SNAPSHOT 21 MARCH 2017

Dear Friends

This is a big week in the history of our country. Thousands of people from all over South Africa will converge on a farm just outside Bloemfontein to pray for our country. Some think that the prayer time in Bloemfontein is just about getting rid of a few politicians but it is actually much bigger than that. At our prayer meeting last night one lady prayed the words of this prayer from the bible:

Isaiah 64:1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. Your sacred cities have become a wasteland; even Zion is a wasteland, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and glorious temple, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. After all this, Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure?

The prayer time in Bloemfontein is about us humbling ourselves before God acknowledging our own sinfulness and dependance upon His grace to take us into the future that He has for us as a nation. It is also about us submitting to His plan for us, our families, our city and our nation.

There is quite a large going from Eastside. There is still time to join us by joining the whatsapp group. (Click the link below). if you cannot go why not make some time on Saturday and pray with us anyway? Ask God to rent heaven and come down to us in a way that will heal our nation and our broken lives.

Riaan

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN TEEN CHURCH?

Social Media is awesome. It’s brought us some of the best inventions in modern times. Like the selfie, or even better, the selfie stick. Maybe you’re a fan of the hashtag or the GIF or weekly holidays like Throwback Thursday. All of those were all made popular by one social network or another. And, maybe one of the best things these apps have given us is the filter. Filters are amazing. They basically change the way you see something in a picture. A quick swipe and you can instantly make your photo look brighter, dimmer, older, newer, you can change the shape of your eyes, change the color of your hair, or even swap faces with another human being! You know what we called that in the old days? Magic.

Now, it’s just normal. You take a pic and you automatically start swipingto the left or the right to find filters that will make the scene better or funnier or more interesting.

But in the process of posting our lives online, other things can get filtered too, maybe even things that shouldn’t—like how we see ourselves, our words, and even other people. When we can’t see a situation clearly, it’s easy to forget how powerful our posts and pics really are. Even though the Bible doesn’t say much about which Instagram filter to use or whether screenshotting Snapchat is actually a sin, it does offer a lot of advice that’s really helpful as we navigate our social lives online. As we explore what an ancient book can teach us about modern social life, we may just find God’s plan for us isn’t to use social media LESS, but instead enjoy it MORE as we learn which things are better with NO FILTER.

ISRAEL TOUR 2017 - Join the 'Virtual Tour'

Next week Saturday, Mark will start leading 43 others through Israel. This will be a life-changing tour for many Eastsiders who are joining the tour, and so we would love for you to pray for those in Israel from the 29th of April to the 8th of May.

But... you don't have to miss out entirely. Mark will be sharing many photos and videos of the tour via Facebook, but also live streaming some of the significant moments of the tour (like being on the Sea of Galilee, baptism in the Jordan River, floating in the Dead Sea and visiting the Tomb of Jesus).

Like his Facebook page below and during the week you'll be able to either watch some of the tour live, or go back and watch the videos even after the live streaming has ended.

CAN YOU "TAKE THEM A MEAL"?

As a community, we often become aware of people who are ill or who have been in hospital, or for whatever reason could just use that extra little bit of help. A great resource called take them a meal will help us as a church to serve each other in an easy, practical way.

THIS IS HOW IT WILL WORK

  • Let us know that you would like to be part of the TTAM team
  • Whenever there is a need and there is a family we can help with some meals, we will send you a web link
  • If your time and resources allow, you can click the link, see a weekly planner and type your name in on a day that suits you, when you will be able to take someone a meal. You will also be able to see what meals have been planned so that a family doesn't have 10 days of pizza in a row ;)

If you get a text message with a link and are in a busy season of your life or cannot assist this time round for whatever reason - no problem! Simply wait until there is another family in need in a few weeks time.

So - what you think? Ready to join this practical team? Click the link below and let us know you would like to be on the TTAM database.

THE ART OF MARRIAGE...

is a great course, presented at Eastside, to help couples strengthen their marriage. If you've never done a marriage course before, this short course is guaranteed to help you take your marriage to a new (great!) level. And, if you have done a marriage course before (like 'The Alpha Marriage Course' for example) this will be a great refresher course. Date Night for the win!

We would love to invite you to enjoy 'The Art of Marriage' at Eastside, starting on Wednesday the 10th of May. We would also love for you to invite your friends to do the course with you. It would be great if you every couple at Eastside who plans to attend the course invites one other couple to join them. Not only will it benefit your friends, and connect them to a church, but it will also show them that you care about them as a couple and want the best for their marriage.

Click below for more information or to register

Also starting on the 10th of May is the "From Anger to Intimacy" course. This course, while focussed on bringing forgiveness to relationships, is for both single and married people.

Again, this is not only a great opportunity for you as an Eastsider - but one where you can invite unchurched friends of family to be part of a short (3 week) course that will benefit them. For more info or to register, click the link below:

WE WANT YOU!

If you can sing, play an instrument or click a mouse button, we want you! We would love to have some new Eastsider's join this dynamic, fun and spirit-led team. We will journey with you until you feel "stage ready" so don't let your nerves or doubts stand in the way of joining the Eastside Worship Team. Click below to let us know you're interested (no commitment yet, don't worry) and one of the Worship Leaders will contact you soon.

Credits:

Created with images by DayronV - "underground god hope" • Buecherwurm_65 - "jerusalem old town city wall"

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