FROM OUR PASTOR
Messages from the Lead Pastor of COD

October 12, 2017

Dear COD family,

As a new lead pastor I’m daily amazed that every single cent of our ministry here at Church of the Open Door is from the sacrificial and loving stewardship of the people in this church family. Not a single dime comes from the government or a grant or some other entity or group; it all comes from you and every gift has profound spiritual implications.

 
     Recently a family told us,  “COD has been an incredible blessing and answer to years of prayers for our family. Thank you for welcoming and   
    loving us this last year. We are so thankful for our new community!”
 
     A new addition to our church family shared, “Since my baptism, in any kind of struggle or confusion that I might feel or go through, it’s that moment
     I’m always able to recall and know that everything is going to be ok and know where to put my faith . . . and, to give my pain and frustration
     to God and know that through Him, I will make it.” 
 
     Rob and Karen Kimmons, one of our missionary families, send weekly stories of how our generosity allows them to continue to share  the gospel with
     displaced refugees, migrants and students in Nantes, France.

The elder and staff families are so grateful for your financial commitment to the proclamation of the gospel both here and around the world!                                                                                        

As I write this to you, our financial accounts are critically low and we want to make sure that you know how much we are depending on your faithful giving in these last three months of the year.

We as a leadership team are praying that God would give us $200,000 in our account by January 1, 2018. This would allow us to continue to provide for our staff, missionaries and ministries during the lean months of 2018.

As the year comes to a close, Nancy and I are asking what part we can give to this $200,000 and we are asking for you to pray about the part you and your family can have too. We claim God’s great promise to us as we trust Him with everything He has given us: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I can’t wait to see what He does and I thank you for being faithful partners as the gospel of grace moves forward!

Thank you,

David Anderson

P.S. Any amount given is appreciated and will be used by God to further the outreach of our church! As we head into the winter, we are excited about the return of our Living Nativity (December 15-17) and the chance to invite many from the San Gabriel Valley to experience the story of Jesus’ birth in a meaningful way.

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September 21, 2017
 
Dear Church of the Open Door family,
 
Are one of these desires at the forefront of your thought life today?
 
I need money. I need a certain level of income. Once I receive this amount we can get on with our lives. We can get the things that will make our life complete. We can finally be the family I always envisioned.
 
I need my health to work out. Once I feel better, once I’m back to “normal”, my life can turn the corner.
 
I need to know that my family will be okay, that they stay safe. I need to know that my children will make wise decisions and not do something that they will be paying for the rest of their lives.
 
I need success or at least the feeling of significance. Once I receive the promotion that I need, I will get the respect I deserve and my ideas will finally prevail.
 
Many, including us Christians, can readily identify with these needs and desires, but for the disciple of Jesus Christ, satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness arrive in very paradoxical, counter-intuitive forms. In the Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17), Jesus defines satisfaction, fulfillment,and happiness in radical terms for His disciples.
 
This month we are beginning a new sub-series in the book of John that we have entitled: The Heart of Jesus: Lessons from the Upper Room.  During our time together in John 13-17, we want to answer these questions:
 
What is the unfolding plan of Jesus?
How do we play our role well as we trust His love?
How do we give our life away to others for Christ’s sake?
 
The Apostle John’s declaration at the beginning of John 13 that Jesus “loved his own to the very end” is the perfect opening to this discussion. John describes what supreme love looks like in action.
 
This series unpacks the unbridled love of our Savior as He launches us into the high calling as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I invite you to pray and prepare your hearts as we seek the heart of our Savior.
 
In His love,
 
David Anderson
Lead Pastor
 
P.S. Starting Sunday, September 24, we are offering a class called COD 101 . It’s a series of seven classes to get to know our heart as a church and give us a chance to hear yours too. If you are ready to take another step in getting to know us, please come. Meet at 9:00am on the back patio of the Worship Center. One of our teachers will be there to welcome you.

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July 13, 2017

 
Dear Church of the Open Door family,
 
God has given our church family four distinct and eternally significant assignments. He has called each and every one of us to trust Him as we:
 
  Teach God’s unchanging Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 4:12, Ps. 119:89)

 Trust grace in community (Gal. 6:1-2, Eph. 4:1-3, Heb. 10:24-25)

 Move forward through bold prayer (Heb. 4:15-16, John 16:24, Matt. 7:11)

 Make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20, 2 Tim. 2:2, Col. 1:27-29)

 
What we have discovered as we shepherd our people is that one of the most difficult steps in the Christian life is to trust grace in community — to be known, to trust and to allow imperfect Christians to love us with Jesus’ perfect love.

For most of us, this is risky and loaded with possibilities of pain and disappointment. 

As the Gospel heals our brokenness, discipleship (Christian mentoring — take a look at our Discipleship Survey below) allows God an opportunity to shower us with His grace as He heals our failures through His protective love and the love of others. 

Discipleship relationships allow a few people to know you well, to love you, and to pray for you and encourage you in areas that your soul longs for.

Ed Underwood, our Assistant Pastor who oversees discipleship and community development, shares the following about the impact of a grace community on his life:    

Risking trusting grace in community has made all the difference in my own spiritual journey, because it saved me from me. When grace is expressed in the love that tells you the truth and accepts you on your worst day and with all of your weaknesses and hang-ups, it releases you to your destiny in Christ, protected by love. Not only has this process protected me from me, it’s protected those I love the most from me.   

We are enamored by the grace of God that privileges us to be a part of each other’s lives in this way, and we want to invite you into this life changing opportunity!

Much love,  

David Anderson

Lead Pastor
 
P.S. Ed Underwood has created a Discipleship Survey  to help us better understand how we can do this process well. Please take 45 seconds and fill it out (I’ve timed it!). He would love to hear from you and help you take the next step.