Monday, July 29, 2013

NE NEWS - July 23, 2013

Northeast Community News – July 23, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,
We had another wonderful day in the Lord! Our day began with a warm reminder we still lived in Michigan and it was summer! What a blessing to come worship in an air-conditioned church! Many of our brothers and sisters around the world sit on crude planks under an open-air tin roof structure in the hot sun and give thanks!
Janie reminded us during our missionary moments of the amazing work God is doing around the world through the Church of the Nazarene! Don’t forget to pick up your post card and begin praying for the Ebys and our other missionaries. After the Ebys spoke at the combined NYI, NMI, and SDMI convention (youth, missions, discipleship) they invited us to Africa! Wouldn’t it be fun to someday join our missionaries for a week or two and help them in a project? It’s called Work and Witness and we could do it!
After Janie spoke we had the opportunity to acknowledge Pastor Amy’s achievement on her journey to ordination by framing the District Pastor’s License she received at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp on Sunday, July 14th. Pastor Amy spoke passionately about God’s ability to raise her from utter brokenness and bondage to freedom and victory in Jesus! With fire in her belly and an anointing from Holy Spirit Pastor Amy boldly proclaimed the Good News she had received was still available for everyone who would receive it!
In some ways we had already had ‘church’ before I preached! God is good that way, amen? Amen! So briefly, I will share God’s message this week came from Colossians 1:3-14 and was titled, “What’s the Problem?” How do you deal with problems? Do you tend to ignore them, cover them up or bandage them over, or address them directly? Paul is in a Roman prison as he writes this letter to the Colossian Church and though he hasn’t met them he has heard reports they are bring led astray by false teaching. Paul is not going to ignore or bandage over the problems; he addresses the problem directly!
First, in v. 9 Paul prays the Colossians know God’s will and grow in grace. Paul never stopped praying that they would continue to seek and be filled with God’s knowledge and His will. They dared not think they had arrived or turn to human wisdom instead. Are you hungering for more of God? Are you still growing in grace? Jesus saved us so that we might be more like Him and join Him in His Kingdom’s work.
Second, in v. 10 Paul calls these new Christians to live a life of holiness. They are not to worship on Sunday and turn to evil Monday afternoon! They are to be sold out, blood-bought fully yielded Christians living a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way, and bearing good fruit. Embrace prayer, bible study, worship, and allow God to move in and through you to shape you and lead you into righteousness.
Third, Paul makes it clear they cannot live this sort of righteous life in their own strength. In v. 11 Paul declares God is the One who strengthens us according to His glorious might! Remember there is a God and it isn’t you! God is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Sanctifier. God empowers us! To Him be all the glory, honor and praise! 
Finally, in vv. 13-14 Paul reminds them of their past! We dare not forget Jesus rescued all of us from the ‘dominion of darkness.’ It is when we remember our past and how we got to our present we are better prepared to stay close to Jesus and reach out to those who desperately need to hear about God’s rescue plan: Jesus!

Healthy Living! It is a way of life as Holiness People!
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive…So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”  (1 Cor. 10:23, 31).
Is anyone reading this section? I haven’t received one comment, so here’s the deal. The first three people who email me or call me receive a two-liter of pop!
This section of our newsletter is dedicated to ‘healthy living.’ As temples of the Holy Spirit yielded to God our lives should honor God in all things! This week we will discuss maintaining health through contentment!

Margin! Marginless Living! Health through Contentment!
In his book Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Richard A. Swenson, M.D., a Christian doctor, sees a steady stream of exhausted, hurting people suffering from what he calls living without margin. 
While we have examined areas lacking margin, Swenson suggests there are four areas that can significantly contribute to margin in all areas: contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest. He argues without them, margin cannot survive! First, contentment…
Swenson writes, “Half a century ago, my grandfather might have reasonably predicted advances in affluence, technology, education and entertainment would bring [increased] contentment…[but] For the average American, discontent has become a way of life” (p. 186). Swenson argues this is because we have allowed a secular culture to replace biblical teaching with a system built on envy, greed, and power.
Think about Paul’s teaching to Timothy about contentment:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
Or Paul’s letter to the Philippians about contentment:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Or Jesus’ teaching to the rich landowner (young fool) in Luke 12:
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15b).
Swenson offers what he calls the theology of enough. In it he offers two key principles: 1) God comes first and possessions come second and 2) Possessions are to be used, not loved. He writes,“God is what we need; things are what we use…Contentment lies not in what is yours, but in whose you are” (p. 198).  Here are 6 steps towards contentment:
1) Turn off the ads and tune out the lies (the power of advertising)
2) Seek God’s opinion regarding needs, especially in relationships
3) Set new standards for contentment using Scripture as your standard
4) Learn counter cultural attitudes: give/want, gratitude/coveting, accepted/inferior
5) Accept God’s plan for your life (Ps. 16:5-6)
6) Use Scripture and reason to challenge irrational emotions
If you’re feeling like contentment is impossible remember you’re not alone! We’ve all worked through seasons of discontent. Remember, God really is all you need! Spend some time in prayer telling God about your discontentedness and ask Him to help you!

As a kid growing up in inner city Battle Creek I have fond memories of mom and dad piling us into the car and taking us ‘on a ride’ to look for adventure! While times have changed in 40 years, my desire for adventure hasn’t! Rev. Russ Atherton from the Lifestream Free Methodist Church has invited us back to take a few adventures on Sunday afternoons ON BIKES at 2:00pm! If you are interested, let me know! And feel free to invite a friend who doesn’t come to church!  PS. If you need a bike to ride let me know and I’ll try to locate one for you! Come on! It will be fun! I promise! Pastor Dan

Hello from Pastor Amy, your Associate Pastor/Administrative Secretary
My office hours will vary every Tuesday, and if you need to see me, just call! 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 three weeks.
Church Office616-459-2773 My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or

 Nursery Workers – Brief Meeting Sunday July 28 after worship!
If you are a nursery worker, please gather in the adult Sunday school room in the basement of the church (located right at the bottom of the stairs) for a BRIEF meeting immediately following worship this Sunday. This is simply a meeting to touch base and review our nursery policy and procedures. We always need more children and nursery workers, so if you are willing to be a nursery worker, talk to Pastor Amy to begin the application process (includes background check).

Do You Know About First Friday Chinese Lunch? August 02 @ 11:30am
On the first Friday of every month, a group of us gather at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine Avenue located behind the Target for lunch and fellowship at 11:30am. This is a very relaxed gathering, and everyone is invited to attend, and to bring friends, family, and kids. The food is cheap and delicious, and no reservations are required, just show up! Talk to Tracy Tamm if you have any questions.

Communion and Family Church – Sunday August 04th
Have you ever wondered why we don’t have children’s church one Sunday per month? On the first Sunday of every month, we celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist, also known as Communion or the Lord’s Supper. On this Sunday, we also keep our children in service and do not hold our usual children’s church. This not only gives our workers a chance to participate in Communion, but more importantly it gives our children a chance to be part of this service and sacrament as well!

Jonathan Gingrich is in Germany!
Jonathan is a Calvin student who was with us for the year, and he is heading to Germany this summer. Will you pray for his travel and his time there? Will you check out his blog?
Here are some details from him:
I come to Grand Rapids on the evening of July 7th. We have a week of classes in Grand Rapids and leave that Friday (July 12) for Berlin, so prayers for travel would be very nice. We have classes Monday-Thursday every week and either have Friday through Sunday free, or we go on a group trip together. On the 19th we are going to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp just north of Berlin, so that should be a pretty somber experience. The week after we are taking the entire weekend and going down to the southwest, to Heidelberg, and then coming back to worship in Luther's church in Wittenberg.
We're going to try and find a race or two to run while we are in Germany, which should be a very exciting experience, as I've never run a race outside of the midwest, much less outside of the county, but we're having trouble finding a good race with competition to run against. My friend and I have to leave the program a week early to come back August 17th for cross country camp. I also went ahead and created my blog for the trip It has one post on it so far! I'll try and update it fairly frequently, but I've never kept up a blog before so I'm not sure how much time I'll have for it!

Indian Lake Paint Project – will you help?
Irene Pratt is leading an effort to repaint part of the Indian Lake Nazarene Camp Tabernacle. We recently received a $400 donation toward the project! So many of us cherish the experiences we have had at ILNC over the years, and we want to help take care of this wonderful place which is truly a gift from God. While this might seem like an enormous project for our little church, we believe that God has called us to make it happen, and He will provide a way! Irene is also asking people to come down to the camp to do the actual work. If you are willing to get on board, contact Irene!

Directories Printed!
If you need a church directory, we just printed some. Feel free to take one from the table outside of the sanctuary!

Postcard Greetings Now Available
Don’t forget, we have NE Community postcards and they are available to anyone who would like to send them to invite, encourage, miss, or welcome someone to the church! Interested? See a Sunday school teacher or Pastor Amy or Dan.

Upcoming Events

August 2                    First Friday Chinese @ 11:30am, Hibachi Alpine
August 4                    Communion Sunday/Family Church – NO Children’s Church
August 11                  Northeast Community Potluck follows morning worship service

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