Dear Friends and Family! We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! While it was surprisingly cold outside and actually a little cool inside, too, as our furnaces struggled to keep up, there was no need to despair because the fire of the Holy Spirit doesn’t depend on a man made furnace or warm outside air! Praise God for warming hearts and souls all the time! Amen!
God’s message Sunday came from Mark 9:2-9 and was titled, ‘Mountain Top Glory.’ After Jesus had fed the 4,000, healed the man born blind, and Peter confessed, “You are the Christ,” Jesus predicted His death and took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain alone (v. 2a). While there“[Jesus] was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses,who were talking with Jesus” (vv. 2b-4).
The word ‘transfigured’ is from the Greek word ‘metamorphous’ which speaks of a radical change. As we complete Epiphany and begin Lent this ash Wed, we discover the transfiguration of Christ not only displays God’s glory, but is an open invitation for us to participate in life changing transformation, too!
First, the transfiguration is an affirmation of Jesus’ Divinity. In v. 7a we read, “Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: This is my Son, whom I love…”
Even though the ‘cloud that enveloped them’ may have reminded them of Moses encounter with God, God’s voice made it clear… this was no Moses! While the people revered Moses, God made it clear Jesus was no Moses! Jesus was His Son whom He loved!
Second, the transfiguration transformed the disciples! They would see Jesus in a new light and given the additional command to “Listen to Him” (v. 7b). Not only was Jesus greater than Moses and the Law, the Father elevated Jesus above Elijah, the great prophet Elijah who had left the earth in a chariot of fire!
While the disciples had spent most of their life memorizing and following the Law and Prophets of the past, God made it clear they needed to listen to Jesus and follow Him from now on! As Jesus showed them the need to leave His mountain top glory and return to the valley and the Cross awaiting Him, so too, did the disciples realize they needed to take this encounter and follow Jesus into the valley, too!
What does this mean to us? First, the transfiguration serves as evidence of a supernatural God who is for us and a source of strength, comfort, hope. If you’re struggling in the valley with illness, grief, and death look up and catch a glimpse of the power of the transfiguration! Through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit Jesus is near you! Seek His power, healing, help, and direction! You are not alone!
The transfiguration also teaches us we cannot stay on the mountain top either! If you’re on the mountain top right now you need to take your encounter with God and head back down to the valley and share the good news with others.While Jesus gives each of us mountain top moments and they are glorious, we too, must get to work doing what God has called us to do! Let’s get started! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
ALABASTER OFFERING CONTINUES!
I received no less than 3 calls Sunday from people asking if they could bring their Alabaster offering to church this week! The simple and quick answer is, ‘YES!’ We must not let cold and bad weather prevent us from joining God in His mission! If you would like to give to Alabaster, we are going to leave the ‘church’ up in the back for 2 more weeks! Blessings on all of you who already gave!
COMPASSIONATE MINISTRY - CRISIS CARE KITS - THROUGH THIS WEEK (FEB 22)!
Bring your toothbrushes, finger nail clippers and soap into church this week! You can purchase stuff or donate money and we’ll shop for you! The ‘overflow’ will be donated to North End Community Ministry. Bless you for showing God’s love!
Here is the shopping list to make 1 Crisis Care Kit:
- 1 Shampoo (12 to 18 oz.)
- 2 Bars of Soap (Bath size or larger)
- 1 Toothpaste (4.0 to 6.4 oz.)
- 3 Toothbrushes (in original packaging)
- 1 Box of Band-Aids (30 or more)
- 1 Fingernail clippers
- 1 Sturdy hair comb
- 2 Hand towels
- 4 Pocket sized pkgs. of Kleenex (tissue)
- 1 Beanie Baby sized stuffed toy
GREETINGS AND THANKS FROM AFRICA!
Last month our local missions department received a letter from Rev. Daniel Gomis, Field Strategy Coordinator in Dakar, Senegal in Africa. He wrote in part:
By way of this letter I wish to acknowledge receipt of your generous gifts last year of $25 each for the Senegal Bible Story Book Project, the Wells & Gardens project, and the Senegal Studio Project. Your gifts are an encouragement to all the men and women devoted in making Christ-like Disciples in the nineteen (19) nations of West Africa. It also shows our interconnectedness as people having the cause of the Gospel in common and the love and optimism for humanity…. On behalf of the current and future believers in West Africa, I thank you for partnering with us in the exciting and challenging Mission of God…
Ever wonder if your gifts to ‘missions’ makes a difference? Just look what $75 did! God is good! Thank you to everyone who gives sacrificially to missions! To God be the Glory! Amen!
READ AND RETURN THOSE MISSIONARY BOOKS!
Janie reported we have 78 books read so far with a goal of 100. Since many want to have their books read by the end of March to qualify for their prize, it is important you read them and then return them as soon as possible! I know 4 people who are waiting for one book and Savannah and Jeffrey are eagerly reading them, too! How fun!
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME (DST) STARTS MAR. 08
Don’t forget to ‘Spring Forward’ an hour before you go to sleep Sat., Mar. 07 or you run the risk of either missing Sunday school or church altogether! (hey, I heard that and I’m praying for you!) Seriously, when D.S.T. starts it means spring is just around the corner.
THE SEWER IS COMING! THE SEWER IS COMING!
Hmm, while it is indeed exciting news, it just doesn’t have the same ‘ring’ to it that ‘the windows are coming,’ did! But we are thankful to announce because of the generous financial gift Phyllis Plath made last fall, the church board approved ‘sleeving’ the old cracked, leaking, and root-filled sewer line to the parsonage this week! We can already see the ‘utility flags’ in the yard and are looking forward to a sewer line that neither backs up or require annual ‘sewer rooting.’ So, if you see an excavator and pile of dirt in the yard of the parsonage this week simply ‘Praise God’ and pray McDonald Plumbing doesn’t find any ‘surprises!’ Thank you Phyllis for making our ‘home’ more sanitary and investing in the future of the church! Praise God for your faithfulness! Amen!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY (AND ICE CREAM) AT 6:30PM
If you were in church this week you heard Jean C. testifying and inviting everyone to our Wed. Night Program. We sing, we pray, and then let our souls drink deeply in the Bible! (and we get ice cream, too!) Come check it out! You’ll be glad you did!
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS FEB. 19thAT 11:30AM
Finish off your Valentines Candy and come join us for our next Third Thursday lunch at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target) at 11:30am. You did remember Valentines Day, right? Perhaps this year you could remember Valentines Day with one of our shut in’s or widows? Regardless, look for the coupon and come! See Tracy or Linda with ?’s
NEXT MISSIONARY GATHERING IS SUN., FEB. 22st AT 4PM
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Feb. 22nd at 4pm. Come enjoy a brief study to learn what our missionaries are doing, how we can join them with our prayers, gifts of financial support, and enjoy snacks and laughter together. It’s really a lot of fun and you might just learn how to be a missionary, here! 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!
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER REQUESTS
Remember, to keep our prayer lists current, we only place requests in the newsletter and bulletin for 3 weeks without an update. If you want to keep your prayer request in the bulletin or newsletter just keep filling out the tear off tabs and keep us informed!
DO WE HAVE YOUR BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY, AND EMAIL INFO?
As you have probably noticed, we put our church family’s birthdays and anniversaries in our weekly program. Do we have yours? If you’d like to be included, simply add your info to the ‘tear off tab’ and drop it in the offering plate or email Pastor Dan! Thanks!
OUR NEXT NORTHEAST COMMUNITY POTLUCK IS APRIL 12
Just a reminder! Our next Northeast Community Potluck is April 12th. If you missed the last potluck you missed a lot! Our ladies and men really know how to cook! Why, we even had six homemade desserts! (can you tell what I remembered?) Seriously, make plans to bring a friend, a dish to pass, and join us after the Apr. 12 worship service! If you could help set up, serve, or clean up, please call Cherry Pakiela at (616) 916-7595
TEAM DAY 2014 – SATURDAY, MAR. 08 (FINAL REG. DEADLINE FEB. 22nd)
There are workshops on General Leadership, Worship and Technology, Missions, Discipleship, and Children’s and Youth Ministries. The cost is $35 until Feb. 22nd (no late reg. is accepted). We already have 6 people registered! Need more info? Grab a brochure, or check this link! http://www.minaz.org/files/858/File/TD15-Brochure.pdf
til Feb. 22 Crisis Care Kits
Feb. 15 Alabaster Offering
Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday – Lent begins
Mar. 07 Tri-District Team Day in Perry, MI
Mar. 08 Daylight Savings Time Begins! (Spring forward an hour)
Mar. 29 Palm Sunday
Apr. 05 Easter Sunday
Apr. 12 Northeast Community Potluck (after the worship service)