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  • Pastor's Corner: Go forward

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 19, 2024

    We Christians realize that the devil is a liar and a deceiver. He plays with our minds and tells us that there is no hope for what we are facing. It’s not always an easy road for us, but there is victory for us if we follow the Lord. In Exodus 14:15 as the children of Israel were at the Red Sea and the Egyptians were closing in on them, God told Moses to go forward. Get your eyes on the Lord. Exodus 14:10 shows that the Israelites lifted up their eyes and saw the Egyptians c...

  • Pastor's Corner: How language works

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    Do you remember the Amelia Bedelia books, by Peggy Parish? Amelia Bedelia works as a housekeeper, but is constantly causing disasters because she inevitably misunderstands what she is told. At one point she’s roped into a neighborhood baseball game. When she’s encouraged to steal the bases and run home, she picks up the object used to mark third base and sprints back to her house. Another time when she was told to give the chickens scraps, she took small pieces of cloth...

  • Pastor's Corner: Pride goes before destruction

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    Pride, arrogance and self-conceit are at the root of every sin. Pride is the inflated view of oneself that derives pleasure from the self-perceived greatness of one’s own reputation, status, power, influence, abilities, possessions and achievements. Pride is the foolish puffing up of one’s own ego like a balloon, where every self-exalting action inflates it with more air; and yet everyone knows overinflated balloons must eventually pop (1 Corinthians 4:7-9, 18). Pride distorts one’s self-image and conceit creates a...

  • Dry January and beyond: Stop drinking for your health

    Dr. Archana Dubey, UnitedHealthcare of California|Updated Feb 5, 2024

  • Pastor's Corner: A Blessed Year

    PASTOR JOHNNY MARTINEZ, Westside Family Fellowship Church, Wasco|Updated Jan 28, 2024

    Happy New Year – the old year of 2023 is gone with its failures and successes. It's time to press the reset button with new resolutions, new goals,and a new start. In the New Testament book of Philippians 3:13-14, Saint Paul says, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." So press toward the goal, reach for the prize God is calling you in Christ Jesus. God has something good, something better for...

  • EDITOR'S NOTE | Jamie Stewart

    Jamie Stewart, The Shafter Press|Updated Jan 28, 2024

    An article last week in The Press included pictures of a few residents’ gravesites being defaced in the name of religion. It happened out at the Shafter Cemetery. I love that cemetery and have family buried out there, so I would never try to say anything against the cemetery or the wonderful staff that works out there. I do want to make clear that what happened recently shouldn’t be ignored or swept under the rug, which, with indications that this was not the first time th...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Master

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    In life, we see people who are experts in certain fields. Master plumber, master mechanic and master electrician are titles of people who are experts in those occupations. There are many people with a master’s degree, but Jesus Christ is the Master of all. I remember when I was a child, my pastor preached upon The Master. After hearing him preach, I came to the conclusion that Jesus can do anything. Jesus is the master of all things. No wonder Paul calls Jesus our All in All...

  • YOUR VIEW: Mindful beginnings

    Rhonda L. Randall D.O., UnitedHealthcare|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    With the New Year here, many are considering what will be on their list of resolutions, and mental health should be top of mind. A recent study shows that in 2023, one of the highest reported New Year’s resolutions was to improve mental health (36%), reflecting a growing recognition of mental well-being as pivotal to our overall quality of life and highlighting a collective commitment to prioritize self-care and emotional resilience in the coming year. The state of mental...

  • Pastor's Corner: Picking and choosing

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 7, 2024

    We all exercise a right to choose what we like most. When you go to a restaurant, you might order from the menu what sounds best at the time. Maybe when eating a salad or trail mix you pass over the parts you don’t like — the croutons or the cashews or whatever. When speaking about food and similar areas, that’s reasonable, and no problem at all. If we practice that habit in other areas, though, that can be quite bad. Imagine someone who practiced picking and choosing...

  • Pastors' Corner: New Year's plans

    Pasotors Jose and Beverly Perello, Home Fellowship Church, Shafter|Updated Jan 1, 2024

    In the busyness and stress of daily life, we often fall into a rut, just battling to get through each day as it comes. We survive, but do we thrive? From time to time, we lift up our heads for a moment and wonder if things will ever improve, before the next task drags us back into our mindless routine. We dream about a life that is joyous and purpose-driven, but our reality remains the same. As 2023 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to not only dream of a better 2024, but to plan and prepare in practical ways. God is a...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Savior of the World

    Pastor Johnny Martinez, Westside Family Fellowship Church, Wasco|Updated Dec 24, 2023

    What is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it about Christmas trees, lights and presents? Or is it about good food and reunions? Yes. But it goes much further than that. It's about God sending us a gift that we can enjoy forever. In Isaiah 45:22, the Lord said, "Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth." The question is, saved from what? In Isaiah 59:1-2, the Lord says, "The hand of the Lord is not short that he cannot save you, neither is ear closed that he cannot...

  • The kids are home for the holidays.

    Dr. Archana Dubey, UnitedHealthcare of California.|Updated Dec 24, 2023

    As the holiday season approaches, students across the country are wrapping up their papers and exams for a long holiday break. For many, it is a time to rest, recharge and catch up with friends and family. It can also be an important opportunity for the adults in students' lives to check in about their mental health and wellness. In college, our kids' lives are full of new experiences; while exciting for many, navigating academic pressures and a growing independence can also...

  • Pastor's Corner: The first Christmas morning

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church|Updated Dec 17, 2023

    I'm sure you'd agree that it doesn't seem possible that another Christmas Day is drawing near! All of the preparations of shopping for gifts, purchasing and cooking meals, planning the day with family or friends, and that's not to mention attending Advent services leading up to Christmas Day. Have you ever wondered what you'd do if it wasn't true? What if Jesus was nothing more than an invented figure to rally the people of his day? For bestselling author and former investigative reporter Lee Strobel, those are the kinds of q...

  • Pastor's Corner: Our great God

    PASTOR JIM GLASCO, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    We would be in terrible trouble if our God was made by man out of wood or gold. Psalm 115:5-7 says, [BEGIN ITAL]”The false golds have mouths but cannot speak, they have eyes but they cannot see. They have ears and they hear not, they have noses and they cannot smell. They have hands but they handle not, they have feet but they cannot walk and they cannot speak.”[END ITAL] Our God is not made by man, but He has always existed. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. He...

  • Why preventing diabetes should be a priority at all ages

    Dr. Archana Dubey, UnitedHealthcare of California|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    More than 96 million Americans live with a potentially life-altering condition – yet many of them are unaware they even have it. That condition is prediabetes, which in up to 70% of cases develops into diabetes. Today, more than 37 million Americans already live with diabetes, which, if left untreated, can contribute to a host of health issues. In California, 9.9% of adults over age 18 have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes alters the body's ability to create energy...

  • Pastor's Corner: Lessons in gratitude from lepers

    Pastors Jose and Beverly Perello, Home Fellowship Church, Shafter|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    These days, we know little about leprosy, the disease that is both referenced more times than any other in the Bible and was the illness most frequently healed by Jesus. In Bible times, it was a terrifying diagnosis because it not only meant an incurable sickness, apart from a divine touch, but also a life sentence to solitude. Sufferers had to live away from the rest of society and could never again live in their own homes or experience the touch of a loved one. So, it may...

  • Pastor's Corner: Oh that men would praise the Lord

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Nov 7, 2023

    Four times in Psalms 107 we are urged to praise the Lord. Verses 8, 15, 21 and verse 31 tells us to “praise him for his goodness and for his works." Psalms 52:1 says, “The goodness of God endureth continually." Psalms 119:68 says, “Thou art good and doest good." The song says, “All my life you have been faithful, and all my life you have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God." Oh that men would praise the Lord for his...

  • Pastor's Corner: Some of this, some of that

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Oct 31, 2023

    We have a lot to be thankful for. The specifics will be different for you than for me, but we live in a world that contains many wonderful things to enjoy, and blessings abound. If you take a moment to review problems you've survived and good things you enjoyed this week, I have no doubt there will be a good list of things for which you could give thanks. In [BEGIN ITAL]A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich[END ITAL] Alexander Solzhenitsyn takes the unusual tack of telling us...

  • Pastor's Corner: Valuing your birthright!

    Pastors Jose and Beverly Perello, Home Fellowship Church, Shafter|Updated Oct 21, 2023

    In Genesis 25, it tells the story of Esau and Jacob, brothers as different as night and day, who had fought with one another even in their mother’s womb. Though they were twins, Esau was the firstborn and had the right to certain privileges. The firstborn was entitled to a double inheritance and would someday take his father’s place as the head of the family business. What is more, he also would be expected to take on the spiritual leadership of his clan. But Esau never go...

  • Pastor's Corner: Communication

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Mennonite Brethren Church, Shafter|Updated Oct 9, 2023

    Just as I was beginning this article on communication, I received a text message! I don't need to tell you the many forms of communication that are part of our world today, such as text messaging, email, social media, phones (cell and landlines), etc. Of course, actually having a face-to-face conversation is still the best form of communication. Good communication is critical for many things, but is especially critical for good relationships. Whenever I do premarital counseling, one of the first topics I discuss with engaged...

  • Letter to the Editor: Reader questions Richland' transparency

    Michael Svilich, Reader|Updated Oct 9, 2023

    To the editor: I am writing this as a concerned citizen of Shafter, as well as a former employee and former Board member of the Richland School District. On July 20, 2023, an article appeared in the Shafter Press concerning school districts spending of federal covid relief funds. It was stated, “Numerous attempts to contact Superintendent Rosa Romero have gone unanswered, as well as calls to Richland Finance Director Martin Rodriguez” as to how the Richland School District had spent their allotted $11.1 million of...

  • Pastor's Corner: Public or private?

    Pastor Ruben Zartman, Ebenezer Reformed Church, Shafter|Updated Sep 26, 2023

    Should faith be a public or a private matter? That question comes up in several contexts, but the basic answer is that faith must be both. We can illustrate that point from the practice of the Lord’s Supper. Since there are only two sacraments, the Lord invested each one with an astonishing depth and richness of meaning. In the instructions given by Paul about the Lord's Supper, it's clear that there is a strongly individual element. Each one is supposed to examine himself...

  • Pastor's Corner: Wisely handling anger

    Pastor Spencer Carpenter, Congregational Bible Church, Shafter|Updated Sep 17, 2023

    There were once two brothers, one a shepherd and the other a farmer. One day they gave gifts to their father. The shepherd son gave the best sheep of his flock, while the farmer son thoughtlessly gave low-quality vegetables. The father was delighted with the best sheep but was displeased with the poor produce. The farmer’s son was very angry at his brother for one-upping his gift. These feelings boiled over into rage, and one day the angry son murdered his brother! This is a retelling of Cain’s anger and murder of Abel...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Kingdom

    Pastor Pat Coyle, Mennonite Brethren Church, Shafter|Updated Sep 4, 2023

    If you were to do a search for movie titles that contain the word "kingdom," you'd end up with well over 1,000 to choose from! I believe that everyone is looking for something or someone greater than themselves to believe in and to follow. As I'm beginning a study through the Gospel of Matthew, I've entitled the series "The Kingdom" for good reasons. The greatest and longest-lasting kingdom is the Kingdom of God, found through faith in Jesus Christ. Let me offer just few highlights from the Gospel of Matthew regarding the...

  • Pastor's Corner: The Lord stood with me

    Pastor Jim Glasco, Seventh Standard Pentecostal Church, Shafter|Updated Aug 27, 2023

    In life, we all face times of abandonment and loneliness. Sometimes it may feel like the whole world is against you. In 2nd Timothy 4:17, Paul said, “The Lord stood with me, and he strengthened me.”Paul had been done much evil by a man known as Alexander the coppersmith. Alexander had made a shipwreck of his faith and became an enemy of the Gospel. It seems like Alexander intimidated many of Paul’s hearers as he tried to disrupt the ministry of Paul. The spirit of this...

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