Hilltop Chapel Newsletter




    It’s always amazing to me, as I start writing the November newsletter, just how quickly the “holiday season” comes around on the calendar each year.  I just get used to the idea of writing 2017 on my checks and correspondence and, boom, I’ve got to gear up for another transition period!
         An equally unnerving aspect of the holidays is the way we’re thrown into the Christmas buying season even before Halloween.  I actually heard “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Jingle Bells”, over the sound system at my local grocery store, two days before Halloween!   Everything is decked out in black and orange, but the emphasis is red and green.  The only things we hear about Thanksgiving these days are what football games are scheduled to be on TV and what’s on sale for Black Friday!  What’s wrong with this picture?
         I’m not going to waste your time and mine bemoaning the decadent nature of our society or how
callous we’ve become toward anything that requires more thought than flipping a light switch or pushing the mute button on the remote.  When, if ever, do we get back to reality?  Is there hope for our world or have we reached that “tipping point” when there is no stopping the inevitable slide into the abyss? 
         Driving through an S-curve at 100 miles per hour is a recipe for disaster and so is believing that the world is just going through another phase and all will be well in a few months.  The harbingers of worsening events are constantly with us.  We see wars and rumors of wars in every corner of the globe.  Regimes, from North Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, to Russia and China are ratcheting up the pressure in a quest for world domination.  Western democracies seem unwilling or unable to stem the tide of threats in a growing number of “hot spots” world wide.  Is there any way out of this mess we’re in?
         I hope, by now, most of you know I’ve been a little facetious with my handwringing account of gloom and doom.  These, however, are serious issues, which cannot be swept under the rug.  We must confront the reality that the weight of evidence points toward Christ’s imminent return and that it could occur at any time.  In the interim we, as Christians, need to be ready to open ourselves up to every opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone with whom we come in contact.
          Thankfulness is, I believe, the realization that we have been blessed by God in immeasurable ways and that eternity will not be sufficient to express our gratefulness.  Isn’t it wonderful to consider how loving, merciful and gracious God is?  Just think, a little more than a year ago, everyone in California and a few other states had the notion that drought would be our way of life forever.  Now, I look back on the 45 inches of rain we received at our house, in the past year and wonder how I ever doubted that the rain would come.  I’m not saying that there will never be another drought in California, it seems our state is pretty prone to that sort of thing.  However, I don’t know about you, but I’m more than
convinced that God is able to handle everything that causes us anxiety and fear.  My thought now becomes, what can I do to show my gratitude and love for such an amazing God?
         As you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, with those you love, take a few moments before you pray to go around the table and ask each person to name one or two things they’re thankful for. As they’re speaking, if you’re able, jot down each item mentioned.  Then, have the person who is praying, thank God for each item, no matter how great or small.  Verbalizing your thanks gives so much more impact to the prayer.  I believe that God honors our prayers of thanksgiving in very special ways.
      Think about it for a moment; doesn’t it make sense that, since God already knows what your prayer will be, it’s a better plan for you to acknowledge, with gratefulness, His provision for your need before you request it.  I know it sounds backward, but I’ve been thinking in reverse lately and, I must say, I’m pleased with the results.  
         God loves us, so much, that He sent His only Son to be the perfect atonement for our sin.  Let’s, especially at Thanksgiving, love Him and just thank Him for His marvelous gift of Jesus!
                                                                                                            HAPPY THANKSGIVING,
                                                                                                                        Pastor Rod
I Chronicles 29:10-20—Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said:
                                     “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.  Yours,
                                       O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the
                                       majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom,
                                       O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.  Both riches and honor come
                                       from You, and You reign over all.  In Your hand is power and might; In Your
                                       hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.  Now therefore, our God,
                                       we thank You and praise Your glorious name.  But who am I, and who are my
                                       people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?  For all things come
                                       from You, and of Your own we have given You.  For we are aliens and pilgrims
                                        before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow and
                                       without hope.  O lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to
                                       build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.
                                       I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness.
                                       As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things;
                                       and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly
                                       to You.  O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, keep this forever
                                       in the intent of the thoughts of the heart of Your people and fix their heart toward
                                       You.  And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and
                                       Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple
                                       for which I have made provision.”  Then David said to all the assembly, “Now
                                       bless the Lord your God.”  So all the assembly blessed the Lord God of their
                                       fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the Lord and
                                       the king.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pastor Rod


Oct. 2017
The kickoff for Hilltop Chapel’s Operation Christian Child gift shoebox campaign was held October 1st in the Social Hall.  We can all help brighten the lives of children as we share with them the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  At least 12 million children in more than 100 countries around the world, including those children recently impacted by tragedy such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, will be receiving gift boxes.  The final day to have your gift shoebox to Hilltop Chapel for collection is Sunday, November 19th.   Many hearts are touched and lives are changed forever with these gift boxes that go into areas in our world where Christ is unknown.  Please pray that God works through the many teams of Samaritan’s Purse that work tirelessly to bring God’s word and the love of Christ to many who are seeking answers … October was Pastor Appreciation Month, and with the help of Donna Symons and many others, our congregation was able to express their deep appreciation for the dedication and devotion of Pastor Rod and his wife Lesley and all that they do for our little church in the country.  Being a Pastor and a Pastor’s wife is often challenging, with long hours, minimal pay, and feelings of disappointment and discouragement.  Paul’s admonition to “serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13) should encourage us to remember our shepherds.   We all need to encourage our shepherds, offer to help them, and do our best to make their work a joy.  “And I will give you Pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15) …  The Harvest Dinner & Auction was very well attended this year, with many treasures, gently used and lovingly made items up for auction.  Some of our missions were represented.  Pastor Rod and Lesley and their helpers, Robert Kehoe and Lavina Lovewell, provided an exceptional presentation of the auction items and, after enjoying a delicious dinner, our church was able to raise $3,700.00 as Christmas gifts for the missions we help support.  Many thanks to Jon Lovewell and Lee McComb for their culinary talents, and for all those who helped make the delicious deserts, set up and clean up.  Your efforts were very much appreciated by all those who attended … The men from other foothill community churches were invited to our monthly Men’s Breakfast and Fellowship, and Isidiro Bruno presented a video Soulcon Seminar.  A good turnout and a great opportunity to interact with other Christian Churches.  We hope this becomes a regular event … Danny Mendoza and “Blast” were welcomed back and performed country gospel songs for us to the delight of those attending Sunday Morning Worship Service on October 29th.   Those young girls are so talented and have such a heart for the Lord.  We were truly blessed to have them with us … Supper & A Movie brought many faithful back to church to enjoy a delicious pizza dinner and view the showing of “God’s Country” … The month drew to a close with the gathering of the AWANA Club members, leaders, teachers and helpers for their annual Fall Bash on the 31st, with costumes, games and lots of candy donated by the church members.  All the children seemed to enjoy the festivities and it was great to see the joy and the love of Christ on those sweet faces … Just a reminder -- Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Saturday evening, November 4th -- Daylight Saving Time ends …  We hope to see many of you in church, and have a blessed Thanksgiving – we have so much to be thankful for  -- Praise The Lord! …  



Pastor Blog

Thoughts and words from Pastor Rod Davison
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