News & Views November 18

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever."
1 Chronicles 16:34
Life Lesson Classes
Adult Class - "What Makes You Happy?" - 8:30 A.M. - Room 110
Adult "Welcome" Class (Book of James) - 8:45 A.M. - Rooms 114-115
Connecting Point
9:30 A.M. - Dining Room
10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym/Online
 Read ahead - Matthew 5:1-12; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Prayer focus for John & Geri Ervin and Tom Regier
NLC Kids
10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

Mission Meal and Grab & Go
11:15 A.M. Dining Room
Enjoy a turkey dinner in the dining room!
Video presentation of Open Gate and NLC's Home Resource Center
and presentation of global video ministry of John & Geri Ervin
The turkey dinner will also be available as a Grab & Go

Sunday's Mission Meal

Stay & Eat in the Dining Room OR  Grab & Go

Holiday Happenings

Consistent through the holidays:
  • Sunday Life Lesson Classes, Connecting Point, and Worship
  • Tuesday Men's Bible Study - 6-7 A.M. - Dining Room
  • LIFT Women's Bible Study - December 7th - 9-11 A.M. - Room 114-115
  • Life Skills - December 9th - 7 P.M.
  • Wednesday Prayer Gatherings - 6:30-7:30 P.M. - Dining Room
Special Events:
  • Deadline for Operation Christmas Child gifts - November 19th. LINK TO SPONSOR A BOX
  • Missions Sunday, Meal, and Offering - November 21st - 10 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
  • Reedley Electric Parade - December 3rd - 7 P.M.
  • Dinuba Christmas Parade - December 4th - 5:30 P.M.
  • Women's Ministries Wreath-making - December 7th - 6 P.M.
  • Breakfast with the Grinch (w/ Dinuba Chamber of Commerce) - December 11th - 8-11 A.M.
  • School Christmas Toy/Food Distribution - December 17th - 3-5 P.M.
    • Jefferson Elementary - Talk to Cece Olea
    • Grandview Elementary - Talk to Laurel Braun
    • Monson/Sultana - Talk to Cece Olea
  • Christmas Eve Service - December 24th - 4 P.M.

What is Advent?

Are you ready?

Advent is a season in Christianity that focuses our attention on the coming of Christ and his coming again. It literally means: "to come" like when a guest arrives at your home for the holidays - "We're here!" That period of time when you're waiting for your guests to arrive, when the children keep running to look out the window to see if they're here yet while you're trying to get all the last minute details ready--that's what Advent is like. We're looking forward to Jesus coming back, just like he said he would. Our job is to be ready!

Advent reminds us that Jesus came once before, as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. God said he would send his Son, but when Jesus came there were very few people eagerly looking for him to arrive. There was an older man named Simeon that went to the Temple every day looking for God's anointed one. An older woman named Anna was there for the same reason. She regularly spoke to people in the Temple, reminding them to keep watch for the arrival of God's Son. And who can forget the wisemen who studied the night sky for signs of his arrival? Our job, like theirs, is to be ready!

Most people were surprised by Jesus' first arrival. It unsettled the king and put the whole city of Jerusalem on edge. Even religious leaders were skeptical and unsure. Their responses are a good reminder to us that we shouldn't be waiting for Jesus to come according to our timetable or to do what we want him to do when he gets here. As he came the first time, so he'll come again as Lord--the one who will establish his kingdom. Our job is to be ready!

How can we be ready for Jesus' arrival? The first chapter of John tells us that Jesus is the Word of God, so being ready for Jesus means tuning into his Word. (1) Read your Bible. I suggest reading Matthew 24-25, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, and Titus 2:11-14. As you read you'll discover that waiting is meant to be active, not passively twiddling our thumbs till he comes. John says the Word was made flesh. He intends to find us working--putting our faith to work--when he comes back. (2) Actively live out your faith. Use the gifts and talents and resources that God has given you to serve others. Repair relationships. Do good. These aren't to win God's favor since he loves you completely already. These things are done in partnership with God who is also at work in this world, restoring all things to himself in Christ.

John 1 includes the story of John the Baptist who "testified concerning" Jesus. He went around encouraging others to watch for the One God was sending. And when Jesus came, John pointed others to him and said, "Behold, he Lamb of God!" (3) Share the hope of Jesus with others. It's much easier to tell people about Jesus when they know you care. Consider joining some of the outward-focused ministry events this season and watch for opportunities to give the reason for your hope--Jesus. When you deliver goodies to your neighbor take the risk of saying you'd like to tell them about what Jesus means to you if they'd be open to that.

I'll be preaching from the first chapter of John starting on Sunday, November 28th. Come or watch online with a goal of preparing yourself for Jesus' coming again. Ask God to give you a childlike joy in anticipating his arrival. Look around at the things you can do to be ready, especially doing those things he's asked you to do. And come with joy to worship him! 

Local School Christmas Toy Drives

Show the love of Jesus by delivering toys and boxes of food to children and families in need through three local schools.

To join our efforts with local partners to gather 200 unwrapped toys and 75 boxes of food for 50 students and their families at our adopted school--Jefferson Elementary, 2 dozen students and their families at Grandview Elementary in response to their request for help, and 26 students and their families that are part of the after-school program at Monson/Sultana (food boxes are being handled by the school).
At least four local businesses/organizations are partnering with us so far, including the Holiday Inn Express, the Parenting Network, Fadeaway Barbershop, and the Chamber of Commerce through their Breakfast with the Grinch event to be held at our church.

How to Participate: 
  1. Bring unwrapped toys to the church by Sunday, December 12th. You'll find big gift-wrapped barrel in the Dining Room. You can also drop them off in our barrels at the Holiday Inn Express, Fadeaway Barbershop in Orosi, or the Chamber of Commerce downtown.
  2. Volunteer at the Chamber's Breakfast with a Grinch event on Saturday, December 11th, making pancakes, assisting with children/families, or helping with clean-up. The Chamber will be collecting toys and will also be contributing proceeds from the event to our Home Resource Center.
  3. Sign up to participate in the distribution. Call the office, Cece Olea, or Laurel Smith to find out how to help, offer a pickup/SUV, and/or distribute gifts and food.
  4. Pray that the students/families' needs will be met: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  5. Thank local partners when you have the opportunity. 
  • Give thanks to God for his marvelous works, his mighty deeds, and his miracles. Thank him for salvation through Jesus, and for members of the body of Christ. 
  • Ask God to bring to mind NLC missionaries on a regular basis so you can keep them lifted to God in prayer.
  • Ask God what he wants to give through you toward our church's missionaries and their work. We will be gathering an offering on November 21 to cover their entire year's support.
  • Bruce & Laurel Smith--missionaries with Youth For Christ (YFC) in Tulare/Kings Counties.
    • Open doors to speak God's truth to kids on campuses.
    • YFC relationships with school districts and administrators.
    • Wisdom to help kids who feel broken and hopeless.
  • John & Geri Ervin--global missionaries through video with Multiply.
    • Transitioning out (retiring) and training new staff in 2022.
    • Video projects for satellite broadcasting into North Africa.
    • Producing the story of Pablo & Maricela Chavez, who are leaving ministry in Orange Cove to join the Multiply mission team in Piura, Peru, with their three school-aged children.
  • Open Gate Ministries--our partner ministry next door.
    • Pray for the Shelter across from NLC, for its staff, and for the individuals and families who are transitioning from homelessness and other crises.
    • Pray for the success of the Thrift Store downtown, which provides funds for Open Gate.
    • Pray for the hundreds of families served in Dinuba and Cutler/Orosi through Open Gate's weekly food distribution program. Pray for volunteers needed to provide this ministry.
  • Good News Clubs--our church's afterschool childhood evangelism program at Jefferson Elementary
    • Team: Norma Froese, Martha Sawatzky, Geri Warkentin, Marcia Sawatzky, Tom Regier
    • Pray for the 12 children who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior during the first two weeks of the program.
  • Remember those who are dealing with health concerns: Barbara Friesen, Lois Brittel, Chris Reimche, Glen and Peggy Zimmerman, Marilyn Chappell, Lori Saubert's mother, Kelly Friesen's sister-in-law, Brian Smith, and Galen Wiest (Multiply). Travis Jost is well enough to have spoken in a church recently!
  • JR Southard’s spine surgery was rescheduled for Thursday, November 18th.
  • Thank the Lord for powerful testimonies of recovery and transformation during our Road to Recovery series on Sundays. Ask God if he might be calling you to join the newly-forming Celebrate Recovery team at NLC. Pray for Cece as she presents the message with her own testimony this Sunday (21st).

Our Giving

Received Last Week (11/14):.…..$4,573
Received this year to date....… $75,208
Budget to Date: …………......…... $93,713
Budget Goal: …………......….......$443,008
Needed Weekly: ……….........…..…$8,971

We will be gathering an offering for Missions this Sunday, November 21st, during the worship service and meal. The $46,300 goal covers our entire year's commitment to our missionaries.

Mark Isaac

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