PASTOR’S BLOG

 
BE BLESSED BY GOD’S WORD THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

“God’s Christmas Gift”

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting, Father, Prince of Prince.” Isaiah 9:6

Over the years, the legendary Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog has featured some pretty extravagant gifts. The 1963 catalog offered ‘his-and-her submarines’ for $18,000. In the 1964 catalog, you could buy a hot air balloon for $6,000. In 1967, the catalog’s offerings included a pair of camels for $4,000. And in 1971, an actual mummy case was selling for $16,000. But in 2006, Neiman Marcus upped the ante with a trip to outer space for $1.7million. Maybe a ticket to space isn’t at the top of your wish list this year, but perhaps you have certain expectations of what you hope to find waiting for you under the Christmas tree. If you put your hope in what Christmas offers, however, you will be very disappointed. But if you can get past that to what Christmas is really all about, it truly can be “the most wonderful time of the year”. The wise men brought the rather unusual gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus. But the first Christmas gifts were not gifts to the Child. The first Christmas gift was the gift of the Child. The prophet Isaiah described hundreds of years before the coming of Christ who Christ is. Each of the names of Jesus mentioned deals with an important area of our lives. They are like five Christmas gifts that we can open, and each is special and unusual. First, His name is Wonderful. That takes care of the dullness of life. “Wonderful” comes from the root word “wonder”. And as I contemplate the fact that the Almighty God made this sacrifice for me, it will produce in my heart a sense of bewilderment, awe, and finally, worship.

Second, His name is Counselor. That takes care of the decisions of life. We all have very important decisions that we have to make. The God who is Wonderful wants to give us counsel and direction. God has a plan for each of our lives-an individual plan, not a one-size-fits-all plan. When you are overwhelmed with the decisions of life, remember that there is a God who wants to counsel you. Third, He is the Mighty God. That takes care of the demands of life. We need to be reminded that Jesus was not just a good man. He was the God-man. And this God who is Wonderful, this God who wants to be your Counselor, will give you the strength to live the life He has called you to live. Fourth, His name is Everlasting Father. That takes care of the destiny of life. We believe in an Everlasting Father with no beginning and with no end. It reminds us that life on Earth is temporal, that Heaven is so much better than anything this world has to offer. Also, this hope of an Everlasting Father resonates with those who have never had an earthy father. Because of what Jesus did for us, we can now refer to the Almighty God, Creator of the universe, as our Father who is in Heaven. Fifth, His name is the Prince of Peace. That takes care of the disturbances of life. Life is filled with disturbances and, quite frankly, Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Friction, stress, and problems that you are having with various family members can be at the forefront of your life at this time of year. But here is One who is the Prince of Peace, One who will help you with the disturbances of life. Whatever gifts you may have waiting for you this Christmas, they pale in comparison to God’s gift for you. It is better than anything in the Neiman Marcus catalog can offer. It is the only gift that truly keeps on giving: the gift of eternal life. Praising God for the God of Christmas!
 
With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson

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“Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving”

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name! – Psalm 100:4

Some believe Thanksgiving did not originate with the Pilgrims and Indians. Actually, the spirit of thanksgiving is ingrained in the Word of God, and should be a part of our lives on a daily basis.

Here is some food for thought as related by Robert E. Bruce:

“While walking along a busy street one day, I heard someone singing. His sweet voice was distinguishable even above the noise in the traffic. When I located him, I noticed he had no legs, and was pushing himself through the crowd in a wheelchair. Catching up with him, I said ‘I want you to know, friend, to hear singing from a person in your condition gives everyone else a lift.’ He answered with a grateful smile, ‘When I stopped looking at what I had lost and began concentrating on all I had left, I found much for what I could rejoice and be happy. ‘”

When we think about it, we all have much to be thankful for. God has been good to each of us. He has demonstrated to us time and time again His faithfulness. Some people are appreciative by nature, but some are not. We should remember every good gift comes from God, and He is the source, support, and end of all things. The very breath in our mouths is the free gift from God.

This is why the hymn writer wrote, “Count your many blessings, and name them one by one.” What are you thankful for?

 The taxes I pay because it means I am employed

A lawn which needs mowing, windows in need of cleaning, and gutters which need fixing because it means I have a home

The spot I found at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking

The alarm clock which goes off in the early morning hours because it means I am alive

Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive

Let us continue to be thankful to God and bless His name! God has blessed us with His presence and faithfulness! We love and appreciate every one of you! Many you have a blessed thanksgiving season with family and friends as we thank God for His faithfulness and goodness.

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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“Let Your Light Shine”

“You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which his in heaven” – Matthew 5:14,16

When our girls were small, they often avoided going to bed. They did not like to be in the dark, so light helped them go to sleep. We placed night lights in their bedrooms. When we turned out the main light, the small night light illuminated their rooms, bringing a sense of security and peace.

Light is comforting to all of us. We need light in our lives. In this dark world, Jesus is our light. As our source of light, He brings hope and security. However, we should not keep this wonderful light to ourselves. We are to be “night lights” to others.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, described our influence as light in the darkness. As the vessel through which God’s light shines, we are to reflect His light. We must reflect the light of Jesus to the world-the light of salvation, eternal life, and hope. This light should continue to shine. So, do not hide this glorious light. We must be a light in every setting-work, school, the grocery store, post office, family gatherings, and with friends.

God places countless people in your path everyday waiting for you to care enough to offer a warm, genuine invitation to church. Recent studies indicate 25% of people who do not attend church have never been invited. People long to have someone tell them about God and His love. Look for opportunities to let your light shine because God has shone His love into your heart. Let us not be selfish with what God have given us.

Ask yourself,

Have I spoken to someone in the last month about what Jesus means to me?

Have I invited someone from work, school, or family to church?

Have I contacted someone in the last month who has been absent from church to express my concern?

Do I pray for opportunities to share Christ with others?

Let your light shine! Someone is waiting for your invitation. We never know if this may be our last opportunity or their last chance to hear the wonderful message of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. God is depending on you to be a “night light” to someone. Don’t pass up your “God given opportunity” to share your light.

Until then, let us continue. . . Changing Lives for Eternity! With Love, Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson


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