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December 22, 2017, 9:10 AM

Christmas: Manger


Church Family,

There are so many great stories that we hear and read about during the holiday season. I read of one from a school near Charleston. The teacher and his 12 homeroom students developed a bond that included watching Duke basketball games together. The students decided to pool their money together and buy the teacher 2 tickets to a Duke home game. At $300 a piece they aren’t cheap. Many around our area are preparing to pay a high price to go and cheer on their favorite team in their bowl game. The point I am trying to make isn’t about the amount of money, but rather that it is difficult for many to have access to what they want to see in person. To see our mayor, I am sure it will take a phone call and a good reason. To see our governor, it would take a great reason and knowing the right people. To see our president, it would take an invitation from him. To spend time with these important figures is near impossible.

Our last place to visit this week is the manger. It is a smelly, dingy, and unimpressive place to visit someone of influence. Yet, this is where God sent His only Son to be born. A place that all of creation is welcomed. Somewhere that anyone could go to. That includes me and you. Not only are we welcomed to come and see Jesus, we are invited to spend eternity with Jesus. Each day, including during our devotion time, we hope to walk and talk with Jesus.

Luke 2:6-7 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

As we wrap up our journey this week from Egypt to Bethlehem to the Manger, I hope that you will find room in your life for Jesus. Realize that you exist to come and worship Him. To know Him and make Him known.

Reminders:

  1. This Sunday after Sunday school our Adult Choir will be leading us in worship during the 11am service. Please invite others.
  2. Choir please be at church at 9:30am to practice before Sunday school.
  3. We will not have night services this Sunday or next Sunday.
  4. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association.
  5. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  6. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  7. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Finally, a big thank you to the Brotherhood for cooking this past Weds for the Christmas party, to Joni Jordan for bringing Santa Claus, to Kendal Lowry for the wonderful pictures, to all those who prepared desserts, and everyone who helped make this a wonderful Christmas time.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn




December 20, 2017, 12:33 PM

Christmas: Bethlehem and Babe Ruth


Church Family,

We hope to see you tonight at the Church Christmas Party starting at 6pm. Santa will be coming around 6:30. Please invite friends and family. We will have bbq, chicken nuggets, sides and dessert (please bring a dessert with you).

Today we are going to talk about Babe Ruth. One of the legends of Babe Ruth is that he called his shot. In other words, he pointed to where he was going to hit the ball before the pitch. He pointed to centerfield and during a tied world series championship game, Babe Ruth, hit a homerun to centerfield. To hit a homerun is great, but to tell everyone you are before you do it: amazing!

Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

God called His shot hundreds of years before sending Jesus: AMAZING! Lee Strobel writes, “Bible scholars tell us that nearly 300 references to 61 specific prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The odds against one person fulfilling that many prophecies would be beyond all mathematical possibility. It could never happen, no matter how much time was allotted. One mathematician’s estimate of those impossible odds is “one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion.”

That’s a lot of trillions.

Reminders:

  1. This Sunday we following Sunday school the adult choir will lead us in worship during the morning service at 11am.
  2. We will have regular morning services for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, but we will not have evening services.
  3. With the holidays it is near impossible to have a meeting, but soon we will have a meeting for those interested in going to Toronto in June for a mission trip.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn




December 18, 2017, 11:08 AM

Christmas: Straight Out of Egypt!


Church Family,

God is good! I am so thankful for the leadership that we have and the members that love and come together to do ministry for Jesus. Thank you to everyone who helped with the Christmas programs last night and the refreshments. I can’t wait to see this Sunday’s program at 11am.

Our family would also like to thank you for the Christmas gift that you gave us yesterday. We appreciate it so much. High Point never ceases to amaze us.

This week our devotions will focus on the places of importance during the birth and early childhood of Jesus. We will start in Egypt, then move to Bethlehem, and end up at the Manger.

 

Matthew 2:13-15 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son

 

Most of us are familiar with the immediate reason that Jesus had to go to Egypt. It was to flee the danger that Herod presented to His life and the life of His family, but the real reason is much deeper.

You see Egypt represented the bondage and enslavement of sin. God first lead the Israelites out when Moses was their leader, as recorded in the book of Exodus. Now Jesus, similar to Israel, must go to the place of bondage in order to lead us out of sin and death forever. Christ came to do what we can not do. After being baptized He spent 40 days and nights fasting and then was tempted by Satan himself. This showed that Christ was tempted just like Israel was and yet, He did not sin.

Maybe this morning you are facing a difficult challenge or life is hitting you hard. Whatever the case, satan is probably whispering or yelling in your ear how terrible you are and how bad the situation is. Can I encourage you to take some time and focus on Christ? Every time we sinned, He resisted, when we failed, He succeeded, and when we had no hope, Jesus became our hope. He went to where we failed and overcome the evil and sin that causes so much of our pain and sorrow. Give God the praise today.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Reminders:

  1. Weds December 20th at 6pm we are having our church Christmas supper. Santa is coming to join us. Please invite family and friends. Especially those who do not know Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Bring a dessert with you.
  2. Sunday during the worship service our Adult Choir will be leading us in worship. Pray for them as you prepare for the Sunday service.
  3. We will have our regular morning services on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, but we will not have evening services those weeks.
  4. Thank you. I can not put into words the love that God has for you and me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know.

Future Activities:

We are getting ready to begin a new year. Here are a couple of things to pray about:

  1. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association.
  2. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  3. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  4. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn

 




December 15, 2017, 12:54 PM

Christmas: The Wisemen


Church Family,

I pray that you are having a wonderful day. This week as we focused on the coming birth of Jesus, I have tried to point to the various witnesses of Jesus and His birth. Today we turn our attention to an event that happened 2-4 years after Jesus’ birth. No one knows exactly who the wisemen were or all the details of their origin, but today I will share a great possibility to who they were.

Matthew 2:1-4 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born

The wisemen are thought to be descendants of the school that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were part of during the exile. Using the visions that God gave to Daniel and the instructions that these men gave, the wisemen were ready for a sign of the King of the Jews. That sign was the Star. Their party obviously was larger than 3 people, even though they only gave 3 gifts. V3 tells us that all of Jerusalem was troubled. The size of the party must have drawn the attention of the crowd. Imagine a large group coming into Conway asking where is the new king? The word spread and the current ruler was not happy.

While we can rejoice at the witness that the wisemen give us, we would be unwise to overlook the lack of witness by the religious leaders of the time. No wonder the Jews(the church) was struggling and fighting. They had abandoned the word of God in favor of living for the comforts of their time. Notice v4, the word of God plainly laid out God’s plan, but the leaders missed out.

There is an easy lesson to be learned there. When we faithful follow God’s word, it leads us to Jesus. When we abandon the faith for the comforts of today, it leads us to become enemies of Jesus.

Reminders:

  1. Children and Youth Christmas Program this Sunday at 6pm. Bring some guests and a dessert for the fellowship afterwards.
  2. Dec. 20th Church Christmas Party at 6pm. Come ready to take Pictures with St. Nick.
  3. Adult Christmas Program Dec. 24th after Sunday school at 11am.

Future Activities:

We are getting ready to begin a new year. Here are a couple of things to pray about:

  1. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association.
  2. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  3. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  4. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn




December 13, 2017, 9:42 AM

Christmas: God's Messengers


Church Family,

As we approach Christmas this week I feel led to share about some of the different ways and people that God used to tell others about Himself.

Romans 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

God used a star in our Monday email. Today, God is going to use the Shepherds. 2 common struggles that many people share are found in these 2 questions: How can God use someone like me? Why would God want to use someone like me? In both cases, we have examined the messengers better than God has and realize that He has made a mistake. Satan loves to take our attention away from God and put it anywhere else. Can I encourage you to read the passage and find 2 things: The greatest of God and the truth that God wants to use all people to tell others about Him.

Luke 2:8-20 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Who is in your region, area, and life that needs to hear the Joy that God has brought to the world? Can I lovingly ask you to share the good news of God’s salvation with someone today? Not sure where to begin? Tell them what you know. Be a witness. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know.

Reminders:

  1. Tonight, join us at 7pm to pray for the lost, sick, and our church. Classes for all ages.
  2. Children and Youth Christmas Program this Sunday at 6pm. Bring some guests and a dessert for the fellowship afterwards.
  3. Dec. 20th Church Christmas Party at 6pm. Come ready to take Pictures with St. Nick.
  4. Adult Christmas Program Dec. 24th after Sunday school at 11am.

Future Activities:

We are getting ready to begin a new year. Here are a couple of things to pray about:

  1. January 22nd we are hosting the Associational meeting. Matt Hess, Toronto Church Planter, will be here to speak to the association.
  2. January 24th Matt Hess will be with us to meet just our church and spend time with us. Come and learn more about our partnership with Matt to reach the world for Christ.
  3. June 24th- 30th we are going to Toronto for a mission trip.
  4. Be in prayer as to how God can use us to reach Conway and the surrounding areas for Christ this year.

Love, Serve, Go

Brian Winburn


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