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December 28, 2014, 9:00 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - December 28, 2014


Good Morning Family!

You are such a gracious people! We would like to extend our very heartfelt thanks for your gift at Christmas to our family. We and your staff, Linda and Brent greatly appreciate your kindness and generosity. It is our pleasure to serve alongside you and each other here at FBCCF. The cards you have sent individually are all on display in the parsonage and are treasured.

I would also like to offer thanks to all those who had a hand in the Christmas program last Sunday morning. John, what a wonderful job of directing the choir you did! Choir members and soloists really did a fantastic job of sharing the story of Christmas with all that gathered that morning. All the workers with our children and youth did an exceptional job of preparing them for their parts in singing and acting out the Nativity. Dale Keel and David Hudson did a wonderful job on the stable scene that still sits on our platform this morning. We will be using that work of art for years to come!

We also had quite a turnout for our Christmas Eve service. Thanks to Linda Wilks for letting us in on a Christmas tradition and for Tracy Hudson sharing a powerful song about Jesus that clearly spelled out the Gospel. Special thanks to Gordon and Connie Sturgeon for always making sure we have what we need in order to celebrate The Lord’s Supper. It was a special evening to share together. Thanks for taking time out of your family time at home to have family time with the household of faith.

I am not sure what the weather will be like as you read this on Sunday morning. But, right now at high noon on Christmas Day, I am looking out my parsonage office window and the sun is out! I was beginning to think we would not see the sun again.

A research project in 2008 had participants take periodic walks in a forest area and found that fresh air lowers our levels of cortisol in our bodies to help lower blood pressure and stress. The sunlight gives us serotonin to help us ward off depression and stress. Sunlight also helps lower our levels of melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical that can make us lethargic.

These thoughts may seem odd to put in my letter as your pastor, but I am charged with your care and welfare not just spiritually, but to help in any way I can. As we enter these winter months, it is easy to let gray day after gray day begin to take a toll on you. When that old sun is out there, make sure you take advantage of soaking up the rays at least for a little while. Bundle up and go for a walk or just sit outside your house and breathe in the fresh air and thank the Lord for every breath He supplies and every ray of sunshine. Then as the scripture says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

As always, my prayer is that we would all Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15.

 

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann, Your Shepherd




December 21, 2014, 9:00 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - December 21, 2014


     We wish to say how thankful we are to the Lord for our church family.  We want to also tell you that you are so much more than that to us, you are indeed our family!

     The best thing about Christmas this year for Robin, Holly and me is being here with you all.  We pray the Lord's continued blessing on each of you as you serve Him and as we walk together forward into the New Year and for many years to come.

The Child in the manger

Is the Savior on the cross,

And now the King on the throne!

We pray for each of you a very...

Merry Christmas

With Love,

Bro Steve, Robin and Holly

 

 

 

 

 




December 14, 2014, 8:00 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - December 14, 2014


Good Morning Family!

In December, we as a church family adopt our budget together for the coming year. As families in our individual households, we usually assess these same issues when we look at how we need prioritize in our personal finances. Today, we will gather together after the service as a family and come to a consensus on where that should be for us corporately.

During the last few months, many in our family have done the leg work and prayerfully put together a pragmatic and prioritized budget for the coming year for FBC. The Budget Committee feels it is realistic and faithful to what they believe the Lord wants to accomplish through the church in 2015. It was made available to the church body last week and we have all had time now to pour over it and pray over it.

Today, we decide on the question of putting it into place as our guide for funding of ministry next year. At the same time we decide on that, we join hands in supporting ministry with our resources together. Our individual commitments to do our part toward what we together believe to be our priorities for ministry are what make the whole picture come together. That is the model for the New Testament church.

In 1 Corinthians 16:2, we are instructed to give as the Lord has prospered us. Even if we do not have much, the Lord has prospered us in providing basic necessities in one fashion or another. This passage clearly indicates our giving individually, is to be in proportion to our income. As the Lord blesses us, we are to bless His work from the provisions given to us from His hand. After all, everything we receive in this life is a provision from the Lord, even our very breath. Time, health, and monetary provision are all from His hand and are His to use through us. Many times in the Scriptures, God’s promise to bless our faithfulness is recorded.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul instructs the church in the principles of giving in that it should be freely and cheerfully given. The ability of the Christian and the needs of the church are the Biblical principle. Above all, our return of the portion to God’s work from our resources based upon how the Lord has prospered us should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ. “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Giving to the ministry of the church should be proportionate, freely given, not under compulsion, and given in an attitude of worship which brings cheer to the heart by willingly and enthusiastically being a part of what God is doing though the ministry of the local church. We are truly all in this together. There is great joy in knowing that!

In January, we will continue on with the last few installments of “On These We Stand”. I had planned from the onset of this series, as we have walked through the basics this first year, to come to the subject of New Testament giving near the end of it as I planned to conclude the series just after the first of the year. The teaching on New Testament giving will coincide with the beginning of a new budget year and a fresh look ahead of ministry here at FBCCF in 2015. There has been “method to my madness”.

As always, my prayer is that we would all Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15.

 

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann, Your Shepherd




December 7, 2014, 8:00 PM

From Your Pastor's Heart - December 7, 2014


Good Morning Family!

What a great time we had last Sunday night as we put decorations up in the Lord’s House.  A big thank you goes to all who participated and it looks so very good.  Our Father in Heaven deserves our very best as He gave His very best for us.  He sent His love down in the form of His Son.  Scripture proclaims that Jesus is our Redeemer who is mighty to save!  Glory to the newborn King!

That will be our theme all through December.  It is the title of the musical that our choir has been diligently working on and will present the morning of the 21st.  I have also adopted it as the title for this month’s sermon series as we walk through the events of Jesus’ first coming.

Today, we are going to focus on the earthly father of Jesus.  The Bible doesn’t tell us volumes about Joseph, but it does give us great insight into his character.  After all, God’s choice for the man to be a father to His only begotten Son would need to be a man devoted to God above all else.

I pray that these messages challenge us to be devoted to God above all else.  I hope you know by now that this should be the purpose of every message you will ever here from this pulpit.   This December, as we look at the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus, we will see the tremendous cost of the atonement.  Jesus is not a fire escape, an eternal insurance policy, and no, Jesus is not a “get out of hell free card”.   Our salvation cost Him everything and is not to be treated lightly or flippantly.

If Christmas tells us anything, it tells us of God’s solution to our problem of being lost in our sins.  He came to this earth miraculously.  He lived a perfect life, none of us could live.  He was the perfect sacrifice we could never be.  Then, He rose again to prove to the whole world that He was the One sent from God to be the Savior of the world.

As always, my prayer is that we would all Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”    II Timothy 2:15.

 

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd




November 30, 2014, 10:00 AM

From Your Pastor's Heart - November 30, 2014


Fifth Sunday Sermon

Good Morning Family!

I trust everyone enjoyed at least a little time with family and friends this past week.  We had a great time last Sunday as we celebrated Thanksgiving together as a church family.  We had 70 in worship and then sat down together around the table and thanked the Lord for His provision of a bountiful meal.  We also thank all those who prepared or helped layout the dinner and decorate.  If I start to name names, I will neglect someone, so please accept your church family’s gratitude for a job well done! 

This is a fifth Sunday, so we will experience together a prominent sermon from the past.  Today’s sermon is entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”.  This was preached by the great early colonial pastor-teacher Dr. Jonathan Edwards.  He preached this particular sermon at the church in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741.

The Great Awakening was beginning in the colonies at that time.  This was a move of God that saw revival sweep through the American colonies at just the right time which continued up to and became fuel for the American Revolution.  Although he was the pastor at Northampton Church in Massachusetts, the pastor at Enfield invited Edwards to speak to his congregation that day.

This sermon caused a great stir in that church and the community at the time and has been seen as instrumental of God’s movement in Connecticut to bring that part of the colonies into the great revival burning across New England.

His sermon was interrupted many times that morning by cries from the distressed and moved congregation of “What shall we do?  How shall we escape?”  The vivid imagery and the deep doctrine presented by Jonathan Edwards along with the moving of the Holy Spirit that particular morning has been the topic of history books since that day.

In the fall of 1757, Jonathan Edwards, being the leading American theologian and pastor at the time became president of Princeton University.  He served a short time until spring and then the Lord took Him home.  First and foremost, Edwards was a pastor that loved people and preached of God’s love and justice.  These themes are what compelled him to produce this sermon that still lives today and still can reach lives with the glorious Gospel.

As always, my prayer is that we would all Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”    II Timothy 2:15.

Humbly Yours,

Bro Steve

Dr. Steven Gann, Your Shepherd

 

 


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