EAST HILLS CONNECTION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Think About It... From Pastor Mark
I have heard it said that: "Man can live for forty days without food, four days without water, and three minutes without air. But we cannot live one second without hope."
 
But sadly, many people lose hope. They lose hope when:
  • The lawyer turns down the case with the words: "It's hopeless"
  • The drug counselor describes a long-term patient saying "He's hopeless"
  • The physician removes the respirator and says "It's hopeless"
  • The marriage counselor says: "It's hopeless"
  • The judge pronounces sentence on a defendant saying "He's hopeless"
  • The surgeon finds pervasive cancer, stops the operation, and says "It's hopeless"
We are all on the pendulum of life, swinging over the abyss of hopelessness. When people are confronted with this hopelessness, many people do foolish things. They stop trying. They take out their hopelessness on others. They become bitter and seethe with anger inside. Sometimes, when people lose hope, they consider taking their life and sometimes they are successful. Others anesthetize themselves to the seeming hopelessness with alcohol, drugs, achievements, possessions, or senseless hedonism. Hopelessness is what makes people join a political cause, a cult, or even jihad!
 
This week as we approach Easter, I want to help us find God's hope in a hopeless world. Here are ten important facts you need to know about hope:

1. Hope is a noun. It can be something you possess or something that you can acquire. It is based upon a life yielded to Christ and the promises of our spiritual inheritance. Hope can be yours. God gives it to you when you pledge faith in Christ! Christ's death, burial, and resurrection gives us hope. The Apostle John said: "And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (1 John 5:11-12). If you have the Son of God as your Savior and Lord, you have hope as a noun!

 

2. Hope is a verb. If you don't hope, you will give up on your marriage, walk out on your job, quit trying to do what is right and even think of "ending it all." But when you hope, then life really improves. When you hope, you approach life, death, and disappointments that way. When life is difficult and hard, you make the choice to look up. When you hope, you are choosing how you think, order your life, and plan for your eventual death. The suffering man, Job (13:15) declared his choice: "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him." Christians actively choose to hope in the Lord.

 
I remember hearing about a little league baseball game going on in a park. A man asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy said:
"Eighteen to nothing--we're behind." The man replied,
"I bet you're discouraged." The kid smiled and said:
"Why should I be discouraged? We haven't even gotten up to bat yet!"
 
Why be dismayed? We haven't got up to bat yet. Well, that is the way it is in this life and the next. Choose hope! When things look gloomy, look up to see God's future and possibilities!
 

3. Hope can be in vain. Depending on when you grew up, you have had your hopes dashed many times. Those who lived through World War I were told it was "the war to end all wars." Those who made it through the Great Depression were told "Happy days are here again!" Those who enacted the New Deal, the Great Society and civil rights laws told us they would end of poverty and racism. When the United Nations was begun after World War II, they thought it would bring "peace in our time." Those of us who grew up in the 1960s thought we were ushering in the "age of Aquarius."  Well, guess what? All those promises and dreams, were fantasies!

 
But Isaiah (40:31) promises that "those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."   Don't have a vain hope! Don't rely on possessions, politicians, and promises! Have a secure hope in God's promises!
 

4. Hope can be fleeting. One of Job's friends (8:13) observed: "While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless." Proverbs 11:7 says: "When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing." When we are young, we have such hope. But without God, it fades.

 
As we age, many people lose hope. People hoped that wealth, success, career, and other pursuits will give them hope. People lose hope because they never achieved these things or because they did achieve these things and they didn't satisfy. As the years pass, the things of this world lose their glamor and glitter. Without hope in eternal things, people rightfully become disillusioned and hopeless. As long as your hope is based in this temporal world, hope is a moving target. You have it for a while, and you don't. So, choose Christ! He will not disappoint. In Him, your hope will grow.
 
5. Hope is based on faith. The theologian, Peter Kreeft said: "In an age of hope men looked up at the night sky and saw 'the heavens.' In an age of hopelessness they call it simply 'space.' " When people have a worldview that is atheistic or agnostic, they find very little hope. They think life is due to a series of mutations and mistakes. They have nothing but theories and closed minds which give them no peace or solace. But not so for the Christian! We trust God who gives us a purpose and a future.  
 
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul talks about our eternal future and connects all this hope in heaven with one statement. In verse 7, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he states: "We live by faith, not by sight." Hope is the natural outgrowth of faith. When you trust God as your rock and the God of the impossible, hope will be yours.
 
But you will need that faith to get to that hope. Hebrews 11:1, 6 say: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see ... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." You will find hope when you place your faith in Christ as your Savior and Lord.
 

6. Hope will be an anchor. Without God, people are aimless and life is pointless. But when you have faith in Christ, you have a purpose for life, an anchor for meaning. Hebrews 6:19 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure ..."

 
When I was growing up, we used to sing a song on Sunday nights called "Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life?" It asked some important questions about what we use to hold our lives together. The chorus of that song makes the point:
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.

7. Hope should be a lifestyle. Hope is the way you live. It is not something you turn on or off, depending on the circumstances. 2 Corinthians (4:18) explains the lifestyle of the Christ-follower this way "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Do you see how living the Christian lifestyle brings hope? It is an approach to life!
 
When you are a Christ-follower, you live in the sovereignty of God. You know that He is in charge of your life, your death, and your circumstances. Fools waste their valuable and fleeting lives on cynicism, bitterness, and despair. But because the Christian has hope, there is no room in his mind or his calendar for hopelessness. Christ-followers refuse to see problems as problems but only as opportunities to see God work. Hope is a lifestyle for us!
 
8. Hope should be a blessing. Psalm 146:5 says: "Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God..." Hope keeps you joyous, optimistic, and enthusiastic about life even when things may be dark. God blesses the life and eternal destiny of the person whose hope is in God.
 

9. Hope can be a certainty. When you place your faith in Christ, you can have the certainty of eternal life. This hope is not based on guesses or happenstances. It is based upon the rock-solid promises of God.

 
Look over the entire Bible. You will not see one promise that God did not fulfill or will not fulfill one day. King David testified to God this certainty when he wrote: "No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame ..." (Psalm 25:3). Centuries before the resurrection, Job (19:25) coped with his suffering with the certainty of the empty tomb when he said: "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth."  That hope is yours because the promises of God are assured and guaranteed to those who believe.
 
10. Hope can be in eternal. Every time I go to the celebration of life for some dear Christian who has gone to be with the Lord. Unbelieving people call this a "funeral" but for us it was a celebration of the resurrection of the body and "the blessed hope."
 
Folks, we have an eternal future and heavenly hope! That is the big, big message of Easter and Jesus' resurrection is hope. When that tomb was found empty and the angels announced what happened, the Christian hope began. Anybody who places their life in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus by faith receives the certain hope of eternal life. Now we don't fear death or grieve the way others do, because we Christians have an eternal hope. This hope gives us confidence in God's complete ultimate triumph over death and Satan. Because of the resurrection, we look forward to the "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13). Sometimes I get so hopeful that I can't wait!
 
And that brings me to remind you about this Sunday. Sadly, we can't meet at our beautiful church campus for Easter. But we are blessed to be able to get together on the EHCC Online Campus. You can bring hope to others. Here are some ideas on how:
 
1. Put an invitation to our Easter services on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages and invite them to our online Easter service.
 
2. Send an email invitation to everyone on your email list. You might say something like this: "I want to invite you to watch the online Easter service of my church. You can connect join us by going to www.easthillscc.org. You will be encouraged, inspired, and helped." See the invite video below and share it!

3. Pray fervently that dozens of people will commit their lives to Christ this Easter through our services. Ask God for a harvest of new contacts for our church and for new believers in our Lord Jesus.
 
Well, that is my epistle for this week! I am praying for you! We will get through this time together. We have God's hope!
 
I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
NEW WAYS TO WATCH AND LISTEN ONLINE
You can also find these buttons on our website home page.
This Sunday's Message
This Sunday, we'll continue in our series "How to Handle Trouble," which started a few weeks ago. We have been looking at ways to handle this coronavirus and all the accompanying problems it has created. The message is titled is "Rejoice in the Resurrection!" and is taken from 1 Peter 1:3. We'll be looking how the resurrection of Christ gives eternal hope. Go to www.easthillscc.org for links to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and to our own TruthCasting. Printed outlines are available to download on TruthCasting. Our goal is to encourage you, inspire you, and help you during this challenging time. Join us!
 
After 9 AM on Sundays, you can go to www.easthillscc.org. On the first page of our web-page will be a link that says "Watch This Week's Sermon." That will take you to another page where you can click on this week's sermon. Then, at the top of the page on the left side it will say "TruthCasting requires Adobe Flash Player." Click on "Get Flash." You can expand the screen at the arrows to watch the music and message from there. Click on the arrow in the middle of the screen and the sermon should start. You can also download the sermon outline too.
What's Next!
Support God's Work at EHCC
 
Our finances are still down. So, we need you to give regularly and sacrificially. We need to fully support our worship pastor and his family so they can pay their bills. We still have utilities and other bills to pay. We have missionary support to send. We want to expand our "on-line" 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 94619.
Option 2: Text " Give" to 510-800-7175
Option 4: Set up on-line banking with your bank and list East Hills as a payee
Get Sunday Sermons in Your Mailbox
 
If you are unable to watch our on-line service, you can receive a transcript of Pastor Mark's message by US Post Office Mail. E-mail Pastor Jonathan here with your name and address and we will send it to you. (You might consider helping EHCC with gift to cover the postage.)
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 you and your situation. Prayers can be marked "confidential" for Pastor Mark. If not marked, they will go to the prayer team.
Join EHCC in Prayer
Join us in prayer each night at 7 PM. This is not on-line 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 on-line Sunday service, our devotionals on Facebook, our phone conversations, our witness in our neighborhoods, and with each other.
8. Continue to pray for our search team and our elders as they seek God's next leader for our church. Each week, they are contacting potential pastors. They are looking for a godly, gifted, and faithful pastor that God has already chosen for EHCC.
(NEW!) VIDEOS
Click the play button to play last week's message.

Refuse To Leave Your Integrety And Your Faith.mp4
Refuse To Leave Your Integrety And Your Faith.mp4
We're taking you back! Tom and Pastor Jonathan enjoy playing for a community outside of the church. It was their pleasure to bring part of their performances into the church setting. We pray you find some encouragement in it today. Keep looking up everyone!

Lucia and Casas Concert
Lucia and Casas Concert
View our Resurrection Sunday Online Invite!
Find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. See you then!

An Easter Invite
An Easter Invite

Benefits of Going to East Hills Church On-line
 
1. There are no parking problems
2. You can come in your pajamas
3. You can lay on your couch or recliner
4. You can shout loud "Amens" and "Preach It, Pastor Mark" and no one will give you dirty looks
5. There is a bathroom right down the hall
6. There is a breakfast buffet after the service if you wish
7. The coffee is made just as you like it
8. The commute is very short
GAMES
Body Language
Test your Bible knowledge with questions about the body.

1) According to James, what part of the body is like fire?

2) In Isaiah's vision, what two parts of their bodies did the seraphs cover with their wings?

3) In his letter to Timothy, Paul says that young men should lift up what part of their body when they pray?

4) What body part does Paul call "beautiful" on those who bring good news?

5) If the Church is a body, what part of the body is Christ? 
Current Sermon Series
New Sermon Series
 
Right now, some people think they are in real trouble. This virus has hit jobs, businesses, finances, and so much more. People are in a panic so there are shortages, school closures, and health emergencies. Many have worries and even fear.
 
How do we handle real trouble? For the next 10 weeks, Pastor Mark will be giving a series of messages from the Bible called "How to Handle Real Trouble." Each Sunday, we will post a new video sermon at www.easthillscc.org. We want to inform you, encourage you, and give you God's help for the time you are in real trouble. Join us!


  

1. March 22 - Psalm 46;10 - "Rest in the Sovereignty of God"
 
2. March 29 - Hebrews 13:7 - "Re-Train Yourself with Bible Heroes"
 
3. April 5 - Job 27:5 - "Refuse to Deny Your Integrity and Your Faith!"
 
4. April 12 - Revelation 21:4 - "Rejoice in the Resurrection"
 
5. April 19 - Habakkuk 3:17-19 - "Refuse to Quit" 
 
6. April 26 - Romans 12:2 - "Re-program Your Mind"
 
7. May 3 - Philippians 4:6-7 - "Reach Out to God in Prayer"
 
8. May 10 - Lamentations 3:22-23 - "Remember God's Faithfulness"
 
9. May 17 - Philippians 3:13-14 - "Reboot to a New Life"
 
10. May 24 - Psalm 46:1 - "Rely on God"
In The Bible (Reading Plan)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weekly Through the Bible Readings
Join us as we read through the Bible in 2020:  
 
April 12-18               1 Samuel 11-31; Luke 14-17
April 19-25                2 Samuel 1-14; Luke 18-21
April 26-May 2          2 Samuel 15-24; Luke 22-24
May 3-9                    1 Kings; John 1-3
May 10-16                2 Kings; John 4-7
May 17-23                1 Chronicles 1-15; John 8-10
May 24-30                1 Chronicles 16-29; John 11-14
May 31- June 6        2 Chronicles 1-18; John 15-18

Click to download a .PDF of our 2020 Reading Plan
Men's Bible Study is cancelled until further notice. 
Women's Bible study is cancelled until further notice.
To receive a daily devotionals on the weekly Bible reading schedule, you might see the East Hills Facebook page or become a Facebook friend to Pastor Mark.  
If you would like a large print version of the current "Our Daily Bread" devotional, please call or email Pastor Jonathan. Or click here.
Answers to "Body Language":
1) the tongue (James 3:6) 
2) their faces and their feet (Isaiah 6:2) 
3) holy hands (1 Timothy 2:8) 
4) the feet (Romans 10:15) 
5) the head (Colossians 1:18) 
We Need Your Help
*Tex t "Give" to 510-800-7175*
EHCC Giver Resources Giving Help Desk
EHCC Giver Resources Giving Help Desk