daughter Sydney’s group started diminishing. She was devastated to find out she was the only teen interested in attending the Nazarene Youth Conference, so she joined the PazNaz youth group. She became fast friends with Pastor Jayme Lenker and her love for little ones had … Read More

Our Journey to Know Jesus Christ

As my wife and I are preparing for baptism on Easter Sunday, the fullness of our spiritual journey has come to mind. Today, some 50 years later, I can still clearly remember how my grandma shared with me the story of Jesus Christ when I was five, just before the Cultural Revolution. She shared with me how Jesus Christ was betrayed, suffered and died on the cross, and was raised from death. My grandma told me that Jesus Christ is our living Lord. In those days, we had our grandparents’ Bible in our home. But when the Cultural Revolution came, … Read More

Reframing Our Story

We love stories. Whether it’s books, movies, or Netflix binge watching; we love stories and stories move us. Stories make space for two things: our delight in the recognition of our similar experiences and the surprise in the introduction of a new reality that was not previously known. I love awkward and dorky television comedy because it normalizes my own story, and I love the surprise of deeply meaningful documentaries because they expand and challenge my perspective. We love stories because we all have a Story; a collection of moments and experiences that shapes how we see the world, structures … Read More

On the Shores of Shifting Sand

It was one of those moments when I would have liked to be able to stop time. A 13-month-old Caleb was nestled tightly in the baby carrier on my husband Jeff’s back as he and I stood hand in hand on a Hawaiian beach. The water rolled back and forth over our toes. The sun was about to fully burst across the horizon as I breathed in the fresh, salty air. I was noticeably present in that moment. Being present was rare for me in those days. I was a full-time seminary student, a brand new mother, and serving in … Read More

Un-belonging

My journey with God begins with the story of my family. The trajectory of our family life made a significant turn 31 years ago when my parents and sisters packed up and moved from Korea to Peru, South America. We went from being an average Korean family to becoming a Korean-Peruvian missionary family. During a time before the Internet and when smoking was still allowed on planes, they moved without knowing a single person in Peru, with a Bible in one hand and a dictionary in the other. God did not miss a beat, though, having prepared people – strangers … Read More

A Life of Service

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” (Matthew 25:23) While this scripture was referenced in the parable of the talents, the same could be applied to Ben and Bonnie Ramirez. There was no challenge they accepted that they did not perform to the utmost. Bonnie served faithfully until her death last November, and Ben continues to serve today, although tempered by physical limitations. You probably know them best from their years of faithful service to the Sunrise Bookstore for a combined 22 years. Indeed, … Read More

Rites of Passage

It is much harder when you feel like you are doing it alone. As infants, there is an adult to care for all your needs. When you reach elementary school your parents are still very involved and you are starting to make friends who walk the journey of life with you. But when you reach Middle School there is a fierce independent streak that comes out in all of us. “I can do it, Mom.” “I don’t need your help, Dad.” “I’m not a little kid anymore; I know what I’m doing.” The tension is that middle schoolers may be … Read More

Finding Family

Hi! My name is Rachel Rodeheaver and I attend the Valley Center campus of PazNaz. I currently work in Sports Medicine at Azusa Pacific University (APU) as an athletic trainer with the football and track teams while I study to earn my Master’s Degree in Leadership. The people of Valley Center have been a tremendous blessing in my life. When I moved to Azusa after graduating from Olivet Nazarene University in the summer of 2015, I didn’t know anyone. I church hopped throughout the fall of my first football season working at APU, never quite finding a place that felt … Read More