Issuu on Google+

encourage! Spring 2014

The Magazine of Green Valley Baptist Church

Easter Makes THE

Difference


{ANENCOURAGINGWORD} In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, there is a grave today which is covered by slabs of rock, chains, and steel clasps. It is the grave of a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or in any form of bodily resurrection. In her will she ordered her grave to be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, she would have no part of it. So when she died, the cemetery workers sealed her tomb extra tight, and put four extra cement slabs around the coffin. They placed steel chains around the slabs and locked them in steel clasps. It was deemed impossible for the casket to ever be opened. On her headstone were the words‌ This tomb shall not be opened. What happened years later no one could have ever imagined. A little seed that had fallen to the ground began to germinate under that grave. As it grew and searched for light, a sapling sprouted. That sapling slowly but deliberately burst forth from the ground and grew into a tree right out from the middle of that grave. As the tree grew, the cement slabs crumbled, the chains popped, and the casket opened. From that little seed a full grown tree towers above the opened tomb of that unbelieving woman. The only thing left standing near that grave is the tombstone that reads‌This tomb shall not be opened. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in the open tomb. I believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again on the third day. I believe that because of my faith in Christ, I now have the assurance of eternal life in Heaven. When I breathe my last, my body may be placed in a tomb, but I will not. I will already be in Heaven. And one day, when Christ returns, even my body will burst forth from the grave. I might even engrave the following words on my tombstone‌.This tomb shall be opened!

Be encouraged,

Pastor Rob

1 | encourage! spring 2014


3 / VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL 2014

4/ GOOD NEWS NOTES

5

7

MEET TOM DEVENISH

THE DIFFERENCE EASTER MAKES

Our new Counseling Pastor

10

How the Resurrection changes everything

VOICES OF MOBILE

Alabama Group to visit Green Valley

encourage! Green Valley Baptist Church 270 N Valle Verde Drive Henderson, NV 89074 702.434.1906 www.mygvbc.com

CREDITS EDITOR David Simpson DESIGN Jennifer Dufek PHOTOGRAPHY Hexel Hernando

ON THE COVER Pastor Rob baptizes Tony DePasquale, who recently came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His story, and others, can be found on page 7.

PAGE

11- THE AGAPE LEAGUE - CHILDREN PREPARE FOR SPRING MUSICAL

EASTER WEEKEND 2 0 1 4

GREEN VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH

FRIDAY, APRIL 18 12PM NOON

GOOD FRIDAY LORD’S SUPPER SERVICE (OPTIONAL LUNCH FOLLOWING)

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

SILVER SPRINGS REC CENTER AMPHITHEATRE (BRING A BLANKET AND LAWN CHAIRS IF YOU LIKE!)

(TRADITIONAL)

6:30AM EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

8AM EASTER SERVICE 9:30AM & 11AM

EASTER SERVICE (CONTEMPORARY) spring 2014 encourage!

|2


“It’s ‘Get Smart’ meets ‘Mission: Impossible’ meets ‘Spy Kids’ meets ‘NCIS’”, says Children’s Director Cheryl Burford. “The three D’s- discover, decide, and defend- are the basis for the week.”

ONE OF THE BIGGEST EVENTS OF THE YEAR, THIS

JUNE 23 -27 RD

TH

At Vacation Bible School, kids will examine eyewitness reports, physical proof, and biblical accounts to uncover and defend the truth about who Jesus really is.

In addition to all the fun for the kids, a mom’s class will also be available for all moms of VBS-aged kids who would like to come learn and interact with other women.

Vacation Bible School is one of the biggest events of the year at Green Valley, and we are counting on our church members to make it the biggest and best yet. We encourage you to invite your neighbors, friends, and children of co-workers.

Vacation Bible School is set for June 23-27 for all kids ages 4 through those who have just completed 5th grade.

For more information, or to find out about how you can get involved as a volunteer, call the church office.

3 | encourage! spring 2014


{GOODNEWSNOTES} Our teenagers had an amazing DiscipleNow Weekend this past February! Pastor Mark Winkler: “We had an awesome time with speaker Lyle Witcher and the Worship Band. Lyle challenged us to develop roots that were not surface level but affected us to the bones of who we are. We had 48 students over the weekend. We were also challenged to pray for our friends and their salvation, so we compiled a list. If you would like to join us in prayer and receive the list of students that we are praying to see accept Jesus, give me a call.” Over 200 moms and dads, grandparents, and kids continue to gather monthly for an hour of Family Faith Training at FX – the Family Experience! Believing that the discipleship of our children is the responsibility of parents and not the church, Green Valley partners with parents by providing family interaction, a take-home application widget, family discussion questions, devotional materials and podcast. These all strategically equip parents for both formal and spontaneous faith conversation at home. You are invited to join FX next month before their summer break. The last FX for the season is June 1 at 9:30PM in the Student Center.

This past March our Adult Choir and Children’s Choir sang at the CD release party of Christian artist Leon Patillo. Leon’s new CD, “You Can Begin Again”, features kids from his S.I.N.G. Foundation. “Our choirs had an absolute ball singing with Leon- especially our children,” says Worship Pastor David Simpson. “He has such a great rapport with kids, and the adults love his energy and love for the Lord.” Green Valley hosted the event as well, which was attended by over 400. Our recently completed Fellowship Hall and Chapel continue to be used and provide ministry space in a number of areas. The chapel has already been used for several weddings and funerals, and is now the home to our Korean Fellowship, which meets there each Sunday morning. The Fellowship Hall has proven to be a very popular meeting place on Sunday mornings, and has been used for many banquets and meetings. We are blessed with this new addition! Our church recently purchased an eight-passenger golf cart to help with our parking challenges! A shuttle has now launched, picking up and dropping off at the Gibson Elementary School parking lot. We encourage all members of Green Valley, and especially those leaders who serve more than one hour each Sunday morning, to try this shuttle service to help make spots available for new attenders.

KNOWING. GROWING. LIVING.

spring 2014 encourage!

|4


Meet

TOMDEVENISH Green Valley’s New Counseling Pastor by Terri Jupin

Tom Devenish was recently added as our part-time Counseling Pastor. Tom and his wife, Lee became members of Green Valley last fall, and quickly assimilated into the church family. They have found that Green Valley Baptist is much more than a Sunday morning worship experience- it’s a place where they have made friends quickly, friends that they have connected with in worship, prayer and fellowship. As Tom puts it, “Green Valley is family!” Originally from Denver, Colorado Tom and Lee, had one daughter, Sara Gabrielle, who passed away two years ago. Tom followed the Lord’s leading into ministry after a successful career as a high school math teacher. He has

served in churches as Missions Pastor as well as pastoring to senior adults. During his time as a missions pastor, Tom states that he was the “connecter,” effectively connecting the mission’s heart of his local church to people around the world that needed to know Jesus as their Savior. Tom has led or been a part of over 50 mission trips, sharing about God’s love in places such as El Salvador, France, India and Romania. However, of all the places Tom has served, Kenya captured his heart. While in Kenya, Tom used his expertise as a teacher to educate young pastors in math skills needed to complete some of their educational training. He spent many weeks with them as a teacher, but more importantly developing relationships and encouraging the pastors. Tom feels that all the years of teaching high school math was in preparation for the work God called him to do in Kenya. Tom shares that his calling now is to demonstrate God’s love by spending time with people, whether on the mission field abroad or the mission field here in Las Vegas. Shortly after Tom began serving on our staff he was asked to meet with a man who had visited our church recently. This man had heard God’s message from Pastor Rob on a Sunday morning, and he had questions. Tom met him at a Starbucks close by, and helped him to understand God’s plan for his life. The gentleman prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior, and Tom baptized him recently in our church.

Having a servant’s heart as well as the gift of being a good listener is vital for a minister. Tom Devenish has both, and is here to serve the church in the counseling ministry at Green Valley Baptist. Please feel free to contact Tom at the church office- he is available for you!

5 | encourage! spring 2014


SPRING2014

Bible Study C L A S S E S

THE BEST QUESTION EVER Using God’s Word to Filter Every Opportunity, Friendship, & Decision

6 WEEK STUDY

STARTS SUNDAY, APRIL 13TH 9:30AM

THE GOSPELS

Being a Disciple - Counting the Real Cost

STARTS SUNDAY, APRIL 13TH 11:00AM

2 THESSALONIANS So You Won’t Be Deceived About His Coming (Precept)

6 WEEK STUDY 7 WEEK STUDY

STARTS TUESDAY, APRIL 22ND 6:30PM

REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST Fixing Your Eyes On Jesus

STARTS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23RD 6:30PM

HARD SAYINGS OF THE BIBLE Grappling with Perplexing Passages

STARTS SUNDAY, APRIL 27TH 9:30AM

GENESIS

Part 1: Creation (Precept)

STARTS SUNDAY, APRIL 27TH 6:00PM

FOR REGISTRATION AND MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE GROWING KIOSK

10 WEEK STUDY 6 WEEK STUDY 5 WEEK STUDY

spring 2014 encourage!

|6


This Easter, we’ll gather to celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. For each person, God has given hope and the opportunity for new life. But to each person individually, Easter has a unique meaning. Here are four stories that share:

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH by Dr. Jack Johnson

As my wife Mary and I approach this Easter Season, we look back at many wonderful things that God has done in over 60 years of ministry. I remember one Easter when I was President of the Radio and Television Commission. By the intercession of God, we were able to place a television broadcast of the preaching of Dr. Frank Pollard of the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, in the USSR- the first religious broadcasters to penetrate the Russian populace. The station that we used was the second largest TV station in Russia, Saint Petersburg, with a potential audience of over 50 million viewers. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the act of God. He used the influence of some rather doubtful people to open the door. We were the first American TV producers to broadcast religious programs, and the last to be forced out five years later.

We received letters from many Russian viewers. One read, “I am an elderly lady and I so enjoy the program that comes to me on Family Circle (the name of the program). I had never heard about the death and resurrection of Christ before. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.” This was her first understanding of the miracle of Easter. As I prepare this short article, less than five feet behind me is a poster of a Russian babushka, a Russian grandmother. The title of the poster is, “The Power is On For Christian TV in the Former USSR”. Just to know that God allowed me to be a small part of sharing this great truth for the first time to millions of Russians is awesome, and is evidence of the greatness, power and faithfulness of God.

Dr. Jack Johnson is a retired pastor, and the former President of the Radio & Television Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He and his wife Mary are very active and faithfully attend our 8AM Gospel Service.

7 | encourage! spring 2014


DIOS ES AMOR by Oscar Munguia

I received Christ as my savior 19 years ago, but not before my family and I went through many trials and much pain. In 1981, my parents and four children fled the war in the country of El Salvador San Salvador, and came to the United States. In 1984, my parents received Jesus Christ as their Savior. They began the task in Christ Jesus to see their children come to know Him, too. I was a young and rebellious 15 year-old who did not like going to church. I thought my parents were crazy. At 17 I decided not to finish school, or go to work. At 20 I took drugs for the first time. I did drugs for 5 years. I didn’t want to be that way, and I asked for forgiveness every morning, but at night I would return to do the same things. The enemy was destroying me, taking me to a spiritual death. But then… in 1995 Jesus touched my heart. I accepted an invitation to a Bible study, where I was told by a Christian

brother that God loves me and has a purpose for my life! He asked if I would like to receive Jesus. On that night, I gave my heart to Him, and he resurrected me and gave me abundant life! By this time my parents were doing mission work in Mexico, preaching the Word of God to seven different Indian Tribes, and at an orphanage. I went with them to these places, and it was amazing how I was learning through these trips how to minister to people and share the gospel with them. Not long after, God called me to the ministry. For four years I asked God for a wife. On January 7, 2000, I married my beloved wife Emilia. The purpose of God continues, but now with my wife by my side. God is great because our ministry of love through our church in Chinatown is a branch of Green Valley Baptist Church! Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, has made all the difference in my life.

Pastor Oscar and Emilia Munguia lead Ministerio De Amor Green Valley, a Spanish fellowship that meets weekly at our MutiCultural Christian Center in the Chinatown area of Las Vegas.

EASTER AND A NEW BEGINNING by Tony DePasquale

When I was young I used to have a recurring dream. I would find myself playing baseball or some other game. Then without warning, the dream would change: I was being chased by someone. Running away, I knew that whatever was stalking me would have to be confronted. I would turn and fight the formless, faceless foe. I would face the vacuous monster. But the dream would always end the same. I would start to fight, but my fists would fly, my arms would grow heavy, and fighting felt like trying to maneuver my body under water. The fear was stifling and hopeless. I grew up without much of a relationship with God. My parents were more atheist than deist. My older brother and sister were Christian, but based on their behavior, I didn’t want their religion. As I became a man, this trend

did not change much, until last Easter. I believed in a creator of the universe, but thought Christianity were foolish- that God was beyond human understanding and was certainly not interested in my day-to-day activities. As I began to really think about the existence of God, I started to question my own understanding. I asked God to give me a sign of His existence. About this time, my lifelong recurring dream began to change. I would then emerge in the dream to find myself in a pit filled with people in varying degrees of chaos- yelling, screaming, fighting. Some were just confused and angry. I would reach for a ledge, out of the pit, but the chaotic people seemed unified to pull me back in. But this time, my fists found their target. I could fight off their grasps, onto the ledge and into freedom. I noticed that they were not

spring 2014 encourage!

|8


trying to hold me in the pit; instead, they were desperate for human contact and meaning, yet too confused to find it. As I found myself above the fray, I would look above to a light appearing above the pit and would feel hope. Then I would wake up. Easter weekend of last year, I was walking through a local book store and something told me to turn down the aisle on my left and pick up a book. It was Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. I went home and began to read. As soon

as I finished it I knew my life would never be the same. It addressed every intellectual argument I had against Christianity. At 34 years of age, I knew God had answered me. Since that time, I have learned much about what it means to be a Christian. My wife and I have found a home here at Green Valley. I do find it interesting that God answered me on Easter weekend last year. My last name, DePasquale is Italian for “of Easter.”

Tony DePasquale is the President of Elysien Private Wealth & Real Property and is a new member of Green Valley Baptist Church. He and his wife Linne reside in Henderson.

IS EASTER FOR EVERYONE? by Tami Wagner

On January 24, 2003, my life changed, and would never be the same again. My beloved brother, Jim, was murdered at age 36. As my husband and I made the drive to California, we theorized about the incident. Who did it? Why? Did he suffer? Arriving at my parent’s house, we learned an even more terrible truth. My brother’s wife had taken him to a restaurant for a date night. As she drove them home, she “accidentally” got lost in the backstreets of a commercial district. A man was lying in wait to attack. After a brief struggle, my brother was strangled to death. The man fled the scene. My sister-in-law drove twenty miles with my brother’s body next to her. She went inside a restaurant to wash off blood, went back to the vehicle, and then made a huge scene, claiming her husband had been attacked. After being questioned by the police she was arrested. The man, who as it turned out had met and developed a relationship with my sister-in-law through an internet chat room, was also apprehended. A year and a half later she pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder, receiving a sentence of 15 years to life. After a jury trial, the man was found guilty and sentenced to life without the possibility parole. Over the years I have tried to figure out how God fit into this horrendous event. I had always been what some would call a “church kid”. I first went to church when I was 6 days old. I attended Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night every week- it was like a second home. I even met my future husband in the church youth group. I had been taught to believe that God loves

9 | encourage! spring 2014

everyone. I myself had taught children in Sunday School those truths. I sang the words “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” more times than I can count. I had even taught the concept that there is nothing you could do to make God stop loving you. But I began to have a crisis of faith. Does God really love everyone? Do I want to believe in a God who allows anyone into heaven just for believing in Him? How can he love a woman who betrayed my brother in such a cold, evil manner, and still allow her the chance to go to heaven? Did I want to spend eternity with my sister-in-law? Is it fair that I, a “good” Christian girl, receive the same heavenly reward as a murderer? I don’t have the answers to those questions. However, there are some absolutes God has lovingly, tenderly imparted to me. First, He is God and I am not! And because He is God, He can set the rules. Finally, just because I have a propensity to be spiritually “stuck up” doesn’t mean I know what’s best. Easter is a huge celebration of Jesus rising from the dead. I can honestly say today that I believe Jesus died for everyone- not just the people I choose! How glad and thankful I am that God chose to allow His Son to die for me and, even more importantly, to live for me! Tami Wagner and husband Russ have raised their family here at Green Valley. They are active in our Children’s and Youth Ministries.


THE

NE 1 SUNDAY, JRUVICES E

ALL THREE S

OF MOBILE

I happened to hear the VOICES of Mobile at the SBC last year, and honestly, I thought they were a professional groupthey’re that good. Dr. Roger Breland has helped shape the ministries of some amazing Christian artists- Natalie Grant, Anthony Evans, and 4Him, among many others- and he is now investing his knowledge and vast experience into these amazing college kids. You won’t want to miss hearing them June 1! - Pastor David Simpson

Green Valley is proud to host the VOICES of Mobile as part of their 2014 West Coast Tour, Sunday morning, June 1, in all three services. The VOICES of Mobile is a highly versatile, auditioned vocal ensemble consisting of 18 students from The University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama. Recently, VOICES has performed at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, the Southern Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference, the White House, Carnegie Hall, and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. VOICES is directed by Dr. Roger Breland and Dr. Al Miller. Breland states, “To me, they are more than singers - they are people that love God, representing their University and their faith. You will love the VOICES of Mobile… I love their hearts.”

spring 2014 encourage!

| 10


THE AGAPE LEAGUE

CHILDREN PREPARE

g n i r Sp l a c i s u M FOR

High in the mountains in the impenetrable Agape Fortress, General Agape has called the mighty Agape League together to solve a crisis in Suburbiana City! He calls on the super-powered fruits of the spirit available to every follower of Christ to help him! Doesn’t this sound like a story you just have to find out how it ends?

Our Children’s Choir, under the direction of Pastor David Simpson, Paul Schulz, and others, have been working this spring to transform our mild-mannered children into Super Heroes of the Spirit! “The Agape League is a high-powered production that is super-sized in every way: a high-octane story, clever dialogue, dynamic contemporary songs, and uncompromising spiritual truth.

OUR CHILDREN’S CHOIR IS EXCITED TO PRESENT THIS MUSICAL TO THE CHURCH

SUNDAY, MAY 25 AT 5PM. DON’T MISS “THE AGAPE LEAGUE!”

11 | encourage! spring 2014


This six-session video-based, small group study from Pastor Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman is centered on five essentials that will launch your journey to health: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends. With support from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick Warren and thousands of people from his congregation started on a journey to transform their own lives. It’s called The Daniel Plan, and it works for one simple reason: God designed your body to be healthy, and He provided everything you need to thrive and live an abundant life. This small group study is a vital component of The Daniel Plan because it emphasizes the powerful community component of the program. As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “community is the cure” for healthy living.

THE

The Daniel Plan small group study teaches simple ways to incorporate healthy choices into your daily lifestyle. This study guide includes biblical inspiration from Pastor Rick, instruction from our doctors and wellness experts, practical food and fitness tips, and much more.

A SIX-WEEK JOURNEY TO HEALTH BEGINNING IN MAY

Multiple groups will begin in May. Please watch the church bulletin for further details or call the church office for more information.

DANIEL PLAN

CHURCH-WIDE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3RD 6:30PM @ the Henderson Multi-Gen Pool (NEXT TO THE HENDERSON PAVILION)

FREE ADMISSION- INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! spring 2014 encourage!

| 12


HOW EASTE R CAN MAKE A

FOR YOU

GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION GOD RULES.

Did you know that God created the world? The Bible tells us He created everything. God is a perfect, loving ruler. God created us to bring glory to Him. (See Genesis 1:1; Revelation 4:11; Colossians 1:16-17.)

WE SINNED.

Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Since then, we all have chosen to disobey God. The Bible calls this sin. Sin separates us from God. Thankfully God had a plan to save us from our sin. (See Romans 3:23.)

GOD PROVIDED.

Our loving God provided the only way to save us- Jesus. God sent Jesus to earth. He lived a perfect life. Because He loves us, He took the punishment we deserve. (See John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23.)

WE RESPOND.

We can respond to the good news by understanding who God is (holy) and who we are (sinners.) Tell God you know you messed up and are sorry. Repent, turning away from your sin. Turn to Jesus, trusting only Him to save you through His life, death and resurrection. (See John 14:6; Romans 10:9-10,13.) If you are ready to respond to the good news by becoming a Christian, simply pray and tell God something like this: Dear God, I know I have disobeyed You and gone my own way. My sin separated me from You. I am sorry that I have disobeyed You and earned Your punishment, but today I turn back to You. I believe that Jesus died on the cross in my place so that my sins can be forgiven. I believe Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. I trust Jesus to save me. Thank You for sending Jesus to live a perfect life and to take away my punishment. God, please forgive me and help me to obey You and to live for You the rest of my life. Thank You. Amen

JESUS GIVES.

Jesus died on the cross in our place. Our sins were punished through Jesus dying on the cross. It’s all been paid for! In God’s eyes, it’s as if we never sinned. God welcomes us into His family as children of God. When Jesus died, He did not stay dead. God brought Him back to life. People even saw and touched the risen Jesus. Jesus went to be with God and to rule over the world forever as King, even today. One day Jesus will return to earth. God will welcome into His kingdom all people who have accepted His free gift of eternal life. (See Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:8-9.) This is the gospel. Gospel means “GOOD NEWS!” Because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we can be part of God’s family forever. That’s good news!

13 | encourage! spring 2014

1

Tell others that you are a Christian.

2

Talk to your pastor about your faith decisions and about how being baptized shows others that you are a Christian.

3

Read the Bible to learn more about what it means to live for God.

4

Talk to God every day.

5

Attend church where others can encourage you in your faith.


SERVICE TIMES 8AM Gospel Service

Hymn and Gospel songs, and Pastor Rob’s encouraging sermons

David Simpson Worship Pastor david@mygvbc.com Barry Anderson Administrative Pastor barry@mygvbc.com

N. Stephanie St.

Dr. Rob Boyd Senior Pastor rob@mygvbc.com

N. Valle Verde Dr.

CHURCH STAFF

N. Green Valley Pkwy.

9:30AM & 11AM

Songs of the day, by artists such as Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, and Pastor Rob’s timely teaching

W. Warm Springs Rd.

215

Mark Winkler Student Pastor mark@mygvbc.com Cheryl Burford Director of Children’s Ministries cheryl@mygvbc.com Tom Devenish Counseling Pastor dkoma7@aol.com

Green Valley Baptist Church 270 N Valle Verde Drive Henderson NV 89074 702.434.1906

www.mygvbc.com

spring 2014 encourage!

| 14


270 N. Valle Verde Drive Henderson, NV 89074 702.434.1906 www.mygvbc.com

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID LAS VEGAS, NV PERMIT NO. 1392


Encourage spring 2014 final print