The Messenger – January 2022

Dear Church Family and Friends,

A New Year, another beginning, a fresh start. More opportunities to grow closer to God. More chances to be the person God created you to be. More ways to serve those around you.

If you’re like me, it’s often hard to know where to begin making changes. Whether you have a lot you want to change this year or just a few things, you’re going to need God’s power to do it. And I believe as your Pastor that’s what God has called me to. To help you in providing you with bites of God’s Word along with some encouragement and some challenges, always seasoned with His truth and the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Before you make any, “New Year’s Resolutions”, I would like you to take a moment and asked yourselves: What do you want your story to be a year from now? What major difference do you want to see in your life when you reflect after this New Year is over? Are you growing in your “Faith over Fear”, that was our focus this past Advent season? What’s one tiny baby step you can take today to move in that direction?

I’m certain you all know how we grow. We practice daily. Rarely does success come without time, discipline, and hard work. Successful people spent years becoming an overnight success. What many don’t realize is that it’s the things no one sees that result in the things everyone wants. It’s the faithfulness to do mundane things like flossing, walking around the block, eating better, and spending time with God before rushing out the door each morning.

So, the best way to think about changing your story is to focus on today, not tomorrow, next week, or next January.

In my morning studies I was reading the book of Zechariah. And I found a verse we should focus on as we begin this New Year.

I’m reading this from the “Life Application Study Bible”, Zechariah 4:10; “Do not despise the small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

In case you didn’t know, Zerubbabel was given the responsibility of rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem. (Ezra 3:2,8; Haggai 1:1; 2:23). Just like you and I, we are given the responsibility of rebuilding our lives so that we are in line with the will of God. We need to hold a plumb line next to what we do and what God would have us do.

To many times , we, as Christians, are like many of the older Jews, who at that time were disheartened when they realized that this new temple that they were starting to build, would not match the size and the splendor of the previous temple built during King Solomons reign.

But bigger and more beautiful is not always better. What you do for God may seem small and insignificant at the time, but God rejoices in what is right, not necessarily in what is big. Be faithful in the small opportunities. Begin where you are and do what you can and leave the results to God. It’s time to take that first step. To have; “Faith over Fear”.

My advice is this. When you begin each new day of the year to come include this request in your prayers: “Lord, give me wisdom to choose what to focus on during this next year. Help me to see my life, my story, the way you see it. Give me strength to take that first step today.”

Remember, the words of Paul; ”in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”(Romans 8:37).

 

In His Service,

Pastor Joe

A Prayer For Epiphany

O Lord Jesus Christ, heavenly King, thank you for bringing both Jews and Gentiles to hear your voice. Enable us to follow your holy Word, as those from the East followed the leading of a star. Give us grace to confess your holy name. Rule us by your Spirit, so that the joys of your birth may increase in us. Hear our prayers and cries. Accept our offerings, which you yourself have given us: the gold of our faith, the incense of our prayers, and the myrrh of our contrite hearts. Deliver us from the destructive ways of sin, and lead us in the ways of peace and in the paths of righteousness. Grant us all, when this life is done, a participation in the joys of the Year of Jubilee in heaven, where we shall praise and serve you and the Father who live and reign in unity with the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.    — William Loeh (adapted)

Biblical resolutions

Hold firmly to your faith (Hebrews 4:14)
Assemble with the saints (Hebrews 10:25)
Pray and thank God earnestly (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
Petition God for great blessings (Malachi 3:10)
Yield not to temptation (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Notice opportunities to serve others (Galatians 6:10)
Examine yourself daily (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Work diligently for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Yearn for righteousness (Matthew 5:6)
Exercise godliness (1 Timothy 4:7)
Aim for sinless perfection (Hebrews 6:1)
Redeem the time, living wisely (Ephesians 5:15-16)

—Gus Nichols (adapted)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sunday School – 8:15 AM in the Community Building

Choir Practice Every Thursday at 1:00pm

You may reach Pastor Joe at 570-465-7303 or his cell #570-267-4570

Every Thursday Pastor Joe will be at the church from 2-4pm if you need him

Saturday, January 1stHappy New Year!!!

Sunday, January 2ndInstallation of Elders

Thursday, January 6thEpiphany

Sunday, January 9thCorporation meeting following Worship Service

Thursday, January 13thPresbyterian Women meeting 11am

Monday, January 17thMartin Luther King Day

Wednesday, January 19thMen’s Action Group meeting and breakfast – 8am

Saturday, January 22ndSession Meeting – 9am

Tuesday, January 25th Newsletter Deadline

Listen to WPEL 96.5 for church cancellation if your internet is down during a storm this winter.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month. Hosting only means setting out what is brought and cleaning up afterward. It does not mean bringing everything to share.

Don’t forget to check out our Website – we now have a Donate Buttonthrough PayPal – just click on the button on the home page and make your donation!

Don’t Forget to check your mailbox – as you enter the vestibule on the wall to the left.

Pastor Joe and Bonne want to thank you for your Christmas gift, your support, and your love over the past year. May 2022 be filled with good health, God’s blessings and a deeper relationship with God.

Plastic Grocery Bags – Please give bags to Bonne Travis – these are used to crochet sleep mats for the homeless.

Men’s Action Group ***For help with small projects for church family and neighborhood, please call Pastor Joe Travis at #570-465-7303 or email him at joe.s.travis@gmail.com

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