Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year's Poem for Christians

Instead of making a New Year's resolution
Consider committing to a biblical solution
Your promises are easily broken
Empty words, though earnestly spoken
But God's Word transforms the soul
By His Holy Spirit making you whole
As you spend time alone with Him
He will change you from within

-- Mary Fairchild

http://christianity.about.com/od/holidaytips/qt/newyearpoem.htm


What a great reminder to us that His yoke is easy and His burden light.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leftover Ham Anyone?

Looking forward (just a little) to my favorite part of a holiday meal... the leftovers. This is our favorite cornbread recipe and we feel it must go in a cast-iron skillet. It's great with leftover ham. The recipe is taken from the cookbook, "Cornbread."

Mary Baird's Johnny Cake
Vegetable oil cooking spray 1 cup unbleached white flour, preferably King Arthur brand
3/4 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal 1/3 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg 1 cup milk
2-3 T. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with oil, and set aside.

Sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking power and salt into a medium bowl.

Break the egg into a second medium bowl, and whisk it well. Whisk in the milk and melted butter.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible, and transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Consider the Shepherds

Read this secular description of shepherds historically, as found at www.wikipedia.org:

"Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool. Over the next millennia sheep and shepherding spread throughout Eurasia.
Some sheep were integrated in the family farm along with other animals such as chickens and pigs. To maintain a large flock, however, the sheep must be able to move from pasture to pasture; this required the development of an occupation separate from that of the farmer. The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators. The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing. In ancient times shepherds also commonly milked their sheep, and made cheese from this milk; only some shepherds still do this today.

"In many societies shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others. Shepherds also lived apart from society, being largely nomadic. It was mainly a job of solitary males without children, and new shepherds thus needed to be recruited externally. Shepherds were most often the younger sons of farming peasants who did not inherit any land. Still in other societies, each family would have a family member to shepherd its flock, often a child, youth or an elder who couldn't help much with harder work; these shepherds were fully integrated in society.

"Shepherds would normally work in groups either looking after one large flock, or each bringing their own and merging their responsibilities. They would live in small cabins, often shared with their sheep and would buy food from local communities. Less often shepherds lived in covered wagons that traveled with their flocks.

"Shepherding developed only in certain areas. In the lowlands and river valleys, it was far more efficient to grow grain and cereals than to allow sheep to graze, thus the raising of sheep was confined to rugged and mountainous areas. In pre-modern times shepherding was thus centered on regions such as the Middle East, Greece, the Pyrenees, the Carpathian Mountains, and Scotland."
______________________________
Now, reflect on such shepherds being chosen to be the first people to greet our Savior, Jesus. Wow!

8 That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11 The Savior -- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!" 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others -- the armies of heaven -- praising God: 14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors. " 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, 19 but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said. Luke 2:8-20 (NLT)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Personal Favorite Christmas Hymn

There’s a Song in the Air
lyrics by Josiah Gilbert Holland; tune by Karl P. Harrington

There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky!

There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry!

And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,

For the manger of Bethlehem cradles the King!



There’s a tumult of joy o’er the wonderful birth,

For the virgin’s sweet Boy is the Lord of the Earth.

Aye! the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,

For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!



In the light of that star lie the ages impearled;

And that song from afar has swept over the world.

Every hearth is aflame, and the beautiful sing

In the homes of the nations that Jesus is King!



We rejoice in the light, and we echo the song

That comes down through the night from the heavenly throng.

Aye! we shout to the lovely evangel they bring,

And we greet in His cradle our Savior and King!


Born in Belchertown, Massachusetts, Josiah Gilbert Holland began his professional career as a medical doctor. Soon he became involved in writing and editorial work and eventually helped establish Scribner's Magazine. "There's a Song in the Air" first appeared in a Sunday School collection in 1874, and five years later it was included in Holland's Complete Poetical Writings. The present tune was composed for these words by Karl P. Harrington approximately 25 years later. The composer was recognized as a church musician, serving in various Methodist churches as organist and choir director. He was also one of the musical editors for the Methodist Hymnal of 1905, when the present version of the carol first appeared.

Hymn lyrics and biographical information found at: http://our.homewithgod.com/ewerluvd/hymndevotionals/12_18.htm

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mary Had Parents and Other Amazing Discoveries

36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 (NIV)
________________________________

“The Gospels do not name the parents of Mary. But tradition says that her parents’ names were Anne and Joachim.” The Little Blue Book: Advent and Christmas Seasons 2010-2011

I find it so exciting to uncover new facts about people in the Bible. Mary had parents... with names! Their names are not mentioned in the Bible but discovering what was likely their names just makes them more human to me. Every Bible character was real. Like you. Like me.

After reading about Mary’s parents, my mind made a connection. In Luke, we read of the prophetess Anna, who got to meet baby Jesus on His first trip to the temple. Perhaps Mary felt an extra special connection to this woman because her name was so very close to the name of Mary’s own mother. Mary was, after all, still quite young and had just endured a very controversial pregnancy. Then, she’d traveled to a strange town and delivered a baby in a stable! God may have known she needed a special comfort right about that time. The Bible tells us that Mary pondered in her heart the unique occurrences that happened with her firstborn son. I would have loved reflecting on the fact that one of the very first people to give thanks for my son in the temple... shared a name so similar to my Mama!

As you read the Christmas story this season, look for your own nuggets of new discovery. We’re all quite familiar with the story, but its appearance in God’s Holy Word makes it living and breathing scripture (II Timothy 3:16). A story capable of touching you in new ways. A story that can change you every time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Lesson on Just As I Am

Pray that God will prepare your heart for a teaching from Him tomorrow. He doesn't want us the way we think we should be... He wants us as we are.

10 "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. 11 The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."

Luke 18:10-14 (NLT)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Tea (and coffee and scones)

We continue our focus on prayer this week leading up to our holiday tea. Think back on the last time you met a girlfriend for a cup of coffee, tea, water. Don't we look forward to those times with our dear friends? Try to carve out a moment to have that same kind of quality time with Jesus today. He calls us into that very kind of relationship. May we anticipate that time with Him in much the same way we look forward to girlfriend time. See you Saturday girlfriend!

And a recipe for scones, in case you really like what you taste at the Kellogg House!
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/simple-scones/Detail.aspx

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pray for Your Husband

"A wife’s prayers for her husband have a far greater effect on him than anyone else’s, even his mother’s. (Sorry, Mom.) A mother’s prayers for her child are certainly fervent. But when a man marries, he leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife (Matthew 19:5). They are a team, one unit, unified in spirit. The strength of a man and wife joined together in God’s sight is far greater than the sum of the strengths of each of the two individuals. That’s because the Holy Spirit unites them and gives added power to their prayers.

That’s also why there is so much at stake if we don’t pray. Can you imagine praying for the right side of your body and not the left? If the right side is not sustained and protected and it falls, it’s going to bring down the left side with it. The same is true of you and your husband. If you pray for yourself and not him, you will never find the blessings and fulfillment you want. What happens to him happens to you and you can’t get around it." -Stormie Omartian

www.stormieomartian.com/powerofprayer.html

Holiday Invite from First Congregational Church

First Congregational Church of Otsego has invited us to attend their holiday event, "What I Learned from God While Quilting," on December 1st at 7pm. Food will be provided by table hostesses, quilted items given away as door prizes and the event is free! Gather some friends and please let the ladies know if you plan to attend. You can RSVP by sending a Facebook message to Sharalyn Downing or by calling their church office.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reminder to sign up!

A reminder ladies, the deadline to register (fill out form and pay $10 fee) for our Women's Ministry Holiday Tea and Prayer Panel is Monday, November 15th. I'm hoping to get most of you signed up this Sunday before and after the service. Look for Jaime Rogers, Sherry Hanson or myself at the information table in the lobby to get registered.

The tea is Saturday, November 20th from 1-4pm at the Kellogg Manor House. Thanks!

Traci Rhoades
Women's Ministry Coordinator

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Reminder of our Bible Studies

In an effort to make sure all North Point ladies are aware of our four women's Bible studies, I wanted to give you the dates and times again. These groups have been meeting for a while and are led by women that love the Lord and want to show others how His word can help us along any path. Please, if you have time, consider joining a group and learning alongside us.

Monday mornings - (9:30-11:30am at Otsego Public Library) Led by: Torie Jaffas. This group is in between studies and will have a week of prayer time next week. On November 22, they start the series by Jennifer Rothschild, Me, Myself and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover.

Second and Fourth Tuesday mornings - (9:30-11:30am at Otsego Public Library) Led by: Jane Ponitz. This group is doing an in-depth study of the eight characteristics of Christlikness, using Matthew 1-10 as their study reference. They are currently working through Matthew 7.

Wednesday mornings - (9:30-11:30am at Friendship Wesleyan Church; Plainwell, MI) Led by: Traci Rhoades. This group is studying from the book by Priscilla Shirer, One in a Million. Currently, this is the only ladies' Bible study that offers childcare.

Wednesday nights - (6:30-8pm at Otsego Public Library) Led by: Traci Rhoades. This group will be studying the birth of Christ, as recorded in Matthew and Luke, in November and December.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blessings

Does God ever lay phrases on your heart? A few words He repeats over and over... silently in your heart. He very much speaks to me in this way. And the phrase as of late is "bless them." This youtube video talks about this. More specifically, this a cappella group reminds us that Jesus is the ultimate Blessing Giver.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H5cQKd3z4c

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prayer of Rev. Peter Marshall, D.D. to Congress, May 27, 1948

Rev. Peter Marshall, D.D., Chaplain of the U.S. Senate at the opening daily session of Congress, May 27, 1948:

"Lord Jesus, as Thou dost move amoung people and see what men are doing today, how sore must be Thy heart.

Thou whose head was cradled in straw must often reflect that straw was not as coarse as man's selfishness.

Thou whose hands were spread upon a cross and fastened with nails much often reflect that nails were never so sharp as man's ingratitude.

Hear us as we pray for this poor blundering world, in which the nations never seem to learn how to live as brothers.

They resort again and again to methods that produce only more bitter tears, methods that only add to misery and subtract nothing from problems.

Heal them that need healing, make strong the wavering, guide the perplexed, befriend the lonely, give faith and courage to those whose spirits are low.

Lift up our heads, put a new light in our eyes and a new song in our hearts, and we will do better and be better for the sake of Thy love. Amen."

Link from: http://www.house.gov/forbes/prayer/prayerincongress.htm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Women's Ministry Holiday Tea and Prayer Panel

When: Saturday, November 20th from 1-4pm

Where: W.K. Kellogg Manor House
3700 Gull Lake Drive East
Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Welcome in the holiday season with us! Enjoy an afternoon of refreshments and discussion on prayer - all amidst some grand holiday decorations. Cost is $10, with scholarships available. Watch the information table at church for registration forms. These and payment are due by Monday, November 15th.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Taffy Dip from the kitchen of Rhonda Bos

1 - 8 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup crushed Spanish Peanuts

Soften cream cheese. Mix in brown sugar, vanilla and the optional nuts.
Serve with fresh cut crisp apples.

Rhonda brought this recipe to Bible study last fall and we've been requesting it ever since. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quotes to Live By

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
— Corrie ten Boom

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A prayer for Christ's body at North Point

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,5 so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:1-5 (nlt)

Dear Father,
May we as women of North Point know when each other needs a hand, a prayer. May our deepest desire be to know one another so well that we can help one another know You better. Give us a desire to be in community. Amen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are We Busy Doing the Right Things? Verses for Thought.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Women's Line Dancing Event

North Point Church Women’s Ministry

Line Dancing Event

For the experienced & the "not-so-much" alike!

Invite your lady friends!

When: Friday, October 15th (7-9pm)

Where: Big Rock Music Barn; 1125 122nd St, Martin

We're Just Here to Learn To Love Him

I've endured a few spiritual punches these past few days. It's hard to see family members struggling, hurting. The words to an Amy Grant song often come to mind when I have times like these. I found the lyrics on an "oldies" website, which I find offensive. But nonetheless, take to heart these words to In a Little While.

Got a ticket coming home
Wish the officer had known
What a day today has been
Then I stumbled through the door
Dropping junk mail on the floor
When will this day end
But then your letter caught my eye
Brought the hope in me to life
Cause you know me very well
And I bet you wrote me just to tell me

[Chorus:]
In a little while
We'll be with the Father
Can't you see Him smile
In a little while
We'll be home forever
In a while
we're just here
To learn to love Him
We'll be home
In just a little while

Boy, that letter hit the spot
Made me think of all I've got
And all that waits for me
Guess I've known it all day long

Wonder where my thoughts went wrong
When will my heart believe
Wakin' half-way through the night
Reachin' toward the lamp for light
Pickin' up the Word I find
Here's another letter to remind me

[Chorus]

Days like these are just a test of our will
Will we walk or will we fall?

Well, I can almost see the top of the hill
And I believe it's worth it all

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Go To Church?

A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them. So I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

Author Unknown

Friday, September 10, 2010

Opportunity for Covenant Membership at North Point Church

We will once again be offering our bi-annual Covenant Membership courses on September 19th and 26th. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some information that might help you understand our philosophy of covenant membership at NP.

1. Membership/Covenant: Membership is not a list of benefits or advantages, it’s a commitment. When we use the word “covenant” we are referencing a bond that comes from like minded belief and thinking. We are holding one another accountable to living out the faith.
2. Knowing What We Believe: Our church has a vision, mission, and six key principles that guide every decision this church makes. Knowing how we approach baptism, the sacraments, bible study, prayer, preaching, worship, etc, helps you understand why we do what we do, what guides us, and how we come to these conclusions. Covenant Membership is about knowing the God we serve and the theology of the church.
3. Transfer Membership: Many of you have asked, “Can I just transfer my membership from another church?” We encourage you to do so, but the fact still remains that our church is not that church. Though almost all denominations confess Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life, we are all unique, and most churches have an autonomous vision for the future that’s influenced by place, time and resources. This is why we require all transfers to take the courses for membership. Taking the courses helps you understand what North Point is all about and how it plans to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).
4. Hearing Your Story: Part of covenant membership is hearing how the Lord saved you. In the early church, the Apostle’s Creed was used at a person’s baptism. The Creed was a way for believers to confess their likeness and commitment to a Trinitarian belief system. Hearing your testimony encourages the church and builds up the body of Christ.
5. Helping Make Decisions: As a covenant member you’re allowed to vote. The body of Christ—confessing members—is called to keep the leaders and fellow believers in check. We believe in a consistory—governing body of Elders and Deacons—that are accountable to the whole. This means that Elders, Deacons and Pastors are called to discern and heed God’s leadings, but also to hear the voice of the people. This applies to a future building, approval of leaders, etc. God’s people are called to hold one another accountable. Those that are committed to the covenant are allowed the right to vote on these matters.
6. Taking the Classes: Taking the classes is more than jumping through a hoop. Matter of fact, it’s not a hoop at all; it’s an opportunity to see, hear and also ask questions. The classes are designed to give you a basic foundation of the doctrines and theology of the church. Taking the classes is also a statement of commitment. In a world that opposes anything mandatory, the bible is the opposite, it demands great things from God’s people. It’s unreasonable to think that a few hours of commitment to learning about the church I attend aren’t necessary…you need to know the place you go.

I trust you will find this information to be helpful. The key to deciding to join a local body of believers is prayer. You must know that this is God’s will for your life. If you’ve been at North Point for several years, maybe it’s time you took one more step in making this your church family?

If you would like to sign up for these upcoming classes, please do so at church this Sunday, or respond to me via email and I’ll put you on the list. Keep the faith and know that you’re more than an attendee; you’re a brother/sister in Christ. May God give you the discernment to know His will. -Pastor Jason

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Appetizer

Buffalo Chicken and Cheese Dip

1 8oz pkg of cream cheese, softened

2 large cans of chicken breast, drained

¼ to ½ cup red hot sauce (like Texas Pete) add to taste (I use ½ cup)

½ cup blue cheese dressing (can also use Ranch dressing if preferred)

¼ to ½ cup crumbled blue cheese (add to taste or optional)

Mix above ingredients in small casserole dish. Place casserole dish into preheated 350° oven and bake 20 minutes or until hot & bubbly.  Serve with pita bread chips or other crackers.

This is a great one for family get-togethers. Tastes just like buffalo wings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Story Evangelism Training

An Evangelism Training Opportunity from our Pastor...
I want to encourage all who call North Point home to plan on attending this upcoming evangelism training. Three Story Evangelism is a wonderful way to clearly and accurately articulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Three Story concentrates on God’s Story, Our Story and the Story of Others. All of these stories intermingle and define who we are and our faith. If you’ve ever struggled with not knowing what to say when someone asks you what you believe, or have difficulty expressing the message of the Cross and personal salvation, plan on attending this important training.

This training is for Moms, Dads, Sunday School Teachers, Church Leaders, Elders, Deacons, Students and all those under the banner of the Great Commission (includes all of us). I will be leading half of the training and want to again stress how necessary it is to know the Gospel Message. Please take time to pray and consider spending a day learning how to communicate the greatest story ever told.

We will have sign-ups this coming Sunday.

Where: Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St, Kalamazoo, MI
When: Saturday, September 11 (8:30am-4:00pm)
Cost: $10 includes training, lunch, and workbook
Register: www.KalamazooYFC.org or (269) 388-3888

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Poem to Our Church Greeter

Mr. Bob,

To you, it seems a simple greeting to one a quarter your size.
But oh, how proud she is to show you her dress each Sunday!
Do you see her eyes light up and the big wave as she recognizes a friendly face?

And for this Mama, I think big thoughts.
You, kind sir, teach my little girl that the church will always meet her with open arms.
From you, she realizes the light of her Savior can be found among a body of believers in communities worldwide.

So thank you for this simple act, seemingly as small as she is...
However, I know for certain, your service has eternal ramifications.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall Bible Studies - Join Us

We have three opportunities for weekly Bible studies this fall. In addition, we have several groups of women that meet less often if you aren't able to commit to a weekly group. The weekly options are listed below. If you can't make these, contact me at npwministry@charter.net about getting plugged in with another group of women.

Monday mornings (9:30-11:30am) at the Otsego Public Library. Torie Jaffas will lead a group of women in Faithful, Abundant, True by Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur. Sorry, there is no childcare provided.

Wednesday mornings (9:30-11:30am) location to be determined. Traci Rhoades will lead a group of women in One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. Childcare is available.

Wednesday nights (6:30-8pm) at the Otsego Public Library. Traci Rhoades will lead a group of women in Inheritance by Beth Moore. Sorry, there is no childcare provided.

We hope you can join us! You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poem of Our Father's Great Giving

Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercies,
To multiplied trials His multipled peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School

It's in the air... almost daily different Facebook friends are sending their little ones to school. Enjoy this tribute to the new school year!

The First Day of School
By Judith Viorst

Will they let me go when I need to go to the bathroom?
And what if I get lost on my way back to class?
And what if the other kids are a hundred, a thousand, times smarter than I am?
And what if we have a spelling test, or a reading test, or an...anything test, and I'm the only person who doesn't pass?
And what if my teacher decides she doesn't like me?
And what if, all of a sudden a tooth gets loose?
And what if I can't find lunch, or I sit on my lunch, or I (oops!) drop my lunch someplace like the toilet?
Will they let me starve or will somebody lend me a sandwich?
A cookie? A cracker? An apple? Some juice?
And what if they say, "Do this," and I don't understand them?
And what if there's teams and nobody picks me to play?
And what if I took off my sneakers, and also my socks, and my jeans, and my sweatshirt and T-shirt,
And started the first day of school on the second day?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dancing Undignified by Traci Rhoades

14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly tunic. 15 So David and all Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with much shouting and blowing of trumpets. 16 But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was filled with contempt for him. 17 The Ark of the LORD was placed inside the special tent that David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD. 18 When he had finished, David blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. 19 Then he gave a gift of food to every man and woman in Israel: a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then everyone went home. 20 When David returned home to bless his family, Michal came out to meet him and said in disgust, "How glorious the king of Israel looked today! He exposed himself to the servant girls like any indecent person might do!" 21 David retorted to Michal, "I was dancing before the LORD, who chose me above your father and his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the LORD. So I am willing to act like a fool in order to show my joy in the LORD. 22 Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, but I will be held in honor by the girls of whom you have spoken!" 2 Samuel 6:14-22

God called David a man after God's own heart. While far from perfect, God knew David was chasing Him... hard. Dancing with all his might, giving gifts of food to every man and woman in Israel. Does He cite the same spirit in you? I can't help but think of this scripture passage when I sing worship songs on Sunday morning. And the lyrics from "Undignified" by the David Crowder Band, "But I'll become even more undignified than this; leave my pride by my side...." I'm not worshiping or giving like that... yet. But by the grace of God I am seeking more of Him. I am dancing like a crazy woman in my heart of hearts. Won't you join me? And someday, someday, may we break it down just for Him, an audience of One! Enjoy your time of worship tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Alive Again by Matt Maher

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w5szlpedY

Be blessed today, ladies!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let's All Be Sisterchicks!

I admit I was a skeptic. The Sisterchick series by Robin Jones Gunn seemed a bit too - well- girly for me. But they seemed good summer beach reading, so I started with two gals that journeyed to Europe. These books left me so pleasantly surprised that as I prepare to read #7, off to London, I am asking myself if she would please come out with another.

Then I realized, I am surrounded by Sisterchicks! Christian women at North Point who want to have fun, grow in faith and find ways to show one another, "Hey, your life matters!" Let's be Sisterchicks together, ladies! We may not be headed out on the trip of a lifetime to Italy, New Zealand or Mexico (yet). But with God in charge, we will have quite the trip together. He promises.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Isaiah 40:25-31

(New Living Translation)

25 “To whom will you compare me?

Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

26 Look up into the heavens.

Who created all the stars?

He brings them out like an army, one after another,

calling each by its name.

Because of his great power and incomparable strength,

not a single one is missing.

27 O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?

O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

28 Have you never heard?

Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak

and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,

and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

O'Callaghan Kids' Macaroni and Cheese from Margaret O'Callaghan

This entry will be a comfort food that I’ve been making and gifting southwest Michigan with for 25 years. My middle child, Dan, was three weeks old when I obtained this recipe and he just celebrated his 25th birthday.

OLD-fashioned Macaroni and Cheese: Prepare according to package directions a one-pound box of elbow macaroni. Drain. Return to the hot pan and stir in one stick of butter until melted. Now stir in four easy ingredients: one pound small curd cottage cheese, one pound sour cream, one pound grated cheddar cheese and three beaten eggs. Spoon into an ungreased 9x13 pan and bake @ 350 degrees for one hour.

This recipe may be frozen unbaked for later use. Just thaw a couple days in the fridge and bake as directed. This is a great dish to give a family w/a newborn as it isn’t spicy for the nursing baby. It also works very well for a church potluck.

Meals for Families with Newborns

North Point accomplished a first this past week... three babies born in three days! How exciting!! What this means, however, is we have a lot of meals to deliver. As a church, we try to bring meals to the families with newborns. Sarah Robinson is organizing our care meals and has asked for some new volunteers to help prepare meals for all these new parents. Please contact her if this is something you'd be able to help with in the next few weeks. Thanks. I know we'll take great care of these families, both now and as their little ones grow up "really, really big" (as my own two-year old says).

Her email address is: therobinsonshouse@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preparing Meals for the Robinson's

Borrowing a line from Priscilla Shirer, it's time for the "pew to hit the pavement..."

Calling All North Point Ladies! We're praising God that Doug Robinson is home from the hospital and we'd like to provide meals for his family as he is on restricted activity for the next 6 weeks. Please contact Katrina Pelfrey on FB or at dkpelfrey@juno.com to sign up to bring them a meal; we'd like to cover them for at least the next 2-3 weeks-Thanks!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Prayer for Daddies

Proceed in this order:

1) Grab a box of Kleenex

2) Watch this youtube video

3) Pray for the dads you know who we need to be the spiritual leaders of our families.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdhSeA1hva4

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Only Trust Him written by: John H. Stockton

1. Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
there's mercy with the Lord;
and he will surely give you rest,
by trusting in his Word.
Refrain:
Only trust him, only trust him,
only trust him now.
He will save you, he will save you,
he will save you now.

2. For Jesus shed his precious blood
rich blessings to bestow;
plunge now into the crimson flood
that washes bright as snow.
(Refrain)

3. Yes, Jesus is the truth the way
that leads you into rest;
believe in him without delay,
and you are fully blest.
(Refrain)

4. Come then and join this holy band,
and on to glory go,
to dwell in that celestial land
where joys immortal flow.
(Refrain)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

S'More Cookie Bars from Sara Sheaffer

What better than a night by a campfire, roasting marshmallows and putting together a perfectly tasty S'more. That sure does ring in summertime, doesn't it!? But what about those of us who don't have time for a campfire but would love to enjoy that S'more? Well, here is your solution! What could possibly be better than S'more by itself anyway? If you are wondering that, I encourage you to try this recipe, it is very easy to make and so worth the effort!

S'more Cookie Bars

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (or 7 full-sized crackers, finely ground)
1 tsp baking Powder
1 tsp of salt (This may be too salty for some, If this is too much, reduce it to 1/4 tsp.)
4 king-sized dark chocolate bars (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by either using nonstick spray, or the old fashioned way with crisco and flour ( I use wiltons ready to use Cake Release, works great!) Set pan aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.

Place chocolate bars over dough. 4 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. You may not need all the chocolate so nibble on any pieces you don't use.

Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes about 14-16 bars.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friendship by Jaime Rogers

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!'" C.S. Lewis
 
 
Friendship is a gift. Usually we can tell right away in a conversation if we will have a lot in common and if this will be a instant friendship.

My instant “me too” happened without talking or meeting her at first. She was reading scripture at church and her heart for God’s word was evident. You could tell that she was a woman who loves the Lord. I had been praying for God to give me more women in my life that were passionate about Him and His word. Who wanted to learn more about Him daily. Listening to her read and hearing her heart I was hoping for a new friendship.

A few weeks later we were able to talk and, sure enough, the conversation was “Oh me too, and me too.” I find it comforting to know women who have the same goals, interests and are also seeking God and His plan. God answered this prayer and he will answer yours. It benefits our walk with Him when we have friends to learn with, connect with and love the Lord with.

If you have great girlfriends, thank God for those relationships and ask Him to keep growing those friendships.

If you desire more of these friendships, ask God, be specific and know He already has a friend in mind.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Faithful, Abundant, True Bible Study

Faithful, Abundant, True: Three Lives Going Deeper Still - We will be joining Beth
Moore, Kay Arthur, and Priscilla Shirer through a DVD series recorded live at the Orlando Deeper Still conference. It is a seven-session Bible study with two weeks of teaching each from Kay, Priscilla, and Beth. In a seventh-session, both hilarious and helpful, all three teachers answer questions submitted by attendees at the conference. You may buy a study book to use or just come and watch the DVD's, discuss, and pray.
Where:Otsego library
When: Tuesdays for 7 weeks starting June 1st
Time: 9:30 AM-11:30AM
More information at the Women's Ministry Table or email: npwministry@charter.net

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Bible Study One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer

For many of us, summer is "time off." Vacations, kids at home, day trips to the beach. This change in routine can also lead to spiritual "time off." Join other women at North Point this summer as we choose not to take "time off" spiritually.

Our evening Bible study is based on a book by Priscilla Shirer, One in a Million. Be challenged by Priscilla to fully embrace God's Spirit living in you. Forget about spiritual time off, let's become 100% more His.

When: Wednesdays (6:30-8pm) starting June 9*
Where: Otsego Public Library Tutoring Room
Who: Women of North Point, their friends, their neighbors

Sorry, but childcare will not be available for this Bible Study.

* Weather-permitting, we will plan to walk the neighborhoods around the library on evenings following Bible Study.

Sign up at the information table in the lobby or by contacting Traci Rhoades (269.908.0992 or traci_407@msn.com).

Do You Know What You Know What You Know? by Traci Rhoades

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2 Timothy 1:12 (King James Version)

Through a variety of circumstances, speakers, songs and scripture, I feel God has been studying my heart to see how deeply I trust Him. I’ve been doing this “Christian thing” for a number of years and I can perform pretty well. But life with Christ isn’t about performance. Performance can tie very closely to pride, I find. I want my faith to produce works that glorify God, not be about rote actions that make me look good.

As I sense God asking me if I really trust and know Him to work in my life and in the lives of others, this verse in 2 Timothy keeps coming to mind. I learned it as a hymn years ago. I decided to study up on this verse and also to revisit the words to this old hymn. First, in studying the verse, the words “believed” and “know” jumped out at me specifically. These are strong action verbs. The Greek word used for “know” is actually a past tense verb. To me, that said it’s not about thinking maybe I believe God or I will believe and trust Him after I learn a little more or go through more in life. Instead, it’s a definite belief... I know that I know that I know that God is trustworthy. I am praying to reach that point in my faith even more fully.

Next, I looked up the words to the hymn. They are beautiful and the author, Daniel Webster Whittle, was a soldier involved in the Civil War’s Battle of Vicksburg. As a mangled soldier, he turned to God’s word and found great peace and assurance. The first part of this verse, “For the which cause I also suffer these things...” means much more to Mr. Whittle than it probably ever will to me. Yet we both seek the same thing that millions of Christians search for; the faith to know Christ in every circumstance. And to trust “that He is able to keep all that which I have committed
unto Him.”

Following is a link to the hymn, “I Know Whom I Have Believed”
http://uponmyknees.wordpress.com/2007/04/29/i-know-whom-i-have-believed/

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It Is No Secret by Traci Rhoades

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews.
John 19:38

I had a wonderful pastor during my college years. He could do not just one, but a series of sermons, on a single word in a verse. Every now and then he’d get ambitious and say he was going to preach a sermon on a whole passage. Those of us who served under his shepherding would just shake our heads and smile. Now, many years later, I still seek out golden nuggets of truth in the tiniest word or phrases in scripture.

Take the verse in John that introduces us to Joseph of Arimathea, for example. We read in Matthew that Joseph was a rich man. We read nothing about him in scripture until he offers his tomb for Jesus’ burial. Yet, he had the privilege of playing a huge role in the crucifixion story. As I read the accounts of his role in the story, three words scream out at me, “disciple... but secretly.”

Like many of us, Joseph was content to follow Christ from a distance. He listened to the teaching of this greatest of Rabbis but didn’t want it to cost him anything. Not his money, not his reputation. Then, there came a point in his walk when he had to decide. Was he a true disciple of Jesus who would serve his Lord regardless of how much it cost him? He stopped living in secret devotion, offering to bury the body of Jesus in his very own tomb. He would forever be known as a true disciple.

Let’s learn a great lesson from our brother in Christ, Joseph of Arimathea. Throw off the phrase “disciple... but secretly.” Realize that every believer reaches a point in their own walk where it can’t be done in secret anymore. We have to step out in faith. This Easter season, let’s determine in our hearts that the Christ who died for us deserves our praises loud and clear.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday Morning Bible Study

Monday Morning Bible Study at the Otsego Library 9:30AM-11:30AM will be studying a book by Joyce Meyer, Battle Field of the Mind, along with a DVD. Starting March 29th and running for 5 Mondays. Information on the Ministry Table at Church or email npwministry@charter.net

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marriage Conference:

Open to ALL couples...

Valentines Weekend!
Friday Evening ~ Saturday Morning

Restore passion and intimacy to your marriage with "Sex, Love & Communication" a live simulcast with Jimmy and Karen Evans of Marriage Today.
Sex, Love, & Communication Simulcast
Discover:
~ the one element every good marriage has on display
~ the three factors that must be present to protect lasting love
~ the three steps to striking you sexual match

Friday 7:30-10:30 pm
and
Saturday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
$25 registration per couple

Hosted by North Point Church (www.northpointchurch.net)

For more information contact Jaime Rogers at: lovemygirls02@yahoo.com
or
Shannon Goodwin at: sddgoodwin@yahoo.com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed Bible Study

Bible Study meets Monday January 11th at the Otsego Library 9:30-11:15A.M. Anointed Transformed Redeemed If you have taken this study before please feel free to come again. If you had missed any of the lessons drop in on the ones you missed. You will not need a book for this time around. We will have a different format. Tori Jaffas is facilitating this study

Sunday, January 10, 2010

There's More To Every Bible Story by Traci Rhoades

Genesis 22:9-12

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.

12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."



As a wife and mother, I see things differently now. That includes when I read my Bible. I find myself reading familiar stories and wondering about all the information we are not told in the scripture passages. One example relates to the story we read in Genesis about Abraham offering Isaac up as a sacrifice, per God’s instruction. We are told in the story of Abraham’s complete willingness and obedience. Fortunately for Abraham, and for all of mankind, God stopped Abraham before he committed the deed. In Isaac’s place, a sheep appeared to stand in as the sacrificial lamb.

A touching story of how important our obedience is to God. A story full of symbolism and lessons in listening carefully for God’s voice.

But, my friend, where was SARAH in all of this? Have you ever wondered that? Did Abraham tell her where he was going with her only son? Do you think she had the chance to hear Abraham out on what God had told him to do this time? Were women in the Bible allowed to let their husbands have a piece of their mind in the privacy of their own tent? Although we don’t know the answers to these types of questions exactly, we do know there’s much more to each story than what we read. The lesson for me as I think on these questions regarding Sarah is to seek God’s will in my own marriage communication. And expect there to be times my husband and I won’t be on the same page. When that happens, what would God have us to do?

Reading the Bible between the lines opens up a whole new perspective on the lessons we can learn. The Holy Spirit continues to teach me about so much more than just the literal words on the page, powerful as they are. The Bible is living, breathing and only tells a small part of each story. Soak in the scriptures, imagine the rest of the story and let the Spirit teach you through what we’re told – and what we’re not.