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Howard didn't believe in God...

Illustration
Howard didn't believe in God. Though he had heard the stories of Jesus, he just never believed them. One day, Howard came home all excited. He had just landed the lead in an off-Broadway show. The job didn't pay much, but still he considered it his big break.

On opening night he expected a full house, but because of the stage lights, he couldn't tell how many people were there. By the end of the first act, Howard was getting concerned because this was supposed to be a comedy, and nobody was laughing.

New & Featured This Week

The Immediate Word

Christopher Keating
Thomas Willadsen
Dean Feldmeyer
Ron Love
Bethany Peerbolte
George Reed
Mary Austin
For December 9, 2018:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Ron Love
Baruch 5:1-9
For they went out from you on foot,
    
led away by their enemies;
but God will bring them back to you,
    
carried in glory, as on a royal throne. (Baruch 5:6)

Psalm 137 gives us a heart-rending picture of the people being led away into exile on foot by their enemies (by the willows we hung up our harps -- that whole thing.). The captives no doubt suffered torment and death reminiscent of native Americans on the Trail of Tears or the American POWs in the Bataan Death March.
Wayne Brouwer
Advent reminds us of the power in Jesus’ words to his disciples. God never denies us the light we need. As Joyce Kilmer wrote:

Because the way was steep and long,
and through a strange and lonely land,
God placed upon my lips a song
and put a lantern in my hand.

CSSPlus

Arley K. Fadness
Good morning boys and girls,

It’s really awesome to see you this beautiful morning. Thanks for joining me. Are you ready to hear a special message I have just for you children?  (children respond)

Has your mom or dad ever reminded you, “It’s time to go to bed?”  Have they ever shouted, “It’s time to hurry up and get ready” for something? (children respond)

Ever hear, “Time to catch your bus for school? Time to go shopping? Time to go fishing? Time to go to church?”

StoryShare

Peter Andrew Smith
Keith Wagner
Contents
“Shining in the Darkness” by Peter Andrew Smith
“Growing Richer Love” by Keith Wagner
“Possibilities Unlimited” by Keith Wagner


Shining in the Darkness
by Peter Andrew Smith
Luke 1:68-79

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
In our house, things change at Christmas. On Christmas Day we eat at totally different times, we snap open crackers and wear silly hats, we roar with laughter at the awful jokes inside the crackers, all members of the family meet together for one of the few times each year, and we play with puzzles.

SermonStudio

Schuyler Rhodes
Known among scholars as the "Benedictus," Zechariah's prophecy is a powerful and beautiful commentary on what is about to take place. The coming of the Messiah is recounted here in an incredible merger of spiritual, social, and political realities. The people will be delivered from their enemies, and they will gain knowledge of salvation. The sins of the people will be forgiven by God's tender mercies as the light of a new dawn guides "our feet into the way of peace."

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