Dear Friends and Family!
Yes, we had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! It is so fun to watch God raise up new leaders in His church! It occurred to me this week as Steve H. and Sherry J. led us in worship singing how refreshing it was as your pastor to ‘just worship’ with all of you! As I stood up front I was delighted to see Mary W. in back with Anna B. running the sound and video, too! We sure miss Jonathan, but God has provided! Amen? Amen!
All of this made me wonder ‘who’s next?’ Who might God be challenging next to prepare a bulletin, usher, greet, or work in the nursery? Who has God already spoken to about singing or playing a special song in church or praying for our neighborhood, mowing the lawn, or leading children’s church this fall? God is still speaking…and I pray we’re all still listening!
God’s message this week came from Galatians 5:1, 13-25 and was titled ‘Freedom in Christ.’ This is our fifth message from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
As you will recall Paul initially dealt with something that had caused many of the Galatians to abandon their faith… Jewish legalism! Paul was shocked so many of these new babes in Christ were deserting the Gospel (1:6-7a). He quickly discovered the problem: confusion over whether the Gentile Galatians had to follow Jewish Law and customs (Answer: NO!).
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gift of grace to be received with no strings attached! But in c. 5 we learn freedom has responsibilities! “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (v. 13).
While some Galatians were leaving the faith over those forcing them to follow Jewish Law and all of its exhausting rules, others had let the concept of freedom to go to their heads.
How do we balance freedom with responsibility? The answer is in v. 16: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Gal. 5:16). The key to living in freedom responsibly is to live by the Spirit. When we live as the Holy Spirit leads (and not as our sinful nature suggests) we’ll experience the freedom, joy, and peace, God intended!
In fact, after pointing out acts of the sinful nature in vv. 19-21 (which lead to more slavery) Paul describes the fruit we’ll experience when we’re guided by the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23). When we yield fully to God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, we don’t have to spend a lot of time keeping the rules….Why? Because when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us the fruit of the Spirit grows out of us supernaturally. This is true freedom! Freedom from the bondage of sin; freedom to serve and worship God without shame; and freedom to love our neighbors as ourselves! Don't miss this opportunity to live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit. Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
PASTOR DAN AND JANIE ARE GOING ON VACATION JUN. 30 – JUL. 09
Ok, the truth is Pastor Dan is going on a fabulous ‘work trip’ with Janie starting June 30. Janie will be taking Pastor Dan to Barcelona, Rome, and Athens, Greece while she ‘hosts’ her companies highest performing agents. Either way, it will be the trip of a lifetime and we give all the credit to our Heavenly Father for making this possible!
Should you have any concerns or needs while we’re gone, please contact Gerry Dawson. As you know, Gerry is our church board secretary and in that position leads the church when I am in any way unable to care for you. Yes, we have visiting pastors coming! Take notes and let me know how God spoke to you through them! God is good! All the time!
NEW ‘LADIES’ BIBLE STUDY IS BEING PLANNED!
Mary W., our Discipleship Superintendent, wants to know who might be interested in a Bible Study on Saturdays from the book of Daniel. While the study and accompanying DVD presentations by Beth Moore are ‘geared towards women,’ Mary said this study would be open to a few good men, too. Here is a description from the materials.
Join Beth in a faith-building study of prophecy and learn how to live with integrity in today's self-absorbed society. The prophet Daniel faced unbelievable pressures to compromise his faith, to live in a hostile culture, and to confront temptations and threats. Today, believers in Jesus Christ face many of the same trials.
This Old Testament Bible study falls in two parts. Part One: Daniel chapters 1-6 examines Daniel's life and the pressures he faced. Part Two: Daniel chapters 7-12 covers the prophecies from Daniel through the second coming of Christ.
If you are interested or have any questions, please let Cherry P. or Mary W. know right away. Mary plans to start the study in the next few weeks!
FAMILY CAMP (SUMMER REVIVAL) IS COMING TO INDIAN LAKE JUL. 11-17
The Church of the Nazarene is just over 100 years old and one of her oldest traditions is to gather each year for a time of spiritual renewal called ‘Camp Meeting.’ Today, Camp Meeting is a one-week time of renewal with 2 services a time of discipleship each day! You may wish to come to the ordination service on Sunday, July 10th. While I have been told it is a ‘pastor’s service,’ it’s amazing to see God’s new leaders as they are ordained! Come for a single service or the week! whole week and you will be blessed! I Promise!
Camp Meeting begins with District Assembly on Sun., Jul. 10th and ends Sun., July 17th. Pastor Dan spends the week at ‘camp’ in a small cabin at 7959 Victory St. Vicksburg, MI and would love to have you stop by! Need more information? See Pastor Dan or Janie!
HELP! THE CHURCH BOARD APPROVED A 7 WK FALL SABBATICAL FOR PASTOR
The following comes from the Michigan District Journal regarding Sabbatical Policy:
To provide long-term pastoral staff and their family the opportunity of a sabbatical leave for the purpose of professional development, personal and spiritual renewal, rest, and visioning. By means of a sabbatical leave, the congregation wishes to express gratitude and affirmation to our pastor and family…A sabbatical leave of 7 to 13 weeks will be provided to the senior pastor after the completion of each seven years of consecutive full time employment….The scheduling of the sabbatical leave shall take into consideration the needs of the congregation, the scheduling needs from the pastor’s proposal, and other pertinent concerns as may be established.
Having served as our pastor since Sept. 2008 and after consultation with Dr. John Seaman, our District Superintendent, your church board voted unanimously to extend Pastor Dan and Janie a 7-week sabbatical beginning Mon. Sept 26 through Sun. Nov. 13.
Please begin praying for Pastor Dan and Janie as they prepare to be away that God will refresh and renew them as they seek to draw nearer to Him through prayer, study, and fasting. But also begin asking God how He wants you to serve while they are gone.
As your pastor, I strongly urge you to consider saying yes when you are asked to serve! It would be a blessing to God and to this church! Better still, let a board member know you are available to serve wherever there is a need! What a special blessing that would be! Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more details! Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask Pastor Dan directly or Gerry D., our church board secretary!
THE NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS IS SAT., JUL. 23 AT 10:30AM!
Cherry is planning the next Ladies Rendezvous for July 23and all ladies are invited! Please contact Cherry for more info or if you need a ride! Call or text (616) 916-7595.
Have you ever wanted to examine the basics of your faith? Do you want to freshen or kick start your spiritual life, but don’t know where to start? Have you ever wished you had insight into Pastor Dan’s weekly preaching Sunday morning? If so, then you might just be interested in Pastor Dan’s Dog Days of Summer Bible Study Wed. nights.
Using the pdf booklet, “First Steps in the Christian Life,” everyone is invited to spend 10 weeks with Pastor Dan examining key concepts and Bible passages every Christian needs to know and have an inside look on what he is going to preach that Sunday.
Come for one week or all of them! (of course, the more the better!) If you’re interested, curious, or just want to know more, see or contact Pastor Dan
July 11-17 is Family Camp at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp! It is a wonderful time of spiritual renewal and fellowship around the ‘old stone altar.’ Instead of having our regular Wed. nightprogram, we’re encouraging everyone to come to camp for the 7:00pm service! Pastor Dan is serving ice cream at the cabin to everyone who comes!
JUST A REMINDER! NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH DURING THE SUMMER!
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 need a summer break! So, the kids will stay with us during the worship service for the summer! Bless you for understanding!
OUR NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS JUL. 21 AT 11:30AM!
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is Jul. 21 at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine. 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!
2016 PRAYER GUIDE FOR THE MICHIGAN DISTRICT (STARTS JUN. 01)
It’s getting to be that time again when the District Church asks us to pray for the July activities at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. From the District Assembly, to Camp Meeting, to the NMI, NYI, and SDMI Conventions, they all need our prayers! If you’re willing, pick up a 40-day prayer guide off the table outside the sanctuary and pray! Bless you!
DAILY DEVOTIONS – “REFLECTING GOD” IS AVAILABLE! FREE!!
“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 the sanctuary!
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!
Jun. 30-Jul. 9 Pastor Dan and Janie on vacation
Jul. 01-04 Family Festival at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
Jul. 03 Welcoming Pastor Ed Douglas to share God’s Word!
Jul. 10-16 Pastor Dan and Janie at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
Jul. 10-11 Dist. Assm. at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
Jul. 11-17 Family Camp at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
Sep. 26/Nov. 13 Pastor Dan and Janie’s 7 week Sabbatical