The world is filled with wonders, writes Nathaniel Olson. Consider chemistry: Salt is formed by two poisonous substances (sodium and chlorine). The alnico magnet, the world’s strongest, contains three nonmagnetic substances (aluminum, nickel and cobalt). And water consists of oxygen (which is flammable) and hydrogen (which burns easily); yet water puts out fires!
That pales in comparison to the wonder of salvation through Jesus. Every day, Olson writes, Jesus transforms filthy, hopeless sinners into new, forgiven creations. “On the skid rows of our cities, in wealthy and poor homes, in jungles … whenever any soul wants Christ, the wonder of the new birth is taking place.”
Our God is the true Wonder of wonders. “None can compare” (Psalm 40:5).
Running late for a meeting, a man circled the block, looking for a place to park. Desperately, he raised his eyes toward heaven and prayed, “Lord, if you’ll find me a parking spot, I promise I’ll start going to church again.”
Just then, a car pulled out of a space right in front of the man. “Never mind,” he said to God. “I found one!”
Let’s all try to remember to give credit where it’s due. God answers prayers!
“The way you celebrate Christmas can be a gift in itself,” said Fred Rogers, “handing on traditions that will give your child a feeling of continuity, comfort and joy in all the Christmases to come.” In American homes, common Advent traditions include wreaths, calendars and logs. Did you know about these European traditions?
• In Normandy, children used to set fires in fields during Advent. The flames killed caterpillar eggs and drove away rodents. The tradition reflected good conquering evil, just as God’s perfect Son rescues us from sin.
• On December 13, Scandinavian countries honor Saint Lucy (or Lucia), a third-century martyr who, according to legend, brought food to people in the catacombs during winter. For light — and to be able to carry as much food as possible — she wore a wreath of candles on her head. On St. Lucy’s Day, the oldest daughter gets up early and brings sweet rolls to family members. The tradition reminds Christians that Jesus is a gift of light and love for our dark world.
Thankfulness is not a minor virtue. It is not one of the elementary virtues [that] may be left behind as we become more mature. I believe that thankfulness is essential to the strength of every virtue, and that without it every other branch is starved and lean.
Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.
—John Henry Jowett
It’s Time! We would like to invite our AWANA and 24-7 Clubbers to come Wednesday, August 24th and 31st to register for the 2016-2017 Club year. Registration is from 6PM-7PM. AWANA Clubs starts on Wednesday, September 7th at 6PM; but if you like to sing, come on out at 5:30PM for Children’s Choir with Mrs. Robbi. Hope to see ya’ll there!
Vacation Bible School will be held June 20th-24th, from 9:00AM – Noon for grades Kindergarten thru Sixth grade. Registration forms are available in the church office. Come join us for an exciting week while we submerge ourselves in God’s word. It’s going to be a splash!
The message of Easter is not only that Christ is risen, not only that suffering is not the last word, not only that God gives new life, but this: Nothing is impossible with God.
—The Rev. James Martin, S.J.
The Easter message tells us that our enemies — sin, the curse and death — are beaten. Ultimately they can no longer start mischief. They still behave as though the game were not decided, the battle not fought; we must still reckon with them, but fundamentally we must cease to fear them anymore.
—Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline
One spring day, a father and son were driving when a bee flew in the window and buzzed around. Because the boy was deathly allergic to bee stings, he panicked. But the calm father reached out and caught the bee in his hand, holding it tight.
After a few moments, the dad reached over, opened his hand and showed his son the stinger, stuck in his palm. “It’s okay,” the father said. “I took the sting, so the bee can’t hurt you.”
Likewise, people who know Jesus as their victorious Savior no longer need to fear the sting of death. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55, ESV).
The Jolly Jays are hosting a White Star Tours, Amishlands Pennsylvania Trip. We are leaving Monday, October 31, 2016, and returning Saturday, November 5, 2016. Time of departure and return will be announced later. Our charter bus, supplied by White Star Tours, will be picking us up at the parking lot of Jay First Baptist Church.
The Jolly Jays will also provide a light breakfast Monday morning before we depart and we will supply bottled water for the trip. Extra cooler space will be available for the duration of the trip.
Cost is only $630.00 double occupancy with trips and taxes included. The only extra costs for the traveler will be: lunches each day, dinners during our travel days, and any souvenirs.
We have 50 open spaces available on a first come, first serve basis. A deposit of $50.00 is due by Friday, March 25, 2016, with the remaining balance due by Friday, July 29, 2016.
Contact Mrs. Laverne Little at (850) 982-4590 or Pastor George Fredericks at (407) 399-0688 for a trip brochure and any additional information.