Monday, January 5, 2015

Northeast Community News – January 05, 2015

Good afternoon Dear Ones!
Happy New Year! Ok, so it might be a few days late, but yesterday was the first opportunity to worship in this New Year and we had another a wonderful time of worship! While many stayed home on such a nasty weather day (and who could blame you!) those brave and/or crazy ones who came were surely blessed for their efforts! We concluded our service with an opportunity to receive communion. What a great day! God is good!
God’s message Sunday came from John 1:1-18 and was titled, “Responses to the Word.” As we start a brand New Year, we are reminded Jesus has come into a time of great darkness with an unquenchable Light! Though you may be suffering and events in your life and cold and darkness surrounds you, John reminds us you have incredible hope in Jesus, the Word!
While other gospel accounts begin with Jesus birth, Jesus lineage, and John the Baptist preparing the way, John begins with the beginning of time. John declares in vv. 1-3 that Jesus is the Word, that is, the part of the Godhead from the beginning through which all things were made! But John also declares Jesus was …became flesh and made his dwelling among us…full of grace and truth (v. 14). Jesus is 100% Divine and 100% human!
The question is, ‘Who is Jesus to you?’ You see, if you don’t acknowledge Jesus as 100% God then you are left with believing He was simply a good man, a prophet, or a moral teacher. If you don’t conclude Jesus was human than you’re left concluding He not only cannot identify with your human pain and struggle, but render His death on the Cross meaningless.
Ultimately, John gives us two choices: reject Jesus as Lord and Savior or believe (vv. 10-13). John tells us the painful truth that the unbelieving world did not recognize Him (who didn’t know any better) and the Jews (who should have known better) didn’t receive Him as their prophesied Messiah, Lord, and Savior, either, and remain separated and condemned.
Yet to all (and all means all) who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13). As we move into the New Year how will you respond to Jesus? God gives us freewill to make a decision and no decision is a decision!
Finally, we discover in vv. 16-17 we are not only blessed with eternal life, victory and blessing some day when we receive and believe in Jesus and become born again, but are blessed through the fullness of His grace right here – right now! So, be encouraged brothers and sisters in Christ! Even in the midst of suffering, pain, and darkness, we are blessed and have an enduring hope in Jesus, the Light of the world! Praise God!Blessings, Pastor Dan
We had 14 people at our first N.Y Eve party this year and had a lot of fun. Just watching Jesse, Allen, and Anna taking the game ‘Connect Four’ to a new competitive level was fun to watch all by itself! Thanks to everyone who came, brought something to eat, or brought a game to play! What a joy to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ!
After at least 6 others couldn’t go at the last minute, Janie and Anna braved the cold air for over an hour (you couldn’t buy advanced tickets and had to wait outside in line) and had a wonderful time listening to all sorts of popular Christian music! At several points, Janie video streamed parts of it to me so I could enjoy and be encouraged while I stayed home to watch the Lion’s lose.  (maybe I should have gone to the concert instead, eh?). Thanks Janie for leading this! Next year we will try to get 10 to go!
After a wonderful N.Y.E. party last week, we’re back to our regular Bible study this week! Using “Faith Connections,” a Bible based study centered on Wesleyan holiness, we sing, pray, and then let our souls drink deeply in the Word! (and stay for ice cream!) Looking for a New Year’s faith builder? Well, come Wed. night! You’ll be glad you did!
This Jan. the Grand Rapids Zone is hosting an ‘Encounter God Weekend’ at the Clyde Park Church of the Nazarene starting Fri. evening and ending Sat. evening on Jan. 30-31.
Encounter God weekends are an opportunity for Christians to experience deep spiritual renewal and change their life! By leading the participant through a series of lessons and experiences, this weekend can result in a visible, manifested change, by discovering how to establish a closer relationship with God, how to have direct fellowship with Him, and how to commit to His lordship in their lives.   
Perhaps the best part is that you will learn how to experience forgiveness, emotional healing, how to experience freedom from spiritual and emotional bondage, and how to restore your sense of worth and value. This isn’t just hype, this is the real deal! Janie and I were in Cali Colombia where this originated and it is changing the world.
What: Encounter God Weekend
Where: Clyde Park Church of the Nazarene, 2545 Clyde Park Ave., SW, Wyoming, MI
When: begins Fri., Jan 30 at 4:30pm and Sat., Jan. 31 at 8:00am
Cost: $35 per individual; $60 per couple
How to register? Click on the link below!

Surely, your Christmas exchanges and returns are done, right? By now, most of us have our tree taken down and life has begun returning to normal! Come out to Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target) at 11:30am and share your favorite Christmas 2014 story or New Year’s resolution! Remember, to look for the coupon! Hope to see you there!
Our next missionary gathering will be on Jan. 18 at 4pm. What happens at a missionary gathering? Well, we have a brief study to help us learn what our missionaries are doing and how we can join them with our prayer, gifts of financial support, and how to be a missionary right here and then we have a time of snacks and laughter. It’s really a lot of fun and pretty interesting! Since we show a brief video Jane always makes popcorn for us! So bring a snack to pass and join us! You’ll be glad you did!
It’s that wonderful season when we learn how to use hand sanitizer and practice our best ‘fist bumps’ instead of hugs! It’s a fun, easy, and safe way to say hello! If you want to know how to make your fist bump ‘explode’ on contact, see Jesse or Jenn!
With all of the problems in the Middle East, it’s easy to overlook the needs of the kids living there. While we can’t stop the violence, we can help these kids receive a quality education by DONATING quality new and used items to be sold in a spring garage sale. We hope to raise $250 to help our Districtraise $20,000 to support 4 Nazarene Schools operating in the Middle East who are shining stars in the midst of turmoil and conflict.
Bring your clean, gently used items (priced if possible) to church and place them on the table outside the classroom at the far end of the fellowship hall. If you would like a ‘tax receipt’ for your donation, see our Church Treasurer. Any questions? See Pastor Dan!
As you have probably noticed, we put our church family’s birthdays and anniversaries in our weekly program. Do we have yours? We also send a newsletter, prayer requests, and district information via email if we have your email. If you would like to be included just add your info to the ‘tear off tab’ on the program and drop it in the offering plate!
Jan. 15      Third Thursday Lunch at Hibachi Grill on Alpine (11:30am)
Jan. 18      Missionary Gathering 4pm (at the parsonage)
Jan. 19      Martin Luther King, Jr. Day    
Jan. 23-24         District Celebrate Life at Kuyper College (Reg deadline Dec. 04)
Jan. 30-31         Encounter Weekend at Clyde Park Church
Feb. 08     Northeast Community Potluck (after the worship service)
Mar. 07    Tri-District Team Day in Perry, MI

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