Dear Friends and Family!
Yes, we had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! Will I ever grow tired of saying it was a wonderful day in the Lord? Sure! When I finally have the opportunity to worship my Savior face to face! Can you imagine? Then every day will be a wonderful day with the Lord! This week Janie taught Sunday school and it was really thick! I am pretty sure I need to go back and brush up on my end times theology! (or at least read my lesson!) Seriously, if you aren’t growing as a disciple then you’re declining as a disciple! Find a place and plug in!
Sunday evening, we celebrated our monthly Missionary Gathering. It was so good! For those who missed last night’s service, here are Sherry’s excellent ‘prayer points:’
· Pray God will give us a passion for souls, both in our congregation and around the world.
· Pray our hearts will be broken for the things that break God’s heart.
· Help us to have a sense of urgency to bring a society that is rapidly deteriorating to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
· Pray and ask God for opportunities to share Christ and the hope that we have.
God’s message came to us from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and was titled, ‘A New Beginning.’ While recycling has become more and more popular these days, do you realize God was the original recycler? While many of us pull bits of paper, plastic, and glass out of our trash to be sorted and remade into park benches, counter tops, and cardboard boxes, God can take the trash and junk in our lives and transform us into a thing of beauty!
Before we get to that, realize Paul (who was Saul) is the one doing the proclaiming! He, who was once a self-described ‘blasphemer, persecutor, and violent man’ (1 Tim. 1:13) and the ‘worst of sinners’ (1 Tim. 1:15) declares “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17). Do you see what this means? Nobody is too far gone to be saved and transformed! Not you, not your neighbor, nor anyone else! Everyone can be transformed through Christ and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit! Amen!
And yet, some of us are like the little boy who comes in muddy from head to toe after playing outside and after being instructed to immediately take a bath (and use soap this time) he does so but then puts his muddy clothes back on! Do we ever do this in our walk with Jesus? We’ve been washed clean and made new only to return to the muddy places and practices we once knew? You need not wallow in the mud! The Spirit of Christ can help you be free (and stay free) of muddy places! Confess your need and He will be faithful!
Truth is, this is why Paul wrote, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5:14). What led Paul to leave his former life as a violent persecutor and blasphemer and dedicate his life and ministry to Jesus? (hint: he wasn’t forced or felt obligated). Nope, what ‘compelled’ Paul to lay down his life and love God and others in his own clumsy attempts was a deep understanding of Christ’s sacrificial love and grace for him and the rest of the world! His soul and life had found an anchor and resting place (have you) and following Christ was all that mattered! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
WED. NIGHT BIBLE STUDY! COME BE A PART OF IT!
I know you’re busy and I know that you have many things competing for your time all week, including Wed. night. But, I need to tell you as your pastor you need to be part of some mid-week fellowship and study. Our culture is growing increasingly secular and Christians are being beaten down. Who is lifting you up and encouraging you midweek? A ball game? TV show? Doubt it! Wed. night has been the traditional time for a midweek renewal! Come, be a part of it and be blessed (and refreshed!)
CHURCH WORK DAY IS SAT., AUG. 13 - 9AM to 12PM
Larry B. has called an ‘Official Work Day’ for Sat., Aug. 13! We need folks to help paint and scrape the church and parsonage. So, bring your worst work clothes and we will make them look even worse! (smile). Just kidding! Seriously, we need everyone’s help to make our church owned properties look their best! Got Questions? See Larry B.
OUR NEXT NORTHEAST COMMUNITY POTLUCK IS AUG. 14
Our next Northeast Community Potluck is Aug. 14 after our worship service. So, bring friends, a stranger, and a dish to pass and join us downstairs for a time of food, fun, and fellowship! Willing to help? Bless you! Please let Cherry P. know! (616) 916-7595
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER WED. NIGHT STUDY CONTINUES!
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
HELP! THE CHURCH BOARD APPROVED A 7 WK FALL SABBATICAL FOR PASTOR
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.
CHURCH POSTCARDS ARE AVAILABLE!
Is there someone missing or would like to invite to church? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? A simple hand written note blesses everyone! You will find them on the table under the missionary bulletin board in the Annex.
GENERAL SUPERINTENDENTS CALLS FOR PEACE, HEALING, RECONCILIATION
Recent global events remind us yet again that our world continues to be divided by many political, ethnic, racial, and cultural issues. Horrific violence in places such as the Middle East, Belgium, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Louisiana, Minnesota, Florida, and Texas, USA, cast images of hatred that illustrate these divisions and lead to alienation, strife, and brokenness. Our call to stand against hatred and for peace has not changed since we first issued the following statement in 2014:
The prophet Isaiah had a vision of God's people traveling through a very difficult wilderness. Their road went through a desert with valleys, hills, curves, and rough spots. Isaiah 40:1 states, "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God." The prophet goes on to promise the coming of a Messiah who will care for us. He uses this powerful imagery: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart" (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).
The Father sent His Son to live among us and be Immanuel, "God with us." He came to provide the way for our salvation and reconciliation to God and fellow human beings. This gospel message is for all people and makes us one at the foot of the Cross. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28, NIV). This declaration calls all followers of Christ to come together in love.
We are ambassadors of this gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20). In our world, we best reflect the example of Christ and the ones who live out the vision of Isaiah 40:1–11 when we:
• Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
• Mourn with those who mourn.
• Comfort people wherever we find them.
• Feel the pain of those who are hurting.
• Seek to alleviate that pain whenever possible.
• Be slow to speak and quick to listen to the positions of others.
• Seek to understand the situations of others.
• Show dignity and respect to everyone.
• Break down walls that separate.
• Build bridges that connect.
• Follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Peace.
• Extend grace and mercy to others as God has extended it to us.
• Pray for wisdom and direction to better reflect the example of Christ to others.
It is our hopeful prayer that wherever there are Nazarenes, they will stand for peace, healing, and reconciliation. Father, thank you for sending your Son into our divided world. Grant us the power of your Holy Spirit to be agents of support, comfort, peace, and healing. In Jesus' strong name we pray. Amen.
--Board of General Superintendents
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!
GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. and Sherry J.
EMOTIONS ANONYMOUS MEETS HERE ON TUESDAY’S AT 7:00PM
Do you often feel nervous, tense, or bored…have trouble sleeping or sleep too much… experience mood swings or feel useless? You’re not alone. At an EA meeting you’ll find others who’ve been where you are and experienced many of the same feelings, but, they found help at an Emotions Anonymous Meeting! Need more info? Look for literature rack in the ‘Community Room’ or call Helen W. (leader) at 616-363-7347.
OUR NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS AUG. 18 AT 11:30AM!
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is Aug. 18 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!
THE NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS IS SAT., AUG. 27 AT 10:30AM!
Cherry is planning the next Ladies Rendezvous for July 23 and all ladies are invited! Please contact Cherry for more info or if you need a ride! Call or text (616) 916-7595.
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!
Aug. 14 Northeast Community Potluck after our worship service