November 8, 2012
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. — Psalm 51:17 (NIV)
Greetings Canaan EM’ers and friends,
Mondays are not only my day off, but also my day of repentance. I pray for God’s forgiveness in case my sermons or actions on Sunday have hurt the work of his Kingdom or have caused people to stumble. Even if what I did was unintentional or misunderstood, I still must repent. It doesn’t feel comfortable, and sometimes the hurt lasts much longer than a day. But regular self-examination is a routine that I must undergo in order to grow closer to God’s heart.
Last Sunday, we saw how the Apostle Peter had to undergo a change of heart when he realized that God wanted him to accept Gentiles into the church (Acts 10). It was not an easy thing for him to do. Paul reports in Galatians that Peter relapsed into his old prejudices at one point (Galatians 2:11-14). Nevertheless, Peter still became one of the most important pillars of the church! Why? Because he, of all the Apostles, knew that to follow Jesus, one must lead a life of repentance.
So it is with us. Our first act of repentance opens us up to the saving grace of Christ. But in order to truly live a satisfactory, joyful, and abundant life, we need to carry our crosses daily. How? By examining our hearts; by putting to death our old way of thinking and living; by allowing the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to new possibilities.
So join me in doing regular heart-checks. Our personal growth depends on our willingness to repent (so, it’s good for you!). And when we all embrace repentance as a way of life, when we are willing to confess our hurts and failures to one another, God will grant our church spiritual renewal.
NOW FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. THIS SUNDAY: Operation Christmas Child – Shoebox Packing Party (Sun, Nov 11, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) All are invited to the Fellowship Hall during second hour on Nov. 11 to help pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Refreshments will be served! Each EM member is encouraged to bring 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 toothbrushes, or 2 bars of soap this Sunday. Contact William Effendy [EMAIL]
2. Advent Devotionals for your family! This Advent, consider using “Anticipate: An Advent Experience,” a family devotional guide. This guide provides daily bible reflections for your whole family from the day before Advent (Dec 1) to Christmas morning. Each day’s reflection includes an ornament that your family can make to hang on a Jesse Tree. The devotional book is $7.00. Please let Pastor Tim know by November 11 if you want a copy so that he can order one for you.
3. Planning Center Online (PCO) is our new online service planner. If you haven’t received an email invitation to serve as a worship leader or in children’s ministry, please let Pastor Tim know immediately!
4. Opportunities to serve! We are looking for volunteers to help with the following opportunities.
- More people to serve lunch during November. Adults, please sign up at canaanem.org!
- Setting up the Christmas Tree on Nov. 18th [2 persons]
- Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner by Taiwanese service – opportunity to lead a program for English speaking Young Adults and youth. Speak to Chris Liu [EMAIL].
- Christmas Tree lighting and decoration on Nov 25th during the second hour [1 person]
- College Student care. Send a care package to our college students during finals [2 persons]
- Ministry fair for 2013 opportunities on Dec 2 during the second hour [2 persons]
- Welcome reception on Dec 9 during the second hour [one person]
- Christmas Party on Dec 16 during the second hour [2 persons]
- English and Youth Ministry Town Hall on Dec 23 during the second hour [2 persons]
- Canaan Awards Night (tentatively Jan 5) [2 persons, let Pastor Tim know by November 25]
- Chris Liu Ordination Service Planning Team (Jan or Feb) [2 have signed up – let Pastor Tim know if you are interested]
5. “LIVE! from Bethlehem,” Canaan Christmas Musical & Sing-Along (Sat, 12/15, 7pm) Invite your family and friends to learn why we celebrate Christmas!
Next PRACTICE is Sunday 11/18 (WH1; 1:15pm to 2:30pm, all skit actors practice).
Future rehearsal dates:
12/02 Sunday. rehearsal (TBA)
12/09 Sunday. Full rehearsal with all actors, musicians, etc. (TBA)
12/15 Saturday. Full rehearsal with all actors, musicians, etc. (TBA)
6. Asian American Leadership Conference 2013 (Mar 11-13, Los Angeles) Pastor Su and I would like to invite you to join us as we attend the upcoming AALC! This national triennial conference brings together Asian American evangelical leaders for a time of encouragement and equipping. AALC includes inspiring worship and speakers, a diversity of workshops, and opportunities for networking and resource sharing. We would like to register as a church before the December 10 early bird deadline, so please let me know if you would like to join us. Visit http://www.aalcinfo.com for more details.
See you Sunday!
Tim Tseng 曾 祥 雨 :: PhD
Pastor of English Ministries