January 19, 2018
To the Reality Carpinteria Family in Montecito and Santa Barbara,
Our dear brothers and sisters—we miss you! Our hearts ache for the way you’ve been affected by the fires and floods and we are weeping with you. Being separated on opposite sides of Montecito has caused us to long for your presence and to be able to embrace you once again when we are reunited.
We are proud of your bravery and unity as a community and are encouraged as we hear of your strong faith in Jesus in the face of tragedy. Please know that we have been praying for you. We are praying by name for all who have lost family members. We are interceding for all who have suffered great property damage. We are asking the Lord to heal you, and us, as a community. We are especially begging the Lord that He would do a new work of spiritual awakening in the coastlands, and that we would, in the wake of the fire and floods, be brought into a place of spiritual renewal and abundance. Such was the experience of Israel when they suffered:
“We went through fire and through flood; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance. I will come into Your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to You.” (Psalm 66:12b–13)
May each of you, and may we all together, discover a new abundance in Christ as we continue to follow and worship Him in difficult days.
Before the floods, we had started the Book of Acts together and planned some deep dive sermons on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We had also planned to gather on Tuesday nights to worship, pray and wait on the Lord to see what new ways He might work in and through us. We want you to know that we are waiting for you to return before we resume these studies and times together. We started that journey as one and we will finish it as one.
In the meantime, we discussed three important questions last Sunday in the preaching. Namely, “Where is God in such times? Why does God allow such things? Are these events God’s judgment on our community?” Sharp questions to be sure, but we allowed Scripture to guide us into glorious truth. We trust this teaching will be helpful to you as you navigate these challenging times. We encourage you to watch it here.
It seems the freeway will be open soon and we will be united once again. Until then, know that we hold you moment by moment in prayer. Please reach out to us if there is any way we can serve you. The entire church stands by with generous hearts and willing hands to meet your needs at any time.
We hope you visit Reality Santa Barbara or one of the many other great churches in the area and trust that Christ, your loving Savior, will meet you there!
All our love!
Pastor Britt on Behalf of Reality Carp
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)