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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

E-Note From Pastor Andy 4-2-14

April 2, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

I was reading this morning from Thomas a Kempis these words that I want to share with you:

          There will always be many who love Christ's heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross.  Jesus has many who desire consolation, but few who care for adversity.  He finds many to share his table, but few who will join him in fasting.  Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.  Many will follow him as far as the breaking of bread, but few will remain to drink from his passion.  Many are awed by his miracles; few accept the shame of his cross.
          Many find the command, "Deny thyself, take up your cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24) too hard.  But it will be much harder to hear the final word: "Depart from me you who are cursed, into the everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41).

We should never be surprised that following Jesus will be costly.  We should expect sacrifice if we really are following Jesus.  Let us continue to be a narrow road people, following Jesus wherever He leads us and whatever He ask us to do.

Funeral Dorothy Hunter
Dorothy was Todd’s grandmother and Ben’s mother.  Her funeral will be Friday at 7PM at the church.  The church is providing a dinner for the family before the service if you would like to help please contact Carmen or Pastor Gloria.

Board Meeting
Sunday afternoon at 4:30 we will have our monthly board meeting in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday evening Missionary Movie “The Calling”
This Sunday evening we will be watching a movie entitled, “The Calling.”  This film is based on the writings of Esther Carson Winans, this video features her and her husband Roger Winans, who were the pioneer Nazarene missionaries to the Aguaruna Indians in Peru.  It was filmed on the Peruvian coast and in the Amazon jungle where the story took place.

Church Election
On Palm Sunday April 13th we will have our annual church elections for our church leadership.  Please make this a matter of prayer.

Easter Service
The service times will be the same this year as they were last year.  We will start our day with a Breakfast at 9:15 AM – 9:45AM.  Followed by our Easter Service at 10:00 AM.  After the morning worship celebration we will have the  EASTER EGG HUNT.

Easter Egg Hunt
We will be taking some donations for the Easter Egg Hunt, either small wrapped candy or money.  There is more information and sign-up sheets for different ways you can help at the church.

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.

Membership Class
If you are interested in becoming a member of Eastridge Church please contact Pastor Andy.

Quotes of the week
Better to go to Heaven alone than to Hell in a herd. – Charles Spurgeon
We must allow the Word of God to correct us the same way we allow it to encourage us. – A.W. Tozer

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday,

Pastor Andy

Friday, February 28, 2014

E-Note From Pastor Andy 2-27-14

February 27, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

Recently I read James Bryan Smith’s chapter “God is Holy” in his book The Good and Beautiful God.  As I read this chapter, I found myself wishing that I could have every single Christian read it.  The piece is excellent, not because it is new or edgy, but because it states basic Christian truth with profound clarity. 

Smith addresses a misunderstanding of the truth that God is love, and loves sinners with reckless extravagance: “God does not care about our sin” (116).  Smith writes, “In our day you are just as likely to hear a person tell you that their god is a cosmic, benevolent spirit who never judges, does not punish sin and sends no one to hell.  This ‘teddy bear’ god has become a very fashionable alternative to the wrathful god of days gone by” (116).  The problem is that “the cushy, fuzzy god is neither biblical nor truly loving.” Here, Smith cites H. Richard Niebuhr’s well-worn phrase from The Kingdom of God in America, “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”

Smith repeatedly emphasizes in the chapter that God is both “kind and severe.  We cannot have one without the other” and that this is “very good news” (118).  It is good news because God loves us so much that he is completely opposed to anything that harms God’s beloved people.  God loves us without condition, but hates sin because sin threatens and eventually brings our destruction.

He makes an important distinction between God’s love and wrath. “Wrath is not something that God is but something that God does. While it is correct to say that God is holy, it is not correct to say that God is wrathful… Holiness is God’s essence… Wrath is what humans experience when they reject God.  And it is a necessary part of God’s love” (123).

Smith suggests that we should not want a god who says, “‘It’s cool. Don’t sweat it. Everybody sins, just do it without the guilt, dude.  Guilt stinks.  Just have a good time!’  This god does not love me.  Being soft on sin is not loving, because sin destroys.  I want a God who hates anything that hurts me. Hate is a strong word, but a good one. Because the true God not only hates what destroys me (sin and alienation) but also has taken steps to destroy my destroyer, I love him” (125).

1 John in one example from Scripture that only makes sense when we hold both God’s inclusive love together with God’s complete rejection of sin:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 1:5-2:2

God’s love towards each one of us is unconditional. Have you allowed that truth to sink into every corner or your life, or are you still trying to clean yourself up for God, to earn your acceptance?  Are you willing to be desperately dependent on God’s grace and not your own goodness?

God hates sin because God loves us.  Are you allowing God’s grace to free you from everything that keeps you from the life for which you were created?  Will you allow the amazing grace of God to forgive you of the ways you have sinned and are sinful? Will you allow God to break the power of those canceled sins?

God is holy.  God refuses to make compromises with sin and death.  And God is able to make us holy. The offer of holiness is not a threat.  It is a precious promise.

·         Communion This Sunday
Sunday we will celebrate communion during the Sunday morning worship service.

·         Human Trafficking and Slavery
My hand today had two marks or two “x” marks.  One was from Ashley’s basketball game and the other, the big red “x” was to bring awareness to the 27 million people who are enslaved in the world as sex slaves, or laborers.  It is estimated that human trafficking alone generates annual profits of around $32 billion.  The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age.  Every minute two children are sold into slavery.

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries has invited churches around the world to participate in Freedom Sunday, a day set aside to focus on the issue of modern slavery, also known as human trafficking, on March 9, 2014.

·         Wesleyan Theological Society Meeting
Next week I will be traveling to Nampa, Idaho to attend the Wesley Theological Society 2014 Meeting where they will discuss “Atonement in the Wesleyan Tradition.”  The Sunday following the meetings I will be preaching at Andrew Williams’ Methodist Church in Vale, Oregon.  He came to that small community and small church and has seen several people baptized and the attendance double in just two short years.

·         Notable Quotes of the Week
“Spiritual revival, or renewal, is a work of God in which the church is beautified and empowered because the normal operations of the Holy Spirit are intensified. The normal operations of the Spirit include conviction of sin, enjoyment and assurance of grace and of the Father’s love, access to the presence of God, and creation of deep community and loving relationships.” - Tim Keller

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

"Nobody drifts into the kingdom of God. Sooner or later there must be a dying and rising." – N. T. Wright

“The One who knows you best, loves you most.”   - Max Lucado

“Those who truly find forgiveness at the hands of Jesus hate sin as the unforgiven never do." - E. Stanley Jones

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

E-Note From Pastor Andy 2-5-14

February 5, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

A couple of weeks ago I shared a message I entitled the State of Eastridge Church 2014, and today I want to give you an abbreviated version of that message along with some other items of note for our church family.

·         The State of Eastridge Church 

The evidence is abundant that the church in America is in decline.  Of the 400,000 churches in America only about 5% are actually growing in number and much of that growth is a result of transfer growth from another church rather than conversion.

The dropout rate with our young people between the ages of 18-22 is staggering, about 70% and only a fourth of those will return to the church by the age of 40.  Only 2% of church members actually invite unchurch people to attend worship services or Bible studies.  Yet we see growth in numbers with cults like the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormon’s here in America.

It would be tempting to get discouraged looking at these kind of numbers.  But I want us to look to God’s Word instead.  In Matthew chapter 16 we see that Jesus is identified by Peter as the Christ, the Messiah, and the King.  For Matthew this is a crucial point so he puts it in the very center of his gospel account.  Mark does the same in his Gospel account and puts this story at the very center of his gospel as well.

“Who do people say that I am?  Who do you say that I am?”

These are important questions that each one of us needs to answer today.  What good does it do to give the right answer, that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is the Christ, Jesus is King; if we don't then order our lives and live according to this truth?  If we really believe that Jesus is King, the Messiah then we should live accordingly.  We should submit our lives to the King.

Jesus tells us that the progress of His Kingdom will not be stopped by the Gates of Hell.  Jesus says He is building His Church.  He has come to defeat the devil and take back His Father’s world.

Is there anyone here who wants to be part of King Jesus is work?  Does anyone here want to be on the side of victory?  If you want to be with Jesus you must take up the cross and follow Jesus there's no shortcut.  This is not a onetime decision but something that we must do daily: take up our cross; set-aside our agenda and begin to live King Jesus' agenda.

As a church we have done a good job recently reaching out to our diverse neighborhood.  Our church family is beginning to look like our multi-ethnic neighborhood.  This is certainly not easy and we have certainly not reached a level of perfection but we are to be commended for our efforts.

As a church we have made a serious effort to reach out to children and teenagers and we have seen some fruit as a result.  It is imperative for any church that desires to be faithful to the gospel to reach the next generation and make disciples of that generation.  You are to be commended for your efforts to adapt changes to better communicate the gospel to the next generation and to our neighborhood.

You have worked to remodel the church facilities and to provide handicapped accessible restrooms.  You have embraced a move to change our style of worship music to include singing songs and reading Scripture in both Spanish as well as English.  This must of course continue to be a work in progress.

I have tried to communicate that being a disciple of Jesus and making disciples of Jesus requires relationships.  Disciples are not mass-produced.  Rather they are forged in relationships.  This is the Jesus model that we see in the New Testament and this is what I want us to continue to work to put into practice in our own life.  Being and making disciples of Jesus does not happen by accident we must we intentional.

Like many other churches we have a big need for leadership.  Leadership is not just a position or a title but leadership requires action.  We need leadership for our church board.  We need trustees who will step up and take responsibility for the building maintenance and overseeing the repairs and upkeep of our facilities.  We need stewards on our church board who will take care of the responsibility of decorating the church, visitor follow-up, preparing communion, and church meals.

We need leadership in our youth department; we need leadership in our children's department, Sunday school teachers and workers.

We need leaders who will guide us and direct us and organize us to come together and pray as a one congregation.  We need leaders who will help organize outreach events not just for children but also for adults.

Being a church takes money.  It takes money to maintain the facilities, it takes money to pay the pastors, and it takes money to pay the electric bill.  It all takes money but God has a plan for this, it's called the tithe.  If each member were faithful to pay their tithe (10% of their increase) to God; our church would have no financial problems at all.  The problem is here Eastridge, like most other churches, not everyone is faithful to do what God is asked them to do; and therefore the church struggles financially to meet the needs.

We need not worry about the gates of hell; they cannot stop the advance of God’s Kingdom, only our lack of obedience can stop us.  I believe we have some good days ahead here at Eastridge Church.  For this to be true we need everyone to join together and be the church God wants us to be.

·         Prayer request
I spoke with Kevin Williams this morning and his surgery went well yesterday.  The doctors did find cancer and they are running test to find out if it has spread beyond his lungs.

Beulah Peterson (Todd’s mother) had a heart attack yesterday morning.  She had a couple of stints put in while she has been staying at St. Joseph.  We want to remember both Kevin and Beulah in prayer.

·         Missionary
On February 16th in our evening service at 6 pm we will have Nazarene missionaries David and Rhoda Restrick from Mozambique sharing about their work in Africa.

·         Church Board Meeting
We will have our monthly Church board meeting at 4:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall

·         Video Projector
We hope to make a purchase of a new video projector soon.  Of course this requires some money above the normal operating expenses.  We have already had some who offered to give towards this need above their tithes.  If you would like to do so please mark your offering “projector” and we will make sure to apply to that expense.

·         Quotes of the week
“Gluttony is eating and drinking as if there will be nothing tomorrow, as if the Father will forget to feed us.  Gluttony is unbelief.”   – Peter Leithart

“Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part.”                                                                      - Andrew Murray

"Learn the art of prayer, for fear dissolves in an atmosphere of prayer."
- E. Stanley Jones

“And first let us inquire, What is salvation?  The salvation which is here spoken of is not what is frequently understood by that word, the going to heaven, eternal happiness.  It is not the soul’s going to paradise, termed by our Lord, ‘Abraham’s bosom.’  It is not a blessing which lies on the other side death, or (as we usually speak) in the other world.  The very words of the text itself put this beyond all question. ‘Ye are saved.’  It is not something at a distance: it is a present thing, a blessing which, through the free mercy of God, ye are now in possession of.  Nay, the words may be rendered, and that with equal propriety, ‘Ye have been saved.’  So that the salvation which is here spoken of might be extended to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is consummated in glory.”        
– John Wesley in his sermon “The Scripture Way of Salvation

Thursday, January 9, 2014

E-Note from Pastor Andy 1-9-14

January 9, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

There are a lot of things you could do this year.  You could get out of debt, get married, buy a house, save up for vacation, or pursue some other dream.  While there are a lot of things you could do, what is the one thing you have to do that would literally change your life?

Paul urges us to live with that kind of focus and intentionality.  In Philippians 3:7-14 he says, But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.   Paul clearly lived with purpose.

God hasn’t called us to wander aimlessly, unaware of where we’re headed.  We’re not supposed to be spiritual tumbleweeds drifting wherever the wind blows.  Instead, God has invited us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, to focus in the direction where He’s leading.

What is the one thing you need to focus on this year to follow God’s plan for your life? What’s the one thing that you know in your heart you need to do?  Perhaps you need to. . .
·         Break a habit
·         Accomplish a goal you have been putting off
·         Restore a broken relationship
·         Admit an addiction you have and get help
·         Pay off your debts and become financially free
·         Begin to live and walk by faith
·         Get involved in a ministry at your church family
·         End a relationship
·         Get serious about your relationship with God

What’s your one thing you need to focus on this year that could change your life?  

This Sunday we are going to have a Covenant Renewal service.  John Wesley designed the Covenant Service as a time, not for New Year’s resolutions, but for spiritual renewal and a fresh awakening of our minds and hearts.  Wesley encouraged his followers in the 18th Century to take advantage of this opportunity.  I want to encourage us to do the same.

What is a covenant?  It is an agreement between two people or two nations or between God and His people.  God always keeps God’s end of the bargain: I will be your God, and you will be my people.  But we oftentimes fall short.  God sets the bar high; we fail to measure up, time and again. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that God is always ready and willing for us to make a fresh start in our walk with him.  God is always ready and willing to forgive our sins, shortcomings and our past mistakes.  God is always ready to let us begin again.  In fact, God takes the initiative! In Isaiah, God proclaims, “Behold, I am about to do a new thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19)

God is ready for us make a new covenant, to commit ourselves for the first time or to renew our commitment to follow his leading for our lives.  God is ready to move in bold new directions in this coming year.  God can heal the brokenness that keeps family members and church members estranged from one another.  God can make a way where we think there is no way.  Do we believe it?  Are we ready to commit our lives to the God who is making all things new?

  • Funeral for Faith Shimko’s mother
The funeral service for Carol Solomon will be held this Saturday at 10am in Chanute, Kansas.  Pastor Andy Shimko will officiate the service.  Let’s continue to lift up Andy and Faith up in prayer.

  • Church Board January
This Sunday at 4:30 we will have the church board meeting in the fellowship hall.

  • State of the Church
On Sunday January 26th I will share a State of the Church message.  On that Sunday evening I want to give everyone an opportunity to ask any questions and we will have a time of prayer for the future of our church.

  •  Missionary
February 16th in our evening service we will have Nazarene missionaries David and Rhoda Restrick from Mozambique sharing about their work in Africa.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

E-note From Pastor Andy 11-25-13

November 25, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of our 40 Days of Purpose Campaign.  We have been seeing some of the good things that God is doing in spite of the opposition from the enemy of our souls.  Let me encourage you to stand strong and keep pressing forward as you seek God during this time.

The five purposes that we talked about during this campaign were practiced by the first Christians in Acts 2, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and modeled by Jesus in John 17, but they are summarized in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus.

These two statements sum up God’s five purposes for your life:
1. “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
2. “Love your neighbor as yourself”: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
3. “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.
4. “baptize them into …”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.
5. “teach them to do all things …”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.

A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great Christian.  Remember it is not about me, rather it is about God and his purposes for his creation.

Let me remind you of a couple of important items:

  • Sunday Celebration and Meal

You're invited to a party!  Join us for the culmination of our 40 Days of Purpose campaign next Sunday.  If you have experienced something you would like to share with the congregation please let Pastor Andy know so we can all celebrate together.  That’s what it’s all about, being together, fellowshipping together, loving together, serving together.  All of these things that we’ve done over the last 40 Days. 

After the morning worship service we will share a Thanksgiving/Christmas/Celebration meal together.  Everyone is asked to bring a main dish to share.  If your last name starts with A-L we ask that you bring a side dish.
If your name starts with M-Z we ask that you bring a dessert.

  • Thanksgiving Offering

The Church of the Nazarene's Thanksgiving Offering for the World Evangelism Fund has been a denominational tradition for more than 80 years.
As it did in its beginning, the offering continues to raise support and awareness for missionary causes through the World Evangelism Fund.  Created in 1923, the WEF (formerly called the General Fund) provides essential resources for the denomination's churches and missional outposts in more than 159 world areas, and allows individuals and organizations to continue our shared mission “To make Christlike disciples in the nations.”

As members of the Church of the Nazarene, we treasure the miracles God has provided for global evangelism in the past and anticipate what he will do in the future.

  • Children’s Christmas Program
On Sunday morning December 22nd the Children of Eastridge will share a Christmas program as a part of our morning worship service.

  • Christian Concert
On Friday, December 13th the group Mikeschair will be in concert at Hutchinson First Church of the Nazarene.  You can purchase tickets by going to

I trust you will have a great Thanksgiving Day and remember to obey 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I look forward to celebrating with you on Sunday
Pastor Andy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

E-Note From Pastor Andy 11-6-13

November 6, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

I do hope you have been able to draw closer to God during our 40 Days of Purpose Campaign.  This past Sunday we looked at the second purpose – Fellowship.  God created us to love Him (Worship) and to love our neighbor (Fellowship).  In our reading this week we are reminded that we were formed for God’s family!

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” Eph. 1:5 (NLT)

God wants a family, and he created you to be a part of it. The entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love him, honor him, and reign with him forever. When we place our faith in Christ, God becomes our Father, we become his children, other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church becomes our spiritual family. The family of God includes all believers in the past, the present, and the future.

Our families on Earth are wonderful gifts from God, but they are temporary and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably, death. On the other hand, our spiritual family – our relationship to other believers – will continue throughout eternity.

The Bible says, “So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11 (NLT)

Let that amazing truth sink in - you are a part of God’s family, and because Jesus makes you holy, God is proud of you! Being included in God’s family is the highest honor and the greatest privilege you will ever receive. Nothing else comes close. Whenever you feel unimportant, unloved, or insecure, remember to whom you belong.

Pastor Andy

·         Thank You
I want to say “thanks” for the card and love offering you shared on Sunday for Pastor Appreciation month.  At a pastor’s prayer meeting yesterday morning I was sharing how Eastridge has been open to making changes to reach out to new people.  Unfortunately not all the pastors in attendance felt the same way about their church.

·         Congratulations

Danilo and Fatima have a new baby girl – Miryam Sofia was born yesterday afternoon (9 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 ½ inches long).  Everyone seems to be doing well.

Look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Pastor Andy