St. John's Group Email Thursday, Dec 21, 2011

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17

You know the song: "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree."

After that first verse things get a little bit cloudy for me. Sure, I remember to put the golden rings on day five, but I'm confused about the placement of the things that follow. Which goes first: the lords-a-leaping or the ladies milking?

Understand, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about that song. Not near as much as the folks at Pittsburgh Bank PNC. Their experts have calculated it would cost your true love $24,263.18 to give you all the things on that song's rather strange Christmas list.

They also have figured that price is an increase of $823.80 over last year. And, in case you're wondering, the cheapest gift on the list is the $15 partridge in a pear tree, and the most expensive is the $6,300 seven swans-a-swimming. As far as the aforementioned golden rings, they actually dropped by .8 percent.

So, those are the facts. But they are not all the facts.

If you really want to know all the facts, if you really want to know what the Person who loves you most has given to you, you're going to have to take a journey in time and location.

The time is a little over 2,000 years ago; the place is Bethlehem.

There, in an animal's feeding trough you can see God's Son wrapped in swaddling clothes. He is the Gift. Yes, He looks like a human baby because that is exactly what He is. But He is more, far more, than any other human child.

He is your Redeemer.

Look and see what God's love for you has done. As an adult, walk with Him and see how He taught as no other man has ever taught; see how His word had the ability to heal men's bodies and bring peace to troubled hearts.

Look and see what God's love for you has done. Stay awake with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, and stand in awe of a heart that was willing to take the guilt of all your sins unto Himself. Travel with Him to His trials, and watch how He refused to defend or release Himself. Watch at the cross as love endured pain unlike anything this world has seen before or since.

Travel with His friends to His tomb and see how His lifeless body is quickly buried. Then, before dawn, three days later, go to the tomb and see Him rise.

Look at all these things, and you will see what God's true love has given to you.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for loving me when I was unlovable, I give thanks. May I be truly grateful for Your great gift of grace. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.

YESTERDAY'S QUIZ:         Who was Onesimus? 
Below is the answer from Pat King (along with the wikipedia version)
Onesimus is the dude who came before Twosimus, and Three. They were actually brothers, with unimaginative parents, who couldn't think up decent names, so they gave they these idiotic ones.
But in Biblical stuff, he was that slave that ran off, met Paul and became a Christian. Then Paul convinced him, "Hey! Slavery ain't so bad! Go back, have fun!" So he did.
For the non-abridged version, read this:
Saint Onesimus (d. ca. 68 AD) (Greek: Ὀνήσιμος, Onēsimos, meaning "useful," also called Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some Eastern Orthodox churches) was a slave to Philemon of Colossae, a man of Christian faith. Eventually, Onesimus transgressed against Philemon and fled to the site of Paul the Apostle's imprisonment (most probably Rome or Caesarea) to escape punishment for a theft he was said to have committed,[3] there, he heard the Gospel from Paul and converted to Christianity. Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, reconciled the two and wrote a letter to Philemon (which today exists in the New Testament as the Epistle to Philemon [4]). The letter read (in part):
" I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this is perhaps why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. "

Paul of Tarsus to Philemon, Epistle to Philemon 1:10-16 (ESV)

Due to this epistle from Paul, Philemon indeed accepted Onesimus as a brother and freed him of slavery[citation needed]. Although it is doubted by some authorities, it may well be that this Onesimus was the same one consecrated a bishop by the Apostles and accepted the episcopal throne in Ephesus following the Apostle Timothy. During the reign of Roman emperor Domitian and the persecution of Trajan, Onesimus was imprisoned in Rome and martyred by stoning (although some sources claim that he was beheaded[5]).
He is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which commemorates him and Philemon on February 15
TODAY'S QUIZ:  Who was Apollos?
6th commandment: You shall not steal.
Question: What does God forbid in the seventh commandment?
Answer: God forbids every kind of robbery, theft, and dishonest way of getting things. 
Thurs- nothing scheduled
Fri- nothng scheduled
Sat-  Christmas Eve worship 7pm and 11pm
Sun- Christmas Day worship 9am
Saturday- 7 and 11pm
Sunday- 9am
Hope to see ALL of you there on both days!
Immanuel Lutheran Church in in Joplin is taking workers to help with construction.  
YOU CAN GO ON YOUR OWN IF YOU WANT or,  I'd love to take a group for a couple days in January and/or February to work on some houses.   
Trent Davis, Immanuel's director of disaster response sent the following: 
 "The Lord has blessed us with the ability to get five decent sized projects under roof before the weather has gotten too ugly here, however we have only a few teams committed from Dec-Feb. We need additional teams.
All help will be greatly appreciated. Types of skills we are looking for include: electricians, plumbers, HVAC, drywall, painters and interior trim.
Not everyone on a team needs to be skilled but we need enough skilled folks to give direction to the willing. Thanks and Blessings!"
Contact information for Trent is:
Director of Disaster Response Trent Davis
Immanuel Lutheran Church – LCMS; 2616 Connecticut Ave; Joplin, MO 64804;
417.624.0333 | fax: 417.624.2774;
If anyone wants to go with me for a few days let me know asap and I will set it up.  I'm pretty sure that all we'd really have to pay for is food. 
***SAVE THE DATE***  The date of the Youth Group Steak Dinner and Auction has been set for Saturday, February 11, 2012.   Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.  Please join us for a night of fun and fundraising.  We will be having the old favorites:  silent auction  and 50/50 drawing as well as the new favorites: live auction, dessert dash, wine raffle, and the WILD HEARTS JACKPOT DRAWING where there is a chance to win $500.00.
Tickets for the WILD HEARTS $500 DRAWING are on sale now.  Please ask a youth group member to get  yours.  The tickets are 1 for $10 but for an additional $10 you can get 10 more tickets and have 11 chances at winning! 
The youth will begin selling dinner/auction tickets at the beginning of January in the narthex after services. Tickets are $15 per person.  Bid only tickets are $5.00.   You may also contact Marilyn to reserve tickets.
In order to guarantee that you get to sit with a special group of family or friends, you may want to consider purchasing a table of 8 for $120.
Please sign the sheet in the narthex by Wednesday, Deember 14.  They are $12.50 each. 
Each time you purchase flowers and other gifts from A MOMENT OF GRACE and tell them you are a member at St. John's, the church receives a tithe from them.   A Moment of Grace is located at 511 N Hwy 47 and the phone number is 456-9334.
PRAYERS: (If I have missed anyone please let me know.)
For DAVE KOHRS who is recovering well after surgery to remove a tumor from his abdomen.
For PATRICK BIONDO, a son of a friend of Toni Mauch.  Patrick was in a serious car accident on Saturday evening and will be undergoing several surgeries to try to repair a large portion of his scalp and a broken hand.
For Mrs. Sisson (first grade teacher at Daniel Boone) and her newborn baby girl who was born very early and weighs in at a little over a pound and a half.   Her name is Chloe Michelle. 
For KEN SUTOR, Lisa Rausch's dad, who is was brought home and is on hospice care, but is in good spirits.
For KEN WAGNER who is home and is doing well, although he still has a LONG way to go.
For JANICE MCKENZIE who will has a huge ulcer and is getting treatment for it.
For ED KOHRS who is at Delmar Gardens in Chesterfield
For Robyn McNew's cousin MARY KUTRIP who is dealing with terminal cancer and has quit doing treatments for it. 
For JONAS BORCHERT, grandson of Don Nolte, who continues to be up and down because of chemotherapy treatments.   


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