Thoughts on Water and Life
Spring is in full bloom these days. Trees that once looked dead are adding colors. Flowers are adding life to dull landscapes. One part of spring is the rain. The saying I grew up hearing is ‘April showers bring May flowers.’
Water is essential to life. I have read some depressing stories about climate change and our water supply in the years ahead. Recent years have brought to some places an absence of rain bringing fires and to others an overabundance of rain bringing floods. I cannot predict the future but I am thankful for the adequate rain we have received so far in 2019.
On a lighter note I heard someone on the radio argue that the rest of the country cannot make proper New York bagels or New York pizza. The problem is that they do not have New York water. There is a pizza maker in Florida that imports New York City water so he can make New York pizzas.
The latest World Vision magazine is devoted to their water projects they run in various parts of the world. Contaminated water brings disease and death; a major issue in many countries. World Vision is expressing Christian love in offering clean water projects to many needy communities. Their work in to be commended.
Many of us take water for granted. We turn on the tap or invest in a case of water bottles. This has not always been the case in human history and in many parts of the world today.
Jesus uses water as an image of faith. To the woman at the well Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10) Jesus elaborates by saying “Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (vs. 14)
Jesus was in Jerusalem for the fall feasts when he made a dramatic declaration about water. John 7:37-38 says,
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
The context goes on to say that Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit who would come to live within the follower of Jesus. This living water was given on the day of Pentecost.
Jesus offer of ‘living water’ is still on the table today. The spiritually dry and dead can drink of the water Jesus offers and find life and health. The Holy Spirit comes to change us from the inside out. Drink deeply of the water Jesus offers.
A part of the image of living water that the above verses paint is that we who drink of the water of life will impact those around us. Faith never was intended to stop with us. The fruit of the Holy Spirit include ‘love, joy and peace,’ implying that our ‘love, joy and peace will bless our family, our friends, our neighbors and our coworkers.
This spring, may the living water of Jesus produce the fruit of love, joy and peace that makes your corner of the world a more beautiful place. God bless!
– Pastor Rick
Bible Reading in 2019
In the days leading up to January 1, 2019, our church made an appeal to have people read through the Bible in a year. We were pleased to have more than 30 in our congregation sign up to read the whole Bible in 2019. In addition, a few others planned to read the Old or New Testament.
Like most New Year’s Resolutions, not every person who planned to read the Bible this year has stayed up to date. Out of our sign-up sheet we invited those who were maintaining there reading to join together for a celebration breakfast on March 16th. One story that came out of that breakfast was that as we read the Bible, others beyond our church have been inspired to read the Bible as well.
During the month of May we plan to encourage the rest of the congregation to join our reading schedule. Reading guides will be available and a new sign-up sheet will be used. Our hope is that some who have ‘fallen off the wagon’ of Bible reading will get back on track. In addition, some are new to the church and can join in the blessing of hearing from God in their daily readings.
We plan to do our second celebration of Bible Reading Breakfast on Saturday, June 8th. Continue on or join in the blessings!
Guest Preachers: May 19 & 26
The last two Sundays will include special guests who will bring the message at our Sunday Service.
Rev. Kelvin Walker will be with us for the first time. Last fall Rev. Walker was elected to be our District Superintendent. He leads about 120 church in Metro NYC and New Jersey. Our District Superintendent has served as a worship pastor, senior pastor and worship leader at Nyack College. Out of his leadership experience his has been called to lead churches in our area including Fort Lee Gospel. We are happy to welcome Rev. Kelvin Walker on Sunday, May 19th.
On Sunday, May 26th Todd, Jen and Jennifer will be with us again to report on their ministry in East Asia. Our church has been supporting their ministry for a number of years by prayer and financial support. They minister among Muslims by helping the poor, educating orphans, and starting a church. We look forward to reconnecting with this ministry team again.
Spring Social: May 4th
The women have planned their Spring Social for Saturday, May 4th. The evening will start at 6:30 PM and run until about 8:30 PM. Women are encouraged to bring light refreshments. To share with others.
The program will include some worship and teaching. It is also a great event to meet and get to know other women of the church. Past years have been a real blessing to each of the women who have attended.
If you have questions, please see Claudette or Patricia for more details. Ladies, plan to make this a special part of your spring traditions. You won’t be disappointed.
May Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church
11:00 AM Worship Service Our weekly service including worship through singing, prayer, preaching and fellowship. Nursery and three children’s classes are available.
9:00 AM Chinese Worship Service The Chinese worship service is led by Pastor Sandy Xie and she can be reached at 917-593-0420.
1:30 PM Korean Worship Service Contact Pastor Jaedoo Lee for further details at 646-464-2448.
5:30 PM Spanish Worship Service Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.
7:00 PM, May 5 & 19 Evening Service Our Sunday evening service usually meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
1:30 PM, May 12 & 26 NYC Nursing Home Ministry A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.
1:15 PM, May 19 Seniors Ministry A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck.
12:30 PM, May 26 Church Dinner Our monthly meal will take place after the worship service.
12:30 PM, Tuesdays Men’s Lunch & Bible Study We meet for a meal before we study the Bible and pray together.
7:30 PM, Tuesdays Bible Study The group is starting a new Study in March.
6:00 AM, Wednesdays Morning Prayer Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
6:00 AM Morning Prayer Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.
6:00 PM, May 4 & 18 Youth Group For those in 6th grade through their teens.
6:30 PM, May 4 Women’s Spring Social See page 2 for details.
2:00 PM, May 11 & 25 Women’s Bible Study This group meets on alternating Saturdays.
JFM Network Banquet: May 18
As a valued friend and supporter of JFM Ministry, you are invited to our Celebration Banquet on Saturday, May 18th, 2019. We will be celebrating 34 years of ministry among Muslims.
Due to your encouragement and support, we have been able to reach out to the nearly one million Muslims in the NY Metro area through regular ethnic church planting, participation in ethnic parades, community centers, distribution of the Jesus film and literature, and seminars on how to reach Muslims for Christ.
JFM also operates two Refuge Centers/Safe Houses, which are used to house Muslim background believers (MBBs) who have been persecuted for their belief in Christ. We provide shelter, Bible study, discipleship, ESL and assistance in obtaining asylum or legal resident status.
At the banquet, we will have English and ethnic worship, testimonies of MBBs, ministry updates and a delicious meal. The banquet is free, but a love offering will be taken to cover the meal and other expenses. Gifts received beyond expenses will go toward the work of the ministry.
The date is 3:00-7:00 PM, May 18th, 2019.
The place is: Calvary Temple International Assembly, 1111 Preakness Avenue, Wayne, NJ 07470. (above from flyer)
Please let Pastor Rick know if you plan to attend. Car pooling will leave Fort Lee at 2:30 PM
Mother’s Day: May 12th
When we think of our mothers, we think of selflessness, care, and nurture that we received growing up. Some of us even wish we could return to the ‘good old days’ when our mothers cooked for us, cleaned up after us, and made sure all our needs were met. But the reality is that our mothers are not always able to be there for us. Although our mothers cannot always help us, God, our heavenly care giver, is also like a mother to us, His children.
Psalm 91 is one example of God’s care for us. Here is a portion of this encouraging Psalm,
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Ps. 91:1-4)
This Mother’s Day, May 12th, we celebrate the blessing that our mothers have been to us. Let us not forget to honor our Heavenly Care Giver who loves us and watches over us.
If you are going through a difficult season in your life, be encouraged by God’s care for you. God loves you beyond the best love offered by the mothers of this world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Embrace His love for you today. He cares for you!