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“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth — the very thing the whole story has been about.” — C.S. Lewis

 Advent is the first season in the church calendar. Since the 7th century A.D., Christians have included this celebration in their preparation for Christmas Day.   Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, its purpose is twofold: first, it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ and second, it reminds us that we are eagerly waiting for Jesus’ return in glory.

 The word “advent” originates from the Latin word advenio which means coming to. Advent is the time when we focus on Christ coming to the world. Throughout history, the Israelites anticipated the coming of their Messiah. In the Old Testament, over 400 scriptures and prophecies outline His birth, life, death, resurrection, and return. God had a plan to redeem His people. He declared His plan to His prophets over the centuries and is fulfilling His Word even now.

 “Prepare Him Room” serves as a main theme of this season. As we get ready for Christmas, we should not neglect to prepare our lives for Jesus, who came as “the light of the world.” His light penetrated a dark world, which allowed all to see their Messiah, and the hope of their future.  Today we need to be prepared for the coming of Christ. Learning more about what the Bible reveals about Christ’s return will enable us to understand the possible significance of world events.  Be ready and watchful, for the light of the world has come and will surely come again.

 Some of the most significant prophecies regarding the Advent season appear in the following passages:

His Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:3, 4-5)

His Anointing (Isaiah 11:1-4)

His Betrayal (Psalm 41:4; Zechariah 11:12-13)

His Death (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22:1-31)

His Crucifixion (Isaiah 53:12)

His Resurrection (Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 16:10)

His Return in Glory (Acts 1:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; Revelation 22:20)

His Glorious Reign (Isaiah 11:3 through 12:6)

 “Come, people of Israel, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:5)   “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light — on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)

The prophet Isaiah describes how God was preparing to bring His great light to the dark confusion of the world. Darkness in the Bible describes a society in chaos and rebellion. Throughout the Bible, we see that God’s light heralds His presence and His truth.

 In this passage, Isaiah invites the people of Israel to “walk in the light of the Lord.” The prophecy was fulfilled through Jesus who boldly declared, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Therefore the invitation is no longer just for the people of Israel, but for all humanity.

 Father God, let the light of Christ shine in our lives so that we may glorify you. Help us to walk in the light of the Lord. Daily teach us the truth in your word. Amen.

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THATS MY TAKE

Wednesday afternoon, Annie and I drove to a basketball game.  A major souvenir was to be given to the first 6,000 who walked through the turnstiles.  As I read all I could about the game and events- I was sure the doors opened at 6:00 PM…..we were there 15 minutes early to be sure we would get the souvenir.  Arriving through the wind – snow – sleet – to my chagrin I found out the doors didn’t open till 7:00 PM   We stood looking at each other for   60    l o n g     minutes.  We twiddled our thumbs – we look up – down – at our feet – I’ll tell you what……60 minutes is a long time to just stand on hard concrete.   

                   They were going to honor a coach who had more than 500 victories – and at half time dedicate the court in his honor.  By now – 100’s upon 100’s had gathered all wanting that souvenir. 

                                   The powers that be had us line up in 5 lines — we were still in this gawking mode — finally I said to Annie wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was like this every Sunday at CHURCH?  Hundreds would line up 60 minutes before the door opened — Hundreds couldn’t wait to praise God —- Hundreds couldn’t wait to praise our God and King.  It is amazing what we will do to watch 10 – 20 year olds in tennis shoes – and what we won’t do for a King who hung on a cross to die for our sins. 

                   By the way the coach didn’t even shake my hand.  In fact I didn’t get within 500 feet of him – and to top it off – he was at the door to greet me for my sacrifice and I was only ONE of 16,000 who shared the same experience.   By the way – Annie did get one of the souvenirs – but That’s Just My Take!!!

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We are so proud of our young people who are part of respective bands.  They are not only learning how to play music – but learning discipline – making friendships – learning accountability.  Other youth will be having their Christmas concerts later – but tonight (THURSDAY) – Morgan Duff will participate tonight at Jeff Junior in their Christmas Concert…………….Last weekend Sammi Myers read our Old Testament reading at the Saturday night service — and Lilly Drage read the passage Sunday morning.   Isn’t it wonderful to see our youth take part in the worship service….PTL……………Tuesday evening Matthew Dolan – missionary to Panama spoke to one of the Ladies D-Groups and one of the men’s Groups.  WE support Matthew’s ministry by putting money in the Yellow Duck.  The groups were impressed and learned so much by his hour presentation —- his concept is much like Jesus while on earth…Jesus fed them and then gave them the Bread of Life…..Matthew is doing this with Tilapia – and now has added Rabbits………….. To promote our Advent Series – Bro Doug has developed a calling card.  On the face side – you will see the Title — PREPARE HIM ROOM – and on the back side you find the sermon titles with corresponding dates.  Most of the cards have been taken – please grab a few this weekend – pass them to your friends – your neighbors – your work associates – your family…………..Max and Annie are rejoicing this week having hard their Gregg’s son – Kasaan was baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of his sins (Acts 2:38)

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·       Mary and William are still grieving over the loss of their 12 year old niece Eden.  Eden passed last week from leukemia.  

·       Jackie’s sister Margie is still in need of our prayers

·       Karen wrote today that her brother Jimmy has been moved to Rusk Rehab and might go home in a couple weeks.  PTL

·       Praying for a great turn-out this Sunday evening.  The 1st Friday prayer gathering has been moved to Sunday from 5 -7…..

·       Christians let’s do some spiritual warfare (Eph 6 and 2 Cor 10:4)…..praying the Holy Spirit will truly block the efforts of Satan so that the men and women who live north of I-70 will be receptive to the Gospel of Grace. 

·       Lift up AMERICA – please open your bibles to 2 Chron 7:14 and pray accordingly. 

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Our Advent series kicked off Nov 28-29.  This weekend as we prepare Him room our underlying thee will be Be Present…our text will center on the role Joseph played.  One-character trait Joseph possessed was FAITHFULNESS.  Many believe that he was about 17 years old.  He had doubts as he heard Mary’s story — he was confused — he was tempted to compromise – but at that point the Angel of the Lord came and revealed the truth to him Joseph would be the earthly caregiver of the Son of God.

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First Sunday Evening Prayer Gather

Discovery Center

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Doug and Ross will lead us

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Matt 2:1-15  1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”………… 9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.

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