Newsletter – January 2011

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A Gift For Jesus

Aloha Kakou,

We have recently celebrated Christmas and the New Year, and I extend the Hawaiian greetings of Mele Kalikimaka and a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou, (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all).

As I walked into the church office during the Christmas season, I saw “Jesus is the reason for the season!” written on the blackboard. I started thinking about that phrase. I remembered the excitement of a special Christmas when I was a young boy: the presents, the Christmas tree, the parties, family, and my new PJs.

I had never had PJs, but all of my neighborhood friends had PJs. That year, my Christmas present was new PJs. I want to stress new. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs because I was the youngest of four boys.

I slipped those PJs on and went outside the house, so everyone could see my new PJs. I was proud of those PJs. In fact, I wore them the entire day. I played outside, went to my friend’s house, ate, slept, and just wore out those PJs in no time flat. It was back to my old shorts because my PJs had worn out to dust.

I realized that I really didn’t miss those PJs. It was just a fad for me because that was what everyone else had. Today, my PJs still are shorts. It has always been shorts and usually old ones that are ready to disintegrate, but I like it, love it, and am accustomed to it. I’m almost always wearing shorts. I feel comfortable and at ease.

Let’s go back to those words on the blackboard. We sometimes get caught up in Christmas and what everyone has: the new things, the bling.

What we really need is Jesus. Jesus has given me the most valuable gift anyone could ever receive, salvation and eternal life.

In return, my gift for Him is to change from the inside out, to be conformed, and transformed into His image, to be what He wants me to be. He doesn’t want us to be like everyone else. Jesus wants us to be us, the same old us, but with Him inside, making us new everyday. It’s not what we wear on the outside that changes us, but who it is on the inside that changes us.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians. 4:16)

Na Pomaika’i (blessings),

Pastor Dennis K. Sallas

The Start Of New Beginnings!

Happy New Year 2011 everyone! I still can’t believe another year has passed. I am still working on things that I promised God from last year and the year before. Thank the Lord that He’s the King of many chances and He also has a great sense of humor.

This is my most recent “what was I thinking?” moment. Almost everyone knows I’ve been the Waikiki Community Center Thrift Store manager for more than thirteen years. For the most part, I’ve loved it. I could meet and pray for people all the time, listen to many wonderful miracles that only come from God, and there was always someone stopping by to see me.

I had a sales quota to meet everyday. If the quota was not met, my job hung in the balance. It was nerve-racking. It took a lot of joy out of my day and drained my spirit. My family and friends prayed for something to change.

Since God always listens to our prayers, I wasn’t surprised when he answered mine. We have a new boss at the Community Center. He has new ideas about the thrift store, and no daily quota. I thought things were turning around.

What I didn’t know was that my new boss was to operate the thrift store differently by opening only one day per week and make just as much money. I initially thought there goes my job, but God works wonders and I was offered the front office clerk position. I was thrilled but felt intimidated. The job is in the same workplace, with better pay, and people could still come and visit me. On the other hand, the workload is insane and I’m being trained on the job, which seems difficult because everyone is so busy.

Perhaps my intimidation comes from breaking out of my comfort zone at the thrift store, but I know God has a plan for me. To be honest, my comfort zone, both at work and with the Lord, needs to be raised to a whole new level. During this year of 2011, I’m getting out of my comfort zone and embracing the choices God has given me. I know He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God. (Philippians 4:6)

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Posted by andyman in Newsletters on January 13, 2011