It has been exciting to be part of The Gathering Newsletter.
I want to thank each one of you who has helped get this off the ground. It could not have been done without Gina Berridge, who organizes the paper each month. She has been God sent. I want to thank Rita Brown, who takes our letter to the internet. It takes hours to put things together in a readable format so to Rita its hat’s off.
But I want to thank each contributor. Your stories and encouragement is what will make this endeavor reach the non-believer and encourage those of us who have been on the journey for awhile.
I would also like to encourage each one of you if you have a recovery story or a short story about something that happened in your life, put it to paper and you may see it in the next newsletter!,
The Risen Way
Pastor Ray Brown
There are some folks I have run into along the way that no matter how you explain it, compassionately, passive aggressively, quietly, loudly, metaphorically, or whatever – they will always see the glass half empty. Beauty can be all around, like a field of it, and they will focus on the two bees that are more than likely going to sting you. Water is all around and they are screaming for a drink!
This resurrection season, we do not focus primarily on the death of Christ but his comeback. Of course, this comeback, the resurrection makes what he endured for us all the more beautiful!
Can you see the love amidst all the brutality? However, there is a triumph in the middle of all this tragedy. There is a pronounced message right in the middle of all this mess. The risen way reminds our community that the power of the resurrection is the same power that can help us overcome loss, defeat, doubt, and death. The power of the resurrection lies within us because He has shown us that through Him nothing is impossible!
Whatever you are facing there is a more excellent way –the risen way. I know the tomb is empty because my heart is full.
Light & Darkness
Pastor Wesley Myers
In 1 John 1:5-7 (ESV), scriptures tell us:
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
This tells us that there can be no darkness in us, there is only light and darkness, we cannot walk in both.
In Matt. 6:24 (ESV), it tells us:
24 No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. And since light dispels the darkness we cannot walk both in the flesh and in the spirit.
In Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV):
14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So if we truly want to be the light of the world, we cannot walk in the ways of the world and if our light is to shine, we cannot walk in the ways of the flesh. If we do, that’s exactly what the world will see, they will see us walking in the flesh. But when people see us, they should see Jesus who is the bright and morning star and the light of the world.
If we want to be Jesus to others, we cannot walk in the darkness and expect our lives and the world to be changed for the Kingdom.
So cast off all darkness and be the light to a dark and dying world.
Be an Encourager
Hebrews 3:13Amplified Bible (AMP) 13 But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication].
In Hebrews 3:13 We are to encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “today”. Do you remember the last time some one called or visited you because they knew you could use some encouragement? What a difference those words spoken in love made! The day didn’t look nearly as dark and the sunshine broke through the clouds.
We had visited a friend in the hospital some time back. On the first visit, we found her unresponsive. The next week when we returned, she was alert and thrilled to see us! “My, what a difference a week makes!”, my husband said. She told me that she holds onto that. When she’s in pain or feeling down, she remembers what he said. Let’s look at Jesus, for in Him, what a difference a week or even a day can make!
Blessings in Him who loved us first.
Bible Study Questions
Read John chapter 1
1. In this Chapter who is the word in verse 1__________________________
2. Who did God send to tell about the Light___________________________
3. Who did the people think John the Baptist was_____________________
4. Who did John the Baptist see a dove resting on_____________________
5. Who were the first Disciples to follow Jesus_________________________
The answers will be in the next New Gathering Letter
This month we spoke to a young lady by the name of Andrina.
What is your name Andrina? : Andrina
How old are you?: 5 years old.
Are you in school?: Yes, kindergarten.
What is your favorite thing?: Horses!
What is your least favorite thing?: Jaguars.
What is one thing your mom usually says?: Mom knows best.
What is one thing your grandma usually says?: Listen.
What is one thing you would like to have?: Baby Alive doll.
Andrina: Is this the last question?
Thank you to all who chipped in & all the visiting families who made the Kids Church Kickoff a great success! We had 4 parents & 3 kid helpers volunteer! 3 parents may join our regular monthly team! Look at God, heh!
The kids end Sunday’s with a lot of energy. It is greatly appreciated if parents/grandparents/guardians pick up your kiddos promptly at 12:30.
April is filled with the kids singing their 1st Easter special. April 16th for adult church! Looking for someone to head up an egg hunt. See me if you’re interested. And stil working on Movie Time the 5th Sunday, April 30th. Kids can wear pj pants, bring a pillow & we’ll supply the opcorn!
Helpers needed! Call me: 305-0623
Sky’s the limit for 2017 Kid’s Church!
Jesus in the Passover
When people see the word “Passover” they often think “Jewish” instead of Jesus. What many do not know is the Passover is all about Jesus! It is not a “religious” thing but a celebration of Jesus and the unity he brought to Christians and Jews alike. The last supper in the upper room is a Passover.
Being a Messianic Jew means I was born Jewish but more importantly, I know Jesus as my savior. I don’t celebrate Passover for salvation, that only comes through knowing Christ. I observe Passover as an honor to my Saviour, what He did and WHO he is to me. Just as I honor my children when I celebrate their birthdays or when they celebrate me on mother’s day. Its an observance as to who I am to them and their love and honor of me as Mom. I admit, I would be hurt if they did not recognize me on that special day! I have loved, protected and sacrificed joyfully to be their mom. When they celebrate Mother’s day, it’s their “thank you, Mom” for all you’ve done, your love and raising me to be who I am today, I wouldn’t be where I am without you. The same things here, we recognize Jesus, his love, protection and sacrifice. A Passover seder is meant to be a family celebration. Bringing family and friends together to share a meal and recognize Christ as the reason for it all.
Passover and Easter should be celebrated by Christians and Jews alike! It’s all about unity and family! That’s the very heart of God is for His children to unite and love one another with His Son, Jesus in the center of it all. IF you notice, I said there was an egg on the Passover plate which represents New birth, fruitfulness and multiplication. SO what if the eggs are colored? Yes, the pagan origins of Easter I understand. However, The Passover egg represents the same thing, fertility, multiplication in all areas of life, only we eat it in recognition that it is CHRIST who brings the abundance! When I boil my egg on Passover and Easter, MY THOUGHTS are of MULTIPLICATION AND FRUITFULNESS! I say, “thank you Lord for Your faithfulness, fruitfulness and renewal, all because you died and rose again for me”. There lies such an angst in people hearts about what to do and what not to do. We must get out of our own heads and get that mind renewed to understand that it ALL MEANS JESUS!! EGGS mean LIFE. From the blue robin eggs to the brown eggs of chickens, all this design and color was God’s doing!! Yet Christians squabble over such matters, missing the more important thing.
Religion never saved a single person, not since the beginning of time. Only LOVE and SACRIFICE did that. John 15:13 NLT There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. THIS is what brings people to Christ.
Passover and Easter is a celebration of the above scripture and of RENEWAL, RESTORATION, UNITY AND LOVE, BECAUSE OF CHRIST. Being a Jew, I have the best of both worlds; understanding of Gods holidays such as Passover and it’s beautiful representation of Christ. Then I also have easter where in every part, I manage to see Christ. Where is that part you say? When I watch my grandkids laughing, scrambling to find a colored egg, when I sit around the dinner table with my children and I look on the table and see my Easter ham (yes, I said ham) and all the fixins. In all these things, I see Jesus love and grace towards me and I am so deeply grateful. I often sit back watching my children and grandchildren and say to myself, Thank you Father, I did my best to give you back what you gave to me, to raise your inheritance. See, I am grateful because God gave me a blessed gift. I will never die. Oh sure, I will eventually leave this earth just as Jesus did, but our legacy will live on in our children, and through those we have helped bring into and grow up in the family of Christ, Just as Jesus lives on through each of US. We do same thing Jesus did, when he laid down HIS life to birth and rear up his Kingdom family.
Christ, LOVE, unity and family is the very essence of Passover and guess what….. It all started with an egg.