Hello Dear Ones!
If you’re happy and you know it ‘clap your hands.’ If you’re happy and you know it ‘clap your hands.’ If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it, if you’re happy and you know it ‘clap your hands.’ Well are you happy? Does your face show it? Let’s go ahead and confuse people by smiling at them for no reason this week! If you’re curious, then I should tell you, yes, we had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday!
For those who might not know, we’re in the middle of Lent beginning with Ash Wed. and ending at Easter. Traditionally, the 40 days of Lent is a time of reflection and repentance as we seek a more simple life by stripping something good away and focus on Christ instead. If you haven’t begun an intentional focus on Jesus it isn’t too late! While you won’t find ‘Lent’ in the Bible, the 40 days of Lent symbolically represent the 40 days of fasting, prayer, and temptation Jesus endured in the desert. We learn much from Jesus’ time in the desert!
God’s message came from Matt. 4:1-11 and was titled, “No Shortcuts.” If you are like me you like to find shortcuts. I love to find a way to do something more efficiently and save time. And yet, while finding a way to take less time cooking or travelling might make sense, we discover in Jesus’ temptation, the Devil often tempts us to short cut our faith to our peril.
The first thing we notice is the Devil often attacks when we are weak. Do you think it’s a coincidence Satan waited until after Jesus had fasted 40 days and nights to tempt Him? No way! In fact, you need to realize the Devil is no gentleman. He’ll wait until you are at your weakest to deceive and tempt you. There is nothing too low or off limits! He is a destroyer!
Second, we notice Satan tells half-truths. Certainly Jesus was hungry (v. 3), surely Jesus desired to get everyone’s attention with the good news (v. 5-6) and no doubt Jesus would have rather avoided the cross and all of its suffering and shame (v. 8-9). Satan came to Him as a helpful advisor not a roaring lion. He whispered half-truths in Jesus’ ear at His weakest.
Are you ever tempted to short-cut God’s will in your life? Jesus was tempted to take matters into His own hands instead of trusting the Father’s way and plan. But Jesus resisted! How?
Three times the Evil One tempted Jesus and three times Jesus quoted Scripture and God’s truth. Jesus overcame temptation because He was prepared for temptation. Are you? You can be prepared for temptation, too, if you read/memorize Scripture, pray regularly, attend worship each week, and spend quiet time with God. Let’s stay strong! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
ALABASTER OFFERING CONTINUES!
What a blessing to receive more Alabaster Offerings this week! If my calculations are correct this brings our total to $372.80! We will leave the Alabaster Church up for one more week if you would like to give to this offering we take up twice a year to purchase land and buildings on the mission field. Bless you for giving!
CRISIS CARE KIT BLESSINGS! WOW!
Well, when all was said and done Janie reported we collected enough items to create 12 Crisis Care Kits!! What a joy to think of the 12 faces that will light up when they receive the comb, toothbrush, soap, and washcloths you provided! I can see a few kids laughing over your beany babies and the adults thankful they can wash their faces! Bless you for being the hands and feet of Christ in a crisis to people you will never meet! Praise God!
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME (DST) STARTS MAR. 08 – SPRING FORWARD!!
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.
TEAM DAY BUS LEAVES AT 7:00AM!
Ok, we don’t have a bus, but we do have 6 people registered for Team Day and if you would like to drive a car or ride with Pastor Dan and Janie you’ll need to let them know as soon as possible and plan on meeting them at the parsonage and leave at 7:00am.
THE SEWER IS COMING! THE SEWER IS COMING!
While it’s indeed exciting news, it just doesn’t have the same ‘ring’ that ‘the windows are coming,’ did! But we’re thankful to announce because of the generous financial gift Phyllis Plath made last fall, the church board approved ‘sleeving’ the 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 that neither backs up nor requires annual ‘sewer rooting.’ So, if you see Pastor Dan dancing on a pile of dirt in the yard of the parsonage this week, he’s not nuts, he’s simply ‘Praising God!’ Thank you Phyllis for investing in the future of our church! We praise God for your faithfulness! Amen!
DO YOU WANT TO JOIN OR START A SPRING WALKING CLUB?
A couple of years ago we had several of you say you wanted to have a 5k walking club and so we started one and walked 10 weeks together all over! Since Spring is right around the corner (it really is!) I’d like to know if anyone would like to walk Tue. nights beginning Mar. 24 from 6:30-7:30pm. Let Pastor Dan know if you would be interested!
WED. 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!
SPEAKING OF FITNESS….
It could be because I saw the sun today, but I am also wondering if anyone would be interested in a few slow and relaxing Sunday afternoon bike rides down a safe trail? I promise in advance nobody is going to get left behind and nobody is going to suffer! But, I can’t promise I won’t stop for ice cream and laugh a lot! These would probably start in mid-May and continue off and on through the summer. Let Pastor Dan know if you are interested. This would be a great event to invite a friend! (smile)
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS MAR. 19th AT 11:30AM
Five of us joined together and laughed, ate, and enjoyed each other’s fellowship at the Hibachi Grill in Feb. Our next Third Thursday lunch is Mar. 19 at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target). Look for the coupon and come! Questions? See Tracy or Linda!
NEXT MISSIONARY GATHERING IS SUN., MAR. 22nd AT 4PM
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Mar. 22nd at 4pm. Come enjoy a brief study to learn what our missionaries are doing, how we can join them with our prayers, and enjoy snacks and laughter together. It’s a lot of fun and you might just learn something! Last month we offered a chance to win a Coney Combo at the Grand Coney! So bring a snack, bring a friend, hmm…even bring an enemy 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!
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
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!
NEW DIRECTORIES ARE AVAILABLE!
As you have probably realized, our church family directory changes frequently! Whew, you keep us busy! Thankfully, Gerry Dawson is all over it! This week we will have a new directory available at the Bible Study Wed. night and on the table outside the sanctuary Sunday! Check it for accuracy, let us know, and we’ll get your changes in the next one!
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!
DON’T FORGET TO READ YOUR MISSIONARY BOOKS!
Remember, to get your missionary books read by the end of March! There will be prizes for everyone who gets them read! Chuckie Cheese for kids, a Concert for the teens, and a White Caps game for the adults. If you need a book or a book on CD see Janie! Our goals is to have 100 read by May and we are currently at 83. Read Read Read! (smile)
EASTER FLOWERS ARE COMING SOON!
I don’t have any details yet, and while my memory is clearly foggy from time to time, I remember Gerry saying we were going to order Easter Lilies again this year. So, keep you eyes pealed for the details… I’ll give them to you as soon as I have them!
Mar. 07 Tri-District Team Day in Perry, MI
Mar. 08 Daylight Savings Time Begins!
Mar. 19 Third Thursday Lunch 11:30am at Hibachi Grill
Mar. 22 Missionary Gathering 4pm at the parsonage
Mar. 24 Tentative - Spring Walking Club
Mar. 29 Palm Sunday
Apr. 05 Easter Sunday
Apr. 12 Northeast Community Potluck (after the worship service)