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Weekly Newsletter 36/53 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Here is summary of the last Sunday message 8/30 Whole-life Gospel Psalm 146

This is Jesus says in Mark 1:15, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

God is love and God is light. He reigns with loves, justice and righteousness. Only through Christ, we can enter into His kingdom. When we receive Christ, God’s kingdom will be in the midst of us. We can have the first taste of what heaven-on-earth likes. And we believe when Jesus Christ comes back one day, we will fully enjoy the presence of kingdom on earth.

Thanks Nina for sharing her mission experience. The testimony is really encouraging. I pray that the church will understand the importance of mission and be excited to participate in different projects.

This coming Sunday’s Call to Worship is taken from Genesis 1:1

(See the Devotional page for detail)

Upcoming events:

September

This Sunday is the first week of the month, we have potluck. Please bring your favorite dish to share.

The English group will start a study of “the Truth of the Gospel” on Friday evening (7:00 pm potluck and 8:00 pm study). Please come and join us in study and prayer time.

A new quarter of Sunday school curriculum starts this week. We will study Genesis. Please come and join us in study the Word of God 10:00 am Sunday.

Our Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering will be on Friday 9/23. We will have food, games and message to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hope you can bring a friend to come

October

Church Retreat will be held in Oct 9-11 at Oak Glen Christian Conference Center.   It will be the last week to register without increased registration fee. Please get your form from Amy or Shelton.

 

Devotional Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

1起初,神創造天地。

This is an affirmation of faith: We declare the world is created by God. It is not an obvious matter. In the ancient time, people attributed the creation to false gods. In the recent time, people choose to believe the world come from randomness. But we, Christian affirm what the Bible says, “God created the heavens and the earth” and no other. The world does not come into being through randomness; it does not come into being by other deities. It is by God we know through Christ.

Philosopher once asked this silly question, “Can God create a stone so big that He cannot move it?” (Of course it does not make sense in logic). However, if we change the question a little bit: Can God create a world that it will continue to corrupt in a way that even God cannot fix it? That becomes a meaningful theological question.

The answer is God is powerful enough to create the world. He is willing to allow human to have free will to choice how to develop it. But when human fails and falls short of His glory. He provides the salvation in Christ to redeem the world from destruction. So He is the one who creates, He is also the one who sustains.

Perhaps, it is easier to create something than to continue to maintain it (especially we are talking about eternity). It is probably true in the business world. We see many successful enterprises that cannot sustain through the decades. Unfortunately, we also see many great churches cannot pass on to the next generation.

But by affirming God is the creator and sustainer. We put our trust in God. We believe if He wants us to do something, no matter what situation we are in now, He will bring it to completion. It is including our salvation and the task He has given to us. We believe He has power to do so. And He is willing to do it because He is the God of love and mercy.

Therefore, let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrew 4:16), because He is the Creator and He is the Sustainer.

Calling

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

― Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

Weekly Newsletter 35/53 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Here is summary of the last Sunday message 8/23 Gospel is for everyone – Acts 11

Do you see what God is doing today? Do you see the mass migration of people around the world? There were many times in history we see this kind of migration. People move because of economic and political reason, but they do not know that God moves them because of spiritual reason. Whenever there is migration, there is opportunity for the Gospel. Because when a person moves to a new place, he/she will be more open to receive new thing, especially spiritual matter and faith. God uses it to convict people of different backgrounds, different languages and different faiths. While we are worrying how we can go out “there”, they are coming in. The question is “Are you ready”? You are being chosen to be the witness of Christ and you are the bearer of the blessings to the others. There will be people who do not know Christ come to you. Let us be prepared (1 Peter 3:15) to answer them and lead them to Christ.

Thanks Asa for his sharing on the STM trip to Ensenada. Here are the 4 points he mentioned:

  • Word of God
  • Prayer
  • God’s Love
  • Unity

Upcoming events:

August

Silver Lining Missions has a Vision Sharing Dinner August 30, 5:30 pm at the First church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. If you are interested in supporting this ministry, please let Pastor know. The ticket of the dinner is $35

September

Our Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering will be on Friday 9/23. We will have food, games and message to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hope you can bring a friend to come

October

Church Retreat will be held in Oct 9-11 at Oak Glen Christian Conference Center.   It will be the last week to register without increased registration fee. Please get your form from Amy or Shelton.

This coming Sunday’s Call to Worship is taken from Revelation 22:12-13

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

12 「看哪,我必快來!賞罰在我,要照各人所行的報應他。 13 我是阿拉法,我是俄梅戛;我是首先的,我是末後的;我是初,我是終。

Towards the end of the Revelation, our LORD reminds us that He is coming soon! He requires each person to be holy and faithful! “Blessed are those who wash their robes” (v14). Our holiness is found in the blood of Jesus (7:14). Our faithful ness is demonstrated by our witness of Christ, even to the point of death (2:10).

Christians, even though afflicted in many ways are not without hope. It is because they know the great reward is coming for bearing the suffering (v14). Christian will eventually be vindicated and they will be with the presence of the LORD forever, enjoying the tree of life in the city of God. With this hope in mind, every pain of tribulation is transformed into help and comfort from the LORD.

He is the beginning and He is the end. As we see in the life of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of glory is also the kingdom of the cross. Jesus came to proclaim the coming of the kingdom. He also came to show us the path to the cross. It is the cross of salvation, but it is a CROSS. Our comfort lies in the fact that our LORD Jesus, who went through it and He is resurrected. He is alive and one day as He promised, He will come back to be the Judge, rewarding those who have done the same. Let us be holy and let us be faithful. Be prepared and always diligently waiting for His coming back.

Weekly Newsletter 34/53 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I would like to give thanks and praise the LORD for the sharing of the STM team last week (Bill Alston, David Fang and Mimi Barr). As the theme of RCAC this year: to engage, equip, encourage and empower brothers and sisters in living out the LORD’s Great Commandments and Great Commission, the team wants to give the congregation encouragement and empowerment. I understand that it is really a privilege to be in short term mission. On the other hand, I believe if you are willing, the LORD will provide an opportunity for you to offer yourselves as an instrument of the Gospel. The team tries to show you an example of how to step out of your comfort zone to serve the LORD and the others, especially those who are different from us. May this service be the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved (2 Corinthians 2:15). This week (8/23) we will have Bro. Asa continues to tell us the story of Ensenada. Then next week (8/30), we will have Sister Nina to tell us the story of China.

Welcome Helen Yu coming back to Riverside area. May the LORD bless her in her studies.

Result of Election for Nominating Committee:
– Bobby Yang and Pauline Sechang will join Shelton, Jenny and Pastor in the Nominating Committee 2015

Friday 8/21
5:30 Basketball time!
7:00 Potluck dinner
8:00 Friday Night Fellowship
(Bro. Baldwin Lau will come to share briefly on the Silver Lining Ministry)

Saturday 8/22
5:00 Family Fellowship at David and Miko’s residence
5:00 Mandarin Fellowship at Mandy Huang’s residence

Sunday 8/23
10:00 Sunday School
11:00 Worship
(Bro. Asa Lu will share his mission experience after the message)

Sept

Our Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering will be on Friday 9/23. Reserve your time to come.

Oct

Church Retreat will be held in Oct 9-11 at Oak Glen Christian Conference Center.  Please get a registration form from Amy and register ASAP. Registration fee will increase by the end of August

This coming Sunday’s Call to Worship is taken from Revelation 11:16-17

16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.

16 在神面前、坐在自己位上的二十四位長老就面伏於地,敬拜神, 17 說:「昔在、今在的主神,全能者啊!我們感謝你,因你執掌大權做王了。

The second part of chapter 11 tells us when the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, it will be the fulfillment of the LORD’s Prayer.

10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

God’s kingdom will be fully actualized on earth. It is true that when we believe in Christ and let Him be our Savior, the kingdom is among us. As Jesus answered the Pharisee:

“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21).

But Jesus continued to tell them, the kingdom will be visible and be in power for everyone one day, both believers and unbelievers!  Here, John the Prophet tells us the time!

The heavenly worship in chapter 11 tells us that the LORD God Almighty is faithful. His Word will be fulfilled. He has great power and His judgment is coming. It will be a time to reward and a time to punish. He gave this power to Christ.  He will surely come. Worship is to acknowledge that Jesus is Christ is the Anointed King. He will come again to judge. This is the Gospel message: in Christ, we enjoy the kingdom at the time when we believe and we do not need to fear the coming judgment when the kingdom fully comes. As we see the severity of the judgment, it pushes us to go out to tell people about the Gospel, in the hope that people would believe. How could we see our loved one, our neighbors, our friends or even a stranger being punished on the Judgment Day while we worship God? Love the others means we need to tell them about Jesus Christ! This is the same love of God, the Father who do not want to see people perish but be saved (John 3:16). Read the first part of chapter 11, you will understand that evangelism and mission is always on top priority before we can truly and freely worship God.

In Christ’s love

Pastor Wayne Chu

Weekly Activities (8/17 – 8/23)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have a few exciting events this week:

Friday 8/21
5:30 Basketball time!
7:00 Potluck dinner
8:00 Friday Night Fellowship
(Bro. Baldwin Lau will come to share briefly on the Silver Lining Ministry)

Saturday 8/22
5:00 Family Fellowship at David and Miko’s residence
5:00 Mandarin Fellowship at Mandy Huang’s residence

Sunday 8/23
10:00 Sunday School
11:00 Worship
(Bro. Asa Lu will share his mission experience after the message)

In Christ’s love
Pastor Wayne Chu

Daily Devotion Resources

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Here are the Daily Devotion materials from C&MA website.  Even though the materials were written long long time ago. I feel that they are still relevant and they are great help.

So enjoy!

Daily Devotion from A.W. Tozer