Ordination to the Gospel ministry is an important event in the life of a church. In Baptist life, it has never been seen as an absolute essential to effective service in ministry (think Charles Spurgeon and D. L. Moody who were never ordained). Nevertheless, ordination represents the opportunity for a church to affirm one of its own in the Gospel ministry. We have such an opportunity with T. J. Burns this Sunday afternoon and evening. T. J. graduated from two Southern Baptist institutions of higher learning: Criswell College in Dallas, TX, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He and his wife, Alana, and their three children will be moving to South Asia in January (Lord willing) to serve with the International Mission Board. They were commissioned by the IMB during a Sending Service on the eve of the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Nashville last summer. They have been waiting until the arrival of their newest baby to go to the international field. Please come out to support them and affirm them in God's call upon their lives. *Note that the times for the council and for the ordination service have changed due to a change in circumstances. The Ordaining Council will meet at 3 pm and the service will be at 5:30 pm, followed by a cake and punch reception in the fellowship hall.
This Lord's Day! (12/19)
The Children's Christmas program will be held this Sunday, Dec. 19, at 10:40 am. Please come out to support them as they share the Christmas story with us during the first 20 minutes or so of our gathering. This is the single time of year when we set aside time on Sunday morning for our children to depict Scripture in action and song. We will move directly into the worship service
It is also the fourth and final Sunday of Advent. I encourage you to supplement your daily Bible reading schedule with the Advent Bible readings listed below. The first reading of the day is normally repeated across three consecutive days for reinforcement. Click on the link to go to the electronic version.
ICYMI: Last Sunday's Message What Is a Disciple? Luke 9:1-9
Please visit our YouTube Channel to see the edited service video.
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE schedule is attached. We are in Week 51. Almost there! Let me take a moment to encourage you if you, like me, have often found yourself behind in your attempt to read through the entire Bible in one year. "Getting it done" is not your primary goal. The goal is to read with thought, with consideration, with meditation. Think deeply about what the text says, what it means, and how it applies to your life. If that means you only get through one-half or one-third of the Bible in a year, so be it! As a former professor of mine, Don Whitney, used to say, "It is better to read less of the Bible if that means you meditate on it more."
SAVE THE DATE: Mark your calendars and save the date for Sunday, January 25. On that day, Lord willing, we will have Steve Sewell with us. Steve has been a pastor, a hospice chaplain, and is now a speaker on the subject of death, dying, and the accompanying grief. You may remember Steve being with us in fall 2018 for a Holiday Grief Seminar. He will preach in the morning service, and then in the afternoon he will teach a seminar, focusing on the peculiar kinds of grief our congregation has been experiencing. All of these services will be open to the public. More details will be forthcoming as the time approaches.
BONUS: This time of year is a time for listening to great music of the season, and there is no greater music than that of Handel's "Messiah." Often we think of this great oratorio being performed with a choir of hundreds of voices, accompanied by a magnificent pipe organ, or a huge symphonic orchestra. But that is a far cry from the way it would have originally been performed. Take about 95 minutes to watch this video and listen to the Academy of Ancient Music, Apollo5, and VOCES8 Foundation Choir perform this masterwork with 24 expert singers and 16 players on period instruments HERE. It will be well worth your time. If you only have time for "Part the First" (the Christmas section) it is a mere 49 minutes in length. But you won't hear the "Hallelujah Chorus" if you stop at part one since that famous piece is in "Part the Second" (the Easter section). It is well worth listening to "All We Like Sheep" at 53:07 just to hear this limber group take it a bit more up tempo. It only shaves about a 25 seconds off the total time, but it is enough to make a difference. Enjoy!
See you in church!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Greg Dixon