News & Announcements | August 14, 2021
Just say His name!
One of my pet peeves is hearing Christians who should know better go out of their way to avoid specifying exactly who they are talking about by substituting (supposedly) humorous names for Jesus. “The man upstairs”, “the big man”, “BigG” or “CloudFella” is watching out for them! I am not implying that they are being purposely demeaning or disrespectful because most of the people I hear doing this testify to a meaningful relationship with Jesus. No, I suspect it happens because of an effect I have noticed over the years: if you say His name, the tension and attention in the room or gathering immediately goes up exponentially! And most people want to avoid confrontation.
C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance; if true, is of supreme importance” and I think most rational beings will acknowledge this. So for everyone there must come a point where they have to decide which option they believe to be true. And for Christianity to be of supreme importance you have to believe that Jesus is who he says he is!
There is nothing new in this and this was also the problem that confronted the earliest followers of Jesus. As Paul writes to the church at Corinth:
“…but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense]…” 1 Corinthians 1:23 [Amplified Bible].
You would be forgiven for believing that the world has moved on from Paul’s assertion, but you would be wrong!
The biggest obstacle Muslims today cite for not believing Jesus is the Christ or Messiah (same word, different languages!) is that they cannot accept the idea of God being so weak, humble and vulnerable that he could be put to death by any human! So they uncomfortably acknowledge him as the greatest of all the prophets, but won’t make the leap to acknowledge him as the Son of God.
If you are witnessing to Jews, you will have a much better chance of success in bringing them to belief in Jesus by convincing them that he fulfills all the Old Testament prophecies rather than trying to get them to admit they are sinners in need of a savior. Pride gets in the way. Accepting Jesus means accepting their idea of a warrior messiah is wrong!
So, part of our mission as Jesus followers today is to know and demonstrate who Jesus really is.
Of course, as finite beings, we can never fully comprehend the full extent of who Jesus is, but we can at least begin by understanding what scripture tells us. Let’s just focus on his divine nature for now, I’ll circle back to his human nature in a subsequent column. In the interests of time and space I’ll cite just one little phrase from John 3:16 “…only begotten Son…” [KJV].
If you click on the link I provided you will notice that many of the translations clarify “only” to mean “one and only”. It is important to remember that this is not some disciple’s or commentator’s opinion of who Jesus is - these are Jesus’ own words. There has never been, and will never be another who can claim to be “the” Son of God.
The word “begotten” is archaic English for us, but modern science gives us a convenient analogy to understand what the Greek word means. Modern biology lets us understand that identical twins cannot be told apart because their DNA is identical. In the same way “begotten” says that Jesus and God the Father are identical in every respect.
Paul, writing to the Colossian Christians, says that Jesus is the “...image of the invisible God…” Colossians 1:15 [KJV]. I’ve provided a link to many English translations here, but I find J.B. Phillips’ paraphrase especially helpful. Again, “image”, in Greek, does not mean a copy like a photograph, but a version of the original which is indistinguishable from it.
So, once again, it all seemingly boils down to a choice: will you accept who Jesus is - God Himself in human form - according to the evidence of history and scripture, or decide not to decide. I must point out that this is a "limited time offer”, because we are told in Philippians 2:10 [KJV] that there will come a time when, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth…”
It seems urgent and important that we get this information our to friends and family as soon as possible.
Let’s not beat about the bush!
Just say his name!
Blessings on you and yours,
Contra Costa County Mask Mandate
In order to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, all people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings in in Contra Costa County until further notice, beginning August 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
We ask that worshippers bring and wear a face-covering during the service. Let us make doing so a visible witness of our love and concern for those in our group who are more vulnerable.
This Week's Schedule
9:30 am - Combined Sunday School - In-Person
11:00 am - Worship Service - In-Person and Facebook
6:00 pm - Men's Bible Study - In Fireside Room
10:00 am - CAMEO: Leave Your Worries on the Doorstep by Connie - via Zoom
Send praise reports and prayer requests or concerns to Marion Black.
- Pray for Jim who is travelling back to Scotland for his mom's funeral and memorial services.
- Pray for all those being affected by the Dixie Fire. Pray for all the rescue and relief personnel.
- Pray for all the students who have gone back to school. Pray for our teachers.
WYI Lite (Western Youth Institute)
Get your youth group or group of friends together and join us for WYI Lite!
Teens & Young Adults across the USA Western Territory
WYI Lite is a series of 4 FREE virtual services. Each service will feature a message, worship, small group questions, and activities for your group to do together. Our scripture for the week is based on 1 John 1:5-9. One of our priorities at WYI is cultivating community so we strongly encourage groups to meet together for each service when safe and possible.
6:00pm (PST) on the Saynetwork Facebook page. Corps Officers will also be sent a link to download all services & activities directly.
Each Friday in August (August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS:
- Colonel Kelly Igleheart (Chief Secretary of the USA Western Territory)
- Lt. Colonel Lisa Smith (Territorial Program Secretary of the USA Western Territory)
- Captains Emmanuel & Jennifer Masango (Territorial Youth & Candidates Secretaries of the USA Western Territory)
Divisional Youth Retreat: RESET - September 3-5
After enduring 2020 and adapting to 2021, we feel it is a perfect time to help our teens reset by encouraging them to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past because God is doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 42:18-19). Our team is preparing an exciting weekend with fun activities, but most importantly opportunities for the youth to ask questions, pray, find answers, and draw closer to God and know that he makes a way through our wilderness.
Captains Hector and Yasmin Acosta as our guest speakers for the weekend. They come from the amazing Northwest Division and are currently serving as the Corps Officers of the Seattle White Center. They love Jesus, the love people and they have a passion for youth ministry. They look forward to sharing their gifts and encouraging Del Oro Youth.
Kaylynn Jones of the great Concord Corps as our guest worship leader for the weekend. She loves Jesus, is super talented, a strong young leader and has a way of connecting with the younger crowd. She has assembled an amazing praise team!
Weekend Workshops: Perfect Love cast out fear, Forgiveness, Planting Seeds (evangelism), Back to Basics (daily devotions/study bible), Future Officers Fellowship, and Youth & Music Training for Officer & Leaders.
If your teen wans to go, please complete the form and hand to Major Ann. She must register the group on Monday, August 16th.
Back to School Giveaway
- This was the first time that a family of girls had ever had their hair professionally cut. They were so excited to have their appointments. They couldn't wait to come!
- Another family was bi-lingual - Japanese and English. They spoke only Japanese at home and English out in public. But due to Covid, the young children really only knew Japanese. One of our hairstylists was bi-racial and lived in Japan for 25 years. Seeing the mom trying to reassure her son that everything would be okay, the hairstylist, Vanessa, spoke to him in Japanese. (We had 5 hairstylists on duty - and they happened to be paired together! Who knew that would happen?!)
- One of the moms lost her job as a preschool teacher due to the school closing during the pandemic. She was ecstatic that she was offered a haircut as well.
- We had opportunities to visit with the families and children while they waited their turn. Get to know them a little bit and invite them to church. We have planted the seeds. We have to trust God in Him bringing growth.
- Proud to see our young people volunteering and helping the kids feel welcome.
These were just some examples of what happened today. We give thanks and glory to God!
Major AnnMarguerite Jones