Northeast Community News – July 17, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,
It was a ‘Binary’ day in the Lord, Sunday! One dictionary definition describes binary as ‘relating to, composed of, or involving two things.’ That was certainly the case as some worshipped at Indian Lake during Camp Meeting while the rest ‘heard God’ through Rev. Chris Christopher here at Northeast Community! God is good – all the time – and everywhere! Praise Him! Janie took the following notes:
Rev. Christopher brought the Word to us this week and the title of God’s message was “The Test of Righteousness” from 1 John 1:5-10 and John 17:17-21-23. You may not know this, but he and his wife were members of our church until Jan. 01, 1959, when Rev. Christopher accepted a call to Pastor a church in Ithaca NY.
The purpose of John’s letter was twofold: first, to expose doctrinal and ethical errors. We need to do as John did – stand up and expose doctrinal and ethical errors! While the Bible has all the answers, sadly it is being set aside.
Second, to encourage every Christian to pursue a life of holiness. Rev. Chris checked a few dictionaries and found the publishers of dictionaries know what sanctification is – and may present it stronger than many pastors! Ouch!
John’s three goals:
1. Forgiveness of personal sins – this is our action of confessing sin and asking Jesus into our hearts – this is our part: “If we confess our sins (personal –things we have done), he is faithful and just to forgive our sins (again personal), and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (all carnal traits inherited)” (I John 1:9)
2. Cleansing from inherited sin – Cleansing is a Divine act – this is the sin we inherited from the fall of Adam and Eve – this is God’s part and deals with the carnal problem. Rev. Christopher referenced two verses. Matt. 3:11 declares, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” and I Thess. 4:3a declares, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…”
3. Fellowship with God – Here we discover the “old man” (Satan) has been kicked out; we pray, read our Bibles, listen to the Holy Spirit – this is the ongoing work of sanctification – Using John 17:17-21, 23, Rev. Christopher declares not only are we to be sanctified (v. 17) in His high priestly prayer Jesus prays for himself, His disciples, and all believers (including us!).
Rev. Christopher concludes warning us not to have false testimony as 1 John 1:6 states clearly: “if we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not tell the truth.” In 1 John 1:8 we read, “if we say that we have no sin (note it is singular and a noun), we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
While it is important to remember we inherited a sinful nature in the fall of man and Paul rightly reminds us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), we are all called to be sanctified and live holy lives.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth” (John 17:17).
Thank you Rev. Christopher for reminding us this important truth! Praise God!
This week’s Bible study is titled ‘Christian Vocabulary.’ Do you realize Christians use a lot of words you might never find anywhere else? Words like sanctification, conviction, and anointing can confuse new and mature believers alike! Come this Wed. at 6:30 and receive a small glossary! You might just learn a new word!
THANKFUL FOR CAMP MEETING!
My Father used to tell me when I was a young man growing up that ever once in a while the carburetor on the car needed to be cleaned out. Gunk would build up in the orifices and there were two remedies to get it out: run the engine very fast or use an over the counter product and spray it into the air cleaner. You can only imagine which method I preferred! Nascar had nothing on my childhood!
In some ways this is what Camp Meeting does for me. While the world offers all sorts of ‘over the counter products’ like alcohol, drugs, and wild living, nothing washes all of the ‘gunk’ out of me like getting out of the city and opening myself up wide, letting my heart race, and letting God’s Spirit wash over me again and again and again. Through worship services, Bible studies, prayer and a time to reflect with my brothers and sisters of Christ around a campfire, God had many opportunities to convict, challenge, and bathe me in His presence. Praise God!
Blessings! Pastor Dan
Hello From Pastor Amy/Your Part-Time Church Secretary
My office hours will be on Tuesdays from 8am-5pm, but if you need to see me, you may want to call first. My responsibilities also include preparing our weekly program, so if you have an event that you would like to put in the program or newsletter, please feel free to contact me!
On Prayer Requests: If you have a specific praise or prayer request which you would like to appear in the program and/or newsletter, please make sure to fill out the tear-off sheet in the weekly program, or contact me at any time.
Please Update Me! We have a long, ongoing list of prayer requests. Please keep me updated. Requests will be pulled from the newsletter & program after 3 weeks. Thank you!
Church Office:616-459-2773 My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS & EVENTS
Ladies LIFT Meets This Thursday – July 19th @ 4:30pm
Our women’s fellowship group meets on the first and third Thursdays every month to enjoy a time of Bible study, conversation, snacks, crafts, and recipe exchange. Please feel free to join at any time. You are also welcome to invite friends. See Irene Pratt with questions.
Healthy Homes Volunteer and Services Opportunity
The healthy homes coalition of West Michigan is a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate housing conditions that harm children’s health. They focus on environmental health, including lead poisoning, carbon monoxide and radon exposure, pest management, fire safety, asthma, accident prevention, and more.
Healthy Homes would love your help if you are interested in volunteering for them! They are also offering to install FREE smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors in homes with children 5 and under. This is available for homeowners as well as renters. This is a great coalition to check out, as they offer so many services to homes with children! For more information about healthy homes, talk to Pastor Amy, or call 616-241-3300, or email@example.com.
Jiquirria Vaughn-Orban Memorial Children’s Library!
We are happy to announce that Julie Orban has donated $150 to start up a library for children in memory of Jiquirria. Did you know that he loved to read? In fact, at his funeral, we heard a poem that he wrote about his love for books. Julie thought that a children’s library in his name would be a great way to honor and remember him!
We invite ALL children to check out books at any time. Right now the library is located downstairs in the room for children’s church. We are praising God that we now have a children’s library in our church! What could be more important than ministering to our children through books and education? Thank you Julie! Interested in letting your children check out a book or helping to build up the library? Talk to Gerry Dawson.
Praise Team Singers Wanted!
Would you like to sing with Pastor Dan on Sunday morning? One commented they ‘didn’t know they could join me’ and she was surprised. Pastor Dan would love to see more folks use their gift of singing with him on Sundays. All he requires is a humble spirit, a willingness to attend practice on Wednesday night after bible study and Sunday morning at 9:00am, and a desire to worship God! Interested? Let Pastor Dan know!
World Mission Broadcast Thank You!
World Mission Broadcast takes the Gospel to the world through radio, television and internet programs. On the air since 1951, World Mission Broadcast (WMB) reaches even the most remote parts of the world, with words of hope and holiness... and lives are changed. The cost to support one minute of WMB airtime is $4.00! That's right. $4.00 to air one minute of the Gospel! This year we have received $100 for this offering! That’s 25 minutes! Thank you all!
No July Children’s Program!
In addition to other July cancellations, we will NOT be holding any Wednesday Night Program for children. The children’s program will pick up at it’s usual time on the first Wednesday in August at 6:30pm.
New directories are available on the tables outside of the sanctuary. Please take one!
In addition to the weekly Children’s Church we have added two new programs for our Children!
At 10:00am on Sundays during our Sunday School hour, we now have a Children’s Reading time. During this 45 minute period before church we will be reading about missionaries from the Church of the Nazarene. We have a series of 6 books that will be read. These books will be read aloud by adults from the church. Children who attend regularly and listen to all 6 books will be treated to lunch at Chuckie Cheese! We will complete the readings by the end of May.
On Wednesday nights @ 6:30pm Pat and Shannen Parsaca have started the Caravan program, which is a scouting, or kids’ club, type of program. All children grades K – 6 are welcome!
In Children’s Church we have started a “Children Helping Children” program. This will be part of the semi-annual Alabaster Offering. Each child will have a box of their own. Every week they attend Children’s Church a quarter will be added to their box. In addition they may bring an offering to put in the box. All Alabaster Offerings are used to buy property and build schools and churches on the mission field. The Children will be able to march with their boxes on Alabaster box Sundays. We hope to see your children on Sundays and Wednesdays. If you have any questions please ask Cherry Pakiela or Gerry Dawson!
Want to help, but not sure how?
If you are wondering where to plug in, but are not sure how, we have opportunities. Current opportunities include a soundboard worker, nursery helpers, childrens workers, potluck coordinators, visiting our shut-ins, greeters and ushers, visitor follow-ups, Sunday School teachers, music leaders, people willing to shovel snow in the winter, and much more. It doesn’t matter how long you have been attending our church, serving is a great way to honor God and get to know the people around you! If you sense a call to a specific area or need some ideas to pray about, please contact Amy Orban or Cherry Pakiela or Irene Pratt.
July 19 Ladies LIFT meets @ 4:30pm
August 3 First Friday Chinese Lunch @ 11:30am Empire Chinese Buffet
August 5 Communion/Family Church – NO Children’s Church
August 12 NE Community Potluck after morning worship service
Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene
Church - 616.459.2773 Parsonage - 616.459.0402 Pastor Dan Cell - 616.204.1153
Pastor Amy Orban – 616.514.9521
Other Contact Numbers:
Julie Orban: Weds Night Dinner Coordinator 616-890-5550
Tracy Tamm First Friday Chinese Lunch 616-406-9602
Irene Pratt Ladies LIFT 616-949-4679
Gerry Dawson Sunday School/Children’s Church 616-863-6808
Cherry Pakiela Sunday School/Children’s Church 616-916-7595
Pat & Shannen Parsaca Weds Night Children’s Program 616-272-6021
Theo Orban Weds Night Youth Group 616-890-4045
Larry Branagan Trustee 616-538-8765
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” -C. S. Lewis
July Worker Schedules
July 22 SS – Janie Hathaway & Liz Bowman
Worship – Mary Danks & Alannah Parsaca
July 19 SS –Janie Hathaway & Shannen Parsaca
Worship – Lindsey Wright & Tracy Tamm
July 22 – Jerry & Pat
July 29 – Larry & Terry
Reflections from Pastor Amy
Weekly thoughts, life-lessons, and reflections from a redeemed child of God,
a mother, a wife, a sinner under the Cross of Jesus Christ, and a Pastor-in-training.
July 17, 2012
The people walking in the darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned –Isaiah 9:2
Four years ago I woke up in the morning to the sight of a trashed apartment. Furniture was flipped over, the TV was on the floor, and there was a gigantic hole in the wall. My blurry vision came to focus in on that hole, and I remembered with clarity the large fist that narrowly missed my head and went through that wall instead of smashing my face the night before.
I don’t know what it was about that particular time that made me decide I had had enough. Worse things had happened, and worse nights had been lived through. There was no loud crashing sound as if it all fell down. It was more like some tiny part of me inside just took its last breath, sighed its last sigh, and finally died of sheer exhaustion.
I remember the sun beating down on me, torturous when combined with my headache and dehydration. I drove as if someone else were driving, propelled by something larger than me, to a place where I knew recovery was actually possible because I had seen it with my own eyes. I had not showered nor brushed my teeth and I reeked of the kind of hangover that makes you sweat whiskey right out of your pores. I couldn’t look at anything but the floor, but I went inside and I asked for help, because I was at the end of myself and there wasn’t anything else to do anymore. And people gave me hope and made me cry, and real life began.
Today by God’s grace I celebrate four years of sobriety, four years of total freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. And when I say “by God’s grace,” I really mean it. As you can see from pieces of my story, I did not start the journey because of some great virtue on my part. I started it because I was beat up, tired and sick, spiritually bankrupt. I hated life, I hate you, and me, and everyone and everything everywhere.
The greatest gift in the world is to be at the place where you are at the end of yourself, and at the end of all the things which you thought, at some point, might really make you happy. In this place there is misery abundant, there is the nearness of despair. Here you stand on the edge of the abyss of hell itself and look down into the inevitable, and you know it won’t think twice about consuming you entirely. Here is the terror thought of knowing you have to change, and here it is crashing into the thought that you know you can’t change. Here all your pretty illusions of money and security and romance and relationships and laughter and control crumble into dirt, because that’s all they are – illusions.
So there you are, and it’s you and God, and the only question is, are you going to keep giving him the finger, too? Just like you have to everyone else? And you look up, and you look back down at that slimy pit of hell, and you look back up….and something breaks again inside. The reality of your options is never clearer – this is the gift of reality when all else is stripped away.
And that gift of reality, which was the result of incredible self-inflicted pain, was the best thing that ever could have happened to me, because it put me in the position to change. But not only that, it made totally clear how essential to my survival it really was to find God as the priority in my life, because clearly nothing else was right.
It’s been a gift, and it’s also been work. To clean up years of wrong living takes time and effort and perseverance and showers upon showers of God’s grace. I would like to say that my part has been to cooperate 100% with the changes God has wanted to make in my life, but that would be a lie. I still fought things for a long time. I still fight sometimes. But He led me along, sometimes skipping with joy, sometimes kicking and screaming. He led me in that way that only He can, right to where I needed to be, right to where I am today.
The most important thing He did was make it clear who He was. I prayed for this, desperately. I wanted to know I was safe in the arms of God and not just resting on some other new delusion or creation I had thought up in my scheming mind. And I really, really didn’t want to be a Christian. To be a Christian meant….work. Commitment. Change. Sacrifice. Riddance of self. Asking for help. All things counter intuitive to my nature.
Even worse, to be a Christian meant (gasp!) to live outside of the culture I was so submerged in, and to (gasp!) take a stand on truth, and to (gasp!) probably make people around me uncomfortable sometimes. Anything but that! But God pointed me to the Cross and to Christ crucified for me. And the Word began to take on life and meaning to my deadened ears. And I learned that the power of the gospel is just so much bigger than my petty objections.
God designed me to seek Him and to have Him reign unchallenged in my heart. I know it because His Word says so, but I know it from my experience too. I’m just not right without Him. God also wired me, for whatever reason, to be passionate – to follow hard after what I’m going after. So I followed hard after sin, and that hurt. Now I follow hard after Him, and that seems much better. I am ever the adult-child, learning these very simple lessons and trying to be aware of my own need for time-outs. I need a lot of help.
I consider my old life to be in remission. I say that because I know I could make the decision to take it back on any crazy day. I could turn my face from God, and I could leave my green pastures to roam in fields of garbage and slime and filth. Sounds delightful, like the dog who returns to its own vomit, right? (see Proverbs 26:11). I think I’ll pass. For today, I seek Him for one more day, I thank Him for his provision of one more day, and I try not to look too far ahead. My mental projections into the future can be scary like horror movies, so it’s best if I just stay here for today with a grateful heart.
So it’s one more day of God speaking the same message into my life – that He brings good news in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead, that He scatters the darkness and brings life to death and wholeness to brokenness and health to sickness. He is infinitely good and patient with us beyond anything we can imagine, He leads us along and loves us and works on us, flaws and all. It is good to be a child of the king today!
If He can use me, then He can use you, too!
With love, Pastor Amy Orban Phone:616-514-9521 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org