Remember When  - January 2019
A look back at some notable events over the last year

  • Remember When …

          The year 2018 is now history. The world outside of Life Spring at times appeared frightening and cruel. The state’s deadliest wildfires swept through neighboring Thousand Oaks where residents were still grieving over the Borderline restaurant shootings. 

       But there were always smaller stories in which, against the odds, compassion and humanity was demonstrated, proving God’s love is very effective.
       Inside the comfort of Life Spring, we learned of Pastor Tim Nash’s missionary work with poor churches in Mexico.
       Also, if the past is a prologue for the future, 2019 may be another record year for baptisms at Life Spring: there were 15 in 2018.
       And, what everyone already believed was confirmed: that Associate Pastor Dan Borg was a person of spiritual authority in the church.

       In a Sunday Service on August 25, the church elders laid on hands in prayer, commissioned Pastor Dan as a church elder.   He started as the associate pastor at Life Spring on January 1, 2016, although he preached a couple of times in the months prior.  Pastor Dan had retired from his former church in Thousand Oaks and helped with the transition by taking his time in retiring, helping out with the preaching occasionally.
      If 2 years and 8 months seems like a long time for a former pastor to be named an elder, see 1 Timothy 5:22, which advises to never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader.
       “We wait until someone is clearly a spiritual authority,” said Lead Pastor Tony Amatangelo. “Becoming a church elder is not something that should be taken lightly.”    

  • Remember When part two......

       Pastor Tim is a man on a mission. Living on the southern side of the U.S-Mexico border in Tecate, Baja California, Tim is bringing together small Christian churches to spread the word of God. Where he lives, this means serving the needs of the poor.

        A friend of Pastor Tony for more than 20 years, Pastor Tim came to Life Spring for the October 21 Sunday service to share his experiences as the leader of a small group of American missionaries in Mexico.

       Pastor Tim updated the gathering on his progress and reminded us that the churches under his guidance still need our support. He works continuously with all the Churches in Tecate in support of Christians. But there is always more to do.

       Christian pastors don’t enjoy the support of the community the way they do in the United States. Christian church membership is much smaller in Mexico than it is in America.

       “Pastors in Mexico have to be bi-vocational – meaning they need to have another job to support themselves – usually about 20 hours a week,” Pastor Tony said. “Our support of Tim’s ministry allows him to step in and preach and do other things.”

       These include the typical expenses found in any church – particularly those used to help the needy. Life Spring has been an active supporter of Pastor Tim’s ministry for 15 years.

  • 8 Blessings We get from serving

    We all want our lives to matter. It’s the reason we do the things we do. We chase promotions and leadership positions because we want to make a difference. We encourage our kids to go to college, get a good job, and make lots of money, in hopes that they, too, will make a difference.

    There’s nothing wrong with wealth or influence, but those things alone won’t change the world and they aren’t what we were made for.

    We were made to build the church (Ephesians 4:11-13). God made each one of with unique talents, personalities and skill sets. And when we ask Jesus into our lives, we’re given at least one spiritual gift. We get the most joy and make the biggest difference when we use our God-given talents, gifts and abilities to build the church (Ephesians 4:14-16). 

    1. Serving allows us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.

    1 Corinthians 12 compares the church to a human body. Just like our bodies are made of many parts serving specific functions, the church is made up of people with different skills and abilities. Alone these pieces aren’t very useful, but together we create something beautiful.

    2. Serving allows us to experience miracles.

    In John 2, Jesus was at a wedding and the couple was running out of wine for its guests. He tells the servants to fill several big jars to the brim. When they served the water to the guests, it was wine! The guests never knew what happened; the servants were the ones who witnessed the miracle. The same is true for us when we serve.

    3. Serving allows us to experience the joy and peace that comes from obedience.

    1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms... so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” Serving is a form of worship, a way to express gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, and to share the love and grace we've been given. 
    4. Serving helps us to be more like Jesus.

    We shift our focus off of ourselves onto others through serving.  We begin to see others as Jesus sees them.  And we see Jesus IN others (Matthew 25:40).  

    5. Serving surrounds us with other Christians who can help us follow Jesus.

    When we’re working side by side with other people, a bond inevitably forms. This was part of God’s plan for how the church is supposed to work. That’s why Hebrews 10:24-25instructs us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together… but encouraging one another.”

    6. Serving increases our faith.

    As we move out of our comfort zones, God increases our faith by revealing new potential — in ourselves and in His Church.  When we see what He can do when His power is at work within us, we begin looking for the doors He’s opening rather than pushing our way through the one’s He’s closed (Ephesians 3:20).  7. Serving allows us to experience God’s presence in new ways.

    Encouragement and healing go hand in hand. As we encourage others and they find healing, we’re encouraged. It’s the reason so many people who go on mission trips say they came home feeling like they got more than they gave.

    8. Serving is good for your soul.

    Studies have shown that volunteering is so good for the mind and body that it can ease symptoms of stress and depression. Tapping into our gifts and passions builds self-confidence, energy, and strength.  Serving others can also be the best distraction from our own worries.  

    We make all sorts of rational explanations for not serving:

    I don’t have time.

    I don’t know what I would do.

    I don’t have any special skills to contribute.

    They don’t need me.

    But the reality is the Lord doesn't call the equipped; He equips the called. God used men and women with similar doubts to change the course of history. Moses didn’t think he was a leader or speaker, but God worked through Moses to bring Israel out of slavery. David was the youngest (and therefore most insignificant) of all his brothers, but God worked through David to defeat a giant and eventually made him a king. Paul used to kill Christians before he met Jesus, but he went on to become one of the most highly-regarded and prolific writers/church planters in history. God doesn’t just want to work through you; He wants to work in you.

                                          – Veronica Sexton 

  • on the calendar

    • Sunday, January 6 Pizza at Jax After second service Saturday, January 12
    • Men’s Breakfast 9 a.m. at the church patio Sunday, January 12

    •  January 19 - 21 Thrive Winter Camp Meet at church

    •  Saturday, January 26 Women’s Breakfast 8:30 a.m. in the lobby

    •  Saturday, February 9 Men’s Breakfast 9 a.m. at the church patio

    •  February 22 Women’s Connect Bunko Night

    •  Sunday, March 3 Pizza at Jax After second service

    •  Saturday, March 9 Men’s Breakfast 9:00 a.m. at the church patio

    •  March 14 Congregational Care Divorce Care Group 13 week class

    •  Saturday, March/April Women’s Connect Spring Tea