The Fruit of the Spirit: Part 1

Costco can't be making any money on their fruit.

I've worked out the numbers and they just don't add up.

I routinely check the prices between Costco and other local grocery stores on several produce items. It's not even close. Even the bargain grocery stores - they're just not playing in the same league. For instance, I can pay $3 for a coin purse of about 13 shriveled, anemic blueberries at ....we'll call it "Fare-4-Fewer;" or, I can pay $3.50 for a 50 gallon drum of the most plump, juicy, so-that's-what-Joshua-and-Caleb-found-in-Canaan blueberries at Costco. I'm convinced Costco's fruit sales are just a front for some sort of illegal, mob activity. It's the only way they can offer these kind of deals. (And don't get me started on the straight-out-of-1974 $1.50 hot dog and drink steal! We keep looking for a way to end world hunger - Costco has had the answer for 30 years now)

I'm reminded of Paul's picture of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. The list of these fruit stand in clear opposition to the list of the works of the flesh immediately preceding: "fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels," etc. The Spirit-led life ought to stand in a much starker contrast to the works of the flesh than Costco's fruit does to the bargain brand variety. The differences should be obvious. 

So, why can it seem so hard to pick out the Christian from the crowd? Why do Christians often demonstrate the weak, anemic bargain store variety of spiritual fruit? Further, why does it sometimes seem so difficult to see the fruit of the Spirit rather than the works of the flesh in my own life?

Perhaps Romans 6 can give us a little perspective.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. (Romans 6:20-22, NASB)

So, where are they going with this? How is this connected to the fruit of the Spirit? All we can say is be watching for part 2 in next month's newsletter. Until then, may God continue developing the rich, effective, delightful fruit of the Spirit in your lives.

Your district administration

 

Summer Shorts

Continuing our "summer shorts" series, we have a new video telling the story of how God has been working in the life of Jose Fimbres, a member of Southeast Church of the Nazarene in San Diego. Feel free to use it in any church events or services in which you find it applicable (If you click HERE you can find the file for view and download on the district website [HD version is coming soon]).

 

Español Adjunto

Attached to this newsletter is our second Spanish translation (translated by Joel Guerra, district Spanish ministries coordinator). We are excited about what God is doing in our Spanish-speaking ministries across the district and are working to further integrate their participation and perspective.

 

2016 Haiti Work & Witness Trips

If you're interested in being a part of one of the November Haiti Work and Witness teams, please contact Rob Altice(menifeenaz@hotmail.com) indicating your desire. 20 tickets are reserved for each team. (Teachers and Medical personal have 1st priority for Team 2.)

 

NYI - Save the Date

August 20th 10am-1pm @ Murrieta Gateway - we want EVERYONE who works with youth (in any capacity) on our district to come to this special end-of-summer NYI celebration!

January 2017 - SoCal NYI Campference - It’s a conference + camp specifically crafted for youth workers. More details to be announced soon.

 

Seminar By The Sea @ PLNU

This August 1-5, PLNU's Center for Pastoral Leadership will be offering a series of seminars on Wesleyan theology and contemporary ministry. It will be a time of scripture reading, prayer, and theological conversation together in attempting to learn from the ministry and message of John Wesley, and some of today’s leading interpreters of Wesley. Several important questions will be discussed:

  • What is the nature of authentic encounter with God?
  • What does it mean practically to teach and to live the biblical proclamation that “God is love”?
  • What is the role of the sacraments in faithful Wesleyan ministry?
  • How do the worship, preaching, and spiritual formation that occur in our churches relate us faithfully to the vast world of God’s creation beyond church walls?

For more information or to register for this event visit www.pointloma.edu/cpl

 

PK Retreat

This year's Pastor's Kids Retreat, July 6 - 9, will be held at PLNU and is open to all pastor's kids, 7th - 12th grade. Use this link (http://www.123contactform.com/form-895644/) to register.

 

Church Plant NEED

Living Water Church of the Nazarene, church plant of Southeast Church of the Nazarene in San Diego, is in need of several items as they work to build their church from the ground up. If your church has an excess of any of these items or knows someone who would be willing to donate to Living Water, please contact Pastor Chris Nafis. Thank you.

  • Tithing Plates/Box
  • Tables (portable tables for meals)
  • Large Rug for our children’s area (as large as we can get!)
  • XLR Cords (3-4 25 feet, 2 shorter ones )
  • Direct Box

 

Mid-High Camp

Illuminate, this year's Mid-high camp, will be July 25-29 at Idyllwild Pines Christian Camp. All campers, counsellors, and parents, please check our District Mid-High Camp webpage for registration forms and promotional materials. If you haven’t received your camp packet (sent mid March) to resource you for this year, contact Jeremy Schultheiss. We've started announcing camp outside of this e-blast and some groups are already approaching their capacity. Get registered to save your spot!

 

NCM Compassion Conference

NCM's Compassion Conference, July 14-16, is a three-day global gathering at Olivet Nazarene University, sponsored by Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. The event will inspire you to imagine how the church can live out God’s call to compassion and equip you for holistic, transformational ministry.

Learn together how to connect, collaborate, and create in order to change the world for those living in the margins of your community. Register now and spread the word.

 

A Word from your SDMI Chair

The upcoming Fresh Start is Feb. 12, 2017. Cost will be $12 per person and will take place at The Bridge Church in Bloomington. Let’s make this year’s Fresh Start the best yet it can be! Send me (Kevin O'Connor) what workshops you would like to see and help us equip your team.

 

Lesson Attachments

Attached to this newsletter are 2 lessons: one from Dr. Tim Gaines and one from Teanna Sunberg. Feel free to use them in your Sunday School classes, Bible studies, or for personal reading.

 

Monthly Reporting

Pastors, please continue - or start - recording your monthly church stats here. A simple Haiku for those who do not report their numbers.

On-time reporting

never killed anyone, but

you still won't chance it.

Connect With Us On: