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Grace Notes

Marcia Hoel Update (April 15, 2014)


Dear Church,

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15 ESV)

Marcia Hoel entered into glory 12:40AM, April 15.

As I sat beside Marcia and saw Marcia in decline, I often thought about the hymn “A Debtor to Mercy Alone.” This hymn ends with the line:

Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
more happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heav’n.

How full of the gospel comfort is this song! The “earnest” is the Holy Spirit, who was given to help us in our weakness. When Marcia became too weak to speak or to pray, the Spirit interceded for her with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26ff). And the Spirit in you was praying through you for Marcia as well. As your pastor I am grateful for your prayers, and the Spirit who dwells in us.

The hymn also speaks of the saints in heaven as “more happy, but not more secure.” This is a great encouragement for us as we fight our daily battles. So often it feels as though we are perishing. But the glorious truth is that God holds us faithfully in this life, and we are as safe and secure as the glorified spirits in heaven.

And how sweet for Marcia. For she is now a glorified spirit in heaven. She is now, indeed, “more happy.” 

We all loved Marcia and we mourn her suffering and death. Yet we do so with the sure knowledge that Marcia fought the good fight until the very end (I saw with my own eyes), trusted and loved her Savior, and has entered into her reward and rest. Jesus comforted Marcia through her last trial, and may he now comfort all of you who loved her.

I had a chance to visit with Marcia’s family today. Most of Marcia’s children live in Colorado, and need to return. Thus it seems best to the family to hold a memorial service for Marcia in a few weeks’ time. Marcia’s family is deeply grateful for all your prayers and offers of help.

I will forward details concerning the memorial service, and what help we can offer her family, in due time.

In Christ,

Pastor Ken


April 13, 2014


Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship

Please join us at the Ligtenberg home Friday April 11, 7PM, for a time of prayer and intercession for Marcia.

This coming Lord’s Day is Palm Sunday. It begins the Passion Week, which ends with Christ’s crucifixion and burial on Friday, and gives way to the Resurrection day. Let us gather and adore our Savior.

Call to Worship

Numbers 6:22–27

TH #457 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Prayer of Invocation

Reading of the Law and Confession of Sin

Romans 4:23–25

Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1 ESV)

TH #79 “My God, My God, O Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Presentation of Tithes and Offering

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Luke 19:28–40

The King of Peace

Rev. Ken Han

The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper

Baptized Christians who are members in good standing in Reformed or evangelical churches are invited to participate. Otherwise, please let the bread and the cup pass you by. During the distribution of the bread we will sing TH 647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

TH #107 “Praise Ye the Father!”

Benediction

Upcoming Events and Notices

April 11 (Friday 7PM): Please join us at the Ligtenberg home for a time of prayer and intercession for Marcia.

April 13 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship lunch. Set up: Janny Ligtenberg. Clean up: Michelle Kay & Yoori Han.

April 18 (Good Friday 7PM): Please join us for Good Friday mediations.

April 19 (Saturday 7 AM): The men’s study and fellowship will meet at the Ligtenberg home. All men are invited.

April 20 (Easter): Because of Easter, children and Youth Bible lessons will not meet. The lessons will be postponed one week until April 27.

Nursery Volunteers

April 13: Yoori Han & Mari Nienhuis

April 20: Michelle Kay & Amanda Severns


April 6, 2014


Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship

Christians firmly believe that we are saved by works. Of course, not our works, but Christ’s! This, of course, is no point of controversy for Christians who cherish the blessed truth that our salvation owes its birth not to what man can accomplish, but what God has done. God’s works, not ours, is the creed of our Christian birth.

But what if the same thing that was true at the beginning of our new birth remains true all throughout our growth as Christians? We confess gladly that we were born in the Spirit by God’s work, but many Christians struggle to have the same conviction with respect to their new life in Christ. Some Christians will even explicitly deny that the Christian who rests in God for his birth may rest in God for his life. Our intern Sean Severns helps us find our rest in God, not only for our new birth, but every day. He writes:

The deepest desire of every child of God is to bring glory and honor to His great name, and rightly so. Knowing this, it can be a temptation to focus on all the things that we are doing for God (or not doing); and on all the thoughts that we are thinking of God (or not thinking). For we know that we have good works to do in the name of the Father; and we desire to live in a manner that is worthy of His calling. This is all well and good. But I want to call attention to the source by which we bring God’s great name glory - the source is God himself. For we see in 1 Thessalonians 1:11–12 that, “God may make you worthy of his calling.” Beloved, we will most certainly grow discouraged if our mindset is purely, “What am I doing for God?” On the other hand, we will most certainly be encouraged if we grab hold of the present reality we have in Christ and begin to reflect on, “Look at what God has done for me! And look at what God is doing in me!” With this in mind, let us trust, love, and hope boldly, “for it is God who works in us, both to will and work for his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13).

Call to Worship

2 Thessalonians 1:11–12

TH #103 “Holy God, We Praise Your Name”

Prayer of Invocation

Reading of the Law and Confession of Sin

Exodus 20:7

Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)

TH #9 “All You That Fear Jehovah’s Name”

Presentation of Tithes and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Luke 6:17–26

True Blessing

Rev. Ken Han

The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper

Baptized Christians who are members in good standing in Reformed or evangelical churches are invited to participate. Otherwise, please let the bread and the cup pass you by. During the distribution of the bread we will sing TH 647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

TH #98 “Now Thank We All Our God”

Benediction

Upcoming Events and Notices

April 5 (Saturday 7 AM): The men’s study and fellowship will meet at the Sheldrup home. All men are invited.

April 6 (Lord’s Day 9:30 AM): Please join us for prayer meeting.

April 6 (Lord’s Day): Children and Youth Bible lessons will meet.

April 10 (Thursday 10 AM): The women’s study and fellowship will meet at the Han home. All women are invited.

April 13 (Lord’s Day): Please join us for our monthly fellowship lunch.

April 18 (Good Friday 7PM): Please join us for Good Friday mediations.

Nursery Volunteers

April 6: Kelly Rogers & Rebecca Rogers

April 13: Yoori Han & Mari Nienhuis


March 30, 2014


Preparing for the Lord’s Day Worship

Please be in prayer for Marcia H. She is in coma and in critical condition following an emergency operation yesterday (3/27).

As we continue to sit under Luke’s proclamation of the gospel of our Lord, we come this Lord’s Day to Luke 6:12–19, in which we see a glimpse of our Lord’s prayer life. In a performance and results driven culture as ours, prayer often feels useless. Even if a typical Christian does not actually say the word “useless”, our daily schedule usually says it loudly enough. We often say we have no time to pray. But we all and always make time for what is important to us. When we say we have no time to pray, what we really mean is “Prayer is not important.” For many of us, the truth is that prayer simply is not as important as spending time on Facebook, playing the latest games on our iPhones, and the myriads of other things we make time for every day.

But why this depressing reminder of our failures? Doesn’t the pastor know you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Well, we are not flies and this is not a trap. As in all things before God, restoration and change come only when we first acknowledge our deep failures and recognize our deep need for grace. We daily fail to give thanks, do not pray for the glory of God’s name and the coming of his kingdom, or lift up the needs of our neighbors, or watchfully guard our hearts. Oh how we need God’s mercy!

And he gives mercy. God has opened our ways to him, not on the strength of our prayer, but Christ’s. He hears our stuttering prayers, not because of our faithfulness, but Christ’s. And because of Jesus, God is to us as a father who delights in his infant child learning to speak. A stranger hears gibberish. The father hears and rejoices. Such is our God. So let us be child-like before our Father. And rejoice! He delights to hear from you!

Call to Worship

Colossians 1:11–14

TH #107 “Praise Ye the Father!”

Prayer of Invocation

Reading of the Law and Confession of Sin

Isaiah 62:6–7

Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24 ESV)

TH #391 “Safely through Another Week”

Presentation of Tithes and Offering

Pastoral Prayer

The Proclamation of God’s Word

Luke 6:12–19

Not by Might, Nor by Power, but by God’s Spirit

Rev. Ken Han

The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper

Baptized Christians who are members in good standing in Reformed or evangelical churches are invited to participate. Otherwise, please let the bread and the cup pass you by. During the distribution of the bread we will sing TH 647 “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” stanzas 1–3, and stanzas 4–6 during the distribution of the cup.

TH #305 “Arise, My Soul, Arise”

Benediction

Upcoming Events and Notices

April 5 (Saturday 7 AM): The men’s study and fellowship will meet. All men are invited.

April 6 (Lord’s Day 9:30 AM): Please join us for prayer meeting.

April 6 (Lord’s Day): Children and Youth Bible lessons will meet.

Nursery Volunteers

March 30: Liza Beede & Janny Ligtenberg

April 6: Kelly Rogers & Rebecca Rogers