I’m wondering where you like to worship—in our beautiful, clean sanctuary? Would your first choice be a smelly, dirty stable? After hearing the message from the angels, the shepherds responded by going to this stable to worship our Savior. I appreciate what Bill Crowder said: Shepherds celebrating at the birth of a Lamb—what could be more appropriate? So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger Luke 2:15-16. Let’s respond like the shepherds, first to worship, and then to tell what they’d seen! Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. Luke 2:17,18,20. Mark Your Calendar Call Lynda in the church office (385-5154) if you’d like to join us for a trip to Christmas in the Village at Florida Flywheelers, Friday, December 16, from 6:00– 9:00 p.m. Meet at the church at 5:00 p.m. The admittance fee is a package of dried food, canned goods, or a cash donation. Food will be available to purchase. December 15, 2016, at 11:15 a.m., we are looking forward to having the Sebring High School Show Choir under the direction of Zachary Thompson. Please bring a friend or two, and don’t forget to bring a little extra of your scrumptious pot luck food to share.
Thank you, Betty McMindes
YOUR CHURCH MEDIA LIBRARY YOU BECOME WHAT YOU READ! READ THE BEST FROM YOUR CHURCH LIBRARY!
We celebrate His birth… May Christmas love & joy surround you! Given in memory of Dottie Spencer:
The Lord has special plans for you through times of directed and purposeful waiting: Waiting on God: Strength for Today and Hope for Tomorrow By Charles F. Stanley The unpredictable impact of the inescapable Jesus: Who Is This Man? By John Ortberg The emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both of their lives forever: Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz & Samuel Gachagua
YOUR MEDIA CENTER IS LOCATED AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS ACROSS FROM THE ELEVATOR HOURS: SUNDAY 9-10:15 AM WEDNESDAY 5:45-7:15 PM Linda Kent
Welcome New Members 2016 Donald Baker Jack & Nancy Bullis
II Corinthians 9:7-8 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart-not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2016 ANNUAL CHURCH BUDGET.…….$965,000 BUDGET REQUIREMENTS TO DATE....$890,769 BUDGET RECEIPTS TO DATE….............$865,609 NOVEMBER REQUIREMENTS………......$74,232 NOVEMBER RECEIPTS…………………...$67,341
ISSUE #356 MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, SEBRING, FLORIDA DECEMBER 2016
Allen Carr Chuck & Rose Cousins Don & Orla Cox Paul, Debbie, & Jack Damron Jared & Morgan Davis Olivia Florio Danny & Clydean Gish Omar Goldsmith Silvestre Child Gomez Doris Guth Dell & June Kinney William LeFils ,Jr. Herbert & Dorothy Long Paul & Karen Paton Don & Darline Reeves Ricardo, Aleida, & Anna-Marie Ruano Sharon Samson Maria Santalucia Ken & Verlie Stevens Doug & Jeanne Stewart Larry & Jean Turley
Senior Pastor FBC Sebring Family, I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that God blesses your holiday season greatly! I always enjoy spending time with my church family around Christmas, because although the world around us can get so distracted by presents, doorbuster sales, and Rudolph, we recognize the true One that we celebrate at Christmas. The family of God gathers to thank God for the amazing miracle of the Incarnation. In this miracle, Jesus Christ – the fully divine Son of God – put on the human flesh that He had created and entered the world that He had spoken into existence. And through His perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection, He made a way of salvation and forgiveness and eternal life for us. HE is the greatest Gift ever given. This will be a special holiday season for our church family, because we have the opportunity to be together on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day! That will be exciting and encouraging, as we celebrate together Jesus’ birth and thank the Lord for a new year. In January, we will have a special emphasis on Prayer and Fasting. The goal is for us to press further in our relationship with the Lord and to ask Him to bring revival to our churches and community. We are participating in this 21-day emphasis with 7 other area churches: Grace Bible Church Bible Fellowship Church First United Methodist Faith and Family Life Worship Center Avon Park Lakes Baptist Wings of Faith Christian Worship Center Whispering Pines Baptist This collaboration between these churches has grown out of the monthly prayer group of senior pastors that I am blessed to be part of. The pastors have already written devotionals for our church members to study on each of the 21 days, and our churches will all be walking through the same texts of Scripture on January 15, 22, and 29. I can’t wait for this – because of what it will mean in the lives of God’s people, but also for the Christian unity it will present to our community! More details will be forthcoming – but please ask God to work powerfully through this time in January. Pay close attention to your bulletin, please, for our holiday schedule. I love you, and I hope that you have a Merry Christmas! Pastor Matt
Pastor to Students
Minister of Music
To Celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the Love of God. There is a church tradition that says that the Apostle John always said something plain and simple in his old age: Dear children, Love one another. And he said that over and over, till someone asked: Is that the only thing you have to say? He simply replied: I repeat that because that is the commandment of the Lord, and if you obey it, that is sufficient. If we Christians truly loved one another, that would be enough. We find John in his first letter saying that, but Jesus also says it. And that is the story of Christmas. God sent His Son, and He became flesh and dwelt among us. When you think about that Baby in the manger, know that that is God in the flesh, manifesting His total and complete love for us. So, the question that I was confronted with is: What am I going to do to truly show the love of God to others during this Christmas season? And the challenge for us is to experience the love of God in your life by sharing love with or to someone this Christmas. God bless you and Merry Christmas. Nuno
Pastor to Children & Families
Dear Church Family, It’s hard to believe it’s already Christmas time! Time moves fast, but I encourage you to slow down and take some time to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. It’s easy to get so caught up in Christmas parties and gifts and putting up a tree that we forget to spend time with Jesus. We are already starting to plan our mission trip to Romania for next summer. We will be going in late June and coming back in early July. We will have an informational meeting on January 15, 2017, immediately following the morning worship service. You will then have until the end of January to turn in a $200 deposit and passport information. Please being praying if this is something God may be leading you to be a part of. God bless, Lonnie
Dear Church Family, The month of November has been a very busy one. We have completed our Upward Evaluations, and I am happy to report to you that we have 177 kids participating this year! We are looking forward to sharing the love of Christ with them in multiple ways. Upward begins in January. Please be in prayer for all the coaches and volunteers as they try to influence these children for the gospel. As you may have noticed, the playground has undergone a face lift, and much work has been done. The turf, some playground equipment, and the fencing have been replaced and upgraded. The work is now complete and it looks amazing! The children have been really excited the last couple of days to play on their new playground. Last, but not least, on a personal note: Olivia and I want to thank you for your support of our family and ministry here. Your overwhelming support and encouragement to us has meant more than you know. Thank you!
UPCOMING EVENTS: WINTER BEACH RETREAT – FEBRUARY 24-16, 2017 The dates for our Winter Beach Retreat are set! This is going to be an amazing weekend. Sign up is going on now. See Lonnie for more information. DECEMBER SERIES: THE STORY We’ll continue to finish up the series “The Story.” We’ll see how God continues the story of His love for us by working through men and women to spread the gospel throughout the world.
God Bless, Jason
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** There will be NO childcare on Christmas Day.
Hispanic Mission El propósito de Dios Romanos: 8:28 dice, Y sabemos que a los que aman a Dios, todas las cosas les ayudan a bien, esto es, a los que conforme a su propósito so llamados. Dios es soberano, lo cual quiere decir que todo lo que afecta nuestra vida debe tener algún propósito pues nada que nos suceda carece de sentido ni es inútil. Nosotros jamás seremos simplemente otra víctima de un mundo injusto, más bien Dios tiene propósitos muy importantes para refinarnos como el oro y transformarnos a la imagen de su hijo y ser glorificado por medio de nosotros. Entre más alarmante sea la adversidad, mayor será el Ministerio para el que Dios nos está preparando, entre más honda sea la herida, más profunda y eficazmente le usara Dios para llevar a cabo su obra en el mundo si confiamos en él y le obedecemos. Hermanos debemos evitar toda amargura y resentimiento, recordemos siempre que al fin de cuentas, Dios controla todo, que su amor por nosotros nunca cambia y su voluntad es buena. Nosotros no somos víctimas, somos sus hijos amados. Queridos hermanos, de parte de La Misión Hispana, les pido su oración y apoyo, ya que tendremos una Fiesta Hispana o Block Party, el día 10 de diciembre, a las 3:00pm. Esperamos que Dios nos use en esta actividad para seguir alcanzando almas para Cristo. Su amigo en Cristo, Pastor Luna.