Hilltop Chapel Newsletter

JULY  2017
On July 4th, we celebrate the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  And, with that great document, a new nation was launched upon the ebbing and flowing tides of world history.  The roll call of great men and women who laid, with steely determination, the firm foundation upon which the United States of America would be built, reads like the A-list of the finest minds ever assembled for any purpose.
            I’m sure that, as the days drug on leading up to the pronouncement, tensions were high, nerves were frayed and friendships were strained to the absolute limit.  Working well into the wee hours of the
sultry Philadelphia nights, there were occasions when it was strongly suggested that they adjourn and return at a later date to continue the debate and conclude the arduous task.  On more than one of these
pivotal junctures, the proceedings were halted and the name of God invocated in earnest prayer for divine guidance.  Our founding fathers were more than 150 years removed from the humble beginnings of the Plymouth colony in 1620, yet the deep Christian faith and principles that guided the Pilgrims, beat strong and true in the hearts of many of their great-great grandsons the night the final document was agreed upon and signed by all in attendance.
            As I pondered what to write for this month’s article, it occurred to me that, going back to the earliest civilizations, very few were the product of noble thoughts and pure intentions.  Most nations were built on the premise that other nations were made up of inferior and thus, weaker individuals whose land possessions and labor were necessary for the betterment of the stronger nation.  Looking at our world at this very moment, it is obvious that nothing has significantly changed, in that nations war against other nations and those who are stronger, conquer and enslave the weaker ones.
            Am I about to start patting America on the back, because we have been a paragon of virtue among the nations of the world?  I do believe that, in spite of the efforts some of our leaders, we have comported
ourselves reasonably well within the community of nations.  However, with each passing year, we move farther and farther away from that early dependence upon biblical truths and Godly conduct that stood us
in such good stead over the formative years of our nationhood.  So, you may ask, where are we now and where are we headed?
            It is my firm belief that, when God is pushed out of the collective consciousness of any nation, the results are uniformly the same.  The people of that nation start to look to the government to meet more and more of their perceived “needs” and, in the process, cede the vast majority of their freedoms to the government.  As the lobster, in the parable, placed in a pot of cool water is blissfully unaware that the water is slowing being heated until it reaches the boiling point, so too, many in our country today are in a similar situation.  Liberty and justice for all are the last five words of the Pledge of Allegiance, but how much of that liberty and justice is still available to us and who really cares one way or the other, anyway?  The case could easily be made that, without an earnest and repentant return to our biblical roots, our country will not survive the continuous onslaught of the forces of evil encircling us today.  We cannot assume that all will be well simply because we are loaded with good intentions and mean no one any harm.  The world does not work that way!
            God’s admonition to the people of Israel and, in essence, us—His church—is set forth in II Chronicles 7:14:  “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My
face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  I believe God is calling out people in one last, great gesture of grace and mercy.  The signs of
the times are ever more clearly focused on the gathering storm clouds of war and destruction.  I am well aware that it is not popular to constantly sound the alarm bells of “gloom and doom”.  It is, also, equally as dangerous to live in perpetual ignorance about the clear and present danger now standing at your doorstep.
            Jesus tells us, in Matthew 24:4, “…Take heed that no one deceives you.”  There are people in this country today who are in the business of deceiving others into doing things without any regard for God or
the warnings about the “last days”.  We, as Christians, must recognize the perilous times in which we live, seek out the lost souls among us and lead them to Jesus as soon as possible.
            The only true liberty and justice for all is found in Jesus Himself!  He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”  John 14:6.  In the book of I Peter, chapter 2,
verses 9 and 10, it is written: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who were once not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”  May we, His people, proclaim liberty and justice for all, through the precious blood of Jesus, shed for the sins of the entire world.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pastor Rod


Did You Know?...

July 2017 


The Christian Education Dept. is gearing up for our Vacation Bible School in July, with volunteers preparing curriculum, projects and decorations.  This year’s theme is “Barnyard Roundup” and many youngsters will be joining us for a week of adventure and ‘fun down on the farm’.  They will enjoy games, sports, science experiments and snacks.  Hearts and lives can and will be changed and we know that the more we pray the greater the harvest will be.  Mark your calendars for July 17th through the 21st and bring your family, friends and neighbors to Hilltop Chapel VBS …  Volunteers are needed to help with VBS preparations on Tuesday evenings in the Hilltop Chapel Fellowship Hall.  Come and join us – you’ll be glad you did … We congratulate all the graduates of the Class of 2017.  We salute you and our prayers go with you as you begin a new chapter in your life.  Remember to live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God ...  With Pastor Rod and Lesley out of town, Isidro Bruno delivered the message, entitled “Start the Day Out Naked”, during Sunday Morning Worship Service on June 4.  He spoke about the armor of God that everyone carries to stand against evil -- the armor of life, helmet, and breast plate of righteousness.  The sword of the spirit is the word of God and Jesus Christ is the living word … As Pastor Rod and Lesley were still out of town, Russell Crose volunteered to provide the message, entitled “Let’s Go Fishing”, for our Worship Service on June 11.  Russell admitted to being out of his Christian box, but overcame his nervousness and helped us take a walk with Peter, as fishers of men, following in his footsteps.  Our God is the only God who comes looking for us and serves us …  Our Helping Hands Meeting and Potluck was held on June 6th, which also happened to be the day PG&E had scheduled a planned power outage in our area to repair some of their equipment.  But the hostess was prepared.  The Alianos had hooked up a whole house generator and they were ready for any emergency, so the meeting went on as planned.  By the way, if you are contemplating remodeling your home while still living in it, contact the Alianos.  They might be able to give you some good advice.  They do LOVE their new kitchen and are so thankful it’s DONE … If you saw the recent movie “Facing Darkness” about the Ebola crisis in Liberia, you may have wondered what Dr. Kent Brantley is doing today.  He’s back on the front lines of medical missions – serving with Samaritan’s Purse at the Emergency Field Hospital in northern Iraq.  “I didn’t have to overcome a lot of fear to choose to come here, because I knew it was the right thing to do,” Dr. Brantly said.  His brush with death from Ebola gave him a powerful testimony to share with his patients in Iraq.  “God saved my life and has allowed me to be here taking care of you,” he tells them.  “He doesn’t promise us that we will always get better, but He promises He will always be with us.”   We thank God for keeping the many doctors and their staff safe and working through them to care for more than 1,300 patients, including several who have given their life to Christ ...  Many family, friends and loved ones gathered on June 17th to honor the life and legacy of Lee Duncan who passed away to the loving arms of the Lord on June 10th  ...  Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal  ...  Love the people God gave you because He will need them back some day ...  Have a safe and sane Independence Day – God Bless the USA!


July 2017 
7/4/17    TUE    ALL DAY        Independence Day.  We all know the tremendous importance of this
                                                   particular day in the history of our country.  Please, let’s not let the
                                                   celebration of the “4th of July” overshadow the real reason this day is
                                                   revered as no other national holiday.  Let freedom ring!!
7/6/17    THU      7:00 PM       Deacons’ & Deaconesses’ Meeting.  As usual, we will be meeting at the
                                                   home of Pascal & Kathy Williamson.  As the needs of our congregation
                                                   grow with each passing day, please pray for the “board” that God will
                                                   provide wisdom and courage to make the right decisions for our church.
7/11/17  TUE    11:00 AM        Helping Hands Meeting & Potluck.  Our gathering, this month, will be
                                                   held at the home of Donna Stieber.  It’s always a pleasure to venture out
                                                   and experience the hospitality of our ladies in their own environment.
                                                   We always feel welcome and comfortable when Donna invites us in. 
                                                   Hope you’ll join us!
7/15/17  SAT     8:00 AM         Men’s Breakfast & Fellowship.  Since we’re gearing up for VBS, men’s
                                                   breakfast will be a co-ed get together this month.  The ladies of the
                                                   church are invited to join us and have the morning off from making
                                                   breakfast.  We’d like to say it is a magnanimous gesture from the men,
                                                   but that would not be completely true…
                           9:15 AM          The Rest of the Story.  After breakfast, we’ll be doing our annual VBS
                                                   Workday.  An extra pair of hands help to make the work go faster and
                                                   more enjoyably.  So, we hope you’ll join us for breakfast and a little
                                                   cleanup to make everything special for our VBS kids.  Thank you, in
                                                   advance, for your help.
7/17/17  MON   8:30 AM          VBS Registration.  Bring the kids early and get them signed up and
                                                   ready to go for a week of fun and adventure at Hilltop Chapel VBS,
                                                   “Barnyard Roundup”.
7/17-21   9AM-Noon                  Hilltop Chapel VBS “Barnyard Roundup”.  The theme for our latest
                                                   adventure in the Bible is: “Jesus Gathers Us Together”.  We really do
                                                   need to be together in Jesus, like never before in history, so come join
                                                   in the experience.
7/21/17  FRI      11:30 PM        Closing Ceremony & Family Day.  All family members and friends are
                                                   invited to join us and spend the last day of VBS seeing what the kids have
                                                   been doing all week.
                           Noon               Hot Dog Barbeque.  We close every VBS week with a great BBQ, sure to
                                                   make your mouth water.  The fellowship is close and the food is really good.
                                                   Hope you’ll join us.
7/30/17  SUN      5:30 PM        Supper & A Movie.  Our movie this month is the story of a young surfer,
                                                   Bethany Hamilton, who loses her left arm to a shark attack.  It’s heart
                                                   breaking and hopeful to watch how this teenager gets back in the water and
                                                   back into life by turning everything over to God and letting Him lead her.
For further details, please call Hilltop Chapel at (559) 336-2454.

Pastor Blog

Thoughts and words from Pastor Rod Davison
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