January 22 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of January 22, 2017

Thank you Pastor  Rod, for the message from Exodus 5, “The Last Straw.” Members of President Obama’s outgoing White House staff have said their days were filled with overwhelming work, little sleep or family time. They realized their purpose and knew the big picture goals they worked for as they served the country. In contrast the Israelites only knew day to day slavery. The theme of Exodus is about God redeeming His people through leadership. Moses is the key figure, who has direct communication with God. Joseph saved Egypt from famine, becomes second only to Pharaoh, but then  (v.1:8)  A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. This new king saw Israel growing in numbers so through fear, he took preemptive measures, putting them to hard labor, even killing the boy infants to reduce their numbers. (v.1:11) “So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities.” God sends two 80 year olds to approach the most powerful ruler in world, Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” In Pharoah’s mind, he questioned who is the God of slaves, of these helpless people? I do not know the Lord. Pharaoh refused to acknowledge past history. It was not the response Moses expected. 3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” The Promised Land was their goal, not the wilderness.  When should we avoid responding to God?

Questioning God’s Protection.  (22b) Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Moses asks, What have You done to them? Pharaoh’s response, 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!” 6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7“You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’  When difficulties and trials come into our lives, the mistake we make is to say that God is not with us, but problems are actually part of the Christian life. It is pain and affliction that keeps us close to God. If you have problems, it does not mean you are not in God’s will.

Questioning God’s Program. What have You done to me? (v.22c) Why did You ever send me?  21 They said to them, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”  The Jewish foremen question Moses and Aaron by saying you made us odious (stink, scorned or condemned) in Pharaoh’s sight. They were upset with their leadership, which is very appropriate for our day. We love to complain, and it is not to say it is necessarily wrong, it is part of being human, but did the people cry out to God for deliverance? We should remember the history of God’s care and leading.

Questioning God’s Provision.  What have You not done for us?  (v.23)  Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all. 12 ..the people scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters pressed them, …, “Complete your work quota, your daily amount, just as when you had straw.” 14 … the foremen of the sons of Israel, …were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not completed your required amount …?” There is a presumption that God should do things our way. But we are temporal, God is eternal, timeless. He does not work by our timetable. Our goal is to have eternity with Him but our deliverance may be delayed.

Last weekend was the Winter Vision retreat and because of road blockages caused by heavy rainfall, the road was blocked by mudslides and fallen trees up to the last hour before the conference was to begin. The So Cal leadership began the drive to the retreat before the road was cleared, but in faith prayed, “God would you open the road? They did not tell God, “You should!” In trust they looked to Him in trust and in faith to work everything out, and indeed He did.

Missions Moment:

Thank you to Andy Jeung for sharing about her new ministry responsibilities with Educational Resources and Referrals – China as their Field Processing Manager in Oakland. Her responsibilities include taking care of the teachers/missionaries they send to China from application to appointment. For more information of if you would like to join her support team, please go to: andyjeung.com/ministry (pw is JEUNG) 

Calendar Items:

1/27    5:30pm  “F3” is now called, “Little House!” Potluck Dinner and Fellowship Time (Pastor Scott & Michi Shimada)

1/29    9:00am   Small Group Kickoff Breakfast (Pastor Eric)

1/29  12:15pm   Baptisms & New Membership Transfers – Reception/Joint Fellowship Hour

1/30-2/2            OMS Pastor’s Retreat

2/5      9:00am   Deacon’s Meeting in room 8-9

2/5    12:30pm   Baby Shower – Wendy and Jeff Chun

2/6      7:30pm   Young Life Hosting team meeting – anyone interested

2/12  12:15pm   Grow San Lo – Capital Campaign Launch Meeting

2/12  12:45pm   Missions Team Meeting in room 8-9

2/19  12:45am   NAOMI House Ministry Information Meeting in room 8-9

2/25  10:00am   55+ Senior Care – PACE, Laurie Shigekuni (Gary Yamashita)

Have a blessed week trusting God in all things,

Stan ,  for SLZJCC