RECAP–CAN WE FIND JOY? from ISAIAH 35:1-10
It is very difficult to find joy, especially when you are in the midst of a desert. That is where Judah found themselves. They were in the wilderness, a desert, a dry place, a haunt where jackals lay. Their desert was the impending threat of Assyria, feeling completely abandoned and alone, as if God had forsaken them. They were longing for a fresh touch from God. This isn’t the first time they were there–700 years prior, they were crying out because of the captivity in Egypt. 700 years later, it would be the threat of Rome.
We too have our moments where we are in the desert places, where we feel like all life is gone. We need something to hold on to, something to uplift our spirits. But how can we, like the Whos, despite having Christmas stolen from them by the Grinch, still be filled with joy?
Isaiah spoke a word of hope then, and it still speaks true to us today. The desert will see new life. Hope will return. Healings will happen. Springs of living water will appear in the dry ground. But it all starts and ends with joy. How do we find this joy? How does this joy become a part of us?
1) Look for the revelation of the glory of God. How has God worked in your life? The lives of others? Look at your history–where has God shown his faithfulness? Sometimes, you have to get your eyes off the desert and on to the living water!
2) Set aside fear and trust in the Lord. Fear is the greatest tactic Satan uses against the people of God. Fear causes us to take control, but in the end leads us to greater bondage.
3) Praise God for his works. We should celebrate what God is doing, no matter how small it may appear in our eyes! Sometimes the change of perspective really helps!
4) Walk in your salvation. A highway has been laid out before your feet. It is a way that leads to life.
Joy does not mean that life will be perfect. Rather, it means that we know God is with us and new life is just around the corner. Jesus’ coming is the epitome of this truth. He came as the fullness of the revelation of God to teach us to trust and not fear, showing us the way of salvation so we can walk in his path. It may be easy to give up, but choose joy! Life will come to your desert!
Questions for reflection
1) Where have you seen God work in your life recently?
2) What is your biggest fear? Name it and surrender to God.
3) What is your favorite hymn or contemporary song to worship God? Take some time to praise God with it this week.
4) What are you most looking forward to in heaven?
We will light the Advent candle of Peace. Pastor Ryan will preach the sermon titled, “Is Peace Possible”, based on Micah 4:1-5. We all want peace. But can peace truly happen in our world? What will it take to find peace? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for December 8 – 14
December 8: Psalm 23 What are the joys of following the Shepherd?
December 9: Isaiah 49:1-7 What is the joy of the world?
December 10: Matthew 7:7-11 What joy do we have in God?
December 11: 1 John 4:7-12 What is our source of joy?
December 12: Micah 6:6-8 What can bring us joy?
December 13: Luke 1:39-45 What brought Elizabeth peace?
December 14: Exodus 13:17-22 How can detours ultimately bring us peace?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, December 9–Worship Team @ 7 pm
Thursday, December 10–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Thursday, December 10–Leadership Team Reorganization @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 13–Modified Christmas Auction (see below)
Thursday, December 24–Christmas Eve service
Saturday, January 9–SNL Youth Ice Skating
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve for the Worship Team beginning in 2021. If you are willing to serve, please call the office and let us know!
Giving Tree Continues
We will still participate in the Giving Tree. Throughout the season of Advent, the Outreach Team sponsors a giving drive for the Stokesville Food Pantry. Each Sunday of Advent will highlight a needed item, although any item can be brought any Sunday (see below). For each Sunday in Advent, you can place them in plastic bags under the tree. The order for this year is as follows:
Peace (December 13)–Staple Items
Love (December 20)–Paper Products
If you forgot to bring in canned goods (Nov 29), boxed cereals or peanut butter (Dec 6), you can still bring them by whenever!
Although this holiday season may be very different than what we are used to, may this be a time that uplifts our spirits. God is our Immanuel. Let us make room for him in our hearts!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
In place of the canceled auction, please send in your baked goods or other goodies the morning of Sunday, December 13. Then you pick up what goodies you want! It will be first come, first serve for donation. Any money donated will go to Women’s Fellowship to help with heating assistance.
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone. We only have about 20 slots left for the 11 pm service.
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
There will be a box in the narthex for Heifer Project.
This month’s First Sunday offering is for the Salvation Army. Last month, we raised almost $1000 for Friendship Industries between the First Sunday Offering and the Christmas Card donation. It is not too late for these donations to come in and be applied to the Salvation Army!
The office has not yet received the forms for Messenger subscription renewals. However, please notify Tess if you intend to renew. Once we have the renewals and the price, we will pass that along.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and the economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Andy Anderson (COVID)
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Patsy Dastoli (COVID)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Michelle Johnson (COVID)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Alice Over (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Randall & Allison Sandin (COVID)
Tim Shiflet (COVID)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Chris Southerly (procedure)
Cole Wheelbarger (procedure)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Gary Wise (COVID)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB