Friday, August 30, 2013

E-note From Pastor Andy 8-30-13

Friday, August 30, 2013


Dear Eastridge Family,

This past weekend I took my twin girls up to Olathe to attend MNU.  I must admit seeing my older two boys go off to college was much easier than leaving my girls behind.  Judging by the response of my wife and youngest daughter as we drove back to Wichita it was more difficult on them as well.  Of course it seems like it was not that long ago when I was in the NICU at the Hays Hospital visiting my twin girls and now they are out of the house. 

If you had the chance, would you like to be 18 years old and headed off to college?  I saw a list of things someone listed out that they wished they would have known back then.  Maybe a few will resonate with you.

#1 Don’t stumble over something behind you.
It’s not always easy, but it’s important to leave the past in the past because focusing on what’s behind you is a hindrance to experiencing what God has for you in the present and the future.

 I love what Os Hillman says, “Our past should only be viewed for what we can learn from it.  Many people have allowed their past to dictate their future.”  It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you spend too much time thinking about what happened yesterday, last week, last month, or last year, take Isaiah 43:19 to heart, “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

#2  Serving is better than being served.
I love the saying, “The tallest person in the room is the person who stoops the lowest.”  Over the years I have learned that there is no higher calling than serving.  Matthew 20:26b-28 echoes this sentiment, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

#3 Have an attitude of gratitude.
One of the most important things anyone can do to glorify God is to have a grateful heart.  Not only that, but practicing gratitude draws you closer to Him.  I wish I had learned early in life to always practice an attitude of gratitude for what He’s given, what He’s done, and what He’s going to do.

#4 It’s more blessed to give than receive.
Most of my life I have heard, “You cannot out give God.”  I have found this to be true.  With every paycheck, I encourage you to invest in God’s kingdom.  Give to God first, save second, and live on the rest.

Malachi 3:10 says, “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 there will not be room enough to store it.”

#5 Words matter.
The old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is simply not true!  The words you use with your spouse matter; the words you say to your children have impact; the words you speak to your parents are life altering.

Words can be like cold water, refreshing to the soul.  Or, words can be like scalding hot water that scars.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.”  Don’t forget that you have the power to speak life—or death—over those around you. Have you seen someone’s spirit open because you spoke words of life to them, or have you crushed and closed their spirit through negative, critical words?

  • Saturday Morning Prayer Service
Each Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. here at the church Pastor Daniel will lead our prayer service.  Everyone is invited to attend.

  • Spanish transmitters
We have recently had a good problem, more people who attend the worship service on Sunday morning who also need the service translated into Spanish.  To remedy this problem we need to purchase some more transmitter/receivers.  We estimate the need to be about 7-10 more at the cost per unit of a little more than $100.  If you would like to help with this need you may mark your check or offering envelope “Spanish Ministry” and we will use that money to purchase more transmitters.

  •  Alabaster Offering

The Alabaster Offering provides funds for property and buildings around the world.  While we understand the church consists of the people of God and not a building; the Alabaster funds do help provide land 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.
The Alabaster boxes are located on the information table in the entryway of the church.  We will collect our Alabaster offering on Sunday September 22nd.

I’m looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday.  I plan to preach a sermon entitled “Follow Me” using the Scripture from Matthew 4.

Pastor Andy



Friday, August 16, 2013

E-note From Pastor Andy 8-15-13

August 15, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

Today I have a couple items I want to remind you about for this weekend and I have another thought to consider about discipleship.  First of all what comes to mind when you think of that word discipleship?  What is discipleship?  Do you consider discipleship when you think of Jesus Christ’s core ministry?  Do you picture Him healing the sick and raising the dead?  Do you imagine Him traveling from town to town preaching?  
The ministry of Jesus certainly included all of these things.  However, I would argue that His core ministry–the example He left us with to follow–was something even more amazing.  Sadly, it’s also something many of us simply disregard and fail to practice…discipleship or making disciples.

The Great Commission was the final call of action that Jesus gave his disciples.  He told them to “go…make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the…”  Earlier, Jesus said I will build my church; our job is to make disciples of Jesus.

Robert E. Coleman, in his powerful yet simple book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, says that men were Jesus’ method.  Jesus chose a few select men with whom to live life, teach, and equip, while still enabling Him to complete His ministry.

The Church today, however, often fails to focus on a few, but rather the masses.  In an attempt to grow churches, gain numbers, and produce converts, the individual is neglected in favor of the program.  Jesus taught us that discipleship was not a program or a checklist.  He had things in mind that He desired to teach, absolutely.  Yet, His approach was allowing these men to simply live life alongside Him.  They were able to observe, ask questions, participate, and wrestle with His deity.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Discipleship, places discipleship at the center of Christianity.  He wrote:
“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son…There is trust in God, but no following of Christ.”
Discipleship within the Church is not taking place as often as it should be because, as you may have guessed, it isn’t easy.  It is a commitment that can last years, or even a lifetime.  It creates accountability when often times people would rather remain anonymous.
It also requires action and a call to continue making disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples…

That seems to be what Jesus had in mind–using men to continue His ministry, men who would disciple other men, in the same intentional and powerful way He had done…and nothing less.

Who is discipling you? Who are you discipling?

  • Saturday Morning Prayer Service
Each Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. here at the church Pastor Daniel will lead our prayer service.  Everyone is invited to attend.

  • Back2School Party
On Saturday, August 17th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm we will have a Back to School Party for our students ages 3 to 6th grade.  The Registration will begin at 11:15 am.  We will be serving lunch along with a Bible story, craft and games. 

  • Sunday School Supplies
When you send your kids back to school after a summer holiday you have school supplies to purchase for the school year.  Here at the church we are needing some school supplies as well.  If you would like to help out by purchasing some supplies we would greatly appreciate it.  Our list of needs include: Glue sticks; Glue bottles; Construction paper and Upper elementary scissors.  Some of these items may be on sale at the beginning of the school year

  • Bibles for Kids
We need more Bibles for our kids to use in Sunday school as well as for a project during our Back2School Party.  If you would like to sponsor a Bible for a child we are asking for $5 per Bible.  Mark your check or offering envelope “Bible for Children”

  • Spanish transmitters
We have recently had a good problem, more people who attend the worship service on Sunday morning who also need the service translated into Spanish.  To remedy this problem we need to purchase some more transmitter/receivers.  We estimate the need to be about 7-10 more at the cost per unit of a little more than $100.  If you would like to help with this need you may mark your check or offering envelope “Spanish Ministry” and we will use that money to purchase more transmitters.

  • MNU church matching scholarship
This Sunday will be the last Sunday Josh, Anna, and Sarah will be with us before going back to Olathe to attend our regional school we support as a church, MidAmerica Nazarene University.  Josh will be a senior finishing his ministry degree program, while Anna and Sarah plan to pursue a degree in nursing.  We will miss the twins and their work in children’s church and we are looking for volunteers who may want to help fill their spots on the schedule.
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 this Sunday and 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’m looking forward to worshipping with you Sunday.  I plan to preach a sermon entitled “The Most Important Commandment of All” using the verses from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Mark 12:28-31.


Pastor Andy

Friday, August 9, 2013

E-note from Pastor Andy 8-9-13

August 9, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

The church has fallen into a bad habit in the USA!  We have been sitting back saying to our culture "Come and See" what we have to offer.  We have tried to make Christlike disciples by "attracting" people to the church.  We have come to believe that if we had the right building, the perfect music, great preaching, awesome children and youth ministry, stunning multi-media, etc. then the church would be full of people.  Somehow we have allowed this American culture of entertainment to permeate the church.  So much of our time, money and energy is directed on our "programs" that we have lost the ability to “engage the culture.”

Michael Frost says in his book, The Shaping of Things to Come, "the missional church recognizes that it does not hold a place of honor in its host community and that its missional imperative compels it to move out from itself into that host community as salt and light."  A missional church or a biblical church, is one who engages the community.  A missional church has "GO-TO-THEM" mentality.  Christians must wake up from their slumber and look around at the harvest field around them.  We must start making relationships with people beyond our comfort zones and live out our faith in authentic ways.  

How do you engage the culture?  Let me offer a couple of suggestions:
1.  Pray for your neighbors! - I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks.  1 Timothy 2:1 (NLT)

2. Look for ways to serve  - Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’?  I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  John 4:35

3. Develop a relationship with unbelievers.

4. Invest and Invite  - “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  But who can ask Him to save them unless they believe in Him?  And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him?  And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells him?”  Romans 10:13-14 (LB)
The church will never fulfill the mandate of Christ to make disciples, if we just sit back and wait for people to walk into church on Sunday morning!  It will only happen, if we the people of God, go to them and engage our culture.  

  • Youth Group Bible Study
On Saturday, August 10th at 6:00pm, there will be a short Bible Study with root beer floats at the Heer’s house. Following the Bible Study, there will be the showing of ”Facing the Giants”. Also, the church van will take people from the church to the Bible Study at 5:45pm. Ages 7th – 12th grade are welcome to come.

  • Back to School Party
On Saturday, August 17th from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm we will have a Back to School Party for our students ages 3 to 6th grade.  The Registration will begin at 11:15 am.  We will be serving lunch along with a Bible story, craft and games.  We have sign up sheets on the information table if you would like to help.

  • Saturday Morning Prayer Service
Each Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. here at the church Pastor Daniel will lead our prayer service.  Everyone is invited to attend.

  • Promotion Sunday
On Sunday morning we will recognize our students who have been promoted to the next Sunday school class.  Our Sunday School Superintendant Riley Carswell will be heading this up on Sunday morning before the morning worship service.

I’m looking forward to worshipping with you Sunday.  I plan to preach from Micah 6:1-8 where the prophet ask and answers the question, “What does God require from us?”

Pastor Andy