January 7

Matthew, chap. 1

010713"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 1:18).

As we begin reading the biography of Jesus - for that is what the 4 Gospels are - I encourage you to do three things:
1. Be faithful to reading a chapter a day; this will take us through John's Gospel by Easter.
2. Reflect on one new insight into Jesus the Holy Spirit might give you each day.
3. If you have children at home, share with them ONE thing about Jesus each day, so that they will learn one new thing about Jesus each day of our journey. If time permits, read a chapter together.

January 4

010413It was a hero flight. It was for a soldier that had died and the body was to be flow out. The soldier had died from a gun shot wound.  He was in his early 20's, married, with a child and looked perfect except for the hole in his back and the hole in his heart. I prayed over him when he was pronounced. I wept. I don't understand anything. I think that is why I believe in God sometimes. I don't really know the why of anything. Thoughts of God are the only thing that gives me peace. For these flights the whole base would line up and salute while the body was loaded and flew away. It was overwhelming. You could feel the sadness and love. And we all knew that it could have been us on that helicopter.

This was a time I felt God's presence.  
 
Mike Scully

January 3

010313“God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” - NUMBERS 23:19

According to an unknown source, there are over 5,000 promises in the Bible. According to the Bible Prophecy Resource Center (online) there is a significant amount of biblical evidence that leads to the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah.  It was prophesied, claimed by others after His birth and by Jesus Himself. He didn’t just claim it, he fulfilled  every messianic prophecy we know of, leaving no room for doubt. What is the likelihood that someone could fulfill EVERY prophecy? According to this same website, Josh McDowell calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling only eight of the Messianic prophecies. This, they said, is equivalent to covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep, marking one of them, mixing them all up and having a blind-folded person select the marked one at random the first time.  

Now, we don’t claim to be Bible scholars and so, cannot defend the veracity of these particular claims but in our own searches of the Bible and in the case studies of our lives, we don’t find cause to doubt a basic truth. The Holy God of the Bible cannot lie and so, everything He says He is going to do can be counted on as a promise. Through the prophet (Isaiah 7:14), we were promised the child Immanuel, “God with us.” That promise came 700 years before the child Himself. In (Micah 5:2), it was told where He would be born. In (Jeremiah 23:5), Jesus’ family tree was predicted. A promise is of no more value than the ability and willingness of the one who makes it to carry through. God has proven He is willing and able to deliver on His promises.

We feeble humans can’t be counted on to deliver on our promises one hundred percent of the time. We are flawed and simply unable which, perhaps, makes it a challenge to read the promises given to us in the Bible with the full belief and expectation that every single promise we see printed there is absolutely, unfailingly reliable. To do so, is to be filled with joy and hope. Jesus promised “ I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Believe it, because God is not a man that he should lie…

PRAYER: Father God, it is almost beyond our human abilities to believe absolutely so we pray that you will dwell in us, reminding us every moment that you are unfailing and steadfast in your promises to us. AMEN.

A Women’s Emmaus Reunion Group

January 2

010213And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age. - MATTHEW 28:20
 
God does not promise health and wealth for going to church, teaching Sunday School or serving on the Mission Committee.  He does promise to be with you at all times.  Many do not believe He interferes in our lives but I cannot agree.  Too many times over the last ten years the right person has come with comfort and help at a time of need.  God nudges us to help others.

Some examples:
- A Sunday School class member was a calming presence in a time of panic.
- A couple taking Frank to Tampa for a last minute consultation before surgery     when a doctor couldn’t wait 24 hours.
- My daughter was right there at a time I collapsed.
- A “friend from Trinity” that I had not met came to the hospital with a flower on a morning when I was down.
- My son was there with the right words when Frank realized his battle was about over.
- Friends coming with food at a time of crisis.
- An offer of a bedroom when overwhelmed with family from out of town. (My brother and sister-in-law made a new friend.)

There were too many to mention all who were there when I needed them.
 
A heartfelt thank you to Trinity friends and all friends who came with help and comfort at just the right moment.  You were the hands and feet that showed God is love.  What a responsibility it is to listen to the “nudges” for each of us to show God’s love to all around us.
 
PRAYER: God, you are love.  Help me to show your love to all I meet. AMEN.    
 
Jean K. Martin

January 1

010113But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors! - Luke 2:10-14 (HCSB)

But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good. - Psalm 52:8-9 (HCSB)

Overwhelming, isn't it? Doesn’t this make you want to proclaim: But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God.
 
PRAYER: I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good. The seasons about what He has done. AMEN.


Mark Buese