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Archive for November, 2011

Advent – Hope

Here are just some rough thoughts in outline form that guide my thinking as I reflect on the first week of Advent and teach others about it.

[WEEK 1 – HOPE]

  • Recognizing our NEED for God’s help
    • To forgive and transform us (fully redeem us: Psalm 130)
  • God PROMISES to give his people the help they need
    • These promises are the basis of our HOPE
  • HOPE = A confident expectation for a better future
    • Attitude of confident expectation as we WAIT for God’s help
      • Expand upon the idea of waiting
  • THEY waited for hundreds and hundreds of years for God to break into the course of human history and do something that would secure the complete salvation of his people
    • And over 2000 years ago, on that first Christmas Eve, God did exactly that. The infinite became an infant in order to fulfill that hope by living, dying, and then rising again.
  • And so, unlike those in Old Testament times, we no longer have to hope that God will do something so that the guilt of our sins can be fully forgiven. We simply need to trust in the help he has already provided through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his Son.
  • BUT, even though we can enjoy complete freedom from the guilt of our sins right here and now, like those who have come before us, we must still wait upon God every day for the help we need to experience greater freedom from the power of sin, and the presence of sin which will be completely eradicated at Christ’s return.

 

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Graceful Praying

Writing a sermon on Graceful Praying from the book of Ephesians for this weekend and then we begin Advent.

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Prayer for Chris

There’s a guy named Chris who is loosely related to one of the members of our church. They recently found cancer in his colon, and went in and thought that had pretty much removed it all. While he was recovering, I went to the hospital to visit with him and we sort of “hit it off.”

Since then, he has received news that they found cancer in 2 of the 10 lymph nodes that they had sent out for examination. So now he has to do chemo and he’s going in for surgery today so they can install something that he can hook a pump up to at home.

Please pray that he would come to know the Lord through all of this. His daughter and nephew have been coming to our youth group for a while now and this last Wednesday his other son came too and brought his girlfriend. They’re all pretty much JH age.

And yesterday when he came to pick the kids up he told me that they are going to try to come to church on Sunday. That’s pretty cool. The first time I met him was when I did that funeral for the blind lady from our church named June.

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A Little Update

Last Sunday was our church’s 144th Anniversary. ¬†Our church started about 2 years after the Civil War ended and less than 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Pretty crazy.

After the service we had our annual business meeting. They normally do the meeting in the evening during the week but I had them change it to after church with a potluck and we had an astronomical increase in attendance from last year. That was nice because I really want as many people as possible to be informed and involved.

We even had a lot of people who were not members of our church present at the meeting which was great.

Leading up to the meeting I spent several hours wrapping my mind around the church’s past, present, and future financial situation. It took some time but I think I understand most of it now, and I was able to walk them through where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re going. This was all a part of presenting our budget for 2012 and then voting to approve it.

If anything, we gave people too much information, but I know that many of them appreciated it. One lady who has been a member of the church for decades pulled me aside and thanked me for going through all of that and presenting it in a way that they could understand. That was a nice encouragement.

If you think of it, please pray for a lady named Marion. She broke her hip a few months ago, had surgery, went to a nursing home, did therapy, went home and then fell and broke her leg just a few days later. Same side. Now she’s had surgery on that, and she’s back at the nursing home but her 100 day limit is up for Medicare? to cover her expenses so now she has to go through Medicaid and they take all of her income except $60. The only problem is that she still has bills to pay at home and it’s going to be at least a couple months before she can get back there. So basically they need about $5,000 to hold them over, and they don’t know where it’s going to come from. I’m going to talk to the board to see what we can do to help, so just pray that God would give us one mind in all of this and that we would be led by a generous spirit. Thanks.

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