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A Word from Wade
Dear Church Family,
Next Sunday (Christmas Eve) will be a special day of celebration. We will have FOUR services that day – two in the morning at 9:00 am and 11:00 am – and two in the evening at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
The two morning services will be our regular worship services, and I will continue our series on “The Glory” by showing you how “The Glory Returned” in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (the reason we celebrate Christmas).
That evening, we are planning two special Candlelight services which you will not want to miss. Bring your family and friends and make it a day of worship and fellowship at Emmanuel. Between the two evening services, we will have a church-wide reception with refreshments in the HUB so people can mingle and fellowship between the Candlelight services.
Guests, this Sunday (December 17, 2017) is a perfect time for you to get more acquainted with our mission and ministries at Emmanuel. Our “Are You New?” table in the lobby of the auditorium is staffed by men and women who can answer your questions about all our various ministries.
The Spirit is moving in hearts in Enid. Lives are being transformed. It’s great to be a part of Emmanuel Enid.
“Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel. Born is the king of Israel!”
A song we are singing today in all three of our services is a Christmas carol by the name of “The First Noel.” Although it cannot be found in print form in a hymnal before the year 1823, it is believed to have been a Christmas carol sung by the French as early as the 1400’s. When the first five stanzas of the carol are sung, the story of the announcement of the birth of Christ to the shepherds and their arrival to the manger can be traced throughout the verses. The sixth and final verse is the one I want to focus on. “Then let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord. Who hath made heaven and earth of naught. And with his blood mankind hath bought.” The word “noel” is a French word meaning “Christmas,” but the original Latin word (natalis) translates to mean “birthday.” It is almost as if the chorus is our way of singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, the Savior of the world. What a happy birthday it is! We do come to sing praises to our heavenly Lord for with his birth comes the Son of God and Son of Man who was born to take away the sins of the world. Happy birthday, Jesus! We celebrate you today and in this Christmas season!
During this holiday season, we have been taking the time as a youth group to be a part of the Joy Project. As we serve, I have had the privilege to stay with our Middle Schoolers here at the church as they help our nursery clean and get ready for the busy season ahead. As we were helping last week Galatians 5:13 came to my mind, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
Watching our Middle Schoolers serve has reminded me that this Christmas season isn't so much about us but others. We need to be intentional to love one another as Galatians describes. Setting aside our desire to indulge our flesh by helping someone else. That is what the love of God looks like. That's what a baby in a manger was intended for. To show what God's love for us is. So, I encourage you to spread it and be intentional. Whether it's time, money, or your words use them to spread the love of God.
The saving miracle is that God became flesh and chose to dwell among us. Our Savior left heaven’s throne so that we could know Him. He came for the rich and powerful. He came for the weak and poor. He came for the repentant sinner and the prideful. He came for those who are boastful and those who are meek. Jesus’ birth was first announced to poor shepherds out in fields. This alone proves that God sent His son for every single one of us. God gave us Jesus! Let’s dwell on the most perfect gift that could ever be given! We can begin by understanding and celebrating the life of Christ and living through His love for us, within us, pouring out that love to others.
Emmanuel Enid Family,
We can never perform well enough to please God. Therefore, He sent Christ to perform for us. Yet, we live in a world that says, “perform for me to be approved.” Our jobs are often this way as well as our marriages and our relationships with friends and children. Performing to gain approval ruins relationships. Christ fully approves of His people. This truth empowers us to love others and not set standards for people to gain our acceptance but to love them unconditionally.
We can share this Good News with those around us during this Christmas season. Be in prayer this week for opportunities to share the Good News of Christ with a friend, colleague or family member!
Emmanuel's Singles group helps singles CONNECT with each other, GROW in their faith, SERVE others in love, REACH their world for Jesus, and HONOR God with their life.
We are multiple communities of single men and single women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, who are actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus by living out God’s purpose for our lives. Whether you’ve never been married, you are divorced, widowed, or a single parent, this is the place for you.
God doesn’t want you to live in isolation. Psalm 68:6 tells us, “God places the lonely in families...” That’s us! Emmanuel Singles is a family where you can know others and be known. Regardless of where you are on your spiritual journey, our family is open to you. We look forward to meeting you!
In all the hustle and bustle of this season, let us stop and reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in the decorating, baking and social events and forget the Real Reason.
I love this passage from Matthew:
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with us.
- Matthew 1:21
Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
Being an example is not the main thing in influencing others … it is the only thing. You must model leadership. People emulate what they see. Positive model, positive response. What leaders do, the potential leaders do. What they value, their people value. Leaders cannot demand of others what they do not demand of themselves.
BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!
This time of year seems to get extremely busy, hectic, and sometimes even frustrating. It's worth your time to take a breath and refocus yourself on Christ this holiday season. In the end, nothing that you might be getting worked up about matters as much as your steadfastness in Him. Lean on Him, and he will give you the energy to make it through this crazy holiday season!
Are you interested in getting involved in production here at Emmanuel? We are always looking for dedicated volunteers. If you want to get plugged in, we have open spots to run sound, lights, graphics, and cameras!
Senior Adult Ministry
Here at Emmanuel, we have many events for our seniors like occasional out-of-town bus trips, especially favoring dinner theaters. Every November there is an opportunity for a three-day charter bus trip to Branson, MO. The vast majority of senior activities at Emmanuel is found in the integration of seniors with church-wide OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH and CHRISTIAN SERVICE.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
Our seniors currently participate among at least ten community groups available from which to choose. Senior men join the discussion at our Tuesday morning Men's Discipleship led by Wade Burleson and assisted by me. Our senior women are blessed with many ladies' Bible studies during the week, attended by senior women and some led by senior ladies.
Senior life at Emmanuel is best observed in the ways seniors serve the cause of Christ. They are active in mentoring groups, choir, video production, as greeters, ushers, community group leaders and teachers, children’s workers, Women on Mission, mission trips, local prison ministry, discipleship of our local Department of Correction detainees, English as a Second Language, Gideons, and Deacons Service Committee, just to name some.
SALT (Senior Assisted Living Together)
We as a church do not want to forget our Emmanuel family members who have become homebound. It is only right for us able-bodied members of Emmanuel to remember those who have served in the past with our care. We have a list of homebound church family members whom volunteers in the church can love and encourage through face to face visits.
Emmanuel Christian School
The Work Is Too Heavy For You Alone
In Exodus 18 we see Jethro visiting his son-in-law, Moses. During the visit Jethro notices Moses alone, is attempting to teach the people about God. Wisely, Jethro advises his son-in-law that “……the work is too heavy for you; you can not handle it alone” (vs.18).
Moses then selects individuals to help him with the task of teaching the people about God. Specifically, individuals who fear God, love the truth of God, and hate dishonest gain (v.21).
These three principles, found within Exodus, are constant guides for the staff at ECS. In Luke 6:40 we are reminded that “…everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Our goal at ECS is to prepare students for life, that the students at ECS would fear God, love the truth of God, and hate dishonest gain.
Emmanuel Baptist Church family, thank you for your continued support of the ministry that is ECS.
Emmanuel Enid Library
Our church library is full of Christian books: Christian fiction, books for Christian growth, biographies, Bible studies, books for women or men, devotionals, books on prayer, books for parenting and marriage, audiobooks (CD’s), and DVD’s. Books are added to our collection every month. The library is located across from the nursery in room A106.
Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at It’s Best by Eugene H. Peterson. We all long to live life at its best-to fuse freedom and spontaneity with purpose and meaning. Why then do we often find our lives so humdrum, so unadventuresome, so routine? Or else so frantic, so full of activity, but still devoid of fulfillment? In this fresh update of a spiritual classic, Eugene Peterson offers his profound reflections on the life of Jeremiah the prophet, set in a contemporary context through a new preface. Filled with humor and self-revelation, his writing helps to set the course for us in the quest for life at its best.
FICTION – Terri Blackstock
Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-selling author, with over seven million copies sold worldwide. She is the winner of Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award.
With over thirty years as a novelist, Terri’s’ imagination remains one of her most successful attributes. She has a gift of weaving faith and hope into her novels with page-turning plots that challenge her readers. Terri hopes to leave her readers knowing they are not alone and that life’s trials do have a purpose. Her series include Intervention, Moonlighter, Newpointe 911 and many more.
Favorite Verses: Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 3:20. "I have a plan for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)