Jesus is ALIVE (Now What?)

Pat and JoeDear Friends,

A beautiful First Sunday. Krispy Kremes!!

Joe…. Still in Alaska!  Coming back from the wilderness. Today.   That sounds like a conundrum or oxymoron. Isn’t all Alaska wilderness?  Well when compared to California. Yes!! . Can wait to hear about the snow mobile trek.

Talent Show Is Coming!!         April 16th
Well, ok, for some of us this can be a “talentless show”.   But fun is absolutely guaranteed  Grab someone in your Family or a Friend and come up with an act. Musical    or ???????  I’m desperately trying to talk my grandkids into something. But the teen age group is horror struck with my plans.   The opportunities are limitless!!  Show courage. Do it!!. And, if you really have talent    you will be loved and surrounded by accolades!

Family Camp  – Into The Wild
Coming soon and ready to be signed up for. May 20-22 at the Lazy W Ranch , only about 30 minutes away!  Talk to John Denton or Debbie Gara if you want to go. They just have way too much fun and fellowship at this LNPC gathering. And we have ages there from baby to 90+. Think that’s a wide enough range for you to fit in??  Scholarships available where needed.

Church Flowers
Don’t forget to sign up on the flower chart in the Narthex for your future week of flowers.  Make out a $65 check to McCool Florists and take to church office or bring Sunday AM and put in offering plate . Remember the purpose of these flowers is for the beauty of the service but more importantly we Deacons take them after church to those who are not well or not able to come to the church service. It is so nice for them to receive and gives a cheery visit with them also. If you know of someone who needs a cheery bouquet please let me know!!

Our Pastor Nominating Committee
They are still working hard.  We will have an update soon. I know they have plodded through lots of resumes and it is not an easy task. Now while hoping for more great candidates, they need to further vet some who could have promise.  Good thing they were not aware of the many hours of time commitment before.  Probably even more than they thought!  By the way if you have heard of someone who might be a good candidate, please let one of the PNC committee members know. The people you know or a friend knows may be the best potentials!  Don’t forget to pray for  these  hard working members who are taking so much of their personal time for our church: Fred Ehlers, Greg Heath, Carl Hess, Howard Hirakawa,  Pat Kun, Stacy Malone, Brett Riordan, Cecil Spearman and Carol Stocksdale.  They have a most important duty for the future of  LNPC. Their responsibility is awesome!

Church Activities
1.  Adult Classes
a.     Open Door Bible Study. Currently in Spring Break -Usually Tuesdays at 2PM. Karen Vassey and Jean Shelton lead this class with a great group of people attending. Joe attends when he can
b.    TGIF Growth Group –  – 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month at 10:30 AM. Meets in Conference Room 2nd floor. “Thank God I’m Forgiven” Bible Study. Studying RC Sprouls “Hath God Said?”
2.  Missions. – Our job is to spread God’s word and care for others as Christ’s disciples. We have so many projects of outreach. JoAnn Renning, whom I call “ The Lady of Perpetual Mission” is constantly reminding us of our responsibilities in charity.
Hands of Grace Meal  Feed the homeless the first Wednesday of each month. Bring food and help serve and sit down and eat with these interesting people.  It is not held at our church,  the food is taken to Faith Episcopal Church in Laguna Niguel. You don’t have to stay, you can just drop off food if you prefer . Pastor Paul attends and several of our congregation. Call JoAnn Renning or the church office for more information.
Food Drive for South County Outreach –. We are always collecting food. Look for the barrel in the narthex and bring your non perishables.  The need never ends! And if you want to help sort and work at this main Orange County center, they definitely need help. Joe has done that and enjoys it, but says it is definitely work

4. Fashion Show. Ladies!…. Save the date of May 14th Saturday to attend the Annual Fashion Show.          at El Niguel Country Club.  These proceeds are how many of our Mission Programs are funded!
5. Prayer Groups   Monday mornings 8-8:30 in the sanctuary a group meets to pray for our church, our PNC , our church members and the person who will be called to be our Pastor. Come and join in prayer. Just show up.
6   The Gathering  Every Sunday at 4:30 -5:30 You have the opportunity to meet for Praise, Prayer and Fellowship. The Music is all Praise Music  It’s held in Gard Hall. It’s a try to meet the needs of those who can’t come Sunday AM or those who prefer a more contemporary Worship style.
7.  Training session for Stephen Ministry in co-op with Lutheran Church of the Cross . Meeting  Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM at the Laguna Woods Lutheran Church on El Toro Road. Call Margaret Lee for more information ( 948-230-8999)
8.  John Denton, LNPC Youth Director, is sponsoring  a meeting for parents on Wednesday, May 18th 7-8 PM with Dr. Marc D.  Skelton, Clinical Psychologist  on “Teens and Mental Health”   You can go to the church web site for more information.

Children’s Activities
1.       John Denton’s Youth Group meets Mondays.5:30-7 PM. Location. The Garage.    If your teens or your teen’s friends or your friend’s youth are available suggest they come. Everyone gets along and has fun.  And they serve the church and our needs too. Thumbs up from my grandson
2.    Confirmation Class started on November 18 and goes through May 15. That is on Wednesday 4-5PM  8th grade and above.
3.     Children’s choir.      practice is Mondays 4-5:30. EXCEPT:  Spring break 3/28 – 4/3 LeeLee gives the Lifetime Treasure of Music to our children. 5 years plus. It provides experiences your children/grandchildren will never forget. My grandkids have been attending and I ask if they like it. They answer with an Emphatic “yes!”. Thank you LeeLee.
4.    Pathfinders      Wednesday’s at 3:30- 5:00. with Debbie Gara and her helpers. They are always doing great activities, being creative  and learning too. Snacks, stories, games and art and crafts. They are also on Spring Break 3/28 – 4/13.
5.     VBC. Vacation Bible Camp. July 11-15. 9-12. Get your calendar marked for kids or grandkids and neighbor and friend’s kids. And don’t forget to volunteer!  We had so much fun last year.

Below is our Service Recap for the LNPC Easter service on March 27th. . Remember to let us know any needs you may have or needs for someone you know. We’ll keep needs private or can go public. Your choice!  I notice a number of you have prayer concerns on our church list.  We are praying for your concerns, name by name. Our Mission is to put our loving and caring hands out to people around us and spread the Good Word.    Remember “ We are all missionaries for Christ”

Service Recap
Pastor Paul, John Denton and Rev. Debbie Gara
shared the Liturgy tasks

Service Music
Suk Choi opened with a lively organ Toccata “All Creatures of Our God and King”   The Music from the Praise Team with Diana D’Itri and Dan Gara joining in. And we must always remember Binh’s admonition that it is all for the Glory of God

Children’s Message
Susie Hess gave the children’s Message which involved the story of the disciples and fishing. Each Child had something to do – be the boat, be in the boat, be on the shore. They had their props and loved it

Family Spotlight
The Cox family – Kari, James and Sebastian
( Sebastian was baptized in our church so it was a pleasure to have this family with us in Spotlight, a First Sunday activity)
James is a film maker and has just had his first feature film out. James talked about doing your job. You need people around you to encourage you and be honest with you. James said Kari has been a wonderful support for him in encouragement and saying “ next time will be better”.  What a good statement for us as a Christian family to remember to give Encouragement which comes through first hand words and lots of follow up Prayer.

Scripture  Read by Rev. Debbie Gara
John 21: 1-19…
Jesus showed himself to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. They were fishing. They caught nothing. After daybreak Jesus stood on the shore but they did not recognize him. Jesus instructed them to cast the net on the right hand side of the boat and they would find fish. The fish were so plentiful there that they could hardly  haul in the net. Then a disciple said to Simon Peter, “It is the Lord.” Simon Peter joyfully jumped overboard and went to shore and the others brought the boat. They saw there a fire with bread and fish. Jesus instructed them to bring the fresh fish. Then he gave each of them bread and fish. This was the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples since he was raised from the dead. After breakfast Jesus asked Simon  if he loved Him three times and after Peter said “Yes” each time gave his instructions as in these verses and the sermon below
( Remember you must read the scripture from the Bible to get the real words and not a paraphrase)

“ Jesus is ALIVE ( Now What?)”
“What does it mean to be Easter People?”
Reverend Debbie Gara

After Christ was crucified the disciples were confused and needed something to give them comfort. They did what they knew best. . They went fishing. They fished all night and caught nothing. At daybreak they looked toward the shore and saw a man. The man said to fish on the right side of the boat that there were fish there  They did so and caught so many fish they could not haul them into the boat. Suddenly one of the disciples told Simon Peter it was the Lord . Overjoyed, they recognized the Risen Lord and another of his Miracles. This story is again proof that when we let Jesus into our lives we have many stories of Miracles that we will be able to tell. .

After breakfast of fish and bread Jesus then asked Simon Peter three times “ Do you love me?” When Simon  said “Yes Lord” each time, the responses below were given by Jesus
1.    Then feed my lambs
2.    Then tend (take care of) my sheep
3.     Then feed my sheep

It is thought by scholars that Jesus gave these  “three” questions and answers because Simon Peter had denied Jesus “three” times.

Then Jesus said “Follow Me”

These allusions to the sheep and Shepherd is very important in the Bible. When Dan Gara visited the Holy Land they had to wait for sheep on the Road The guide asked if Dan knew about sheep. He said the sheep would follow the Shepherd because they knew him and his voice. They learned he would keep them safe. They trusted their Shepherd. They did not need to be herded. They followed on trust

We need to understand that Christ is our Shepherd He keeps us within his safety and we must trust him. He will not herd us. We need to follow Him because we trust him. If we would need to be herded we would have less trust

In your life, try to figure out who you are
Your life may be comfortable. But who would you be and how much better if you put your trust wholly in Christ

Leo Tolstoy had three questions of life in his writing

1 . What is the right time to begin?
Time is something  that we put up with until we can get on to the next thing. We are always rushing and unable to live in the space where we are and enjoy it because we are thinking of the next thing we will be doing. How can we seek Jesus when we are so busy?. Yet, even in this busyness and frenetic lifestyle, Christ is with us all the time – every minute –   SO
“The Right Time to Seek Jesus is NOW”

2.  Who are the right people?
The people we live with, work with, like, dislike, know, avoid, envy, friends of our kids, our friends, people we see …..
“The Living Christ is in Everyone of Them”
( this reminds me once again of Mother Teresa’s comment “ I see Jesus in everyone”)
Peter denied Christ three times. But Jesus never goes part way in Forgiveness and Guidance – unless you only allow him part way   We must be fully present in our relationships.  We have the power to Find and to Listen.  Relationships are hard and our lives are filled with “stuff”. We are busy. But Remember –  We don’t have to find our new lives by ourselves.
“We have to trust Jesus and then follow in that trust”

3.What is the Most Important Thing  to Do?
When you are filled with God’s purpose – God’s breath – you want to bring that love to the world. You want to breathe out and send God to the world.  Debbie related to their recent Mission Trip to Africa. They brought love and help to these people  They sang together and prayed together. “They all breathed the breath of God’s Love  and Goodness together”

What is the most important thing for us to do?
Everything begins with relationships. How do we help our church, our people in the church, people in other lands, people in the USA?  Do we participate in the many programs for  the homeless, the ill, the poor, the Military and so many others?  A man was out running. A homeless man was sitting beside the trail and held out a cup.  The runner stopped and grasped the hands of the man and said “Brother, I’m so sorry but I have nothing with me to give you”. The homeless man looked up and said. “That’s all right. You called me ‘Brother’ and that’s enough!”

In Christ’s eyes we are All Worthy and All Needed. We are already Forgiven. Everything we have is simply Grace – for us –  from God.

Pearls Of Wisdom For Daily Living
The characteristics of the Fruit of  Holy Spirit. –
Love, Joy, Patience, Peace, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness  and Self Control

We must understand that we Christians  are citizens of God’s Kingdom and the values of the The Kingdom of God are inverted from the values of the world.   As Pastor Paul noted in one of his LNPC sermons “Christians are differentiated from the world ”

Parables are not sweet stories we tell our children. They are startling stories that challenge us.  As one author puts it, They are stories with a sting in the tale.

“He who humbles himself will be exalted  He who exalts himself will be humbled”

As a Pedant, I believe that Jesus is a man with an attitude
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is a Man of God
Jesus is a pattern for what God is and Jesus is a pattern for what we are to be.

Love in Christ.❤
Pat and Joe