"seek, connect, and guide this generation into an active relationship with God"

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David-Vs-Goliath-smallGIANTS?!?!?!?

David is not the only person who has ever faced a giant.  We have all experienced what it is like to go head-to-head with massive problems that seem too big to handle.  My boyfriend just broke up with me; my supervisor at work is the devil; I don’t have enough money to pay the bills.  We have all faced these kinds of overwhelming challenges.  And through it all, we are forever in need of God’s provisions.

In Numbers chapter 13, the Israelites are poised to enter into the Promised Land.  It is an exciting time.  Twelve men are chosen to go in and scout the place out.  What is interesting about this story is that all twelve men saw the exact same things and experienced the exact same events.  Somehow, though, they walk away with totally different versions of the same story.  Some focus their attention on the land and the abundance of it all.  Others focus their eyes on the threatening giants in the land that will surely destroy them.  Some even claim that the earth itself can devour people.  And then there are two who, by faith, are able to see past the problems and trust that God will provide victory for them, just as He had promised.

Do you need help in seeing things differently?  Do you tend to focus on the “giants” as opposed to keeping your eyes fixed on the promise that God will provide?  We will be exploring this and much more in this incredible story.

THERE’S DISSENSION IN THE RANKS!

Miriam as a leper-smallNo, no, no -- not at Searchlight Ministries!  In Numbers 12, which we will be studying this coming Sunday, we hear of a huge conflict that arises between the three main leaders: Moses, Miriam, and Aaron.  We hear of false accusations, jealousy, envy, and a possible overthrow between these siblings.  Before the nation can even really begin, Satan attempts to take out the leadership.

 We have all had moments of jealousy.  We have had struggles with hearing of other peoples’ successes and wondering why we don’t have that same success.  We hear of our enemies having problems, and inside, we secretly rejoice that they are finally getting what they deserve.  We will be discussing these difficult subjects and it will require us to take an honest look inside ourselves to see how we are doing spiritually.

 We will also take a deeper look into the correlations between this chapter about Moses, and the life and ministry of Jesus.  Can you spot the parallels?

whining in the wildernessWhiners annoy me.   There… I said it.  I think that whiners annoy most people.  Unless that whiner happens to be us!  Then suddenly we seem to have a high tolerance for whining, and we often expect others to either sympathize with us or join in as well.


The Israelite people are on the move!  God is leading the way. Up until now, the nation seems to be in complete obedience to God.  They have watched God do some amazing things and their response is to follow Him and His instructions carefully.  But like all good things, it comes to an end with Numbers chapter 11.  People start longing for the “good ol’ days” and suffering from “greener grass syndrome.”   It’s like a family who has just hopped into the car for a long cross-country trip and before they can even leave the city limits, they start hearing the kids whine:  “When are we going to get there?  I’m bored!  He’s touching me!  When is lunch?”  And like many parents, God and Moses are already discussing what needs to be done.

Some of the great topics we will be covering this Sunday will be contentment, shared leadership, gratefulness, and God’s ability to break outside of any box we put Him in.  If you suffer from excessive whining or discontent, you will want to come.  If you have a friend or spouse or child who suffers, bring them along too!  If you wish to grow in faith and knowledge, then our gathering this Sunday morning will be for you.  I look forward to seeing you!

numbers-10Yes, we continue to look for an alternate meeting location for our Bible study, which will hopefully turn into a more permanent place.  But God has not opened that door yet.  In the meantime He has provided us with the opportunity to meet at the Holiday Inn and Suites. The address is 2932 Nutwood Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831.  (Scroll to the bottom for all the details!) We will be meeting at 11:15am this Sunday, and we would love to have you there.  And we are meeting DOWNSTAIRS this time, so it will be easier for those who need wheelchair accessibility!  No need to go to the elevator – just head to the side and I will have that door propped open!

For the Israelite nation, the cloud moves signaling the beginning of the journey.  Our group, too, relies heavily upon God’s guidance.  And ultimately, we need everyone to be an active part of this bible study that will ultimately lead into a new and exciting congregation!

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t belong in a group?  Were you ever picked last for a team or felt out of place even among close friends?  I want to be perfectly clear in this next statement:

WE NEED YOU!

This week, we will be covering Numbers chapter 10 and talking about how you are greatly needed in order for things to work during this next movement of God.  You are an important part of the Kingdom of God, and I will be inviting you personally to be an active part of our new congregation. We need your talents and skills, your knowledge and insight, your prayers and your enthusiasm! Moses did the same with his brother-in-law, and I want you to know how valuable you are to this travelling group of God-followers.  And even more important than that, I want you to be inviting others to join us on this journey!  And this journey is not just about our work here on earth, but the invitation is to go to those who are lost and living without God.

How exciting it has been to see over 80 people gathering these past couple of Sundays to learn and grow in the Word!  And the time is drawing near for the new church to begin its official launch.  The Articles of Incorporation have been filed.  The bank account is almost open.  Our new logo has been designed.  This is exciting!!  But the most exciting thing for me is to be able to do all of this with such wonderful people like yourselves.  Thank you for who you are and all you do.  Let’s journey together!

See you on Sunday!

Mark Manning 

two-roadsHave you ever felt lost in life and wished that God would come down and just point you in the right direction?  Have you ever made a major life decision and wondered if it was the right choice?  Are you currently at a crossroads with an important choice to make, but you are not sure exactly what you should do?

This week, we will be digging deeply into Numbers chapter 9.  We will be wrestling with this topic of decision making and how to follow God in our lives.  We will be gaining practical wisdom and deepening our relationship with the Lord.  We are excited to have you be a part of this great study! Maybe this would be a great time to invite others to the study as well.  This topic is so important and many people are needing a little more help with determining God’s direction for their lives.  Bring a friend this week!

Speaking of deciding where to go, we continue to seek God’s direction for a place to hold this study, as well as to where we will launch come September 7th.  Openings come and go, but nothing permanent has been found.  We ask you to please pray for this so that we can have a place to meet.  In the meantime, we are thankful to have the Holiday Inn and Suites for our temporary meeting spot.  We have made arrangements to be there again this Sunday.  What a wonderful provision to have in this interim period!

And what a great Sunday we had this past week.  It was a privilege to celebrate communion with you and to worship together in song.  And what a blessing to have 83 people join us in this time of study and worship!  If you haven’t been able to make it, we would love for you to come out!

We are meeting at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Fullerton.  The address is 2932 Nutwood Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831.  We will be meeting upstairs again. Please feel comfortable bringing your kids along too – the whole family is welcome!

I am honored to be a part of this great study, and you are all such wonderful friends.  May God continue to be with us and guide us today and always!

Blessings!

Mark

bright-flashlightIt will be an exciting time in Numbers chapter 8!  We know from Scripture that we are to shine our lights for others to see.  In this section, we hear more about “how” to shine our light directionally.  This is an important concept, which actually contributed to the choosing of the name “Searchlight Ministries”.  In becoming more specific about where to shine our lights, we will be more effective in helping others experience Jesus.  I have been personally challenged by this section of Scripture, so I am looking forward to sharing this material with you.

Also, have you ever thought that your pastor is a sinner too? Numbers 8 reminds all of us that pastors are people also, and are in need of the forgiveness that God grants.  The pedestal is not a place to be placing your pastor.  He does need your prayers and your support, but never your worship and idolization. 

As you can see, this is going to be a great study of God’s word, and I would love for you to come out and join us!   Come join us for this inspirational study and bring all of your questions (along with your Bible)!  Also, you can bring some snacks to share, as we’ve done in the past.

And this weekend, we will also be celebrating Holy Communion, for those who wish to partake.  Communion is such an important part of the celebration we have as Christians, and since it has been several weeks since our family has enjoyed this gift of God, I am making preparations for us to do this as a group.  It will happen immediately following the Bible study and will include a worship song that we can all join in on.  If you need to leave right away, then that is fine.  If you wish to remain and join in, we would love to have you.

We will see you at 11:15am on Sunday at the hotel!  Feel free to share this email with others and I hope to see you there.  If you have any questions, please contact me at (714) 342-2718 or by email.  I love being able to study God’s word with you as we all grow in our faith.

tabernacle-t1It is going to be a hot day on Sunday, and we are excited that we will be in the air-conditioned Holiday Inn and Suites in Fullerton for our Bible Study this Sunday.  The address is 2932 Nutwood Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831.  It is easily seen from the 57 freeway as you exit Nutwood Ave. Just turn right at the end of the ramp, and you will easily find it on the right. Go into the main lobby and there will be signs and directions to the room we are meeting at (The Crown Ballroom).  This is actually a place we’ve met in the past, so I thought it would be nice to head back for at least one Sunday.

Not only will we be enjoying the comfortable indoors of the hotel, but we will also be enjoying God’s Word!!   We will be studying Numbers 7 this week. The Israelites have established the tabernacle and are ready to dedicate the building to God.  What an exciting time as they bring their gifts to God!  If you are able, I invite you to read Numbers chapter 7 before coming.  There are a lot of verses in this chapter, but by reading ahead, it will give you a familiarity with the material as well as spark any questions you might have.  Some of the material is repetitive, but power through and get to the final paragraph for the most encouraging part of the text.  We will be talking about what God wants from us and the most important thing, which is how this chapter speaks of Jesus and His amazing sacrifice. If you don’t have time to read the text ahead, that’s fine too!  Come join us for this inspirational study and bring all of your questions (along with you bible)!  Also, you can bring some snacks to share, as we’ve done in the past.  What a fun time we have fellowshipping with one another.

I have been out of the country this past week serving an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.  The whole family went and we were all blessed to be a part of this wonderful mission.  I will definitely share more tomorrow about this ministry, including the fact that we should be doing it again next year, and anyone is welcome to join us.

Tomorrow, we study Numbers chapter 6.  It is a great passage on the Nazarite vow.  Have you ever wanted to do something extra special in honor of God’s provision in your life?  Have you ever wanted a “do-over” when living out your faith?  And what does the benediction in Numbers 6 actually mean?

It will be a great time studying.  Come join us.  And I have located a place to continue holding the Bible study that I will be firming up this coming week.  I will share more details!



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