Reminder: SPCH Tomorrow, No TD Tonight

Just a friendly reminder that we will be heading to the convalescent home tomorrow for our incredible monthly bash with our friends!  Meet at my house at 9:30 a.m.!  See you then!  No TD tonight! – Arthur

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Our Reunion Featured on Joni’s Blog

Hey TD!

Since 2001, my family has been serving each summer at the Joni and Friends Family Retreat in Murietta Hot Springs.  TD has been serving since 2005.  You’ve heard all about it, I’m sure.  And everything you’ve heard is not only true, but even moreso.  Family Retreat veterans have not been exaggerating.  It IS a taste of heaven, life-changing, and everything else they’ve told you.  Primarily, it’s because God is there … in a BIG way.

Registration for serving as a Short-Term Missionary (STM) this summer is filling up fast.  If you want to learn more about about being an STM with us this summer – at Murietta, or even with Nathaniel as he leads a Family Retreat in China (!) – feel free to talk to one of the counselors!

You can also find more specifics at www.joniandfriends.org.  And while you’re there, check out Joni’s Corner, where we were featured this week!  STM info is linked here. – Arthur

Here’s her post:

Family Retreat Reunion!

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Feb. 25, 2014
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni’s Posts

IMG_5795-001Last week, 92 people with special needs and their families gathered in Southern California for a ‘reunion’ of last summer’s Murrieta Hot Springs Family Retreat – the idea for the reunion was birthed by Angela Hsieh, one of our long-time STMs who serves alongside her parents (Arthur, her dad, is pictured here). The entire Hsieh family provide such wonderful leadership to our SoCal Family Retreat! The families were overwhelmed by the warm welcome, food trucks, games and times of inspiration. After the reunion, one dad of a son with autism wrote, “My son’s erratic behavior had almost isolated us socially. And for such a special occasion that Angela had envisioned, it was a big respite to all of us. I thank God for Christians like you who had the burden to care for special needs people. May God bless you!” Get in on the fun by signing up to serve as an STM at an upcoming Family Retreat!

Appreciating Christian Fellowship

Hey TD!

When you have busy schedules, mental and social agendas, and things/people to take care of, it’s not always easy to stop and appreciate the people God has put in your life.  It’s easy to take them for granted, label them (it’s easier that way), fit them into your grid, and miss the “real time” ways God is moving in their lives … and in ours through their friendship.

In this 3 minute podcast, Melody shares how her eyes and heart have been recently opened to appreciate you, her friends in TD, more.  And it’s made a difference in her life!  May more hearts be opened to appreciating the “real time” ways God is moving in our friends! – Arthur

Appreciating Christian Fellowship (link in case above doesn’t play)

“The Beginning of the End” Bible Study is Here!

This Friday, we will further unpack and explore the beginning of of the end for Jesus as He begins His public life in Luke 14:14-30.  PLEASE download the study below NOW and work on completing it this week before TD.  Our small group times will be SO much better if we all spend some thoughtful time completing them. So, can you guys PLEASE work on it this week?  And when you do, please do not treat it like “another assignment.”  Carve out some daily time in your busy schedule to actually meet with God during this study.  This isn’t another Christian task to complete.  It’s an opportunity to meet up with your Best Friend and King.  THANK YOU in advance.

Eunice’s insightful message is below as well for listening and reviewing.

“The Beginning of the End” – Bible Study

“The Beginning of the End” – Eunice (message)

A TD Valentine’s Day

Hey TD!  I’m looking forward to a great time with you all at A TD Valentine’s Day!  We’ll have a great time of worship, games, special refreshments, and … we will hear from myself and Beverly, as she shares some powerful and personal thoughts about this whole area of love.

To help contribute to the spirit of things, please wear RED or PINK!!! 

See you there! – Arthur

The Bible: Don’t Neglect It!

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I was recently reading a letter written by prolific preacher, Alistair Begg, to friends of his ministry.  I found myself convicted and in full support of the truth of it.  It is certainly worthy of your time.  Please read and commit yourself to not only the careful study of God’s Word, but the careful living out of it. – Arthur

Dear Friend,

I recently revisited some of the writings by J.C. Ryle, who accredited his “complete alteration” to reading the Bible, praying and studying the Gospel. There are many aspects of his life that attest to the work of the Holy Spirit, not the least of which is his conversion to Christianity after being raised and educated outside of any biblical or prayerful influence.

Only the Word of God can transform us in this way. That’s why we teach the Scripture verse by verse. The Bible is the only source that contains the living Word of God and by hearing and studying the text exactly as it is written, the Holy Spirit works to open the hearts and minds of those who seek to understand what it says and what it means.

I often talk with people who attend church regularly and consider themselves faithful though they admit to not regularly spending quiet, studious time with their Bibles. There’s no substitute for the wisdom and truth that are God’s portion to us from our first day to our last.

Several weeks ago, I offered these words of counsel from J.C. Ryle to my congregation at Parkside and I hope you too find them a helpful reminder:

“You live in a world where your soul is in constant danger. Enemies are round you on every side. Your own heart is deceitful. Bad examples are numerous. Satan is always labouring to lead you astray. Above all false doctrine and false teachers of every kind abound. This is your great danger.

“To be safe you must be well armed. You must provide yourself with the weapons which God has given you for your help. You must store your mind with Holy Scripture. This is to be well armed.

“Arm yourself with a thorough knowledge of the written Word of God. Read your Bible regularly. Become familiar with your Bible… Neglect your Bible and nothing that I know of can prevent you from error if a plausible advocate of false teaching shall happen to meet you. Make it a rule to believe nothing except it can be proved from Scripture. The Bible alone is infallible… Do you really use your Bible as much as you ought?

“There are many today, who believe the Bible, yet read it very little. Does your conscience tell you that you are one of these persons?

“If so, you are the man that is likely to get little help from the Bible in time of need. Trial is a sifting experience… Your store of Bible consolations may one day run very low.

“If so, you are the man that is unlikely to become established in the truth. I shall not be surprised to hear that you are troubled with doubts and questions about assurance, grace, faith, perseverance, etc. The devil is an old and cunning enemy. He can quote Scripture readily enough when he pleases. Now you are not sufficiently ready with your weapons to fight a good fight with him… Your sword is held loosely in your hand.

“If so, you are the man that is likely to make mistakes in life. I shall not wonder if I am told that you have problems in your marriage, problems with your children, problems about the conduct of your family and about the company you keep. The world you steer through is full of rocks, shoals and sandbanks. You are not sufficiently familiar either with lighthouses or charts.

“If so, you are the man who is likely to be carried away by some false teacher for a time. It will not surprise me if I hear that one of these clever, eloquent men who can make a convincing presentation is leading you into error. You are in need of ballast (truth); no wonder if you are tossed to and fro like a cork on the waves.

“All these are uncomfortable situations. I want you to escape them all. Take the advice I offer you today. Do not merely read your Bible a little – but read it a great deal… Remember your many enemies. Be armed!”

I hope you are as challenged by this as I am. Incidentally, you will likely find Googling J.C. Ryle on an uneventful February afternoon well worth your efforts.

Love in the Lord Jesus,

Alistair

TD This Week – “The Beginning of the End” Luke 4:14-30

Hello TD!

Last month, we explored how Jesus survived the onslaught of Satan in the desert and was able to find God’s absolute best.  This week we find Jesus as He begins publicly living out His calling and pointing people to His Father. It is the beginning of the end for Him. 

Join us as we continue our journey through Jesus’ middle years.  Eunice will lead us to the scene of Jesus’ return to Galilee, where Jesus would begin His public ministry and leave people amazed … at first.  It will be a very interesting time of studying our Lord.  See you soon! – Arthur