Dear Friends and Family!
What a wonderful time we had in the Lord last WEEK! In just 8 days, we had 6, count’em 6 opportunities to encounter the Lord! I have already heard from many who shared those encounters included laughing again, healing old hurts, restoring joy, and encouragement.
One of the calls really surprised me… My phone rang Saturday night about 9:30pmfrom a 217 area code. I was sure it was a telemarketer and told Janie to let it go to voicemail… But before I knew it Janie had answered the phone and said Rev. Ulmet wanted to talk to me.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered he was calling in tears…why? Because our little church had so richly blessed him he couldn’t help it…he was thankful for the dinners, the wonderful hotel he stayed in, your warmth and attentiveness…and overwhelmed by your generous $672 love offering we had collected all week and gave to him as he prepared to leave. As those who attended might imagine he was ‘shouting praise’ as he cried!
When I assured him again we really didn’t know what we were doing as a church and that we were only simple folks (calling myself a fool) just doing our best to love Jesus and love others, he got blessed and said, ‘Well, glory, stay foolish for Jesus’ and followed that with a hearty ‘To God be the Glory, Hallelujah, Man, God is Good!’ As I got off the phone I realized God had used little us to bless and encourage an evangelist. How cool is that? Praise God!
God’s message this week came from John 13:31-35 and was titled, ‘Loving One Another.’ John c. 13 begins Jesus final discourse with the disciples in the upper room. John declares, “Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love’ (13:1-2)
So what is Jesus’ love like? Well, He begins by taking off his outer clothes, wrapping Himself in a towel, and washing their feet as a lowly servant. He was betrayed by one of His first 12 disciples in whom He had called 3 years earlier. He would face denial, beatings, crucifixion, and death on the cross. Jesus showed His love for us as a humble, suffering, servant!
With this understanding Jesus declares: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (13:34). So do you? Do you love one another as Jesus loves or fall into the worlds self-centered cry, “What’s in it for me?” In a day when marriages last as long as the fun continues, real love – sacrificial love – Christ like love is radical – bordering on revolutionary! Maybe you’re asking, “How this kind of love humanly possible?” Well, it’s not! It’s only possible through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit!
But oh, the difference it can make! You see, what the world is looking for today, church, is authenticity! They are crying, “Don’t tell me about Jesus until you show Him to me!” Jesus put it this way: By this [loving people like I have loved you] all men [women and kids] will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”(John 13:34-35). Charles Wesley put the challenge before all believers this way in a poem entitled, “One Precious Soul.”
Master, I want Thy tenderness,
Thy boundless charity;
Not to offend, not to displease
The men that know not Thee.
Rather than stumble friend or foe,
I, too, would wrong sustain
And every privilege forego
One precious soul to gain.
If you really want one precious soul saved, you need Christlike tenderness, boundless charity (grace), a desire to bear the wrongs of others, and a willingness to forego privilege. This is only possible through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit! My prayer is that you will yield completely to Him and be entirely sanctified! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
6th ANNUAL KEEP ‘EM COVERED DIAPER DRIVE IN MAY
Starting next Sunday (May 01) we are starting our 6th annual diaper drive! What began as a simple and practical way to show God’s love to love some of the neediest little folks in our community 6 years ago has become an annual event! During the month of May we will be collecting diapers for North End Community Ministry (NECM). Remember, diapers aren’t provided by most assistance programs and are a huge expense for many single moms. Any size will do! This year we would like to collect 1,200 diapers.
GRADUATION AND FAREWELL PARTY FOR JONATHAN GINGRICH MAY 08
We’ve been blessed! Four years ago a young Nazarene from Columbus, OH adopted us to be his home church while he attended Calvin College and never left… well, until now! It is with glad and heavy hearts we must say goodbye to Jonathan. In just 4 short years, Jonathan earned a chemical engineering degree, became co-captain of the cross country team, and found a place in our hearts! We’ll miss him! But, not before we party! Come, say goodbye and congratulate Jonathan after our May 08th worship service.
Since the first National Day of prayer proclaimed by President Truman in 1952, every president since (including President Obama) has challenged Americans to turn to God in prayer for our nation. In 1988, President Raegan declared the National Day of Prayer would be held on the first Thursday in May. America still needs prayer! You will find a prayer guideline on the table outside the sanctuary if you would like one.
MISSIONARY BOOKS ARE IN TOO GREAT A DEMAND!
That’s right, the demand for reading the Missionary Books was waaaay toooo high! When Sherry J. asked Pastor Dan if he would be willing to dye his hair purple if the church ever read 150 books, he said ‘sure’ thinking it was an impossibility anyway! Well, imagine his surprise (shock) when she announced 151 books had been read!
Rumor has it Janie is trying to arrange having Pastor Dan’s hair dyed purple at the next Missionary Gathering (in May!) Yikes! Not reading yet? It’s never too late! See Sherry and she will be more than glad (trust me) to get you started reading one!
OUR NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS MAY 19 AT 11:30AM!
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is May 19 at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine Ave. The food is good, but the fellowship is even better! Come, enjoy a great time to eat, share joys, concerns and even laugh! If you have any questions? See Tracy or Linda!
LADIES RENDEZVOUS – SAT., MAY 28 AT 10:30AM AT CHURCH!
Cherry is planning the next Ladies Rendezvous for May 28 and all ladies are invited! Please contact Cherry for more info or if you need a ride! Call or text (616) 916-7595.
INDIAN LAKE NAZARENE CAMP – I LOVE MY CAMP WEEKEND!
You are invited to "I LOVE MY CAMP" work weekend on May 5-7 at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. They write, “Your help is essential to make this camping season our best yet!” Some possible projects include but are not limited to:
· Painting buildings
· Raking/Picking up brush
· Cleaning up/Seting up the Tabernacle for Summer
· Setting up patios outside Snack Bar
The best news is you can stay Thu. & Fri. nights in the Dorm for FREE and breakfast and lunch are provided Thu., Fri. and Sat, too! All you need to do is register by emailing the camp at: email@example.com and then meeting at the Snack Bar at 8:00 AM each day!
IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT SUMMER CAMP AT INDIAN LAKE!
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp has a wonderful summer camp for students of all ages. At camp kids learn to feel good about themselves, gain self-confidence, self-esteem, learn leadership skills, make friends, and learn about God’s love for them! You can learn more by going to this link: http://www.nazcamp.org/camps
Discovery Camp Completed K – 2nd grade Jul. 06-08
Adventure Camp Completed 2nd – 4th grade Jul. 18-22
Voyager Camp Completed 4th – 6th grade Jul. 25-29
Mid. School Camp Completed 6th – 8th grade Jun. 27 – July 01
High School Camp Completed 9th – 12th grade Jun. 20-24
Note: All camps are $ 275 (except for Discovery Camp which is $ 125)
PROJECT 5K – REG. NOW FOR THE MAY 21 DISTRICT NMI FUNDRAISER
Do you like to walk? Do you like to run? Do you like missions? Do you like Indian Lake Nazarene Camp? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re goning to want to register for the 5k Walk/Run to raise money for a church in Kazatin, Ukraine. You may only register online to streamline the process. If you want a guaranteed T-shirt in your size, register before May 07. Cost is $25 – Questions? See Pastor Dan
Register at: http://www.minaz.org/Missions/District%5FProject/
FRANKLIN GRAHAM SCHEDULE
Rev. Christopher has asked us to remember and pray for Franklin Graham as he travels to all 50 state capitals to hold prayer rallies. He writes, “America is in trouble, and the only answer is found in Jesus Christ…. I will challenge Christian’s to pray, boldly live out their faith and stand for biblical values, and help turn America back to God” (2 Ch. 7:14). You will find a copy of Franklin Graham’s schedule on the table outside the sanctuary.
Apr. 21-23 Indian Lake Nazarene Camp Workdays
Apr. 24 Missionary Gathering at 4pm
May 01-31 6th Annual Diaper Drive
May 05-07 Indian Lake Nazarene Camp Workday
May 07 Barbara Miller Memorial / Luncheon at the church
May 08 Graduation/Farewell Party for Jonathan Gingrich
May 21 Project 5k at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
May 22 Church Elections
Jun. 12 Annual Church Meeting (during potluck)