April Newsletter

Pastor’s Ponderings

“The Music of Easter”

Easter. Resurrection. Christ Arose. Because He Lives. He Lives. Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. Rejoice, the Lord Is King. I love Easter music. Our choir will present special music at both morning services on Resurrection Sunday. That night we will have an Easter hymn sing. Join us both morning and evening services as we lift our voices in praise to our risen Savior! ******************** He talked about it for some time. We weren’t sure if he was serious. He was. My son moved back to Jacksonville, FL a few days ago. I will miss him deeply. He planned it well and already had a job and a place to stay, and a church home before he left Texas. As much as we hate to see our children go, we recognize the need for them to “spread their wings.” When he first mentioned the possibility of moving, I could not figure why he wanted to do so. After all, Texas was home! Then it hit me that he grew up in Florida, and it was more home to him than Texas (I know that sounds like blasphemy to some reading this). We, too, have a home, an eternal home! We will be on this sinful earth for a time, but we look “for a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Our hearts long for that place and the mansions that awaits us. We will be gathered to our people. We will see our Lord and Savior. What a day that will be! ******************** One of my new favorite authors is Thom Rainer. He has written several books, and almost all of them deal with church growth. He also sends regular emails, and he had one recently entitled, “Why I Attend Church.” Over the next several months I am going to give you his ten reasons for attending church. The first two are:

  1. I attend church to serve others. There is so much greater joy in serving than seeking to be served. I have many opportunities to serve when the church is gathered. Those opportunities are my gifts from God.
  2. I attend church to encourage others. We live in a world of incredible digital communication. But there is still something irreplaceable about gathering together. When I encounter someone in person at church, I have an opportunity to encourage him or her in person as well.

******************** The Faith Promise Mission cards are available on the back table. Please be in prayer for what you can give to missions in the coming year. There is also a place on the cards to participate in the 60-day Tithe Challenge. If you are not already tithing (giving 10% of your income) consider taking this test. We ask that everyone in the church tithe in the months of April and May. I am convinced that most people do not give 10% out of fear. They look at their budget and think that it would be impossible to do this. But we must remember what Scripture says! In Malachi 3:8-10, God speaks to ancient Israel and says: “8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Even our Savior said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). As you determine what you will give to missions, don’t forget the opportunity to tithe to the Lord. ******************** As we approach Easter, please invite friends and family to join us that day! We have cards you can hand out, and our prayer is that many will respond to these invitations. Over 80% of non-church going people said they will go to church if invited by a friend. Easter is the biggest day of the year for Christians. We believe our Savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead! Let’s take this greatest news possible and let others know about our Savior and our church! ******************** I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have: 1) Courage 2) Wisdom 3) Strength 4) Victory 5) Vision