|Posted by Firehouse of God Ministries, Inc. on December 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM|
Firehouse of God Ministries – Vol. 5 – Issue # 12 December, 2011
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
When Herod realized that the Magi had outwitted him, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."
--Matthew 1:18 - 2:23 New International Version
As a youth group we ended October by going to an awesome event called Momentum Convention in Springfield. God used this time to draw us closer to him. Now that we are back I’ve been teaching the teens from the Crazy Love series by Francis Chan. This series is great for teens or adults alike that shows the incredible way that God loves us. Francis has a tremendous relationship with God and shares this relationship through real life examples of God’s love in everyday life.
In the world full of misconceptions about God and his love for us, Francis reminds us how much He loves us. For example, in our last lesson, Francis shows us how he knows and loves each of his children even with their unique talents and abilities. Francis then ties this to our Heavenly Father’s love for us. God knows our every detail, and loves us.
In this Christmas time it is important to remember that God showed His love towards us by sending His Son to earth to live with us. Let us not forget the reason that we celebrate this time of year.
Dec 4th – Christmas lesson & practice (Erin & Sean)
Dec 11th – Christmas lesson & practice (Erin & Sean)
Dec 18th – Christmas program & Family service
Dec 25th – Christmas morning
Family Christmas Traditions by Erin Stroud
As we enter into the Christmas season, I’m once again considering what our family’s traditions should look like as Christians. Will “how we’re going to decorate our house” or “which recipes we will make for family get-togethers” shape our traditions? Or will it be in the different ways we celebrate and worship our King’s coming as a humble baby? I hope and pray all of our children find Christmas exciting because of the hope baby Jesus brings to the world and not because they got the Transformer or Barbie doll they’ve been asking for. You may be thinking “Yeah, right. How are we supposed to stop them from being excited about toys?!”. You’re right. Kids love toys. Kids love candy. But there are ways for us to make them realize that nothing on this earth comes close to being what we need as Christ does. The first way to do this is to make sure WE live that concept out…that WE believe nothing is more important than knowing Him. Next, we can look for new ways we can train up our children to get excited about the ONE reason Christmas exists:
Have a “Birthday Party” for Jesus. Make a cake for Him. Pray and sing to Him as a family. Be creative!
Make or purchase an advent calendar and place a piece of the nativity scene or a Christmas scripture in each pocket to open each day of December...with baby Jesus being “born” on Christmas morning.
Have a family movie night and watch “The Nativity Story” or another Christian Christmas movie. Discuss what it means together.
Go caroling as a family or with friends throughout your neighborhood.
Volunteer with your children in preparing meals for the hungry in our area. Continue this throughout the year.
Before opening gifts on Christmas morning, read the Christmas story from the Bible. Use a children’s Bible with illustrations if possible. Use a nativity scene and have the children move the people to make it even more interactive.
Pray together as a family. Explain to your kids that the gifts they are about to open remind us of the gift of Jesus that God sent to us…the most important gift of all!
I believe if you are genuinely in love with your Savior, your kids will see that love and want to have it in their lives also. Pray and ask God to reveal what He wants to see from your family this year. Have a blessed Christmas and have fun making some new family traditions!
The Friendship Circle
The ladies friendship circle is sending get-well cards to people on our prayer list.
A few of our ladies are taking their turn at the 5:00 pm meal, helping to prepare, serve and clean up, lots of fellowship and we could use an extra pair of hands. See Marcia Rodekamp at church to volunteer. We also have a gal who doesn't attend Firehouse and she is helping in the kitchen, that’s dedication!!
Our study is on Experiencing God; we are studying about Moses leading the people out of Egypt and how he experienced God in his life.
We meet in the church every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
. . . .Sheryl Noble
The Council House
Things are going very well at the Council House – The men have been taken to some football games that they really enjoyed!
We are still in need of volunteers to occasionally bring a nightly meal (enough for 10 hearty eaters!). Contact Pastor Brian if you would like to do this.
Spread the Joy of Christmas!
Send a Christmas card to the men at the Council House
(individual cards would be nice – you can bring them to church and we will take them to the house)
Those living at Council House: Steve / Clifford / Scott / Dick / George / Ronnie / Darryl
If you wish to mail a card the address is: (or you can drop them off at the church and we will take them down)
c/o Council House
102 5th Avenue
Sterling, IL 61081
It would be a kind gesture if we brought some Christmas cookies and/ or candy to share with those who come to our Shelter meals and/or with the men at the Council House!
December Events & Activities
17th – Allen Adams, Jr
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18th – Youth Christmas Program at 10:30 a.m. service
25th – Christmas Day - regular service at 10:30 a.m.
Notes from November:
We were surprised and pleased on Nov 20th when evangelist Edward Stagl visited the Firehouse and spoke to us about his trials, tribulations, visions and miracles as an evangelist in Mexico and India
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Men’s Ministry – to be announced – Leader needed!
Women’s Friendship Circle – Thursdays 7:00 p.m. at the Church
Community Light Feeding Program: Monday – Friday 5:00pm – 6:00pm Dinner Served / Saturday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch Served
Firehouse Youth Ministry – Sundays 6:00 p.m. at the church
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before people, that they may see your good works and praise your Heavenly Father
Summer/Winter Homeless Ministry and
Summer Kids Program
Feeding the homeless and the hungry – providing temporary shelter for men and women.
Homeless Coordinator Men’s Rescue Leaders
Mike Russell Barb Evans
Council House Caretakers –
Clayton Conrady / Robert Pyron
Volunteer - Darryl Snow
Shelter Dinner / Lunch Shift Leaders
Mike Russell – Keven Miller - Maria Lopez
Shelter Dinner / Lunch Assistants
Sean Broughton – Sheryl Noble
Children’s Church Coordinator
Thanks & Blessings to Clayton who serves at the Council House 5 days a week 9:00am – 5:00pm and Robert who serves 7 nights a week plus Sat & Sun at the Council House! And to all who volunteer in any way to carry out the Lord’s work at the Firehouse
Old News Items…
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel October 9, 1899
A lady schoolteacher received a note from one of the directors saying: ?You kneedn?t to come, we are going to higher a mail teacher.
Beware! Americans are Voting for Bondage via Democratic Socialism
A small segment of the American populace is knowingly pursuing an American democratic form of socialism. But a much larger segment of American voters are unwittingly voting for democratic socialism, to forever increase the size, scope and reach of the federal government in the name of some greater common good, without realizing that what Jefferson and many other Founders warned was true. “A government big enough to give you anything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
Christian News from onenewsnow.com – sent to you weekly in a separate email
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.