A Few Words From Pastor Mark
The crowd was cheering exuberantly as Jean Driscoll raced toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The man at the microphone was so excited that he got ahead of himself. He announced: "Jean Driscoll wins the Boston Marathon for the eighth time!" As Driscoll heard this, with just a few yards to go, Jean raised her hands in victory. Just then, Louise Sauvage, blew past her and broke the tape first. Jean lost the race.
Jean was born with spinal bifida and this was the women's wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon. Jean was accustomed to disappointments, but this disappointment was hard to take. She had been spinning tediously for 26 miles, victory was in sight, but in the last minute, she lost.
Folks, everyone has dealt with disappointment:
  • You didn't get the job.
  • They gave the scholarship to someone else.
  • The deal fell through.
  • You didn't get the "A" in that class.
  • Someone else bought the house you wanted.
  • Some friends you trusted hurt you.
  • They are going to lay you off.
  • The pastoral candidate said "no"
 Sometimes the disappointments are worse:
  • The doctor told you it's malignant.
  • The kids aren't following the Lord.
  • Your spouse has filed for divorce and won't come back.
  • The verdict is in and you lost.
  • Your loved one dies.
  • Someone stole your inheritance.
  • You've lost everything and you have to file Chapter 13.
  • Your kids desert you and never speak to you again.
But you don't need to be defeated by the disappointments of life. This week, I want to give you ten important tools that will help you win over your disappointments:
1. Pray in pain. When you hurt, tell God about your pain, your fears, and your regrets. Knowing that the God of the universe hears and cares is one of the greatest comforts of my life. David, a man who faced great disappointments throughout his life wrote:

"But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice" (Psalm 55:16-17). Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them with Him. Prayer will give you a serenity of the soul and a confidence to face whatever lies ahead. Call on God when you are disappointed. 


2. Trust in God. When disappointment comes, we wonder where God is, why He is silent, and why did things turn out as they did. In Philip Yancey's great book, Disappointment with God, he points to the strange disparity between our distorted views of God and the realities of life. When we hold to God's sovereignty, we are able to move beyond the things that disillusion us to a deep faith that assures of God's love. When we believe that God knows what is best, we can resist the temptation to doubt. When we trust God, we can accept the disappointments of life. Psalm 55:22 says: "Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."


3. Persevere with courage. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote "A man is a hero, not because he is braver than anyone else, but because he is brave for ten minutes longer". So, hang on a little longer in your job, your schooling, your marriage, your health struggle or whatever you are facing. God expects us to persevere and persist. He wants us to complete our assignments and move His Kingdom ahead. He has more people to reach and more work to do for His glory. So continue serving, giving, and praying! Believe God and trust His promises. Galatians 6:9 says: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."


4. Forget the past. Live life through the windshield to future not in the rear-view to the past. Choose to accept your disappointments and move on. You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. Leave your irreparable past in His hands and then step out into His incredible future. You have to let go of the disappointments and setbacks to enjoy the promises of God for your future.


5. Don't blame God. I have seen many people over the years that got mad at God for something when in reality they were the ones to blame. Our disappointments often come because of our recklessness, foolishness, and/or wickedness. Don't blame God for the consequences of your own irresponsibility. Also, many people become angry with God because He didn't do things the way they wanted. Then as things unfolded, it was a very good thing that God didn't answer their prayers as they had wished. But sadly, they act like a spoiled brat and remain mad at God. Folks, that's a foolish thing to do. Why turn your back on God, the one resource for power and strength? Remember Romans 8:28 that says: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."


6. Model God's heroes. Look at the life of Joseph. Examine the life of Nehemiah. Study the lives of Ruth, Daniel, Paul, and even our Lord Jesus. Some of our Bible heroes made serious mistakes like Moses, David, Hezekiah, and others but they didn't say it was God's will. You will find that God used their difficulties and disappointments to get them to humbly admit their fault and repent. Then, when these Bible characters endured through tough times, God was their support. God will help you as He helped them. Pattern your life after these heroes of faith.


7. Expect some disappointments. You need to remember disappointments and difficulties are a part of life. See these temporary things from God's eternal perspective. In John 16:33, Jesus said: "... In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Sure, things don't turn out as you planned and sometimes people are mean. But God is bigger than all this stuff. David wrote about this in Psalm 18:16: "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters." When disappointment comes, (and it will come) God will help you in your disappointments!


8. Grow through disappointment. Several years ago, a friend of mine was facing a divorce. He asked me to pray for him. I told him I would pray for him but I asked him for a favor: "Will you tell me what you learned when this is all done?" A few years later, we had lunch and he gave me his report. He told me that he learned to live on less, to trust God even when things are dark, to pray, to forgive, to let go of worry, and to be joyful in hardship. He grew through disappointment!

Friend, disappointments can make or break you. Do you want to go through disappointment or grow through them? Learn the lessons God wants to teach you through your disappointment. Just as athletes become better athletes through painful conditioning, God's people become stronger Christ-followers through disappointments, injustices, and loss.

9. Hope in God. There are many people who let a disappointment take over their life. They allow the disappointment to move to depression and then the depression becomes defeat. The Apostle Paul told the Romans (5:5): "Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." On another occasion, Paul wrote: "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT)

Folks, stay optimistic and hopeful. God is working things out. He will right the wrongs. He will redeem your failures and disappointments. He will give us eternal life and heaven! So don't lose hope!
10. Rejoice in adversity. Joy is vital. James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." God wants us to rejoice and be glad in the red lights, green lights, and the yellow ones too. We can't complain! God reveals His plans in the red lights just as much as in the green lights. So, we need to see this as from the hand of God, because it is! We need to joyously wait on the Lord and renew our strength!
A few weeks after her great disappointment at the Boston Marathon, someone from Campus Journal asked Jean Driscoll how she was coping. Flashing a big smile, she talked boldly about how God had helped her face the aftermath of her Boston loss. She said: "I had prayed and prayed before the race, asking God to help me. I felt before the race that the Lord would 'carry' me through the race -- that He would sweep me to victory in His arms. What I discovered was that He was there to carry me after the race." Jean Driscoll chose to let Christ have her life, to walk in faith, and to grow through her disappointment.
Are you dealing with disappointment today? Take these 10 simple tools into your life. Then, just like Jean Driscoll, and so many others, God will see you through! This is a message of hope that we can bring to everyone we meet! And that brings me to talk to you about this Sunday!
I hope to see you for worship this Sunday at East Hills Church! Bring a Bible, a smile, your friends, family, neighbors, and work contacts. Remember, we have:
9:15 AM - Adult Class - Bible study and discussion in the Fellowship Hall
11:00 AM - Nursery - Children age 0 through Grade 2
11:00 AM - Worship Service - Up-beat praise and Bible teaching
11:25 AM - Children's Church - Grades 3 through 6

I love being your pastor!
Pastor Mark Platt
This Week's Message
We are in a sermon series on the Seven Church of Asia of Revelation 2-3 called "What Jesus Says to East Hills Church and to You!" This week, we will study the words of Jesus in Revelation 2:18-29 as He speaks to the church at Thyatira and to us. Perhaps life is hard for you and you are struggling? Jesus will encourage you to handles these battles with His power which will bring you meaning, joy, and eternal life. Jesus will show us how to: "Be Strong!" Join us as we celebrate God's goodness, sing His praises, and reach out to our community with the love of Christ. See you at 11 AM!
What's Next!
FUN, FOOD & FELLOWSHIP FOR ALL! You are invited! Every 4th Sunday after our service, our church spends some Fellowship Time at Harry's Hofbrau at  14900 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94578. Everybody goes dutch. Click the photo for their website and directions. We hope to see you there!  
This coming Sunday is our Search Team Workshop. If you have computer skills, a heart for God, and a willingness to serve the Lord is in this way, you are invited to attend. Bring your laptop or your I-Pad. Lunch will be provided. We'll meet in the Fellowship Hall after the worship service. Please RSVP at pastor@easthillscc.org
On February 1, our search for our permanent senior pastor will begin. Please pray for our search team and our elders we find the pastor God has already chosen to lead EHCC. 
Pastor Don Ott will be our guest speaker on February 9. Pastor Mark will be entertaining his uncle from Minnesota that week.  
Our Easter Offering this year will be used to send out 20,000 direct mail invitations to East Hills for Easter. We need $5000. Then pray for many people will come to our service and hear the Good News! If you wish, you can use our on-line giving tab to invest in this important outreach to our neighborhood or give in Sunday's offering. Be sure to specify that it is your "Easter Offering." 
Easter is April 12. Begin praying for our Easter Outreach to our community. Ask God to send us dozens of guests and seekers to hear the Good News on that day.
Men's Bible Study Tuesday mornings at 6:30 AM  
Pastor Mark is leading a study on the 20 attributes of a man of God from 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. There is coffee, fruit and pastries. We'll get you on your way to work by 7:30 AM with encouragement, insight, and God's spirit. We meet in the Pastor's Office just off the EHCC Fellowship Hall.

1st Corinthians

Women's Bible study on Thursday nights  Evie Berg leads the study. Right now, they are studying book of First Corinthians. Call June Peterson at (510) 604-4277 for more information. Ladies, this is a great opportunity to grow in the Lord and enjoy Christian fellowship.
Join us for Sunday Adult Bible Study!
Sunday's @ 9:15 AM

It is a discussion format of the previous Sunday's sermon. This study is designed to go deeper into the Bible passage that we studied last Sunday. Built into this study is the opportunity to consider more ways that the Bible passage can be applied to your spiritual growth.
Next Sermon Series

Pastor Mark's new sermon series is titled "What God Says to East Hills Church and to You." Imagine being at church and someone said: "Jesus wrote our church a letter and I want to read it to you right now!" Well, that actually happened!   In Revelation 2-3, the Apostle John brought a letter from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor. This is a very important series for EHCC as we begin our search for a new pastor. You will be helped in your Christian walk and encouraged to draw closer to the Lord. Here are the titles and texts for the coming sermons:
4. January 26 -Revelation 2:18-29 - Thyatira - "Be Strong!"
5. February 2 - Revelation 3:1-6 - Sardis - "Be Real!"
    February 9 - Pastor Don Ott will be our guest speaker
6. February 16 - Revelation 3:7-13 - Philadelphia - "Be Available!"
7. February 23 - Revelation 3:14-22 - Laodicea - "Be Passionate!"
In The Bible (Reading Plan)

Weekly Through the Bible Readings
Join us as we read through the Bible in 2020:  

January 12-18         Genesis 26-50; Matthew 8-15
January 19-25          Exodus 1-14; Matthew 16-19
January 26-Feb 1     Exodus 15-27; Matthew 20-24
February 2-8              Exodus 28-40; Matthew 25-28
February 9-15            Leviticus 1-14; Mark 1-3
February 16-22          Leviticus 15-27; Mark 4-6
February 23-29          Numbers 1-17; Mark 7-9
Click to download a .PDF of our 2020 Reading Plan
Listen Online

Sunday Morning
  • 9:15 AM - Adult Class

Bible study and discussion in the Fellowship Hall 

  • 11:00 AM - Worship Service

Up-beat praise and Bible teaching

  • 11:00 AM - Nursery

Children age 0 through Grade 2

  • 11:25 AM - Children's Church

Grades 3 through 6

We Need Your Help
Like us on Facebookl!
We need dozens and dozens of "positive" reviews of our church and ministries on our Facebook page. Would you take a few minutes to talk about the impact, fellowship, and spiritual benefits of East Hills? Your encouragement to others about EHCC on Facebook might bring them to our church and to faith in Christ!

We need additional volunteers in our Children's Ministry!

Positions Availiable:
Nursery Care Workers
Children's Ministry Teachers
Quarterly Curriculum Organizers

If you can help periodically in any of these areas click here to send us an email, speak to Anandi on Sunday, or give her a call at (925) 628-9187.

Thank you!
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