News & Views April 29

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NLT

Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Hall
Grand re-opening continues
Worship  - 10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym
Communion served at tables at the close of worship
Benevolence offering
NLC Kids - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

Pastor Mark, preaching  -  Music by Erica Vasquez, Al, Beth and Josh
"Armor of God: More than PPE"
Read ahead: Ephesians 6:10-20, Psalm 91

We have a limited number of 2-gallon bags of frozen apricots
available for a donation of $50 each.  Each bag will make 3-4 pies.  
See Phyllis Enns after the service, or call the church office at 591-1176 to reserve a bag.

ONLINE - watch live from anywhere at 10:00 a.m. or when you can
Palm Village channel 2.1 - Sundays 6:00 p.m.

What Song(s) Draw You to God?

Hey New Life Community! It has been an honor leading worship in God's house.
Worship is vital in our faith and relationship with God. Through worship the Holy Spirit
corrects our hearts before our King and we are ushered into His divine presence.

I want to humbly ask for you to share what songs have led you into His presence. You can email me or we'll have paper ready on Sunday for those of you who wish to share in person.

I appreciate your time and most importantly your heart.
Blessings and prayers,
Erica Vasquez

Looking Back on Better Days?

Laurie and I have been reading through the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Corinthians over breakfast each day, lately. We've been reading the Bible together like that for all 37 years of our marriage, plus Keys for Kids, a devotional for children, when ours were little and around the table with us. We've also used Prayer Point in the past to widen our family's connection to God's work in the world, and Our Daily Bread, a devotional booklet you can pick up for free at church.
I wish I could say I have been encouraged by reading 1 Corinthians. Truthfully, it's been hard to see just how challenging and contentious the early church was. When I look back to the early life of the church I always expect it to be energizing and inspiring. I want it to be! I want to see how the life of Christ, so close to the time of his earthly life while some of his disciples were still alive, had transformed the lives of those who received him. Instead I find disagreements and even division in the body of Christ. I don't know how the church persisted to our day!
"There are quarrels among you," Paul reports, having heard such news from Chloe's household. That's verse 11 of the first chapter! And it makes Paul ask, "Is Christ divided?" By chapter 5 he had to deal with a case of incest that was being allowed to continue unchallenged in the church. There were people in the church taking each other to court (chapter 6), and considerable disagreement between members about what real Christians could eat and drink (chapters 8 and 10). There was competition over spiritual gifts, of all things (chapter 12), and vying for who's word was really from God (chapter 14). Paul had to write (11:17) "I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good."
In my own pastoral career in three churches plus others I have attended in my life, I have seen a variety of reasons people have divided from each other. But to see so many reasons piled up in one church still astonishes me! It had rendered the church in Corinth ineffective for the mission God had given it--a ministry of reconciliation, reaching more and more people with the grace of God in Christ Jesus for the glory of God (2 Corinthians 5:18, 4:15)
The fallout from their division becomes apparent in 2 Corinthians: they were no longer generous in their giving and had to be prompted. The first letter had hurt them and brought them sorrow. It's apparent that Paul was torn about having to confront them, and yet he expressed joy that their sorrow had produced repentance, earnestness, alarm, and readiness to see justice done. But not among them all. Paul carried grief to the end of the letter over those who held to their discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, disorder, and other sins (2 Corinthians 12:20-21).
If Paul were alive and ministering today, he would still be grieving. These same behaviors plague the church today and cause its mission to be compromised. God gave the church his Spirit to carry out the ministry of his grace through Christ Jesus so people might be reconciled to him and live in his love with each other. "My grace is sufficient for you," the Lord had told Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9), and so it remains for us today.
Some of the verses our church uses to describe our name and mission are found in Paul's letters to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). "Therefore if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them."
No wonder Paul was grieved, having to review the sins of God's people that kept them from this ministry. As your pastor, I much prefer calling us forward in ministry to our community. I delight in seeing God's grace among us spread outward! Your leaders are committed to this, and are united in it. On their behalf and for the sake of Gospel I urge you to set aside those things that distract you from Jesus and the ministry of reconciliation he is working among us and through us.
We will not find better days in our past, no matter how far back we look--even in the New Testament. But we will find that Jesus remains with us today and tomorrow, just the same as he was yesterday. He is our hope, our peace, and the only source of our unity.
Laurie and I will keep reading Paul's letters to the Corinthians, though our hearts and minds will be on Dinuba. "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (The last verse of 2 Corinthians).
  • Glen Zimmerman is home from the hospital and is receiving radiation for some hot spots on his spine. Pray for strength and endurance, healing and joy.
  • Pray for Harmony Parker's recovery from surgery.
  • Pray for God's intervention and healing for JR Southard, especially his liver.
  • Pray that God restores motion for Marilyn Chappell's left arm and leg, and that she will be fully restored to health.
  • Praise the Lord Jacob Cabrera does not need surgery on his hand!
  • Remember others with health issues: Joe DeLuna, Bob Heinrichs, Norma Froese, Mike Naylor, Frederick, Debbie Penner, Martha's friend Gloria's son, and others.
  • Continue to remember those who have lost loved ones, including George Thiessen, the family of Lucille Willems, the Sorbers, the Elrich/Manning families, the Ehoff/Ekk families, and the Hofer and Woodcock families.
  • Workers are needed for important New Life Community ministries including: Sunday morning children's teachers and assistants, Sunday morning middle school teachers and mentors, high school sponsors and summer camp counselors, Sunday morning security team members, "allies" for the Faith & Finance ministry. 
  • Praise the Lord we have a map coordinator for Pray & Go!
  • Otto & Marjorie Ekk will be flying to California from Portugal this coming week. Pray for smooth travel and God's blessing in all their contacts.
  • Bruce Smith reported over $36,000 raised for Youth for Christ in their auction, a great total!
  • Over 215 meals were served last Sunday at Grab & Go. Many were open to prayer. 
  • New ministries are beginning in May: Pray & Go is a prayer-walking ministry to cover every home in Dinuba with prayer. If you missed and would like to join, please contact Nori Naylor. Griefshare begins May 19th. Pray for Martha Sawatzky, Debbie Collazo, and John Regier as they lead and mentor people through loss.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (4/25):  ..... $5,797
Received this year to date: ...$321,601
Budget to Date: ………..…....... $334,606
Budget Goal: ………..……..........$521,591
Needed Weekly: ……..……......…$10,526

REMINDER: An offering for the Deacon Benevolence Fund
is encouraged and collected on Communion Sundays. 
The benevolence fund supports NLC participants with emergency needs.
COVID-19 precautions: Praise the Lord we may freely gather for worship!
As the coronavirus continues to mutate and spread, please maintain 6' of distance and wear a face covering on the church campus to protect yourself and others. Thank you.

Questions? Call 559-591-1176 or

Mark Isaac

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