Sunday Worship times: 8:45 a.m., 10:00 Sunday School, 11:00 Contemporary Worship
Bible Study Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Bible Study Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Xtreme Faith youth group meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Third Sunday Fellowship Event will be a game day next Sunday, January 18 at 3:00 p.m. We are planning Bunco, with other options available as well, like the Pegs & Jokers we enjoyed last time.
There are still some calendars available to support the youth ministry.
The Sermon Sunday is “Kintsukuroi Christians” from Psalm 29:1-11- Give God the glory; and Acts 19:1-7- Baptism of the Holy Spirit
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.’” Psalm 29:2.
Around Church this Week:
Sunday was a little lower attendance due to the cold, but we ordained and installed our new officers in a wonderful time of worship in both services. There were two great surprises in the 8:45 service when Marv Haffner walked in and shared that he was moving back from Arizona permanently. He added another surprise later with a gift for the new keyboard and I am happy to report that it is now fully funded. Thank you to those who have given for their generosity.
We are very thankful for Lanny Auringer clearing the snow from the parking lot on Tuesday. The downside was that the snow blower broke down while I was blowing away the hard drifts on the north sidewalk. We should be able to fix it ourselves- thank you to Larry Anderson who will work on it on Saturday.
Chuckle: “The One whose throne is in heaven sits laughing. . . .” (Psalms 2:4)
Frank visited a farmer to talk to him about Christ. “I wouldn’t come to church up there,” the farmer said. “I know old Bill who claims to be a Christian and his sister Clara who claims to be a Christian and they don’t live any differently from me. I’m as good as they are.”
Everywhere the farmer went he was in the habit of talking about the hypocrites he knew in that Church. Months passed and Frank went to see the farmer again. “I want to buy a hog”, he said. The farmer showed all his best hogs to him. Then they came to the runt. “I believe I will take that one,” Frank said.
The farmer replied, “BUT you don’t want that one. He’s the runt of the litter.” “I sure do,” Frank replied. So they loaded the runt in the truck.
“Now,” Frank said, “what if I take this pig here from your farm and ride all over this area telling folks that this is the kind of hogs you raise?” “That’s not fair!” the farmer exclaimed. “I have some nice hogs and you want to show people that runt?!”
Frank replied, “If it’s fair for the church it’s fair for the farm!”
Birthdays this Week:
Jesus prayed for the new leaders of the church (his disciples) and is an example for each of us to keep our church officers in our prayers: John 17:11,15,24 – “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
Please keep in prayer: Gerry Van Holland recuperating at home after knee replacement surgery, and for her rehab therapy sessions for the next three weeks; Dale Klutman– in Covington Heights for rehab, Bev Van Bochove– new prism glass for one lens is working to alleviate her headaches- pray for continued effectiveness; For Arlene Lewis, Pete and Dolores Van Regenmorter– pray for balance, core strength and protection from falls.
This article from ChristianHeadlines.com is a reminder of the importance of lifting up our brothers and sisters in prayer:
Persecution of Christians Reached Historic Levels in 2014. Will 2015 Be Worse? By Jonathan Merritt
From imprisonment to torture to beheadings, more Christians worldwide live in fear for their lives than at any time in the modern era.
That’s the message from Open Doors USA, which released its annual World Watch List on Wednesday (Jan. 7). Christian persecution reached historic levels in 2014, with approximately 100 million Christians around the world facing possible dire consequences for merely practicing their religion, according to the report. If current trends persist, many believe 2015 could be even worse.
“In regions where Christians are being persecuted as central targets, the trends and issues we track are expanding,” said David Curry, president of Open Doors, a nonprofit that aids persecuted Christians in the most oppressive countries and ranks nations based on the severity of persecution.
North Korea tops Open Doors’ list as the worst oppressor of Christians for the 13th consecutive year, but the list is dominated by African and Middle Eastern nations. Iraq, which experienced the mass displacement of Christians from its northern region, ranked third. Syria was listed fourth, due to the reign of ISIS in that war-torn region. Nigeria ranked 10th, due in part to the more than 1,000 Christians murdered or kidnapped by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram. Also included in the top 10 are Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan and Eritrea.
Even though some Christian-majority nations are experiencing unprecedented levels of discrimination and oppression, Curry said Muslim extremists are the primary drivers of Christian persecution worldwide. This is the case in 40 of the 50 nations on this year’s list.
Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs, a global ministry serving persecuted Christians in oppressed nations, agreed with Curry that Muslim extremism is the main source of Christian oppression.
“Wherever there is growing Islamic radicalism, there is growing persecution of Christians,” he said. “Even where moderate Islamic states offer peace — and that is rare — they almost never have freedom to practice their faith and are often marked for death.”
Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, said Islamic extremism is not just rampant in rogue terror groups, but also in the governments of nations such as Saudi Arabia (No. 12 on the list) and Egypt (No. 23). This has foreign policy implications, which Shea said has contributed to a failure on the part of the Obama administration to address the calamity adequately.
Curry and Nettleton also expressed disappointment in the administration’s response but said they hope that the appointment of Rabbi David Saperstein as the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom might signal a more aggressive approach. Conservatives criticized Obama for not filling the position sooner, and Saperstein’s critics say the rabbi’s liberal background may not bode well for his willingness to address global persecution aggressively.
Regardless, Open Doors leaders say something must be done to address the mounting persecution. The situation is reaching crisis levels: Christianity faces possible extinction in the Middle East and persecution is growing at alarming rates in Asia and Africa. Curry concluded:
“The 2015 Watch List is a wake-up call to Western countries to protect religious freedoms around the world.”
Pastor Dave Ullom <*}}}<.