A Letter from the Youth Pastor, Luke Braddock
It's a personal blessing to me to say that I am the Youth Pastor at Harbor Chapel Community Church. I have been given such a wonderful opportunity to work with the youth of our community. God has blessed me with an awesome wife, Tonyisha and our six month old baby girl, Sariah Faith, both are an absolute gift from God. We are fortunate to live In Moss Landing across the street from the Church. Our family has been blessed to be a part of such an incredible body of believers who live out their faith in Christ Jesus.
I’ve been involved In Youth Ministry the last twelve years of my life. Being a Youth Pastor has been the most challenging yet. It’s been a honor and privilege for my family and I to grow close to the students, sharing with them good and difficult times along the way. We have witnessed growth in kid’s lives as well as our own.
Our heart is to see students take ownership of their relationship with God. We are stoked when kids see the life that God has to offer them through His Son, Jesus. We know that through Him all things are possible. Convinced that Jesus is the only way to experience true life, we have dedicated our lives to reaching others. My prayer is our family will demonstrate the hope we have with patience and diligence to the people in our community.
Our Youth program, “The Grove”, consists of events throughout the week. Tuesday nights, we hold our boys and girls Bible studies aka (GIBS and BIBS). My wife, Tonyisha, leads the girls’ study and I meet with the boys. We enjoy this time of growing in God’s word and fellowship.
Wednesday evenings we get to visit different skate parks in the bay area. This time is cut out for bike riding, skateboarding and fellowship. We enjoy being a blessing to each different park we visit by bringing bottled water for everyone and good attitudes as we "shred" together. Wednesday nights are set aside for the College/Career Age students, which is going strong under the leadership of my brother, Heath and his wife, Pricilla.
Thursday nights we have “The Grove”. This night is our actual Youth Group night in which we have about forty to fifty students come play video games, ride bikes, skateboard, play basketball and do other fun stuff. We end the night with a relevant message from God’s Word. We plan different events throughout the year like snow trips, "Mission to Mexico" and summer camps.
Sunday mornings we join together for Sunday school. It’s a time to reflect, grow and challenge each other in our faith. We rotate teachers and we are developing a series of teachings to keep it fresh.
My wife and I would like to take a few moments and thank the awesome leaders who work with us as well as the Harbor Chapel Congregation. It has been an amazing few years and we are looking forward to what God has in store for our Youth in the future. We appreciate all of the help and support throughout the Youth Ministry Program. Please continue to pray for my family and me, as we strive to work under the Lord’s leadership. Together with the help of Christ we can make a difference.
"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." -- Oprah Winfrey
The situations and circumstances around us can be overwhelming at times. It's through theses times that we must remember all the things that bring us joy. A cup of coffee on a cold morning, a chat with your best friend, reading a good book or just listening to a favorite song can provide you with memories that will last a lifetime. The more you focus on the small things that are enjoyable to you and often free, the more your life can be a much different place.
Start by making a list of at least twenty things that are fun to you or can give you a reason to be happy. Then make a commitment to do at least one of those things everyday. This is part of your recipe for enjoying life. You may want to wait until your energy is up but by enjoying something from your list everyday you will be increasing your energy reserves.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Listen to a favorite song. (Beatles)
2. Read a good book (the Bible)
3. Pack a picnic lunch and go out to eat
4. Volunteer for your community (church, food bank, local park)
5. Plant a flower
6. Visit a garden and enjoy the fragrance (take your picnic lunch)
7. Practice a random act of kindness (do something nice for someone totally unexpected)
8. Compliment someone
9. Renew a relationship with someone you've lost touch with.
10.Microwave some popcorn (eating it is optional, enjoy the smell)
11. Call your best friend
12. Read cartoon strips and laugh
13. Donate to a charity (or just buy the stranger in line behind you at the coffee shop a cup of coffee)
14. Sing in the shower
15. Go for a walk
16. Watch a movie with a friend
17. Light a scented candle
18. Read someone else's Happiness list (to remind you of more things for yours)
19. Visit a pet shop even if you don't have pets.
20. Have some ice cream
21. Stomp in a water puddle
22. Go fishing (using bait is optional)
23. Walk barefooted on the beach
24. Visit the museum or local State Park
25. Create your personal Happy List to celebrate life
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM PASTOR JIM YORK
I want to encourage each person who reads this letter. This following story sounds like anything but encouraging but you will see how it brings us to a place of perspective.
Recently I was exposed to a photo of a bronze sculpture that I cannot get out of my mind. The sculpture depicted some of the atrocities that were forced on millions of people during the Holocaust. The sculpture is of Innocent children with horrified looks as they were falling downward to their death in a ditch full of bodies. I thought about how those children were pulled away from their parents, put into cold cattle trucks with the stench of urine, human waste, and vomit. I imagined the screaming and fear that those children endured.
Questions have haunted me: How many parents died of broken hearts even before they were executed? How could the military people carry out such horrific acts? What would I do if commanded to carry out the atrocities? Would I do the brave and right thing or would I fear for my own life or possibly succumbed to the propaganda that these were not real humans?
Honestly; it is too much for my emotions to sort out. I can’t imagine the pain and loss that these people were forced to endure.
These haunting thoughts remind me of how evil mankind can be; it reminds me that these types of atrocities are still happening in the world today; it reminds me of how much I need to trust God, and it reminds me that I need to keep a realistic perspective of my life.
We need these reminders to adjust our perspective. These reminders give us an attitude adjustment; they keep us humble and thankful.
How should I view my wants and desires and fears in light of the deep loss and pain that much of mankind has endured and is still experiencing?
These events of enlightenment help us strike a better balance in our lives. They help us to treasure what is really important. They cause us value our relationships, our families, and most of all our closeness with our Creator, God. There seems to be two areas that most of us struggle with:
One area is Despair: We struggle with the uncertainty of the future due to the financial problems our country and most of the world is enduring.
This uncertainty is causing a great deal of anxiety, and this fear often leads to a paralysis which robs us of our goals and consumes our thoughts, energy and time.
The other area we struggle with is Distraction and is mostly caused by our possessions. Personally without the adjustments I can get overly focused on temporal things instead of eternal treasures. I put so much importance on that new lens for my camera, or the hottest lure to catch more fish, or more vacations to Hawaii. You can make your own list of distractions if you like.
These are all good things we can enjoy when in their proper place but so often I find that they are taking so much energy that I neglect the most valuable things in life.
Jesus modeled and spoke often about the proper perspectives; He continually showed us the importance of keeping an eternal perspective, understanding what has true value. That is why I bring practical messages to you each week. It is my responsibility as your pastor to bring the scriptures to life, to teach you how to apply the wisdom of God to your lives so that you will be closer to that balance between despair and distraction. God wants the best for our lives so He has promised to be with us in our Despair and He has warned us about our Distractions.
Our greatest tools for finding balance are to Understand And Practice Scripture, be Constant In Prayer, and Encourage One Another In Fellowship. Many times the distractions are nothing more than our response to Despair - we try to cover our fear and pain by our distractions and in doing so we self destruct and ruin our relationships thus we hurt those who we love. Let’s face it; one of our greatest fears is that we might lose some of our distractions.
I knew you would be disappointed if I didn't include a “Yorkism” so here it is: “Many people want what they don't need and need what they don't want” (Clarification of the Yorkism) Many of the things we want are not necessary and actually cause us more stress due to the fear of losing them and in the maintaining of them. The things that we really need are: more discipline in our lives to get things done - helping others - pleasing God with our lives - and worshipping God because He Is The Provider Of All Things. I wonder how God views us when we are never content with our lives, always thinking about what we want instead of enjoying what we have. If you are not content with what you have now, you will not be content with what you get later. If you are not happy with what you have, how could you be happier with more?
Here is the antidote for the Despair: 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety (or cares) on him because he cares for you.
So, how are you doing with that constant balancing act? Do you pay attention to the reminders? They are all around us you know. Did you catch the reminder lately with the disaster in Japan and other places? But that catastrophe is only one of many reminders that our lives are uncertain and that we must put our trust in eternal treasures instead of this temporary place. The writer of the book of Hebrews has the right perspective: For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14
I want to be the first to recommit to a daily habit of starting each day with a prayer of true thanksgiving to God for my many blessings, to let God know that I am thankful for what I have right now and will be content with my possessions but not with my achievements.
In closing, I want to thank each of you who attend Harbor Chapel Community Church. Each of you is an important part of the Body of Christ. To paraphrase Erwin Mcmanus: “Separately we are a fragmented humanity but together we make a beautiful mosaic.”
Keep Perspective! – God Bless You – Jim York
We Believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, and accept the same as the only infallible guide and rule of our Faith and practice. We believe in the Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Immutable Triune God, maker of Heaven and Earth; and in the unity of the Godhead, there are three persons acting as one.
God The Father - Isa. 43:10 , Isa. 44:8 John 3:16
God The Son - Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the Cross, rose the third day, ascended unto Heaven where He sits on the right hand of God the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. John 1:1-3, Matt. 1:23, 1Tim. 2:5, Eph. 2:18, Phil. 2:6-11
God The Holy Spirit - The third person of the Trinity (or Godhead) sent by the Father through the Son, to convict the world of sin and indwell the believer for spiritual growth and strength and wisdom for ministry. John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:8
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells a person at conversion. The convert is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, and the Spirit dwells in the believer to guide, comfort and exercise their gifts. John 7:7:38-39, John 14:15-17, Acts 5:32, Eph 2:22, 2Tim. 1:14, 1Peter 1:11, Mark 1:8
We believe that there is an ongoing filling of the Holy Spirit enabling the believer to minister and witness more effectively. This filling takes place when the believer asks for the power needed to do the work of God, and becomes available at the time of the need. The evidence of the filling is the power to accomplish God's work through us, and is not necessarily an emotion or outward experience. Luke 11:13, Acts 2:2-4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 9:17, Rom. 15:13, Eph. 5:18
The Plan Of Redemption - We believe that Christ was the Lamb of God, fore-ordained from the foundation of the world and by the shedding of His blood on the cross, made provision for the Salvation of all men. 1Peter 1:19-20, Isa. 53:5, Titus 2:14, Heb. 7:25 We believe in the fall of man and his need to be redeemed. Gen. 1:27, Isa. 53:6, Rom. 3:10, 23, Rom. 5:12, 19
The New Birth - We believe that because of man's total inability to save himself, Salvation is by God's grace alone; is received through sincere Godly repentance, and a whole hearted acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior; through being born again, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:8-9, 2Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20, 1Peter 2:24
Daily Christian Life - We believe that having been cleansed by the blood and indwelled by the Spirit, it is God's will that we should be sanctified daily, and strive to be like Jesus. We should not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit. We should desire to represent the love of God through our lives. Rom. 8:15, Rom. 12:1-2, 2Cor. 7:1, 1Peter 1:15, 1Thes. 5:22
Water Baptism - We Believe that water baptism by immersion, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is commanded by God; that is subsequent to conversion, that it is not a saving ordinance, but an outward sign of an inward work. Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38
Communion – The Lords Supper - We believe in the commemoration of the Lord's Supper as a type of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as an ordinance showing forth the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and looking forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 1Cor. 11:23-27, 2Cor. 13:5, Luke 22:7-22 We believe that all Christian believers, regardless of church affiliation may partake of the Lord's Supper 1Cor. 11:28
Divine Healing - We believe that divine healing is the power of God to heal the sick and afflicted. We believe that God is willing and does heal the sick today according to his will. Isa. 53:4-5, Matt. 8:16-17, James 5:14-16, Acts 3:16
The Second Coming Of Christ - We believe that the Second coming of Christ is personal, imminent and pre-millennial; that the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thes. 4:16-17, Titus 2:12-13, Matt. 24:36,44, Acts 1:11 We believe that the coming of Jesus Christ with His Saints will end the Great Tribulation and establish the millennial kingdom on earth, Then Christ shall rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lord's.
Church Relationship - We believe that every born again child of God should identify himself /herself with the visible Church of Jesus Christ, and should work diligently, and contribute his physical and financial means towards the spreading if the Gospel here on earth. Heb. 10:24, Acts 2:47, Acts 16:5, Rom. 12:5, 2Cor. 9:6-7
Final Judgement - We believe in the final judgment of the wicked at the Great White Throne, when the dead, both small and great shall be resurrected to stand before God to receive the rewards of their deeds done in the flesh. Matt. 13:41-49, Rev. 20:11-15
Hell - We believe hell is a literal place of outer darkness, bitter sorrow, remorse, and woe, prepared by God for the Devil and his angels. Into a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, shall be cast the unbelieving, the abominable, the murderers, sorcerers, idolaters, liars, and those who's names have not been written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It is for this reason that Jesus provided a way of salvation for all who believe in him and accept the free gift of salvation. Rev. 14:10-11, Rev. 20:10,14-15, Rev. 21:7-8, Matt. 25:41, Mark 9:43-44
Heaven - We believe that heaven is the habitation of the living God, where Christ has gone to prepare a place for all his children, where they shall dwell eternally in happiness and security with him. 1Cor. 2:9, John 14:2, Rev. 7:15-17, Rev. 21:4, Rev. 22:5
Evangelism - We believe that as a body of believers, the church, we should help carry out the great commission of winning souls to the Lord and making disciples of the believers.
Please feel free to contact us to clear up any questions that you may have about our faith.