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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2005, 09:15:26 PM »

 Dinner on the Ground

    "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.'" Exodus 16:12 (NIV)

Do you like chicken nuggets? I do! I went by "The Chicken Shack" this morning and picked up a box of chicken nuggets. Would you like to share them with me? Look, they not only gave me some chicken nuggets, they even gave me some hot biscuits and honey! Mmmm, Mmmm! It doesn't get much better than this, does it?

Wouldn't it be great if every evening at dinner time, you could open your front door and walk out into the yard and pick up boxes full of chicken nuggets? All the chicken nuggets you could eat! And what if every morning you could open the front door and walk out into the yard and pick up boxes full of the hot biscuits with honey for breakfast? That would be great, wouldn't it?

Did you know that something almost exactly like that happened in the Bible? God's people, the Israelites, had been held as prisoners in Egypt for many years. When they were finally free and left Egypt, they were looking for the land that God had promised them. After they had been wandering around lost in the desert for a couple of months, the people started to grumble and complain against their leaders, Moses and Aaron.

They said, "We had it better when we were in Egypt. At least we had plenty to eat. You have brought us out here in the desert to starve us to death!"

God heard the people complaining and he told Moses that in the evening he would send quail to cover the camp so that the people would have meat to eat. Then, in the morning, after the dew was gone, there would be bread on the ground for all to eat. All they had to do was go out and pick it up and eat it.

Why did God do this for those grumblers and complainers? He did it so that they would know that he loved them and cared for them and that he would take care of them.

Sometimes you and I grumble and complain, don't we? We forget that God loves us and that he provides us with all that we need. Instead of grumbling and complaining, we should be saying, "Thank you!"

Dear Lord, we all grumble and complain at times. When we do, help us to remember that every thing we have comes from you. Amen.

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« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2005, 04:01:48 PM »

 Water from a Rock!

The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. Exodus 17:5-6 (NIV)

How many of you have ever played the game Rock, Paper, Scissors? People all over the world play that game. Not just children either -- even adults play the game. Did you know that there is an international tournament each year and players from all over the world come together to compete in Rock, Paper, Scissors? Yes, Rock, Paper, Scissors is a very popular game.

As you probably know, each player holds one fist in front of him and hits it with his other fist three times. Then, on the fourth time, the player's top hand forms either a rock, paper, or scissors. (Demonstrate each as you say the words.) This is how you know who wins: a rock smashes scissors, paper covers a rock, and scissors cut paper.

Let's play! You can all play against me and you can keep track of how many times you win. Ready? One, two, three, go. Okay, I made a rock. If you made paper, you win. If you made scissors, I win. If you made a rock, we tied. (Play the Rock, Paper, Scissors for a few minutes.)

The great thing about Rock, Paper, Scissors is that any one of them can be a winner. I have a real rock, paper, and scissors this morning. If you are going to write a letter, a rock or scissors wouldn't be much help, but a piece of paper would, wouldn't it? If you wanted to cut a piece of paper, a rock or paper wouldn't help, but a pair of scissors would. If you were really thirsty and needed a drink of water, a piece of paper or a pair of scissors wouldn't be much help, but a rock might be exactly what you need.

What? Some of you are looking at me like you think I'm crazy! Don't you think a rock would help you if you needed a drink of water? Well, in our Bible story today, that is exactly what happened. Our Bible story today is called, "Water from a Rock."

Moses was the leader of the people of Israel. He was leading them from Egypt to a land that God would give to them. They were wandering through the desert and people were thirsty. They began to grumble and complain to Moses. "We are dying," they said, "our children are dying, our cattle are dying. Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die out here in the desert?"

Moses went to his tent and fell on his knees before God. "What should I do?" Moses prayed. "There is no water in the desert. The people are thirsty and they are ready to kill me."

God answered Moses and said to him, "Take your shepherd's staff and walk ahead of the people. I will meet you by the rock at Mount Sinai. When you come to the rock, strike it with your staff and water will flow from the rock. The people will be have plenty of water to drink."

Moses did exactly what God told him to do and guess what happened? He got water from a rock!

So, what should you and I do when we face an impossible situation? We should ask God for his help, and then trust in him. Sometimes we may not understand the way God is leading, but we just have to trust him. After all, who would have thought you could get water from a rock?

Dear Father, when we face impossible situations, help us to remember that we serve a God who can get water from a rock. Amen.

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« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2005, 04:03:11 PM »

 Guidance from God

Exodus 20:1-17

How many of you have ever seen a gyroscope? A gyroscope is a very interesting object and I have brought one to show you this morning. If you have ever played with a gyroscope, you know that they can do all sorts of interesting tricks. They can balance on string, on your finger, or on the tip of a pencil. I can remember spending many hours playing with a gyroscope when I was a child. In fact, I thought the gyroscope was a toy!

A gyroscope is not a toy! It is actually a very important piece of scientific equipment. For example, an airplane uses gyroscopes in its compass and autopilot system to keep it flying in the right direction. The Russian's Mir space station uses gyroscopes to help keep it in the right position. The Space Shuttle uses gyroscopes to help keep it pointed in the right direction. Gyroscopes are even used to keep track of the movements of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Just as airplanes, space shuttles, space stations, and space telescopes need help from the gyroscope to keep them pointed in the right direction, you and I need help in keeping our life pointed in the right direction. God has given us just the right guidance system needed to keep our life headed in the right direction. It is called the Ten Commandments.

(Hold up the poster, if you made one, and read the Ten Commandments to the children.)

Now that God has given us the guidance system we need to keep our life on the right course, it is up to us to put that guidance system into operation in our daily life.

Heavenly Father, help us to follow the guidance that you have given to us to make sure that our life is headed in the right direction. Amen.

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« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2005, 04:04:16 PM »

Thanks Living

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

When someone does something nice for you, what do you do? You say, "Thank you," don't you? Sometimes that just doesn't seem to be enough. Has someone ever done something for you that was so nice that you wanted to do more than just say, "Thank You." I have. When that happens, I sometimes send them a "Thank You" card. Everyone enjoys receiving a "Thank You" card.

Another way you can show your thanks when someone does something really nice for you is by doing something nice for them in return. For example, if someone invites you to spend the night and you have a really good time, you should return their kindess by inviting them to come and spend the night with you.

It is always important to show our appreciation when someone does something for us, isn't it?

Well, I don't know anyone who has done more for us than God has. God provides food when we are hungry and water when we are thirsty. He heals us when we are sick and he comforts us when we are sad. The Bible tells us that he is an ever-present helper in times of trouble.

Because of all God has done for us, we say, "Thank you." But somehow that doesn't seem to be enough. We could write him a "Thank You" card, but I don't think the Post Office could deliver it, do you? I have a good idea, why don't we do something nice for him in return? But how?

Jesus told us how to do it. Jesus, said, "Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do it for me." That means when we feed someone who is hungry, it is the same as doing it for Jesus. When we visit someone who is sick, it is the same as doing it for Jesus. When we give clothes to those who are in need, it is the same as doing it for Jesus.

There is a very special name for this way of saying, "Thank you." I call it "thanks living."  "Thanks living" is when we show our thanks by the way we live. "Thanks living" is when we look at the many ways God has blessed us, and we thank him by being a blessing to others.

Let's pray and ask God to help us to offer our thanksgiving by "thanks living."

Our Father, we come into your presence with thanksgiving. Help us to turn our thanksgiving into "thanks living." Amen.

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« Reply #49 on: November 16, 2005, 11:39:39 AM »

 "Make Your Father Proud!"

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."  Mark 1:9-11

This is a photo album that has some pictures we took of our son as he was growing up.  We started taking pictures of him the very first day he was born and we haven't stopped to this day.  Even though he is grown, we still take pictures of him when he comes home for a visit.

Do you know why we have so many pictures of our son?  It is because we love him and we are proud of him.  We were proud of him on the day he was born and We were proud of him when he learned to walk and talk.  We were proud of when he played Little League baseball and when he played on the soccer team.  We were proud of him when he gave his heart to Jesus and when he was baptized.  We were proud of him when he played his first piano recital and when he played in the high school band.  We were proud of him when he graduated from high school and college.

Do you think God was proud of his Son?  I know he was!  How do I know? The Bible tells me so!  The Bible says that when Jesus was baptized, there was a voice from heaven that said, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Why do you think God was proud of his Son?  I think it made God proud to watch him grow.  The Bible tells us that "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52)  It always makes a father proud to watch his children grow in maturity and become wiser.  And, of course, a father is always proud when his child is well-liked and respected by other people.

Another reason that God was proud of his Son is that Jesus always did what his Father told him to do.  Do you always do what your father tells you to do?  I doubt if any of us could answer "yes" to that question -- but Jesus could.  Jesus said "I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."  (John 6:38)  That would make a Father proud, wouldn't it?

The Bible tells us that when we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we become the children of God.  Wouldn't you like to be the kind of child that would cause God to look down from heaven and say, "My child, I'm proud of you!"

Dear Lord, help us to be more like Jesus, so that we will be the kind of child of which you can be proud.  Amen.

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« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2005, 09:21:29 AM »

The Waiting Place

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' " Mark 13:35-37 (NIV)

I have heard that if you live to be seventy years old, you will spend three years of your life just waiting. Waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in the doctor's office, waiting for lunch to be ready, waiting for recess time at school.

In his book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go," Dr. Seuss talks about a place called "the waiting place." He describes it as a useless place where people are just waiting.

    Waiting for a train to go
    or a bus to come, or a plane to go
    or the mail to come, or the rain to go
    or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
    or waiting around for a Yes or No
    or waiting for their hair to grow.
    Everyone is just waiting.

I don't particularly like waiting, do you? I don't like it, but I don't know of any way to avoid it. We all have to spend some time in this "waiting place" that Dr. Seuss talks about, but I don't think it has to be a useless place. While we are waiting, life goes on, and we must make good use of our time. What can we do? Well, we could read a good book or call a friend on the cell phone. We could make a list of things we need to do today or, we could even study for our weekly spelling test. Well, maybe that's going a bit too far, but there are many things we can do besides just waiting.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means "to come." Do you know what's coming? Of course, Christmas is coming. This is an exciting time, but it may also be a difficult time of waiting -- especially for children. Waiting for the day when you can open the gifts that you see under the tree. What can we do to make this time of waiting for Christmas more than just a useless time in the waiting place? Well, we can think about the true meaning of Christmas. We can think about Jesus and his love. We can think about giving instead of receiving. We can enjoy all of beautiful music and the decorations of the season. When we do those things, we will find joy in the waiting place.

We are waiting for Christmas, but we are also waiting for something else. We are waiting for Jesus' return. He told us that he would come again and he told us to watch and be ready for him. What should we do while we are waiting? We should worship and praise him, love and serve him, and share his love with others. When we are doing those things, we will be ready for his return, and we will find joy in the waiting place.

Heavenly Father, as we spend time in this waiting place, we look forward with great joy to the celebration of Jesus' birth and to the day when he comes again. Amen.

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« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2005, 09:24:26 AM »

Thank You!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1


Last week I received this beautiful Thank You card.  Inside of the card it says, "Your ministry is such a blessing because you have a wonderful way of bringing others into His presence.  Thank you for your music ministry."  It really made me feel good that someone took the time to go and buy this card and send it to me to say "Thank You."  Sometimes people forget to say "Thank You" when someone does something nice for them.

One time there were ten people who were very sick with a terrible disease called leprosy.  When Jesus saw them, He touched them and they were healed.  They were so happy that they ran up and down the streets singing and dancing.  One of them stopped and went back to tell Jesus, "Thank You."  Jesus said to him, "Weren't there ten who were healed?  Where are the other nine?"  Only one out of the ten said, "Thank You."

God does so much for us!  Every day he provides everything we need: food, clothing, and a place to live.  Do we ever forget to say, "Thank You?"   Let's stop right now and say "Thank You" and ask Him to help us remember to thank Him every day.

Dear Lord, you give us everything we need, but we often forget to say "Thank You."  We thank you now, and ask you to help us to remember to give thanks every day for all that you give us.  Amen.

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« Reply #52 on: November 29, 2005, 01:25:02 PM »

Preparing the Way

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain." Isaiah 40:3-4 (NIV) Also, Mark 1:2-3

Does your family have any travel plans during the Christmas holidays? Do any of you ever go to visit out-of-town family or friends? We did when I was a little boy.

Some of my fondest childhood memories of the Christmas holidays were times when we went to visit my grandmother. I don't know how many times we made that trip to my grandmother's house, but there was always some part of the highway that was being repaired. There were signs that said, "Slow Down -- Construction Ahead" and we would see road graders, gravel trucks, and a lot of men working on the highway. I always thought to myself, "What a nice highway this will be when it us finished it and there is no more construction." That was many years ago and I still travel that highway from time to time. Guess what? They are still working on it! You see, by the time they finish working on one part of the highway, there is another place that needs to be repaired! Even some part they have repaired before may need to be repaired again. They will never finish working on it.

The childhood memory of those holiday trips to grandmother's house reminds me of the story of the first Christmas. The Bible tells us that God sent a man named John to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. John told the people to make a highway in the desert for their God. He told them to make the crooked ways straight and to make the rough places smooth. John wasn't really talking about building a highway upon which Jesus could travel. He was really talking about the hearts of the people. He was calling people to prepare their hearts to receive Jesus so that he could walk among them and live with them.

During this special season of the year when we celebrate Jesus' birth and look forward to the day when he will come again, you and I need to make sure that we are ready. We need to look into our hearts and ask God to make our crooked ways straight and smooth out the rough places. Oh, I know, we have done it before, but it is just like that highway to grandmother's house, the job is never finished. Every day we do things that we shouldn't do and we need to ask God to forgive us and to make our hearts clean.

Dear Father, prepare our hearts for Jesus' return. Make our crooked ways straight and our rough places smooth. Amen.

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« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2006, 12:28:49 PM »

Our God Is Faithful, 100%!

Luk 2:25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.


 Have you ever read the story, "Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss? It is a wonderful story about an elephant named Horton. The story begins with a lazy bird named Mayzie sitting on her egg in a tree. Sitting on the egg was tiresome and boring and Mayzie hated it. "I'd take a vacation, fly off for a rest if I could find someone to stay on my nest!" said Mayzie.

That’s when Horton walked by. Mayzie asked Horton if he would sit on her egg while she took a little rest. Horton objected at first, but Mayzie promised that she would not be gone long, so Horton finally agreed and soon he was sitting on the nest while Mayzie flew off to Florida for a vacation.

In Florida, Mayzie had such fun that she decided she would never return to her nest. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, but Horton kept sitting there, day after day. Winter came and icicles hung from Horton's trunk and his feet, but still he remained faithful to his promise to Mayzie.

"I'll stay on this egg and I won't let it freeze," he said with a sneeze. "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful, 100%."

Now, I don't know if elephants are really faithful 100% or not, but I know someone who is. God is faithful, 100%! The Bible is full of the promises of God, and God is always faithful to keep his promises.

In the Bible, there is a story about a man named Simeon. Simeon was a very old man who had faithfully served God all of his life. Simeon was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Christ, the promised Messiah. A few days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to dedicate him to God. Simeon was in the temple. As soon as Simeon saw the baby, he knew that Jesus was the Christ and that God had kept his promise that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. God is faithful to his promises, 100%!

We are at the beginning of a new year. Many of us will make promises to God about things that we will do in the new year. I'm afraid that many times they are promises made, but never kept. If God is faithful to keep his promises to us, don't you think that it is important for us to keep our promises to him?

This year, as we make our promises to God, let us say, like Horton, "I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I'll be faithful to God, 100%."

Dear Father, as you are faithful in keeping your promises to us, may we be faithful in keeping our promises to you. Amen.

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« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2006, 12:33:37 PM »

Our God Is Faithful, 100%!

Dear Father, as you are faithful in keeping your promises to us, may we be faithful in keeping our promises to you. Amen.



AMEN, PR
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« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2006, 05:46:10 AM »

AMEN PASTOR ROGER!

Brother, I like the idea that Christian parents can get material here to use with their children.

I know that I've mentioned it somewhere else, but I would like to remind everyone there is also a lot of good material for various Christian activities for children at:

ChristiansUnite KIDS
http://kids.christiansunite.com/

I especially like knowing that there are many good and wholesome things that parents can do with their children. It's not as easy as turning their kids loose with the television or video games, but those things are really hurting our kids. These sermons for kids and other Christian activities require some personal time being spent by the adult with their children, and Christian parents should know that quality, wholesome, personal time with their children is wonderful. We should not be allowing video games and television to raise our children.

I know that I sound like an old "fundy" in making statements like the above. WHY? - I am an old "fundy", and I sincerely believe that Christian parents MUST spend quality time with their children in TEACHING THEM THE THINGS OF THE LORD. If we don't, we are robbing our children of the most important instruction, and we are NOT pleasing the LORD in our obligations to our children.

OK, I know that I was on a soapbox. Christian parents, please let me say just one more thing: you will also enjoy these activities with your children, and they will form a Godly bond between you and your children. A child who has been taught the things of the LORD by their parents is a very lucky child, and they will give thanks for your efforts for the rest of their lives. If they must do the video games and the television, THE THINGS OF THE LORD SHOULD COME FIRST.

Brother, I will be sending copies of these messages to use with my grandchildren, and I appeciate you sharing them with us.

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 4:36-38 NASB  "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. "For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."
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« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2006, 05:58:38 AM »

Amen Brother.

It is important that we teach our children and raise them in the ways of the Lord. It is our responsibility to them and to God besides a wonderful joy to have such time with them.

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« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2006, 09:35:55 AM »

Amen and Amen. I would also like to say that this is not limited to just parents, grandparent too can help their grandchildren. My grandchildren just love when I spend time with them teaching them things about God in a way they can understand. And I must say I take great pleasure in knowing that they are receiving God's Word while they are still young.
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« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2006, 10:22:18 AM »

AMEN SISTER MARIA!

You are 100% correct, and I should have mentioned grandparents.

Children absolutely love personal, one on one attention from their parents and grandparents. You can see it in their faces when you read to them or do activities with them. I might add that they soak up Bible stories like a sponge. Even at the younger ages, they will have questions about the real people and JESUS in the stories. It's the perfect opportunity to tell them the TRUTH and have a great time all at once. Even coloring Bible scenes with a crayola can be a lot of fun and serve as an illustration for a Bible story.

All children are hungry for love from the authority figures in their lives. I can't think of a better way of expressing love than teaching them the things of the LORD. Love is obviously a high priority in the rearing of a child, so the Ultimate Love of JESUS is something they really enjoy hearing and learning about. It's fun to watch the wonder and amazement when you tell them about JESUS in Heaven and how HE wants to live in their hearts and be with them for the rest of their lives. I used the word "fun", but maybe I should have used a different word, maybe something like "rewarding", "satisfying", or "joy" in doing something that you know the LORD wants done. There is always some type of happiness and joy involved when a Christian does the LORD'S Work, and I know that all Christians who have ever taught children the things of the LORD will understand exactly what I'm talking about.

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 10:29-30 NASB  "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one."
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« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2006, 02:45:31 PM »

A New Life in Jesus

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. Mark 1:4-5 (NIV)

Sometimes, when we meet a friend we may say, "What's new?" It has only been a couple of weeks since Christmas, so if I were to ask you, "What's New?" you would probably have a lot to tell me about. (If time permits, allow the children to tell about something new that they have.) All of us like new things, don't we? Don't you just love the look and feel of new clothes? Well maybe children don't get as excited about new clothes as we adults do, but I am sure you get excited about new toys! You have probably spent hours playing with the new toys you received for Christmas.

One thing I really enjoy is a new beginning. Last Sunday was the first Sunday of a new year. What an exciting time! It is a chance to start over. It is a time to try to do things better than we did last year.

Today, we are going to talk about another new beginning. It is better than the beginning of a new year -- it is the beginning of a new life. A new life in Jesus.

In the Bible we read about a man called John the Baptist. John went all around the countryside in Judea telling people to repent and ask God to forgive them of their sins. When they confessed their sin and asked God to forgive them, John baptized them in the river Jordan. They were baptized to show the world that God had forgiven their sins and they were washed clean. This was a new beginning for them.

We still baptize people today. Perhaps some of you have been baptized. When we are baptized, it is a picture of what Jesus has done for us. He died, was buried, and rose again to wash away our sin and give us a new life in him. Now, that's what I call a new beginning!

Dear Father, we thank you that Jesus, who was without sin, washes away our sins and gave us a new life. Amen.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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