“GOODBYE AND HELLO”

IT IS THAT ONE TIME OF YEAR WHEN WE SAY ‘GOODBYE’ TO THE OLD YEAR AND ‘HELLO’ TO THE NEW YEAR. FOR MANY THE GOODBYE IS A WELCOME EVENT WITH TRAGEDIES, LOSSES OF A LOVED ONE OR OTHER DISAPPOINTMENTS WE WANT TO PUT IN OUR PAST. FOR OTHERS, THE NEW YEAR IS AN EXCITING TIME TO WELCOME NEW OPPORTUNITIES. OUR SOCIETY HAS EMBRACED THE IDEA OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. WE WANT TO STOP SMOKING, LOSE WEIGHT, EXERCISE MORE, FIND A NEW JOB…ALL GREAT ‘WANT TO’ IDEALS. ALL TO OFTEN, THE RESOLUTIONS ARE LOST AND DISCARDED BEFORE WE GIVE OURSELVES A CHANCE TO KEEP THEM. WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR? THIS YEAR MAKE A RESOLUTION YOU CAN KEEP. RESOLVE TO GROW CLOSER WITH GOD. BY GROWING WITH GOD AND FOCUSING ON HIS WILL FOR YOUR LIFE, THE OTHER RESOLUTIONS WILL BE EASIER TO KEEP. MAKE GOD YOUR PRIORITY. YOU ARE HIS PRIORITY. READ YOUR BIBLE MORE. GO TO CHURCH REGULARLY. GET INVOLVED WITH GROUPS AT YOUR CHURCH. STUDY GOD’S WORD EVERY DAY. START WITH THE DEVOTIONALS AND READ THE VERSES. BE SURE TO SHARE..SHARE THE WONDERFUL LOVE OF GOD WITH OTHERS. TELL THE STORY OF CHRIST AND THE SALVATION HE HAS GIVEN TO YOU AND WILL GIVE TO THEM. SAY ‘HELLO’ TO A NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST! “THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM. FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. FOR GOD DID NOT SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD,...

“IS CHRISTMAS OFFICIALLY OVER?”

READ: LUKE 2:22-50 ‘IS CHRISTMAS OFFICIALLY OVER?” DON’T THESE WORDS SOUND HORRIBLE? YET, THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, THAT IS WHAT THE STORES WERE TELLING US. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS WAS ALL CLEARANCE PRICED AND SHELVES WERE CLEARED FOR VALENTINES DAY CANDY AND GIFTS. THE CHRISTMAS TREE LOTS AND STORES SELLING TREES HAD DISPOSED OF ALL OF THE TREES ON CHRISTMAS EVE…DECLARING CHRISTMAS WAS OVER BEFORE THE BLESSED DAY! DECORATIONS ARE COMING DOWN MUCH FASTER THAN THEY WENT UP. YOUR HOME IS PERHAPS NOT THAT DIFFERENT WITH CHRISTMAS WRAPPING PAPER, RIBBONS, BOWS AND BOXES CRAMMED INTO THE TRASH. MANY WILL BE TAKING DOWN THEIR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS THIS WEEKEND. HAVE WE OBSERVED A SEASON OF ‘WHAT AM I GOING TO GET?’ RATHER THAN THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR. WE OVER-SPENT, OVER-ATE AND SELFISHLY OVER-EXPECTED. WHAT STARTED AS A PROCLAMATION BY ANGELIC HOSTS AND WITNESSED BY SHEPHERDS AND KINGS ALIKE HAS TURNED INTO A MATERIALISTIC CELEBRATION FOR MANY. DON’T BLAME RETAIL BUSINESSES FOR THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF CHRISTMAS. THEY ARE ONLY FOLLOWING THE DESIRES OF THE PUBLIC. CHRISTMAS IS NOT OFFICIALLY OVER UNLESS CHRIST’S LOVE IS NOT IN YOUR HEART. CELEBRATING JESUS’ BIRTH DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OVER. AS A FAITHFUL BELIEVER, YOU CAN CELEBRATE THE JOY OF OUR SAVIOR’S BIRTH EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. DURING THESE LAST FEW WEEKS, WE HAD NUMEROUS ‘EASY’ OPPORTUNITIES TO TELL THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY SINCE CHRISTMAS WAS DISPLAYED ALL AROUND US. WILL THESE DAYS GOING FORWARD BE DAYS OF A JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF GOD SENDING HIS SON? WILL YOU CONTINUE TELLING THE STORY OF OUR SAVIORS BIRTH, LIFE, CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION? JESUS’ STORY...

GOOD MORNING, JESUS!

…AND THE ANGELS PROCLAIMED! AS TRADITIONS HAVE UNFOLDED, WE HAVE STORIES OF CHRISTMAS; RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, SANTA CLAUS AND HIS BAG OF PRESENTS, SONGS OF SLEIGH RIDES IN THE SNOW AND FROSTY THE SNOWMAN. AS WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS, LET US BE MINDFUL OF THIS SIMPLE FACT….TODAY IS ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS! I PRAY FOR ALL TODAY, THAT EACH WOULD INCLUDE THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY IN YOUR CELEBRATION TODAY. TODAY IS NOT JUST A ‘HAPPY HOLIDAY’ AS OUR SOCIETY IS PROCLAIMING. TODAY IS THE HOLY DAY WE CELEBRATE THE HOLINESS OF THE BIRTH OF GOD’S SON, OUR SAVIOUR. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, BELOW IS THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR BIBLE AVAILABLE, PLEASE PRINT OUT THIS EMAIL TODAY AND SHARE THIS TRUTH OF JESUS’ BIRTH WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. READ THESE VERSES BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR PRESENTS OR ARE GATHERED TO SHARE THE BLESSINGS OF LUNCH OR DINNER. CHRISTMAS IS THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS! FEEL HIS BLESSINGS! GD LUKE 2: 1-20 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child....

“TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS!”

CHRISTMAS IS A JOYFUL TIME. DECORATIONS, SPECIAL GIFTS, GREAT FOODS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS. ARE YOU BLESSED WITH ALL THESE THINGS? WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS? PLEASE DON’T FORGET THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ENJOY THESE THINGS. WE HAVE SOLDIERS SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES, SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY HAVE RELOCATED AND HAVE NO FAMILY NEAR, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE IN MOURNING FROM THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE, THOSE CONFINED AT HOME IN ILL HEALTH OR IN THE HOSPITAL, OTHERS ARE TORN FROM THEIR FAMILIES BY DIVORCE AND OTHERS ARE SUFFERING FROM EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. IN EVERY MAJOR CITY WE HAVE PEOPLE LIVING ON THE STREETS. OUTSIDE THE U.S., THERE ARE THOSE IN WAR TORN COUNTRIES LIVING DAY BY DAY AND COUNTING THEMSELVES BLESSED TO HAVE A TENT IN A REFUGEE CAMP. AS WE ENJOY ALL WE HAVE, WE NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP OTHERS. CHANCES ARE, THERE IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW WHO FITS INTO ONE OF THE ABOVE SITUATIONS. DO YOU TURN YOUR BACK AND IGNORE OR DO YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? “‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” AND SOMEONE IS ALL ALONE AND WILL BE ALONE ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY. GOD IS A LOVING GOD OF MERCY AND LOVE. YOU ARE A CREATION OF GOD WHO CAN ALSO SHOW MERCY AND LOVE. MAKE THIS CHRISTMAS A BETTER DAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE. “FOR I WAS HUNGRY, AND YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO EAT; I WAS THIRSTY, AND YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO DRINK; I WAS A STRANGER, AND YOU INVITED ME IN; NAKED, AND YOU CLOTHED ME; I WAS SICK,...

“PEACE ON EARTH”

“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST HEAVEN, AND ON EARTH PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS.” LUKE 2:14 NIV READ: LUKE 2:1-14 EVERY CHRISTMAS, WE SEE ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ SCROLLED ACROSS CHRISTMAS CARDS AND SHOPPING CENTER SIGNS. THE WORDS SEEM TO GIVE US HOPE IN OUR TROUBLED TIMES. IN THE HECTIC MODE OF THE SEASON, WE SEEM TO IGNORE WHAT GOD IS TELLING US. WE MAY BE IGNORING HIS SCRIPTURAL MESSAGE IN OUR HOPE FOR ‘PEACE ON EARTH’. AROUND THE WORLD WE SEE TERRORISTS MURDERING THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH THEM. ONLY A WEEK AGO, WE SAW NEWS REPORTS OF OVER 100 INNOCENT CHILDREN MURDERED IN THEIR SCHOOL. THERE IS NO PEACE FOR THESE PEOPLE OR THE TERRORISTS WHO ARE BRINGING ON THIS DESTRUCTION OVER MANY COUNTRIES. COUNTRIES ARE BEING PHYSICALLY DESTROYED. THEIR CITIZENS ARE BEING MURDERED, INJURED AND LEFT WITHOUT HOME OR FOOD. GOD CREATED ALL MEN. HE CREATED ALL MANKIND AND GAVE US EACH A CHOICE TO DO GOOD OR EVIL. WE KNOW THIS SINCE ADAM AND EVE FOLLOWED THE DECEIT OF THE SERPENT AND OTHERS AGAIN AND AGAIN IGNORED GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE. HE WARNED US. YET, AS A PEOPLE WE CONTINUE TO DO IT OUR WAY. GOVERNMENTS WILL NOT CHANGE PEOPLE. PEOPLE WILL NOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE OF THIS EARTH WILL ONLY CHANGE BY ACCEPTING GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS AND BLESSINGS. THERE IS TO BE A ‘PEACE ON EARTH’, BUT IT IS NOT JUST A WORLD PEACE FROM WARS AND KILLINGS. WHILE WORLDLY PEACE SEEMS SO DESIRABLE, THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD’S WORD IS TELLING US. GOD IS TELLING US THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE OF...