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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