June 2009 Vol. 6 Iss. 6
Pulpit of the Publisher Beginning the fi rst Sunday in June Pastor Jerry will be starting an in depth teaching on the Book of Revelation. Pastor Jerry is the Senior Pastor at Mountain View Christian Center and has 40 years of experience as a minister of the gospel. This is the 14th time that he has covered the Book of Revelation bringing insight and understanding to all who attend. “This study course will be totally different from my previous study methods and teachings. The Lord has given me a whole new and exciting way to present this book to you,” said Pastor Jerry. “I guarantee that I will bring clarity and a higher level of comprehension to you within this Book of Revelation that you had never thought possible. With all that is happening in the world today we truly believe that we are in the last days and you won’t want to miss these ‘end time’ messages. The in depth ‘Bible Study’ will take several weeks to complete, but if you have a strong desire to grow in the word of God it will be worth every minute!”
DOES GOD REALLY EXIST?
A special issue dedicated to help you answer the age old question...
Does God exist? Is there evidence for the existence of God?
Mountain View Christian Center is located at 5000 Amaryllis Street, Oakley, CA 94561. Service times for the ‘Book of Revelation’ Bible study: It will be taught both Sunday morning services and then continue Wednesday as well, starting on Sunday June 7th. Sunday church service times: 9:00AM, 10:45AM. Wednesday church service: 7:00PM. For more information, call the church offi ce at 925-625-9570.
“I’m An Atheist... Thank God!”
US Postage Wesco Graphics PAID ECRWSS
The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven. The Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29). That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. The Bible states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief. In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the defi nition of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore, the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very defi nition of God. A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, if the earth were even a few hundred miles closer or farther away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 10 followed by 243 zeros). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules. A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” cause is God. Cont. on page 2
by Rev. Austin Miles The above quote was spoken by Madalyn Murray O’Hair to this writer who had asked her if she truly did not believe in God. Full story on page 6
THE 4TH ANNUAL
JESUS CELEBRATION Saturday, June 27th 9:00 am – 4:00pm
WHERE THE BODY COMES TOGETHER AS ONE
Good News Publishing USA 5000 Amaryllis St. Oakley, CA. 94561
GOT JESUS? by Diana Dobbie Come to our new location in Oakley at Trinity Christian Schools, 5000 Amaryllis Street. This year’s theme is “THY KINGDOM COME – THE PRAYER OF AGREEMENT”. This year’s project is a NON PERISHABLE - CANNED FOOD DRIVE for Helping Hands Outreach Ministry. So please bring food items to give to those in need within our community. It’s time to laugh, and it’s time to celebrate and let go of your worries. There is no better way to do this in East Contra Costa County than to attend this gathering of the Body of Christ at the Jesus Celebration 2009 envisioned by Pastors Tyrone and Susan Holmes. Four years ago, Susan and Tyrone planned the fi rst Jesus Celebration as a way for people to mingle and come together publicly as one body outside the four walls of their church, regardless of denomination, culture or racial background. Since then, the event has steadily grown from a small seed and is now being cultivated into a blossoming and fruitful vineyard full of promise and hope. Cont. on page 12
A word from the Publisher............ 3A World News Briefs ..................... 5A Saed & Linda Awwad .................. 7A School of Theology ..................... 9A
Restaurants .............................. 16A Worship Services ..............................18A Pastor Susan ..................................19A Events Calendar ...........................20A
America’s Good News
Does God Exist, cont’d. from cover story A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God? Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). People claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.” The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (Romans 3:23, 6:23). If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence. How do we know God exists? As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is a safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing. Article courtesy: gotquestions.org
Internet missionaries a growing trend Charlie Butts OneNewsNow There is a growing awareness for using the Internet to reach people for Christ. Michelle Diedrich of Global Media Outreach points to one reason why the Internet has become a useful tool. “We live in a very difficult time, in many ways, of sharing the gospel. More and more countries are closing their doors, particularly to American missionaries,” she notes. “And so as it becomes not only more and more dangerous -- or not even available -for a missionary to go, it’s also becoming more and more expensive.” She says any Christian can become a part of Global Media Outreach and apply to become an online missionary. Another spokesman, Dr. Allan Beeber, finds it exciting for those who participate in leading someone to Christ, someone they might then see in heaven. “I mean, I just get chill bumps just thinking about it,” he admits. “I’m actually being used of God to affect the spiritual destiny of somebody I will see in heaven.” Everyone can take part in the Jesus 2020 campaign, and churches can find people in their own community seeking Jesus as their Savior. How to reach GMO - http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/about_us/mission.html
1 Corinthians 14:25 …and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
America’s Good News
Publisher of America’s Good News
Pastor Jerry Hanoum
Beginning the first Sunday in June Pastor Jerry will be starting an in depth teaching on the
Book of Revelation
Mountain View Christian Center is located at 5000 Amaryllis Street, Oakley, WHERE: MVCC 5000 Amaryllis Street, Oakley, CA 94561 DATE: Beginning Sunday June 7th CA 94561. TIME: SUNDAY’S 9:00AM & 10:45AM Service times for the ‘Book WED’S 7:00PM of Revelation’ Bible study: 925-625-9570 It will be taught both Sunday morning services and then continue Wednesday as well, starting on Sunday June 7th. Sunday church service times: 9:00AM, 10:45AM. Wednesday church service: 7:00PM. For more information, call 1 John 2:5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we the church office at know we are in him. 925-625-9570.
America’s Good News
EAST COUNTY OBSERVES ‘NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER’
A few words from our prayer warriors:
ANTIOCH – Senior Pastor, Larry Adams, from Golden Hills Church hosted the event and opened up with a powerful prayer that blessed everyone that came. Then Pastor Larry’s wife, Karla, sang our National Anthem with style and grace, which lifted the spirit-filled room to a standing ovation. Pastor Kirkland Smith, from Grace Bible Fellowship in Antioch, prayed for our Nation – “We are called to live righteously in times of unrighteousness.” Antioch’s Mayor Jim Davis – “My heart is full and I hope you all have been fed physically and spiritually. Our Father, we are grateful for your words,” then Mayor Davis quoted the Bible from John 13:35 – “‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’”
Contra Costa Chinese School
CCCS is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization
BIRTHRIGHT OF BRENTWOOD PRESENTS… Rogers and Hammerstein’s
Pleasant Hill DVC Campus (925) 837-5888 email@example.com www.CoCoCs.org
Psalm 56:9 Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. Ecclesiastes 8:17 Then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.
R E J O I C E! Women’s Lifegroup
Spiritual covering by Shiloh church in Oakland
A Night of Praise & Worship 1st and 3rd Friday each month (Join us on June 5) 7pm-9pm Holiday Inn Express Conference Room 8820 Brentwood Blvd. Brentwood CA (925)634-6400 Hotel (925)200-5671 Contact Info
BRENTWOOD – NDOP Organizer LizBeth Fletcher – “Prayer is going on throughout our country today to recognize God’s goodness and to thank Him for His many blessings, to seek His guidance and protection for our nation.” Lanisa Keith opened up with a resounding rendition of the National Anthem. Her voice filled the room with beauty and power as she delivered our Anthem in a way that set a firm foundation for the prayers ahead. Prayer for our military - Rick Lemyre from The Press quoted scripture from 2Chronicles 32:6-8. Prayer for our media- Tricia Piquero from 110 Degrees Magazine quoted these scriptures - Eph. 4:29, Phil. 4:8, and Matt. 12:36-37. Senior Pastor Dave Shields of Cornerstone Fellowship in Brentwood – “This is a small picture of what Heaven will be like. Nothing pleases me more than when brothers and sisters in the faith join hearts and join together and acknowledge our Father in Heaven.” In the Pastor’s prayer he spoke humbly, “the spirit of your salvation is alive and present and we thank you Lord for your healing touch and forgiveness.” OAKLEY – Trinity Christian School lifts up the name of our Lord under the U.S. Flag and the Christian Flag. Vice principal Art Mijares prays in the name of Jesus interceding for our nation, military, schools and our citizens. His also prayed for the Lord’s wisdom and strength to guide and protect every child at Trinity Christian School, every child in the Delta region and the world.
Psalm 14:5 There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous.
In His Presence
Staff Report From New York to San Francisco they gathered for the National Day of Prayer. All across America, from city to city, from Antioch to Brentwood, they came together in agreement, that God is our creator that loves and cares for each one of us. But who are ‘they’ you ask? ‘They’ are mayor’s, teachers, mothers, governors, city council members business owners, pastors, news media representatives, veterans, students; the list goes on and on. They prayed over our military, government, media, businesses, educational system, churches and families. They prayed with boldness, with conviction, with passion and with a purpose. They have faith and they believe that God hears our prayers; that He answers our prayers and that He wants us to come to Him in prayer continually. ‘They’ are God’s people and they are obeying His words by coming to Him in forgiveness seeking His will. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)
* Language Classes: 1:00pm - 2:50pm Pre-K to 12th grade. 10:00am - 11:50am, Pre-K to 1st grade. * Cultural Classes: 3:00pm - 3:50pm Chinese calligraphy, painting, folk dance, martial arts, Chinese yo-yo, abacus & more. * 33 years of Excellence in Education. * Choice of Simplified or Traditional Chinese Characters. * High School Foreign Language Credit. * Online Registration Begins May 2nd, 2009.
Pictured left - Bob Brockman with NDOP Organizer LizBeth Fletcher. Far left to right - Tricia Piquero from 110 degrees mag, singer/songwriter Lanisa Keith and Pastor Dave Shields. Pictured right at top- Antioch’s Mayor Jim Davis, just below to left,Pastor Kirkland Smith and far right, Pastor Larry and Karla Adams.
“Love God, Love people” Philippians 4:4 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Birthright of Brentwood is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to help women who are pregnant and families with young children who are in need of support. Birthright is not associated with any religious or political organization. Our mission is to help women & families in the East County. Call 925.634.1275 for assistance or information. Learn more about the Birthright organization at our International website, birthright. org.
Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s
The Sound of Music Friday, June 26, 2009 8:00pm El Campanil Theatre 602 W. Second Street Antioch The Vagabond Players, in collaboration with the El Campanil Children’s Theatre, present this family friendly musical theatre classic. A favorite with audiences since its first appearance on Broadway in 1959, this show is inspired by the autobiographical book “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” written by Maria von Trapp. All proceeds will go to support Birthright of Brentwood. General Admission for the play will be $15.00 and the doors open at 7:15pm for General Admission ticket holders. VIP admission is $30.00 and the doors open at 6:00pm for VIP ticket holders. Only 200 tickets available, includes first of choice seating, drinks, historical presentation by theatre manager, door prizes, a pre show performance, and more! Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Rose at 925.628.3785 or at the Box Office at 604 W. Second Street – Next to Theatre (M-F 10-3) and 1 hour before Showtime or by phone at 925.757.9500 or online at www.elcampaniltheatre.com/birthright.htm
America’s Good News
World News Briefs Obama addresses abortion controversy at Notre Dame SOUTH BEND, IN - President Barack Obama is expressing some willingness to offer conscience exemptions to healthcare providers who believe abortion is wrong. In a commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, Obama said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause.” He offered no details on how broad that might be. The President said he and other people of faith can never know for sure what God wants, and that element of doubt should make them “wary of too much self-righteousness.” The Catholic university’s president, John Jenkins, emphasized in his introduction that Notre Dame opposes Obama’s “policies on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.” Dozens of U.S. bishops said that should have prevented Notre Dame from inviting Obama to speak and presenting him with an honorary degree. Meanwhile, nearly 40 people were arrested amid protests over Obama’s address at Notre Dame. Hundreds converged on the Indiana school’s front gates to protest the President’s support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research. During the ceremony itself, at least three protesters interrupted as Obama began his address, one yelling, “Stop killing our children.” The graduates responded by chanting “Yes we can” -- the slogan that became synonymous with Obama’s presidential campaign. Eric Scheidler, a spokesman for the Pro-Life Action League, was among the pro-life protesters in South Bend. “I think all Americans can be proud of how well our First Amendment is being expressed and respected here at the University of Notre Dame today,” he shared. He described the school’s honoring of the President as a “scandal.” Among those arrested outside was Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as “Roe” in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. She’s now a Christian who opposes abortion. Bishop John D’Arcy, whose diocese includes Notre Dame, joined a peaceful prayer protest by students, calling them “heroes.”
Copyright 2007 American Family News Network - Used by permission."
Ministry leader laments Bible destruction in Afghanistan Allie Martin - OneNewsNow The president of a ministry that tracks worldwide persecution against Christians finds it disturbing that the U.S. government would destroy Bibles sent to troops in Afghanistan. As previously reported, Bibles in Afghan languages that were sent to a soldier at a base in Afghanistan were destroyed to ensure troops did not try to evangelize the locals. The Bibles were sent to the soldier by his church back home. He took them to a Bible study class, which was filmed and shown on Al Jazeera television. During an interview with Mission Network News, Open Doors USA president Dr. Carl Moeller said it is shocking to read about the United States government destroying Bibles. “I think it goes way beyond necessity to actually have to destroy those Bibles,” he contends. “There are certainly many organizations that could put them to very good use -- and anytime you see a Bible destroyed, it really should shake the core of every Christian to realize that this is the kind of desecration that can happen to God’s Word.” U.S. Central Command’s General Order Number 1 forbids troops on active duty -- including all those based in Iraq and Afghanistan -from trying to convert people to another religion.
Christians regain free-speech rights at Mt. Rushmore Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is appealing a free-speech case involving federal parks. In 2007, Michael Boardley and a few others passed out gospel tracts near the front entrance of Mt. Rushmore, only to be told on the second day that they could not do so without a permit. Park rangers said applying for and receiving the permit would take two days. Because of time constraints, Boardley’s party returned home. ADF attorney Heather Gebelin Hacker continues the story. “When he got home, he tried to apply for a permit. He contacted the ranger’s office several times, and they never responded to him,” she explains. “They never sent him a permit. And in fact, they actually didn’t give him a permit until after we filed the lawsuit.” Hacker finds it unbelievable that the National Park Service would be denying freedom of speech, especially at the foot of Mt. Rushmore, where she says four men who represent America’s freedoms are immortalized. “You know, the First Amendment is our permit to engage in free speech on public property, and Christians and everyone else should not have to get the government’s permission before they exercise their fundamental constitutional rights, especially in such a small-scale way,” she adds. Ironically, national parks in Washington, DC, do not require permits for groups with fewer than 25 members.
Coming to the Contra Costa Ministers Conference in June Wednesday, June 24, 2009 The Nines at Brentwood Golf Course 100 Summerset Dr., Brentwood 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM
Captain Jacqueline Vaughnes-Smith The Salvation Army, Western Territory
“In this work that we do, it would be easy to give up at every turn. In this time that we live, we deal almost every day with those who are discouraged and are ready to give up. With our limited resources, it’s no secret that we have to turn away almost as many as we can help...and I get tired sometimes…but I have a secret that keeps me day by day… they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 I stand waiting every day of my life...and God makes sure that every day, I am able to ‘mount up’! I shall never let go of His hand!” Jacqueline Vaughnes-Smith was a manager and buyer for Macy’s California and Macy’s Corporate for 20 years before retiring and starting her second career in ministry, in 1993. She bought for 31 stores and managed a $12 million dollar annual budget for Macy’s, little realizing that God was preparing her for ministry in His army. In 1993, Jacqueline became pastor of the Tri-Cities Corp of the Salvation Army Church in Newark. She then became a Corp officer and Pastor in Sacramento before coming to Antioch in 1999. For the last 10 years, Captain Jackie Smith has served the community as Pastor and community leader, doing all that she can to meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of East County’s disadvantaged people. The Salvation Army was a church before it became a social service agency. General William Booth founded it in England in 1865, as The Christian Mission. The Salvation Army Church is an evangelical Christian organization that devotes thousands of volunteer hours to disaster relief, social services and other charitable causes. We are delighted to have Captain Jackie Smith deliver the keynote address at the next Contra Costa Ministers Conference. If you are in ministry or in any area of community outreach and would like to attend, contact Ron or Pat Reagan at 925-240-1242 or email pmreagan11@ comcast.net Please RSVP by June 19th
America’s Good News
“I’m An Atheist... Thank God!” by Rev. Austin Miles The above quote was spoken by Madalyn Murray O’Hair to a writer who had asked her if she truly did not believe in God; another subtle reminder that down deep, every person on earth instinctively knows that God exists. The atheists themselves unintentionally prove that God exists by having declared war on Him, and [in] their determination to wipe Him off the face of the earth--which would prove difficult if He didn’t exist as they claim. Ten years ago, I was asked by a home caregiver to speak to an atheist in his care who lived in Danville. The patient’s name was Steve and when his Christian caregiver, Jamie Just, told him about me, Steve said that he would like to have me visit. Steve was dying of cancer. His body was skeletal and nothing inside him worked correctly. His condition was so severe that it was amazing that he was even alive. After being introduced he quickly said, “You know of course that I’m an atheist.” “I can understand that,” I responded. “There was a time I almost took that path myself but some extraordinary things happened to bring me back to God.” “Well just understand that you’re not going to convert me,” he said. “I’m not going to try to,” I answered. We talked about many things, got along well, and before I left, he said that he would like for me to come by and visit him the next day. The visits became daily events. On one of those days I said to him, “I’m sorry I’m late Steve. You know, I have some health problems of my own and had to have an Echo test taken to observe my heart before coming. When I was hooked up I could see my actual heart beating on the TV monitor that had been set up. “The doctor turned up the sound of
my badly functioning heart which was fascinating to watch and hear. As I looked at that screen and saw my heart in action I marveled! That heart was beating steadily. There was no battery or electric power. Yet that heart, that has kept me alive for over 60 years, constantly pumps blood through an incredible network of veins to every area of my body including my brain with its millions of circuits, cells and connections...and again Steve....with no electrical or any other power force....it is all natural. “Y’know Steve...you were an engineer, and I’m told that you were one of the best...yet you could never design anything like this that works by itself, independent of any earthly power source. Einstein himself could never have designed something like this. Only God could.” Steve broke down crying. He suddenly was able to see the reality of God, who very much exists. To the astonishment of his sister, in whose home he was staying, Steve gave his heart to Jesus. As he did, his whole countenance changed. He asked me to read him Scriptures. Steve passed away a few days later. I was with him as he died. They had taken him to the hospital and the hospital notified me that he would be dead within a couple of hours. I got over there in record time. I believe that there was only one reason he continued to live in that corpselike body when he logically should have died much earlier. Like many, Steve, who sternly identified himself as an atheist, and was outspoken about his unbelief in God, was not truly convinced in his heart that God did not exist and no doubt asked himself....”What if?” As soon as he could no longer deny the existence of God, and accepted Jesus as his Savior, he was able
“Einstein himself could never have designed something like this. Only God could.”
to depart this earth in olent Universe;” peace. (Pay close atten Our Creator has tion to the last given every human two lines which ~ Rev. Austin Miles being an instinctive desays it all); sire to find Him. This is the empty space in“Scientists have side [that] everyone feels, and that empty narrowed down the mystery of creation. space can only be filled by Jesus, the same All that seems to be necessary is some yesterday, today and forever. St. Augushydrogen gas at the beginning. We undertine wrote in the beginning of his book, stand how the hydrogen condenses into a The Confessions, “My soul is restless first generation of stars, how these stars until it rests in thee, Oh Lord my God.” cook heavier elements in their interiors, Steve had clung to life while inwardly how these heavy elements are spewed insisting that his question about God be out in supernova and other explosions to clearly answered one way or the other. It enrich the interstellar medium, and how was. After finally settling the perplexsubsequent generations of stars and planing question that had plagued him for so ets form from the hydrogen and heavier long, Steve felt genuinely fulfilled for elements...And yet there’s this beguiling the first time in his life. He then made his problem: Where did the original hydrogen exit in victory. come from?” (Italics mine) The defense One has only to examine thoroughly rests its case. the human body to realize that only God could create the human race. Study the survival instincts of animals, the perfect harmony of the planets...or look up and At the time Rev. Austin Miles visited think about space. It has no boundaries.. Steve, he wondered why God had not it is neverending, it goes on...and on....and answered his prayer to heal his heart. on....forever. There is no end! Nobody This prayer was not unanswered, but was can comprehend such vast neverending put on hold for that exact moment when he space. How can this be possible? But it is could share his heart problem with Steve out there, nonetheless, for all to see along which stimulated the conversation that with a myriad of other mysteries of God. broke through the barrier which brought The atheist scientists offer their Steve the atheist to God. A few days later, answers hoping to disprove God. The on a holiday, the hospital called Rev. world was not, they say, a Divine creation. Miles and asked him to come in right There was one moment in time (note: the away for another Echo examination. The concept of time did not exist until God startled doctors and nurses declared that created the earth) when a gigantic sponhis heart had not only ‘changed’, but that taneous combustion that they call, ‘The the right side of the heart, the one most Big Bang’ created the world and all that damaged, was like a brand new heart. would inhabit it. It all just randomly fell into place following the explosion. Carl Sagan explained this in his book, “The Vi-
CAMINANDO A LA NUEVA JERUSALEM Hay algo Nuevo en cada dia? by Juan Prieto Vanidad de vanidades, dijo el Predicador; vanidad de vanidades, todo es vanidad. Que provecho tiene el hombre de todo su trabajo con que se afana debajo del sol? Generacion va y generacion viene; mas la tierra siempre permanece. Eclesiastes 1: 1-4 Quizas al inicio de cada dia nos sintamos como el excelso rey Salomon, al ver el mecanismo de cada dia y desesperar, al buscar respuestas y no encontrarla alentadora, al encontrar que nuestra sabiduria no es suficiente, ver los acontecimientos de la vida y no se hacen apetecibles para digerir, con las malas nuevas de cada dia. Quizas necesitemos un aditivo para arrancar las actividades cotidianas, una taza de te o de café, un suplemento vitaminico, o una bebida energetizante, o quizas un antidepresivo, sera todo esto porque estamos conformes y felices? Quizas como Salomon estamos en la conclusion de la futilidad y falta de sentido de la vida? Estmos siendo envueltos en la profunda amargura, barnizada con cinismo? Como podemos encontrar la respuesta, como la encontro el rey Salomon, antes que sea demasiado tarde, hay alguna esperanza, a la mano? Quizas esta pensando de todos esos tiempos pasados, en los cuales no resultaron como Usted lo esperaba, quiza piensa que el potencial de su vida se ha perdido? Quizas lo tuvo todo, pero ahora es diferente, ayer fue y ahora no es, como lo escribio el rey Salomon. Sale el sol, y se pone el sol, y se apresura a volver al lugar donde se levanta. El viento tira hacia el sur, y rodea al norte; va girnado de continuo, y a sus giros vuelve el viento de nuevo. Los rios todos van al mar, y el mar no se llena; al lugar de donde los rios vinieron, alli vuelven para correr de nuevo. Eclesiastes 1: 5,6,7 El rey Salomon un observador y estudioso de la naturaleza encontro con asombro de la semejanza de los ciclos de la naturaleza con los ciclos de la vida humana, con ,lleva a ser solamente una repeticion constante sin proposito alguno, o hay un transfondo DIVINO en el cual esta secuencia sera terminada. Que es lo que fue? Lo mismo que sera. Que es lo que ha sido hecho? Lo mismo que se hara; y nada hay nuevo debajo del sol. Eclesiastes 1: 9 Quizas estamos sintiendo la misma angustia del rey Salomon, quizas nuestra vida espritual, no esta en concordancia con los designios de DIOS, o aun mas quiza vivimos sin el conocimiento de DIOS o de su existencia. Hay algo nuevo debajo del sol?
Donde a cada dia vemos con mas desesperacion como la tierra gime de dolor, la naturaleza sufre los estragos del humano, pues no hemos sidos buenos cuidadores de esta maravillosa herencia celestial, asi como dia a dia vemos hermanos contra hermanos, familias destruidas, por la sombra de la muerte, al fin y al cabo toda vida es absorbida por la muerte, quien nos puede ayudar en este misterio sin igual? Recordemos al igual que el rey Salomon, que hay un ser que puede responder a nuestras preguntas mas sencillas o mas profundas, porque si! hay algo nuevo bajo el sol, saber y conocer que hay solucion, total y perfecta para todos nuestros problemas y aun dilema Acerca de la misma muerte, pues: Juan 14:6 Jesus le dijo: Yo soy el camino, y la verdad, y la vida; nadie viene al Padre, sino por mi. Juan 10:7 Volvio, pues, Jesus a decirles: De cierto, de cierto os digo: Yo soy la puerta de las ovejas. Juan 6:47, De cierto, de cierto os digo: El que cree en mi, tiene vida eterna. Yo soy el pan de vida. Con la muerte y resureccion de Jesus, sabemos que la muerte no es el fin de todo, sino que podemos llegar a vivir por la eternidad, sin preocuparnos de los ciclos naturales o humanos como lo observo el rey Salomon, estamos dispuestos a aceptar la recompensa mencionada, en articulos pasados? Apocalipsis 21:1,2,3,4 Vi un cielo nuevo y una tierra nueva; porque el primer cielo y la primera tierra pasaron, y el mar ya no existia mas. Y yo Juan vi la santa ciudad la Nueva Jerusalen, descender del cielo, de DIOS, dispuesta como una esposa ataviada para su marido. Y oi una gran voz del cielo que decia: He aqui el tabernaculo de DIOS con los hombres, y El morara con ellos; y ellos seran su pueblo, y DIOS mismo estara con ellos como su DIOS. Enjugara DIOS toda lagrima de los ojos de ellos; y ya no habra muerte, ni habra mas llanto, ni el clamor, ni el dolor; porque las primeras cosas pasaron. Querido lector, rectifique como lo hizo el rey Salomon, y acepte al SENOR JESUS, como su unico redentor y Salvador en este mismo instante, postrese de rodillas y pidale que haga la obra en Usted, pues le esta esperando con brazos abiertos, pues es sus manos, pies y costado tiene las marcas del precio que ha pagado por Usted y por mi. MARANATA
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Let’s Look At The History This series has expanded due to the vast amount of information required to cover this subject matter. We hope that it is a blessing to you and is also giving you a better understanding of the Middle East. Let’s Look at the History Part 5 The War of Independence - 1948 War, (the ‘Nakba’) – The War of Independence, or 1948 War is divided into the pre-independence period, and the post-independence period. Clashes between Israeli underground groups and Arab irregulars began almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution. During this time, Arab countries did not invade, though the Jordan legion did assist in the attack against Gush Etzion, a small block of settlements in the territory allocated to the Palestinian state, south of Jerusalem. Pre-Independence - During the period before Israeli independence was declared, two armies of Arab irregular volunteers, led by Haj Amin El Husseini in the Jerusalem area, and by Fawzi El Kaukji in Galilee, placed their fighters in Arab towns and conducted various aggressive operations against the Jewish towns and villages under the eyes of the British. Kaukji and his irregulars were allowed into Palestine from Syria by the British, with the agreement that he would not engage in military actions. But he soon broke the agreement and attacked across Galilee. The Arab irregulars were met by the Zionist underground army, the Haganah, and by the underground groups of the “dissident” factions, Irgun and Lehi. In Jerusalem, Arab riots broke out on November 30 and December 1, 1947. Palestinian irregulars cut off the supply of food, water and fuel to Jerusalem during a long siege that began in late 1947. Fighting and violence broke out immediately
On May 14, 1948, the Jews proclaimed the independent State of Israel, and the British withdrew from Palestine. In the following days and weeks, neighboring Arab nations invaded Palestine and Israel.
throughout the country, including ambushes of transportation, the Jerusalem blockade, riots such as the Haifa refinery riots, and massacres that took place at Gush Etzion (by Palestinians) and in Deir Yassin (by Jews). Arab Palestinians began leaving their towns and villages to escape the fighting. The Haganah mounted its first full scale operation, Operation Nahshon, using 1,500 troops. It attacked the Arab villages of Qoloniyah and Qastel, occupied by Arab irregular forces after the villagers had fled, on the road to Jerusalem and temporarily broke the siege, allowing convoys of supplies to reach the city. Qastel fell on April 8, and the key Palestinian military commander, Abdel Khader Al-Husseini was killed there. Qoloniyeh fell on April 11. In the north, Fawzi ElKaukji’s “Salvation Army” was beaten back at the battle of Mishmar Haemeq on April 12, 1948. These successes helped convince US President Truman that the Jews would not be overrun by Arab forces, and he abandoned the trusteeship proposal that the US had put before the UN earlier. Following attacks by Arab irregulars, the Irgun attacked the Arab town of Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv. The Arab Invasion - The governments of neighboring Arab states were more reluctant than is generally assumed to enter the war against Israel, despite bellicose declarations. However, fear of
popular pressure combined with fear that other Arab states would gain an advantage over them by fighting in Palestine, helped sway Syria, Jordan and Egypt to go to war. While officially they were fighting according to one plan, in fact there was little coordination between them. On May 14, 1948, the Jews proclaimed the independent State of Israel, and the British withdrew from Palestine. In the following days and weeks, neighboring Arab nations invaded Palestine and Israel. The fighting was conducted in several brief periods, punctuated by cease fire agreements (truces were declared June 11 to July 8, 1948 and July 19-October 15, 1948). The Arab Legion blocked convoys to besieged Jewish Jerusalem from its fortified positions in Latroun. Jerusalem was to have been internationalized according to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 and UN General Assembly Resolution 303. The Jordanian positions at Latroun could not be overcome despite several bloody attacks. To get around it, the Israelis ultimately built a “Burma Road’ that was completed in June of 1948 and broke the siege of Jerusalem. The first cease fire and the Altalena. A cease-fire in June gave all sides time to regroup and reorganize. This marked
Saed & Linda Awwad
a critical stage in the fighting. The Arab side made a crucial error in accepting the truce. The Israelis took advantage of the cease-fire to reorganize and recruit and train soldiers. They were now able to bring in large shiploads of arms, despite the treaty terms, and to train and organize a real fighting force of 60,000 troops, giving them a real advantage in troops and armament for the first time. The truce probably saved Jerusalem, which had been on the brink of starvation. During the long truce, the underground armies of the Haganah, Palmah, Irgun and Lehi were amalgamated into a single national fighting force, the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The revisionist Irgun movement attempted to bring a shipload of arms into Israel on a ship called the Altalena, in order to maintain a separate fighting force. Israeli PM Ben Gurion ordered the IDF to sink the Altalena when Irgun leader Menahem Begin refused to give up its cargo of arms. The Palestinians and Arabs did not use the time well. A large shipment of arms intended for the Palestinians was blocked by the IDF/Haganah and never reached Syria. Arab states were reluctant to commit more men to the struggle or to spend more money. Saed & Linda Awwad
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Does God Really Exist, Even in Me? YOU truly are a beautiful miracle of God and are proof that God exists in each of us.
By Joann Saporito The theme for this month’s newspaper is “does God really exist?” As I thought about this question and how to write a health related article that matched this theme, I could not help but think of a movie I saw years ago. The documentary was shown on PBS and was by Nova (1983). It was called “The Miracle of Life” and was an incredible presentation that showed the absolutely remarkable development of a baby from conception all the way through birth. Even as a young teenager I could not help walking away from the movie knowing there truly is a God, for I had learned it is amazing to even conceive. There are so many ways that development could go awry and a child might not be born healthy, could have some sort of anomaly or defect, or perhaps would even be called to heaven prior to being born. I found that just the journey inside mom’s belly takes God’s hand! This belief in God and his miracle of life continued and was only further
~ Joann Saporito enhanced when I entered nursing school and learned more about the innumerable ways that our bodies are put together and interact with each other. Truly the complexity of how one system acts alone is fascinating, but how its imbalance can affect either other systems or our bodies as a whole is truly mind-boggling. There remain many theorists who will try to prove there is no God without success. The “big bang theory”, for example, tries to rationalize the creation of earth from nothing rather than attributing it to our heavenly Father. For some folks, this thinking may make sense, for it is only human nature to desire to understand situations or circumstances-to know their inner workings. But believers know that with God all things are possible. Isn’t there a certain peace in that; in not needing to know how something works or how
it will come to pass but just believing it will be because the Bible tells us so? If you want to know if God really exists, you might want to rent this documentary. It is not rated so I would highly consider the age of those who view it, or maybe parents could watch it prior to sharing it with children. Although it is very educational, it really does have extremely clear, true-life photography (you will absolutely wonder how they possibly could have filmed that). It portrays literally the process of conception all the way through to a live birth. If you have any question as to whether God exists, I would encourage you to look all around you for there is proof everywhere that He does. From the myriad of
differences among us as individuals to all of the human sciences to the natural sciences and beyond, how can there possibly be any doubt? You may be asking what this has to do with health. Well, I wanted to take the chance to tell you, in case you had forgotten or did not know, that YOU truly are a beautiful miracle of God and are proof that God exists in each of us. My prayers and blessings go out to all of you and your families.
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Single Parenting by Andrew Pate Are Your Kids Attempting a Hostile Takeover? Not that discipline is by any means just a problem for the single parent, but there are special problems that can arise when a mother or father must fulfill both roles to parent their children. Here are some practical tips on how to “retake” your house if you have seen any signs that your children are trying to take over the home. Proverbs 20:7 reads, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” Also, Proverbs 31:28 (a) reads, “Her children rise up and call her blessed…” The first thing that we need to remember is that we are called to raise holy children. When we have children, we are called to be their teachers, mentors, and we are to correct them when they step outside the line. We are not called to be their friends, or their BFF (That’s Best Friends Forever; for all us out there over the age of 25). We are called to be their parent, and we need to realize that that’s okay. Many times we try to be their friends in order to help them through rough divorces, or the heart-breaking loss of their mother or father. While we should be friendly, being their friend doesn’t work; children need structure and consistency. So, the first rule is to be their parent, and this will help you in establishing and maintaining a clear set of expectations. The second step in restoring order is to develop a list of rules and consequences. When you are developing your rules, be sure to be detailed so that there is no room for “creative thinking” on the part of your child. Once you have created a detailed list of rules, move on to the consequences. Take the consequences seriously. You want to make the penalty for disobedience uncomfortable, but not so severe that you will not be willing to go through with it. For example, you have explained to little Suzie that if she throws a temper tantrum in the mall, you are going home. Little Suzie, despite your stern warning, throws a fit just as you notice a sale at Macys. I don’t know how they know, but kids seem to have an innate ability to disobey at the exact moment that you want to do something. If you are not willing to go through with a threat, do not make it. Not following through will show inconsistency and will confuse your children. To quickly address the issue of spanking as an effective form of discipline, allow me to share my opinion. A smack on the bottom, not the back, legs, or anywhere else, is a quick and effective way to refocus your younger children. As the saying goes, “A spanking at six avoids probation at 16!” I would say that as they get older, as was the case with me, losing privileges had a much greater and lasting impact. The third step is to prepare yourself for the execution of the new rules, and then lay down the law. As with anything new and undesired, you will receive resistance. Be prepared for many moments during the first couple of weeks where you will be given the chance to develop the Fruit of the Spirit, mainly patience, in your daily activities. It is important to note that when you are explaining the rules and consequences to your children, that you explain every detail so that they will fully understand what is expected of them. Finally, once you have established that you are the parent, have established the rules and consequences, and that they understand the rules and you have put them into motion, you must be consistent. If you are not consistent, nothing that you have worked for in the previous three steps will matter. Children need structure, boundaries and correction. Disciplining your children does not make you a bad parent, it makes you a loving one. In order to discipline in love, be sure that when the time comes for correction it is not done in anger. If needed, take a moment between the action and the discipline to ensure that you are in the proper place to administer the correction. I hope that this blessed you and that it helps you in your daily challenges. Single parents face many challenges, and I would like to take a moment and invite you to Families on Fire Ministries at Mountain View Christian Center. We meet every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at the MVCC Campus in room 14. You will find that families from every walk of life are here to share both their struggles and victories. Through Christian fellowship and Biblical teachings we can face any challenge a parent or family may have and gain victory through Jesus Christ. We can’t wait to meet you. Take care and God Bless. MVCC is located at 5000 Amaryllis St. in Oakley. Call 925-625-9570 for more info.
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Seeing my father by Jordan Koester Have you ever thought about what God looks like? This is a thought that actually comes to my mind pretty often. Now, I know the Bible says that, “…in the image of God has God made man,” (Gen 9:6) but what does that truly look like? Do I really look like God? Perhaps the question of “looks” is all wrong. After all, “God is spirit”, (John 4:24) right? Conceivably, our likeness to the Father is something very different than what we perceive through our sense of sight. Perhaps this mysterious creator of ours has a different form than the unique shape of a human. Ezekiel and John could not even accurately describe God when they had an encounter with Him. Instead, they used wondrous objects of the world to contrast His glory. The truth is that there are no human words to accurately describe the countenance of God. Now, with that being established where do we, as people in this world, get a glimpse of who God is? The Bible calls God, “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see.” (2 Timothy 6:15-16) With this truth recognized there are still so many signs of who God is. Paul so eloquently states, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen…” (Romans 1:20) Paul is warning those who deny God that they do have proof of who He is. Though God’s qualities are “invisible”, He is seen by man through His creation. Think of the beauty of the sun as it slides behind the moon in an eclipse. Take into account the exact tilt of the earth needed to correctly balance our atmosphere and way of life. Consider the dance of a male bird, made more stunning than the female version, as he seeks a mate. How about the way a giant wave crashes against the shore with a kind of groan from being held back with a precise limit? Take a look into the eyes of a husband who takes his wife’s hand in marriage. Spend some time and paint, draw a picture, solve a math problem, design clothes, cook a delicious meal or tell a wondrous story. Read a poem, have a cry, eat some chocolates, smell some flowers, walk along a beach, sing a song, laugh with joy, hug a loved one, share your heart, teach a concept, sail a boat, play a sport and when you do stop to reflect upon what is really at work. The animals of this world don’t solve equations or lead symphonies. In the human heart there is such emotion and power beyond that of any random happenstance. The things we do, movies we watch and stories we tell speak of who our God really is. God is found in the infinite intricacies of this world which are clearly seen by everyone. He is found with every human sense. God is not just experienced in these ways for there is a sense of His existence that is felt by His Spirit. Have you ever walked into the home of a strong family who serves God? Have you stepped foot into a church that seems to permeate a sweet scent of worship? These places are a place of warmth, welcoming, acceptance and love. They cannot be easily explained because they are fruits of a spiritual nature. These “fruits” are of course the defined literal fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) While these are exceptional things to know and study, they need to be materialized in the natural realm to better understand the true power of God. To better explain this I share the following story. Most of my life I held hatred in my heart for my uncle who molested me at the very young age of five. For 18 years of my life I thought I would never forgive him. I felt like I would only be filled with rage upon the very sight of him. However, a couple years ago at a men’s retreat we were asked to pray and seek God for a word to “unlock” the weekend. My word was forgiveness and I knew right away what had to be done. At the retreat I spoke out forgiveness towards my uncle. It was not even a month later that God led me to go to my uncle and forgive him face to face, on Thanksgiving of all times. This is not at all something that I could ever have done on my own. It was the power of God, a gift from God, and the complete revelation of God’s presence in my life that brought the whole change about. Well, I have shared a few ways that I have seen my Father in hopes to spur you to think of ways that you have seen Him as well. May your eyes be open to His many wonders in Christ. Jordan Josiah Koester firstname.lastname@example.org Call to Courage (Men’s Ministry) Young Adult’s Ministry (College Age) Sold Out Soldiers in Christ (High School and Junior High)
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Does God Exist? You Better Believe It! One man’s testimony of God’s existence by Will Byrns Trying to explain the existence of God and build a case for the defense of our Christian faith, known as ‘Apologetics’ in under 1000 words is not an easy task, but here it is, short and to the point. I would like to approach the argument for the existence of God in two ways; first analytical, and then on a more personal level. How do we know that several members of the Donner Party died crossing over the Sierra Nevada range in 1846? We weren’t there; we didn’t see it, so how do we know? We read it in history books and believe, correct? Now let’s go a little further back in time. How do we know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue? Well… again, history books, right? Let’s go back even further to the fall of Roman Empire, which occurred around 476 AD, and then back to the time when Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Yes, 44 BC, no argument here about this event taking place such a long time ago. History books also show us that in the year of 146 BC the Roman Empire ruled almost the entire region of the Mediterranean. We’re talking 146 BC here. The Romans were an advanced and very well educated civilization that documented their time in history extensively. We can look at all of the different Roman rulers that took on the role of Caesar as leaders over the empire for hundreds of years. Again, these truths are well documented in history books. Why is it that we believe all of these things written about the Roman
Why is it that we believe all of these things written about the Roman Empire and we find it so hard to believe that Jesus Christ walked the earth at that same time period and performed all of those miracles, signs and wonders that were also well documented in history?
Empire and we find it so hard to believe that Jesus Christ walked the earth at that same time period and performed all of those miracles, signs and wonders that were also well documented in history? The Bible is the oldest history book that we have as it goes back to the creation of our world. The Bible was written over the course of a 1600 year period by over 40 different authors. There are no contradictions, no errors and no one has ever been able to disprove any of the writings in it. The Bible documented each physical location that the children of Israel stayed when they wandered in the desert for forty years, during 1491 – 1451 BC before entering the promise land. Why did the Bible, (which is the word of God), go into so much detail about people wandering in the desert? God wanted to storybook real people and real places that would last for generations to come. He wanted to give you living testimonies about the consequences of sin, and the awesome truth of how His love, forgiveness and mercy, presents itself in our daily lives. It’s history… His Story! The Bible is not made up of perfect men and women that are to be worshipped and perceived as holier than thou. They are real people who once walked on this earth with real problems. Their lives truly show how God changed their hearts and
~ Will Byrns minds to reflect His perfect love. Time and time again the Bible reveals men and women in a broken state of despair and without hope. King David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart, but was also a man who was found guilty of murder. He came to the Lord in repentance and pleaded for forgiveness. The Lord heard his cries, forgave him and then continued to use him for His glory. We’re all sinners and the message of Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior and redeemer of our sins are consistent throughout the Bible. Years ago, before I knew the Lord, I found myself in a dark place, deep in sin and self indulgence. I was living in my own little world and it all came crashing down on me for several months. I hated myself and no longer wanted to live; I was ready to give up and had no hope. Just when I thought I could no longer bear the pain and agony of looking into the mirror at myself I cried out to the Lord for help. Remember, I did not believe in God at the time and I was 40 years old. For those of you who do not believe in God at this moment, let me tell you now that I’m just being real with
you. The Lord heard my prayers and God revealed to me that He is real; that He truly does exist! He forgave me of my sins and showed me how I could be made new in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! He showed me how to love myself again, that my mind could be transformed. Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. I have a new life now, filled with love, joy peace. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have struggles or hardships that I still have to go through, I do. But God is there to go through them with me. God has shown me how to truly love others, even those that have hurt me. All this is possible when you know Jesus as your personal Savior. If you are hurting and have no hope. If you want a new life, a life of joy, peace, strength and love. You have the opportunity to accept Christ into your life right now. Say this prayer with me. “God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. Teach me to walk in your ways Lord. I surrender my life to you and I trust in Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!”
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America’s Good News
Men of Vision and Purpose photo by Tim Vaughn
MEN... COME AND EXPERIENCE FREEDOM WITH MEN OF VISION AND PURPOSE. The worship team was on fire for the Lord at the last Men of Vision and Purpose meeting in May. A powerful set of songs included- “Can You Believe What The Lord Has Done For Me,” “The Enemies Camp,” and “Look What The Lord Has Done.” Every song that night spoke of the awesome ways that God has moved in our lives. The men gathered for fellowship early and feasted on Rib-Eye steaks. Pastor Joe Seeley opened up the meeting with these words of truth, “Hope you all enjoyed the steaks, but what we really need is the meat of God’s word, Amen!” Pastor Ken Seeley was the keynote speaker and brought out the beef in the Bible. He read through passages in the Book of Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7. “The man I was yesterday for you is not enough for today,” said Pastor Ken. “I try to give the Lord my best each day.” He encouraged men to stop thinking so logically all the time and to think more on the heavenly things. In his closing he referenced Matthew 7:24-27 and called the men to put God’s word into practice building their houses upon the rock. He preached with conviction and in a firm voice stated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Once again, men were lifted up, encouraged and were drawn closer to Jesus at the monthly gathering. Praise God. Men of Vision and Purpose meet the third Monday of every month at Mountain View Christian Center located at 5000 Amaryllis Street in Oakley, CA. For more info call 925-625-9570.
FIRST FAMILY CHURCH IS MOVING Isaiah 40:26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Daniel 2:47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” John 4:42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Great Pick Up Lines. In a day and age when all you ever get are sensational headlines and celebrities with their trashy bad behavior, it’s nice to know there is a magazine that covers inspiring stories about real people and real issues in our communities.
Pick up a copy today, and smile.
• Brentwood • Antioch
• Oakley • Discovery Bay • Pittsburg
“First Family Church is moving! June 7th will be our first Sunday @ our new facility, located @ 3415 Oakley Rd in Antioch. Our service times are @ 9 and 11 am. Come join us for our first Sunday in a new building. We are excited about this door that God has opened to First Family Church and hope that you will join us for this special occasion. You will hear a great biblically-focused message and contemporary music that will move you towards God’s heart. For more information call 925.706.1238 or email email@example.com We hope to see you there!”
America’s Good News
JESUS CELEBRATION 2009 Continued from cover story Over the past few years, the popularity and uniqueness of this event has spread all over the Bay Area and has attracted churches, musicians and people from as far away as San Francisco, San Jose, and Stockton. So what draws people to this event? These days everyone needs prayer whether it’s for themselves or loved ones Everyone in some way needs a hand up. This year’s focus is to teach people how to talk, listen and feel effective and empowered through prayer. Do you know a better way to experience a profound understanding of the wisdom and power of prayer than through a community grouped together in agreement as one? Bring your family and friends and enjoy all that this celebration offers. There will be informational ministry and business booths, and all sorts of music, worship, gospel, rap and contemporary. Mountain View Christian Center’s outreach program called “Helping Hands” will be distributing clothing for anyone in need. Children will be entertained with a play area and two puppet shows which will be shown in the morning and afternoon. Finally, don’t forget the “Free” community barbeque. If you want more information, desire to participate in this event, or want to register your ministry or business to set up an information booth, contact the organizational team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 925-625-9570.
John 17:23 (NIV) I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Matthew 18:19, (Amplified) “Again” I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever (anything and everything) they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
FROM MOUNTAIN VIEW CHRISTIAN CTR & TRINITY CHRISTIAN SCHOO
WE WISH TO THANK ALL OF THE SPONSORS THAT MADE THE EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA A BIG SUCCESS PLEASE SUPPORT THE BUSINESSES THAT GIVE TO OUR COMMUNITY
Grocery Canned Outlet Antioch Les Schwab – Oakley Got-A-Party – Brentwood Scoops / Play-n-café – Brentwood Mini Pony Club Pony – Up – Newcastle Straw Hat – Brentwood Wells Fargo – Brentwood United Rentals Black Bear Diner – Oakley Fremont Bank – Brentwood Ahern – Stockton Pulte Homes Hope for the heart - Hayward Charley’s Subs – Brentwood City of Oakley Shepherd’s Kitchen – Brentwo Philly Cheesesteak – Brentwood Liberty Uniﬁed School District Smart and Final – Brentwood Chuck E Cheese – Brentwood Oakley Police Dept. / Sheriffs Dept. Costco – Antioch Subway – Oakley Williams Sanitation – Brentwood Dellinger Concrete Mountain Mikes – Oakley Enchanted Parties – Antioch Helping Hands Ministry Gelato – Brentwood Trinity Christian School Ayer’s Easter Eggs Pete’s Coffee – Brentwood Hanoum Estates – Oakley Ofﬁce Max Food Maxx Brentwood
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for next year’s event please call 925-625-9570
d ood d
America’s Good News
Trinity Christian School A School with a higher calling By Geannine Mijares So what’s the difference? Is there a real discrepancy between the Christian school and other private and public schools? Is it tuition… uniforms? Is it the ability to choose who can and can’t join the student body? …so called, good kids / bad kids? Is it even the presence or absence of regular prayer and Bible classes? What are the core distinguishing factors that defi ne a Christian education? It all starts with the existence of the absolute, true God in the life of human kind. It all ends with defi nite answers about which people are in relation to Him and each other. Can it be that simple? Yes. The core distinctives are plain, but how they show themselves can get very complex. The educational philosophy of Trinity Christian Schools is based on a God centered view of truth as presented by the inspired Scripture of God in the Bible. (2 Tim. 3:16) That being the case, there are absolute answers that we give our students, to the questions that they have about God, themselves, each other and all of life. There is a defi nite “Yes” and “No” to choices and behaviors and a loving, just God who will keep us accountable. There is one who is higher than us, whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours, one who would cause us to wonder and explore in an adventure to know Him who is higher, going beyond the smartest and wisest of all people. An education without God centers on humans and ideas that humans come up with. Truth then becomes relative and every individual gets to decide what is right for him or herself. Without absolutes, real security goes out the door. Without a higher God, the human heart and mind hit a glass ceiling and get locked into systems where students have to settle for the best ideas and feelings that their human teachers can come up with. We believe that since God created and sustains all things through His only son Jesus Christ, the universe and all life are dynamically related to God and have the purpose of glorifying Him. (Col. 1:16) This is especially true of humankind who was made in God’s image, with the unique ability to know and communicate with God personally and voluntarily, being given authority over and responsibility for all other life on earth. (Gen. 1) Thus, it is necessary for humans to understand and view creation through faith in the truth of God’s word. We study history as record of God’s plans and purpose for humanity, being directed, infl uenced
and controlled by Him. The good and the bad of the human tale are directly related to obedience and disobedience to a Father God who displays His favor and disapproval of humans’ actions, a loving Father who makes a way for mercy and grace of His children. Every person who has ever existed has had a unique purpose in the story and plan written by Jesus to give prosperity, hope and a future. Science is the discovery of the purposeful design for all of creation. He amazingly and intricately ordered all of life. He gives it and takes it in His timing. He uses nature and story to describe Himself to us. We can know him personally. We can talk to Him and hear from Him. He gives us the ability to join Him in relationship, discovery, creating and the ordering of life. Thus we can refl ect who He is to each other. Without this faith, history and science are left for people alone to determine. The life of the student is as purposeful as their latest, greatest accomplishment alone. Life can be without meaning and signifi cance, turning to disparity and hopelessness. Science becomes relative to the last experiment and leaves explanations only to facts. We understand that humans are created with an ability to make choices. Due to the fact that the original humans chose sin over God’s instructions, human nature became sinful, making humans unable to relate to or honor God without the sacrifi ce of Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Jesus that humans are saved from this condition (2 Tim. 3:15). By receiving Jesus Christ and believing in His name, humans have the right to become children of God (John 1:12). For, in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col. 2:3) Thus we see the human goal as being transformed into Christ-like character and works by the power of God’s Holy Spirit unto eternity in God’s Kingdom. Students then must be discipled. We have got to give them instruction and not just leave them to their own devices, setting them up to face the lasting negative consequences to their wrong choices. We must be actively teaching them how to live right because there is a right way to live. Through Jesus they can gain forgiveness and restoration to right living and right relationships with each other. They can be blessed and be a blessing to our world. We know that they will make wrong choices and we support them in learning from their wrong and choosing right. They can look, sound and
Top right - Christian Seeley proudly displays the Second Grade Archangels banner. Below - Teachers Amber Urias and Cathy Humphrey with the ‘First and the Furious’ ﬁrst grade banner.
act like l o v e (Jesus) to those around them. Without this faith in education students are viewed as intrinsically good. If they are intrinsically good, they can be left alone to their own decisions, unsupervised and unchecked, without accountability. I think we can just turn on the news and see all of the ways how unchecked, undisciplined behavior is destroying our children. Life can be lived out with overwhelming unforgivable guilt and humans become free from the responsibility of the effects that their actions have on others. We are aware that it is by the Holy Spirit that humans have the power to live their purpose, do the supernatural works of Jesus, to love and to be self-disciplined. (2 Tim. 1:7, 2 Peter 1:3-4) We identify the Holy Spirit as the guide into all truth (John 16:12) and the transmitter of God’s wisdom. (1Cor. 2:6-16) Due to the fact that God has a purpose for every one of us and His ways are higher than ours, life can be impossible for us to do it right on our own; but we don’t have to. We have natural support from each other and supernatural support from the power of an all powerful God, through the Holy Spirit by the authority of Jesus Christ. We can be guided to truth and use His wisdom. Our students are given the strength to overcome anything they need through Jesus, who is their strength. Hope becomes played out and victories are seen. Students without the power of Jesus through the Holy Spirit, loose hope and give up when they realize that in certain circumstances, their best is not good enough. Their most reliable sources of wisdom and power and support become other human advice (lower than God’s), money, intimidation or other things that make them feel on top for the moment. The authority for such an education comes both from God’s commandment that children be taught to love God and place Him fi rst in their lives and also that parents are responsible for the total education and training of their children. (Deut. 6:6-9, Psalm 78:1-8, Eph. 6:1-4) At Trinity Christian Schools the process of edu-
cation is seen as a means used by the Holy Spirit to bring students into fellowship with God. Trinity Christian Schools are then able to work in partnership with families to provide this education. Parents must take responsibility for their children’s whole education. We are here to work with them and step up next to them in it, not to totally do it for them. This gives parents the rewards of training up their children and investing in how their children learn and grow. Other educational systems are now being given all authority and responsibility of children over to educators, disconnecting the family and alienating parents and children. We realize that students learn best in a safe, structured and loving environment where their unique God-given personalities and abilities are cherished and challenged, so that they may fulfi ll God’s total purpose for their lives both personally and universally. By faith, we strive to view our students in the way that God sees them, for with Him nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37) We view it as a necessity for students to interact with, be encouraged by, and to be taught through parent, teacher and peer role models. We recognize that it is important for students to live and work in Christian unity at home, in the church and in changing secular society, being able to effectively communicate and relate with others. (1 Cor. 12:12) We also see it as our duty to train our students to give their lives in love and service to God and to others for the sake of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and growing the Kingdom of God. (Mark 16:15) You are the parents of your children. Choose wisely for your kids. Wherever they go, know that the environment that they learn and grow in will mold hearts, minds, spirits, bodies and futures. If your family exists without God, we urge you to explore Him, consider a life with and without Him, and then make an informed choice. If your child’s education exists without God, we urge you to take responsibility for ensuring that it doesn’t. That means you have got to start teaching. You are the fi rst and most infl uential teacher your kids will ever have. Your child’s true life depends on it.
America’s Good News
Women of Worth The Irresistible Woman Of God By Pastor Kim
There is no relationship a lady can experience that is more fulfi lling than the relationship that exists between her and her Lord. It is being held in His everlasting arms that brings about healing from the damages that she has incurred in her pursuit of every other relationship. In His arms, she fi nds restoration. There will be times when she feels like a little girl, and in His presence she will climb into the lap of a loving father whose sound wisdom, counsel, and consistent love will insulate her from the adversary whom she must fi ght. Her father becomes her protector. He protects her by His spirit. He counsels her by His Word. He forgives her through His blood and she is safe in His arms. He is the solace that heals the feminine soul and renews her mind. He is the missing ingredient that adds validity to every other pursuit of her life. If she gains everything and fails to know Him, she has nothing at all. His love for her is so pure that she will fi nd no other like it. It is not predicated upon her performance or her appearance or her intellectual capacity. He has loved her before she was formed in the womb of her mother. His love is holy. It becomes the foundation that her character is built upon. The “Irresistible Woman” who knows the love of God is not desperate for the love of men because in His arms she has already found that for which her soul thirsts. Now, this is not to say that having Christ will fulfi ll every void that she has as a woman. But her satisfaction in His presence is so complete that it removes her far away from the desperate need for affection and affi rmation that leads other women to grope and grasp blindly in the night. She can run to Him in every crisis and know that He will not fail her, He will not desert her, He will not leave her, and He will not change. Strangely, women seem to possess some special ability to touch the heart of God. It is so powerful that Jeremiah, the ‘Weeping Prophet,’ who was known to be a man of great compassion, still found himself needing the intercessory power of women to touch the heart of God. He said, “Send for the women of mourning and let them take up a wailing” (Jeremiah 9:17). It’s as if he knows God’s ears are open to the cry of distressed women. It is not that God favors women over men, but the Lord looks out for his daughters and takes care of their needs. Jesus promises, “If you believe on me as the scripture has said, then out of your belly shall fl ow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). I then challenge you, in accordance of His word, to believe in Him. You have believed in others and have been disappointed. You have believed in others and have been rejected. But this is a promise from a man who cannot lie. The challenge is for the woman to believe in Him. If you will, there will be no drought in your heart, no dryness in your spirit, and no emptiness in your life, for God will quench your thirst with living water. There is no feeling as demanding as the thirst for water. Our bodies cannot do without water. Thirst is an incessant craving from the innermost parts of our being that will fi nd fulfi llment only as we lift to our mouths the cooling fl ow of refreshing water and drink deeply of it. It is this renewing, resuscitating feeling that God has promised the woman who believes in Him. Now, there are many women who have tried to quench their thirst in entrepreneurial pursuits, working feverishly to attain a position of power and fi nancial gain. There are many women whose beauty and curvaceous bodies have allowed them to choose any man whom they would like. They have jumped from bed to bed and from arm to arm trying to fi nd satisfaction in sexual engagements. There are even those ladies who are so romantically inclined that, although they fl ed from the temptations of promiscuity, they were vulnerable to any sign of affection to them from
Women of God At the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in San Francisco JUNE 18-20, 2009 Thursday-Friday-Saturday Conference Fees: 3-Day Conference (No Hotel Stay) — $63.00 for Thursday, Friday & Saturday One-Day Conference — $21.00 a day 3-Day Hotel Stay Conference — 2 per Room * $215.00 Per Lady/ 4 per Room * $125.00 Per Lady
(The required deposit due is half the price of the option picked) a male suitor. But there is something that every wise woman must understand. There is no human relationship that can quench the thirst of the soul like the touch of God. If you have been searching all your life for something that seems to evade you, if you have diligently pursued success and all of its many trappings and still there is an aching inside that reminds you something is missing, I would like to recommend the only thirst quencher that can satisfy the longing of the human soul, His name is Jesus. His arms are stretched wide, His voice is calm, His wisdom is stable, His counsel is sure and He will hold you through the night. Assistant Pastor, Kim Moreno - 5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley, CA 94561 Phone: 925-625-9570 Ext.103 Fax: 925-625-9003
Photo’s Courtesy: Juanita Dellinger Below- L to R, Shelby Seeley and Pastor Kim Moreno
Your Defining Moment in Life By Gina Dacus Young Women of Worth (YWOW) – The parking lot was overfl owing and the energy from the atmosphere spilled over onto O’Hara and Empire. The steady streams of cars were headed to YWOW, the teenage version of Women of Worth. My daughter and I found ourselves skipping towards the entrance in anticipation of the evening. There’s just something powerful that takes place when young people, especially our young ladies, come out to church with the intent of praise, worship and fellowship -- no texting, but actual talking. The idea that our teenage girls can come together with the intent of hanging out in the name of Jesus felt amazing. It has become more than an evening out for teens; it is a movement that is spreading across the Delta Region. The speaker for the evening was our very own Shelby Seeley. She opened up by talking to the teens about defi ning moments in life. While some of the young ladies may not have experienced a defi ning moment, Shelby reminded them that it would be unavoidable. There would be some point in their lives that each girl would be faced with a question that could completely change the direction of her life. She challenged each member of the audience to think about her
defi ning moment in life. Her pictorial model for the evening was the infamous Esther. In biblical times, Esther experienced her defi ning moment when she partook in what Women of Worth mimics a modern day beauty pageant. Even Worship Team after her transition to queen, Esther was L to R, Pastor Kim faced with revealing her true identity and Carol Mijares, possibly risking losing it all. Yet even in Jodi Burton, her adversity, Esther was willing to stand up Sondra Smith and boldly and say, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther Pam Gebrosky 4:16). As we all know, God honored the courageous choice that Esther made during her defi ning moment and granted her favor; the rest is history. As Shelby Seeley stated, take your rightful place. “ The adults in the “When you are walking right with God and audience were not left out of the equation. being obedient, He will give you favor with She exhorted the mothers by stating, “Mothmen and Him. Stand up and know who you ers, maybe your defi ning moment is lying all are. You’ll never be able to risk it all until night with your daughters and praying for you know that.” their very souls. The enemy has been silencSome may think that the type of chaling our mothers and lulling our daughters to lenge Esther faced was restricted to biblical sleep. “ times. Yet, it is in this day and this season, As we closed the evening out, each God is looking for Esther’s in the world. person left with an assignment. Whether we Who is willing to stand up in the midst of were to prepare for our defi ning moment or peer pressure? Who is willing to say no pray over those that would have them, the when the crew is saying yes? Who is willexpectation of fulfi lling God’s purpose was ing to break out of a group of conformity in apparent. As Shelby stated, “You are alive order to fulfi ll the defi ning moment predestoday in order to fulfi ll the purpose of God tined to occur. Shelby challenged our teens in this generation”. by stating, “Wake up daughters of God and
Author Gina Dacus http://ginadacus.typepad.com/
America’s Good News
Senior Moments Does God Really Exist? By Priscilla Stanley For once, wouldn’t you love to simply be shown the evidence for God’s existence? No one saying, “You just have to believe.” But first consider this. If a person opposes the possibility of there being a God, then any evidence can be explained away. If someone refuses to believe that our technology could ever bring about the ability to talk all over the world on a small phone that fits in a pocket. They see and hear it but it is still beyond their comprehension how it is possible, let alone how it works. Many don’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighs so heavily on their mind, is because God is pressing the issue. God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence before us. It is as if they can’t escape thinking about the possibility of God. It might be that the underlying reason they are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them. If you look throughout the Bible, Moses, Daniel and Isaiah all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God; but, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and you’re looking at him. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If
But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into your life.
came upon a you really knew me, man sitting you would know my on a park Father as well. From bench doing now on, you do an illicit act. know him and have He tried to seen him.” John get me to 14:6-7 come to him Jesus claimed but instead I attributes belongran the three ing only to God: to ~ Priscilla Stanley blocks home. be able to forgive If it were people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a not for my vision and apprehension that something was going to happen I would more abundant life and give them eterhave been looking at the flowers and nal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers catching bees. I would have been an open who focused people on their words, Jesus target for this predator. That night as I pointed people to himself. “ He said, “I prayed I became aware that it was God am the way, the truth, and the life, no one who warned me. From that day to today comes to the Father but through me. You I know God, Jesus Christ His son and the will seek me and find me when you seek Holy Spirit are with me always. me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 God sent his only son, Jesus Christ I experienced something when I was who died for us so we could be forgiven. nine years old that showed me that God Through Jesus you see God providing does exist and his son, Jesus Christ came a way for us to have a relationship with to free us if we believe. I had just come Him. Jesus proves a divine heart of love, out of church and was crossing the street meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. to enter the park which was a short cut Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, home. As I entered, I got a vision which he offers us a new life today. We can be I didn’t quite understand and a feelforgiven, fully accepted by God and loved ing of apprehension. Being a child that by God. loved flowers and holding bees I would This is your decision, to let God enter normally be doing just that as I walked through the park. But something made me your life or not. But if you want to be forgiven by God and come into a relationaware of an impending problem. I didn’t understand what it was and what made me ship with him, you can do so right now by asking him to forgive you and come into aware of it. Halfway through the park I
your life. If you want to do this, but aren’t sure how to put it into words, this may help: “Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. You know my life and that I need to be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me and come into my life. I want to know you. I want you in my life. Thank you that you want a relationship with me.” If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to their belief. The very fact that some attempt to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence. How do we know God exists? As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise Him.
America’s Good News
BOOK REVIEWS Finding an Unseen God
ALICIA BRITT CHOLE
By Jessie Christina Shanks Is there a Divine being truly overseeing the universe as we know it? And if so, how involved in our lives is this Divine being? Alicia Britt Chole does not join in the age old debates on this topic, but rather challenges the very foundation from which these questions have arisen in ‘Finding an Unseen God.’ And you won’t fi nd any dry philosophies or grandiose theories within the pages of this book. This is palpable, real life, and completely genuine. This is the fi rst time I have come across a non-Atheist earnestly validating Atheistic beliefs, I would say rare indeed. Chole’s depth of insight and approach left me thinking, “huh, I’ve never thought of it in that way before.” Not only was the read intellectually stimulating, but personally moving. Chole shares her journey, an Atheist not looking for a Divine being, who’s life becomes abruptly interrupted in one day. This is a story you want to read and will more than likely never forget! Chole makes use of every space, leaving out dull repetition and prolonged points. The 160 some page book is comprised with purpose behind every word and broken down into pleasantly short chapters. I personally was kept up during the night, unable to resist starting a new chapter. Chole offers more than a fresh perspective or new idea that only fades with the sun. What she respectively submits before you will make it clear if your belief system is livable. Placing my own beliefs next to her test was both terrifying and assuring. She speaks as one with experience, as she has lived from varying places across the spectrum of world beliefs. Her story telling abilities are captivating, sharing applicable details in unreservedly honest fashion. I have walked away from this book more informed, challenged, and wanting to read it all over again! Truth is dead. God never lived. Life is ﬁlled with pain. Death is the end of life. These beliefs formed Alicia Britt Chole’s worldview as a young woman. “I sincerely believed that there was no God,” she says. “As a young Atheist, I simply considered myself a realist who preferred unanswered questions over fairy tales.” Then one day, without warning, Alicia’s Atheistic worldview was shattered. Creatively written, Finding an Unseen God opens a window into Alicia’s surprising spiritual journey. With warmth, intellect, and compassion, Alicia invites us to carefully consider what we believe and do not believe, while she paints a vivid portrait of a God who relentlessly pursues even those who deny him. Four sample chapters, a free discussion guide and the video trailer for Finding an Unseen God: Reﬂections of a Former Atheist are available at www.truthportraits.com
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
FAMILY BBQ FOR EVERYONE COME JOIN IN ON THE FUN JULY 4TH AT VETERAN’S PARK (Brentwood)
MOUNTAIN VIEW CHRISTIAN CENTER
5000 Amaryllis St. Oakley, CA
OPEN: Sunday 7:45am—1pm Wednesday 5:30pm—9pm
Also open before and after most MVCC functions & special events. Come enjoy our full service coffee bar serving mochas, lattes and espresso drinks. Grab a candy bar or fresh baked pastry to complement your coffee. Then browse our books, clothing and gifts in the bookstore.
A Night Out hosted by Holy Grounds
Holy Grounds will be hosting a fun safe alternative to going out on a night on the town. We will transform into a lounge complete with comfy seats, coffee bar and snack shop. From karaoke to open mic night, A Night Out is sure to be fun for all ages. Join us for fun, friends and fellowship. Dates and times to be announced.
Families on Fire is having the Fourth of July Freedom Celebration at Veteran’s Park on Saturday July 4th. There will be a color guard, a pie bake off, games, B-B-Q, volleyball, bocce ball, horseshoes, and swimming. The time is from 11 am until 4 pm. The tickets are $8 for swimming and admission, or $5 for admission to the B-B-Q only. Open to the public, everyone’s welcome to come join us for Food, Fellowship and Fun! For tickets call Colter Andersen at 925-408-6261.
America’s Good News
SPORTS THE COACH’S CLIPBOARD by Coach Mike Mother’s Day has passed, and we’re coming up fast on Father’s Day. But, did you know about the millions of “other parents” out there? I’m talking about coaches. You know, those folks who have no spare time of their own because they’re teaching your sons and daughters how to run, swim, dive, shoot, catch, hit, score, and hopefully a whole gym-bag full of life lessons! Most coaches do a heck of a job. Granted, a few might stink, but that’s rare. Next to a parent, and possibly a youth pastor, there may never be another person who impacts a young boy or girl’s life, helps shape their future, and helps them mold their hopes and dreams... like a coach. And sometimes we have to be the parents... when the parents won’t. When I think back on the many coaches I’ve learned from, a few stand out. One was Dick Lawrence, who took my high school track team to a NJ state title, way back in 19... well, let’s just say a long time ago. He was “old school,” yet compassionate and caring, and in every way a great coach. When he moved away, a group of us piled into my Ford Falcon and drove hours up the Garden State Parkway to see him the next year, just to stay in touch. We loved that guy, and we realized he loved us as well. I’ll never forget the many times Coach Lawrence drove me home from practice, clearly out of his way, as he would do for some kids
COACHES – THE OTHER PARENTS Remember to find reasons for hope, in the face of defeat and struggle, and to have patience, for His glory.
coaching philosophy, on our team a philosophy that has who lived earned him a winning as far as 20 percentage near 90% miles away. and close to 500 high It was Coach school victories to date. Lawrence The crowd leaned in as who drove me Frank tossed out a single to the ER for sentence: “It’s not about X-rays after ~ Mike Ketchel X’s and O’s, it’s about I sprained Johnnies and Joes.” You my ankle at could’ve heard a pin a track meet. drop. So now, every time I drive a player home 3,000 coaches had paid to learn the after practice, or to a game, whose parents X’s and O’s of building a successful team may be working or busy, I think of Coach from one of the most successful coaches in Lawrence... and I smile. Fast forward years later. Right down the America, and he wasn’t talking about plays! Instead, he was talking about the players – street at De LaSalle High School, in Conthose boys and girls, young men and women, cord, you’ll fi nd one of the top high school who we, as coaches, have for only a short basketball coaches in the United States. time, but whose lives we will forever impact. Frank Allocco Sr. has built De LaSalle into a Speak with Frank Allocco a bit more and nationally ranked basketball powerhouse the you’ll also fi nd he is a man of faith who old-fashioned way, with a strong emphasis regards coaching as a ministry – a ministry on fundamentals and character. He’s won 3 state titles, 15 league titles, and has been Na- of service to others. Think about it. We coaches are in tional High School Coach of the Year. He’s ministry. Each of us who coaches has an also sent many student-athletes on to play opportunity, and a duty, to set a Christ-like successfully at the college level. Although example in all that we do, on the court and I know Coach Allocco well, last year I had off. We are those “other parents,” the ones the privilege of sitting in the audience at a our athletes see sometimes more than their Nike Coaching Clinic with colleagues from own parents during the season. It’s both a all over America while Frank laid out his
Frank Allocco powerful and wonderful responsibility. The best coaches among us will embrace that responsibility head-on, and live out a ministry of coaching, like Frank Allocco does, and as Dick Lawrence did years before. What example do your players see? PLAYBOOK – SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: “Therefore, be imitators of God... Walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us...” Ephesians 5:1-2 “Make your own attitude that of Jesus Christ...” Philippians 2:5 “We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation develops patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Romans 5: 3-4 GAMEPLAN: Coaches, make an effort to refl ect Christ’s love and attitude toward others in all you do as a coach. Remember to fi nd reasons for hope, in the face of defeat and struggle, and to have patience, for His glory. You and your players will be the big winners. Never forget that your are, indeed, “the other parents.” And parents, next time you see that coach working with your son or daughter, thank him or her for helping to develop your child into what he or she will someday be. Coach Mike Ketchel can be reached at 925-392-3835 or email: Mketchel@Athleticquest.net.
State Champs humbly reveal - Talent is Never Enough by Keoni Clifford “Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard”, was the motto for 2008-2009 U14 Boys, YGFC Alliance, Class 1 competition soccer team from East Diablo United Soccer Club. All the conditioning, (300 yard shuttles, sprints, speed work). All the strength training,(push ups, sit ups, lunges and the boys favorite exercise, squat jumps!). All the core exercises, the technical and tactical training, every one of these workouts played a huge role in the success that the team had this season, culminated by being crowned NorCal State Champions on May 9th, 2009. YGFC defeated the PAC Tigers 3-2 in Manteca. State Champions!!! My, that has a wonderful ring to it, doesn’t it? Especially if it pertains to you. But there is one very important workout I would like to talk about. Frankly, it continues to be the most vital part of our daily routine. I’m talking about prayer. The championship and the huge trophy was just icing on the cake that God so kindly blessed us with because He can. However the journey will always be remembered as a season of eternal treasures, a crown, trophy if you will, of hope and faith. Now, that doesn’t mean that everything went as smooth as silk or was absolutely perfect at all times, because it wasn’t. That’s what made the journey so beautiful. Being able to watch eighteen boys grow to become young men before my very eyes, some with similar backgrounds, but still individuals who dealt with similar issues differently has been a tremendous blessing in my life. A lot of these young men remind me of me. I’m able to relate to them on many levels and I thank God for that. But these young men do not just let anyone get close to them. You see, I had to earn their respect before I could demand respect from them. I had to humble myself fi rst. Isn’t it interesting that the world sees it differently? The world says
that “ I’m a grown up, I’m the man and these boys will respect me because I’m the adult”. But we forget that even our Lord, Jesus Christ, washed the feet of his disciples. Who do we think we are? Are we greater than he? I’ve learned that it doesn’t make me less of a man to say I’m sorry or to admit when I’m wrong, a message that I convey to these young men constantly. But I also tell them that at some point in your life you are going to wake up one day and realize that you have become a man, you have responsibilities, a job, car payment, rent or mortgage, children, etc…, and that it is important to take the sound advice that their parents have for them right now, which I reinforce constantly with them, and take it to heart. Because if you think that the rules your parents have for you are unbearable and you lash out in anger, unable to show self-control, how will you react when your boss at work enforces rules and regulations that you don’t agree with. Remember, you have more than just yourself to think about, you have responsibilities. But the most important advice that I can personally give them is the power of prayer. Now we pray at practice, games and anytime anyone needs prayer for themselves, their family and their friends. You see, all I have to do is plant the seed and keep watering it. It will grow. My bible says to “train up your children in the ways of the Lord so when they get older they will not depart from it”. I believe the word of God. It will not return void. This coming season’s motto is “Talent is Never Enough”. It is a concept from the author John Maxwell who proclaims that: “While talent is important, there are millions of talented people who have ability but never get to use it and never reach their potential because they lack the characteristics that separate successful people and unsuccessful people. Those who neglect to make
the right choices to release and maximize their talent continually under-perform. These choices may be as simple as being punctual, giving effort, showing patience, or being unselfish. None of these choices require talent but they sure enhance talent.” Below is a list of those choices and characteristics that enhance a person’s talent and advances them in life. I recently read this to my parents and players to instill a perseverance and an unrelenting passion to pursue the intangible that is eternal and everlasting, which will transcend the tangible, the physical. 1) Belief lifts your talent 2) Passion energizes your talent 3) Initiative activates your talent 4) Focus directs your talent 5) Preparation positions your talent 6) Practice sharpens your talent 7) Perseverance sustains your talent 8) Courage tests your talent 9) Teachability expands your talent 10) Character protects your talent 11) Relationships infl uence your talent 12) Responsibility strengthens your talent 13) Lastly, “Teamwork multiplies your talent.” Just think if one of these young men comes to understand that their talent alone is not enough and it becomes contagious and it spreads like a wildfi re throughout our team. Can you imagine if almost forty people, which includes players, parents and staff on our team, grasped this concept and bonded together to teach our children the aforementioned choices and characteristics daily. My bible says that,” one can put a thousand to fl ight, two can put ten-thousand.” Is there anyone out there who would like to tackle the spiritual multiplicity on forty people coming together; like-minded “in the name of Jesus”. Can you imagine if it touched a whole community, a city, how about a state? Even better, a nation and better still, the
State Champs- Young Guns Football Club (YGFC) Alliance world. You see, we have to start somewhere. We cannot continue to watch from the sidelines. We have to get in the game. We have to pray with our children and our family daily. It starts at home. Discipline and respect for others starts at home. Finally, the greatest moment of the season for me this past year was when we were getting ready to play a semi-fi nal match at one of the tournaments we entered and I got sidetracked on the time. Well the referee blew the whistle because he wanted to start the game and we always pray before the game. Being pressed for time, I rattled off the starting line up and told everyone to “get to your positions”. I started to walk off the fi eld and had almost reached the sideline when I suddenly became aware that I was alone. You see, there was a loud shout from the center of the fi eld and I turned around to face it. There was our team waiting at mid-fi eld and I thought to myself, “What the heck are they doing?” The team shouted,” Hey, Coach aren’t you going to pray for us!” I looked up and pointed to the sky and said to God, “You Good, all the time!” I ran out to the center of the fi eld, we prayed and gave glory to God; and the rest as they say, “is history.”
America’s Good News
John 1:1-5 The Word Became Flesh In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
If you are interested in having your church listed on the Worship services page, call Ron or Pat Reagan at 925-240-1242 Bread of Life Community Church
Rev. Edward L. Riley 1923 Delta Road, Knightsen 925-625-9081 - www.bolcc.net email: email@example.com
Church on the Rock
Pastor Lin Goodyear 9:30am Traditional 11:00am Contemporary 50 Walton Lane (off Lone Tree) Antioch, CA 94509 925-706-2842
The Light Ministries
Pastor Larry Roper 405 West 6th Street Antioch, CA 94509 925-778-1639
Agape Bible Fellowship & Ministries Inc.
Pastor: Dr. John Ojewole Pizzazz Event Center 640 W. 2nd Street Antioch, CA 94509 Tel. 925-265-1134/ 848-6240 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.agapebfm.org Sunday Bible Study: 10:00AM Sunday Worship: 11:00AM Prayer fellowship: Tuesdays 7PM Youth Ministry: Fridays 6:30PM
Our Father’s House
Apostle Larry Johnson 2980 Railroad Ave, 2nd floor Pittsburg, CA 925-457-3358 Fridays 7 pm, Sundays @ 10 am & 5 pm
New Lifeline Ministries 4246 Empire Ave. Oakley Sunday service 10am Wed. Bible Study 7:30pm 925-625-1982
Destiny Christian Center
Bishop Gregory Bell Sunday 10:30am Service Wed Worship & Study 7:30pm 132 O’Hara Av. Oakley 925-679-1361
Byron Middle School Gym 9 am Children/Teen Sun Sch. & Nursery 9:15am Adult Sunday School ~ 10:30 am High School “Hang Time” ~ 6:30 pm Tue. Bible Study ~ 10 am Wednesdays Pastor Jim Kraft ~ 634-0800 Office: 5545 Drakes Ct., Discovery Bay
Live Oak Community Christian Center
5471 Live Oak Av. Oakley 925-625-2556 Worship Services Sunday 10am Marriage Bible Study Mon 7:30pm Kingdom Men Tuesday 7:30pm Ladies Bible Study Tue 7:30pm Youth Group Wed 7:00pm Home Cell Groups Fri 7:30pm Saturday Morning prayer 8am
Christian Worship Center Location: Hilton Concord 1970 Diamond Blvd 94520 Sunday’s 10:00am starting Tuesday bible study 7:30 pm Mail to: 1145 2nd St. Ste A #161 Brentwood, CA 94513 ph# 925-265-2070
Grace Bible Fellowship Pastor Kirkland Smith Sunday 8am & 11:15am Tues 7pm Prayer Wed 6am 913 Sunset Dr. Antioch, CA 94509 925-522-2017
The Carpenter’s Shop Int’l Prs. Jerry and Penny Slavens P.O. Box 2083 Antioch, CA 94531 925-778-0800 925-778-0804 fax email@example.com www.thecarpentershop.org Saturday Service 11am - 1pm
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Catholic Church 500 Fairview Ave Brentwood Saturday Vigil 5:00, 6:30[sp] Sunday Masses 7:30, 9:00 and 12:30 Spanish 10:45 and 2:00 pm Daily 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM 925-634-4156 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unity on the Delta
Pastor Robert Waldon Sunday Service - 10:00am 50 Sand Creek Road, Ste. 140 Brentwood, CA 94513 Ph - 925-754-5343
Lighthouse Christian Center 1210 Stoneman Ave Pittsburg, Ca 94565 (925) 432-3808 Pastors Jason & Peggy Younger Sundays 9:30 & 11:15am Wednesday: Prayer & Healing Service 7:00pm
Fountain of Life Church
Pastor: Ronald Mixon 111 W. 10th St. Antioch, CA 94509 Next to Antioch City Park on A St. (925) 755-8779 E-mail: email@example.com www.thefountainoflifechurch.org Sunday Worship:10:00AM Wednesday: Intercessory Prayer: 7-7:30PM Bible Study:7:30-8:30PM
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Faith Worship Center
Anthony E. Blackman, Sr. Pastor 2170 Harbor St. Pittsburg, CA 94565 Service - Sundays 10:00am Wednesdays 7:00pm 925-427-0976
Christ Temple Full Faith Ministry Inc. Pastor Damon Pierson Worship service 1pm 101 West 9th St.Antioch CA 925-978-6273 Crossroads Christian Center Heritage High-Multipurpose Rm. 101 American Ave. Brentwood 925-516-7795 Sunday Service 10:30am Tuesday Bible Study 7pm Pastor Andrew G. Miley
Calvary Chapel Crossroads Pr. John Snoderly 1771 Vineyard Dr., Antioch Phone 925-778-2011 Services: Sundays at 10 AM
Bible Study: Wednesdays at 7 PM
www.cccrossroads.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Dave Perata Discovery Bay Elementary School SundayService10:00AM 1700 Willow Lake Road 925.626.3525
Mid week Bible Study Thursday 7PM 1555 River Lake Road in Discovery Bay
The Orchard Church
Heritage High School Theater 101 American Ave Brentwood Service at 10am Sundays Pastor Steve (925) 325-5020 theorchardchurch.com
The East Bay Pentecostals 605 Harvest Park Drive Brentwood, CA 94513 (925) 634-2012 Pastor Joel R. Bryant Sunday Services 10am & 5pm Wednesday Bible Study 7:30pm Friday Youth 7pm International Christian Ministry
Grace Lutheran Church 195 Alvarado Ave Pittsburg, CA 94565 Rev Tuma Johnson 550-5573
Mountain View Christian Center
5000 Amaryllis Oakley Ca 94561 925-625-9570 SERVICES Sundays 9am & 10:45am Sundays 5:00pm Spanish - Bilingual Wednesdays 7pm Soldiers in Christ - Jr. High Wed 7pm Souled Out - High sch. Wed 7pm
Rejoyce Christian Center
Pr. Kenny Ogunfunmi Sunday Service 10:30 AM 90 Village Dr. Brentwood 94513 925-628-5589 - 925-513-4535 fax email@example.com - email
Pastor Joe & Danille Hernandez Sundays 10AM Life Groups Youth and Kids Ministry 847 Arnold Dr. Martinez, CA 94553 925.335.9519 www.gatewaychurch.us
Outreach Ministries Birthright of Brentwood
Helping pregnant women facing personal crisis. Call 925-634-1275 with your tax deductible contribution.
Royal Family Kids Camp
4725 Evora Rd.Concord, CA www.rfkcconcord.com Rick Fuller, Director 925.207.7240
Family Life Center of Brentwood 605 Harvest Park Drive Brentwood, CA 94513 (925) 634-2016 Ministering to families in need: Homework Help, Social Services (Food Stamps, Healthy Families) Food Pantry, Clothing & More Thursdays at 7pm School of Theology Echo of Christ Ministries For
5000 Amaryllis St. Oakley more info on the conflict in the Middle Enroll Now and start studying the East - Call 866-317-3626 Word of Godwww.echoofchrist.org Contact Pastor Tyrone @ 925-625-9570
Minister Travis Mozeke Grace Bible Fellowship Overcomers 925.727.8788
Food & Clothing to those in need Every Wednesday 5:30 - 6:30pm 5000 Amaryllis St. in Oakley 925.625.9570
America’s Good News
“How Do You Know That God Exists?” By Susan Holmes The question of God’s existence has been echoing in the hearts and minds of mankind ever since Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. The Bible is clear that when man was first created he knew the answer to this question because in the book of Genesis we are told that Adam walked and talked with God. Adam had a personal relationship with his creator and questioning God’s existence was not a part of it, until the serpent started speaking words of doubt to Eve: “Did God really say?” The result of Adam and Eve listening to that first question started a chain reaction that still continues today. Every single person ever born on this earth since Adam and Eve has to answer the question of God’s existence in their own hearts. The correct answer to this question will help each one of us also know the answer to why we exist as well as determine where we will spend eternity. I personally became aware of the correct answer to this question in1976 when God opened the eyes of my understanding to not only His existence but also to the great love that He had for me. On May 26th, Holy Spirit took the blinders off of my eyes and I responded to the love of God by asking for forgiveness of my sins and asking Jesus to become my Lord and Savior. I now have a relationship with God and I know the reason for my existence is to walk and talk with Him and to introduce Him to everyone who
Say “YES” to Him and it will be the start of the beginning of the rest of your life with Him. You will walk and talk with Him for all of eternity.
I come in contact with, especially those in my family whom I love. As a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, sister, co-worker, acquaintance, stranger, I want everyone to know this love, healing, peace and joy that I now have that comes from having a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. While preparing for this article I asked several people this important question: “How do you know that God exists?” I know their answers will bless your heart as it did mine. Pastor Tyrone (my husband): “Because man was created in the image of God who is a creator, man is also a creator. Everything on this earth was created by either God or man. God gave man the wisdom to know how to create after Him. No other creature on earth can create like man can. They can reproduce and God gave them the instinct to exist on this earth. But they can’t create things that man has such as electricity, spaceships, airplanes, computers, and the list goes on and on. This to me proves that there is a God and He is who He says He is.” Brian (33 - my oldest son): “When I look around and see the complexities of life, I have to believe that there
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Good News Publishing USA Publisher - Pastors Hanoum / Dellinger Editor-In-Chief - Will Byrns Managing Editor - Susan Holmes Copy Editors - Julie Jackson & Cathy Huffman Reporters/Columnists Susan Holmes, Rev. Austin Miles Saed & Linda Awwad, Priscilla Stanley, Julie Jackson, Andrew Pate, Geannine Mijares, Juan Prieto, Diana Dobbie, and Don Kwong Distribution Manager - Frank Quiros Solano County Distribution - Jeanne B. Graphics - Will Byrns & Jake Carter
5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley CA 94561 ofc: (925) 625-9570 fax: 625-9003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Send releases, letters and reprint requests to the Email or address above. (c) Copyright 2008 Mountain View Christian Center. All rights reserved. - Member OneNewsNow Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Christian Newspaper Assoc.
America’s Good News covers Local, National and World news headlines and stories. The views and opinions expressed in this literature does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of America’s Good News.
is something greater involved. There are far too many details whether small or astronomical to believe that there isn’t a God. Also, I know ~Susan Holmes there is a God because of the many personal miracles that I have witnessed in my life and in the lives of my 4 daughters. I know that I know that God exists.” Joshua (9 - my youngest son): “Because of all of the miracles that He has done like part the Red Sea, turn water into wine, heal people and He raised up dead people and brought them back to life. He has also changed me! I use to be disobedient and had trouble with my mouth. But I prayed and Jesus helped me learn to control myself in many ways. God has challenged me to learn to be a better man of God.” Janessa (31 – daughter in law): “I have thought about this a lot and I always come back to the same answer. I look at the world and the many miracles in nature; evolution can’t explain them, so it had to be created by something more than Darwin’s theory. Just look at nature and see all of what God has created from the ocean to the rain forest and you will know that God exists.” Erica (27 –to be daughter in law): “I know that God exists because I feel Him!” Julianne (6): “Because He is up in heaven and he rose from the dead, and because I asked him to live in my heart.” Alexa (7): I believe in him because you have to accept him as your Savior.” Danielle (12): I pray to him every day, I read the Bible and I go to church. I have asked Jesus into my heart.” Ciana (12): “Because of the Bible, the scriptures and he’s helped me
through tough times.” Michael (10): “The Bible says that He died on the cross.” Anthony (5): “I had a dream, so I follow Him. I’ve always known it and He has helped me find my toys.” Jacob (9): “When I pray, He answers my prayers. I once lost a toy snake and the next day it was on the counter so I could find it.” Tyler (6): “I heard about Him because people say He’s real and I believe them. He’s answered my prayers by helping me get all A’s in school.” Cortney (18); “I asked Him to live in my heart. He has done things for me that I didn’t think possible like getting all A’s and overcoming circumstances and forgiving people.” Diane (34): “I see God in the world around me and all of the wonderful things that He has done in my life.” Cara (34): “In the past few years God has become so real in my life. He has provided for my family and answered my prayers. I know that He exists. I wouldn’t be where I am without Him”. These are just a few of the responses to this age old question. So now I would like to ask you my friend. Please stop and search your heart for the answer that can change your life forever. “How do YOU know that God exists?” If you honestly don’t know the answer and you sincerely would like to know the truth, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. I promise you that He does exist and He loves you more that you can even dare to dream that someone loves you. Stop and take a long hard look at His beautiful, awesome creation around you, then look in the mirror. He created the world for you to live in because He loves you and He created you because He wants to have a personal relationship with you through faith in Jesus Christ. Say “YES” to Him and it will be the start of the beginning of the rest of your life with Him. You will walk and talk with Him for all of eternity.
Espanol y Ingles r With Pasto Presencia de Dios Donde: Mountain View Joe Seeley Christian Center Lugar: 5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley CADA DOMINGO: 5 PM
for more info call 625-9570
Bilingual Service Spanish and English Presence of God Where: Mountain View Christian Center Location: 5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley EVERY SUNDAY 5:00PM
America’s Good News
Calendar Learn Chinese
Saturdays at Diablo Valley College, LA Building 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill *Language Classes: 1 - 2:50 pm Pre-K - 12th Grade *Cultural Classes: 3 - 3:50 pm Chinese Calligraphy, Painting, Chess, Knots, Yo-Yo, Folk Dance, Folk Singing, Abacus & Mental Math, Martial Arts, Handcrafts, Poetry Reading, Western Painting, AfterSchool Tutoring, Applied Conversation. *High School Foreign Language Credit *Adult Chinese Conversation Class for Beginners. For registration, please visit www.CoCoCs.org or email: email@example.com www.CoCoCs.org CCCS is 501(c) 3 nonprofit ID#: 68-0040243
Healthcare with Faith Communities Basic Preparatory Course for Parish Nurses June 7 -10, 2009 (Sunday – Wednesday) Mercy Center (Burlingame CA)
This course prepares participants to establish and grow Health Ministry within a faith community.
RNs will be awarded CEU’s and Faith Community Nurse Certificate for full participation. *Approved by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center and Ca. BRN for 36 CEU. For more information, please visit www.hmassoc.org or contact the Instructor: Marion DePuit, RN, BSN. FCN, Program Manager Faith and Health Partnership America Casillas - Assistant Community Health Alliance (925) 363-7588
‘All God’s Children’ Christian School Summer Festival Save the date, Saturday, June 27th 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm All God’s Children Christian School Summer Festival. Lots of family activities for all ages. Who doesn’t enjoy food, drinks, local vendors, karaoke, dancing, bouncy houses, and clowns. Don’t miss this event! Bring a chair and listen or grab someone to dance with as Take 2 Band plays songs from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. This event is sponsored by the industrious, dedicated and tireless Parents Club of All God’s Children Christian School in Discovery Bay. For more information regarding the festival, contact the Delta Community Presbyterian Church at 634-0184. Any businesses, vendors, private individuals, etc. wishing to donate goods or services please contact Jill Fernandez at 516-2116 or Shelly Lichlyter at 759-1096. Rogers and Hammerstein’s
Freedom Recovery Ministry “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may RECOVER themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” 2 TIMOTHY 2:25-26 Offers the following services: COUNSELING AND EDIFICATION - OVERCOMING STRONGHOLDS: 1)ANGER ISSUES 2)COMPULSIVE ADDICTIONS 3)RENEWING OF THE MIND MEN/WOMEN SUPPORT GROUPS BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION FOR LIVING & WALKING TRIUMPHANTLY IN CHRIST Freedom Recovery Ministry will be starting a NEW support group based on the WORD OF GOD at MVCC on every Friday, @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm starting Friday, January 30th 2009. It’s time to experience your Victory this year in 2009. Jesus is the KEY to tearing down strongholds. For more information contact: Pastor Tyrone Holmes @ 925 625-9570 ext 108
Delta Women’s Connection “Quilting 101” Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 11:30am to 1:00pm Luncheon, Program & Door Prizes $18.00 Inclusive At “Nines” Brentwood Golf Club 100 Summerset Dr. Brentwood Inspirational Speaker: Sharon Olson For reservations, call Dannette 925-684-7540 or Joyce 925-513-7644
Women Of Worth
Men of Vision
Proverbs 31:10 Monday - June 1st 7pm-8:15pm (doors open at 6:30pm) Mountain View Christian Center 5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley 925-625-9570
Every 3rd Monday Doors open 6:30-teaching at 7pm Sponsored by Mountain View Christian Center 5000 Amaryllis Street Oakley 20/10 Vision 925-625-9570
Relay For Life of Brentwood Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14 at Liberty High School , Ohmstede Field in downtown Brentwood . We are expecting over 2,000 participants to take part in this event and hope to top last year’s fundraising effort of $307,000. You can learn more about Relay by going to www.relayforlife.org/brentwoodca. Contact 925-634-1812 if you have questions about sponsorship, forming a team, volunteering on the day of the event or organizing pre-event fundraising at your place of business. Please join us as we become known as a community that has taken up the fight against cancer! Sincerely, David Wahl, Sponsorship Committee Chair Relay For Life of Brentwood 24 hours you’ll never forget. www.cancer.org - 1.800. ACS.2345 www.relayforlife.org/brentwoodca
The Sound of Music
The City of Oakley Decennial Celebration
PESENTED BY BIRTHRIGHT OF BRENTWOOD Call 925.634.1275 for assistance or information. Learn more about the Birthright organization at our International website birthright.org Friday, June 26, 2009 8:00pm El Campanil Theatre 602 W. Second Street Antioch General Admission for the play will be $15.00 and the doors open at 7:15pm for General Admission ticket holders. VIP admission is $30.00 and the doors open at 6:00pm for VIP ticket holders. Only 200 tickets available, includes first of choice seating, drinks, historical presentation by theatre manager, door prizes, a pre show performance, and more! Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Rose at 925.628.3785 or at the Box Office 604 W. Second Street – Next to Theatre (M-F 10-3) and 1 hour before Showtime or by phone at 925.757.9500 or online at www.elcampaniltheatre.com/birthright.htm
There will be 4 events throughout the Decennial year beginning with our Cityhood Celebration on Saturday, July 4, 2009. This event will take place at Freedom High School in the basin beginning at 6:00pm. The event will feature the following entertainment. Music throughout the evening with performances by Freedom High School cheerleaders, martial art students, dancers and talented young musical guests. We will have a children’s area with pony rides, a petting zoo, a train, face painting, a clown, jump houses and more. For the older children we have a rock climbing wall, laser tag, a bungee run and arcade games. For young adults we are including a Hoopshot basketball game, speed pitch and a new “extreme” activity – the Euro Bungy. There will be food, arts & crafts and local retail vendors throughout. The evening will conclude with a spectacular Fireworks show synchronized to music. The “Friends of Oakley” will be accepting donations of toys for their Community Basket program. Admission to the event is FREE, as is parking. A $5 wristband can be purchased for unlimited rides and games. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket/lawn chair to enjoy the entertainment and fireworks show.
Here are just a few locations that you can find a copy
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BAGEL STREET CAFE’ 4815 Lone Tree Suite C ANTIOCH
LEBRERIA FUENTE DE VIDA 3009 Delta Fair Blvd. ANTIOCH
EL RAY TAQUERIA 4621 Golf Course Road ANTIOCH
WINNER’S CIRCLE WESTERN WEAR 505 W. 2nd St. ANTIOCH
LAUNDER LAND 1657 A ST. ANTOCH
QUAIL LODGE RETIREMENT RESIDENCE 4850 Deer Valley Rd. ANTIOCH COMMONS AT DALLAS RANCH 4751 Dallas Ranch Rd. ANTIOCH
HAZEL’S DRIVE-IN ANTIOCH HWY DELTA BREEZE LAUNDERLAND 1092 Sycamore Dr. ANTIOCH
PITTSBURG WASH N DRY 208 Atlantic Ave. PITTSBURG
FIESTA FILIPINA/ORIENTAL FOODS & GIFT MART 155 Atlantic Ave. PITTSBURG
REAGAN MANAGEMENT 8440 Brentwood Blvd. H BRENTWOOD
LOS REYES TAQUERIA 526 Bailey Road PITTSBURG
VICTORY OUTREACH-PITTSBURG 2328 Willow Pass Rd (925) 432-0937 Christian Recovery Program Drug & Alcohol CHRISTIAN HELP CTR 2166 Sacramento Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (707) 553-8192 Food, Clothing, Shelter - Transitional Living LOVE -A-CHILD MISSIONS Homeless Recovery Shelter Rehabilitative services for homeless women and children. (925) 458-5663 Email- firstname.lastname@example.org MISSION SOLANO 740 Travis Blvd. Fairfield CA (707) 422-1011 Daily Meals, Transitional Living Daily Shower, Shelter New Life Programs Brother Raymond
SHEPHERD’S GATE Christ Centered services for Battered/homeless Women & Children 605 Sycamore Brentwood CA (925) 308-7507 DOVE AVIATION Is looking for volunteers to help with their ministry on local and international levels. Dove is involved in Mission Trips (925)584-7079 MISSION OUTREACH Helping the homeless in Antioch Hot Meals, Clothing along with other resources. (925) 727-8678 HELPING HANDS
Food & Clothing to those in need Every Wednesday 5:30-6:30pm 5000 Amaryllis St. in Oakley (925) 625-9570 IRON SHOP Men’s Recovery Group CHRISTIAN 12 STEP 925-525-9957 1745 East 18th Street Antioch
America’s Good News
” h t u r T t s e n o H “The
It’s easy for Christians to point out deception all around us. But before we speak about the speck in other people’s eyes, let’s get the plank out of our eyes.
By Donald Kwong because God cannot Think about these words of the Lord in provide for our needs, Jeremiah 5:1, replace the city of Jerusalem and that we need to with the name of your community, and see if take care of ourselves. you can answer this question: Dishonesty is also “Roam to and fro through the streets of a barrier to being Jerusalem, and look now, and take note… able to love other people. Dishonesty hurts other people. For if you can fi nd a man, if there is one who instance, you may rationalize that cheating on your taxes is does justice, one who seeks truth, then I will taking from the government, but it is really taking from fellow pardon her.” taxpayers. It is just like taking money out of the wallets and You may feel hard pressed to answer ~ Don Kwong purses of your friends and next door neighbors. this question in a world where we see Honesty is a powerful evangelism tool. People often do corporate executive mismanage fi rms and not trust what you say, but they watch what you do. Ask yourself what an lie before the media about what they have done. We see leading politicians unchurched person would say if he saw you do something dishonest and he manipulate the truth in order to advance their agendas. It’s easy for knew you were a Christian. Sadly, that person may turn away and you would Christians to point out deception all around us. But before we speak about not have the chance to explain yourself – or the greatness of your God. the speck in other people’s eyes, let’s get the plank out of our eyes. Read and Ask God to reveal dishonest behavior that you should be changing. You consider the following questions – will need to do three things: 1) restore your relationship with Christ, 2) restore 1) Do I report all my income on my tax return, are all my deductions your fellowship with people, and 3) return whatever you have stolen. legitimate? 1) Sin separates you from God. Confess your sin to the Lord. If it helps 2) Do I care for other people’s property like it was mine? you, fi nd a mature Christian friend to whom you can confess, and ask 3) Have I ever told an untruth or “white lie” about something I was him to help keep you accountable. Remember not only to be open to selling in order to make the sale? confess, but be open for God’s mercy and forgiveness. 4) If I get charged less at the checkout stand, do I tell the cash or sales 2) Confess to anyone you have offended. “He who conceals his associate? transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them 5) Do I ever take stamps, offi ce supplies or anything from my employer will fi nd compassion.” – Proverbs 28:13 for my personal use? 3) Restitution is a tangible expression of repentance. If you can’t return 6) Do I believe that I can be dishonest because other people do it? whatever you’ve stolen to that person, then give it to the Lord. It is estimated that it is almost $1 billion that is stolen by employees Are you the one God is looking for in Jeremiah 5:1? Are you the one each week. We live in a world with “relative honesty”. The truth, the honest who will seek out the Lord and alter the destiny of your city? You may not be truth, is that God gives us the opportunity to act honestly daily. recognized in the newspaper or given the key to the city, but your efforts could The truth is important to God. The Lord says that he is the truth (John ring through eternity. 14:6). We are created in his image are also created to refl ect his ways. We cannot be dishonest and love God. We are saying that we can be dishonest Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
America’s Good News
Churches Helping Churches Do you need more chairs for your church? Did your church just buy new chairs? Would your church like to bless another church with its used chairs? Does your church need a keyboard for worship? Did your church just buy a new keyboard? Churches always have a need for something, so why not work together to fi ll that need. America’s Good News would like to see churches partner with one another. So we are willing to create a FREE section in our paper that churches can use in order to bless each other as the need arises. Amen! No items in this section shall be for sale. Our desire is to see churches give to one another out of Love. The Fellowship of the Believers Acts 2:44-47(NIV) All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. We are one body, right? John 17:23 (NIV) I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
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All God’s Children Christian School First Annual “Son” Run
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
Steve’s Construction Stevesconstruction@yahoo.com
“Quality Home & Office Repair” * Fence Repair/Replace * Flooring * Built-in Bookcases * Plumbing Repairs * ADA Modifications
Office 925-625-7771 Cell 925-628-3536 2063 Main St. PMB#419 Oakley, CA 94561
License #B884001 Insured and Bonded
America’s Good News goes out by direct mail (100% saturation) to every home, business and Apt. in Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay & Byron, and every business in Antioch All God’s Children Christian School First Annual “Son” Run Some people missed a fabulous fi rst annual 5k run around Willow Lake in Discovery Bay that was sponsored by the parents club of All God’s Children Christian School in Discovery Bay. 125 participants varying in age from infants to senior citizens ran, walked, biked, pushed strollers and rode scooters, (even motorized ones) to raise money for play yard equipment for the new school that will be commencing its fi rst K - 5 classes for the 2009-2010 year. For more information about All God’s Children Christian School, contact Kelly Bye 925.513.8006 AGC@dcpcfamily.org.
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Americaâ€™s Good News
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