Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Celebrating Advent and Christmas in Isaiah

“Twas the Night before Christmas”
Christmas in Isaiah

More than any other, Isaiah is the prophet of Christmas.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (7:14, ESV). “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6).

These are Isaiah’s words and they have become as much a part of the Christmas story as the angels heralding the birth of Christ and the shepherds watching their flocks by night. Writing hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah grasped the whole story of redemption, from the birth of Jesus to His passion.  Many of Isaiah’s themes resonate with the Christmas story including the Lord doing something “wholly” new (Isa. 43:19), the Lord bringing forth the longing of the world – the Messiah (His salvation), the overwhelming joy of the Lord’s salvation (35; 52:7-10), and light breaking in on the darkness. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone (9:2).

On Sunday mornings in December during this season of Advent and Christmas, we will walk through some “Christmas in Isaiah” passages of Scripture. I hope you will join us each Sunday. Invite a friend to share in the life-changing worship of the living Christ of Christmas. What an incredible hope we have, we have new life in Jesus, joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Pastor Joe

I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

December Messages:
            3          Isaiah 9:1-7; Matthew 4:12-16            “The Doom of Gloom”
            10       Isaiah 11:1-9; Matthew 13:31-33         “Christmas Greatness”
            17       Isaiah 55:1-13; John 7:37-38                “The Gift that Keeps on Giving”
            24       Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23               “Immanuel, God Is with Us”
(Special Christmas Eve Day Communion)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Amy Morrow and the Kazembe Orphanage

Amy Morrow and the Kazembe Orphanage
Amy Morrow, Missionary to Zambia will be sharing with us this Sunday, October 22nd in our 10:30 a.m. worship service. A love offering will be received for the Kazembe Orphanage. Amy will also meet with our children's Sunday School classes at 10:10 a.m. in the Life Center. And Amy will be available to visit and share at our World Crafts Fair Sunday afternoon, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Come hear about the exciting work going on in Zambia.
Learn more about Thomas and Amy's ministry in Zambia at the following websites: www.missionaryfamily.com and www.kazembeorphanage.com
And on Facebook at Kazembe Orphanage

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Menno Simons, the Radical Reformation

Menno Simons, the Radical Reformation
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Christ Jesus.” 
1 Corinthians 3:11
Our emphasis upon a personal salvation experience (the new birth), baptism for believers only, the Lord’s Supper observed as a memorial supper, a simple worship structure that glorifies God and edifies people, the insistence on the separation of church and state, the emphasis on discipleship, and every believer a minister and a missionary, these are all prominent themes among the radical reformers. And not surprisingly, they sound a lot like the way we think and do church today.

While the great teachings of “Scripture alone,” “grace alone,” and “faith alone” come to us mainly through the major protestant reformers, much of the way we as Baptists “practice” our faith comes to us through what we call the “Radical Reformation.” The Radical Reformation has been called a “reformation of the Reformation.” While the mainline protestant reformers give us an appreciation for loving God with our “mind,” the radical reformers give us an appreciation for loving God with our “heart” and “strength.”

Our series, “Profiles of the Protestant Reformation” continues this Sunday, October 15th at 10:30 a.m. where will be sharing the significance of Menno Simons and the Radical Reformation on evangelical faith today. Along with a sketch of Menno’s life and impact, we will look at one of Menno’s favorite Scripture passages, Luke 19:1-10, the story of Zacchaeus and the change that Jesus brought to him.

Look forward to glorifying our great God and Savior this Sunday!

Pastor Joe

I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3   

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Protestant Reformation, Celebrating 500 Years

The Protestant Reformation, Celebrating 500 Years (1517-2017)
Grace alone (sola gratia), faith alone (sola fide), Scripture alone (sola scriptura), these are concepts that are ingrained in us as evangelical believers. And yet, these profound understandings of God and salvation have not always been so evident. Regardless of our particular historical Christian lineage, all evangelicals are indebted to the great work of the Protestant Reformation. Tomorrow and continuing through October, we will begin a four-part series of messages examining some of the great teachings that have come to us as a result of the Reformation. Each week, we will profile a key individual and their contribution to the Reformation as well as significant Scriptures that elaborate upon the great themes of the Gospel.

I hope you will join us for worship each Sunday as we rejoice in the Gospel of our salvation that has been “entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). We begin tomorrow, Sunday, October 8th with the message, “John Calvin, for the Glory of God.” Below is the October schedule of messages.

8            John Calvin
15          Menno Simmons
22          Ulrich Zwingli
29          Martin Luther (Lord’s Supper)

I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Introduction to Mark

The Gospel of Mark: God’s Kingdom Is Here!

Author: John Mark was related to Barnabas and a traveling companion to Paul (see Acts 13:1-5; 15:36-41; Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11). Mark also served with Peter and most think that the Gospel of Mark records Peter’s perspective on Jesus’ life.

Date and Setting: First century, early to mid 60’s. Written to Christians in Rome under threat from growing persecution. Many believe that that Mark was the first Gospel written and that Matthew and Luke independently may have used Mark as a source.

Theme and Purpose: Mark presents the historical facts about Jesus in an objective and concise manner in order to promote loyalty to Him. Mark is also about being a disciple of Jesus, following Him in suffering and mission.

Noteworthy Characteristics and Impressions
·      *The shortest of the Gospels and perhaps the earliest.
·      *The disciples confess that Jesus is Lord, the “Son of God.”
·      *The kingdom of God is here as evidenced by Jesus’ authority over nature, disease, and demons.
·      *A Passion story, 6 of 16 chapters are dedicated to the final 8 days of Jesus’ life.
·      *A book of action, fast-paced and action-packed. “Immediately” is used 41 times in Mark.
·      *A focus on Jesus’ miracles (19 in Mark) rather than His teachings.
·      *Jesus attracts large crowds who seek Him out. The people respond to Jesus with amazement or astonishment about 20 times.
·      *Those closest to Jesus reject Him, His hometown and family.
·      *The Messianic Secret: Jesus’ tendency to command people not to tell anyone who He is.
·      *Discipleship themes: (1) Following Jesus, the term “follow” appears 17 times in Mark. (2) Jesus spends time alone with the disciples, about 20 times. (3)Discipleship involves service, sacrifice, and suffering.
·       *The Gospel with the puzzling ending (16:8). The “Jesus story” continues on through the faithful witness of His disciples.