News & Views Sept 22

"Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:5

Adult "What Makes You Happy?" to restart October 31st
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

Josh "Chinoh" Aquino preaching on "An Acts Attitude: Breaking Barriers, Part 2"
Read ahead - Acts 10:1-11:18

NLC Kids  - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

GRAB & GO MEALS served following the service

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, 28th
6-7 a.m.   Men's Bible Study group - Louie Giglio's "Acts of the Apostles" - Dining Room
Wednesday, 29th
6:30 p.m. NLC Prayer Gathering - all are welcome - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. GriefShare -all are welcome - Youth Room in Gym
Friday, Oct. 1st
Dinuba High School Homecoming - Dinuba HS stadium - 340 E Kern St, Dinuba
Sunday, Oct. 3rd 
Pastor Mark begins new series: "Road to Recovery" as a launch to Celebrate Recovery at NLC
Communion Service

Men's Bible Study, Tuesdays 6 a.m.

Open Gate Ministries BBQ Dinner
Click to order your meal and support the ministry

Little Yellow Bird

This summer I started walking to church from our home at the golf course, two and a half miles each way. I do it most every Monday and on other days, occasionally. Takes about 45 minutes unless I jog some of it. Yes, it was tied to a goal to get ready for a backpacking trip that unfortunately didn't happen due to the closure of the national forests. But I'm still walking. I've grown to enjoy it and would miss it if I quit.

For one thing, the walk gives me time to listen to the Bible. The YouVersion Bible app has audio reading plans, and I've been listening to the NT Chronological plan on my smartphone lately. I'm one-fourth of the way through the 182-day plan of hearing the New Testament in the order of events, and it's helping me make new connections with the text and with Jesus.

About halfway to church I switch over to praise music as I talk with Jesus. We talk about my family and our community, about the future, and about you. Those on the NLC prayer list are always on my mind, but many others come to mind too. I pray for you all. I created a playlist on Pandora from Revelation Song by Kari Jobe. It usually plays somewhere on my walk, and by the time she gets to the lyrics, "With all creation I sing, Praise to the King of Kings" I'm singing so loudly that passing trucks on El Monte can probably hear me. We have a great God and Savior!

And that's another thing about walking, those words: "with all creation". Walking gets me out in creation where I can breathe the air, smell the grass, and hear the birds. And pick puncture vine thorns from my shoes when I get to church or back home! The other day I noticed that someone had completely cleaned out an entire section of weeds--mostly puncture vines--east of Road 68 along the north side of El Monte. Walking back home that day I saw a man loading a cart with weeds in that section and asked if he had cleaned it all up. Yes, he had. I wanted to hug him!

Both coming and going I tend to take the route closest to our home along the cart path that runs from the big fountain to the maintenance shop at the golf course. I could take the sidewalk along El Monte or the ditch bank behind the fence or even the maintenance road that runs parallel to both. But I choose the little cart path because it winds side to side and up and down a bit on the far end of the practice range where there's no traffic and the trees and shrubs are less tended. It's not a jungle, but you get the idea. It is its own little world in there.

One day along that little cart path I saw a bright yellow piece of trash on the path ahead of me. I had barely noticed it before it flew away--up into a tree! As I approached I saw it was actually a little yellow parakeet. Probably some kid's pet that escaped the cage and found a home out among the yellow range balls at the golf course. I see it most every day I walk, impressed that it's found a way to live on its own. It makes me happy in a way that surprises me.

I've heard that coal miners keep little canaries down in the mines to signal dangerous gas levels. Odorless and invisible gases can kill, so If the canary dies then the miners better head to the surface! The little yellow parakeet at the golf course has also become a sign for me, but quite opposite the canary's warning.  To me the little yellow bird represents hope and the anticipation of unexpected blessings. We don't know what's around the corner, but we don't have to live in dread of whatever is there. Jesus holds the future and we can put our trust completely in him. I'm not so naïve that I'm oblivious to dangers on the path, but I tell you this--I keep my eyes peeled for that little yellow bird. It has awakened me to stay alert for the blessings God has in store, just around the corner.
  • Praise the Lord for 173 school kits assembled and delivered to the Mennonite Central Committee office in Reedley for distribution around the world.
  • Ask God for His favor and guidance as we launch a new ministry year, having approved the budget spending plan last Sunday. Pray for God's provision of a youth ministry leader to join the team, as well as a worship ministry leader.
  • JR Southard's brother, Richard, passed away in Georgia on Monday. He was a preacher. Both of JR's younger brothers have passed away as well as his father, so pray for Richard's wife, Becky, and their grown children, as well as JR's mother Mary, his two sisters, and the family.
  • Pray God's comfort for others dealing with the loss of loved ones: Sonya Morgan, Leo Olea, and Joyce & Duane Penner, Saphira and Blake.
  • Pray for Tim and Lyubov Heinrichs, both having been in the hospital for COVID, and for Josh and Elizabeth, who are also recovering. Praise the Lord that Norma Froese is recovering well from her bout with COVID. 
  • Continue to lift people with ongoing health issues before the Lord: Glen Zimmerman, JR Southard, Mike Naylor, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Brian Smith, and Galen Wiest and Travis Jost with Multiply.
  • Pray for Henry Serrato on sabbatical, and for his wife, Ruth, who is part of YFC in Tulare.
  • Pray for healthcare workers under constant strain as they serve the sick, injured, and dying during this ongoing pandemic. Pray for firefighters and others battling wildfires in California and elsewhere. 
  • Give thanks for God for the translation ministry every Sunday provided by Maria Mejia-Ng and her protégé, Christian Maldonado. Christian has also been bringing his sister to church.
  • Johnny & Denise are in Chiang Khang, Thailand and beginning discipleship. See video.
  • Pray for people serving and receiving meals at church this Sunday, with special thanks for Nora, the woman from Dinuba who has graciously volunteered to take the lead on cooking the meal.
  • Ask God for "little yellow bird" sitings--small rays of hope that remind us of God's promises.

MCC School Kits Packing Party

NLC has been making and sending school kits through Mennonite Central Committee for years. People are especially grateful for school kits in countries where prolonged war and crises have made it incredibly difficult to acquire or afford school supplies.
Families need to spend what little money they have on food or medical care, and children that are able to attend school do not have notebooks or pencils to take notes or do homework. It's hard to do well in school if you don't have the supplies that you need. "Some children were coming to school with nothing,” a teacher says. “They’re coming to school to learn to read and write and practice drawing. When a child has nothing to draw with and nothing to write on, that child cannot learn,” she says.
Because of these school kits, children are receiving the school supplies they need and a big difference is being made in their lives. James, who is 14 and lives in South Sudan had this to say about the importance of school kits in his life, “In some cases I skipped classes so that I could go and look for some work to be paid so I could buy school supplies. But now that I have the school kit, it's easy for me to come to school because I know that I will have what I need to use in class during the time for lessons.”

Our Giving

Received Last Week (9/19):.….. $15,247
Received this year to date….… $25,694
Budget to Date: ………….....….... $25,558
Budget Goal: …………..….......... $443,008
Needed Weekly: ……….…......…… $8,519

Mark Isaac

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