EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Mark
A guy went into a card shop a few days before Valentine’s Day. He told the clerk: “I want a card that says ‘To the only woman I will ever love.’ ” And then he added one more request, “I’ll take five of them. That guy didn’t know a thing about faithfulness, did he?
 
Being close only counts in throwing hand grenades. Real faithfulness is never is a day late, never misses a beat, and never falters. Real faithfulness is committed and exclusive. Being faithful is devoted, dedicated, and loyal.
 
There are three words in the Scriptures that are translated as “faithfulness.” In the Old Testament, the Hebrew infinitive kun means to be certain, to be firmly established, to be reliable, to set in order, or to be steadfast. The other Hebrew word is emunah which means firmness, steadfastness, fidelity, faithful, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, stability, steady, trust, or truth. In the New Testament, the Greek word pistos has a similar meaning as faithful, reliable, believe, believer, sure, or trustworthy.
 
Taking these together, one might define the word “faithfulness” as repetitive follow-though and consistency. Faithfulness is a kept promise and an exclusive commitment. Faithfulness is reliability over time. Faithfulness is trustworthiness without exception. Faithfulness is firmness without wavering. Faithfulness is steadfastness without backing down. Faithfulness is loyal and dependable. 
 
So what does it mean for a Christian to be faithful?
 
First, faithfulness is an attribute of godliness. If we are to be godly, we have to be like God. And faithfulness is one of the key characteristics of our great God. Here are just some of the references that tell of God’s faithfulness: Psalm 57:10: “For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.” Psalm 86:15: “But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 119:90 says: “Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures.”
 
Secondly, faithfulness is an unfaltering action. There are two equivalents of faithfulness in our culture. The United States Marines slogan is Semper Fidelis, which is Latin for “always faithful.” You can’t be faithful part of the time. Faithfulness is repeated and continued. The United State Postal Service has this slogan: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Faithfulness is constant and incessant. 
 
Think of it this way:
·       If your car started half the time, would it be faithful?
·       If your water heater gave hot water every other shower, would it be faithful?
·       If your television cable cut out once a night, would it be faithful?
·       If your employer paid you & missed a paycheck once in a while, would they be faithful?
·       If your spouse had an affair once in awhile, would they be faithful?
·       If your employees showed up ¾ of the time, would they be faithful?
 
By definition, faithfulness means no let-downs. 
·       When a person is faithful, Jesus is Lord all the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we are godly all the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we are principled the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we honor God all the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we are servants all the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we are stewards all the time.
·       When a person is faithful, we are ethical all the time.
 
God is calling you and me to seek 100% faithfulness. So, how can you become more faithful?
 
1. Be inspired about God’s faithfulness. Look at the way the heroes were faithful and see how they were faithful. In the middle of great pain and disappointment, the prophet Jeremiah was inspired by God’s faithfulness. In Lamentations 3:22-23, Jeremiah said: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” David wrote in Psalm 36:5 with this enthusiastic thought: “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies.” The writer of Psalm 100:5 wrote with passion: “For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Faithful people sing of the faithfulness of God.
 
2. Be evangelistic to others about God’s faithfulness. Notice how David declared Psalm 40:10: “I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal Your love and Your truth from the great assembly.” Isaiah (38:19) declared: “The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.” Give your testimony to others how God has been faithful to you, your family, and your friends.
 
3. Be committed to be faithful. Make a covenant with God to be faithful and then keep your commitment. Joshua 24:14 "Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness”  Proverbs 3:3 says: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Make a commitment to follow Jesus in your prayer life, in your daily reading of the Bible, in your daily witness to others, and in your minute-by-minute worship of Almighty God. 
 
4. Be faithful in keeping your promises. God blesses your faithfulness.   1 Corinthians 4:2 says: “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” If you keep your promises, God will bless your life!
 
5. Be faithful in the little things. In the Parable of the Talents that Jesus told, the master is quoted as saying: "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” In Luke 16:10-11, Jesus said: "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Start being faithful with the little things.
 
5. Be an intercessor and a prayer warrior. Psalm 143:1: “ O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in Your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.” If you are seeking God in prayer and asking Him for great things, the chances are that your will see more of God’s miracles and faithfulness.
 
6. Be a person who lives a Spirit-filled life. Galatians 5:17 commands us to “walk in the spirit.” When we walk in the spirit, there will be fruit. Galatians 5:22 tells us that that fruit is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness …” Do you want to be faithful? Then live a Spirit-controlled life that yielded to the Lord Jesus!
 
7. Be accountable to God. Don’t ever forget 1 Samuel 26:23 which says: “The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness.” Proverbs 16:6 says: “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.” One day you and I will answer to God at the Judgment. On that day, God will evaluate our faithfulness. So, in this life, you might ask the people who know and love you to evaluate your faithfulness. And remember your accountability to God for your life, values, words, behavior, and so much more.
 
While God is gracious and forgiving, He still is looking for faithfulness from His people. The world may say “close enough” and change allegiances. But when God’s people have faithfulness, they stand firm with persevere and resolve. Faithful Christians start with God and finish with God,  They keep God’s law, follow Christ’s example, and have a commitment to God that is unwavering. 
 
If you aspire to faithfulness, then you must live faithfully!
It means you must be faithful in your thinking.
It means you must be faithful in your relationships.
It means you must be faithful in your marriage.
It means you must be faithful in your family.
It means you must be faithful in your spiritual disciplines.
It means you must be faithful in your ministry.
It means you must be faithful in your business dealings.
It means you must be faithful in your spiritual gifts.
It means you must be faithful in your calling.
It means you must be faithful in your old age.
 
One of my favorite songs is one that Steve Green sings. It is called “Find Us Faithful” and it goes like this:
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful
 
When the aged Apostle John (3 John 1: 3) wrote to those younger in the faith, he said: “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.” When God’s people are faithful, it gives your pastors and all those around you great joy! I love to see your faithfulness! How many people followed God in their youth only to become critical, bitter, angry, self-centered people who are far away from God in the late season of life.  But let’s not allow it to be me or you. So, folks, follow God throughout your life. 
 
As the Apostle Paul came to the close of his life, he wrote to Timothy. He told him: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)
 
Be like the sainted Apostle Paul, folks! Finish well! Be faithful!


I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
WATCH AND LISTEN ONLINE
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This Sunday's Message
This Sunday, we will study Matthew 6:19-21 in a message we are calling “Bottom-line Realities.” With His characteristic plain talk and bluntness, Jesus lays it on the line about what really matters and what doesn’t. You need to hear what these verses are telling us about what really matters. 
 
Encourage your friends, your relatives, your co-workers, or neighbors to listen too. They will hear about the importance of a Christ-centered life. In fact, they might be eternally changed by their time with our online church service.

On Sunday morning, go to www.easthillscc.org on your smartphone or computer. On the first page of our web-page, choose one of the links to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and our own TruthCasting. If you go to the www.easthillscc.org, and go to the “Messages” tab, you can download a printed copy of sermon outline as well as hear messages from the past.

Also, if you prefer, you can simply call (510) 210-9117 and hear the Sunday service on your phone.
Announcements
Our Pastor Search Appears to be Coming to a Close!

While the EHCC Elders have nothing to announce as yet, God has led them to one candidate. Watch for more details that will be announced soon. And most of all, pray for God’s continued leading for His leader for East Hills!
No Public Services Yet

Alameda County and Governor Newsom have locked things up again. So, we are prohibited from re-opening again. The Elders are working at balancing Acts 5:29 and Romans 13:1-8. Praise the Lord that we can meet on-line! 
Invite Your Friends and Family to East Hills! 

In these crazy times, people are more open to the Good News. Inviting them to listen to our online services is a non-threatening way to tell them about new life in Christ. You can forward an invitation from your Facebook or Instagram pages. Also, you can send them an email or text and direct them to www.easthillscc.org. where you can click on "Watch This Week's Sermon."
Our New Electrical Panel

Our new electrical panel is done, repairs made, and protective bollards replaced. But we found a few more things that needed to be done to prevent outages, sparks and fires. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Electrical Panel.” 
Facelift Continues EHCC!

Right now, our painter is finishing the job on the front of our buildings. But we hope to start the second phase of our painting project soon. We are replacing three windows while we have the opportunity. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Painting”.
Women's Bible Study

Held on Thursday nights with Evie Berg on Zoom. Right now, the group is studying Philip Yancey's book, "Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?" This book is an invitation to communicate with God the Father who invites us into an eternal partnership through prayer. The study will explore very heartbeat--the most fundamental, challenging, perplexing, and deeply rewarding aspect--of our relationship with God: prayer. The goal is to help believers more fully consider, experience, and cherish the priceless gift of prayer in a fresh, new approach to this timeless topic.

Whether you are in Kentucky, Arizona, or right here in the East Bay, you can enjoy studying the Bible with other women. Call June Peterson at (510) 604-4277 for more information. All women are invited to enjoy the fellowship and the fun of Bible study!
Support God's Work at EHCC

Grateful thanks for your stewardship, generosity and faithfulness. We continue to depend on your regular and sacrificial financial support of God’s work. We need to fully support our staff and pay our utilities and other bills. We have missionary support to send. We want to continue our “online” presence during this time and that requires money. Please intensify your financial support of East Hills during this time.

There are 4 ways to give:
Option 1: Mail checks to East Hills at 12000 Campus Drive, Oakland, CA 94519
Option 2: Text "Give" to 510-800-7175
Option 4: Set up online banking with your bank and list East Hills as a payee

Thank you and God bless!
Submit Your Prayer Requests on our Website
"Need Prayer"
As we weather this storm together, we are trying to keep the lines of communication open, especially for prayer. If you have a prayer need, please click the button and submit your prayer. We have a dedicated team who will pray for your request. Prayers can be marked "confidential" for Pastor Mark. If not marked, the information will go to the prayer team.
Corporate Prayer
Join with other East Hills people for prayer each night at 7 PM. This is not online or formal. Just find a quiet place in your home to pray. You can ask your spouse and/or your family members to join you in prayer too.
Please pray for seven specific things:

1. Pray for protection and for containment of the Coronavirus.
2. Pray for wisdom for our leaders as they deal with the virus.
3. Pray for God's protection and guidance for our medical professionals as they treat those affected.
4. Pray for those whose businesses, jobs, and incomes are affected.
5. Pray for those who are the most vulnerable to the attack of this virus.
6. Pray that God will use this time to bring our nation to repent, trust Christ, and bring spiritual change to our prodigal nation.
7. Pray for the ministry of East Hills with our online Sunday service, our devotionals on Facebook, our phone conversations, our witness in our neighborhoods, and with each other.
Videos
Sermon Video
Games
"Out The Window"
Identify the person described in each of the following windows stories from the Bible.
  1. He went to sleep during one of Paul's sermons and fell out the window.
  2. Israelite spies escaped out this person's window using the scarlet cord.
  3. She watched through the window as David leaped and danced before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.
  4. He went upstairs where the windows opened toward Jerusalem and prayed three times a day.
  5. He sent a dove out the window to look for dry land.
Current Sermon Series
Many Bibles have the words of Jesus in red letters. For the next few months, we will be studying some of those red-letter words in the book of Matthew.  We will look Jesus’ vital sayings about life, temptation, priorities, relationships, prayer, and discipleship. Study the words of Jesus with us and let Him change your life!

September 27 – Matthew 6:19-21 – Bottom-line Realities
October 4 – Matthew 4:18-22 – Let’s Go Fishing
October 18 – Matthew 5:23-24 – I’m Sorry, So Sorry
October 25 – Matthew 6:9-13 – How to Pray
November 1 – Matthew 7:1-6 – Who are You to Judge?
November 8 – Matthew 7:7-11 – How to Get Your Prayers Answered
November 15 – Matthew 11:28-30 – You Need Some Rest!
November 22 – Matthew 16:24 – How to be a Real Christian
In The Bible (Reading Plan)
Weekly Through the Bible Readings
Join us as we read through the Bible in 2020. Here are the readings for the next few weeks:

September 20-26                Isaiah 1-23; 2 Corinthians 10-13
September 27-Oct 3           Isaiah 24-45; Galatians, Ephesians
October 4-10                        Isaiah 46-66; Philippians, Colossians
October 11-17                      Jeremiah 1-26; 1 Thessalonians
October 18-24                      Jeremiah 27-52; 2 Thessalonians
October 25-31                      Lamentations; 1 Timothy
November 1-7                      Ezekiel 1-12; 2 Timothy
November 8-14                    Ezekiel 12-25; Titus; Philemon
November 15-21                 Ezekiel 26-36; Hebrews
November 22-28                 Ezekiel 37-28; James
Answers to "Out The Window"
  1. Eurychus (Acts 20:9)
  2. Rahab (Joshua 2:18)
  3. Michal (2 Samuel 6:16)
  4. Daniel (Daniel 6:10)
  5. Noah (Genesis 8:6-12)
We Need Your Help
Text Give to 510-800-7175
12000 Campus Drive,
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-7100