Friday, October 2, 2015

Northeast Community News – September 28, 2015

Dear Friends and Family!
What a wonderful week! After driving back from Lacrosse, WI, with Janie Monday, I headed down to Indian Lake for the Fall Pastor’s Workshop on compassionate ministries! Rev. Jay Height spoke to us over 3 days about the importance of compassionate ministries! After a week of vacation, this workshop recharged my spiritual batteries! In fact, I still feel on fire knowing we are a church that DOES care about the least of these and embraces community! I don’t have anything to really announce today, but be praying about how we can discover and meet the needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) of our church’s neighborhood! 
After a wonderful mid-week service we began preparing for Jenn and Jesse’s wedding! We are blessed to be a church that nurtures and loves and rejoices with those who rejoice! If you missed the wedding, it was beautiful! The Maid of Honor, Asher Rodriguez, did a super job of decorating the church and keeping everyone in ‘line.’ Two highlights (one naughty and one nice) were when Jesse told me he had ‘hocked’ the rings when asked if we had any rings to exchange (funny, but definitely naughty) and when Jenn recited several verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and then pledged them to Jesse (definitely nice!). 
Likewise, the reception was wonderful with ‘moving toasts’ and who would have forgotten the 6 varieties of cupcakes (240 total) Janie and Anna made (my fave? Boston crème pie!). Did I mention they served pizza, too? Now that’s a reception I might have planned! (smile) The newly married couple (and son Christian) are now off on a honeymoon to Chicago, IL and New Buffalo and Muskegon, MI! What a wonderful day! Let’s keep them in our prayers! 
Then of course, we celebrated our weekly worship service! What a joy to see old and new faces and then at 4pm we had a record crowd come to our Missionary Gathering! Woohoo! Praise the Lord! (Did I mention we ate more sweets? Yum!) Sherry really does a wonderful job of leading our Missionary Gatherings! If you would like a copy of the ‘Pray for Missions Every Day’ and ‘Prayer Points’ handouts, see Sherry J. God is moving…are you moving, too? 
God’s message this week came to us from Ps. 19:7-14 and was titled, “Better than God or Honey.” Sometimes we try to grow in our faith like children in a restaurant buffet line. We decide what we want to believe and eat based on how it looks instead of whether it is any good for us! While an occasional slice of pizza, donut or cupcake won’t harm you too much, if you start picking and choosing beliefs without taking the time to determine if they are part of God’s plan, the eternal pain you suffer may be much more than a little weight gain! 
To avoid this hazard, God’s Word is filled with resources to help us learn not only who God is and His plan for our lives but how to live a life of joy, peace, and satisfaction! In Ps. 19:7 we learn His Word is a source of revival! 
David wrote, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Ps. 19:7a). In other words, when you fall, feel hopeless, discouraged… even suicidal, God’s Word can help you get back up, give you hope, and encourage you to press on!  
Not only does God’s Word revive, His way is trustworthy, strong and provides joy: David wrote, “The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart…” (Psalm 19:7b-8a). In other words, we can trust God to give us wisdom and joy even when we’re in the midst of fighting ISIS, a problem at work or home, and concerned with the upcoming presidential election! 
But David also wrote, “The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8b). Long before Motel 6 said it, God has left a light on for you! Feel like you’re in the dark? Trapped with nowhere to turn? Read God’s Word! Meditate on God’s Word! Study God’s Word and see if the Holy Spirit doesn’t turn the lights on in your life! 
It is David’s knowledge God’s Word revives, brings wisdom and joy, and gives light in the midst of darkness that leads him to say: They [meaning God’s Word, commands, teachings] are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb” (Ps. 19:10). For David (and for me) learning and keeping God’s Word was the most valuable thing in life because it not only kept him from doing foolish and sinful things, but led him to a life full of health, joy, true satisfaction, reward, and eternal life! 
Today, we live in a grand buffet of ideas and advice on how we should live our lives. You might be tempted to grab a little bit from everything that looks good, but don’t be deceived! There’s only one way, truth, and life! Jesus! There’s only one book containing the revelation of God that leads to revival, wisdom, joy, peace, and eternal life! The Bible! Don’t accept cheap substitutions! Choose the Real Thing! Amen! Blessings, Pastor Dan
Last week Jerry Bunning and family (our official alabaster counters) called to tell me they had rolled $193 in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to add to the $216.50 we had received in cash and check for a total of $409.50. But then yesterday, Jerry called again to let me know you gave an additional $113 in change and $49 in checks and cash for a whopping new total of $ 471.50! (and someone told me they still needed to bring their Alabaster Box in NEXT week!) Woohoo! Praise the Lord! Can you believe it? Must be God is up to something! Bless you for joining our Missionary God in reaching a world for Christ! We will be leaving the Alabaster Church up for one more week! God is good! 
Larry B. has called an ‘Offical Work Day’ for Sat., Oct. 17! We need folks to help us sweep the parking lot, rake some leaves, and prepare our church for winter! Please come help! 
ARTPRIZE WALKS TUE. SEP. 29 and OCT. 06 at 5:00PM to 7:00PM
ArtPrize 7 begins Sep. 23 and ends Oct. 11. This public art competition encourages us to decide what’s worthy by voting for it! Round 1 is between Sep. 23 and Oct. 03. Round 2 (the top 20) is between Oct. 04 and Oct. 08. We’ll take the bus from church at 5pm, get some exercise, see some art, and enjoy some laughs! Questions? See Pastor Dan.
Someone asked me, ‘Do you think we will have another blanket drive this year?’ Sherry and the Missionary Council answered this question with a hearty YES! Believe it or not, even after all of these years of collecting coats and blankets for Mel Trotter, the need remains greater than ever for clean new and used coats and blankets! We will be setting up a table in the back of the sanctuary this week! Bless you for all you do to love ‘the least of these!’ GOAL = 50                TO DATE = 0
Yes, we were unable to garner enough support for a Christmas Cantata last year, but our church has a lengthy tradition of sharing the gospel through music. Beverly S., who was a former professional musician and bandleader, has agreed to lead us this year! So, are you interested in singing in a Cantata this year? See Pastor Dan if you are interested.
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available FREE to anyone interested in spending a daily time with God. The devotions provide a brief suggested reading and truth from the Bible for every day. It also has a section if you would like to try to read the Bible in a year and/or pray for our missionaries! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside of the sanctuary!
Sherry reported missionary readership is up dramatically and we have many desiring our limited supply! So, if you have a book, read it and return it so others can read them, too! The books really are good this year! Not read one yet? Why not start this week? See Sherry J. on Wed. or Sun. and discover how God is moving in the world! Thanks!
Remember! Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops are worth cash! While it seems small, it really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Give your labels and box tops to Fran S. and Sherry J. See Fran or Sherry if you have any questions.
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 you often feel nervous, tense, or bored? Do you have trouble sleeping or sleep too much? Do you often experience mood swings or feel useless? Well, you’re not alone. Our church hosts one of the oldest 12-step Emotions Anonymous (EA) groups in Michigan! At an EA meeting you’ll find others who’ve been where you’re at and experienced many of the same feelings, but….they found help! Need more info? There is a small literature rack in the basement ‘Community Room’ or call Helen W. (leader) at 616-363-7347.  
Is there someone you have missed, would like to invite to church or encourage? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? Everyone is blessed by a simple hand written note! If you would like some postcards, see Pastor Dan.
Sep. 29      ArtPrize Walk (first round voting) 5:00-7:00PM
October    5th Annual Blanket (Coat) Drive for Mel Trotter
Oct.  06     ArtPrize Walk (second round voting) 5:00-7:00PM
Oct.  11     Northeast Community Potluck at 12:30pm
Oct.  15     Third Thur. Lunch at Hibachi Grill on Alpine
Oct.  17     Church Work Day
Oct.  25     Missionary Gathering at 4pm
Nov. 01    Daylight Savings Time ends (fall back 1 hour)
Nov. 22    Thanksgiving Offering for World Evangelism Fund
Nov. 26    Thanksgiving Day

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