Join JCC as we celebrate the new year at the First Sunday Coffeehouse – south of the border style. The coffeehouse will feature Latin American snacks, all of your favorite beverages, and live Spanish music. The party begins at 5 PM, so bring a friend or two and come join us at 4335 Laurel Street. If you have questions you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on the web at https://akjoy.com and click on the ministries tab and then on 1st Sunday Coffeehouse.
Here is Sunday’s bulletin in case you missed it. There are lots of things coming up, so be sure to read – or reread – all of the information inside. A huge thank you to Ronni Bolt & Co. for doing the bulletin this weekend; very nice job!
The end of the year has come upon us already. This Sunday is the last Sunday of 2013, so this is your final opportunity to catch up on tithes, offerings, and charitable contributions that will be used for tax purposes. Thank you for your faithfulness in contributing to JCC’s financial needs in 2013. The Lord bless and prosper you in 2014.
Included in the Advent celebration in some churches are the O Antiphons which focus the worshipers attention on a different aspect or name of Jesus during the Advent season. The song “Come O Come Emmanuel” is a combination of 5 of the antiphons. But if one reads the Word through, one will find that Jesus has many names and attributes – more than can be listed. He is the I AM THAT I AM, and He is all that we need. In the bulletin this past Sunday one of the suggestions for observing Advent is to meditate on the names of God. Click on the link below for a list to get you started. You can add more names that you find in your study of the Word and through life experience as you come to know Him more and more throughout your life journey.
Here is the bulletin for this week. Our apologies that there is no sermon from this weekend. We will begin posting the messages again the first Sunday in January.
Following is a thoughtful article by Dr. Wayde Goodall.
“When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son born of a woman…”
Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)
“For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the night between December 21 and December 22 is the longest of the year; it’s called winter solstice.
Christmas seems like the longest day of the year to many people. Bad memories, bad relationships, poverty, debt, anger, conflict, guilt, health problems, etc., etc. prevent positive holiday memories.
When Exactly Is Christmas?
There are a lot of viewpoints about the exact month and day that Jesus was born. We might not know the exact date but the Bible tells us that God specifically chose the time when Jesus Christ would come to earth. It was not an accident; He specifically chose that particular time in history for Jesus’ birth.
“There is a time for everything.”Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
As we approach Christmas this year, we can remember some lessons the angels gave to the shepherds on the very first Christmas:
1. God will help us face our fears:
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid”Luke 2:10
Someone said, “Life is just exchanging one set of problems for another set of problems.”
There have been many times that I have been afraid. Looking back, I realize that when I trusted God with my fears, he gave me courage. John tells us,
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18
What are you worried about? What are you fearful of?
You are called by God. You will face difficult and anxious times. Can you trust the God of the universe and decide to release your fears?
2. He has good news for us:
“ I bring you good news that will cause great joy!” Luke 2:10 (NIV)
Someone said that if God wanted to communicate…
with birds – He would have become a bird.
with cows – He would have become a cow.
with dogs – He would have become a dog.
But God wanted to relate to you and me, so He became like us… a human being.
I have no idea how to relate to an “impersonal power in the sky” . . . But when I see Jesus in human form, I can say, “That’s what God is like!” I get it. Part of the good news is that I know that God understands me (and you). He identifies, he enables, and he gives a deep sense of joy to our lives – in spite of our circumstances.
3. God will forgive us for all our failures and mistakes. He will also help us forgive those who have hurt us:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
The University of Michigan discovered that the holiday season might be a good time to forgive others, but not everyone wants to forgive (or be forgiven). Some of what was discovered:
- 52% say they have forgiven others for past transgressions.
- 43% say they have actually gone to others to be forgiven . . . Asking for forgiveness can raise stress levels.
- 71% of men and 77% of women believe they have been forgiven by God for their mistakes.
- 56% of men and 57% of women say they have forgiven themselves.
- Women are more forgiving than men.
- Middle-agers and older adults are more likely to forgive – than younger adults.
- Forgiveness may be an antidote to anger.
I’m reminded of an old Peanuts Cartoon where Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “Charlie Brown, it’s Christmas season. I think we ought to bury our differences, forgive each other and try to be kind and get along.” Charlie Brown says, “Great! But why just this season? Why not all year?” Lucy says, “What do you think I am, some kind of fanatic?”
This year might have been full of disappointments, hurts, or bad decisions. Can you forgive others? How about yourself? Forgiving others and ourselves is a life long process.
4. You are worth more than you can imagine:
“… a Savior has been born for you; he is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:11 (NIV)
Remember that God wants to show you his love and his favor. As you determine to draw close to him . . . to listen and learn from him . . . He will help you understand how valuable you are to Him.
“It is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 (ESV)
God wants to remind you of his goodness on your life. The Savior has been born for YOU – He is Jesus Christ.
Many leaders are disappointed with themselves and their struggle with insecurity. I’d like to remind you that God is pleased with your efforts on His behalf, He knows how you seek Him and of your desire to serve him. He is pleased with YOU.”
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” Luke 2:14 (ESV)
(c) 2013 Wayde Goodall D.Min Dean, College of Ministry Northwest University
This is a wonderful devotional by Roy Lessin. Good food for thought for this season.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: Matthew 2:11 KJV
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6 NIV
Wise men worshipped the young child because He was the Son of God. He was the One who was there at the beginning, speaking into existence the heavens, the earth, and all that live upon it. He was the One who knew eternal fellowship with His Father in heaven, and He was the One who was adored by the entire heavenly host.
The greatest revelation that came to the wise men was the discovery that the answers they sought were not to be found in pagan practices, but in a person. They left behind the darkness of the Medes and Persians as they followed the light of His star. They left behind the rituals and reasoning of man as they sought the true Wisdom of God. They left behind the practices of magic and sorcery as they looked for the One true Master. They left behind the vanity and idolatry of corrupt rulers as they journeyed to worship the new born King.
Worship is so much more than singing choruses, playing musical instruments, or lifting hands in praise. Worship is not found in the volume of our voices, but in the meekness of our spirits; not in the beat of our music, but in the bending of our knees; not in our outward gestures, but in our yielded hearts. To know Him, to really know Him, throws the doors of worship wide open. Worship is about Jesus—His beauty, His glory, His majesty, and His loveliness. When our hearts see Jesus we worship—we can’t help ourselves.”
(c) Roy Lessin 2013 Used with Permission