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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coming this Fall...

I am very excited to let you know about two very cool opportunities we have coming up for you this Fall. We are going to offering two (!) Wednesday studies to help you grow in your faith and knowledge of Jesus.

First, we will be offering a Bible Study series known as Crossways. I cannot begin to tell you how many people come up to me and say that they wish they knew more about the Bible. If this is you or if you have ever wanted to grow in your knowledge of the Bible, Crossways is the study for you! Over a two year period we will meet to go through the major themes of each book in the Bible, learning the context in which they were written, and understanding what that means for us today. We will see how the whol Bible is about God's plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. I know, I know, two years sounds like a lot. However, what is it going to hurt to just try it out for a few weeks? If it is too much of a commitment, that is fine. But I bet you will be so captured by the Scriptures that you will be starving for more! See myself or Dave Bovey if you have questions.

Second, I am incredibly fired up to announce that Doug and Donna Graham will be leading a study in their home through the book, The Love Dare. For those of us who are married, we know that our lives are crazy with work and the kids. We don't have a lot of time to spend with our spouses and work on our relationship. If this is you, or even if you have no marital struggles (so, none of us reading this!) and just want to grow closer with your spouse and other couples in the church, then this study is for you. As a personal plug for this, Steph and I have been working through The Love Dare and it has been a real blessing for our marriage! I can't encourage you enough to join this study! See Doug and Donna for more information.

Please be on the lookout for sign-up sheets and more information (such as dates and times) to follow. Prayerfully consider joining one of these studies. In fact, stop your reading right where you are and pray about whether or not God wants you to be a part of one of these studies. God blesses us in remarkable ways when we study His Word as a body.

Pastor Bob

Speaking of Jesus: August 2009

Has anyone ever asked you (or have you ever had the thought yourself), "What is God like?" This is an interesting question and the answers can sometimes be dangerous. Too often, the answers lend themselves to opinions about God formed more by our own hopes and desires (that is, by our idolatry!) than by what God has actually revealed to us about Himself. What God is like is not a matter of opinion, rather, it is a reality that we can only know about through God's revelation of Himself to us. And God's fullest revelation of Himself is found in Jesus Christ whom we meet in the Scriptures!

When embracing someone with the Gospel, we are doing the work of revealing to our non-Christian friends God in human flesh, Jesus Christ. We are pointing them to the image of God. In other words, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. Jesus, the scriptures say, is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4, Colossians 1:15). That is, Jesus is the perfect reflection of God. In Hebrews 1:3 it says, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being sustaining all things by His powerful word." This is a beautiful way of saying that Jesus, who is God, is the exact replica of God for us to see. All we need to know about God, we know in Jesus Christ who reveals God to us! In John 1:14, Jesus is likened to the tabernacle in the Old Testament where God would come to His people while they were in the desert to reveal His will to them. "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

So, if you want to know what God is like, look to God in human flesh, Jesus of Nazareth. And when our friends enquire, "What is God like?" we can respond with some very good news! Jesus reveals to us that God is so in love with us that He will go to the most extreme ends to save us from our sins. Though we have sinned against Him, He has forgiven us by sacrificing His own Son on the cross. Jesus, the Son of God, has taken our sins away and given us His righteousness because He loves us so much. What is God like? Jesus makes it clear: God is gracious and merciful and loving to you and to me. He is a loving Father who graciously takes away our sin and gives us His forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ on the cross. As the scriptures say, "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Fathers side, has made him known."

Pastor Bob

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What's Happening in Hispanic Ministry? August 2009 Update

Almost 90 children attended the Vacation Bible School held by Centro Cristiano Santa Paula in June. The theme was "A Journey through the Holy Land" and the entire church facilities were set up like the ancient city of Bethlehem with a well to collect water, a carpenter's workshop (craft tent), a bakery (snack tent) and a game area where the children played real games that the Romans played. Praise the Lord for the many new families who attended VBS and are continuing to attend church activities.

Centro Cristiano Moorpark continues the English Class and Bible Study every Saturday and has begun a home Bible Study on Wednesday nights. We thank the Lord for the family who lives behind the church and warmly opens their home to all who want to hear the Word of God and intercede for each other.

Pastor Marco Lozano has returned to ministry at Centro Cristiano Oxnard. We are grateful that he has come back to ministry in improved health and we pray for the continuing ministries of the Oxnard church.

How can you be part of the action?

"The members of St. John's, Oxnard are excited about the opportunities opening up in Moorpark. We pray for those involved in the efforts to reach out to the Hispanic community in that area and we pledge our support. We also rejoice in the return of Pastor Marco Lozano to Centro Cristiano Oxnard."
Pat Penrose, Chairperson, St. John's Mission Board

For more information about these ministries or to send financial support, please contact Pastor Dennis Bradshaw at (805) 660-3377 or Centro Cristiano Hispano, P.O. Box 952, Santa Paula, California 93060.

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email