Christmas is here! I love this time of year. Coupled with Thanksgiving, November and December offer the Christian a multitude of ways to not only serve the Lord, but to serve others. Further, I am reminded once again of important parts of the gospel – Jesus Christ was born a of a virgin, lived a sinless life (His active obedience) and then died a substitutionary death (His passive obedience) and then was raised from the dead victorious over sin, death, and hell – ALL of this is so that “…He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt. 1:21). He is the reason for the season.
My heart is Filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. I am thankful for family and friends, for a Church filled with people who love the Lord, and for the goodness and grace of God.
In addition, the last several weeks we have seen a deep sense of joy and warm-heartedness evangelism overwhelm our fellowship. The Christmas Packing Party saw over 100 believers pack 1,047 boxes to be sent all over the world. What fun it was. If you would like to contribute to the remaining $1,700 needed to send these boxes all over the world make your check out to IBC with the memo as Operation Christmas Child. Thanks to all who took part in this great outreach event.
Then, the Thanksgiving Meal followed by the Prayer and Praise Service on Wednesday, November 20th, made my heart full (and stomach!). Thanks to the choir, praise team, our worship team, and our sound/tech team and all those who shared their testimonies (Amelia Erlanson, Chet Burnes, Marge Woodard, and Janet Shrum). I am deeply thankful for our musical leadership – our growing and excellent choir and our praise team: Laura and Chris Erlanson, Steve King, Caroline Siler, Isaac Shrum, Janet Shrum, Bruce Prince, Ronnie Pugh and our tech folks: Steve Bailey, Jim Lawrence, Darlene Oliver, David Watson, Bill Buckley, Houston Jefcoat, Matt Bouley, Josh Waller, and our own Youth Minister and videographer, Keith Beck. Wow, we are blessed!
On Sunday, December 8th, we will celebrate missions by giving to and meeting our missions goal of $10,000 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. we will be joining 45,000 other Southern Baptist Convention Churches in giving to missions. In the 10:45 a.m. serivece, we will be joined by IMB Missionaries, Dan and Lori Upchurch. Then at 5 p.m. we will Skype in Jef and Rachel Gayhart during our annual Candlelight Service, followed by our Christmas fellowship.
On December 15th, the children will sing, and we will enjoy all kinds of Christmas music throughout this wonderful season of hope and love. Finally, we will end the year on Sunday, December 29th with the Lord’s Supper, and we will begin the new year on Sunday, January 5th with the Lord’s Supper. IT WILL BE A GREAT ENDING TO A GREAT YEAR AND THE BEGINNING OF WHAT WE PRAY WILL BE A GREAT 2020!
Be a part of what God is up to!