Hi Parents! Here's the scoop for this week....
Pastor Ivan and I are joining forces again this week so... you can study as you help your children get ready for Sunday.
The lesson is based on Nicodemus' conversation with Jesus. John is the only one who records this time. You will find our Lesson in John 3: 1-17. Our Bible point is that Jesus gives us eternal life.
I must admit some of this Bible story seems a bit out of reach for me. I can't say I totally understand it. It doesn't help that this is an encounter between 2 very intelligent people. I know Jesus was reaching Nicodemus at his level. We know from the text that Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews (which means he was a member of the Sanhedrin), he was a teacher of Israel, John 19: 39 implies he was wealthy, and John 7: 50, 51 tells us he defended Jesus before the Jewish authorities.
Nicodemus came to Jesus during the night. Maybe this was because it was the only time he could get away when he knew Jesus wouldn't be surrounded by people, maybe he didn't want people to know he was going to Jesus. Nic knew Jesus was different; at least understanding Jesus was sent by God. He was curious enough that he went to Jesus for more information. He implied others knew Jesus was sent by God.
One of the cool things pointed out to me is in verse 11. Jesus included the disciples when He said, "Truly I tell you, we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony."
You may want to review the story of Moses and the snake with your children if you have time. You will find that in Numbers 21: 4-9.
John 3: 16 is a well known verse. It sums up the Gospel really well.
May God bless you and keep you safe during this time.
Dear Denali church family,
I hope that this email finds you well. The elders would like to invite you to our first-ever online worship. We have been working very hard to make it happen. I pray that it can be uplifting, even if it means doing and learning something new.
Within our RightNow page (see our updates page), we put the order of service and you can follow along like you normally would. Unfortunately, there is no Auto-play. You must click on each video element. While this could be annoying, it also means that you have time to get more coffee or flip the couch pillow! Please don't automatically give up just because it looks hard. I promise that you can figure it out. I've had to overcome a lot this week and I know that you can too.
Please let us know if you need anything, have any prayer requests, or would just like to talk. We are trying to understand what God wants us to do as leaders and as a chapel as we move forward into these uncharted waters that we are in. May God richly bless you as we worship together.
Dear DBC family,
It seems like our world is in such a state of flux lately. Things are one thing in the morning and totally different in the afternoon. It gets to be extremely challenging to make heads or tails of what to do. As leaders at DBC, we have been praying fervently and seeking counsel as to how to proceed for our congregation. We know that there will most likely be those that fall on both extremes of what to do - cancel because of caution or not cancel because it is fearful. Yet we know that God has placed us in our positions as leaders and lead we must.
We have been praying for the government and our national and state leaders to be able to make wise decisions. And this week, there have been a lot of decisions made. Today we learned that in our state alone that we are now up to 12 cases and several have been non-travel related. This will most likely accelerate as testing increases. At a pastor’s meeting I attended today, one pastor talked about how the virus works and who is affected. Sometimes we think that it is only us that would be affected. But he said that it ripples out for 5 layers and affects way more people than just you and your family or even your friends.
We have chosen to be cautious, but not guided by fear. With that in mind, we will not be meeting for worship together at DBC for the next few weeks. We also will not have AWANA or any other church activities. We know that this is a major change and it is something that we do not decide lightly. We also know that Hebrews 10:25 commands us to not forsake the fellowship. Though God’s plan is clearly for us to worship together, we believe that we can still fellowship, even without being able to meet in person.
We have begun preparing for this Sunday’s worship in various ways. We plan to have a worship music playlist, a Communion message, a lesson for the YftL kids, a Bible Study for adults and families, Corporate Prayer and Announcements. If that sounds like our regular services, that is by design. We will be utilizing RightNow Media and incorporating our video teachings onto our page. On Sunday, we can worship communally in going through each of these service steps. Though we won’t be meeting together because the building is closed, I believe that the Holy Spirit will still be active since the Church is open because WE are the church. Please see our updates page for more infromation.
If you have made it this far, please know that we seek to glorify God in all that we do, even if it is when we can’t meet face to face for a time. Thank you for being patient and thank you for trusting us as your elders.
I wanted to send an email out to let you know that we are thinking about you and praying for you. As we seek God’s guidance as to what to do for this Sunday and the future weeks, I wanted to share something that I’ve learned lately. I was putting away things at home and I had a brand new container of Clorox type wipes. Those things are like gold right now as some are selling on eBay for $25 per container! That’s crazy! Well, I happened to not be holding the box very well and the wipe container fell off and landed on it’s lid, cracking it in the process. It hurt to see gold hitting the ground! Just kidding. But it did make me realize that if I didn’t put it in a ziplock bag that it would dry out soon and become useless.
It reminds me of the verse Jesus talked about where what use is salt if it loses its flavor. Thankfully up here most of us have been given an abundance of resources. But if we hoard these resources, is it much good? I don’t mean to take away from your families needs, but I wonder how God can show us how we can help others around us - especially those that are scared or fearful. God laid on my son's heart to help out a few small businesses in town that didn’t seem to be equipped with cleaning supplies. God provided 2 spray bottles of disinfectant - on clearance - and someone abandoning a 6 pack of paper towels. So when the supplies were dropped off, the workers couldn’t really believe that we would give these things to them without expecting anything. That’s because the world is not used to seeing kindness, just for kindness sake. I don’t say these things for any other reason but to encourage you and your family to begin to ask God how you can use this time for Him and how you can help those whom He might have you reach out to in love one way or another. Who knows, but maybe you are in this spot right now to affect change for eternity!
DBC Church Family,
Life can change so fast. I went off grid for 5 days for camp and it seems like everything changed. Fear and anxiety seem to be so high. Yet, I am reminded of our lesson on Saturday. Our theme for the weekend was God’s love and Saturday we talked about how His love overcomes. I used Styrofoam balls and acetone to illustrate that when we are filled with the Love of Christ, He will take our fear and anxiety away and use them as a beacon of light and hope. Yes, I did light the acetone on fire. It is so easy to get caught up with the cares and concerns of the world that we forget that God wants us to rely upon Him (I came back and needed to remind myself of this). With all that is going on with the Coronavirus we have the ability to cast our burdens upon Christ and through that shines as a beacon of light and hope to the world around us. If you have a few moments please read through Matthew 6: 25-34.
PS -Check out this link to an article on talking to kids about the virus.
Dear DBC family,
I know that almost all of you have been wondering what was going to happen at church and AWANA regarding the Coronavirus. The elders have been praying and seeking God’s wisdom in this current pandemic. While we realize that there are those in our congregation who believe that it would be foolish to keep meeting in larger groups because of the spread of the virus, and others who believe that closing the Chapel is succumbing to fear, it is important to strike a balance. Our prayer is that Satan will not use this “crisis” to sow a seed of discord and disunity within our congregation. He would like nothing better than to keep us from God’s goals for the Chapel. Though we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7), we are also commanded to be wise (Proverbs 4:5). We have spent countless hours diligently reading articles, seeking medical and health professional advice to try to understand what we should do For DBC. As followers of Jesus Christ, we should not panic, but we should pray and take appropriate precautions to protect others as well as ourselves.
We will still be having our worship service tomorrow, March 15th. In addition, one of the wondering kids in our congregation will be getting baptized. While we are requesting that people who feel that they are high risk, those who have recently traveled and those who are coughing, sneezing, sick, have a fever or showing signs of the flu to worship from home, we do hope that God will provide all healthy congregates the ability to come and witness this exciting step in this child's faith.
AWANA for this week, March 17th, is cancelled. The commanders will reevaluate this week as to how to proceed for the future clubs.
Youth for the Lord will still meet, but only for the Large Group time. They will join the adults for baptism. My message is a passage that we chose almost 2 months ago, and I believe that God did that on purpose. It is found in Matthew 6:25-34 and is about fear and anxiety and seeking God's kingdom. This is no coincidence.
While we are unsure of how the future should proceed with this virus in our town, please know that we are seeking God's guidance. We truly hope that you will back our decisions, even if you feel they should be different, knowing that the heart in which they were made is steeped deeply in love for our congregation.
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.