The next unit of study for the North Fork Women’s Bible study begins on March 11th. This study will run for 7 weeks, concluding at the end of April. Please contact Heather Angelovich if you would like to register. (970)985-8283.
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 23, 2018
DARKNESS -TO- THE LIGHT OF HOPE
Written by Jonathan Sturgis
Have you ever heard the phrase, “the devil made me do it?” Although it doesn’t sound scriptural, it is exactly what Eve said to God when he confronted her with her disobedience. Satan, disguised as a serpent had seduced, tricked and lied to Eve in his efforts to destroy what he abhorred so much . . . humans made in the image of God. But God, rather than expressing disappointment, gave mankind the LIGHT of Hope. He turned to the Serpent and pronounced, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
God had already made a plan for man’s rebellion and sin. It may seem a little vague and even backwards (although Hebrew IS written right to left), but God had just proclaimed prophesy about our Savior, the Messiah! He would be a human, male and born of a woman. And Satan would strike his heel, but He, the Savior, WILL crush Satan’s head. Hallelujah to the one who sets us free!
“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” I Peter 1:20-21
And in his introduction in the letter to Titus, Paul writes . . .
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.”
In this fourth week of Advent, we remember that Jesus, our Messiah, Is the LIGHT of HOPE. God sent His “anointed one” to be our Savior, Redeemer and Deliverer.
“O Israel, hope in the LORD ; For with the LORD there is loving kindness, And with Him is abundant redemption.” Psalm 130:7
Jesus brought hope to the poor and oppressed.
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24
In his power, he defends the weak and persecuted.
“My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
By His death, Jesus saves us from our sins and gives us hope in this life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead gives us the promise and hope for eternal life in heaven.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3
And Jesus gives us the power of His Holy Spirit to help us in this life!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
You see my friends, God, through His only begotten Son, Jesus the Messiah, has crushed Satan and the power he can have over your life. And Jesus has provided not only the hope of eternal life in heaven, but hope in this life as well. I assure you this Christmas, for those who believe & trust in the name of Jesus . . .
If you yearn for a spiritual revival and thirst for God’s righteousness;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
If you’re experiencing loneliness or longing for a true friend;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
If you are tired and weary from the heavy burdens of this world;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
Those of you who need God’s forgiveness;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
If there is anyone who is suffering due to physical infirmities that seem like they will never end;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
You, who feel like your life is meaningless;
THERE’S HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
If you are sinking in the mire of depression or dreadful thoughts that this life isn’t worth living;
THERE IS HOPE IN THE MESSIAH.
My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you desire MORE of Christ. God’s invitation to you is to experience the abundant fullness of the LIGHT of Life, Peace, Love and the Hope of Christ Jesus, our Messiah. Hallelujah!
Third Sunday of Advent
December 16, 2018
DARKNESS -TO- THE LIGHT OF LOVE
Written by Jonathan Sturgis
God created Adam & Eve and fellowshipped with them daily in the Garden of Eden. There was trust and communion between God and his creation. There was Peace. God & man shared the Light of Love. But when Eve & Adam sinned, they hid themselves from the eyes of God and fell into spiritual darkness. Their desire for the knowledge of good and evil led to their disobedience and this sin caused separation, guilt and shame. In their nakedness they couldn’t face God; but hid themselves from Him behind some trees. They were afraid of the God who gave them life. But after God disciplined them for their sin, he performed a surprising and terrible act of LOVE. The Bible does not mention what mammal it was, but God sacrificed one of His created animals to form the “garments of skin” to clothe Adam & Eve and ease their shame. Can you imagine the heartache of the LORD God as He performed this first sacrifice for sin? I believe this animal may have been a ram; a perfect male lamb. The same animal that God provided His obedient servant, Abraham. The animal chosen by God for the Passover sacrifice and meal. The same animal that was sacrificed for the sins of God’s people for centuries. It is what John the Baptist called Jesus when he saw him coming to be baptized, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” And God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son.
You see, this love did not only come in the Advent of Jesus on this earth. It was conceived at the beginning of time and in the garden as it was demonstrated in God’s sacrifice. God loves you so much. He did not wait to make a plan; or switch to strategy “B”. God’s LIGHT of Love was intentional and foreknown from the beginning.
I Peter 1:19-20a “You have been redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (our Messiah). For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world”
But let us not forget the many times written about in the New Testament of Jesus displaying God’s love.
- Jesus showed the love of friendship when he healed Peter’s mother in law. •Jesus demonstrated the love of sympathy when he raised to life the only son of a widow. •He was love when Jesus, having just heard of his cousin, John the Baptist’s beheading, had compassion on the pressing crowd and healed them all. •Jesus shared the love of healing when the bleeding woman touched the fringe of his garment. •And Jesus expressed the love of a son when he made plans to care for his own mother as he hung, dying on the cross.
These are but a few examples of the love of God through Jesus the Christ; our Messiah.
This Christmas season you may be mourning the loss of a loved one. Or agonizing over a lost child or spouse. We may feel depression or sadness due to our heavy, pressing circumstances. But be of good cheer! You can experience joy in this . . . God loves you. Repeat it if you believe it, “Jesus Love me.” And his love is unfailing, sufficient and everlasting.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Romans 8:39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, or any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Please join us at Quaker Ridge Camp on September 14-16 for the annual Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting Women’s Retreat. The theme this year is “Celebrate Life” with guest speaker Lori Wolfe.
Jesus captured Lori’s heart as a young teen. Since that time He has given her an incredible desire to be used to spur others on to walk more intimately with the Lord. Lori and her husband, Rich, live in Colorado Springs, have been married several decades, and have three adult children and two adorable granddaughters. They served as missionaries in the Philippines for several years. Presently, she is a middle and high school English and Bible teacher. Meeting with women over coffee and playing pickle ball are two of her favorite hobbies.
Registrations for this year’s retreat are due by September 1st. Please pick up a copy of the brochure at church, or view it here:
Make check payable to: Friends Women
Complete both sides of registration section (save the other sections for retreat details). Mail with full or half payment to:
3351 W. Aqueduct, Littleton, CO 80123
For further information, contact
Fx Camp will be held on July 16th-21st. The theme this year is CSI (Christ Scene Investigation). The cost is $365 for returning campers and $265 for first time campers. BUT, PFC is a great supporter of camp, so PFC members pay $85 for returning campers and $30 for first time campers. Camp is for kids entering 4th grade through High School
REGISTRATION is open and is first come/first serve : https://www.rmymyouth.com/
Want to know what camp is like? Check out the promo video:
Please contact Mike or Kerry Smith with any questions and to let them know that your child will be attending camp. As always, we will coordinate rides to/from camp. PFC also uses camp as a ministry outreach. If your child has a friend interested that does not attend a regular church, invite them to Camp. PFC will contribute financially to help.
LETS GO TO CAMP!
The focal point of the Protestant Reformation was the Bible being translated and made available in the common languages of the people. People began to read the Bible, and when they did these things happened: 1) Individuals were transformed; 2) The Church began to be changed, putting off corruption; 3) The state was gradually reformed. The fruit of the Reformation was revival of individuals, restoration of the church, and reformation of all society.
God uses individuals to change nations and the course of history. Some of those people God used in the Protestant Reformation included Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, and John Knox.
God used a flawed, rough, and at times, a harsh man to launch a gigantic revolution. Martin Luther stood up against the whole force of the religious establishment. “His profound experience of forgiveness in Christ gave him the courage to stand alone against the entire weight of established and entrenched religious deception and blow it to the winds.”[iii]
Many things affected Luther’s development. He committed to become a monk after a narrow escape from lightning – he prayed, “If I survive this storm, I will become a monk!”
While at a monastery he read a tract by John Huss, which deeply touched him: “I wondered why a man who could write so Christianly and powerfully had been burned…. I shut the book and turned away with a wounded heart.”[iv]
On a trip to Rome in 1510, he went through every pilgrim devotion possibly — from viewing relics to climbing the stone steps of the Santa Scala on his bare knees. “He earned so many indulgences that he almost wished his parents dead so he could deliver them from purgatory.” But he had no peace. The immorality and corruption he saw horrified him. He described the papal court as “an abomination,” writing that it was “served at supper by six naked girls.”[v]
His fellow monks gave him a Latin Bible that he diligently searched for truth. He came to be convinced that “salvation was a new relationship to God based not on any work of merit on man’s part, but on absolute trust in the divine promises.”[vi]
This and other truths were contained in Luther’s “95 Theses” that he nailed to the church door at Wittenburg on October 31, 1517. His writings that followed addressed many scriptural truths (such as the priesthood of all believers) and ways to reform the corruption in the church and state (including cutting Papal taxes, reducing bulky government, closing brothels, and reforming university education).
“I am,” he pleaded, “but a mere man, and not God; I shall therefore defend myself as Christ did, who said, ‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil’. . . . For this reason, by the mercy of God I conjure you, most serene Emperor, and you, most illustrious electors and princes, and all men of every degree, to prove from the writings of the prophets and apostles that I have erred.”
“As soon as I am convinced of this, I will retract every error, and will be the first to lay hold of my books, and throw them into the fire. . . . I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the councils, because it is clear as the day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other.”
“Unless, therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clear reasoning, unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, and unless my conscience is thus bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract; for it is unsafe and injurious to act against one’s own conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other: may God help me! Amen.”[viii]
Luther was condemned to death by the state, but since he was promised safe passage beforehand he was allowed to leave. On the road he was abducted by the friendly King Fredrick the Wise who hid him in his castle in Wartburg. Here, he finished much writing, including Scripture translation.
Through his belief in Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) and his translation of the Bible (in 1534 in German), he helped establish truth amidst the common people — the truth of justification by faith and the place of the Bible in the life of the Christian.
*This article was excerpted from Biblical Revival and the Transformation of Nations. It can be ordered here.
See Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell, America’s Providential History, Charlottesville, Vir.: Providence Foundation, 2010, pp. 43-44 for more.
[ii] See Foxes Book of Martyrs, Fair Sunshine by Jock Purves, and By Their Blood, Christian Martyrs of the 20th Century by James and Marti Hefley for the stories of some who were persecuted and killed.
[viii] From History of the Christian Church by Henry C. Sheldon, quoted in Rosalie Slater, Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1980, p. 169.
God’s number one characteristic throughout the Bible is mercy. His mercy heals broken hearts, reconciles relationships, restores forgotten dreams, and refreshes tired souls. It’s the cure to every insecurity, worry, and fear. This series teaches us how to experience God’s healing mercy, and then offer that same mercy to others around us.
Here is the New Mercy Sermon Series Schedule:
- Easter Means It’s a New Day of Mercy – 4/16/17
- God Can Use Anybody- 4/30/17
- Your Ministry of Mercy – 5/7/17
- Mother’s Day: Showing Mercy to Your Family – 5/14/17
- God’s Mercy and My Failures – 5/21/17
- Mercy Forgives! – 5/28/17
- How Much You Matter to God –6/4/17
- Being an Agent of Mercy in the World – 6/11/17
Ed Note: This recipe and Bible Lesson is in memory of Carolyn Weyers, a dedicated Sunday School teacher who taught at PFC for many years. This is a very fun recipe, rich with symbolism, to make with elementary or older aged children.
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 300.
You can explain what you are doing and tell the bible passage or take time to read the scripture references. (Great practice in looking up verses for older children.) Links are provided for convenience.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden
spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He
was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to
Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His
life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush
the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that
the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He
wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are
formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’ s eyes of
sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons (you don’t want them too big or it
won’t work, so I’m told) onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that
each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give
each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb
Read Matt. 27:65-66. GO TO BED!
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the
first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9
Alternatively, the cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready
in a couple of hours…when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked….they
are ready to eat!!!!!
These cookies are quite sweet but tasty!