Archive | December 2016

Songs for the Night | RZIM

It seems counterintuitive that at the time of the year that is supposed to be the most happy and peaceful there can exist so much sadness and unrest. Today’s devotional addresses this conundrum and brings hope for dark times. Click on the link to read the entire devotional.

“God, who came willingly into the unfavorable conditions life and death on earth, offers a hope greater than our despair. As the apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonians: “We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” Yet, mysteriously, like the Incarnation itself, it is sometimes in the darkness when we are given the opportunity to see the brightest light:” (c) 2016 Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Source: Songs for the Night | RZIM

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Sock, Sock, Sock-it-to-me

JCC is beginning our annual sock drive January 1st. We will be collecting warm, new socks until January 31st and will distribute them in early February. If you would like to be a part please drop off your donation to 4335 Laurel Street Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings. Or you may call 349-0255 to set up a drop off time that is convenient for you.

Thank you!

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A Christmas Prayer

Today’s devotional  is a prayer written by Rebecca Barlow Jordan for Peace and Joy for each one of us at Christmastime.

“Over two thousand years ago a band of shepherds heard some startling news from angelic visitors: “Be not afraid;” “good news of great joy;” “peace on earth and good will.” Seriously? But that was then, and now is now. Is that joy and peace still available? If you’re craving those things for your life this year, no matter where you are, here’s a prayer for peace and joy to be a reality in your life this year at Christmas:

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Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our Christmas stockings. Crazy weather disasters strike at unsuspecting areas, ravaging peaceful homes and interrupting the lives of unsuspecting residents. Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus.

Lord, we still carol the wonderful message, huddled beneath winter caps on snow-covered porches, or from churches, led by enthusiastic musicians or choir members. Yet we confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true?

In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again. This Christmas, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. Forgive us for forgetting—that Your love never changes, never fades, and that You never abandon the purpose for which You came:

to save us from our sinful condition, and to give us life eternal, the joy of relationship with a holy God. Your birth—and Your death—sealed Your promise to us forever.For those whose hearts are battered by sorrow or broken relationships, for those whose lives know only conflict and confusion, for those whose bodies are tired and tested beyond their ability to endure this year—precious Savior, draw them close to You. Let them know You are still the same Jesus who was born of a virgin, not in a hospital but an animal barn, laid in a manger of hay. You are still the One sent by a heavenly Father who offered not condemnation for our sins, but love and forgiveness—and daily, divine fellowship.

We not only need Your peace and joy; Lord, we crave it. You’ve promised rest for the weary, victory for the battle-scarred, peace for the anxious, and acceptance for the broken hearted—not just at Christmas, but every day of every year.

Release the joy in us that’s been crushed by pride, wrong priorities, or world events. Tear down the strongholds that have held us captive far too long. Extinguish the flames of apprehension that rob us of a calm, quiet spirit. Show us again the beauty of that holy night so many centuries ago.

Your name is still called “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” and “The Prince of Peace.” As Your children, we cry out for a fresh filling, and a new awareness of Who You are. We choose by faith to make the “good news of great joy” a reality in our own lives, so others can see us as lighted trees of life, pointing to You this Christmas. We know one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that You are Lord. And we also know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You.”

(c) 2015 Rebecca Barlow Jordan Used with Permission rebeccabarlowjordan.com

Prepare for the Christ Child

Today’s devotional, written by Vinita Hampton Wright and reposted from Ignatian Spirituality.com, asks some good questions to get us thinking and preparing our hearts to celebrate Christmas in a few days.

nativity-scene-with-magi“How do we prepare our hearts for you, Jesus? Or do we understand our need to prepare? Are we more likely to hurry around once you’re here, trying to focus on this guest we weren’t expecting?

Will we be ready when you appear there in the manger? Or will our hearts and minds be so focused on our immediate struggles that we’re unprepared to read more

 

Please join us for a Christmas celebration service Sunday morning, December 25th at 10:30 AM at 4335 Laurel Street

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Trusting God’s Greater Plans – FaithGateway

Today’s devotional reminds us to trust God even when He doesn’t move on our timetable or in the way we think He should.

When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son. — Galatians 4:4 This Christmas, are you waiting for some precious promise to be fulfilled? Do not despair — God always keeps His word. Yet just as the Savior appeared in a way and time that were completely unexpected to anyone — soa href=’http://www.faithgateway.com/trusting-god-greater-plans/’ title=’Read more’ …/a

Source: Trusting God’s Greater Plans – FaithGateway

What Are You Waiting For?

Alot of different people wait for alot of different things. The question for you today is what are you waiting for? Advent is a season that has come to be associated with Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ. But as Christ Followers isn’t there something more? Is Jesus’ first coming to earth all there is for us? Not by a long shot. Click on the arrow and listen to Sunday’s message about what we are all waiting for and how we can wait effectively for this events to end all events.

Click on the Publications page to read this week’s bulletin

The North Pole or the Manger? – FaithGateway

Today’s devotional reminds us who the real gift giver is. Santa is nice, but Jesus is the one who saves and delivers us and gives us the gift of eternal life.

Some call him Sinterklaas. Others Pere Noel or Papa Noel. He’s been known as Hoteiosho, Sonnerklaas, Father Christmas, Jelly Belly, and to most English speakers, Santa Claus. His original name was Nicholas, which means victorious. He was born in AD 280 in what is now Turkey. He was orphaned at age nine when his parents died of a plague. Though manya href=’http://www.faithgateway.com/north-pole-or-manger/’ title=’Read more’ …/a

Source: The North Pole or the Manger? – FaithGateway