Dear Friends and Family!
What a wonderful day we had in the Lord, Sunday! Not only did we have a wonderful Sunday school hour, and time of worship, but we had a great feast, too! That’s right! After our worship service we gathered in the fellowship hall and had our every other month potluck and it was wonderful! I do believe our ladies and men prepare the best food found anywhere! Thank you Cherry, Steve, and everyone else who helped set up, prepare food, and clean up! God is good!
God’s message this week came from Matthew 5:1-12 and was titled, “Are you Blessed?” Every age and culture has its own idea of what it means to be blessed and they’re surprisingly similar. They all associate being blessed with some form of popularity, power or wealth — sometimes, all three. But in Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus these definitions of being blessed and turns them on their head. In fact, in these opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus re-defines what it means to be blessed in a way some describe as His ‘opening salvo” against worldly living.
You’ll notice in the beatitudes we find a present tense verb combined with a future tense verb. Jesus is declaring the Kingdom of God has come in Him, but is also coming! Therefore, each of the beatitudes therefore describes what already is regarding the Kingdom and what is to come! The first beatitude speaks of the importance of a humble and repentant heart. The “poor in spirit” are those who know that they are dependent upon God for their salvation. They know their own acts, their own knowledge, and their own talents will never be sufficient for salvation.
In the second beatitudes in v. 4 we discover Jesus declaring there is not only comfort now when we mourn our own personal losses, but there is coming a time when He will likewise comfort those mourning the casualties of a fallen world. In a world plagued with separation and pain, Jesus promises comfort when the Kingdom comes.
In the third beatitude Jesus declares the Kingdom will be filled with humble people who will reject the worlds arrogance, power, and pride, and accept the fact that we’re not in charge of everything going on around us. Like the “poor in spirit,” the meek are those who rely upon God.
In the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh beatitudes in vv. 6-9 we discover the new Kingdom challenges our appetites (selfish vs. righteous) and these appetites require us to act differently. Our hunger and thirst for righteousness not only results in being filled for our own sakes, but will result in being more Christlike in our behavior to others. Mercy will replace justice, purity in heart will replace hypocrisy, and peacemaking will replace warring and passive indifference.
Finally, in the eighth beatitude, Jesus declares those who embrace His reordering (Kingdom vs. worldly) will face direct and indirect persecution and will rejoice! Note: Jesus tells us to rejoice not in spite of persecution, but because of it. The fact we’re persecuted proves our Christianity! Are you blessed? You are, if you choose humility, comfort the hurting, show mercy to those not deserving mercy, yield fully to the will of God, and actively enter the cultural war with words of peace all the while knowing you will be persecuted for standing up for Christ and His Kingdom! Let’s help Jesus turn the world upside down. Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
ITEMS FOR THE HOMELESS:
Praise God, we collected enough items for the homeless to make 25 bags for men, and 13 bags for women!!!! (A total of 38 bags) What a great way to show love to the unfortunate at this time of year! Thank you everyone for your generosity!
WED. NIGHT HAS MOVED TO THE PARSONAGE!
Our Wed. night Bible study for all ages will meet at the parsonage across the parking lot (883 Fuller Ave NE). By doing this, we are being good stewards by not spending the money needed to heat the church over the winter. The Study will still be from 6:30-7:30 and we will still eat ice cream! Invite a friend and come over!
WANTED: SINGERS FOR THE EASTER CANTATA
On Saturday, February 18th, at 10 AM, join us at the church to practice the Easter cantata we will be doing. Come praise the Lord and make a joyful noise!
FEBRUARY IS ALABASTER MONTH
Please be sure to fill up those alabaster boxes at home. Don’t have one? That is easily solved as there are extra boxes at church to be used. Save those coins, dollar bills, gold, silver, or cash in those pop cans. This money will be collected February 26th. Mark it on your calendar!
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH @ HIBACHI GRILL ON ALPINE AVE:
Meet us there and enjoy the food and fellowship on February 16th. Meet at the restaurant at 11:30 AM.
NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS:
Join in the fun and fellowship with other ladies from our church. We will be meeting Saturday, February 25th, 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! Call/text Cherry for rides or information @ 616-916-7595. See you there!!!
STILL NEEDED: ONE CHILDREN’S CHURCH TEACHER
Please contact Mary W. to help with this need. While most of the weeks have a teacher and a helper, one more teacher is still needed. Is God calling you to do this?
TEAM Day 2017 IS COMING TO Perry Michigan again on March 18, 2017. We are looking forward to a full day of inspiration, motivation, rekindling friendships, networking with others, and soaking up the possibilities for ministry in your local community. Our goal every year is that people will make connections with ministries, and to be encouraged to look for the possibilities for ministry in their community. TEAM Day is about letting you meet and talk to other people from around our three Michigan Districts and our Educational Region, and see the opportunities for ministry that are in our communities. We have workshops on many topics that are vital in the church (leadership, worship, discipleship, missions, children, youth). We will have an enlightening worship service to start the day. Lunch is included on the campus of the school. There are ministry vendors that will be available throughout the day to discuss specific ministries that you may want to participate Some of you may say “But I am already so busy, I am tired…”; this is a chance to recharge your batteries. This is a chance to see others who are also busy, and to encourage each other. You are not serving on an island, we need to support and encourage each other. TEAM Day is one way that we can help do that. Mark your calendars (Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Perry Michigan from 8 am to 4 pm). Visit the website www.minaz.org/teamday, download the brochure, and register yourself and several from your church to attend. The cost is $30 before February 15, and $40 after February 15 and before March 1st. We hope to see you there!PO Box 678 , Perry, MI 48872
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
email: email@example.com or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
The Michigan District Church of the Nazarene presents: A MOMENT IN TIME At the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island on May 28 – May 30, 2017
A Moment in Time is open to all ages of families and individuals. The cost is only $345 per person. Children ages 12-17 are $185 and children birth to age 11 are free.
· Two nights lodging at the historic Grand Hotel
· Two delectable five course dinners
· Two scrumptious breakfasts (choice of menu/breakfast buffet or continental)
· Adult round-trip ferry ride (ages 5-11 are $12)
· All baggage handling
The first non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by March 27th. The balance is due April 22nd. Please see the attached brochure for all of the details!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Feb. 16 Third Thursday Chinese Lunch @ Hibachi Grill-Alpine @ 11:30 AM
Feb. 26 Alabaster Offering taken
May 28 A Moment in Time at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island