Everything we've given this year is God's gift to us.
Dear Stone Hill Church,
2018 begins at midnight tonight. For a number of us 2018 will contain a continuation of the trials that we have been facing in 2017. For the rest of us there will undoubtedly be a set of new struggles and challenges in 2018.
One of the resources that we often undervalue is the reading and meditation on God’s Word. The book of James, which we will be looking at this morning, reminds us that one of the most important resources for believers in the midst of trials is God’s Word.
But it’s not simply reading and understanding God’s Word. James exhorts us to ‘be doers of the Word and not just hearers only’. This means that we must be immersed in God’s Word so that we respond to it in real time with obedience in our thinking and in our actions. It is God’s Word that frames our life before God, the world and ourselves. It is God’s Word that has the power to transform our lives, even in the midst of trials and difficulties. The same Word of God that spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1) is the same Word that gives us new life in Jesus Christ. (James 1:18) It is also the same Word that can get us through our trials. (James 1:21) It is powerful, supernaturally powerful.
In light of these realities, all of us should consider carefully how we intend to intake God’s Word this coming year. How we will structure our lives so that we are spending time with this amazing, powerful resource. May we allow the life-giving Word to transform us more deeply in 2018.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne, an older Scottish preacher, put together a Bible Reading plan that I have used many times. Here’s a link to that plan. http://www.mcheyne.info/calendar.pdf Remember that God’s Word is not meant to be something to do in order to check a box. It is encountering the living God. All of us need to make time for that encounter through God’s Word.
Pastor of Outreach and Congregational Care
Kindergarten through High School Sunday School students will meet together in the Youth Room to work on a special service project for the Trenton Soup Kitchen. There is no adult Sunday School today.
Coat Closet Cleanup: Casserole Dishes, Baking Pans, etc. There are a number of baking items along with other "lost and found" items on the shelves in the coat closet. If you have any items stored up there and/or if you may have lost something here at the church, please retrieve your items. We will be cleaning off these shelves and donating any unclaimed items at the end of the year.
Two New Adult Ed Classes Starting in January:
“Science and the Bible: Ways to Look at the Two Great Revelations of God”: Will begin on January 7th which will be led by Andy & Pat Bocarsly at 9:30 a.m. in the Adult Ed room. This class will run for six weeks.
Jeremiah: Will begin on January 28th and be led by John Wilsey.
Friday Morning Prayer: No time to pray? Make a New Year's resolution - 5:30 prayer time, on Fridays, at the church. This is the place to be. Yes that is 5:30 a.m.! Contact Herb Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Prayer Gathering: Let’s gather together and come before the Lord in praise, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession in a time of prayer for our church leaders, our government, the Church, the Lord’s ministries, church families, US/World events, personal/family needs, etc., as the Holy Spirit leads. Prayer gathering will be held each Sunday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning on January 7, 2018, in the Westerly Prayer Chapel. For more information please contact Carolyn Fischer at 609-613-1876.
DivorceCare: Our 13-week Christ-centered divorce recovery and support group begins Saturday, February 3rd. If you are experiencing the emotional and spiritual upheaval of a separation or divorce, please contact Amy Hellesen for further details at 201-317-5629 or email@example.com.
We are grateful for the support of each one who has given or prayed for us in this time of financial need. God has truly blessed us in so many ways! At this point, to be fully funded for ministry we need $173,000 by the end of the year. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7