March Birthdays and Anniversaries!

Happy Birthday to all March Birthdays!
Happy birthday!! We hope your day is filled with lots of love and laughter! May all of your birthday wishes come true. God Bless!

4    Zack Norris
7    Genevieve Mortensen Shelly
7    David Nissen
8    Tim Osorio
11    David Drape
12    Robert Martinez
13    Gina Salomon
13    John Szabo
14    Barbara Saffell
19    Maria Mclatchey

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary to Our March Couples!
Sending anniversary congratulations and best wishes for the years ahead to all those celebrating wedding anniversaries.

25    Liryn & Tim Osorio

Overcoming Life’s Storms

This winter California has once again endured some extreme weather, and at times, some heavy rain and wind. In the midst of wind, rain, and at higher elevations, snow and ice, everything from plants to buildings have taken a beating. Roofers have long waiting lists of customers, carpet and flooring companies are making repairs following water damage, and the list goes on. Come the heat of the summer though, and most of us will quickly forget the cold, wet winter. In life, we would like it to be so easy too. We would like to forget the emotional storms and move on into the “sunshine” of our lives.

For one young man, he did just that. He overcame failure and persevered. When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality, and he had to work to help support them. At age nine, his mother died. At twenty-two, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school, but his education wasn’t good enough. At twenty three, he went into debt to become a partner in a small store. At twenty-six, his business partner died, leaving him a huge debt that took years to repay. At twenty-eight, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him. She said no. At thirty-seven, on his third try, he was elected to Congress, but two years later he failed to be re-elected. At forty-one, his four-year-old son died. At forty-five, he ran for the Senate and lost. At forty-seven, he failed as the vice-presidential candidate. At forty-nine, he ran for the Senate again and lost. At fifty-one, he was elected President of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln, a man many consider to be a great leader. Lincoln persevered, despite his disappointments, and overcame adversity.
May we rely upon God’s strength and guidance to help us overcome life’s storms. May we find the strength and courage to persevere in doing good and serving God.

Wading through the water,

Karen

Keeping a Holy Lent

The word “Lent” comes from a word meaning “spring” and “long,” an apparent reference to the lengthening of the days of spring. Lent is the season preceding Easter, a season for self-discipline and renewal. Its tradition goes back to the early days of the Christian church, beginning in the first century as an observance lasting forty hours, roughly the amount of time Jesus was believed to have laid in the tomb. In later years, the duration of the season was extended to six days called Holy Week. A custom arose about that time among those able to visit Jerusalem of visiting various sites associated with the life and ministry of Jesus. It was to be a time of fasting and self-denial, symbolic of Jesus own suffering and death. This visiting of significant sites also led to the Stations of the Cross for the Roman Catholic Church.  In later centuries, the duration of Lent was again extended, this time to 36 days, apparently a tithing of the number of days in the year. Still later, four more days were added, the numeral four being significant as symbolic of the number forty, that number often symbolizing a long time, or even endless time. It especially calls to mind the forty days and nights that Jesus is said to have spent in the wilderness, a time of testing and temptation prior to the start of his ministry. Sundays are not included in the numbering of the days of Lent, because Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and Lent recognizes the events leading up to the resurrection. For this reason we refer to the Sundays in Lent rather than the Sundays of Lent. Currently, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday in most Western churches, though the Eastern Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches begin Lent on Monday.

As our world faces many challenges, including hunger, homelessness, drug addiction, war, political divisiveness, disease and overall despair, make an extra effort this Lenten season to spend time in prayer and reflection. Be disciplined in offering prayers for those around you, those across the globe, those your encounter in your daily activities. When and where you can, be generous with your time and resources. In all things, be thankful for God’s grace and goodness.

March Birthdays and Anniversaries

Happy birthday!! We hope your day is filled with lots of love and laughter! May all of your birthday wishes come true. God Bless!
7      Genevieve Mortensen Shelly
7      David Nissen
8      Tim Daniel Osorio
11    David Drape
12    Robert Martinez
13    John Szabo
14    Barbara Saffell

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary to Our March Couples!
Sending anniversary congratulations and best wishes for the years ahead to all those celebrating wedding anniversaries.

25 Liryn & Tim Osorio

Lenten Practices

Things to give up during Lent:

1.    Fear of Failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
2.    Feelings of Unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
3.    Impatience – Count to 10 and extend grace.
4.    Blame – Tell yourself, “I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.”
5.    Guilt – Remember, you are loved by God and forgiven. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
6.    Over commitment – Do less better and accomplish more.
7.    Entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
8.    Apathy – Life is too short not to care.
9.    Hatred – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
10.    Complaining/ Bitterness- Put aside negative thoughts. Work to minimize contact with people who are negative and toxic. Instead of contributing to the problem, be the solution.
11.    Destructive Speech – Encourage one another.
12.    Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
13.    Resistance to Change – Change is certain. It is not if we will change, but how we will change.
14.    Ungratefulness – You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize. Give thanks.
15.     Reduce the Use of Electronics– Spend more time making direct contact with others and less time utilizing electronics (i.e. instead of sending that text or email, pick up the phone and call).

Things to start doing for Lent:
1.    Give away something every single day, be it time, money, or something you own. Clean out closets and drawers. Donate, recycle, and get rid of 40 things in 40 days.
2.    Make a list of 40 people who have touched your life and write one each day with a letter of appreciation.
3.    Plan to read the Sunday scriptures before you go to church. In the same way that reading up on football players, opposing teams, and coaching strategies will help you experience a game more fully, familiarizing yourself with the readings ahead of time will help you experience them in a deeper way on Sunday.
4.    Plan 40 acts of kindness, and/or 40 phone calls to the important people in your life.
5.    Read the entire Gospel of Mark in one sitting. As the shortest Gospel, it is the most concise story of Jesus’ life.
6.    Unplug from your iPhone or turn off your car radio on your commute. The silence may be jarring at first, but you may find that you are able to concentrate better and will be more observant of your surroundings.
7.    Plan to volunteer at least one weekend or evening during Lent. Serve a meal at your local soup kitchen. Visit the elderly or those who are ill. Stock shelves at a food pantry; pick up litter; volunteer at church, etc.
8.    Pray for someone. As you’re walking the streets, driving the highways, or sitting in your cubicle at work, pick out a person who appears to be in need and pray for that person.
9.    Get to know your neighbors. Introduce yourself, plan a dinner, or bring food to an older person on your block.

Ash Wednesday

Drive Thru and Walk Up to Receive Ashes
FCCG is joining with the United Methodist Church this Ash Wednesday and we will be providing two opportunities for you to receive the imposition of ashes, a blessing and a Lenten calendar. On Wednesday, March 2 between 7 – 8 a.m., you can drive thru or walk in to the First Christian Church parking lot, 300 N. Glendora Ave., or you may go to the United Methodist parking lot, 201 E. Bennett Ave., between noon – 1 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Karen.