Tag Archives: Vantage Point Church of Eastvale

Hundreds Served at Christmas Gift Mart

Photo Courtesy: Richard Gierman (richardgierman.com)
Entertainment was provided by Eleanor Roosevelt High School Students

Staff Reports

Eastvale – VantagePoint Church held their 6th Annual Christmas Gift Mart on December 1 at Eleanor Roosevelt High School.  This event helps low-income families provide holiday gifts for their children each year. 

This year’s Gift Mart allowed 420 families to take home 2,100 gifts for their children.  Members of VantagePoint Church donated over 1,800 of these gifts, each valuing from $15 to $25. 

In addition to the donations, over 300 volunteers gathered to make this event possible.  Even the local Boy Scout Troop woke up early to serve 1,100 pancake breakfasts for the families waiting in line.  The families were very grateful for the breakfast and coffee served, because some of them began lining up for the event the day before!

However, it was definitely worth the wait as families had a great time at this year’s Christmas Gift Mart.  Parents were able to pick out Christmas presents while their children made holiday crafts.  Then, volunteers wrapped the gifts and took them to each family’s cars.  Children were also excited to meet Santa, Santa’s elves, Spider-Man, Princess Belle, and Kylo Ren.  The entertainment continued with performances by the Eleanor Roosevelt High School band, choir, and drama departments.  In addition, free raffles and balloon animals were provided to the families before they went in to shop.

This event continues to touch the lives of local families each year.  “One family told us that their child just got out of the hospital and without us, they wouldn’t have been able to afford Christmas,” said Monique Whritenour, VantagePoint Operations & Outreach Director.

“Families were blessed, lives were changed, and we found a tangible way to be living proof of a loving God to those around us,” Whritenour added.

The Grudge: A Horror of the Heart

By Pastor Mark Lee

With Halloween right around the corner, many people will view at least one scary movie in the upcoming weeks.  From current releases to old standbys, these terrifying tales have become as much a part of October as trick-or-treating and pumpkin patches.  One fan favorite is The Grudge, a thriller released in 2004.  Described by critics as “a creep-fest that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” the film focuses on a curse that consumes its victims.  Sounds aptly named, doesn’t it?

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the action or words or another.  It is not unusual for emotional wounds to leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness, or vengeance.  As a result, we find ourselves avoiding the offenders, rejoicing in their misfortunes, and plotting their demise.  Much like the film of the same name, a grudge is a curse that consumes the victim it has inhabited.

It has been said that harboring feelings of resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  More often than not, our inability to offer forgiveness is more detrimental to ourselves than to our enemies.  Holding grudges eats away at your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  When we let go of our resentment, we make space in our lives for peace, gratitude, and joy.

In Romans 12:18-19, the apostle Paul wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Never take your own revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”  Why entertain a horror story in your own heart when you can hand it over to the Almighty?

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m.

 

God Never Fails, But People Do

Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee

By Pastor Mark Lee

Last year, the public disgrace of an outspoken reality television star made national headlines.  Not surprisingly, the media was quick to point out the conflict between this individual’s grievous wrongdoing and his frequently-professed Christianity.  Soon, it seemed as if everyone was talking about this man of faith and his fall from grace.  For many, his actions were both disappointing and discouraging.

Unfortunately, it is not unusual to learn about the transgressions of Christians.  After all, a faith in Christ does not make you immune to the temptations of the flesh.  Whether it is the misconduct of a public figure or the hurt inflicted by a Christian friend, the sins and mistakes of believers can seem like betrayal.

In reality, even the most virtuous of people disappoint others at some point during their spiritual walk.  It may not be because of some horrible offense, but simply because expectations were not met.   The problem is that people often reject or turn away from Christ because they feel as if they have been let down by Christians.

When you put your faith in friends, family, or even the church, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  At some point, you will find yourself frustrated or disillusioned by each person you know.  It is important to remember, however, that there will be moments when others are disappointed by you.  The key is to not allow ourselves to be swayed by the disappointment.

When we can look beyond the failures of men and remain focused on God, our faith becomes stronger and more mature.  Psalms 118:8 says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”  People fail.  It is inevitable.  God, however, never fails.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Local Church Sponsors Family Night

By Michael Armijo

Eastvale, CA – VantagePoint Church in Eastvale sponsored a family night last Sunday, September 4th, at the Eleanor Roosevelt High School campus. The evening, which was titled “Flicks and Food Trucks”, was a night for families to come out and enjoy nine food trucks and a free movie playing on an inflatable movie screen set up in the schools amphitheatre.

The evening was also capped off with a visit from “Belle” of the “Beauty and the Beast,” “Spiderman”, and from one of the “Storm Troopers” from the “Star Wars” movie franchise. All characters are church goers who donated their time to ensure the kids had a great time during the night.

“We didn’t want to be just another church. We wanted to be a missions outpost in the community,” stated VantagePoint, via their website. “We are going to be an aggressive church that went after the lost, let down, and looking. We wanted to make the Inland Empire the hardest place in the world to go to hell. We wanted the people of our church ‘to be living proof of a loving God.”

VantagePoint periodically hosts community events welcoming every family from any denomination. The goal is to bring community together. Earlier this year Vantage Point  hosted an Easter Egg hunt which brought out almost 5,000 people in attendance. They also host many other events during Halloween and Christmas, in addition to donations to local charities and missions. They’ve had speakers come and share their story, such as Bethany Hamilton, the girl who lost her arm to a shark attack. A few years ago, before his death in July of 2014, VantagePoint  hosted Louis Zamperini, the Olympic Gold Medalist who was caught and tortured in WWII. Another guest speaker was “Blair” from the 80’s hit sitcom “The Facts of Life”. The comment element of these speakers was that they all were challenged within their life and through faith and God they survived and living examples of a loving God. If you would compare their backgrounds you will see the variety of their lives.

Vantage Point has purchased, and is in the process of paying off, 10.5 acres of land on Archibald Ave in Eastvale. Once they pay off the property, they will build a church and school complex to serve the needs of the community. For now, they meet each Sunday at 8, 9;30, and 11 am at Eleanor Roosevelt High in the theatre auditorium. Its located at the corner of Scholar Way and Citrus, one block west of Hamner. For more information about the church and the many free family events they hold, sign onto www.vantagepointchurch.org.

“Join us today in answering the call God has placed on our church,” the site concludes.

 

Whom Then Shall I Fear?

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

Several years ago, a study was released connecting common worries with actual outcomes.  Subjects were asked to write down their fears over an extended period of time.  They were later asked to review their concerns and identify which came to fruition.  Remarkably, approximately 85 percent of what the subjects worried about never happened.  In short, they wasted their time and energy on absolutely nothing.

Of course, fear is part of life.  Daily concerns regarding health, finances, and responsibilities plague us.  In addition, there are national and global situations that create anxiety.  From terrorism and political turmoil to social unrest and natural disasters, it is not surprising that an estimated 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

With fear being such an ingrained part of human nature, it is easy to see why it is a common theme in the Bible.  In fact, the word “fear” is mentioned more than 500 times in the King James Version.  At the same time, some biblical scholars claim the phrase “fear not” is repeated 365 times – one for each day of the year.  With “fear not” being the most repeated command in the Bible, you know it is a message that God wants us to take to heart.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  While belief in God does not make you immune to sadness or suffering, it does provide hope.  We can’t get rid of fear, but we can rest assured in knowing that God is in control.  After all, we know how this story will end.

 

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

 

 

When God Says No

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee  

As babies, one of the first words we learn to say is “no.”  In fact, this negative reply quickly becomes a regular part of our vocabulary.  However, the fact that this simple two-letter word is universally understood by people of various ages, cultures, and backgrounds doesn’t make it any easier to digest.  Whether you hear it from a parent, a boss, or a spouse, the word “no” is usually not a response we welcome with open arms.

Even more difficult than receiving a “no” from someone close to us is receiving it from God.  When you fervently pray for Him to intervene on your behalf – whether it is for something as significant as healing or as insignificant as a break in traffic – the answer “no” can be disappointing.  In our disappointment, we often fail to remember that God’s got everything under control.

Throughout life, we will encounter circumstances and situations that turn out much different than we originally imagined or planned.  When we find ourselves in the midst of these trying times, it can feel as if we are being punished or are being prevented from doing something. Ultimately, hindsight will reveal that God’s plans are better than our own.

In Proverbs 16:9 we are reminded that, “A man’s heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps.”  God’s gifts to us can sometimes enter our lives as difficulties, frustrations, and pain.  Much like a parent may tell a toddler “no” to keep them safe and help them learn and grow, a negative response from the Lord prepares us for something positive.  Through these “no” answers, we can reach a higher level in our spiritual life and a deeper dependence upon Him.  Encouraging, yes?

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

 

 

Learning To Love Yourself

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

 

This summer, many people will spend time visiting beaches, lounging by the pool, and soaking up the sun with a good book in hand.   While popular fiction and non-fiction titles are sure to be included on quite a few reading lists, statistics indicate that the majority of summer readers will be enjoying self-improvement books.  In fact, self-help is a multi-billion dollar industry and has become the best-selling literary genre.

With titles such as “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depended on It” and “Knowing Your Worth,” it would seem that self-loathing is as much of an epidemic, if not more so, then selfishness.  The problem with having a negative view of oneself is that it can affect a variety of aspects of life.  The choices you make and actions you take are all influenced by the way you feel about yourself.

Although everyone agrees that is it important to focus more on others, it is also important to remember that we are allowed to love ourselves.  Taking care of our bodies, giving ourselves grace, and speaking kindly to ourselves is not a reflection of selfishness.  After all, when we care for our own mental, physical, and spiritual needs, we are better equipped to serve others.

The key to loving ourselves is to know where our value lies.  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Our worth should not come from the opinions of others, the size of our bank accounts, or the reflection in the mirror.  Instead, it should come from the fact that God made us and He doesn’t make junk.

 

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

 

Is it Time to Take Action?

By Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

In the entertainment industry, the month of May marks the beginning of the blockbuster movie season.  From now until the end of July, the film industry will be releasing some of their most highly-anticipated films of the year.  Not surprisingly, the majority of these films are in the action genre.  In fact, during the first few days of May, two of the most popular franchises will debut their newest offerings – Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse.

By definition, an action film is one in which a resourceful character successfully overcomes incredible odds, including horrible situations and villainous opponents. Their fast-paced plots and exciting stunts draw large audiences and make a lot of money.  The popularity of this type of movie is not surprising.  After all, who would pay to watch a movie about a man who just sits around and hopes that his problems will go away?

Much like action film heroes, we often find ourselves facing obstacles that are seemingly insurmountable. When our backs are up against the wall, the primary response should always be to turn to God.  However, this isn’t where our involvement ends.  For example: the unemployed don’t just pray for God’s provision, they also start applying for new jobs.

James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.”  We have all heard the popular saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”  While this is not entirely true (He does, after all, intervene when we are helpless), the truth is that we cannot expect God to provide for our every need as we sit idly by.  Yes, we need to have faith that our Heavenly Father will take care of us.  However, we also need to remember that faith often requires action.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Give Peace a Chance This Thanksgiving

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

By Pastor Mark Lee

Millions of Americans will soon be giving thanks while gorging on platefuls of turkey.  Although Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863, this feasting tradition can be traced back several hundred years earlier to Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1621, Puritan settlers celebrated their first good harvest with an impressive banquet. The most remarkable aspect of this first Thanksgiving was that it was made possible by the region’s natives. Despite their obvious differences, the Wampanoag people had helped the settlers survive.

While it is highly likely that the natives were concerned by the Puritans, they overcame their suspicions and reached out. Over the next several weeks, it is possible that many of us will find ourselves in a similar position. Statistics reveal that one of the most stressful aspects of the holiday season is family.  Ancient hostility and old offenses can leave us feeling hurt, angry or anxious.  And, while our complicated relationships are avoidable throughout the year, the holidays often make them inescapable.

Skipping Thanksgiving dinner with the family may be tempting, but the reality is that we all eventually come in contact with “haters.”  When doing so, we need to be honest and apologetic about the role we play in the discord.  And, above all, we need to give grace to those who have wronged us.  After all, how many times have you regretted something you have said or done that was unkind?

One of the most powerful ways to combat tension is with kindness. In Luke 6:35, Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great.”  Imagine how shocked the settlers were when the natives lent a helping hand. Now, imagine how shocked Grumpy Uncle Bob would be if you gave him the last piece of pumpkin pie. What could be sweeter than a peaceful holiday season?

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Halloween Candy And Other Temptations

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

October is magical.  The leaves change colors, the weather cools down, and stores begin stocking copious amounts of individually wrapped candies.

As we all know, these delightful treats are hard to resist.  Retailers estimate that Americans buy nearly 600 million pounds of candy a year.  Although these sweets are purchased primarily for trick-or-treaters, many households have to replenish their supplies before the 31st rolls around.

While it is true that few can ignore the siren call of Halloween candy, a craving for unhealthy food isn’t the only desire people need to control.  Many fall victim to the allure of unnecessary shopping, idle gossip, casual sex, unrighteous anger, and a number of other enticements.  While individuals may feel their battle to ignore certain urges is unique, the truth is that temptation is a universal experience.

Nobody ever plans to eat an entire pint of ice cream or lose their temper with their children.  Even though we make a conscious effort to always say, eat, and do the right thing, moments of weakness are inevitable.  When our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are not being met, it becomes increasingly difficult to regulate our actions.

A great way to resist temptation is to remember the three As:  Admit, Avoid, and Ask.  Once you admit there is a problem, it is necessary to avoid your vice.  Asking friends and family to help you stay strong is also a helpful way to fight your urges.  Better yet, look to Heaven for your strength.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul promises that “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”

Halloween candy may be delicious, but it isn’t nearly as sweet as the feeling of overcoming temptation.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

 

It’s Time To Catch On Fire!

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

This month, hundreds of thousands of people will commemorate the birth of our nation by enjoying a firework show – or two!  Pyrotechnic displays have become a national tradition, with Americans using them to celebrate their independence for more than two hundred years.  In fact, an article published in a 1777 issue of the Virginia Gazette mentioned a “grand exhibition of fireworks” that left the city “beautifully illuminated.”

While fireworks and the Fourth of July seem practically synonymous, the truth is that people have been using fire to celebrate, intimidate, or entertain for thousands of years.  As early as 200 B.C., the Chinese were using firecrackers to threaten their enemies and scare away evil spirits.  Since then, fire has been used in circus tricks, at special events, and in wilderness survival.  Even the Bible has numerous examples of fire being used to emphasize a point or draw attention.  From Moses and the burning bush to the consecration of Solomon’s Temple, God repeatedly used flames to speak to his people.

Despite its literal meaning, the figurative concept of being “on fire” is extremely positive.  This label is often given to people who are extremely enthusiastic.  Much like a firework display, nothing draws attention more than someone buzzing with excitement or burning with intensity.  When you are enthusiastic about your life, your work, or the pursuit of your goals, those around you can’t help but be inspired.

In Ecclesiastes 9:10, God’s word tells us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”  While the task may seem menial (when was the last time you were enthusiastic about cleaning a toilet?), tackling it with a positive fervor will not only encourage others – it may also encourage you!

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Where Do You Find Your Hope?

Mark Lee New

Pastor Mark Lee

By Pastor Mark Lee

In many ways, this time of year is all about hope.  Whether you are preparing to graduate, planning a wedding, or simply anticipating a vacation, this month is full of promise.  Because of this, June has the ability to turn everybody into school kids anxiously awaiting the start of summer.  After all, who doesn’t like to have something to look forward to?

It is common for people to believe that something better is on the horizon.  In fact, it can actually be beneficial.  Research indicates that hopeful individuals experience higher levels of achievement.  In scientific studies, athletes, college students, and test takers all performed better when they were optimistic about the future.

The problem, however, is that it is not always easy to be optimistic.  We expect our vacations to bring us freedom, our graduations to bring us wealth, and our weddings to bring us companionship. But what happens when our vacations are over, our job hunts are unsuccessful, and we are fighting with our spouses?

As humans, we have a tendency to believe that specific people, events, or accomplishments will fix our problems.  We put our hope in these things, expecting that they will improve our lives.  But, this doesn’t always happen.  And, when it does, the results are often temporary.  Those things that once brought us hope can often leave us feeling hopeless.

For a guaranteed and permanent solution, we have to look beyond this world. In Psalms 25:3, David wrote, “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.”  Unlike the people and things in our lives, God is all-powerful and ever-present.  If we place our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

7th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Staff Reports

Eastvale – A popular springtime event and community tradition will soon be returning!

For the seventh consecutive year, VantagePoint Church will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., Apr. 4, at the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Football Stadium.

“This fun-filled event has always drawn a large crowd and every year the attendance increases,” said Monique Whritenour, the church’s Director of Community Outreach.  “Traditionally, we have held the Easter Egg Hunt at Mid Hill Golf Center.  However, because of its popularity, we have decided to move it to the new location on the Roosevelt High School campus.”

This year’s celebration will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.  In addition to Easter egg hunts for all ages taking place throughout the day, the festivities will also include a maze, inflatable obstacle course, games with prizes, petting zoo, and pictures with the Easter bunny.  Free raffles will be held and guests will have the opportunity to win one of 50 Easter baskets.

Admission is free.  Food, however, will be available for purchase and unique items will be sold at the Spring Craft Fair.

While the entire community is invited to attend, Whritenour believes that families with children ages 12 and under will find it especially enjoyable.

“The 7th Annual VantagePoint Church Easter Egg Hunt will provide a wonderful opportunity for Eastvale families to get to know their neighbors, while providing their children with a positive and fun experience,” she said.  “Of course, our goal is always to show the community Christ’s love.  We ask for nothing in return.”

Eleanor Roosevelt High School is located at 7447 Scholar Way in Eastvale.  For more information regarding VantagePoint Church or the annual Easter egg hunt, call (909) 465-9700 or visit www.vantagepointchurch.org.

A Season of Renewal

By Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Although Eastvale residents may not notice much of a change, some individuals living in other parts of the United States are currently celebrating the official end of winter.  At the same time California has been experiencing temperatures in excess of 90 degrees, New England and parts of the northeast have seen record snowfall. Needless to say, people all over the country are welcoming spring with open arms.

However, you don’t have to immerse yourself in freezing temperatures to appreciate the beauty of the season.  After all, this is a time of growth and promise.  Everywhere you look, the world is emerging from darkness and new life is appearing.  The ice is melting, the clouds are receding, and the days that lie ahead are full of possibility.  Spring brings hope, optimism and new beginnings.  What could be more beautiful?

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about this time of year is that this sense of renewal isn’t limited to nature.  It is not uncommon for people to be inspired by the beauty of the season and use it as an opportunity to initiate changes in their own lives.  Whether this means recommitting to a resolution, improving a relationship, or pursuing a goal, spring gives us the opportunity to start all over again with a clean slate.

Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

If you are planning to use spring as an opportunity to recharge and refresh your life, I encourage you to include God in that plan.  With Him on your side, success is inevitable.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

Who Needs Luck?

By Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

For a single day this month, nearly everyone I know will be Irish.  While St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious holiday honoring the life of the man credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, it has since become a cultural phenomenon celebrating the people, culture, and folklore of this beautiful European country.  And, from four-leaf clovers to wearing green, many of the holiday’s traditions revolve around the pursuit of good luck.

Whether or not you believe in their effectiveness, the appeal of lucky charms is understandable.  After all, who doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of good fortune?  The problem with luck, however, is that it is a philosophy based purely on chance.  Webster’s dictionary defines it as a “purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force.”  In theory, when you place your faith in this ambiguous power, the outcome is never certain.  It can either be positive, or it can be negative.

Divine providence, on the other hand, is always benevolent.  Defined as “the sovereignty of God over the events in life,” divine providence is the belief that God governs creation as a loving father.   For human beings, this sovereignty may seem just as unpredictable and uncontrollable as luck.  The truth, however, is that God allows us to choose our own direction in life.  If we decide to place our faith in Him, He assures us that our needs will be met.   Even when tribulations arise that are hard to understand, solace can be found in this promise.

Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  With this kind of guarantee, who needs luck?

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

Let It Go

By Pastor Mark Lee

 

pastor-mark-leeUnless you have been living under a rock for the past 12 months, chances are you are aware of the pop culture phenomenon known as Frozen. Disney’s 53rd animated feature has broken box office records, raked in more than $1 billion, and captured the hearts of nearly every little girl in the country. Much of the movie’s appeal can be credited to its catchy soundtrack. And, one particular song has emerged as a fan favorite: “Let It Go.”

As we settle into the New Year, this catchy number offers some good advice. Many of us are carrying the baggage of 2014 with us into 2015. Whether we have a long list of regrets or a catalog of mistakes, the disappointments of the past can prevent us from embracing the future. In fact, even our successes and accomplishments have the ability to hold us back.

In order to move forward, we have to stop focusing on what has happened and instead focus on what happens next. After all, it is impossible to successfully drive down the freeway if we are constantly looking in the rearview mirror. Obsessing about the past is a fruitless endeavor because we can’t control or change what has already happened. It is simply a waste of time.

Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” The amazing truth about God is that he is far more interested in our future than he is in our past.

So, in the words of the popular Disney song, we need to “let it go” and take advantage of the many opportunities for growth, change, and progress that the New Year brings!

 

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m.

 

Eastvale: VantagePoint Church Transforming Halloween Celebration

Staff Report

 

EastvaleVantagePoint Church is adding a unique new twist to their popular Halloween celebration.

For the past five years, the church has hosted a highly-successful Trunk or Treat event for the residents of Eastvale.  This year, they were searching for a fresh concept that would not only be fun, but would also promote a sense of community.

“While Trunk or Treat was one of our largest outreach events with approximately 4,000 people attending last year, it was also becoming too large for our venue,” said Monique Whritenour, Director of Community Outreach at VantagePoint Church.  “This year, we decided we would go in a different direction.  Instead of the community coming to our one large event, we will bring multiple events out to the community.”

The result is the “Halloween Block Party.”

“We will have ten houses throughout Eastvale hosting large block parties sponsored by VantagePoint Church,” Whritenour explained.  “At each house, we will be serving hot dogs, hot chocolate, and handing out candy.  The ten main houses will also feature different fun activities.  Some will be showing Halloween movies, some will provide games with prizes, some will have bouncers, one will have a petting zoo, and one will even have a haunted house.”

In addition to the large block parties, numerous other houses throughout Eastvale will be hosting smaller celebrations.  Each block party will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.  Admission is free and open to everyone, not just immediate neighbors.

“Our goal is to provide a neighborhood event for Eastvale families to get to know their neighbors.  People can visit one house in their neighborhood, or they can have fun at multiple houses,” Whritenour said.  “We want to increase the sense of belonging within our community and what better way to do that than having a party for our neighbors?”

For the location of a “Halloween Block Party” near you, call the VantagePoint Church office at (909) 465-9700.

 

 

Keeping It Real

BY PASTOR MARK LEE

 

Pastor Mark Lee Vantage Point Church

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point Church in Eastvale

A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found that nearly 50 percent of adults in the United States were planning on wearing a Halloween costume this year. In fact, the costume industry is expected to bring in more than $2.5 billion during the Halloween season. Judging by these numbers, many people find the prospect of being someone else appealing – even if only for a day.

While Halloween provides us the perfect opportunity to pretend to be someone we are not, the reality is that many people feel the need to always wear a mask. Presenting a superficial face to the world is something we have all done at some point, whether as a defense mechanism or a method of survival. However, problems arise when our attempts to hide our struggles and flaws make us forget who we really are.

Being real or genuine is great, but it is not always easy. When you open yourself up to others, you become vulnerable. However, being transparent in your troubles can provide you with the opportunity to help others. For example, imagine how encouraging it would be for a person struggling with alcohol abuse to hear about the successful recovery of an alcoholic friend. Or, think of how inspiring it could be for a new mom to discuss the trials and tribulations of motherhood with a seasoned parent.

Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

A closed up life is the safest way to live, but it is also boring. Putting away our masks may actually strengthen our relationships and bring our community closer together.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m.

Summer is Over, Let the Stress Begin

BY PASTOR MARK LEE

Pastor Mark Lee Vantage Point Church

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point Church in Eastvale

As the temperatures decrease, the days become shorter, and the kids return to school, one thing becomes increasingly clear: summer is over.

For a brief period of time, many of us are excited to get back to our regular routines. We look forward to everything getting “back to normal” until the reality of “normal” kicks in. Suddenly, we find ourselves just as stressed as we were before summer began.

Did you know that the average office worker currently has approximately 36 hours of work piled on his or her desk? Or, that the average person now sleeps two hours less per night than they did 100 years ago? In fact, people are so busy these days that frozen juice sales have plummeted simply because nobody has the time to wait for it to defrost.

While stress is a part of life and many of us work best under pressure, problems arise when we allow it to get too intense or go on for too long. Being busy and under pressure negatively affects our health and damages relationships. However, reducing stress and improving your life is much more complicated than getting rid of a few obligations. The real key is identifying what it is that makes you push yourself so hard. Often, our desire to become someone better or be something more is what drives us to over commit.

1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time.” We need to shift our focus from what we wish we were to what God wants us to become. By handing over the control and allowing God to advance us in His time, we can achieve true happiness.

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sundays at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m.

 

VantagePoint Church Event to Provide Free Entertainment Labor Day Weekend

BY MONIQUE WHRITENOUR

Eastvale – This Labor Day Weekend, VantagePoint Church will conclude its successful Summer of Love campaign with a free evening of entertainment for the whole family.

The event, Flicks and Food Trucks, will be held on Sunday, August 31 at the Roosevelt High School outdoor amphitheater.  In addition to food trucks and a screening of the film “How to Train Your Dragon,” the festivities will also include games, raffles, an inflatable obstacle course, and a rock climbing wall.

“This summer, VantagePoint Church went out into the community and passed out water, Starbucks coffee cards, and Redbox movie codes.  We also fed the homeless and served more than 325 athletes at our Friday Night Lights Football and Cheer Camp,” said Monique Whritenour, director of community outreach.  “Flicks and Food Trucks is the final event in our Summer of Love.  It will provide the entire community with free entertainment in a safe environment.”

This is the second year that VantagePoint Church has hosted Flicks and Food Trucks.  Last year, more than 1,000 people were in attendance.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by the band Western Express.  The movie will begin at 7:30 p.m.  Everything will be free, with the exception of food purchases.

“This summer, VantagePoint Church invested 1,025 service hours into being living proof of a loving God,” Whritenour said.  “Flicks and Food Trucks will be a great way to wrap up our successful Summer of Love campaign and will also allow us to celebrate Labor Day with our local community.  It is going to be a blast!”

For more information, contact Monique Whritenour at (909) 465-9700.