News & Views Sept 15
"Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."
SEPTEMBER 19th WORSHIP
Adult Class on Andy Stanley's "What Makes You Happy?" - 8:30 A.M. - Room 110
Adult "Voyagers" Class (Philippians) - 8:45 A.M. - Room 113
Adult "Welcome" Class (Colossians) - 8:45 A.M. - Rooms 114-115
Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Room
Worship - 10:00 A.M. - Family Center Gym and Online
Pastor Mark preaching on "An Acts Attitude: Breaking Barriers, Part 1"
Read ahead - Acts 9:32-43
NLC Kids - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103
Following the service in the gym - 11:30 A.M.
Fall Member Meeting
We will be voting on the approval of our 2021-22 fiscal year budget plan.
Click below to review proposed budget.
The Week Ahead
6-7 a.m. Men's Bible Study group - Louie Giglio's "Acts of the Apostles" - Dining Room
9 a.m. LIFT Women's Bible Study - Angie Smith's "Seamless" - Rooms 114-115
6:30 p.m. NLC Prayer Gathering - all are welcome - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. GriefShare -all are welcome - Youth Room in Gym
6:30 p.m. Worship in the Park (presented by Dinuba Christian Minister's Association) - Bandshell at Rose Ann Vuich Park
7:00 p.m. Faith & Finances - Rooms 114-115
Dinuba's Raisin Harvest Festival begins through Sunday
Pastor Mark at Tabor College Presidential Inauguration, Hillsboro, Kansas
Immanuel Schools Homecoming - Immanuel Sports Complex, 42675 Rd 44, Reedley
5-8 p.m. Immanuel Schools Fall Rally Day, Dinner and Carnival - Immanuel Sports Complex
Josh "Chinoh" Aquino preaching - An Acts Attitude: Breaking Barriers, Part 2 - Acts 10:1-11:18
11:00 a.m.-12 noon - Grab & Go Meal following the service
A month into my sabbatical I took three days at a counseling center in Kansas City that specialized in working with pastors. It was attached to a Baptist seminary and served the seminary students with career counseling and other concerns. Over the first two days a counselor met with me and also guided me through 11 different inventories and tests. It was exhausting, but also intriguing. What would these inventories and tests say about me and my calling or fitness for ministry? What had the counselor, a former minister, learned about me that would be helpful? Would this be an ending to ministry? Where else might it lead?
Driving to the center on the final morning I asked God for His own word of affirmation in my life, about which direction to go. I had been in prayer for weeks already about this, but it seemed I had come to a significant place with the information garnered by the counselor. "Lord, what am I to you? What do you want to do in me and through me? Is it time to move on or return to the church? I don't know if I can do it anymore. Help me hear your voice and be willing to trust what you say."
I was wiping tears as I prayed and drove, so I turned on the radio to distract me while I moved through the thick traffic on I-70. A song came on that I hadn't recalled hearing. Before it was done, I had pulled over on the shoulder in tears to soak in the words as if by answer from God:
Come stop your crying
It will be alright
Just take my hand
Hold it tight
I will protect you
From all around you
I will be here
Don't you cry
For one so small
You seem so strong
My arms will hold you
Keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can't be broken
I will be here don't you cry
'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart
It was as if the Lord himself was singing to me, assuring me of his presence, his understanding, and his care. I wiped my tears, thanked him with all my heart, and drove on to the counseling center convinced I would return to the church as pastor. The counselor confirmed that later that morning and offered to continue supporting me as I returned.
At home I tried to find that song. The only one that kept coming up was from the Disney movie, Tarzan. I ignored it and kept looking until I realized, it was indeed from that movie's soundtrack. God had used the voice of a gorilla mother singing to the foundling, Tarzan, to convey his own love for me! I still enjoy hearing Phil Collins sing it. It takes me back to a moment of anchoring.
It was during that sabbatical I learned to anchor myself more strongly to Jesus, like holding onto the roots of kelp on the seafloor rather than being tossed about at the top of the plants where they're swayed side to side by the waves.
The waves are pretty violent these days, and those are just the political waves. It seems God's people have loosened our grip on him as we try to engage these waves. We've only become battered along with everyone else.
Consider with me these verses that helped anchor me and my calling on Jesus...and still do: Ephesians 4:11-15 "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."
Anchor yourself in Christ. And pray my grip on him remains steadfast as well.
- Ask God for wisdom and provision for the new ministry year, especially as we consider and vote on a budget spending plan this Sunday after church for our new fiscal year.
- Pray that Norma Froese recovers from a bout of COVID-19, complicated by an underlying blood condition. Other families are also testing for COVID-19 as they deal with symptoms.
- Continue to lift people with ongoing health issues before the Lord: Glen Zimmerman, JR Southard and his brother Richard, Mike Naylor, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Brian Smith, and Galen Wiest and Travis Jost with Multiply.
- Johnny and Denise Esposito have left their quarantine hotel in Bangkok and have moved to Chiang Khong, Thailand, where they're discipling new believers and training church leaders.
- Pray for Sonya and Joe Morgan at the loss of her beloved grandmother in Texas.
- Pray God's comfort for othes dealing with the loss of loved ones: Leo Olea, and Joyce & Duane Penner, Saphira and Blake. An outdoor memorial service for Fredrick is planned for family and friends on October 2nd at the home of Margaret Penner.
- Pray for Henry Serrato on sabbatical, and for his wife, Ruth, who is part of YFC in Tulare.
- Pray for firefighters and others battling wildfires in California and elsewhere. Remember as well those who are still dealing with flooding, loss, and power outages in Texas and in the South and along the East Coast.
Received this year to date (new fiscal year): ..$10,223
There are still no health mandates in effect for NLC related to COVID-19. However, as cases are rising in Fresno and Tulare counties and exposure is possible in public setting like worship, it may be prudent to wear a mask when indoors at NLC, to wash hands frequently, and to consult your physician about receiving a vaccination if you haven't already received one.
NLC protocol is to contact people who may have been exposed at a church event if we become aware that someone with symptoms was in attendance or showed symptoms within 48 hours of attending and later tested positive for COVID-19.
If you are sick, please avoid church gatherings for the health and safety of others.
If you test positive for COVID-19, please avoid church gatherings for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or until you have a negative COVID-19 test. Let us know so we can pray for you.
Thanks for sharing about a tough time in your life. It was just the encouragement needed in my life today.
I'm glad, Carolyn. Thanks for letting me know. May God give you a song :)
Appreciate the encouraging words that remind us that Jesus is Alive and Well and that He can choose to speak through a song from a mother gorilla. Since He can speak through a donkey He can certainly use whatever means to bring us peace and comfort to our spirits. These days the enemy is coming in all directions filling our thoughts and minds with fear. Climate change, fires, drought, politics, covid, I am so tried of it all. May we spur one another on in HOPE...
Good word, Cindy!
Thanks for sharing some emotional times in your life, Mark. As I read those lyrics they were so powerful that my eyes began to moisten [but not tear up!]. Kind of weird that they were from a Disney movie, but they definitely fit as the strong attachment we have to the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!