Just In Time For Christmas

Howdy Baysiders! We have made it to the end of 2020 as the celebration of the birth of Jesus is around the corner and I hope we all are trusting God for the last days of this year .

We arrived just in time for Christmas because baby Jesus is the answer to our current pandemic crises around the world. We all have been through so much in 2020 and the message of Christmas is the gospel message we need to hear. During the holiday rush and stress, there is hope in Christmas. I love what the angel of the Lord tells the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,” Luke 2:12. In the midst of their job, in the dark, under government oppression, God comes to them with good news. This news is God with us. Thats the power of baby Jesus, God came into our human condition to be with us and save us.

In a time when we might not feel like being in the Christmas spirit or decorating and we prefer to be upset or critical Jesus in the manger reminds us there is always time to have joy. Christmas tells us its not about the stuff or material things we have made the holiday to be but about our hearts being humbled and receptive to God when its least expected. God chose a poor girl, tiny town, and farming tool to bring forth his promise for the world. Think about that. God’s ways aren’t our ways. This is the essence of Christmas, a joyful heart over God’s love for the world. No virus or bad economy can take that away. Some of us have lost our Christmas mojo, perhaps its covid related, or maybe its just getting old and so we are grumpy, cynical, depressed. The manger offers us good news. It’s not about you. Never has been or was. Its about God entering our world and Jesus being the star of the show. We graciously get to be the audience to witness this miracle. The angel tells the shepherds go find Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. This is our application this holiday season. Go find Jesus. No matter the circumstance you are in, go find him, he is there, Christmas is available if you seek it. Find Jesus today and share joy to the world.

We will be remaining with our online church services and Bible Studies entering the new year until further notice. Wednesday Night devotion will be going on winter break starting on December 23rd and resuming January 13th. Any questions or concerns please reach out to me.

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron

Finish Strong

Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls in this Thanksgiving season. The holidays are upon us and the woes of 2020 tempt us to rush through the end of the year to start fresh for 2021. But this isn’t the movie Click (a must watch film about appreciating your current circumstance).

We must finish strong. In the midst of stress and hardship of our season we as God’s people are to remain strong and hopeful. God’s strength is available to anybody who is willing to receive it. When we are weak and tired, God is ready to equip us and give us the strength to finish the task. In order to sustain the difficulty, you must rely on God’s supernatural power, and not depend on your natural power. My natural abilities tells me to give up, don’t try harder, take it easy, don’t trust God anymore, and to be hopeless. Being confident in God’s strength is the route to rest in his arms while he carries us through the fire.

The first step in attaining God’s strength is confessing your weakness and asking for his help. Nobody likes to admit “I’m weak.” No one enjoys or wants to feel out of control or helpless. But, in reality, you and I must learn that in our weakness moments, the Lord is free to do his greatest work in us. It is in these trying times that you can experience God’s power. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. All strength needed is available to you through Jesus for any time of your life—good or bad—adversity, suffering, or misfortune.  Resist your pride and confess your inadequacies and frailty to God, and dwell in his everlasting grace and love. There is no guarantee that 2021 will be better, and sorry to be the bearer of bad realistic news but this pandemic is so unpredictable and assuming a fresh start to a new year will fix everything is fanciful. Most likely all the issues and stresses will be there on January 1st 2021. But this is no reason to panic or be down. What is guaranteed is God’s strength for the weak who want it and need it. God is who is promised and never changes and is our stability in the ever changing seasons of life. God’s strength is more than enough for this year, next year and even today.

As for now, Bayside Church is open for in person service on Sundays and for Bible studies on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Webex is available for those who rather stay at home for health concerns. Mark your calendar for November 29th because its our Christmas Decorating Day. Come join us and help decorate the interior of church with Christmas decorations. This will occur right after service. Let’s come together each week and take advantage of this time as we don’t know when we will be lockdown again during this pandemic.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Aaron ?:^)

Waiting With God’s Word

Happy Autumn Baysiders, hope all is well in your souls!

There is so much going in our world right now, from the global virus to the presidential election, its easy for us to be stressed out and just rush to the finish line of 2020 and start the next year. Probably for anyone, one of the hardest jobs to do is to wait. Wait for next year, wait for the virus to have a vaccine and social distancing be done with, wait for the church to reopen again for Sunday service, wait to go to the movie theater, wait for the NBA to start up again, wait for the election to be over, wait for your left overs to be heated in the microwave.

Waiting is the place no one wants to be in however its a place we all are aware of. Can we be good waiters? Can we be so good at waiting that waiting looses its sting and blow and we thrive in the wait? Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” A way to rest from waiting is God’s word. The Bible is jammed packed with truth and its truth that pushes away false ideas and negative thoughts. The word of God is perfect and complete, it has everything you need to know for your particular situation. Sometimes we can get stuck in an emotional rut and our feelings dictate the course of the day but whatever the reason may be, you can always trust God’s word. His promises and words are faithful and will not let you down. Truth awakens, revives, and affirms the soul. God’s word is medicine for our stress in waiting, just as water is for thirst. So you must not listen to the voices in your head, but instead talk to the voices. Talk against the negative words with God’s words; fight back with scripture! The fight against hating waiting is the battle to believe the promises of God, and faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Be encourage Baysiders! Christ is on the throne and is working all things together for our good and his glory. The holidays are upon us and its time to refocus on the gift of love in Jesus coming as a baby. This is what we have now, no more waiting on God because he has already given us himself for overcoming anything this life throws at us.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Aaron ?:^)

Be Still.

Howdy Baysiders! Happy August! Hope you all had a great summer and are well rested as we enter the end of summer.

I once heard a pastor say, “In the end, busyness makes us look important but cripples our relationships. Busyness feeds our egos but ultimately starves our souls. Busyness fills our calendars but fractures our families. And busyness props up our images but shrinks our hearts.” This quote has stuck with me all these years and reminds me to prioritize not just my activities but feelings and thoughts. We can look so busy and yet not be productive. This is the illusion of busyness. It tricks us into thinking we are doing important and meaningful things when its just a smoke screen for what we are really neglecting. Are you sacrificing your intimacy with God for the idols of busyness, achievement, and pleasing people?

Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” For some of us being still is a difficult task to do, yet God wants this from us. It is only when we are silent and at rest that we can see God’s plan in our life. The pandemic has shifted all our lives and it can be challenging adjusting to the new normal. This is even more reason to be still and stay in the moment and not chase the next busy thing to do. Life is too fast to be losing yourself in the hustle and bustle of the demands of being busy. Slow down and reflect on God’s awesomeness.  Life is already high-speed so why speed up life with your hurry up mind set and action? I always try to keep myself one day ahead of yesterday. Stay present, appreciate the moment. Don’t live in the past and don’t live in the future, but live in the now. The here and now is what matters. Busyness can ruin the blessings in front of you if you’re not careful. If you are always on the move, being a workaholic, then rest itself will be a work to do. But God tells us in His word to be still and know! Know that God is over your life, guiding and providing for you. Thus you don’t have to be busy all the time or worry about getting everything done on your to-do-list. If we don’t practice regular stillness with God then we will look busy but not be productive on what really matters. Yes, you might get that promotion, raise, A+, or pat on the back, but at what expanse? The suffering of your relationship with your spouse, kids, God? God did not create us to be multitaskers, only God can do that. Be still Christian. It’s ok. God is working when you are not. Learn to stop and take a breather and look in your life considering all your blessings because all we have is the now, which is the best present we can open.

As our public gatherings are still unavailable I want to encourage everyone to remain joyful and hopeful. God still works, speaks and loves, no matter the situation we face. No virus can stop the grace of God. Let’s continue to talk and meet up with one another through Webex and Youtube. We are having a Prayer Night on August 21st at 7pm. Please come out and join us in prayer as we wait and see how God is going to move in our church and nation. I want to thank everyone for their financial contributions during this pandemic season. Your tithes and offerings are greatly appreciative and a huge part of sustaining this ministry.

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron

The Waiting

Howdy Baysiders! Happy June! Hope you all are getting plenty of sunshine and fun in this season.

Pastor confession: I hate waiting. I admit I am not the best at waiting and wish I had some time flux capacitor to speed up the boring waiting moments in life. But I can’t be the only one who has a problem with waiting, right? Some are better than others in waiting patiently but no one gets excited for waiting; I’m still waiting for the cool waiting club to open up. Let’s all be honest, no one likes to wait, and our society doesn’t help us on being patient. Everything is fast pace and designed to speed up any process. That’s why there are microwaves, fast food, Fastrack, Wi-Fi, on demand television; we live in a get it now world. And here lies the problem, that’s not how God works; God works in the waiting, uses the waiting for his greater purposes. To receive the best from God you are going to have to learn to wait—and I mean a quiet trusting confidence kind of wait; not a quarreling whining fretful kind of wait—that’s called impatience. It doesn’t help if you are fidgeting and doubting God. True patience is a silence hope in God’s faithfulness. The Bible says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord,” (Psalm 27:14). 

Do you believe in God’s goodness? Do you trust that God knows what he is doing? With God’s power and strength, you can get through the wait. It takes bravery to trust God, and not depend or listen to yourself and others, courage is needed to close your eyes and open your heart and believe in God’s promises. It takes great faith to wait on God, but how great the reward is! As I once heard, “patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” May we confess our impatience and cling to God’s faithfulness for in doing so we will find the hope, love and joy we desire in our waiting.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dad-like role models! Your work, love and support is appreciated and may the good Lord bless you extra special today. This coming Sunday, June 21st, is Father’s Day and there will be a special sermon for this occasion so tune into our YouTube channel and invite others to watch. Our next month’s Prayer Night will be on July 10th at 7pm on Webex. Please join us for this wonderful spiritual moment of praying for our church, nation and world. Lastly a Covid-19 church update, as of now we will be remaining closed for public gathering on Sunday and continuing with online church via YouTube and Webex. My prayer is that, depending on the decrease of new virus cases and curve dwindling in our area, we will wisely and slowly take steps on reopening the church for late July. But again, if our current climate of the virus hasn’t made significant change and a new wave hits our area then we will resume our online church services. Please keep this all in prayer and for God’s will to be done for our country and church.

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron

Eternally Grand Grace

Hello Baysiders, Hope all is well in your souls!

Let’s talk about grace. What can I say about grace? Lots of stuff to discuss on grace but keeping it short the first thought that comes to mind is grace is the reason why you and I are here; it is unmerited favor. Grace is not just for salvation, but also for sanctification. Grace not only gets us saved but keeps us saved and keeps on saving us! You can’t walk, talk, and live with God apart from His grace. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” The good works and allowance that you have is God, not of our own will power.

Grace is more than a free undeserved gift: grace is the capacity to do anything spiritually profitable. You can’t pray without grace, can’t understand the Bible without grace, you can’t choose right over wrong without grace, and you can’t have faith without grace. This is why dependence on God is so important. If you depend on your own strength and will, you will always be frustrated and disappointed. Grace is everything in the life of a believer and is the reason we praise! When we realize everything is from God’s grace we respond with gratitude and praise. God’s grace is so eternally grand that it extends to non-Christians and blesses those who don’t follow God! How is that fair? Its not, but thats why its called grace! Grace isn’t fair; if it was fair, none of us will be deserving of it and we would all be doomed. Yet God loved you and I when we were far away from him and didn’t trust him. God is so awesome, loving, and GRACIOUS that He expands His goodness and favor on ALL people! God’s loving kindness and grace is so powerful that it extends not only in my own life but to the lives of others. May we share this grace of God to each one we encounter in our daily lives.

Congratulations Jessica! Our sister was baptized last Sunday and it was glorious to witness. Please keep her in your prayers and she walks in her new journey with Jesus. Here is a link to the baptism if anyone wants to check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHK9y1tcFBA&t=43s. This Sunday we are starting our new sermon series in the book of Galatians! I am excited on what God will do with us as a church through the words of the Apostle Paul.

Let’s not forget to keep our regular tithing and giving going. Thank you to all those who have been tithing in this pandemic adjustment! Your offerings and financial gifts are beneficial and impactful to Bayside Church. In times of distress and scarcity, generosity is most felt and powerful. Please don’t grow tired of giving as God will provide for our every need. You can always tithe three ways by mail, Venmo, or Pastor pick up. Proverbs 11:25, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

Grace and peace ?:^)

Pastor Aaron

Knows Us By Name

Hello Baysiders,

Hope all is well in your souls!

What happens after the tomb from Easter? Resurrection. Thats what happens. This is our confidence for today as we face Covid-19 in our world. As much of our adjustments, rescheduling, and acceptance of this pandemic, we as Christians have a hope that does not disappoint. We remain hopeful and faithful to the commitments God has given us, we go and meet Jesus in Galilee; more work needs to be done in our world and personal lives.

Easter reminds us we are loved by God profoundly, unconditionally, and individually. I love to run at night for exercise and as I do I look up at the stars and see the huge array of stars in the dark background, and if I am lucky, I see a shooting star. I am floored at God’s beauty at night seeing all of those twinkling specks of light fill the canopy above me; it makes feel so small. It’s amazing to me that the same God who sprinkled them in the sky loves me and loves each of his children the same way. The Bible says God named all the stars, Isaiah 40:26, “Lift up your eyes on high,​​and see who has created these things,​​ who brings out their host by number;​​ He calls them all by name,​​ by the greatness of His might​​ and the strength of His power;​​ not one is missing.” The stars are innumerable to the naked eye yet God knows each one personally. God’s love for you is unfathomable and unchanging, Saint Augustine once said, “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us.” As God knows each star by name so he knows each of us profoundly, unconditionally, and individually. God never changes and His character is the same today as it was yesterday and will be in the future. God’s care for us can be noticed all throughout our day; from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, he showers us with his love, until the time we lay our heads on our soft pillows, under the star lit night, he comforts us. Sometimes, we get so caught up in day to day living that we don’t even notice his blessings. God’s blessings in your day are as numerous as the stars at night—incalculable. If you just look for them you will find them; they are all around you. Let’s have faith to believe in God’s star like love for us.

Mark your calendar for May 1st as we will be having our Bible and Bread night at 7pm. This will be on Webex and for the purpose of fellowship and education. This session will consist of coming together with food, drink and our Bibles to discuss theology, apologetics and the hard questions of the Bible. May 10th is Mother’s Day and there will be a special sermon on this occasion to bless the mothers and all of us who came from a mother; make sure to send the YouTube link to your family and friends. And on May 22nd we will be having a Prayer Night at 7pm. You can always tithe through the church’s Venmo app, mail it in or I can pick it up for you.

Remain strong Baysiders and stay connected with the weekly and monthly activities from the church. As always, if you have any questions or needs, please reach out to me.

Grace and peace ;^)

Pastor Aaron

Worship Doesn’t Stop

Hello Baysiders!

Hope you all are well in your souls in this strange and concerning time in our world. The coronavirus is haunting our world yet I am here to encourage you to don’t stop worshiping the Lord and we are victorious in all things because Jesus resurrected from the grave.

One thing I do know for us, as the church, in this current crisis, is God wants our worship. Worship does not stop, and never will. Worship is not only an earthly endeavor but a forever reality. Even after we leave this planet and enter heaven, we will still be worshiping! Psalms 29:2 says, “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Worship is important to us because worshiping God is the reason why we are created. Worship is more than stain glass windows, paintings, and playing the guitar. It is more than people singing songs to God with our head back, eyes closed, and hands raised in the air. These actions are expressions of worship, but they are only part of the picture; Christian worship is so much more than that. Worship doesn’t matter on the location or size and style of building, as long as it’s “in spirit & in truth” (John 4:24). Worship deals with the heart. As it’s been said, worship is not an art form, it’s a heart form.  It’s about who and what we love more than anything else. Baysiders, lets worship no matter what because is God worthy of it. What will help us in this hard time of covid-19, is worship. The more we do it the more we are connected to our creator and He will sustain us. Worship God with your mind, acknowledging that he is awesome, gracious, merciful, good, patient and our comfort in times of fear.

Due to covid-19 all church public social gatherings, activities and functions are suspended and will resume according to the advise of our state officials and when it seems wise to do so. There has also been a “Shelter In Place” order for all six Bay Area counties in place that will last until April 7th. San Mateo county is included in the six counties and as such we will follow state orders and procedures. We all need to be responsible and help others by washing our hands and have good hygiene. The good news is there will be a live stream of Sunday morning sermons starting at 11am on YouTube. If you go on YouTube and search in “Bayside Community Church Foster City,” you will find the church’s YouTube page and the live stream and other short videos for your faith encouragement. I hope you all participate and worship together by hearing God’s word through each sermon preached. This is how we stay together in this time of separation; we hear, discuss and live out God’s word. Wednesday night devotion at 7pm and Raymond’s Sunday morning Bible study at 9:45am will continue and be available through Webex! At each Webex start of every devotion and study, Raymond will send out an email. Access the email and join the study through your computer! Please reach out to me to join by email.

For tithing, you can Venmo your donation to the church by searching for “Bayside Community Church.” This is an easy, free and a safe mobile payment app that can be used on iPhone or Android users. If some of you don’t feel comfortable using this electronic tithing option than you can always send your tithe in the mail or the last option is let me know about your tithing package so I can drive to your house and I will pick up your tithe and deliver it to Wilfred.

Mark your calendar because we are having a prayer night on Friday, April 3rd at 7pm via Webex. It’s an hour of prayer and scripture reading. I invite you all to join this time of devotion as we seek God to heal and renew our world and community.

We will get through this valley of darkness if we trust God and follow his lead. Remain hopeful and connect with each other through technology. If anyone needs help with grocery shopping, moving heavy things, pick up and drop off tithing, instructions on Webex, YouTube or Venmo, please contact me and I will gladly assist you in these areas.

Grace and peace ?;^)

Pastor Aaron

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 ?:^)