Dear Friends and Family!
We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! This week we had another twofer! A twofer you ask? Yup, not only were we able to be discipled and worship Sunday morning, but we had an opportunity to worship and learnSunday night in our Missionary Gathering! What a joy it is to worship, be discipled, and grow in grace! God is good! In Sunday school we learned the theology of gifts and then took a Spiritual Gifts inventory. If you would like your own spiritual gifts inventory, let me know! We need everyone to not only know what their gifts are; we need them to put them to use for the Kingdom!
God’s message this week came from John 3:1-18 and was titled, “Wrapped in Love.” In this familiar story we find Nicodemus, a member of the ruling Jewish Council in a conversation with Jesus at night. As an expert in the Law, his life had been saturated with the life and writings of Moses and the prophets. He had devoted his life to keeping God’s law, securing a respected position with influence, status, and respect, but his soul was awakened to a need!
Nicodemus came seeking a better understanding of Jesus, but Jesus knew what he really needed. “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (v. 3). Unless Nicodemus underwent a radical, spiritual, rebirth, that required him to confess his sins, change his allegiances, receive the Holy Spirit, and follow Jesus, not only would he not understand the fullness of Jesus and the kingdom, but he wouldn’t even be part of it!
After referring to an O.T. story from Numbers 21, that demonstrated God’s saving grace among a rebellious and ungrateful people, Jesus declares: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
How did he respond? The Bible is silent, but we do see Nicodemus after Jesus is crucified: “Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus…..With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds” (John 19:38a-39).
Perhaps it was the fulfillment of Jesus prophesy (of hanging on the tree), but here we find Nicodemus risking career, reputation, and his way of life to demonstrate publically his love for Jesus. Nicodemus had crossed the line! Nicodemus had been born again!
So, what about you? Has your soul been awakened to a need by the Holy Spirit? Is it time for you to be born again? Perhaps you’ve been embarrassed to declare your allegiance to Christ publically fearing what others might say? If so, it’s time to realize how much God loves you, step out into the open, and cross the line! I pray you do! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
MEIJER COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM HAS ENDED
Meijer has ended their Meijer Community Rewards program (MCR), that donated 4% of Meijer purchases to non-profits like us, in part, because it was not being used. The letter we received does indicate Meijer remains committed to non-profits, giving on average 7% of their profits to charity, but will do so differently going forward. Bless each of you who purchased from Meijer and designated us as your charity. You made a difference!
YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE! NO MORE BULLYING! CALVIN COLLEGE MUSICAL!
Calvin College is offering a musical in an attempt to address the important issue of bullying and bullying prevention. It is designed for children between 5thand 8th grades. Written by Tricia Bayfield, it follows the story of Sticks (a student having a hard time fitting in), Pellagia (a refuge from Africa trying to find acceptance) and Diamond (who has created a tough exterior to mask her pain). Through songs and short scenes, the production shows the effects of bullying and how bystanders and friends can make a difference. The musical plays Fri., Sep. 23 and Sat., Sep. 24 at 7:30pm. Cost is $5 a ticket. Reservations can be made by calling the Calvin Box Office at (616) 526-6282.
DOG DAYS OF SUMMER WED. NIGHT BIBLE STUDY CONTINUES!
Regardless of your experience, background, or age, our Dog Days of Summer Wed. night program is a great time of singing, prayer, and Bible study. Come join us and be blessed! Remember, we always end our Wed. Night study with ice cream!
THE NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS IS SAT., SEP. 24 AT 10:30AM!
Cherry is planning the next Ladies Rendezvous for Sep. 24 and all ladies are invited! Please contact Cherry for more info or if you need a ride! Call or text (616) 916-7595.
SCHOOL PAL PAKS! BRING YOUR SCHOOL SUPPLIES!
The Church of the Nazarene operates many schools around the world, providing quality education for children. Unfortunately, many families can’t even afford basic supplies. To meet this need, our NMI department collects and ships ‘School Pal-Paks’ that are made available to kids around the world. Will you help? A list of the supplies needed for each School Pal-Pak will be in the bulletin this week or you can click here for a shopping list. http://nmi.nazarene.org/Stories/docs/Giving/Compassion/SPP_Shopping-List.pdf
ATTENTION CHILDREN/PARENTS! CHILDREN’S CHURCH RETURNS SEPT. 11
Children’s Church is a kids focused time of worship where kids through 5th grade are dismissed before the morning message for their own age appropriate opportunity to learn about Jesus, work with their hands, and move from qualified and background checked adult leaders! Children’s Church begins Sep. 11th and is offered every week except the first Sunday of the month when we celebrate communion together! Need more information or have questions? See or contact Mary W. at (616) 337-4549.
OUR FALL ALABASTER OFFERING IS SEP. 18! LET’S MARCH!
Our twice a year Alabaster Offering is Sun., Sep. 18th. Every penny of this loose change offering goes directly to the mission field to purchase land and materials to construct buildings. Of course, cash, checks, and gold doubloons are welcome, too! Need an Alabaster box? See Sherry J. our Missionary President to get one!
YOU’RE INVITED TO O.N.U.’S GRAND RAPIDS OPEN HOUSE SEP. 08 (4:00-7:00PM)
From their invite: Interested in going back to school? Attend an open house to learn more about ONU’s graduate and degree completion programs! Staff will be on hand to answer questions about admissions, financial aid, transferability and more. For those who attend the open house, we will waive the $50 application fee. Please R.S.V.P. to815.936.3944, email email@example.com (or call) 877.965-4838.
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.
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. or 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.
COME TO THE FIRE 2016
We are excited about this year's theme for Come to the Fire: Restore the Joy. Isaiah 35 describes what happens when God restores His Church. The once barren landscape will suddenly burst with joy! We long for the day when God visits His people once again. He’ll come in response to our prayers, and many of you have been praying. I am grateful for each of you who have continued to pray. At the set time, He will come!
Recently I was reading some of the many amazing testimonies of transformed lives from previous conferences, and quietly said, "Jesus, You did that!" The Spirit whispered, "I can do even more." Our hearts' cry is for restoration to the body of Christ. Will you pray that the council will have guidance in planning an event in which God will send revival?"Shout, and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming," declares the LORD. (Zechariah 2:10). Registration will be up soon at cometothefire.org. Aletha Hinthorn
SAVE THE DATE! OUR NEXT NORTHEAST COMMUNITY POTLUCK IS OCT. 09
Make plans to attend our October Community Potluck after our worship service. Willing to help? Bless you! Please let Cherry P. know! (call or text (616) 916-7595
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!
OUR NEXT 3RD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS SEP. 15!
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is Sep. 15 at 11:30am 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!
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. 29 Ladies Bible Study on Daniel @ 10am
Sep. 18 Fall Alabaster Offering
Sep. 26/Nov. 13 Pastor Dan and Janie’s 7-week Sabbatical
Oct. 09 Northeast Community Potluck after our worship service
Nov. 10-12 Come to the Fire (Nashville, TN)