Connections  April - June 2018

  • finding us at the right time

    One of those church members quietly working to make Life Spring

    successful is Office

    Manager Elsa Perez.

       In addition to the financial and planning reports, Elsa helps the church directors in carrying out their various missions.

       “Every day is a little bit different — but it’s all about helping to grow God’s Kingdom,” Elsa said.

      Elsa was attending the church before she was an employee. In 2008, a friend invited her to Life Spring for the “Fireproof” life lessons series about a couple struggling to save their marriage.

       “I was in that situation and was willing to try

    anything,” she said. Unfortunately, her soon-to-be ex-husband was not on board. “I could see the Holy Spirit moving when we were at church and he (her husband) would resist.”

        Elsa realized that she loved the message, the people, and the environment at Life Spring.  “I felt really comfortable here. Life Spring embraced me, hugged me." In 2009, while living in Simi Valley, Elsa infrequently attending church. That’s when she read there was a need for a volunteer in the church office.

        She took the task and did such a good job that Pastor Tony and Exec

    Minister Hank Laird offered her the Office Manager position.

       It was all in God’s timing, because as her marriage was dissolving and her

    father was dying, Elsa had planned to move back home to Orange County.

       Elsa was born in Inglewood and raised in Orange County. Elsa loves to dance- particularly West Coast Swing - and has competed in other styles, including waltz.

        Elsa loves music. In addition to Christian music, Elsa listens to Country and Top 40, including ‘70s and ‘80s music. She also enjoys spending time at the beach, hiking, camping, motorcycle riding, and shooting. Her father was from Puerto Rico and her mother immigrated from Peru. 

         “Dad had a landscape contracting business and my mom stayed at home to take care of us kids,” said Elsa, who is the second of her parents three daughters.  

       Elsa’s mother was religious and she grew up with bedtime prayers and

    learning the story of Jesus from the Bible - but at that time her relationship with Him was not personal. It wasn’t until Elsa was an adult, when she faced some great challenges in her life, that led her to having a personal relationship with Jesus.

        “I saw my story in the Bible … and I could see why Jesus died on the cross for me," Elsa said.

  • timeless words from billy graham about god in your life

    Billy Graham, the world evangelist who died in February at age 99, was often asked during major Christian landmarks about God’s place in our lives. This question was asked in 2008: This Easter, I felt kind of a tug in my heart to give God a bigger place in my life. How do you suggest I go about doing this? 

    The Pastor’s Answer:

    I’m thankful for that “tug” toward God you felt in your heart - and I want to assure you that it didn’t happen by chance. Instead, God gave it to you, and right now He is drawing you to Himself. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).

    What does God want you to do in response? He wants you to come to Him and give your whole life to Him! He doesn’t want to remain on the fringes of your life any longer - nor should He, for He is God. He made you and He sustains you every moment of the day. The Bible says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are His” (Psalm 100:3). But there is an even greater reason why God shouldn’t remain on the fringes of your life: His only Son willingly gave His life for you.

       You see, only one thing separates us from God, and that is our sin. But Jesus Christ came to make our forgiveness possible, and He did this through His death for us on the cross. God loves you that much! By a simple prayer of faith tell God you know you are a sinner, and that you are sorry you have ignored Him and left Him out of your life.

       Then ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come into your life today. Don’t ignore the “tug” you felt in your heart, but commit yourself to Christ without delay.    

  • 3 questions to manage your emotions

    “From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires” (1 Peter 4:2 GNT).

       What are human desires? They’re your

    emotions and your affections. Once you become a Christ-follower, your life should be controlled by God’s will, not by how you feel. 

        Let me give you three questions to ask about your emotions when you’re trying to figure out how to deal with how you feel. When you’re angry or upset or frustrated — whatever you’re feeling — ask yourself: 1. “What’s the real reason I’m feeling this?” 

       Maybe the answer is fear or worry. Maybe it relates to something someone said to you years ago that was never resolved. 

        2. “Is it true?”  

       Is what you’re feeling at that moment true? There’s a point in the Bible where Elijah got so discouraged that he went to God and

    complained, “God, I’m the only one in the entire nation of Israel left serving you.” And God challenged him, saying, “Are you kidding me?  

    You’re acting like you’re the only one trying to do the right thing in the whole world!

        No. That’s not true.” 

    3. “Is what I’m feeling helping me or hurting me?” 

       Will you get what you want by continuing to feel this way? A lot of feelings we have seem natural, but they’re actually self-defeating.  

       Let’s say you go to a restaurant, and the service is extremely slow. You wait a long time to be served, and then a couple comes in 15 minutes after you and gets their food before you do. You get

    increasingly more irritated until you feel something welling up inside you. 

       What’s the real reason you’re feeling that way? You’re hungry! 

       Is it true? Yes. You’re frustrated because the service is slow. But is your emotion helping or hurting? It’s hurting. Do you get better service by getting angry with the server? Absolutely not.  Does nagging work? Has it ever worked? When somebody tells you all the things you’re doing wrong, does it make you want to change? No! All it does is make you defensive.  

       When you ask yourself these three

    questions, you get a better grip on why you feel the way you do and what you need to do to help the situation. That’s called managing your emotions.  

    - Pastor Rick Warren

  • on the calendar

    Tuesday, April 3

    Thrive Youth Group Dojo Boom 6:00 p.m.Carpool from church

    Saturday, April 14

    Family Connect Hike 9:00 a.m. Carpool from church

    Saturday, May 5

    Women’s Spring Tea 10:00 a.m. At the church patio

    Sunday, May 20

    Thrive Youth Group Hike 10:30 a.m. Carpool from church

    Sundays, April 8, May 6, & June 3

    Sunday Pizza at Jax After second service  

    June is Sunday school promotion month

    Saturday, June 9

    Men’s Father’s Day Breakfast 8:00 a.m. at the church patio

    Friday, June 15 - Saturday June 16

    Thrive Youth Group Lock-in 9:30 p.m. at Life Spring