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Prepare Him Room | by Anna Maria Gardiner

Prepare Him Room | by Anna Maria Gardiner

The long awaited Christmas season has finally arrived—the Christmas music is playing

on our radios, our neighborhoods are slowly beginning to glow from Christmas trees shining through the windows, gift displays are filling the stores, and the Hallmark Christmas movies are in full swing.

Each year, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of Christmas season, excited for the cozy nights spent at home with family, the beautiful Christmas services at church, and the extra time to truly reflect on the reason for the season—the humble birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Word becoming flesh. However, if you’re like me, it often seems that I reach the end of Christmas and look back thinking “I had such greater intentions for this Christmas season.” Maybe it’s the busy holiday schedules… maybe it’s the temptation to use Christmas break as a time to be lazy… maybe it’s the distraction of earthly gifts… maybe it’s just a big ole’ mix of all these things.

So the question that we must ask ourselves is: “How can I be proactive now in preparing myself and my heart for what God has planned to do in me and through me this Christmas?”
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He Moved into the Neighborhood

He Moved into the Neighborhood

 

What do you think of your neighbors? We all have neighbors and we live in neighborhood communities. Sometimes we have good neighbors and sometimes we have neighbors that get on our nerves. There have been neighbors featured on television and in the theater. There was Mr. Wilson who lived next door to Tim the tool man Taylor. He would peek over the fence and say, “hi-di-ho, neighbor.” What about Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood? He was always introducing us to his neighborhood characters and scenery.
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Great Gratitude

Great Gratitude

We need to learn the secret of having an attitude filled with gratitude.  We live in a day when people are not content with what they are and what they have.  The most common words used by some people are, “If only.”  They sit around and say, “if only I was thinner, if only I was richer, if only the kids would come, if only the kids would go.”  They live in the world of, “if only.”  In Philippians 4:6 the Apostle Paul says that we need to pray with thanksgiving.  Many times our prayers go like this, “Lord please give me, Lord please help me and Lord please show me.”  There are two words that should be added to those prayers.  They are the words, “with Thanksgiving.”  The issue with so many American Christians is that they are not content.  The Apostle Paul speaks of contentment in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Paul states that he has learned the secret.  He doesn’t say he learned the principle or truth.  Living in gratitude is a secret to most Christians.  Let me make a list of what you should be grateful for.   

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2018 Fall Retreat Sessions

2018 Fall Retreat Sessions

The theme of the Retreat was Abiding with God. Through the sessions, praise and worship, community time and individual devotions, we sought to answer the question, What does God want out of His relationship with us? The answer is intimacy. We spent our time fleshing out what intimacy with God looks like, what it means to find our home in Him and how this affects our relationship with the body of Christ. We are most ourselves, and most available to others for God’s purposes when we learn how to abide with Him.

Session 1: Intimacy: the Nature of Our Relationship with Christ

Session 2: What Does it Mean to Abide?

Session 3: My Responsibility in Abiding

Session 4: How Intimacy Equals Community

Coming Down From the Mountain

Coming Down From the Mountain

Exodus 34:29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his [God’s] speaking with Him.

When we have been on the Mountain with God coming down from the mountain is a challenge for both us and those we come in contact with at the bottom.

It is a challenge for us because our hearts have been changed. We have been with God. We have seen Him as He is, we have come to understand Him in new ways and evaluated our lives accordingly.  We have also encountered new truth, been given space to be moved by the spirit and have come to new resolutions. In short, our faith has been renewed and we have repented of the frivolous things in our lives. These moments are powerful as all encounters with God should be.
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Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Are you ready for an exciting season of Operation Christmas Child? We certainly hope so! This is a church wide missions project and we need all hands on “decking the halls.”

This year our goal is to collect over 1000 shoeboxes! To accomplish this we need a full scale effort with everybody participating. We need buyers, we need packers, we need prayers, we need givers, but most importantly we need YOU! So come and join the fun. Be a part of the greatest operation leading up to Christmas.

Extravagant Love

Extravagant Love

Welcome to the First Seniors blog. I am so honored to help shepherd and minister to the senior adults at First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC. Our senior adults have so much energy and enthusiasm. It is hard to keep up with them. I am always impressed with the great extravagant love they have for one another. In John 13:35 it says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Continue reading →

Good News Club

Good News Club

The Good News Clubs is an after school program focused on reaching kids with the gospel. It’s designed for kids and makes learning about the bible fun!

Children who have received parental permission come to the club after school is dismissed and separate into different rooms based on grade level. They are split again into smaller groups whereby they grab a snack and begin going over bible verses with their small group leaders. Sometimes they may sing a song or listen to a story but the goal is to learn about the bible. When small group time is up all groups converge in the gym for some worship, stories, and bible lesson.

Good News Club helps provide a safe and loving environment for kids while sharing the love of Jesus. It is a program that reaches children of all backgrounds and gives an opportunity for children that don’t go to church to learn about Jesus.

Are you interested in Volunteering? Good News Club is happening now and we need your help! Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you. Thank you!

Good News Club

Meeting Place: Meadowfield Elementary School

Time & Day:  Thursdays @ 2:15 pm (Begins Feb.7 and ends March 14)

Address: 525 Galway Ln, Columbia, SC 29209

If you come on your own be sure to check in at the front desk and get a pass. Ask them to direct you which room to go to for the club.