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Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
This year, remind your heart that good things take time. Cling to the knowledge that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning. Maybe you fell short - forgot to read your Bible, were too tired to exercise, missed out on an opportunity - broke your resolution in some way. Tomorrow is fresh. Start again. Choose someone to whom you can be accountable. Pray for each other. Lift up your brothers and sisters at CCOG. We need each other.
In addition to having an excellent guest speaker, we also have the first First Sunday Meal of the year! This Sunday, January 7, is our meal. If you are giving up a certain food item (like sugar!), it would be a great idea to bring something that you would be able to eat. If you are doing a total fast (only liquids) there will be beverages, so you can still fellowship with us.
We begin our year long collection for Operation Christmas Child this month. The suggested item for January is something warm, such as gloves/mittens, scarves, or hats. Shipping costs and shoeboxes will also be needed throughout the year. Thank you in advance for the way you are going to bless the children around the world this year.
Our next outing with the homeless ministry, Watchmen of the Streets, is Tuesday, January 16. Between now and then, please bring coats, blankets, socks, and underclothes. If the coats and blankets are used, please wash them before donating. Monetary donations are also helpful. If you are fasting a food item, consider donating the cost of that item to help the homeless.
We begin our 21 days of fasting this month. Please be in prayer about what the Lord wants you to surrender for Him. I encourage you to read Isaiah 58 and Matthew 6 throughout your time of fasting. As you fast, give, pray/forgive, consider your actions, and surrender your anxieties. There are fasting resources such as devotionals and messages on the church website under the resources tab.
Try this on your fast
If you have a spouse, I encourage you to download the husband/wife challenges. If you are a parent, take a look at the words of encouragement for kids. The Bible is clear that if there is conflict in our relationships, our prayers are hindered. Take an extra step to appreciate or encourage those you love this month. Do this in faith, believing that God will help you to build a stronger marriage and relationship with your kids.