Dear Northside

I am writing this on my first day back from my mini-Sabbatical. I want to say thank you to everyone who made my Sabbatical possible!

Today we experience another baptism service. It is so exciting to see people declare openly that they are on the Lord’s side. Welcome to the families who have come today to be a part of this wonderful ordinance from the Lord.

We give thanks to God for protecting the Masawi family last weekend. I have heard what happened and seen the photos and truly we see the hand of God protecting them.

At the height of all the problems we have been experiencing recently it seemed that a few people mentioned the book of Lamentations. When I went to look at the book I found this article written by John Maxwell and I really appreciated it.

Hope in the midst of calamity (Lam. 3)

As Jeremiah trudged through his ruined city, he smelled destruction everywhere. He knew the invading Babylonians had devastated Jerusalem because the people of Judah had forsaken their God. The Lord’s people had brought the misery on themselves – yet his heart still broke.

For two whole chapters Jeremiah laments the calamity. He recognizes the chastening hand of God, for he says, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” Lam.3:38. Right in the middle of his dirge he pauses to express one of the most hopeful pronouncements in the Old Testament: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (3:22-23).

In the midst of the carnage, in the midst of his own wailing, the prophet finds hope in knowing that God still reigns. He knows that restoration and repentance can occur. God’s anger will not burn against His people forever. And so Jeremiah can continue. Oh, there will still be tears – the last two chapters of Lamentations again play the mournful sounds of a funeral march. Yet because God lives, hope lives!

Effective leaders bank on hope, even in the face of God’s judgement. They know that, for those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, restoration and redemption can indeed follow destruction.

I hope and pray that this article will give you hope this week!

Finally some words from Romans 12:9-12

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Don’t forget our theme: Prayer, Share and Care for the Glory of God!

God bless

Pastor Gary

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God's heart, in the heart of the Community
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