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Honor The Lord At Christmas

WHAT WILL I DO TO HONOR THE LORD AT CHRISTMAS?

It is a good thing to establish honorable traditions at your family gatherings. You may not be in a position to do so. Maybe your kids are grown and it is hard to get them all together. Perhaps you are single.
Perhaps either one, or both, of your parents are now gone from this life. So either personally, or as a group, these things might help.

We read the Birth narrative of Jesus in Chronological order before the presents are opened, but after the food!
Do a short version if you have little kids, or adults with short attention spans. ( You should be laughing at this spot.)

The long version in the proper order:

Luke 1: 5-80 then Matthew 1:18-25 then Luke 2: 1-39 then Matthew 2: 1-23.

To do the brief version it is:

Luke 1: 26-38 then Matthew 1: 18-25 then Luke 2: 1-20 then Matthew 2: 1-23. I have found that if you practice reading it a few times before you can keep a 4 years old interested for 9. 45 minutes, depending on how many pancakes they had. Put a little zip in the reading, please! Do not bore them with the most exciting book ever written! Lol.

We would sing a few Christmas songs. A max of two verses only.

We would start it all with pray and thanks to God, and that included a prayer done with a review of good things and bad things that happened during the past year.

(Like all great battle plans, have a backup plan if things go sideways. Just don’t make the presents the main thing.)

We also let each person say something about the past year. If that is a 6 year old, well, the reflection will be brief. Give the threatening look to the other, older kids when the youngest is saying stuff that is serious to them, but funny to the rest. You can laugh about it privately later!

We break out the old photo album and let each person in the room tell about the picture. This is always a good thing!

We make a birthday cake for Jesus, since He is the guest of honor, and it is His birthday. We always put one candle on it; but I do not know why. That would be the next year right? (He was actually born in 4 B.C. Ask me about it; and while you are at it, ask me about my grandkids! Is that bumper sticker still available?

We all tell something we like about one or more of the family members present. Once, when the kids were not so amiable towards one another, (because the one got up Christmas morning at 5 a.m. and woke the others up,) we were entertained by a praise of the family dog that would bring a tear to a glass eye!

A Few Fun Facts:

Matthew 2- The wise men narrative- happened at least 3 months and up to two years later. ( 900 miles -Ezra 7:9/ 8:31) When I set the Nativity scene I put the wise men as far away from the manger scene as possible and let the kids know that the wise men visited Jesus when He was a toddler, and not at the manger when Jesus was born, but later, at a house. I still get that look that says, “Really; this is life-shaking information?” And I still get my little feelings hurt over it. Lol. Oh da’ pain!

Nowhere does it say there were 3 wise men; it could have been 50. Unlikely only three took such a dangerous trip. We assume three because there were three gifts. Are we bored yet?

Nowhere does it say they were kings. Nowhere does it say they were from the far east (Orient.) The “East” would be Persia , (Iraq and Afghanistan.) Daniel’s prophecies, given when he lived in this area, in the 600’s B.C., would be well noted by the wise men. They were religiously trained men, not kings.

Were they named Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar? NO. Although I assume they were friendly. Was one a black man? NO. Did they follow a comet or a star to the location in Bethlehem? No. It was the supernatural light called the Shekinah Glory. No natural star could lead to such an exact, small location. Bethlehem had about 1000 people at this time.

When you share about Jesus, that name must be a daily reality to you and if so, they will “catch” the truth of the resurrected Lord as they see Him, presently, in you. Do they see Him in you and me?

Do I walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Do you walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Best gift you can give your family this year is something they will “catch” from you and from me. Be contagious! God bless you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. JWP

John 14: 27 ” Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives,
do I give to you, let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Jim Petty in Post on December 07 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for December 2, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on December 02 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for November 18, 2018

ROMANS 12 9 through 21 11 18 18 PART 2

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on November 20 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for November 11, 2018

https://www.freeshapetest.com/

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on November 20 2018 » 0 comments

WE CAME HERE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!

Only a few were skiing that day on Steven’s Pass in Washington State. It was a most calm and beautiful day to ski. I see, down the slope, a family who had stopped by a tree, so I glided right up next to them.

As I pulled up slowly I heard the dad say, “Now we came here to have a good @&#%* time, and we are going to have one!” The teenage daughter said, ” Well you can @&#*% that idea, I never wanted to come in the first place!” My first thought was what would have happened to me if I had said anything like that to an adult, when I was a kid, and secondly, what a sorry excuse for a parent.

Thirdly, and best I think, I considered what it would take to make these self-absorbed people happy? I wondered what set of external conditions would cause them to be context and thankful? I realized that their hearts could never be made happy by external conditions. Nothing God could do externally could make them be the persons they were meant to be.

You even hear Christians, when sharing their faith, say things like, “Don’t you want to go to heaven where you will see the Christian loved ones that have gone on before, where there are streets of gold!” I hear that and I wonder why is it not enough that God is there so we can have a loving relationship with Him forever? Why do we feel it necessary to sweeten -the-pot and mention what some would consider more interesting aspects of heaven , i.e., the external things, or people who have gone on before?

It is impossible for God to make a person happy, by external things, either here or there, if one’s heart is not at a place they know Christ. Ten minutes in heaven and these folks would be complaining about the long walk on the streets of gold! He does not have to give you and I a bunch of stuff for us to be happy! In fact, if it turned out, that I did not get to see anybody else in heaven but the Lord, I would not be disappointed. No sweetening- of- the- pot necessary. When I see those nailed -scarred hands, and realize my sin is over and my shame is gone, when I realize He wants to embrace me; that is heaven!

John 17: 3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

This verse would have been a great place to mention all the external things of heaven, but instead, this clearest verse on the core of eternal life says nothing of heaven. This does not mean there is not a physical heaven; there is; it is just not the main thing.

Steven’s Pass, or Crystal Mountain, or White Pass, ( all these in Washington State) used to make me tear up with joy every time I went, but that was caused by what I brought with me, in my heart, before I got there. I am thinking about the beauty of the one who created it, not the created thing itself. I did not come to this own my own; it is God’s free gift of grace given to me by Jesus Christ.

“We came here to have a good time!” With a new heart, and in His presence, time being of no concern, and things being meaningless there, the good is His love. My deepest longings fulfilled, forever. JWP

John 17:3/ I John 3:1-3/ Psalms 73: 25-28

Jim Petty in Post on November 13 2018 » 0 comments

I FOUND MY LONG-LOST COUSIN 11/ 13/ 18

Most of the time when someone talks about a Pharisee we think of legalism. We also think about hypocrisy. Rarely do we think of them as long-lost cousins. We rarely see ourselves in them, and see their narcissism as our own.

We are forgiven in Christ and are being transformed into His image. As that takes place we must beware of the negative influence of our spiritual cousins.

Matthew 23: 1-12 is not uncomfortable to read because we think it is far removed from anything in our life. I submit that our old cousin may still be affecting our lives.

Mathew 23:4,
“”They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”

My demand for perfection in others usually has something running in the background like this, “And when I see this, then I can do my part; but until then I will keep searching for a heart of gold in others.” Could you imagine trying to say that before the Lord at the judgement seat of Christ? Hey, you don’t have to imagine it, you may be doing it right now!

I remember watching Jonnie Cash always wearing black, and saying he would do so till he saw the world act differently. Unless I missed the facts of his autobiographic, he would have done better to work on his own darkness.

Matthew 23: 5, ” They do all their deeds to be noticed by men.”

I noticed a pattern in church work. A lot of the things we do in benevolence work is designed to make us feel good. Some get upset if you say the way we are giving to feed the hungry is inefficient. For instance, our local Christian food bank can do three times as much in buying power when buying food because we write them a check, than we can by collecting the food ourselves.

I heard someone say recently, ” But if we do it the other way, (even if ineffective), we will feel so good about ourselves.” What ever happened to not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing? Who are we really doing it for?

Matthew 23: 6 “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the market place,,,”

So we had an older couple come to our church in the NW to visit. They liked it and the wife said, ” We feel like with our wisdom and experience, and our means, that we could help this struggling church, ( had about 50 people at the time and was not struggling. Small does not mean struggling) to live up to the maturity we have gained if they will listen to us.”

The husband I really liked, he began laughing and gave me a hug, and whispered in my ear, “Welcome to my world buddy!” I mentioned that we would love to have them “in spite of” what she just said. That did not go over well for her. For him, he knew he had just found a great church home.
They came anyway, and after a few Sundays, she realizing she was not worthy to untie the shoes of most of the apparent misfits there at our church. She started to do what we all need to do; disown our long-lost cousins!

Are we all narcissists? Yes we are! It just a matter of degree. The sad part is not to know you have a long-lost cousin that is clearly affecting your everyday thoughts.

Matthew 23: 8-12, ” But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” JWP

Jim Petty in Post on November 13 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for November 4, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on November 10 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for October 28, 2018

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on November 10 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for October 21, 2018

ROMANS 11 1 through 36 10 21 18

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on October 21 2018 » 0 comments

TBC Sermon for October 14, 2018

ROMANS 10 14 through 21 10 14 18

Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our new worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!

Jason Kerr in Post on October 14 2018 » 0 comments

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