Today, I would like you to meet my new neighbor. In the past week, a bird has begun building this year’s nest in the corner of my office window. My desk is no more than three feet away from this new home. He (or she?) knows I exist, but as long as I don’t get too close to the window, I don’t seem to frighten the bird away. I am looking forward to watching eggs hatch and chicks feed from this vantage point in the upcoming season. Already, I am enjoying how my neighbor is carefully constructing the family home, one mouthful of mud and twigs at a time.

The Bible makes a few comments about birds’ nests:

If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NIV)

This instruction appears in a strange, seemingly disconnected segment of Old Testament law – take a minute to read the whole chapter! Many of the commands surrounding this passage have to do with respecting life: human, plant, and animal alike. How often do we think about our treatment of animals or our use of natural resources as an issue of stewardship? Is our well-being dependent on our interactions with other species in God’s creation?

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. (Psalm 84:1-4 NIV)

My new neighbor’s nest is extremely fragile; in a matter of seconds, I could open the window and destroy all the work that has been done. Yet the fragility of the nest pales in comparison to its setting: a brick building is quite stable and secure. Are we constructing our fragile lives around a solid foundation? Do our souls find their place of safety in the house of the Lord?

Thus Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the wild birds nested in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19 NET)

When we build our lives on the good news of Jesus Christ, we are participating in something much larger than ourselves. Our spiritual family tree has its roots in Jesus; his kingdom is vast and all-encompassing. Are we living as members of the kingdom of God? Are we working diligently to strengthen our own nests? Are we building meaningful relationships with those who are nesting in other branches? Are we inviting wanderers to find their home in this kingdom?

Let us learn from the birds of the air, for whom God cares. And remember, we are much more valuable to God than they are! (Matthew 6:26)

Pastor David


God is GOOD all the TIME!  We are blessed as a church with the kids we have in the Youth Ministry.  Sure, there are moments, indiscretions, break-ups, behavior miscues and just the trial of being normal teenagers, BUT, the positive things far out-number the negative and they are good kids.  Keep them in your prayers always as they search their way through life.  My God-Sighting for today!  Challenge yourself and look for the good things God does everyday!

We have been BUSY!! At least, I have been. Garage sales, leaf raking, auctions, selling flowers, and clean-ups, not to mention meetings, activities and everything else.  Your youth pastor lives a blessed life!  The blessings has been getting to spend a lot of time with the kids as we rack up miles traveling from job to job and we are slowly earning our money needed for the big summer events. Every single student going to State Youth Convention is PAID – three weeks before going.  We are adding to our youth accounts for the International Youth Convention being held Thursday, July 3 through Wednesday, July 8th, 2014 (includes traveling).  Each delegate needs $415 to cover lodging and food.  It will happen.  Parents, thank you for helping your kids earn their way to the convention – it will be an experience they will never forget.

Our Youth year is winding down as the school year does.  For the Sunday night meeting our schedule is as follows:

  • May 4th – Relationships
  • May 11th – We know this is Mother’s Day and your student should honor this day; however, if they’re free, come to youth that night for last minute details on SYC.
  • May 18th – State Youth Convention (No Youth)
  • May 25th – Memorial Day Weekend (No youth)
  • June 1, June 8, June 15, and June 29 – Youth for all high school with emphasis on IYC Preparation.  Lessons will be appropriate for any student even if not attending IYC.
  • NO Youth June 22nd
  • July 3-8 – Attending IYC in Nashville
  • August 22-24 – Center for Student Missions in Detroit
  • September 7 – Fall Youth begins

In the middle of May, the summer schedule of youth activities will be announced.  There will be NO Sunday night youth meetings during July & August, but we will have periodic youth activities with devotions throughout the summer.

The Young Youth will meet every Tuesday with May 20th being their last session.  On May 20 we will be having a pizza party & treats.  We are doing the Faith 4 Life curriculum “God’s Purpose For Me.”  In the Fall, there will be no Young Youth meetings on Tuesday and they will join the regular youth meetings in the Fall Sunday nights providing they meet the required stipulations which parents will be supplied with in August.

The Michigan State Youth Convention (theme: “Ignite”) will be the weekend of May 16-18.  Special letters will be sent next week with all the information you need for the weekend. We will be working with the Meridian Church of God for transportation and help with the convention.  Pastor Jerry will need to leave the convention by noon on Saturday the 17th to attend the Memorial Services for his Dad who passed away in January, leaving Lawrence & Jo Adams in charge of the remaining time and getting the students home.  Everything should work out well and we are very excited about the possibilities for spiritual growth.  Keep us in your prayers!

The SYC will open on Friday night with Royal Tailor in concert. Royal Tailor is a Christian band with hits like “Ready, Set Go,” and “Jesus Love,” featuring TobyMac. Our other guest is John Tibbs.  John and his group will be leading us in worship throughout the weekend. Our speaker for the weekend will be Leo Robinson II.  He will challenge us to pursue vibrant lives for Christ.  Leo is from Flint and a Church of God Youth Pastor.

We were very excited have received a special invitation from the Center of Student Missions (CSM) to participate in a missions weekend in Detroit on the weekend of August 22-24. Detroit is a new city for CSM and we were invited to “pilot” a weekend there this summer.  The pilots are taking place at “invitation only” status and we were invited to participate.  We have already paid the deposit and the weekend is open to any high school student or graduate.  The cost will be $110 per person. We have 10 openings, so we will be taking sign-ups soon.  Watch for more details as this project develops.

Fundraising is in full swing and we have been blessed.  We made almost $600 at the recent garage sale and having been doing work projects every week.  REMEMBER – if you would like the students to work for you, please contact Pastor Jerry and work out the details.  It is a fundraiser helping us with IYC and Detroit, so as you hire us, please pay us for what the task is worth to you to have done.  We do not work by the hour and the money goes to the Youth Ministry, and then is distributed to the students.  (It does need to be worth our effort!)  The kids have been great workers this spring and we are very proud of their work ethic.  Also, you should know that with every dollar we earn (working, selling, etc.), we tithe 10% to “Spread the Word,” the outreach and mission arm of the International Youth Convention. Our offering will be made in Nashville this summer at the convention and we already have several hundred dollars collected.  We want to honor God with our earnings.

We want you to know that the Youth Update is not only in the church newsletter, but also on the church’s webpage so watch for it every month.

Parents and church, your prayers, support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and we look forward every week to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our students through interaction, study, fellowship, and relationship.  Thank you for sharing your son or daughter and our congregation for holding the youth up in PRAYER.

Love God, Love People!


Pastor Jerry

Today marks the beginning of a new series that I hope will give shape to the concept of “discipleship,” one of the two primary thrusts of the Christian life.  I call the other primary thrust “outreach,” and I am convinced that anyone who desires to follow Jesus should be actively involved in each of these modes of spiritual growth.  What that involvement looks like will, naturally, change over time and from person to person.  My hope is that this series of articles will prompt you to think about how the practices of discipleship and outreach can take shape and grow in your own life.

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The snow is LEAVING! We are down to BIG piles and patches here & there, then with a little more rain and a few warmer days they will be gone.  Almost like sin, although it never disappears because of the world we live in, a little bit of God’s Word each day, some good relationships and fellowship with Christians, some regular attendance of church and a whole lot of prayers will help you avoid some of the sins we encounter in our daily walk with Christ.   Let Christ do the power lifting in your walk with him and more joy & contentment will fill your days.

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