With Great Love at Christmas

Dear Family at Faith Center,

The Bible says, “If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (I John 4:12 NLT)  And oh how often we have seen and experienced your love for us, which we know comes from God!  You are forever held in our hearts and in our love, for you are truly “our beloved family in the faith.”

How we pray that this Christmas and the new year 2014 will be the season in your lives where the Presence of God is powerfully made evident in your family.  The Word of God is rich with promises of His enduring and continuing relationship with anyone who calls upon Him in simple faith filled prayer, for it is written, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

May Jesus bless you and your family as we celebrate our Savior’s birth and prepare to usher in a New Year.

We love you all deeply!

Pastor Ted and Sheila

Christmas Gifts by Pastor David

If I think back over the past Christmases of my life there are several where a particular gift given was a truly memorable event. I remember the year when we unwrapped our Atari game system! Wow! Or the year we opened a box to discover our first VCR! No more renting the machine in town! My first rifle,various toys…gifts that I remember with a smile.

If you have been with us on Sundays for the last few weeks you know we have been looking at gifts. Not the ones we buy for each other but the gift of our Savior. A gift sent from our Heavenly Father for each of us.

Sometimes there is a desire to be profound at this time of year. To put a spin on the Christmas story in a new way. To shine up this simple story of a baby born of a virgin, a stable and a manger. However this year I don’t want to look beyond the simple yet profound truth of exactly what we are celebrating this year. Or more precisely who.

Christmas is a celebration of the gift of Jesus! The gift of the one who came to be born so that he may die for each of us. The gift of life and freedom. The gift of salvation and forgiveness. The gift of Jesus.

Have we heard this before? Yes. Will we hear it again? I certainly hope so! This is a story that bears repeating!

So with all of that in mind I have some Christmas homework! Get a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, tea or whatever! Bundle up one night this Christmas and step outside into the winter night. Look up at the night sky and remember a night long ago when the gift that forever changed mankind was born. Remember that this gift of Jesus is still available today. Then, take a moment to thank your Heavenly Father for this incredible gift that was given just for you. For all of mankind, yes, but also just for you. Take a moment to remember that the gift of Jesus still can bring life to any circumstance we face! Take that moment of private celebration of the greatest gift ever given…Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

Old World Christmas

Here are the video highlights from this year’s Old World Christmas celebration here at Faith Center Church in La Grande, OR.

La Grande Faith Center

Chestnuts roasting over an open fire, oranges studded with cloves, decorating Christmas cookies, wreath making, live Christmas music, an abundance of food and desserts, and a horse drawn carriage ride all await you at Old World Christmas. We love all things that celebrate our Savior’s birth and especially those simple things from years gone by.


Cookie Exchange

cookieexchangewebsiteCome exchange cookies, laughter, and fun at the Annual Cookie Exchange. Lunch will be served. Please bring 3 dozen of the same cookie, bar, or candy divided into 6 packages (6 cookies/package), plus samples cut up in pieces on a plate for tasting. Join us on Saturday, December 14th at 12:00 pm.

Remember the Signs…God is With Me by Pastor Ted

When we are in a season of pain and trial and confusion, it is so easy to believe all the bad reports which assault or mind!  It’s at this time we can begin to doubt all the truth revealed to us in the Word of God; and begin to question God Himself!  But I have wonderful news!  God is not now or ever going to forsake you, especially in your hour of greatest need!  His signposts always read “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CAN’T SEE ME!”

 

His Word says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 17-18, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Here is God’s promise to you amidst your pain, namely, He is present with you amidst your perplexity, and He will not abandon you now or ever!

 

C.S. Lewis writes in his “Chronicles of Narnia,  “But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs, which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters!”

The signposts of God’s unfailing promises never change, and you can safely say, “God is with me now!”

Know Your Enemy by Pastor David

It is often said that we should know our enemy. That is, know the one that is against us, who attacks us and who seeks our demise. I think it’s true that we should be aware of our enemy. No, not make our life focus his plans or his ways. But a Christian should know just who their enemy is. First and this is very, very important, there is only one enemy. He is not your spouse, people who have hurt you, other Christians, politicians or someone you just don’t like. No, our enemy is the one enemy…Satan and his demons. This enemy has really only one game plan:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)

Jesus comes to bring life but the thief, the enemy comes to do only three things. It is not complicated this plan, but it is the plan behind his every attack, scheme and thought. He seeks to:

Steal – Steal our joy peace and hope. To steal our innocence and strength. To hijack our lives and try and deprive us of a Gods truth and light. Our enemy is a thief.

Kill – Our enemy wants us dead. Literally…yes. But also dead to the voice of God. Dead to light and hope. He wants to kill the seeds of joy and bring death to our dreams and to our peace. Our enemy is a killer.

Destroy – The enemy desires destruction in every area of our lives. To try and lay waste to the works of God in us. His Goal behind every temptation and attack is our destruction. Our enemy is a destroyer.

Why point this out? Because the attacks of the enemy are very really. He is attacking right now in every quadrant. Our church, our lives, marriages, relationships, minds and hearts. His goal? Kill, steal and destroy.

But that is not where this story ends. Even though our enemy is real, his plans are evil and he is powerful Jesus is more so. More powerful, overcoming and strong. Jesus    is not just some slightly more powerful entity than Satan. Jesus is the perfectly sinless Son of God. The one who forever broke the power of the enemy on the Cross.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4 NKJV)

Yes we are in a spiritual battle. Yes our enemy is very real. Yes, he desires destruction for us. However, Jesus in us is greater than anything the enemy can throw at us. Remember that truth. That Jesus in us is greater than our enemy. That our Lords ability to heal is greater than the enemy’s ability to scar.

Today if you are in the midst of a battle remember that you are not alone. Remember that Jesus is on your side and that He is our victorious Savior!

Christmas Gift Baskets

We have the opportunity to bring a little joy into the hearts of the kids in our community. Any time between now and December 17th, bring a wrapped gift for a child, Birth-18 years old to the church office. Please take a tag, found in the office and write on the tag what the gift is. On December 18th, Christmas Gifts will be wrapped and delivered. We will need people to wrap gifts and people to deliver gifts. Please sign up in the office if you would like to help!

Christmas Basket Offering

christmas-food-basketsOur annual Christmas Basket Delivery is coming up soon. We have a great opportunity to love our community in a practical way through the Christmas Baskets. The baskets will not only contain a Christmas dinner, but other food as well. If you would like to help pack baskets or deliver baskets, please send us an email below. Please pray about giving towards this ministry. We will be receiving this offering on Sunday, November 17, however you are welcome to give at any time. If you would like to give, please make checks out to Faith Center and write ‘Christmas Basket Offering’ on the memo line.

Men’s Study – Wild At Heart by John Eldredge

Wild at Heart is a book study and a conversation for men. It challenges men to discover how to live an adventure with God. It helps us to identify the false concepts of being a man this world has burdened us with and replaces them with the truth of who God created us to be. Wild at Heart invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God.

The study will be from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Mark Baker’s home. Contact the office for more information.

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