Try it His Way

Outdoor Service & Potluck
This coming Sunday we are taking our church outdoors!!! You heard that right. At 10am we are going to meet at the open pavilion at Perinton Park to worship our God and point the world to the wonderful love of Jesus! That is incredibly good news to share, isn’t it? The music will be rich and exciting and the message is being written with you and a friend in mind-especially if life has been stressful or overwhelming. So if you haven’t done so already, I hope you plan to come and consider bringing a friend with you who might not have a church like Eastside to call home.

If you’re wondering where to park and what to do when you get there…you can park up top by the basketball court or down low just off of O’Connor Road. Once you pull in, you can’t miss us! Just remember, look toward the basketball court. Got it? Also, feel free to wear your Eastside t-shirt if you have one. If not, how about something green or white (those are our church colors). If that’s not your thing…you can wear whatever you want to. Alright? We just can’t wait to see you there!

There will also be a potluck meal and a time of fellowship immediately after the service. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up and wanted to bring something, we could still use a main dish, some desserts, or a side. But just remember, you don’t have to bring a dish to come. Again, we value your presence more than your (insert a food that rhymes with “presence”...I got nothing). We hope to see you there and you’ll have plenty of time to get back before the Bills game!

“The Chosen” is Off to a Great Start!
Don’t tell them I told you, but I just got a text from Tim and Kim Holt and boy are they excited about the great response to “The Chosen” Grow Groups! They’re hosting them on Tuesday evenings (7pm at the church) and Thursday mornings (at their home)! My family and I went Tuesday night and I have to tell you, I also really enjoyed the episode, all the people that came, and the meaningful conversation we had.

I can think of at least three things that makes this such a great opportunity for all of us: 1) Tim and Kim have such great hearts and enrich this series with their love for Jesus and their passion in sharing this experience with us; 2) “The Chosen” really is a quality work of gospel-inspired art; 3) well friends, it's just good for our well-being to be together.

I don’t know if you have noticed but our world is hurting right now…a lot…and maybe you are too. Life can be so heavy at times and even when it’s not, we just need one another. But I want to offer you this perspective as well…someone needs you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your presence means more than you realize. There is someone this week who needs a hug, a sincere “hey, how are you doing?”, or for you to simply sit next to them in church or at a Grow Group. That’s how the Spirit of God works through each of us. Missing church is more than missing a church service…it’s missing out on how God might use you to share his love with someone else.
I don’t offer that in judgment…I really don’t. I offer that with hope that it might open our eyes to how God might use you, and use me, to share his heart. Now of course, it can and should happen beyond the four walls of our church. But you know something? It was always meant to begin here…among us…and then spill out, all over, into our everyday lives and neighborhoods (John 13:35). We were CHOSEN to share his love!

If you missed the first episode, it’s really simple to catch up! You can still watch it on our Eastside Church App for free. And you can also jump into one of the Grow Groups at anytime…even if it’s just for one here and there. But you have to do me a favor, okay? Watch the fish images at the beginning of the episode(s) and let us know if you notice anything. Got it?

 Try it His Way
“The only thing that doesn’t change its mind is a donkey. Don’t be a donkey.” My high school math teacher said to our class. We all laughed, but apparently, he sensed that we had given up and decided the topic at hand was just too difficult to grasp. We had made up our mind…we couldn’t do it. We just couldn’t see any other way forward.

The image of a stubborn donkey, head down, grunting with each step, refusing to budge or turn in another direction filled my thoughts. What makes a donkey so stubborn and resistant? Perhaps they think there is no other way or just can’t imagine how a change would make a difference. I suppose there’s also comfort in the simplicity of digging in our heels and plowing ahead as we have always done. But what if change is the best thing for us? What if there was another way? A better way?

Jesus seemed to think there was! In fact, as soon as he began his earthly ministry, he told people, “The kingdom of God has come near! Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15 NIV). The Greek word metanoia (often translated as “repent”) quite literally means “to change your mind.” The apostle Paul understood this very well when he offered us these words in Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by a renewal of your mind.”

You see, Jesus believed that for positive, impactful change and transformation to happen in our lives and in the situations in our lives, we must first change our mind. We must decide that our way and the world’s way isn’t working. We must decide to give Jesus a chance and try it His way. And that’s the Good News! The Good News is that Jesus’ way is the better way. It’s the best way and it’s the only way that will truly bring about the changes we need to see in our lives.

So I ask you, as I ask myself, where are you stubbornly trying to do it your way? Where are you still wrestling to force something to happen in your own strength, even though, if you’re being honest with yourself, you can tell it isn’t working? Perhaps you're living for something else instead of for Jesus. Maybe you’re refusing to let go of something or resisting forgiveness. Or perhaps you still think being in control is somehow better than giving control to our Savior.

Whatever you are doing right now, STOP! (Well, finish reading this first and then stop). What’s stressing you out? Where are you feeling overwhelmed, angry, resentful, frustrated, or anxious? As followers of Jesus, we are not ruled by our feelings but our feelings are often a sign that we may not be doing it Jesus’ way. Now, LISTEN. Where is Jesus saying to you right now, “Try it my way”?