JANUARY THEME IS “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD…”

As we begin a new calendar year, the old is gone and the new has come! Many folks will establish new goals and make every effort to attain them, but will they succeed. “The Bible offers advice and encouragement for beginning a new chapter by providing strength and support in the Word of God.” Let Christ be your goal this year and receive a whole new life, a new purpose, a new beginning. —Susan H Bissette

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold all things are become new.” –2 Corinthians 5:17

It is the dawn of a new year. Where are we, and where are we going?

God cares for us and He loves us. He promised the Israelites that when they sought Him with all their hearts, He would restore their fortunes and return them from exile. He created us in His spiritual image, proof that He loves us. He assures us that He is with us always, proof that He cares for us.

If we have made a wrong turn and strayed from the path He cleared for us. We have only to admit our mistake, acknowledge our regret and ask His forgiveness and He will give us a fresh start, a new year on the right path.

Get going.

May God bless you with a new beginning in the new year of 2022!

DECEMBER THEME IS “SHARING CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY”

Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. –John 21:17

Some people call it the most wonderful time of the year. Children make their wish lists and by mid-November shoppers are flooding the internet and stores for deals. Christmas music can be heard on the radio and TV, and the Hallmark channel plays Christmas movies 24 hours a day. The weeks before Christmas are consumed with baking, wrapping gifts, writing cards to friends, special church programs, and parties. We make every effort to fit in all these grand activities in a short time period…

How much better would it be to share the spirit of Christmas every day? –Susan H. Bissette

What is the sprit of Christmas? What did Christ do in his life? He fed the hungry, healed the sick, provided shelter to the homeless, clothed the naked, lifted the spirits of all who met him and offered salvation to those who believe in Him and follow Him. He told those who believed in Him and followed Him to “feed my sheep.”

To “feed His sheep” is to show and practice the Christmas spirit. To share Christmas every day, plan a program. On Monday, write an encouraging card to someone on the prayer list. On Tuesday, help someone pay a bill. On Wednesday, give someone a ride. On Thursday, help someone complete a chore. On Friday, invite someone to lunch. On Saturday, invite someone to share in your family fun. On Sunday, take someone to church with you. Repeat.

Sharing Christmas every day requires a Christian attitude. How can we call ourselves “Christian” if we do not follow Christ and share Him?

NOVEMBER THEME: PRACTICE THANKSGIVING!

The following Guideposts commentary was published on December 1, 2014, by Pablo Diaz. I wanted to share a portion of his message as it is still current in 2021.

“It is so easy to miss out on the spiritual blessings of Thanksgiving Day. We can get caught up with Christmas shopping especially with television advertisements airing sooner than ever. Some of us will even find ourselves on Thanksgiving Day in stores seeking great bargains for gifts.”

Although Christmas is probably the most favorite time of the year, I am grateful that at Thanksgiving we can pause and thank God for our blessings.

In Psalm 103:2, Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

“Imagine if each of us took time to think and write in our journal, tablet or smart phone about the things we are grateful for. If every day we jotted down something which we are thankful for, our world would be a happier place. The practice of thanksgiving produces joy and satisfaction. A thankful heart is a joyful heart. Happy are those who are thankful.”

“What people, opportunities, challenges or changes are you most thankful for? Make a list. Practice thanksgiving and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!”

from my friend Susan Hardison Bissette

 

I wrote down one thing for which I am truly thankful: that I am a Christian! You see, after the fire when we were meeting at Camp Caroline, I was not a Christian. Yet I had been going to Bethany since 2000 and taking part in the life of the church for my family’s sake. Prior to that I had only been in a church perhaps a dozen times since 1977 because I thought religion was illogical.

I’ll admit, the people at Bethany began to change that. As I talked with some who had deep faith, I saw something they had in common: confidence. They were confident that  their God exists; that He loves them; that He is faithful; and that He is with them always. Belief in God inspires confidence, I learned. And I realized that I wanted that. I began seriously participating in Sunday School and reading the Bible and realized that I had gotten something wrong in my life for too long a time.

About that time, I was asked to be an elder—me, a non-Christian! But after deep introspection, I knew that I loved Bethany’s people, God, His Son and that I was going to become a Christian. So I became an elder and then a Christian.

I have tried to fulfill my responsibilities as an elder, as a member of Bethany and as a Christian. I am far from perfect, but I am confident in the Father and in the Son! That is a lot to be thankful for. My life has been far richer since I accepted Jesus. That can be your experience too. Practice thanksgiving!

OCTOBER THEME: THE CLOCK IS WINDING DOWN…

…but you have the key to wind it up! Time is flying. We are in the fourth quarter of the year, which is a quarter of great significance for us because it contains Thanksgiving and Christmas, events celebrated by praise, thanksgiving and rejoicing.

     Those words: praise, thanksgiving and rejoicing, are the key to wind the clock, for that is worship, and worship is what we want to do especially in this season.

Wind the clock and wind it tight! Put fear and hesitation behind you; praise God, give thanks to Hlm, breathe deeply and rejoice! Make this season full of praise, thanksgiving and rejoicing as never before, and carry it through all next year!

 

HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND OUR FALLEN MILITARY!

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:10-11).

It is said that April showers bring May flowers. On May 9 many will honor their mothers with bouquets of flowers as we celebrate Mother’s Day. On the last day of the month, graves will be decorated with flowers, wreaths, and flags as we pay tribute on Memorial Day to the men and women who died for our country.

Many of you, though, will be observing two memorial days this month, as many of our mothers have passed away, and many have family members who gave their lives defending our country. If your mother still lives, honor her now so that she will know your love and gratitude. With sincere gratitude, thank our servicemen and women for their service.

Be aware that when you honor your mothers and those who died for our country, you are honoring the Lord, for He is the One who created the mothers who gave us life and nurtured us to independence; and He is the one who created in our fallen soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen the discipline, the love of country and countrymen so that they lay down their lives in defense of the rest of us.

This month especially, we honor our mothers (“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. —Exodus 20:12) and our fallen military personnel (This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. —John 15:12-13) with loving memory and gratefulness for their sacrifice, and in so doing, honor our Lord for the gift of them, for His eternal care for them, and for the sacrifice of our loving Lord Jesus, our Savior and Sustainer!

DESKTOP WORSHIP FOR APRIL 11

This is a recording of the Easter 2021 worship service at Bethany Christian Church. This episode is longer than most as we recorded some of the flowering of the cross, a tradition at Bethany Christian Church. Special music is provided by Dawn Metts and the Jericho Ringers. There is a celebration of the Lords Supper at the end of the video, so you may wish to prepare communion elements prior to watching. If you are interested in seeing the community sunrise service that took place at Don Lee that same day, it can be found on the Don Lee Facebook page as well as a link available on the Bethany Christian Church Facebook page.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

The video of Easter Sunrise Service at Camp Don Lee is posted on Bethany’s Facebook Page. Please go there to view it. Happy Easter; He is risen!