Hello Friends and Family!
We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! While many gathered to be disciple and more came to worship, we had over 40+ more come to our Summer Celebration. What a joy it was to not only learn how to love God and neighbor in Sunday school, and love God and neighbor in our worship service, but this Sunday we had the opportunity to go out in our own the parking lot and love our actual neighbors in Jesus’ name! Thank you to Cherry and Steve for leading us out of the building and into the lives of others! Thank you to all of you who set up, made and brought food, hosted a game or two, and cleaned up! The effort required the involvement of our whole church, but it was so worth it! Praise God!
God’s message this week came from Psalm 30 and was titled, “Praise for Deliverance.” Have you ever been so far down you thought it was too late to be rescued? Some days we can feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. There are just times when the only news seems to be bad news. Just about the time you think it couldn’t get any worse… it gets worse! To say it is discouraging is an understatement. In Psalm 30 we find King David feeling this way. He is sick and near death. Perhaps it was the result of physical illness, but it’s more likely due to a moral failure or some other sin in his life.
Many times David refers to his condition. In v. 1 he speaks of being in the depths, in v. 2 he speaks of healing, in v. 3 he speaks of being in the grave going down into the pit. In v. 5 he speaks of weeping, in v. 6 he speaks of his arrogance, and in v. 7 of being dismayed. David knows what it’s like to be separated from God, too far gone, and feeling like a ‘dead man.’
No doubt David was tempted to ‘numb’ his pain or give in to the Devil’s lies that it would be better if he just ended his life. Instead, David calls to the Lord (prayer) and cries for mercy (v. 8). In essence, David turns to the only ONE who can forgive, lift, heal, and restore. In his darkness, when death surrounds him, when all seems lost, David calls out to the Lord God!
Did God answer him? Yes! We read in vv. 11-12: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.” How about you? Are you tempted to throw in the towel? Is the Evil One trying his best to convince you ‘it’s too late?’ Then cry out to the LORD! Seek forgiveness, healing, and restoration! And then give Him the glory for your deliverance by singing His praise, telling others the Good News of Jesus Christ, and refuse to be silent! Amen! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
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!
NAZARENE MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL NEWS
As the church year closed last May 31st and new year started on June 01st, one thing became clear: we are a church that supports missions! Praise God that it has been an incredible year. Certainly, God is on a mission and we are blessed to join Him. Thank you for responding obediently in your giving, your time, and your resources!
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Jul. 28th 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! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside of the sanctuary!
HELP WANTED! WE NEED WORKERS!
Can you help in the nursery? Help teach a Sunday school class? Sing on the Praise Team, help run the sound booth, call on shut-ins, move the palms, or help mow the grass? It is a lot of work to keep up a church and we need everyone to help! Let Gerry D. or Pastor know if you can help! Remember: many hands make light work!
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:
CAMP MEETING (SUMMER REVIVAL) IS COMING TO INDIAN LAKE IN JULY!
The Church of the Nazarene is just over 100 years old and one of her oldest traditions is coming together each year for a time of spiritual renewal called ‘Camp Meeting.’ Camp Meeting was original held at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp in Vicksburg under a large tent for several weeks at a time. Then, our three Michigan districts were one and a large crowd gathered to hear evangelists preach 3 services a day plus a time of discipleship.
While Camp Meeting is only a week now and there are just 2 services a day and a time of discipleship, it is still a time for spiritual renewal for 1,000+ people. Come for just one service or the whole week and you will be blessed!
Camp Meeting begins with District Assembly Sun., Jul. 12thand ends Sun., July 19th. Pastor Dan spends the week at ‘camp’ in a small cabin and would love to have you stop by! Need more information? See Pastor Dan or Janie!
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.
Jul.-Aug. No Children’s Church in Jul. and Aug.
Jul. 11 Run Against Hunger 5k for N.E.C.M. at Cornerstone University