Dear Friends and Family!
Yes, we had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! This week something happened that made me think…As I was standing in the lobby before our worship service Valda E. kept pacing back and forth looking out the door. When I asked why, she enthusiastically shared her hope that a friend she had invited to church this week might come. Her eagerness and excitement at the thought of this friend visiting was so intense it almost seemed tangible.
And this made me wonder…how long has it been since I was this excited about a visitor coming to our church? How long had it been since I found myself pacing back and forth excited at the notion someone I had invited might come worship; might experience the salvation I’d received? Thanks for the reminder, Valda! May all of us find ourselves pacing in the lobby praying that our friend, coworker, classmate, or acquaintance will join us here at Northeast Community! Amen!
Our message this week came from Psalm 126 and was titled, “Stewardship of our Wealth.” A steward is someone who has responsibility to take care of someone else’s property. Christians understand God is the Creator and Sustainer of all we have, including ourselves. Our task, then, is to care for all God possesses including ourselves, our gifts and talents, and our wealth!
Ps. 126 was written as the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. How did they respond to their newfound freedom? We read in vv. 1b-2b, “…we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” Do you remember when you were freed from your captivity? Ps. 126 reminds us stewardship begins with our testimony! They are gifts to give thanks for, internalize, and then tell others!
This is the foundation for stewardship! Long before you had enough sense to care for yourself; while you were still stuck in the muck, God sent Jesus to save you and set you free! In v. 3 the Psalmist declared, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
But, when the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem and the surrounding cities they found the Temple, sacred sites, walls, and homes destroyed. While they had been released from captivity, their lives were in shambles. In v. 4 the people pray, “Restore our fortunes, O LORD…” Know the feeling? I sure did! Yes, Jesus had forgiven and set me free, but oh the disaster I was when He found me. Yes, I wanted Him to restore my fortunes, but I had to face the consequences first.
But, as God’s prophet at this time made clear in Malachi, the key to rebuilding your life and ‘fortune’ is to put the LORD first in your life! Even when rebuilding your life, putting my needs before God is to ‘rob God’ (see Malachi 3:8). The Psalmist puts it this way: “He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him” (126:6). Bottom line, those who trust God first, even in the midst of difficulty and tears, will be blessed! May each of us learn to put God first by giving our 10% tithe joyfully! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH @ HIBACHI GRILL ON ALPINE AVE:
Meet and enjoy the food and fellowship at this event. Meet at the restaurant at 11:30 AM.
Join in the fun and fellowship with other ladies from our church. We will be meeting Saturday, January 21, at 10:30AM at the church. Bring along your own craft to work on, or assist with another craft (making cards for Tracy to send to church people), or just sit and enjoy the conversation! We will also be making plans for the upcoming year and future meeting dates. Call/text Cherry for rides or information @ 616-916-7595. See you there!!!
THE PATH OF A PEACEMAKEROn Saturday January 21, 2017 the Michigan District is sponsoring “The Path of a Peacemaker” workshop at the Perry Church of the Nazarene. The Path of a Peacemaker is intended to assist all believers in resolving conflicts biblically with one another. The goal of Path is to bring healing, reconciliation, and restoration to relationships among believers in Christ. Through its use ministries will be renewed, grace will be promoted, and the witness of Christ greatly enhanced. The cost is $10.00. If you think you might be interested in attending, please see Pastor Dan.
ATTENTION ALL KNITTERS:
If you knit or crochet, and can make hats and/or mittens for men or women, the stewards would love to add them to the bags for the homeless.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE HOMELESS BAGS (to February 12):
- Socks, 2) combs, 3) hand sanitizer, 4) toothbrush, 5) toothpaste, 6) dental floss,
7)Kleenex, 8) Band-aids, 9) crackers (or other non-perishable food items), 10) $5-10 gift cards at fast food restaurants, 11) bottle of water, 12) mints, 13) words of encouragement, 14) feminine hygiene products (for female bags only), 15) black permanent marker
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2017 WORK & WITNESS PROJECT:
I'm writing to invite you and any members of your church to be a part of the largest Nazarene Work & Witness project called, One Heart - Many Hands Indianapolis 2017! This week-long service project will take place June 18-23. In a recent conversation with Dr. David Downs, the District Superintendent of the West Texas District, it came to my attention that many pastors are under the impression that One Heart - Many Hands (OHMH) projects are just for youth groups. In actuality, OHMH is a Work & Witness project geared for the entire church to participate in. Many churches bring multi generational groups who work on the project and learn from each other. In past General assembly years we have averaged 2000 Nazarenes serving together with OHMH to leave the fingerprints of God all over the General Assembly host city. I'm sure you receive hundreds of emails each year encouraging you and your church to be a part of something… OHMH is a unique Work & Witness project that not only affords your group the opportunity to be involved in missions together but also to experience the Global Church of the Nazarene in a very visible and tangible way as team members participate in the General Assembly services. Would you prayerfully consider encouraging your church to take advantage of this opportunity to serve alongside thousands of Nazarenes this summer in Indianapolis? For more information about this service project please contact our office at email@example.com or visit our website at www.oneheartmanyhands.com. Thank you, George Sisler
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.
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.
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!
Now to Feb. 12 Collection of Items for the Homeless
Jan. 19 Third Thursday Chinese Lunch @ Hibachi Grill-Alpine @ 11:30 AM
Jan. 21 Workshop – The Path of a Peacemaker – Perry Church of the Naz