Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NE COMMUNITY NEWS - March 17, 2014

Northeast Community News – March 17, 2014

We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! After music practice and a time of prayer dedicating everything to God’s glory Alannah Parsaca and I had the wonderful opportunity to teach 4 children the importance of telling the truth and who to trust inSunday school!  In whom do you put your trust? The children this week were taught:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
How long has it been since you woke up a bit earlier and came to learn (or re-learn) something you vitally needed to know in the fellowship and community of others? Why not make this week the week you come to Wed. night or Sunday school?
God’s message this week came from Mark 8:31-38 and was titled, “Lose Your Life to Save it.” While we often find it easy to embrace the loving words of Jesus, it is harder to embrace His difficult, raw and honest words. But Jesus is fulfillment of ‘grace AND truth’ and we need to hear and embrace both grace and truth to make us whole!
This passage begins with Jesus resolved to follow the Father regardless of the cost. When Peter rebukes Jesus for saying He must suffer, be rejected, and killed, Jesus responds, “Get behind me Satan!” …“You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”(8:33). Jesus will not let anything detract Him from God’s will. What are the things that are trying to detract you or tempt you to move away from God’s plan?
Though our culture is growing more ‘pleasure focused’ and spends vast sums of money on self and our interests and so little on God’s kingdom, Jesus tells followers they are to join Him and deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34).  While we often think of ‘bearing our cross’ in terms of putting up with a difficult boss or an arthritic knee, Jesus is calling us to ‘come and die’ to self.
Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:34-35). 
When we die to our own self-interests and are filled with the Holy Spirit we exchange a life of toil and pain for a life of joyful service in the kingdom that will never end!
But, perhaps the greatest question this text asks is “How firm is your resolve?” We know Jesus’ resolve is firm! We know the teaching of Jesus to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow His is clear! But how will we respond? How will you respond? What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell you as you read this? Will you be obedient?
During the Lenten season we are called to strip away the things that compete with Jesus and draw close to God. Will you give Jesus all that you are and let the Holy Spirit cleanse you and fill you or will you listen to the Evil One whispering ‘naw, take the short cut?’ I pray you listen to sweet Spirit and respond in obedience and go all the way with Jesus!
Love and blessings, Pastor Dan

We have slowed down our study and are examining the last two chapters of our book (8-9) during our Lenten journey. Our youth and children are taking part in this study, too! For the time being it makes more sense to meet at Pastor’s house (the parsonage) across the parking lot instead of heating up the whole church. So grab your babies, kids, teens, and adults and make the trip! You’ll be glad you did!
We are again collecting diapers for North EndCommunity Ministry as part of the Kent County ‘Keep ‘Em Covered’ program through April 13. Why you ask? Because Jesus asks us to care for the ‘least of these’ (see Matthew 25:31-46). Consider these facts:
  1 out of every 4 babies born in Kent County is born into poverty and safety net programs such as W.I.C. and food stamps do NOT cover the cost of diapers!
  Babies need 6-10 diapers a day, but sadly many babies are often forced to spend the entire day or longer in a single diaper, because the family cannot afford them.
  Studies show a baby crying from being in a soiled diaper for a prolonged period of time is at a greater risk for physical abuse by the caregiver.
This year, our goal will be to collect 1,500 diapers. There is a playpen set up in the back of the sanctuary for you to place your diapers through April 13th – Bless you for helping!
In February we tried an experiment! We wondered if anyone would be interested in an intentional time missions? So, food was prepared, chairs set up, and lesson ready and we waited! I am delighted to tell you 15 came to the first ‘missions gathering’ and it was such a success the Mission Council is doing it again this month!
So, invite a friend, bring a snack food, and gather with us in the basement of the house where Pastor and Janie live across the parking lot (883 Fuller Ave NE) on March 23 at 4:00PM. Food, fun, fellowship and a lesson on missions! It’ll be a good time! Promise!
We’re planning to decorate the church again for EasterSunday and you can help by ordering flowers in ‘honor’ or ‘memory’ of a loved one and then taking them home on Easter Sunday! Below you will find the order form and they will be in the bulletin on March 23, 30, and April 06th (Note: deadline to order and pay is April 06)
Don’t forget! Bring a dish to pass and enjoy the fun, food, and fellowship! It really is fun!
Everyone is invited to Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target) at 11:30am on the first Friday of every month! The food is inexpensive, delicious, and the fellowship is even better. Talk to Tracy Tamm if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!
From time to time someone in the church will come up to me and say, ‘Hey, where is so and so?’ While I often have an idea, it’s up to ALL OF US to love, encourage, and hold one another up! So, if you notice someone missing, give them a call or send them an email! You have no idea how much it means to be ‘missed.’ Remember, we really are in this whole ‘body of faith’ thing together! Bless you for caring!
The Kingdom of God needs EVERYONE to get involved, but we often make it hard to figure out exactly how to get involved! We’re sorry about that! If you would like to serve contact Pastor Dan to see how we can plug you in! We really do need you!

Mar. 16-Apr. 13        Keep ‘Em Covered Diaper Drive
Mar. 20              Spring begins (no really it really does begin Mar. 20)
Mar. 23              Missionary Gathering (4:00pm at the parsonage)
Mar. 26              Wed. night potluck (5:30pm at the parsonage)
Apr. 04              First Friday Chinese Lunch at Hibachi Grill on Alpine (11:30)
Apr. 20              Easter – He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Apr. 26              Ladies Day at Olivet Nazarene University!
May 11              Mother’s Day

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