It's Christmas Eve Eve! Woo who! It's almost time to remember and celebrate THE Gift! The greatest Gift of all time is Jesus Christ--God in the flesh who came in love for us! PTL! Rejoice! "For unto us a Savior has been born! He is Christ our Lord!" Amen!
Find below Sarah's update for prayerful consideration
Good Morning (maybe good night as God got me up at 12;30 and it's now 2:30 am--I used to just be getting home from the bars now in my old nature. PTL for new life and ways!) Anyway, Good Morning Joy Bringers, Love Bringers, Hope Bringers, Watering, Fertilizing, Reaping, and Good News Bringers and Followers of THE Way! That is us! And that is our prayer as we prepare for God to use us tomorrow as we worship, fellowship, eat and commune together in celebration of the birthday of our Lord and Savior! King of kings. Lord of lords. Messiah! Immanuel--God is with us and put on flesh that we might be saved, forgiven and shown how to live for Him and like Him as we prepare for eternity with Him. Joy to the World! May we incarnate and bring that joy, His love and our hope alive over the next few days, weeks and years. That's our mission and why we are here. We are sent, just as we are to share the Good News and make disciples! We all have a role custom made for custom made us with custom purposes all along the journey as we grow at living and loving like Jesus! PTL! Born that men (and women) might live!
God is speaking to us and awoke me early to refine His message for tomorrow, to pray into tomorrow and to encourage you to come, experience His Love and plans for you and those He is sending and to remind you to pray for the harvest and bring someone along to experience Christ's love as we fellowship and worship together tomorrow. He has great plans for you and some miracles and new life gifts awaiting some tomorrow. Come Lord Jesus! Come alive through us tomorrow! Bring new life, healing miracles, and Your plans alive! Come alive through us! May there be great celebration and joy in heaven tomorrow as we worship with your angles about Who You are, why that matters and bring You and new life alive! COME! Be glorified! Use us and bring in the harvest as we live and love like you! Thank You! Amen!
Check out Our Daily Bread and Upper Room devotionals below. Oh yes, God is speaking to you and us! What's He saying to you and what will you do about it? We are His Body and family and we get to worship, celebrate, fellowship and light up the world together! What joy we will know and love come alive we will experience! I can't wait! A word that is shared often is "believe". Yes believe in prayer with much thanksgiving for what God will continue to do as we remember and experience how He made a way from the manger and continues to light up the world as He loves through us! Rejoice! And pray for many to come to believe that that baby in the manger came to be their Lord and Savior and receive the greatest gift ever--God's love!
Yes, Joy to the World indeed! So, what's that mean to you and who needs to hear it and be invited to experience it? Pray into that! Let heaven and earth receive her King!
I’m not sure who’s responsible for turning out the lights and locking up the church after our Sunday morning service, but I know one thing about that person: Sunday dinner is going to be delayed. That’s because so many people love to hang around after church and talk about life decisions, heart issues and struggles, and more. It’s a joy to look around twenty minutes after the service and see so many people still enjoying each other’s company.
Fellowship is a key component of the Christlike life. Without the connectivity that comes from spending time with fellow believers, we’d miss out on many benefits of being a believer.
For instance, Paul says we can “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The author of Hebrews agrees, telling us not to neglect getting together, because we need to be “encouraging one another” (10:25). And the writer also says that when we’re together, we “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (v. 24).
As people dedicated to living for Jesus, we prepare ourselves for faithfulness and service as we “encourage the disheartened” and are “patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Living that way, as He helps us, allows us to enjoy true fellowship and “to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (v. 15).
By Dave Branon
REFLECT & PRAY
What benefits do you gain from being with believers? How can you help others experience fellowship in Christ?
Dear God, please help me to be a “fellowshiper”—one who generously encourages others in love and compassion.
Scholars believe that Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, likely written around ad 50, may be the oldest writing in the New Testament. In this letter, Paul writes to a new community of believers in Jesus who emerged as a result of Paul and Silas’ visit to Thessalonica during Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 17:1-9). Paul described himself and Silas as like a “nursing mother” (1 Thessalonians 2:7) or “father” (v. 11) to the Thessalonians. The church was primarily gentile (non-Jewish) believers; we’re told they’d “turned to God” from idol worship (1:9-10), a primarily gentile practice. Paul seems to have written 1 Thessalonians in response to a visit from Timothy, who brought an encouraging report of the believers’ “faith and love” (3:6) but may have also hinted at things “lacking in [their] faith” (v. 10). In this letter, Paul reinforces the heart of the gospel message and encourages the Thessalonian believers on how to live out their new faith.
Monica La Rose
UR: Seasons of Joy
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. - Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)
We have a Chief Joseph lodgepole pine growing in our front yard. This unusual conifer attracts much attention and is the subject of many comments because of its seasonal change from green to yellow. In the winter, when deciduous trees are barren and dark, this pine displays needles that are an effervescent yellow, bringing joy and light to a landscape that some find otherwise depressing. In the spring, its winter job done, the tree transitions back to green.
Like this tree, Christians can spread light and joy. By following in Christ’s footsteps, we can watch for opportunities to ease the burden of others who are going through a difficult season in life. Whether we serve through formal volunteer organizations or as individuals, we may be able to lift someone’s spirit, giving hope by providing a nutritious meal, offering a ride to a medical appointment, assisting with a needed home repair, or simply by providing kind words to a fellow human.
Dear Lord, help us to follow in Christ’s footsteps as we strive to be a blessing to others. Amen.
Can you believe it, that Christmas is almost here! Where has 2023 gone! It seems as though it has
flown by. I hope and pray that as this busy season approaches, that you are taking time for yourself and
making time of Jesus in your life.
During this past month of December, we all have gotten to sing some of our favorite Christmas Carols. One of the carols
we sing wasn't written originally as a Christmas Song.
Isaac Watts wrote the song, based on the words of Psalm 98......
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things:
his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness
to the nations.
He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the
earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of
the ram's horn - shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Anyone know which carol I am speaking of? It's Joy to the World.
If you look at the lyrics of Joy to the World, you will see that the lyrics do not reflect
the virgin birth of Jesus, but rather of Christ's second coming.
Another tidbit - the first 4 notes to Joy to the World are the first 4 notes in the chorus of the
hymn "Lift Up Your Heads" from Handels' Messiah.
As you sing and/or hum this carol over the next couple of days......may we reflect on the excitement
of that day when Jesus WILL RETURN again and gather us all up and take us home!
We will all then sing.....JOY to the WORLD the LORD has COME!!!
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We ask that you continue to pray for Gladys Ketner, and Tara Walters....as they are still in the hospital.
Also keep their families in your prayers also.
Pray for our Christmas Eve service and brunch and all those that will be attending. Some may be hearing
the true meaning of Christmas for the first time; some in attendance may have strayed away and are feeling
a nudge from Jesus to come back; some may be dealing with a difficult time and/or situation during this holiday
time......pray that God's peace will surround us all and that His amazing Love, through the gift of His Son, will
Pastor Don has visited several of our homebound family and they are doing well and send their hello's to us, their
church family. Pray for Pastor Don as reaches out to a few other homebound members in the coming week.
We look forward to seeing you all at our 10:00 am Christmas Eve service and brunch to follow.
Have a great weekend