Thursday, May 19, 2016

E-note From Pastor Andy 5-19-16

May 19, 2016

Dear Eastridge Family,

As many of you have heard by now, Lida Charters passed away this week at the nursing home in Lawrence, Kansas.  Lida was 91 years old.  The funeral service will be tomorrow morning at 10:30am here at the church.


Recently I was reading a sermon from Charles Spurgeon.  He was a British pastor in the second half of the 19th century.  I read once how he preached to a crowd of nearly 25,000 people in London on one occasion.  I wanted to share a few paragraphs form his sermon entitled, The Church's New Mission: Entertaining the Masses?

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years.  It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil.  It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments.  The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.
From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day.  Then she tolerated them in her borders.  Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church.  If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it?  "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)   That is clear enough,  So it would have been if He had added,  "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found.  It did not seem to occur to him.
Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers ... for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12).  Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them.  Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused?  The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world?  Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow.  He was in awful earnestness.
Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching.  I do not hear him say, "Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching.  We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it.  Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow."  Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.
In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement!  Their message is, "Come out, keep out...!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.
After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are."
If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel.  They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).  That is the only difference!  Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to the Bible.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired.  It works havoc among young converts.  Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify.  Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent!  Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up!  There are none to answer.  The mission of amusement produces no converts.  The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root.  The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

BOARD MEETING
Immediately following the morning worship service we will have a short meeting with the newly elected Church Board to get organized.
Our new board members include: Janeth Flores, Elaine Hunter, Dalia Vargas, Lucy Vargas, Nick Heer, Dan Henry, Norman Karns, Enrique Vargas, Todd Hunter, Stephanie Heer, and Estefania Peña

GRADUATION RECEPTION
We will have a graduation reception for our high school graduate Olga Vargas on Sunday May 29th after the worship service.

MNU OFFERING
We will be receiving a special church matching offering for our MNU students.  Olga Vargas is planning to attend MNU this fall and we want make sure to show our support.

FAVORITE QUOTE FROM SUNDAY SERMON
“If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” – A. W. Tozer


Fulfill the purpose you were put here on earth for.  No more delays.  No more excuses.  Do it – Tony Evans

Friday, May 6, 2016

Enote From Pastor Andy 5-6-16

May 6, 2016

Dear Eastridge Family,

This weekend is Mother’s Day and will be a terrific weekend to bring your mom, or your kids, to worship!  Pastor Andy Shimko has something special planned for the mothers and I of course plan to bring my camera if any mother wants a photo with her children.  I also plan to share a message about a godly mother from 1 Samuel, Hannah, the mother of Samuel.

Last week I came across a statement from J.B. Chapman, General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, on what it took to have revivals (1945):
"If revival did not come readily, we called a fast, and sometimes these fasts lasted for three days on the stretch.   I remember one fast that ran three days, then a day off for eating, then another three days, then a day off for eating, and then another three days’ fast.   And I don’t need to tell you that the revival broke.  And that is why I think I have a faraway look in my eye when present-day Nazarenes try to tell me it used to be easy to have revivals, and that now “nothing seems to move the people.”   The simplicity of our approach was matched by the earnestness of our purpose, and we always got into the tunnel so far that it was closer to go on through than to turn and come back."

How bad do we want revival?  How desperate are we for a powerful move of God?  Have we been seeking God with all of our heart, interceding for our OIKOS?

Birth Week
This week we had a double blessing with the birth of Emily Faith Shimko on Tuesday to Nathan and Andrea Estefania Shimko.  Also early on Wednesday morning Ana Peña gave birth to Samantha.

Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Tomorrow morning at 7:30am we will meet for breakfast and prayer in the Fellowship Hall.  All the men are invited.

Multiply
If you have not picked up your book be sure to do so on Sunday.  It is not too late to join a group for this important study of what it means to be a disciple and how to make disciples.
“Believing in Jesus and discipleship to Jesus are part of the same action.” — Richard Foster

Prayer
Remember Clara Jo Hinshaw in prayer as she recovers from a broken knee cap.


I’m excited about worship this weekend and look forward to seeing you as we celebrate Mother’s Day and the important women in our lives!


Pastor Andy

Friday, April 1, 2016

Enote From Pastor Andy

April 2, 2016


Dear Eastridge Family,

Now that we have celebrated Easter what should we do?  Sunday I plan to look at how Jesus directed his disciples in the message.  As I was considering the sermon for Sunday I was reminded of this prayer of church history:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.


·         Pastor Josh and Jill going away reception
This Sunday will be Josh and Jill’s last Sunday here at Eastridge.  Next week they will finish moving their belonging to Olathe where they will be serving at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene.   We want to express our thanks for their time ministering with us here at Eastridge so we will have a little reception following the morning worship service.  We will be serving some cake and drinks along with some appetizers.  You are welcome to bring some appetizers to share.  We are also asking you to bring a card to shower Josh and Jill with words of appreciation for their ministry.  Of course you are also welcome to include any money as a love offering to them as well.

·         Men's Prayer Breakfast
This Saturday at 7:30 in the Fellowship Hall we will have our monthly Men's Prayer Breakfast.  All men are invited.


Favorite Quotes of the Week
“The theology of wealth says, 'I give so that I can get.' Christian simplicity says, 'I get so that I can give.'” ― Richard J. Foster

"It's one thing to know about the Bible, and it's altogether another to have it dramatically transform your life." – A.W. Tozer

“Human beings sin most gravely at the point of their strengths, not their weaknesses.”  - Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a letter from Tegel Prison

"Jesus is the Transformer that makes the power and grace of God available for ordinary mortals to live by." - E. Stanley Jones

Eternity is already in session. - Dallas Willard

“Children learn to smile from their parents." - Shinichi Suzuki


See you in worship on Sunday,

Pastor Andy

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Enote From Pastor Andy 3-26-16

March 26, 2016

Dear Eastridge Family,

Yesterday was Good Friday, the day when Christ suffered and died.  Today is Holy Saturday and Sunday is Easter!  These three days represent the apex of Christianity’s defining story – that God came to us in Jesus, he suffered and died, descended to the dead and rose from the grave, defeating hell and sin and death.

A question that is often asked is this: “What did Jesus do after his death and before his resurrection.  Where did he go?”

The most common first century Jewish understanding of what happened at death was that the soul of the deceased went to the underworld – to Sheol – the place of the dead (in Greek this place was called Hades).  All the dead went there, but within Sheol there were thought to be two regions – Paradise where the righteous dead dwell awaiting the Final Judgment and Gehenna, a place of punishment where the unrighteous dead await the same final judgment. There are a host of different ideas and theories that swirled around these concepts.  But you can see them in Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus where the rich man dies and is in a place of suffering, but he can see across a chasm to where Lazarus, the poor man, is being comforted in the bosom of Abraham. We see it too when Jesus says to the thief on the cross, “today you will be with me in Paradise.”

 The Church has historically taught that Jesus died and descended to the realm of the dead just like anyone else does and that during that time he preached the good news to those who were in the realm of the dead.  This is called the “harrowing of hell” (hell being the name often used in the past for the realm of the dead, encompassing both Paradise and Gehenna).  I Peter 3:19-20 is often seen as referring to Christ’s proclaiming the good news to those in the realm of the dead.

We cannot know for sure what Christ was doing during those hours between his death and resurrection, but this is the traditional answer to the question.


·         Easter Offering
The Easter Offering is for the World Evangelism Fund (WEF). Traditionally, WEF is collected through two large offerings each year “the Thanksgiving and Easter offerings.”  The Nazarene Church has always had a strong history of supporting missions through their generous giving through these offerings. 

The law of harvest states that you may not reap when and where you sow—but you will always reap what you sow. As we prepare to give to this offering, remember it will come back to you (Luke 6:38) and the Lord…will bless you in everything Deuteronomy 15:10.



·         Easter Sunday March 27th
We will start our day with a Continental Breakfast at 9:00 AM – 9:45AM.  Followed by our Easter Service at 10:00 AM.  We will have Children’s Church as normal followed by our EASTER EGG HUNT.

The reason we have scheduled these special activities like Easter Egg hunt and Breakfast is to create an opportunity for us to invite unchurch friends and family to expose them to God’s people or to give them a “nudge” towards Jesus.  These activities are not designed to give us something to do.  So even if you do not have children who will be participating in the Easter Egg Hunt you may consider staying around to meet new people and show the love of Jesus to them.  Your first choice may not include having breakfast at the church but if we look at it from the perspective as an opportunity; an opportunity to visit with guest visitors why not come?

·         Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us." - John R.W. Stott

[The resurrection] remains the center around which all else is moving, from which all comes, and to which all is leading. - Karl Barth

“When Jesus rose from the grave He created a whole new race of people, not defined by color but defined by His blood” – Derwin Gray

Eternity is already in session. - Dallas Willard

“Children learn to smile from their parents." - Shinichi Suzuki


I am so looking forward to celebrating together on Easter,


Pastor Andy

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Enote From Pastor Andy 3-16-16

March 16, 2016

Dear Eastridge Family,

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day I thought I would share with you a few verses from the hymn, St. Patrick's Breastplate.  The hymn has nine verses but I will only share five of these verses:

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

St Patrick's breastplate is a remarkable hymn.  It is a tremendous call to follow Paul's exhortation to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10 – 18).  Patrick put on this Trinitarian armor in the face of human-sacrificing Druids, wizards, deadly tyrants, and worst of all, “the heart's idolatry.”

It is helpful to know more about Patrick to appreciate some of the lyrics of this masterful hymn.  The exact dates of his life are not certain, but about 390 – 461.  His day has been memorialized as a Feast Day in the West on March 17.  
He was the son of a Romano-British Christian kidnapped from his home in Scotland at 16 to be a slave in Ireland.  He escaped to Gaul where he became a monk and then devoted his life to go back to the place of his captivity to bring them the gospel.

He knew the free grace of God which comes through faith in Christ.  He wrote in his Confessio,
"I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many...I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people....And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son. Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity."

·         Work Day/Cleaning Day
On Saturday March 19th starting at 8AM we will have a cleaning/work day at the church trying get things ready for Easter guest.  The stewards are asking you to bring cleaning supplies that you could use as we do a good spring cleaning.  The Trustees have a list of projects that need attention.  The plan is to provide pizza for lunch for all the workers.
“Many hands make light work.”

Easter Offering
The Easter Offering is for the World Evangelism Fund (WEF). Traditionally, WEF is collected through two large offerings each year “the Thanksgiving and Easter offerings.”  The Nazarene Church has always had a strong history of supporting missions through their generous giving through these offerings. 
The law of harvest states that you may not reap when and where you sow—but you will always reap what you sow. As we prepare to give to this offering, remember it will come back to you (Luke 6:38) and the Lord…will bless you in everything Deuteronomy 15:10.

·         Easter Sunday March 27th
We will start our day with a Continental Breakfast at 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM.  Followed by our Easter Service at 10:00 AM.  We will have Children’s Church as normal followed by our EASTER EGG HUNT.

We still have need for candy donations for the Easter Egg hunt as well as workers to help stuff the eggs on the Saturday before Easter at 2PM.  We also have s signup sheet for the breakfast in the entry way at the church.

The reason we have scheduled these special activities like Easter Egg hunt and Breakfast is to create an opportunity for us to invite unchurch friends and family to expose them to God’s people or to give them a “nudge” towards Jesus.  These activities are not designed to give us something to do.  So even if you do not have children who will be participating in the Easter Egg Hunt you may consider staying around to meet new people and show the love of Jesus to them.  Your first choice may not include having breakfast at the church but if we look at it from the perspective as an opportunity; an opportunity to visit with guest visitors why not come?







·         Easter donations
Thank you to those who have already donated money to purchase candy and toys for the Easter Egg Hunt.  It does take a lot of candy to fill all of the Easter Eggs so we will certainly accept more donations.  We have sign-up sheets in the entryway at the church for items for the breakfast or to help with some of the activities.  Also we will be filling the eggs on the Saturday March 19th the week before Easter at noon.

·         Pastor Josh resignation
As most of you have heard Pastor Josh and Jill will be leaving Wichita to move to Olathe to accept a position as Youth Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene.  Their last Sunday here at Eastridge will be Sunday April 3rd

·         Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Fighting sheep are strange animals, and fighting Christians are self-evident contradictions.” – C.H. Spurgeon

"No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good." - C.S. Lewis

"The sin that is most destructive in your life right now is the one you are most defensive about." – Tim Keller

"Trying to be happy without a sense of God's presence is like trying to have a bright day without the sun." – A.W. Tozer


I am looking forward to working with you on Saturday and worshipping with you on Sunday,


Pastor Andy

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

E-Note From Pastor Andy 2-23-16

February 23, 2016

I have some good news…we can call Tim and Nelly Bertrand, grandpa and grandma.  Their daughter Cladia gave birth Monday evening to Averie Sky weighing 7 lb 10 oz, and she was 20 inches long.





I continue to encourage everyone to work to put into practice the “Disciple Challenge” or the B.E.L.L. challenge.  Bless and Eat with three people each week.  Listen and Learn from God each week.  These habits or practices will help us become more like Jesus but it will not happen accidentally.  We must be intentional in our pursuit of becoming like Jesus.

·         Nursery Shower
I want to say a big thanks to everyone who brought gifts and participated to make the nursery shower a big success.  We posted some photos of the shower on our Facebook page “Eastridge Nazarene Church” check them out.  If you are interested in being a volunteer to work in our nursery we do need some help even during the Sunday school hour so please see Stephanie Heer or Jill Heer in you would like to help.

·         Alabaster
On Sunday February 28th we will receive our Alabaster Offering.  This offering provides funds for property and buildings around the world.  While we understand the church consists of the people of God, buildings erected for the purpose of ministry help provide a sense of permanence, functionally enhance ministry efforts, and convey an attitude that the Church of the Nazarene intends to "put down roots."  Alabaster funds help provide for many Work & Witness projects, and the entire Alabaster Offering goes toward the purchase of land and construction of churches, schools, medical facilities, and homes for missionaries and national workers.

·         Man’s Prayer Breakfast/Ladies Prayer night
Each Monday evening at 5:30 Elaine Hunter is meeting with women to pray at the church.  If you would like to come together for prayer please contact Elain for more details.
Men be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday,  March 5th at 7:30 am for our monthly prayer breakfast.  This month Nick Heer has the devotional and Todd Hunter is providing the food.

·         Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good but to make dead people live!” - Ravi Zacharias

"If your life does not worship God, your lips do not worship God either."  - A.W. Tozer

"Evil is an attempt to live life against itself, and it cannot be done.  So evil is not only bad—it's stupid." - E. Stanley Jones


I am looking forward to worshipping with you Sunday,


Pastor Andy

Saturday, February 13, 2016

E-Note From Pastor Andy 2-13-16

February 13, 2016

According to Flurry, "Time spent on a mobile device by the average US consumer has risen to 2 hrs and 42 minutes per day."  If you watch less than five hours of television each day, then consider yourself below average.  The typical American spent 4 hours and 51 minutes in front of a TV screen per day, according to a report from ratings company Nielsen.

It's no secret that people spend a lot of time with electronic gadgets these days.  How much time that actually is, is astonishing nonetheless: according to Nielsen's Total Audience Report, Americans aged 18 and older spend more than 11 hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio or using smartphones and other electronic devices.
Considering that most people are awake 16 to 18 hours a day, 11 hours of electronic media usage seems like a lot, but, to be fair, much of that probably happens while doing other things at the same time.  It's a good thing people were given the ability to multitask; otherwise we wouldn't get a whole lot done these days.

Tomorrow I will continue my sermon series “Life is Too Short…”  I want to consider how we spend our time.  Do we get distracted with things of little eternal value?

·         Church Dinner
On Sunday February 14th we will have a church dinner following the morning worship service.  We are asking everyone to bring a main dish along with a side or dessert to share with your family and any guest we may have.

·         Nursery Shower
Our nursery has been repainted and new carpet has been installed.  We removed the broken toys and now it is time to get some new ones age appropriate for our nursery.  We need toys for children ages 0-3 years.  If you would like to donate toys or money for the purchase of new toys please contact Dalia Vargas or Jill Heer.
On Sunday February 21st after the morning worship service we will allow our children to open the toys and have  a short time of fellowship and refreshments.



·         Alabaster
On Sunday February 28th we will receive our Alabaster Offering.  This offering provides funds for property and buildings around the world.  While we understand the church consists of the people of God, buildings erected for the purpose of ministry help provide a sense of permanence, functionally enhance ministry efforts, and convey an attitude that the Church of the Nazarene intends to "put down roots."  Alabaster funds help provide for many Work & Witness projects, and the entire Alabaster Offering goes toward the purchase of land and construction of churches, schools, medical facilities, and homes for missionaries and national workers.

·         Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good but to make dead people live!” - Ravi Zacharias

"Christ was buried in a garden because He delivers us from the death we incur through Adam's sin in the garden of paradise." – Thomas Aquinas

“Lord, make me a person I couldn't be without your gracious intervention into my life.” - Will Willimon

"The whole preaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles is concerned with the kingdom of God." - Herman Ridderbos

“Do you spend more time telling God how big your problems are, or telling your problems how big your God is?”  - Jason Meyer


I am looking forward to worshiping with you tomorrow,

Pastor Andy