EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Mark
In 1953, two men were carried a big box up the front stairs to our house. It was one of those new-fangled things they called a “television.” My life was totally changed from then on. My favorites were Howdy Doody, Mickey Mouse Club, Lassie, Dragnet, Highway Patrol, Lucy, Perry Mason, Rawhide, and Red Skelton. My dad called me “The TV Kid!” 
 
America has never been the same since the television came to our homes. Now with flat screens, cable, and streaming Wi-Fi, television continues to change us. A few years ago, I read some interesting statistics that said that 94% of all households in the United States have at least one television. Meanwhile, 91% of all households have a bathtub. One comedian quoted these figures and said : “This goes to prove that more brains are being washed than bodies!” I think that comedian is more accurate than we realize. Don’t you?
 
The “one-eyed monster” has invaded America. In most homes, the furniture is centered around the television. Meal times, bed times, and many other things revolve around what is on television. Studies show that television contributes to marital dissatisfaction and conflict, to obesity, to physical violence, to sexual promiscuity, to sex crimes, to depression, and even to shyness. Our political, moral, and spiritual values are being subtly and profoundly shaped by television.
 
So, what does that mean? Well, I know that the solution is not to ban television. There are too many wonderful benefits of television to prohibit it. There are educational, recreational, and spiritual programs that teach, entertain, and even edify. I would not minimize those benefits! I thoroughly enjoy them myself! But if I am going to fulfill my “30 Commitments for a Better Life” that I wrote about a few months, then I have to learn how to use television for my benefit and to not my disadvantage. I propose that we need to learn how to control our television watching
 
Since we are still in this COVID thing, we are watching more television than ever. So that this why am writing about television. Here are ten suggestions on how you can manage your watching and how you can be in direct control (not remote control) of your television:
 
1.       Watch with a careful eye. Be vigilant about the twisted values, soft pornography, coarse language, sexual overtones that is so much a part of sit-coms and reality programs. Turn off filth! Back in the Bay Area, I personally only have basic cable because I don’t want the temptation available. Folks, we need to be like the writer of Psalm 101:2-3 who declared:  “I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing ...”
 
2.       Watch with a cynical eye. Ask yourself: What are these people trying to persuade me to do or to think? Does this program uphold moral and/or spiritual values? Is this program glamorizing sin, crime, immorality, greed, or violence? If any of this is true, turn it off! Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 18:9: “And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Jesus is not telling us to literally pull out our eyeballs here, but He is telling us to remove things that would move our minds and hearts to the things that would corrupt our minds, lead us to sin, and destroy what is valuable to our lives and walk with Him.
 
3.       Watch with a parent’s eye. Ask yourself: What am I modeling for my kids? To what am I exposing my kids? Is this the best use of our family time? Wouldn’t I rather have my kids be better students or more committed Christians? Are my kids learning literature, art, music, service, athletics, self-discipline, and people skills or are they experts on what’s on TV? You are a steward of your precious children so don’t be a purveyor of temptation and sin!
 
4.       Watch with a healthy eye. People who watch too much television, gain more weight. 25 years ago, research conducted at Harvard connected TV watching with obesity. Now after years of extensive studies, research links TV viewing and obesity in children and adults all around the world. By contrast, evidence shows that cutting back on TV time can help people lose weight. When people watch TV more, they sleep less. Less sleep means less years of life. When people watch TV more, that means more pounds. More pounds mean more heart attacks and strokes. Want to take care of God’s temple, your body? Consider going on TV diet. Read the Bible more. Spend time with your family more. Get more exercise!  You’ll be healthier for cutting back on TV!
 
5.       Watch with a psychological eye. Our psychological health is affected by television too. A few years ago, Donna St. George wrote an article in the Washington Post. She cited a study done by Social Indicators Research. The study was based on public opinion data from nearly 40,000 people ages 18 to 64, as well as time-use diaries that detailed how people spend their days. This study is one of the first to compare daily free-time activities with perceptions of personal contentment and happiness. They found that people who described themselves as "not too happy" watched more television. Unhappy people reported an extra 5.6 hours of tube time a week, compared with their happier counterparts. The study concluded that people enjoyed what they watched the previous evening but that those who watched television the longest did not feel as happy about their lives. In the short term, people could be happy watching some, but in the long term, television can lead to depression and alcoholism. They found that happy people spend more free hours socializing, reading and participating in religious activities, while unhappy people watch 30 percent more television. Want to be happier? Cut back on the TV!
 
6.       Watch with a critical eye. E. Stanley Jones wrote: "Whatever gets your attention gets you." That’s why you should pick apart the story line and the plot of everything you watch. What is the moral of the story? What is the agenda of the producers and the network? How will this seep into your mind, values, and ethics? Too often, the writers and the producers of these programs pull on your heart strings to empathize with a killer, a criminal, an adulterer, or an ungodly lifestyle. Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says: “Avoid every kind of evil.”
 
7.       Watch with a purposeful eye. If you look at the people who have truly succeeded in life, sports, politics, business, ministry, and spiritual life, not one of them watched TV more than a couple hours a day. If television is getting more of your time than what is truly important in your life, then, it is time to scale back your time in front of the tube. What are your life-goals? When life is done and people gather to celebrate your life, what do you want them to say? I can’t imagine them saying: “What a great man he was! He watched TV so faithfully!” Life is so short so spend your life on things that will outlast you! Serve! Pray! Love! Make friends! Read God’s Word! Join a Life Group! Take a ministry at church? Learn something new. Invest your life in others! 
 
A.W. Tozer put it this way: "The devil loves it when we say we believe then prioritize everything in our lives ahead of God."  I don’t want TV to direct my life and I bet you don’t either. So, make good choices about what you watch and how much you watch.
 
8.       Watch with an activist’s eye. The networks are getting away with a lot of garbage these days. Write them. Write their advertisers. Write the producers. Write the Federal Communication Commission. I write checks to the Parents Television Council ( www.parentstv.org) or American Family Association (www.afa.net) regularly because they fight this stuff with on the larger front. Put Comcast, the networks, the cable channels, Netflix, and Disney on notice when they violate decency and morality. Write them, call them, or email them! Make them accountable to you, their customer. Protect yourself, your kids, your grandkids, and your community from junk and filth!! Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease! So, squeak!!
 
9.       Watch with a rewarding eye. When you watch a program, it tells the writers, producers, networks, and cable companies to create more programs like the one you are watching. The Arbitron ratings keep track of the more watched programs. Each time you watch a program you reward the people who created it and pay for it. If you watch junk and porn, it will just encourage more junk and porn. If you watch wholesome and redemptive shows, it will make them give us more up-lifting and clean programing. I still love to watch Andy Griffith, Red Skelton, Dragnet, and The Rifleman. Don’t reward back program by watching them. Reward good programs by watching them instead!
 
10. Watch with a spiritual eye. John Piper wrote: “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.”
 
If your goal is to be a better Christian, to be a more contented person, or to honor God with your life, you have to reduce the amount of television you watch. Since I haven’t had a TV when I done church transitions in Denver, Seattle, Portland, and other places, I can attest to the great profit in less television. I can focus on my walk with Christ, my Bible and prayer commitments, and my ministry without it.  My happiness is far better if the television is off. Paul spoke about this principle in Philippians 3:13-14 when he wrote: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” You can’t be up early to read the Bible and pray if you are up late watching news, sports, movies, Fallon or Kimmel. So, you have to look at your life-purpose of living for Christ and leave television behind.
 
I like the way Good News for Modern Man version of the Bible renders Philippians 4:8. It says:  “Fill your mind with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” That is how we need to watch television! That is how we need to think! That is how we need to live! 
 
Will you join me in honoring God with our use of television?

I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
WATCH AND LISTEN ONLINE
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This Sunday's Message
This Sunday, we will look at another Psalm from God’s songbook to learn another lesson for life. Do you ever feel like you are surrounded by huge problems and opposition? Psalm 3 was written when David faced great danger and mean people. God inspired David to tell us how to handle life “When The Odds Are Against You” If you are going through a hard time or know somebody who is, Pastor Mark’s message will help you survive and thrive when you think your chances are slim.

Our live stream is on Facebook on Sundays early in the morning . This way, you can watch the stream as soon as you wake up with your coffee . You can still tune in at 9AM if you prefer. Go to our website, www.easthillscc.org for links to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and our own TruthCasting. If you go to the EHCC web page under the "Messages" tab, you can download a printed copy of sermon outline as well as hear messages from the past.
Announcements
No news on re-opening East Hills for public services yet.

The EHCC Elders are monitoring Alameda County and the State of California guidelines as they are very fluid right now. We have procured most of the compliance items that are required. They have a re-opening plan to keep worshippers safe and unexposed. We will publish it when it is approved. Since we have many in our church who are very susceptible to the virus, we want to be extra-cautious. So, we are looking at the re-opening decision on a week-by-week basis. If you have suggestions or concerns, send an email to pastor@easthillscc.org
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 on-line 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

The panel's repairs are made, and protective bollards replaced! Your faithfulness made this possible! We are relieved to have this work done to prevent outages, sparks and fires. If you want to help our church with this project, designate your gift for “Electrical Panel.”
Facelift coming for EHCC!

Right now, our painter is doing the much-needed preparation work on the front of our buildings. We hope to have our facilities “spic and span” for our first Sunday when we re-open. 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, 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

All bills are paid again this month! 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
"No Other Name But Jesus" by Tom Lucia
Games
Never Forget
On the left is a list of memorials, and on the right, the things they memorialize. Can you match the memorial with the memorialized?.
  1. ____ Rainbow
  2. ____ Passover
  3. ____ bronze censers
  4. ____ Sabbath
  5. ____ twelve stones
  6. ____ manna in the ark
  7. ____ Purim
  8. ____ Feast of Tabernacles
  9. ____ two stones on the ephod
  10. ____ Last Supper
a. God's provision in the desert
b. Israel's deliverance from Egypt
c. salvation from wicked Haman
d. the body of the blood of Christ
e. when the blood of the lamb saved people from judgment
f. completed creation
g. God would never destroy the world with a flood
h. only Aaron's descendants may offer increase
i. Isreal's crossing the Jordan with God's power
j. remember the sons of Israel before the Lord
Current Sermon Series
Psalms is a book for people in all kinds of life-situations. Many of the Psalms were “songs of accent” that the people of God sang as traveled up to Mount Zion for Hebrew holy days. Since our church is in the hills, we hope to take our own “accent” in our walk with God. This summer, Pastor Mark taking up to some powerful Psalms to help you travel with God. As we study 11 Psalms we will be looking for “ lessons for your life from God’s songbook”

July 5 – Psalm 3 – When The Odds Are Against You
July 12 – Psalm 15 – Integrity: Being The Person God Wants You To Be
July 19 – Psalm 27 – The Fear Factor
July 26 – Psalm 34 – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
August 2 – Psalm 42 – The Perfect Health Plan for the Soul
August 9 – Psalm 71 – Aging God’s Way
August 16 – Psalm 73 – Life from Another Perspective
August 23 – Psalm 90 – Life As God Meant It to Be
August 30 – Psalm 121 – Real Security in an Insecure World
September 4 – Psalm 139 – Where Is God When I Need Him Now?
September 13 – Psalm 150 – The Song of the Saved
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:

June 28-July 4   Job 22-42; Acts 14-22
July 5-11        Psalms 1-25; Acts 23-28
July 12-18      Psalms 26-51; Romans 1-3
July 19-25      Psalms 52-75; Romans 4-6
July 26-Aug 1     Psalms 76-91; Romans 7-9
August 2-8          Psalms 92-125; Romans 10-12
August 9-15        Psalms 126-150; Romans 13-16
August 16-22      Proverbs 1-10; 1 Corinthians 1-6
August 23-29      Proverbs 11-21; 1 Corinthians 7-11
August 30-Sept 5     Proverbs 22-31; 1 Corinthians 12-16
Answers to "Never Forget":
1) g. God would never again destroy the world with a flood (Genesis 9:13-16)
2) e. when the blood of the lamb saved people from judgment (Exodus 12:11-14)
3) h. only Aaron;s descendants may offer incense (Numbers 16:39, 40)
4) f. completed creation (Deuteronomy 5:15)
5) i. Israel's crossing the Jorden with God's power (Joshua 4:7)
6) a. God's provision in the desert (Exodus 16:32)
7) c. salvation from wicked Haman (Esther 9:29)
8) b. Israel's deliverance from Egypt (Leviticus 23:39-43)
9) j. remember the sons of Israel before the Lord (Exodus 28:9-12)
10) d. the body and blood of Christ (Luke 22:19)
We Need Your Help
Text Give to 510-800-7175
12000 Campus Drive,
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-7100