Newsletter

Table of Contents

October Gospel News |September Gospel News | August Gospel News 2017July Gospel News 2017June Gospel News 2017 | May Gospel News 2017


October Gospel News

Treasures in Heaven which Will Never Spoil

The past month has seen natural disasters like no other time in recent recollection. There are wi

ld fires burning in the western states, 50 inches of rain fell in Houston, major destruction in the Florida Keys, devastation on a number of small Caribbean islands, earthquakes in Mexico, no power on the whole Island of Puerto Rico, and the threat of a volcano in Indonesia.

In many ways the Puerto Rico devastation is the most moving story with so many NYC ties to the island we all know someone with family there. We are moved by the long road ahead in rebuilding of that nation. Our denomination has 63 churches in Puerto Rico so many of our Christian brothers and sisters have had their world turned upside down.

It is hard to read or watch the news and not be moved by the complete loss of property, and sometimes loss of life, faced by so many. Our first respond is to pray and then to look for practical ways to be supportive in the rebuilding process.

One thought that has struck me recently is the question of how I would respond if all my earthly possessions were swept away and lost at sea. Would I fall into a depression because so many comforts of life were lost? Would I question the love and care of the God I serve? Would I embrace self-pity and expect others to help me? Or would I be able to say with Job, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)

I pray that you and I will not need to be tested like our brothers and sisters who have lost so much in Puerto Rico and other locations. But in addition to trying to help them rebuild, we can also check our priorities in light of their circumstances.

Jesus said is Matthew 6:19-21,

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What are our treasures on earth and what are our treasurers in heaven?

Our earthly treasures include our cars, home, clothing and bank accounts. They can all be stolen, destroyed, or ruined by a hurricane.

Our heavenly treasures include the ways we make an impact in this world. The people we encourage and love, the time invested in helping a person in need, is an investment in your heavenly bank account. The people we help come to know Jesus as Savior are some of our most precious heavenly treasurers. The time invested in prayer contributes to heavenly wealth. Giving money to help ministries and people in need is a way of using earthly treasure to build heavenly treasure.

The key thought here is what do we value? Are we driven to build earthy wealth which can be stolen or destroyed? Or are we passionately concerned with the growth of God’s kingdom and the role He calls us to embrace?

May God help us hold the things of this world lightly, while investing in the world to come.

-Pastor Rick

Parenting During the Halloween Season

Halloween is a major event in our culture. Christian parents wrestle each year with how to respond to this event which celebrates darkness and often makes evil look like fun.

Christian families have responded to Halloween by either not participating, passing out Christian literature with candies, or dressing children in wholesome costumes. Each family will respond in different ways, but the following are a few principles to consider:

First, be aware that Satan attacks children. Satan does not have a human conscience which respects the innocent. Parents must be protectors of their children. Schools, media, and the culture are not working from a Christian value system.

Second, true joy and fun are God given. In the words of Jesus, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Satan is a master imitator. He takes our desire for pleasure and twists it so that God looks boring and sin looks fun. The reality is that true joy is found in following Jesus Christ.

Third, fear and phobias are real, often with roots in childhood. I do enough counseling to know that childhood exposure to evil has adult consequences. A childhood protected from horror movies, excessive violence and sexual perversions is more likely to lead to the need for less therapy in adulthood. Halloween often celebrates what is harmful.

There are plenty of creative ways to enjoy the autumn season without giving Satan access to our children. Enjoy God’s creation and I pray that your late October season will be God-honoring. May God give us wisdom to raise our children to know the love of Christ, blessing of God’s peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Men’s Retreat at Ocean Grove: Oct 13-15

The men are invited to the 11th Annual weekend retreat in Ocean Grove, NJ on the weekend of October 13-15. This year we have changed venue and will be at the Quaker Inn. We will join with our Daughter church, Christ-Centered Community Church  and the teaching will be shared by Dr. Terry Sutherland, Pastor Frank Espinal and Pastor Rick. The group will spend two nights at the Inn and return in time for church on Sunday, October 15th. The past retreats have been a great time for learning, fellowship and relaxation.

Cost for the weekend, including housing and most meals, will be $100. In addition to 5 teaching sessions, there will be time given for spending personal time with God. It is a great time to get to know the men of the church and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. For further information, speak with Pastor Frank or Pastor Rick. Plan to take this time away from routines and refresh your faith.

October Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church

Sundays

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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.

1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.

5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.

7:00 PMOct 1 & 15  Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.

1:30 PMOct 8 & 22  NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.

1:15 PMOct 15  Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck.

12:30 PMOct 22 Church Dinner Our monthly church meal after service.

Weekdays

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 studying biographies of the New Testament.

6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Oct 13-15 Men’s Retreat at Ocean Grove, NJ. See page 2 for details.

Saturdays

6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.

2:00 PMOct 7 & 28  Saturdays Women’s Bible Study The alternate week study is looking at the “Lamb of God” book.

5:00 PMOct 7 & 28 Youth Group All youth from grades 7—12 are invited to be a part of the group with meets on alternating Saturday.

Operation Christmas Child: Shoe Boxes by November 13

This year Fort Lee Gospel Church will continue to encourage the congregation to prepare shoe boxes for children around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is a program that fills shoe boxes with school supplies, small toys, and toiletries, to be sent to children in poor and war-torn nations of the world. Our church has participated in this program for over a dozen years. Shoe boxes will be collected during the fall to be shipped out in time for Christmas, with a collection date ofNovember 13th through 20th.

Samaritan’s Purse has been sending shoe boxes around the world for many years. Plan to take a part in this important ministry that God is using around the world. For details on packing the boxes, brochures are available or you can speak with Laurie. Further information on building a shoe box can be found online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. Be sure to check out this site.

The past few years our church has prepared about 100 shoe boxes each year. We believe God will use this ministry to touch many lives.

The 500 Years Anniversary of 95 Theses on Wittenberg’s Door

October 31, 2017 marks the 500 year anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed the ‘95 theses’ on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk and professor of Theology at Wittenberg University. He had struggled with knowing the love of God until he understood the doctrine of justification by faith alone. (Eph. 2:8-9) This freedom of faith led Martin Luther to question many aspects of his Roman Catholic tradition.

The issue that Luther addressed on October 31, 1517 was the fund raising of Rome that tied time in purgatory to money given to the church. Generous donations would help dead loved ones get to heaven quicker. That document led to a growing conflict with the Pope and in 1521, excommunication from the church.

The legacy of Martin Luther includes reading the Bible in the language we understand. He translated the Bible into German in his lifetime. Other reformers also were Bible translators so that ordinary people could read the Bible for themselves. A biblically literate church helped create what Luther called the ‘priesthood of all believers.’

Another impact of Luther is that he married a nun, inspiring other clergy to reject celibacy and marry. Today’s married clergy owe a debt of gratitude to Luther and others who broke their vows of celibacy.

Luther wrote extensively and contributed to many of our understandings of theology today. He was not right on every topic and his legacy includes anti-Semitism which Nazis used in their propaganda 400 years after his death. Martin Luther may have had more impact on modern Christianity than any other person since the Apostle Paul.

So this October, while others prepare for Halloween, take some time to study the remarkable life of Martin Luther.

September Gospel News

Response to Charlottesville

In the past year I have read about 10 books and numerous articles on ‘racism and America.’ The summary of my learning is that racism in America is worse than I th

ought and the white evangelical church has been too often a part of the problem rather than the solution through our history. In other words, most of our white spiritual forefathers were on the wrong side of history during slavery, during the Jim Crow era and during the 1960s civil rights movement. This brief article is a call for us not to be on the wrong side of history in 2017.

A defining event took place last month in Charlottesville, Virginia. A ‘Unite the Right’ rally was met by counter protesters which led to violence and deaths. Charlottesville had planned to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee which became the occasion to march in that city.

I did not watch MTV’s VMAs, but an interesting quote came out of that event. Rev. Robert Lee IV said this,

I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism and hate. It is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin. Today I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on.

In addition, the president of our denomination, Rev. John Stumbo, made the following statement,

Saturday’s events in Charlottesville were yet another grim reminder of the racial hatred that plagues our world. Our spiritual adversary continues to seize every opportunity to pervert the rich, harmonious diversity our Father designed for His pleasure and our delight. Anyone who elevates or isolates one race reveals that they have no comprehension of the New Testament nor the Messiah who came to redeem and reconcile all people.

It’s the Church that must continue to lead our world with Christ’s message of hope and reconciliation. At this moment in American church history, I stand with my sisters and brothers whose heritage as earth’s citizens differ from mine, but whose heritage as heaven’s citizens is the same. I stand with them in grief, I stand with them in hope, I stand with them in prayer . . . and I call on our entire Alliance family to do the same.

I stand with these two white clergymen in denouncing the evils of the white supremacy ideology that justifies hating Jews, African-Americans and other minorities. This is a growing threat in America society, which we as the church cannot turn a blind eye towards.

The racial issue of Paul’s day was bringing Jews and Gentiles together to worship Jesus. Ephesians 2:14-16 says,

 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

God has allowed Fort Lee Gospel Church to be a church of many cultures. May we model unity to a divided world. May God help us be ‘one new humanity’ in worshipping Jesus together!

-Pastor Rick

Operation Christmas Child / Hurricane Harvey Relief

On Sunday, Sept 10th the church will kick off our fall campaign for Operation Christmas Child. The collection deadline is November 13-20.

Operation Christmas Child is a program that fills shoe boxes with school supplies, small toys, and toiletries, to be sent to children in poor and war-torn nations of the world. Our church has participated in this program for a number of years. Shoe boxes will be collected during the fall to be shipped out in time for Christmas, with a collection deadline in mid November.

Samaritan’s Purse has been sending shoe boxes around the world for a number of years. Plan to take a part in this important ministry that God is using around the world. For details on packing the boxes, brochures are available or you can speak with Laurie. Further information on building a shoe box can be found online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. Check out this site.

A good time to start shopping for your shoe boxes is in September when there are many back to school sales.

 

Hurricane Harvey has done great damage in Texas and the cleanup will take place over the coming months. While there are other ways to give to help people impacted by this storm, our denomination is responding through our sister churches. Any money designated to Hurricane Harvey and given through our church will be sent to CAMA Services, the relief arm of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Prayerfully consider how you will respond to this great need in our nation.

Men’s Retreat in Ocean Grove Coming October 13-15

The men are invited to the 11th Annual weekend retreat in Ocean Grove, NJ on the weekend of October 13-15. This year we have changed venue and will be at Quaker Inn. We will join with our Daughter church, Christ-Centered Community Church  and the teaching will be shared by Pastor Frank and Pastor Rick. The group will spend two nights at the Inn and return in time for church on Sunday, October 15th. The past retreats have been a great time for learning, fellowship and relaxation.

Cost for the weekend, including housing and most meals, will be $100. In addition to 5 teaching sessions, there will be time given for spending personal time with God. It is a great time to get to know the men of the church and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. For further information, speak with Pastor Frank or Pastor Rick. Plan early to take this time away from routines and refresh your faith. 

 

September Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church

Sundays

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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.

1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.

5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.     

7:00 PM, Sept 3 & 17  Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.

1:30 PM, Sept 10 & 24 NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.  

1:15 PM, Sept 17  Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck.  

12:30 PM, Sept 24 Church Dinner  We restart our month fellowship meal after a summer break.

 Weekdays

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 studying biographies in the New Testament.

6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Saturdays

6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.

2:00 PM, Sept 9 & 23 Women’s Bible Study  See below for details.

4:30 PM, Sept 9 & 23  Youth Group  Our youth gathering for those in 7th through 12th grade.

Women’s Bible Study Restarts

On Saturday, September 9th at 2:00 PM the women will begin a new Bible study. The study is based on the book, “The Lamb of God: Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.” The women will each receive a copy of the book and there will be an expectation of some homework.

The study will meet on alternating Saturdays beginning on September 9th. It is a good way to learn the Bible better, particularly the Old Testament.

The study is being organized by Claudette Spenst, Patricia Hall and Cindy Vouthas-Maza. See one of these women to learn more details about this study. The leaders are excited about this new study and invite all the women of the church to join in this new class.

Guest Preacher on Sept 17th

We are happy to have a guest preacher on Sunday, September 17th at our 11:00 AM Worship Service. Professor Stanley John is the missions professor at Alliance Theological Seminary. His CV includes,

Dr. Stanley John, a member of the Indian diaspora born and raised in Kuwait, is the Director of the Alliance Graduate School of Missions and Intercultural Studies. He is passionate about forming servant leaders for missions in a context of world Christianity, global migration and post-Christendom. By addressing these contextual issues, he believes, we can help prepare the best theologically educated, missionally prepared, and apostolic servant leaders for the global church.

Plan to join us for this special service.

September 11 Reflections

Many of us have clear memories of the events of September 11, 2001. This month is the 16 year anniversary of that tragic day. 

Sixteen years ago a number of our church members were affected by the attack that took down the Twin Towers. Some worked close to the area and had to walk out, while others knew people who died that day. We all experienced a sense of grief as we read stories of those who died. There were even more stories of God’s grace as we heard people tell of ways that God kept them from being another victim. We all prayed and looked to God for comfort and hope.

A few years ago, the Borough of Fort Lee created a 9/11 Memorial at Constitution Park in Fort Lee. This year on Monday, September 11, 2017 they will hold a memorial program at the monument. The Mayor and Council have invited the churches to attend and some of the clergy to participate in this service which takes place at 7:00 PM. Pastor Rick will join rabbis and pastors on the program.

The congregation is invited to share in the community service which is a good way to remember and honor those who lost their lives on that terrible day.

The world has not become a safer place in the past 16 years but God has been gracious to our nation in protecting us from further major attacks. We continue to pray for God’s favor and protection over our nation from those who desire to bring destruction.

The promise of Psalm 91 is relevant for us today. It includes;

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day (vs. 4-5)

May we remember well the lessons of 16 years ago this month. May God continue to protect us as a nation.

August Gospel News 2017

chair-umbrella-ball-beach-7208089Our Calling to a Life of Pleasure as we Follow Christ
The summer preaching series has been looking at the topic: Pure Pleasure. As people we are wired to look for pleasure and enjoyment in life. The Bible has much to say about the pursuit of pleasure as only God can deliver.
Ecclesiastes chapter 2 chronicles Solomon’s pursuit of pleasure as the king of Israel. He looked for pleasure in ‘wine, women and song’ along with pleasure in building projects and pursuing greatness. He came to this conclusion in Ecc. 2:24-25, “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”
Solomon concluded that only the hand of God can provide authentic enjoyment in life.
It is a message that too few people in our culture understand is that the good life is the life that seeks the favor of God. As the first question of the Shorter Westminster Confession sates, “Q. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever
The older I get the more I realize that entertainment pales in comparison to pleasure experienced in worshiping God and enjoying relationships with family and friends.
The Bible often addresses the experience of joy in the life of the believer. I Peter 1:7-8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Enjoyment in life is tied to our relationship with God.
It must be noted that Satan is good at marketing pleasures that do not deliver as promised. Satan would have us believe that immoral sexual pleasures are better than God designed sexual joys. He would have us believe that drugs and alcohol can add meaning to life. Or that watching the hottest program on television will bring pleasure and meaning to our lives.
When many in our culture feel unfulfilled, Satan would have us believe if only we fell in love with the right person, divorced the wrong person or made a little more money, we would be happy. All the while we neglect to look to God as the giver of true pleasure and joy.
I am convinced that one of the keys to enjoying life is slowing down and enjoying what we have been blessed with. Someone defined happiness as “wanting what you have.”
Do we slow down and enjoy a good friendship? Do we appreciate God’s beautiful creation and the gift of four seasons? Have we become conscious of the presence of God in our daily life?
Soren Keirkegaard said, “Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.”
Jesus has come so that we might ‘have life and life abundantly.’ (John 10:10) If life is hard or the pain is overwhelming, maybe God is calling us to refocus our priorities. The life of joy is there for the person fully dedicated to following Jesus. This is part of the good news of the gospel and the message our hurting world needs to hear. Jesus has come that we might have life and life abundant.
-Pastor Rick
Vacation Bible School: August 21-25
This month is our Annual Vacation Bible School during the mornings of August 21-25, 2017. We continue this tradition in teaching children, as our church has done for many years.
The history of Fort Lee Gospel Church includes Vacation Bible Schools in the 1950s and 60s where at times 60 or 70 children from the community would attend. The ‘modern’ version of VBS started in 1992 and has continued almost every year since then.
Our program includes crafts, music, skits, Bible stories, Bible studies and games. It combines fun, learning and activities.
Plan to join us for our VBS which takes place from 9:30 AM until Noon for this one week. We welcome youth and adult leaders to sign up at this time to be leaders in this ministry. VBS is for children ages 4 through grade 6. Prayerfully consider who you will invite this year.
Ms. Sonia Dobson will again lead the VBS program with the theme of “Matthew: Welcome to the Kingdom.” We are praying for a great week of ministry.
Reports from July Ministries
A group from our church was involved with ministry in France through Scripture Union. This ministry team was able to lead worship and preach during a teen camp in Eastern France. God blessed their ministry and almost the entire camp responded to an alter call to accept Christ as Savior. Now we pray for God to continue to work in their lives.
July was also a month of partnering with a Day Laborers ministry in Palisades Park. Clothing and books were donated and a new ESL class was started to help these immigrants strengthen their English skills. We pray for God to continue to bless Pastor Daniel and that partnership ministry.
August Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church
Sundays
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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.
1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.
5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.     
7:00 PM, Aug 6 & 20 Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
1:30 PM, Aug 13 & 27 NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.  
1:15 PM, Aug 20 Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck.  
 Weekdays
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 studying biographies in the New Testament.
6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
9:30 AM—Noon Aug 21-25 Vacation Bible School Our Annual week of ministry to children.
Saturdays
6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.
Dr. Terry and Magna Sutherland
Terry and Magna Sutherland spend much of the past year in ministry in Benin, West Africa. They are in New Jersey this summer and they will be sharing with us on Sunday, August 6th during our 11:00 AM Worship Service.
We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with this couple in God’s calling upon their lives. They have been a part of our fellowship and we have sent them out as missionaries with Ambassador’s Fellowship.
Plan to join us for our worship service on August 6th as we receive ministry from this gifted couple.
Prayer Quote
The greatest people of the earth today are the people who PRAY.  I do not mean those who explain about prayer; nor those who talk about prayer; but I mean those people who take TIME and PRAY.  They have not TIME.  It must be taken from something else.  This something else is important, very important and pressing, but still less important and less pressing than prayer.
– quote from S.E. Gordon
 
Pastor Rick and Marketplace Chaplaincy
This month Pastor Rick will add another duty to his schedule. He has been hired to be a chaplain with Marketplace Ministries. This role will include worksite visits and emergency care responsibilities.
The journey to take on this role began with learning to appreciate the importance of the workplace in the life of the believer. It has been estimated that the average Christian spends one hour at church for every 50 hours working. This past spring Pastor Rick began to consider ways to encourage the congregation in their vocational callings.
In May, Pastor Rick was at a conference which included a booth promoting Marketplace Ministries. They were looking for a part-time Chaplain for northern New Jersey. This led to an application process and hiring in July.
Pastor Rick has been a Chaplain to Fort Lee Police PBA for over 20 years, in addition to chaplaincy work with Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Fort Lee Fire Department.  These roles have included building relationships and participating in public programs.
The new role with Marketplace Ministries includes regular visits to the worksite and availability to help with hospital or prison visits, along with some counseling responsibilities. Details on the programs of Marketplace Ministries can be found at https://mchapusa.com.
Pastor Rick will continue to spend the majority of his time pastoring and leading Fort Lee Gospel Church, as he has for 26 years. Pray for his leadership to be effective at church, in the community, and now in the assigned workplace.

July Gospel News 2017Beaches_CoveBeach

Summer 2017 as a Season of Refreshment and Renewal
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 is a chapter that speaks to the issue of time. Allow me to apply a few verses from this chapter to summer 2017.
Ecc. 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” One of the gifts of living in New Jersey is that we have four seasons. Even with climate change, we can still expect warm days in summer and jacket weather in winter.
Beyond the weather, summer is a season for outdoor recreation, vacations and social gatherings. Not all our schedules are the same, but most of us have less demands on our time in the summer.
The teaching of Solomon in Ecclesiastes is that we need to understand the season we are in. If you can take time to enjoy the outdoors, now is the time to go to a beach or hike in the woods. If your work allows for time off, take advantage and build some memories. If the children are off school, plan some added family activities. Live in the right season. Rest and recreation in the summer contribute to productivity in the fall.
Ecc 3:11 also says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart.”
While rest and recreation have emotional benefits, do not neglect your soul. Too many Christians are inclined towards taking summer vacations from spiritual disciplines and church involvement. Satan knows this tendency and will work with a whole set of summer temptations to lead God’s people away from Christ.
As you start this summer, note that there are summer camps, Vacation Bible Schools, and Christian concerts to encourage positive summer activities. Take advantage of these Christian options.
Some may enjoy added reading during the summer. There are multiple Christian fiction and non-fiction books that will make reading beside a pool helpful to your spiritual development. Chose some worship music to enhance your faith.
Time in God’s creation gives opportunity for prayer walks and added appreciation for the wonders that God has designed.
Even during our travel times we can be spiritually enriched by visiting a church on a Sunday where the worship is a little different, but people are worshipping our Savior. I have also enjoyed visiting historic church buildings in other cultures when I have travelled.
Ecc. 3:13 says, “That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”
Understand that God has your best interests in mind. It is a gift from God to enjoy your job, enjoy a barbeque with friends, and enjoy a day at the beach.
It is true that we go through seasons that are difficult because of sickness, grief or a tough time on the job. If we make Christ the center of our lives, we will come through the hard times and experience new seasons of blessing.
My prayer for each of us is that we would live in the season God has given us. Enjoy some summer activities. Look for ways to deepen your faith this summer. For some of us, get some rest. Experience new things and explore God’s great earth. As we walk by faith we will be able to says with Solomon, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” Enjoy the season!
-Pastor Rick
Vacation Bible School: August 21-25
Plans are underway for our Annual Vacation Bible School during the mornings of August 21-25, 2017. We continue this tradition in teaching children, as our church has done for many years.
The history of Fort Lee Gospel Church includes Vacation Bible Schools in the 1950s and 60s where at times 60 or 70 children from the community would attend. The ‘modern’ version of VBS started in 1992 and has continued almost every year since then.
Our program includes crafts, music, skits, Bible stories, Bible studies and games. It combines fun, learning and activities.
As you prepare you summer schedule, consider joining us for our VBS which takes place from 9:30 AM until Noon for this one week. We welcome youth and adult leaders to sign up at this time to be leaders in this ministry. VBS is for children ages 3 through grade 6. Prayerfully consider who you will invite this year.
 Church Picnic on July 22nd 
We are planning a church picnic at Shepherd’s Lake on Saturday, July 22nd, weather permitting.  In case of inclement weather, the event will be on July 29th.
This will be a fun day for swimming, hiking or fishing. The entire church is invited to join us. If you would like to join with others for the ride, we will leave the church at 9:00 AM. We ask that you bring some lunch or money to purchase food. We will set up a barbeque so you can bring uncooked meats.
Shepherd’s Lake is in Ringwood, NJ, about 30 miles form Fort Lee. It is a beautiful setting with fish in the lake, a swimming area and boat rentals. There is a $10 parking fee.
Flyers with directions to the event will be available in the weeks leading up to the event.
July Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church
Sundays
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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.
1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.
5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.     
7:00 PM, July 2 & 16 Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
1:30 PM, July 9 & 23 NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.  
1:15 PM, July 16  Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck.  
 Weekdays
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 studying biographies in the New Testament.
6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Saturdays
6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.
9:00 AM, July 22  Shepherd’s Lake Picnic A day at the lake to share a barbeque.
Group on Missions Trip to France
Fort Lee Gospel Church is partnering with a group who are going to minister in France this month. They invite your prayer support for there time away. In addition, we are collecting an offering to help cover some costs for this trip including crafts that will be used at the camp. Below is a letter written by Yvonne Vitale to our church.
Dear brothers and sisters at Fort Lee Gospel,
I’m writing to you today to let you know that God has provided an opportunity for us – my son Skylar my son Adrian and I – to travel to France with a team from Scripture Union which includes Pastor Frank and Maria Espinal, Sonia Dobson, and her sister. I would like ask for your prayers; we need your prayers. We travel to the east coast of France to minister to French teens during an American themed camp week.
My prayer request is simply this that Jesus will provide good health, safety and effective ministry every step of our way. I’ve learned over the years that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and on the other hand apart from Jesus we can do nothing. As you can well imagine, embarking on a mission like this will raise challenges (maybe for the group, maybe individually), but I know there’ll be challenges.
This is where your prayer are so vital. Through your prayers for us you too become a part of this mission. Each opportunity and appointment that Jesus provides is precious, and I pray that we will rise to meet Him in this work. I want to thank you ahead of time for your support. We will leave July 7th and we will run the camp on July 8th through the 17th. Additionally, Adrian, Skylar, and I will take a week break in Brighton, England on the Coast.
Thank you so much. I will miss you all and we will praise the Lord together, but on different continents.
God bless you all, and thank you in Jesus’ name.
Dependence, Independence & Interdependence
July 4th is celebrated in America as Independence Day. The day marks the birth of our nation and its independence from British rule in 1776. In many ways Independence is a great thing.
When children grow up, they grow from Dependence to Independence. A two-year-old needs to be constantly watched. A ten year old is given some Independence. An 18-year-old often leaves home to attend college. Parents hope that before their child is 30 they can support themselves and be capable of living on their own. That is the process of growing from Dependence to Independence.
The American Ideal of Independence has contributed to the greatness of our nation. Generally speaking, we are not a people who expect the government to take care of us. American ingenuity has lead to innovative companies that lead the world in fields like technology, medical science, education, entertainment, etc. Independence, on the other hand, has contributed to our high divorce rate, drug use, a cowboy spirit, and broken families. Our Independent spirit also contributes to church splits and conflict.
Our faith in Christ calls us to hold in tension Dependence, Independence and Interdependence.
Dependence is when we put our trust in the Lord and lean on His guiding and wisdom (see Prov 3:5-6). Without dependence upon God, there can be no authentic faith.
Independence is lived out in the truth that “it’s more blessed to give than receive.” Maturity in life and in faith is when we can feed ourselves and help others.
Interdependence calls us to community and loving one another. I Cor 12 says that we are the body of Christ, each with unique gifts to contribute. 
Let us take the good in the idea of Independence, not forgetting Dependence upon God and Interdependence within the family of God. Have a blessed 4th of July!

June Gospel News 2017cap

Graduation and Identity
May is the month for most College graduations and June is a month for most High School graduations. Graduation events are times when smart people say profound things and many students are too busy enjoying themselves to pay much attention.
Between my own graduations, my children’s graduations, friends and congregants, I have attended many graduations. 2017 was also the year that I completed my Doctor of Ministry and had my own graduation, 27 years after my last one. Here are some thoughts about graduation.
Graduations often impact our identity. For good and for harm, people often define themselves differently after completing a degree.
On the positive side, graduations can address feelings of inferiority and lack of confidence. Achievements in school give confidence that we can achieve in other areas of life.
On the negative side, graduations can breed pride and overconfidence. You can be sure that the Bible is right when it says, “Pride comes before a fall.”  (Prov 16:18)
For the Christian, our identity is to be rooted in our relationship with God. The Psalmists said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Ps 139:14) Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph 1:3) God’s favor upon us is not tied to our level of education.
The Bible tells us of King David who received his education watching sheep on the hills of Bethlehem. By contrast, the Apostle Paul had about as good a formal education as a Jew could have in the First Century. God used both of these men to change the world. At issue was not their education, but their submission to the will of God.
On a personal level, completing my degree has little impact on my identity. I am still a child of God and I still function as a Pastor. My role as son, brother, husband and father has not changed. The learning process was beneficial and the degree may open doors some day, but for now my live has changed little with this degree.
We all have a choice in life in how we define ourselves. Some of us use our education to feel good about who we are. Others use wealth, fame, or appearance to build their self worth and identity.
I suggest to us today that our identity should be built on our relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul wrote a list of his accomplishments in Philippians 3. Then he said, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” (vs. 7) In essence he is saying, your degrees mean nothing compared to knowing Christ. Paul ends this thought with this challenge. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14)
To all those who are studying, do your best, learn and grow. But always remember that it is your relationship with Jesus Christ that should most define you. “Only one life, so soon it will pass. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
-Pastor Rick
Goals Worth Striving Towards
Back in 2012 some of the church leaders identified some goals to strive towards. They are still relevant for us today. Here is a quick reminder. They are as follows:
1. The majority of our congregation spends daily time engaging God through prayer and the Bible.
2. The majority of our congregation has their character shaped by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
3. The majority of our congregation understands their spiritual gifts and they are ministering in their giftedness.
4. The majority of our congregation are actively engaging nonbelievers in conversation about faith.
5. The majority of our congregation are involved with some justice or compassion ministry.
6. The majority of our congregation understands biblical stewardship and they are using their time, treasure and talents to build God’s kingdom.
May these coming summer months be a time of growing towards being the person and the church community that God intends us to be.
Vacation Bible School: August 21-25
Plans are underway for our Annual Vacation Bible School during the mornings of August 21-25, 2017. We continue this tradition in teaching children, as our church has done for many years.
The history of Fort Lee Gospel Church includes Vacation Bible Schools in the 1950s and 60s where at times 60 or 70 children from the community would attend. The ‘modern’ version of VBS started in 1992 and has continued almost every year since then.
Our program includes crafts, music, skits, Bible stories, Bible studies and games. It combines fun, learning and activities.
As you prepare you summer schedule, consider joining us for our VBS which takes place from 9:30 AM until Noon for this one week. We welcome youth and adult leaders to sign up at this time to be leaders in this ministry. VBS is for children ages 3 through grade 6. Prayerfully consider who you will invite this year.
“Faith & Reason” Television Program
We welcome you to watch programs of “Faith & Reason” aired on local cable channels. The program is the project of a few churches to communicate the relevancy of faith in the 21st Century. The main leadership of this ministry comes from First Baptist Church of Cliffside Park and Fort Lee Gospel Church. 
Faith & Reason continues to be aired on Time Warner Cable of Palisades Park (channel 81 or 98) on Mondays at 8:30 PM. Verizon Fios also airs the programs every Monday at 8:30 PM. There are also some new programs through our website and the website of First Baptist.
Please pray for the ministry of “Faith & Reason,” as God opens up new avenues of exposure for this ministry. There is significant potential to communicate God’s Word beyond our church. The next taping will be on June 5th.
 
June Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church
 
Sundays
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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.
1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.
5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.     
7:00 PM, June 4 & 18 Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
1:30 PM, June 11 & 25 NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.  
1:15 PM, June 18  Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck. 
12:30 PM, June 25 Church Dinner Our monthly church meal after service.
 Weekdays
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 studying biographies in the New Testament.
6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Saturdays
6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.
2:00 PM Women’s Bible Study The Study will take a summer break after June 3rd.
4:30 PM, 10 & 24 Youth Group All youth from grades 7—12 are invited to be a part of the group.  
Jonah Trip: July 1
On Saturday, July 1, our church is planning a trip to see the show, “Jonah” at Sight & Sound in Lancaster, PA. We plan to leave at 7:00 AM, see the 11:00 AM show, eat lunch and return in one day. Cost will be just over $100 per adult depending on the choice of transportation.
At the time of this writing, more than 25 people have signed up for the trip and we are looking to confirm group transportation. Some may chose to travel on their own and spend an overnight in Lancaster County.
Please contact the church in early June if you plan to be a part of this trip. We look forward to a good day of fellowship and sharing together as a church family.
Sermon Series
The Sunday Sermon series on Soul Care continues in the month of June. This series is an adaptation from the book called “Soul Care” by Dr. Rob Reimer. The first three principles were covered in May; Identity, Repentance and Overcoming Family Sin Patterns.
The June 4th message will be on “Forgiveness.” June 11th will look at “Healing Wounds.” June 18th is on the topic of “Overcoming Fears” and June 25th looks at “Deliverance.”
We are praying that God continues to help us all live in the freedom of Christ that results from healthy soul care.
God as Our Heavenly Father
Many people like myself look forward to Father’s Day both out of gratitude for our fathers and for the privilege of being a father. I am also well aware of the fact that Father’s Day is not welcomed by all in our culture. Many families have been abandoned by fathers, others grieve the death of their fathers, and some relive painful memories on Father’s Day.
To both those who look forward to Father’s Day and those who do not, God invites us to know Him as our heavenly Father. This is one of the most profound teaching in the Bible, that we can start our prayer with, “Our Father . . .” Not someone else’s father, but Our Father. Paul writes in Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” This word ‘Abba’ could well be translated ‘Daddy.’ God calls us to an intimate relationship rather than a set of rules and rituals.
One of the most hopeful verses in the Bible in light of our culture, which is so influenced by broken families, is Psalm 68:5 which describes God as “a Father to the fatherless.” Wherever our fathers have failed us, God can mend the hurt and fill the void. We can only be healthy adults when we address the father wounds of our life, by experiencing the love of our Heavenly Father.
This year on June 18th, we remember Father’s Day with varying experiences from joy to sorrow, and often a combination of both. My prayer for you is that you look beyond your earthly father to also recognize and celebrate your Father in heaven, who extends his love to us 365 days a year. Happy Father’s Day!

May Gospel News: Pursuing Health and Soul Caregarden-rose-red-pink-56866

About a year ago the gym where I was a member had a change of ownership. The new owner had a different vision for the gym where elements of a nightclub were celebrated. The music included more cursing and new posters were less discrete.
Complaints to the management went unheeded and soon good people started looking for a new gym. The gym became less crowded, prices were raised and equipment was not well maintained. In December of 2016 there was a padlock on the doors and my gym was closed.
This new owner missed an important principle which is that God is pro-health and Satan is anti-health.
In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” When Jesus grew up as a carpenter it says, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
Many years ago I attended a seminar by psychologist and author, J. Scott Peck, where someone asked him why he was a Christian. He answered that he became a follower of Jesus by reading the gospels and being impressed by the emotional well being of Jesus. The health of Jesus led this student of human behavior to become his disciple.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to pursue health. I Cor. 6:19-20 say,
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
To follow Jesus includes pursuing health, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To simplify, God made the fruit and vegetables while Satan has his hand in the processed foods that are making Americans sick and fat.
Health of the body is important, but spiritual health is even more critical to the good life. While God’s Word promotes health in all areas, the foundation for a healthy life is the heart, or the soul.
The Sunday morning sermons of May and June will focus on seven principles of ‘soul care.’ A healthy soul brings benefits in relationships and physical well being. The series is based on the book Soul Care by Dr. Rob Reimer.
“Brokenness grasps for the soul of humanity. We are broken body, soul, and spirit, and we need the healing touch of Jesus. Soul Care explores seven principles that are profound healing tools of God: securing your identity, repentance, breaking family sin patterns, forgiving others, healing wounds, overcoming fears, and deliverance.” (from website)
This series will look at ways that we can move from brokenness to health. The good news is that God wants to bring healing where we have not been healthy in our personal life and in our relational life.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (NASB) I am convinced that when the soul (or heart) is healthy, life is good.
My prayer for all of us is that we grow in heart health and that we create an environment where our souls are ready to receive all that God has for us. In addition to hearing the messages, consider purchasing the book, Soul Care, which will be a source for the coming sermon.
-Pastor Rick
Creation / Evolution Seminar
Our series of Saturday seminars will continue on May 27th from 9:30 AM until 2:00 PM. Our topic will be Creation / Evolution. This seminar is important for all Christians, but has particular relevance to parents and school age youth where evolution is taught in school as the only viable choice.
The first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Many have lost faith in God when a high school or college professor brings this verse in question.
The May 27th Creation / Evolution Seminar will include:
· A careful reading of the biblical texts related to creation.
· Viewing of the recent film, “Is Genesis History?” which makes a case for God’s creation and the flood.
· Discussion of various Christian positions from 7 day creation to God directed evolution.
· Bagels and lunch provided.
This is an important topic which calls for an informed response. The goal of the day is to go beyond simplistic answers which are easily attacked by those opposed to creation. Consider inviting friends who would benefit from this day of learning. Mark your calendar.
 
Special Saturday Events
 
Over the past three years our church has planned a Spring Retreat in the month of May. These events have more than met their goals of building community, deepening faith and strengthening our church. Our next Church Retreat will be in Spring 2018.
One response to not having a 2017 Spring Retreat is having monthly full day Saturday seminars or events that will enhance spiritual growth and community. Based on our feedback Questionnaire we have scheduled the following events:
· In March we joined other churches for Global Impact Day and our calling to be involved with world missions. On April 29th we had a Helping People in Need Seminar at church.
· May 27: A seminar on the Creation / Evolution debate. Planning to look at this issue through the understanding of science and the Bible. (see above)
· July 1: A trip to see Jonah at Sight & Sound in Lancaster, PA.
· July 15: A picnic at Shepherd’s Lake where there is swimming and boating.
· Details coming on an International Meal, Cultural Intelligence Seminar, and a Financial Seminar in the fall. Other events may extend into 2018.
 
May Events at Fort Lee Gospel Church
 
Sundays
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 William Cheung. He can be reached at 914-282-3399.
1:30 PM  Korean Worship Service  Contact Rev. Dr. Jang Lim for further details at (201)461-3844.
5:30 PM  Spanish Worship Service  Contact Rev. Esteban Canales at 973-510-8834 for more details.     
7:00 PM, May 7 & 21 Evening Service  Our Sunday evening service meets on the first and third Sunday of the month.
1:30 PM, May 14 & 28 NYC Nursing Home Ministry  A group leads a service twice a month at a nursing home in NYC.  
1:15 PM, May 21 Seniors Ministry  A group leads a service at an assisted living facility in Teaneck. 
12:30 PM, May 28 Church Dinner Our monthly church meal after service.
 Weekdays
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 after Easter.
6:00 AM, Wednesdays  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Saturdays
6:00 AM  Morning Prayer  Morning prayer meeting combining personal and group prayer meets every Saturday.
2:00 PM Women’s Bible Study This inductive study looks at Kay Arthur’s book, “Understanding His Death & Resurrection”
4:30 PM, May 13  Youth Group All youth from grades 7—12 are invited to be a part of the group.
6:30 PM, May 13 Ladies Spring Social See below for details.
9:30 AM, May 27 Creation / Evolution Seminar Full day seminar looking at what the Bible says about the origins of our planet.
 
Ladies Spring Social
 
The women have planned their Spring Social for Saturday, May 13th. The evening will start at 6:30 PM and run until 8:30 PM. Women are encouraged to bring light refreshments to share.
The program will include some worship and teaching. The theme for the event is “Women: Can We Trust God’s Timing?” It is also a great event to meet and get to know other women of the church.
If you have questions, please see Claudette or Patricia for more details. Ladies, plan to attend and be encouraged along with the women of Fort Lee Gospel Church.
Youth Ministry Trip
In early August the Youth Group is planning a trip to lead a VBS with Scripture Union in a place will needs. Our church has done this ministry on alternating summers since 2009. Details on this trip should be worked out this month.
After a ministry trip in early August we will host a Vacation Bible School in our church August 21-25. The teaching material will be the same both weeks.
Pray for our young adults as some prepare for college and others continue with high school or college. These ministry trips have been an important part of the formation of our youth.
 
God’s Care and Mother’s Day
 
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 14th, 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!