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Thursday, January 22, 2015

E-Note From Pastor Andy 1-22-15

January 22, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

We have made some good progress at both the apartment and the Fellowship Hall this week.  My parents came on Monday and started work immediately.  We have had several come in and join them as they have been working on painting and cleaning those two areas.  This morning we sprayed some texture on the walls at the fellowship Hall and tomorrow morning we hope to get it painted.  By tomorrow evening we will be ready to start cleaning up the mess in the fellowship hall.  What we do not finish will need to be done on Saturday.  We also have a number of smaller projects that need to be resolved as well.  If you would be interested in helping please contact one of our Trustees (Dan Henry, Todd Hunter or Norman Karns) or one of our Stewards (Carmen Angulo, Faith Shimko, or Lucila Vargas).

Ashley has a basketball tournament Friday afternoon in Hillsboro and will play again on Saturday so I plan to go and take my parent so they can watch Ashley play basketball.  I hope to finish the painting tomorrow by noon so I can clean up and go to the game.  So if you are able to help tomorrow afternoon or evening contact a trustee or a steward.

Check out the church Facebook “Eastridge Nazarene Church” page for photos of the work.

Wedding Shower
On Sunday afternoon at 4:30 there will be a shower for Josh and Jill Heer.  Men are also invited to attend this shower and it will be a chance to see the newly remodeled fellowship hall.

Snow Shoveling Volunteers Needed
If you would like to come out on a Sunday morning or Saturday to help shovel snow we have a sign-up list on the information table.  It seems to like to snow on Saturday evening quite often, but when it does we would like to have some volunteers help us shovel the walkways.

Valentine Banquet
The teens will have a Valentine Banquet on February 15th to raise money for a summer mission trip.  They will be selling tickets in the near future so let’s be prepared to support our youth group.

Guitarist David Smart
On Sunday morning February 1st we will have guitarist David Smart join us for a mini concert during the worship service.  David Smart was Josh Heer’s guitar instructor at MidAmerica Nazarene University.  We will give him a love offering at the end of our service.

See you Sunday!
Pastor Andy

Friday, January 16, 2015

E-Note From Pastor Andy 1-16-15

January 16, 2015

Dear Eastridge Family,
Hebrews 11 is one of those passages that can reinvigorate my faith.  It’s such an encouragement to hear that people have lived lives of faith before me.  They’ve made it through this journey and by faith, had these great successes.  They conquered temptation, were spared from floods, and gave God their best.
But, somewhere in the middle, something happens; something we can’t overlook about faith.  People stop conquering giants and having children miraculously.  The author of Hebrews writes that some, “quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.  Women received back their dead by resurrection.”  He still has me at this point. I’m ready to take on the world.
My heart rejoices with each story of triumph, but he goes on, “Some were tortured refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword.  They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated…wandering about in deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth.”
Did I miss something?  What happened to crossing through seas and closing the mouths of lions?  These two groups of people, ones who saw amazing miracles because of their faith and those who suffered for it, are grouped in the same passage, in the same verse even.  We cannot miss what this means or we’ll live a distorted life of faith.  In this life, faith doesn’t only produce miracles, it also produces suffering.  Jesus assured us of this (John 15:18-21).  Nearly all of the disciples were killed and John was exiled to a remote island.
Notice, these individuals who suffered for their faith are not cast into a corner and ignored.  They’re celebrated, like those we view as “champions” of faith.  Here’s what he says of these mistreated faithful heroes: “the world was not worthy” of them. He says the same of the Old Testament heroes who experienced some of God’s greatest miracles, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”(11:16)
We must not be ashamed of suffering.  It may make us uncomfortable or even question Jesus.  That’s how Peter felt when he found himself struggling with the fate of his faith: death on a cross.  In John 21, after Jesus revealed this to him, Peter pointed to John, demanding that they receive fair lives of faith, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?  You must follow me.”
Jesus requires the same of us.  We must follow him, wherever he leads.  

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
“Thou shalt not kill….”—Exodus 20:13  Since the Supreme Court decision in 1974 that made abortion on demand legal in America, there have been more than 50,000,000 abortions.  This coming Sunday is “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday.  We need to pray for repentance in our nation that we might be given the grace to eradicate the scourge from America.

Church Work Day
Instead of having one church work day we will have an entire week of work.  We have several jobs that need to be completed from painting to construction from plumbing to electrical.  If you can help out with any of these projects please see one of the trustees for more details.  Our three trustees are Dan Henry, Todd Hunter and Norman Karns.

Church Membership Class
If you would like to become an official member of the Church of the Nazarene here at Eastridge please contact Pastor Andy.  We will start a new membership class soon so don’t miss out.

Wedding Shower
The wedding shower for Mr. and Mrs. Josh Heer will be Sunday, January 25th, at 4:30 pm in the fellowship hall.  Men are included!

Favorite Quotes of the week
Joyless Christians are that way because they only have enough religion to make themselves miserable. - Leonard Sweet

The key to unity is not agreement; it’s humility. – Neil Cole

I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!
Pastor Andy

Saturday, January 10, 2015

E-Note From Pastor Andy 1-9-15

January 9, 2014

Dear Eastridge Family,

This has been another busy week for me and I know it has been for several others as well.  Pastor Josh and Jill have tried flying out for a honeymoon but the weather and flight delays/cancellations have been a challenge.  Blanca gave birth to a daughter Diana this week.  Keven had another lung surgery this week.  Ben and Elaine bought a new house and have been trying to move in with the cold weather.  Several have been dealing with the flu and other sicknesses.

Every year as pastor I like prayerfully consider the spiritual condition of the church and what areas we might need to make changes or improvements.  When I call myself a pastor, I recognize it is not my church but God’s church and Jesus’ Bride and I am the under-Shepherd as Peter says.  This certainly takes some pressure off of me but I still carry a large amount of responsibility.  I want to lead the church in a way that honors God.  I want to faithfully represent Jesus here to you all at Eastridge. 

This Sunday I plan to share a message entitled “What This Church Needs Is…”  I want to encourage you to make every effort to be here for worship on Sunday.  On Sunday evening I will give you all some opportunities to give me any feedback you may have from the morning message.

Let me close my thoughts with this account from a German Christian who lived in Germany during WWII.

I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust.  I consider myself a Christian.  We heard stories of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because what could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and then the wheels coming over the tracks.  We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by.  We realize that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars!

Week after week the whistle would blow.  We dreaded to hear the sound of  those wheels because we knew that we could hear the cries of the Jews in route to death camp.  Their screams tormented us.
We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we     began singing hymns.  By the time to train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices.  If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.

Years have passed and no one talks about it anymore.  But I still hear the train whistle in my sleep.  God forgive me; forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians it did nothing to intervene.

Can you hear the whistle blowing here in Wichita?  I can hear it and I don’t want to just sing louder.  I want to make a difference in the lives of those who are going off into eternity separated from God.  I want to proclaim and take the message of the Gospel to a world that desperately needs the good news.  Will you join me?

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

Snow Shoveling Volunteers Needed
If you would like to come out on a Sunday morning or Saturday to help shovel snow we have a sign-up list on the information table.  It seems to like to snow on Saturday evening quite often, but when it does we would like to have some volunteers help us shovel the walkways.

Furnace Update
We installed a new wall furnace in the church office at a cost of a little over $2000.  I know some of you have already given and plan to help us cover that expense.  We appreciate it very much.

Contribution statements for 2014
On Sunday we will distribute the contribution statements for 2014.  If you have any questions about your record of giving please contact Todd Hunter our church treasurer.

Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” - Oswald Chambers

“You can preach beyond your character but never disciple beyond your character.” - Lance Ford

See you Sunday!

Pastor Andy