Our 'Jerusalem'...Our 'End of the Earth'

I've been thinking quite a lot, recently, about our Savior's final instructions to us all. Remember what He said, right before His great departure: His ascension?
     "...you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8

We worship a Savior who "loves the world", so much in fact that He died to rescue it.

There is no corner of the world excluded fro His plan. He wishes to reach it all! That's why He gave such precise instructions. "...In Jerusalem...", there's the local community, as far as His disciples were concerned. "...In all Judea..." there is the rest of the Jewish nation "...and Samaria..." that one had to be a shocker. The Samaritans? Was He kidding? Those heretics, idolators, and enemies of the Jews? No, He wasn't kidding. "...and to the end of the earth." Wow! God's love for the world! It knows no borders, submits to no boundaries! Isn't it awesome? Aren't you thankful for it?

I love this church and the way it has proven faithful to this Great Commission. Just last week we had an entire team come back from 'the end of the earth'. (Dave Johnson, Wyatt Myers, Starr Stice, Alma Palamino, Bennie Townsend, Carla Solis, Nina Abdi, Jessica O'Donnell, Helen McConnell, Brianna Canale). They poured their hearts into the lives of those children at the Hope Home in Uganda: loving them, teaching them, preaching the Gospel, sharing their faith. And—oh!—they didn't stop there. As with most of the teams that go forth from this church: there is very little distinction between spiritual labor and manual! With every spare moment, they dug trenches, pulled tree stumps, hauled bricks, hauled cement, laid bricks, erected enclosures, built chicken pens, pig pens and cowpens. All to make a better farm for the Hope Home. The farm is about ten miles from the orphanage and is now already being used to supply staples for the orphanage larder.

Isn't it awesome? And it is every bit as much your work, dear family, as it was theirs, since you always give so generously to our missions.

"To the end of the earth". I don't believe you can get much further away than Uganda.

But isn't our 'Jerusalem' a thrill these days too? Every week, we have the excitement of new visitors joining us; right here in our community. And what do they find when they come? A welcoming family of Christ that loves the world that God "so loved". God bless you all for that!

What about that police barbecue last week? Another corner of our "Jerusalem"? I'll let Lieutenant Fred Lopez, of the City of Orange Police Department fill you in on it. Here's what he wrote us last week:

"Yesterday's fundraiser was a demonstration of a group of people that have faith, put the needs of others ahead of their own, live their lives through selfless acts and are all-around genuine kind people.
"I was humbled yesterday to see all of you do something for someone you don't even know, with no expectation of anything in return, and for all the right reasons. If everyone in life practiced your same principles, we would have a much better world to live in I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for each and every one of you. What you did showed an entire city what can be done for the good of others.
"We had over 20 law enforcement agencies from all over Orange County and Los Angeles County, private businesses and beyond, respond to show their support for the Maciel family. Your staff served over 650 people! We raised a record $27,000 to help Joey and Tabitha Maciel with the added expenses they are incurring in the care of their sick son Brayden at CHOC Los Angeles. There is no other agency I am aware of that has been able to raise such an amount and I want you to know that this group you assembled yesterday is the very reason it happened.
"As to Pastor Dave Johnson, the "man in the Duck Dynasty camouflage baseball cap"; the "guy with the beard who loves wearing his overalls with his cooking knife": I want you to know that, in my 25 years at OPD— eight of those years as a sergeant and seven as a lieutenant—Pastor Dave is the EPITOME OF LEADERSHIP. I have read every leadership book, been to the Harvard School of Business for classes on leadership, and his ability to inspire others, create an environment where others are successful, lead by example and influence others in a positive way is an example of everything I have learned and been taught.
"Thanks to all of you!
"Lieutenant Fred Lopez City of Orange Police Department"

Lord, we love our 'Jerusalem', and all of its first responders! Thank you for letting us be your witnesses to them all!

See you Sunday. RAS

His Intense Desire to Rescue!
The Choices that Make You