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First Pres Blog

Advent Devotional Week 8: Joy to the Future

Posted by John Goodale on

Meditation by John Goodale, Pastor of Care Isaiah 12:1-6 A Scottish pastor named Thomas Chalmers once identified what he considered to be three grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love and something to hope for. While the first two qualities occur in the present...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 7: Joy to the Past

Posted by Pat Hartsock on

Meditation by Pat Hartsock, Pastor to Men  Luke 1:68–79 Have you ever waited and waited for something you were promised? Has the wait been agonizing? Has that wait ever been awarded with an answer that exceeded your expectations and filled your heart with joy? My mom and dad died...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Christmas Day

Posted by Tim McConnell on

It is Christmas Day. From this day we count all our days. Do you still think about how remarkable that is? It is December 25, 2018. The calendar reports today that is it 2018 years since the day Jesus was born. From that day we count all our days. Now, I really mean that. In the literal sense...

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Tags: e-blast, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 6: Receiving God's Joyous Gift

Posted by Tim McConnell on

Meditation by Tim McConnell, Lead Pastor  Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” – Luke 2:10 Joy is not something you and I create. It isn’t a product we can manufacture. It is...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 5: Great Joy!

Posted by Tom Pipkin on

Meditation by Tom Pipkin, Pastor of Family Ministries  Luke 2:1-11 It was Christmas Eve of 1989. Dawn and I had just returned home from an exhausting, high-energy, week-long ski camp in North Carolina with 260 teenagers—and we were two days behind schedule. Upon departing the camp...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 4: Joy to Share

Posted by Greg Hartnett on

Luke 1:11-25 Growing up, we always gathered with my dad’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. He’s one of seven kids, so these parties typically had upwards of 50 people attending! My favorite moment in our celebrations always came toward the end of the night. One of my uncles...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Setting the Table

Posted by Tim McConnell on

I knew when we had four kids we would have to wait a little longer for a table. When I was in high school, I worked for the Olive Garden as a host. I was the one to hand out the little buzzing squares and tell people the bad news—“It’ll be thirty minutes at least.” But...

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Tags: e-blast, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 3: Because God Said

Posted by Jim DeJarnette on

Meditation by Jim Dejarnette, Minister of Worship and Music  Zephaniah 3:14-20 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;  in his love he will no longer rebuke you,  but will rejoice over you with singing.&rdquo...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

Magnify the Lord

Posted by Tim McConnell on

This Sunday, we continued our series Time for Joy, talking about the little moment in Luke 1 when Elizabeth and Mary met together. Elizabeth, empowered by the Holy Spirit, was able to claim faith in the unborn Jesus as “Lord.” Mary, moved by the Holy Spirit at work in her, sang...

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Tags: e-blast, time for joy, worship

Advent Devotional Week 2: A Bundle of Joy

Posted by Katie Fowler on

Meditation by Katie Fowler, Pastor of Discipleship  Luke 1:39-50 As I write this, I am less than five weeks out from my due date. By the time we look together at Luke 1:39–50 on the second Sunday of Advent, I’ll already have a new son in my arms. Baby is coming. The Fowler...

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Tags: advent, advent devotionals 2018, time for joy, worship

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