Dear Friends and Family!
We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! Some of you might have watched as I got up during the offering and left and thought of Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:23-24:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
While I can assure you, I didn’t leave because I needed to be reconciled with my brother or sister (or anyone else), I did leave when I realized I had forgotten my offering! It was only after returning from a quick jog to the parsonage that I smiled as I realized how much giving to God had become such a natural part of my life. It surely wasn’t always that way! Oh, the arguments Janie and I had over tithing! But not yesterday! Why? Well, after 27 years of faithfully tithing I can now testify Malachi was right when he wrote:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10).
Are you tithing? Why/why not? Look, I’ve got no idea whether you tithe or don’t (and I’m not suggesting you run home if you forget like I did), but I know God blesses those who give even when they don’t feel like it! How do I know? Because God blessed me! He’ll bless you, too!
Sunday, we continued our series on Discipleship Essentials by talking about another essential belief: Grace! In Luke chapter 15, Jesus gives three parables on searching: the lost lamb, the lost coin, and the lost son. While the people may have understood the need for a shepherd to search for a lost lamb and a bride to search for her lost bridal coin, they would be baffled by the Father’s response to a child that had been so ugly, rude, and disrespectful.
How might the world respond to a son like this ‘kid of yours?’ Yup, you made your bed, now go lie in it! Eat pig food and die! But, how did the Father in the parable respond to the prodigal? In a word, grace! Make that Amazing Grace! What kind of Father would look for the lost son, run to him when he saw him in the distance, wrap his arms around him, and kiss him? What kind of Father would put his best robe on him, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, and kill the fattened calf? You’re way ahead of me, aren’t you? That’s right, only a Heavenly Father filled with love, compassion, and grace! It is this Heavenly Father Jesus spoke of in John 3:16-17:
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
So what? Now what? For those living in a pig pen, it’s time to come home! For those already in the family of God, it’s time to get to work! Jesus came to show us a new way to live! It’s time to share the love and grace of God with others who need it. Who’s with me? Blessings! Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
BUY NOW FOR SCHOOL PAL PAKS!
These items are needed (NEW) & exact sizes:
- 2 composition notebooks (i.e. Mead), no larger than 9-3/4” x 7-1/2”. (Spiral bound NOT accepted.
- 1 package of #2 pencils (quantity of 10-12 pencils)
- 1 package of black pens (quantity of 10-12 pens)
- 2 pink erasers, 2-3” long
- 2 rulers (6” or 12”, with metric measurements)
- 1 package of colored pencils (quantity of 12-15)
- 1 pair of blunt-nosed scissors
- 1 hand-held pencil sharpenerIf you would like to donate cash or write a check for Pal-Paks, please make checks payable to the church and designate what the check is or. You can also make a cash donation by placing the money in an envelope and mark it “School Pak-Paks”.LABOR DAY WEEKEND @ INDIAN LAKE CAMPSee the poster for the speakers and other events. From Sept. 1-4, there are many things to do at the campground! This includes a chili cook off on Saturday, Sept. 2 @ 5 PM.There will be a new program where the children will have the whole church time for their program. They will meet in the basement for a social time before their service with cookies and a drink. This will be followed by singing praises and a lesson.
SIX (6) CHILDRENS MISSIONARY BOOKS ARE HERE!
Anyone with children, have them read these enjoyable books. For any child who reads all 6, a special event will be planned for them (a movie, Chuck E Cheese, or Craig’s Cruisers). See Cherry. [For adult missionary books, please see Sherry J.]
SUNDAY AFTERNOON BIKE RIDES
Let Pastor Dan know if you’re interested or have questions. This would be a great event to invite a friend!
What: Weekly Bike Rides
Where: From Rogue River Park in Belmont to Rockford on the White Pine Trail. Rogue River Park is located at 6300 Belmont Ave NE – Belmont, MI 49306
Cost: Free! (unless you plan to buy ice cream!)
INTERESTED IN CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
A series of membership classes will be starting soon. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene, or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by contacting him at: 616-204-1153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NEW BIBLE STUDY IS COMING!
Beginning in September, Mary W. will begin a study titled, “Remembering the Forgotten God”. This will be held Tuesdays at 10 AM for 7 weeks, beginning Sept. 12th.
SEPTEMBER IS ALABASTER MONTH!
See Sherry if you do not have an Alabaster box to put money or find one at the Sound Booth. Alabaster offering sends 100% of the money to the Mission Field to build buildings, and to purchase property for our missionaries.
RENUCCI HOUSE BREAKFAST – OCTOBER 21
If you are interested in joining in with this fun event, let Cherry or Deb know. We will be feeding 45-50 people who are staying here. These people have loved ones in the hospital. We will give them a good first meal of the day and pray for those who wish us to do so.
SOUND BOOTH PERSON STILL 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 email@example.com.
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!
August School Pal-Paks items being collected
September Alabaster Month
Sept. 1-4 Labor Day Weekend @ Indian Lake Camp
September 10 Children’s Church Begins Again!