The cool damp weather of last week turned into a great Sunday and has carried over into Monday with clouds. But winter is coming back soon.
We had a really great Sunday in Art. The church service began with the choir singing the Christmas special, a great selection titled "All My Heart This Night Rejoices". We especially want to thank Dorothy Asbill for directing the choir and thanks to all of the choir members who practiced for over two months, The choir also presented a medley of Christmas hymns – O Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger, Gloria, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, and Angels We Have heard On High.
Bill and Monica Cotter read the Advent scripture from Isaiah 35:1-5,10 and lit the Advent candle.
After church, we all enjoyed a covered dish dinner. And before we left, 64 boxes for children in Mexico were wrapped and will be delivered this week along with coats and clothing and many other things.
Rev. Krause used the title "Getting Our Hearts Ready" for his sermon. He read the Epistle from Philippians 4:4-7 for the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
Advent means "coming to being". We celebrate the Lord’s coming to be with us. The Son of God was coming to be God’s representative. And He is with us today and will be with us forever.
Is your heart ready for the big day? Paul’s words of advice to the Philippians apply to us also today as we get our hearts ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. His words make our hearts grow stronger and help us to fully know the joy of Christmas. Paul first tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. The new Christians in Philippi faced many difficulties. They lived under the Roman law but they sought the spiritual freedom of knowing the love of God. We have the freedom to choose how we live. We can rejoice because we have this choice. Give Him thanks for all the freedom we have. Thank God for the beautiful place we have to live.
Paul next tells the people to be gentle and kind to all things. His exact words are "Let your humility be known to all men. Our Lord is at hand". The church is the one organization that chooses to help the lost and the least. Last Monday, more than 20 of our members helped deliver the boxes of food at the Food Bank. More than 92 boxes were given to families representing 340 people. Our church also added cookies, paper towels, tooth brushes and other items. While we were there many other people came in with sacks of food to be added to the baskets.
Paul then tells us to not worry over things. And, the Philippians had many worries in their dark lives. We are anxious about many things but the Lord is there to help us. Ask the Lord to help in all situations.
Be aware of the times when we can help others by praying for them. Be sure to give thanks to God for everything He has provided in your life. Seek Him and rejoice daily. Be kind to all people. Do not judge anyone.
Go to God in prayer; let Him transform you; be ready for that great day when we shall be with Him for eternity. Each day we get closer to the goal.
Pray for Andrew Kothmann as he recovers from pneumonia. Ruby Toeppich and I visited with him Sunday afternoon and he was much improved from Saturday. He may be home on Wednesday. Keep E. Wayne Jordan in your prayers and also pray for healing from cancer for Nea Young’s brother R. A. Hall. It was great to see Pearl Leifeste and Anna Grace Durst in church. Keep praying for them. And at this time of the year, pray for the safety of all the people traveling. Matt Krause will be home on Friday. Lisa and William Howard will fly into San Antonio on Thursday and be here for Sunday. Every body will be on the road some time visiting friends and family. Watch out for the other guy.