Monday, December 21, 2009

Beginning Again in 2010

(From the January, 2010 Vision, Newsletter)

If you are reading this, God’s grace has been faithful to bring you through this past year and you have much to praise God for. In spite of the down turn in the economy and the tanking of the stock market, we still worshiped the Lord in 2009, we still shared the love of God with our community and our world, we still met needs in the name of Jesus, and we still made disciples. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t pay any attention to the news! Amazingly, this past year Hebron received a record number of total receipts, receiving over 1 million dollars for the first time in HBC’s history, and we have a long one. How could that be? It was a “God thing!” It also goes to prove that you receive what you expect and what you put your time and effort into. Because of our capital fund campaign, we worked and prayed for the finances to come in and you – the people of God responded! However, the down side of the year was that our baptisms were almost half of the previous year, not good. Now our challenge is to put the same fervor we did in our capital fund campaign into sharing the love of Christ with our community. And with a new year before us God has graciously given us an opportunity to begin again.

That’s why it’s a good idea at the beginning of a new year to remind ourselves of why we are here. So what is my prayer and desire for 2010? It is that we would make the main thing the main thing. Our mission – worship, evangelism, making disciples, ministering to needs – this is what should captivate our attention, our passion. Our mission should permeate every event we undertake, every committee meeting we sit in, and every Bible study and Sunday School class we attend. So how are we doing? And what will we do different this year to align ourselves more fully with Christ’s mission? By God’s grace we do have the opportunity to “Begin Again in 2010.” Let’s walk together through the open doors that God has placed before us.

Looking forward to serving our gracious Lord together with you!

Pastor Joe
“Phil. 1:3”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sermon Text for Sunday, December 20, 2009

Luke 3:1-6

(New International Version)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sermon Text for Sunday, December 13, 2009 (3rd Sunday of Advent)

Luke 1:18-25 (New King James Version)

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”

19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.

20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple.

22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house.

24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying,

25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son.

58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

Circumcision of John the Baptist

59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias.

60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”

61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.”

62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled.

64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.

65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.

66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe