NLC Connect October 4 2023

connect with God's Word

Thank you to Laurel Smith for creating and publishing NLC Connect for the last two weeks! Laurie and I returned from Portugal last night and are glad to be back home!

Our memory verse this month has us consider death. That's rarely a pleasant thought.
During our trip to Portugal we visited a very unique site - the Chapel of Bones. It's located within the Church of St. Francis in Évora, built between 1475-1550, and contains the remains of nearly 5,000 people. It was very sobering. A poem that had been written for the chapel centuries ago asks those who visit to consider their own life in light of the fact that we will all die. It begins:

Where are you going in such a hurry, traveler? not advance your travel.
You have no greater concern than this one:
That which is now before your eyes.
Though our memory verse asks us to consider eternal death as a result of sin, seeing all those people's remains made me think of how our sin affects others. 
Are we bringing them life as God has brought us as a gift through Jesus, 
or are we adding to the misery of others by our sin? 

Our verse ends with the amazing truth of God's gift of life to us as a result of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. He died for us so we might live for him.
"Are you afraid of dying," I asked a friend recently. "Not at all!" He said. "I've got Jesus!"

Let's make sure those we face today receive the gift of Jesus' love and life through us!

connect your Calendar

No Worship Practice or Prayer Gathering this week

5:30 p.m. - Celebrate Recovery meal and ministry. TESTIMONY. Small Groups. Solid Rock Cafe.
  • Isaac is coming to us this week to share how God has changed his life! He has been in and around Celebrate Recovery for over 13 years, and serves as the vice president of the Warriors of Faith Motorcycle Ministry in Sanger.
9:00 a.m. - Sausage-making for Celebrate Recovery fundraiser - Kitchen
8:30 a.m. - GROWTH CLASSES
  • Video Class: The Book of Haggai - Room 111
  • Life's Healing Choices - Rooms 114/115 
9:30 a.m. - CONNECTING POINT (Dining Room)
  • Pastor Mark preaches the 2nd of three message on Where is God When I Hurt? 
6:00 a.m. Men's Bible Study on 1 Thessalonians - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. Healing Rooms of Dinuba - West porch of Worship Center building
6:30 p.m. GRIEFSHARE'S "Surviving the Holidays" - NLC Community Room
11:30 a.m. - Everyone is invited to stay after worship to approve the new budget and affirm leaders.
12:30 p.m. - Stay after the Member Meeting for a writing workshop. Learn how to share how God is transforming your life
  • Jonathan & Joanna Gutierrez from Portugal speaking in the morning service
  • WOMEN'S SELFIE RACE - 5-7 p.m.

connect by Serving and Supporting

We've got a team of leaders ready to enlist your help as we love and serve our community! Contact any one of them to let them know you can help!
  • FOOD - BRUCE & LAUREL SMITH - We'll be sharing our regular "Family Meal" that evening during Family Fun Night. Come help cook or serve!
  • TRUNK OR TREAT CARS - LAURIE ISAAC - Come ready to share candy and a smile directly with the kids and families. Decorate your trunk or the truck and join in the fun!
  • KIDS ACTIVITIES - JESSICA AQUINO - This area is a great place to spend time learning to know the kids and their families personally by helping with crafts, face-painting, etc.
  • COTTON CANDY & POPCORN - KAREN MADRID - This is always a busy place to help out!
  • PUMPKIN GOSPEL STORY - MARTHA SAWATZKY - Martha could use some people ready to pray with the children who love hearing the Gospel story using a pumpkin.
  • SET-UP AND CLEAN-UP - DUANE PENNER - Let Duane know if you can come early or stay late to help clean up. Many hands make it go quick!
  • WELCOME BOOTH - LEADER NEEDED - This is more than a information booth. It's a chance to welcome families and get them connected to NLC. We need English and Spanish speakers.
  • CANDY - ELAINE ISAAK -  Please bring bags of candy and drop them off in the office or in the barrel in the Dining Room on Sundays.
Received Last Week (10/01): ….......$8,149
Giving:  Deacon Care Fund………...…..$558
Received this year to date: ……….$37,558

Our new budget is ready to be approved on Sunday, October 15th
  • Several people were recently hospitalized. Pray for Eugene Enns who is awaiting tests and recuperating. He may be coming home Thursday. Lafayette & Joanna's son, Adonis Brooks is now home and recovering!
  • JR Southard's  celebration of life service will be on October 14th. Keep Janet and her family in prayer as well as JR's mother and sisters.
  • Good News Clubs have started at Monson-Sultana and Jefferson Schools. Pray for the  teams as they share new life in Jesus with children.
  • Mike Naylor's radiation seeds will be implanted on October 11th. Please pray that God strengthens and heals him as he waits. Continue praying for Nori's aunt Kathy. Nori's mother moved into Palm Village last week.
  • Remember: Carolina Coralles, Kristel Salazar, Glen Zimmerman, Pastor Bill Nicolay, Bea De La Cerda, and Manuel Madrid's mother, Mary. Lanisha Washington is spending time with her kids as her cancer progresses. Pray for a miracle.
  • Pray for healing for Johnny Esposito's back, and Stan & Ann's daughter, Stephanie Cabrera.
  • Pray for Josh Aquino in Qatar. 
  • Thank the Lord that Mark & Laurie returned safely on Tuesday night from Portugal. Otto & Marjorie Ekk are supporting a team of people from Tabor College who are visiting in Portugal and will be coming in next week.
  • Pray for our opportunity at FAMILY FUN NIGHT to connect and care for kids and families in our community. Pray they will be open to a relationship with Jesus.
  • Pray for leaders of our nation, state, county, and city.

connect with Portugal mission

On Sunday, October 22nd, we'll be hosting Joanna & Jonathan Gutierrez, Multiply missionaries in Lisbon, Portugal. They're pastoring the Massama church and supporting the ministry of that church's thrift store. By the way, the thrift store is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year!
Otto and I will be sharing from our trip that Sunday as well, including the way we got to see God work even while we were there. During a sharing time (below), the first such moment with a mix of Christian and non-Christian people who had come together at the invitation of Friends of Portugal, people expressed an openness that leaders said was rare. It was a true "God-moment" where even the professionals hired to photograph the days' events shared deeply! One of those present asked someone a day later if they might talk more about Jesus!
I enjoyed seeing all the ways business and ministry were being connected, like at A Ponte, the co-work space created by Otto & Marjorie Ekk in partnership with others. It is home to over 60 businesses! Businesspeople told us how excited they were about the space, but even more so with the lives of the people who operate it. That was the most significant thing we got to experience--getting to know people who are still finding Christ.
And besides that, Portugal is a beautiful country! Every day was filled with new opportunities to learn and see and connect. Thank you for allowing me and Laurie the opportunity to go with this great group of Friends of Portugal!

Mark Isaac


Luann Regier - October 4th, 2023 at 5:34pm


My request would be to sing some hymns on Sunday. Please include them in with our other worship songs. Thank you 😊

Janet Warkentin - October 4th, 2023 at 5:54pm

I agree with Luann. Even one hymn, every other Sunday would be so good. Thanks for your consideration of this request.

Melissa Celaya - October 4th, 2023 at 6:55pm

I love the idea about singing hymns on a Sunday 🤗

Mark Isaac - October 11th, 2023 at 10:14am

Hi Luann, Janet, and Melissa,

Thank you for your comments on the blog. If you haven't already, please speak with Stephanie, NLC's Worship Ministries Leader, about your desires for worship songs. Her email is


Pastor Mark

Jean Boldwyn - October 12th, 2023 at 12:12am

Mark~~thanks for your response. The request for hymns has been personally made to her on several occasions. Maybe, as her supervisor, you might talk with her.

Linda Hayward - October 12th, 2023 at 2:59pm

I am one of those who made this request in person last year, after talking with your wife who then introduced Stephanie and I to each other. I am disappointed that it didn't seem important to her. I have a friend who came, became a friend when she started to attend who left, with this being one of the factors that made her decide to attend elsewhere. I appreciate the way the church is reaching out to meet needs in the community, but am saddened that this hasn't been recognized as a need for members of the church family.

Mark Isaac - October 12th, 2023 at 6:39pm

Good to hear from you, Linda. This is the first I recall hearing about your friend, but I'm glad you met Stephanie and shared your request even though you found her response disappointing at the time.

Stephanie became our worship leader at the end of March of this year, so I'm wondering if either your conversation happened since then, with someone else, or if it was her that she may have passed it along to Henry who was our worship ministries leader back then.

Mark Isaac - October 12th, 2023 at 6:29pm

Thank you for reaching out to her, Jean. She and I have spoken about this.