Mon., Dec. 16, 2013

DEVOTION: I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you,  I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:3-5
Paul is talking here about his friends and fellow Christians in Philippi.  In spite of severe persecution they were faithful to their Lord god.  In spite of dealing with all sorts of troubles from both the unbelieving Jews and the Roman government they didn't waiver in their faith.  Instead, the news of their faith continued to grow stronger and stronger and their example of faith revealed the love of Christ in what they said and did.
There are many of you that when I think of you I am floored by the faithfulness to Christ you exhibit and the example you are to other of what it means to be in the love of Christ.  It encourages me in my work to see Christians such as yourselves doing the work of the Lord. 
I am especially thankful at this Christmas time to know that so many of you care for about me and my family, and that you take time to pray for us often.  It gives me confidence that I am not doing my work in vain, but that it is producing fruit in many of you.
On the other hand, there are also many I am concerned about.  Maybe it is because I haven't seen you in worship in a long time.  Maybe it is because you are having trouble with relationships in your life.  Maybe it is because you are continuing in an illness  that has plagued you for a long time and it is causing you depression, anxiety, and spiritual exhaustion. 
Whatever the case may be, whether I am thanking God for your faithfulness and the good that He is providing to you, or am concerned for you and your faith, please know that I never stop praying for you and that I care about all of you as much as the Lord has given you to me to care for. 
Peace be with you all this Christmas as you rejoice in His incarnation, His life, His death, and His resurrection!  All for you!!
Let's pray: Lord God, bless and keep the people on St. John's in Your mercy and grace that they may serve you in peace and joy! Give them comfort in their circumstances and peace to know that you will never leave them or forsake them.  Amen.
MONDAY'S QUIZ:   Where was Philippi in relation to Israel?
THURSDAY'S QUIZ:  Who was it that warned Paul, and then the  commander of the centurions, that there was an ambush waiting for Paul to kill him?
Mon- confirmation 5-6:15
Tues- Quilter 9-2; No Bible Study
Wed- Supper 5:30; Worship 6:30; Choir 7:15
Sat-  worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school and adult Bible class 9:45
If you didn't bring your gifts to church this weekend, make sure you bring them to church by WEDNESDAY!!!  NO LATER!!  They will be picked up and/or delivered on Thursday!!
The menu is fried chicken, roasted red potatoes, green beans, salad, and dessert. 
Three kids Ava Campbell, Alyse Scott, and Elijah Scott, were baptized!!  The Sunday school kids had an EXCELLENT Program!!  And there were over 300 people at the Little Lambs Program who heard the good news of Jesus birth from 3, 4, and 5 year olds!!
In all about 550 people heard the good news of Jesus' salvation at St. John's yesterday, many of whom may have never heard it before!!!
It doesn't get much better than that!!  PRAISE THE LORD!!
Are you excited?  Do you have your books yet? 
Adults may buy their books for $6 a piece before or after worship!! 
Kids will get their books at Sunday school, but if they miss Sunday school they can get them after worship as well!!!

What is it?  THE STORY is a book compiled and written by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee, which takes sections of the Bible and divides it up into 31 chapters and adds commentary and study notes to it.  The best way to describe it is to call it a Reader's Digest condensed version of the Bible.  It is not split up into chapters and verses but reads more like a novel, and it doesn't include every bit of the Bible, but most of the main sections and stories.  
How will it work?  As a family and as individual members of the congregation you will each get a copy of the book.  There are different versions for adults, teens, older elementary age and younger children.  You will get these and read chapter 1 before January 5.  Each week we will go through a chapter of the book in every part of the church's life: in Worship, Bible Studies, Confirmation and in the Home for personal devotions. 
Why are we doing this? This is a great opportunity for all of us to read through the Bible TOGETHER in 31 weeks and for us to all literally be on the same page.  The materials are excellent.  It is a fantastic way for us to grow together as a church and or us to reach out to the community with the Gospel! 
What about special weeks like Holy Week and Easter?  We will take several weeks off throughout these eight months, one for Life Sunday in January, one for Easter and another two or three when I am going to be gone for Spring Break and other vacations. A specific schedule will be coming out in the next week or so.  
How do we get the books?  Each adult will be asked to buy a book for $6.  A table will be set up in the narthex to buy them before and after services for the next several weeks or you can call Marilyn in the office at 456-2888 to purchase your during the week.  
What about the kids?  All children will receive a copy that is age appropriate courtesy of the Janet Wagner fund.  There will be a table set up for the next several weeks for adults to buy books.  Kids will get theirs in Sunday school . 
What kind of help is needed to make this a success?  We have several volunteers already to sell books, but could use a few more to sell before and after services until everyone who wants a copy of the book has one.    I would also like someone, a man or a woman, who would be willing to lead a study of it during the week. 
Can I order books for family members who are not members?  There will also be an order form for those of you who want to buy books for your children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends.  PLEASE NOTE THAT PRICES WILL FLUCTUATE ON FUTURE ORDERS DUE TO PRICE CHANGES WITH BOOK DISTRIBUTORS AND PUBLISHING HOUSES.
Where can I go to get more info?  Please go to for more info.