Thursday, August 28, 2014

E-note From Pastor Andy 8-28-14

August 28, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

I was rereading the little book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Life Together” while waiting on my oil to be changed in my van.  Bonhoeffer is about as good as you can get when it comes to understanding and articulating Christian community.  He has so many excellent quotes but let me share just a few with you:
"The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer." - I wonder how many of us would agree with this first statement.

“Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.”

“If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you.”

“‘Seek God, not happiness’—this is the fundamental rule of all meditation.  If you seek God alone, you will gain happiness: that is a promise."

“The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them.  Just as love to god begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them…Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render,  They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.”

We want Eastridge Church to be place where people can discover genuine Christian fellowship.  We want to be a church which strengthens families and marriages.  Another pastor I know likes to prescribe four things that must be regularly said or done to create healthy relationships in our families:
1. Express your love often,
2. Listen carefully devoting your full attention,
3. Say "I am sorry" and "I forgive you" regularly,
4. Express gratitude frequently.

Have you expressed your love for your family members yet this week?  Take a few moments before you head to bed tonight to drop them a note, a text, a Facebook message or give them a call saying, "I love you because…" Or maybe you simply need to thank them, or give them the gift of your full attention.

·         Larry Matthews Funeral
On Sunday morning Larry Matthews, Cheryl Hunter’s father died.  The funeral service being held at 10 a.m. Friday, August 29, at Eastridge Church and the church will provide a dinner for the family following the service.  We want to lift up the family in prayer during this time.

·         No Sunday Evening Service this week
Since this weekend is the Labor Day holiday several folks will be traveling out of town and getting together with family and friends we will not have our Sunday evening service and the youth group will not meet either this Sunday evening.

·         Church Matching MNU Scholarship Offering
If you were unable to participate in the MNU Church matching offering it is not too late.  You can still mark you envelope or check MNU and we will see that our two students Anna and Sarah will get the scholarship. Anna and Sarah plan to continue pursuing their degree in nursing.  We will miss the twins and their work in children’s church and with the youth department.  We are always looking for volunteers and maybe there is someone who may want to help fill their spots on the schedule.
MidAmerica Nazarene University  (MNU) offers a Church Matching Scholarship for each student.  For every dollar the local church gives to that student (up to $500 each) the school will match and apply towards their tuition. 

·         Church website
If you have not checked out the church website recently we have added a few new photos

I look forward to seeing you in Worship this Sunday morning.

Pastor Andy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

E-note From Pastor Andy 8-13-14

August 13, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

What is the first thing you do after waking up?  Be honest.  I’ll admit that I reach for my smartphone—mostly because it’s my alarm clock, but also to see if Vladimir Putin killed anyone overnight. (I like to check the headlines.)  It turns out I’m not alone.  79% of us reach for our phones within 15 minutes of waking, and 62% go for it immediately.  Among 18-24 year olds the numbers are even higher.

Occasionally I’ll wake to a genuinely important headline or valuable email from a friend, but usually my phone greets me with news stories or photos of my friends on Facebook that really are not very important.  For the most part the kind of stuff I see and read first on my phone I can just as easily live without.

As I start my normal day, I turn off the alarm, check my email while getting some water boiling for a cup of hot tea, and then when the tea is ready I make my way to “my chair” for a time of prayer and reading the Bible.  This is how I plan to start each day but if I’m not careful my phone can get me sidetracked.  I will read an email that I need to give an immediate reply and if I’m not careful I will find myself wrapped up in the busyness of starting the day without waiting to hear from God first.

Let me encourage you to make every effort to start your day with God instead of your phone.  It will take serious effort because the enemy loves to see us sidetracked in other things.  This will not be easy but it will be well worth the effort!

I want to say, “Thanks” to those of you who prayed for me this week as I officiated and preached my Uncle’s funeral on Monday.  My uncle Steve was not a perfect Christian but he did raise three kids who all served God and are active in their local churches.  His oldest son Steve Jr. died unexpectedly 8 years ago while working as an associate pastor.  His youngest son, my cousin Ryan, is pastoring a church in Missouri.  I remember when our church was robbed a couple years ago and my uncle Steve sent a check to help us replace the equipment that was stolen.  That is the kind of generous heart he had for God’s work.

·         Free Movie Night – God’s Not Dead
How far would you go to defend your belief in God? Find out college student Josh Wheaton’s answer to that question in God’s Not Dead at our free movie night this Sunday, August 17th, at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. God’s Not Dead (rated PG) weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions.

We will have a time of fellowship with cookies in the Fellowship Hall following the movie.  If anyone would like to brings some cookies to share that would be great.  Please let one of the Stewards know: Faith Shimko, Carmen Vargas or Lucy Vargas.

·         James and Judy Boggs
Pastor James and Judy had a new grandbaby August 9th...a boy Ziggy Alexander Davies 8.5 lbs and 21 inches.  Heather and baby are good.  Congratulations Pastor Grandpa and Grandma Boggs!

·         Church Matching MNU Scholarship Offering
Anna, and Sarah will be going back to Olathe to attend our regional school we support as a church, MidAmerica Nazarene University.  Anna and Sarah plan to continue pursuing their degree in nursing.  We will miss the twins and their work in children’s church and with the youth department.  We are always looking for volunteers and maybe there is someone who may want to help fill their spots on the schedule.

MidAmerica Nazarene University  (MNU) offers a Church Matching Scholarship for each student.  For every dollar the local church gives to that student (up to $500 each) the school will match and apply towards their tuition.  We will receive a love offering on Sunday August 24th so if you would like to contribute towards this in the next couple of week you can simply mark your check or offering envelope “MNU or MNU matching.”

I look forward to seeing you in Worship this Sunday and don’t forget the movie night and to bring a friend.

Pastor Andy

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Enote From Pastor Andy 6-27-14

June 27, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

I am planning on preaching a sermon from Romans 10:9.  What does this mean to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart?  This is one of the earliest Christian confession of faith.  Long before the creeds were written we find this simple statement, “Jesus is Lord.”  Paul writes, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)  In 1 Corinthians 12:3 he writes, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
What does this word, “Lord” mean?  In Greek it is kyrios or kurios and it describes someone who has authority over another – a ruler, a master, commander, or king.  Caesar claimed to be Lord of the Earth.  Christians called Jesus, “Lord of lords” – the highest authority, the King of kings.
But what does all of this mean in our daily lives for the disciples of Jesus?  We will try to offer an answer on Sunday.  Here are a couple of quotes I want to share:
"If we can define church without Jesus then we can do church without Jesus.  That is tragedy at best and treason at worst.” - Neil Cole

"We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power.  We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results."  - R. A. Torrey

"You cannot have Jesus' rescue without accepting his rule." - Timothy Keller

“You can’t be what you don’t see.  We get discipleship, but how many of us have seen it last more than one generation?  Will we let people imitate our lives?  Do I have a life worth imitating?” – Jo Saxon
  • Youth Summer Camp Fundraising
The teens did a fine job with the fundraiser dinner last Sunday.  They are making good progress for getting the money needed for summer camp.  If you have any projects that you would like some help or if you would want to hire a teen to wash windows, mow your lawn see Ashley, Josh or Riley and they can get you set up.  Ben had the youth group come out to his house last week and do some yard work and he made a donation in return.
  • Bible Study
While Pastor Daniel and Gloria are away in Colombia their Bible studies are still meeting.   On Wednesday at Carmen’s house Lucy is leading the Bible study in Spanish.  If you are interested see Carmen or Lucy for more details.  We are continuing our study of Genesis at the fellowship hall each Wednesday evening at 6pm.  Stephanie is leading a women’s study on Sunday evening and Monday evening if anyone is interested see Stephanie.
  • District Assembly
The Kansas District Assembly is July 13-15 this year.  We will dismiss our Sunday evening service on July 13th so we can attend the opening assembly service at 7 PM.  This service we will honor Dr. Ed Nash our retiring District Superintendent.  On Tuesday the delegates to the assembly will elect a new District Superintendent.  I think this will be an important matter to bring to God in prayer.  Will you join me in seeking God’s direction for a new Superintendent?

Looking forward to worshipping with you this Sunday! 

Pastor Andy

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Enote From Pastor Andy 6-5-14

June 5, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

Last Sunday was Ascension Sunday, the time we remember the ascension of Jesus into heavenly realms, where He was taken on clouds of heaven into the presence of the Ancient of Days, where He was given universal power, authority, and dominion.  From that place, He rules on earth.  From that place He has given us a job to do, to make disciples.

This week we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the time we remember that the promise of Jesus was fulfilled. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the people of God and thus introducing a new age in human history.  Jesus’ physical presence was now departed from the presence of the disciples and the Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity, would now take a more preeminent role in the life of the New Israel, the Church.

Jesus has gone on high; He is exalted above all.  Pentecost tells us that though Jesus’ earthly ministry may be done, His public work continues through His chosen vessel, His Church.  This work is being done through the power of the Spirit. Pentecost is a mighty moment in history.  It shall never be repeated again, but the consequences of that day will unfold and will continue to unfold until the coming of our exalted King in the end of Human History.

Last week I read a sermon by David Platt entitled “The Gospel and the Rich.” He has a couple of paragraphs that I thought were worth sharing:

I want to be clear: using this word is not intended to distinguish radical Christianity from some other brand of Christianity. It’s intended to show that biblical Christianity–true, authentic Christianity–is inevitably radical Christianity.  For you and for anyone in this room to come to Jesus means to lay down your life and your possessions and your pursuits and your family and your future–your everything–to surrender to him. Jesus never calls a person to partial, casual discipleship … cultural discipleship. There’s one option: radical discipleship. It’s the surrender of everything you have and everything you are to Jesus. 

So to every Christian in this room, to every follower of Christ, you have surrendered the right to determine the direction of your life. You do not determine where you live. You do not determine how you live.  You do not determine how you spend your money. You have relinquished that right.  He determines all of these things. Your role, and my role, is not to consider what he says and then decide what we think about it. Your role, and my role, is to listen and obey. He’s Lord.

Darrel and Clara Jo Hinshaw
We have been invited by the children and grandchildren of Darrel and Clara Jo Hinshaw to attend a Drop-in reception which will celebrate their 50 years of marriage on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.  The reception will be at the Fellowship Hall from 2:00-4:00 pm.  No gifts are requested.

I learned today that Clara Jo’s brother Dale passed away this morning.  Let’s keep her family in our prayers

Promotion Sunday
Our Sunday school Superintendent Riley Carswell is planning to recognize and promote the students who will be promoted to a new class this week Sunday June 8th.

World Mission Broadcast (WMB)
World Mission Broadcast (WMB) began as the Nazarene Radio League in 1944 with the creation of the first international English radio ministry, Showers of Blessings, in 1945. Today, WMB produces 140 radio, television, and Internet broadcast ministries that include podcasts, texting, and chats in 37 distinct languages.  These ministries currently reach beyond borders and barriers into 72 countries around the world.  Every year more than 7,000 unique broadcasts are the conduit that lead people to a local church and into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It costs WMB just $4 to produce and transmit a one-minute message of hope.

Through the Paglaum sa Kinabuhi (Hope of Life) radio program, Pastor Talon meets many people.  The program has numerous avid listeners, especially those who have met Pastor Talon.  The show often leads to speaking invitations, and Pastor Talon travels from village to village sharing the gospel.  

During one such trip, Pastor Talon met someone especially eager to hear the gospel.  The man immediately proposed to donate a portion of his land for a church building.  Residents of the mountain area now have a place to gather during the radio broadcast and for Sunday worship and fellowship.

Youth Car Wash and Dinner Fundraiser
The youth are working on raising money to cover as much of the camp expense as possible.  On Friday afternoon they will have a car wash at the church starting at 4:30 and will run a couple of hours.

On Sunday afternoon following the morning worship the Youth Group will have a Fundraiser Dinner.  The meal will feature BBQ pulled pork or Peruvian style pork and rice.  The youth group would like people to purchase advance tickets so they can have plenty of food available.  Prices are $10 per adult couple; $6 adult single; $4 ages 4-12; and kids three and under eat free.

Favorite Quotes of the Week
“When he wanted fully to explain what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory. He didn’t even give them a set of scriptural texts. He gave them a meal” – N. T. Wright

I'm into Jesus. So I like his family too…the church (OK they're a little weird, but hey...) – Pete Greig

“We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.”
― John Wesley

Your wife’s relationship with God will affect her relationship with you more than anything else. – Stormie Omartian

Friday, May 30, 2014

Enote From Pastor Andy 5-30-14

May 30, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

I have been a pastor for over 20 years.  I studied at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary and Bahnsen Theological Seminary, and yet it is essential that I continue to grow in my faith and walk with Christ.  I am a part of a group of pastors which ask me each month a series of questions about my walk with Christ.  We work to hold one another accountable as fellow disciples of Jesus.  This is one aspect of being a part of the family of God.

Pastor Andy Shimko and I have been trying to meet together each week to discuss different books we have been reading.  Recently we worked through a book by David Platt entitled “Follow Me” where Pastor Platt makes the following statements:

It is biblically impossible to follow Christ apart from joining his church.  In fact anyone who claims to be a Christian yet is not an active member of the church may not actually be a follower of Christ at all.

To surrender your life to his commands is to commit your life to his church.  It is biblically spiritually and practically impossible to be a disciple of Christ (and much less make Disciples of Christ) apart from total devotion to a family of Christians.

The question is, "Am I committed to a local church where I am sharing life with other followers of Christ and mutual accountability under biblical leadership for the glory of God?"  And according to the New Testament, if I am casually dating (or altogether ignoring) the local church, then I am living contrary to God's design for my life is a Christian.  It is impossible to follow Christ apart from commitment to a local church.

What is the Church?  What is the Church supposed to do or be?  As a Disciple of Jesus what is my role in the church?  Pastor Platt makes some strong statements but maybe not as strong as the way Pastor Mark Dever, states is when he is speaking.  He writes:

Sometimes college campus ministries will ask me to speak to their students. I've been known, on several occasions, to begin my remarks this way: "If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell."

Why would this pastor make such a statement?  Why do I worry that if you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member in good standing of the local church you attend, you might be going to hell? I want to explore this by considering what is a Christian, or what is a disciple of Jesus in my sermon on Sunday.  I hope you can come out Sunday and the next few weeks as we explore the question, “What is the Church?”

Darrel and Clara Jo Hinshaw
We have been invited by the children and grandchildren of Darrel and Clara Jo Hinshaw to attend a Drop-in reception which will celebrate their 50 years of marriage on Saturday, June 7th, 2014.  The reception will be at the Fellowship Hall from 2:00-4:00 pm.  No gifts are requested.

Promotion Sunday
Our Sunday school Superintendent Riley Carswell is planning to recognize and promote the students who will be promoted to a new class on Sunday June 8th.

World Mission Broadcast (WMB)
WMB takes the gospel to the world through radio, television, and Internet programs.  On the air since 1951, (WMB) reaches even the most remote parts of the world, with words of hope and holiness... and lives are changed.  The cost to support one minute of WMB airtime is $4.00; just $4.00 to air one minute of the gospel somewhere in the world.

Negasi, a Nazarene radio minister in the Horn of Africa says: “The Nazarene Amharic program is the only radio media and chance for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to listen to the living word of God.  A woman who regularly listens tot eh Amharic program from her home in a dusty, remote village says, “I’ve seen the providence of God in my many hardships.  Your radio program has encouraged me to resist temptations.”

Youth Car Wash and fundraiser
The youth are working on raising money to cover as much of the camp expense as possible.  Since we are a small church we don’t have money budgeted to the youth department so we ask the congregation to help by giving to these fundraisers or direct giving (see teen box in the church entryway).  Eastridge has been extremely generous to our children and youth and I know God will bless our generosity.  Look for an announcement on Sunday for upcoming fundraisers.

Favorite Quotes of the Week
"I have never seen a happy self-centered person.  They do as they like and then they don't like what they do." - E. Stanley Jones

God is looking for people through whom he can do the impossible.  What a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves. - A. W. Tozer

"If we were destined to stay depraved all through the ages because of original sin, Christ would never have come to us." -Dostoevsky

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

E-note from Pastor Andy 5-6-14

May 6, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

An article in a San Francisco newspaper reported that a young man who once found a $5 bill on the street resolved that from that time on he would never lift his eyes while walking. The paper went on to say that over the years he accumulated 29,516 buttons, 54,172 pins, 12 cents, a bent back, and a miserly disposition. But he also lost something: the glory of sunlight, the radiance of the stars, the smiles of friends, and the freshness of blue skies.

Some Christians are like that. They are so engrossed with the things of this life that they give little attention to spiritual and eternal values. The apostle Paul said we need to keep our sights on the heights.  Don’t lose sight of eternity and the things that will last for eternity.

Josh’s graduation

Last Sunday, Stephanie and I went to Lawrence to hear Josh preach at the church he has been working with the past couple of years.  That afternoon we were able to witness Josh cross the platform to receive his degree from Mid America Nazarene University. 

It is a blessing to witness this accomplishment of Josh, but it is a far greater blessing to witness his desire to follow Jesus.  Houses, cars, college degrees will not last for eternity but our relationship with Jesus will last.

Mother’s Day

This Sunday we will honor our mothers with a small gift at the end of the service.  The Bible instructs us to honor our mother and father.  This Sunday I plan to share a message on how we can honor our mothers as followers of Jesus.

Baptism Service
This Sunday we will celebrate the baptism three people at the end of our worship service.  As a part of the celebration we will have a breakfast immediately following an abbreviated Sunday school hour.  We will begin our Sunday school classes at 9:45 and end at 10:15.  At that point we will serve a breakfast at 10:15 until 10:45 and then start service at 11.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

Tomorrow we will continue our study at the Fellowship Hall on the Book of Genesis chapter 2.  The Bible study starts at 6pm and everyone is welcome to attend.

Darrel and Clara Jo Hinshaw’s 50th Anniversary

The children and grandchildren of Darrel and Clara Jo have invited the church family to a drop-in reception to celebrate their 50 years of marriage, on Saturday, June 7th from 2:00-4:00PM at the Fellowship Hall.  They have requested no gifts.

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!

Pastor Andy

Thursday, April 17, 2014

E-Note From Pastor Andy 4-17-14

April 17, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

I was reading this morning a story about a young child named Philip who was afflicted with Down ’s syndrome.  Philip went through life not completely accepted by other children because he was different. This was even true when Philip attended Sunday school.

One day his Sunday school teacher brought a number of empty pantyhose containers which were in the shape of a large plastic egg.  The teacher gave each one of the students one of the empty egg shaped containers and took the class outside.  The teacher asked the students to find a symbol of new life and put it in the empty egg shaped pantyhose container.

As the students gathered back into the class room, the eggs filled with their secrets of new life were mixed up and then one by one opened by the teacher.  The children were delighted as each one opened and revealed its secret contents to illustrate new life.  A flower.  A butterfly.  Then the teacher opened one that was completely empty---nothing was in it.  The children expressed disappointment, but Philip tugged on the teacher’s shirt saying, “It’s mine!”

The children reacted with childish put-down: “You don’t ever do things right, Philip---there’s nothing in there!”

Philip defended himself: “I did so.  I did it right.  It’s empty---the tomb is empty!”

A long silence of insight followed---and suddenly Philip was a part of that group for sure.

That summer Philip died.  His funeral was held at church.  The children in his Sunday school class with their teacher marched up to the altar bringing not flowers, but an empty egg shaped pantyhose container.  Philip had taught them a message: “Jesus has defeated death.  He is not in the tomb.  He is risen!”

Church Election
Thanks to everyone who was willing to serve our church in these positions and who allowed their name to be on the ballot.  Here are the results of our election:
Church Board
Stewards – Carmen Angulo, Faith Shimko and Lucila Vargas
Trustees – Dan Henry, Todd Hunter and Norman Karns
Sunday School Superintendent – Riley Carswell
NMI President – Muriel Murray
NYI President – Ashley Heer
Delegates to District Assembly – Harvey Foster, Clara Jo Hinshaw, Ben Hunter

Youth Group Car Wash
Starting at 11am and ending at 1pm our church youth group will have a car wash at the church.  They are trying to raise money for summer camp.  Come out and support our youth group.

Easter Service
The service times will be the same this year as they were last year. 
Breakfast at 9:15 AM – 9:45AM. 
Easter Worship Service at 10:00 AM.  Following the morning worship celebration we will have the EASTER EGG HUNT for all the children age 0-6th grade.

Easter Egg Hunt Preparation
We will meet at 1:00 PM on Saturday at the church to fill Easter Eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt.  Everyone is welcome to come and help us get ready for Sunday.

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.

Prayer Request
This weekend, more than 75 Christians were attacked and killed while gathering together for Palm Sunday in Nigeria.  Just a few weeks ago, Mary Sameh George, a 25-year-old Egyptian Christian, was brutally murdered for wearing a cross around her neck.  She was pulled onto the street, and stabbed multiple times by a group of Islamic extremists. 

While many of us view Easter as a time of celebration, persecuted Christians around the world are in danger of losing their lives.  Major Christian holidays are when persecuted Christians face some of the most brutal and violent attacks.  Let’s not forget to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who face real persecution each day especially during this important holiday.

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday,

Pastor Andy