Dear Sisters in Christ,
Thank you to Judy Hovis for our devotional this week.
The Candle of Joy is lit and brings light and life to all!
Central’s advent theme this year is Journey to the Unexpected.
From the start of this journey the word joy has jumped out at me as part of the word journey.
We are on a journey in which we will find joy!
What is joy?
- As defined on a key chain I once owned, it said: Joy is not the absence of pain but the presence of God.
- It is an inner peace deep within that tells me all is well when visually or physically nothing seems to be.
- It is seeing God keep his word and promises over and over, that gives me an assurance of knowing he is in control of all the details of my life.
- For the shepherds it could have been the angels words,”Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager.” After the angels left, the shepherds left the sheep to go to Bethlehem to see this thing that had happened. They found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the manger, just as they had heard from the angels. They returned to the fields glorifying and praising God for what they had heard and seen was just as they had been told. Imagine the joy of being among the first to know of the birth of Jesus and to see him!
- For the Magi,upon seeing the appearance of the star, they were overjoyed and followed it to Bethlehem to find the baby in the stable. They bowed down and worshipped him and gave him gifts.
- A joy overflowing from their heart.
- For Mary, it may have been the visit from Angel Gabriel to tell her she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus. She only asks how because she is a virgin, Gabriel tells her the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the Most High will overshadow you. The child will be called the Son of God. For nothing is impossible for God. Mary says,”May it be to me as you have said.” On her Jesus journey, we often hear the words, she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. I believe these are joy moments for her to remember in the painful days that would lie ahead.
- For Simeon, a righteous, devout man filled with the Holy Spirit. It had been revealed to him through the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the spirit, he went to the temple the day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to present him to the Lord as custom required. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God saying,” Sovereign Lord you have done as you promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace for my eyes gave seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. What joy must have filled Simeon’s heart as the promise of God was fulfilled for him.
- For Anna, a prophetess who lived in the temple worshipping, fasting and praying day and night. She too came to baby Jesus and gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. What joy for prayers answered and seeing God’s plan unveil in her lifetime.
Psalm 16 verse 11 says:
You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,
With eternal pleasures at your right hand.
As you sing Christmas Carols this Christmas season, listen to the words and be reminded of the joy that we receive at Christmas through the birth of Jesus. The message resounds through the words of: Joy to the World, Go Tell it on the Mountain, What Child is This, Angels we have Heard on High to mention a few.
As we light the candles let us remember out of Hope comes Love and Peace and through Peace Jesus comes and in him our joy is complete as we seek to know him, receive him, follow him and rest in Him.
Dear Jesus, Oh come and let us adore you, let us seek your light for our lives, that we will pray, praise and worship you each and every day, so as to be filled with the joy of you who lives within us and gives us peace. Amen
SHE Equip Devotional – If you would like to be involved in writing a devotional contact Kris Studniski at email@example.com
Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) – The study for this year is Romans
Join over 100 women from the surrounding area Monday nights 7:00-8:30 at Central. Contact Kris Studniski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Prayer – Monday evenings 5:45-6:45. Join Judy Hovis and Kris Studniski in the chapel.
Armor of God (Priscilla Shirer)
All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you — unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life: the devil. If you are tired of being pushed around, this seven-week study is for you.
Tuesday evenings – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
January 9 through February 20
Led by: Pam Wagner
Register by December 28
Finding I Am – (Lysa Turkherst)
What is the deep cry of your heart? The ache in your soul that keeps you up at night? The prayer you keep repeating? Jesus not only cares about this deep, spiritual wrestling, but He also wants to step in and see you through it. This study will walk you through these struggles.
Monday mornings – 10:00 to 11:30 am
January 8 through February 5
Led by: Sonja Knutson
Cost: $12 per person
Register by December 28
Our identity is the source from which we live and move each day. Believing in Jesus means that you’ve been given a new identity – one that cannot be shaken or changed because it is established in Christ. This six-week study is a look at what the Bible says on this new identity. We want to walk you through Scripture and promises from God that will redefine your identity and give you a new understanding of what it means to live as a daughter of Christ who knows whose she is and who she is.
Saturday mornings – 9:30 – 11:00 am
January 27 through March 10
Led by: Stacy Minor Cost $24 per person.
Register by January 15
Lifetree Cafe – 508 Freeport Ave Ste A (Guardian Angels Corporate Office board room)
12/20 – Mental Illness
12/27 – Overcoming Hardship
1/3 – Inside the Gun Debate
Mothers of Preschoolers are looking for more volunteers to help Thursday mornings at Central with childcare. Contact Bailey Gerdes for more information.
Central Women’s next book discussion will be on Tuesday, January 9 at 1:30 at the Elk River Activity Center and the book will be Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. Soon after the fall of the Taliban, the author went to Afghanistan to help this war-torn nation. Well meaning, flawed, and sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation as she began the Kabul Beauty School, teaching Afghan women how to cut and color hair to become their family’s breadwinner. She is a frank and entertaining storyteller and the reader learns a great deal about Afghan women and women throughout all societies. The book is available at Holy Grounds on Sunday mornings or at the church office for $5.00. All women are invited.
Love, Peace, and Joy!
The She Leadership Team