Thursday March 26, 2020) For Your Consideration: "Are You Feeling Blessed?" Message from Pastor Khan
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” Are you feeling blessed? If so, stop right now and thank the Lord for each and every blessing you can think of. If not, stop right now, tell God you are sorry for not recognizing His blessings and then thank the Lord for each and every blessing you can think of. Can’t think of a blessing? How about starting with “Thank you Lord for the gift of your son, Jesus, who died so that I can spend eternity with you.”
“…and never fails to bear fruit.” How can we bear fruit when we are stuck at home? How about making a couple of phone calls or sending cards or texting someone to let them know they are thought about and cared for. Or, for those of you who like to sew, how about making face masks and donating them to a clinic or hospital or making them available to your neighbors. For those who are able, how about shopping for a neighbor who can’t get out. The possibilities are endless once we remember how blessed we are and ask the Lord to show us what kind of fruit we can bear.
Another way we can bear fruit during this time of sheltering is to offer financial assistance to those who are struggling. We are blessed to have a Benevolence Fund from which we are able to provide help to members and friends of New Life. If you know of a member or friend who is in need, please let one of the Pastors know. For those who are able, your help is needed keep the Benevolence Fund financed. Please prayerfully consider making a contribution to this important fund.
Sunday March 22, 2020) Gratitude Message from Pastor Linda
As I sit here gazing out into the garden where the lilacs are blooming I am praising God for the beauty that lies before me and feeling sad that we are unable to be together this morning. However, whether we are gathered together as a church family or restricted to our homes, we can lift our voices in praise to the Lord and know that God is with us.
This morning I decided to practice something a friend and mentor of mine, Marilyn, taught me years ago. She encouraged me to start a gratitude journal in which I would record 5 things every day that I was grateful for. Well, honestly I'm not real good at writing things down every day however, today as the sun came in through the window I was reminded to be grateful. So I started out to be grateful for 5 things and found my list growing and growing.
I started by thanking the Lord for the sunshine streaming through the window, then for the beauty of the flowers in the garden, then for eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a tounge that can taste the food before me, for the food before me! I gave thanks that I was able to get up this moring in a warm and comfortalbe home; that I have sufficient food to eat, clothing to cover me; a cat to keep me company, for technology that keeps me connected to people. I gave thanks for the ability to go out and take a walk, to spend time writing notes and making phone calls to family and friends and for my family and friends.
And you what happened when I was done? I had a big smile on my face, a lightness of spirit, and peace in my heart. I encourage you to take some time today to express your gratitude to God.
One last item on my gratitude list is that I am grateful for you all. For the way you have rallied to help the pastoral staff figure out ways to maintain community. I am grateful for your faith and commitment and the many ways you serve God and the New Life family.
May you feel God's presence in a strong and powerful way today!
Gratefully yours, Pastor Linda
Sunday March 22, 2020) WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Message from Pastor Karen
Good Morning Everyone! As we continue to live in this "new normal" know that the church staff working to try to fast track our technological knowledge while keeping in touch with our leaders and members. Thanks to all of you who have stepped up to help us and to reach out to one another. It will take the whole body of Christ to make it through the days ahead.
We have posted midweek meditations and a sermon from Tony on the spiritual discipline of "Solitude" on the New Life website. How perfect is that?!? We chose this sermon series on Spiritual Disciplines weeks before the Coronavirus outbreak. This topic of solitude was on the calendar for this Sunday weeks ago. God always knows what we need, and God meets and provides for us just when we need it. You are not alone, the Lord is with you.
Please let us know if you have any prayer requests. You can email or text me. The staff has divided up the church so we can keep in touch with different people. (You all are stuck with me!) We are also working on a phone tree among our members to keep in touch as well. We are praying and hoping to go LIVE with our worship soon. Zoom meetings and groups are getting off the ground. Pray as we learn how to love and care for one another during this time. However, take advantage of the time to "Be Still" and be with God. Sometimes we grow dependent on corporate or Sunday worships to connect with God, and we forget that God wants to meet us right where we are - one on one. So in this time of "shelter in place" continue to shelter in the arms of the Lord Most High. God is waiting to meet you - right where you are.
Pray for our first responders and the medical professionals, pray for those who must continue to work to keep things running, pray for our seniors and those living alone that they don't feel alone. Pray for Sandy who had to go to the hospital. She is doing better and going to a rehab center. Pray for those who are facing financial difficulties during this time when so many businesses and workplaces have closed or slowed down. Do not let fear or uncertainty overwhelm us. We praise God for bringing the Zingkhai family home safely and for God's care during some tough times. We can't wait to hear from Khan of all the ways God provided. Pray for our world and for those sick and grieving. Pray for wisdom for our leaders and those around the world. May it remind us that we need one another. During this time of Lent, may we meditate on God's sacrifices for us and how God is calling us to sacrifice for others,especially for the most vulnerable among us.
On this day of worship, spend time with God and listen to the moving of God's Spirit. May the peace and presence of Christ be with you all.
Blessings and Love, Karen
PS - you can continue to support the church financially through giving through our website on the Give Page Thanks always for your support and commitment.
(Wednesday March 16, 2020) Message from Pastor Karen
Good Evening Everyone, So much has changed in such a short period of time. Because of the new "Shelter in Place" mandate that has come from our local authorities, we are now suspending worship services until further notice. We will continue to watch and pray and will return when we are told that it is safe to meet again in large gatherings.
In the meantime, remember that "We don't cancel church, we are cancelling worship services, we still get to BE THE CHURCH." May we continue to walk not in fear but in faith. Let us encourage one another with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. Pray for the sick, for our first responders and medical professionals (who are also first responders), wisdom for our leaders to do what is best for all, especially those on the margin and who are the most vulnerable. May we all look for ways to be kind, to show compassion and grace for one another. May this event bring our world together, and may it remind us all of our need for a Savior. This next few weeks/months will be difficult, but we must keep our "eyes on the prize" so that we might be able to see the gifts and blessings that God is offering to us right now. May God make us more patient, more forgiving, more compassionate, more aware of both how blessed we are and how much we do have to be grateful for in our lives, but may it also open our eyes and be more empathetic to those that are struggling. Let us pray for the courage to embrace all the ways we must die to ourselves this Lenten season so we can more fully appreciate new life in Christ.
We will continue to reach out to everyone in the church. Continue to check your emails and the New Life FB page for devotionals and spiritual exercises you can practice at home. We are planning to record our sermons and put them on our website. We will continue to work on ways to connect us all in worship. If you find yourself needing help or you have a prayer request, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone on our staff.
Love and miss you all. Praying for God's peace and healing. Be safe. Be well. BE.
A Message from Pastor Karen:
Welcome to New Life Christian Fellowship. With gratitude to God for all he has done in our church, we invite you to share in our journey of faith, community, and growth.
We are a multi-generational worshipping community, dedicated to Christian discipleship, evangelism, and social action. We also seek to provide an open setting where those who want to learn more about Christianity can explore, question, and consider the claims of Jesus Christ. We are multicultural in membership and outlook but Asian-American in focus.
Our present membership as well as our regular worshiping congregation is very multi-cultural and also inter-generational. We seek to help meet the urgent need for effective ministries and outreach throughout the communities that we live in. We are part of a highly multicultural denomination (American Baptist) and we are active in multicultural community programs in the Bay Area.
If you are interested in our church and have any questions do not hesitate to contact us(firstname.lastname@example.org) or to visit us on Sunday morning so that we can greet you personally and share more with you about what God is doing in our midst.