August 7, 2017


Let’s be honest, true friendship is not easy. Sadly, in my opinion, in our culture, many people do not understand—true friendship. Sadder still, others do not have what they would call is a true friend—at least—in the strictest sense of the word. But, where do we go for understanding about the important subject of friendship? Might I suggest we go to God’s Word for insight and wisdom about friendship? In this article, I want to look at insights from the book of Proverbs regarding the subject of friendship.

Indeed, the book of Proverbs understands the burden true friendship brings. For true friendship involves many heavy matters. For instance, true friendship involves sticking with someone through thick and thin: “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Furthermore, true friendship also involves loving someone even when they’re utterly unlovable: “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). As you know, true friendship involves pouring time, energy, and trust into a select few people, rather than being content with a large crowd of “acquaintances.”

The book of Proverbs says it this way: “A man of many companions may come to ruin” (Proverbs 18:24). One of the key characteristics of a true friendship involves faithfulness in saying things to a friend that may be hard for them to hear: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). A friend will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Clearly, true friendship is not easy.

To my utter disappointment, the term “friendship” has been, to a large extent, stripped of its biblical content in our day-and-age. For far too many, “friendship” means nothing more than a person they happen to know. Of course, it is not bad to know many people, but when you are “friends” with everyone, you become close friends with no-one.

One of the things I enjoy doing on almost a daily basis is checking my Facebook page and seeing what is going on with my “friends.” It is a lot fun for me to keep up with a whole bunch of people from high school, college, and previous churches I served. I really do enjoy reading about what’s going on in their lives. At times, when it seems proper, I’ll even drop someone a note.

Currently, I have 992 Facebook “friends.” Though I do care about every single person with whom I am “friends,” I also know that I am not a true friend to every one of these people. You see, for I do not live up to what the Proverbs have to say about friendship. Nor could I live up to that level of a true friend to so many people. Truth be told, I simply do not have the time, strength, or emotional bandwidth to be a friend to everyone. The good news is, where I fall short when it comes to friendship, Jesus does not fall short.

In the pages of the New Testament, we read Jesus words, “ I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you”(John 15:15).

Jesus says these words to His disciples shortly before He is betrayed by Judas to be crucified. He calls His disciples His “friends,” even Judas, who, in my observation, is certainly no friend to Jesus. And Jesus is indeed a true friend – to each and every one of His disciples – even when His disciples are not faithful friends to Him. And He is a true friend not only to His original twelve disciples in the first century but to the countless billions of disciples that have since followed. Jesus Christ is a friend to you!

So, let me ask you: Are you a true friend to others? If not, you are called to be a true friend. Do you have true friends for yourself? If not, you need them desperately and so do I. We all, in my opinion, need friends to share in our joys and support us in our sorrows. Someone defined a friend as, "Someone who doubles your joy and divides your grief." Finally, is Jesus your friend? If not, He can be your friend. By faith, you can be a friend of Christ. He wants to be your friend. Personally speaking, I can’t think of a better friend to have, can you?

I love being your pastor and friend!

Your Friend and His,

CHOC Children's Hospital CHOC
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Help with crafts and setting up fun events for children and their families.
Meet at Hephatha at 9:30 a.m.

Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Food distribution to local families in need. Meet at Hephatha at 9:30 a.m.

To sign up please contact the church office at
714-637-0887 or HephathaChurch@Hephatha.net

Summer Lunch Time Bible Study

Who is this Man?

The influence of Jesus is vast. How did a penniless preacher become the central figure in human history? How did He manage to influence the fields of science, art, government, medicine, and education? Today our culture embraces human dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance because of what Jesus taught. We’ll sit down and talk about “Who Is This Man?” on four Wednesdays. We will watch a very powerful video series in Pastor’s office.

August 9
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Pastor Andrews' Office

Youth Beach Night

We will meet at the beach about 3:45 p.m. and leave the beach at 9:30 p.m. arriving back about 10:00 p.m. We will be meeting Wednesday, August 9 at Huntington State Beach by lifeguard tower #3.

Cost is $5. Dinner will be provided! There will be worship and a Bible lesson.

If you need a ride... PLEASE let us know by Monday, August 7. We will be leaving the church at 3:00 p.m. and return at 10:00 p.m. If you are able/willing to help drive youth to and from the beach please let us know.

For more information contact Timothy at 714-637-0887 ext. 157 or tpotthoff@hephatha.net.

Men, join us Thursday, August 10, at 7:15 a.m. in Pastor Andrews' office as we start a new Bible study by Max Lucado, Grace.

. We talk as though we understand the term. The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. We describe an actress as gracious, a dancer as graceful. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings, and premeal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means. But do we really understand it? Have we settled for a wimpy grace? Grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, Riptide turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. Couldn’t you use more grace like this? What about your family, your city, your whole world? Have they been shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Saved by grace? New York Times bestselling author, Max Lucado, invites you to settle in and consider God’s best idea—grace. It’s more than we deserve, greater than we imagine. And it’s all we need.

Dates: August 10, and August 24
Time: 7:15 a.m.—8:00 a.m.
Pastor Andrew's Office

Sunday Mornings
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in the Youth Room

Starting August 13, 2017

Romans summarizes well both a quarter century of Paul's missionary preaching and teaching and the essential emphases of his evangelical theology.

Dig into Romans with Bible Study leader Dr. Dave Rueter, Sundays from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Youth Room.

While the kids are in Sunday school, open up God's word for yourself. Then join us for worship at 11:00 a.m.

Parking Lot Fundraiser

Support Hephatha's Youth Ministry

It is time for our annual parking lot fundraiser during the San Antonio Fiesta. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the youth.

People are needed to sign up for 2-hour time slots September 15, 16, and 17. Sign up sheets are located in the courtyard between services. Or contact the church office to sign up at 714-637-0887 or HephathaChurch@Hephatha.net.

For more information contact Timothy Potthoff at 714-637-0887 ext. 157 or tpotthoff@hephatha.net

What does it mean to be a disciple?

Who is this God?

What does He want from me?

How do I connect with Him?

How does being a Lutheran Christian impact the way we see God, man, and the world around us?

Just as Jesus, gathered a small band of disciples together to learn as He lived among them…we, too, gather with students to learn to about Jesus Christ in our Confirmation class. Hephatha’s Confirmation program instructs the student in the study of God's word and Lutheran Doctrine, equips them to become disciples serving in the community and our church.

Confirmation is a two-year journey where students have the opportunity to learn, own and express their faith, and profess Jesus as Lord publicly! It typically spans the 7th and 8th grade years, but we are open to other situations!

Parent’s Meeting-Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall

We’ll go over the expectations and requirements for Confirmation, the format of what we do each week, why we do it, how we do it, and when we do it.

Registration Deadline-Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There is a $35 fee for the year which includes a notebook, The Case for Christ Student Edition, and all necessary supplies for the year. There is a separate fee of $15 for Luther’s Small Catechism if you don’t already have one. Registration forms can be downloaded below

Classes begin Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary

Click Here for more information contact or the church office at HephathaChurch@Hephatha.net or 714-637-0887

The annual youth Golf tournament fundraiser is coming up. All golfers are welcome to participate in the golf tournament. This year the tournament will be held at Coyote Hills golf course in Fullerton on Saturday, October 14. The first tee time will be at 11:00 am, check in will begin at 10:00 am.

The cost is $125 if registered and paid on or before Sunday, September 24 and $150 after September 24.

Hole and other sponsorships are available as well.

To sign up, contact Timothy Potthoff at
714-637-0887 ext. 157.

Reformation 500
An Evening of Word and Song

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Segerstrom Concert Hall • Costa Mesa, California

Concordia's choirs, handbells, and orchestras join with musicians from area churches and schools in a 500-member ensemble to lead a festive evening with hymns, choruses and sacred music around the themes of the reformation. The theologians from Christ College at Concordia will share what it means to always be Reforming as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Tickets now available
Order your tickets here

What is Happening at
Hephatha this Week

MONDAY: August 7

  • No Junior High School Youth Group this week. Please join us Wednesday, August 9 for Youth beach night. If you need a ride let Timothy know Tonight.

TUESDAY: August 8

  • Praise Band Rehearsal @ 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.


  • Women's Wednesday Study @ 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • "Who is this Man?" Bible Study @ 12:00 p.m. in Pastor's Office
  • Youth Beach Night @ 3:45 p.m. at Huntington State Beach Tower #3.

THURSDAY: August 10

  • Men's Bible Study @ 7:15 a.m. in Pastor's Office.
  • doSOMETHING: CHOC @ 9:30 a.m. Meet at Hephatha.

SUNDAY: August 13

  • Services: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday School @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Child Care @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Room 6.
  • "Open in the Word" Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Foundations @ 12:00 p.m. in Pastor's Office.

MONDAY: August 14

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

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