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A wonderful present!

Children's sermon
A Christmas present (inside have a note that says "EVERYTHING")
Today we begin the Advent season. It's a season of looking forward to a certain holiday ---- a special day. Does anybody know what day I'm talking about? (Let them answer.) You feel like I do ---- you look forward to Christmas! Christmas is that wonderful day when we exchange gifts. It's a time for family and friends and giving and receiving presents. I brought with me a present that is special because it is from a very important person. Would you like for me to open it? Let's do it! (Open the gift.)

It looks like there is not much inside this present. But I see there is a note inside. Let's just see what this note says. (Read it.) It says just one word: "Everything." That may seem like a strange gift. But when I tell you who gave me this gift, I think you will understand.

You see, this gift is from God! I wrote the note and put it inside the gift because I know that everything ---- EVERYTHING ---- is from God anyway! The air that I breathe is from God. This congregation is a gift from God. YOU are a gift from God. The food I eat, the clothes I wear ---- EVERYTHING is from God! Even my body and my mind are gifts from God. What a wonderful, thoughtful God we have who gives us all that we need and so much more!

There is one great gift that is above all others. That gift is the gift of God's own son Jesus. Jesus is God's gift to the world ---- to you and me. Jesus comes to us at Christmastime to remind us that he also is God's gift. In fact, we give gifts to each other to help us remember that the greatest gift in the world ---- Jesus ---- is from God.

As we get ready for Christmas and think of buying or making Christmas gifts for others, think about how EVERYTHING we have is from God. Think of how the best gift ---- Jesus ---- is from God. That's why we give to others and others give to us. It helps us remember how giving our God is!

Dearest giving God: Thank you for everything ---- especially Jesus. Amen.

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For November 18, 2018:
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Bill Thomas
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1 Samuel 1:4-20 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10
David Coffin
Another cold, autumn Wednesday evening as the sun sets early and the church council gathers into the cool, musty church basement. As they sit on the plastic chairs surrounding two rectangle tables placed together, the pastor leads in prayer and maybe a Bible passage. The council president dutifully distributes the council agenda in front of all of the attendees. An older lady member was nice enough to bake some cookies and brew some decaffeinated coffee (so people are not kept awake at night) for those present.


C. David Mckirachan
Frank Ramirez
“Mom” by C. David McKirachan
“Not One Stone” by Frank Ramirez

by C. David McKirachan
1 Samuel 1:4-20, 1 Samuel 2:1-10

My mother told me that if I’d been a girl, I’d have been named Hannah. It was always an incidental detail. Then my nephew and his wife gave their daughter the name and I realized it ran in the family. So I got interested. The Bible keeps surprising me. This time when I read the familiar story, I ran into something new.


Arley K. Fadness
“...do not be alarmed...” (v. 7a)

Good morning boys and girls,

I have a question for you today. The question is this: Were you scared at anything this past Halloween? Did anything frighten you like at a Halloween party or when you were out trick or treating? (children respond) Maybe with your weird masks and silly costumes you frightened someone else yourself. That's so much fun!

Well, there's fun-fear like at Halloween. And there's also not-fun-fear.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
I had the privilege to be with my father when he died. I'd never seen anyone die before, and although I'm sure it must be a different experience for different people, I was amazed at what a struggle it seemed to be for him.

He wasn't in any pain, but he struggled to take off his pyjama jacket, and he struggled to have the window open, and he struggled to breathe, and it seemed as though it was a struggle to die. And although he was given various drugs which relaxed and calmed him, I still felt that underneath that surface calm, perhaps the struggle was continuing.


Russell F. Anderson
Theme For The Day: Knowing the signs of the Lord's return.


Lesson 1: 1 Samuel 1:4-20 (C)

Special Occasion