Sharing with Steve
We have just come out of the Christmas season and are entering the new year. One of the things that the Christmas story makes very clear is that the Savior born in Bethlehem is Immanuel, God with us. I have been reading an excellent Advent devotional during the month of December and December 15 dealt with the idea of Immanuel. In light of the fact that we are going to be examining The Real God during 2019 I would like to share this devotional with you in preparation for our study. This is from The Christ of Christmas by Calvin Miller.
The word, Immanuel is second only to the word Lord in Christian worship. Incarnation is the way theologians say Immanuel. The Incarnation is the noblest idea of any world religion. God did not watch human despair from the safety of heaven. He clothed himself in humanity. He ceased watching the human war and became soldier. Oh, the things the God experienced in becoming a man:
– the blistering summer sun,
– the shivering rains of winter,
– the blight of hunger when He fasted after His baptism,
– the desperation of bereavement when His earthly father died,
– the empathy of a mother’s tears when she stood at the cross,
– the disappearance of all friends at His arrest in Gethsemane,
– the pain of a friend’s denials when Peter quaked before the truth,
– the staggering shock of treachery by His friend Judas,
– the agony of crucifixion where He experienced the status of a convict,
– the agony of death,
– the loneliness of being forsaken by everyone.
All these things–when put together–spell Immanuel. These things are what the God of all mercy took upon Himself. But why did He do it? Because these sorts of things form the fabric of all of our living. We cannot live without bumps and pains, without heartache and desolation, without mosquito bites and cancer. Immanuel was God saying. “You shall not bear such pain alone.” God became flesh to redeem. Let Jesus be incarnate in your life, and then maybe when you have stooped to serve the desperate and dying, you will hear them say the word Immanuel. When Christ becomes incarnate in your life, you will hear those you serve saying to you, “I cannot help but believe in Christ. I have seen Him in your life.”
2019 – THE REAL GOD
I believe that we have an exciting year to look forward to. The theme for 2019 will be “The Real God.” This is based on a series of the same name written by Chip Ingram. This is actually an eight-week small group session which we are going to enlarge to encompass thirty-two weeks. Each chapter will become a four-week sermon series. The eight parts will be: (1) Seeking God, (2) The Goodness of God, (3) The Sovereignty of God, (4) The Holiness of God, (5) The Wisdom of God, (6) The Justice of God, (7) The Love of God, and (8) The Faithfulness of God. Our approach will be a little different this year. The first sermon of each four-week series will be a video of Chip Ingram teaching the lesson on the topic. All of these videos are available through Right Now Media. The next three sermons will be from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and then a concluding sermon. There are other materials that we are going to make available that will augment this series. We believe that this will be a blessing to Meadowbrook and to each of us individually. A sermon to set up the series will be presented on Sunday, January 13. The Chapter 1 video will be shown on Sunday, January 20. The next three Sundays will be sermons on the topic of the first chapter. If you have any questions please see Steve or one of the elders. Please be praying that God will use this to help us grow to maturity in Christ.
Another feature of the new series we are going to be doing in 2019 is a short children’s sermon on the Sundays that we watch the video. These Sundays have been designated as “Family Sundays.” There will be no Junior Worship on these Sundays. These will be the first Sunday of each of the four-week mini-series. They are in order January 20, February 17, April 28, June 9, July 21, August 18, September 15, and October 20. We will be reminding everyone through the newsletter and bulletin. Please mark your calendar for these dates.
The men’s breakfast, that meets every other Saturday, will meet Saturday, January 12, at 8:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. We will be having a home cooked meal of scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage, sausage gravy, and beverage. We will continue our study from Right Now Media on “Seven Questions That Rattle In The Minds Of Most Men.” There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. Plan now to join us for this time of good food and fellowship.
SIS makes and fills jean bags for Haven
Sisters in Service will be meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. “Sisters of the Cloth” – our ladies sewing group – have been sewing jeans tote bags. They are calling on SIS to help braid handles to attach to the totes at the January meeting. The bags will be filled that evening with feminine products and donated to Haven, a non-profit group in Pontiac that seeks to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault across Oakland County and the surrounding communities by empowering survivors through advocacy and social change. Look for more details in Sunday bulletins this month.
Warm up with a bowl of hot, steaming soup
Soup is appropriately dubbed “comfort food” because what tastes better and provides a more comforting feeling than a bowl of hot, steaming soup? Our Annual Soup Supper Sunday on Jan. 13 at Noon turns a cold winter afternoon into a bright cheery day in our Fellowship Hall. That’s the day when we bring in extra extension cords to plug in an array of crock pots filled with soup from vegetable beef, to split pea, to potato, to tomato as well as chili – both beef and chicken. The fragrances alone will make your mouth water. A sign-up sheet is posted for this favorite church activity to indicate what category of food you’ll be bringing: soup/chili, crackers/bread, or dessert.
This month’s missions minute is highlighting the ministry of Niños de México and the Gideons International, both missions supported by Meadowbrook Christian Church.
Niños de México
Niños de México operates seven children’s homes in the Mexico City area and the city of San Luis Potosi. Each home is designed to function as a family. With Christian house parents, their kids, and 11-19 children, Niños’ homes are truly loving and caring places for the children to grow and learn the love of Jesus.
Niños de México will be the focus of our Missions rally in March of 2019. Mick O’Hanahan will be visiting Meadowbrook on March 24 to provide us a detailed update on the work going on in Mexico, and we will sponsor a special project to support their ongoing activities. Please pray as we prepare for this event.
Spotlight on The Gideons International.
Read below a summary of who the Gideons are and what they have accomplished in distributing God’s word. For more heartwarming testimonies of how reading a bible or having interaction with someone from the Gideons have impacted lives, go to their website: https://www2.gideons.org/about
“The Gideons International is an Association of Christian business and professional men and their wives dedicated to telling people about Jesus through associating together for service, sharing personal testimony, and by providing Bibles and New Testaments. While we are often recognized for our work with hotels, we also place and distribute Scriptures in strategic locations so they are available to those who want them, as well as to those who may not know they need them.”
Members of The Gideons International personally witness and distribute God’s Word to police, fire, and medical personnel; prisoners; military personnel; students in the fifth grade and above; and to those with whom they interact on a daily basis. Scriptures are also placed by Gideons and Auxiliary in key locations, including hotels, motels, hospitals, convalescent homes, medical offices, domestic violence shelters, prisons, and jails both in the United States and internationally.
The distribution of the first billion Scriptures by Gideon members spanned 93 years (1908 to 2001). Distribution of the second billion, however, was completed in just 13 years (2002-2015). On average, more than two copies of God’s Word are distributed per second and over one million Bibles and New Testaments are distributed every four days.
Our annual Super Bowl Party will be held on Sunday, February 3, in the Fellowship Hall. The game will be watched on the big screen television on the wall. Kick-off is 6:30 pm so plan to come around 6 pm to set everything up. Everyone is to bring appetizers and pop to share. If you don’t like football bring some board games or card games. You will have some company. In the past some of the ladies have brought their crocheting and knitting. Everyone has a good time. If the game isn’t any good, we usually have the commercials to look forward to. Mark it on your calendars and plan to attend. See you then.
Matt Cox – January 8
Don Edwards – January 14
Linda Tingley – January 14
Lothar Rossol – January 17
Darrell Cox – January 19
Cathy Podvin – January 28