Tag Archives: Vantage Point Church

Pastor’s Corner: 10 Confessions of a Christian- Confession #1: I’m a Liar

By Chris Kirish

I confess… I’m a liar.

Perhaps you can relate? Someone approaches and asks me how I’m doing.

Conjuring every ounce of strength I have left I force a smile.

“I’m good! How are you?”

Why did I just lie? Is it because I think it’s what they want to hear? Is it because it’s what American culture has trained me to do? Is it because I don’t really want to think about it? Is it because I don’t even know? Is it because I don’t know them? Is it because I don’t want to go that deep right now? Or is it because hidden somewhere deep down inside of me I’m afraid they won’t care if I told them the truth, and that would be worse than if they never asked me in the first place.

Whatever reason we have let’s be honest – we all lie. We lie about how we’re doing. We lie about who we are. We put on a face. We play the part. We act it out. We behave the way we think people want us to behave. We bury the feelings.

Now we have a million reasons why  we do this. It could be our up bringing, our lack of trust, or it could simply be because John Wayne said it’s “What a man’s got to do.”

Why is John Wayne so awesome?

But whatever the case is, we continue to suppress what we’re going through and we hide our struggles and sins from others. But, that does not erase the ever nagging question in the back of our minds… is this is the way it was supposed to be? Is this how life is supposed to be? Am I hardwired in my DNA to deal with everything on my own? Is this the way God wanted it to be? Does God want me to carry this weight alone?

I mean sure, not everyone needs to know your deepest darkest secrets and not everyone needs to know you’re not having a good day. But maybe someone should know. Maybe suppressing the pain, hiding our struggles, and lying is not what God wanted for us.

I find it to be fascinating that Jesus had a tremendous amount of compassion and grace for every sinner He came into contact with and yet He was extremely hard on the people who acted like they had it all together. We don’t have to guess as to why He felt this way – Jesus made it clear for us:

Matthew 25:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombswhich look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appearto people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

I’m no theologian but it seems to me that Jesus really didn’t like it when people faked it. And although we like to picture Jesus as a blond haired hippy surfer, carrying a lamb on his shoulders, smiling all the time, and saying “God bless you” – it may not be too far of a stretch to say Jesus was pretty angry at these religious leaders and He may not have been smiling or carrying a lamb at this moment.

And if you think about it God has never liked it when we hide. In fact, this problem of hiding goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 tells us that when God came walking in the Garden after Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree God commanded them not to eat – they hid from God. This made God angry. And they weren’t the only ones. Jonah once tried hiding from God too. He got on a boat that was headed in the opposite direction from where God was calling him. Jonah though he could run and hide from God. I remember that not going very well for him.

Something about a big fish?

In the same way, many of us are still trying to hide from God today. We hide behind a smile. Behind a title. Behind a façade. A part we play for the people we think will judge us if they really knew us. Can I encourage you today? Drop the mask. You may be fooling people but you’ll never fool God. And God doesn’t want you to be perfect but he does demand that you’re honest. God can help a sinner but He can’t help someone who pretends like they’re not a sinner. God can do anything and He can save anyone but one thing God won’t do – He won’t save someone who won’t admit they need a Savior. Drop the mask. Tell God the truth and then go tell someone else the truth.

Pastor Chris Kirish is the Pastor of Ministries at VantagePoint Church. Contact at http://www.vantagepointchurch.org o: 909-465-9700 ex.711.

VantagePoint Church to Host Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Staff Reports

Eastvale– For the eleventh consecutive year, a popular springtime event will be returning to Eastvale.

On Saturday, April 13 2019, VantagePoint Church will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Roosevelt High School Football Stadium.  The celebration will take place between 9 a.m. and 12 Noon.

Easter egg hunts for children of all ages will be held throughout the day, including special sensory hunts for children with special needs.  Children with special needs will also be given front-of-the-line wristbands and will have a special designated event entrance.

“This fun-filled event has always drawn a large crowd and every year the attendance increases,” said Monique Whritenour, Director of Operations for VantagePoint Church.  “In an effort to build upon our success and better serve our community, we added a few new features that would enable children of all ages and backgrounds to have access to the many fun activities.”

In addition to the Easter egg hunts, the event will also include games with prizes, giant inflatable obstacle courses, raffles, and pictures with the Easter Bunny, Belle, Princess Aurora, Spiderman, Kylo Ren, and other Star War Characters.

This year they’ll have a free raffle for a stay at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Admission to the event as well as all of its activities is free.  Food will be available for purchase.

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

“The 11th 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.”

They will have Accommodations for Children with Special Needs like: Short Lines for Event Entrance, Front of the Line Wristbands, and Sensory Friendly Easter EGG Hunt! Look for the Sign at the Entrance that says, “Special Needs.”

Roosevelt High School is located at 7447 Scholar Way in Eastvale, Calif.  For more information regarding VantagePoint Church or the annual Easter Egg Hunt, call (909) 465-9700 x700 or visit www.vantagepointchurch.org.

Hayden & Rhodes

By Pastor Mark Hopper


For decades states along the Colorado River like California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Colorado had fought in court over how much water each of them should receive from the the river.  In the 1960’s the United States Supreme Court determined that Arizona was entitled to a specific amount of water each year. That major decision opened the way for the building of a canal to bring water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and eventually to Tucson.  The canal was called the Central Arizona Project.  During the following decade, the federal government voted to spend millions of dollars to construct this aquaduct across the Arizona desert.

Previously, most of the water in Phoenix came from the Salt and Verde rivers.  Huge dams along those rivers captured and stored water that was eventually funneled into Phoenix through a network of canals. Most of the water used in Tucson came from underground aquafirs.  Water was pumped by farmers and municipalities to provide water for growing crops and serving those living in the greater Tucson area. The Central Arizona Project canal dramatically increased the available water supply to Phoenix and Tucson and to farmers and ranchers throughout central and southern Arizona.

Recently, my wife and I were driving across the desert between Arizona and California on Interstate 10.  This four lane highway crosses over the canal several times.  As we drove over the canal I noticed a sign that read, “Hayden / Rhodes Memorial Aquaduct”.  These two men had led the effort to get the federal funding needed to build the canal.

Carl Hayden was a Senator from Arizona.  In the 1960’s he was the oldest senator in the US Senate.  He was not the majority leader, but he was the oldest and longest serving senator at that time.  I actually had lunch with him in the Senate dining room in the US Capitol when I was a high school student. John Rhodes was a congressman from Arizona in the United States House of Representatives.  He was also the Minority leader in the House,  a very influential position in his party.

Carl Hayden was the leading Democrat in the Senate. John Rhodes was the leading Republican in the House.  They worked together to gain the financial support of the federal government to build the Arizona canal. They were from opposite political parties.  I think Hayden would have been called a moderate or liberal and Rhodes a moderate or conservative.  But, they found a way to work together for the benefit of the people of Arizona.  I’m sure that they had their differences.  I’m sure they did not always vote the same way on every issue.  But, they found a way to work together.

I think many people today are confused and concerned about the polarization in our political system.  Each party accuses the other of misdeeds and misguided ideologies.  Insults are aired on the floor of the House and Senate and in the media. I wonder how we can begin to come together as a country?  How can we put aside the volume of anger and accusations?  How can our leaders find a way to build consensus and compromise? I don’t expect everyone to agree on every topic or piece of legislation. I believe we do need to maintain our values and convictions. But, I think we need more people like Carl Hayden and John Rhodes in our halls of government who are committed to work together for the good of our nation.

I also believe that some prayer would help, too.  The Apostle Paul instructed followers of Jesus to pray for those in postions of authority and government.  He wrote these words in his letter to his young friend Timothy when there was social and political division within the Roman Empire. Let me challenge you to pray for our country.  Pray for those in positions of leadership.  Pray that our country and our citizens will find ways to work together to strengthen the unity of our great nation.


Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 &10:45 AM



When We Are Drowning In Our Blessings

EV - Mark LeeBy Pastor Mark Lee

Last month, California’s prayers were answered.  After years of water shortages and dry weather, the sky opened up and rain began to fall.  And fall.  Within weeks, approximately 80% of the state’s historic drought had ended.  Californians, however, soon found themselves drowning in their blessings.  As the soil became saturated and the streets flooded, many people grew frustrated with the very thing they had asked God to send.

Being unappreciative of God’s gifts is not unusual.  Just take a look at our daily lives.  We yearn for children, but lament the active toddler or trying teenager.  We ask God for shelter, but despise the never-ending housework. We pray for a steady paycheck, but can’t stand our co-workers.  From the beloved spouse we argue with to the dinner we don’t want to cook, we often have a tendency to take life’s blessings for granted.

Much has been said about the need to have an “attitude of gratitude.”  And honestly, who doesn’t want to be grateful for everything they have?  Unfortunately, it is easy to lose sight of the positive when faced with the negative.  No matter how hard we try to fight them off, bad thoughts can creep in.  Because of this, we need to intentionally find something to be thankful for in each situation we face – no matter how bad it is.

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  The next time you are frustrated while cleaning the toilet or sitting in traffic, remember that many of these circumstances are the result of your answered prayers.

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

The Approval Addiction

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee
Last month, a satirical video of Ben Affleck created a buzz when it was posted online. The short clip spotlighting the Batman vs. Superman star’s melancholic response to his movie’s negative reviews quickly went viral. Millions of viewers were drawn to “Sad Ben Affleck” because it comically combines images of the actor’s downtrodden expression with the sorrowful strains of a popular song. Of course, the video’s appeal also stems from the fact that everyone understands the disappointment that comes with disapproval.
The disease to please infects us all. Whether you are a mother cooking a meal, an employee preparing a report, or a pastor preaching a sermon, everyone enjoys receiving positive feedback. In the same vein, it can be extremely disheartening to invest your time and effort into something only to receive less-than-stellar reviews (Right, Ben Affleck?) While the need for approval can drive us to accomplish great things, it can also have negative results. Anxiety, fear of failure, avoidance, and exhaustion can occur when we work hard to please others.
An acquaintance recently explained her absence from social media by stating, “I realized I was looking for approval in all the wrong places.” This statement is universally true. In our quest to receive “likes” from the world, we often fail to question whether our actions would be pleasing to God.
2 Timothy 2:15 instructs, you must “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Doing so may not turn Batman’s frown upside down, but it could sure help me!

Vantagepoint Helps Feed Needy Children

By Pastor Adam DeCorte

EASTVALE– During the month of April, VantagePoint church will be providing nutritious meals for children and families in need.

Did you know that over 795 million people in the world don’t have enough food to lead a healthy, active life? That’s 1 out of every 9 people on Earth.

We make a donation to a Kingdom-building cause every time our community checks in on Facebook. It’s a great way to tell your friends about VantagePoint Church and do some good in the process. If you need some help checking in on Facebook, just ask any of our staff members and we’ll show you how.  Every 2 Facebook check-ins at VantagePoint church will provide 1 meal to a child in need through a faith-based non-profit called feedONE.

feedONE has 146,676 children enrolled in their Children’s Feeding Initiative and provides meals to children in El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Ethiopia, South Africa, Guatemala, and Tanzania. To learn more about feedONE, check out their site at: https://feedone.com.

When you check in on Facebook, make sure to add #meals4kids to your posts. It’s a great way to remind your friends of why you’re checking in.  Remember, your Facebook check-ins not only provide meals for children, they also gently invite your friends to participate in our church community.  Thank you for getting involved!

March Is The Real Month For Love

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

Last month, an estimated $13 billion was spent celebrating Valentine’s Day.  Approximately 200 million roses, 180 million cards, and 58 million pounds of chocolate were purchased in the name of love.  Despite all of the money that consumers shelled out, many people admitted that they were less than enthusiastic about February 14.  In fact, nearly 40 percent of the population did not observe the holiday at all.

Whether they consider it an unnecessary hassle or simply an excuse for consumerism, the detractors are unanimous in their belief that Valentine’s Day has little to do with real love. Even the holiday’s fans would be hard-pressed to deny that it is romance, and not love, that serves as their motivator when booking reservations and buying gifts.  Romance may be all about warm and fuzzy feelings, but love is much more complicated.  It is unconditional, sacrificial, and not based solely on emotions.  Whereas romance is a noun, love is a verb.

So, why write about love in March?  Isn’t Valentine’s Day over?  Aren’t all of the heart-shaped candies on clearance? Sure!  But, this year we will be celebrating Easter on Sunday, March 27.  And, while Valentine’s Day has chocolate and roses, Easter has the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  What greater example of love is there than this?

In Romans 5:8, the apostle Paul wrote “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether your social calendar was booked solid last month, or if you were a member of the broken hearts club.  Who needs a valentine when you have a Savior?

VantagePoint Church meets at Roosevelt High School on Sunday’s at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The Road to Humility

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

As our country prepares to elect the next President of the United States, the men and women vying for the position face off in a series of televised debates.  These verbal battles are where campaigns are bolstered, promises are made, and plans are outlined.  During these events, the candidates’ speaking abilities, political knowledge, and personalities will be on display.  One thing that most likely will not be on display, however, is their humility.  In fact, some people believe a humble politician is a creature as mythical as a unicorn.

Humility isn’t only rare in politics.  Several social commenters have noted that we are stuck in the era of “me, me, me.”  One has to look no further than social media to see that self-promotion is now the norm.  Haven’t we all taken a selfie at some point?  With so much time being spent focusing on ourselves, is humility even possible?

Author C.S. Lewis once wrote “Humility is not thinking less of yourself.  It is thinking of yourself less.”  Common thought is that humble people are weak or lack confidence.  In reality, a humble individual realizes that their talent is a gift, their success was achieved with help, and their strength is tempered with gentleness.  A humble man gives credit where credit is due, acknowledges that he has limitations, and admits when he makes mistakes.

Luke 4:11 says “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  True humility is a journey that we can choose, or be forced, to take.  And, the funny thing about this journey is that as soon as we feel we are reaching our destination, we have moved further from the finish line.

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


Kindness is Contagious

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

Complimentary cups of coffee, free lunches, and other fun surprises were recently gifted to people throughout the Inland Empire as part of a special project launched by VantagePoint Church on December 13. Everyone attending services that Sunday was invited to partner with the church in an effort to spread love and cheer during the holiday season.  Each individual was given a small red envelope containing $5, $10, or $20, and was asked to use the money to perform a random act of kindness.

The thought behind this project was that it would provide a ray of light in a world consumed by darkness. In the days that followed the distribution of the envelopes, stories of joy, hope, and excitement were shared.  Wonderful conversations, unexpected connections, and emotional encounters occurred because of these random acts.

While we expected the project to positively impact the community, the reality is that the givers were affected even more!  In fact, many went beyond the red envelopes and gave from their own pockets.  Some individuals have even announced plans to incorporate random acts into their daily lives.  The members of VantagePoint Church have discovered that kindness is contagious – and addicting!

As we enter this new year, newspaper headlines highlight the negativity that has infected society.  From terrorist attacks and senseless crimes to political turmoil and general discord, it can often seem as if there is nothing we can do to combat the darkness in the world.  But, there is.  Luke 6:35 says, “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great.”  After all, there is only one thing can truly defeat evil – the love of God!

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

Giving Love This Holiday Season


Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com Spider-Man swings in for the annual Christmas Gift Mart

Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com
Spider-Man swings in for the annual Christmas Gift Mart

By Sarah Sanchez

Eastvale– On Saturday, Dec. 5, VantagePoint Church showed God’s love to over 470 families at their annual Christmas Gift Mart.

Economically disadvantaged families in the surrounded areas were invited to purchase brand new Christmas presents for their children at only $2 per toy. Over 2,300 gifts were available for purchase, which were all donated by VantagePoint Church members. For every dollar that was collected, 100% of the proceeds were given to James T Bostic at God’s Pantry, a food ministry providing for the needy.

“The only reason why we charge for the gifts at all is because there is dignity and pride when a person is allowed to provide for their families,” said Pastor Mark Lee in a Facebook post.

The 470 families lined up at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, wrapping the length of the high school. The very first family in line had been waiting there since midnight, even though check-in started at 8 a.m.

Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com A picture of one toy aisle at the Christmas Gift Mart.

Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com
A picture of one toy aisle at the Christmas Gift Mart.

Many of the families thought they were only coming to purchase a few Christmas gifts, but VantagePoint Church had a variety of other things planned. Delicious treats were given to the families, Carolers sang Christmas songs, and bicycles and gift baskets were raffled off for free. Children were also able to take pictures with Santa, Santa’s elf, Stormtroopers, Spider-Man, Princess Belle, and an adorable pony. Lastly, children were able to make Christmas crafts and watch movies while their parents shopped in peace.

Over 200 volunteers of every age helped by being personal shoppers, translators, gift wrappers, shopping bag holders, children babysitters, and so much more. Their motto, “Be living proof of a loving God” was indeed shown by these volunteers.

Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com Santa and his elf Haley are ready to take pictures with the kids.

Photo by: Paul Moureaux of pmxphotography.com
Santa and his elf Haley are ready to take pictures with the kids.


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.


The Weary Need To Rest

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

Physical exertion is vital to the success of any athlete.  However, allowing the body to rest is of equal importance.  When we exercise, our muscle tissue is torn and our energy is depleted.  The human body needs the time between workouts to repair and strengthen itself.  For this reason, many athletes build recovery time into their physical regimen.  In fact, pushing yourself too hard can be detrimental to your physical health.

Much like athletes, accomplished artists and musicians fall into a daily routine of intense practice and periods of recuperation.  The truth is that while hard work is definitely a fundamental element of achievement, it is also imperative that we give ourselves regular breaks.   Study after study regarding the habits of office workers, the benefits of vacation, the importance of meditation, and the advantages of spending time outdoors have all revealed that many important mental processes seem to require downtime.

As the summer comes to an end and the kids return to school, many of us find ourselves falling into the pattern of being “too busy.”  Work, technology, family obligations, and household chores eat up much of our time.   In order to fulfill our responsibilities, we fail to take breaks.  Ironically, this can actually reduce our effectiveness.  When we go without rest, our productivity decreases, our ability to concentrate is impaired, and our creativity suffers.

The Bible is not silent about our need for rest.  In Psalms 127:2, David wrote, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for He grants sleep to those He loves.”  God intended rest to be a gift. When we allow ourselves to occasionally “be still,” life becomes much more enjoyable!


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

There Is Beauty In Our Brokenness

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee

In 2002, a reality show involving dramatic home improvements debuted.  Every week, viewers would tune into ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover to watch as rundown residences were transformed into impressive works of art.  More often than not, the construction crew would have to completely demolish the existing building before an amazing new establishment could be built.

One of the key elements highlighted in each Extreme Home Makeover episode was the reason behind the home’s disrepair.  Even though the featured families were decent human beings, they had fallen on hard times.  Whether it was because of a natural disaster, a financial crisis, or a devastating illness, these unfortunate people had found themselves unable to make the necessary repairs.

In many ways, our lives are similar to home maintenance.  Usually, we don’t have a problem fulfilling our responsibilities, nurturing our relationships, and taking care of our personal needs.  But at some point, we also encounter times of crisis.  Whether caused by something beyond our control or the result of our own poor choices, our lives can suddenly and unexpectedly fall into disrepair.

While it is very hard to embrace these troubles, the reality is that hard times are often necessary.  Just as the construction team on Extreme Home Makeover has to tear down an existing structure before replacing it with a masterpiece, our personal and spiritual brokenness needs to occur before we can transform into stronger, more mature individuals,

Matthew 5:3 tells us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Although it is difficult to navigate a major crisis, there is always beauty in our brokenness.  Sometimes you have to tear down a shack before building a mansion.

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.

Superheroes In Our Midst

Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee

By Pastor Mark Lee

Earlier this month, one of the year’s most highly anticipated movies was released.  Since then, people across the country have been flocking to theaters to see the Marvel franchise’s latest installment, “Avengers:  Age of Ultron.”  The film’s box office success is not surprising.  From Captain America to Wolverine, superheroes have been appealing to audiences for decades.

There are many theories about why society is drawn to these types of characters.  Some say it is because we have a deep desire for someone to help us tackle our toughest problems.  Others believe it is because superheroes are marked as special, which is something we all want for ourselves.  Whatever the case may be, the idea of a single individual possessing the power to change the world is extremely appealing.

So, what exactly makes someone a superhero?  The answer may lie in one of the genre’s most popular characters.  Batman, or Bruce Wayne, is just a regular guy who uses his resources for the greater good.  He may not have special powers, but he is determined to do the right thing and help his fellow man.

The month of May is dedicated to real-life people who do just this.  Not only is this “National Military Appreciation Month,” but there are also days and weeks set aside to honor teachers, nurses, and police officers.  And, of course, who could forget Mother’s Day?  The truth is that our community is filled with everyday superheroes that are committed to making a difference.

In Mark 9:35, Jesus said “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  You see, it doesn’t take a Batmobile to be a superhero.  It simply takes a selfless heart.

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.

Fan or Follower?

By Pastor Mark Lee

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

Pastor Mark Lee of Vantage Point in Eastvale

More than 100 million Americans recently gathered around their television sets in celebration of what many consider to be an unofficial national holiday.  Whether these viewers were rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, wearing New England Patriot jerseys, or simply wanted to watch the commercials,  they were – if only for Super Bowl Sunday – football fans.

Although the level of devotion varies by individual, a fan is nothing more than an enthusiastic admirer.  From the teenage girls who display boy band posters on their bedroom walls to the men who memorize team statistics, the beauty of fandom is that we receive joy from the objects of our affection and are not required to provide anything in return.

Many of us tend to approach our faith in a similar fashion.  We embrace our religion because it makes us feel good.    We attend worship services, know the songs, and even place bumper stickers on our cars.   We definitely want what God can give us, but rarely consider what we can do for Him.  Instead of becoming the true followers that He desires, we find ourselves more comfortable resting among the fan base.

Luke 9:23 quotes Jesus as saying, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  But, how do you know if you are a follower or a fan?  Ask yourself two questions.  First, if none of my life’s dreams come true, would Jesus be enough for me?  And second, if I lost everyone and everything I loved, could I still find my purpose in Christ?

Your answers to these questions may help you define your relationship with God or, if necessary, point you in the right direction.

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