Acts 15 (Part 1)

Jody continues the her Bible study in the book of Acts as she moves into Acts 15, “The Council at Jerusalem.” Notes and workbook for this chapter are available at the Notes tab at

Podcast: Acts 14 (Part 2)

Part 2 of Jody’s study of Acts 14. Notes and other resources are available at

Podcast: Acts 14 (Pt. 1)

Starting a new season with chapter 14 of Acts. This session covers the first seven verses. Notes and workbook are available in the notes section at

Podcast: Book of Acts Review

In addition to the teachings listed on the website, we are beginning a regular podcast of Jody’s teaching. We hope this makes it easier for you to access what the Montavilla ladies enjoy every Tuesday.  This episode Jody reviews our journey through the book of acts. This is the first Bible study podcast for the 2016-17 year.

The Beginning was Awhile Ago

no_freaking_outWhat of California Senate Bill 1146?

Here’s a link that emphasizes what I have been warning about for sometime. There will be repercussions for maintaining a conservative view of gender. The first hint has been in the marketplace. Businesses that have demurred when asked to participate in certain activities that they find objectionable have been penalized for their decision. The next arena, it would appear, is education. The government, in order to be consistently non-discriminatory, will need to seek to withhold tax benefits from institutions that “discriminate,” i.e., religious colleges and universities. The result will be that students who need grants or loans in order to attend college, will have to choose a school that maintains a government approved orthodoxy.

This is intent of a bill before the California legislature. It looks like it may not pass. But the question is, how long will it be before such bills gain the support they need? The trajectory of law seems to be shifting.

In doesn’t take much imagination to see the next steps. If tax benefits can be withheld from religious colleges, are we far from similar consequences for churches who, according to developing cultural attitudes, are discriminatory? When that happens, how many churches will be able to go forward “business as usual?” When church properties join the tax rolls, how many congregations will be able to survive? When salaries of clergy are taxed at the going rate, how many will be able to continue working?

You get the idea. This is our future. I am not saying that we should rise up in outrage. I doubt it would do much good. What I am saying is we must get ready to be the church without help from Uncle Sam. To do that may require guts and creativity, but I’m betting we can expect a little help from heavenly places.

Come Follow Me: Stages of Maturity

This post is one of the entries from Jody’s upcoming book, “Come Follow Me,” a year-long devotional based on her popular video podcast of the same name, to be released in the fall of 2016 by Two Worlds Press. 

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace,who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” ~ I Peter 5:10

Advancing through different stages of maturity is an ongoing theme in the scriptures.  The aged Apostle John, toward the end of his life and ministry, spoke to three distinct categories of believers: little children, young men, and fathers.(I John 2:12-14)  Little children need to know, and grow in the love of the Father.  Their focus needs to rest on all that was accomplished for them at salvation.  Young men, in need of endurance, must focus on overcoming the evil one; growing in all aspects unto Him, by the power of the Word of God abiding in them.  For fathers—it’s about knowing and being known by God.  Intimacy is the result of living  and walking from the life of the Indwelling Spirit.

God’s intention is to grow us through each of these stages as ‘sons’.  When He invites us into relationship, He desires to train us as ‘sons’.  He is also a God of the process, and takes up residence within—bearing His fruit through us.

Question: Do you see evidence of these three stages of believers around you?  Why is having all three around a sign of a spiritually healthy church?

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