September 2013
I began my Saturday morning as I do most Saturday’s by sitting at the kitchen table, drinking my coffee and looking out the window at a snapshot of God’s beautiful creation. I also was enjoying my leisurely reading of the newspaper – something usually relegated to the afternoon hours when I arrive
home from work. When I got to the comics, one of my favorites – Rhymes with Orange - got an audible chuckle out of me. The picture showed a family at the dinner table with mom on one end and dad
on the other and their son in the middle obviously holding a smart phone. The caption had the mother
say: “Martin, will you please text grace.” As most of you know, I am not a “texter.” As a matter of
fact my computer’s spell check just informed me that “texter” isn’t even a word! I guess I’ll have to
add that one to my computer’s vocabulary! I know that many of you reading this are already smiling
and probably commenting in your mind about how technologically-challenged your pastor is or how
so “last century” or “old-fashioned” your pastor is. I guess that is a burden that I will just have to bear
(LOL)! See, I do know some abbreviations! I’ll even admit that I was late to the table even for email,
but I finally joined the hordes of people using modern technology and secretly admit that I enjoy this
form of communication of information. But I digress.
Earlier this week Chance Rich sent out a prayer
request about a burden on his heart for the horrible atrocities happening to the citizens of Syria
and I joined him in his burdened heart. Over the
past year I have been appalled at how inhumanely this civil war has been progressing. Suffice it to say that I abhor all civil wars and the
pain and destruction that they bring – the Serbian
-Bosnian conflict of the 90’s, the Rwandan massacre of the 80’s and now all the Middle Eastern
conflict initiated by the Arab Spring. How have
we as a civilization devolved into such a cruel
and uncaring people? How can we watch as humans take other human lives and pour out pure
evil upon each other and not be bothered? If I
was an eschatological theologian trying to make
sense of what is going on in this world I would
be tempted to take up a sign crying out that the
end is near! Don’t worry, your pastor hasn’t
gone off the deep end just yet. I haven’t grown a
long beard and started ranting with wild hair and
a crazy look in my eyes – yet – but I do ask myself one question repeatedly. How long will God
allow us to treat one another with such guiltless
regard for each other? When these random
thoughts enter my mind I am called to remember
Peter’s words to the Christians scattered
throughout the world living in desperate and
hostile times too. “But do not forget this one
thing, dear friend. With the Lord a day is like a
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P.O. Box 178
Greer, SC 29652
[email protected]
New Day CCC Meets At:
101 South Line Street
Greer, SC 29651
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Psalm 111
I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got Wherever good people gather,
and in the congregation.
God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study - endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark His craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are His memorial This God of Grace, this God of Love.
He remembered to keep His ancient promise.
He proved to His people that
He could do what He said:
Hand them the nations on a platter - a gift!
He manufactures truth and justice;
All His products are guaranteed to last Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
All that He makes and does is honest and true:
He paid the ransom for His people,
He ordered His Covenant kept forever.
He’s so personal and holy,
worthy of our respect.
The good life begins in the fear of God Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.
His Hallelujah lasts forever!
The Message
A Confession
In Or Out?
The Sweet Smell Of Grace
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September 2013
A Word From The Pastor
(Continued from page 1)
thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” But I still wonder as perhaps many
of you do how long God will wait for us to love Him with all of our heart, mind and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves.
With all the 21st century technology at our disposal – texting included – have our lives and our mission improved? Oh sure, we
can send our quickly developed thoughts in a few, sometimes indecipherable, characters or let the world know our innermost
thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, but how have our lives been changed? I believe that the first step in learning to love God and
each other comes from developing a healthy and respectful relationship. As with most humanly developed things there are what
we call side effects. The medicines that we take to cure us or keep us healthy have a list of side effects that if we read the pharmacy pamphlets might make us think twice before ingesting them. The harmless little email that we sent was read by the recipient in a totally different context than was intended. The foods we eat for nourishment cause untold health issues. The list goes
on and on with things that seem quite good at first glance, but in the end have unintended consequences. Communication technology has elevated our ability to live in a Jetsons-style world, but we are now starting to see some of the consequences. Relationships are starting to disintegrate or perhaps never even form at all. We begin to know each other more from what we read in
texts and emails and what we see on Facebook and websites rather than in having an open and honest conversation. At the pool
party I had the opportunity to sit and talk with a new congregant, once my work was done, and learned a lot about what he hoped
to do and where his aspirations lie – something I would never have known through a text or email. How can we ever learn to
love one another if we fail to get to know each other? How will we ever understand where our brother or sister is coming from if
we don’t understand where they have been and what they have endured? These things don’t come to the surface in faceless, 142
character messages on our smart phones and computers. In my mind one of the side effects of our modern communication technology is that we begin to see each other only from the lens of our equipment instead of from our hearts. Imagine that God only
saw us through a large screen television set; meaning He only saw our lives in action as opposed to knowing the depths of our
hearts. Wow! Wouldn’t that be a bummer? Luckily we serve the one true God who knows each of us by name; the one true
God who knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb; the one true God who has called each of us to His plan and His
purpose. And He did all this by providing a way to have an otherwise unobtainable relationship with Him. And now He directs
each of us to enter into loving relationships with each other as His children.
I’m not advocating the elimination of our modern day communication, but I am asking that we all think about whether or not it
might be easier to communicate and get to know one another in person. If the Palestinians and Israelis got to know one another
as God’s children perhaps peace would be possible. If Americans would get to know and develop relationships with each other
perhaps racism, sexism, ageism and homophobia would become things of the past and we could celebrate how lucky we all are
to be made in our Creator’s image instead of allowing our differences to drive a wedge between us. Hopefully I’ve offered some
sound bites that resonate with you or will when you stop RTFL over your pastor’s old-fashioned dreams and hopes. Remember
that Jesus told us that all of God’s commandments hang on two: love God and love each other – no exceptions. Perhaps if we are
going to thrive in this world today we simply need to think with our hearts and our lives instead of our fingers and keyboards.
Just something to think about in our walk of discipleship.
Blessings and Peace,
Youth for
New Day CCC
Annual Retreat
Weekly at
New Day CCC
Planning Session
Topic for Spiritual Growth
“Not A Fan”
Sunday School - 9:30 am
Sunday Worship - 10:30 am
Sunday, Sept 8th, After Worship
Lunch will be Provided
Sept 20th - 22nd
Small Group Study
Wednesday - 7:00 pm
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September 2013
A Confession
I have a confession to make, probably better kept to myself,
but maybe someone else feels the same. My confession is..I
AM VERY MAD AT GOD. Sometimes the anger and
frustration quiets for a moment in time, but it comes back
with a vengeance. My two levels or speeds are complacent or
angry…black or white. I think we all were taught not to ask
the WHY question; it is what it is, basically in so many
words. We were not to ask questions; why, when, where,
who…just obey the rules…nothing else matters.
Even as a teen, I asked those questions to myself and even
asked out loud once, but was told “it just is.” That was about
as helpful as a bee sting. “Just because”, was not a good
answer to me; I need to be able to analyze everything. I could
not analyze when I did not know what I believed, nonetheless
my anger.
I am angry God allows world turmoil but especially personal
turmoil. Why can I not find or feel personal peace? When
will enough be enough? Where is the end of this process?
Who cares, really genuine cares?
Why is my body, heart, mind and soul agonizing for
harmony? Is it too much to ask that I feel peace from the
darkness and weight lifted from my shoulders? If peace was
in sight, would the struggle be easier?
When is enough counted as enough? When can I stop
fighting these demons in my head and heart and soul? When
will the personal, emotional and spiritual war end? If I saw
an ending point, maybe the conflict would be bearable.
Where does this process end? At what point will I be able to
start and end every day knowing that I have reached
excellence and the pain will no longer haunt me? Could this
process possibly have a time line with a start and ending
Who is real and who is an imposter? Who is steadfast and
sure? Who will put their arms around me just to find a soft
spot in my back for a knife? If I knew honest intentions;
could I then trust?
So my anger at God comes from a lot of different questions, a
lot of agony and fear to trust or be abandoned and be
wounded or beat down again. Relationships with partner and
children are not black and white? Physical and emotional
pains do not automatically subside with professional
assistance or medicine? This spiritual journey does not have a
mountain top point where there are no more lessons or
growing pains? Giving back or service does not have a full
line? Again I ask the question, when is enough, enough? I
am angry at God because I seem to fight for this peaceful life
and field of flowers He promised. Nothing I do seems to be
enough and just when I think I kinda might have it all
analyzed, my world falls apart around me and I must build my
walls taller and stronger.
Unfortunately, we were told wrong information. When we
believe in Christ, love and peace do not form as a bubble
around us till we die. Yes, God is a God of love, but also
mercy grace and free will. I John 4:9-10. God is not sitting
on huge jeweled throne with a whip and a loud evil voice,
waiting for us to mess up so He can have a good laugh. I
think God is gentle and feels our pain and sorrow and maybe
even cries with us or when we are so broke, our tears will not
come out; they just build inside us like a burning volcano.
John 16:33 tells us that He knows we will have trials and
sorrows, but we can have peace trusting that He is bigger than
all this. Romans 8:28 of course, tells us “all things work
together for good”. This is all easy to read and say from a
high horse, but coming down off that soap box and living day
by day in a world of hate, anger and discrimination is hard to
bear alone. That is why God gives life lines. They are there,
we just have to ask either God or His teachers and preachers
He puts on our path for a reason.
All this does not mean I’m not mad at God anymore. It just
may help or encourage a little if I let it. However, God is a
big, strong, tender God and can take the anger I feel. I think
He may want me to pour out my anger sincerely to Him and
truly give it to Him leaving it with Him so He can bear it and
so I can know and feel His presence.
I envy your prayers as I strive to let God have my anger.
Hope Carey
In Or Out?
What would you do today if you knew you wouldn't fail?
Would you start a business, apply for a job or a promotion or
start college classes? Whatever it is that you would do, what
is keeping you or me from doing it? I think the answer to that
question is fear. I can tell you personally that fear has kept me
from doing a lot of things and I have often wondered how
many opportunities I have missed out on because of fear.
I am reminded of Peter and the time that he walked on water.
He gets a lot of bad rap because he took his eyes of off Jesus
and began to sink. That is one way to look at it but I think
people fail to realize that of all the people in the boat Peter
was the only one who put his fears aside and stepped out of
the boat! We do not need to let our fears keep us in the boat
because if we want to walk on water we have to get out of the
His, Chance
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September 2013
We all have desires of our hearts and different kinds of passions. I am not talking about a sexual passion but a passion that I
would like to believe we all have - something that you feel very strongly about doing in your life or in someone else’s life.
Chance, at church, has a passion to help young adults grow and understand who they are and show them that they are loved not
just by family but by others around them. The outreach that God has put on his heart is not just going to help the teenagers but
their families and friends. So many people are taught if you are not like them, then you are hated and of course going to hell.
PFLAG was started years ago and still people judge them. I know people in PFLAG and they would get awful calls and mail
stating that they were going to hell because they are lovers of the gay and lesbian life style. The fact is they don’t hate or judge
others. These are people who love and help others understand the life style and it’s ok. This was a passion of parents who
started in a small group and now it has grown to be nationwide. In the PFLAG in Newhall, Ca. and I know some of the parents
and friends and yes they are Christians. Was that a passion that God put on their hearts? I believe so.
One of the ladies I work with has a passion for domestic violence. She does volunteer work at Safe Harbor. She was telling me
the other day that she was in a domestic violent marriage for 5 yrs. Now she helps families get a new start
in life. Was that a passion that God put on someone’s
heart? I believe so.
The Sweet Smell
of Grace
“I see this guy three rows back sheepishly looking at me in the
center aisle, and I said to myself, as God is my witness, “Oh, man,
what a way to end an Easter Sunday. Someone is going to hit me up
for money,” which happens a lot here. As he gets close to me, he
smelled worse than any human being I had ever smelled in my life.
The odor was so horrible -- of the street, of filth, of sweat, of urine,
that when I talked to him I had to look away to inhale. I would look
back at him breathing out. He put his finger in my face, and he said,
“Reverend, I don’t want your money. I want this Jesus that you
were talking about. I’m going to die out there. I don’t have a hope
in this world unless somebody changes me.” At that moment I
became so convicted of my lack of love, of my lack of compassion.
At that moment, I forgot about David, and I said, “God, forgive
me.” God baptized me afresh with such love and compassion that I
began to just weep for my own need and for what I saw God doing
in David, and David sensed it. I dropped my hands to my side; he
came against me, and he fell -- his face, matted hair, filthy -- fell
against my chest and tie, and I put my arms around him.
Suddenly, that smell became the most beautiful perfume I had ever
smelled in my life. It was as if God was saying, “If you have any
value, it’s this smell that I sent you for,” because that’s the smell of
the world that Jesus died for. Jesus didn’t die for a nice, clean, neat
little world. He came for that which was lost and ruined. That night
David gave his heart to the Lord, and now his testimony is being
used to bless countless people. He’s one of our most trusted workers
now here in maintenance and security. David Ruffin is a man of
Pastor Jim Cymbala, Brooklyn Tabernacle
Submitted by Teresa Hrab
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I have a passion to help the homeless. I was never
homeless but I do understand being very very close to it
at one time in my life. Amber and I volunteered at a
homeless shelter in Newhall. It was such an eye
opener. People look at homelessness as a bum: someone who doesn’t want to work and lives off of others. I
am sure there are some that have chosen to live like
that but a lot of the time it’s people like you and me. A
loss of a job will put you on the streets. Just one paycheck away. Some people don’t have friends or family
to help. Some people have a mental illness that puts
them on the street. Who is to help them find the resources to help themselves? Our government system
isn’t always able to help. So, with that said I believe
it’s up to us.
Kim just told me she has a passion for Clemson.
Really. I asked her how that was God centered? She
said because she believes God will always let them
win. Wrong kind of passion.
If we just live our lives for ourselves, how are we
showing the love of God to others? It doesn’t need to
be anything big in life. Tim does the newsletter every
month. I know for a fact that because of his passion to
do it, lives are being changed. I send newsletters to
friends all over the states and will get calls or a card
stating how someone’s article touched or changed
something in their life. I am so thankful that this is a
passion God put on his heart.
We are all important in what we do. If you don’t feel
you have a passion or desire then help someone who
does and God will put it on your heart.
Debby Mann
September 2013
The Bible: We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God and that in it He reveals Himself and speaks to us. We
believe that the scriptures are true, complete and reliable and sufficient to show us everything that we need to glorify God
and live in His presence forever.
God: We believe that there is one God and only one God who exists in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit. These three persons are one God, all being equal in power and glory.
Humanity: Men and women, though created in God’s image and pronounced good as the pinnacle of creation and
created for a relationship with God, turned from God and rebelled against God. Since then, from our birth we are
inherently sinful; that is, we fall short of God’s perfect standard, stray from His ways and make ourselves the complete
opposite of what we were designed to be. This overwhelming condition of disobedience to God (sin) is not caused by
being born into a bad environment, but we create bad environments because we are born into sin.
Jesus Christ: God, the Son, came into our world in the person of Jesus. He lived and walked among us for some thirty
years, obeyed the heavenly Father perfectly, was without sin and bore God’s wrath when He died on the cross for our
sins. He rose from the grave on the third day as He had promised. Jesus has complete authority over all of God’s
creation and will return one day to gather His people and judge His enemies.
Salvation: We are saved from the penalty of sin, death, by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ which was
completed through His death and resurrection. We can never get rid of our sin on our own or do anything to earn God’s
favor because we are sinful people. God punished out guilt through Christ and declared us not guilty by covering us
through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In the words of Martin Luther, “Jesus accomplished the ‘great exchange’ by
taking our sin upon Himself and covering us in His own righteousness!” We are saved by looking to Jesus Christ to save
Spiritual Growth and Discipleship: After coming to Christ as our Savior, God works in our lives to make us more and
more like Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to us and opens our minds to understand scripture and how they apply to our
lives. The Holy Spirit moves us to respond to God’s commands in obedience out of our love for Christ and His sacrifice
on our behalf. This is a life-long process which is never completed in our earthly lives, but through our growth and
discipleship, we are constantly being perfected.
The Future: At a time known only to God, Jesus will return to gather His people. The Christians who have died will
physically rise and those who are still living will join them and be radically transformed. Any sin that remains in our
lives at that time will be completely washed away and we will be perfectly glorious and will delight in the presence and
worship of God forever.
P.O. Box 178
Greer, SC 29652
[email protected]
New Day CCC Meets At:
101 South Line Street
Greer, SC 29651
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
A Confession
In Or Out?
The Sweet Smell Of Grace
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