I love Easter! I find the message of hope and new life to be an incredibly invigorating and powerful stimulant. In fact, studying the entire story of the last week of Jesus’s life, or Holy Week as many call it, never fails to intrigue me. The “Triumphal Entry” on Palm Sunday, cleansing the temple again, debating with the Pharisees and lawyers, intimate moments with disciples and friends, a powerful scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, a dramatic arrest, several ridiculous and illegal trials and finally a horrific, indescribable execution — just to remember some of the amazing experiences Jesus went through that week. Ultimately there was that very quiet and mournful Saturday, and then came Easter morning! What a day! Jesus stepped out of the tomb and showed Himself to be very much alive at least ten different times on that Sunday and the days following. I can hardly wait to sing about His resurrection, preach about it and celebrate with you because of it.
See you Easter morning!
Greetings NorthPointers! I hope you are paying attention. We are coming up on the dreaded Spring time-change weekend. Remember, it’s “Spring Forward,” so set your clocks up an hour before you retire Saturday night or you will be late to Bible Study Sunday morning.
That’s right, Sunday morning we begin Daylight Savings Time. That means Spring is upon us, and Spring speaks of new beginnings, new life, a fresh start. Excitement should always be in the air in the springtime, and it certainly seems to be at NorthPointe. We’ve had two great Sundays in our new arrangement, and it appears to be working well. Little improvements will be evident each week for awhile as we continue to experiment with what works best and what needs to be slightly recalibrated. Some of the men did an awesome job of enlarging the platform this week, and maybe by next Sunday we will have a different video system (if not then, soon), and things keep getting better.
Remember, we need everyone to be alert to the needs of newcomers and guests as they try to find us at the end of that long hallway, and don’t forget that on the 17th we will have a flood of Nueva Vida folk sharing the building with us. They will need your kind consideration as they begin to get acquainted with their new home. As you are directing traffic, remember our Preschoolers are on the left as you come down the hallway from the front door toward our Worship Center/Fellowship Hall. All the rooms on the right will be used by Nueva Vida. Our Elementary Children and Adults are upstairs.
I hope you will be with us this Sunday to share the experience of Christian fellowship, Bible study and worship with people who really want to “walk in the light” along side of you (to quote last Sunday’s text). I have enjoyed preaching on some of the traditional (and ancient) Christian disciplines this Lenten Season. We’ve looked at the disciplines of Solitude, Simplicity, Frugality and Confession so far and will probably consider the topics of Intercession, Fasting and Giving in the Sundays left to us before Easter. Some of these topics seem off the beaten path for moderns and maybe for Baptists in general, but I have been struck with how relevant they actually are. Bring a friend Sunday and see how God’s Spirit will speak into our lives as we join in study and worship.
May God bless you today, and may your participation bless us all Sunday!
“My oh my what a wonderful day!” That’s a line from an old Disney song, of course, but it’s what comes to mind when I try to describe the day we had Sunday. You are such a great and special group! We made a major, major change in how we do things Sunday, and you handled it beautifully! You were there. You worshipped. You were kind and complementary about the new arrangement. You took things in stride where we aren’t quite finished putting it all together. All in all you helped us have a terrific first Sunday in our new worship center. And Bible study classes went great in their new rooms too.
We will continue to “tweak” a few things in the worship area over the next week or two, but basically I think we have an excellent arrangement for our new look. Many thanks to the many folk who worked so hard to get us to the point where we could have a terrific time together in “the other end of the building.” We had 31 (at least) people present for our Work Day Saturday and we were incredibly productive. What a blessing!
Take note that we are going to be distributing name tags every Sunday for awhile. It will be good for us to see one another’s names, but it will also be a very good thing for us to be easily identified as NorthPointe people when the Nueva Vida congregation joins us in the building on the 17th and thereafter. Remember, we will all be hosts to our new neighbors.
The two most common comments I heard after the service Sunday morning were, “It was so warm and cozy feeling!” and “I could actually hear people singing!”
So, come early (9:45) for Bible Study this week, and then bring a spirit of anticipation and enthusiasm into the new Worship Center with you at 11:00. And remember, the coffee is always on in there.
Praise God for all His blessing!
OK folks, this is the week of the “Big Move!” When you come Sunday morning you will find your Bible study class in a different room and our worship service moved to the Fellowship Hall!
New Life Fellowship will not be meeting in our building yet, but we wanted to get relocated before they needed to move in, so be alert — everything is moved! You might want to practice entering under the blue awning this week. It doesn’t really matter how you come into the building this week, but in a couple of weeks, when we are sharing the building with New Life, it will be less confusing if NorthPointe people use the “blue awning” entrance.
At the Bible Study time our adult classes and our elementary children are now meeting upstairs. Preschoolers are still meeting downstairs in rooms 103 and 105.Many, many thanks to all who have worked so hard to make the physical adjustments that had to be made!
Our new neighbors will be New Life Fellowship. They are not with us in the building now, but will be moving in over the next couple of weeks. Watch for opportunities to welcome their members and get acquainted. It’s going to be different, but it’s going to be good, because God will still find us! Come Sunday morning expecting a blessing and ready to share a great new experience with the same NorthPointe friends.
I, for one, am anticipating a blowout Sunday!
In His love,
On February 24th, the Space Shuttle Discovery took off on its final flight. I always try and follow the Shuttle launches because for many years my dad has worked as a contracted programmer for NASA. The Space Program was an important part of my life. I grew up in Clear Lake, a community populated with many NASA folks and “space people,” as I like to call them. And how cool is this: I had a Sunday School teacher that was an Astronaut. No offense to any of my other teachers, but his examples and stories were just a bit more interesting than anyone else’s. In 2nd grade, I went to see a Shuttle launch in Cape Canaveral, Florida. When the Shuttle launched, you could see all the flames, and with binoculars, you could see the Shuttle itself, but it was still tiny and far away. It was amazing, but I remember feeling far away from the action.
Today I read a fascinating article which helped me remember this experience, and it explained to me why it was a fairly good idea to have the audience 6 plus miles away from the launch pad. In a Shuttle launch, the Shuttle’s three main engines fire first, releasing 37 million horsepower with a temperature of 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The two white Solid Rocket Boosters then fire, releasing an extra little boost of 44 million horsepower. The sound pressure energy level at the launch pad is 220 decibels. At a mile away it is 135 decibels. Human death by sound (the intense vibration) would occur at around 200 decibels. At 400 feet away, the heat would kill you. For perspective, most major league baseball parks have a distance from home plate to the centerfield wall of about 400 feet. At 800 feet, the sound and its vibrations would be fatal. Ok, I admit I should have been a lot more thankful for my beach spot 6 miles from the launch pad. I think that worked out best.
There is a fascinating Scripture in Exodus describing an encounter between Moses and God. Earlier, the text has told us that God and Moses would speak intimately and personally like friends. Here, we are reminded of God’s eternal power and holiness:
And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But he said, ‘You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’ And the LORD said, ‘Behold there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.’
Basically: Moses, you have no idea what you’re asking for.
This is such an intriguingly detailed account of Moses’ intimate encounter with God. The message seems to be that God is so powerful and glorious that even in our most personal encounters with Him, we still have no grasp for His true glory. He reveals Himself to us, but if we really fully glimpsed His beauty, our heads would go ‘poof.’ We are reminded of this at the beginning of the Gospel of John: No one has ever seen God… (John 1.18a)
But this is the beauty and glory of Christ Jesus. In Him, God fully reveals Himself in a way which we can see, and we encounter God in the most intimate way, face to face. Jesus is not merely a teacher, or thinker, but he is the revelation of God’s truth and grace. Jesus responds to his disciple Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say ‘show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his work” (John 14.9b-10). Paul speaks to this in his writings as well: “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1.19). He also states it this way, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4.6, [emphasis mine]). Here Paul seems to be comparing Moses’ encounter and his encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Our greatest promise from God is His covenant and revelation in Christ Jesus. God is certainly beyond our understanding, but in Christ, we know Him and have communion with Him. Christ reveals God even beyond the dangerously close encounter Moses experienced. Christ is the fullness of God. He is Lord of all. The Space Shuttle might be one of our greatest and most impressive innovations. And God of course is so much more powerful than the greatest of our creations. But he has invited us to Him, closer to His glory than we could know and would even dare to go.
 Exodus 33.19-23