EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Mark
For 13 years, I lived three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in a sleepy little town 25 miles south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay is known for two things, fog and Mavericks. 
 
Mavericks is a spot that big-time surfers go. This legendary place can have waves up to 80 feet high, some of the biggest waves in the world. Waves gain momentum for thousands of miles out to sea. These swells slam into a reef off a small peninsula called Pillar Point, where the ocean floor suddenly rises from over 100 feet deep to only a few feet deep. The geology and the geography shoot the swells to a size of eight-story buildings. If the waves don’t kill you, the rocks will. Only the courageous and the crazy surf Mavericks!
 
Then, on Thursday, March 17, 2011, a big wave surfer from Hawaii wiped out just before dark. They say that Sion Milosky was thrown into the ocean by a huge wave. Then a second wave came on top of him and held him under water. Sadly, he drowned. He was 35 years old with a wife and some kids that he loved. 
 
Why would he surf such a dangerous place? Why would he risk so much when the hazards of Mavericks are well-known? There were signs warning people there. It was well-known how dangerous it was. Why don’t he listen?
 
After 51 years of ministry, I have learned that some people don’t listen to warnings. You can caution them, you can cajole them, and you can show them from the Scriptures but some folks do not want to listen. After reading the Bible 51 times in all the last 51 years, I am becoming more aware of the accuracy of warnings in God’s Word. That’s why I strive to pass on what the Bible says and how to live for God to others in hopes that they will listen to Scripture and follow God.
 
Since the first of the year, many of us have read through the Bible. Throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, repeatedly and almost ad nauseum, God says something like this: “be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32 and dozens of other places). God warned Israel to stay away from the Canaanites, the Moabites, the Hittites, and other pagan nations. God was concerned that the influences and temptations of these pagan peoples would lead His people into idolatry and sin. And guess what? God was right! Time after time, God’s people did not heed God’s warnings. If you read the book of Judges with us earlier this year, you know how Israel refused to listen to warnings just like that surfer off Half Moon Bay.
 
That is why I want to talk to you about an important Biblical concept – separation. The term “separation” is based on 2 Corinthians 6:17: "‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord.” The same idea is in Romans 12:2 which says: “Do not be conformed to this world.” 1 John 2:15 says: “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” There are many more verses that warn God’s people about the world’s dangerous influence on their lives. 
 
Back in the day, the term “separation” was used to support legalism and the do’s and don’ts. The word fell out of use and the concept has left our discussions in the last 25 years. But the more I watch Christians, the more I believe we should talk about separation again. 
 
In an article titled “Be Separate,” Billy Graham observed: “To a large extent, the American church has become merged with the world. It has adopted so many of the world’s ideals and standards that it has lost its ability to stem the tide of crime, deception and immorality that is sweeping the nation. For millions of church members there is no deep commitment to the cause of Christ, no regularity of attendance at public worship, no sacrificial giving, no personal religious discipline.”
 
So, what does separation mean? How can you and I live a separated life?
 
God wants our purpose to be different. The separated life means that your life is dedicated to God only. That means your sole purpose in life is to glorify God. In Judges 13:5, there is a description of how Samson was supposed to live. It says that he was to be “set apart to God.” If Samson had not lived an undisciplined, libertine life of excesses in every area, he would have saved himself a life of sorrow and disgrace. If Samson had completely surrendered his life to God, one can only imagine that he could have accomplished with God’s help. Separation will allow God to use you in ways you cannot even dream. But you can’t have “two masters” (Matthew 6:24). You have to turn your back on the world. Colossians 6:2 says: “Set your affections on things above, not on things below.”
 
God wants our perspective to be different. The world thinks in the short-term, doing what feels good. Other people may chase fantasies and get-rich schemes, but God’s people think God’s way. We can’t choose expedience over God’s will. James 4:4 says, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of these world makes himself an enemy of God.”  True Christians aren’t trying to fit in with the world. True Christians stand out. They are unusual. Christians see things very different that the world and are proud of it! 
 
God wants our lifestyle to be different. Our style of dress needs to be modest and honoring to God. Our word-choices cannot be vulgar or profane. The way we drive, relate, live, rear our kids, and the very expressions on our faces should tell the world that we belong to Jesus. Everything we do and say tell the world that we are Christians. Titus 2:12 tells us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” That’s how God wants us to live!
 
Billy Graham wrote: “There must be an out-and-out stand for Christ. It does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex. But the Christian should stand out like a sparkling diamond against a rough background. He should be more wholesome than anyone else. He should be poised, cultured, courteous, gracious, but firm in the things he does or does not do. He should laugh and be radiant; but he should refuse to allow the world to pull him down to its level.”
 
God wants our behavior to be different. The world uses intimidation and force to get an ear. Threats and bullying are the tools of the world to get their way. God’s people cannot be witnesses to the world if they live just like them. We have to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 5 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). God’s people need to live with honesty, with integrity, and purity. God’s people need to speak with words edify and honor God. We need to be positive examples of our Christ by not only our words, but by our behavior and actions!
 
God wants our friendships to be different. Joshua warned Israel (23:7): “Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.” Paul told Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:11): “you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” When you play with pigs, expect to get dirty. So don’t play with the world. Stay clean, sanctified, and walking close the Lord!
 
God wants our amusements to be different. Pastor Lee Toms once observed that in the 1950s Christians said it was wrong to go to movies when they were mostly good but now, we say going to movies is all right and so many movies are horrible. Separation means we are careful of what we see, what we do, where we go, and to what we listen. Our hobbies, our music, our books, our magazines, and so much more should show people that we belong to Christ.
 
God wants our world-view to be different. The writer of Psalmist (115:1) proclaims: “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory…” The world lives for power, possessions, and pleasure. They are self-centered, greedy, and intent on living for the moment. What gives Christian joy and happiness is quite different. We live for God, for His righteous, and for His Kingdom. We can’t pile huge debts on credit cards, buy fancy cars on time, or live beyond our means with houses and material goods. The world thinks only of this life so they worry to preserve the here and now. That is why fear and anxiety is so prevalent today. The world is selfish, proud, egotistical, and often narcissistic. Christians should be selfless, humble, giving, and godly. We live in the sovereignty of God so our world-view is optimistic, joyful, serene, and eternal. Romans 12:2 says: “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …”
 
God wants our values to be different. Jesus spoke of Christians this way: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). The world thinks tolerance, appeasement, and compromise. What we believe and where we get our ethics is not up for discussion. Christians read the Bible, follow the Bible, and implicitly obey the Bible. Separated Christians will believe, think, vote, work, and live life in a very different way than the world. We “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  We are God’s witness to the world so we live according to our values. That is why Jesus told us in Matthew 5:16: “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
 
God wants our allegiance to be different. Hebrews 11:16 speaks of the heroes of faith this way: “Instead, they were longing for a better country— a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” I salute the American flag and I love my county. But I am first and foremost a Christian! But, this world is not our home. We are just passing through. Our treasures are in heaven. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God. 1 John 2:15 says: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Never forget that your ultimate loyalty is to God, your King.
 
A wealthy old woman was interviewing people for a job as her chauffeur. She asked each of them the same question: “How close can you drive a drive next to the side of a cliff?” One driver said: “One foot.” Another said “one inch.” Still another said: “a razor’s edge!” The woman was impressed with their driving skills.
 
But one man really impressed the woman the most. He said: “I’d never drive that close to the edge of a cliff! In fact, I’d stay as far away from the edge as I could!” 
 
Guess who got the job? Yup, it was the last guy, the careful one, the wise one, the separated one, who got the job.
 
Folks, separated thinking will keep you close to Christ. That is the way real Christ-followers have to live! God want you to “be separate” from this world. You and I need to stay far from the world’s temptations. You can’t dabble and play with fire! You need to separate yourself from the things, people, and activities that would entangle and ensnare you. We need to live like true Christians in everything! Start today!
 
I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
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This Sunday's Message
We are in the middle of a sermon series titled, “Psalms for Your Summer.” This week we will look at Psalm 90. Perhaps your life is not turning out how you thought it would? From the experiences of Moses and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, this psalm will help you understand what God plans for your life to be. Psalm 90 will teach us about “Life as God Meant It to Be.” 

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
No Public Services Yet

Alameda County and Governor Newsom have locked things up again. So, we are prohibited from re-opening again. Praise the Lord that we can meet online!
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

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.” Thank you.
Facelift underway for EHCC!

Our painter has done much-needed preparation work on the front of our buildings. And has progressed much on the project! The building is looking great! We hope to have the rest 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, 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
Straight To The Source: Old Tesament
The following statements describe frequently used words and phrases that originally in the Old Testament. Can you name the words and phrases?
1. This is something that ruins a situation that is otherwise perfect.
2. A noisy confusion of many voices, sounds, or languages is sometimes labeled with this word.
3. The phrase is used to describe a situation in which there are signs warning of imminent danger, failure, or collapse.
4. People use this phrase to refer to someone they cherish.
5. This phrase is used to describe something that is unimportant when compared with other concerns.
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.”

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:

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
September 6-12       Ecclesiastes; 2 Corinthians 1-4
September 13-19     Song of Solomon; 2 Corinthians 5-9
September 20-26     Isaiah 1-23; 2 Corinthians 10-13
September 27-Oct 3 Isaiah 24-45; Galatians, Ephesians
Answers to Straight To The Source: Old Tesament
  1. a fly in the ointment (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
  2. Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9)
  3. the writing is on the wall (Daniel 5)
  4. the Apple of one’s eye (Deuteronomy 32:10)
  5. a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15)
We Need Your Help
Text Give to 510-800-7175
12000 Campus Drive,
Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 531-7100