First Fruits

Hello Baysiders! Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is off to a great start and if not, don’t worry because ultimately its not how you start but finish that matters.

As the resolutions are poured in and you debate on whether you should do one or not, I believe the first and common practice every Christian should do is simply give thanks to God by praying in the morning. This is dangerous to consider because your ego will not like it. You might prefer to look at your phone, or turn on the TV, or hit the snooze button. But can I offer you a challenge? The challenge to train yourself to think of God first when you wake up and praise him. Psalms 92:1-2 says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning.” What is the first thing you think about when you wake up? Does your job go through your mind? Is it your children, your plans of the day, or is it your worries of tomorrow? My challenge for you is to start off the day by thinking about God. When you get up from bed say to yourself, “Thank you Jesus for this day, thank you God for waking me up.” There is nothing more rewarding when you offer your trust to God. Its trust that God will set out the day and no matter what happens, good or bad, this day is His, not yours, so you can rest and not worry about controlling everything. By praising God first thing in the morning you let Him know that you love Him and that He is adored and honored.

Giving God your first thoughts is a blessing. In the Mosaic law, Israel brought to the house of the Lord the best crops of their soil. What you are doing by praying and meditating on God in the morning is giving your first desires, anxieties, attention and trust to Him. You are communicating to God that he is in charge and he plans out your day. You are handing over the day over to him; you are trusting God with your day. This doesn’t mean that you will have a perfect day, but it does mean you will have a peaceful day. When those hard aches come you are stable, God gives you the peace and strength to endure bad days because you got Holy Spirit filled at the start of the day so you can face anything that comes your way. As instinctive as breathing, may you develop the practice of including God into the day he created; this is my prayer for you.

Thank you all who helped out on the church cleaning day on January 5th. We couldn’t have done it without you! This season at the Sunday service, we are beginning a sermon series on the Ten Commandments, so bring your pen and paper to learn and grow in God’s word. I am excited for this subject matter on how God will teach us to love him better and obey his word in our faith. Mark your calendar for Sunday January 26th as we celebrate sister Sara’s baptism! Come join the celebration and bring her any blessings or gifts to her at the service. The Super Bowl is around the corner and this year Bayside is hosting the game on Sunday, February 2nd at 3pm. Pizza, chicken wings and soda will be provided. Feel free to invite and bring others to this event! On that same day, before the Super Bowl we are having a Family Meeting at 1pm; join us as we discuss church events and responsibilities. Lastly, Thursday Night Devotion will now be on Wednesday night at 7pm and will start back up on February 5th.

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron

New Year, Same God

Howdy Baysiders! Hope you all are enjoying this Christmas Season and being a blessing to others.

As the year closes and a new one approaches, I am reminded of God’s immutability. This is a fancy word theologians toss around to describe God’s impossible unchanging ways and character throughout time. No matter what, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever more (Heb 13:8)! The year might change but God remains the same forever and ever. We all can count on God’s love, mercy, power, strength and wisdom when we are changing and unstable. We must not fear change because its part of life and most of the time God is the provoker of the change we face. God loves us too much to leave the same way he found us. Change opens the door to our purpose and God has given us the power to change the world around us through the power of the gospel. Life can be so overwhelming with every day obstacles and challenges that can make us feel small, weak, and insignificant. However, one of the most extraordinary realities about God is that He chooses to use you and I! And for God to do so, change is needed. Change in our immature behavior, change in our incorrect views, change in our old outdated knowledge and change in our how we speak. God is for all change in our life because it’s by change we become more like Jesus. You want a new life? New diet? New marriage? New church? New career? New friends? Then change must occur and you must be open to change. We have the responsibility to be the change in each of our desires. And God ready to provide us the grace to do so.

Change is not easy, but the truth is life never gets better until there is change. Sadly, we often do not like the process that it takes to get us where we need to be. The good news is that when we pray “God change me,” He will! But it takes time and it is done in His way. You will need the courage to change and the willingness to do it God’s way, not your own. It is not easy to embrace change, but there is no way you’ll live the life God created you for without it. Allow God’s love to be your power, will, and inspiration because they are greater than anything on earth. Paul knew this, “…In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:37-38). Paul experienced big change in his life when he became a Christian and more so afterwards yet it was all part of God’s master plan for his life and he was victorious from it all. Exchange fear with faith and walk in confidence of the God you serve in your changes of life.

We had a wonderful time at Atria as we sang Christmas songs to the patients and read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. My favorite part was seeming some of the listeners sing along with us. Thank you all who participated in this event! This coming Sunday Dec 22nd we are having a Christmas party with an ornament gift exchange and an ugly sweater contest! Please join the holiday festival as we eat great food, fellowship, drink hot coco, egg nog and listen to classic Christmas songs. Mark your calendar for the next Church Cleaning day where we will be taking down the Christmas decorations on Jan 5th after lunch. Next Family Meeting will be on Jan 12th and lastly our Sister Sara is getting baptized on Sunday Jan 26th, so join the celebration by attending the service and lunch afterward.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Aaron ?:^)

Grateful Love

Howdy Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls this November.

As Thanksgiving is approaching I considered what I was grateful for and I couldn’t stop thinking about God’s relentless faithful love for me. No matter what happens or what I do, God’s love is always there and pursing me. I am grateful for God’s love because without it I would be lost. I am grateful that God’s love doesn’t change; my love does, His love does not. And this truth is for everyone, especially for us Christians, who are his children. God’s love for us doesn’t change. The day we committed your life to Jesus, God’s love was at its full capacity and it hasn’t leveled off—and it won’t! We don’t have to be at our best for God to love us nor do we have to do anything for God’s love to increase for us. And here’s the great awesomeness of his love, even if we sin, the love God has for us will not alter or end. God is not hot or cold with his people. God chooses to love you and I because he is love (1Jn 4:8).

God’s unending love for you is like him hugging you forever with the same passion and never letting you go. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s spiritually true. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” God’s love cannot be earned; it must be received. God’s grace on you and his care is free to you and once you have it, it makes you free from attempts of trying to attain it. Once you’re a child of God, you are always a child of God; it’s because you have Christ’s blood running inside of you making you his and living for him. Baysiders, let us live with confidence that God loves us, no matter what. Fall in love with God because he is in love with you. When you are in love with God, then everything about him gets attached to you—his character, godly qualities, and life. Stop with this conditional love idea and fall in love with God who’s love is unconditional and faithful.

The holidays are upon us which means our calendars are about to get filled with activities. First, next Family Meeting is December 1st at 1pm. Secondly, I am excited for our annual Thanksgiving Potluck! Helen is coordinating this meal as we all pitch in with our presence, service and food donations to make this time enjoyable. Come hungry to church and think about what you are thankful for as we will all go around and sharing our hearts with one another. Another date to save is December 14th because that Saturday at 6pm we are Christmas Caroling at Atria of Foster City and will be reading the Christmas Story in the Gospel of Luke. Please make time for this outreach and show love with our voices, smiles and hugs. Lastly, we are having a Christmas Party after service on December 22nd. We will have a Christmas meal, music, an ornament exchange and an ugly sweater contest. Make room on your calendar for fun this Christmas Season.

Grace and peace ?:^) Pastor Aaron

Thy Will Be Done

Howdy Baysiders, hope all is well in your souls this Autumn day.

Jesus prayed “Thy will be done” in his most darkest troubling moment. By this submissive prayer Jesus was strengthened to carry out God’s will. One of the most comforting thoughts a mind that is yielded to the will of God can have is the assurance that he who has created us also knows what’s best for us. If we walk according to God’s will rather than trying to command Him to do our will, we will have as He promised, not a solution, but peace in the midst of the storm. There’s great peace in knowing that the one who taught us to pray “Thy will be done” has every single detail of our lives under His control. To pray “Thy will be done” then, is a daily recognition that God is not going to spare us from trial or tribulation but He will use the fiery furnace to purge impurities from our lives. Job understood this at the end of his trialing time. Job endured more tragedy in a single day than most people will experience in an entire lifetime, yet, in his darkest hour Job uttered words of faith, “Thou He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” (Job 13:15).

God’s will is not an itinerary, but an attitude. Are you willing to accept whatever God has for you with obedient contentment? Praying “Thy will be done” shows that you recognize the sovereignty of God over every aspect of your daily life. In effect, you’re saying, “Thank God this world is not under my control, it’s under His.” It’s a way of saying we would be in deep trouble if God gave us everything that we asked for. The fact is we just don’t know what’s best for us. You and I only see a snapshot in time. God sees the entire mosaic thus His perspective is far superior to ours. To pray “Thy will be done” is daily recognition that our wills must be submitted to His will.

The Holidays are upon us Bayside! Very exciting times indeed. Our last month’s Tenderloin outreach effort was a huge blessing. We were able to give out food bags and most importantly meet one on one with people showing them love with attention and prayer. Mark your calendar for November 3rd as we will be having a church picnic right after service. We will be grilling hotdogs, have fun activities and music taking place at Marlin Park down the street in Foster City. Our next Family is November 10th at 1pm after lunch. Christmas is around the corner and we are having a Church Cleaning Day to decorate the Church with Christmas reefs and decor so please make sure you come to this service opportunity. One last thing to add to your calendar, prepare to have food with us for our annual Church Family Thanksgiving Lunch on November 24th. This will be a potluck and a time for fellowship as we all go around sharing what we are thankful for.

Grace and peace, Pastor Aaron ?:^)

Not In Vain

Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls and happy sweater season!

It’s been said to know the will of God is the greatest knowledge and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement. If that is true then we Christians are extremely blessed and have a great responsibility to know God and to do His will. Faith in God isn’t just the way to everlasting life; it’s a way of life. Understanding God for the dedicated and faithful believer, is a day by day, hour by hour, mind, heart, and soul grappling journey, yielding priceless and unfathomable treasure, sometimes by the minute and sometimes when the Christian is least expecting it. First Corinthians 15:58 says, “My beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” This is so encouraging because all our efforts for God are not forgotten or wasted. God uses every one of our deeds in faith to bring about his will in our lives. Sacrifices must be made because God sacrificed for us by sending his Christ.

What makes this Christian sacrifice possible? Its eyesight. Jesus opens up our eyes to the truth about life, what is important, we see the color of reality and how it should really be lived. CS Lewis said it this way, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Once we see this vibrancy of life by the gospel we in turn give ourselves over to fully live out this colorful bright life. Everything else makes sense when we see God and do his will. We have to work, be steadfast, immovable, work onto the Lord. God put us here for a purpose and its our job to find out that purpose. We will have hard times, rough times, sad times, but our effort and love is not in vain because God is faithful to us.

This Saturday is our homeless outreach in the Tenderloin district of the city. I am excited how God will use this effort to bless people and show love by offering food bags and prayer. I want to give a big shout out of gratitude to some of the men of Bayside who worked and fixed some of the rotting roof panels on. Plan on coming bike riding after lunch on Sunday October 6th as we fellowship on the fun track on the Bay. We will be traveling north on the Bay Trail for a few miles. Please bring your own bike and a change of athletic clothes. For those who don’t have a bike, there will be a group of walkers as well on this day. Fall’s Thursday Night Devotion will start the first Thursday on October 3rd. Lastly, mark your calendar for our next Family Meeting on October 13th at 1pm after lunch.

Grace and peace, Pastor Aaron ?:^)

“Tell No One”

Hello Baysiders, hope all is well in your souls! As summer is slipping away from us and the new school year begins, lets make the best of the last of warm and sunny days!

I find it interesting that every time Jesus did an incredible thing, He would say something to the people nearby. He raised a little girl from the dead, and what did He say? “Tell no one.” He met a guy with leprosy and healed him, and said, “Tell no one.” He healed two guys who were blind, and He gave them one admonition before moving on: “Say nothing to anyone.” In a world driven by self-promotion and spin, Jesus modeled something different for us. If I was being honest, I would say, “Tell everyone!” Yet Jesus was intentional and selfless, never doing anything for selfish purposes. Jesus knew God was over his life and any praise, admiration, promotion, gratitude was from his heavenly Father.

Can we as his followers do the same? We love, serve, act for the glory of God, not for the glory we might get from those things. It’s natural to expect praise or promotion when we do hard work or do something amazing. Yet Jesus shows us the best type of work is best done in obscurity, hidden, not baited for fame and popularity. Psalms 75:6 says, “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” God ultimately will promote us, lift us up, praises us, in his timing and his way. We know the full story, Jesus does get promoted to the highest seat in heaven by dying on the cross and resurrecting but it was all in God’s timing and way. May we have this attitude and outlook when we help and love people.

Thanks to everyone who stayed after lunch for the church cleaning day. It was a great clean inside and out. Thank you Wayne for your continued diligence for making Bayside’s facility function smoothly and making it look beautiful with your gardening skills. Please mark Saturday, September 21st on your calendar for our City Outreach as we will be going to the Tenderloin District to pass out food and offer prayer to the homeless. Please RSVP if you will be joining this outreach event. On August 25th we will be having our Family Meeting we will discuss more on the Tenderloin Outreach, and on the family meeting’s new protocol format with agenda items, door locking policy and our back up roles for our ministries. August 29th will be the last Thursday Devotion of the Summer and will be taking our Fall break and resuming October 4th. Next Family Meeting will be on September 15th at 1pm after lunch.

Grace and peace, Pastor Aaron ?;^)

AA Church

Hello Baysiders, hope all is well in your souls in this summer season.

Many years ago, I once heard a preacher say, “Church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners.” It got me thinking to my personal relationship with my local church. Did I go to church to look better than those who didn’t come to church? Was my weekly attendance a way to feel good about myself and belittle others who are not as mature as me? Was church simply about me? The more I thought about it and the more bible I read the more I realized I viewed my local church wrong. I saw church as only a means to fulfill my personal needs; an escalator to my own faith achievements. Then I ran into Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another.” And eureka! I discovered church wasn’t about me, it was for others and how can I offer my talents and gifts to God’s people. I started to see church not as an escalator, but as a bridge I build and cross with other Christians as we journey in the same direction to be more like Jesus. This is why church is so vital and the reason we weekly come together.

Church is not a place to look good in front of others or a fast food restaurant to be served the way you want but rather a place to be vulnerable and accepted by grace. I now see church as an AA meeting for sinners and a place a sinner should feel most safe. We all have the sin addiction and so we come together to get stronger, heal, encourage and learn from each other. The church is a forgiven sinful  community of the many facets of God’s good heavenly character. It’s our commitment and attendance to other Christians (not a building) that brings us into restoration, spiritual maturity and where weakness is made strong. Church is the place where God can speak to you, people talk to you, and gifts shared. Brothers and sisters can uplift you when you are down, encourage you when you need it, accompany you when you are alone, and most of all, comfort you when you are hurting.

Here are a few important dates for next month at Bayside. We will be having a Church Cleaning Day on Sunday, August 11th after lunch. We will be focusing on external maintenance of the church, so be sure to bring your garden clothes. The next family meeting will be on August 25th at 1pm.

Grace and peace ?;^)

Do It Again

Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls.

Summer is officially upon us and I am reminded to appreciate the season God has for us. Many wish it was fall already, others miss spring, and some long for winter but whatever season you are in, glorify God and rejoice in the wonderful blessings of the Lord. Let’s be children in the heart and be excited with summer joy. Being childlike is something Jesus encourages to do as his disciples. I love this quote from G.K. Chesterton, “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” May our faith have that attitude of “Do it again” with God this summer season.

Thank you to all the ladies of Bayside for making Father’s Day so special, the men are truly grateful to be blessed with such kind diligent servants of God. We had a fun time on Arts and Crafts Day as participants decorated the church hallway with collages and pictures of Baysiders over the years; it turned out great giving the church a home like feeling. Thursday Night Devotion, July 4th, will be cancelled due to the Independence Day holiday and will resume the following Thursday July 11th. In addition, I will be going on Vacation at the end of July but our good friend Brett Butler will be filling for me in preaching on July 21st and I know he’ll bring the word in a powerful applicable way.

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Mark 10:14-16

Stay cool in this hot weather Baysiders,

Pastor Aaron ?;^)

Heaven’s Billboards

Howdy Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls this spring day. I can’t believe its already spring and summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time for watermelon, beach trips and smores at the campfire.

Jesus tells us to shine our light so that people may see our lives and turn to God in faith. This got me thinking that Jesus understood that our lives have the power to communicate a message and he wants us to be aware of that message we display to others. We are always communicating a message. Your body movements and words are billboards to people. What you say, how you say things, what you wear, any type of action is sending a message.  The question is, what are you saying? What are you presenting to the world? The blessing is that you get to choose what that something is. Is it good character or bad values? It’s not always easy because communication can be unintentional and we constantly send unintentional nonverbal messages daily. You might not be aware of your sour expression, impatient shifting or sigh of boredom but others notice them nonetheless. Bottom line, all behavior has communicative value. Whatever you do, whether it’s speaking or remaining silent, confront or avoid, show emotion or keep a poker face, you provide information to others about your thoughts and feelings. Lets ask God to give us wisdom on the kind of billboard He wants us to display. We need to be communicative competent and be conscience of what we are broadcasting to our personal world. The more aware of our billboard life, the more we can effectively share God’s love to others.

Mother’s day was a blessing to worship together with so many faithful mothers at Bayside. Thank you gentlemen for putting your efforts and gifts to making that day very special. Evangelist Brett Butler stopping by, earlier this month, was awesome as many of us went out door to door one Sunday and offered prayer to our neighbors. We all got back with great stories of small ways God blessed us by simply going out letting people know Jesus loves them. Those who are members, on June 2nd there will be a pastor evaluation after fellowship lunch, be sure to make time to participate. Thursday Night Devotion will resume June 6th, so come prepared with notes and questions from Sunday’s sermon. Our next family event will be on Sunday June 9th as we will be having arts and crafts day by decorating the church hallway with hanging Bayside pictures of the church over the years. If you have any photos on your phone you would like to see on the walls, print them out yourself and bring them to this event. Please make time to donate pictures or frames and your hands to help us make our church decorative. Also, Father’s Day is June 16th so make sure you come and worship together with all the strong and committed men of Bayside.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Aaron ?;^)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matt 5:16

After Easter Musing

Hello Baysiders! Hope as is well in your souls.

My prayer is that we can take the resurrection power from Easter Sunday into the next journey God is taking us, because Jesus is still risen! Alive! For a lot of us, even after the resurrection, not everything is still in order; bills need to get paid, homework needs to be turned in, doctor appointment needs to be made, and more time needs to take place for the heart to be healed. God knows this and is in the process of restoring this world and your life. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of world transformation and the start of turning all our wrongs into right–that is where the power is found, where the hope begins and where life is promised. Be encouraged to know the same Jesus who walked out of the tomb 2,000 years ago is the same Jesus who walks with us today. Let’s have faith to trust that and live out that resurrecting power in our lives.

I am excited for our next church outing. On May 5th, we are having guest preacher and evangelist Brett Butler give an exhortation on sharing the gospel and the meaning of the Great Commission Jesus commands us to follow. After fellowship lunch, Brett will give a training session on how to share your faith and then we will be going door to door in our neighborhood and invite them to Bayside Church. Mother’s Day is May 12th and there will be a special Mother’s Day sermon, so make sure you invite your mommas and anyone else to church to celebrate Christ among His heavenly family. Also, clear your calendar for Saturday May 18th for a Church Family Outing, as we will be going to the shooting range! More info to come on this fun event. In addition, Thursday Night Devotions will be on Summer break for month of May and will resume on June 6th.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Aaron ?;^)

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Jesus, Matt 28:18-20