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The moment we confess our sins, repent of our sins and immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of those sins – we are adopted into Christ’s family.  As the Christian journey begins – we will experience pain – weakness along with a garden variety of issues.  We have been purified by Christ’s blood – but at the same time continue to experience the fallout of sin because we are not yet out of these broken bodies that feel pain – experience broken emotions. 

 Who are we?  We are “new creations” in an old world.  We are already purified but not yet at home in heaven.  What does this mean for us in our weakness?  It means there is coming a day when God will wipe every tear away from our eyes (Rev 21:4) — The day when every physical malady will be perfected – a day where no one will move about in a wheelchair – a day when I will never again wonder if I will experience another stroke – a day when all Christians will be entirely free from pain – sickness – and weakness. 

 If we are not careful – though we know that day is coming – though we know Christ has already defeated death – but has not kicked all evil off planet Earth.  It is clear the day is “not yet” fully here.  Regardless of our maturity in Christ – we battle through weakness…doubt….prisons

…….sickness….death…..depression….anxiety….just as Paul and other Bible characters did.

 And so we might wonder, does trusting Christ’s rescue make any difference for my difficulties right here and now? The answer is a resounding yes. Trusting Christ makes a life-changing difference for your journey through this contaminated world.   Just as much as Christ promises our eternal rescue, He also promises to sustain us on earth while we await that rescue. Paul David Tripp put it like this: “The promise of future grace always carries with it the promise of present grace.”

 When your suffering discourages you, your soul is groaning for heaven. When you feel internally unsettled by the evils, injustices, and tragedies of this world, your inner being is homesick, longing to be where you belong—a place free from suffering and heartbreak.

God promises “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 God promises to give you all the strength you need to live for Him every day.   In life, we sometimes find ourselves surrounded by storms.  Just because we are Christians – we are not exempt from storms….Unexpected death….. Life-changing accidents…….Cancer…….. Infidelity. Relapse addiction……..Natural disasters……….Slander and media misrepresentation.

I wonder what storms you’ve found yourself in recently?

 God wants you to know He has not forgotten you. He has not abandoned you in your storm. He has “already” begun the process of rescuing you out of your storms, even when it does not feel like it.

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·      All D-Group meet this week

·      Friday – the 29th t – All Church Family Movie Night – 7:00 PM

·      Sat/Sun – 30th & 31st  – Celebration Service 5:00 (Sat) 10:00 (Sun)

·      Feb 14 – 1st Sunday Prayer Gathering (5:00 PM – 7:00 PM)

·      March 19th – All Church Workday – 9:30 – Noon?

·      Passover Celebration @ Discovery 24th

·      Good Friday Service – @ Discovery 25th 6:00 PM

·      March 26th/27th Resurrection Celebration Services

Salt-and-Light

            The message this weekend will center around a topic we all are familiar – we all use these words frequently in discussing responsibilities of a Christian — we say we are the salt and light of the world…..

             Matt 5:13-16…You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?  Can you make it useful again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.   You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light under a basket!  Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.   In the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. 

             Are these commands given only to the church preachers?  Is it the responsibility of all Christians to salt the earth and light the world?

            What are the properties of salt?  What are the properties of light? 

            In what says are Christians guilty of hiding their light under a basket?

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What are the difference between “good deeds” and “good works”?

Our leadership team was asked to bring 3 goals with subsequent strategies to achieve them to the meeting in January.  From the numerous goals – the team will pray throughout this month and in February we will select the top 5 that we feel is where we want to go as a church family in 2016.  Once they are identified, they will be published in E-News – and often brought to our attention……definitely the congregation will be deeply involved in attaining these goals………………Sad to report Morgan Duff has been home all week with the flu…………….Did you know there were only 2 open parking spaces Sunday?  A problem – but a good problem.  Two of our leadership team members are in discussion how to enlarge the parking lot ASAP………………. Discovery will be getting a new computer with musical software soon.  There was enough year-end giving to purchase these 2 items…………….

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·      Ike Radcliff- they found a small spot on Ike’s lung last week.

·      Jackie’s sister in Shelbina.

·      Karen’s brother rehabbing in Paris

·      Leslie –to make a decision regard health

·      All pray the Spiritual Warfare prayer of Eph 6.  We ask God to free people’s minds to be receptive to the call of the spirit.  We also ask the spirit to pull down spiritual strongholds

·      Those who have lost their love come to repentance

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Our theme for the month of February will be TABOO……these will be the topics under discussion

·      Alcohol

·      Divorce

·      Politics

·      Violence/non-violence

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 This Friday night at 7 PM in our auditorium we will show the family friendly movie it’s a matter of faith.

 We will watch a young girl leave her Christian family and go to the university campus. She enrolls in the biology class where the professor teaches evolution.  When the father finds this out he wants to challenge your professor to a debate… Creationism versus evolution.

 We are more than where the many many Christian young boys and girls loser face by the time they graduate from college. We certainly encourage everyone to come to view this feeling, and invite others. Especially if you have children either in high school or Jr Hi or in college this might be a must see.

 We will also have popcorn and tea for refreshment

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John 2:9-11  When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”   11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

 

Prov 23:29-35 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?  Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?  Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?  30  It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.  31  Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.  32  For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. 33  You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.  34  You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. 35 And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.  I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.  When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?”

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