News & Views June 23

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus],
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Colossians 1:19-20

Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Hall
Worship  - 10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym and Online

Stan R. Isaac preaching  -  Expect the Unexpected: It's God's Plan
NLC Kids - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

(Feel free to join with others and eat in the Dining Room)
Stan Isaac is a member of NLC and the chairperson of the Imagine/Implement 2024 task force that spearheaded our vision and church plan in 2018-2019. He is a retired Dinuba High School counselor. Stan and his wife, Rachel, live in Kingsburg.

Suds, Popcorn, and Fruit

This Tuesday morning the men in the Bible study group heard the fifth message by Dr. Tony Evans from his series on RightNow Media  called, The Power of Knowing God. Before I say more, let me remind you that you have access to 1000s of videos, Bible studies, children's movies, and more through our church's subscription to RightNow Media. Contact the church office to activate it on your own devices at home.
Suds. Back to Tony Evans. In his message called The Benefits of Abiding, Tony gave some great examples of what abiding in Christ can accomplish in our lives. Abiding in Christ is soaking yourself in him, like soaking dirty dishes in hot, sudsy water in the sink. The longer you stay in the suds, the more easily the hard, yucky stuff in your life is removed. Even the stuff you've tried scrubbing and chipping off on your own. Abiding in Christ--taking time to read the Bible, to meditate on its meaning, and to ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and apply it--is the atmosphere in which God can renew your life and set you free to worship and glorify him. It's also the way people will benefit from his life within you.
Popcorn. Abiding in Christ is like the moisture in a popcorn kernel. When the Spirit of God moves in your life, like heat put to a popcorn kernel, he activates his life within you. You practically "pop" with expressions of praise and thanksgiving, burst with fruit of the spirit like joy and peace, and expand with his love toward others. These are not things we can muster up ourselves. They are products of the life of Christ within us, the seed of faith having taken root and grown in the soil of time spent with him, animated by his Spirit. It's like fruit that grows on a vine or tree.
Fruit. I hadn't really noticed what Tony pointed out in John 15:1-16. There's a real progression of fruit growing in the life of someone who connects with and abides in Christ. We start off the chapter with no fruit until verse 2 where we begin to bear fruit. After pruning in verse 2 we bear more fruit. By verse 5 we bear much fruit, and finally in verse 16 we bear lasting fruit. It's the way we're designed to live in order to bring glory to God. It's how his life flows within us and  how he transforms us. It's what happens when we immerse ourselves in Christ and his word.
People can recognize who you're attached to by the fruit you produce. Just like an apple tree produces apples, so a person abiding with Christ produces the fruit of Christ Jesus. Fruit is visible to us and others. There isn't any invisible fruit. So if we keep to ourselves and don't engage others in loving ways, we aren't hiding our fruit. We just don't have any. The life of Christ will produce fruit that others can see. And that others can taste.
In a way that only Tony Evans could put, he said the fruit of Christ that people can see in you is so good "they want to bite it." Fruit is edible by others. Fruit that eats itself is rotten. Fruit is meant for others to see, taste, and enjoy. The life of Christ within you is not meant for you alone to enjoy, but for you to share more and more as the Spirit produces fruit in you year after year.
Suds, popcorn, and fruit. Such easy illustrations of a process we can't force. The life of Christ is something he activates by his life within us. We simply respond by soaking ourselves in him, letting his Spirit pop us open, and willingly sharing the fruit he produces in us with those it's meant for. 

Places to Soak, Grow, and Serve

Registration forms and details are available on the Women's Ministry cart.  
Your $50 deposit is due by June 27, payable to NLC.

Get Involved in VBS! July 19-23

VBS SUPPLIES ARE NEEDED - Let the office know if you can provide these things
Award table "VBS Store" items: school supplies, Play-Doh, bubbles, jump ropes
Juice boxes
Snacks (avoid peanut products)
  • Praise the Lord that Open Gate Ministries had a successful golf fundraiser last Saturday. Nearly $10,000 was raised to support our partner in transitional housing. 
  • "Courageous Faith" is the VBS program we have planned for July 19-23, from 5-7 p.m. nightly. Ask God for a heart for children and how you might be involved. Pray for Jessica Aquino as she leads.
  • Tom Regier was hospitalized after an emergency appendectomy on Sunday. Pray he recovers with no further complications.
  • Mike Naylor is home recuperating from a successful shoulder surgery.
  • Glen Zimmerman's health and appetite is improving at San Joaquin Rehab. Keep praying , and let Peggy know if you'd like to get in to visit him.
  • Remember the health of others, including: Harmony Parker,  JR Southard, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Brian Smith, and Norma Froese. 
  • Pray for our Deacon ministry team as we discern additional men and women willing to serve the people our church, especially our senior adults and those in need. Pray for Stan and Ann Isaac as they lead this team.
  • Faith & Finances held over its launch by one week. There are nine (9) participants from the church and community, with the potential for many more from a contact that Norma Froese had recently. Praise the Lord, and ask him to bless the efforts of teachers and students alike.
  • Pray over the following ministry events: Worship Night, Griefshare, the Ladies' Fellowship Game Night, the church's pop-up booth at the Farmer's Market, and Grab 'N Go on Sunday.
  • Pray for Stan R. Isaac as he brings the message on Sunday, June 27th, and for Johnny Esposito as he prepares to preach at NLC on Sunday, July 4th.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (6/20):.......$6,269
Received this year to date:...$374,223
Budget to Date: ………..…...... $421,285
Budget Goal: ………........……...$521,591
Needed Weekly: …….......………$14,737

Mark Isaac

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