We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! I must say sickness is ravaging us, though! Let’s keep Cherry P., Beverly S., Gerry D., Sherry J., Linda R., Ronda H., and Rev. Christopher in our prayers as they regroup, strengthen, and get better! When you add the folks on vacation and those who had to work and depend on rides from those who are sick, it was slim pickings this week! In fact, if ever there was a week we might be tempted to ‘look around’ instead of ‘looking up’ it was this week…and yet, God showed up and we were blessed! Praise the Lord!
God’s message this week came from Matthew 4:1-11 and was titled, “There’s a Wilderness Near You.” While some of us may still view the wilderness as dark and dismal places, they can also be healing, fruitful, powerful, and life changing places! Between Matthew 3:16-17 and 4:1 there is an amazing contrast. Jesus has left the crowded lush communal Jordan river bank with its affirmations from John the Baptist and God the Father Himself at Jesus’ baptism in 3:16-17 and was led directly into the desert wilderness by the Spirit in 4:1 where He would be tempted.
The first observation is that we will all face barren wilderness places of temptation. Note: For some of us, it would take place right after a great spiritual victory or mountain top experience! The question is…are you ready to overcome the wilderness temptation when it comes? As we enter the 7-week period of Lent, let’s look at the three keys to Jesus’ victory over temptation!
In v. 2 we find the first and second keys: prayer and fasting. “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry” (Matthew 4:2). How do you think Jesus prayed? I believe Jesus’ prayer was fervent, passionate, and schedule busting prayer. Even before His 40 days in the desert, Jesus was spending vast amounts of time in fervent prayer. This was the source of His strength! How about you? Are you a person of prayer? Do you pray with fervency and passion?
Not only did Jesus pray: He fasted! One scholar wrote, “Jews commonly practiced fasting in order to spend more time in prayer and to develop greater spiritual receptivity.” Do you have a strong signal from the ‘Heavenly Broadcasting System?’ God is constantly broadcasting a strong signal with a clear picture of how our life should be. Jesus subjected His body to great limitation so that His soul and mind could pray and receive a clear signal from God. How about you? What needs to be removed to improve your spiritual receptivity?
Finally, in vv. 3-11 Jesus shows us the third key: memorizing the Holy Scriptures! Three times Satan tempts Jesus and three times Jesus responds by quoting Scripture. He had His Sword ready for the attack! How about you? Are you reading your Bible and memorizing Scripture? Satan will attack! You can get through periods of spiritual wilderness and dryness and coldness in the soul by praying and fasting intensely and memorizing Scripture!
Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
To date, the Alabaster offering funds received are $474.23! If you still have money for this fund, just bring it in this Sunday.
COLLECTION OF ITEMS FOR CRISIS CARE KITS:
We will be collecting the following items for crisis care kits. These will need to be ready to go by March 18th.
Each Crisis Care Kit includes the following new items in a 2-gallon Ziploc bag:
- 1 medium size bottle of shampoo (12-18 oz) [Please tape the flip-tops closed]
- 2 bars of soap (bath-size or larger)
- 1 medium toothpaste (4.0-6.4 oz)
- 3 toothbrushes (in original packaging)
- 1 box of Band-Aids (30 or more)
- 1 fingernail clipper
- 1 sturdy hair comb
- 2 hand towels
- 4 pocket-size packages of facial tissue
- 1 Beanie Baby-size stuffed toyWANTED: SINGERS FOR THE EASTER CANTATA
NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS:
Join in the fun and fellowship with other ladies from our church. We will be meeting Saturday, March 25th, at 10:30AM at the church. We plan on stuffing the Easter eggs for the children at this meeting. Call/text Cherry for rides or information @ 616-916-7595. See you there!!!
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH @ HIBACHI GRILL ON ALPINE AVE:
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.
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: email@example.com or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
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!
Now – March 18 Collection of items for Crisis Care Kits
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