It was another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! This Sunday at 5 pm we had our monthly Missionary Gathering and it was another good one! In fact, those who didn’t come missed an opportunity to meet ‘Pete the Sheep’ and his desire to just eat lunch for himself while other sheep just across the fence were staring (and starving). Sherry is wonderful in the way she provides us insight into how the Nazarene Church is reaching the world with the good news of Jesus through singing, prayer, stories read about the missionaries, and of course, good food at our potluck! I would encourage everyone to come in April and be blessed! You won’t regret it!
God’s message this week came from John 9:1-41 and was titled, “A Sight for Sore Eyes.” Two weeks ago we discovered Jesus offered love and grace to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish Ruling Council. Nick had everything: position, wealth, influence; status, education, and respect---and yet he was still searching for something that satisfied. He found it in Jesus!
Last week we discovered Jesus offering love and grace to what the world might describe as a five-time sinful loser, too! There we met a sarcastic and skeptical woman from Samaria whom everyone had given up on...that is, except Jesus! Jesus loved and rocked her world! She would never be the same! He can change yours, too! Will you let Him love you?
This week we discovered several stories of blindness in John c. 9. Throughout the chapter we find the story of a man born physically blind being miraculously healed by Jesus through the use of a mudpack made from spit and dirt washed off in the Pool of Siloam and how others react to this miracle of sight in their midst. In faith, the man born blind does as Jesus asks and ‘he comes home seeing’ (v. 7). Though he doesn’t know exactly who healed him, he argues Jesus must be a prophet (v. 17) and it’s apparent he’s become a follower of Jesus! He’s bold and courageous!
But the story isn’t limited to physical blindness. In vv. 8-12 we find neighbors blinded by doubt. In vv. 18-23 we find parents blinded by fear. Each of these seemingly wants to believe, but they remain blind to the Truth that Jesus is indeed, ’…the light of the world’ (v. 5). However, those who seem most blind are the Pharisees. They are blind to the possibility a loving God could heal on the Sabbath! (v. 16). They are blind to the possibility Jesus had actually healed a man born blind (v. 18). They were blind to the fact Jesus was the prophesied Messiah (vv. 28-30) and finally they were blind to Jesus’ rebuke regarding their intentional blindness (vv. 39-41).
So how about you? Are you blind to the truth that God so loves the world that he sent Jesus to save you? Are you blinded by fear that someone may find out you’re Christian? Are you blind to the possibility Jesus desires to radically transform someone you’ve written off as hopeless? Are you blind to the possibility Jesus might do something miraculous in a way outside the safe box you’ve kept Him in? May we all have the testimony of a man radically transformed by Jesus, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (v. 25b). Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
TIME TO ORDER EASTER FLOWERS-due this Sunday 4/2!
The order form for these flowers is in the weekly church program. Cost is $7.25 each for 6” Easter Lilies, 6” Tulips (red, pink, or yellow), and 6” Mini Daffodils. Pastor Dan volunteered to pick out flowers for you if you do not know what you want – just hand him $20 or so!
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DR. JOHN SEAMAN
On Saturday, April 8, 2017, there will be a memorial service for Dr. Seaman at Jackson First Church of the Nazarene, 3905 Clinton Road, Jackson, MI 49201. From 1-3 PM will be a time of Family Greeting, and at 3 PM will be the Memorial Service.
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?
SOUND BOOTH PERSON NEEDED:
The church is looking for someone who is interested in being a sound booth technician. You will need to be able to attend music practices Sunday morning at 9 AM. Let Janie know if you are interested at 616-204-2499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is April 22 @ 10:30 AM
LADIES DAY AT ONU: April 22, $30.00, $10.00 for a box lunch. Join other women for a day of learning, laughter, music and fellowship! For tickets, call 855-98-SHINE or visit iTickets.com. (Box lunches are only available to order through March 31.) Featured will be Missy Robertson from Duck Dynasty and Grayson Reed.
If you are interested in having a Friday night full of laughter, Chonda Pierce, with special guest, Karyn Williams, are at Grand Rapids First Church 5/5. Tickets can be purchased at ticket.com. If anyone is interested, call/text Cherry @ 616-916-7595.
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 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!
April 8 Memorial Service for Dr. John Seaman at Jackson First Church
April 8 Board Meeting at Church
April 9 Palm Sunday
April 16 Easter Sunday
April 22 Ladies Day @ ONU with Missy Robertson & Grayson Reed
May 5 Happily Laughter After Tour with Chonda Pierce at Grand Rapids
May 28 A Moment in Time at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island
June 18-23 General Assembly 2017 Work & Witness Project