EMMETT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
A Word From the Pastor
65 Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord. 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. 69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. 72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Psalm119 contains 176 verses. Almost every verse refers to the word of God. For example, in the eight verses above, God's Word is mentioned in each verse: Your word (65), Your commands (66), Your Word (67), Your decrees (68, Your precepts (69), Your law (70), Your decrees (71), and the law from Your mouth (72). The psalmist is writing to the LORD and he personalizes each of his references to the Bible as belonging to God. God, You are the author of Scripture. They come from You. The Bible reveals Your Will, Your Perspectives, Your orders, Your knowledge and Your wisdom. The psalmist recognizes that even though men have written on paper the words found in Scripture, he believes that God has inspired men to write accurately His perspective of life, creation, sin, redemption, and judgment, etc.
The psalmist believes the Word of God is vital to His relationship with the Lord! God uses His word to impart knowledge and good judgment with people (66). People need to demonstrate a teachable attitude in order to grow in their knowledge and good judgment (66-67). Evidence of having a teachable spirit is shown by living obediently to the commands one already knows. Good judgment is seen in making obedient choices. Those obedient choices lead to greater knowledge and discernment.
The psalmist admits what is true of most of us. He was not always obedient. He has strayed from God and His word. He has gone his own way and gotten off the path of obedience to God. But God brought affliction into his life to teach Him the vital importance of obeying God’s Word (67)! The psalmist is convinced that God is a good God and that He demonstrates His goodness in all His actions toward mankind (68); including the times He brings affliction into our lives (71). He openly confesses that it was good for him to be afflicted, because it humbled him and gave him the desire to be a learner and to follow hard after the Lord (71). Now the psalmist delights in the Lord’s law (70)! He is convinced that the Lord’s law is more precious to him than thousands of pieces of silver and gold!
I encourage you to show your devotion to the LORD by committing to spend time daily with the Lord by reading, studying, meditating on, and obeying His Word. I talked with John Morgan earlier this week. He shared with me that reading the Bible through in one year during 2021 changed his life. I asked him to share with us on Jan. 9 in church how God used this commitment in his relationship with the Lord.
Happy New Year!
Shepherding you in Christ’s love and WORD!
FBC recognized the Advent season through the lighting of candles, reading of scripture, sharing testimony and/or through song.
For many centuries, Christians have used the season of Advent to prepare their hearts for Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word adventus and simply means “coming” or “arrival.” Advent begins each year on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is a season in which Christians remember the First Advent of Jesus’ birth and also anticipate the Second Advent of Christ’s return.
We tend to think of Advent as a preliminary celebration of Christmas, but it is traditionally a period devoted to self-examination, prayer, and spiritual reflection. It is a time to ask, How ready am I for the coming of Christ? It is a season in which we have permission to acknowledge that there is darkness and hardship—in the world and in our lives—but also that we are not without hope. During Advent, we practice looking for the light of Christ even while we wait in darkness. While we wait, we prepare our hearts. The King is coming, and we want to be ready!
(Note: You can click on the following pictures to enlarge and see them better)
Christmas Eve Service (A Day Early)
FBC held a Christmas Eve (Eve) Candlelight Service on December 23rd. The message, A Light Has Dawned, focused on Jesus, as the light of the world, God coming down as man, suffering as man, dying for us, that Jesus is the light of the world and the promise we have when we follow Jesus.
Ref. Isa. 9:2 (The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.); Isa. 6-7; Jn. 1:1, 14; Luke 2:4-7; Jn. 1:4-13; & 8:12 (When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”)
The final week of Advent was celebrated and music specials shared as each individual in attendance held candles. Watch online at https://fbcemmett.org/.
Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO)
FBC contributed $530 during the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) which was taken during the month of December.
The RMMO originated in the mid-1930s, when American Baptist congregations received a Communion Fellowship Offering on the first Sunday of each month to support retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses and elderly clergy within their churches. In 1977, American Baptist Churches USA launched RMMO to continue this appreciation of God’s service.
FBC collected $1,285 for Ryan Keen and his family through the Advent Conspiracy movement.
Ryan Keen is an associate pastor of Children’s Ministry at Summit Church in Boise. Rachel is a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital. Ryan had heart surgery Dec. 8 in Salt Lake City Utah. Their 17-month-old daughter Hazel was diagnosed with bone cancer in her left pelvis Nov. 26. Hazel will undergo 17 rounds of chemo (each round is 2 weeks with alternating therapies) and 6 weeks of radiation. Every other round of chemo she’ll be admitted inpatient for 2–3-days with the first treatment and 5-6 days outpatient treatment with the second treatment. She’ll have 1 week off each month (9+ regimen). Rachel recently returned to work as a nurse after maternity leave, giving birth to Eli this summer.
Your generosity is truly appreciated!
Christmas Card/Note from the Hassemers
Merry Christmas! We thank you for you faithful support as we encourage and provide housing to ministry families here in Alaska. This year we had 2 different families stay a total of 76 months as they interned with local ministries. One is now here, full-time in Alaska & the other is finishing avionics training & is prayerfully considering serving here as well! Others stayed with us as they were speakers at conferences, had medical appointments, etc. - which filled much of the rest of the year - oh and the fishing season was such a blessing this year! Hundreds of pounds of fish were caught, cleaned, and processed before they left with the families.
Your prayers and financial support mean so much. One comment, "Thank you for making your guest apartment available to us. It was so comfortable and a place to find rest and refreshment each night." Another from a small work team , "What a refreshing blessing to spend this time at your place as we ministered here. We thank God for you and your hospitality to us. You are a light for Christ."
First Baptist is a part in the ministry of Alaska! Know you make a difference in the lives of these folks and those they serve.
Blessings in 2022. We hope to see you while in the Boise area!
In service to our Lord & Savior,
Ranada & Mike Hassemer
(If you did not get to hear Mike sharing in church on Jan. 2, we encourage you to watch it online.)
Be strong when you are weak, Brave when you are scared and Humble when you are victorious!
$95. Regis. online – bus fee: $10
January 14 - 17, 2022
Snow camp is for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age.
Shiloh’s snow camp is geared towards students between the ages of 12 and 18. Campers participate in chapel and worship, along with tubing, swimming and other camp activities. This year’s speaker will be Aaron Carroll. Aaron and Julie Carroll have been serving with Shiloh Bible Camp for the last several years. Their roles have included camp nurse, night watch, and Timothy Advisors. Prior to leading the Valley County Timothy group, Aaron and Julie served as the Timothy Advisors for Boise. We are excited to welcome Aaron and Julie back for snow camp and to see God use Aaron in this new role. Register online at shilohbibleconference.com. Camp includes Christ centered teaching, tubing at the Activity Barn, and swimming at a local pool, along with several other activities. Please complete the Activity Barn Release form prior to your arrival at Shiloh.
More information on the camp can be found HERE.
Registration for this camp can be completed HERE.
$80 Regis. online
January 28-30, 2022
Winter Camp at Cathedral Pines is a great opportunity for students 6-12th grades to refresh with a weekend away, grow in a relationship with Jesus, build encouraging relationships, and enjoy Creation. This weekend’s focus will be 2 Timothy 1:7 and cultivating self-control.
Registration must be completed by Jan 16th at www.cathedralpines.org/register. Event cost is $80 and will be due on arrival.
Check-in opens at 7:30pm Friday night and Check-out is noon on Sunday. A recommended packing list can be found on the left.
Event Directors: Teresa Hardin & Thomas Klein
Season of Prayer
Doing Hard Things Afraid
SHALA W. GRAHAM
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy …” Colossians 1:11 (NLT)
As I stood with my hands raised and one foot forward, the floor looked so far away. I was nervous. I was paralyzed. I had already done it successfully once that morning, but fear gripped me. Each time I tried again, fear foiled my follow-through.
At my gym that morning, we were working on skills for handstand push-ups, starting with kick-ups. I know … Why would I ever want to do that?! But there I was, doing a front handspring into a wall so that I would end in a handstand against the wall.
Kick-ups were not new to me. When I had done my first kick-up since returning to the gym back in April 2021, I’d gone upside down with surprising ease and held great form against the wall. Ya girl still has it!
But it was the coming out of the handstand where the pandemic pounds had gotten me. I had not prepared for the speed at which gravity would pull my now heavier leg out of the handstand. Practically doing the splits in the air, I’d pulled a muscle in my derrière. Classy, just classy, Shala!
The muscle wasn’t fully healed even several months later. So now, when I came out of my first kick-up that morning, I reinjured the muscle. I felt the pull. It hurt. I had a reason to be afraid. But the pain wasn’t too terrible, so I continued my workout. My coach came over to help me, but she just made me more nervous. Now someone is going to watch me fail? No ma’am!
I stood there staring at the wall as I prayed. God, why am I so afraid? Why can’t I do this? I know I can do it. Come on, Jesus! Let’s go!
After a pep talk with the Lord, inviting Jesus to join me in my upside-down battle, I regained my confidence. I completed three beautiful kick-ups despite the fear and the pain. I endured and walked away from the wall, feeling like a champ.
When I choose a word for the year, I add it, alongside my memory verse, to the wallpaper on my computer and phone. “Endure” was the word I chose for 2021. I had no idea what I was walking into in 2021, but I sensed it would require endurance. And this year, I’ve repeatedly leaned into my verse for the year, whether working out in the gym or fighting for God’s will in my home.
2021 has been a year where I felt like every day was a new opportunity to patiently endure and do hard things. I still feel the fear and the pain, but I decide to do it anyway. I do it afraid. I do it because God is with me, and He strengthens me with all His glorious power. When I ask, He shows up. And every time He shows up, my confidence and joy grow.
As Paul says in Colossians 1:11, “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy …” (emphasis added).
As the year comes to a close tonight, I hope you take inventory of all the ways you have been strengthened and how you have endured. And I hope you look forward to the new year with an indescribable joy because, despite all the things that came against you in 2021, you are still here. And when that hard thing that you know you can do — that God is calling you to do — stares you down … do it, even if you are doing it afraid.
Father, it feels like a miracle to make it through another year in a pandemic. I’m grateful to have life. I thank You for all the moments You strengthened me with Your power. As I move into 2022, I choose joy as I courageously do what You have prepared in advance for me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
As we reflect on this past year, it can be easy for the hard to overshadow the hope. But, because we put our faith in Jesus, the only source of hope, we can choose to hope in the midst of the hard. And we want to continue to help you do the same by continuing to provide free biblical resources to you and other women like you. Before this year is over, will you join our family of donors who have given in 2021? Give now!
Visit Shala W. Graham’s website to download free Bible study resources to encourage you in your calling to Jesus. You can also find Shala on Instagram for more everyday reminders of God’s unlimited truths.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
What opportunity has God presented for you to do, even if you have to do it afraid?
Let us hear from you! Add your thoughts about today’s devotion in the comments.
© 2021 by Shala W. Graham. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
New Year's Eve Prayer
Dear Lord, as I close the door on this old year,
I ponder on the things I've done...
on the things I've said and joys I've had...
then I wonder, have I lost or won?
I've thought of the new friends I have made,
and of the old ones stanch and true...
the path of the old year was made easier Lord,
Because I have walked it with You.
I think of all the many times,
When my burdens were so heavy to bear,
And how my faith slipped away from me...
But somehow You were always standing there.
Now as I open the door to this New Year,
And carefully peep inside,
I wonder what it holds for me..
But I'll throw the door open wide
And whatever it brings to me and mine,
I'll meet it with a heart so true...
I know that, Lord whate'er it may be
You'll be there to carry me through.
How to Store Oranges to Keep Them Fresh For Longer
Learn how to store oranges properly with step-by-step instructions.
By Corey Williams
Like most citrus fruits with tough outer peels, oranges don't spoil quickly. However, you can increase the shelf life of your oranges by storing them properly.
How to Store Whole Oranges
Whole oranges will keep for a few days to a week at room temperature, so you can go ahead and store them on the counter or in the pantry if you plan to eat them quickly. The best way to store whole oranges, though, is in the fridge. To store whole oranges in the fridge:
- Don't wash the oranges until right before you plan to eat them, as excess moisture will speed up the spoiling process.
- Place the dry oranges in a zip-top bag or airtight storage container.
- Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a month.
How to Store Cut Oranges
Cut oranges have a considerably shorter shelf life than their whole counterparts. To store cut oranges:
- Wrap orange wedges, halves, or slices tightly with plastic wrap or reusable storage wrap.
- Place the wrapped orange pieces in an airtight container.
- Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for three to four days.
How to Tell When Oranges Are Bad
Some tell-tale signs of oranges that are past their prime are bruising, shriveled peels, and mushy spots. Fresh oranges should be firm when you give them a gentle squeeze. Of course, if your oranges are growing mold or giving off a foul smell, throw them out ASAP.
How to Freeze Oranges
If you have a lot of oranges to use up before they go bad, freezing is probably the way to go. With this method, they'll last up to a year:
- Either peel your oranges or wash the peels thoroughly.
- Cut the oranges into wedges or slices.
- Arrange the pieces in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other, on a baking sheet. Cover the oranges and freeze for at least four hours or overnight.
- Transfer the now-frozen oranges to a freezer bag labeled with the date. Store in the freezer for up to a year.
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This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com