It is very cold and still dry on this Monday morning. Continue to pray for rain and rely on God’s grace to supply all of our needs as we come to Christmas day and the end of the year.
My daughter, Lisa Howard in Baltimore, will celebrate her birthday on December 21st. Other persons celebrating birthdays this week are Jeb Bibb on December 22nd, Natalie Hudson on December 23rd and Wanda Hitzfelder (I have never gotten her new name) on December 25th. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner but someone will make sure that you get something special on both days. Have a great one!
Special prayers were requested for Diana Jordan when she has surgery on Thursday. Roger and Tyra Jordan were happily caring for their granddaughter Sophia during this time. Also keep praying for Jean Horton who is now in Morningside Manor with frequent trips to the hospital. Others on the prayer list are Etta Marie Mutschink and John Henry Kothmann.
We had a lot of good food and gifts at the Parsonage Party, and a lot of fun, even if everyone kept taking Tyra’s gifts. It’s really interesting to see the great variety of gifts and you can never tell by the wrapping what’s inside. Mark and Barbara, thanks for the great time and the fellowship.
Many of us also enjoyed the Community Choir’s presentation of selections from Handel’s “The Messiah” on Sunday evening. It all helps to bring the Christmas spirit closer.
Our opportunity to perform in the musical special came as many people volunteered as bell ringers when Marjorie Hey brought her bells and her leadership to Art. We made “beautiful music” by ringing our bells at the proper time and having a great time. Thanks Marjorie for the bell ringing exercise.
The Christmas Eve service at Art UMC will be at 6:00 PM. Please come and join us.
Rev. Krause read the scripture from Acts 4:32 to 5:11. and continued preaching about “Kingdom Giving”. Peter continues to preach to the great assembly as the Holy Spirit guided him. The Jews, strict in their beliefs, were totally changed by hearing Peter’s inspired words. Peter spoke the words inspired by the Holy Spirit. Peter gave his life to God and God gave Peter the words for the people. Peter spoke the truth; the people were “of one heart and soul.” They claimed that “everything they had was in common and for the use of all.”
And none were destitute or needy, all were land owners. And they sold their lands and laid all at the feet of the apostles to be distributed, in love and harmony, according to the needs of others. And Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge and connivance, Ananias kept back some of the proceeds, bringing only a part of the money to the disciples. And Peter said: “Why has Satan filled your heart so that you should lie to and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit”. And Ananias fell down and died. Later his wife came to Peter and he asked her the same thing. And she fell down and died and was buried with her husband.
Ananias and Sapphira failed to give all they had received from the sale of the land and connived to deceive the Holy Spirit. God knows what we give in love to God’s service. We cannot out give God. When we give to God, He gives us back more than we gave.
Give back to God what He has given to you. You will be blessed. Don’t let your sinful nature make you hold back on giving to God. Giving is a spiritual matter. He gave us the ability to have wealth; we did not earn what we have.
True happiness comes from giving away what we have. God gave to us of out His spirit of love. Give not just your money, but give your prayers, your presence and your gifts. By praying, you give your heart to God. Living your faith in prayer is a special time with God. Your presence is given to God by being in worship, reading and studying the bible, in fellowship with other believers and serving your neighbors in love.
Our gifts are important to God. He knows our hearts and what we can give. The more we give to God, the more God’s church can do. We will be blessed as God gives back to us. Don’t loose your focus on giving. Do not rob God of the help He needs to do His work. Focus on God and do not miss out on His blessings.
God said it, I believe it, and that setles it.