Friday, December 15, 2017

From the Shepherd's Heart....Friday, December 15, 2017 - Is Anger a Problem at Christmas?

I know I have never preached through Genesis 4 for Christmas and you most likely have never heard any preacher use any passage in Genesis for a Christmas text, but especially Genesis 4.  But we are finding truths in Genesis 4 that speak to us this Christmas season.

And this Sunday is no different.  We will examine the life of Cain whose life was ruined by anger and bitterness.  So, I ask...Is anger and bitterness a problem at Christmas?

Why should we deal with our anger?

1.  For the sake of our physical health.

Proverbs 14: 29-30 "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.  A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

Anger damages the body;  patience and peace bring health.

The Puritan-pastor Richard Baxter once wrote:  "Observe also what an enemy anger is to the body itself.  It inflames the blood, and stirs up diseases, and breeds the strength of nature, and has cast many into acute, and many into chronical sicknesses, which have proved their death."

Modern science observe the same when they see a correlation between anger and physical illness, including hypertension and stroke, heart disease, gastric ulcers, and bowel diseases.

Anger and bitterness disrupts our sleep, appetite and peaceful existence.

2.  For the sake of our relational health.

Families are in turmoil.  Hate, jealousy, deep hurt, wounds, bitterness, and anger characterize more families today than does peace and joy.  Children breathe the secondhand smoke of their venting moms and dads and are affected in their spirits, souls and ultimately their health.

James 4: 1 ask "Where do wars and fights come from among you?  Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have.  You murder and covet and cannot obtain.  You fight and war."

Jesus said in Matthew 5: 21-26 that if we have anger in our heart toward someone to the degree that we just wish they were dead, then we have committed murder.

Is there someone in your life, in your family - you just wish was not there?

Anger separates us from our family and friends. We will see this in the life of Cain this Sunday.

We need peace in our relationships and it must begin in our hearts.

And I believe anger is the result of rejection.  And anger does not come from without us, but within us.

God reaches out to us for acceptance.  We may, and most likely will, have to repent toward God and possibly others...but our physical health, the health of our families, friends and society and the well being of our soul - is all worth it.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday as we examine the life of Cain in Genesis 4.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jingle Jam Tonight at Rainsville First - 6:00 pm

Don't miss the last BIG event tonight at 6:00 in the Auditorium.  "Jingle Jam" was so much fun last year and this year promises to be the same and more.  The whole family is invited for the 6:00 event in the Auditorium followed by hot chocolate, decorating cookies and more in the Large Fellowship Hall.

No other activities tonight.

Remember our Holiday schedule:
Wednesday, December 20 - No services
Sunday, December 24 - 10:15 Worship Service Only
Wednesday, December 27 - No services
Sunday, December 31 - Sunday School and Morning Worship Only

Monday, December 11, 2017

Why the Coming Resurrection Frees You from the Bucket List Mentality by Randy Alcorn

The concept of a bucket list, a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket,” is entirely understandable for people who believe that this is the only life they will ever live, and that after they die they will no longer exist. It’s even understandable for those who believe that after they die, they will be a ghost forever and won’t have actual bodies. But for us as Christians who believe in the resurrection and the coming New Earth, we should be the last people to think in terms of a bucket list.
Now, there’s a distinction between making a bucket list and having some things you would like to do and experience with your family if God gives you the opportunity. That is fine, of course. But if it is the bucket list in the sense of, “I’m going to kick the bucket, and this is my only opportunity as a physical person to do things in a physical world”—that’s utterly and completely unbiblical, contradicted start to finish by 1 Corinthians 15 and every passage that speaks of the resurrection and eternal life.
Here’s a clip from the Linger Conference earlier this year, where I share why if you have a biblical view of Heaven, you don’t need a bucket list.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week of Prayer...Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why Prayer Matters

When it comes to praying for missionaries, IMB President David Platt said there’s one thing to keep in mind.
It matters.
When we pray, God works.
It isn’t just a rushed or mechanical exercise, he said—”God has ordained our prayer as a means to accomplish His purpose in the world. We’ve got to be aware that our praying for boldness for missionaries is actually going to affect whether or not they have boldness. When we pray, God works.”
He offered some real and powerful ways to pray for missionaries:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Week of Prayer....Saturday, December 9, 2017

This Sunday - our "Send Me" Mission Conference.  Click here for more detail.

What God Has Done

Dilara’s* heart nearly jumped out of her chest when she found the building. She had seen it in a dream—Jesus had picked her up from her bed one night and led her there through the streets of her Central Asian town. In the dream, He had asked her if she was ready to believe, and she’d seen three men standing in the front of the church. When she found the building a few weeks later and walked inside, she was greeted by one of those men. Today, she’s a believer.
Like with Dilara, in every corner of the world, God is drawing hearts to Himself in amazing ways.
Like with Dilara, in every corner of the world, God is drawing hearts to Himself in amazing ways. Just ask the woman in Southeast Asia healed from partial deafness after an IMB missionary prayed over her. Or ask the dad in France who believed after a “chance” encounter with a follower of Christ at his son’s soccer game. Or ask the man in Slovenia struggling with mental illness who cried out to God and now is living a life surrendered to Jesus. Though the ground can be hard, stories of miracles and changed lives abound.
  1. PRAY for God to continue to work in mysterious ways in the lives of people all over the world.
  2. PRAY for hearts from every people group to be drawn to worship Jesus.
*Name changed

Friday, December 8, 2017

Week of Prayer...Friday, December 8, 2017

The Mikeska Family Story

At Shane and Lindsay Mikeska’s house in London, Christmas tradition is anything but traditional. Holiday after holiday, the world converges in their kitchen.
“Last year, we had an Iranian student and Indian student baking Christmas cookies with a girl from Lebanon and another from Hong Kong,” Shane said. And as they all sat down to eat dinner, a traditional Mexican meal that the Mikeskas prepare every year on Christmas Day, more kept coming.
“One girl who came was Iranian, and she realized that another Iranian girl sitting at our table was a Christian, so she asked her to tell her story,” Shane said. “For 45 minutes, this girl boldly shared the gospel.” It’s something the Mikeskas, IMB missionaries, say happens all the time in their city. London has 48 universities, and a quarter of the student population comes from other countries. Across the city, 300 languages are spoken.
We have the world at our fingertips, and we have an amazing capacity to be senders to the world.
“It’s fascinating and unusual,” Shane said. “We have the world at our fingertips, and we have an amazing capacity to be senders to the world.”
  1. PRAY the Mikeskas would continue to form strategic friendships with internationals in order to reach unreached people groups in London.
  2. PRAY God would put a desire in the hearts of new believers to take the gospel back to their countries.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Week of Prayer....Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Forgotten Refugee

Don Alan* says he remembers a refugee telling him once that he didn’t feel alive, but he wasn’t dead either—he was somewhere in between.
“Hopelessness is a universal feeling among refugees,” Don said. “They feel forgotten.” That’s why IMB missionaries like Don, who serves in North Africa and the Middle East, and Seth Payton*, who works with refugees in Europe, spend their lives taking hope into those hopeless places.
Refugees come to Europe looking for a better life, and many times they find nothing.
“Refugees come to Europe looking for a better life, and many times they find nothing,” Seth said. Often, they’ve paid traffickers a high price for a long, miserable trip across the desert packed into a standing-room-only truck and then a dangerous boat ride across the Mediterranean Sea. If they make it alive, then they often can’t get jobs. They spend their days scrounging for food and their nights packed into an apartment with 15 other people.
“We pray that through this time God will open their hearts and draw them into His kingdom through the hope that He offers,” Seth said. “Hundreds of refugees from closed countries are becoming believers in Europe. So there are great things happening in the midst of a heartbreaking situation.”
  1. PRAY for God to meet refugees in their pain with the hope of the gospel.
  2. PRAY for people to feel God’s call to share Christ with refugees in the United States and abroad.
*Names changed