Dear Friends and Family!
What another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! In case you missed this week, Jesse and Jenn announced their engagement this week and their intent to be married on Sept. 26 in our church, and guess what? You’re all invited! What a sacred privilege is ours to have the opportunity to watch Jesus lead and grow and knit a couple together in our midst! Speaking of growth, it was also a joy and blessing to welcome new folks to our church this week! May each one who walks through our doors sense the love of Jesus through our warm embrace!
God’s message this week came to us from Psalm 123 and was titled, “A Servant’s Heart.” Psalm 123 is a song about service and servant hood. It shows us how to serve God…not by giving us a list of things we could do in the church or in the community (if you want a list like that just ask Larry or Cherry), but focuses on our attitude and approach instead. Here we discover excellent service to God begins with the right attitude!
First, we will have the right attitude when we serve if we remember who we serve! In v. 1 we read, “I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven” (Psalm 123:1). The ‘you’ in this text of course is God Himself! So, to whom should we lift our eyes when we serve? The Pastor? The Church Board? Absolutely not! If you want a better attitude about serving; if you want to be a better Christian servant, it begins by remembering you are serving God!
The Psalmist illustrates this in v. 2: “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God…”
The original hearers would have understood this right away. In v. 2 the Psalmist speaks of the lady of the house organizing the work of her servants in the garden, the farm, and the kitchen, while the workers stood attentively focused as they waiting for their orders. They expected work from the master and avoided anything that might distract them. How about you? Do you remain focused on the Master expecting an assignement every day?
Finally, the original hearers understood the need to respond promptly. Having received their orders, they would have nodded and simply responded, ‘As you wish’ and gone to work. How about you? Do you tend to go straight to work or procrastinate?
If you want to have a better attitude about serving at church; if you want to be a better servant for Jesus, you start by remembering who you are serving, remain focused on the right master, and then go directly to work! May it be so! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
CAMP MEETING (SUMMER REVIVAL) IS COMING TO INDIAN LAKE IN JULY!
One of the oldest traditions in the Church of the Nazarene is to come together each year for a concentrated time of spiritual renewal called ‘Camp Meeting.’ The Michigan Camp Meeting began under a large ‘circus tent’ at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp in Vicksburg with Model A’s and T’s parked outside! Today, we can travel in a modern car and sit in a ‘tabernacle’ in air conditioning (although the seats are still old benches!)
Camp Meeting begins with District Assembly Sun., Jul. 12thand ends on Sun., July 19th. There are 2 services a day plus a time of discipleship for 1,000+ people. Pastor Dan will be spending the week at ‘camp’ in a small cabin and would love to have you stop by for one service or the whole week! You’ll be blessed! See Pastor Dan or Janie for more info.
NAZARENE MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Jul. 26th at 4pm at the church. Come enjoy a brief study, learn what our missionaries are doing, how to pray for them, and learn how to be missionary in your own neighborhood! We also enjoy snacks and laughter together! So bring a snack, a friend, (even an enemy!) and join us! You’ll be glad you did!
Remember to pray for our Yabeez Naseem (our sponsored child)!
Our church sponsors an 11-year-old child from Lahore, Pakistan! While the world seems full of poverty, war and struggle, it’s great to know there is at least one boy receiving emotional, spiritual, and physical support each month BECAUSE OF YOU! Check out his picture, drawings, and report cards on the missionary bulletin board!
NEW Missionary Books are available! There are books designed for children, youth, and adults (adults have the option of listening to the books on CD) to learn about missions. Our goal is to have 100 books read and there will be prizes for the first adults, teens, and children who read them! See Sherry our new NMI President!
Do you realize there are people in Grand Rapids who are hungry? There is more need than you ever and Jesus told us we love and serve Him by caring for those who hunger, are in prison, are thirsty, and those who are sick (see Matt. 25:35-36). Your NMI council is committed to loving God and others in other countries and at home! One way to do this is to partner with North End Community Ministry (NECM), pay for a dinner to feed 150 people, and serve at the ‘Supper House’ located at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Are you willing to help? (we need 10 servers). See Gerry Dawson if you are interested!
DAILY DEVOTIONS – REFLECTING GOD IS AVAILABLE!
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available free to anyone interested. The devotions provide a brief truth from the Bible every day. Reflecting God also has a section for reading the Bible in a year and praying for our missionaries!
A FEW COMMENTS ON SAME-SEX ‘MARRIAGE’
I am neither a prophet nor a politician, but I am deeply troubled by the recent Supreme Court decision regarding homosexual ‘marriage’ and thought it helpful to let you read the official response / position from the General Superintendents (our highest leaders) in the Church of the Nazarene. Please be in prayer for America as we learn to live out our faith in an ever-increasing ‘post-Christian’ world. Pastor Dan
Societies across the globe are engaged in conversations to redefine marriage. Media debates, election-day balloting, and governmental court rulings have provided the platform for this redefinition. We believe a biblical view of marriage involves a monogamous, covenantal relationship between a man and a woman. Jesus said, “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).
Today the United States Supreme Court, in the 5-4 decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. We remind our people that while the civil law of yet another country has changed, divine truth has not changed. We will learn how this civil definition functions within the context of our constitutional and religious freedoms. Our commitment to the orthodox biblical Christian faith remains the same. We continue to call Nazarenes around the world to a life of holiness, characterized by holy love and expressed through the most rigorous and consistent lifestyle of sexual purity. We further call our people to a generosity and graciousness of spirit that extends kindness to those who do not share our belief. We pray that God will help us be examples of His truth in a world that needs to see God’s love demonstrated in word and deed more than ever.
Jerry D. Porter
J. K. Warrick
Eugénio R. Duarte
David W. Graves
David A. Busic
Gustavo A. Crocker
Board of General Superintendents – Church of the Nazarene
SUMMER CELEBRATION BLESSINGS!
One estimate is that 50 people from our neighborhood along with 25 from our church came together and celebrated life, love, and the warmth of summer last Sunday! What a joy it was to see so many children and adults laugh, play, and experience love and joy in a safe and fun environment. The food was wonderful and the games were great and God provided the perfect sunny, warm, and breezy day!
Perhaps my favorite part was watching our people love perfect strangers! From seeing some of our older folks having conversations under the ‘shaded tent’ (thank you Ron) to the laughter of children and volunteers alike playing games with other people’s kids, to the gentle smiles offered like Eva M. was giving (a child herself) as she painted ‘aliens and dinosaurs’ on arms, it was obvious you loved God and you loved your neighbors!
Thank you to everyone who helped set up, cooked and brought food (Judy cooked 10#s of sloppy joe!), volunteered to play a game in the hot sun (even when the equipment did not want to cooperate – right Sherry?), and those who stayed to help clean up! Special thanks go out to Cherry, Steve, Phil, Janie, Cindy, and Valda who did all four! I also want to give thanks to Robert and Bradlee for carrying tables and chairs. What a joy it was to see these two strong pre-teens pitching in to serve God and His church! Please forgive me if I missed you! It really did take a whole church to make this happen!
Finally, let us give God the glory for the gifts needed to make it all happen! My prayer is that one or two of the families who came to our event will return to worship with us. If you would like to help following up, please see Cherry and/or Pastor Dan! God is good!
RUN AGAINST HUNGER FOOD DRIVE BLESSINGS!
Thank you to everyone who gave non-perishable foods in our June Run Against Hunger drive for North End Community Ministry (N.E.C.M.). Bless you for helping the hungry! Remember to pray for Corynne and Janie as they participate in the ‘Run Against Hunger 5k’ at Cornerstone University on July 11. Want to come cheer them on? See Pastor Dan.
ATTENTION PARENTS! NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH IN JUL. AND AUG.
Yes, we love your children and agree kids can worship and learn about Jesus better when they can create something with their hands, receive a snack to eat, and move around, but our children's workers are taking vacation, so for the next 2 months the kids are staying in the worship service with us! Bless you for understanding!
WED. NIGHT IS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
Join us at 6:30pm for a time of singing, prayer, and study for the whole family. Are you willing to help? We need help with children. Jeffrey R., and Danasia O. are coming and if Carrie brings her 3 children we would have 5 kids! We always end our night with ice cream! PS. It is cool in the air conditioned Sanctuary! Come! You’ll be glad you did!
EAT SOUP AND GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Did you know Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops are worth cash? While it seems small, when we work together, it really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School in AZ. Start collecting them and give them to Fran S. and Sherry J. Questions? See Fran or Sherry or go to this link:
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!
Jul. 12-19 Camp Meeting / Dist. Assm. at I.L.N.C. (Pastor Dan at Camp)
Jul. 19 Pastor Amanda Earley pulpit supply
Jul.-Aug. No Children’s Church in Jul. and Aug.