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Make Plain, Jesus Newsletter December 2012

Upcoming Events December 23, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. is our Christmas Celebration followed by a family fun and food time. Come and join us!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Make Plain, Jesus Ministries!! We are so excited to share the joy of this season with you through this newsletter. We understand that sometimes sharing news is not always positive but these articles are designed to share warmth, encouragement and joy in a fun and thought-provoking way. Can you sense our excitement?

Just think, this season trumpets the entry of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! It was so awesome that even the Heavenly Hosts had to appear and sing His praises. If they thought the moment was so awesome that they had to sing, so should we. Anyone want to sing "Joy to the World" with us????

Awesome Christmas by Pastor James Bryan Now that we have passed Thanksgiving and have entered the Christmas season, our attention focuses on the wonders of the season: the bright lights, the family gatherings, the excitement in the air and the goodwill felt by most. I am sure the most common prayer by children is for snow on Christmas day. This image, which is constantly burned into the memories of children based on what they see on TV and in the movies, projects a picture perfect scene. Just think, a fresh blanket of white snow coating the ground and trees. Although I am not a big fan of snow and winter, I must admit that freshly laid snow is beautiful to see. Have you ever noticed that when you go outside after a measurable snowfall that everything seems quiet? You can hear the sound of the wind, but the birds and

animals are usually quiet. It is so peaceful. I can image that years ago, in an area not covered by snow, that the shepherds were experiencing another quiet night in the fields. Some were nodding off to sleep while someone else kept watch over the flock by night. Yet there were others who continued to fight the fatigue of a long day's journey. Suddenly, a bright light appeared. The shepherds, jumped to their feet. The brilliance of the light seemed to illuminate every aspect of their surroundings such that now shadow could be seen! No longer was sleepiness to be found in them. Standing, looking at the light with their eyes wide open as if to capture every ounce of light, they behold the Heavenly Hosts. cont. on next page


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To their amazement, the Heavenly Host began to sing with loud voices in perfect harmony! The beautiful melodies seemed to surround them as if they were becoming part of the chorus also. What an experience it must have been!

Relationship Struggles By Aurielle Bryan

During your teenage and young adult years relationships can make or break you. How many times have you had friends that were heartbroken over a breakup, or were angered by betrayal Once over the shock, they listened to of a close confidante? These crucial the words being sung, “Glory to God in years mold you, emotionally, into the the highest, person that you will be for the rest of And on earth peace, goodwill toward your life. Experiencing too many men"! They all thought, "What could breakups can cause you to become this mean"? And then, the Heavenly hard hearted, and betrayal of a close Host vanished! Disappeared. The friend could lead to not trusting quiet of the night returned but their anyone. Whether we realize it or not, hearts were still racing. I am sure our relationship with God can be they looked at one another and asked affected by the relationships we have if they were dreaming. All I can say with other people and vice versa. is, "Awesome"! Think about it, isn't it easier to only As we go through this Christmas believe in God, and push Him to the season, we have to remember that excitement and joy should be part of back burner during the work week? Isn't easier to show up on Sundays and this season. It isn't about how many live your life the way you want every gifts you received or the number of other day? It's much easier to only go parties you attend, it is about to God sometimes...when it's wonderful the Lord is to arrange convenient. We become afraid of freedom from sin for all of us. This season commemorates the birth of the what accepting the entirety of God entails. That, in relationship terms, is Savior, the One who saves! It is an awesome display of love; for He came fear of commitment. to our rescue so that one day, we could live with Him for eternity. This is truly a season of celebration. So, when you begin to feel stressed because you have too many gifts to get and not enough time to get them, or you feel down because you cannot afford gifts; lift your head up to the One who gives you not only momentary provision, but eternity life. Make this Christmas better than any other.

people. We forget that God is not human, and therefore, is not fallible, distrustful, a deceiver, etc. We limit the relationship we can have with Him because of our doubts. Why, then, can we not approach our relationship with Him differently. Instead of approaching a relationship with God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth- who is almighty, all powerful, and all knowing yet, in his awesomeness he chose to love us in our humanity- as one would approach any other relationship, why not approach our other relationships as we approach our relationship with God. In other words, we should approach our relationship with The Father as one where we jump in wholeheartedly, readily putting Him above ourselves, and willing to do whatever it takes to make the relationship last. We need to think long term and get rid of the fear of rejection and failure. If we wholeheartedly hope to know more about Him, the relationship will last.

We approach God the same way we approach our daily relationships with

A Chance to Give When we think about how much the Lord has given to us based on His mercy and unending love, it should make us want to give also. What better time to give than during this season of giving! Here is the challenge. Find someone, outside of your family, and give him/her a gift for Christmas. It does not have to be the most expensive gift in town but please do not give something that doesn't cost your anything! Give that gift to that person you identified and

just tell them "Merry Christmas! Jesus loves you!" This act of kindness will surely make you feel good and it will put a smile on the face of the recipient. Once you've done it, you do not have to broadcast it to your entire neighborhood but please send us an email describing your experience.


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Encouragement for Men By Marques Hammond With society evolving the place and relationship that men have in life and in a family is becoming increasingly more important. As men we sometimes don’t appreciate or value the effort it takes for women to put total trust in us and be led by us. Often we leave the hearing of God’s word to women; or in some cases the reverse happens all we do is listen to God’s word, but disregard the cry of our families. There has to be a healthy balance. One of the most important lessons I have learned over the last three years is; a man’s value is not in the money he makes, but in the place he takes in life and in his family. Let me give you a time line. In May of 2008 we (my wife and I) purchased a home for us and our young son. In June of 2008 my daughter was born 3 months early. In February of 2009 I lost my job which I had worked at for five years and the time was half of our income. In May of 2009 we found out that another addition to the family was on the way. September of that same year my wife was put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy due to complications. Losing my job was a very low point for me because I was accustomed to working and providing. As men this is what we do, this is how we provide, or so I thought. This was the beginning of me learning how to provide in other ways and learning that God is control over everything. I know a lot of women out there would be uneasy and emphatic about the man of the house working and getting a job, but I must share this. The first thing my wife actually said to me after I was let go was, 'we will be alright.' Instead of insisting that I go out and apply for jobs, she made me enroll in school to finish getting my degree; then she said, 'you be the boss!' Now many of you right now are probably blown away- I know I was. Everything in me wanted to call a job agency and get another 9-5. I tried several times filling resume after resume out, it was very discouraging.

After a year of this God spoke through my wife again, repeating what she said the first time. I needed to learn not to lean on my own abilities, but to completely trust in God. As soon as I stopped trying to solve my problem God was able to work and reveal his plan. During this entire process God was keeping us. It turned out that I needed to be home to take care of my wife who was on bed rest for 5 months and was ill two months after having our third child. I needed to be home because our second child needed a physical therapist and speech therapist that had to come once every week in the morning from the time she was born till she was three. I needed to learn to not trust in my own ways and abilities but, trust in Him. I love and appreciate my wife for encouraging me and seeing what God was trying to do in me. I realize that everyone is not meant to work a 9-5 job. Today I am an independent contractor and I create my own schedule. I am a proud father of three, husband to one and under the leadership of One, God the Father. After being out of work for three years God has kept our family. Providing for your family is more than finances; it is supporting, leading, building, encouraging, loving, cooking, cleaning, and whatever helps your house become a home. The only way a threefold chord can be broken is if one of those chords is not God! Because even a man needs someone to lean on!

Immovable by Pastor James Bryan He was a young boy, much like any other, looking and wondering what he would be when he grew up. He was faithful to his family traditions and he was a good person. One day, when contemplating his future, his thoughts were interrupted by an encounter. He heard a voice. Not just any voice but the voice of God! He was told that he would not die until he would see the Savior of the World. And then, it was silent! "What happened?", he thought. "Was I dreaming? Was it something I ate? It couldn't be since I felt the voice permeate through my body, my spirit and my soul. It was if He knew me and I recognized his voice. What manner of message was this? Is the Messiah REALLY coming soon? Who is going to believe me? If He delivered this message to me, it must be the Messiah's return is imminent!" At this point, he went to all of his family and friends to share the good news. As you might expect, they all looked at him with a strange look. "Had he lost his mind?", they thought. "How is he to know when the Messiah would come"? Based on the reaction of others, he knew not to regularly mention his encounter since few people believed him but he kept every detail in his heart. From that day forward, he focused on doing everything possible to please God. He studied the scriptures and went to the temple as much as possible. He treated his neighbors as he would want to be treated. He loved the Lord His God with all of his heart, all of his soul and all of his mind. He taught his family and anyone else who would listen about the goodness of God and His coming Messiah. As the years passed by and his body began to show its age, his enthusiasm for God's promise still lived on. He was certain that He would not fail him. cont. on next page


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Even though countless people had told him he was dreaming and that God did not speak to him, he stood in faith until one day, it happened. He was going to the temple as usual and he was praying to God and suddenly a couple walked by with a baby. This was no ordinary baby since God's Glory could be seen all over him. He had no idea who the parents were but he could not take his eyes off of the baby. At that point, the Holy Spirit told him that this is the Messiah! What a joy! He had been decades in the coming but He was finally here! Wrapped in the excitement of the fulfillment of the promise and the presence of the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.� Simeon was full of joy for the promise he had waited for his entire life came true! What a privilege and honor for him. During this season of hope and joy, we must always remember that God says in Isaiah 55, "it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Based on His Word, live a life that trusts God to make the impossible possible. Give Him thanks for a victory already won.

Christmas Knowledge Test Let's test your knowledge of Christmas. Choose the correct answer from each question below. 1. When Mary was betrothed (engaged) to Joseph, in what city did they live? a) Jerusalem b) Bethlehem c) Nazareth d) Galilee 2. How many Magi followed the star to Jesus? a) 2 b) 5 c) 3 d) Don't know 3. From where did the Wise Men come in order to see Jesus? a) North b) South c) West d) East 4. Who told Joseph what to name the Baby? a) Joseph's father b) Angel c) Mary d) Joseph's mother 5. In what city did the wise men stop prior to seeing Jesus? a) Jerusalem b) Bethlehem c) Nazareth d) Galilee

Answers: 1.c; 2.d; 3.d; 4.b; 5.a

For more information, feel free to contact us at 410-846-0126 or visit our website at www.makeplainjesus.org. If you're in the area come and worship with us at our location at Arundel Christian School: 1321 Mercedes Drive Hanover, MD 21076

God Bless!

Make Plain, Jesus Newsletter December 2012  

Merry Christmas! This newsletter is designed to celebration Jesus, who is the reason for the season. Be encouraged and inspired!

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