Archaeologists and the Church of the Apostles


Archaeologists and the Church of the Apostles

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the Church of the Apostles.  This church is first mentioned in writings from 725 A.D. and it is believed that this church was built on top of the house of the apostles and brothers Peter and Andrew.

The excavation has uncovered ornate mosaic floors, a fragment of a marble chancel screen decorated with a wreath, and a wall mosaic with the glass pieces gilded in gold -- all indicating that this was a large and magnificent church.

In addition to the remnants of the church, the dig also revealed the remains of a private home from the Roman period including not only the floor and structure, but pottery, coins, fishing net weights, and a cooking oven.  The archaeologists then used electromagnetic sensors on the ground and a drone to discover many more houses buried underground.

I share this because it is important for several reasons.  First, if this really is the Church of the Apostles, it is another strong evidence of the growth and regard Christianity soon had in and around the land of Jesus.  If this really is the Church of the Apostles and it was built on the home of Peter and Andrew, then we have discovered the location of the ancient city of Bethsaida.  And, if we have discovered Bethsaida and there are more ruins to excavate, who knows what else will be found?  But, every archaeological discovery affirms the Bible's accuracy; helps us understand the time, place, and culture of the Bible; and should affirm our faith as believers.

I hope you will celebrate Jesus with us this Sunday!  

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

The Moral Condition of Our Nation

The Moral Condition of Our Nation

Dear Woodview friends and family,

As long as I've been in ministry, I decided that I would not become political in my preaching, teaching, or writing.  And, as far as I know, I haven't.  That doesn't mean that there haven't been times when I have spoken out about certain issues that are considered political but are really Biblical or moral.  I reserve all rights to speak on Biblical and moral issues (in fact, I would say that is actually what I have been called to do when I was called to ministry!) including things like abortion, sexual identity, etc.

So this article is not about politics -- it is about the moral condition of our nation.  This past weekend certain tragedies shocked our nation (and parts of the world).  But the moral condition of our nation also relates to numerous other tragedies that occurred this past weekend and every day that don't get highlighted as news stories.

It seems to me that there have been two huge changes in our nation that perhaps have greased the skids to where we are today:

1.  We have lost a Biblical understanding of God -- there has always been evil and there have always been people intent on harming and killing others.  But even a couple of generations ago, those same people could at least tell you who Jesus is, they had been exposed to the Bible, and there was an accepted standard of right and wrong based on the Ten Commandments and Biblical truth.

But today there is ignorance of Scripture, there is no fear of the Lord, and right and wrong are left up to the individual.  Why?  Because we have decided that truth is personal instead of objective.

If you can have your truth and I can have my truth, then I can do whatever I want and justify any of my actions.  No matter how they affect you or hurt you.  We have become an extremely narcissistic nation so that I matter more than you do, and I am not here to know and serve and glorify God...He is here to serve me and satisfy me.

2.  We have rejected the sanctity of life and adopted instead the convenience of life -- if babies can be wantonly killed because they are inconvenient, life doesn't have any value. 

If life doesn't have any value, then that means my life has no value.  I have no point...I'm just taking up space and wasting oxygen.  And if life doesn't have any value, then that means there is no reason for me to value your life either.

Now, you put those two things together and I think we can begin to understand the loneliness, frustration, depression and anxiety of so many young people today.  They are growing up believing that there is nothing beyond the here and now, that they are the ruler of their own little personal universe, but that they don't really have any value or purpose or meaning.

So, what can we do? 

  • Repent if we have fallen into any of those ways of thinking ourselves.

  • Pray for our nation, it's leaders (yes, all of them -- that's Biblical), and especially our young people and those who work directly with young people.

  • Encourage and support and pray for the staff and volunteers of Woodview who work directly with kids, students, and young adults.

  • Love and build into young people! This might be your child or grandchild or great-grandchild...or it could just be finding a young person in the church to start loving on. And it won't be easy because at first they might be suspicious of why you are interested in them, but stay at it...be consistent...be authentic.

This Sunday we finish our summer series on The Fruit of the Spirit.  I hope you will be here! 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Young Families


For Young Families

Dear Woodview friends and family,

As we worked through knowing who Woodview is and how God is and has shaped us for ministry, one of the things we identified is that Woodview is stickiest to young couples and families.  We make a priority of ministry to young families and we are seeing some great growth and discipleship happen in young families.  But that doesn't mean we can rest on our laurels!  No, we must continue to look for ways to expand and improve our ministry and outreach to young families.

Young families face two critical challenges in churches today.  One challenge is that they have fewer role models than previous generations.  It is likely that many young parents today grew up in homes where cultural, or at least nominal, Christianity was a way of life, or where Jesus was never part of family discussions, or where the family was split up, and church attendance was sporadic at best.  In other words, many young parents in the church today have never seen or experienced faithful, gospel-centered parenting modeled. 

Another challenge is that families have so many more options today.  Often the father and mother both work so there are two incomes and they have the resources to fund a very busy lifestyle, which is expected among their peers.  In previous generations it was often church, church activities, Christian friends, and ministry or service projects that were central to the family dynamic -- but today church life is just another thing on the list of weekly activities.  The result is that often, when the family has to delete something or they just want a break, it is church that's get crossed off the list.

But let me share with you two things that I think we do well in reaching and ministering to young families, and one thing we could do much better.

1.  One thing we do well is we call young parents to go deeper with Jesus -- this sounds simple, but young families face incredible challenges.  The stressors of a new marriage, determining their career path, financial limits and choices and planning, add to that the challenges of rearing children.

We encourage our young families to make a priority of investing in their relationship with Jesus.  We try to encourage them to slow down, to simplify, and to pull back in order to invest in Jesus.  Now this is a shift...because usually what we do is ask for more of people's time; but we are going to ask our people, particularly our young families, to commit to worship, a group for discipleship and accountability, and a ministry.

2.  Another thing that is a strength of Woodview that we are going to improve and capitalize on is helping young adults and families into multi-generational relationships.  One of the things we often hear young people say they love about Woodview is that we have people of all ages.  And young adults and young families want and need, not just friendships with their own age group, but to connect with older adults and families.

We intentionally invite into multi-generational small groups for this reason, we develop new multi-generational small groups for this reason, and we are investigating and looking at new multi-generational ministry opportunities.  This weekend you will hear more about a multi-generational opportunity to go on a mission trip together.

3.  The thing where we can see the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth among young families, and everyone in Woodview, is for us to raise up missionaries.  Now, when you read that word "missionary" don't assume we are talking about sending someone overseas (although, it doesn't exclude that).  But we need to get everyone in the church to understand that, as a Christ-follower, they are called to be a missionary!  Children can be missionaries in their schools and among their friends; students can be missionaries on their college campuses; adults are to be missionaries at their work place and in their neighborhoods; shut-ins can be missionaries in their nursing homes and among the staff.

We hope that as we continue to pray, preach, and teach this it will result in a missional culture in the church.  And parents will begin to encourage and train their children to listen to the Holy Spirit  and to live on mission.

I'm looking forward to seeing you Sunday -- it will be a great day at Woodview!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Cleaning House

Cleaning House

Dear Woodview friends and family,

This week I took a couple days off to work at home to clean out junk and stuff that had accumulated over 15 years.  It is amazing the stuff that collects, even when you try to make sure it doesn't!  Part of it was that our son has grown up, gotten married, and moved out so we had "son stuff" that he didn't want and we no longer needed.  But no one needs 61 shirts, or encyclopedia sets when you can get better updated information online, or phone chargers for phones you no longer have.  So we needed to get rid of the clutter and that's what we did!

Now, this isn't really an article about our house...but it's an article about my life and yours because we all need to clean out our spiritual homes.  The New Testament has a number of passages that tell us to "put off" and "put on"...or we might say "clean out" and "collect."  Just check out Ephesians 4:17 - 5:21; Colossians 3:1 - 4:6;  or 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.  Clean out the attitudes, thoughts, and actions that are sinful and hinder our walk with Jesus; and collect and build into our lives those things that build us up in Christ.

After cleaning house this week, let me share a couple of realizations:

1.  Cleaning house is painful -- as I am writing this article, I am living on ibuprofen.  Why?  Because cleaning house is painful!  I carried out things that were heavy, I had to twist things around corners to get them out, I had to bend and move and use muscles that preachers don't often use!  

But it's also painful because we got rid of some of my favorite things -- I had held onto shirts for too long because I really liked the shirt, we threw out some household decorations that had memories attached, we got rid of some things that had been expensive when we first got them.  

And when we do a spiritual cleansing it can be painful too because it means getting rid of some things that we really enjoy...they're not beneficial, they're not constructive, they don't build us up in Christ; in fact, they might even be sins that have control or mastery over us -- but we enjoy them!  Cleaning house spiritually means we have to get rid of things that are cluttering up our lives and hearts preventing us from being focused on Christ and pursuing Christ. 

2.  Cleaning house is necessary -- now, we're not hoarders (my wife would hate for you to get the wrong impression from what I"m about to say), but cleaning house is necessary because there is limited space and you have to get rid of the old in order to replace it with new.  This is just a fact -- we only have so much time in a day so if you fill your day wasting time, you won't have the time you need for the good, constructive stuff; we only have so much room in our homes so if it is filled with unwanted items, you don't have space for things you need.

The same thing is true for us spiritually -- we only have so much time, energy, focus, priority.  That's why Jesus said, "You can only have one master" (Matthew 6:24).  If we want to build into our lives the disciplines that will help us grow in Christ, if we want to build into our lives the relationships that will help us be faithful to Christ, if we want to build into our lives the patterns that will help us bring glory to Christ -- then we will have to clean our spiritual house to make room.

3.  Cleaning house is surprising -- when my wife and I first started talking about going through our home and trying to get rid of stuff, we didn't think there was really that much.  But then we started opening drawers, and looking in closets, and asking hard questions and we were surprised how much stuff there was to be gotten rid of.

The same thing is true spiritually!  If we're serious about pleasing the Lord, we all have stuff that we need to clean out.  And when you start with a commitment to get rid of the clutter, you'll be surprised just how much clutter you have allowed to accumulate in your life.

4.  Do it every day -- I don't know that we will actually follow through on this commitment, but after this past week we have determined that we will not hold onto things that we don't need, want, or use.  We will "clean house" every day...or at least every week.

And that is good advice for us spiritually, too.  Don't wait until a crisis to clean house, don't wait for a spiritual catastrophe to realize you've got a lot of junk cluttering up your heart.  Instead, clean out your spiritual house every day.

Well, it's time for me to take more ibuprofen.  I look forward to seeing you Sunday and, by the way, I just might be wearing a new shirt! 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Shhhhh...It's Gonna Be Okay

Shhhhh -- It's Gonna Be Okay

Dear Woodview friends and family,

I think that often the way Christians can have the biggest impact in our world is when we demonstrate peace when everyone else is afraid; when we have joy when everyone else is mad; and when we speak quietly and calmly when everyone else is shouting.

It is often said that the most frequent command in Scripture is "fear not!"  If that is so, then it is a command because it doesn't come naturally to us...we are naturally fearful people!  So when the world is running around scared of this and that and the other thing -- followers of Jesus should demonstrate peace.

And I think most of us would agree that the volume level and the amount of anger people are expressing is pretty deafening in the world right now.  People are shouting at each other in the streets, in political chambers, and on social media.  How different it would and should be if Christians were demonstrating joy and speaking quietly.

Shortly after God did a powerful, earth-shaking, mind-blowing miracle on Mount Carmel -- defeating the prophets of Baal through the prayer of Elijah; God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice.  Why that contrast?  Yes, God was working in fire from heaven and big loud things...but the change brought about by the big, loud miracles was short-lived.  When God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice God did a deep change in Elijah's heart. 

Let me ask you this -- do you think marriages are healed and made better by couples screaming at each other the changes they want to see in the other person...or in quiet, calm, loving conversations about how they can work together to improve their marriage?  Do you think Paul effectively shared Christ and planted churches by shouting the gospel at people...or by "reasoning from the Scriptures"?  Do you think we can better impact the world and draw people toward Christ by arguing, shaming, and trying to force...or by compassion, concern, and calmly yet confidently speaking the truth in love?

Looking forward to Sunday -- hope you will join me.   

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 


You Can Trust Your Bible

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Recently, the online magazine, Relevant, contained an article on what it calls "4 little-known facts about the Bible" that they suggest makes the Bible trust-worthy. 

Why I like articles like this is because I think believers need to have substance behind their beliefs.  I would say that every true believer trusts the Bible as God's Word and depends on it for the message of salvation and wisdom for living.  So articles that share reasons why we can be certain the Bible is trustworthy are helpful. 

They can also help us be prepared to defend our beliefs with those who don't yet share those same beliefs.  In the article, the author plays devil's advocate by posing the question:  "When it comes to documents that make up the Bible, we do not have the original manuscripts.  Plus, there are variants in the copies that survived.  Most are minor, but there you have it.  We're faced with the question: Without originals, can we still trust the Bible?"

So here are the "4 little-known fact about the Bible" they point to as support for the Bible's trustworthiness:

1.  We have over 10,000 fragments of Bible documents from which we compile and verify the accuracy of the Bible--which is thousands more than Homer or Aristotle's works.  All of these manuscripts, fragments, scrolls, and parchments have been checked and double-checked for mismatches (known as variants) and most are a letter turned around or minor things that do not change the meaning of the story at all.

2.  Every known variant has been cataloged and is available to public scrutiny.  Nothing is hidden or secret.

3.  Historians support parts of the Bible--like, really big parts!  UNC Professor of Religious Studies, Bart Ehrman, an historian, scholar, and agnostic has said:  "We have more evidence for Jesus than we have for almost anybody from Jesus' time period."  That would mean that there is more proof for Jesus than there is Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus, or Cleopatra.

4.  The folks who copied and re-copied these documents were so incredibly careful that there is only about a 10 percent difference from the bits we have from 800 BC compared to the copies we have from 1500 AD.  It is almost impossible to imagine how they could have been so precise.

Let me share with you the last few paragraphs of the article:  "These are good points for Christians to know.  However, God tells us His Word is a light unto our path (Ps. 119:105), which begs the question:  How does a God ask for utter devotion to a written word then fail to deliver that word in original form?

The answer?  He doesn't.

God doesn't ask for utter devotion to a written word.  He asks for utter devotion to the God of that written word.  He walks through that idea in stories, where a spiritual God acted in physical circumstances among real people.  Some of those details get lost in translation or preservation, which God could have avoided had He chose to do so.  But He didn't.

What are the resulting implications?

For one thing, it forces us to read the whole Bible, not settle on snippets or proof texts to summarize the Bible's doctrines.  It forces us to consider consistencies between the God represented on that page over there with the God represented on that page over here.  It also forces us to study consistencies between the characters from page to page, and also between the characters' walks with God and our walks with God today.

It forces us to acknowledge that the God of the Bible wants a relationship, not a religion.

So, even without the originals, is the Bible reliable?  Specifically, can its God reliably illumine Himself through the Word as it is?  To answer that, we have to try it and find out.

That makes us all vulnerable, even God, who positions Himself to be accepted or rejected by the very people He created, died for and for whom He wrote His Word. 

Admittedly, that does not sound like the easiest way to go.  It sounds like a process that takes stumbling around and surrendering.  It sounds messy.  Of course, understanding truth often is."

I'm very thankful for Janelle Alberts and her thoughts and insights in this article.  I hope you enjoyed it, will think about it, and grow from it!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday. 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 


What Is Morally Acceptable

New Research On What Is Morally Acceptable

Dear Woodview friends and family,

This past week, Gallup released its annual findings on what Americans view as morally acceptable and morally unacceptable.  The three most morally acceptable behaviors are birth control, drinking alcohol, and getting a divorce.  The least acceptable behaviors are extramarital affairs, cloning humans, suicide, and polygamy.

There were some disturbing results -- for instance, more people said they think it is morally wrong to buy or wear clothing made of animal fur than doctor-assisted suicide (euthanasia).  And the survey also reveals what causes many people to consider something immoral.  "For example, the most reprehensible behavior on the list was having an extramarital affair. Yet the poll also found that birth control, sex between an unmarried man and woman, having a baby outside of marriage, and gay or lesbian relations were morally acceptable.  Only sex between teenagers was felt to be wrong.  So the heart of the perceived moral affront of an affair is the betrayal of assumed sexual loyalty."  It seems, then, that why people think an affair is immoral is because of the disloyalty, not the act itself.

Let me share a few thoughts concerning this survey.  First of all, like most surveys, you can skew the results by doing one or both of two things.  You can skew the results according to who you survey.  There is no question that the trend this survey reveals is a trend toward liberalism on almost every issue.  But when Gallup breaks down the results based on whether someone considered themselves "conservative" or "liberal," the percentages changed dramatically.  For example, 81% of those who identify as liberal endorse gay or lesbian relations, while only 45% of those who considered themselves conservative considered it morally acceptable -- that's a difference of 36 percentage points!  The most divided issue between conservatives and liberals continues to be abortion, with a difference of 50 percentage points.

The second way responses can get skewed is in how the questions are asked.  Two questioners might both say they are asking a question about abortion -- but one asks, "Do you think it is morally acceptable for a mother to kill her baby while it is still in the womb?" and the other might ask, "Do you think women should have the right to choose what is right and best for their own body?"  Both those questions might be getting at the issue of abortion, but you can see how the responses to one question would be quite different from the responses to the other.

Here is the bigger and more important issue...the issue that the church is not effectively raising or addressing.  And the issue is this:  we do not determine what is morally acceptable or unacceptable.  The very fact that we do surveys measuring "moral acceptability" lets us know that there are morals and people believe there are certain actions that are morally acceptable and actions that are morally unacceptable.  And as soon as you say something is acceptable and something is unacceptable you have agreed there is a standard of morality that people should live up to.  Yet the more questioning we do about moral behaviors, eventually we will find that everyone violates their own code of morality and so we know that we are not the code-maker.  We're kind of down in the mud here -- if you are interested, read C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity."  But the point is this -- we do not determine what is morally acceptable and what is not morally acceptable; only Someone who is morally perfect, knows all things, is all-wise, and is completely just can determine morality.  He has and His name is God.

I look forward to being with you this Sunday!  It will be another great day! 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

The Religious Landscape Looks Different

The Religious Landscape Looks Different

Dear Woodview friends and family,

The religious and spiritual landscape of America is very different today!  I'm not that old (at least, I don't consider myself very old), but I remember when popular thought and the accepted method of reaching people was that most people were just waiting for an invitation to church, that everyone was thinking about where they would spend eternity, and that if the church was just able to get its message out people were eager and willing to come to Christ.  And maybe that's how things were...at least, they were a lot closer to that a few decades ago than they are now.

Recently, a director of church growth and church planting, a director of church leadership, and a director of research for the largest protestant denomination in the United States did a study.  Let me share with you some of the most revealing quotes from their research.

They researched several thousand unchurched Americans and here are some things they discovered:

"Of those who said they are a Christian, a third said they aren't devout, and a third said they aren't currently practicing."

"A quarter of unchurched people think they are Christians with a strong faith."

"For the majority of the unchurched, the church has had a chance to present who Jesus Christ is and what we are about and for whatever reasons they have said, 'that is not for me.'"

"Just 35% of people say they would be likely to attend if somebody they knew invited them to a worship service."

"Two-thirds of unchurched people do not see themselves regularly attending church in the future."

"Forty-three percent of the unchurched never think about the afterlife."

Now, those can be pretty discouraging quotes.  And I have no reason to doubt them; in fact, from my own experiences in talking to people and inviting people to church, I would say those quotes are confirmed!  But the news isn't all bad -- all it means is that the religious and spiritual landscape is different today and so we must change and adapt.  The church must change strategies and practices (never changing the message of the gospel or commitment to Scripture) to effectively share with and reach out to the people of our communities.

Here are some more quotes from their research that can help us learn or at least attempt to connect people to Jesus:

"Only a quarter of the unchurched have never attended a church regularly in their life."  Now, that means that they left the church for some reason that we need to overcome, but at least they are not completely unfamiliar with what we are talking about or what we mean.

"Forty-seven percent said they would discuss it freely if someone wanted to discuss their religious beliefs."  The word "discuss" is the key -- they aren't looking for us to lecture them or "tell them how it is."  What they are willing to do is discuss these things -- and we've got to step out to do that even if it feels scary and uncomfortable to us at first.

"When we asked the unchurched if a Christian had shared with them about the benefits of becoming a Christian, only 35% said yes."  That lets us know that we're the problem!  The reason the kingdom isn't growing is because we aren't doing our job well enough.

"I've got to start looking at more situations in my life when I can bring Him into the conversation."  The best opportunities for us to build spiritual bridges to people and enter into spiritual conversations is when we see people in situations and we can talk to them and pray with/for them.

So, yes, the landscape is different...but the command to the church hasn't changed.  It is still people who are in Christ (the church) reaching out to people who need to connect and reconnect with Jesus and working at that in loving, sensitive, wise ways.

This Sunday is going to be a great day at Woodview.  I love the words of David, "I rejoiced with those who said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD.'" -- Psalm 122:1.

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Practical Steps to Preserving Church Unity

Practical Steps to Preserving Church Unity

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Recently, Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe dealt with the concern of church unity on their podcast.  Let me share with you some of their observations and some of their practical steps for preserving church unity.

One of the major concerns in the church today is unity because there is discord and infighting in many churches.  Someone has said, "Where two or more church members are gathered, there are three or more opinions."  And yet most disagreements in the church happen over the way things are done, not why they are done.

So after research, study, and discussion, here are their practical steps for preserving church unity:

1.  Make prayer and Scripture the focus of corporate gatherings.

2.  Preach and teach about church unity.

3.  Put others before yourself.

4.  Talk to people, not about people.

5.  Be a part of the change you want to see.

6.  Stand up for the leadership of the church.

7.  Be willing to not get your way if it means advancing the mission.

8.  Don't compare your church to the one down the street or across town.

The great thing is that every one of those items on that list are things we can start to do this week...today!  Now, they need to be ongoing and it will take time to see the ripple affect of it go throughout a church.  But if we take responsibility for the unity of our church we are obeying Scripture, we are strengthening the witness of the church, and it will have greater kingdom impact.

I am so glad for the trajectory our church is on and excited for the future.  I hope you will join us in worship this Sunday!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Since today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it made me think of this.  When the allied armies marched in Germany on their way to Berlin, retreating German soldiers switched the road signs and destroyed landmarks in an effort to confuse their enemy.  And, to an extent, it worked!  Many allied soldiers followed a false marker or followed a turned sign only to end up in the wrong place.

That should remind us of the importance of trusting the right landmarks and depending on the correct road signs.  

What are things you can absolutely depend on for direction and help?  Let me suggest the two most important guidance tools for believers.

The first is the Bible -- God's Word is true, it is eternal, and it is without error.  That means that it will never steer you wrong.  You might have to make the effort of reading it and studying to understand what it is saying (remember, even Peter sometimes struggled to understand what Paul was writing -- see 2 Peter 3:15-16), but it will never steer you wrong.  You might not even like what it says to you, but it will never steer you wrong!

The second is the leading of the Holy Spirit -- I had a conversation with someone yesterday and they were telling me that they were certain the Holy Spirit had led them to make a big life change but now they weren't so sure because they weren't enjoying the change.  As if our enjoyment is the criteria for whether or not it is the will of God!  The Holy Spirit will never guide you wrong -- but you have to know how to discern if it is really the Holy Spirit you are sensing or if it was the tacos you had for lunch.  Here are some things that can help you discern the Holy Spirit's leading -- if it violates the Bible it is not the Holy Spirit; if it is something that will elevate you and enhance your reputation it is not the Holy Spirit; if it would hurt the reputation of God it is not the Holy Spirit; and if it would intentionally harm someone (by the way, there's a big difference between "hurt" and "harm") it is not the Holy Spirit.  But, if it requires you to do something uncomfortable, selfless, trusting God to do a work, and it would serve someone and glorify God -- there's a really, really, really good chance you are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit in your ear or heart.

So, as we travel this road of life, let's make sure we are following the right signs and paying attention to the right landmarks.

Hey, this Sunday we start a new series on the Nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit.  It will be well worth your effort to be here!  See you Sunday.

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Ancient Scroll Verifies the Bible

Ancient Scroll Verifies the Bible

Dear Woodview friends and family,

In 1970, archaeologists discovered an ancient scroll, two-thousand years old.  The scroll was discovered in the ruins of a synagogue that had been destroyed by fire so the scroll was severely charred.  It was so badly damaged that since 1970 scientists weren't able to do anything with it because any effort to open the scroll would destroy it.

Enter modern technology!  Using 3D digital analysis, the technology funded by Google and the U.S. National Science Foundation, they were able to scan the scroll and then send that data to the University of Kentucky to "virtually unwrap" the scroll so it could be read.

To make a long story shorter, they were able to not only see writing, but it was readable!  According to Emmanuel Tov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, what they discovered is that the charred Ein Gedi scroll is "100 percent identical" to the version of the Book of Leviticus that has been in use for centuries in our Bibles.  He said, "This is quite amazing for us.  In 2,000 years, this text has not changed."

In the world of the Bible, the printing press became usable in the mid 15th-century.  Until then the text of the Bible had to be painstakingly copied by hand. And yet, what we discover is that, not only is the Bible the Word of God, but God preserved His Word through the years!  Imagine the game of telephone using Leviticus as the content and spanning hundreds and hundreds of years!  I doubt that we would expect anything close to the original message.  And yet, what we have here is unmistakable evidence that the Bible we hold in our hands and read regularly is God's Word, reliable, and trustworthy.

I am looking forward to this Sunday!  We wrap up our series, "6 Keys to Healthy Relationships" by talking about "Giving People What They Need."  It will be a great day and I hope you will be here!

 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Loving God First

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Jesus said that the entire Old Testament Law can be summed up in two simple yet difficult statements:  Love God completely and love others radically (Luke 10:25-37).

Lately I've been wondering if there is significance to the order Jesus put those in.  Could Jesus have flipped them around and said and meant the same thing?  Or is He saying that, in those few instances when it comes down to loving God or loving others, go with loving God?

Now, before I tell you where I've landed on that, let me assure you that I think the actual times when loving God and loving others conflict is rare.  In fact, I think that overwhelmingly the way we love God is by loving others and the way we love others is by loving God.  But there are some instances where those two things are in conflict...or at least it is perceived as a conflict.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus told the church in Ephesus to return to their first love...and the word "first" used there means first in rank...first in place.  So if those things ever do come into conflict, it seems to me that we must put love for God first.

What does love for God look like.  Again, for the sake of simplicity, I think it can be stated in two things:  worship and obedience.  Worship would entail being in God's Word, prayer, fasting, meditation, corporate worship, generous giving, communion, etc.  Obedience is striving to do everything God commands us to do in His Word and seeking to avoid everything He commands us not to do in His Word.

Sometimes the church is positioned in having to choose between loving God and making people feel loved.  In those rare times, I believe the church must side with loving God.

I hope you will be here this Sunday -- it's going to be a good and important day.  Get ready!

 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Be Temperate

Be Temperate

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Several months ago I was doing a study through the Pastoral Epistles (the letters that Paul wrote to different church leaders -- Timothy, Titus, and some people include Philemon).  In that study I was surprised how many times Paul gave those leaders advice on being "temperate."  And Paul not only said that these leaders need to be temperate, but that all church leaders should be temperate.

"Temperate" is a word that we don't hear or use much these days, but what it means is that we are not supposed to be driven by our emotions.  It doesn't mean denying emotion...the Bible does not endorse stoicism; but neither should we be controlled by our emotions.  In fact, the Bible teaches that one of the evidences of spiritual maturity is that we control our emotions...they don't control us.

God created us with emotions.  We are created in God's image and the Bible describes God as having emotions -- the Bible says that God loves, God hates, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit can be grieved, that Jesus has empathy and sympathy, etc.  So we are created to have emotions...and emotions are part of the beauty and wonder of life.  But if we lack temperance, our emotions can also lead us into sin.  The Bible warns us not to allow our anger to lead us into sin, not to allow our anxiety to override our faith and trust, the Bible tells us to foster love for the right things, and to not give in to fear.

So when our emotions begin to cry out for our attention...when our emotions raise their hand and say they think it's time they get to drive for a while, here are two ways to be temperate:

1.  Identify what is true -- our emotions can lie to us and our emotions can be triggered by things that aren't actually true.  How many times have you texted someone and didn't get a quick response and so you felt like they were brushing you off so you felt hurt, only to later find out that they had left their phone somewhere or were in a meeting or had turned their sounds off?

Another way we need to identify what is true is to slow down and think through what the Bible actually says about this situation.  How does the Bible say you should respond?  What advice does the Bible give?  What similar experiences are there in the Bible and how did God's people handle it? 

We live in times when emotion is king, but that should not be for Christ-followers!  For us, Jesus is always King!  So as a follower of Jesus, how should you react and respond in this situation in which your emotions want to take over?

2.  Identify what is loving -- emotions tend to be, not always but tend to be, narcissistic. Usually our emotions are obsessed with us because they are all about "How do I feel about this?" 

So a good way to keep our emotions in the backseat is to make sure we are acting in love.  Love is never narcissistic because genuine love is concerned about what is best for the other person.  My favorite definition for agape love is that it is discerning what is in the best interest of the other person and then getting involved to see that it happens.  

So identify what is true and what is loving and then do that!  It's not always easy, it requires self-control, but it is the path to honoring God and leading well. 

This Sunday is Mother's Day and at Woodview we are going to honor all the women in attendance and have a special gift for them.  I hope you will be there!  We are also continuing our series, "6 Keys to Healthy Relationships" and we are going to be talking about forgiveness.  It's gonna be a great day!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 


Life Is Hard


Life is hard!

Dear Woodview friends and family,

This will be a short article this week.  There are two reasons for that -- the first is that I'm sitting at my computer in quite a bit of pain (twisted my back!), and the second reason is that I can state my points succinctly.

My topical statement is:  Life is hard!  I don't think anyone with any years under their belt will argue with that, so let me continue on to the things I'm reminding myself of.

1.  So don't be surprised at the painful trials that come your way, as though something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 4:12).  We live in a fallen world...we each struggle with our sinful nature.  So bad stuff is going to happen! 

We have to understand that we are living in the time between The Fall of Genesis 3, when sin and its consequences entered the world, and the Second Coming of Jesus when this world and all that is in it is redeemed.  That means we are living in a time when things aren't supposed to be perfect or easy or comfortable -- we are living in the time when there is supposed to be suffering, pain, and disappointment.  The good thing is that, because we desire perfection and ache for perfection, it clues us into the fact that we were created for better than what we are experiencing!

2.  Therefore, hold on and walk faithfully!  We face all kinds of trials, but we are not without resources.  We have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us and give us the strength to persevere; we have the Word of God to encourage us and guide us; we have the Church to encourage each other, pray for each other, and hold each other up; and we have the hope of Christ knowing that we will spend eternity with our Lord and King.

3.  So look for the times of joy and the moments of laughter.  Even though this life is hard...there are wonderful blessings in this life!  There are glimpses of eternity and reflections of God and flashes of Eden.  Looking into the eyes of a newborn infant, watching kids run and laugh through the halls of the church building, celebrating a baptism, talking to someone wrestling with but determined to follow Jesus, witnessing the excitement of a couple about to be married, sitting with a brother or sister in Christ who is grieving but not without hope.  These are some of the good things in this life -- at times we need to slow down enough to notice them or see them; but they are there.  And those are the little clues given by God to remind us of His love, His power, and His eternal plan.

See you Sunday!  

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

The Road God Travels

Dear Woodview friends and family,

In my "get focused" time this morning, as I was reading from the psalms, I came across this verse -- "And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel..." (Ps. 84:5  The Message).  The way this is written caught me up short...it caused me to think in a way I'd never really thought before.

Psalm 84 is a pilgrimage psalm...meaning that it is written about traveling to the Temple in Jerusalem to worship God on one of the High Holy Days.  The author talks about how he wishes he lived in the Temple so he could abide in the presence of God.  And he talks about how the trip to worship is long and hot and dry...but that as they travel their joy increases and their hearts are encouraged because they are coming into the presence of the Lord.

But here is what struck me -- the way I usually think of my life is that I seek to follow God, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to go where He wants me to go so that I am following Him and dependent on Him.  Now, while all of that is absolutely true, the phrasing of this verse in The Message causes me to pause and see things in a different way that is also true.  What this verse is saying is that my life is actually the road God travels!  

While God is in no way limited by me or dependent on me (after all, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and omni-present), what Scripture shows is that God chooses to work through me.  So, where I go becomes where God goes...what I say becomes the words God uses to communicate...what I do becomes the way people are exposed to God.  I become His road...His path.  And if I allow that thought to saturate through me then everything I do and say takes on a holiness.

When I was very young I was taught the song:  Be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see; 'Cause the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.  And then there was a verse about what ears hear, and what hands do, and what tongues say.  There's some good theology in that children's song!  

So I am reminded today...and I'm reminding you -- as a follower of Jesus your words become the words of God, your steps become the road God travels, your actions become God's selfie.

So looking forward to this Sunday!  It is going to be a great day!  Worship through music and praise, prayer, communion, and starting a new series called, "6 Keys to Healthy Relationships".  I can't wait and hope you will be here!  

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 


The Resurrection of Jesus

Dear Woodview friends and family,

Luke 23:44-49 -- By now it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land for three hours, until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone—and suddenly the thick veil hanging in the Temple split apart.  Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I commit my spirit to you,” and with those words he died.  When the captain of the Roman military unit handling the executions saw what had happened, he was stricken with awe before God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.”  And when the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw that Jesus was dead, they went home in deep sorrow.  Meanwhile, Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him down from Galilee, stood in the distance watching.

Matthew 27:57-61 -- When evening came, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, one of Jesus’ followers, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him.  Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new rock-hewn tomb, and rolled a great stone across the entrance as he left.  Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting nearby watching.

Matthew 28:1-8 -- Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to the tomb.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning and his clothing was a brilliant white.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and fell into a dead faint.  Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be frightened!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified, but he isn’t here! For he has come back to life again, just as he said he would. Come in and see where his body was lying. . . . And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and that he is going to Galilee to meet them there. That is my message to them.”  The women ran from the tomb, badly frightened, but also filled with joy, and rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message.

John 20:1-9 -- Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone was rolled aside from the entrance.  She ran and found Simon Peter and me and said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!”  We ran to the tomb to see; I outran Peter and got there first, and stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but I didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went on inside. He also noticed the cloth lying there, while the swath that had covered Jesus’ head was rolled up in a bundle and was lying at the side. Then I went in too, and saw, and believed that he had risen for until then we hadn’t realized that the Scriptures said he would come to life again!

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

How to go to Church

Woodview Christian Church


Dear Woodview friends and family,

I subscribe to a weekly email and this week the article was entitled, "How to Go to Church."  I won't copy the entire article, but I do think there were some very good points and statements, so I will share those.

"Life in the church is not an optional appendage for Christians.  It's a privileged essential, at the center.  It's been a joyful essential since New Testament times.  And local church life is not only about gathering corporately for worship one day a week.  But that is a central part of the joy and benefit.  As such an important part of life in Christ, it's to be expected that gathering for corporate worship involves a few things.

Here are a few things to consider as we go to church:

1.  Gathering publicly - Going to church starts with going to church.  We gather with something bigger than ourselves and our agenda.

"But church is not a building, it's people."  "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian."  If you were to say that to the apostle Paul, he'd say, "Uh, sure, now go to church.  Go, gather with the local body of believers under qualified shepherding like I wrote in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1; be seen with them for worship."

For those still stuck in the "I can do church my own way and in my own place" error, please consider this.  It's not about, "Well, I don't need to go somewhere to worship God," but, "I get the privilege of plugging into a New Testament kind of church with the redeemed body of Christ to see and be seen; to give and receive; to minister and be ministered to; to love and be loved; to come alongside and be held accountable, and all out of worship for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

2.  Promptly gathering - Obviously there are times when we can't make it or we stroll in at the sermon's midpoint.  It happens.  This isn't so much about a clock as it is humble love for Christ and people.

So then, instead of, "Well, it's just announcements and stuff, so it's fine if we're late," it's more about, "Out of love for Christ, let's arrive early so we can serve in ways needed, meet and greet visitors, and be ready for worship."

3.  Engaged participation - One of the easiest things to do in corporate worship is to let the mind go passive.  We are hearing, but not absorbing.  We are reading, but not digesting.  We are singing, but not proclaiming.  It's all too easy to be passive instead of active in corporate worship.  But we miss out on God's care when we allow that.

So, it's not about, "I did my duty by being present and listening," but, "I get to receive God's care and be used by him through actively praying, reading, and singing with the beloved body of Christ during this short time of worship we have out of a 168-hour week."

4.  Worshipful giving - Giving is part of worship just like singing and hearing the word.  We give in light of the infinite gift of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We also get to give in proportion to what God supplies us.  We give generously, joyfully, and sacrificially (2 Cor. 8-9).  Because this is an act of worship, it behooves us to prepare beforehand, praying and considering how to give in such a way as opposed to frantically or thoughtlessly tossing a few bills into the offering plate last minute.

So, instead of, "Hey, at least I"m giving something," it's more about, "My God did not even withhold his most precious possession, his own Son, and he did so for my sins and to make me his child for eternity; so, it's a joy to thoughtfully prepare to joyfully, sacrificially, and generously give back to him for his kingdom through my church."

5.  Partaking of ordinances - God has set in place two ordinances for the New Covenant; baptism and the Lord's Table.  In the first century, it was unthinkable for a Christian to remain unbaptized.  Baptism was the essential symbol of faith in Christ.  Both for the baptized and spectators, it's a joyful time of worship, rejoicing in the power of God in his sovereign act of salvation.

Similarly, Christians participated regularly in that solemn, joyful memorial of the Lord's substitutionary atoning death through the bread and the cup.  It's a time to reflect on the glory of God in quenching his righteous wrath for all our sin in the Person and finished work of Christ.  Who would want to miss out on something like that?

So, it's appropriate for us to set our hearts for these glorious events in the regular life of the church.

6.  Feasting on preaching - We can say at least three things about preparing for the preaching.  First, there is need to prepare our hearts -- listening to biblical preaching is not like listening to a lecture; tilling of the heart is necessary so that the word may take root.

Second, there is the need for teachability and receptivity.  When we are served a meal, we don't perpetually turn the plate around, inspecting it at every angle.  We eat.  That's the idea with the weekly biblical sermon.

Third, there is the need to stick to the word.  In a volatile time like ours, it's possible we desperately hope the preaching will address the latest hot-button issues.  We hope he will body slam that pagan-in-the-news-this-week on the proverbial mat.  That may feed our flesh, but it's going to do little for our soul  We need the soul-strengthening meaty exposition of God's word for another week in this world.

7.  Ministering in the aftermath - By the time worship closes, the manifold care of God has been ministered at the New Testament church gathering.  Souls are anywhere from encouraged to wounded; convicted to comforted and more.  It's not only a time to respond in my personal life.  It also can be a time to respond by reaching out.  Who can I ask what they learned from the sermon?  How they were encouraged?  Challenged?  It's a  great time to follow-up with that visitor; to get their number, invite them to a home group or something.

So, instead of, "Let's hit a quick lunch," make it more about, "Let's hang for a bit, meet some visitors, see if there's someone to minister to, and invite someone over who I might not usually hang out with."

The God of the universe loves us and desires to care for us by having us gather corporately as New Testament churches for biblical worship.  It's one of his preeminent ways of administering his love for us in this life. And, as anything valuable and enjoyable we do in life, it involves a little preparation and attention."

Well, I hope you enjoyed that...I thought it was good enough to share!

I'm looking forward to us getting together this Sunday!  It's going to be a great day and now we know who to prepare for it!

 

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner 

Lent

Woodview Christian Church

Dear Woodview friends and family,

We are in the season of Lent.  While our church tradition does not observe Lent, there are some that do!  About 30% of evangelical Christians say they observe Lent.

Lent is a 40 day observance leading up to Easter.  It was formalized by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and is not mentioned in the Bible.  The idea is that it begins with Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance; and ends on Easter Sunday, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.  There are to be forty days of fasting in between, based on the 40 days of Jesus fasting in the desert.  Over the years, fasting for Lent has taken on some curious changes.

Here are the top 10 things people say they are giving up for Lent this year according to Twitter:

1.  Social networking

2.  Alcohol

3.  Twitter

4.  Chocolate

5.  Lent

6.  Meat

7.  Swearing

8.  Coffee

9.  Soda

10.  Sex

Obviously some of these things are "tongue in cheek", and some of them are just snarky (like tweeting that you are giving up Twitter).  But whether we actually observe Lent in our own lives or not, I do think there is value in at least the exercise of raising our awareness of Jesus leading into Easter...and hopefully the habits of raising that awareness stay with us!  

So let's ask a few questions:

1.  We don't observe Ash Wednesday...but what is there that you need to repent of?

2.  We don't observe Lent...but what should you put aside to follow Jesus more closely?

3.  What could you start doing today to prepare you and excite you for this coming Easter?

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner

How to do Mission

I received a phone call from someone last week and they were asking me about our mission.  Hopefully by now you know it -- our mission is to help people connect and reconnect with Jesus.  They said they knew our mission statement but weren't really sure what it meant or how to do it.  I love that they asked!  I love that they are interested!

So, in a nutshell, this was our conversation.  Connecting and reconnecting people with Jesus means we want to help people have a sincere, life-changing relationship with Jesus -- as Savior, Master, example, and true love.  But that won't happen if we just sit around and wait for people to come to us, or if we just cluster with our Christian friends.  That's why we MUST intentionally step out of our comfort zones to begin to build bridges with those who need to connect and reconnect with Jesus.  And, as I've admitted to you before -- I've got to make myself do this just as we all do...and it feels weird and awkward and I make mistakes at it and sometimes I look back and smack myself on the forehead for something I missed or didn't do.  But I strive to be obedient and I pray for God to use me and the Holy Spirit to move.

I shared in this conversation what this looked like in a particular relationship in my life.  I get my hair cut about every 4 or 5 weeks and I like cheap haircuts (let me rephrase that...I like the cheap part; often not pleased with the hair part; but my unwillingness to spend much money on a haircut often means I suffer with the not so great cut).  So for years I went to the same place.  They usually went through a lot of employees but there was one young woman who was there for several years.  She cut my hair a few times and we struck up a conversation.  Then I started asking for her...if she wasn't in, I would come back sometime when she was available.  And over the months we started talking about family, and kids, and then spiritual things.  Now, the goal of our mission to is to help people connect with Jesus...but part of trying to help her connect with Jesus was inviting her to our church.  She came for a holiday service, enjoyed it, and started attending pretty regularly with her kids when she wasn't working on Sunday.  And then, as she continued to cut my hair, our conversations went into deeper and deeper spiritual territory!  But, sadly, her husband took a job south of here and they moved away...but I know that seeds were planted and I pray that God has someone else in her life and in her family's life who is watering those seeds so connection is growing.

I would have loved to have been able to see where all of that ended up in her life.  But what we are discovering is that living our mission means simply living with gospel intentionality -- planningto spend time with people who need to connect and reconnect with Jesus.  It might mean inviting a co-worker to lunch to get to know them better; it might mean inviting neighbors over for a backyard bbq; it might mean always asking for the same server at a restaurant; or consistently going to the same coffee shop and striking up conversations with the same person; it might mean volunteering to help someone.

But eventually it means introducing Jesus into the conversation.  That can be by sharing something as simple as:  "I will be praying for you," or using Bible wisdom to give advice, or sharing something Jesus is doing in your own life, or inviting them to church (Easter is coming!).  And, of course, it means the whole thing has to be covered and bathed in prayer. 

We're told by Jesus to initiate and be intentional--because we are to "go" and "make" disciples.  Jesus modeled for us how to do that--He entered into relationships with His disciples.

So, either this week or next, take a step of bold faith and do something to live on mission!

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner

Don't Do It!

Dear Woodview friends and family,

I imagine that for many of you what I share in this article isn't even on your radar...probably not even something you think about.  For others, this might hit pretty close to home.

Over the past few months, one of the things that has been talked about a lot in ministry articles, blogs, and social media is predator behavior by people in the church.  Recently, the Southern Baptist Convention put 10 of their churches on "probation" because of the way they failed to deal with sexual abuse in their churches.  In the past, some of the marriage counseling I have done has centered around issues that surfaced concerning sexual abuse.  In the last week someone shared with me they had been sexually abused by a family member years ago.  About 10 years ago I was visiting one of our church's ladies who was a shut-in; she shared with me that when she was a little girl in our church the Sunday School Superintendent had abused her.  And I heard a woman make the comment that she's not sure she knows a woman who hasn't been sexually abused in one way or another.

In this article I want to share with you Woodview's policies and practices to try to keep everyone safe, but particularly the steps we take to try to protect our children.  

But the first thing that needs to be said is that hurting someone, damaging someone, or using someone for your own sinful and selfish desires is evil and sinful.  Don't do it!  If you have thoughts and inclinations toward predator behavior, learn and apply the lessons of Old Testament Joseph about how to run from sin!  At Woodview, we have love and grace for sinners because we are all sinners...but we will not tolerate predators or predator behavior.

Our policies and procedures include but are not limited to:

1.  Background checks for all staff and volunteers who work with children.  This includes an agreement that background checks can be renewed annually or at Woodview's discretion.

2.  At least 2 adults are to be in each of the children's classes.  If the two adults are a married couple or relatives, this number becomes at least 3 adults.

3.  Training for all adult workers on what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior.

4.  Our child check-in is to make sure that the children are safe in the building, their location is known at all times, and that they are released only to authorized adults.

5.  Our Security Team periodically walks through the children's areas and looks in rooms to make sure everyone is safe and guidelines are being followed.

6.  All workers are trained to promptly notify their coordinator/supervisor of any violation of Woodview's policies and procedures by themselves or someone else.

7.  Every allegation or suspicion of abuse or molestation will be taken seriously!  Every ministry staff person is a Mandated Reporter so we will contact the appropriate authorities (we have and we will).

8.  If the accused is an employee or a volunteer, they will immediately be removed from their position (staff positions will continue to be paid), pending the completion of the investigation.

9.  Any person who is not found innocent of the alleged abuse or molestation will be permanently removed from working with children, youth, or the disabled.  The church will consult with legal counsel for advice if termination of employment is indicated.

There are other parts to our policies and procedures that, if you'd like, you can read if you contact the office and ask for a copy of our Children's Ministry Workers Policy.  But I simply share this with you today to assure you that Woodview takes the responsibility of keeping people safe seriously.

And let me also say that, if you have ever been a victim of abuse or sexual abuse, you are loved by Woodview and we will walk with you as you take steps to healthy healing on the path of recovery.

In Christ,

Jon B. Stradtner