We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! This week Mary W. taught adult Sunday school while Gerry D. was on vacation and we learned about Ruth and Naomi. What a great lesson! While many things were taught, including the awful cost of sinful disobedience, I was amazed again to see how God redeemed a sinful action for His glory! While the famine Judah faced (as a result of their sin) had successfully tempted Elimelech/Naomi to settle in forbidden Moab (resulting in their sons forbidden intermarriage and the deaths of Elimelech and his two sons), the former Moabite daughter in law Ruth chose God and became part of Jesus’ ancestral lineage! How wonderful is that? God can use anyone who has been off track (even you)! Amen!
God’s message to us this week came from John 20:19-31 and was titled, “When Miracles Fade.” What happens when we lose our ability to remember all that Jesus has done for us? We find an answer in John 20:19-31. Surely, these disciples had witnessed miracles, right? In the 3+ years they had spent with Jesus they had witnessed the lame-walk, the blind-see, water turned into wine, and Lazarus come from the tomb. Why, they had even begun hearing first hand reports that Jesus has resurrected and yet, in v. 19a we find them afraid locked in a room trembling.
Even after Jesus had miraculously came and stood with them in 19b and declared peace twice (v. 19b and v. 21) and had breathed on them the Holy Spirit (v. 22) they are still afraid behind a locked door when he miraculously came and stood with them again a week later (v. 26)! You’d think all of these miracles would have permanently changed them. You would think they would move boldly and confidently forward, but they didn’t. Sadly, these miracles didn’t change them; they only served to pacify them. Sadly, they remained firmly entrenched in their comfort zones.
But, if we turn the page in our Bibles we see a radical difference! The formerly fearful disciples have moved out from behind locked doors and start boldly sharing the good news (and lives are forever changed – see Acts 2:41) What made the difference? What moved them from fearful comfort to bold witnesses? They surrendered to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
What Jesus needs today isn’t a group of Christians at Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene clinging to stuff to keep them comfortable behind the safety of their locked doors. Jesus needs surrendered followers seeking His sanctifying and empowering Pentecostal Holy Spirit so they can change the world together! Are you ready? My prayer is that all of us would surrender so we may discover a holy boldness that will never fade away! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is April 29 @ 10:30 AM
We will be meeting at Morse’s home for this time of fellowship and fun. Call or text Cherry for any questions @ 616-916-7595.
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.
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!
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