News & Views April 1

APRIL MEMORY VERSES
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
Isaiah 53:5-6

APRIL 4th EASTER SUNDAY 
CONNECTING POINT - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Hall
WORSHIP  - 10:00 A.M. - COMMUNION
Family Center Gym
Pastor Mark, preaching  -  Music by Henry Serrato, Bruce, Phyllis
"Is Jesus' Resurrection Just a Belief or a Daily Reality?"
Read ahead: Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:9-12,  John 20-21

ONLINE - watch live from anywhere at 10:00 a.m. or when you can
Connecting Point is Back
Sundays - 9:30 (before worship) - Dining Hall

My One Sermon

I read once that every pastor has but one sermon. No matter what text or topic they're preaching, that one sermon will find its way in. I've preached a lot of sermons and have gone back to look if it's true about me and mine. For the most part, it is. It seems my one sermon is that Jesus is making all things new.

It goes back to the work that Jesus did in my own life, and what he's doing still. Forty years ago as a 19-year old college sophomore, Jesus showed up in my life. I didn't expect it, and truth be told I didn't really believe that such a thing was possible. I believed in Jesus, for sure, and all the things he had said and done. And I accepted him as well. Jesus had died on the cross to forgive my sin and he rose from the grave to seal his promise of my eternal life in heaven. But did I expect Jesus to show up like a friend at the door? Not at all. It was a belief for me, not a reality.

But then he did show up. I had been knocking on the doors of my friends and hadn't found anyone there when I needed them most. I felt lost, abandoned, and without purpose. So I took off. I headed west on a friend's motorcycle (I had a key to it and he had one of my car keys). When a gust of Kansas wind nearly swept me and the bike off the road at 90 mph, I yelled out, "Oh God, no!" And he answered me. Out loud. I pulled over, took off my helmet, and answered back. He had asked why I hadn't come to him when I needed someone, and I told him I didn't know he was there like that. Except now he was.

I turned the motorcycle back to campus and joined a retreat that was being offered that weekend. The speaker read Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." And so he was. Jesus was alive and well and working in my life to fulfill his good purpose. He was making me into a new creation able to join him in his good work of reconciling all things to himself. The old was gone and a new life in him had really begun!

That encounter has completely removed fear from my life. Are things getting worse or is Jesus restoring all things? Is the devil winning or will Jesus accomplish his purpose? Have we lost all the good things in this world and in the church, or is Jesus making all things new? In all of these things and more I know that our Redeemer lives and is working things for the good that God desires. Even if it's hard. Even if it requires sacrifice. Even if our lives, like his, must be poured out. God's living love in Jesus has driven out fear.

Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby, was an extremely helpful study I did personally and later with the church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The author describes it as his "life message....the way I have always understood and walked with God." The main premise is that God is always at work around us and that he calls us to join him. Doing so presents a crisis of faith. Can we trust him enough to obey him and do what he's called us to do? If you aren't familiar with the study, I encourage you to get it and begin that journey anew.

My one sermon has led me here, to New Life Community. Maybe you can tell I have a lot of confidence that God is making all things new here, too. There is pain in letting go of things we treasure, and yet we declare that the Lord alone is our portion. He is living and working right here in Dinuba and calls us each morning to rise and take his hand and follow him with faith into the lives of those he loves as much as he loves us. Even harder than letting go of treasures is allowing the transformation of my attitude. Why should I care? Why should I have to give up something in order for someone else to gain what God desires for them? Why must I put the interests of others before my own interests?

 Because Jesus is alive and transforming us into his likeness as his partners in the Good News. He's making all things new, including me and you!

Do I believe that? Sure, I do. But more importantly, I see it! Jesus hasn't left us only to believe in him. Jesus is with us to work with him in making all things new. That's my one sermon...and I'm sticking to it!
PRAYER
  • Rejoice in the reality of Jesus' resurrection! He's alive and working in your life, in the lives of others--including our enemies, and in all of creation to restore all things to God.
  • Praise the Lord for a successful Men's Ministry breakfast last Saturday. Over 60 men and youth gathered to hear Shaun Rodgers share his testimony. Inspiring! And the breakfast was over the top!
  • Praise the Lord for another successful Grab & Go Meal event. We served 225 meals and will need to make more next month. One woman reported back that God had answered the prayer that had been prayed over her daughter last month!
  • Around 200-300 Easter baskets have been filled and are ready to be distributed on Friday to kids in our community. Pray they understand the message of new life in Jesus we included.
  • One of the biggest issues for churches after the pandemic is finding willing volunteers, especially for children.  Pray for willingness and eagerness to respond to God's prompting for workers at NLC.
  • Pray for healing, strength, comfort, and endurance for those dealing with health issues: JR Southard, Jean Wohlgemuth, Bob Heinrichs, Marilyn Chappell, Norma Froese, and Glen Zimmerman. Also pray for others who are experiencing mental and emotional issues.
  • Joe DeLuna has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Pray for a miracle of healing!
  • Please remember those who have lost loved ones this past year.
  • Remember our missionaries: Ruddy & Cristina (SF), Otto & Marjorie (Portugal), John & Geri (Multiply). Johnny & Denise Esposito (Laos) are praying for the opportunity to return.
  • The Pray & Go ministry will launch soon. Pray for the leader, Nori Naylor, and ask the Lord to prepare you to participate with a heart of compassion, courage, and confident faith.
GIVING UPDATE
Received Last Week (3/28/21): ............ $3,664.07
Received this year to date:............... $270,829.14
Budget Goal: ...................................... $521,591.00
Budget to Date: .................................. $295,240.19
Needed Weekly to Meet Budget: ...... $10,902.69
Got a stimulus check?
If you received a special check from the 2021 Federal Stimulus Act and are considering how you might use it, please encourage the outreach work of New Life Community. One such opportunity is to help us connect better with our community through using up to date media. More funds are needed to finish out the digital streaming improvements underway in the gym.
Please designate your gifts as REMODELING FUND. For more information see Chuck Boldwyn.

NEXT STEPS

April 6th, 10:00 a.m., Room 114-115
COVID-19 precautions: For your safety and others, please maintain 6' of distance
and wear a face covering on campus, unless otherwise posted. Thank you.

NLC has installed ionization generators for air sanitization in the gym.

Questions? Call 559-591-1176 or office@newlifedinuba.org

Mark Isaac

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