Pastor’s Desk 2018-01-02

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Happy New Year Church Family,
                                                                                               
* Its 2018 and it’s the new Year! But what a great couple of weeks we’ve had connecting with friends and new acquaintences. We’ve been able to meet some of your families who have come to visit for the holidays. Some, we’ve only had the chance to say hello to, but what a treat. We’ve been out for dinners and such, only to meet other new folks, who we maybe didn’t see in church, but who introduce themselves to us and express how much they enjoyed the service last Sunday. I think half of the balcony last Sunday was people from Loma del Mar. Kind of ironic that they’re in the balcony – I’m thinking it might be the “gated community” appearance of our balcony that’s the draw! Perhaps its just the sweet presence of the Lord that we’ve been sensing in the services! Its just been a great Christmas season in SC & SCCC. Jeannine and I are so grateful for the many acts of kindness shown to us over this past year and particularly the many blessings we received through out the Christmas season. It really is special to us and we are grateful. Whether its words or treats, events or emails, visits or lunches, texts or a personal word – each one Is deeply appreciated. Thankyou from both Jeannine and I for your many kindnesses to us.
 
* and now . . . on to 2018
 
* There is no better way to start out the New Year than with Prayer and this Friday & Saturday, (8:00 – 5:00) right at the church, we’re asking you to come for just one hour and pray for God’s direction, guidance and protection over our church, its families and ministries and for our missionary connections. There will be written prayer guides available for you to follow as you pray. The hour will be gone so quickly, you may want to stay longer and that’s okay. But I really encourage you as this is something everyone can do, please come and pray for one hour, on either day and let’s cover our church in prayer as we begin 2018.
 
* This is also your last weekend to nominate potential elders and deacons for our church leadership. Would you prayerfully consider who you would like to see helping bring guidance to our church in either of these roles. There is a handout with the expectations of both roles on the table at the back of the sanctuary. And I would be glad to answer any questions you may have relating to this.
 
* Jeannine shared one of her devotions from Greg Laurie with me last week. It really sums up our goals and our reason for being in 2018. I trust that Sunday’s message gave you some tools to consider how you might develop and/or fine tune your own goals for 2018.  If we implement these, we really can make 2018 the greatest year ever with God’s help. I’d like to share that devotional with you:
 
The Great Debate (by Greg Laurie)
 
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” —John 15:8 For hundreds of years, Christians have been debating predestination. How did God choose us? Why did God choose us? Whom did God choose? However, they miss altogether the reason He chose us.
 
Rather than debating how or why you were chosen, why don’t you focus on what you were chosen to do? If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ and call yourself a Christian, then I can tell you on the authority of the Scriptures that you have been chosen by God.
 
So let’s stop debating and instead focus on what we were chosen to do. We were chosen for a purpose. And what is that purpose? It’s to bring forth fruit. Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8).
 
So the question that begs to be asked is how are you doing with this? To put it another way, what are you doing for Heaven’s sake? What are you doing for the kingdom of God while you are on Earth?
 
Sadly, many of us squander a great portion of our lives in the pursuit of nothingness. I once read that on average, Americans will spend about 15 years of their lives watching television. I think today people spend more time on the Internet than they do watching TV. I am not saying there is anything inherently evil about watching television or being on the Internet. But I am saying it is very easy to waste time. Then ironically we’ll say, “I just don’t have time to read the Bible. I just don’t have time to pray. I really don’t have time this week to go to church. I am just so busy.”
 
Let’s use our lives for the glory of God.
 
* Guests – So many of our regular attendees had gone home for Christmas and yet the church was packed last Sunday. Wow, we’ve had so many guests over the last few weeks and many have come simply because some of you took the time to make people aware of or to introduce them to our church. Not everyone who comes knows Christ, but maybe, their time at SCCC and with you will cause them to consider who Christ could be in their lives.
 
* Cookie Sunday – Just a sweet thank you for all of you who serve on Cookie Sundays. The Christmas “Cookie Sunday” was a total treat, seeing you prepare to serve, seeing the fun attitude in the kitchen, seeing some new folks involved and helping – and thanks for all the cookies which you folks have brought to make this time possible. Thank you for preparing for this purposeful part of our SCCC Ministry. What an awesome environment the Cookie Sundays create to enjoy each other, to connect with new folks and to show Christ’s love to each other.
 
* Sue Marston is back and will begin her weekly, Co-Ed Bible Studies on Wed, Jan 10 @ 10:30am. This year, she is taking some of those unique words from the Bible, the ones we find difficult to understand and she will be presenting the intent behind those words and sharing how they relate practically to us today.
 
* Here’s some dates to save – Missions Convention, with special guest Linda Bowden, is coming Jan 19-21 right here at SCCC. Many of the missionaries we support will have booths set up that weekend for you to connect with them and see the ongoing work of their ministries. Special events throughout the weekend. Linda, a long time missionary, will also be speaking at the Sunday Service. More details to follow in next week’s Pastor’s Desk.

* This week, we have highlighted the Elders who serve our Church family for Prayer. They include: David Long, Steven McLean and John New. Please be praying for them. We also encourage you to be praying for one of the elders who can’t be with us this winter, Chuck Dreiling, who is back home and battling with Cancer. Please pray for each of them and their families.

We wish each of you a Happy New Year!
Glenn & Jeannine

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