Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reframing Christmas | Worship Fully

How to Assemble Your Christmas
Luke 2:8-20
The Christmas season comes upon us so quickly.  How you assemble Christmas for your family will greatly affect your family’s experience.  Actually, Christmas comes with a book of instructions!  When all else fails, read the instructions.
Advent means “                               ” and refers to a four week period of time set aside for                             ,                                      and ____      ____________
 to welcome and remember the Savior’s birth.
Home for the Holidays
                                    Christmas -                                    Fully –  
 Less –                        More –                        All
Follow the Instructions

I. Keep the                                        the                                      (2:15-16)

           Him and                            him.
The tragedy of life is that there are so many                    things that force out the                   .
The world shows little                                  to                                        things. (Covey Time Quadrants)

We must look for the                                            amid the                            .

II.                                  Casual                                                   (2:17) 

Our beliefs should describe who we are.

III. Take Time To                        It                                         (2:18-19)

                                           on the real meaning of Christmas.

Memories are                                  before they                                         .

IV.                                       Fully  (2:20)

Christmas brings the message of a                          life unto                 men.

Real                                changes                 of our life.

Friday, November 28, 2014

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.  Hebrews 13:16

The holidays are upon us once again.  Here at North Side Baptist Church we have many special programs and activities planned for this season.  For your convenience we have listed those events below for you so you can add them to your calendar today!! 

Holiday Events at North Side Baptist Church for 2014
You will not want to miss any of these special events during the Christmas season.  We also have lots of ways you and your family can get involved in helping others during this season of giving:

Homebound Christmas
Each Christmas North Side has an opportunity to bless those in our church family who are unable to get out of their homes. This is a special way we show these precious people, though they are not able to be with us weekly, they are in our thoughts and prayers during this season. Below you will find two ways you may bless our homebound members:

Homebound Angel Tree
The Homebound Angel Tree is located in the Fellowship Hall. A Homebound Member’s name is on each angel with gift requests. Choose an angel, sign the sheet and include an easily reached contact phone number by your angel’s name or number. Purchase the gift, wrap it, and clearly label it with the person’s name. Place the gift under the tree NO LATER THAN SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15th. Gifts will be delivered on Monday morning, December 16th.

White Christmas
Our White Christmas Ministry helps provide food and everyday items to our homebound. Below you will find a list of suggested items you may purchase. Simply choose one or more items from the list and wrap each item in white or put in a white bag. So that we may more easily distribute your gift, please clearly write the contents of each gift on the wrapping paper or gift bag. Bring your gifts to church and place under the Main Foyer Christmas Tree NO LATER THAN SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14th. Gifts will be delivered on Monday morning, December 15th. 

There is a complete list of items that are needed and appropriate on our church website.  Go to “What’s Happening”, and click on Christmas.

There are also other ways to serve at North Side including a Salvation Army Angel Tree, and our Christmas Wish which is adopting a family in need to help them with Christmas. 

These are only a few opportunities that will provide you with a way to do something special for someone in need this season.  At our Agape meal this past Sunday night we introduced the Blessing Initiative Catalogue with more ideas for serving as we focus on blessing others during this Christmas season. Pick up a catalogue for your family in the Outlet.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  Galatians 6:10

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5

The staff and families of North Side Baptist Church wish you and your family a very
 Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hard Things

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  2 Corinthians 1:4-5

Every year we go to my in-laws house for Thanksgiving.  A few years back my mother in law bought a cloth table cloth that you can write on with special pens and it doesn’t wash out.  She has us (all 20 of us) write what we are thankful for on it every year.  I did it the first year and found it to be extremely irritating to write on the fabric and make it look presentable.  It was hard and very frustrating.  The next year, I was not feeling thankful so I simply did not fight the battle.  Last year we were not able to make the trip for Thanksgiving and stayed home so I didn’t have to do it then either.  So, naturally this time of year I begin to think about what I am thankful for – enough to fight the battle with the tablecloth to write my answer for everyone to read for years to come.  This year it will be easy because I am going to write only two words – Hard Things.

Hard Things
Yes, I am always, always thankful for my kids and family.  I cherish the time I have with my children more every day because they are growing – up and away – just like they are supposed to be doing.  I am working harder than ever to help them see the treasures they are and the wonderful gifts God has given each one of them individually.  But I try to think of the things I am thankful for that are not always at the top of my happiness list.  This year I am finding that I am able to see the value in the hard things in my life.  They are not the things l like the most.  They might be the things I pray for God to take away or to fix.  He does not always give us what we ask for.  It would be easy to take away the hard things, and He could because He is God after all!  But I am realizing that these hard things are the things that are shaping me, growing me and making me into the person God planned for me to be.  He may use these hard places in my life to help other people in similar hard places.  One thing I know – He will use them for good. 

The Purpose
Sometimes in life we have to endure hard things and we don’t understand why. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense – to us.  To our human eyes it seems so unfair that we are experiencing something hard. We wonder why God does not do something.  We plead, we promise, we cry out with the weight of the burden we are bearing and still it seems He is silent.  We can begin to be thankful when we can resolve ourselves to the fact that God is in control and He is keeping us where we are for a reason.  He may not change your situation but you can be sure that He is changing you.  Even if you are not the one, it seems, who needs the change, He is tweaking something.  This year I have learned, and I am still learning, to be thankful for the hard things.  I have learned that I cannot ignore them or run away and asking God to take them away or make them different may not change anything – but me.  And I’m ok with that because no matter how it turns out in the end, the only thing I truly want is to be right where God wants me to be. 

Looking back and seeing how some of the hard things in my life unfolded into God’s greatest transformations make it easy for me to be thankful for those hard times.  It is much harder to be thankful in the middle of a storm. The Bible verse below reminds me however that I am expected to be thankful in ALL circumstances.   That is when I have to remind myself that God is in control and there is a reason for this hard time. This is where trust and faith come in, and then true thanksgiving.    

Scripture to Claim: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

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