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The Big Deal About Christmas

December 24th, 2011 by Gary Wallace

With all the hustle and bustle of this week and with Christmas tomorrow, we are glad you chose to spend the time pausing, reflecting, and celebrating with us.

Have you ever wondered what makes Christmas ” the most wonderful time of the year” and the “happiest season of all”? Why is it that 2000+ years after the birth of Jesus, Christmas causes such hustle and bustle? Why is that the malls close, churches get filled up, gifts get exchanged, and parties abound?  What is the big deal about Christmas that causes all of this?  Well, tonight, we will spend a few moments looking at that and sharing with you why Christmas and Jesus’ birth is such a big deal.

On behalf of all the Pastors, we would like to wish you all the happiest and most blessed Christmas ever!

God Bless,

Gary

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What Kind of a King is This?

December 18th, 2011 by Will Martin

ScriptureLuke 2:1-20   

Scripture MemoryMark 1:4-8 

 John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Journey: I just noticed that we have three “mini” manger scenes in our living room – all from three very different cultures. You would expect them to be different and they are in terms of architecture and dress. But in the “mood” they communicate they are surprisingly the same. All of the scenes portray a setting for the birth of Jesus that is: colorful, clean, rustic, serene – totally predictable. 


Do we know better than that? Have you thought this December about how utterly scandalous it is that the “Christmas story” is about God coming into this world not only in human flesh but in a dirty, smelly, totally ‘low class’ sort of way? Have you thought about the implications of that for life? Why would God come into the world in such a disturbing, unexpected, messy manner? Born in a stable? First hours in a feeding trough?


That’s what we’ll be thinking about this morning as we look into Luke 2 and try to re-imagine the nativity and some of what it means for us.   


Hoping your Christmas is filled with joy AND spiritual gravity,       


Will (for the pastors)

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Living for the Long Haul in a Short Trip World

December 4th, 2011 by Will Martin

ScriptureMatthew 6:19-21   

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Scripture MemoryHebrews 1:1-2 

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”


Journey:  Eternity is the concept of never ending time. Time. Never-ending. Never. That’s a long time! The Bible teaches that eternity stretches before us. One day we will leave this earth and live in a state that is eternal. You really have to sit down and think about that one – even if eternity is often mentioned, it is so foreign a reality, it takes very serious thought to sink in.


Now, here’s a question: If when you pass into eternity you are not going to be able to take ANY THING with you, how does that affect the way you view and use material resources in this life? It should make a difference right? Plain and simple, what we’ll be discussing today is that the way we think about and handle “stuff” reveals how clearly we understand the realities of this life and the concept of life in eternity. 


Looking forward to the future,         


Will (for the pastors)

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