Northeast Community News – January 9, 2014
We did have another wonderful time in the Lord, Sunday. While only 35 braved the snowstorm to come to church this week, God showed up and it was a service I will never forget. Why? Well, to be honest it wasn’t the Sunday school class I attended this week (although Shannen is an excellent teacher!) and it wasn’t the worship singing or even the preaching when I most sensed the nearness of God and the Holy Spirit. For me, the most sacred moment of our Sunday service came when one young woman stood up and in a tender, almost meek voice, testified her new faith in Christ had allowed her this week to forgive her father after 32 years of holding on to pain and resentment!
Woohoo! God can change lives! God can bring healing into brokenness! God can do the impossible! God is good! Somebody say Amen! Amen and Amen!
God’s message to us this week came from 1 Kings 17:8-16 and was titled, “Trusting God with Everything” and dealt with stewardship. Steward is defined as ‘an agent, caretaker, or custodian who cares for or manages the property or affairs of the owner. Christians are to see their lives as stewards of God’s creation by using their individual time, talent, and treasures in a way that glorifies God and furthers His plan.
In the 1 kings 17:8-16 passage we can learn much about stewardship from a poor, near death widow as she responds to God and His prophet Elijah. In vv. 8-9 we discover God has chosen her to provide for Elijah. What an opportunity she has to serve! God could have chosen anyone, but He chose her! He asked her and she willingly gave – not out of obligation or legalism, but out of love! Do you view giving as obligation or opportunity?
Second, in v. 12 we discover she is open about her meager belongings. She neither hides what she has or exaggerates what she does or does not have – she is simply open with God and Elijah about her handful of flour and little oil.
In our culture, we are tempted to ‘spin our financial story’ to our benefit. To those we want to impress we may exaggerate our wealth or go into deep and burdensome debt to purchase things that make us look wealthy, but to the church we might exaggerate our poverty to avoid appearing like we should give. The unnamed widow was open and honest with God and His prophet about what she had.
Finally, in vv. 15-16 we discover her faith and a miracle. After she felt certain Elijah was indeed the prophet God had commanded her to give to and assured by Elijah that God had assured him the flour and the oil would not be used up (v. 14) she had a decision to make. To many (especially today) her decision didn’t seem to make sense. It defied logic to believe God could provide an ongoing miracle in her oil jug and flour jar until the rain came again… but she believed and with great faith made a cake for Elijah to eat and just as God promised, the oil jug never ran dry and the flour jar never emptied!
When God asks you to tithe or give to the church in some way, how will you respond? How about when God asks you to volunteer at church? Does your response require it to make sense when you look at your bank account or calendar or will you defy logic like the widow and respond in faith by giving or getting involved? Have faith! Trust God!
Hello from Pastor Amy, your Associate Pastor/Administrative Secretary
My office hours vary on Tuesdays, and you can always call! My responsibilities include preparing our weekly program, so if you have an event or prayer request to publish, please contact me! Also, we have a long, ongoing list of prayer requests. Please keep me updated. Requests will be pulled from the newsletter & program after three weeks.
NEWS AND EVENTS
JESUS IS LORD BEGINS THIS WEEK! NEED A BOOK?
Starting this Sunday we are going to examine what it means to say, “JESUS IS LORD” for 7 weeks. The book we will use for the Wed. study (adult and youth) and the basis for God’s messages to us from the pulpit will be available for the first 14 adults and 5 teens who sign up on the sheet on a table at the back of the sanctuary. This is a great way to dig a little deeper into your personal discipleship, and we encourage EVERYONE to get a book. Scholarships are available if $$ is an issue. See Pastor Dan if you have questions!
NIGHT PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY AT – JESUS IS LORD!
Next week we will begin our 7-week Jesus is Lord study. I strongly urge you to get a book if you are part of the Bible study and see no reason why one couldn’t be shared. Our youth and children will also be taking part in this study! Hope to see you there!
2014 TITHE ENVELOPES ARE AVAILABLE!
As we examined again last week, stewardship is for everyone! In response to the love they have received and adoption as Children of God, Christian disciples give cheerfully their time, talent, and treasure, regardless of whether they are a member or not! If you would like to have a box of tithe envelopes, see Shannen Parsaca or Pastor Dan. Thank you for all who give and give generously to help support the many needs of this church!
JOHNATHAN IS IN AFRICA! PLEASE PRAY!
Jonathan Gingrich is one of our college students attending Calvin College and left for Africa on Jan. 6th on a mission trip. He will be returning to Grand Rapids on Jan. 27th and will be visiting Mt. Kenya, Nairobi, Sedai, and other places! These are the latest posts on his Facebook page: Successfully made it to Kenya! Out of our whole group only one bag was delayed, which with all the flights and plane changes is a miracle in itself. Now to get some real sleep for the first time after 30 straight hours of travel. continued prayers are appreciated! [Here’s his second post] Day one: got kissed on the lips by a giraffe. Pray for safety in Jonathan’s travels, and that God would use this time for His glory!
ALL CHILDREN INVITED TO SUNDAY SCHOOL!
We have started a new Sunday school class 15th for children ages 4 years old up to 5thgrade. There will be lessons, crafts, snacks, songs, and lots of fun with Pastor Dan and Pastor Amy. The truth is, it will be more of a party than a class! Don’t forget, we have nursery, teens, and two adult classes as well! Class will meet downstairs in the children’s room at . See you there!
TEAM DAY 2014 – SATURDAY, MAR. 08 (EARLY REG DEADLINE )
All three Michigan Districts are joining together again for one big day of inspiration, information and training at Perry High and Middle Schools between http://www.minaz.org/files/
858/File/TD14%20Brochure.pdf. There will be workshops on General Leadership, Worship and Technology, Missions, Discipleship, and Children’s and Youth Ministries. The cost is $25 if registered before Feb. 10th and $35 if registered before Feb. 24th (no late registration accepted). Need more info? See Pastor Dan, check our bulletin board, or check out this link where you can find a brochure!
Note: Because they have requested one registration per church if possible, please coordinate your registration through Pastor Dan!
CRISIS CARE KITS & LOCAL MISSION HELP: COMING IN FEBRUARY!
Crisis Care Kits are a cooperative effort between Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and Nazarene Missions International. The kits are sent all over the world to places like Belize, California, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Louisiana, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Zambia. Every year in February, our local Nazarene Missions International Council asks us to join the effort by collecting specific items. The ‘overflow’ will be donated to the North End Mission in Grand Rapids. Details to come!!
NEXT ALABASTER OFFERING IS !
Our next Alabaster Offering will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16th. This is a “loose change” offering we take up twice a year and every penny of the proceeds goes directly to the mission field to purchase land and buildings. If you would like an Alabaster box to start filling, just ask Janie in the sound booth on Sunday morning. Thank you!
INTERESTED IN MEMBERSHIP?
We have had two recently indicate an interest in membership and are considering forming a series of 4 classes beginning in February. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by calling him (204-1153) or emailing him (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NEXT FIRST FRIDAY CHINESE LUNCH –
On the first Friday of every month, everyone is invited to attend a Chinese lunch at at the Hibachi on Alpine located behind the Target. The food is cheap and delicious, and the fellowship is even better. Feel free to bring family or a friend. Talk to Tracy Tamm if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOVEL SNOW?
Me neither! But it has to be done and Pastor Dan does the majority of it! If you would like to help we try to clear the walks every day, but especially for our office hours for our treasurer Shannen AM, office hours for Pastor Amy AM, for Emotions Anonymous PM, for our equipping times PM, and for our Sunday school and worship times on Sunday. See Pastor Dan if you can help!
Jan. 12 Jesus is Lord series begins!
TEAM DAY – Early Reg. Due by
Apr. 04-05 Mission Mania – details to come!
Ladies Day at Olivet Nazarene University – details to come!