Dear Resurrection family, May the Incarnate Christ bring His hope, joy, love and peace to you this advent season!
Advent is a season of anticipation. We anticipate what God might do next in our lives and in the world. To help us anticipate correctly and biblically we do 3 things.
1. We look back at what he has already done.
2. We affirm his promises for our present relationship with him.3. We expect his prophecies to be fulfilled.
Proper biblical anticipation is different from mere human desires. We can easily set our hopes on some kind of desired outcomes that we think would make our lives better or more enjoyable. The problem is that we can easily deceive ourselves and get our hopes up for something that God didn't actually promise us. This sets us up for disappointment and then anger towards God. If our desires can be thwarted by another person then they are not godly goals. Godly goals are dependent upon only God and ourselves.
Our biblical hope must not be confused with the pursuit of the secular "American dream". One technique for evaluating our hopes and dreams and anticipations is to compare them to those of a Christian in a persecuted land. Ask yourself what a Chinese or Iraqi or Sudanese Christian would be anticipating this advent and Christmas season. Try to imagine what they might be praying for and asking God to do.
A friend of mine in the College of Prayer has met with house-church leaders from China. He says that the leaders are asking for our prayers as the level of persecution is on the rise. They are not asking that the persecution decrease, but that they would have perseverance and faithfulness in the midst of it. They are anticipating and praying that the increasing persecution will lead to stronger Christians with deeper prayer lives and more fervent love and devotion to Christ.
Maybe we could join in that prayer for them and also turn that into our pray for ourselves!
May God fill your hearts with his Hope, Joy, Love and Peace this advent season!
~Pastor Joel
Pastoral Tidbits
 Thank you to all the kids and leaders for putting together the Sunday school Christmas program. We appreciate you and the message you deliver to us.
 You are invited to come to our open house Saturday Dec 17th between 1:30 and 5:30. Come enjoy some Christmas treats and warm visiting.
 Our annual meeting is coming up in the new year. Let's be praying for God's vision for each aspect of our church ministry.
 Think about how the Incarnate Christ wants to continue to build his kingdom by living in you. That means that his incarnational ministry continues as your body becomes his temple. Wow!

Spiritual Gifts Nugget
As you think about selecting, purchasing, wrapping and delivering Christmas gifts I encourage you to think about the gifts that God has picked out for you! Your Spiritual gifts are meant to be opened, enjoyed and deployed. You would be a little disappointed if one of your loved ones never unwrapped the gift that you purchased for them. Might God also be disappointed if you never open and use the gift he has for you? Your spiritual gifts can also be thought of as gifts that you give away as you serve others. Maybe the best gift you could give to someone this Christmas season would be a word of prophecy as you declare the message of God to them.

Sunday School 

 Easter Sunday: April 16
 Last day: May 21


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