Tag Archive | Jesus

The Reason for the Season

We’ve pretty much all heard the “reason for the season” phrase. Generally it is used at Christmas time to remind people that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus’ birthday first and foremost. However, there is another holiday that is so secularized that we forget the literal reason for the season, and that is Easter. Or as many call it, Resurrection season. Jesus is the whole reason for that season. To deny that fact and leave it out of our celebrations denigrates the whole season to nothing more than a pagan holiday. Cute, colorful, fun, but without meaning or purpose. Pastor Shayna helps us turn our attention to the real reason for the upcoming Easter season: Jesus. Click on the arrow to listen to Sunday’s message.

 

Congratulations to Pastor Caleb and Pastor Shayna. They were voted in as the new senior pastors of Joy Christian Center yesterday at JCC’s annual business meeting. They will assume the senior pastor’s role following Pastor Ruth and Pastor Marlan’s final day, April 1, 2018

 

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

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Names

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.

Names2

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

http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com/2013/12/worshipped/

Unusual Christmas Ideas

In this last Sunday’s bulletin we listed some unique ways to make celebrate Advent/Christmas. One way was to make Bambino Bread. The recipe and a link to the site follow. If you’d like to see the whole list you can return to the home page and scroll down to find the post “O Holy Night” that has a link to Sunday’s bulletin. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Looking for something special to make this Christmas? Try this bread recipe, shaped to resemble Jesus in swaddling clothes.

    • 2 cups lukewarm milk
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 beaten egg
    • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 5¾ to 6½ cups of all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle yeast over milk and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes to develop.
  2. Add in sugar, egg, butter, and salt and mix well. One cup at a time, add 5 cups of flour and beat thoroughly after each addition until flour is incorporated. Add enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough that is slightly sticky.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to keep dough manageable. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and satiny.
  4. Lightly oil the surface of the dough and place it back into rinsed bowl and cover with a clean, dry towel. Allow to rise in a warm place free from drafts until doubled, about 60 minutes.
  5. Punch dough down and divide in half (one for each bread).
  6. Roll each half of the dough into a rope about 24 inches long, and form the braid as illustrated.
  7. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet; cover with a clean, dry towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.
  8. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes

http://www.catholicdigest.com/recipe/231/Holiday_bambino_bread

Valley of Fruitfulness

Following is a fantastic devotional piece by Francis Frangipane. It’s a little longer than usual, but keep reading; you’ll be blessed!

“The battles we face are often intense times of weakness, distress, and confusion. If the events of our lives were charted, these would be the lowest points. Yet God is no less with us during difficulties than at other times. In fact, these valleys are often as much the plan of God as our mountaintop experiences. There is a story in the Bible that speaks plainly to this truth. Israel had recently defeated the Arameans in a mountain battle. In 1 Kings, chapter 20, we read:

“Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, ‘Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you.’ Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, ‘Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they'” (1 Kings 20:22-23).

The enemy said that the God of Israel was a god of the mountains, but if they fought the Jews in the valleys they would defeat them. We read in verse 28: “Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Because the Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,’ therefore, I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord”‘” (1 Kings 20:28).

No matter what the enemy tries to tell you, Christ is God of the mountains and He is God of the valleys. He has not stopped being God because you happen to be in a valley. He is the God of glory as seen in His power and miracles. In the valleys He reveals Himself as faithful, loyally committed to us in our difficulties and distresses. In and through all things He is our God. When we are on the “mountaintops” of our Christian experience, we can see our future clearly. We have perspective and confidence. When we are in one of life’s valleys, however, our vision is limited and our future seems hidden. Yet valleys are also the most fertile places on earth. Valleys produce fruitfulness. You can expect there to be a harvest of virtue when God dwells with you in the valleys of life.

Consider Joseph

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca [weeping] they make it a spring… Psalm 84:5-6

Has the enemy isolated you, causing you to doubt God’s love? Do not forget, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He cares. It is His love for us that redeems our hardships, which not only brings good out of what was meant for evil but also trains us to deliver others. Consider Joseph. He was the second youngest of Jacob’s sons and his father’s favorite. His walk with God began with dreams and visions. Joseph’s life is a pattern for many who have had a genuine call from God. Our walk with God may also have begun with a “travel brochure” of dreams and visions where God gives us a picture of His destination for us. What we fail to be able to see is how His promises will come to pass in our lives.

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and delivered up by them to die. He was unjustly accused when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. He was imprisoned and forgotten by all except God, who was patiently watching and measuring Joseph’s reactions to difficulty. Rich or poor, blessed or smitten, regardless of his circumstances, Joseph served God. He continued to pass his tests. Joseph was on trial before men, but he was found innocent before God. Finally, at the right moment, the Lord suddenly connected all the loose ends of Joseph’s life. Everything that he went through, as unfair as each thing was, God used to shape him for Heaven’s purpose.

God alone sees the future and how the promises He gives us will unfold. Our task is to lay hold of Christ’s integrity and keep faith in what God has promised. Just as He allowed Joseph to go through many trials, so He allows us to go through great conflicts as well. For He knows that our lives, tested as they are, will help others find the shelter of the Most High in their lives.

“Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, ‘For,’ he said, ‘God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household'” (Genesis 41:51). God caused Joseph to forget the difficulty and pain of his life. There is something wonderful about the Lord’s capacity to cause all things to work for good. With Jesus in our lives, a time ultimately comes when God causes us to forget all the troubles of the past.

“He named the second Ephraim, ‘For,’ he said, ‘God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction'” (Genesis 41:52).

God made Joseph fruitful in the very land of his affliction – and in the land of your affliction, in your battle, is the place where God will make you fruitful. Ultimately, the Lord will touch many others with the substance of what you have gained. In a world that is superficial, Christ will produce something in you that is deep and living. God has not promised to keep us from valleys and sufferings, but He has promised to make us fruitful in them. Without a doubt we each will pass through valleys before we reach our final goal in God. As we remain faithful to Him in trials, the character and nature of Christ Jesus will emerge in our lives.

Lord, You are God of the mountains and the valleys. I know that Your faithfulness is my shield and my bulwark. Thank You for redeeming the conflicts of my life; I praise You for healing me and causing me to forget all the trauma of my past. Now, Lord, help me now to help others as well.”

(c) 2013 Francis Frangipane. Used with permission. Find more articles by Francis Frangipane at

http://francisfrangipanemessages.blogspot.com/     http://www.arrowbookstore.com/