Hebrews 13:1-25 Let brotherly love continue. (2) Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (3) Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. (4) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (5) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (9) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (10) We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. (11) For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. (12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (14) For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (15) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (16) But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (18) Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. (19) But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. (20) Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (22) And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. (23) Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. (24) Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. (25) Grace be with you all. Amen. Written to the Hebrews from Italy, by Timothy.
Mark 1:14-34 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (16) Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. (17) And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (18) And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. (19) And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. (20) And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. (21) And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. (22) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. (23) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, (24) Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. (25) And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. (26) And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. (27) And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. (28) And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. (29) And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. (30) But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. (31) And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. (32) And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. (33) And all the city was gathered together at the door. (34) And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
Sunday was a wonderful time of celebration of the Christmas Season. With nearly a full house and guests scattered throughout, Christmas Carols and special music of the Trumpet and Bells, Stevie and Emily in a sweet duet, well, it doesn’t get much better. The message of The Perfect Gift was easy to present after such wonderful proceedings! The weather in the morning was fair and warm….but just about time for the evening service lightening, wind and rain came with a vengeance! But even that could not keep most of us at home… The evening brought nearly a full house again as we prepared to hear the Christmas Cantata.
Bro. James Thompson and the Sanctuary Choir were prepared for the task and presented us with a beautiful rendition of the Christmas Story of Christ’s Birth. Betty James on the piano and Tim James as the Narrator coupled with the sounds of voices was pretty special. If you missed it and would like to see and hear the choir special, request a DVD from the church office…it will be a blessing to you.
Next Sunday the Children’s Choir will present their Christmas Play for us during the 6:00 p.m. Service. They have worked hard to present to us a traditional program with shepherds, lambs, Angels, Mary, Joseph and of course the Babe of Bethlehem! You won’t want to miss the joy of seeing our children and grandchildren act out the events of the Night that changed the course of the world!
I appreciate all the kind words, expressions of love and most of all your friendship this past year. God has been so good to us…it almost sounds trite to write that, but God is Good! Praise His Name forever! That I would be counted worthy to proclaim His Mercy and Grace, to stand behind His Holy Pulpit and proclaim the Mysteries of the Gospel, well, that is almost too much for my mind to believe!
May of 2012 completed forty years of leading God’s church with no interruptions! It was December 15, 1974 I was ordained at the First Baptist Church of Arapaho, OK to the Gospel ministry. What a privilege! What a Calling! What a Joy! Praise His Holy Name!
Thank you Lord for allowing an unworthy newspaper boy to fulfill your calling I felt from a child…. Wayne