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Friday, September 27, 2013

E-Note From Pastor Andy 9-27-13

September 27, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

The past couple of Sunday morning sermons I have attempted to describe the Salvation over sin that God has provided to each of us.  Sometimes we call this “Victory over Sin”: Holiness, Full Salvation or Entire Sanctification.  We must remember our salvation always has its root in the love of God. 

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world…”  You have probably heard this before but sometimes it is good to be reminded of the truth of God’s love for us.  Consider these three points about the love of God:

There never was a time God started loving you.  God didn't start loving you when you were born.  His love for you predates you.  He didn't start loving you when you became a Christian.  His grace, mercy and love watched over you and brought you to the decision to follow Jesus.  God didn't start loving you when you joined the church.  In our flights into legalism, we often compare “I'm-here-everytime-the-church-doors-are-open” to our “absent-from-church brethren.”  Don't be proud.  God put the desire in your hearts to gather for corporate worship, to come out for a Bible Study and Sunday School class.

There will never be a time that God stops loving you.  God will not stop loving you when you die.  Death cannot separate you from the love of God.  God doesn't stop loving you even when you sin. If you turn your back on God, if you apostatize from the faith, if you shake your fist in his face, he will not stop loving you. He will do whatever it takes to bring you back.  As a matter of fact, he has already done all that he could to save you when he gave his only begotten Son to die on the cross for you. If you go to hell, it will be over God's loving protests. God will love you and honor your choice to take the broad road that leads to destruction.  It is only because of God’s love that you are able to make that choice in the first place.

There has never been a time when God did not love you.  God has always loved you.  There has never been a time when he didn't.  There will never be a time when he won't.  If God had a refrigerator, your photo would be on it.  If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it.  God says in his book, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).  From eternity past to eternity future—God loves you.

·         New Baby Boy
Wednesday evening Ana gave birth to a baby boy she named Geoffrey Bravo Peña.  He weighed in at 6lbs. and 15 oz. and was 19 inches long.  Now that Estefania and Ana have each given birth, it is now Fatima’s turn J.

·         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.

·         Purpose Driven Life Campaign
I am excited about a spiritual growth Campaign we are planning to do soon, called 40 Days of Purpose.  This Campaign is designed to answer life’s most important question: “What on earth am I here for?” I am excited as I consider our entire congregation living in alignment with God’s purposes for their lives, and the impact this could have on our church and our community! The 40 Days of Purpose Campaign will run for six weeks.

On Saturday morning after the prayer meeting at 10:30am I will meet with the PDL planning committee at the church to discuss the all church campaign.  If you are interested in serving on this committee come out Saturday morning.

·         Missionary Books
Our Missionary President Muriel Murray has the missionary reading books.  If you would like to learn about what is going on in Nazarene Missions check out one of these books.  We also have the books on CD so you can listen as you drive if you would prefer to listen instead of reading.

·         Children’s Christmas Program
It is hard to believe but Stephanie has already started working with the children on the Christmas program.  They will need help with costumes, back drops and cookies for the day of the program which has yet to be determined.  If you are interested in helping please contact Stephanie Heer.

·         Church Website
We recently added a page on our church website to include the Sunday morning sermons.  Some of you have to work on Sunday morning or maybe you have been helping with the children on Sunday morning and missed the sermon.  This will give you an opportunity to go back and listen to the message.

I’m looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday. 

Pastor Andy

Friday, September 6, 2013

E-Note From Pastor Andy 9-6-13

September 6, 2013

Dear Eastridge Family,

Old guy and a bucket of shrimp...

An old man, named Ed walks down a Florida beach to his favorite pier.  Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp.  Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself.  The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.  Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach.  Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly.  Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds.  As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.'

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty.  But Ed doesn't leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away.  And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty.  They can seem altogether unimportant ... maybe even a lot of nonsense.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker.  He was a famous hero in World War I, and > then he was in WWII.  On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific.  They fought the sun.  They fought sharks.  Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out.  No food.  No water.  They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive.  

The men adrift needed a miracle.  That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle.  They tried to nap.  Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose.  Time dragged on. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft...

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.  It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move.  With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.  He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very slight meal for eight men.  Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait . . . and the cycle continued.  With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea.

What was that sea gull doing hundreds of miles away from land?  Only God knows.

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull... And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

We, too, were saved by a Sacrifical Visitor.  We, too, were rescued by One who journeyed far from God only knows where.

And we, like Eddie Rickenbacker, have every reason to look into the sky…and worship.

From Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm”

  • 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.

  • Church Board Meeting

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

  • 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.

  • Missionary Books

Our Missionary President Muriel Murray has the missionary reading books.  If you would like to learn about what is going on in Nazarene Missions check out one of these books.  We also have the books on CD so you can listen as you drive if you would prefer to listen instead of reading.

I’m looking forward to worshiping with you Sunday.  I plan to preach a sermon entitled “Help Me” as I follow up the message from last Sunday “Follow Me” we will look at Luke 5:27-32 and Matthew 9:35-38

Pastor Andy

  •  Quotes to consider

"You must seek Him in the morning, if you want Him the rest of the day". 

“Sin need no longer reign in the heart.  An outpouring of God's love into the heart 'excludes sin." - Diane Leclerc

“Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about.”  - N. T. Wright

The end goal of the Christian life is not to switch sides but to enter a new world and whole new way of living. – David Fitch